Harvest Ale | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Harvest AleHarvest Ale
1,095 Ratings
Harvest AleHarvest Ale

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

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark auburn color, citrus hop aroma, caramel flavor, medium body

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-03-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,095 |  Reviews: 403
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lacey medium yellow to amber creamy mouthfeel ESB. Good for style, nice understated citrus bitterness. Mild English bitter aroma,nicely malted. Very drinkable. Carbonation was suitable, though a bit prickly.A litle sugar, a little toasted malt, a little wheat.

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Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 8/2/13.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, tea, citrus, and floral aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and slight floral flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty and very easy to drink.

 516 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Knapp85
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a clear looking deep orange color, the head was an average size and white in color. The retention was pretty good on this beer as well as the lacing in the beginning, not much nearing the end of the beer. The smell of the beer is nicely balanced between malts and hops. Some caramel notes in there too. The taste of the beer has a moderate roasted sweetness up front that finishes bitter. The mouthfeel of the beer was a little over carbonated I think, the beer was still very drinkable though. Overall I think the bitterness was a little too high but all in all it's still a solid brew.

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Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a thin layer of off white bubbles covering the surface that leaves lacy patterns after it dies down. No carbonation is visible in the form of rising bubbles.
S: There is a light to moderate aroma of grassy hops in the nose along with some notes of toasted malts.
T: The overall taste is dominated by toasted malts and has a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and is very smooth. There is a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and quite sessionable.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pleasant surprise to find this on tap at Pazzo's Pizza Pub in Lexington KY. The beer came to the table with a high carbonation rate, slight head retention, and light on lacing. The color takes on deep amber to brown hues with bright clarity. Aromas are faint, but take on deep amber malt / toasted malt character with nuttiness and earthy (English) hop scents. The flavors are also mellow and bring out the same toasted malts found in the nose, along with stronger hop rates, fruityness, and a lightly pungent peat-ey note. The textures are firm, but not heavy or viscous, cleaned up by the hop bittering and dryness. Finishes with a hop flavor, bitterness and a mild toastiness. A good break from all of the sweeter Oktoberfests that I have been drinking lately.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of emerge077
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 8/2/2013. Bit of a gusher upon opening. Pours lightly cloudy orange copper color with a 2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of caramel, grapefruit, orange zest, pear, toast, biscuit, floral, light pine, and floral earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of hop and malt notes; with decent strength. Taste of caramel, grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, floral, toast, biscuit, light pine, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, citrus, floral, toast, biscuit, and light pine on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of malt and hop flavors; with a very nice malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good ESB style. Good balance of malt and hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,172 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best consumed by date: 3/09/2008

A - Poured out an orange/light brown color with an off-white, bubbly, two-finger head.

S - It smelled of grassy hops and a roasted malt aroma.

T - It tasted somewhat bitter with a subtle sweet/fruity flavor. A nice roasted malt taste was present, too.

M - It was crisp and very sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good representation of the style. It is not the best ESB, but it is certainly drinkable/sessionable.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a rocky beige head that splashes some lace

Smell: Suprisingly sweet malty aroma with a bit of earthy hops

Taste: Opens quite malty, with the same sweetness detected in the aroma coming through; earthy hop flavors take over by mid-palate; after the swallow, though the hops maintain their intensity, the sweeter malt clearly has a strong impact overall

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I am afraid the malt profile is a bit too sweet for my tastes

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Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Arthur's Tavern in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a clear deep amber in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall light beige head that reduces to a medium sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of hops - some grassy with lighter amounts of pine and citrus/grapefruit. There is also a light aroma of toasted malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate amount of toasted malts with some lighter notes of pine and citrus/grapefruit hops. Light amounts of bitterness are observed but they do not linger.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Very easy to drink and sessionable - there are some very enjoyable notes of hops along with the toasted malts. A nice fall seasonal beer.

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Photo of mothman
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Rare Vos Glass

Pours a large finger and a half of dark beige head that is very fluffy. Decent retention, leaving some nice lace walls eventually. Color is a clear golden bronze.

Aroma: A ton of fresh floral and pine hops with a big citrus flavor (grapefruit dominates the nose). Has a lot of bready and caramel malts as well. I like it so far.

Taste: Mmm, now that is a nice beer. I was expecting something along the lines of an IPA from the nose, but it doesn't match up here. Taste is a lot more smooth and mellow than an IPA. It has some of the same characteristics, however. The malts seem to be English flavored, very bready, but there are also some caramel notes as well. The hops aren't as fresh here or as bitter as I was expecting, but still a very nice beer.

Mouthfeel: It has some bite, but is mainly smooth and clean. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends with an English malt flavored, relatively clean, aftertaste.

Overall, I really like this offering from GI. It wasn't what I was expecting, but it was still good and quite drinkable. For what it is, I'd easily have more.

 1,124 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice rich frothy almost 2 finger head that fades slowly with a nice lacing, with a brilliantly clear autumn maple leaf amber orange color.

The nose comes right with some fresh hops. A nice herbal and fresh aromatic hop with a touch of musty resin and citrus. Then is some toasty malts, lighter in the background, with a light malty base.

Taste is a little different, with more of the malts shining through this time. It brings some toasty malts, a strong malty taste, a little bready and very toasty. It adds an interesting husk like taste too. There is some light sweetness to bring the malty base into the foreground. Behind that, but not far behind, is a nice hoppy taste, with some spicy, herbal, light lemon grass, and a little bit of citrus. It's somewhat bitter, but not overpowering, somewhat subtle in a way. It also adds a slight fresh musty hop resin taste.

The mouth is medium to lighter bodied with good carbonation.

It finishes with a little more bitterness than the initial taste, bringing more of the hop oils and resin, more spicy hops, a little bit more of the lemongrass and citrus but not much. A very light sticky sweetness lingering, it dried a bit as well. All the flavors linger for a little while, and the dryness creeps up to get pretty dry, accentuating the bitterness.

 1,308 characters

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%

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

Bottled on 09/09/10.Poured into a Willie glass a bright copper color with a fluffy one finger white head that left shotty lace as it settled slowly.Definently malt driven in the nose,caramel toffee,and slightly roasted nuts mainly stick out,slight herbal hop that lingers.Flavors are malt driven and have a bit of malt complexity,caramel toffee,light fruit,and toasted nut,the hops are light with a lingering herbal finish.Not like most harvest ales in the fact its mainly malt,the complexity to the malt is nice.

 513 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 10/8/2012 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark amber color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, a good amount of hops and some fruit.

T: The taste starts out with mild flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a strong hops bitterness comes in along with a hearty malt character creating a good balance. It tastes like a toned version of their IPA. The after-taste is slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid beer to pound down for a long time.

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Harvest Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 1,095 ratings