2014 Central States I.P.A. Blind Tasting Championship
Over the last couple years I've done numerous IPA blind tastings in search of the best available in this part of the country. Four brews have consistently risen to the very top: Avery Maharajah, Great Divide Hercules, Lagunitas Hop Stoopid, and Odell Myrcennary.
So with some IPA-loving pals 4 of us conducted a blind tasting of these four giant beers. Here are the weighted rankings, with 1 best, 4 worst:
Myrcennary: 1.5 with two first-place votes
Hop Stoopid: 2.33 with one first place vote
Maharajah: 2.5 with two first places and two last places!
Hercules: 3.0 no first place votes
It's interesting that Maharajah was the most polarizing beer... due to the initial sweetness in it's flavor profile, by far the sweetest of the 4 brews. I personally had it tied for first with the next-sweetest beer (Myrcennary) as I definitely prefer a bitter-sweet balance in an IPA.
Hercules and Hop Stoopid were noted as the drier of the beers. One taster initially didn't like H-S (relatively speaking), but after a few more sips it grew on him and earned his 2nd place vote.
Everyone thought the 4 beers were all very good or better in their own right.
As for palate consistency, one guy joined the tasting late and told me he had drank some Hop Stoopid earlier. Tasting them blind it was his favorite beer, followed by Myrcennary in 2nd place.