I needed an excuse to open a Two-Hearted and an All Amarillo IPA at the same time, so...I mean...no, no, I wanted to compare an All Amarillo IPA to a Bell's Two-Hearted Ale, so I conducted the following unbiased comparison. Yeah!
I brewed TheJadedDog's All Amarillo IPA
recipe several weeks ago, and I was so blown away by how great this beer is, I put it up against my favorite commercial brew, Bell's Two-Hearted Ale.
I'm really, really surprised at how very similar these beers are.
Here they are:
2HA: Light coppery-golden, clear but with a few yeast floaties. Very slightly off-white 2 cm moderately fine, creamy head. Good lacing all the way through the glass. 2/3
Amarillo: Light coppery-golden, clear. Very slightly off-white 2 cm moderately fine, creamy head, a little coarser than 2HA's, but not by much (this was a bottle...the kegged portion of the batch had an exceptionally creamy, nitro-like head). Good lacing all the way through the glass. 2/3
(Look at that! They're precisely the same color. How does that happen??
2HA: Citrus...grapefruit, a little grassy. A tiny bit of stale bread. 7/12
Amarillo: BIG citrus, grapefruit, tangerine, even a hint of ruby red grapefruit. 10/12
2HA: Thicker than I would have said if you'd asked me while I wasn't actually drinking it. A little slick, not as dry as I thought I remembered (and I drink it pretty frequently). What's the opposite of astringent? That's it. Nicely-carbonated, I'd guess 2.4 volumes or so...just right. 4/5
Amarillo: A little drier than 2HA. No astringency, but not slick either. I would have liked a little less carbonation (the keg was perfect...must have put a tad too much priming sugar in the bottles). A little more carbonated than 2HA. But still very nice. 4/5
2HA: Centennial bitterness. Grapefruit, grapefruit seeds. Stale bread and bitter citrus at the start, lingering bitterness at the end. I must check the brew date of this batch... Honestly, it's usually better than this. 10/20
Amarillo: The aroma hit me again as I was tasting. Did I mention it's awesome? Red grapefruit, but not too bitter, at the start. No bread. The carbonation level kills a little of the citrus that would otherwise be there, I think, but there's plenty to go around anyway. More than in the 2HA. 14/20
2HA: I love this beer. This particular one is not the best example of 2HA, but still good. I don't remember encountering the stale bread taste in 2HA before, but maybe I just didn't pay attention before. Good solid above-average IPA. I love the hoppiness of it, but I do enjoy amarillo more than centennial. There's a little more hops bitterness and a little less hops aroma than I would like. On tap, that's just what you get. In the bottle, not so much. 7/10
Amarillo: I love this beer even more. Could use a little more head retention (the kegged portion of this batch was great in that regard). Has lost a good bit of aroma since it's aged a few weeks, but still there's citrus just jumping out of the glass. Perfect bitterness, and not lemon seed bitter (chomp down on one sometime if you don't know what I mean) like in the background of the 2HA, but mild, flavorful bitterness that melds perfectly into the tangerine/grapefruit flavors and aromas. I'm brewing this one again next chance I get and will have it on tap regularly. Thanks for the recipe, TheJadedDog, it's awesome. 8/10
In fairness, 2HA is usually better than this one was. Normally I'd say it must rate at least a 35 if not a 40 with me. I'm gonna have to do this again when I brew another batch and compare it to 2HA on tap.