Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Craft Beer Review: Good George's Coffee IPA

Good George is a Hamilton based brewery started by a couple of mates who wanted to convert people from mass produced “bland” beer, to the more creative and quality beer that is craft beer. You can visit the Good George brewery and dining room in Hamilton and see where all the action happens while enjoy some quality food and a cold beer at there onsite bar. Around the town Good George is pretty recognizable in that their beer is often seen in 1 litre squealers (946ml on the bottle actually). The squealer is the main stay for their main line of beers, but they also produce a whole variety of beers that come in cans and bottles.

I’ve got their Coffee IPA which has been brewed in conjunction with Rocket Coffee. Craft beer and espresso; what could go wrong!?! The only thing is, this is an IPA not a stout. It's not unusual to have coffee flavours coming through in a stout but an IPA is pushing things potentially. We'll have to see. 

So, remembering that IPAs are a balanced beer with both sweet malts and tangy hops coming through (normally slightly more hoppy than malty), it’ll be interesting to see where this one goes. 

Price: $4.99 330mls

Alcohol content: 6%

Colour: Dull golden colour. A little cloudy. Plenty of bubbles and a nice thick white head.  

Aroma: Smells fruity but there are also the unmistakable notes of hops coming through. There is an earthy kind of smell to it as well, a slightly objectionable smell. I’m not really picking up any coffee notes.

Palate: Refreshing, but not terribly sweet or fruity. You certainly get the hoppy flavours coming through. If there is any fruit it is pink grapefruit. No malts and no coffee as it swirls in your mouth.

Finish: The finish is quite clever. Here is where the coffee kicks in, as you swallow and the aftertaste in your mouth. The citrus notes blend nicely with the coffee here, especially if you’ve enjoyed sampling different varieties of single origin coffee shots, as they often have a real fruity citrus notes similar to what you get in this IPA. The coffee lingers, but the taste this more like what you expect in coffee flavoured milk or those cans of coffees you find in Japan. Not exactly delicious.

On the Chart: In terms of hops and malt, I’m not really picking up any malt flavours in this version of an IPA. The hopps are there, but it isn't over the top, perhaps just a bit more hoppy than a pilsner. There are some clever complexities that make it interesting enough to drink. So hoppy and somewhat complex.

Conclusion: This coffee IPA by Good George is interesting and somewhat refreshing. I wouldn’t champion it as a delicious beer though. Worth grabbing one time for something different, but you wouldn’t stack your shelves with it in preparation of some doomsday apocalypse. Stick to Tuatara’s Indian Pale Ale for that. I find the espresso type coffee that comes through in a coffee stout far more enjoyable than the canned coffee flavours I’m picking up in this IPA. This is all good though, even if I decide not to finish it. 

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