I’ve returned back to Waterloo for another school term, and I’m looking forward to a good term!
During my summer, I jumped across the border to Washington State with a friend Max to camp in the Olympic Mountains and just generally be a tourist. Apart from seeing some rather gorgeous sights, I had been looking forward to sitting back in a camping chair in front a fire with one of my favourite American beers I discovered while in California back in April 09′.
That beer, as the title foreshadows is a belgian-style wheat beer (witbier), called Blue Moon. The picture below was taken at the 6000 foot summit of Blue Mountain in Olympic National Park.
I hauled 24 bottles back to Canada.
Fast forward a couple of weeks where a friend of mine, Ilya, came to Victoria for week prior to heading for co-op down in Seattle. Before he arrive, I mentioned, “I can’t wait to show you this beer, Blue Moon – it’s my favourite American Beer; I brought back two cases from the states.”
That’s when I found out.
Blue Moon is marketed as Rickard’s White in Canada. Ilya mentioned his roommate, Dan Armstrong, who also co-writes the beer column ”The Brew Man Group” for The Iron Warrior, informed him a beer called Blue Moon is Rickards White north of the 49th. I couldn’t believe it, yet, after a quick google search, evidence poured in confirming this rumour. Both beers weigh in at 5.4% and are brewed by the same company (Molson Coors).
Ilya arrived in Victoria soon after, and along with my friend Max and his parents, we held an informal blind taste test.
Ilya volunteered to moderate the first round of the test.
Each taster received three numbered glasses – one contained one beer, while two contained both of the second beer.
The primary goal of the test was to be able to distinguish which two out of the three glasses contained the same beer. The secondary goal was to determine which beer (Blue Moon or Rickard’s White) had been poured in each glass.
Sight – At first, I looked at the colour of each beer, and noticed two out of the 3 had the same colour while the other appeated slightly darker.
Smell – No noticeable difference in Aroma.
Taste – Like smell, I could not distinguish noticeable difference in taste.
From my obvervations in taste and aroma, I could not distinguish between the two - I based my conclusions entirely on the colour difference. View the picture above of the three tasting glasses keeping colour in mind. Notice glasses 4&5 are similar while 6 is a tad darker? From this, I concluded 4 & 5 were the same beer, while 6 differed. Also, I decided Blue Moon was poured in 4&5 and Rickard’s in 6. I wrote my findings on the following stickie.
Well I was right about my colour hunch. The contents of 6 did differ from the other two; however, I was completely wrong with my blind guess on which beers had been poured into each glasss. Rickard’s white had been poured in 4/5 while Blue Moon into 6.
None of the others tasters correctly identified their two glasses of the same beer, and thus could not also correctly guess the contents of each glass.
In the case of Blue Moon and Rickard’s White….When presenting tasters three glasses of beer, where two contain the same and the remaining glass contains another, 4 out of 5 tasters cannot distinguish which two glasses contain the same beer, thus Rickard’s White and Blue Moon are the same beer.