Review: Granville Island Irish Red

Review: Granville Island Irish Red by Cody La Bière
When a Liquormart rep recommends a beer, I'll usually never say no - except for the one time when a rep said "hey, you like good beer? Then you'll Bud Light Lime!" That was an insult to my face, but he didn't know I wanted beer, not urine soaked in dish soap. I'm wishy/washy when it comes to Granville Island beers, but when it comes to the 650ml bottles of Granville, they're generally pretty damned tasty, so when a Liquormart rep told me I had to try their new Irish Red ale, yep, I had to buy it (along with a bunch of other beers, making me broke).

Granville's Imperial Stout JUST came to Manitoba a month ago, so another beer making it here in such a short period of time is a bit much, but seeing they're owned by Molson, it's not really that surprising, but hey - I'll try any beer twice.

Appearance: Pours a caramel amber red, minimal off-white head, decent amount of carbonation. Reminiscent appearance to their English Bay Pale Ale, but I think this one will probably smell like actual beer instead of cow manure (which is what the English Bay Pale unfortunately smelled like a year ago).

Aroma: I'm not really a fan of red ales now days, I find them to be lacklustre and lacking. However, for the Granville Irish Red, while it's lighter in aroma than I would have expected, but comes off with a light yet quite bitter hoppy aroma first, then a caramel malt, slight marijuana-y aroma to it, or oven toasted barley snacks (a bit). Anybody remember those barley and wheat snacks that came in lots of varieties over a decade ago? that's what it's starting to smell like. I miss the salt and vinegar wheat snacks, it was like toasted wheat sprinkled in salt and vinegar.

Taste: If you want a more bitter Irish Red Ale, you will enjoy this, this is a bitter Irish Red with a bit of a grapefruitiness to it, sweetness of caramel and honey and slightly bready. I appreciate the hoppy bitterness as it was a bit unexpected.

Overall Thoughts: Came here to expect Rickard's Red, that sweet, malty Red Ale everyone knows already, but I was surprised, this is much more of a bitter Irish Red, yet still keeps the caramel sweetness in there. With St Patrick's Day coming this week, this will be a decent beer alternative to the standard pints of dyed green Moosehead/Bud Light. If you want an alternative to Rickard's Red or an Irish Red Ale, this is actually better than expected. 5.6% ABV, 40 IBU, $5.53/650mL at Manitoba Liquormarts

1 comment:

brewji said...

I wasn't super impressed with this brew, but a lot of my beer geek friends agree with your take on it. If you like, you can check out my review too :)