Another beer from Goose Island. I like reviewing their beers cause I get the impression many people have access to them and they tend to be of high quality. This one is their India Pale Ale.
It pours a remarkably light-color, the straw shade of a cream ale. This is a bit strange, as pale ales tend to have caramel malts to provide a bit of sweetness in order to balance the hops, and caramel malts add those rich reddish browns. It is fairly clear but there is certainly a bit of haze. The off-white head is creamy and strong, but not very voluminous. The nose is strongly of Pacific northwest hops: the floral grapefruit and orange character that defines American pale ales.
The flavor is at once creamy and sweet yet robust and bitter. Strong hop bitterness leads the way and doesn’t let up, providing a throughline that the rest of the flavor dances around. The hops aren’t content to be a bit(ter) player, though. Herbal, earthy, almost vegetal flavors intermingle with serious grapefruit, mango, and citric hoppiness. Notes of light malt come through: a clean and malty, almost bready, flavor. This contributes a bit of sweetness that is frustratingly evasive. For a moment it almost seems balanced, then the bitterness rears its beautiful head.
Goose Island India Pale Ale