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Blind tasting of 2 good beers, side by side.

your favourite tipple - wine, beer, spirits
DiamondEcho
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Blind tasting of 2 good beers, side by side.

#221633

Postby DiamondEcho » May 14th, 2019, 5:41 pm

Blind tasted two similar beers, side by side, trying to understand what aspects and which I prefer. Poured in another room and brought to me as anonymous/unidentifiable.

Left
L- Mid chestnut, head swiftly reduced to partial cap/ring and lacing, clear 3.5/5
S- Puddingy, rich deep roast fruits/cherries 4.25/5
T- Rich, deep roasted flavours, develop onwards, some alcohol tang 4.25/5
M- Rich again, filling, a slow sipping beer, lovely balance. 4/5
O- This is the slightly sweeter of the two, and has a pungency to it the one below hasn’t. I don’t seek ‘sweetness’ but the balance in this makes it work, it is lovely; a perfect winter-warmer. 4/5
[Straight average = 4/5]

Right
L- Fractionally darker, clear, 3mm of ultra-fine head retaining well 4/5
S- Rich also, but a bit roasty/toastier than the prev. 3.75/5
T- Fractionally more toasted, into perhaps an even deeper flavour than the above, deep roasted finish. Rich also, without alcohol tang. The taste here has notable pungency to it’s depth. 4/5
F- Feels a bit lighter, more toasty/less rich than the above, makes it more one to drink at normal speed vs ‘slow sipping’.4/5
O- The feel and richness is slightly less pronounced but the flavour is more prominent. Better for drinking outside of winter? 4/5
[Straight average = 3.95/5]
... ...
Identity:
Left = Greene King Heritage Vintage Fine Ale 6.5% [On offer £2 at Waitrose]
Right = Fuller’s 1845 6.3% Strong Ale [On multi-buy offer, £1.50 at Waitrose]

Conclusion:
I’m surprised! I’ve had a few cases of 1845 and find that one a real gem. The Greene King, I’ve had a few bottles this past week or two, so haven’t yet quite got the measure of it yet. It costs more, but I can buy it 100M away vs a mile away. Plus, retention of a head, to me, is more cosmetic, especially if the CO2 in the mouth is maintained. So if the Greene King’s head held better, it would have been another fraction further ahead. Time to hit the nearby branch and stock up on the GK-Heritage!

- I'd be interested to see others else blind-taste a stalwart vs a new rival, and see what they conclude :) I found the process, without lables/descriptions/cues etc very enlightening.

djbenedict
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Re: Blind tasting of 2 good beers, side by side.

#221660

Postby djbenedict » May 14th, 2019, 9:40 pm

Interesting, from your first description I was thinking "That sounds like 1845". I'll have to look out for the Greene King one, I wonder if Ocado do it [no; they do 1845 and at present have the 4 for £6 offer on it]. Funnily enough, I own shares in both Fullers and Greene King, both of which have done OK over a short and quite long timescale respectively. These bought theoretically on the basis of "buy what you understand", which is a bit of a trap as it is too easy to overestimate one's understanding actually.

chas49
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Re: Blind tasting of 2 good beers, side by side.

#221692

Postby chas49 » May 15th, 2019, 8:16 am

Based on your figures, a different view of the results:

Greene King - Total 20 / £2 = 10 points per £1

Fullers - Total 19.75 / £1.50 = 13.2 points per £1

Not sure what that proves though! (I'm off to Waitrose to do the same test...)*


*I'll actually wait till I get home

DiamondEcho
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Re: Blind tasting of 2 good beers, side by side.

#221823

Postby DiamondEcho » May 15th, 2019, 2:27 pm

Hehe... being of a 'retentive' nature I had briefly mused a £/point stat :lol:
The result was a genuine surprise to me, the opposite of what I anticipated. I've enjoyed quite a bit of 1845 and had expected that one to romp home the easy winner. Yet if the GK's head had have formed and held better* it would have won by a clearer margin. As for price, I think they're both too good to 'session'. I tend to have one 'special' or new, to me, beer in the evening on a fresh palate, and after that switch to a much more everyday brew.

* and if such things matter amongst beers of this calibre/style then it was quite surprising how reluctant it was to form. I'll be sampling both again non-blind this pm, so should see if the GK's carbonation in the glass last night was one-off or just how it is.

DiamondEcho
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Re: Blind tasting of 2 good beers, side by side.

#221862

Postby DiamondEcho » May 15th, 2019, 5:58 pm

ps. To add a deeply 'retentive' variable into the £/pint calc, I just noticed, the Greene King bottle is 568ml, the Fuller's 1845 is 500ml. At this point I'm downing tools as I've just poured a pint of the former. Cheers!

Julian
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Re: Blind tasting of 2 good beers, side by side.

#228808

Postby Julian » June 11th, 2019, 10:41 pm

Late to the game but I just did the same test tonight. I’m probably not the connoisseur that you are, and I have no history with Fullers 1845 although as a pub goer I definitely am a Fullers/Pride fan, but after my less methodical comparison I concur with your conclusion although for me it was a fairly clear-cut advantage rather than a narrow win for Greene King HVFA - a very impressive beer.

- Julian (Greene King shareholder but that didn’t influence my taste buds - honest!)


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