Who is Ted?

I'm the father of two beautiful daughters and an amazing wife. For fun, I enjoy the long hours of seemingly endless suffering that endurance sports (mostly running, cycling and triathlon)provide. During my "down time" I'm an avid beer snob and self-described gourmet chef (in other words I like to burn things on a stove or grill).

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Beer Olympics Round 2

Time once again for two more beers to go at it in a head to head competition.  For in the end there can only be one true champion!  Or something like that.  For this round, it was another battle of two long established Colorado-based brews: O'Dell's 90 Schilling Ale, and Breckenridge Brewery's Avalanche Ale.  Both are quality amber style ales with just the right mix of malt and hops to please the average beer-drinkers pallet.  So going into this round, I really didn't know which of the two would come out as the preferred beer.  Truth be told, it was another very close call and required rigorous sampling of each beer . . . just to be sure.
As always, my lovely assistant helped me with the process.  It is the only time in my life where I can holler into the other room and ask my better half to fetch me up a beer.  Normally I think that type of behavior would be met with a comment along the lines of "Get your own damn beer"!
The Aforementioned Lovely Assistant!
 For the Olympics however, an exception can be made.  This is because in order to eliminate any bias in the process, I prefer a blind taste test to determine the winner.  Only after a careful study and comparison of each beer, are the names revealed to me.  To judge the beers,  I evaluate them based on four characteristics: Aroma, Taste, Mouth Feel, and Finish.
So about the beers.  Beer "A" had a very subtle aroma with maybe just a hint of honey scent.  It was hard to detect much else.  Still it was pleasing enough.  In terms of its taste it had a nice caramel tone, but it didn't feel heavy.  The "honey" came back into play and created an overall pleasing flavor.  The mouth feel was light but still had some body to it, creating a creamy sensation.  In terms of finish, it was a little bitter at the end, but it wasn't a deal-breaker.
Beer "B" was similar in many ways, but what's this?  When I first took in the aroma, I detected a somewhat "brackish" quality.  It made me think of tadpoles and pond water.
This wasn't overpowering, but it lingered there, bothering me slightly.  I revisited this several times just to make sure I wasn't imagining something.  At first I thought that perhaps the beer had turned, but this wasn't the case.  A rich malty taste reminded me of caramel and graham crackers and immediately made any unsettling aromas invisible.  The mouth feel on this one was fairly straightforward.  Light and crisp with no real body to it. The finish seemed equal to Beer "A" in terms of its lingering bitterness.  In the end, there was only a one-point discrepancy on my scorecard.  It really came down to aroma and mouth feel being the difference.  In the end it was Beer "A" that had the edge.
Beer "A" was the O'Dell's 90 Schilling Ale!  Congratulations 90 Schilling, you're onto the semifinal round.  Here's how the bracket looks at this point:

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