Goose Island

GOOSE ISLAND

On Friday, May 13, 1988, Goose Island Brewpub opened its doors in Chicago, Illinois. Founded by John Hall, Goose Island is one of the leading Mid-western breweries in America and they became so by producing world-class innovative beers. Goose Island is currently sold in over 35 US states and in Europe.

www.gooseisland.com

Year-Round/Seasonals:

Specialty/Limited Release:

312: 78 Points

Not better than the 313!!

This Wheat Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. and 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Inspired by the city of Chicago and densely populated with flavor, 312’s spicy aroma of Cascade hops is followed by a crisp, fruity ale flavor delivered in a smooth, creamy body that’s immensely refreshing.”

My Description: This will quench your thirst on that hot summer day. However, if your in the mood to relax and enjoy something great I would look somewhere else. It has a good sized, white colored head with a decent retention level and minimal lacing. The aroma is subtle with notes of grains, lemon, and a touch of hop. The aroma is spot on with what you taste in the beer. It is light/medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a balanced finish. 312 has some wheat and lemon notes with a hint of citrus and candy sweetness. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with an adjunct hint that I did not care for. Overall, I felt the flavor profile was rather empty and as the beer warms up it gets significantly less enjoyable. It is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with BBQ chicken salads, mozzarella cheese, or grilled fish.

ABV: 4.2% Color: Straw Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 2/10

CHRISTMAS ALE (2011): 91 Points

It’s a sweet Christmas

This holiday ale is released seasonally in November and December in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Every year to celebrate the holiday season, we brew up our Christmas Ale, and with each year we change the recipe slightly so that you have something special to look forward to.”

My Description: This edition of Goose Island’s Christmas Ale is on the sweeter side and it delivers many flavors that compliment the season. It has a good sized, beige colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is complex and warming with notes of sweet toasty bread, dark fruits like raisins, a hint of cinnamon, and caramel. The beer is medium/full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The taste is nicely balanced with a sweet malt note upfront accompanied by dark fruits, raisins, cinnamon, and some toastiness. This transitions into an aftertaste that is slightly bitter with a hint of caramel. The flavors in the beer develop nicely and become more apparent as the beer warms. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with potent cheeses, baked ham, or baked acorn squash.

ABV: 6.2% Color: Reddish/Brown Sweetness: 4/10 Bitterness: 3/10

CHRISTMAS ALE (2012): 93 Points

Christmas time is a good time

This holiday ale is released seasonally in November and December in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Every year to celebrate the holiday season, we brew up our Christmas Ale, and with each year we change the recipe slightly so that you have something special to look forward to.”

My Description: This year’s release tastes similar to the last but has a higher alcohol content, yet you would never know if you did not read the label; the alcohol in here is beautifully hidden. It has a big and fluffy, beige colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind some nice lacing. The aroma is sweet and yet not overpowering with notes of caramel, toasted malt, some raisins and a hint of Christmas spice. It is medium/full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. Upfront, there are flavors of sweet malt, woodsy hops, some cinnamon, and dark fruits like raisins and plums. The aftertaste balances this beer somewhat with a slightly lower bitterness. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with baked ham, baked squash, or gourmet cheeses.

ABV: 7.3% Color: Dark Brown/Red Hues Sweetness: 4.5/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10

HONKER’S ALE: 86 Points

Everyday Bitter

This English Style Bitter is available year round in 12 oz. bottles and is best enjoyed within 180 days of date stamped.

Brewer’s Description: “Honker’s Ale combines a fruity hop aroma with a rich malt middle to create a perfectly balanced beer.”

My Description: This is a good everyday beer to drink at the bar, it goes down smooth and easy. It has an average, off-white colored head with a good retention level and an average amount of lacing. The aroma is on the sweeter side with fragrant notes of caramel malt, bread-like, and toffee. It is medium bodied with a medium carbonation level. The flavors are on the light side with this beer; there is some caramel sweetness with a minor hint of lemon but not much more. The aftertaste has a slightly lingering bitterness that hangs around for a few seconds. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with fish & chips, fried cheese sticks, or a mushroom swiss burger.

ABV: 4.2%  Color: Orange/Brown  Sweetness: 3.5/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

SIXTH DAY (2013): 85 Points

It's a so-so Winter

It’s a so-so Winter

This American Brown Ale is released seasonally between October and December in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Every year to celebrate the holiday season, we brew up our Sixth Day, and with each year we change the recipe slightly so that you have something special to look forward to.”

My Description: This is a sweeter offering of a Winter Ale that makes for a good sipper and the alcohol is completely hidden. It pours a decent, light beige colored head that fades rather quickly leaving a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma has deep malt notes accompanied by caramel and toffee, toasted bread, and a touch of hops. The aroma is welcoming and pleasant. Sixth Day is medium/full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is slightly complex with a malty backbone holding up an array of flavors such as tobacco, dark fruits, molasses, roasted malts, cherries, and a touch of spice. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and slightly chewy. Separately the flavors taste good, but together they do not compliment each other nicely in this brew. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with baked turkey, roasted ham, or vegetable stuffing.

ABV: 8.3%  Color: Dirty Brown/Red  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 2/10

SUMMERTIME: 87 Points

Good everyday summer beer

This Kölsch style beer is available seasonally in the summer months in 12 oz. bottles and on tap.

Brewer’s Description: “The color of sunshine, with a light fruity aroma and a hint of fruity acidity, Goose Island Summertime is the perfect summer session ale.”

My Description: Goose Island delivers what you would hope for in a summertime brew: refreshing, crisp, and flavors that are reminiscent of the season. There is nothing too memorable about this beer, but it’ll hit the spot on those 90° days. It has a fluffy, white colored head that leaves good lacing but it quickly thins out. The aroma smells fresh and bready with citrus notes and a hint of hops. It is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. When you taste the beer, you will pick up on some grainy/bready flavors accompanied by a nice lemon/citrus kick. There is also a slight grassy flavor that adds to the summery profile of the brew. It is best served around 42°F and pairs nicely with grilled shrimp, salads, or a fresh fruit tart.

ABV: 4.7% Color: Yellow/Lemon Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

THE MUDDY: 88 Points

I love it muddy

I love it muddy

This Imperial Stout is released seasonally in September in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Brewed with molasses, brewer’s licorice, and Belgian dark rock candi sugar, The Muddy is an imperial stout with amplified sweetness for a taste as distinctive as the Chicago blues that inspired its creation.”

My Description: This is a nice stout for the season. It is fairly smooth with tasty flavors and enough warmth for those cool Autumn nights. It begins with a good sized, beige colored head with a decent retention level that lasts for some time leaving behind some lacing. The aroma is welcoming with notes of milk chocolate, some sweetness, and hints of dark fruit. The Muddy is medium/full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. A sweet malt backbone holds up notes of espresso, dark cherry, raisins, tobacco, and some licorice undertones. This transitions cleanly into an aftertaste that is slightly bitter but does not take away from the overall sweetness. Warming alcohol notes add to the enjoyment without getting in the way. This is a nicely done Imperial Stout, I just think the finish could have had more depth. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with grilled steak, smoked ribs, or chocolate desserts.

ABV: 9%  Color: Very Dark Brown  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

BOURBON COUNTY STOUT (2012): 98 Points

Great Winter Warmer

This Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout is released in limited quantities in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer.”

My Description: At nearly 15% ABV, this beer is definitely strong and it is designed to be sipped and enjoyed. It is best to serve this in a snifter so that your hands can warm up the beer, which will allow more complex flavors to surface. It has a good sized, dark beige colored head that fades quick but that’s expected with this level of alcohol. The aroma is intriguing and pleasing; it has a great charred oak aroma accompanied by notes of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, and roasted malts. It is full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile is complex with notes of caramel malts, roasted malts, molasses, tobacco, vanilla, caramelized sugar, charred bourbon barrels, and alcohol. The flavors are intense and work together beautifully. The texture is creamy and the alcohol is noticeable but the taste is nicely hidden. Let this beer age at cellar temperatures and it’ll only get smoother. It is best served around 60°F and pairs nicely with steak, ribs, or roasted duck.

ABV: ~15% Color: Black Sweetness: 4/10 Bitterness: 3/10

MATILDA (2011): 96 Points

I’m Loving this wild girl

Part of their Vintage Series, this Belgian Strong Ale is released in limited quantities in 12 oz. and 650 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Wild in character, with a slightly fruity aroma and a spicy yeast flavor that is as unique as it is satisfying.”

My Description: This beer has the quality to match any native Belgian beer of this style and will get better as it ages. It has a big and dense, light tan colored head, with an amazing retention level accompanied by a great amount of lacing. The aroma is very nice with notes of coriander, yeast, Brett, some barnyard notes, and a big dose of cloves. It is roughly medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a remarkable smoothness. You will taste flavor notes of cloves, some citrus, and a touch of sour. The aftertaste is delicious with flavors of floral hops, spices, and some sweetness. It is best served around 48°F and pairs nicely with fresh mussels, Camembert, or pork chops.

ABV: 7% Color: Hazy Honey/Orange Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

PEPE NERO (2011): 95 Points

This pepe is black

Part of their Vintage Series, this Black Saison is released in limited quantities in 12 oz. and 650 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description:With an aroma of roasted chestnuts and a mysteriously dark, mahogany hue, Pepe Nero is a farmhouse ale brewed with black peppercorns. His roasty sweetness melds into a lingering, earthy, black pepper finish.”

My Description: One of the things that really stood out about this beer is that there is a hint of chestnuts in the aroma, that is a hard smell to present in a beer and it really adds to the overall pleasurable experience. It has a nice and frothy, off-white colored head that retains greatly and produces a good amount of lacing. The aroma is slightly complex with fragrant notes of dark fruit, roasted barley, peppercorns, chestnuts, and a touch of yeast. It is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish, however when your drinking the beer it feels thin and airy. Up front you will taste some sweetness with a minor hint of alcohol. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with flavor notes of dark cherry and peppercorns. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with grilled steak, Cajun seasoned fish, or a beef stew.

ABV: 6% Color: Mahogany Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10

PERE JACQUES (2011): 95 POINTS

Goose Island’s Dubbel

Part of their Vintage Series, this Belgian Dubbel is released in limited quantities in 12 oz. and 650 ml bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Brewed with loads of malt and Belgian yeast, Pere Jacques is a wonderfully fruity, malty ale. Pere Jacques’ complex flavors stand shoulder to shoulder with the Belgian Dubbels enjoyed in the world’s finest beer bars.”

My Description: Whoever says that Belgians are the only ones that make great Dubbels have never tasted this. This Dubbel tastes spot on with the style and it gets better as it ages. However, it has a sub par head with very little retention and hardly any lacing. The aroma makes up for it with beautiful fragrant notes of caramel, malt, and dark fruits like raisins. It is medium/full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a semi-sweet finish. Up front you will immediately notice the big malty taste that is accompanied by dark fruit flavors like raisins and plums. You may feel the alcohol but the taste is nicely hidden behind the smooth body. This beer will coat you mouth giving you a lingering enjoyment. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with lamb chops, chocolate desserts, or gourmet cheeses.

ABV: 8% Color: Brownish/Red Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10

SOFIE (2012): 94 Points

Ohh Sofie

Part of their Vintage Series, this Belgian style Farmhouse Ale is released in limited quantities in 12 oz. and 650 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Fermented with wild yeasts and aged in wine barrels with orange peel, Sofie is a tart, dry, sparkling ale. A subtle, spicy white pepper note, a hint of citrus from the orange peel and a creamy vanilla finish.”

My Description: This ale is fermented with wild yeast so the flavors may be slightly different with each batch that is brewed, which is why I list the year of release. It has a beautiful creamy, off-white colored head that retains nicely and produces some decent lacing. The aroma is on the lemony/citrus side with notes of Belgian yeast and a touch of floral hops. It is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. It is a little tart with flavor notes of spices, citrus, and wild yeast that definitely adds some complex flavors. The beer is smooth and as it warms up wine notes will start to make an appearance. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with lobster, baked brie, or lemon chicken.

ABV: 6.5%  Color: Hazy Straw  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

TEN HILLS: 87 Points

Idaho Hops

Idaho Hops

This Pale Ale is a limited release and available during the Winter months in 12 oz. bottles

Brewer’s Description: “Ten Hills traces its story to Elk Mountain Farms in Idaho, famous for growing hops of exceptional quality  and character. With hops from the “first ten hills” grown for Goose Island at Elk Mountain, we crafted a pale ale that delivers both a herbal and citrus hop character. We hope you’ll find the intriguing balance of flavors in this beer to be truly unparalleled.”

My Description: It pours a large and dense, off-white colored head with an excellent retention level and it leaves behind a tremendous amount of lacing. The aroma is fairly clean with caramel malts shining through accompanied by notes of citrus hops and herbal hops. Ten Hills is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and dry finish. The texture is crisp and the flavor profile is enjoyable. There is a nice intertwining of sweet caramel malt and bitter herbal hops; of course the hop bitterness takes full command though. A slight earthiness adds character and the alcohol is completely hidden. The aftertaste is moderately bitter and will linger slightly. Although the bitterness can be slightly harsh it does not take away from this being a solid treat. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with bourbon sauced grilled chicken, cheeseburgers, or fish & chips.

ABV: 6.2%  Color: Copper/Orange  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 5/10