My apologies for the long hiatus. My initial goal was to create a beer review of a new beer on a regular interval in order for readers to eventually have a library of reviews to peruse while deciding what to drink out at their next tailgating event, but as we all know, life happens.
Sticking with the same format used on my initial review I enlisted Trailergating’s own Ryan Goyer to act as my Guest Judge this time around. Now, onto the beer!
Category – Specialty IPA (BJCP Category 21B)
Origin – Guinness Ltd. (Ireland)
ABV – 5.8%
IBU – 44
Aroma – When you first smell this beer it catches you with a surprisingly low amount of hop aroma for an IPA. This is likely due to a combination of the low carbonation level in the beer-gas likely used, as well as the relatively low 44 IBUs present in this IPA. This does allow the malt aroma to shine through more in this beer than is typical on hoppier versions of the style. The low hops may be bordering on out-of-style, but the clean malt aroma is still inviting and pleasantly smooth.
Appearance – Similar to the more common Guinness Stout, this beer pours with a gorgeous cascade of ultra-fine bubbles that settle into a pillowy hat of creamy foam. The beer itself settled into a clear amber once the foam had risen. The head persisted endlessly.
Flavor – Though this beer has a low bitterness, the first thing you notice is the hops. They provide an earthy and floral balance to the malt backbone of the beer, but are very subdued for an IPA. The malt provides a light body considering the deep amber color present in the beer with notes of cracker and toast.
Mouthfeel – The nitro leads to a very creamy body which makes this beer exceptionally drinkable. It hits the palate very lightly and finishes clean and dry on the tongue considering how smooth the creamy texture is.
Overall – This beer seems to be lacking something as an IPA. The bitterness could be bumped up a notch and still be much lower than other examples of the style. This example does provide a very light and smooth drinkability which is uncommon with many other beers of this type. The problem is this smoothness makes the beer feel somewhat lifeless. If this beer were categorized as something else the rating would likely be higher, but when you call a beer IPA you tend to expect at least a moderate level of hop and bitterness to be the focus of the beer. In closing, if lower bitterness and a smooth drinking beer is your thing during a pre-game session of drinks out at a tailgate, this might just be the perfect beer for you.
I’m be open to suggestions on future beers to review, and general comments and feedback are always appreciated.