Monday, January 14, 2013

2012 California IPA Tournament: Round 2, Heats 7-12

Again, each taster just picked their favorite; winners move on to round 3, losers are eliminated.  I mentioned that all of these tastings were blind, right?  If not, all of these tastings were blind.

Heat 7:

High Water Hop Riot (Chico), R1H7, $4.99/22oz, 7.3% ABV, 9.51 NSP
Coronado Islander (San Diego), R1H5, $10.49/6-pack, 7.0% ABV, 14.21 NSP, 5-0
Hop Riot maintains its dairy-ish flavor (ice cream in Round 1)...but now it's cheese.  Not really anything that's going to help a beer in a head-to-head.  Coronado by a mile.

Heat 8:

Karl Strauss Tower 10 (San Diego), R1H8, $8.29/6-pack, 7.0% ABV, 18.01 NSP, 1 (Matt)
Bear Republic Racer 5 (Healdsburg), R1H9, $9.69/6-pack, 7.0% ABV, 15.39 NSP, 4 (Andy, Brendan, Brent, Samer)
Racer 5 rebounds.  Samer said it was creamy and dericious (that's not a typo). This one wasn't really close either.

Heat 9:

Moylan's NorCal (Novato), R1H9, $4.99/22oz, 6.9% ABV, 8.99 NSP, 2 (Matt, Samer)
Hangar 24 Columbus (Redlands), R1H1, $4.85/22 oz, 7% ABV, 9.38 NSP, 3 (Andy, Brendan, Brent)
Pretty even matchup, but Hangar 24 takes it, in part because, as Andy said, "Peanut butter is not so cute anymore" in reference to Moylan's.  Apparently he thought NorCal tasted like Jif.  Brent said both were gross, with NorCal tasting like Dimetapp and Hangar 24 like an ashtray.  So this round ended up being decided by flaws more than qualities.

Heat 10:

Kern River Just Outstanding (Kernville), R1H10, $4.99/22oz, 6.8% ABV, 8.86 NSP, 5-0
Bison Organic (Berkeley), R1H7, $4.19/22oz, 6.0% ABV, 9.31 NSP
This one was like the 1996 Chicago Bulls against the 2011 Charlotte Bobcats.  Kern River was really good, Bison really bad (or asshole, as Samer judged).

Heat 11:

Ballast Point Sculpin (San Diego), R1H11, $14.99/6-pack, 7.0% ABV, 9.45 NSP, 5-0
Cismontane Coulter (Rancho Santa Margarita), R1H8, $4.49/500mL, 7.2% ABV, 8.02 NSP
Some of these matchups are just unfair.  Cismontane actually performed pretty well, but it just didn't stand a chance.  As Andy wrote, "Whatever I decide, I know one shouldn't be eliminated."  Sculpin just had way more hop flavor.

Heat 12:

Buffalo Bill's Alimony (Hayward), R1H12, $7.99/6-pack, 6.8% ABV, 18.12 NSP, 1 (Brendan)
Green Flash West Coast (San Diego), R1H10, $8.99/4-pack, 7.3% ABV, 11.53 NSP, 4 (Andy, Brent, Matt, Samer)
Brendan goes with the maltier one again, commenting "Too cold, motherfucker" (after this, I started letting the bottles sit out for 10 minutes or so before the tastings).  Everyone else went for the grapefruity, piny West Coast, which performed much better against relatively inferior competition.

Summing up Round 2-
Winners (advancing to Round 3, randomized against Round 1 winners):
Nectar Ales
21st Amendment Brew Free or Die
Russian River Blind Pig
Black Diamond Jagged Edge
Coronado Islander
Bear Republic Racer 5
Hangar 24 Columbus
Kern River Just Outstanding
Ballast Point Sculpin
Green Flash West Coast

Losers (eliminated):
Anderson Valley Hop Ottin'
Napa Smith Organic
Eagle Rock Populist
Blue Frog
Left Coast Trestles
High Water Hop Riot
Karl Strauss Tower 10
Moylan's NorCal
Bison Organic
Cismontane Coulter
Buffalo Bill's Alimony

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