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Harvest Ale - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Harvest AleHarvest Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,010 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 1,010
Reviews: 400
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.3%
Wants: 26
Gots: 28 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,010 | Reviews: 400 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bighuge


4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Fiery orange/scarlet red kind of appearance. Good amount of haze in the body. Thin and bubbly beige head. Lace is fairly abundant.

Aroma: Fresh, hoppy, minty and toffeeish malts.

Taste: Hoppy and crisp. Slight hop bitterness lingers. The malt base is layed down by a mix of caramel and toffeeish malts. Not real strong, but not needed to be. Good flavor.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Carbonation is moderately prickly. Body is medium. Good palate cleanser. Solid beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2007 02:25:31 | More by Bighuge
Photo of bradley0114


4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good, rich, clean smell to go along with a good dark orange caramel coloring. Two-finger head, that leaves a nice lacey film on the glass. The taste is full, with a light hop taste at the back end.

I, for some reason, wasn't expecting this to be that good when I bought it. I was pleasantly surprised; and would drink this again...soon.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2007 14:13:48 | More by bradley0114
Photo of budgood1


3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

pours out a dark amber colour with a huge frothy head and ample carbonation to support it. lots of lace. nice looking beer! lots of hoppy happiness and floral fruitiness in the nose. smells great, too. upon tasting...it's evident that this is a nice ESB with the creamy maltiness, but the amped up hoppiness is the star of this brew. i'm guessing a few varieties of hops were used because i'm perceiving lots of hop flavour in the taste, yet there is a nice back end bitterness that lingers on. tastes just fine for an ESB of the american variety. furthermore, the body is medium and the mouthfeel a bit thin but on par per style. drinkability is easy enough for a serious session.

a nice beer and a nice switch up from all the o-fests i've been drinking, but this is no substitute for the GI o-fest that was one of my faves. keep this in the lineup and bring back the octoberfest!

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2007 00:45:04 | More by budgood1
Photo of evanackerman


3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear copper color with an off white head, rings of lacing are left as the beer is consumed.

aroma is piney hops and a touch of toasted bread.

taste is like a hopped-up Oktoberfest, toasted bread malt with a strong shot of fruity hops, very interesting. I also think i detect just a hint of pumpkin spice in the finish. Good tasting beer.

mouthfeel is fairly thin but not unpleasant.

drinkability is above average.

overall, a good beer to throw in amongst the countless Oktoberfests in autumn, i enjoy this beer quite a bit and would definitely buy again.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2007 22:18:31 | More by evanackerman
Photo of kellyst


3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: One finger white head. Light copper color with some amber.

S: Sweet malt, some fruit, light herbal hop.

T: Smooth toasty maltiness. Some light fruit in the back. Herbal bitterness is present, but only backs-up the malt. Not very complex. This is one of the best balanced beers I have ever tasted, the bitterness is just right with this malt. Very tasty and drinkable. I’ll set around an autumn evening campfire with this.

D: Very high

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2007 14:51:31 | More by kellyst
Photo of djcrean


3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Variety.
A: Dark copper with a nice fluffy head with minimal retention but significant lacing.
S: Strong fruity aromas (apricot?). Malt aromas are also present, but what really struck me was the fruit.
T: Light spices and mild hops up front give way to a smooth but understated maltiness and some interesting fruit accents. Finishes pretty clean with some lingering, slightly biscuity aftertaste.
M: Good. Nothing overpowering.
D: Easy to drink. A good way to begin the fall season.

Overall, not really what I was expecting, but interesting nonetheless. This came in a sampler of oktoberfest micros, but it technically isn't one, as will become obvious from the first sip. I found the fruit aromas to be quite prevalent in the smell, but nicely understated in the actual taste. I was also pleasantly surprised by the head and lacing. Very solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2007 05:02:43 | More by djcrean
Photo of BEERchitect


3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pleasant surprise to find this on tap at Pazzo's Pizza Pub in Lexington KY. The beer came to the table with a high carbonation rate, slight head retention, and light on lacing. The color takes on deep amber to brown hues with bright clarity. Aromas are faint, but take on deep amber malt / toasted malt character with nuttiness and earthy (English) hop scents. The flavors are also mellow and bring out the same toasted malts found in the nose, along with stronger hop rates, fruityness, and a lightly pungent peat-ey note. The textures are firm, but not heavy or viscous, cleaned up by the hop bittering and dryness. Finishes with a hop flavor, bitterness and a mild toastiness. A good break from all of the sweeter Oktoberfests that I have been drinking lately.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2007 14:19:56 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Ricochet


3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This smells good. That was the first impression. Poured with little head and average lace but looks like a cloudy amber red/brown. Smelled like a IPA, very grapefruity, almost like there was a charge in this beer, but flowery hops kept it from burning. Watery mouth with very little foam but a biting swallow with very little aftertaste. Pretty good overall.

Taste impression, well, it's very good and fits the style quite nicely. Just enough hops bite to be bitter with the grapefruit not too strong. Good malty profile, carrot stick taste and just the slightest hint of coffee.

I was expecting an Octoberfest because the bottle seems to be that way, but as an ESB, this wins on all corners for me. It's something I'd like to have again. Maybe on tap, this is even better.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2007 06:24:46 | More by Ricochet
Photo of waldoiverson


3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - Copper color with a bit of cloudiness and a very minimal head

smell - i expected more smell based on the taste, but there is a mild hoppiness followed up with a sweet finish

taste - bitter without being overly hoppy. the hops are earthy and the lingering flavor is of citrus and pine

mouthfeel - light to medium body with a bite of carbonation

drinkability - a nice fall beer with a nice price in the chicago area.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2007 21:44:12 | More by waldoiverson
Photo of nsmartell


4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed from the comfort of my living room. From bottle to pint glass.

Appearance: Nice reddish brown with a solid head.

Smell: Very nice aroma.

Taste: Just the right amount of bitter taste. Very good tasting fest beer.

Mouthfeel: Nice substance and goes down smooth.

Drinkability: Very nice drink. This will make a great session beer. The first time I tried this beer I had a few more to follow the fist.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2007 19:25:15 | More by nsmartell
Photo of littleshamrocks


3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper color with a mostly diminishing, average sized, off white head. Fairly dense with plenty of bubbles rising to the top. Nice lacework all the way down the glass. Moderately malty aroma with some notes of hay and molasses. Some earthy tones and a light floral hoppy scent as well. The taste is well balanced between bready malts and citrisy (possible orange zest) hop flavors with some caramel tones for good measure. Mouthfeel is light to medium body, with a somewhat watery texture and plenty of fizzy carbonation.

A nice change of pace from the traditional fall seasonals. True to style, with the possible exception of the higher carbonation. Well balanced and easy drinking, at 5.6 probably on the high end of sessionable, but I could definitely have a few of this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2007 02:26:44 | More by littleshamrocks
Photo of Redrover


4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown longneck with clear freshness dating. Poured into a pint glass, the beer is a reddish brown with a large, dense off-white head.

Nice aroma of pine, caramel and something earthy. Nice smelling beer here!

The taste is nicely bitter, but is balanced by a substantial malt backbone. There are some pine notes, backed by biscuits, caramel & apple. That earthy taste emerges late and adds a nice finishing touch.

The mouth is chalky and beefy. This is great session beer. It drinks easy, but has plenty going on to hold your attention.

While I will miss the Goose O-Fest, this will help ease the pain. Well done!!

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2007 01:55:14 | More by Redrover
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

nice head on this guy. tight and creamy and not in any hurry to leave. decent copper color as well

toasty, sweet aroma with a lacing of citrus from late-kettle hop additions

in the flavor, brief diacetyl, but not substantial. the hop flavor and bitterness are significant, though allow the malts some playing time. in the end, however the hops are what seem most prevalent. ESB, really? i'm not so sure. it's very drinkable, to be sure, but seems a little flimsy for an ESB. the hop flavor is good, though

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2007 00:31:57 | More by bruachan
Photo of brewcrew76


3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an autumn like orange copper matching the colors on the label with a thin head and a skim of lace across the top.

S - Sweat bready malts with an earthy, piney hops.

T - Sweet and bready with caramel some bitterness and piney hops.

M - Medium mouthfeel with a dry lingering hop finish.

D - Some earthiness in the flavor fits the harvest name but I was expecting a wet hopped beer. Highly drinkable but I might tire of this one easily.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2007 19:21:33 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of PBRstreetgang


3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a tawny amber hue with copper highlights and decent clarity. Above average retention leaves rings of lace. Toasted and fruity nose, with hints of nut, buscuit and leafy english hops. Light caramel sweetness upfront, followed by a toasted pale malt taste and suspect Marris Otter flavor. Some buscuit notes and faint dextrins further enrich the malt profile, with a mellow english ale ester in the background. The aftertaste shows a flash of fresh tobacco leaf and herbal English hop flavor; a solid bitterness keeps the grain-centric character of this beer in check without pushing the malt out of the spotlight. Medium-light in body with a gentle and light carbonation, the mouthfeel relies heavily on increasing grainy notes and drying hops to provide balance- but manages to do so very effectively. Some faint diacetyl buttery taste slowly becomes evident near the finish, but the bitterness and building tannic grain taste dries the palate enough to fend off any slickness. Finishes mostly clean with soft diacetyl and fruity Ringwood yeast becoming more pronounced but thoroughly covered up by the hop oil and now vaugely astringent grain character. I had expected this to be a slightly altered version of the Goose Island Flagship, but in fact is a unique and satisfying entitiy unto itself.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2007 10:32:27 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of david131


3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A clear, orange liquid. The streams of rising carbonation are awesome and maintain a very nice and thick head. Leaves some excellent lacing as it works its way down the glass.

S- Some very piney hops that are well balanced with some malt. Very aromatic. I am picking up on some earthiness as well.

T- A lot of molasses and earthiness with a piney hop bite on the tail end. Nothing special, but it does have some meat to it.

M- This does have some thickness to it, but the carbonation lightens things up just enough and gives it a little extra bite.

D- Could be that earthy aspect to the flavor, but for some reason I picture this being a great beer to enjoy when I'm workin' the fields. Not all that impressive, but better the other Goose Island offerings I have had so far.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2007 02:02:23 | More by david131
Photo of gavinstoub


4.65/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

great head retention that holds to keep carbonation in. Copper color very nice. Smell floral scent cascade dry hopping. Taste: Nearly tastes like autumn if that makes sense? WHich is what I look for in a seasonal. Don't taste as much hop bitterness as I smell I taste more malt tones. Most drinkable ESB i have tasted. Great session beer for the College Football season.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2007 00:17:07 | More by gavinstoub
Photo of karengarys


4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours nice clear deep orangish amber / light mahogany leaving a bit of a fluffy head which leaves a ring that sticks to the glass.

Smells somewhat sweet.

Taste is a bit molassis malty, and a bit of a pine hop balance.

Mouthfeel is creamy.

Body is medium, not light and watery, not thick. Very nice.

Finish is clean and creamy, a bit of pine like citrius like lime peel is the final note on the way down.

This is a very nice offering from Goose Island. Definitely a cut above the standards you see from them.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2007 01:20:04 | More by karengarys
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Goose Island Harvest Ale, 12 oz. bottle, "serve in a willi glass", it says...don't know what that is, rightly...so, I serve it in a Surly glass...it'll do...

Clear, dark amber hue, big, frothy, creamy head....looks nice.

Fresh, vibrant, hoppy nose. Bright and pleasant, and intriquingly indistinct. By that I mean, no one or two flavors jump out and name themselves...apples and caramel, herbs and spices, the Colonel's secret recipe, I guess...small sweetness...

Drinking it, now...tangible hop profile, good bitterness on the tongue, but not too much, just enough to make an impression and stay there. Malt is king, though, too... a fresh, lively ESB. Good for that.

Sweet, chocolatey, toffee-ish malt is big here, and drinkability is highly enhanced. This is the first time I've had a self-described "harvest ale" that has taken this approach and there's nothing wrong with that...I just though I'd appreciate the hops being given time to shine. This is more of a malt-dominated feel, after a taste the hops...

I can drink it, and drink it again...but, I'm not wild about it...good one, though...

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2007 20:06:29 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of nortmand


4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden brown with a fluffy beige head.

Toasty biscuit malts and bright pine resins dominate the aroma.

Very hearty biscuit malt flavors throughout. A bit of astringent hop mid tongue. Ends with a balanced bitterness.

Overall a very nice, malty, sessionable beer that pairs well with the cooler fall temperatures.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2007 22:49:21 | More by nortmand
Photo of kmpitz2


4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. This one pours a deep golden color with a small but full head that falls to a solid coating over top. Clarity is fantastic and there is a light carbonation in the brew. The aroma is a nice malt and hop balance. I get very solid notes of toasted grain with mild breadyness. The hop comes through as a mild earthyness and a moderate citrusy orange as well. I really like the malt character in this one. The flavor is dominated by toasty, light grainyness and a solid earthy hop that pulls the two malt components together very well. Mouthfeel is moderate with a moderate carbonation. It keeps the beer from flowing from my glass too quickly, but also keeps it very approachable. I find this one to be incredibly drinkable. The flavors are nice and prevalent without being too much. It has a fairly low ABV keeping it nice and drinkable. I think this one is a winner.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2007 00:07:23 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of malty


4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 021308

Pours a brilliantly clear orange amber color with a foamy dense 1" cream colored head. Moderate visible carbonation of which the rising bubbles look a little bit larger than most I've surveyed. Thick sheets of lace decorate every square inch on my glass.

The fresh scents of caramel apples and toffee burst to life as soon as my nostrils hover the rim of the glass. There's a fruity hop essence that stands out too. Vanilla, toffee and nougat make their sweet and sultry presence known also.

The sweet flavors aforementioned in the nose are all on queue, but not as pronounced as I suspected - which is a good thing. The hop component adds a welcomed dryness to this somewhat sweet and toasty ale. There's also a rustic leafy hop flavor that blends beautifully with everything else that's going on. The balance of hops (dry and bitter) and malts (sweet, camelish) gallop gracefully together.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied (thanks to the hops) with a welcomed dry, long and flavorful finish. Carbonation is spot-on - playful and fine.

Drinkability is awesome. It's like someone took classic pale ale and blended it with a rich, hearty amber - two styles that are highly drinkable in my book.

Overall a very nice brew. If it would have been title 'Oktoberfest', I might frown a bit due to the hoppy profile. This is a perfect beer to help welcome the colder months to soon follow. It's got a little bit of summer charm with a somewhat bolder underbelly. It really works well with my palate and mood right now. Great 'simple' beer with a couple tricks up its sleeve. Bravo!

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2007 00:53:29 | More by malty
Photo of hckyfn9999


3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber orange with a nice sized white head. The head leaves some decent lacing. Retention is decent as well. Aroma is of pine, citrus, sweet bready malt, and a touch of bubble gum. Taste hoppy up front. The hops are piney, fruity, and spicey. Sweet malt is slightly present in the back. Not really as well balanced as the style generally is, but an easy drinker and a decent brew, though I wouldnt get it if I were looking for a classic example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2007 01:36:59 | More by hckyfn9999
Photo of Vancer


3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another nice Gooser – the spices in this one really ramp it up into a cool weather drinker.

The black pepper, coriander and a spot ‘o clove in this bad boy mix together quite well. Only one ding, the finish is a bit harsh from a tad too much hop. Most may not even notice. The sixer paired well with a chicken salad sandwich and football on the TV.

Pour was top-notch; copper amber with a massive foam cap that stuck to the side like gorilla glue.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2007 13:01:39 | More by Vancer
Photo of MrMcGibblets


3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served on-tap, this was a clear deep copper with a creamy tan head that quickly diminished to a nice collar. simple but appealing nose of bready caramel and piney hops. taste strikes a nice balance between the light to moderate sweet malts and matching bitterness. this is a nice, sessionable brew.

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2007 21:56:33 | More by MrMcGibblets
Harvest Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
84 out of 100 based on 1,010 ratings.