1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Gillian - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
GillianGillian

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

473 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 473
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 8.96%
Wants: 45
Gots: 162 | FT: 29
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Gillian - Saison with Strawberry, Honey, and White Pepper

Alias of Scully:  http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profi ... 1549/61122 

(Beer added by: Jason on 08-12-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 473 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Goose Island asks us to pay an ultra-premium price in order to enjoy their strawberry infused, sour Saison. With their reputation on the line and with my wallet at ransom, the ale proves to be much more lambic-inspired than that of farmhouse.

Medium goldenrod in color and with threads of peach and amber, the hazy ale pours and simply gleams with a glow despite its yeasty veil. As its racy carbonation rises to fuel a light creamy head, its retention is light as the beer's acidity breaks up the bubble and relegates any head character to a dainty necklace with minimal spotty lace. The beer looks as much like sparkling white wine as it does ale.

Musty fruit springs to life like dehydrated lemons, limes, tart green apples, under-ripened berries and over-ripe strawberry. The ale miraculously retains the recognizable characterists that are unique to strawberry without fermenting away its subtle and volitile aromas. A waft of weathered oak, cellar-like must, saddle leather and wet hay offers up a robust and pungent "mossy" earth character to complement its sourish twang.

To taste, its "Pez" like malt sweetness is somewhat confectionary although light. Supple honeysuckle gives the beer's fruit flavor a riper taste before turning bracingly acidic in the middle. Dried and must fruits pile on the taste buds with sour white grapes, crab apple, tart berries, lemons, limes and unmistakable strawberries! Caught somewhere between dry cider and white wine vinegar- its sour tone is front and center. Earthy flavors of cooked hay, sea salt, brine and mineral is lightly rustic and raw as a woodish and leathery taste leave final impressions with echoes of strawberry and wheat in aftertaste.

Its light and bone-dry body becomes racy with its champagne-like carbonation that carries away its early candied sweetness. What's left is an arid and acidic texture that evaporates off the palate like cotton candy. Much of the beer's flavor experience happens in aftertaste as its high carbonation ushers in a quick and fleeting finish of pepper, warmth, wood spice and sourness.

Gillian is the queen of the crop of Goose Island sours because of its complex offerings of earth to its sourness. Gillian is unique in that the earthen qualities are quintessential Brussels, and doesn't only lean on sourness to carry the load. Also, the way that it retains its strawberry aroma and flavor is nothing short of remarkable.

BEERchitect, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

765ml brown glass bottle with classy understated red label and white foil-ed over branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at Argonaut Liquor in Denver, CO and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster stem tulip/snifter hybrid glass in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, CO. Reviewed live. 2013 vintage. "Ale brewed with strawberries, honey, & white pepper. Aged in wine barrels." "Belgian style farmhouse ale." Reviewed as a farmhouse ale. Bottled 11 Sep 13. 9.5% ABV confirmed.

Served chilled after a period of rest following its removal from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a quarter finger white head which recedes to nothing inside 15 seconds. No lacing.

Body colour is a vibrant orange-copper. Translucent but nontransparent. Appears well-carbonated. No floating yeast particles are visible.

I'm quite disappointed with the (lack of) head, but overall I'm optimistic. It's not unique or special, but there are no egregious flaws.

Sm: Wonderfully subtle strawberry notes - real authentic strawberry, not some artificial fruit syrup. Crystal malts. Belgian pale malts. Light honey. A hint of tart fruit, maybe even a kiss of sourness. Hop profile is floral and fruity but vague. Maybe some faint white wine? I only notice it because I'm looking for it. A pleasant clean aroma of moderate strength.

No alcohol is detectable.

T: Lightly sour - particularly on the finish - which is a welcome characteristic. Faint nebulous white wine tones guide the beer and lend it some cohesion throughout. Belgian pale malts, tame honey, and crystal malts provide the accomodating effective foundation. The strawberry is lovely - it's very subtle yet still evocative, and there are no traces of any artificial fruit syrups or extracts; strawberry is a hard note to nail, but Goose Island succeeds here. If brettanomyces was used, it's extremely reticent here because I'm not finding it at all - no funkiness or biscuity character at all. The honey sweetness is nice, but I would like a bit more sourness. Hop profile is almost purely floral, but there are some light nectary and fruity notes as well, all of which complement the other flavours well.

Overall, it's a very balanced brew with some impressive cohesion, but it isn't gestalt. I love how the fruit is handled. Well-built, with notable complexity and subtlety. I'd even say the strawberry is intricate and nuanced, but the white wine does feel a bit wasted - there just isn't much character there, let alone any true barrel/wood notes. Sadly, no white pepper comes through. I do get a hint of peach. I'm content to treat this like an American wild ale rather than a saison as there's not as much complexity here as a good saison would have, nor is there any white pepper or milky character. For a wild ale, the depth, duration, and intensity of flavour are average. (It's too intense for a saison and nowhere near as deep).

No alcohol, overt spice, or cream comes through.I can't tell what kind of yeast is effecting the sourness, but I'd get it's actually a bit of lactobacillus bacteria.

The strawberry note is exquisite, and is easily the highlight of the beer for me.

Not puckerworthy, but it provides enough sourness for sour lovers to be satisfied. If Cascade Kriek is a 10 on the sourness scale, this is a 5.

Mf: Crisp, soft, smooth, and wet. Refreshing. Medium-bodied. Great comforting approachable presence on the palate. Perfectly carbonated. Constructively, it is a bit too thin. Above average acidity. Really complements the flavour profile well.

Not oily, astringent, harsh, gushed, hot, or boozy.

Dr: Incredibly drinkable; I could easily kill a few bottles of this in a night. It's a shockingly effective profile for a saison-meets-sour, and I'd recommend it to friends if not for the flat-out-ridonkulous price point. With the myriad of superior offerings in the style available well below this price point, I can't say I'd get this again. At half its price, it'd be worth it every once in a while. As much as I've enjoyed this bottle, it's still not a world class beer - and it disturbs me that the brewers labelled this a saison. Well worth trying once if you've got the scratch. Hides its ABV very well; I'd guess this was 7% if I tried it blind.

B

kojevergas, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of BRami127
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

BRami127, Wednesday at 03:45 AM
Photo of mattycasey
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

mattycasey, Sunday at 09:40 PM
Photo of BarrelAgedG
4.5/5  rDev +9%

BarrelAgedG, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of eball33
4.5/5  rDev +9%

eball33, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of Roze
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Roze, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of Durdz
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Durdz, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of halo3one
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

halo3one, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of NickThePyro
4.5/5  rDev +9%

NickThePyro, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of Rborre321
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Rborre321, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of jakea
4/5  rDev -3.1%

jakea, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of superspak
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 9/11/2013. Pours lightly hazy bright gold color with a small foamy white head with poor retention, that reduces to nothing fairly quickly. No glass lacing, and a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big strawberry, peach, pineapple, lemon zest, green apple, pear, white wine, honey, oak, white pepper, hay, straw, grass, light musty funk, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, strawberries, and wine barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big strawberry, peach, pineapple, lemon zest, green apple, pear, white wine, white pepper, honey, oak, hay, straw, grass, light musty funk, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of fruity/acidic tartness and spice on the finish; with lingering notes of strawberry, peach, pineapple, lemon zest, green apple, pear, white wine, white pepper, honey, oak, hay, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, strawberries, and white wine barrel flavors; with a great sweetness/tartness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp/acidic, and slightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding wine barrel fruited saison. All around awesome complexity and balanced of fruity/spicy yeast, strawberries, and wine barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

superspak, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of EdFed
4/5  rDev -3.1%

EdFed, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of BeerBucks
4/5  rDev -3.1%

BeerBucks, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of IMFletcher
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

IMFletcher, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of jyacco15
4.5/5  rDev +9%

jyacco15, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of mdaschaf
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%

mdaschaf, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of barczar
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%

Great tart and sweeter balance, with a fruity note running throughout.

barczar, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of Kurmaraja
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Kurmaraja, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of mdfb79
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%

From 08/29/14 notes. Found this on the shelf in Manahawkin, NJ for $17.99 that morning. Date on the bottle is 11/Sept/13, 750ml bottle poured into a wine glass.

Pours a hazy bright yellow color with one inch of off white head that leaves quickly, and high carbonation evident. Lots of fresh strawberries, sweet dark fruity malts, white wine, oak, and citrus. Taste is tart with more berries and sour vinegar notes. Light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation , dry finish.

Overall a good beer. Not my favorite of the GI sours but a lot of good strawberries and lots of sourness in the taste. Worth checking out for sure, would have it again.

mdfb79, Sep 02, 2014
Photo of MNBeerGeek
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%

MNBeerGeek, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of enelson
4.5/5  rDev +9%

enelson, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of masterofsparks
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

masterofsparks, Sep 01, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Gillian from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 473 ratings.