Thursday, June 30, 2011

IPAs — Widmer vs. MacTarnahan's

Widmer Rotator IPA: X-114
ABV 6.2%

Deep yellow.
Big grapefruit citrus, touch of funky cannabis.
Clean citrus hops.
Hops vs. Malts
(Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Finish: Moderate citrus bitterness with touch of that funky cannabis.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):
Good +

Summer Grifter IPA
ABV 6.2%

Aroma: Malts in the foreground, subtle piny hops in the background.
Flavor: Vegetal with some lemony citrus.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Hoppy
Finish: Woody, harsh bitter greens.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Mediocre +

Blow by Blow
After 15 great years in Seattle, we have relocated to the beautiful Rogue River Valley in Oregon. So, the official Bottle Battle headquarters is now in south Medford. We’ll definitely miss some of our favorite bottles in the Seattle area, but we are excited to dive into an amazing new assortment of beers and breweries.

Just in case you forgot, let us remind you that moving sucks. Our feet hurt, our backs ache and I somehow stabbed my palm on a piece of furniture, stigmata-style. Fortunately, there is the promise of great beer at the end of the day. For this inaugural Medford battle we chose two readily available Oregon IPAs, one from Widmer and the other from MacTarnahan’s.

The Widmer Rotator IPA: X-114 is part of Widmer’s new plan to rotate through a few different IPAs throughout the year rather than having one standard IPA in their lineup. We love the idea and look forward to trying every version they make. This recipe was really to our liking as it had a great grapefruitiness from the aroma all the way to the finish. We would have rated it “fantastic” if not for a funky, cannabis note that just seemed to get in the way of the grapefruit. Very solid IPA though.

The Grifter showed up to the fight with a black-eye and things didn’t get much better for him. The aroma leaned toward the malty side with some pine notes peeking through. The flavor had a kind of nutty, vegetal quality that neither of us were too keen on and the finish was overly bitter. Not a bad beer, but really not what we’re looking for in an IPA.

Winner by unanimous decision: Widmer Rotator IPA: X-114

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