My busy training schedule, here in Maryland, has not allowed me to venture out to one of the local breweries or brew pubs just yet. While I eagerly await the weekend, I decided to get a headstart and picked up a six-pack of Wild Goose IPA, brewed locally by the same folks that make FlyingDog Ales right here in Marland. I hope to visit Wild Goose and FlyingDog at some point during my stay in Marland... In the mean time, here's my review of their IPA...
Beer: Wild Goose IPA
Served: From a pint glass
Location: In my "hotel" room
Style: English IPA
First brewed in England and exported for the British troops in India during the late 1700s. To withstand the voyage, IPA's were basically tweaked Pale Ales that were, in comparison, much more malty, boasted a higher alcohol content and were well-hopped, as hops are a natural preservative. Historians believe that an IPA was then watered down for the troops, while officers and the elite would savor the beer at full strength. The English IPA has a lower alcohol due to taxation over the decades. The leaner the brew the less amount of malt there is and less need for a strong hop presence which would easily put the brew out of balance. Some brewers have tried to recreate the original IPA with strengths close to 8-9% abv.
Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 4.0-6.5%
(In this case 6.0% abv)
Some words from Wild Goose
Wild Goose IPA is an award-winning English-style IPA with a nice bubbling carbonation, fluffy white head and light coppery hue. Goose IPA is medium-bodied with biscuit-like toasted maltcharacter and spicy, earthy and grassy hop notes that finish dry. Nothing is better than a Wild Goose IPA paired with a plate of Maryland crabs. Also goes great with smoked Gouda, sausage, and sharp dressings. Spice cake pairs for a wonderful dessert.
Mmmm That pairing suggestion has my mouth watering. I'll need to scarf down some local crabs with one of these babies before I return home...
1. Appearance - Pale amber-gold, with merely a hint of a slight haze. Moderate, yet creamy head that diminishes rapidly, with some lacing.
2. Smell - I can detect the hops, and a hint of malt. (A note on smell - I have a very limited sense of smell, that comes and goes, so my opinions on beer smells should be taken with a grain of salt...)
3. Taste - Not extremely hoppy when compared to other IPAs. Very approachable and balanced with a creamy smooth, buttery biscuit-like malt backbone. Rounded off with a nearly tart citrus finish. Hints of tea and salt...
4. Mouthfeel - Medium to light bodied. Smooth yet pleasantly carbonated.
5. Drinkability - Not my favorite IPA, but certainly a tasty beer. Hoppy enough to please me, but maybe not sufficient to satisfy some of the extreme hop-heads out there. This leans closer to the balanced IPAs that I enjoy, not over powering, but balanced and pleasant.
Drinkability Scale from 1-10: 7 (Not awesome, but certainly enjoyable.)