I let it chill in the fridge and got it down to about 5 degrees Celsius, popped the top and poured it in my glass. I noticed right away I could smell notes of an IPA, which kind of threw me off as to what I might get in terms of taste. There were a lot of hoppy notes and I couldn't really tell what I was smelling because of the confusion in my head. I swear I thought I smelled IPA...maybe it was my lack of beer and perhaps my sense of smell is just rusty.
The brew poured well, with a smidge of head that dissipated away.
|Granville Island Brewing Co.'s "Irish Red" (ABV 5.6%)|
I took the first sip of the Irish Red and was kind of disappointed actually. It tasted like someone mixed a little bit of their Brockton IPA into a red ale. After a few more sips, the tastes began to grow on me. There are some other grains in the taste, and some fermented fruit. Obviously there will be some fermented fruit, but this doesn't taste too citrusy. Perhaps apricot? It's a complicated taste, and I think that's why it took so long to grow on me.
Nonetheless, if you take your first sip and aren't immediately impressed, I wasn't either. However, the taste does grow on you and you won't be too depressed afterwards. This would go great at a bar if you're sitting down with some friends and enjoying sip after sip in a long conversation. This is a sipping beer (in case you didn't already get that).
It wouldn't be my first choice at a bar, but definitely wouldn't be my last. I think I would prefer to stick with the Granville Island pale ale or IPA instead of this, but it's definitely an interesting brew for this time of year.
Brew-lovers, pick one up, it's the least you can do in order to try something that actually stands out from the rest!
My personal rating might not reflect others' ratings, because a lot of my friends have liked this much more than me.
The Granville Island Brewing Co. Irish Red Ale gets an actually-unique-tasting 7.5 / 10