Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oregon IPAs — Three Creeks Brewing Company vs. Oakshire Brewing

Three Creeks Brewing Co.
Hoodoo Voodoo IPA

ABV 6.0%

Clear, reddish amber.
Clean piny hops and sweet honey malts.
Powerful malt backbone with sharp pine resin hoppiness.
Hops vs. Malts
(Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Finish: Moderate pine and citrus rind bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):
Good +

Oakshire Brewing
Watershed IPA
ABV 7.1%

Hazy gold.
Aroma: Burnt brown sugar with mild funky, vegetal hop notes.
Flavor: Bitter citrus and pine. Acidic and a bit vegetal.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Hoppy
Finish: Long-lasting, intense citrus rind bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Good

Blow by Blow

We picked these two bottles up on a recent trip to Oregon. It's pretty amazing to stand in front of a beer cooler in another city that features a great selection of local beers that never make it to Seattle. It was tough to choose what to battle, but we ended up choosing two IPAs that I'd read good things about in the past. The Three Creeks Hoodoo Voodoo hails from Sisters out near Bend while the Oakshire Watershed represents the west side of the state in Eugene.

The Hoodoo Voodoo immediately stood out in the color department with a vibrant clear reddish amber color while the Watershed stumbled into the ring with a murky orange hue.

In the aroma both beers struggled a bit. They certainly featured hops, but in both the hop aromas were dominated a bit by sweet malty aromas. We would have preferred that the aroma hops were ramped up a bit. The Watershed also had some funky, vegetal notes that weren't really off putting, but aren't our favorite hop qualities to encounter.

The flavors were both quite nice with the Hoodoo Voodoo falling a bit more on the malty side and the Watershed getting its bitter on right from the first sip. This continued on through the finish as the Voodoo had a nice, moderate piny hoppiness while the Watershed continued the hop assault and finished with a long-lasting citrus rind bitterness.

Although both were solid IPAs, we chose the Hoodoo Voodoo since it had a better hop/malt balance. So, fill the fridge with Voodoo for yourself and keep a couple bottles of Watershed in back to give offer your hop-addict friends who love a more aggressively hopped IPA.

Winner by unanimous decision: Three Creeks Hoodoo Voodoo

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