Gillian - Goose Island Beer Co.
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Ratings: 428 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
4.21/5 rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.
Bottled on 9/11/13.
Pours a hazy orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, grain, strawberry, white wine, wood, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour grain, strawberry, and white wine 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 mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is tasty and very easy to drink.
Serving type: bottle
05-16-2014 04:11:42 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.15/5 rDev +0.7%
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
Serving type: bottle
02-02-2014 02:16:48 | More by metter98
4.34/5 rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Appearance: Pours a hazy orange blossom honey color capped by about an inch of foam that fades quickly, leaving a smattering of dots and squiggles behind
Smell: A lot of acidity in the aroma, with tart strawberries, grapefruit, white peppercorns and barnyard funk
Taste: Biscuity malt lays the backbone, but the lactic sour flavors take over quickly, bringing strawberry yogurt sweetened with a hint of honey; in the middle, the tartness continues to build, with barnyard funk, grapefruit and the peppercorn elements adding a hot complexity; the finish brings back the strawberry elements, though the puckery tartness lingers in the aftertaste
Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation; puckery and a bit hot from the peppercorn
Overall: Pricey, but well worth a try - this beer is a stab in a new direction (and how many beers truly provide that these days)
Thanks, redsand22, for the opportunity
Serving type: bottle
11-28-2013 19:26:02 | More by brentk56
4.28/5 rDev +3.9%
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.
Serving type: bottle
12-09-2013 18:26:46 | More by BEERchitect
3.76/5 rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
this whole series is great, but i think gillian is my least favorite among the ones ive enjoyed so far. it comes across sweet from the strawberry, less authentic fruit than the others, and is rather under carbonated, at least mine was, but this may improve with age. its a funny colored brew, caramel colored almost, a little lighter, with the pink from the berries trying to color it, but getting muted a bit by the slightly darker grains. there isnt much head, and the carbonation thats missing ends up being the real weakness of this beer for me. it taste sweet from the strawberry, like dried strawberries in cereal or granola rather than fresh ones. the saison yeast never really cleans it up, and i dont get half as much of the brett funky and bacterial sourness as i do in the others. it just stays sweet. i also dont get as much white pepper out of it as i would like to, its such an interesting ingredient, easy to overuse, which they dont, but i want to taste it more than i do. i think it gets lost by the belgian saison yeast rather than enhanced by it. the finish is sweet and funky, but its also boozy compared to the others. an elegant idea that could use a little lighter hand i think. maybe age will do this well, but i only ever had this one bottle, so maybe i wont ever know. i think still worth almost what they ask for these, but i liked halia much much better.
Serving type: bottle
05-24-2014 15:51:08 | More by StonedTrippin
3.68/5 rDev -10.7%
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.
Serving type: bottle
12-09-2013 03:37:38 | More by kojevergas
3.78/5 rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Pours a slightly cloudy, bright golden orange color with a half finger white head that immediately fades leaving no head or lacing. Visible carbonation bubbling up.
Vinous white wine barrel aroma with subtle oak and vanilla subtly integrated into the farmhouse yeast, light fruit and peppery spices. The oak is faint but the wine presence really stands out slightly overpowering the saison characteristics. There is some subtle musty, funky yeast but the wine, peppery spice, strawberry and other ester-y light fruit notes stand out. Slightly buttery Chardonnay presence with some strawberries and cream. The oak and honey are kept in check, and although it has nice wine and light fruit character, I wish it smelled a but more like a saison.
On the fuller end of medium body with tight carbonation and a nice wine and ester-y light fruit presence that's nicely integrated into the saison characteristics of the base beer. The white pepper and dry, funky farmhouse yeast stands out much more than in the nose. Sweet and vinous with grape and light raisin complimented by honey sweetness and estery light fruit. Strawberry and cream along with apricot, tangerine, apple and faint citrus acidity. This is countered by some peppery spice with hints if white pepper, ginger and coriander that goes well with the dry farmhouse yeast. Slightly earthy, grassy and funky with some light fruit and subtle boozy sweetness rounding out the finish. The appearance and aroma of this beer aren't too impressive but I find it to be well balanced, flavorful, complex and easy to drink with a well masked ABV. Overall, this is a solid beer but nowhere near worth the hefty price tag.
Serving type: bottle
02-03-2014 06:33:56 | More by corby112
Gillian from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 428 ratings.