Prologue: It’s been quite some time since we have discussed redemption beers.
But this one from Gage Roads is one of these beers. Way back in 2008 I rubbished the Gage Road New World Wheat beer, which I note is a beer they don’t appear to make anymore (I could claim that I was the primary cause for that, but that would seem a little egotistical, and let’s face it, not at all true).
I’m a forgiving lad so three years later I was willing to take a chance on them again with their Sleeping Giant IPA
Packaging: All that is good and all that is bad in one package. Let’s start with the good. I love the Elephant, I like the colours, It think it looks stylish, classy and interesting, hell I even like the name.
But then I discovered this had a twist top. Now as a certified A grade beer wanker I am of the opinion that twist top equals shit mass produced beer. The concept being of course that if you are catering for a market which don’t care enough about beer to carry a bottle opener with them everywhere then you are catering for a market which probably doesn’t actually like beer.
I know what you are thinking (I feel like Simon always be Denny to me-Baker). You’re thinking, I sound like one of those dinosaurs in the wine industry banging on about corks, and I should get with the times grandpa. Of course screw tops on wine don’t annoy me at all, I even find them very convenient, but I couldn’t care less about wine, so that just further proves my point you young whipper snapper.
Smell: This smells of sweet oranges and passionfruit. They claim they dry hop, I would suggest it’s with Galaxy hops. For you none Hop heads out there Dry hopping means putting hops in the beer during the fermentation stage – it results in hops being present in the Aroma, more so than the taste. An galaxy smeels like citrus and passionfruit.
Appearance: It’s a nice deep full amber colour, with a white head. This is a pointing to this being a very good beer.
Taste: And here is where it falls apart for me. It just doesn’t taste a flavourful as I was expecting. It doesn’t taste bad, it just tastes half done. Like a really good band doing soundcheck and only turning their amps up with seven.
This is fine, but it’s not what I was promised. The smell convinced me that this was going to be big and hoppy, the label told me this was hasd a giant flavour of course, the name suggested that giant was sleeping, so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that this is muted somewhat.
In conclusion: This beer is a real shame. I think it could have been brilliant, but I also get the feeling that they might have sent this to a focus group made up of mainstream beer drinkers, and the brewers have been told to dial it back a bit by the marketing kids and they did because they would rather sell beer, than impress beer wankers (damn them wanting to make a profit).
This is a Sunday session beer, it isn’t a wild a crazy Saturday night out, but there is something to be said for a good Sunday session. Oh and are have they got redemption? Almost.
Ranking: Let’s have a schooner
Six degrees of Norm: Where we link all beers back to Norm from Cheers in six easy steps.
- This beer is an IPA (Indian Pale Ale)
- But it is as distant from India as Ben Kinglsey’s heritage (Ben, or Krishna Pandit Bhanji as he was born, has an Indian Grandfather, who actually lived in Zanzibar plus an Kenyan-born father, but was born in the UK)
- And Ben was in Thunderbirds with Bill Paxton
- Who was in Apollo 13 with Kevin Bacon who turned down the role of David in Indecent Proposal
- Which was taken by Woody Harrelson
- Who was in Cheers and served beers to Norm