It’s that time again for another Blind Beer tasting. We let the winners from the last tasting decide what this tasting will be on and they chose Stouts.
The rules are (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 14 people and 12 beers. 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. Since Stouts often come flavored we allowed people to bring flavored beers (i.e. Oatmeal or Chocolate) but did not allow barrel or bourbon-aged stouts nor imperial stouts. We used Beer Advocate’s style and drew the Stout ABV line at less than 8%, anything over would be considered an Imperial Stout and disqualified. No matter how delicious.
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 the 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, Rogue Chocolate Stout. I’ll note next to each one since the same beer did place differently, although only one place difference. 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.
10. TIE – Tsunami Stout (Pelican), Fat Guy Oatmeal Stout (Mission Springs) – Average score: 5.33
9. TIE – Tsunami Stout (Pelican), Fat Guy Oatmeal Stout (Mission Springs) – Average score: 5.33
8. TIE – Split Shot Espresso Stout (Elysian), Caboose Oatmeal Stout (American) – Average score: 5.83
7.TIE – Split Shot Espresso Stout (Elysian), Caboose Oatmeal Stout (American) – Average score: 5.83
6. St. Peter’s Cream Stout (St Peter’s) – Average score: 6.25
5. Rogue Chocolate Stout #1 (Rogue) – Average score: 6.33
4. Rogue Chocolate Stout #2 (Rogue) – Average score: 6.42
3. Sheaf Stout (Sheaf) – Average score: 6.67
2. Aphrodisiaque (Brasserie Dieu du Ciel) – Average score: 7.25
And the Winner…
1. Velvet Merlin (Firestone Walker) – Average score: 7.42
Congratulations to Firestone Walker for getting first place in our Blind Beer Tasting on Stouts!
Now, if you remember I said we had 12 beers but there are only 10 places up above. This is because two of the beers turned out to be imperial stouts, which we stated we did not ‘allow’ for the Tasting, so we decided to disqualify them. The beers were Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout which would have placed 4th with an average score of 6.92, and Southern Tier’s Mokah which would have been the ultimate winner with an average score of 7.92. Because of this disqualifications all Stout beers that were 4th place and higher were bumped up two spots, resulting in Firestone Walker’s win.
We plan on hosting more Blind Beer Tastings in the future and have one scheduled for the end of July with the Stout winner picking Barleywines as the next theme, if we can find any at our local bottleshops or breweries. 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! And we are in the works of doing more Song Shots sorry for the delay.