Harvest Ale - Goose Island Beer Co.

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Harvest AleHarvest Ale

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1,086 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,086
Reviews: 404
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.06%
Wants: 27
Gots: 59 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-03-2007

Dark auburn color, citrus hop aroma, caramel flavor, medium body
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,086 | Reviews: 404
Reviews by jpkoch1962:
Photo of jpkoch1962
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very solid amber, and nicely carbonated with a thick two finger head and lacing. Strong whiff of Cascades and Centenial hops dominate the aroma. A firm, smooth body balance the citrus bitterness of the hops. The malt base provided enough balance. The finish was a bit dry and not at all cloying. One of Goose Island's finest. Served at cellar temps (50-55 deg) in pint glass.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 09/09/10.Poured into a Willie glass a bright copper color with a fluffy one finger white head that left shotty lace as it settled slowly.Definently malt driven in the nose,caramel toffee,and slightly roasted nuts mainly stick out,slight herbal hop that lingers.Flavors are malt driven and have a bit of malt complexity,caramel toffee,light fruit,and toasted nut,the hops are light with a lingering herbal finish.Not like most harvest ales in the fact its mainly malt,the complexity to the malt is nice.

Photo of MadScientist
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A light copper with an orange hue and excellent clarity. There creamy off-white dissipates to a thin cap and a ring after but is easily roused.

S: A grassy Citrus hop and light caramel malt aroma great the nose like a milder IPA . There is a light fruity ester with a slight orange note and a slight soft alcohol note. No diacetyl.

T: A soft grainy malt flavor balance by a pleasant fresh hop flavor and moderate hop bitterness. There is some citrus hops notes mixed with very light esters. The balance is moderately towards the bitter with a lingering hops bitterness carrying through the dry finish.

M: Soft and cream is the overriding impression with a medium-light body with moderate to moderately-high carbonation. There is a light and lasting astringency from the hops but I don't mind it.

O: A pleasant ESB brewed with citrusy American hops with what was probably fresh, wet hops. The astringency might be avoided by using a high alpha hops. This was brewed by AB because I know Goose Island didn't build a brewery there but it looks like Goose Island still has a good hold on controlling the recipe as it's a pretty good beer but not as good as I'd expect from them.

Photo of DamDweller
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Goose Island Harvest, 2010

Nicely balanced ESB. Pours a nice copper hugh with a creamy white head. Smell has hits of toasted malts, honey, and citrus hops; none of of the smells are overpowering.

Considering the head on the beer there is little carbonation. The beer is very balanced. There are hits of honey, a nice smokey flavor from the malts, and a cleansing bitterness from the hops. The taste of the beer is exactly what was expected based on the smell.

All in all, this is a great autumn beer. Definitely session worthy.

Photo of generallee
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label has a "Bottled On" date (08/30/10) but no ABV%

Appearance: The body has a rich hazy amber color with some nice visible carbonation and a light beige head on top. This head is about two fingers tall at the end of the pour and fades slowly making some nice lace patterns on the way down the glass.

Smell: The aroma has some herbal/earthy/leafy hops up first with some mellow fruity/estery and light caramel like malty sweetness in the background.

Taste/Palate: The flavor reflects this with a great balance or mix of bready, yeasty and fruity (apricot/peach notes) maltiness with herbal and slightly citrusy floral hops. Its medium bodied and smoothly textured with a well blended mild finish.

Notes: The subtle complexity and great drinkability make for a fun rounded drinking session.

Photo of Billolick
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer, Bottled on dating on the rear label of "08/12/08", nice gotta love fresh beer and this stuff has been in the bottle for just about 6 weeks....pours typical medium amber, nice soft creamy head/fine bubble film and fine, delicate lacing. Nose is of sweet biscuits and malt. Pleasant, balanced offering. The kind of beer you could drink all night. Crowd pleaser, and a nice entry level beer for newbies to the good beer world.

Photo of tigg924
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: dark brown, 1/4 inch head, clear, high carbonation

Smell: hops and citrus

Taste: subtle taste of malts mixing with some piney hops

Mouthfeel: light for the style, very high carbonation

Drinkability: Not a favorite and I will be passing on this one in the future. It almost drinks like a pale ale.

Photo of bsp77
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Hazy, dusky orange with thin head and slight lacing.

Smell: Citrus, grapefruit, dry malts and some spiciness.

Taste: Dry toasted and fruity malts offset by some American citrus/pine hops. While not a spiced beer, there seems to be a lot of spice at the end.

Feel: Low to moderate carbonation, medium body that is slightly smooth. Fairly dry. Feels more like an ESB than most American offerings.

Drinkability: Easy drinking Autumn ale. It is a nice alternative to the Marzens, Pumpkins Beers and Brown Ales. Very solid ESB overall.

Photo of NilocRellim
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This ale was poured out from the bottle and into a pint glass. It had good clarity and was dark amber in colour. Ale had a malty, citrusy nose and was very upfront in hop flavour; tasting bitter with a slightly underlying element of sweet malt.

Would I buy this beer again? Maybe.

Photo of dogfishandi
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pulled from the fridge poured into a standard pint glass. bottled on 8-23-10.

pours a reddish/orange amber color with 2 fingers of off white head. pretty good retention, kept a nice layer of foam all the way to the end. bits and pieces of lace on the glass.

the aroma is mostly focused on the hops. grapefruit citrus and a little grassy. bready, toffee malts to balance.

a nicely balanced flavor, maybe a little more hopforward, but definatly nothing kicking the teeth out. grapefruit citrus, pine, and a little grassy balanced nicely by bready caramel malt. slight lingering hop bitterness in the finish.

crisp mouthfeel, medium to light body, good carb for the style.

a really nice beer to session, goes down easy and leaves you longing for another sip. not a whole lot different than the honkers ale. both are nice english styles with a slight american hop twist. id come back to this.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A rather dark amber appearance for what I was expecting in a harvest ale. An enjoyable aroma that isn't really hop forward, this is like a combination of every style for this time of year: Octoberfest and hop harvest beers. It has the nutty malt roast that really is as prevalent as the hops.

Plenty of caramel, malt nuttiness in the flavor profile. A discreet bitterness to the beer. Throw in a little bit of toffee as well. This is definitely the most unique harvest ale I've ever had. You have to wonder what hop harvest this came from, seems a lot more likely to be a noble hop variety moreso than anything Yakima based. I dunno, is there like some midwest grain harvest time that is the same as the usual hop harvest window, that is the basis for this beer? This really comes off as an Octoberfest harvest, from the mildly sweet toffee, to the solid malt backbone.

Overall, not anything that I was expecting, but also, that was part of what made it unique and enjoyable. Lots of other harvest ales I'd rather have, but this one definitely occupies its own place in harvest ale history.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brewed and bottled by Goose Island Beer Co. in Baldwinsville, NY??? Okay, I guess they are doing some contract brewing in Baldwinsville, NY or AB is brewing at one of their locations to increase production. Regardless the beer in this bottle is good so far, here's some more details. Beautiful copper bronze body forms thick with a light tan head slightly off white head, fine speckled layered lacing forms on the sides of my nonic pint glass. Aroma has citric, herbal/earthy notes that smell great, along with a crisp malt heavy backbone, giving perfect balance to my first few sniffs. Striking fresh hop flavor flows freely through with each sip leaving a nice smooth level of bitterness on each palate starts citric earthy finishes with a bit of spice/mint combo held together with amber roasted specialty grains. Under 8 bucks a sixer and readily available now due to the AB distribution network. I was nervous to try this seasonal because the 12 packs brewed in NY were not matching up this summer, this however shows promise for future endeavors and specialty releases not brewed in Chicago. The Oktoberfest I get in Ohio says brewed and bottled in Chicago, IL it's stellar this year, I haven't had one brewed in Baldwinsville, NY to compare. Mouthfeel is dead on smooth even carbonation slightly slick hop oils glide across the palate, this pairs well with pizza, meat and cheese trays, steaks, and just about anything a very versatile well brewed Harvest Ale (ESB) that should be sessioned and enjoyed by all. Price point is right, quality is on par it's going to be a great stand by this fall season.

Photo of jeonseh
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a bottle and poured into a GI tulipglass.

A - the color is copper with a two finger head that settled down to about an 1/8 of inch sitting on top. There is a good amount of carbonation sitting on top as well.

S - Smells like a mix of pine hops with a hint of caramel malt.

T - Taste is a mix of light citrus hops and pine. It is a mild hops though that gives just enough hops to bring flavor but that is not overpowering. There are also hint of caramel malt that sweetens it up. this is one great tasting beer and one that you could just drink one after another.

MF - a big and chewy MF with a nice hint of resin that sits on the tongue and there is a small bit of carbonation. Nice creamy feel

D - Overall this is probably one of the best GI beers that I have ever had. It has great flavor, a good mouthfeel and it is super drinkable. I would definitely buy this over and over again. One great beer.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a clear reddish-copper body with strands of carbonation supporting a creamy light tan head that last for a good bit.

S- The smell of green hops during the pour takes on a light patchouli oil quality, and a fresh hop pellets note as well. There is a soft toasted malt note that increases as the beer warms.

T- The taste of green hops is not huge but has a nice presents. There is a hint of tartness along with some softer toasted biscuit malt flavors. There is a soft dandelion bitterness that hits the back of the throat after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a no alcohol heat and a tight little fizz that enhances the hops at the finish.

D- This beer has a nice fresh full hops flavor with good support from toasted malt. A good autumn sipper.

Photo of pwoods
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. brown twist off bottle, purchased at Krogers in Finneytown, poured into a SA pint. Bottled 8/25/08.

A: Pours a bright orange-y amber with light hazing. About 2 fingers of dense head forms and holds pretty good. Some decent lacing.

S: Nice hop aroma and on the light side. Cascade, Cent, Amarillo. Malts are lightly sweet to balance.

T/M: Lightly bitter and very crisp and clean. The hop flavor is a bit toned down from the nose but still tasty. Balancing sweet and lightly earthy malts. Body is medium light or lighter with good carbonation. Finishes lightly dry with a speck of lasting bitterness.

D: Very drinkable and low ABV. Not a whole shit load going on but it's doing it right.

Photo of Brenden
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color certainly is what I might associate with harvest, shades of red, orange and brown conglomerating into one. A nearly white head with a light brown tint to it makes for a thick, steady cap 2 fingers tall that, when it does fade, leaves a thick foam that drops sticky lace in abundance.
Toasty and caramel malts notes meld with moderate hops bitterness that mingles together for an exceptionally well-balanced aroma that offers nice woody and earthy notes as well. A light spiciness finishes it out.
The taste follows suit with the exception that bitterness goes a twinge tangy into the finish. Otherwise this is a true delight to drink and would be a standout among ESBs.
The body is medium and the mouthfeel more smooth and creamy than crisp, though there is a touch.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, clear amber color with a full finger of white head that quickly dissolved into an eighth of a finger of head that covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Very malty, but surprisingly, there quite a lot of citrus notes too, like orange and lemon peel. I also get notes of clove, brown sugar, clover. Interesting.

Taste: Very hoppy, compared to most other fall or harvest ales. There’s some malt present, but the predominate flavor is hops and the bitterness that comes with it. It’s not offensively hopped, but it is strongly hopped.

Mouthfeel: Medium with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.7%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Pretty decent beer. A little, no, a lot more hoppy than I was expecting, and even prefer. Hop heads should like this beer quite a lot, but I’m not crazy about it. I’m glad I had it, but I probably won’t get it again.

Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle bottled in September 2010.

A--Golden rich caramel body with a two finger beautiful ecru head. Thick foam leaves a residual cream cap throughout the tasting and laces considerably. Nice.

S--Earthy, with some tea-like notes and then a backend of pine and citrus (Cascade hops?). Interesting combination of English and American hop and style smells.

T--Great--complex. Earthy and tannic with resinous notes toward the back from the again maybe Cascade hops. Awesome husky biscuit malt center. Juicy and dry at the same time. Some orange sneaks in from the American hops and gives the earth and herbal notes a distinctly marmalade finish.

M&D--Both are wonderful. This is like a beefed up Honker's ale, and a great American take on an ESB, just as Honker's is a great American Bitter.


Photo of domjwl
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ive had many beers over the years including many in the ba top 100 and I have to say that goose islands harvest ale is one of the best beers that I have ever consumed, It pours a copper color with a nice bubbly head,excellent floral ipa smell and a very nice bubbly head.Could drink this all night.

Photo of RockyTopHeel
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted on tap at the Goose Island Wrigleyville.

A nice, hazy orange-amber in color with a small, off-white head. The aroma is strong hops - much stronger than I expected - and intrigues me. Dry hopping is definitely in play here.

The piney, citrusy west coast hops are balanced nicely by a faintly caramel malt profile, but the hops still are the biggest presence in this beer. Not sure I could have ever guessed this was brewed as an ESB -- it's more like a pale ale to me.

Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lacey medium yellow to amber creamy mouthfeel ESB. Good for style, nice understated citrus bitterness. Mild English bitter aroma,nicely malted. Very drinkable. Carbonation was suitable, though a bit prickly.A litle sugar, a little toasted malt, a little wheat.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This one pours a nice cloudy orange red hue that is actually quite similar to the shade used on the bottle. A two finger white head shows some orange highlights and decent retention. Lacing is pretty abundant and sticks to the glass for the duration of my pint.

S - The nose is well hopped and very fruity. I smell passion fruit, apricot, and peach along with a mild undertone of crisp baguette/hard bread yeast. Very fruity, hoppy, assertive, and tight.

T - Again, very fruity and hoppy. The malt profile is in between crackery and biscuity...makes me think of hard crusty French bread. The fruit flavors are like a tropical fruit salad. Passion fruit and pineapple along with gentler hints of peach.

M - Medium bodied with a mellow English-style carbonation level and a tangy hoppy finish. Pleasing.

D - An outstanding session brew. It's got a good dose of hops and a really nice and firm mouthfeel. It's not super-complex, but it's a quality brew for sure, and it fits the style to a T.

Photo of secondtooth
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Fall seasonal from Chicago's fine Goose Island pours a fittingly rusty amber, and boasts of an ample head and stunningly gorgeous spiderweb lacing.

The aroma is malty - like Fall leaves and grains...robust and sturdy.

Tastes well-balanced, with a biscuity malt profile at first, followed by a hoppy, sharp bitter finish. Very good, and a welcome break from the usual Fall Marzen/Oktoberfest styles.

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Definitely an expired bottle from at least one fall ago. Thick, dark brown, like caramel syrup. Tons of yeast particles floating around the bottle. Good color, but past its prime. Upon later examination several months later, I love this. Great carbonation without the yeast particles. Big bubbles! Tons of foam as well.

Smell: Great combination of caramel malts and bitter hops. More evenly balanced than Honkers Ale in this sense. A wonderful, simple balance of smells (and taste).

Taste/Mouthfeel: Lots of caramel at first with great hops balance in the finish. Definitely an alcoholic presence in the taste and feel, as well as a peppery bite. Smooth beer that washes any food down well.

Drinkability: Kind of harsh due to the expiration, but a good session beer. My later encounter with this beer was extremely enjoyable.

Overall: Goes well on temperate summer nights as well. Otherwise this is the best fall-themed beer I've tried.

3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into greatest mug. 8.22.11 btl. date

A: Slight hazy on a sunset orange body. Head formation is low and retention is low and leaves a small patch bordering glass rim. Light lacing.

S: Light malt presence, with a very toffee and carmel sweetness, good level of hop aroma. Medium to light on aroma intensity.

T/M: nice drinkable malty presence, with a nice layer of hop flavor. Bitterness is low and overall character of earthy hops and biscuit like malt are low as well. Bring in a very good balance on the body and the feel is smooth and crisp, with a bit of a thickness on the very end.

O: overall good brew for the style, I like the lower intensity and good drinkability.

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Harvest Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
84 out of 100 based on 1,086 ratings.