Friday, January 11, 2013

2012 California IPA Tournament: Round 2, Heats 1-6

Neglected to take any pictures of any rounds between here and the semifinals, so I apologize for the lack of visual aids.  The upper beer in each Round 2 heat finished second in its Round 1 heat; the lower beer was a Round 1 heat loser.  Each taster simply picked which beer they preferred.  Losers were eliminated from the tourney.  There was a lot less commentary starting at this point, as the tasters got down to the serious business of thinking about beer while drinking beer.

Heat 1:
Nectar Ales (Paso Robles), R1H1, $9.59/6-pack, 6.7% ABV, 14.87 NSP, 5-0
Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' (Boonville), R1H4, $9.99/6-pack, 7.0% ABV, 14.92 NSP
Hop Ottin' gets destroyed again.  Nectar Ales was just more enjoyable all the way around- as Andy said, Nectar Ales was far more drinkable, while Hop Ottin' was just bitter.

Heat 2: 
21st Amendment Brew Free or Die (San Francisco), R1H2, $9/6-pack, 7.0% ABV, 16.57 NSP, 3 (Andy, Brendan, Samer)
Napa Smith Organic (Napa), R1H11, $3.99/22oz, 7.1% ABV, 11.57 NSP, 2 (Brent, Matt)
Napa Smith performs far better than in Round 1 (mint tea), but can't quite overcome BFoD.  Neither was great- Brent wanted to vote for neither, and Samer wanted both to lose.

Heat 3:
Russian River Blind Pig (Santa Rosa), R1H3, $4.90/500mL, 6.1% ABV, 6.43 NSP, 4 (Andy, Brendan, Brent, Samer)
Eagle Rock Populist (Los Angeles), R1H12, $6.29/22oz, 7.0% ABV, 7.44 NSP, 1 (Matt)
The moment Matt voted he qualified it by declaring that he was drunk.  Blind Pig was way better all the way around, with much cleaner flavors.

Heat 4:
Blue Frog (Fairfield), R1H4, $4.29/22oz, 7.0% ABV, 10.61 NSP
Stone (San Marcos), R1H6, $10.29/6-pack, 6.9% ABV, 14.28 NSP, 5-0
Stone makes a comeback after its Round 1 disaster, "hands fucking down" as Andy said.  Blue Frog was strangely metallic; Matt said it tasted like IPA mixed with mineral water.

Heat 5:
Mission (San Diego), R1H5, $4.99/22oz, 6.8% ABV, 8.86 NSP, 1 (Brent)
Black Diamond Jagged Edge (Concord), R1H3, $8.89/6-pack, 7.3% ABV, 17.51 NSP, 4 (Andy, Brendan, Matt, Samer)
This one was actually a bit of a struggle, as neither was particularly good.  Andy said Black Diamond just had better balance.  Brent commented that Black Diamond had an ashy flavor, which is why he went with Mission.  Someone, not sure who, said that Mission reminded them of Allyson Felix, the Olympic sprinter.  I have no recollection of the context for that reference, and as such no idea how or why anyone would've said it.

Heat 6:
Left Coast Trestles (San Clemente), R1H6, $4.99/22oz, 6.8% ABV, 8.86 NSP, 1 (Samer)
Rubicon (Sacramento), R1H2, $3.99/22oz, 6.5% ABV, 10.59 NSP, 4 (Andy, Brendan, Brent, Matt)
I completely disagreed with this one- I thought Trestles was way better.  But Andy and Matt both thought Left Coast tasted like peanut butter, and that's not a good thing.

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