Beer of the Week: Goose Island IPA

By Iron Chef Leftovers

Back in the day before AB-Inbev bought Goose Island, they made some pretty great beers. They still do with their barrel aged and vintage beer line, but there has definitely been a decline in the quality of their regular line of beers – so much so that they are in the ‘just another brewery’ vein. I rarely find myself buying anything from their regular line these days. It is readily available though if you want to drink it. Recently, Annie S. gave me a few bottles of Goose Island stuff, so I figured it was time to give the IPA a shot and see how they are drinking these days.

From the Goose Island website:

Brewer’s Notes: 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.

Recipe Information:

Style: English Style India Pale Ale Alcohol by Volume: 5.9%

International Bitterness Units: 55

Color: Bourbon

Hops: Pilgrim, Styrian Golding, Cascade, Centennial

Malts: Pale

Serving Suggestions:

Preferred Glass: Thistle

Food Pairings: Curries, Chicken, Pork Cheese Pairings: Blue, Aged Gouda

Cellaring Notes: Enjoy within 180 days

ipa_full_beerpageThe beer pours orange in color with a light tan/off-white head. Strong amounts of citrus and hops appear on the nose with light notes of citrus peel and grain supporting. The beer starts off on the palate with hints of flora citrus before moving into lightly bitter citrus peel with gradually building hop bitterness before finally finishing pleasantly mildly bitter with notes of orange peel and citrus fruit. The finish is short and to the point making this a fairly easy beer to drink. As with the British style IPAs, the beer is not overly hoppy (but maybe a touch too citrus forward) and is a good beer to introduce someone to an IPA without completely overwhelming them with a hop bomb.

Goose Island IPA flies in formation with a solid 3 Snow Geese out of 5.

Bottle Share At Chuck’s Hop Shop

By Iron Chef Leftovers

From Chuck's FB Page, what the evenining looked like. Also a rare photo of the elusive Iron Chef Leftovers in his natural habitat.
From Chuck’s FB Page, what the evenining looked like. Also a rare photo of the elusive Iron Chef Leftovers in his natural habitat.

Chuck’s Hop Shop in Greenwood recently hosted a bottle swap night. What is that you ask? Well, 24 people brought in at least 22 oz. of something rare/vintage/can’t get it in Seattle and shared it with a group of strangers. The group was split into 2 tables of 12 people each with the intention of that each table would get to taste 12 beers. Well, there was a lot of passing of bottles between tables and Chuck kept bringing out bottles from his personal stash, so, needless to say, I tasted way more than 12 beers that evening. It was an amazing opportunity to taste some stuff that I probably would not have gotten to try otherwise and there were some great conversations about the beers going on at our end of the table. It would have been nicer with a slightly smaller crowd, but based on some conversations I had with some new friends, I think we will try a CSE bottle share with fewer people at some point in the near future.
I took some brief notes on the beers, so here is an incomplete list of what I had:

Terrapin Moo-Hoo Chocolate Stout – Brought to the tasting by yours truly, so there will be a full review of this beer forthcoming.

Surly Abrasive Ale – A giant hop bomb, lots of citrus; exactly what I love in a hoppy beer.
Score : 4 out of 5 Brillo Pads

Dogfish Head Faithful – Disappointing; some currant flavor but it seemed flat. Had a weird lavender finish.
Score: 2 out of 5 Pearl Jams

Jester King RU55 – Not a fan favorite. Funky sour (but not in a good way) with hints of wood (like chewing on a 2×4, not aged in a barrel). I am wondering if the bottle was bad.
Score: 1 out of 5 Comedians

Breuery Melange– Loved this beer. Major oak with lots of vanilla and malt character. Reminded me of a fine sherry
Score: 5 out of 5 Mash-ups

Breuery Black Tuesday – More mellow oak than Melange (Melange is a component of this beer), but harsher. I think it needs to age to mellow out a bit before being fantastic.
Score: 3 out of 5 Mondays

Big Sky Ivan the Terrible – I had been looking forward to trying this one. Lots of malt, chocolate and coffee. Delicious.
Score: 4 out of 5 Czarist Swine

Troeges Nugget Nectar – lots of hops and citrus but it seemed overly fizzy, would love to retry it though.
Score: 3 out of 5 Hummingbirds

Goose Island Bourbon Country Cherry Rye Stout – very complex beer. Rye barrel and cherry dominate but there were lots of subtle character too. Would love to retry on a clean palate.
Score: 4 out of 5 Covered Bridges

Sam Adams Utopias Anniversary Edition – had Utopias once before, but this blend was even better. Not really a beer and more like a high end cognac or port.
Score: 5 out of 5 Sir Thomas More’s

Hill’s Farmstead – was looking forward to trying this one also, but it was like drinking an ashtray – smoky with no balance. Tasted like someone was burning down the Farmstead.
Score: 1 out of 5 Barns

Three Floyds Rye ‘da Tiger – gets a bonus point for the name, but was a delicious rye hop bomb. Would love to put it up against Laughing Dog, Reuben’s and Anacortes to see who would win in a blind tasting.
Score: 5 out of 5 Survivors

Cascade Bourbonic Plague – Lots of oak with a mild sour finish. Have to pick one of these up for the cellar.
Score: 4 out of 5 Bring Out Your Deads

Stone Double Bastard 2008 – the bottle was gone and tasted like wet cardboard. That is the danger of aging beer; you never know how it will turn out.
Score: 1 out of 5 Inglorious Basterds

Arcadia Big Dick’s Old Ale 2010 – Was too light for the end of the night, reminded me of an Imperial Pilsner.
Score: 3 out of 5 Too Easy, I Won’t Even Go There

I want to thank Chuck and his staff again for hosting such a wonderful evening and look forward to doing it again.

Bottle Share At Chuck's Hop Shop

By Iron Chef Leftovers

From Chuck's FB Page, what the evenining looked like. Also a rare photo of the elusive Iron Chef Leftovers in his natural habitat.
From Chuck’s FB Page, what the evenining looked like. Also a rare photo of the elusive Iron Chef Leftovers in his natural habitat.

Chuck’s Hop Shop in Greenwood recently hosted a bottle swap night. What is that you ask? Well, 24 people brought in at least 22 oz. of something rare/vintage/can’t get it in Seattle and shared it with a group of strangers. The group was split into 2 tables of 12 people each with the intention of that each table would get to taste 12 beers. Well, there was a lot of passing of bottles between tables and Chuck kept bringing out bottles from his personal stash, so, needless to say, I tasted way more than 12 beers that evening. It was an amazing opportunity to taste some stuff that I probably would not have gotten to try otherwise and there were some great conversations about the beers going on at our end of the table. It would have been nicer with a slightly smaller crowd, but based on some conversations I had with some new friends, I think we will try a CSE bottle share with fewer people at some point in the near future.
I took some brief notes on the beers, so here is an incomplete list of what I had:

Terrapin Moo-Hoo Chocolate Stout – Brought to the tasting by yours truly, so there will be a full review of this beer forthcoming.

Surly Abrasive Ale – A giant hop bomb, lots of citrus; exactly what I love in a hoppy beer.
Score : 4 out of 5 Brillo Pads

Dogfish Head Faithful – Disappointing; some currant flavor but it seemed flat. Had a weird lavender finish.
Score: 2 out of 5 Pearl Jams

Jester King RU55 – Not a fan favorite. Funky sour (but not in a good way) with hints of wood (like chewing on a 2×4, not aged in a barrel). I am wondering if the bottle was bad.
Score: 1 out of 5 Comedians

Breuery Melange– Loved this beer. Major oak with lots of vanilla and malt character. Reminded me of a fine sherry
Score: 5 out of 5 Mash-ups

Breuery Black Tuesday – More mellow oak than Melange (Melange is a component of this beer), but harsher. I think it needs to age to mellow out a bit before being fantastic.
Score: 3 out of 5 Mondays

Big Sky Ivan the Terrible – I had been looking forward to trying this one. Lots of malt, chocolate and coffee. Delicious.
Score: 4 out of 5 Czarist Swine

Troeges Nugget Nectar – lots of hops and citrus but it seemed overly fizzy, would love to retry it though.
Score: 3 out of 5 Hummingbirds

Goose Island Bourbon Country Cherry Rye Stout – very complex beer. Rye barrel and cherry dominate but there were lots of subtle character too. Would love to retry on a clean palate.
Score: 4 out of 5 Covered Bridges

Sam Adams Utopias Anniversary Edition – had Utopias once before, but this blend was even better. Not really a beer and more like a high end cognac or port.
Score: 5 out of 5 Sir Thomas More’s

Hill’s Farmstead – was looking forward to trying this one also, but it was like drinking an ashtray – smoky with no balance. Tasted like someone was burning down the Farmstead.
Score: 1 out of 5 Barns

Three Floyds Rye ‘da Tiger – gets a bonus point for the name, but was a delicious rye hop bomb. Would love to put it up against Laughing Dog, Reuben’s and Anacortes to see who would win in a blind tasting.
Score: 5 out of 5 Survivors

Cascade Bourbonic Plague – Lots of oak with a mild sour finish. Have to pick one of these up for the cellar.
Score: 4 out of 5 Bring Out Your Deads

Stone Double Bastard 2008 – the bottle was gone and tasted like wet cardboard. That is the danger of aging beer; you never know how it will turn out.
Score: 1 out of 5 Inglorious Basterds

Arcadia Big Dick’s Old Ale 2010 – Was too light for the end of the night, reminded me of an Imperial Pilsner.
Score: 3 out of 5 Too Easy, I Won’t Even Go There

I want to thank Chuck and his staff again for hosting such a wonderful evening and look forward to doing it again.