Sunday, April 7, 2013

Blind Taste Test: Coffee Beers

I love a good game.  Put some beer in that game and I will love it even more.  One of the best ways to have a nice little beer related game is to do a blind taste test.  Had a few buddies over last night and I decided to involve them in a little blind taste test experiment.  I decided to go with coffee flavored stouts/porters and see which beers came out on top and which beers didn't live up to their hype.  The 4 participants had 7 beers to taste.  Each person taking notes as they tasted and some of the results were surprising.  Here is a picture of the beers used for this experiment.  And just in case you don't know them, they are:
Troegs Java Head
Terrapin W-n-B (Formerly Wake N Bake)
Founders Breakfast Stout
Tyranena Devil Made Me Do It
Bells Java Stout
Founders KBS 2013
#46.  This was the wild card beer.  It was a homebrew from a buddy of mine in california.  It was a Breakfast Stout clone.
 Each bottle was placed in a brown paper bag and I poured them all a taste of each beer in separate tasting glasses.  I had them rank each beer in order from their favorite to their least favorite.  Each persons best beer received 7 points all the way down to the least favorite beer which receives 1 point.  So here are the results:

1.  Founders KBS: 28 points.
2.  Bells Java Stout: 23 points.
3.  Tyranena Devil Made Me Do It: 16 points
4. #46: 13 Points
5. Founders Breakfast Stout: 12 Points
6.  Terrapin WNB: 11 Points
7.  Troegs Java Head: 4 points.

It was reassuring that KBS was the clear cut winner of the tasting, which is what I figured would happen.  The big surprise was Tyranena Devil Made Me Do It which was consistently in the top 2 or 3 on everyone's list and it trounced FBS and WNB.  A couple guys remarked that they always pass on Tyranena beers and another guy had never heard of them.  Kudos to my buddy Dave for brewing #46 which edged out FBS in total points.  One of my buddies who participated in this was completely shocked that Breakfast Stout was not in his top beers of the test.  He was convinced prior to the reveal that FBS wasn't in the lineup at all.  His pride was shaken a bit.  The Troegs beer was just ok.  It had a very thin mouthfeel and the flavor was overall disappointing, and it was the clear loser of the bunch.

The tasting was quite interesting.  Sometimes hype, rarity, label, and brewery play into what we think of certain beers.  KBS lived up it's lofty billing.  Terrapin WNB and FBS consistently underperformed despite the hype that surrounds them.  I've consistently stated that Bells Java Stout is one of the best coffee stouts I've tasted and that it doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves.  It finished second overall and showed that it's a powerhouse.  The only beer besides KBS to get 20+ points.

Overall we had a great time.  And of course a bottle share broke out afterwards and here is a pic of the graveyard from the night.
Are you surprised by some of the results from the blind taste test?  Have you ever done something like this before?  What are you experiences with this type of experiment?


1 comment:

  1. Hi Kevin,

    I've been trying to reach you through 'Ants', but am having major trouble.

    I am headed off to Founders Black Party and will also be at DLD, would like to catch up with you beforehand. Please contact me at your convenience.
    Skype: tschliep