Beer Review #1 – Goose Island’s 15-Can Flight Pack

Beer Review #1

Hello fellow Beer Junkies! Welcome to our very first beer review. We were hoping to start things off with a pick-a-six that you could get from your average grocery store, but to our dismay, when we went to pick them out we discovered that they had removed that option from the store! Which begs the question: why do bad things happen to good, beer drinking people? But that is a question we can ponder in another blog. It wasn’t a complete loss, however, because we were able to grab Goose Island’s 15-can flight pack. In this pack, they included the following: 

  • Next Coast IPA
  • Flagship IPA
  • Lost Palate
  • Lemonade Shandy
  • 312 Urban Wheat Ale

Yes, we “tasted” all of them. 

One of the things we love about Goose Island is that they include the hops and malt used in each of these beers, which we have included for your convenience. For each of these beers, we will include our personal notes, as well as our ratings on taste, appearance, aroma, and overall. 

Jumping right into things, it should be addressed that IPAs generally aren’t our first choice when it comes to beer. They usually aren’t our second choice either. Okay, if we are being totally honest, we typically avoid them when we are casually drinking but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate what a good IPA has to offer. And let me tell you, the Goose Island IPAs offer A LOT. 

Next Coast IPA – 7.0% ABV   40 IBUs

Next Coast IPA

Starting off with the Next Coast IPA, we were a little hesitant with this beer sitting at 7.0% abv; but with a relatively low IBU score (for an IPA), we soldiered on and took our first sip. Goose Island’s description for this beer indicated that it was “crushable” at 7.0% abv, and they were absolutely correct. We would have NEVER guessed that this beer was above 5.5% abv as there was no heaviness at all in the flavor. This beer had a lovely nose with predominantly tropical aromas. There was a light bitterness that balanced nicely with the malt character that lingered for only a second before being replaced by the piney and tropical hop character. The appearance was nice and clear with a golden color. This beer is perfect for anyone who is new to the IPA world and looking to expand their palate or even seasoned IPA veterans who only drink hop bombs. 

Hops: Nugget, 06277, Citra, Mosaic, Eureka

Malts: Synergy Select, Pilsen, Carahall

Taste: ★★★★

Appearance: ★★★★

Aroma: ★★★★

OVERALL: 4/5

Flagship IPA – 5.9% ABV 55 IBUs 

Flagship IPA

The next beer in this flight pack was Goose Island’s Flagship IPA, a lower abv IPA with a higher IBU score. The can itself describes the beer as “Hoppy. Grapefruity. Refreshing.” – pretty much how any IPA would describe itself. But it’s the flagship IPA for a reason…..right? Yes! Although we started to venture into slightly more bitter territory, this beer was everything it promised to be. On the first sip, the upfront bitterness is a stark difference to the Next Coast IPA, but soon mellows out as the palate adjusts with a lingering sweetness. The more you drink this beer, the smoother it gets as the crisp “grapefruity” flavor truly shines through. 

Hops: Pilgrim, Celeia, Cascade, Centennial

Malts: 2 Row, Bonlander Munich, Crystal 20 

Taste: ★★★★.25

Appearance: ★★★★

Aroma: ★★★★

OVERALL: 4.1/5

Lost Palate – 6.3% ABV 45 IBUs

Lost Palate Hazy IPA

The Lost Palate is a hazy IPA, and it may be one of the most unique beers we’ve ever had. The can tells us that this hazy also has mango and cinnamon mixed in – a curious combination that both frightened and intrigued us. At first, there was nothing unexpected in the aroma, as the citrusy nose was exactly as anticipated, but as soon as we took a sip we could taste the bite of cinnamon which melted into the subtle sweetness of the mango – and it was actually very pleasant. More than pleasant actually, it was probably the best beer in the pack! It had a very silky mouthfeel, and the tropical hop character was delicious. The addition of cinnamon and mango was not random – Jonny, a longtime Goose Island employee, lost his ability to taste many flavors during his battle with cancer. Two of the few things he was still able to taste were cinnamon and mango. He and Brewer Quinn teamed up and were able to brew a beer he was actually able to taste. Jonny is now a cancer survivor, and we thank him for this delicious beer.  

Hops: Idaho 7, Mosaic, Simcoe, Amarillo

Malts: White Wheat, Honey Malt, Flaked Oats, Carafoam 

Taste: ★★★★.5

Appearance: ★★★★

Aroma: ★★★★.25

OVERALL: 4.25/5

Lemonade Shandy – 4.2% ABV

Lemonade Shandy

I don’t think you could convince us that this is actually beer. Honestly, our only notes on this beer was that “it tastes exactly like lemonade”. This wheat beer with natural lemon flavor is delightfully sweet with a quick tartness that teases the tongue – a great palate cleanser after our menage a trois of IPAs. The only downside to this beer (besides the fact that you could easily get shwasted without realizing how many you’ve had) is that it ends up tasting a little bit more like a Mike’s Hard Lemonade rather than a beer. The malt essence is lost in the (lemon) sauce and the sweetness of the lemonade begins to toe the line of ‘just a bit too much’. Despite our critiques, this beer has been one of our favorite shandys that we have tasted this summer and was a fantastic addition to the Goose Island 15-can flight pack. 

Hops: Millenium, Cascade, Hallertau

Malts: Two Row Wheat

Taste: ★★★★

Appearance: ★★★★

Aroma: ★★★★

OVERALL: 4/5

312 Urban Wheat Ale – 4.2% ABV  18 IBUs

312 Urban Wheat Ale

Out of all of the beers in this pack, the 312 Urban Wheat Ale was our least favorite, which is disappointing because it was the one we were most looking forward to tasting. After the stellar quality of every other beer in this pack, the 312 Urban Wheat Ale was exceptionally underwhelming in almost every way. At first, the beer is light on the tongue but a disappointingly heavy mouthfeel soon dominates. We did not get as much of the spicy aroma from the Cascade hops as we expected to. The wheat did not make the body creamy enough to counteract the heaviness. It was crisp, but we would not necessarily consider it refreshing, as we would probably only have one in a sitting. Was it a bad beer? No. Would we go out of our way to recommend it to anyone? Also no. Just a so-so beer that suffered from being the worst looking friend in the group.

Hops: Millenium, Cascade, Hallertau

Malts: 2 Row, Wheat

Taste: ★★★

Appearance: ★★★★

Aroma: ★★.5

OVERALL: 3.1 / 5

Final thoughts

Goose Island is a fantastic brewery that produces fantastic beers. Even the worst one in the group (in our opinion), was still better than your average beer. We might not have rated it so harshly if the other beers hadn’t set the bar so high. This pack is a good choice for any occasion and will definitely be a crowd pleaser. Even if you hate IPAs, this is still a good pack to try if you are interested in expanding your palate!

If you do try this pack, please comment below and let us know if you agree or disagree with our beer reviews! And if you have any beers you suggest we try, please send us a message and we will do our best to grab it for the next tasting.

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