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Mild Winter - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Mild WinterMild Winter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

372 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 372
Hads: 897
Avg: 3.75
pDev: 18.4%
Wants: 36
Gots: 30 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
English Dark Mild Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: botham on 08-17-2008

Toffee color, dark bread aroma, caramel and rye flavor, medium-light body.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Mild Winter Alström Bros
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Reviews: 372 | Hads: 897
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich black-sable with a thick and rather persistent tan head. Aroma has a core of roast malt with hints of cloves and caramel. Mainly malty flavor has smoky and woody hoppy notes plus a hint of cloves, none too strong. Texture is the weak point, being a bit watery and not too fizzy. Still, a decent winter ale, worthy of at least a try.

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Photo of pat61
4.11/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Brilliant chestnut under a 1” quickly dissipating off-white foam collar.
S: Faint hint of chocolate, light malts.
T: Rich malts provide caramel and some rye spice
F: medium body and carbonation.
O: A pretty traditional English style brown ale.

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Photo of MarkQ617
3.32/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is the third beer I've tried from these guys. Aptly named, a nice flavorful beer that isn't too heavy for the holidays (read: afternoon football drinking). Not a ton of booze, which helps. Can definitely taste the toffee and rye notes. Tastes are reflected in the nose, but again, not too strong. Decent stuff.

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Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brownish amber in color with a slight head. The foam soon falls back into the glass.

Aroma is good, notes of malt, toffee, and caramel.

Taste is of malt, toffee, caramel, with slight roast finish and a little bit of hops in the ending.

Mouthfeel is medium.

Overall an enjoyable beer. The notes of caramel and toffee and very well suited to the style.

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Photo of gmfessen
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, Mild Winter is a deep amber-brown color with a thin, cream colored head. The nose is sweet with amber malt, burnt chocolate and caramel. The flavor reflects the nose nicely with the roasty characters coming to the forefront, coffee and burnt chocolate but in a mild, non-acrid way. Mouthfeel is light to medium in body with a light yet creamy carbonation. Overall, a solid beer by GI, I could definitely drink this one curled up next to a fire on a cold winter's night.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, chocolate and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty but not too heavy malt character followed by a mild sweetness from flavors of chocolate, caramel and honey. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid poundable beer to drink for a long time if you’re in the mood for a style.

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Photo of Cyrion
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I picked this up at just about the expiration date, so if it tastes a bit off, I'm not going to whine. It'll be my own fault for buying old beer...

Appearance: A dark, opaque 'cola' color, with a tall off-white head that remains for quite a while. Not bad looking for a six-month-old beer!

Aroma: Dark sweet malts, like this is going to be a brown ale. A bit of hop on the nose, but not pine. More like the floral hops of the English bitters. Hints of chocolate. (Happy, happy...)

Taste: Intriguing! Pleasant combination of dark, toasted malt and floral hops. Another reviewer compared it to rye bread and he was spot-on. I'm getting a taste of bitter chocolate nibs.

Mouthfeel: A bit slick, as in oily, but nothing negative.

Overall: An American attempt at an English bitter and I think Goose Island has done quite well. Hard to classify this one, but it is a tasty beer for those who favor the English-style ales. One I'll certainly look for again. And for the record, it still holds up well when consumed after six months!

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Photo of dbossman
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Medium brown with a red tint; a huge, creamy head that eventually fades to a steady film; great lacing; this is a beautiful looking beer

S: Rye bread and yeasty--really bready with some faint toffee, burnt brown sugar, and dark fruits; pretty subtle overall

T: Spicy rye and really malty and bready with some light hopping--a bit herbal with subtle tea leaves and citrus; some slight caramel in the finish as well

F: Pretty creamy; medium body

O: I really enjoy this beer; one of my favorites in the later winter months

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Photo of json83
2.42/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Mild Ale, 168 Calories, 5.6% ABV. I have come to realize that I do not like the Ale Style. In my opinion the aftertaste is way too bitter. I've had IPA before that I did not mind but only if it has a unique flavor, i.e. coffee...etc. This is advertised as mild which was very strong despite the label in my opinion. Would not try again or recommend unless that is your preference. I didn't really sense the taste of the caramel advertised in the description.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a medium brown color with a foamy, beige head. The aroma is very malty with some spices. The taste is pretty good as it’s not too strong or too weak. It’s slightly sweet with malts and caramel as well brown sugar. It has a little bit of a robust taste as well. This makes for a pretty good winter brew!

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Photo of barczar
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliant dark brown with amber highlights and a frothy one inch khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of lacing.

Nutty, toasted malt, caramel, and floral hops form the aroma. There's a hint of roast and an herbal character.

Flavor reveals hints of chocolate, which accompany a buttery, nutty, toasted malt backbone. Underpinnings of malt fruitiness that are initially evident give way to rye bitterness at the finish.

Body is moderate, worth carbonation a touch higher than expected, and slight alcohol warmth.

Very well balanced beer. Good malt character, and the rye counters the caramel malt sweetness nicely. Fruitiness adds a nice complexity.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

this is a lot better than I thought it would be! it pours a darker copper color, pushing brown but just barley maintaining its red tint. its got a luscious off white head several inches tall and holding on pretty well. the nose is the English malt and caramel sweetness I expected, not really convincing me this is anything special. some dryness rather than sweetness though, and my palate always leans that way, so I take a sip. the first thing I notice is how mellow the sweetness factor is. I am allowed to taste the rich English malt, but I don't have to deal with its usual residual sugars. there is also a mild bittering hop finish that gives some nice balance. im not sure what the yeast is, but it almost comes across like a lager, finishing crisp and super clean for a beer of this malt persuasion. good carbonation, soft like a cask, and not filling at all. I could session this big time. overall an impressive regular beer from goose island, usually their sixpack stuff comes up short for me, but I thought this was an excellent cold weather brew, and one I will stock the fridge with come fall.

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Photo of ZAP
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I really like the way the rye plays in this one. Bready notes to start with and then the rye makes it almost a rye bread like flavor....also notes of java and caramel.

Body is not thin at all....just real approachable....carbonation is good...a real treat from an underrepresented style.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - translucent mahogany color with tan head

Smell - notes of chocolate, toffee, toasted grains

Taste - chocolate, toffee, toasted grains

Mouthfeel - Medium body, higher level of carbonation, slightly sweet upfront, balanced with bitterness and flavors linger after the sip, a bit of mustiness in the finish

Overall - decent beer that I am glad to have tried

Price Point - $4.99/6 pk 12 oz bottles

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Photo of philbe311
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A -Just about a finger's worth of crisp fizzy dirty khaki colored head... Solid retention... What's left is a full even layer of rich creamy lacing... The color is a deep rich medium brown caramel color... Filled with small bubbled rapid paced carbonation... Rings of lacing cling to the glass... An attractive looking brew...

S - Not really surprising that this one is more than bit malt forward... Toffee... Caramel... Brown sugar... Bread pudding... Some dark fruit notes.. Nutty... Lots of layers and depth...

T - Much of the sweetness from the nose disappears on the palate... It is replaced by some light roasted malt... Hints of tobacco... Touches of wood and smoke... The only thing that really carries over from the nose is the rich nuttiness...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... A bit chalky through out and the finish is just a touch dry... Prickly carbonation... Crisp... Even and consistent...

D - A solid winter seasonal that I will likely invest in next year... Enjoyable and sessionable without being overpowering and too boozy like a lot of winter brews... An outstanding American interpretation of an under produced English style... A nice job by Goose Island...

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a dark red with a nice fluffy off white head. Smells of dark roasted malt with slight syrupy notes, nice combination. Tastes of dark malt and wheat body, very malty, but quite balanced with spiciness and slight chocolate or coffee notes, and a tiny bit of hop bite. Beer is carbonated correctly, and although it is of medium body, this is definitely sessionable. Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of scot_chale
4.31/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a litre mug on 3/22/13 with the bottling date 11/10/12

A- a hard pour produces 3 fingers of what bubbly off tan head. dark copper brown body with lines of carbonation shooting from the bottom of the mug. the head hangs out well and the lacing is thick.

S- some yeast byproduct with a healthy slam of sweet caramel and light coffee notes. it's pleasant and not pungent.

T- it's caramelly sweet with very little bitterness. The bittering hops are there but not obvious. Kind of a smoky, coffee taste lays underneath. It's a nice flavor.

M- It's silky and oily, the carbonation has a nice bite, the body is on the lower side of medium. Rather dry, but a little bit hangs out to keep the flavor going. It's quaffable and easy going.

O- Great beer. Stylistically in check, and for my taste, it's a winter-time session beer for sure. I would buy a case of this to keep on hand any winter. I'm giving it a 4.5 overall only because I haven't tried any other breweries examples of this style.

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Photo of templar316
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is certainly better in mar. then oct. a little time to let winter settle in I guess. Pours a solid amber with crisp white head. A hint of carmel apples on the nose. Green apples, black tea and a smooth finish. I could drink a couple of these. Prost!

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.44/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep caramel apple red when backlighted exposes micro-string beads of carbonation. Parchment toned head is frothy at one finger with a well lasting demeanor. Sparse lacing.

S: Fruit pineapple, mandarin oranges and apples with some fresh cranberries.

T: The flavor was fruity,almost bock like, caramel, apple with a bit of cranberry. Sweet upfront, some honey caramel malting with a warming of cherry alcohol.

M: Syrupy, full bodied, good sense of carbonation and a warming of cherry cough medicine.

O: Overall moderate, mild complexity, mildly amusing and mild drinkability. Decent alcohol warmth but nothing that holds and keeps your interest.

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Photo of ggourde
4.01/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Whiff off toffee and toasted barley. Copper with a decent head. The taste reminds me of the buckwheat tea (mugicha) that I used to drink in Japan. Nice toasted malt flavor, balanced out by toffee giving it a slightly sweet finish. Medium light bodied. This was my standard beer this winter when watching football games at the local bar. Good winter time beer of which you can have more than one.

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Photo of spoony
3.64/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 355 ml bottle (bottled November 18, 2012) into a globe glass.

A-The brew pours with a decently fat, one-plus finger head. The foam is sort of a grey-hued light brown in color. The beer itself is a uninspiring shade of purple-ish brown. Not terribly attractive, but not too far off for the style.

S-The smell is lightly sweet malts with mild toffee and caramel flavors, as well as some sugar that gives a little whiff of dark fruit. I also smell some mild holiday spices and a slightly nutty character.

T-I taste mildly toasty maltiness, although the caramel and toffee flavors here are pretty hidden. The dark, sweet fruit is also still here, but not very powerful. I did not detect much spiciness.

M-The feel is medium weight with mild carbonation that gives a slightly creamy feeling up front. The finish is more wet and slick.

O-This is a fairly middle-of-the-road effort. Perhaps my bottle was a touch over the hill, but I could have used a little more intensity from the malts and some more spices from a beer touted as a winter seasonal. On the positive side, this might be a good brew if you have palate fatigue or are trying to introduce somebody to craft.

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Photo of fx20736
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, served cool.

transparent chestnut brown with a 2 finger off white head.

aroma of rich toasted malts, chocolate and a faint, vegetal hoppiness.

mouthfeel: soft and powdery.

taste: light dusting of cocoa and toasted pecans on brown bread. Imagine Malt-o-meal with just enough herbal bitterness for balance.

damn! this is tasty, tasty beer! ABV seems a bit high for the style but wow this goes down easy and then some! Another fantastic beer from Goose Island!

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 10/24/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, raisin, fig, apple, toast, toffee, dark bread, light nuttiness, light rye spiciness, and floral earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and decent strength. Taste of caramel, toast, raisin, fig, apple, toffee, dark bread, brown sugar, light nuttiness, light rye spiciness, and floral earthiness. Light bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, light fruits, toffee, dark bread, light rye spiciness, and floral on the finish for a bit. Nice balance and robustness of flavors; with hardly any cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a nice dark mild ale. Good balance and robustness of flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of maximum12
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up recently as part of a mixed sixer, mostly because, well, they put rye in the beer. Ring the bell & I'll salivate, how'd you like that? 12 oz. bottle.

Poured into a nice, heavy, unbranded tulip my lovely wife bought me for Christmas a couple years back, this is a deep, ruby red. Moderate to low carbonation. Nose is a full spigot of spicy rye & toast. Ooooh. Nice way to put one's feet on the path.

Mild Winter obviously isn't brewed in Minnesota, where it would be Cold or Long or Dark. Taste is much more varied than the nose. Still a double handful of spiced rye, but there's a ton of toasted/roasted bread. Odd herbal quality (hops?) in the mid-section, along with light, sweet malts. The finish is like a roughage/grain scrub brush against the tongue. Swiggable.

Definitely an interesting beer, but the breadiness up front dampened my enthusiasm a fair amount; I had a very bad experience with Fat Tire many years ago in Seattle, & it's scarred me for life. Close, but no trip up the red carpet: this one's good.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

This is a mild with a nice layered malt profile, notes of roast, light coffee, and a touch of chocolate. Hop flavor is low but present in a lightly earthy style. Overall bitterness may be just a touch high for the style, but is still low overall. Leaning towards the dry side with a few nicely placed sweet notes. I especially like the malts, which let a textured variety show, and different levels of toast and roast are evident at different points in the flavor. Nicely mingled.

The mouthfeel seems over carbonated and thin due to this not being served on cask, but I can't blame Goose Island for that, because if this was only a cask beer (as most of the original style was) than I wouldn't be drinking while sitting on my couch right now.

Conclusion: I have only had two American bottled versions of this style (most of the examples of this style have been on cask in England) and this one is the winner hands down. Not up to par the real stuff on cask, but a great bottled offering. Now if they could make it bottle conditioned and tone down the carbonation, this would be even better!

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Mild Winter from Goose Island Beer Co.
85 out of 100 based on 372 ratings.