Harvest Ale | Goose Island Beer Co.

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

Pours a hazy golden/orange color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of hops, some spice (all spice or ginger), and some sweet malt. Fits the style of an Extra Special / Strong Bitter. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with a high carbonation level. Tastes of hops up front, some all spice next, then some slight tart malt in the background. A general dryness is associated with this brew, but the great mouth feel makes complements the dryness nicely.

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Photo of climax
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I sampled this beer a bit out of season, nonetheless it was still solid

appearance was nice, mostly clear amber/orange with a generous head that left sticky ornate lace

nose was great, spicey pumpkin notes hit first followed by a toasty breadiness balanced by piney hop bitterness

taste wasnt quite as spicey as the smell. piney cascade hops equaled by the malts, a bit citrusy as well, more of the caramel malt surfaced as it warmed

mouthfeel was pretty clean, good carbonation, crisp and a somewhat dry yet oily finish

easy to drink, real nice flavors. sampled this fall brewed beer in march and it was a pleasure

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a flying fish pint glass. this is the last one from my 6 pack so it's time for a review.

A- GI Harvest Ale pours out a light tan to amber color with a 1 inch white frothy head. It eventually died leaving a solid ring around the glass and some foam on the surface. Some nice spray paint streaks of lace on the glass as well.

S- A true harvest ale with scents of bittering hops with some smoother malty tones giving off somewhat of a caramel sweet tone. The nose is not explosive but it does have a nice smell to it. Some toffee comes out with warming.

T- The malts come into play moreso in taste then in smell granting the title of a "harvest ale". The bittering hops come through in the middle with more malt coming through leaving an aftertaste of some caramel/toffee. Slight dark fruits are so ever off in the distance. A great ESB.

M- This harvest ale has a medium body with a nice amount of carbonation, nothing over the top. This is very smooth going down with both bitter and sweet factors playing off one another nicely. I had a few of these and the bitter aspects did not detract from the overall enjoyment.

D- At 5.6% and the flavors representing this style of beer nicely, this would be a go to for sure when it's available but alas, goose island is not distrbuted to PA. This is quite a sessionable ESB & is not overdone like some other attempts at this style.

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Photo of johanvond
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From The Dead Man's Chest
Nov 12th 08

This offering pours amber with a rocky two fingered head. There is a slight chill haze but some nice lacing. Emitting an aroma of wet hops honey and grapefruit and sticky sweetness. The malts are strong enough to support the the spice hops. A good bold yet ballenced Harvest Ale. The Fresh hops have a chance to shine but don't steel the show. The sweetness plays well off the citric spicy bitterness of the hops.

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Photo of UA8
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a classic amber tone with moderate off white head.

S- Nose explodes with fresh citrus hops.

T- The palate mimics the nose with citrus hops leading. Hops are followed by semi sweet malts that bear the flavors of fall.

M- Nice moderate carbonation with decent cling.

D- This is a really tasty, possibly my favorite, harvest ale, this season. The flavors speak to falling leaves and campfires.

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Photo of beckje01
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark honey color with a white head and lots of lacing.

S- Hop nose and no malt to really speak of.

T- Mild hop with some balanced malt in there, a nice easy flavor.

M- A touch thin but nice activity.

D- Very drinkable not really the best ESB but not really horribly off like many have been for the style.

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Photo of Stygr
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark copper, with an off-white head.

S: Great citrus hop aroma, very fresh, my god do I love the smell!!

T: Great balance, wonderful hoppiness to it but then a subtle sweetness like an Autumn day...reminds me of raking leaves, and then jumping into the pile, that sweet smell of leaves.

M: The mouthfeel is right where it needs to be. nice long finish.

D: Easy to drink and easier to love. A perfect beer for the Fall season.


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Photo of Kegatron
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Big thanks to Monkeyknife for a bottle of this in a recent locals trade.

Pours a clear amber with a couple fingers of poofy off-white head. Retains with a big, creamy, dollop of foam that just COATS the side of the glass with a sticky latticework of lace. I'm actually surprised by how handsome this looks in the glass. The aroma is fresh smelling herbal hops (that's giving off a bit of a dank edge), along with notes of spice, citrus, and bready bisquits underneath.

The taste is earthy, herbal, and spicy hops with a silky underbelly of bread and toffee providing support. Finishes with some light tang and even lighter bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a wonderfully smooth and creamy carbonation and feel. Very nice.

Solid stuff here. I was really digging the more earthy edge this had plus the body just felt fantastic in the mouth, really helping bring the flavors up. A really nice fall seasonal from Goose Island.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper with a medium off-white head that reduced to a thin cap and left nice lace.Aroma issweet caramel malt up front followed by a citrus fruit hop aroma. Some toffee and dark fruits in the background.Flavor is malt forward for sure and if this is supposed to be an ESB then this is right on. A decent amount of citrus hops and caramel/toffee taste. Medium body with a nice smoothness from the rather soft carbonation. A decent amount of lingering sweetness and mild hop bitterness.Good with plenty of caramel flavour mixing well with just enough of a hop kick to make this one interesting. Very Good .

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear, dark copper, with a half inch head of off-white. Ripped sheets of lacework appear with each sip from the glass, and a moderate skim-coat remained on the surface the duration.

Aromatics are lightly floral, earthy, and hoppy. A smidge of wet hop grassyness pulls through along with light malt. Shades of tangerines and apricots follow through. A trace of burnt rubber in the finish detracts slightly.

Medium bodied and crisp, with a lightly creamy mouthfeel.

Crisp malt, citrusy hops, and ripe fruit lead off the palate. A minerally crispness follows through as well as a mildly drying bitterness.

Finishes with a wave of drying bitterness, citrus fruits, and light malt.

A harvest ale that does have some wet-hop character, but certainly a pretty timid (but tasty) example.

Big ups goes out to BA MacDomer for a great bonus beer!

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Photo of pasdachuri
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark copper / orange, with an off-white head.

S: Great citrus hop aroma, very fresh

T: Great balance, wonderful hoppiness to it but then a subtle sweetness. Reminds me of fall.

M: The mouthfeel is light with just a touch of oilyness that gives the beer a nice long finish.

D: Easy to drink and easier to love. A perfect beer for the Fall season.

Another great delivery from Chicago's Finest!

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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 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 schellsbeer
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What is there not to like about this beer. Excellent all around.

A - Copper Brown Orange. Nice head that stays with you as a thin lacing all the way through. Coats the entire glass. Very Nice.

S - Hops!!! Orange. Bitter smelling but a little sweet. Citrus. Very Very Nice.

T - Great tasting Seasonal ale. Bitter - You can definitely taste the hops. Very fresh and crisp. Lemon with orange. Really enjoyed this brew. One of the best from Goose Island. Could also be classified as a cross between an APA and IPA. Very good.

M - Taste is all over the nouth. Not too thick but better than your average American Lager. Good.

D - YES....At only 5.6% alcohol, this is right around where a drinkable beer should be. Not overpowering on the alcohol. And not too strong so one can enjoy a few and not get the big buzz rush that many beers give. Nice balance.

Well worth the price I paid for a random 6 pack for around $9 at Dennis Brothers in the Twin Cities. Thanks guys.

Thanks Goose Island.

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Photo of kballer
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great brew. Poured with a smaller head than average. THe smell was citrusy and delicious. Tastes very good with citrus notes and a fair amount of bitterness.

I could defintely knock back a lot of these. Very drinkable.

This is a good session beer and I will be picking up a sixer in the future

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Photo of drxandy
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to tulip glass, pours a beautiful reddish amber, cream colored head is dense and retains nicely

smells of nice hopping, malty backbone, roastiness

tastes of a nice hop blend from the start, malts aren't overwhelmed by the hops and shine right behind them, roasty, caramel, biscuit, toffee, reminds me a bit of sierra nevada's celebration mixed with an oktoberfest, excellent balance and flavors

mouthfeel is of nice lingering hops, great malt flavors, easy drinking, easy to session and highly delicious.. mmm

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Photo of MillySox
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great seasonal brew modeled after a classic style. Medium copper color and a full head. Deep and complex hop aroma. Perfect amount of body to balance formidable hop bitterness. Best of breed.

Like other Goose Island seasonals, best to get your hands on nearer to the begining of the respective season. Late Aug / Early Sept for this one.

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Photo of cratez
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A hidden gem from Goose Island. This beer has a superb taste and no stylistic flaws. Smell consists of strong hops, very much like an IPA. There's a sweet malt flavour with a subtle bitterness, extremely smooth mouthfeel, and a zesty, fruity hop aftertaste. Lacing is solid and clings to the glass in half-inch rings. An impressive American extra special bitter.

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Photo of kingothewoods
3.17/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured nicely into a pint glass with a creamy thick head. The color was a deep copper with some red coloring. Good head and head retention.
Smells very sweet which must have been the malt but you also get a kick of the hops they used.
Tastes OK for a fall type seasonal brew. The hops definitely come through and this beer is heavily carbonated. Liked it but not sure the drinkability was very high.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It smells very hoppy but it is a good hop blend much like the flavor with a little bit of malt sweetness earthiness coming from the background. It has a bronze red hue with a tan almost brown head. There is a lot of head and lace to this beer. I would say about two and a half fingers. The taste is like the aroma but a little earthier but still a good use of hops is very apparent in the flavor. It is almost like an IPA with some bitter citrus tones. Mouthfeel is very fizzy and with that comes a decent amount of burn.

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Photo of antilogic
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to drewbeerme for the bottle. Popped it to celebrate pre-Halloween and bring the harvest spirit to southern California. Pours clear amber/copper with a generous, lasting white frothy head. Hops, citrus (lemon) and pine dominate the aroma with a slight yeastyness and earth when I swirl. It smells better than it tastes, but remains very drinkable. Crisp, slightly malty and a kick of hops for flavor fading quickly to a bit dry and bitter on the after taste. In fact, it leaves my mouth slightly dry, but wanting for more. Not a bad ESB.

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Photo of MacDomer
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle at happy hour.

A - This one pours a semi-clear bronze color. One finger light tan head that was slow to recede. Left a nice sticky lacing on the glass.

S - Starts off with citrus, and piney hops, as well as some grassy/herb/earthy smell. Some light toasty notes and carmel for balance, as well.

T - Same as the nose. A bit sweeter than I would like. Good hop flavor, good balance with caramel and toasted malts. Hops are more citrusy than piney in the taste - grapefruit, pinapple, orange. A bit yeasty, too. Through the finish it becomes slightly grainy.

M - Light to medium body. Smoooth enough, carbonation is medium/medium-heavy and provides a nice bite. Dry and bitter finish.

D - Pretty high. Goes down easy. ABV is manageable. Light and refreshing. Great? No. But pretty good.

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Photo of ohiohophead
4.59/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first thing I noticed when pouring this brew into a pint glass was the wonderful nose on it. Wow! What a fantastic hop aroma!

Poured a very nice 1" head that left nice lacing for the entire beer.

As I lifted the glass to my mouth, the large hop aroma hit my nose again and I expected a beer as bitter as an Imperial IPA. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the malty, bready flavor that stood up nicely to the strong hop presence. The bitterness did slightly overpower the malt flavor, but did not dominate.

This beer was a little hoppy for the ESB style, but it was a true pleasure to drink nonetheless. This harvest ale has a light to medium mouthfeel and is very drinkable.

I am going to run to the store and try to get another 6-pack of this before it is gone and then I will look forward to autumn 2009 when I can get this beer again.

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Photo of younger35
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a pint of this at Goose Island Clyborn for around $4. Surprisingly enough this is my first reviewed Goose Island brew. Drank from a Goose Island pint glass.

Appearance- This one is darker than expected with a reddish orange color and a nice big one finger bright white head. The head lasts the entire beer and leaves plenty of spotty ring-like lacing.
Smell- Wonderfully pungent and piney with loads of citrus goodness throughout. Grapefruit and Orange pith standout, as well as a lightly floral bouquet of hops. A small amount of softly roasted malt adds a bit of light nuttiness and a touch of caramel sweetness.
Taste- Surprisingly this is a fairly well balanced beer. Some grapefruit and orange pith up front with a raw green bitterness. Almost a rose hip type of floral aspect as well that gives the perception of perfume on my tongue. A bit of caramel and toffee back everything up adding a bit of sweetness and a slight nuttiness. The sweetness doesn't last long as the bitterness works its way back to linger on for quite some time.
Mouthfeel- Nice full body with very light carbonation and a nice oily smoothness.
Drinkability- Overall this is a pretty solid Harvest Ale. Usually these fresh hop brews smell quite a bit hoppier than they taste but this one manages both. It was a good beer to start the day with and I'm glad it was on special!

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle. this has my mind blown. color is brown with a hint of amber, light head. smell is malty, light hops. the taste is what throws me off. hoppy up front, light IPA, but the finish is very malty. reminds of an oktoberfest. light carbonation. i must say this caught me off guard. this is very sessionable.

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