A three way battle that is. After the fun we had with last week’s head to head battle of the coffee beers, this week we raided the beer fridge for IPAs.
The contenders tonight were Central Waters Glacial Trail IPA from our neighbor to the east, Wisconsin, Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA out of Ohio and Stone’s simply named, IPA, making the trip from California.
Pouring the beers, Stone had the best head with full, small bubbles that stuck around. All to start with were difficult to coax a decent aroma out of but improved, as expected, as they warmed.
Central Waters took the cake for a very nice mouthfeel, that while not typical of an IPA, made for a very easy drinker. The up front taste was caramely sweet with a full tongue bitterness. Apparently they’re somewhat secret over there in Amherst, WI, keeping both the ABV and the IBUs a secret.
Commodore Perry, a two time Gold Medal winner at the World Beer Championships, was very drinkable with a bitterness that was milder than one would expect from an IPA. A multidimensional beer, it does come into its own as it warms, with a brown sugar sweetness to balance out the 80 IBUs and 7.5% ABV.
Stone, “brewed with the good stuff” according to the bottle cap, was the most bitter on the tongue with a sharp hop aroma that comes out as it warms. Similar in IBUs and ABV (77 and 6.9% respectively) to Commodore Perry, this was the one with the most hops jumping out.
So what was the verdict, you ask. For me Central Waters was a bit too touchy-feely and Commodore Perry a little more sugary than I want in an IPA. I prefer to be roughed up a little bit when I’ve got an IPA in my hands and Stone delivered. Although this was a much more difficult tasting than with the coffee beers from last week, Mag agreed that Stone took top honors.