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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

1,066 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,066
Reviews: 403
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.06%
Wants: 24
Gots: 42 | 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: 1,066 | Reviews: 403 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of prsguitarsr4me
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I think the Goose Island Oatmeal Stout is ok and so I check this out. Decent - Taste is nothing too special but nothing bad. Carbonation is a bit high. Not much head, either. Still a somewhat enjoyable beer - I'd drink a few if they were given to me. I prefer many others, though, like Sierra Nevada and Rogue.

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint glass. Poured a deep amber/orange with a couple of fingers of fine bubbled white head. Really fresh piney hop aroma with a good dose of caramel malt. Medium bodied with a smooth moutfeel. Good caramel malt base, followed by a solid hop bitterness. Very drinkable. This is a great example of why I like fresh, seasonal beer.

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

This beer appears a copper color and has a 1/4-1/2 inch head which is long lasting. The head is a light off-white color.
Primarily, the scent is hops and some floral/herbs and a small amount of caramel is noted.
It has a medium body with some strong hops flavors and the caramel again comes through, although it again could compete with the hops a little better. It is reasonably easy to drink overall and has a good amount of bitterness, as well as crisp feel. Overall, this is a good beer but is could be better with a little more balance in the taste.

Photo of champ103
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an orange/amber color. A small white head forms and leaves some good lace behind.
S: Piney and floral hops up front. Sweet caramel malt towards the back. Not bad, but I like my ESB's with lots of toasted caramel, not just a hint.
T: More toasted than in the nose. Lots of caramel with a good balance of piney hops.
M/D: Medium body with a good crispness. Like many Goose Island beers this is soapy and oily. Very easy and smooth to drink. It would not be hard for me to session several of these.

An enjoyable beer and a decent representation of an ESB. Not among the upper tier for the style, but if this was all that was around I would be very happy.

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

Harvest Ale pours a lightly hazed copper orange with a fuzzy cap of dirtied off-white.

The nose is caramelly sweet and toasted bready malts with herbal/floral hops.

The flavor is good, with excellent balance. A good amount of malt, brown sugar dusted, and caramel drizzled toasted bread with a nice hop load coming herbal and spicy, with a bit of grapefruit citrus, and a pleasant rind bitterness. Medium bodied and smooth with a nice, crispy-fuzzy carbonation.

Solid fall-time ESB from the Goose.

Photo of GoodKnight1220
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a botle to a glass.

Poured a very nice orange/amber with a small 1 finger head and some lacing throught.

Smell was a very floral/pine hop scent. Also kind of smells like plastic. Not too impressed with the smell.

The taste and mouthfeel was pleasently suprising, pick up very powerful pine hop flavor at first, then to a slight bitterness and ends fairly smooth.

Could drink this often. Just not the spicy, sweet, or malty as the other beers of the fall season.

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

This is one of my favorite times of year for beer. I like to drink seasonally. With the abundance of great liquor stores in Chicago, there is a wide variety of fall 12 packs hitting the stores. My wallet thanks me as well, being that I buy a lot more 12 packs of autumn beers at $12-$15 as opposed to 6 packs at 9-12 in other seasons.

The Harvest Ale has an attractive appearance, deep amber fairly clear. Two finger, off white head with decent retention and lacing. There's a grapefruit and pine hop nose, not too overpowering. The taste is typical of an American Pale Ale with a little extra caramel malt. All in all the flavor is pretty well balanced. The body is medium and lightly carbonated. I would say this does not work quite as well as an Oktoberfest for a session beer, however it went well when I alternated it one for one with Sam Adams Oktoberfest last weekend.

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

pours a nice dark orange with a thin head, dissapears quickly but leaves that nice ring. there is a haunting quality about this beer. I have trouble describing this color.

smells like Special K said "leafy" weird but I'm not kidding, a nice citrusy hop in the nose as well

tastes like a autumn day, a bit of spice and hop bite but a fully complex flavor, such a fantastic brew.

mouth feels medium and crisp, I could drink this all autumn long.

Photo of SpecialK088
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A-Crystal clear copper with a nice head not alot of retention but good lace.

S-It actually reminds me of walking outside in the fall, very earthy/Leafy notes of hops and barley also some spicy grain notes.

T-Very subtle yet very good. Spicy with grain flavor with some maltyness and a nice warming finish. Note some bitter hops in the middle.

M-Light body great carbonation level nice and smooth.

D-I will enojy this one more before fall lets out and with the suprising warming sensation may save a few for winter.

Photo of swizzlenuts
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The nose on this beer is fucking awesome! It has a nice citrus/spicy hops to it with a slight caramel malt undertone. Absolutely beautiful. The colour of the beer is a dark copper with a good inch head that doesn't have that good of retention or lacing. Looks really good though. The beer has a quite odd taste for an harvest ale. There is almost a bit of a leafy hop flavour and a nice fruit taste to the beer and very little bitterness. The leafy/aroma hops is absolutely beautiful, but the beer really lacks in bitterness (hence the low taste rating). If the beer would give a slight bit of bitterness this would rival Sierra Nevada's Harvest Ale. The beer is slightly cream and incredibly fucking drinkable!

Photo of jeonseh
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
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 botham
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap into a pub glass at the Clybourn brewpub in Chicago. pours a rich amber color, crystal clear, with ruby red highlights and a single finger of light tan head. good retention, with mild lacings.

aroma is of mild coniferous hops, imparting a light spiced quality, along with a rich caramel malt base and light notes of citrusy hops and roasted malt in the background. very well proportioned in the nose.

taste is a wonderful mix of cascade hops and caramel malt, along with a touch of chocolate and a flutter of roasted malt. the hops are just spicy enough to balance out the smooth malt profile. superbly porportioned!

mouthfeel is smooth and lightly creamy, along with mild CO2 levels and a light spice from the hops upon finishing.

drinkability is great. this is a solid fall brew, be it an ESB or a marzen. the brew is smooth and rich in profile, with an excellent balance and a very drinkable profile. cheers!

Photo of tedsox31
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Goose Island brewed this beer for the first time last year, and I liked it then. It appears to have only gotten better with age.

Poured into a pint glass. The appearance is a nice copper color. There is about a finger of white/cream head at the top that slowly dissipates as I drink the beer. Some lace and rings as the beer is drunk.

The smell is very nice. I can smell both the floral hops smell, as well as the malts, although I smell more of the hops.

Taste is very similar to the smell; I can taste the hops more on my tongue than the malt, although to me it is a nice balance. The hops are felt more at first taste, while it seems to finish with a malty flavor.

Mouthfeel is also nice. Creamy with a nice bit of carbonation. There is no clinging feel after I swallow.

This is a beer that works well for a session. It has a pleasant taste that isn't overwhelming and warms me on the inside as I finish the beer.

Photo of schanker21
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Two finger head slowly dissipates. Light lacing throughout. Clear and dark copper in color.

S- Smells of grapefruit hops and diacetyl.

T- Tastes of roasted malts, diacetyl, and those grapefruity hops. Very well balanced.

M- Crisp and refreshing.

D- A very drinkable and sessionable beer. One that might be good for introducing someone into the wonderful world of hoppier beers without being intimidating or overwhelming. I don't know if I would have made this a Fall seasonal, but it's a good beer.

Photo of roadhouse
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one last year and was very excited to see it on the shelf again. Poured from a 12 oz. bottled on 8/20, just a week ago, into a pint glass.

Appears a mostly clear copper color with a one finger off-white head that sinks down to a cap and leaves very little lacing.

Aroma is quite fruity, with citrusy hops reminiscent of Cascades, a bit of breadiness, biscuit, and some sweet caramel in the background.

Taste is quite similar to the aroma. Starts off with some citrusy hops, a slight spiciness and then the bready, caramel flavors come out only to be pushed back by the hops as they return to leave a nice citrusy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, good carbonation level makes it quite creamy in the mouth.

Very drinkable beer, definitely qualifies as a session ale. I'd recommend trying it.

Photo of Chugmonkey
2/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Got a 12pack and it took like 6 months for it to go away in my beer fridge, used a couple bottles for cooking. Just totally underwhelming. Malty, but zero hop character, totally out of balance. This beer bored me to death. By far the weakest Goose Island brew I've had. Harvest ale? I was expecting a nice Oktoberfest with this kind of name and this just did not deliver.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with some chill haze and a one and a half finger creamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a citrusy hop and a light caramel malt.

The taste was rather well balanced with a full doughy malt, some caramel sweetness and a clean fruity hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the creamier side of the style.

Overall a tasty and easily quaffed ale.

Harvest Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
85 out of 100 based on 1,066 ratings.