It’s Fall right? Well according the beer world the Fall season started in late August, which is when we started to see autumn themed seasonals. Just in time for the season (lets just call it rainy season for Hawaii) is Goose Island Rambler IPA.
It seems that the must brew Fall seasonal style is now the red IPA. The craft beer world is filled with trends and a lot of marketing, so when a couple of big brewers start making a style it seems like everyone else follows along. Normally this doesn’t work out well for us the consumer, as the market gets flooded with so-so beer just to try and capture the latest trend.
So, when I got an early sample of Rambler IPA I didn’t have high hopes. Now don’t get me wrong, Goose Island makes some amazing beers, but this is a new seasonal and honestly most red IPAs that I’ve tasted lately caramel bombs with a ridiculous amounts of hops to attempt to balance things out.
Rambler IPA actually achieves balance and has a unique and alluring hop mixture. Compared with other red IPAs, Rambler is one the lighter side with only a hint of caramel. This is a very good thing. Instead of huge mouth coating caramel and toasty toffee sweetness, Rambler blends toasted bread, slight roastiness and a final hint of sweetness. The mellow malt flavors really allow the hops to stand out. Amarillo and Mt. Hood shine here with an intriguing mix of fruit and spice. What is really unique about the hops in Rambler is that they were all grown on one estate just for Goose Island. It’s worth reading Good Beer Hunting’s post about his visit to the hop harvest (you’ll also love the photos.)
Short post. I’ve been slacking majorly and promise to get more up soon.
(Full Disclosure. I was provided a sample of this beer from Goose Island along with the pint glasses. Speaking of pint glasses, everyone should have some of these 14oz nonic pint glasses, they are so perfect. Because please, please, please don’t use a shaker glass.)