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Gillian - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
GillianGillian

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

472 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 472
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 8.96%
Wants: 46
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
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Ratings: 472 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by metter98:
Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%

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

metter98, Feb 02, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%

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 BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%

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 DanGeo
4/5  rDev -3.1%

DanGeo, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

tectactoe, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of freshflesh
4/5  rDev -3.1%

freshflesh, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

warnerry, May 14, 2014
Photo of fo1ksguitar
4.5/5  rDev +9%

fo1ksguitar, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of Janeinma
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Janeinma, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of mrw1zard
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

mrw1zard, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of xdefeatsy
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

xdefeatsy, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of MattyG85
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%

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.

MattyG85, Feb 21, 2014
Photo of TKEbeerman
4/5  rDev -3.1%

TKEbeerman, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of williamjbauer
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

williamjbauer, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of valkyre65
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

valkyre65, Jul 02, 2014
Photo of jtladner
4/5  rDev -3.1%

jtladner, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of 01001111
4.5/5  rDev +9%

01001111, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of jeonseh
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%

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

jeonseh, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of mtpHokie
4/5  rDev -3.1%

mtpHokie, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of Schlafly33
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

Schlafly33, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

acurtis, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of rye_so_serious
4.5/5  rDev +9%

rye_so_serious, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of InVinoVeritas
4.75/5  rDev +15%

InVinoVeritas, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of joeseppy
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%

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.

joeseppy, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of mdaschaf
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%

mdaschaf, Sep 05, 2014
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Gillian from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 472 ratings.