Blind Beer Tasting #5: Pumpkin

The latest Blind Beer Tasting took place exactly a month ago and I figured I should probably get on it and post the results for it. We let the winners from the last tasting decide what this tasting will be on and they chose Pumpkin beers.

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 couple 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 17 people and 19 beers (some extras were brought.) 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. We did not have any restrictions for this tasting, any pumpkin beer was fair game. Granted this was about a month early than a lot of pumpkin beers came to bottleshops so yes, we had multiples of the same beer.

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 was a tie which is why the rank is thrown off a bit below. We ended up having two of the same beer, Epic’s Brainless on Peaches and Dogfish Head’s Black & Blue. I’ll note next to each one since the same beer did place differently (which could be due to an older batch, or even the more we drank the higher the scores got. Many variables to be honest.) 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.

18. Smashed Pumpkin (Shipyard) – Average score: 4.78

17. Pumking (Southern Tier) – Average score: 5.39

16. Pumking (Southern Tier) – Average score: 5.44

15. Pumpkinhead (Shipyard) – Average score: 5.67

14. Punkin (Uinta) – Average Score: 5.78

13. Harlot’s Harvest (Pike) – Average score: 5.94

12. Punk’n (Dogfish Head) – Average score: 6.00

11.  Pumking (Southern Tier) – Average score: 6.05

10. Pumpkin Cider (Ace) – Average score: 6.06

9. Punk’n (Dogfish Head) – Average score: 6.22

8.  TIE – Harlot’s Harvest (Pike), Nightowl (Elysian) – Average score: 6.28

7. Great Pumpkin (Elysian) – Average score: 6.33

6. Punk’n (Dogfish Head) – Average score: 6.50

5.  Great Pumpkin (Elysian) – Average score: 6.61

4. Harlot’s Harvest (Pike) – Average score: 6.67

3. Pumpkin Spice 2011 (Two Beers) – Average score: 6.72

2. Harlot’s Harvest (Pike) – Average score: 6.83

And the Winner…

1. Great Pumpkin (Elysian) – Average score: 6.94

Congratulations to Elysian for winning our Blind Beer Tasting on Pumpkin Beers! We also spiced things up a bit for this Tasting and gave whoever brought the winning beer a prize, which happened to be a gift certificate to Amazon. We paid for the certificate ourselves and Amazon has absolutely no clue who we are, nor did they pay us to do this. We are going to attempt to do a roughly $20 prize for the winner from now on to entice people.

We did not have any disqualifications for this Tasting (second month in a row!) There were some grumbles about there being a Cider included, but we didn’t restrict it in the beginning so it was fair game. The winner got to choose the next theme and decided on Fall/Harvest beers. While it is very similar to Pumpkin beers we will be able to get Oktoberfest, Harvest, and other Fall-spiced beers in the mix. We were debating restricting all of the beers from Pumpkin night but decided against it.  If you have any recommendations for Fall/Harvest ales or even a theme for a future Tasting feel free to post them in the comments!

We have had an on-going Spotify playlist that we created called ‘Craft Beer Night’, that features a lot of indie artists as well as some more popular groups. We are constantly adding new songs that we find and enjoy and would like to share it with you! Craft Beer Night is typically always playing whenever we have people over for beer tastings and is great as background music on Shuffle. Enjoy and if you have any music (new or old) you think we should add to Craft Beer Night let us know. After all, this is a beer AND music blog.

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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