What is becoming a rarity these days - a SOLO beer review! I had no idea that my friend Jay (jjrudy41) was going to review this beer and recorded my review only a few minutes after he uploaded his review of this beer. I've had only a few other Goose Island beers before to mixed results, so I was eager to try their IPA since that's my favorite style of beer.
As you might notice the opening is a little different (again). I did write a text review of this but it's not posted yet.
3.6AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
One to any exponential power is still 1. I find the same can be said of the adjective "good." In other words, it doesn’t matter how many times and in how many different aspects you use the word "good" to describe something, since it doesn’t make it better than just plain good. I have a feeling I’m going to use that word quite often to describe Goose Island India Pale Ale. This is a beer that is good in so many ways, but not a great beer. It’s a case of a "good" being good enough if "good enough" is good enough for you.
APPEARANCE AND AROMA
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. This beer has all the makings of a good IPA right away with a slightly hazy orange body and frothy, off-white head (which leaves some lacing on the glass). It smells quite inviting with a citrusy aroma with notes of pine and some malty sweetness as well. It’s definitely an inviting beer.
Goose Island IPA is the kind of India Pale Ale I’d recommend for beginners looking for a good "jumping on point" for the style. It begins with a creamy texture which is slightly dry and sweet and finishes with a prominent, slightly crisp, citrus taste. The dynamics of the palette here are quite interesting. The pale malts create for a mild sweetness and the combination of some British hops give the beer the bitterness you expect in an IPA.
As I drank on I noticed the flavors began to homogenize. The refreshing citrus finish began to dry out making the beer less refreshing than it originally was. The palette began to feel noticeably mild, although I also noticed a slight orange sherbet-like flavor in the aftertaste. For an IPA this beer is not all that bitter. In fact, Goose Island’s website indicates it rates only 55 on the IBU scale. That score is fine if their intention is to make a extremely palatable beer, but for hopheads like me I was left feeling only satisfied instead of genuinely impressed.
While the overall taste to Goose Island IPA was good, it probably performed even better in the drinkability department. The mouthfeel is soft, medium-bodied, and it goes down smooth. As it warms it begins to dry out the mouth and the hops begin to linger for a few extra moments, but ultimately it’s still very palatable.
At only 5.9% ABV this is actually rather light for an IPA. Beers of this style tend to be more robust and weightier, although the trade-off is here is that this would make a good session beer. It would also work well as a dinner drink.
While not the best India Pale Ale in the world, Goose Island IPA is still a good beer for its satisfying taste and easy drinkability. I’d prefer something more robust in many ways, but I don’t think this beer is intended to be anything other than a good IPA, and in that aspect the brewers succeeded.