Tuesday, December 6, 2011
This was in a pretty casual atmosphere, and lately my blind-tasting skills have been questionable. In this case I didn't take very good notes about peoples' preferences between the bottled and kegged samples, though most people seemed to find the draft Jubelale to be mellower. Personally I found the bottles showed more of this year's "tannic" harshness decried by Jeff and Pete. I actually like this year's stronger taste -- it seems to me to come from extra hop bitterness or maybe some darker malts -- but it was more muted and easier to approach on tap.
In my jubilant mood, the silly thing I focused on in the blind tasting was whether people could guess which glass had beer from the keg and which from the bottle. Almost universally, people guessed wrong, including myself. Ritch Marvin got the question right, and Brian and Bryce might have also, but there was some possibility that their samples were swapped (those questionable skills of mine at work again).
Which was better, tap or bottle? In this case they were nearly identical, though I still think the draft Jubelale was infinitesimally better. There was much less of a difference than I expected, which makes me wonder if my bias is wrong, or if it is based on some other factor like out-of-date bottles.