Blind Beer Tasting #2: Ambers

A month ago I posted about our initial Blind Beer Tasting and the various IPAs we tried. Well, it’s that time again for another tasting. We let the winners from the last tasting decide what this tasting will be on and they chose Ambers.

The rules were (somewhat) simple: Every person showing up had to bring a beer in the specified style and that was wrapped or the label concealed. We asked attendees to bring either a 750 mL or a pack of 12oz bottles so that everyone could get an adequate sample. Since most beers were wrapped in paper bags it was easy to simply write a number on the outside of the bags so we kept all beers in order. Overall we ended up with 15 people and 18 beers (Many people brought extras just because.) We then handed out scorecards that were basic in nature with a rating of 1-10, with 10 being the best and 1 the worst.

There was only one beer opened at a time, this way it alleviated any confusion on people wondering what numbered beer they had. As the bottle(s) made the rounds at the table we all discussed what we thought of the beer (smell, taste, color) and scored it. There was a variety of snacks to help with 18 various beer samples.

After the final beer we tallied up and averaged out all the scores for each beer and then it was time to crown the winner. We gathered all the (empty) bottles and started with the last place beer and worked our way down to the winner, taking off the paper bags with each person saying what beer they brought once revealed. There were a few ties which is why the rank is thrown off a bit below. We ended up having two of the same beer a few times, Port Townsend, Oakshire, Odin’s and Hilliards. I’ll note next to each one since the same beer did place differently. There will be a #1 next to the beer that was drank first, and a #2 to the second time the same beer was consumed.

16. Oakshire Amber #1 (Oakshire) – Average score: 4.73

15. Odin’s Gift #2 (Odin) – Average score: 4.93

14. Amber Ale #1 (Hilliard’s) – Average score: 5.06

13. Odin’s Gift #1 (Odin) – Average score: 5.20

12. Agate Pass Amber (Hood Canal) – Average score: 5.26

11. TIE – Red Menace (Hale’s), Discovery (Green’s) – Average score: 5.33

10. TIE – Red Menace (Hale’s), Discovery Gluten-Free Amber (Green’s) – Average score: 5.33

9. Oakshire Amber #2 (Oakshire) – Average score: 5.40

8. Grand Slam Amber (Snoqualmie) – Average score: 5.80

7. Amber Ale #2 (Hilliard’s) – Average score: 5.93

6. Amber Ale (Scuttlebutt) – Average score: 6.066

5. Alaskan Amber (Alaskan) – Average score: 6.5

4. TIE – Rare Vos (Ommegang), African Amber (Mac & Jack’s) – Average score: 6.733

3. TIE – Rare Vos (Ommegang), African Amber (Mac & Jack’s) – Average score: 6.733

2. Reel Amber #1 (Port Townsend) – Average score: 6.86

And the Winner…

1. Reel Amber #2 (Port Townsend) – Average score: 6.93

Congratulations to Port Townsend Brewing for getting first AND second place in our Blind Beer Tasting on Ambers!

Now, if you remember I said we had 18 beers but there are only 16 places up above. This is because two of the beers did not say “amber” on the bottle so we decided to disqualify them. The beers were Port Brewing Shark Attack Double Red Ale which would have placed 7th with an average score of 6.13, and Green Flash Brewing Hop Head Red which would have placed 6th with an average score of 6.20. Because of this disqualifications all Amber beers that were 8th place and higher were bumped up two spots.

We plan on hosting more Blind Beer Tastings in the future and have one scheduled for the end of June with the Amber winner picking Stouts as the next theme. We really enjoyed having one style of beer and trying a variety and comparing them. We are trying to get other breweries a try but only certain ones are distributed to the Seattle-area so if you ever find yourself in Seattle with extra beer we can’t get, let me know!

Hopefully this will inspire you to plan your own tasting! If you do, let us know in the comments!

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