Goose Island Beer Co. named the second in its three-beer Imperial Series after Chicago’s first mayor, William B. Ogden, and not just because he opened the city’s first brewery. Ogden served as a trustee to the Chicago Land Company, which sliced a channel that resulted in the creation of Goose Island (the only island in the Chicago River), after which Goose Island (the brewery) was named.
As a sidenote, Ogden later got into the railroad business, leading the campaign to connect the country’s East and West coasts with a railroad line. The town where that line’s final “Golden Spike” was driven on May 10, 1869 – Ogden Flats, Utah – is named after him.
Pegged as a “dry-hopped Belgian Tripel,” The Ogden both embraces and defies the style.
It pours a deep amber-orange, with a thin head that dissipates relatively quickly. The aroma contains the clove notes that Belgians are known for, but the first sip reveals a strong hop character that leaves a not-unpleasant bitter aftertaste on the tongue. This likely results from the use of Citra hops, a fairly recent American variety that adds a citrusy, tropical flavor to beers, combined with more traditional Brewers Gold and Saaz hops.
Though not as sweet at first as most Belgian Tripel styles, the brew’s traditional Belgian yeast becomes increasingly evident with more sweetness and banana flavors emerging as the beer warms in the glass. The cloves remain strong on the tongue and contribute to the hop burn.
One aspect of The Ogden that hews firmly to the Tripel style is the ABV—at 9 percent, this brew has a kick.
I could see this being a beer to celebrate the end of a long, difficult project—like, say, the driving of a Golden Spike.
Brewery: Goose Island Beer Co.
City: Chicago, Illinois
Style: Belgian Style Tripel
ABV: 9 percent
Availability: National limited release