What's the story behind the Indiana Replicale Faceoff? Scientists may never know. Legend has it that brewers Dave Colt and Clay Robinson from Ram provided a common recipe for 70 Shilling Scottish that the contestants then prepared in their own special way in a contest of brewing brawn and brainpower. Are there prizes? Who's judging? Who knows? At Hoosier Beer Geek, we don't sweat the small stuff. We just drink.
In case you missed it, there's ten of us now. Nine of us showed up at Spencer's Stadium Tavern (802 South West St. Indianapolis 317-916-8888) last Wednesday and sampled selections from five breweries. We had an added bonus - a flight of five samples only cost $2. Or you could have a full pint of any for that same $2 - and I suspect they'll remain that way until the beer runs out. Perhaps it's run out already? If you've stopped in to Spencer's lately, let us know.
Here's what we thought, complete with beer rankings:
1. RAM - sweet
2. Oaken Barrel - creamy
3. Alcatraz - hot
4. Rock Bottom - smoky
5. Broad Ripple Brewpub - feet
Gina's going with one word reviews. I'm going with two. My rankings and notes, with the clarification that all of these were good beers.
1. Broad Ripple Brewpub. Berries, herbs.
2. Oaken Barrel. Hops, caramel.
3. Rock Bottom. Sweet, drinkable.
4. (tie) Ram and Alcatraz. Balanced, mellow.
Agreed that all were definitely drinkable.
4 words (mostly)
1. BRBP - hoppier, chocolate, lightly bitter
2. 'Traz - bitter, creamy (lactose?), balanced
3. Oak B - chocolate nose, marshmallow taste (s'mores!)
4. Ram - toasty malt, whitewash sweet
5. Rock B - passable dirty stinky feet
...and with a personal record turnaround time, I'm submitting my two word reviews.
1. Broad Ripple Brew Pub - pleasant lavender
2. Oaken Barrel - cloudy malt
3. Rock Bottom - pruny nose
4. Alcatraz - yay hops
5. Ram - malt light
1. Ram: Exactly what I wanted.
2. Rock Bottom: toffee and caramel
3. Oaken Barrel: Down in Fuggle hops?
4. Alcatraz - Orville Redenbacher Butter
5. BRBP - Fruity Esters
I was doing some more research on the style as well, and I found that the butter flavor I was tasting in the Alcatraz could have some from malt and might not be diacetyl. I am now really curious if it was from the malt or actually diacetyl.
1. Alcatraz: Dark Chocolate Baby Powder
2. Rock Bottom: Malty Brown Greek Cheese
3. Broad Ripple: Watery Roasted Hazelnut Bitter
4. Oaken Barrel: Blackberry Caramel Light Beer
5. Ram: Nutty Slight Malt Liquor
1. Alcatraz: chocolate
2. Oaken Barrel: berry
3. Rock Bottom: feta
4. Broad Ripple: dishsoap
5. Ram: blah.
1. Broad Ripple: Raspberry, Vanilla.
2. Ram: Grape bubblegum, A hint footy.
3. Rock Bottom: Bitter, Peppery.
4. Alcatraz: Caramel, Soap.
5. Oaken Barrel: Sulfury, Cardboard.
And so by combining all rankings and haphazardly doing some of that math stuff, we come up with final combined rankings that looks like this:
First Place: Broad Ripple Brew Pub
Second Place: Oaken Barrel
Third Place: Alcatraz
Fourth Place: Rock Bottom
Fifth Place: Ram
Of course, we're not judges. But if anyone's asking, that's how our legend of Indiana Beer Week 2008 ends.