I’ve been waiting and waiting to try a Goose Island offering. I’ve heard good things here and there, but never got a strong endorsement from anyone.
Until now, that is.
Frank, my craft beer guru, thought this IPA might be right up my alley. He’s really starting to get a handle on my beer preferences and also understands the purpose of this blog, so when he has a suggestion, I listen.
And as usual, I’m glad I did.
Here’s what the fine folks in Chicago have to say about their IPA: “Our India Pale Ale recalls a time when ales shipped from England to India were highly hopped to preserve their distinct taste during the long journey. The result is a hop lover?s dream with a fruity aroma, set off by a dry malt middle, and long hop finish.”
Sadly, I noticed their suggested drinkware on the label AFTER I poured. They recommend a Tulip glass – I prefer my IPA out of a more typical type of glass. ?I will admit though, when I poured a second one into a tulip glass, the head held up better and the beer seemed to be a little smoother. From now on, when I see drinkware suggested by a brewer, I’ll heed their advice.
On to the review!
First things first, I LOVE the packaging from Goose Island. My kid does, too. Whenever I pull out a bottle she says “Daddy is having an Aflac beer!” Cracks me up every time. The green, black and white color combo works very well, too. Compliments the beer itself very nicely.
Goose Island IPA? pours a nice bourbon color with a thick, creamy head that never goes completely away and leaves some very nice lacing on the glass as it goes down.
The aroma is strong – a good blend of floral and citrus that matches the taste perfectly. The taste is a little to the strong side up front, but balances out quickly with a mild malt flavor, chased by a strong hop finish. Unfortunately, there is a strong citrus flavor that rides on top of both, which doesn’t seem to let the flavor fully develop on the tongue. It’s a shame, because there are hints of greatness to this one, but the overpowering citrus keeps it from getting there. Still, not a terrible IPA.
To me, this is another good one for a hot day. The hotter, the better. When it’s hot out, I don’t think I’ll mind the citrus nearly as much. And at 5.9%, on a hot day, the average beer drinker can handle a few (no drinking and driving though – behave!).
Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed this beer, just not as much as some others I’ve had in the world of India Pale Ales. And certainly not anything that would dissuade me from trying other Goose Island offerings.
I’ll give Goose Island IPA a 4.5 out of 10. Drinkable, even enjoyable, especially if you prefer that citrus flavor! And under $10 for the six pack, which I think is sensible for the average craft beer.
I also might go hunting this one on tap – I suspect the citrus would not be quite as strong a presence as it is in a bottle!