Friday, May 6, 2011

FatCat's 2011 IPA shootout results!

The shootout is complete and 11 IPA’s are down. The numbers have been tallied and we have a winner!

This was a blind tasting, meaning we had no idea which beers we were drinking. The Mrs was gracious enough to pour the beers into 44 different tasting cups and deliver them to us on the back porch. We tasted each of our 11 samples and then rated them 1-5, 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. We are by no means beer judges and rated them purely on taste and smell. This was a ton of fun and we were surprised by the results to say the least. I will be detailing the reviews of some of the top performers in later posts.

And the winner is:

1.    Founder’s Centennial IPA                 16.5pts
2.    Odell IPA                                         16.0pts
3.    Boulevard Single Wide                     15.0pts
4.    Bell’s 2 hearted                                14.5pts
5.    Sam Adams Latitude 48                   13.5pts
6.    Goose Island IPA                            11.5pts
7.    Arcadia IPA                                      9.5pts
8.    Sierra Nevada Torpedo                     9.0pts
9.    Bear Republic Racer 5                       8.0pts
10. Great Divide Titan                               8.0pts
11. Schlafly Export IPA                            7.0pts

FatCat’s Favorites:

Latitude 48    4.5pts

Founder’s      4.5pts

Boulevard      4.0pts

Super Dave’s Favorites:

Odell IPA   5.0pts

Founder’s   4.0pts

Bell’s          4.0pts

Boulevard   4.0pts

Greg’s Favorites:

Founder’s   4.0pts

Bell’s          4.0pts

Boulevard   4.0pts

Alex’s Favorites:

Odell          4.5pts

Founder’s  4.0pts

Bell’s         3.5pts


Our results were surprising. We were in agreement the Bell’s 2 Hearted would most likely be the best. None of us had tried the Odell IPA before the shootout, but I reasoned that if the Myrcenary was so good that the regular IPA should be good too. Prior to the test, Super Dave and I both liked the Latitude 48 because of the super clean taste and thought it would finish higher. A few beers were scored lower during the shootout because they had significant malt flavor compared to the others. These were the Racer 5 and the Titan. Neither were bad beers, just scored lower due to the maltiness.

I know there are people out there like WTF where’s the Stone? I swear I bought a 22oz of Stone IPA prior to the shootout, but when all the bottles were lined up, I couldn’t find the Stone. My hypothesis is the beer-drinking gnome that watches over my homebrew drank it. This is the price you have to pay to have a drunk gnome channel the beer gods and guard your house.

This will be the base line test for IPA’s. We will use the top 3 out of this test to compare to other IPA’s like Stone and even some FatCat’s homebrew. We will keep a rolling competition going. If you have any suggestions of what you want to see in the next IPA shootout, email me.

Where we got ‘em:

Founder’s Centennial IPA – Gomer’s Midtown          Sam Adams Latitude 48-Tipsy’s
Schlafly Export IPA-Gomer’s Midtown                     Goose Island IPATipsy’s
Bell’s 2 hearted-Gomer’s Midtown                           Arcadia IPA- Tipsy’s
Odell IPA-Tipsy’s                                                    Great Divide Titan-Hyvee State Line
Sierra Nevada Torpedo-Tipsy’s                               Boulevard Single Wide-Hyvee State Line
Bear Republic Racer 5-Tipsy’s


  1. Founder's Centennial is killer when it's fresh. The Schlafly AIPA that just came out would have been a better contender.

  2. @ Barleywhiner thanks for reading. I was looking for some other local KC stuff to put into future IPA shootouts so I'll definately keep an eye out for the Schlafly AIPA. I'll probably also include the Tallgrass IPA, seems to be touted highly by some on Beer Advocate. If your name is any implication that you like barley wines we will also be doing a barley wine shootout sometime this summer. Stay posted!

  3. Columbia Beer Enthusiasts do blind tastings every so often. Our most recent was a Belgian tasting and the results are here:

    This one did include homebrews, and we used scorecards that a member created.

    A smaller group also did an IPA/DIPA blind tasting, that included Two-Hearted, Hopslam, Surly, SN Hoptimum, but I don't have the results of that one. It was more like a bracket challenge.

  4. Very interesting results. Would've never thought to score IPA's on maltiness! I was thinking recently about doing a blind tasting with Porters.

  5. I've had several of these so I know you rated Single Wide WAY too high and Latitude 48 also. Schlafly Export IPA is Very disappointing this year, but it may have been better fresh, as BarleyWhiner said (I sure hope so). I hated Racer 5 also.

  6. Thanks for reading everyone. Yeah the Single Wide was a surprise to all of us. Prior to this tasting I would not have ranked it in the top 5 at all. But it did surprise us and that's the beauty of blind tasting. Brand preference goes out the window. Another thing I've heard others say is that Boulevard brews tastes seem to change from one year to another. So perhaps they've changed the Single Wide from years past. In my opinion Latitude 48 is a very good IPA because it is super clean and the hop profiles are not buried in overwhelming bitterness. You can actually taste the hop flavor and it's clean. Hop heads seem to down play the Latitude 48 because it is slightly lower in ABV and is not face meltingly bitter.


  7. Modus Hoperandi is a worthy contender. Odell IPA has been a favorite of mine. Next time I drive back from Denver, I'll grab a Pliny the elder.