Goose Island Honker's Ale

This beer claims to be "inspired by visits to English country pubs." What I'm looking for here is that they tasted the food and realized that they really needed a good, solid beer to cover up the English food. The Goose Island IPA was a good beer. The 312 Urban Wheat shocked me with how good it was. If this is really a trend, this one will be a 5 out of 5.

The color is a mostly clear amber. The head evens out to a nice, thin hat on top of the delicious-looking beverage. It grips the rim like a stripper on a pole - so I'm told. the aroma is a good mix of hops and malt. It already reminds me of the Kentucky Ale I had a good while ago. It's faint, though.

First sip is interesting. The bready malt hits first, and there is a very mild hops that follows. It's not particularly bitter, but it's also not sweet - I guess neither the hops nor the malt is winning in that department. There's a hint of citrus (maybe orange?) in there, but I really think the bread taste of the malt is the overriding concern. It's a pretty good taste, but it's not as complex as its ingredients.

A big swig reveals a smokey center with an earth core. It's deep and gritty with the bread bowl holding it together. The orange is so slight that it's almost unnoticeable. The finish is a bit harsher, though. It has a bit of a sting in the back of the throat and leaves a film on the tongue with an almost pine quality to it.

All told, it's a decent beverage, but it's not as good as either of the others. I have to say, however, that I would gladly order another beverage from Goose Island. This may not be as good as the others, but it's still a good trend - Goose Island hasn't sold me a bad beer yet. That's more than I can say for Magic Hat.



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