We opted to share one 10-beer sampling tray figuring it would free us up to order pints of our favorite(s) after making it through the tasting and identifying the ones that spoke to us the most. Mag ran the tray backwards, starting with #10 and working his way down, while I went with the traditional route starting with #1 and working my way up. Halfway through the tray I suspected he might have done it "right," either that or there was a tray full of beers of which none would be of the variety of IPA I like best.
Thankfully the second half of the tray was much better. There we both found our favorites. #9, full of grapefruity goodness, took top honors from me with #7, offering up stank in both the aroma and flavor, my runner up. Mag chose #8 as his favorite (not hoppy enough for me) with #10 (boozy sweet but drinkable to my palate) his runner up.
The results will be emailed out from Concordia Monday and I hope they'll also include the names of the beers. I'll be interested to see how my blind tasting palate compares to my previous, "eyes wide open" opinions of the beers have been. Four of the beers tasted familiar but only my favorite would I hazard a guess as to what it might be (Hop Stoopid from Lagunitas). If you went to the California Cup, what was your favorite? Any guesses on naming any of the beers?
Results Update: While I am clearly no good at guessing the name of my favorite, I did vote for the crowd favorite. It turned out to be Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA which I have had, and enjoyed plenty, in the past. My runner up was another favorite frequent flyer - Stone IPA.
Neither of my favorites surprised me but what did was that I did not enjoy #5 which was revealed to be Green Flash West Coast IPA. I usually LOVE that beer so I wonder why not this time. Anyone else agree with me? Any ideas on why?