What the Brewer says:
Appropriately named to mark a significant change at Galway Bay Brewery, Change of The Guard was brewed in collaboration with White Frontier (who has now homed our previous head brewer Chris Treanor) & our new chief, Will Avery.
This Triple Red IPA marked Will's first brew at Galway Bay and man, has he started strong. Dry hopped with mosiac, citra and simcoe and at an ABV of 11.5% this beer is sure to make some waves!
On draught at Against the Grain, Pours a Amber to light red color, half cm of off-white head that holds well until the first few sips. Its a Hazy beer, not too cloudy or murky, but looks like the brewers made sure there was no flavour or aroma lost by filtering the beer.
On the Nose
Immediately when I got this from the barman, before I even found a seat I get I big punch of honeydew melon combined with pine, in so far as there's a sweet fruitiness there that combines well subtle dank smell. You definitely can tell there's a hop forward approach on this one, but given the big ABV, the residual sweetness from the malt manages to team up well with the dominant hop profile, creating this honeydew-melon-like character. The intensity of the aroma does fade, about 1/3 of the way into the glass, with the sweetness coming out more but the hops still lingers enough to keep you interested.
How it tastes
On the first sip I there's that sweetness again that hides the 11.5% ABV well, then balanced out by the hops, not overly bitter but still stamps it's mark on your tongue. It's a medium-full bodied beer, not too chewy especially how big the beer is. Of course the melon and dank pine has been stamped in my mind from the moment I got handed the glass, so as I drink this the same flavors are reflected in the taste but with a twist - sweetness combined with a grapefruit bitterness. Once you get beyond that, it's nothing too complex, a big triple IPA that holds a daring malty backbone, combined well with some big IBUs from the hops to hide the 11.5% ABV
The carbonation of this one launches a punching aroma at you once you get it but fades soon after. I really did enjoy this one, but it's always one of those debates where I weigh up big ABV to big expectations. Triple IPAs for me can be a bit hit & miss, this one was a hit, but if it was a hint less sweet, it probably would hit the nail on the head. If there's a spare barrel lying around, this could make a great limited edition barley-wine if aged for a couple of years. This got a 4.25/5 on untappd from me, a really good beer that's definitely worth a try while it's out. A limited release on keg only in most of the Galway Bay Brewing bars.