Blind Beer Tasting #6: Fall Seasonals

Photo credit: Lindsey Scully

Another month, another Blind Beer Tasting. We let the winner from the last tasting decide what this tasting will be on and they chose Fall Seasonals/Harvest 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 Fall seasonal (including Pumpkins, which was the theme last month) was fair game.

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 growlers 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, Laurelwood’s Sting Jack. 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.

13. Fireside Chat (21st Amendment) – Average Score: 4.40 {After the Tasting I realized that Fireside Chat actually states on the can it is a Winter ale not Fall, so this technically should have been disqualified}

12. Pumpkin Schmunkin (21st Amendment) – Average score: 4.86

11. Red Barn Ale (Lost Abbey) – Average score: 5.13

10. Harvest Moon (Snoqualmie) – Average score: 5.53

9. Stingy Jack #1 (Laurelwood) – Average score: 5.80

8. High Tide Fresh Hop (Port) – Average score: 6.00

7. Oktoberfest (Shiner) – Average score: 6.06

6. Stingy Jack #2 (Laurelwood) – Average score: 6.13

5. Munsterfest (3 Floyds) – Average score: 6.30

4. TIE – Blight (Elysian), Estate Homegrown Ale (Sierra Nevada) – Average score: 6.46

3. Good Gourd (Cigar City) – Average score: 7.00

2. Pumpkineater (Howe Sound) – Average score: 7.13

And the Winner…

1. Harvest Ale (Fremont) – Average score: 7.20

Congratulations to Fremont Brewing for winning our Blind Beer Tasting on Fall Seasonals! We also spiced things up a bit for this Tasting and gave whoever brought the winning beer a prize, which happened to be a about four pounds of chocolate truffles we bought at Costco. We paid for the chocolate ourselves and Costco 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 (third month in a row!), although like I mentioned above the Fireside Chat was technically a Winter seasonal and not a Fall. If we had caught that at the Tasting we would have disqualified it, but it was in last place so we just left it. The winner got to choose the next theme and decided on Winter Seasonals. If you have any recommendations for Winter 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 (as of right now the playlist has 1,250 songs)! Craft Beer Night is typically always playing whenever we have people over for beer tastings and is great as background music on Shuffle, sorry we can not figure out how to have it randomized when we embed it. But you can subscribe to the playlist and hit the Shuffle button that way! 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! We’d love to expand with more East Coast and Canadian breweries.

Hopefully this will inspire you to plan your own tasting!

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