Greene King are very much a stalwart of the British brewing world, and they have some truly wonderful olde pubs to their name including possibly the oldest of them all, Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem in Nottingham. The Greene King IPA is very much a regular in any of their pubs, and plenty of supermarkets so you're not going to struggle to find one to try should you choose too. The brewery has been based in Bury St Edmunds for over 200 years now, but were recently taken over by CK Assets in 2019. I have no idea if this will be a good move or not, but you have to hope they don't mess with 200 years of history.
Greene King IPA Reserve comes in a nice enough 500ml bottle with the letters IPA written very clearly so there's no doubting what you're buying. At 5.4% alcohol this is a whole 1.8% stronger than the standard Greene King IPA so that might be fun. The beer pours a very none IPA looking dark copper colour with a tiny head, which in fairness holds quite well. This really has all the looks of an English bitter, which for me is probably a good thing as I usually prefer them to IPA's.
The beers aroma matches the look, it smells of bitter malts more than anything else, there's some grapefruit in there too, but again this doesn't feel like an IPA to me. It's all a bit strange so far, the label couldn't be clearer in its insistence that this is an IPA, but I'm getting less convinced by the minute. The texture again seems to deviate from what it's meant to be. Greene King IPA Reserve has a full bodied feel to it, again similar to an old English cask bitter.
Not surprisingly the taste is also a far cry from most the IPA's you or I may have had in the past. It's full of English malts and yeast, plus a bit of grapefruit thrown in for good measure. I'm really not quite sure what to make of this beer. I mean I know I don't like it very much, but is that just because it tastes nothing like what it claims to be? I'm not really sure what Greene King hope to achieve with the IPA Reserve in all honesty. I'm going to give it 3 out of 10, if you're looking for a good IPA avoid it like the plague, but if you want a passable English bitter you might like it.