Saturday, August 7, 2010

IPAs — Boundary Bay vs. Laurelwood

Boundary Bay IPA
ABV 6.4%, IBU Unknown

Cloudy, brownish-orange.
Intensely hoppy. Orange zest and rosemary.
Early sweetness before a blast of citrusy hops.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Lingering lemon rind bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):

Laurelwood Workhorse IPA
ABV 7.5%, IBU 80

Clear reddish-orange.
Aroma: Toasted malts and funky cannabis hoppiness.
Flavor: Fairly one-dimensional. Slightly fruity, then lemon water.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Hoppy
Finish: Intense, piney, medicinal, long-lasting bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Good -

Winner by unanimous decision
: Boundary Bay.
Sunny days call for sunny beers. The Workhorse features a sunburst on the bottle and the Boundary Bay features a sunset. Befitting of the labels, we staged the battle outdoors under clear and sunny skies.

Hop flavors are very polarizing. Some people love the funky, ganja-smelling hops, while others like something more citrusy or piney. Our preference lies in the citrusy spectrum which is exactly what the Boundary Bay delivered. We also look for a solid balance of sweet maltiness to balance the bitterness of the hops and once again, the BB came through for us in that arena.

The Laurelwood would probably have tasted just fine on its own, but when compared to the BB it was definitely lacking. This is a key tenet of the Bottle Battle philosophy: if you like beer and try a bottle on its own, you'll more than likely find it to be pretty good. However, if you taste it side by side with another beer you are able to create some sort of context beyond your personal taste memory with which to judge it by.

But, enough with that philosophy stuff, let's get to the fight! The Workhorse must have carried one too many kegs on his back (see label), because he seemed a bit tired in this one, ultimately taking a nap on the canvas in the second round. Too bad — he missed a glorious sunset.

1 comment:

  1. That idiot really shouldn't carry kegs like that. Hmph.