elbernays (307) - IRELAND - DEC 31, 2013
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours murky amber. Summer fruits citrus nose. Flavour is sweet malts with a strong bitterness. Full body.
culchiem (2296) - Berlin, GERMANY - DEC 5, 2013
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Clean amber with a thin head. Aroma is is grapefruit. Flavor is strong bitter, a little malt on a dry bittersweet finish.
jrscruff (19) - Killaloe, IRELAND - SEP 24, 2013
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Not as enticing as the other brews White Gypsy have on offer. Pours like a fine pale ale, but tastes very hoppy and bitter. Would definitely contemplate getting again, but only after sampling the rest of the series first.
BoringBard (139) - NORWAY - JUL 18, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Grapefruity and hoppy aroma. Lovely colour with nice white head. Hoppy and nice. Nice mouthfeel.
ciaranc (706) - Dublin, IRELAND - MAY 29, 2013
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Lovely murky amber red in colour, huge lasting foamy head, looks the business. Big malt sweetness in the aroma, bread, fruit, raspberry, strawberry. Flavour is a slight anti climax after the lovely nose, all malt, more fruit sweetness, but lack of hop bite and a touch watery. Soft carbonation, sweet, perhaps overly sweet and sugary in the finish. Finally an Irish APA with the requisite sweetness and they leave out the hops!
Cunningham (4000) - Halden, NORWAY - APR 2, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Appearance: Hazy amber color with a white head that leaves some lacing.
Aroma: Fruity and hoppy.
Palate: Medium body. Moderate sweet and a fine bitterness. Soft carbonation.
Taste: Fruity and mild grape hoppy.
Overall impression: At the moment: My favourite Irish ale.
Personal stats: Handpull at Anchor Inn (Free)
in Birmingham, England.
Coyler (112) - Dublin, IRELAND - MAR 22, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Martins Fairview. Lovely Dark redish in colour, aroma of grapefruit with hints of grass. Smooth body, lively carbonation. Flavours of grapefruit and hops, not that bitter , very enjoyable Pale Ale.
oh6gdx (19991) - Vasa, FINLAND - MAR 21, 2013
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle (shared by omhper, thanks!). Hazy amber colour with a mediumsized white foamy head. Aroma is fruity and floral and has some mild strawberries as well. Probably brewed on quite hard water too. Flavour is fruity, floral, bigtime bitter with some slight sweet malty and bready notes. Mild earthyness in the finish too.
DMarra (9) - IRELAND - FEB 18, 2013 does not count
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This was my first experience with White Gypsy beers and I must say that I enjoyed it very much. This beer comes in on the strong side of Pale Ale at around 7% abv which gives the beer a nice, round mouthfeel. There is substantial hop bitterness balancing out the rich malt profile though this beer does not seem to have been dry-hopped, or at least only conservatively so. There is a moderate, grassy hop aroma without venturing into the level of hop aroma found in many American IPA’s brewed to this strength.
As a Pale Ale, this beer pushes the limits of the category. In terms of strength and body, it enters the realm of what I call a Strong IPA (stronger than a normal IPA, but not as strong as I’d expect from a Double or Imperial IPA). On the hops side, the overall profile is more in line with Pale Ale than IPA. My final verdict style-wise is that this beer sits firmly between the two styles of Pale Ale and IPA: it has aspects of both styles but the complete profile of neither.
To sum it up, this is a delicious pale ale unlike just about anything else currently being brewed in Ireland. It is a beer that I will purchase again and one that deserves a place in my "rotation."
I also think that this beer leaves room in the White Gypsy product line for a monstrous IPA which would use this beer as a springboard. I can see a beer using the exact same grain bill (don’t fix what’s not broke, this malt profile is really lovely) but with enough grain to push the abv to 10% and a hop bill that would see 50% of the IBU’s coming from late, 5-15 minute hop additions (not quite hop-bursted, but almost) as well as a generous dry-hopping. I know this is a stretch for an Irish brewery, but after talking to the growing number of Irish craft beer enthusiasts, I think the time is right and the market is ready for a beer such as this.
My comments re: other reviews of this beer:
Overall, this is probably the best pale ale currently produced in Ireland. Other reviewers seems to have slightly misunderstood this beer. The reviewer who said to have expected more hops from an American Pale misses the fact that this beer is a Pale Ale, not an IPA. I have tasted many American Pales with hop levels at or below this. Also, I would imagine that quite a lot of hops are used in this beer (to balance the considerable maltiness) but that these hop additions are rather early in the boil.
Another misinformed criticism that I read from another reviewer was that around the colour. The reviewer complained that the beer was not pale at all, but way too dark for the style. This is completely incorrect. The official BJCP description of colour for American Pale Ale is thus: "Pale golden to deep amber. Moderately large white to off-white head with good retention. Generally quite clear, although dry-hopped versions may be slightly hazy." This beer has an amber colour, but does not go into the "deep amber" area - so well within the typical range. It is also perfectly clear.
omhper (18939) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - FEB 17, 2013
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottled, from The Drink Store, Dublin. Hazy amber, firm head. Concenrated grapefruit aroma. Mid sweet with medium body and well rounded mouthfeel. Lightly fruity with plenty of grapefruit and long finish with balanced bitterness. Thoroughly well made strong pale ale.