Monday, 14 May 2012

#27: Goosed in the Sun

Yesterday I enjoyed my first beer in the sun of the summer. Admittedly, I only spent 3 minutes in the garden before begrudgingly returning to my work inside, but sitting in the greenhouse that is my kitchen is as good as doing so in the Mojave Desert. Maybe. Ok, probably not, but it's bloody warm. Anyway, I picked up a bottle of Goose Island IPA for €1.50 in Tesco the other day, as part of a new craft beer promotion they're running in their Irish stores. The first day I went in to the new craft beer section, the shelves were half empty already, with only the price stickers left behind to tell me what they had been selling. To my amazement, one of the (understandably) sold out beers was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at €1.50 per bottle, and at those prices, it's easy to see the effort being made to lure people away from the independent off-licences. While I'm against that, I admit to being worn down by the price of the Goose Island - I had seen it around quite a bit, and was very curious to taste it, and as I wasn't expecting much I figured it would be better to pick it up cheap. How wrong I was.

The Goose Island IPA is a fine drink. It pours a lovely orange, amber honey colour, with a single finger of head and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass. It smells absolutely wonderful - citrus fruits, especially orange, dominate at first with hints of peel and pine in the background. This is virtually matched perfectly on the tongue with fruity hops at the front and back but with a light bready character to it as well. It's refreshing flavour is complimented by it's mouthfeel as the soft fizz and light body go down very well in the sunshine. I'm not what you'd call a Hophead, so the fact that it's not an all out bitter attack on the tongue is a plus for me. In fact, as it warms up, the caramel malt notes in the aroma and flavour become more evident, as do the hints of spice and pepper, but that back-of-the-tongue bitter finish is always there.

Very tasty and satisfying beer, and although I'd recommend it, if you're looking for a beer that is all hops hops and more hops, this probably won't be the one you're after. You'll still enjoy it though.

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