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Quad Blind Tasting Question

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Dobby, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Dobby

    Dobby Aficionado (195) California Jan 30, 2011 Beer Trader

    Hey All,

    Hope everybody had a good holiday season. I was planning on having a blind quad tasting to which I was going to bring the following:

    Group 1:
    Westy 12 (2012)
    Westy 12 (2010)
    Rochefort 10 (2012)
    Rochefort 10 (2010)
    St. Bernardus 12 (2012)
    St. Bernardus 12 (2010)
    Westmalle Quad

    Group 2:

    Pannepuet (2007)
    Pannepot Reserva (2008)
    Pannepot (2008)
    Pannepot Reserva (2009)
    Pannepot (2010)
    Pannepot (2011)

    My question is should I do this as one massive group or split them up? I would have 4-5 people tasting. I was initially thinking split it into 2 groups as shown above, but I am looking for others input.

  2. If you split it into two groups, do one with the newest vintages of each, so you could directly compare them as fresh as possible. Then group the older vintages together, so you could directly compare the aged ones. That is what I would do.
  3. sarcastro

    sarcastro Savant (475) Michigan Sep 20, 2006 Beer Trader

    I wasn't aware there was a Westmalle Quad.
  4. Yeah, not only that, but if there is, you should eliminate it from the tasting imo...Stick with the rest, it looks like a great tasting otherwise.
  5. Dobby

    Dobby Aficionado (195) California Jan 30, 2011 Beer Trader

    Sorry it is La Trappe
  6. Dobby

    Dobby Aficionado (195) California Jan 30, 2011 Beer Trader

    Yeah I am trying to debate whether to compare the Westy, Roch, Bernardus, against each other or against their old/new counterparts...
  7. Depends on the size of the bottles. Quads are typically high in ABV. If those are all 750ml bottles it might be a bit much for a group of 5.
  8. Dobby

    Dobby Aficionado (195) California Jan 30, 2011 Beer Trader

    all 33cl
  9. Docrock

    Docrock Advocate (625) Illinois Jan 21, 2012 Beer Trader

    That's a lot of high ABV drinks, depending on how much you are pouring, I would split it up. I like the idea of comparing more recent to cellared. Shows how the characters change dramatically.
    luwak likes this.
  10. In that case I like the groupings you have. Comparing the old and new of the same beer should be interesting.
  11. The only downside to 33cl bottles split 5 ways is it makes for small samples.

  12. You dont have to drink the whole bottle. In fact, during a blind tasting, or judging event, you just need a couple of ounces of each. And then maybe once the tasting is done, slam home the leftovers!
    cornontherob likes this.
  13. Dobby

    Dobby Aficionado (195) California Jan 30, 2011 Beer Trader

    Yeah at the end of the day, we want to taste but if we get smashed at the end, its not a big deal!
  14. I know 2oz is the norm for judges but I've always found it too small a sample myself to really appreciate it. My taste buds would probably start blurring things after tasting a dozen samples in the same style.
    bluejacket74 and Docrock like this.
  15. RyanMM

    RyanMM Savant (270) Michigan Mar 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    I find 2oz is a perfectly fine sample. I did a barleywine tasting with 1.2oz samples (each bottle split 12 ways) but because we had 14 beers it was more than enough to make a call about any given beer.
  16. If I was just doing a general ranking then I could see 2oz being just enough. But I could not give a 2oz sample a full review. I often find the aroma and flavour changes as the beer warms up.
    Docrock likes this.
  17. Docrock

    Docrock Advocate (625) Illinois Jan 21, 2012 Beer Trader

    What He said ^
  18. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Advocate (670) Michigan Jan 8, 2011

    Groups look great...Maybe sub in a nice Berliner or something every so often to refresh your palate, there is alot of dark dried fruit notes and caramel there, maybe something the break up those flavors.
  19. CA_Infidel2o9

    CA_Infidel2o9 Savant (310) Dec 1, 2012

    Definitely, i find most brews change drastically from fridge to almost room temp. It's too bad you dont have multiples of each beer. That way you could split the groups in 2 days and have 4 oz pours to taste them as they warm.
  20. is there an option that would include me?

    personally i would split them into 2 tastings, i would want to enjoy every bit of each of those.
  21. Dobby

    Dobby Aficionado (195) California Jan 30, 2011 Beer Trader

    Come to Lake Tahoe, its our pre-new years eve quad tasting! High altitude and high alcohol!
  22. lol thanks but i'm a few thousand miles away, and i would just end up being the creepy guy nobody at the party knows!
  23. I don't think this is what you're looking for here, but the best blind tastings are done alone over the course of many days. Have someone else keep track of/pour the beer for you, and you drink it separately and take notes. Then after multiple days/sessions see which beer you rated the highest, that is the one your prefer.

    2 oz. tastings are fine to simply get a rough idea which beer you think you prefer. But sitting down and truly picking apart the beer, especially something as complex as a quad, is the best way to do this in my opinion.
  24. RyanMM

    RyanMM Savant (270) Michigan Mar 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    Why would you start a tasting at fridge temp?
  25. BobZ

    BobZ Advocate (610) Massachusetts Jun 24, 2009

    Building on what AlcahueteJ said above, 2oz pours can give you a rough idea if you like a beer or not, a very rough idea IMO. Great for beer festivals where you can get back in line for another if it's a beer you think you like but completely useless in judging a complex beer. Especially, a style of beer than changes so frequently and sometimes so dramatically as it warms in the glass.

    I have had all of the beers on your list arranged in different flights, my minimum is half a bottle 5.6 oz, poured side-by-side at the same time. Below is a picture of a Pannepuet tasting, 6 beers (2006 thru 2011), max of 2 tasters, side-by-side so you can move back and forth from beer to beer as they warm.
    Doing a wham-bam-quad-slam with 2oz. pours can be fun with a bunch of friends but you're not going to learn much about the beers.

    Just my 2 cents.
    peteinSD likes this.
  26. CA_Infidel2o9

    CA_Infidel2o9 Savant (310) Dec 1, 2012

    I have never had a tasting, so i have no idea at what temp you should have your beer at.

    Either way you took my quote out of context, as i was only agreeing with decimater about how i wouldn't be able to review a beer w/ just 2oz because a beer changes so much from fridge to almost room temp. I never said you should start a tasting at fridge temp.
  27. RyanMM

    RyanMM Savant (270) Michigan Mar 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    I start my beer at whatever temp is appropriate; 45 to 60F depending on the style.

    2oz can be plenty because in a horizontal tasting, you'll be drinking that 2oz over a period of an hour or so. Every horizontal tasting I've run all the beer is poured simultaneously. Sampling is done one after another and after half or so of each has been tried, people can go back with the other half of the samples to compare and contrast them to really develop their ratings and form their thoughts on what they like.

    You're making quite an assumption about how long 2oz of beer can last.
  28. Dobby

    Dobby Aficionado (195) California Jan 30, 2011 Beer Trader

    Just an update, Ill post some pictures soon, but the consensus was Westy (2010) and Rochefort 10 (2010) were the consensus winners in the first batch and the pannepeut 2007, reserva 2008 and 2009 were the favorites from the other grouping.
  29. I would split them up and record the results. Each group has some close tasting beers and are intriguing.
    I would record the results and post them here, I'm interested in the final analysis.