Oct 3, 2014

Goose Island Rambler IPA

Rambler IPA from Goose Island is the latest collaboration with Elk Mountain Farms (who provided Mt. Hood and Amarillo hops for the venture), but is it an IPA, a red ale or a “Red IPA”? All of those items are mentioned either on the bottle or the press sheet that accompanied the pair of samples I received.

I’d liken this brew to something similar to Green Flash Brewing’s Hop Head Red — a red ale that’s packed to the brim with over-the-top hope flavors. Rambler IPA has the rich, peaty traits that I associate with the red ale style, but also brings pine and citrus fruits to tantalize and confuse your taste buds.

A beer like this simply re-affirms my theory. You through enough hops into a beer style that I’m not the biggest fan of — red ale in this case — and I’m probably gonna dig it.


The brew pours a rusty copper in color with a rocky cap of tawny foam.

Goose Island Rambler IPA photo


Well, it’s certainly has elements of both a red ale and an IPA: bready malt, light peatiness, herbal/citrusy hop notes and a touch of caramel.


Rambler IPA leads off with, rich peaty malts, bread and caramel before a smooth surge of grapefruit, piney and lightly spicy hops fill in. There’s a moderate amount of bitterness that arrives midway through each sip before giving way to the lingering, drying finish. A light malt sweetness is left on the lips.


Whatever Rambler IPA really is style-wise, it comes across like many of the hoppy red ales I’ve had over the past year or two. It’s got decent flavor and fair balance, but like many of its peers, I’ll probably select a different brew from Goose Island — perhaps their The Ogden.

Rating: 3.75/5

This is a review of a promotional sample.

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