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Harvest Ale - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Harvest AleHarvest Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,058 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,058
Reviews: 403
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.06%
Wants: 25
Gots: 40 | 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:
Dark auburn color, citrus hop aroma, caramel flavor, medium body

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-03-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,058 | Reviews: 403 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of afinepilsner
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle

Goose Island Harvest Ale was amber in color with and off-white head. The head had good retention with some lacing. The aroma was citrus hops with a little toasted malt in the background. The taste was sweet toasty malt followed closely by citric hops. It was balanced with a dry finish. The mouthfeel was good, a medium body with soft carbonation. Drinkability was very good. This is a fall seasonal that I will be drinking a lot more of.

afinepilsner, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle (bottled 8/25/08) into my Blue Point shaker glass. Appears a slightly hazy amber color with two fingers of creamy off-white foam. Smells of fresh, citrusy hops and toasted malts. Tastes of lemon, pine, caramel malt as well as a mild floral note. Medium in both body and carbonation. A pretty tasty harvest beer. Try it if you get the chance.

ClockworkOrange, Oct 17, 2008
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.

rhoadsrage, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of hero27 and a brutally awesome LNBA BIF haul - thanks Eric!

The bottle asks to serve in a Willi glass. I'm pretty good with wine glassware but still getting up to speed on the beer glassware, so the closest thing I find is a Sam Adams White Ale glass courtesy of Julio's Wild Six "frequent drinker" progam. Midway through I also put this one into a Reidel Cab glass to see if I notice any difference, and then back - it's great either way but in the Willi glass I agree, it's even better. Enough of that...

Big, bready, dulce de leche 2-finger head that laces nicely atop a bourbon-colored body with ample carbonation.

Big floral hop presence with a fair amount of grapefruit at first. While the citrus dissipates with warmth, the nice rind tones remain backed by creamy, caramel malt. Hops are slightly soapy but this has quite the pleasant texture. With warmth a slight leathery scent?

Big floral hop presence gets a bit grassy on the palate - it's quite strong but by no means treacherous. Nicely balanced with a velvet caramel malt backbone. That leather undertone is still making an appearance. Very enjoyable stuff - quite abundant in its elements but nicely constrained to retain balance. Extremely well-crafted.

Feels like buttah. Luckily it definitely doesn't taste like it. Seriously, the texture is so damn creamy that it neutralizes the expected twang from the nicely huge hop presence to provide quite a calming and comforting influence.

Goose Island has always been a sentimental favorite - probably one of the first craft outlets I ever encountered, courtesy of my crazy cousin in the far north 'burbs. For all the intense flavor profile and abundance, this drinks quite clean. Extremely clean. One of the most well-balanced offerings I've come across recently. Well done!

IBUnit63, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of Roeters
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2008 bottle:

A: red, copper color, with a thin white head, very nice lacing

S: Great citrus hop aroma, very fresh

T: Mild front, with the hop flavor that picks up in the middle and carries through to the end leaving a slight bitterns.

M: A little too thin of body for me

D: Very easy to drink, good flavor

Roeters, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of prototypic
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 9/02/08

Appearance: It pours a slightly hazy, darker bronze/copper color. Sitting atop is a very light tan, foamy head that's easily two and a half fingers deep. It was very slow to recede and left a very sticky, thick coat of lace on the glass.

Smell: Initially it has a sweet caramel malt aroma. There's some light toasted notes that add some character. Hops are very prevalent on the nose and feature some citric and piney qualities. There's some earthy and grainy notes present. A hint of some citrus fruit seems to be present. Smells like touch of pineapple. It's somewhat biscuity or yeasty on the tail. Overall, it's not very flashy, but a solid smelling beer nonetheless.

Taste: Up front it features a nice mix of caramel and toasted malts. They're sweet and have a nice flavor. It does have a nice hop flavor that's citric and a little piney. It's not a strong hop flavor, but it adds some punch that's needed. There's some light pineapple and grapefruit flavors present. It is biscuity and somewhat yeasty. That aspect comes across pretty light, but it is there. An earthy and grainy flavor indeed appears late. It finishes sweet and slightly bitter. None of the flavors featured really overwhelms the other. They all work together to produce a nice end product.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and features a smooth feel. Carbonation is active and gives it a nice crisp bite. It's not one of the smoothest beers I've had, but it goes down really easy. Drinkability is very high. I could easily tackle this six pack in a night if I were so inclined.

I really enjoy this time of year and all of the seasonal harvest ales that hit the shelves. This is solid release in the bunch. There's a few others I prefer simply due to stylistic differences. But, this one's good. I think the hop and citrus fruit flavors could be amped up a little. But, it's a small complaint. This is a good beer. Definitely recommended.

prototypic, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of BierFan
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a weizen glass.

Appearance: Dark copper / orange, with an off-white head. Left good lacing.

Smell: Smell is entirely bitter hops. I couldn't smell any malts or adjuncts.

Taste: Very sweet caramel malts and abundant hops. Kinda like an overly hopped marzen.

It's an ok beer, but nothing I'll probably buy again.

BierFan, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of Blakaeris
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear orange amber with a sticky white head.

Aroma is caramel malt with a surprising degree of citrus hop. Orange, apricot, and grapefruit notes.

Taste is initially sweet and malty. Nice bit of caramel and toffee, with a subdued nuttiness. Hops are earthy, and bring a spicy finish.

Mouthfeel is medium full.

A pretty decent American version of an ESB. Balanced and smooth with an interesting earthy quality. A good session brew.

Blakaeris, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of bashiba
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy amber with a thin light tan head, good carbonation and mild sticky lacing.

Has a light bit of bread with a bit of grapefruit and pine.

The flavor is mild with a light and toasty caramel malt body with a bit of oak and a touch of lightly sweet fruit and a hint of butter, then a light and clean citrus hop flavor takes over.

The mouthfeel is light with just a touch of oilyness that gives the beer a nice long finish.

Easy to drink, pretty good job at creating that classic ESB flavor. A nice change of pace fall seasonal.

bashiba, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of lbkornlb14
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is delicious, a great hop finish. I get a little apricot taste on the finish. Great effort by goose island. It pours an amber color and has a great smell. I equate this beer as a mix between 60 Minute, Magic hat #9 and a splash of octoberfest. I love this beer. any hopheads must try this as an Ofest/Autumn beer.

lbkornlb14, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of wisrarebeer
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stopping by Goose Island Clybourn every chance I can get before it closes down for good.

Picked up a free growler as part of my Master of Beer Appreciation.

Beer is described as:

Harvest Ale (5.7% ABV)
As summertime fades, the sun shines less bright, and evening comes a little sooner. Harvest time arrives - it's a time to reap the benefits of a great summer. Fresh picked cascade hops from Washington and the richest Midwestern males makes Goose Island Harvest Ale an extra special beer worthy of your devotion.

Light brown color. Great creamy head. Nose is amazing from addition of wet hop cascades; very earthy (musty) and oily. Taste is nothing like I expected. I'm not a big fan of cascade hops but this really grew on me. Spicy, earthy taste that didn't have the intense grapefruit backbone. Doesn't linger on the tongue either which I liked. A bit thin in the finish but all-in-all a very decent beer.

wisrarebeer, Oct 12, 2008
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.

jpkoch1962, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of ibashmuck
2.65/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Poured a small head on an amber body. Smells very sweet, maple syrup, a touch of citrus, and a bit of hop bite. Although the hoppiness wasn't too overpowering in the taste, none of the other elements could rise to the hops level, much less above it. A bit if a disappointment.

ibashmuck, Oct 08, 2008
Photo of TubaManJack
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A medium bodied ESB with a orange color reminiscent of the fall leaves. The brew is more carbonated then other ales I have had and the foamy top dissipating slowly overtime. The taste is rather unique style that is not really an ESB but rather a hoppy orange ale. The malt introduces the beer and the clean hops seem to punctuate the taste. The taste didn't disappoint just a drinkable brew that finishes clean.

TubaManJack, Oct 07, 2008
Photo of ajmoody76
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

my bro-in-law bought me a sixer of this and a sixer of 312. gotta love it. twelve ounce bottle poured into an imperial pint. one finger white head. clear amber. nice lace.

citrus hop nose. hard to get past that. i like it.

hoppy with a nice caramel sweetness. bitter hop aftertaste. a little hoppy for an esb, but i like it none-the-less.

mid body with good carbonation. i like this beer. the hop aroma knocked me down. very fresh smelling. could drink many more. i will try to pick another sixer up before the end of the season. i do not want to wait for my bro-in-law to send more my way.

ajmoody76, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Old Chicago: This one pours an orangish-amber color that was pretty clear. There was a decent sized white head on it. The aroma was quite nice. Lots of hops to the nose. They are mainly piney, but there is a caramel sweetness comong to the top also. Some spiciness too. The taste is quite good also. A little bit of sweet malts, piney bitterness, some spiciness. Well balanced and easy to drink.

Boto, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a bright amber orange with a foamy white head.

Nice aroma loaded with spicy floral hops. Very much like a Bell's Two Hearted. Hops then give way to a caramel malt aroma floating in the background.

Tastes of citrus hops, caramel malts, and biscuit at the finish.

Medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

Easy to drink and easier to love. A perfect beer for the Fall season.

Monkeyknife, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of hero27
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

Pours a burnt orange with a firm head of foam.
Floral hop aroma, big caramel/toffee malt aspect as well..smells great.
The flavor is a combination of roasted toffee malt, earthy/floral hops, subtle nuttiness, and some light spice. The hop bitterness carries really well into the finish, and it's quite thirstquenching also.
I actually thought this was a really good ESB, and it's worth saying it's good value for the $$. Picked up a sixer of this for $6.99.. well worth trying, in my book.

hero27, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of jwinship83
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- golden to amber with a finger sized sticky white head on it.

S- caramel malt with a faint odor of hops.

T- about like it smells, but everything is magnified. the hops are pine and citrus tasting.

M- medium feel, crisp clean and refreshing.

D- another solid beer that i wish goose that i wish was more than a seasonal. easy enough to finish one, maybe even two. thats when i would look to see what else i had in the fridge.

jwinship83, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of 2heartedMIKE
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly new to Chicago...

October 1st...

To me, this was the obvious choice for my first autumnal seasonal brew of 2008.

Poured nice and orange with a modest head.

Smell gave an instant flashback to the malts of last year's fall seasonals with a bit of extra hop aroma.

Taste was a delicious caramel base with a spicy/citrusy hop finish.

Overall mouthfeel was a bit creamier than expected, but very pleasant.

Highly drinkable in my opinion. I'll definitely be picking this up regularly while it is around. I almost wish I was outside in the cold to enjoy this first bit of seasonal briskness with the Harvest Ale.

2heartedMIKE, Oct 02, 2008
Photo of spointon
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap tonight at The Outpost in Lockport, IL.

A= This ale poured a medium orange-amber color with a 1" creamy white head. The head lasted forever and left some sticky lace down my glass.

A= I found aromas of spicy hops, bakery malts, and a hint of citrus fruitiness. Not overly complex but clean and pleasant.

T= The spicy hops came on first, followed by sweetish caramel malts forming a simple but effective 1-2 punch. The finish dried out a bit but was basically just more of the same.

MF= Light to medium carbonation, lacked any sharp crispness. Feel was soft and creamy.

D= This is a great Fall beer and one whose release I look forward to every year. Definitely a fantastic session beer to enjoy on a crisp day.

spointon, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of brdc
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small capped bottle, poured into a pint. Thanks SykDoc.

Nice amber color, good light tan head, nice retention and lacing.
Toasted aroma, some caramel, some fruity hops. Simple, yet pleasant. Taste follows suit, with a nice balance, slightly more so to the bitter side, but always keeping a high drinkability with a good amount of flavor.
Nothing spectacular here, but a solid offering.

brdc, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of birchstick
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - amber with a nice, creamy head
S - smells of hops and little bit of malts; smells similar to their honker's ale but with a lot more hop to it
T - At first I got hit with the hops, then the caramel malts. However, the aftertaste lingered with a mixture of hops and malts. It is like a hoppy ESB.
M - creamy and smooth
D - this drinks well, it has a good balance and isn't overpowering that it overwhelms after a while. It is a good autumn beer and I will look forward the rest I purchased.

birchstick, Sep 26, 2008
Photo of pwoods
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

pwoods, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Billolick, Sep 25, 2008
Harvest Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,058 ratings.