Goose Island Beer Co.

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Brown Ale - English
Ranked #42
Ranked #33,203
3.77 | pDev: 10.88%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Very Good
Notes: Chocolate color, honey and tobacco aromas, nutty flavor, medium body.
Reviews: 461 | Ratings: 1,094 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
BloodSoakedAleMug from New York

4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Pours a cola colored brown shade with an off white/khaki colored head of foam. Excellent head retention, minimal lacing unfortunately.

Aroma: Tobacco, chocolate candy, caramel.

Taste: Sweet milk chocolate balanced against a predominantly dry and nutty flavor. Savory notes of toasted pecan and slightly peppery earthy hop note. Clean and easy drinking.

Feel: Mouthfeel is just right for the style, moderate carbonation. Refreshingly dry and bitter yet savory thanks to the malt bill.

Overall: I'm not the biggest fan of Goose Island but this one impressed me. This is a really nice cold weather beer, we were just hit with a blizzard a few days ago and I've been enjoying these while we were snowed in. There's just something about snow that makes a good Brown ale so much more enjoyable (or stout or porter for that matter). This is substantial and hearty enough to satisfy your palate and light enough so as to be refreshing. I've only tasted a handful of English brown ales but for what it's worth I think this is a good, although maybe aggressively hopped, representation of the style.

Feb 04, 2021
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From the can, it pours a clear brown with a modest, soon diminishing, light tan head. In the nose, it is light caramel and toffee. In the mouth, the caramel malts come through, with a slight bitter chocolate taste added in.

Jan 14, 2021
Photo of hoptheology
hoptheology from South Dakota

3.42/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can from Tony, best by 3/23/21, into label-less pilsner glass.

Body is a mild coffee color, with streaks of ruby and chestnut towards the bottom, getting slightly muddier towards the top. The head is off-white and 1/4 finger, receding to a stable creamy thin ring. Lacing does not stick to the glass when swirled.

Aroma from the can is piney and nutty, with hints of brown bread and damp pine needle. Aroma from the glass is nearly non-existent. I get a hint of brown malt.

Flavor is likewise piney and nutty. A little bit of chestnut lies underneath the grassy and floral assault, with some raw tobacco shreds and moldy brown bread. Faint suggestions of caramel and coffee lie underneath - but they're merely suggestions. You get used to it the more you drink it, and the moldy bread compounds on the palate into mustiness ad infinitum. This is also the first brown ale that I could see suffering from hop spoilage if you don't drink it soon enough.

Feel is starchy and clingy, with lots of carbonation and palatable alcohol heat. Dry, clinging finish with buzzing heat.

Overall, the English influence is present, with its floral and nutty notes, but the beer overall is not executed well. It's too hoppy, too musty, and nearly bizarre. You can finish it, it's not disgusting, but It's not something I'd be likely to return to.

Dec 25, 2020
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From old, undated notes. Poured from the bottle.

Dark brown in color; ruby when held to the light.

Nice khaki head; decent lacing.

Smells like nuts & high quality unsmoked tobacco. Nice!

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Tobacco & nuts; truly a unique brew.

Not a complete home run but definitely one to try.

Jun 06, 2019
Photo of q33jeff
q33jeff from New Jersey

3.39/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75


Bottle to pint glass.

AROMA: light grains, nuts... weak
LOOK: deep dark brown color, small head
TASTE: caramel first, then some Raisin and hazelnut. good flavor
FEEL: a bit flat


Jan 13, 2018
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in color but not thick, heartier than most nut brown ale appearances, light brown head 1/2". Aroma hit those predictable nuts and bread kind of vibe.

Taste is ample for a brown ale. Very smooth mouthfeel, mild sweetness. Easy to drink. Good format, good price. Not my thing, but you know when its good for style and affordable.

Oct 02, 2016
Photo of Beric
Beric from Massachusetts

3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on a mid-July brewery tour. This is a pretty solid brown ale and one that I believe represents the style decently. The malts are like somewhat darker, fresh baked bread with a pinch of instant coffee flavor and acidity. Subtle caramel notes as well. Muted hops. Very drinkable.

Aug 28, 2016
Photo of SitkaSteve
SitkaSteve from Idaho

3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a sly hazy burnt orange to brown color with a finger's worth of white foaminess rimming the glass.
The smell had subtle roasty nuts playfully blending with some light toffee, and a little bit of caramel.
The taste, pretty much copied the aroma, nothing bad but nothing spectacular.
The mouthfeel was about light bodied, pretty sessionable. Carbonation runs light.
Overall, its a decent Brown ale, maybe again depending what else was served.

Oct 31, 2015
Photo of deltatauhobbit
deltatauhobbit from Maine

3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with a thin light brown head, fades quickly and leaves no lacing on the glass.

Smell has a strong roasted malt aroma, slightly toasty.

Taste starts out with a roasted malt backing, slightly nutty but could be stronger in this aspect, mild roasted bitterness, carbonation a touch aggressive but not overly distracting.

May 12, 2015
Photo of Jerrod-Scott
Jerrod-Scott from Texas

3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Rich brown in color, thin but lasting head. Carbonation is noticeable and refreshing. This is a solid brown ale. Try it instead of a Newcastle, you might be surprised.

Apr 02, 2015
Photo of BEERMILER12
BEERMILER12 from Maine

3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark mahogany/brown color with a fingers worth of head that quickly fades down to pretty much nothing

S: Very malty with notes of molasses, dark chocolate, nuts, and caramel. A touch on the sweet side, but nice overall

T: Follows the nose. Malt dominates lending notes of molasses, sweet caramel and honey, dark chocolate, and subtle nuttiness. The nuttiness shows up more in the finish and in the aftertaste

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nice nut brown with a few good layers that give it just the right amount of sweetness while remaining very drinkable. The nuttiness is present throughout and helps to moderate the sweetness. Solid part of the flight pack

Mar 17, 2015
Photo of fitzy84
fitzy84 from Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought from Table & Vine in West Springfield, MA. From the Goose Island Flight Pack. Served in a glass goblet. The beer poured with a dark brown appearance, a light-colored brown head, and with minimal lacing. A good breath of air gives you the smell of malts mixed with caramel with an almost herb-like hint near the end. The drink had a toasted nuts, coffee, and cocoa taste with a bitter flavor at the end of each sip. The beer was slightly creamy with a medium carbonation making it surprisingly refreshing. Overall, not too bad.

Feb 08, 2015
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5 from California

3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Stone Ruination IPA pint glass
From: Vons in Lakeside, Calif.
Price: $13.99 for a variety 12-pack
Purchased: Feb. 5, 2015
Consumed: Feb. 5, 2015
Misc.: Bottled on Oct. 23, 2014

Poured a very dark brown, almost black, color with two fingers of khaki-tan, frothy head. No lacing. No retention. (Sight - 3.00)

Smelled chocolate, nuts, honey, caramel, toffee, faint vanilla, honey, light fudge and chocolate syrup. Seemed to be forced and fake. (Smell - 3.50)

Tasted chocolate, nutty malts, honey, sugary chocolate, bitter coffee and leather. Reminded me of a slightly better Shock Top’s Honey Bourbon Cask Wheat. (Taste - 3.50)

Medium-to-full body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt finish. (Feel - 3.25)

Didn’t really care for this beer that much. Won’t have it again after these three. (Overall - 3.25)

3.40 | 78 | B-

Feb 06, 2015
Photo of mikeg67
mikeg67 from New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours dark brown with small, creamy, beige head and nice lacing. Aroma is of toasted, nutty malt, chocolate, cacao and some piney hops. Body is medium and slightly crisp. Taste is similar to aroma. Finish is long and semi-dry. Good session ale.

Jan 26, 2015
Photo of ZBowden
ZBowden from Florida

3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark coffee color with a thin beige head, smells of nut pine and roasted malts, tastes of caramel pine and roasted malts with a smooth mouthfeel.

Jan 01, 2015
Photo of SD-Alefan
SD-Alefan from South Dakota

3.8/5  rDev +0.8%

Enjoyed this cask ale at the Goose Island Clybourn taproom.
Poured a nice dark brown with a short but thick tan head.
The aroma is full of malts: toasty bread, caramel and toffee.
The taste is full of malty goodness. Toffee and caramel and biscuits. There is a nice, dry, lingering bitterness.
Mouthfeel is medium with light carbonation.
Overall, a tasty English Brown Ale.

Oct 15, 2014
Photo of Franziskaner
Franziskaner from Missouri

3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown hued,but definitely karts a fair share of light through. A half inch thick light khaki colored head is on top. Brussels lacing. Aroma of caramel and bready dark malt greets the nose. The flavor is filled with caramel,dark malt and a touch of honey. The finish is malty with just a sensation of bitterness from the hops.The mouth is moderately carbonated and creamy.

Apr 26, 2014
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2014-02-19 in Columbia, PA

A - Mostly opaque dark brown with a 1-finger tan head that drops quickly and leaves mild lace.

S - Toasted sour dough bread, cashew, some earthy hop floral.

T - Rich, sweet dark bread, roasted cashews, molasses, earthy spice, light char and finishing roasted and hop bitterness. I quite enjoy the flavor. Not bland.

M - Medium-thick body and light carbonation. Creamy, substantial feel. Nice.

O - This is a good beer. Bolder flavor than many browns. ABV isn't bad for such flavor. Will have this again.

Feb 19, 2014
Photo of mvanaskie13
mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a standard pint glass: color is brown, amber edges, head is tan, good 1/2 inch presentation; head dissipates to ring and fine bubbles with some lacing on the glass.

Smell is pleasant, nice semi sweet chocolate malt, some toast and maybe a touch of roast. very simple but well done.

Taste is malt forward, nice chocolate and toast balance, light biscuit and maybe some oats or wheat, light roast; hops are subtle, earthy, do not detract from this malt forward. ale.

Mouthfeel is the lone negative: malt sweetness presents first, but overtaken by harsh carbonation and possible lingering hop bitterness.

Overall solid flavor, presentation and aroma, poor mouthfeel and presence that detracts from this otherwise quality ale.

Feb 15, 2014
Photo of GilGarp
GilGarp from Colorado

4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 26 Aug 2013.

Served cold into a Sam Adams shaped glass.

Goose Island's nut brown is a nice medium brown color with good clarity and thick off white head. It settles fairly quickly and leaves little lacing.

Aroma is malty and sweet with pleasant notes of nut and caramel.

Flavor is balanced but leaning towards the sweet end. More toffee and caramel, nuts, and a British yeast. Very low bitterness and almost no hop character at all but that's ok for these style.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated with good balance and drinkability.

Overall a very nice warm weather session ale. Maybe not the most exciting beer a Goose Island makes but a solid year-round offering.

Feb 07, 2014
Photo of BeerWithMike
BeerWithMike from Nebraska

3.02/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Sampled tonight on 2/5/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a brandy snifter.

Pours a very dark brown in color with a smaller beige head. Some spotty lacing is seen. The aroma is of roasted malts, caramel with a hint of nut. The taste is the same but has a bitter finish. A bit much for my liking. Average to lower carbonation. Overall, wasn't real pleased with this one.

Feb 06, 2014
Photo of Mike_Moe
Mike_Moe from Illinois

4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark brown color with a brown head.
Aroma: Nice malty aroma.
Flavor: Good hearty toast malty flavor medium hoppy. Medium bodied ale with good carbonation.
Overall: This is a good flavored beer. Not as hoppy or hearty as some, but good toasted malts.

Jan 10, 2014
Photo of JohnFatAss
JohnFatAss from New Jersey

3.16/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I am usually a big fan of brown ales but this offering from Goose Island did not impress me.
Looks nice in a glass. Dark brown in color with a tan head.

Toasted malts, nutty, slightly sweet. Not very bitter.

Easy to drink but lacks flavor.

This beer, by itself is just okay. It would be much more enjoyable if paired with some food.

Dec 21, 2013
Photo of slusk
slusk from Virginia

4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: This brew pours a nice rich dark amber more towards ruby. It has a 1 finger off white head that doesn't last long but holds a light film for awhile. Nice and clear as well.

S: Very low hop aroma, a very malt forward brew. Dark fruit and a slight earthy note with a full malt richness.

T: Malty out of the gate with a light sweetness. Nice medium body, not slick. There is some earthy hop flavor hidden amongst the big maltiness. I get a quick hint of chocolate on the palate and it has a pleasant long lasting after taste that includes an ever-so-slight acidity that lingers. Moderate to low carbonation.

O: This Is quickly becoming one of my favorite Nut brown ales. This is what I would consider a malt forward 'comfort food'.

Dec 17, 2013
Photo of saltymalty
saltymalty from Maryland

4.69/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Smooth and light, very different from the color. You wouldn't expect cleansing ale properties from this brew but that's exactly what you get. The undertones are nutty so it's not too overbearing. It's enjoyable and sessionable, you can have more than a few. There isn't too much of any one characterstic in this brew.

Dec 05, 2013
Hexnut from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 1094 ratings