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Beer Reviews

Guinness Blonde IPA

 

Just look at that incredibly cute toucan! That toucan is of course Guinness' mascot, which was designed by British artist John Gilroy who had given the historic Irish brewery several mascots inspired by a day out at the circus with his son. He was initially briefed on creating a design that evoked a family enjoying Guinness, but no one at the ad firm could agree on what that should look like, and hence Gilroy had interpreted it as a fun activity that a family would have indulged in - like going to the circus!

Gilroy first did a sea lion with a pint of Guinness on its nose, and then bears, kangaroos, ostriches, pelicans, and of course toucans! The toucan stuck and we've still got it today!

 

 

And believe it or not, the incredibly amiable toucan wasn't the only reason I picked this up from Greece - it's also because it's an IPA from a brewery best known for its stouts! This is actually Guinness' first ever IPA (released in 2020), which they're terming a Blonde IPA, and is designed to be an American-style West Coast IPA, in fact. It makes use of some American hops including Centennial, Citra and Cascade, but given that it is Irish, Guinness' own yeast is used nevertheless. The idea here is 260-year Irish brewing tradition meets American brewing expertise.

Let's give it a go!

Guinness Blonde IPA, 5% ABV - Review

 

Tasting Notes

Colour: Long Island Iced Tea

Aroma: It’s very malty and caramel-ly, with a rustic scent of baked bread. There’s also a very light savouriness of charred meat. It’s very close to a cask-aged ale. It’s rich and malty, leaning towards a darker and richer profile.

Taste: Medium-bodied, it starts off with a hit of savouriness, more of those charred meats, very closely followed by a bed of buttery maltiness and some caramel, and also an umaminess of oyster sauce. There’s more of those slightly overdone toast, abit of parsley herbaceousness too. It’s really rich and fuller in flavour and texture.

Finish: Clean, slight crispness. Moves into a ton of wheat and barley sugars. Lingering notes of umami savouriness.

 

My Thoughts

Oh this is very nice! It’s really rich and flavour forward, with big and bold flavours. It’s altogether a very well done blonde ale. It’s got the rustic qualities that give it it’s freshness, along with the buttery maltiness and also a complementary savoury umaminess that’s not overwhelming. They all come together very nicely, on a good hefty body, that’s still lightly crisp. It’s not overly heavy, but yet very rich and malty, and the flavours are well-expressed and thick as well. Very nice! 

Although the "IPA" text on the label is much emphasised and larger than the "Blonde", this strikes me more as a Belgian Blonde Ale or even a British Brown Ale than an American IPA. As a massive lover of Belgian Blondes and British Brown Ales, I'm certainly not complaining - in fact, I like this very much! But yes, it definitely packs in more body and caramel flavours, toasted bread and even some savoury umaminess and herbaceousness that seems more aligned to a Belgian Blonde than the citrus forward, pithy bitter, dank, orange juice-coloured American IPA's we're used to.

  

Kanpai!

  

 

@111hotpot