Audrey Hopburn from Great Lakes Brewery in Etobicoke, Ontario is hazy orange in colour with pencil yellow highlights and a tight, but creamy white head that leaves spots of lace and is retained as a healthy cap that climbs the glass. This Belgian IPA has strong tropical aromas of mango, tangerine and lemon zest backed with notes of wild grains, yeast, black soil, musty wood and cigar.
Audrey Hopburn has a dry, peppery taste that brings with it flavours of clove, fennel and citrus fruit rind, while balance is found through a caramel malt tone that is just sweet enough. This ale is very creamy in the mouth, medium-bodied and carries a fairly mild amount of carbonation. The finish is dry on the palate, with a juicy grapefruit flavour on the tongue that transitions into a pithy and yeasty aftertaste.
The bottle that houses Audrey Hopburn features the headless image of a lady in a little black dress with a stalk of barley in place of a cigarette holder and a pearl-style necklace made out of hops. The beer’s name was obviously inspired by an iconic Belgian-born actress and this imagery is borrowed from the poster that promoted one of her most recognizable film roles, that of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The back of the bottle describes the beer’s inspiration and the Tank Ten series of limited run beers that Great Lakes Brewery started offering at LCBO stores in 2013. You will also find IBU information, serving temperature and glassware suggestions as well as an ingredients list. A date of bottling is stamped on the neck of the bottle.
The dryness and earthiness of Audrey Hopburn bring to mind a saison more than a typical Belgian IPA. Regardless of label, this is a top notch ale that is creamy, quaffable, a bit sweet and just tart enough. I’ve enjoyed it most with sharp cheeses, spicy salami, crusty fresh bread and spinach salad with lemon dressing.
Audrey Hopburn was born out of Great Lakes’ Project X series in 2011 and is available on occasion at the brewery and select licensees. It saw a retail release at select LCBO stores in August of 2013, with stock likely to be depleted by mid-September.
Type: Belgian IPA
Region: Ontario, Etobicoke
Brewery: Great Lakes Brewery
Format Purchased: 650 mL
Alcohol Content: 6.2%