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Harvest Ale - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Harvest AleHarvest Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,024 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,024
Reviews: 400
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 12.3%
Wants: 25
Gots: 30 | 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: 1,024 | Reviews: 400 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%

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.

10-31-2007 22:45:11 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of hylton44


4.08/5  rDev +9.1%

Like an earlier reviewer, I picked this up expecting an Oktoberfest, but was (I admit) pleasantly surprised to detect the flowery odor of an IPA. Brownish hue, substantial 1 1/2 finger off-white head, and (most importantly) the taste followed suit. Dry, resiney, yeasty malt taste with a slightly grainy mouthfeel and a not-too-clean finish. Gosh - all those descriptors don't make it sound like I liked this beer all that much; but I assure you, it was quite to the contrary. Definitely very much like a tasty pale ale, but with just a bit more body to warm the belly on a cold autumn's eve. Another winner from Goose Island!

10-31-2007 04:01:52 | More by hylton44
Photo of mynie


4.45/5  rDev +19%

Dark red. Really pretty like a nice APA. Giant, milk white head that stretches up in brillaint soap bubbles and doesn't die.

Big, very surprisingly stron nodes of grapefruit and citrus hops and a nice, light malt. A very tart smell all around--not quite an APA, but I can't figure out what the other part of it is.

Tastes great! Tons of flavor for the fairly small ABV. Very large grapefruit and citrus hops start things off, shooting into a very, lightly biscuity malt that comes somewhere in between an APA and a marzen. Odd, but it balances itself wonderfully against the hops and dies out on a firm, refreshinng node.

Very nice beer.

10-31-2007 03:19:41 | More by mynie
Photo of Applesauce1


4.68/5  rDev +25.1%

I picked this up at the Pit Stop in Nelsonville, OH, a few weeks ago.

Let's give it a whirl.

I was expecting an Oktoberfest style (which isn't one of my favorites, but i like trying new beers). Anyhow...

Appearance: amber-copper with a 3/4" head on the pour, nice and hazy also
Smell: hops (some citrus and pine)
Taste: yea, this is the stuff. one of the best tasting beers i can remember having....citrus, pine, some caramel and pale malt...all in good harmony
Mouthfeel: medium body
Drinkability: i would like to do three of these in a night....but i only bought one, so i'll need to go buy more for the weekend

A great beer!

10-26-2007 05:31:07 | More by Applesauce1
Photo of Grundle20


4.15/5  rDev +11%

The beer pours a slightly hazy copper color. From a rough pour no head is produced to the beer so there is no lacing or retention to speak of.

A mile caramel malt note builds the majority of the nose but there is a subtle, yet apparent, biscuit character which is coupled well. The hops take a bit of a backseat but they do lend a nice crisp edge to the overall scent.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
The same malt profile from the scent is what I'm picking up in the taste, a good and mellow caramel malt bulk with an appropriate touch of biscuit goodness. The hops again make for a crisp drink but they also add a bit of grassy and herbal flavor mid drink. The finish is again mellow and malty with a bit of lingering caramel and a touch of bitterness in to the finish.

A fine session beer IMO. Nice and mellow flavor with an agreeable ABV. So far, aside from the fresh hop seasonals, this has been my favorite fall release.

Bottom Line:
Another fine beer from GI. I'd like to try the draught version but unfortunately my car is dead : (

10-22-2007 21:16:25 | More by Grundle20
Photo of Pauly2X


4.22/5  rDev +12.8%

A- Poured a nice creamy one finger head which hung around for awhile to leave some coarse lacing. Hazy light amber color.

S- Aromatic blend of spicy and citrusy hops, very pleasing.

T- Hop flavor and bitterness is balanced wonderfully. Malt profile is just right to bring it all on home.

M- Smooth, near prefect carbonation.

D- Too bad I only bought a single of this.

I've only had two ESB's, and with this being one of them its great, so far so good on this style.

10-19-2007 13:41:04 | More by Pauly2X
Photo of Winter


4/5  rDev +7%

Pours amber with a reddish hue. Head shrinks to a light khaki surface covering. Caramel aroma with piney hops, toasted nuts, and malt with overall hints of sweetness throughout. Mouthfeel is medium, yet slight thinner. Carbonation stays mostly along the middle of the tongue. Flavor has a biscuity front with a sweet malt, caramel and grain. Piney hop bitterness emerges in the middle. Finish merges the hop bitterness with a nuttiness that's really satisfying.

This is a nice hearty fall beer. Perfect for pairing with some heartier fare like stews or roasted meats. It would go well with sandwiches on artisinal bread. I'd have to say that this was one of the more enjoyable new offerings from G.I. in the past few years.

10-18-2007 04:00:39 | More by Winter
Photo of joe1510


4.03/5  rDev +7.8%

12oz Bottle
$13.99 12-Pack
Binny's Orland

Goose Islands Harvest Ale comes as a little bit of a surprise to me as it's not a wet hopped IPA or PA like the harvest ales I'm used to seeing. Anyway, on to the review. Pours a faded copper that has a slight chill haze and tiny particules throughout. A two finger soapy off-white head formed on the pour and fell to a skim coat with a fatter collar. Leaves decent lace lines after each sip.

The aroma starts and ends with a moderate hop presence along the lines of sweetened grapefruit, grassiness, a hint of this and that. Maybe some lemon. The grapefruit is most prominent but all the hops are seamless to the point its hard to tell where one begins and one ends. Don't get me wrong this beer smells surpemely balanced with an earthy caramel maltinees that balances things out.

Flavor is along the lines of the aroma. Great balance between the fresh vibrant hoppiness and the caramel sweet maltiness. The flavor sports sme of the sweet pale maltiness and it's very welcome. It's one after the other over and over until this beer ends up down the gullet.

I find all of Goose Islands beers to have great mouthfeels. This is no exception. Mild carbonation keeps this beer smooth and creamy while allowing every flavor to work its way through nicely.

This is a good easy drinking very sessionable brew from Goose Island. The balance makes it one to pick up and drink the day away with.

This is a surprise of a harvest ale from Goose Island. Not the resiny one sided hoppiness like you might expect from a harvest ale but more supremely balanced and subtle making it highly drinkable.

10-17-2007 04:31:06 | More by joe1510
Photo of csmiley


4.13/5  rDev +10.4%

A - Nice copper color. Good head that stuck around for a while.

S - Nice hop smell at first. Malt background. Nice on the nose.

T - Very nice. Hop taste is immediate but in no way too strong. The background of caramel malt is a is a great balance.

M & D - I would say this is a medium bodied beer that goes down easy. Carbonation is mild but plays off the flavor of the beer nicely.

10-17-2007 03:05:08 | More by csmiley
Photo of 1fastz28


4.05/5  rDev +8.3%

pours a beautiful coper color with a fluffy white head that has a nice amount of lacing. has a really nice scent to it, lots of piney hoppiness to it and a little malt undertoe. tastes pretty good, just the right mixture of bitter hopness and sweet maltiness. mouthfeel is really good, thick and rich not watery. very good all around beer.

10-16-2007 02:36:45 | More by 1fastz28
Photo of ultralarry2006


4.03/5  rDev +7.8%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves a two finger tan head that has excellent retention, and leaves excellent lacing. Body is an orange amber.

Smell - citrusy and floral hops, and a mildly intense aroma of toasty malt biscuits.

Taste - pretty much as promised by the aroma. Citrusy and floral hops flood the tongue, with a toasty malt biscuit backbone. Towards the finish, there is brewed tea with lemon.

Mouthfeel - medium to full bodied, very slick from the hop oils.

Drinkability - this is good and very sessionable. It is listed here as an ESB, but it seems to be to be a hoppy American Amber/Red Ale. Nonetheless, it is a sessionable, hop-centric, and satisfying ale.

10-15-2007 16:21:57 | More by ultralarry2006
Photo of chilidog


4.13/5  rDev +10.4%

First of all...the setting or timing of this beer, for me, was awesome. Perfect fall weather, parades, fall festivals and autumn sports. So at days end, or during, haveing this Harvest ale handy was awesome.

It poured a good looking autumn orange or harvest copper color. The head was tan and full. It would fade alittle so not to get in the way but left a good film atop and laced mostly all glass long.

The aroma was sweet caramelized malts. Some grain or biscuit.

The taste was good malts, caramel, while a good crisp hop pricks at your mouth. A slight alcohol note towards the finish.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are good. Smooth to drink, crisp and refreshing. Goes good with most if not all tailgate foods.

10-14-2007 15:43:02 | More by chilidog
Photo of neonbrown82


3.38/5  rDev -9.6%

I really don't know what to think about this beer. Literally. This is the 6th one I've had, and the last in the pack. Each one has been very different. The first one I had was hoppy and delicious. A couple others have been moderately hoppy with a toasty malt profile ranging from subtle to huge. Some have had little to no hoppiness with a nasty toasty biscuit malt. This is one of the latter. This presents a problem in terms of the numbers, so I'm trying to average it out, but I can't honestly give it that good review with such inconsistency, even despite how delicious the first one I had was.

The beer pours to a nice peachy orange color with just the slightest hint of a haze. Decent sized head with a reasonably good retention. Lacing is fairly good as well. Shows a little carbonation as well. This is one of the few consistent parts of this beer, not surprisingly. If that weren't the case, then I'd be truly worried.

The smell has a very nice floral hops aroma. The hops smell fairly green and slightly grassy, which makes sense considering it is supposed to be a wet hop beer. Underlying, however, is a very intense, slightly buttery toasted biscuit malt. The taste is very similar in that regard.

The mouthfeel is light to medium. Unpleasant balance. Could use a little caramel malt to add to the body and sweeten it up a bit, thus downplaying some of that nasty toasted biscuit malt. Brewing an English style doesn't mean that you have to toss in a full baking pan of butter and biscuits. If the hops hadn't faded so quickly, this review would probably be a lot more favorable, but what can you do?

10-12-2007 04:06:49 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of TurdFurgison


4/5  rDev +7%

I poured this into my brand new Boston Beer Company glass. The beer was light copper colored with a thin head which left some trails of lace. The aroma was more IPA than ESB, fairly strong hops. The taste was also IPA-ish, a little biting bitterness mixed in with caramel tones from the malt. Nice balance in this beer, but again it doesn't seem like an ESB to me. I say it's an American IPA, and a good one.

This scores 4's across the board, a solid "good" rating..

10-11-2007 23:57:38 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of Bighuge


4/5  rDev +7%

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.

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


4.05/5  rDev +8.3%

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.

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


3.83/5  rDev +2.4%

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!

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


3.83/5  rDev +2.4%

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.

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


3.88/5  rDev +3.7%

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

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


3.7/5  rDev -1.1%

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.

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


3.78/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

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


3.95/5  rDev +5.6%

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.

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


3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

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.

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


4.43/5  rDev +18.4%

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.

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


3.85/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

09-30-2007 02:26:44 | More by littleshamrocks
Harvest Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
84 out of 100 based on 1,024 ratings.