Kilgubbin Red Ale | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Kilgubbin Red AleKilgubbin Red Ale
167 Ratings
Kilgubbin Red AleKilgubbin Red Ale

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: Irish Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
This ale pays homage to the Irish who settled on Kilgubbin Island, in Chicago over one-hundred years ago. Made in the Irish tradition, Kilgubbin is brewed with roast barley and chocolate malts giving it a rich ruby color. A touch of malted rye gives it a spicy finish.

Added by Mitchster on 02-15-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 167 |  Reviews: 133
Reviews by mobyfann:
Photo of mobyfann
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Paid $5.99 for a 6-pack...

The beer pours a slightly hazy dark amber colored base, with an off-white tinted medium head, great head retention and very nice lacing effects. The aroma was a little bit of hop flare and that was it.

The taste is filling, a nice mix of toasty malts and hop character. The M&D both fit very well, the head retention add more to the taste and the aftertaste is pleasant. The drinkability is top-tier, I would gladly drink this as a session, and for $6 you can't go wrong.

Final Thought: Another reason why Goose Island should dominate the Midwest... they are clearly better than the Boston Beer Company.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper with reddish highlights aroma caramelly sweet with some light nuttiness.Taste is just about everything like in a beer biscuity and some caramel malt along with a great nuttiness.Way to drinkable I might have all six before the day is over the best Irish Red beer I have had to date.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine March 2007.

First, Goose Island gets marks for presentation. Clear, reddish brown color, with some killer head retention! This beer really wants to stick to the glass in a very appealing way. Very aromatic, with fresh and redolent floral hop, and dark, watery, caramel malt. A bit nutty too, with a rousing, spicy, rye note. Impeccable smooth- ness throughout. The creamy, medium body really holds things together, and makes this brew insanely drinkable.

Medium hop bitterness and flavor. A kiss of hop oil with a mild bitterness keeps this beer in proportion. Hints of steely grain and soft malt sweetness. Soft, chocolaty notes; hearty breadiness, and a distinct spicy, rye malt flavor. Nice semi-steeped tea character. Finishes relatively dry, with a bit of grain tannin in the linger.

This brew is an homage to Irish immigrants who came to Chicago and founded neighborhoods known as Goose Island and Kilgubbin, some 150 years ago. We think they'd be honored. The use of chocolate malts and rye is superb, and gives what can sometimes be a rather dull style tremendous appeal. As a result, this is one of the better Irish Style Red Ales to meet our palates. Pair it up with a traditional Irish breakfast or boiled dinner, or a nice Irish cheddar. Yeah, it's a no-brainer, but damn good. Sláinte!

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Photo of Todd
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish-brown copper beer with a lasting white foam head.

Aroma is grainy with faint notes of spice and a toasty/bready finish -- I swear I smell some faint smoke too? Clean.

Smooth and easy on the palate with a coarseness that breaks thru in the form of a bitty grain feel backed by a crisp carbonation that livens things up. Malt sweetness is medium, balanced, there, not too sweet and rather dextrin-y and neutral. Light toasted character. Overall a fairly dry beer. Thin fruity flavours mix well with a subdued citric splash of hops. Finish is dry with metallic flavours around the edges and oily hop leftovers.

As far as Red Ales go, this is a damn fine example.

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Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown color, brightly glows in the light. Creamy colored lace is bubbly and randomly sticks to the glass here and there. Sweet highly toasted malt, smells of fresh baked dark bread with a hint of caramel as well in the nose. Moderate body with a creamy back, level carbonation that adds a lot of crispness. Toasted malt flavor creeps in slowly and brings it to the point of being close to roasted, slight nutty flavor from both the malt and yeast. Spiciness comes from a touch of malted rye though the hops are in there also. Faint smokiness comes out of no where, this might be from some floor kiln dark malt. Hops are light in bitterness yet they have no problem balancing. Fruitiness is trivial and the clean finish is full of residual toasted grain flavors.

Great stab at the Irish Red Ale style, very malty without the clinging hoppiness that some have. One the clean side with fresh malty flavors bursting within.

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Photo of merlin48
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a clear copper body with a scant beige that quickly falls to a collar. Some chains of lace are left on the glass.
Roasted caramel malt and spicy floral hops comprise a subdued aroma.
Mouthfeel is light medium bodied and the carbonation seems a bit too much.
Taste has a slightly sweet caramel malt backbone with good floral hops bitterness.
I'm not much of a fan of Irish Red Ales, and this one doesn't do much to alter my opinion of the style. Good drinkability, but not something I would buy again.

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Photo of animal
4.75/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Overall an excellent Irish style red ale. I sampled some during a recent visit to relatives in Chicago, and I was quite impressed with this particular beer. It seemed to have a rather pleasant fruity mouthfeel and finish.I will definitely have this again on my next trip to Chicago.

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Photo of ADR
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright red-brown appearance, wafer thin tan head that settles to a permanent skin. Just a slight bit of lace generation. Slight peppery and smoky almond aspects to the nice aroma. Medium body, nice restrained carbonation, and a nutty cinnamon and dark toast kind if impression to the flavor. The hop aspects and overall finish are a little minimal for balance, but all-in-all, seems kind of cool and "old school" in brewing characteritics like those from across the pond.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a Nonic)

A- This beer has a deep reddish-brown crystal clear body that is a bit opaque. There is a creamy off-white head that last and last with a gentle carbonation to keep it going.

S- The smell of fresh malt and fresh green hops come through in this beer. A hint of dry lightly toasted malt comes through as it warms.

T- The fresh pale malt has a nice dry biscuit note with some chocolate malt in the background. The green hops that finish have note of pine and pepper in them.

M- This beer had a medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture.

D- This beer has fresh well balanced hops and malts with a good complexity to the malt. The beer had an overall dryness that really enhanced the malt flavor.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of SetarconeX
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasty little brew, picked up on a recent trip to Chicago. Comes in a nifty, celtic themed bottle, though I'm not allowed ot give any points of that. A bit darker than some red ales I've seen, which is a good thing. The smell is pure malt through and through. Smell matches the taste, which is heavily malty, and without the hop bitterness that you seem to often get with this style. Likewise, it's a bit less harsh on the mouth than the average red ale.

A good beer, and probably the most easily quaffble red ale I've had. Much more malty than usual. It's a nice twist.

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Photo of soper2000
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

best when consumed by 7/18/2004

Pours a nice golden amber color with a small white head. Smell is pretty intense with notes of roasted malts and sweet caramel. The nose belies the taste. There is some malty sweetness but it's not overwhelming. This is a pretty faint tasting beer but it's solid. Mouthfeel is average as is drinkability. I like Goose Island and will continue to buy their products. This is a decent offering, not their best, but not their worst.

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Photo of SMark
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was poured into an Imperial pint glass at 41° from a 12 ounce bottle. There was a bottled on date on the back label along with a note to serve in an Imperial pint glass. A 1 ½ finger head developed with the pour displaying slight carbonation and slight lacing as the head disappeared over the next four to five minutes. The beer was a medium brownish red and very clear.

There was a hint of malt attributable to the bouquet but not much else which I would attribute to the temperature of the beer. A more pronounced malt aroma developed over time but this too was not dramatic.

There was more malt taste than aroma and bitterness was sensed on the tip and sides of the tongue. Taste was definitely better than your average beer.

Best taste and feel was actually in the top of the throat and at the back of the mouth. Liquid went rather quickly through the mouth and then gained some focus.

I would try to drink this one a little warmer the next time unless I am drinking it in late spring or summer when the air temperature is more than 30°F. This is a satisfactory beer and could be considered as one of those session beers although it might be a little alcoholic at 5.2%. ABV on website says 4.5%.

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Photo of cokes
2.67/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Shadowy amber-brown with a vanishing beige head.
Dominating aroma of rye bread. Crusty and ever-so-slightly nutty. Attractive.
At the start, taste follows these footsteps, as rye bread is preceived from the get go. It turns a touch earthy prior to a big carbonation sting that vanquishes the mouth of all discernable flavor. Returns a bit later with some increasingly astringent hops and a miniscule lingering nuttiness. Oppressively dry, without even a glimmer of sweetness. Very wrong.
Thin, watery and over-charged within the mouth.
Worthless, but still drainable.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber with lace. Slight floral aroma. Easy drinking malty transition brew, with a sample of spice, nuts, chocolate malt, roasted barley, and slight pine bitter hop. More sweet than bitter, and malt on aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel. I never had a bad brew from Goose Island, and Viggo's ladyfriend, who brought it, is a native from there was with us in this session.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at the new Lakeside Grill restaurant on Toronto Road.

A - Deep amber brew with a solid finger of khaki foam that shows pretty nice retention and leaves a little bit of sticky lace on the glass.

S - Big time grapefruit hops and caramel malty notes. Smells really fresh and fruity.

T - Citrus fruit, caramel malt, lightly toasty flavors, and loads of hops. This actually reminds me of Fat Tire, but better.

M - Medium-light in body with a good deal of carbonation and an off-dry finish. Very thirst quenching and refreshing.

D - One hell of a session brew. Like an amber ale should be, this is far from complex but it is really fresh and tasty. The tart fruit hops and off-dry finish make this a great beer to have with food.

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Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, Woodman's, best by 6/26/06

appearance: pours a full mahogany-amber into a great dane imperial pint glass, full foamy beige head with, very strong retention, pretty clear body. an appealing irish red

smell: a surprising dose of fresh and alive green hops, sweet caramel malt presence, very earthy aromas, a touch of spice

taste: while the aromas were nothing tremendous, there is a lot going on in this beer....fresh green hops, sweet bready malt, rye, creamy caramel, a decent spice presence, a woody feel, a hint of smoke. A very good irish red from goose island

mouthfeel: medium body, adequate carbonation

drinkability: sessionable

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of fishkab
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This did not overly impress me. The other homebrewers I was sampling with opined that as it's a seasonal, the keg at the "brewhouse" (employee breakroom) was old. Still, great head, nice earthy smell, taste is fine, certainly a vast improvement over any other so-called "Irish Red" in this country. Any Goose is worth seeking out.

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Photo of BigJim5021
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber as one would expect of a red. The head is off-white and none-too-impressive with very little lacing. It was, however, bottled back in January, so a loss of carbonation is not too surprising.

The flavor is fairly typical of what you would suspect from a red. Slightly malty and a tad sour, but in a good way. Aroma is much of the same.

Not too complex, and nothing that will knock your socks off, but it's a nice enough beer. And at $7 for a six-pack, the price is certainly right.

While it's not my favorite Goose Island brew, it's still a pretty decent beer.

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Photo of Hobbz
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very deep reddish brown in my glass with some slight foam from a slow but steady release of bubbles. A rather clearish liquid with a faint caramel-sweet nose. After a few longish sips, I noticed some nutty overtones (grainy-nutty better describes this). Hops do not dominate; I sense I may be getting some of the bite from the carbonation. A pretty good beer for the springtime/early summer, as I found it securely within the realm of “Irish” red ales.

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Photo of russpowell
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review based on notes

Pours an effervescent amber with 2 fingers of pearl white head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Leafy hops, caramel & biscuitty malt

T: Leafy hops, caramel & toffee up front. More leafy hops, apricot, & dryness as this warms. Finishes with more leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & good balance, maybe a bit too hoppy for the style

Drinks good, not a style I go wild about, but worth a try

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Photo of jackndan
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kilgubbin? Spelled from memory. One of Goose Island’s seasonal beers. Not so much a red beer, as slightly off-kilter brown. Great head, white and creamy with real staying power. Its one of those clean/malty smelling beers. Hey, nice taste. Very nicely malted, not much in the way of hops, but one does not look for hops in this sort of beer. Great, long lasting after, almost a sweet rye bread taste. Very nice.

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Photo of bditty187
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coppery-bronze hue with hints of auburn, clear, the off-white head scarcely reached a half finger before fading quickly to soapy patches of bubbles. Subsequent lacing was very spotty. The nose is very nice, toasty malts are coupled with piney-citrus hops. Clean. The bouquet seems more like a Pale Ale then an Irish Red, oh well, it is has a very nice aroma. The palate is nicely hoppy with tasty citrus notes and pine needles; this is very crisp and clean with only faint hints of yeasty fruitiness. The malt imparts very few flavors; a trace of caramel malts, there also seems to be a hint of wood. The palate lacks depth; it is a one trick pony, just hops. Where is the maltiness? Kilgubbin seems more like a naked English-style Pale; it turns out okay. This is plenty tasty and very drinkable, the abv is low enough to session with; this is a beer that is begging to be paired with a juicy hamburger. It is refreshing and appetizing; the hops worked a magical dance down my throat. Medium in body, surprisingly sturdy, the carbonation is firm and a little forceful. This is a simple beer that is a joy to drink, worthy for those “everyday” needs. I’d like more. Purchased in Sioux Falls, SD.

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Kilgubbin Red Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 167 ratings