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Jun 9, 2013 01:46 PM

Tasting Feedback

I'm going to be hosting a small tasting at work and will have the following styles:

Sour blonde with fruit
Hoppy extra pale ale
Belgian pale
American porter
Barrel-aged barleywine

Each will be paired with a small bite of food, plus there will be other palate cleansers available. I'm considering using the above tasting order because I can't think of where else to put the sour. The barleywine is especially massive and I think the sour would be weird at the end. My hope is by having it at the beginning the subsequent lighter ales will help reset people's palates.

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  1. I know some people that do tastings in order of bitterness. I am not sure if that would work for you, but you might consider it.

    1. I agree that the barleywine would go last and the porter second to last. Personally, I would go with the Belgian pale first, the sour second, then the hoppy extra pale.

      Now just wait for the whole world to come and tell me I am wrong.

      By the way, I would go for an impressive cheese display with your tasting.

      2 Replies
        1. re: jpc8015

          I agree with this order, too. Personally, high hops strip my palate a bit, so it's better to have that right before the porter/barleywine in order to let the BPA and sour shine.

        2. I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to things tasting, but I'd almost consider going with the sour after the Belgian pale and before the porter - sort of a palate cleanser if you will.

          Is it possible that the Belgian pale might be somewhat overwhelmed by the hops in the extra pale ale, or do you want to highlight the contrast there?

          1. At work? Where do I get a job like that?

            1. Do you know what the exact beers are?

              5 Replies
              1. re: Chinon00

                Yeah, I left that out because they're pretty regional in terms of distribution (most of them, anyway).

                The beers are:

                Russian River Damnation (Belgian pale)
                Almanac Farmers Reserve #3 (sour)
                Knee-Deep Citra Extra Pale
                Speakeasy Payback Porter
                Moylan's Barleywine aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels

                1. re: Josh

                  That order is fine. If the sour was very sweet like a dessert lambic I'd finish w/ it but it appears to be a summer fruit beer.

                  1. re: Josh

                    Check my notes on the Almanac thread about the Reserve #3. It's quite fresh strawberry-ish IMO. I think it would go great with dry cheeses (I was going to say Manchego, but it's probably because I'm eating a piece now).

                    Edited to add: that's a great lineup! I wish I was going to be at that tasting.

                    1. re: Fig Newton

                      I've had it a couple of times now and really like it. That and #1 are my favorites so far, though I am excited to try whatever it is they're doing with the loquats.

                    2. re: Josh

                      I think you've nailed the tasting order perfectly. That's a tasting I think I'd really enjoy.