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Halia | Goose Island Beer Co.

130 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with the Saison and farmhouse ales of Belgium in mind, we added fresh Georgia peaches and Brettanomyces claussenii to a fresh white wine barrel and aged the Saison base for 9 months. Stretching the boundaries of the traditional style, we decided to put our own little spin on it.

Formerly known as Mae.

Added by sidetracked on 04-24-2011

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Reviews: 130 | Ratings: 846
Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2013 batch poured from a bottle into a Goose Island tulip. The pour is clear, golden in color, and sports two fingers of snow white head. Pretty good retention and decent lacing for such a sour beer. The nose is all vinegar, sour apples, dry white wine, and a slight trace of barnyard funk. No peaches.

Light body and firm feel. The beer has a mild sour flavor and nice fruity backbone and a dry finish. Up front, I get a crisp, soda-cracker wheatiness along with sour notes of lemon zest and apple cider. The sourness is not at all overwhelming. Rather, it accompanies the graininess and allows the peaches and brett to contribute a few of their attributes to the overall flavor. On the back of the palate, the beer dries out considerably and leaves you with rough metallic tannins on your palate. Very refreshing.

I bought this bottle several months ago and put it aside until springtime. I am definitely digging this beer from Goose Island. It's not a sour bomb at all, Instead, it is quite gentle and agreeable. The flavor is a bit on the light side and I feel it could use more fruit (especially peaches), but nonetheless an excellent offering. Unfortunately, the price makes it unlikely I shall revisit this one.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I purchased this at The Beer Store in Southampton, enjoyed chilled in a wine glass, shared with tenderbranson69.

The color is a sunny golden with haze like peach juice with small white head and very fine bead with lace that sticks in spots. The aroma is very enjoyable with nice lactic scent up front with a mild fruit aroma wiht light peach type odor with mild sweet note and subtle oakiness from the wine barrel. The feel has a mild prickly carbonation with slight sour entry and moderately sweet middle and light woody texture rounding it out.

The flavor is excellent a lot of tangy tropical fruit flavor with light peachy taste and mellow white wine aspect adding to the slight sourness of wild yeast with some nice citrus elements and a very tasty wine barrel element adding to the complexity - a very nice blend of peach with the sour ale flavor and only a hint of alcohol in the finish with the tangy lemony aspect lingering. Overall I consider this delicious and drinkable with enough sourness without becoming to acidic to drink more than 1 glass.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

765 ml bottle into tulip, bottled on 8/12/2013. Pours moderately hazy bright golden amber color with a 2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tart peach, pineapple, lemon, pear, apple, white wine, clove, pepper, hay, straw, grass, musty funk, wheat, cracker, bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of peach, yeast, brett, and moderate malt notes; with great strength. Taste of tart peach, pineapple, lemon, pear, apple, white wine, clove, pepper, hay, straw, grass, musty funk, wheat, cracker, bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy tartness/spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart peach, pineapple, lemon, pear, apple, white wine, clove, pepper, hay, straw, grass, musty funk, wheat, cracker, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity of tart peach, yeast, brett, and moderate malt flavors; with a great fruity/spicy yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome brett fruited saison. All around great complexity and balance of peach, yeast, brett, and moderate malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 8/9/13.

Pours a clear yellow with a foamy white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with malt, peach, funk, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour peach, funk, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink, but I am not getting any barrel aged characteristics other than wood.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is cloudy golden with a good-sized white head. Good retention, nice lacing.

Very nice smell. Light fruits, peach, a notable Brett scent, suggesting some tartness. Yeast and a malty scent.

Taste is nice, but not on the level of the nose. The peaches come through even more strongly and are really the centrepiece of the beer. The Brett provides a bit of a dryness, but there is only a minimal tartness. Other fruit flavours are present, including a bit of apple. The fruit flavours, combined with the effervescent body, are reminiscent of champagne.

Medium bodied, strongly carbonated but not in an irritating way. Dryer than expected given all the fruit sweetness.

Overall, good. The nose is the standout and had me expecting a truly first rate beer. Instead, it is just a very good beer. Still quite happy to drink it - but it is not worth the high price tag.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.4/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Goose Islands' Halia, saison aged in wine barrels with peaches. Supposedly, lots of peaches. 7.5%.

A: A little over half a finger of head. Hazy yellow. Bright towards outsides, deeper and duller towards the center.

S: Definitely more peach aroma than a peach wheat beer would have. Fruit fades quickly, leaving behind peach skin and pit notes. Some acidity

T/MF: Very crisp and cool. Almost champagne-like sparkle. Peach is light, leaning more towards skin and pit. Very dry, but it seems to work better for this beer than it might a wheat. Pit bitterness in the background.

This seems like a step up for wheat beer fans, but not nearly worth the $22 price tag, to me. I blame AB for that...

Poured from a 765mL(?!) bottle, into Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours hazy yellow gold with coarse, rapidly settling head. Thin lacing. Aroma is tart, lactic, quite funky, oaky, barnyard. Flavor is acidic, mildly tart, fruity, peach, apricot, with a buttery, oak finish. Citrus, fruity, moderate oak aftertaste. Vinous and mildly herbal. Soft to moderate carbonation, light body. An oaky, buttery, moderately vinous sour. Quite good.

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Photo of dar482
4.66/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a hazy golden yellow color.

The aroma has lemonade, lemon peel, saison yeast, some Brett funkiness, a light bready malt, hints of peach on the end. A tart and bright aroma. Some oak and white wine character.

The flavor follows of tartness of lemon juice and pineapple. There's a light bready and cracker and malt and wheat, and then the beer moves onto fleshy peach flavors. Some barnyard funkiness in there as well. The finish is of the white wine barrels and beautiful drying.

The carbonation is a highlight. Tons of bubbles like champagne.

This beer is definitely my favorite so far of the Goose Island sisters series. A wonderful beer that hides it 7.5% and is super drinkable. The combination of tartness, light bread malt, Brett, gentle peach, and huge carbonation is beautiful. A great refreshing beer by itself, can't compliment this beer more.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 765 mL bottle into cervoise. Bottle #1547. Bottled on 06AUG13.
A: Pours a clear light lemon hue with high carbonation producing a 1-2 inch white bubbly head...almost champagne-like.
S: Mild farmhouse funk, citrus, peaches, and a vinous note (akin to ice wine).
T: Chardonnay, farmhouse funk, and peaches (note: the peaches are fairly subdued) hit first. White pepper, soft cream, tart berries, and sweet citrus follow. Mild brett notes throughout.
M: Absolutely love the feel on this one. Effervescent tingle from the carbonation a la champagne with alternating sweet, tart, and sour notes dancing on the palate. Light-medium body. Lingers and matures nicely on the palate too...more tart and sour here.
D: Really enjoyed drinking this one. Starts out strong and only gets better from there. Refreshing and highly drinkable. Even decently sessionable with a reasonable 7.5% ABV. Goose Island knocked it out of the park with this one!

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Photo of snaotheus
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

765ml bottle poured into a pair of large snifters. Fridge temp, maybe 40 F. Bottled on: 1518 06 Aug 13. Some sediment left in the bottle, some poured into the snifters.

Pours cloudy, yellow, with a very creamy looking head. Unbelievable retention. Lots of very fine carbonation. Smell is vegetable, maybe unripe peaches. Something dank, perhaps. Maybe something peppery.

Taste is sour, fruity. Vague. I can't pick much out, but there's something tasty about this. I think I get a lot of the peach from the flavor. In fact, a lot from the aftertaste, it's peaches and cream, or maybe creamsicle/orange creamy flavor. Very interesting, and quite nice.

Mouthfeel is creamy, but dry. I like this.

My wife, on the other hand, is not a fan. And she loves sours.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours clear, slightly hazy straw color with a small fizzy white head with short retention

S- lots of yeasty funk up front, some raw doughy bread notes, subtle peach, hay, earthy notes, oak and white wine

T- the peach is more noticeable on the palate with some nice funky yeast mixed in. White wine flavors mesh in around mid-palate with traditional saison flavors. The close brings grapefruit and peach gummy rings

M- medium body with low carbonation, nearly flat mouthfeel and slick finish

O- Just enough funky Brett, but still lets the traditional saison flavors come through

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Photo of Beerlover
2.95/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Second beer I've had of the sister series from goose island. Hazy golden yellow with a ton of bubbles, looks like champagne, a half inch slowly dissipating white foamy head. Smells very funky/yeasty, with some mild peachy fruit aromas. Taste is very tart! Pretty good if you like sours but very rich, the peach is there but kind of hidden, was hoping for more peachiness. Good beer from a great brewery but for the price I don't think i'll try this one again. If you can split the cost one this one with one or two other people then it would be well worth it considering it's just too tart to take on one your own.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle grabbed during the holidays and poured for the Super Bowl. Pours a very light yellow color with big white frothy head. Aroma is lots of sour vinegar and hearty sweet peaches in the background. Flavor is smooth and sweet peaches, very light touched here, behind big sour vinegar flavors and bretty funk and plenty of dry bite at the end. The mouthfeel is light and nearly spritzy, lots of carbonation bite, but very easy drinking. A nice light sour beer that goes nicely in the family of ladies. Enjoyed this more than Gillian by a good margin.

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Photo of ikantspel
2.52/5  rDev -39%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into a duvel tulip
Bottled on 8.9.13

Pours a lager golden color with a small white head, small but thick lacing on the glass

Barnyard funk, apples, cranberries, dry wood

Starts off very tart, mellows into grapes, peach, and banana

Kinda was expecting more for they style, not sure it represents it right

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Photo of mverity
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Proof. Poured into a Goose Island wine-style glass. Slight haze to this beer. Color is like the skin of a lemon. Yellow/gold with a twinge of straw. Tons of bubbly white head that held about a minute before fading into a thinner head and medium collar. Lots of lacing. Aroma is like dry earth, faint barnyard funk, a healthy amount of peach is noticeable, but not at all overpowering. Taste is delightful: peachy farmhouse goodness. Dry/tart yeast. Earthy/floral hops. Simply divine. Nice high carbonation and medium-low body really make this fun to drink.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pale and hazy straw color. It has an aggressive tall white head that quickly subsides leaving behind some spotty lacing.

The Brett smells tart and funky. There's a light whiff of peaches and white grapes.

The peaches, wine barrels, and Brett meld together nicely. White sweet tarts and vinous.

Crisp and clean mouthfeel. Tart. Light body with effervescent carbonation.

I really dig this beer. It's not a great representation of a saison to style but it really showcases the Brett and fruity qualities.

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Photo of macher0
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This did not last long in the cellar.

Bottle to snifter.

A. Light straw. A little cloudy. Poured a healthy fine bubble egg shell head. Retreats slowly to a thin film and rim. Very nice laces. Straight line updraft of bubbles.

S. Very pleasant. Sour yeast and lacto. Light malts. Lemon and peaches. Funk.

T. Ohh ya more funk. Moderate tartness. Sour yeast, sour bacteria, neutral oak, syrupy peaches, with a little light malts.

M. Very smooth, high carbonation, light body. Thin.

O. Very similar carbonation level, viscosity, sour level, and overall feel to the older sisters. The peaches are subtle but apparent. Totally worth the price and highly recommended. I feel this is excellent where it's at in the aging process. If age brings out the peaches, then I hope the feel doesn't change. I'm glad I enjoyed it on a playoff weekend. This is certainly a bomber one can take to the head.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: pale golden and effervescent beer beneath a fluffy sea-foam white head; lacing sheets and streaks galore

S: white wine and dry oak, stale air and wet grassy fields; hints of sweeter orchard fruit

T: juicy pale fruit and hints of funky brett; wine barrel oak and pinot grigio; floral with bright herbs

M: medium bodied and fuzzy, but crisp and tart; yeastiness pronounced on finish, accompanied by a slight drying

O: an excellent ale - peaches added a nice, understated fruitiness, the wild yeast was balanced and kept things earthy and tacky; elevation of ale via wine barrel aging on-point. Recommended.

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Photo of NCalement
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass.

A- Clear golden yellow with a fast white head. Looks like a lager. No fruit chunks or even haze.

S- Lots of white wine up front. Followed by tart funk, oak, butter, green apple, pear, hay, wheat and spice. Peaches are present but not very pungent. Smells nice.

T- Sour funk, oak, peaches, spice, biscuit, lemon, a little soapy bitterness. No alcohol. This is pleasantly sour. Reminds me of a heavier berliner weisse. Very good.

M- Active carbonation, light body,crisp finish that as a tannin quality from the barrels. Leaves your mouth watering for more. Very good

O- Great beer that has a heavy $ tag on it, but worth it non the less. Wish there was a little more peach but the sour element is a very nice surprise.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy straw, lazy streams of bubbles rising. Thin white head that leaves thin, sticky lacing. Bottle art is clean and enticing, color scheme a nice change from the usual drab Goose Island art.

S: Tart and sweet ripe citrus fruit, including peaches and faint oranges. Some faint yeast funk.

T: Sweet! Plenty of peach and other citrus fruits to go around, some funk, honestly not getting much else. It's very pleasing, full-bodied, but definitely straightforward and unbalanced. But, being unbalanced on the side of sweetness, I'm a fan.

M: Both effervescent, yet semi-syrupy from all the sugars. Supremely refreshing!

O: A great beer with tons of character, even if it is a simple one. Curious why it was released in the winter, this would be an amazing summer refresher. I might pick another one up for a hot summer day, if I feel like paying the $25 premium again.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.61/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A - Light golden haze with a head if carbonation on top

S - Tart peach, light vinegar. Really a rich sweet and juicy peach

T - Bretty, slight blue cheese, really farmhouse funk. Light tart vinegar. Juicy peaches to it that adds a nice sweetness to it. Light sweettarts.

M - Thick beer with good carbonation to it that makes it slightly creamy

O - One of the best peach sours I've had as it has a strong juicy peach flavor balanced with slight tartness and Brett. I hope they make this one often and a lot if it

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a 765 mL brown bottle with a standard bottle cap and foil around the top, similar to wine. The bottling date says August 2013, but this style should have no problem holding up over the course of four months. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack Series tulip glass.

Appearance - Initially pours a crystalline golden yellow, with no sediment or cloudiness in the body. In fact, the only "irregularities" are the lazy drift of carbonation bubbles rising towards the massive three-finger head. It's so clear that I can see a warped view of my kitchen in the background through the liquid. The enormous head is stark white and rocky, with bubbles beginning to burst and leave large pocking and mottled sheets of lacing down the glass. Upon subsequent pours from the bottle, the opacity changes a little bit from the presence of the sediment and yeast in the bottle. Still beautiful, just in a slightly different way.

Smell - Notes of chardonnay, tart but dry notes of fruit--the peach is definitely well-represented in the nose--and some fainter elements of wood and toasted sourdough from the grain base. Some nice traces of musty barnyard and wet hay, but I have to say the aroma leans more towards tart than funk. Not a problem by my view, although it does raise one's eyebrow at the "farmhouse" classification.

Taste - As expected, the initial taste is dry and tart, with a very wine-like quality that I imagine come from the addition of fruit and wine-barrel aging. White grapes, some light notes of apple cider vinegar, and coming in after the initial tartness has worn off is a delicious characteristic of fresh-cut peaches. Ripe and bright, but not strong enough to overpower the core beer characteristics--in other words, this doesn't taste like a "fruit beer". The tartness becomes a bit more pronounced (to my pleasure) as I let the glass warm up a tad. This is good enough to make one wonder if the traditional lambic breweries of Belgium should maybe give peaches a go. Of course, they probably have already at some point--given the price point on this beer, I'm curious if the cost of fresh peaches is just too prohibitive to use with any consistency.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied with ample carbonation and a wonderfully dry finish that entices the next sip. Very quaffable for a 7.5% beer--if I'd had to guess the ABV based solely on taste, it's very likely that I would've pegged this as closer to the traditional ales from which it draws; maybe a 5-6% lambic or similar.

Overall, a wonderfully tasty beer, and a definite candidate for people looking to crossover into sour beers. I especially love the fact that you can somewhat manage the level of sour based on the temperature at which you drink it. If you're new to sours, grab a bottle, pour a glass and take a few sips straight out of the fridge. Then let it sit a little while and take another swig after it's warmed up to something closer to 50°F. If it hadn't been so expensive, I might've tried to grab a second bottle to see how much it sours over time. Oh well.

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Photo of bmwats
4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a teku.

A: Slightly hazy, golden hue. Moderate amounts of rising effervescence. Pours into a 2 finger, bubbly white head. Dryly craters, dissipating to a collection of foam, a rim ring, and some dry residue. Persistent dry lacing remains.

S: Yeast, apricot, and raspberry.

T: Tastes like it smells. Lightly sweet fruity components consisting of fermented apricot and raspberry.

M: Light and crisp. Syrupy feel on the palate. Forward sweet and funk, with a hint of bitterness in the rear. Quite acidic. Dry finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really nice. A little hazy with fair amounts of carbonation evident throughout, bubbly head, and some dry persistent lacing. Nose is yeasty and fruity. Crisp and lightly sweet fruit components, balanced with lightly bitter yeastiness. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I bought the hype; I finally pulled the $25 trigger and picked up that 765mL bottle that’s been staring me in the face whenever I’ve perused the local bottle shop these past few months. Ah well, I guess it’s a late Christmas gift to myself. Cheers!

Bottled 08/12/2013, just about five months before the date of this tasting.

A: Hazy, pale goldenrod with an inch-high head of fizz, stark white and bubbly. It settles to just a short hill of retention over the nucleation site in seconds, leaving strands of delicate lace all around.

S: Mildly funky with a wonderful aroma of fresh peaches. Brett scents come off as green and slightly peppery – less must, more grass – and they make up the majority of the nose, but the peach adds an alluring fruit character. Lime, orange marmalade, and pear notes bounce around in the background.

T: A bright, bretty palate throughout, marked by dominant notes of fresh lemon, tangerine, crisp green apple, and a lightly metallic brine taste (reminiscent of a low-alcohol sauvignon blanc). All this combined makes a remarkably refreshing – though still complex – sipper. The flavor of genuine peach also permeates the palate, tasting exactly how I like them: underripe. That is, softly sweet, but with a sour edge, which meshes well with the brisk brett profile. Finishes without much of an aftertaste, maybe a sweet baked apple flavor but not much else; it hits a sour peak in the back-middle of the palate, so everything else seems a little diminished, including the finish.

M: Not as silky as I thought it would be. Actually, it has a somewhat oily body with a bright, effervescent carbonation, though in the end, that serves to bring this a step closer to the authentic Belgian experience.

O: My favorite Belgian-style beer from Goose Island, hands-down. I definitely got my money’s worth here – even at $25. Excellent.

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Really looking forward to this beer. The bottle poured a nice orange colored body with a one finger foamy white head. Pretty cloudy as I would expect it to be. There is no fruit on the nose. You get some of the Belgian yeast esters and a bit of oak. The taste is loaded with lactic/yogurty tartness. The base saison does come through, but it is certainly an oaked beer. You get hints of the white wine barrel, but the barrel seems to have really killed the efferevescence in the mouthfeel. I just don't know where the peaches are. That was the lone reason I bought this beer. It would satisfy you if you're looking for a tart saison with some wine character, but if you tell me I'm getting peaches then I want it to taste like peaches. This one was a far cry from Gillian for me in terms of delivering the flavor. I only got hints of peach when the beer came close to room temperature.

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Halia from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 130 ratings.