Over the weekend I noticed that I had 3 different IPAs in my fridge and decided to do a side-by-side taste test to see how they compared. The contestants were Bell's Two Hearted Ale, Founders Centennial IPA and Mad Anthony IPA. All three are regulars in my fridge -- Two Hearted practically has a permanent residence in there -- though its rare for two to be in there at the same time, let alone three. I also had a bottle of Warbird Warhawk Pale Ale that I threw in for the hell of it even though it's not an IPA.
Here are the notes, verbatim, that I scribbled while my wife and I were tasting:
Founders Centennial IPA
very strong hops
very bitter back-end
little citrus (maybe lemony, if really looking)
Mad Anthony IPA
huge citrus/grapefruit up front
bitter back-end, but not unpleasant
strong hops, but not as strong as Cent.
Bell's Two Hearted Ale
just the right amount of bitter
light, refreshing hops
Warbird Warhawk Pale Ale
lightly balanced with good amount of hops
Being an IPA roundup, ranking the beers in terms of hoppiness seems appropriate:
1. Centennial IPA
2. Mad Anthony IPA
3. Warhawk Pale
4. Two Hearted
The fourth-place finish for Two Hearted was surprising to us. Centennial and Mad Anthony are much hoppier than the other two, but Warhawk, though classified as a pale ale, was actually hoppier than the Two Hearted Ale. Two Hearted Ale is easily the most balanced of the four, which is part of the reason why it has such a special place in hop-head-hearts. My two favorite characteristics of the four beers were the grapefruit of the Mad Anthony -- which makes the beer incredibly refreshing -- and the bready malt character of the Warhawk. The Warhawk is seeing its first action in my fridge and it certainly won't be the last. It's got a very distinct character and a drinkability that I can only describe as dangerous.
UPDATE (11/1): I completely forgot that I took a picture to go with this post. Here it is, belatedly:
Choice Downloads - May
7 years ago