Gillian - Goose Island Beer Co.

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576 Ratings
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Ratings: 576
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 59
Gots: 176 | 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:
Beer added by: Jason on 08-12-2011

Gillian - Saison with Strawberry, Honey, and White Pepper

Alias of Scully: ... 1549/61122 
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 576 | Reviews: 74
Reviews by cvm4:
Photo of cvm4
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Version

A - Pours a slightly cloudy apple juice color with a fizzy one finger head that dissipates pretty and doesn't stay around to say hello. Lacing and retention are minimal.

S - Funky yeast characteristics and sweet berry aroma to start off. The latter has a white wine tart character and more of a belgian quality.

T - To me, the belgian yeast is much more evident throughout on the taste. It really follows the nose, in my opinion. Really good funk, strawberry sweetness, some lemon and a little white pepper.

M - Lighter bodied and medium carbonation. Crisp body and effervescent.

O - Really enjoyable take on the style. The strawberries and tartness are a treat.

More User Reviews:
Photo of kojevergas
3.66/5  rDev -11.6%
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.


Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 765 ml bottle into a Goose Island Tulip glass. 2013 Vintage bottled on September 12, 2013.

Appearance: Pours a hazy yellowish golden orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Slight white head that quickly fizzes away. Not much lacing.

Smell: A fairly tart, sweet, and sour aroma with good hints of fruit, yeast, and spice. Belgian yeast with good hints of white pepper, farmhouse funk, and slight clove. Big wine barrel presence with hints of white grapes, oak, wood, Brett funk, and acid. Big scent of sweet strawberries along with some tart green apple, cherry, and berry. Sweet hints of honey and cream. Soft pale malt with hints of wheat, straw and cracker. A very good sweet and sour aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a nicely sweet, sour, and tart taste with big notes of strawberry, yeast, and wine barrel. Belgian yeast with some nice notes of white pepper, farmhouse funk, and a little clove. Big champagne like wine barrel presence with notes of white grape, oak, wood, acid, and some Brett like sour funk. Big fruity taste of sweet strawberries along with some notes of green apple, cherry, and berries. Sweet taste of honey and some notes of cream. Soft pale malt with notes of wheat, straw, and cracker. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Tart and fairly acidic with a drying finish. Alcohol heat is masked fairly well.

Overall: A very good twist on a Saison/Farmhouse Ale. Very nice balance of fruity sweetness and sour notes from the barrel.

Photo of jeonseh
3.74/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A - Light yellow with an orange haze. Small amount of carbonation sits on top

S - Strawberries, passion fruit, tart lemon, and slight sweet tarts.

T - Strawberries up front, light vinegar and sweet tart. Pepper spice in the back

M - Really thick, much thicker than I'd like. Kinda chewy overall. Finish is dry

O - Another solid sour from GI but I wasn't as impressed with this one as I was with Halia. Good strawberry presence and the pepper is there but light

Photo of joeseppy
3.85/5  rDev -7%

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.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml foiled and capped bottle into Tired Hands stemware. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a frothy 2 finger white head that dissipates quickly. Beer is a clear, dark goldenrod. Lacing is spotty and sparse with little stick. Average.

Big strawberry notes in conjunction with oak, hay, froth and a lingering background of spices. Mellow but clean with some nice notes that come through.

Opens sweet strawberry and funk. Hay, oak, wood, plastic and cobwebs. Sweet and tart red fruit throughout. Spicy and funky end with an accented tart and peppery finish. Same aftertaste. This is pretty good.

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth and goes down aggressive and bubbly. Finishes accented with a slightly filmy and lingering aftertaste. Excellent.

Another very impressive beer from Goose Island. Their wild offerings are getting close to rivaling their legendary stouts... which is really saying something. Certainly worth a try.

Photo of riotontheroad
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Everything I want in a farmhouse beer. To me, this is perfection.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy yellow orange. Not much of a head. No collar.

Smell - Grapefruit. Nice grapefruit. White pepper. Tons of citrus. Combines to yield an herbal character.

Taste - Grapefruit. Less of the pepper. More white wine. Herbal character in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Kinda sweet.

Overall - I really dig this. Awesome grapefruit flavor, even though it isn't listed in the description.

Photo of beerhan
3.59/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a hazy copper/yellow with a one finger head. Rather lighter than I expected considering the abv and aging.

S-Lots of strawberry after popping the bottle. Smell is rather reminiscent of fruity sparkling white wines. Not as funky as some of the other sisters, jammy fruit aromas dominate and the pepper was undetectable from the aroma.

T-Initial taste is a lot of fruit, strawberry, grapes, subtle melon flavor. Pepper over dominates the palate and nothing else is really detectable afterwords.

M-Very light body, goes down smooth and the alcohol is undetectable--Actually it was rather shocking to discover this was 9.5%. Pretty low carbonation compared to some of the other sisters and overall more sweet than sour. The pepper makes this one a bit tougher to get down unfortunately.

O-This is probably my least favorite of the sisters. The pepper hurt the beer more than anything else. If this was more similar to say dominique, the pepper may have had a better role but it was too dominant and did not allow the fruit notes to really sink in to your tongue. The price tag on this one also hurts it, 26.99 no wonder it is still on shelves everywhere. If you are a Gillian Anderson fan like myself then this might be worth it just for the bottle.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hazy golden orange with active carbonation bubbles that struggle to form any head.

It has a fruity aroma, like a banana split. Slight vinous quality.

Acidic and vinous flavor and texture. Crisp. The strawberry and honey contribute a sweet fruity angle. Peppery finish.

Good beer, not great. I felt like it got pulled in too many directions without committing to any one.

Photo of Treyliff
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a very cloudy pale yellow color with a small fizzy white head that has short retention

S- raw, cheesy lactic funk takes over the aroma up front. Beyond that, some fruity esters kick in along with some classic saison aromas of fresh cut hay and peppery spice, sweet strawberry at the end

T- the underlying strawberry is there, but subtle. Peppery notes mix with sweet honey wine, barnyard and cheesy funk, closing with a Belgian yeast linger

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to an almost flat mouthfeel and a slick finish

O- the cheesy funk takes center stage on this one, but not so much that the pepper and strawberry notes don't come through as well. This one is about even with Halia for me

Photo of bluejacket74
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

765 ml bottle, 2013 edition, bottled on 12SEP13. I've had this sitting around a while now, and figured I might as well get around to drinking it. Served in a Prairie Teku, the beer pours a hazy dark gold color with about a half inch white head that fizzled away quickly. Pretty much no lacing at all. Aroma is fruity and tart, the brew smells like strawberry, white wine, lemon peel, oak, hay, and a bit of peppery spice. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also the addition of some green apple, funk, lime and some honey. There's a good amount of tartness, but also some sweet fruitiness too (mostly strawberry). Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit coating with a moderate amount of carbonation. The 9.5% ABV is well hidden! Overall I liked this brew, and thought it got better the longer I drank it. However, with the $26.99 a bottle pricing I don't think I'd buy it again at that price. Still, it was nice to try this once.

Photo of nataku00
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a hazy golden color with a slight rosy tinge to it. Half a finger of loose off white head dissipates immediately despite a constant stream of tiny bubbles feeding it.

Nose is sweet strawberry fruit and floral honey, earthy soil and grass, red apple, grape skin, and wine soaked oak. Biscuit malt sweetness as it warms a little, with a slight bubble gum yeast ester.

Taking a sip, flavors lead with a grape skin and oak tannin flavor mixed with a sharp lemony lactic acidity, mellowing to sweeter strawberry, floral honey, red apple. Very drying on the tongue, with an astringent wine character lingering with some unripe strawberry flavors.

Light body with prickly but pleasant carbonation that disappears in a flourish as the tongue is dried out more by the beer. Strong wine influence on this beer.

Photo of smakawhat
4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Lots of fizzy sounding carbonation, and barely a faint white head is made which dissolves instantly. Very fine pencil thin collar is left while always drinking, sitting on top of a tang deep but opaque and even orb glowing yellow. Some nice rising carbonation a little on the sides, and some good rising carbonation in the middle.

Very interesting nose, fruity but no sense of heat or hot brett. Strawberry and cake like cooked dough, fluffy, with a sense of cookie like action sensing of strawberry shortcake and some cream. Quite fruity and moderately sweet with hints of lemon peel as well.

Palate jumps on first sip. The brett makes it presence right away but flashes out in a quick heat on the finish with some pepper. Fruit in the mid palate of strawberry and nice punch like qualities. Large carbonation and prickly but not jarring, doesn't give way to the thick fruit angles which contrast more into peaches and lemon while drinking. Subsequent sips keep this moving and repeating, but the brett flashes draw you back since they disappear so quickly. Sweetness turns more into vanilla than honey once again providing a shortcake like sensation of angel food cake.

Overall this is quite impressive, but not much sense of oak flavor or round feel, and I couldn't sense this comes from a barrel, which is an impressive feat in it's own right. Tastes more like a fruit lambic than a saison. It's a great beer but I am not going crazy in love over it. Tasty indeed though.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at the Old Toad for their Goose Island tasting.

Pours a hazy, murky pale yellow, especially since I got part of the dregs. There's a small head, but no lacing.

Smells like strawberry, honey, oak, lemon, white wine, and distinct funk.

This is a really unique wild saison, I dig it. As it warms up, the strawberry, while already prominent at the beginning, becomes even more in your face. There's a nice sunny sweetness from the honey, with a mild sourness that's pleasant and plays in the background behind the strawberry and honey flavors. There's a bit of light funk, and a nice peppery finish. I'm glad the pepper is restrained here- I'm not sure how it would work if there was much more. I get a bit of lemon and lime flavors, too.

This is light bodied, with a light, crisp, and sweet mouthfeel. It's really drinkable- the GI rep called "sessionable" which I'm not entirely sure about, given the ABV. He is right in saying how crushable and easy-going this one is.

This was really unique and awesome, and nicely set up the big crushers later in the tasting.

Photo of angrybabboon
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Consumed 12/10/13

Appearance: Light orange with some nice honey highlights - some golden highlights - lightly cloudy - some milky clarity around the edges - pours with a medium sized, creamy head - keeps a few hints of a cap, leaves some spots of lacing

Smell: Strawberries and lots of funk - nicely wet, damp, funky, musty - nicely tart - strawberry flesh holds up remarkably well, especially considering the barrel-aging - some white wine - some light grains in the background, some light sweetness

Taste: Wet, tart, and sour, with some really nice fruit - as the aroma suggests, the strawberry flesh here is remarkable - a light touch of honey, and the peppercorns are much more apparent in the taste than in the aroma - musty, damp basement, very went funk - lots of white wine flavor - extremely interesting - nice, pale malts at the base

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with some interesting spiciness from the peppercorns, lightly puckering, nicely smooth, nicely carbonated, touch of alcohol heat

Overall: I want to believe

This bottle is almost worth $30. Almost. The sourness and tartness elements are great, as are the strawberry flavors. The peppercorn is kind of weird, but it works. This is not the best sour from Goose Island, but it's definitely worth a try.

Photo of metter98
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is slightly hazy pale yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger bright white head that died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of white whine and sourness are present in the nose along with hints of yeast.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has some added hints of strawberries and oak from the wine barrel aging.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an enjoyable saison that has interesting flavors of wine barrels and sourness.

Note: Bottled on September 11, 2013

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

765 ml bottle (1 pint 9.87 fl oz.) with bottled on date September 12, 2013 printed on the back label. Very excited to have landed a bottle of this beer after much deliberation. Expectations are decently high based on my experience with Goose Island Halia. My bottle lists a 9.50% abv, rather than the 9.00% abv listed on BeerAdvocate.

Poured into an over-sized wine glass, per the death of my snifter.

A - Pours a nice golden orange colored body, much like Goose Island Halia, with about two fingers of fizzy white head, audibly sizzling away. No lacing. Looks pretty nice.

S - Smell is of barnyard funk, ripe strawberries, peaches, white wine alcohol presence, faint but noticeable white pepper, and what some would describe as "horseblanket". Smells fruity and tart. A mouthwatering aroma. I can't wait to try it. Soft leathery notes in there also, much like Goose Island Halia again.

T - First sip kicks off with some tartness and funky brett, followed by sweet ripe strawberries, some white sugar presumably from the honey, bitter yeast presence, some soft leather, and sour grapes from the wine barrel. I'm really only getting the faintest bit of the white pepper on the aftertaste.

M - Feel is just a bit sticky with some yeast and pepper lingering on the palate, but is otherwise as smooth and clean as can be.

Overall, a very nice beer, but I'm not entirely sure I would pay another $30 to have this again. In my opinion, this is a far better and more complex beer than it's sister companion, but still not as utterly remarkable as I was hoping for. I guess I just set the bar too high, since this is some highly drinkable brew, especially at 9.50% abv. Highly recommended; I would undoubtedly have this again if it weren't for the price tag and limited availability.

Goose Island Gillian ---4/5.

Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy bright yellow, nice carbonation, one finger head.

S-Strawberries but not that much, more of a faint note. Some tartness, slight grapes and honey.

T-Starts with strawberry and tartness. The strawberry isn't overly sweet or domination or artificial which was nice to see. Then honey and a tad bit of spice from the pepper. Slight grapes but not much oak.

M-Light with nice carbonation and crisp.

O-A good beer, one of the better strawberry ones. But for the price tag not worth a second try.

Photo of mwilbur
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 765 ml bottle into tulip. Bottled on Aug 30, 2013.
A: Pours a clear yellow with moderate carbonation producing a 1 inch fizzy/bubbly white head. Fairly quickly recedes.
S: Wonderfully fresh and strong aroma of strawberries and white pepper. Hint of honey and citrus.
T: Strawberries and honey up front. Mild citrus and white pepper enters later. With warming, an oaked vinous note emerges.
M: Smooth and crisp. Moderately sweet. Light bodied.
D: For some reason, this beer reminds me of strawberry a good way. Not very complex, but what it does it does well. Hits more like a lambic than a saison to me. Solid brew, not spectacular.

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

765 ml bottle poured into a small snifter. Bottled 9/12/13. Apricot in color. Light carbonation. Slight haze. Aroma includes green apple, faint strawberry and tart vinegar. Some white pepper on tasting. Nice and puckering, great mouthfeel. Delicious.

Photo of StoutHunter
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My friend brought over a bottle of Goose Island's Gillian to share. I really wanted to try some of the new Belgian inspired beers that Goose Island recently released and I was pretty happy when my friend brought over a couple to try, so lets see how it goes. Bottled on September 11 2013. Poured from a brown 750ml bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks pretty good, it's pretty simple, but I think it looks pretty classy. It poured a cloudy bright yellow color that took on more of a golden hue when held to the light with two fingers worth of white head that died down to a thin ring that eventually disappeared and it left some spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, but i wish the lacing and the head retention were a little better.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness that has a really slight honey like aroma to it followed by a good amount of funky yeast being the first to show up and it imparts some funky, barnyard, and wet hay like aromas that really stand out. Up next comes the strawberrys which were a little lighter then I expected but they impart a nice light strawberry aroma with some fruity sweetness in the background. Towards the end a little bit of barrel comes through imparting a dry white wine like aroma that was on the light side. The aroma was pretty good but I thought it could have a little better balance.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness that still had the really light honey aspect to it and it was followed by strawberrys being the first to show up and they impart a light natural strawberry like flavor with some fruity sweetness and a little bit of generic berry flavors in the background. Up next comes the yeast which really shows up and it imparts all the those funky barnyard and farmhouse like quality's that I got in the aroma. Towards the end there's a light spicy flavor with some light dry white wine flavors with an equally light wood flavor that isn't too noticeable and its followed by a medium amount of tartness that was just slightly sour with a fruity and funky aftertaste. This was very nice tasting beer, but with a little more balance I think it could be awesome.

M- Fairly smooth, medium tart, lively, crisp, medium bodied with a good amount of higher medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was very nice and it worked really well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a good example of the style, it had all the aspects that I look for in the style with no off flavors or anything that stuck out as not being true to style, I enjoyed it. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, crisp, lively, not too filling, and the taste did a good job of holding my attention and keeping me coming back for more, I think half the bottle would be the perfect amount but I wouldn't rule out drinking the who bottle if I had the chance and I think this would be a perfect summertime brew. What I liked the most about this beer was the complexity, there were some nice layers to this beer that did a great hob at holding my attention. What I liked the least about this beer was the balance, it wasn't bad by any means, but I thought yeast stuck out a little too much and I would like to see some of those other flavors come out a little more to balance out that yeast. I would for sure buy this beer again, my friend payed $12 for this beer and I think that's a fair price and I would for sure pick one up if I saw it on the shelf. I would recommend this to anyone who likes the style. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, I have been craving something funky for a little while and this beer did a good job at fulfilling that. Good job guys, like i said before I'm not the biggest Good Island fan, but I really like this Belgian series they do and I have yet to be disappointed by one, keep up the good work and I'll keep a look out for more beers from this series.

Photo of GoneARye
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pricey bottle - excited to see if this lives up to the hype.

Appearance: A golden straw color - well filtered, extremely pale. No lacing to speak of.

Smell: First and foremost, I get huge whiffs of peppercorn. The saison yeast kicks in next, with a surprisingly present undertone of strawberry, and a little bit of the wine barrels this was aged in.

Taste: I'm enjoying the strong bite of the peppercorns here - they play extremely well off of the already pepper-like notes from the saison yeast. Reminds me a bit of saison poivre styles, but the white pepper definitely brings less heat and more of a fruitiness to the mix. The buttery chardonnay-like notes are mildly present as I let this linger on my tongue, followed up by a tingle from the gentle carbonation. I'm not sure that I pick out strawberry in the taste, as much as the smell, but strawberry is extremely hard to bring across in beer in my opinion, and its definitely there on the nose. Last taste as I swallow is a pleasant interplay between the sweetness of the honey and the slightly sour notes brought out by the saison yeast.

Mouthfeel: A bit thinner than I would have expected, especially given the honey. The carbonation level is just about perfect - on the lighter end but still present enough to tingle as the flavors mix on my palette. the chardonnay-like buttery feel is present, but more subdued than in other beers like Black Raven's Por Les Oiseaux.

Overall: This is an enjoyable experience and I'm glad I bought this bottle. I'm not sure I'd buy this every year given the steep price, but it is well crafted and the high praise its gets is well deserved.

Photo of kustard
4/5  rDev -3.4%

better with a year on it. good tart strawberry finish.

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Gillian from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 576 ratings.