I don't often associate citra hops or dry hopping with Belgian Tripels, but then Goose Island doesn't always play by the book. The Ogden (9% ABV, IBUs 35) is expected to hit shelves this week. However, I have not been able to confirm when it might arrive here in Michiana. Last week I was able to get a couple of bottles and sampled them with some of my beer buddies.
The first beer that Goose Island released in its imperial series was The Illinois (imperial IPA, 9% ABV, IBUs 95), which was released in February, and the last in the three-part series will be an imperial stout, due out in September.
Chicago's first mayor, William B. Ogden, is the namesake of this beer, and the brewery describes it as such – “Big, like our edgy-but-dependable home Chicago. Big, like the sprawling imagination of our brewers. Big, like the flavor, aroma and mouth feel of our latest series of beers that were created for our beer-loving fans.” William B. Ogden opened Chicago's first brewery. More importantly, he was also a trustee to the Chicago Land Company, which cut a channel that resulted in the creation of Goose Island – Goose Island Beer Co.'s namesake.
I have to admit, the aroma was very pleasant, but much more hoppy than I'm used to for a Belgain tripel style. There was a big floral, citrus hop presence, but there was also a bit of an underlying yeasty, funkiness that I am more familiar with for this style. Because of the huge hop profile in the flavor, I might have been more likely to guess this was a Belgian IPA. More fruity, yeasty, spicy, sweetness and funkiness came through in the flavor, with some bubblegum notes as well. I thought that it was well-balanced, with a medium body that made for smooth drinking. Never would I have guessed the ABV was as high as it is.
As part of another three-part release, Goose Island Endless IPA hit shelves not too long ago. At 5% ABV, this is a session IPA brewed with Amarillo hops, which are introduced at three different times during the brewing and then again for dry hopping. Amarillo hops provide a good bitterness to the aroma and taste. There is a bit of dank citrus to the taste, but overall it's a mildly hoppy beer, which is just fine for a session IPA.
I happen to have an extra Goose Island pint glass that I would like to give away. So here is your chance. Take a good look at the pint glass in the photo of Endless IPA. The first person to email me at Eric@EricStraderPottery.com and can tell me the two most recent Goose Island barrel aged beers that I have enjoyed, along with their ABVs, will rightfully win that pint glass.
And just for fun, here are a few beers that I enjoyed last weekend to celebrate my 45 years of life on this planet full of great beer.
Dark Horse Brewing Company Opperman's Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th (11% ABV): This was a special batch of Russian Imperial Stout aged for 20 months in two barrels of Elijah Craig 12 Year and one barrel of Eagle Rare Single Barrel, hand selected by Jeff Opperman and then blended. It was sold exclusively at Opperman's Cork N' Ale in Saginaw, Mich. However, I was able to get a bottle from a buddy who was very kind to me. As I understand it, there were only 55 cases of this produced.
Foothills Brewing IPA of the month – April (6.4% ABV, IBUs 82): The brewers here have decided to brew a different IPA for every month this year. Each one will be slightly different, with different flavors and different hops. Thanks to a buddy of mine in North Carolina, I was able to enjoy this one. April is the sacred month of Venus, goddess of fertility. Amidst nature's fertile reawakening, Foothills is offering an IPA brewed with experimental hops, reminiscent of the citrusy flavor of Simcoe. Dry hop additions of Amarillo and Centennial provided a clean spring-like flavor and aromas of freshly-mown grass.
Lastly, I enjoyed a Tripel Karmeliet (tripel, 8.4% ABV), from Brouwerij Bosteels in Belgium. I was able to purchase this locally at Chalet Party Shoppe, and since it had been several years since I've enjoyed this beer, I decided to treat myself. Just a nice balance between sweetness and funk.