Sunday, 29 March 2015

Beer Review: Mad Goose

Ah, Goose, we hardly knew ye; taken in your prime by a spin-out in an F-14A Tomcat A after playing the most homo-erotic game of beach volleyball ever committed to film. Such a loss. Now, I'll bet that the soul of Goose was pretty mad at Maverick (see what they did there?) and Iceman - who wouldn't be? And thus closes my reason for why this little brewing number was called Mad Goose, pay no attention to the image of an angry goose on the label, that clearly has nothing to do with it! It's another brew from the rather mad, but strangely likable, Purity brewery. This one I picked up at a US-owned giant supermarket chain that has an unhealthy fascination with the derriere.

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It starts with a lovely fresh aroma that puts me in mind of something like Cascade or a Pacific hop due to the way it sort of blows up from the glass without the citrus tang that I'm coming to associate with IPAs or Pales brewed from UK hops. Definitely no Goldings base anyway (now, of course, it will be - this is just my impression). This is the sort of aroma I expect after a long warm day with the birds singing and the roads humming with long distance lorries roaring about the place with humidity that makes it uncomfortable to wear clothes and even more uncomfortable to take them off in the privacy of indoors. A summer smell then, with the added bonus of none of those weather conditions being present. Good. [I checked, it's Cascade, hooray!]

First taste of this strangely Irn-Bru coloured ale with a fast head that fades to wort-style blooms is therefore a bit surprising. It is soft, like a marshmallow, but also shot through with spears of yeast surrounded by a hop that does the twin jobs of providing a bitter-style bite and also enough fruit to keep me guessing. There's definitely something of watermelon or even just melon in there but it's sharper and stronger than that. Not unpleasant but certainly not expected from the much fruitier and dryer aroma. This all boils around atop the sort of malt that may just go unremarked upon, a good background delivery system that hangs about after the action dies down and forms the mist of the evening at the back of the throat, directing the aftertaste and ensuring a clear run for the traffic so that nothing gets hung up or clogged. That aftertaste is the memory of the fruit of the hops supported by the long lingering malt taste that was absent from the main mouthful.

Carbonation is strong after last week's exchange but that's no fault of the ale, just it being bottled rather than from the cask, and the 4.2% ABV isn't going to leave people insensible. Indeed, it's closr to being the sort of ale that can lead to a full session or even just be used on it's own. Better alone, methinks, than with food as the taste is quite delicate. Of course, my sophistication demands something like a pain au chocolate or brioche to have with this (because I am a rebel and decided to have continental breakfast foods late in the evening when it's dark out) and that does absolutely nothing to the experience good or bad but reminds me that I haven't really had a tea. Being very middle class I did have a surfeit of sushi at lunch though so...

Okay, back to the ale. It keeps on giving and that yeasty spearing through the mallow remains the main feature of the brew as you go on through it. I think it's a nice effect and certainly don't feel like I've wasted my money, nor the trip because the supermarket is a long drive away, in getting this. I think, on balance, I preferred Ubu (here) but that was always a strong likelihood because of the reference it conjures in my brain.

Enjoy this one in the spring when every day could still be a lion or a lamb and there's no telling what will happen. When heavy mist and fog can still herald a warm and sunny day and clear skies can still threaten frost or heat or both in a morning. Have a snack on hand, watch the sun go down first, then crack open a bottle and kick back in some comfy chairs. Maybe have something with a bit more hops (Jaipur? - here) to hand to follow on, but tarry a while before moving onto those brews. Good at what it does, worth a pop.

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