1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

450 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 450
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 45
Gots: 161 | FT: 30
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: 450 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.28/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

12-09-2013 18:26:46 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.68/5  rDev -10.7%

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

12-09-2013 03:37:38 | More by kojevergas
Photo of joeseppy
joeseppy

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -6.6%

Pours a cloudy gold resembling apricot flesh. Aggressive pour give way to racy carbonation that quickly loses any retention.

First aromas of spice candy, a chinese sweet sour, and mild yeast. Lemon zesty and berry esters.

Taste yields more of the same. Cane sugar sweetness with overripe strawberries. As I'm listening to Richard "Groove" Holmes, funk comes to mind. Squeeze of lemon and peppery spice in the back.

I would say more of a medium bodied brew due to the heavier sugars, IMO. Scant carbonation and quenching.

This was a past Xmas gift to me I finally tapped into. This turns out to be more of a lambic than a saison for me. A little heavy on the sugar and malt. Would not purchase but would always accept as a gift.

08-30-2014 20:13:32 | More by joeseppy
Photo of KAF
KAF

Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -15%

08-30-2014 02:07:27 | More by KAF
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -9%

Served in a Boulevard tulip snifter.

Big ups to VDubb and his brother for sharing this pricey lady with a penniless vagabond such as myself. This stuff pours a hazy sunset gold topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises mildly-tart berries, Belgian yeast, light black pepper, lemon zest, light white wine grapes (Pinot Gris in this case), and a touch of grassy hay. The taste brings in more of the same, with the sweetness of the yeast and berries mixing with some tartness from berries, apple, lemon, and stonefruits, followed by a layer or three of Belgian yeast and spices. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a pretty tasty fruited saison, nothing earth-shattering, to be honest, and certainly nowhere near worth the price, but it is decidedly enjoyable.

08-28-2014 20:34:22 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of spointon
spointon

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

08-28-2014 14:41:26 | More by spointon
Photo of joesteinkamp
joesteinkamp

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

08-26-2014 16:02:10 | More by joesteinkamp
Photo of Chingringo
Chingringo

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

08-26-2014 15:50:01 | More by Chingringo
Photo of GregDuB65
GregDuB65

Missouri

4.52/5  rDev +9.7%

08-24-2014 23:37:34 | More by GregDuB65
Photo of Kelp
Kelp

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -2.9%

08-24-2014 02:03:59 | More by Kelp
Photo of fthegiants
fthegiants

California

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

08-23-2014 23:52:20 | More by fthegiants
Photo of ryanpj
ryanpj

Illinois

3.92/5  rDev -4.9%

08-22-2014 00:53:55 | More by ryanpj
Photo of 01001111
01001111

California

4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

08-20-2014 04:32:16 | More by 01001111
Photo of jawas
jawas

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

08-15-2014 19:55:09 | More by jawas
Photo of macher0
macher0

Kentucky

4/5  rDev -2.9%

08-15-2014 19:44:18 | More by macher0
Photo of ToadiesForCody
ToadiesForCody

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -2.9%

08-15-2014 16:25:13 | More by ToadiesForCody
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

08-15-2014 03:03:11 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of zachattack555
zachattack555

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -2.9%

08-11-2014 22:38:06 | More by zachattack555
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

08-11-2014 15:54:54 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of Rogorama
Rogorama

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

08-10-2014 19:55:31 | More by Rogorama
Photo of JimGlonke
JimGlonke

Illinois

4/5  rDev -2.9%

08-06-2014 03:16:10 | More by JimGlonke
Photo of mattafett
mattafett

Iowa

3/5  rDev -27.2%

08-05-2014 00:33:10 | More by mattafett
Photo of soulcougher
soulcougher

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

08-04-2014 16:57:25 | More by soulcougher
Photo of texasspottedcow
texasspottedcow

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

08-01-2014 22:09:38 | More by texasspottedcow
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

4/5  rDev -2.9%

08-01-2014 05:43:20 | More by zestar
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Gillian from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 450 ratings.