Goose Island Beer Co.

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Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
Ranked #19
Ranked #4,440
4.06 | pDev: 11.82%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Notes: Golden sunrise color, baking spice aroma, fruity biscuity malt flavor, dry body.
Reviews: 1,326 | Ratings: 4,933 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of trevormajor
trevormajor from Ohio

3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle born on 8/25/16 poured into a pint glass at 53 F.
L - dark, almost amber, with a nice head that dissipated slowly
S - You can smell the Brett and a bit of clove and hops
T - Not sour, but you can taste the yeast/brett immediately, mixed with clove, a slight hop flavor turning to somewhat fruity on the finish
F - A bit on the thin side, little carbonation in the mouthfeel
O - A different beer, not like any other pale ale I've had. 4+ years in it seems to have lost some hoppiness

Wednesday at 01:21 AM
Photo of jws7968
jws7968 from Illinois

3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I thought this was going to be bad as it foamed out the top of the bottle when opened. This was not an issue. Pours brownish, orange with nice lacing. Smells of bananas and tastes somewhat tart. Bottled August 24, 2016

Sep 12, 2020
Photo of KRug
KRug from Massachusetts

4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 10/23/18

I’ve had this one sitting around for a while but it seems like every time I open the fridge I’m not really in the mood for something like this. Except tonight. I need some (Americanized) Belgian in my life

Pours a murky light brown with a finger of off white head that quickly reduces to a cap and leaves no lacing

The nose is pretty lively here. The Belgian yeast lends notes of banana, pepper, and light bubblegum. There’s minor notes of lemon and honey to support the yeast

Hmmm, this is more tart than I expected on the front end. Right off the bat I get tart lemon and mild pepper. Post swallow brings more of the same, but layers in sweet malt, light hops, and orange. Quite tasty actually

This has a medium body and very light carbonation, leading to a smooth and refreshing drink. It finishes a bit too sticky for my taste, but it works out in a beer like this

This was actually pretty good. I haven’t had many strong Belgian pales, but I might have to start seeking more out

Aug 21, 2020
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EmperorBevis from England

3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled and purchased from Altrincham town Tesco store
Pours a slightly hazy mud brown body with with decent enough off white head
Aroma is candied peel and distilled grain
Flavour has that with a lovely tartness

Aug 13, 2020
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NCAHappyHour from Kansas

3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Okay - I don't write connoisseur reviews. That said -- I like this beer because it isn't over the top hoppy, but still has that bite. I haven't seen many people describe it as a farmhouse ale, but that's how I would best describe it. The ABV seems a little stronger than 7%, but I'm not on my ass after a few. Not your "after yard work" beer; it's not what I would call "refreshing" -- more after you have showered and are getting ready for dinner. All things said, I would probably opt for Sofie, but Matilda is right after. My only disappointment -- they changed the label. The label below was classic!

May 23, 2020
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HellsRanger from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pours a nice straw/light amber with significant white foam and light lace.
The aroma is all fruity Belgian yeast that just wets the palate. (Lip lickin' Drool)
The taste is full on Belgian brew...sweet, edgy, sharp, & earthy and make this an enjoyable adventure for the palate.
As for the is semi smothwith some sharp, dry tanginess on the tongue with mild champagne like.
Overall a Really pleasant Belgian quaff to have and just enjoy.
P.S. this also ages well in the bottle over 5 years...according to label. Can't wait to try the (6)...I have in the cellar in a couple years, and will review again.

Nov 18, 2019
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. Poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Cloudy golden pour with massive foamy white head. Great lacing.

S: Belgian candy sugars... honey and spice.

T.F: Sweet up front. Honey and caramel mixed with fruit and spice. Banana, light clove, and lemon citrus. Light hopping for bitterness. Tea, leather, and yeast. Medium bodied... sticky on the tongue and dry at the finish.

O: A very nice Belgian Strong... great mix of flavors and even with some age it was still a nice change of pace. Would definitely have it again.

Nov 12, 2019
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BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the tap at the Goose Island bar at O'Hare airport. Presented well in a stemmed glass - orange amber in color with a small head. Light scent and decent taste.

Oct 30, 2019
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mbcarrol from Pennsylvania

1.46/5  rDev -64%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I love Goose Island's Honker's ale and enjoy most Belgian ales, so I thought would be a winner, especially with the rating on this site. Boy, was I wrong. Don't waste your money. Tastes like what I've smelled in centuries-old buildings. Truly nauseating.

Jun 27, 2019
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npolachek from New York

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thought this beer was very mild in taste. Had direct from tap at the brewery in Chicago. Has a musky aroma and still a solid beer but not one of my top picks of the day.

Jun 19, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled 9/25/15; drank 12/8/15 @ the Yarchives.

Semi-opaque orange appearance.

A rough pour yielded a small, noisy bright white head which quickly dissipated; minimal lace.

Banana, apple cider, mild caramel & faint cinnamon notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Apple cider & mild orange citrus flavors up front; banana & mild cinnamon spice notes on the finish.

A nicely balanced Belgian treat. I'd have another...

May 13, 2019
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Viaduck from California

3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Burnt orange color with moderate head. Aroma of mild spices, not very intense. Interesting taste of sweetness, bitterness & a lasting saltiness. Flavors: caramel, grain, a mint if banana, spices & some funk. Medium body.

May 04, 2019
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Bruno74200 from France

4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1.5 years old bottle of this bretted belgian style ale.
The brett is very nice and compliments well the estery and citrusy character of the beer. An enjoyable brew

Apr 25, 2019
Photo of defunksta
defunksta from North Dakota

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass at 45 degrees,

Look: Pours a beautiful coppercolor with a tall whitehead
Smell: Aromas of Belgian yeast. Lots of coriander. There is tart darker fruit. Nevertheless, this is all overwhelmed by a wet cowhide, leathery, funk that develops. A residual sourness is present as the beer sits.
Taste: Initially slightly tart and slightly sweet stone and orchard fruit come forward. This is quickly overtaken by a strong, mostly earthy, cowhide leatherness, barnyard flavor. Much like a wet leather shammy or sweaty baseball glove. It's like a garage in the hot summer. Mild yeast. Semi-dry finish with a hint of a bitterness. Banana and sweet biscuit, and caramel malt flavors. The earthy funk and malt sweetness actually develops as the beer sits and becomes more complex. I can actually smell the cowhide inches away from the glass!
Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, light mouthfeel, and crisp. Not too heavy.

Compared side by side with Goose Island's Sofie, this one has a much stronger leathery funk. The fruit is tart, more orchard and stonefruit. and less citrus. Less yeast spice overall. The sweet malts finish at the end without the biting yeast bitterness.
Compared with a Tank 7, there is less of a spiciness yeast presence, but more of a sour, funky taste.

Overall: An absolutely delicious creation by Goose Island. The ABV is well hidden and the flavors are well balanced between sourness, bitterness, yeast, and funk. Not one flavor is dominating. This is a well-made beer that incorporates many flavors and nuances well, without one predominating. Very fruit and Brett forward. This Brett has a darker, earthier barnhouse, leather funk profile than others wild ales if that is what you prefer. I would describe it as eating dried dark stonefruit sun-baked on a leather canvas all day. It takes experience to appreciate the balance of flavors in this beer. Absolutely delicious if you enjoy the dark, wet, fruity leathery flavors like I do.

Feb 22, 2019
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SpeedwayJim from New York

3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz. bottle into Night Shift stemware. Shared by schen9303.

Nose is pretty floral. Hints of peppercorn, hibiscus, lemon zest, flour, hay and a light, spritzy Brett presence. Aromatic. A touch sweet. Beer opens bright, prickly. Notes of peppercorn, cane sugar, lemon zest, hay and grass. Biscuity towards the middle with some cinnamon bitterness. Foamy, floral at the finish. Decent. Body is light with moderate carbonation. Some bubbles on the palate. Goes down soft with a dry, lingering finish. Very drinkable.

Solid but this gets a touch watery at points. Peppery notes come through a bit too much, creating a kind of odd bitterness.

Feb 19, 2019
Photo of Tony210
Tony210 from New Jersey

4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium Amber, ample foam head. Malty biscuit aroma, slight funk. Malty and crisp, nice malt backbone, caramel, light sweetness, slightly tart finish. Overall, a very nice take on a Belgian ale, I like the Brett addition. Would drink again.

Bottle dated 10/18/18
4 rating

Feb 17, 2019
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Helluvaz from California

3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a tap in Goose Island in Chicago ORD airport.

L: amber color with thin head
N: Malty scent, toast and roasted barley malt. Some scent of spice (cinnamon and clove), nuts.
T: Abbey beer taste, malty, roasted spice and a hint of sweetness.
F: balanced finish. Not dry.
Overall: great beer to buy. Slightly lighter than other Abbey beers I had. Recommended.

Dec 10, 2018
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. Label's bottled on date is '14AUG17'.
Cloudy, deep gold colored body. One finger white head stays around with lots of individual bubbles. Leaves behind some partial sheets of lacing.
Faint aroma of fruity malts and baking spices (cloves). Presents a whiff of slightly sour yeast.
Taste has several stages of progression. First is slightly sweet fruit with spice (raisin and banana), then some malty bread sweetness, and then the slightly sour yeast at the end. The after taste is a blend, with the fruit and spice coming back.
Medium mouth feel, with slight syrup. Good carbonation. Dry at the end.
This beer has a blend of subtle flavors that present individually in stages but mix together at the end. Well done, and the yeast is a very good addition to the recipe (adds flavor and feel).

Nov 02, 2018
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iguanodon from Utah

3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

[Original rating 2015-12-30] 765 ml bomber. Pours hazy dark gold with a small off white head. Aroma of yeast and spice, but there is a metallic smell. Taste is sweet malt, a little caramel, with a bitter finish. Nice mouth feel, steady fine carbonation.

Oct 24, 2018
Photo of Harrison8
Harrison8 from Missouri

4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark copper-brown that carries a clear transparency. It has two fingers of off-white foam that retains well. Aroma is clove, yeast, plum, and bread malts with a light lactic sour twinge in the back. Flavor profile is bread and pale malts with plum, raisins, yeast esters, banana, and clove all livening it up. There is a touch of sour, but only a tinge, especially towards the end of the flavor profile. Mouth feel is medium-thick in terms of consistency with a fuzzy, velvety texture. Overall, it drinks like a big and well-done Belgian strong ale with a light twinge of sour, just enough to add a unique twist.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 12oz bottle.

Oct 23, 2018
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hman43 from North Carolina

4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours hazy orange with a bit of yellow tinges in it. It has an off white head with moderate head retention.

Smell: There is a good deal of barnyard elements with some spice. There is a bit of lemon and coriander as well.

Taste: The flavors feature barnyard and leather with some spice. coriander is the most noticeable spice. There is a bit of lemon to it as well.

Feel: It has a moderate body and has a very dry finish.

Overall: A quality saison with plenty of Belgian elements to it.

Sep 16, 2018
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Wolvmar from Michigan

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, Aug 25, 2016, so almost two years old. 7% ABV. Bought at Beverage Warehouse. Who knows where/what this beer has been through before I found it there.

Pour: tulip glass. Poured a golden/burnt orange. Fairly hazy. One finger head that quickly dissipates into a few clouds and a thin ring. Nice to look at.

Nose: cloves dominate with some bready yeast and malt. A little dark/tropical fruit, maybe some pepper as well. Pretty upfront and pleasant.

Taste: more peppery than the nose with cloves, other spice(?). Some banana, bready yeast/malt. As advertised, fairly dry and little aftertaste. Enjoyed this with Bigalora pizza. Would go with most anything.

Mouthfeel: fairly high carbonation even after two years. But just enough to tingle the senses but not overwhelm. Somewhat viscous but clean on the finish.

Overall: I’m not a Belgium ale expert but I would think this is a good representation. Spiced but not overdone. Plenty of complexity to make it an interesting and refreshing drink.

Jul 21, 2018
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.14/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours relatively orange with an off white head 3/5" very good retention, stuck around a solid 4-5 minutes. Aroma is bread, spice rack.

Taste is more bread and spice rack, decent amount of phenolic bitterness. I am not a fan of all this clove and spice rack. Never have been and it is in significant form in this BSPA iteration. I don't get a lot of stone fruit or bubblegum flavors, its more of that yeast business all swole and shit. Dunno what more I can say about this, I rarely like BSPA but when I do, they usually keep the yeast profile in check. This one it just bullies the entire beer around, didn't really have much to speak of hops or other nuance beyond yeast sledgehammer over here.

Jun 29, 2018
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depechemode1983 from Texas

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep orange amber. Head is off-white with moderate retention and little lacing.
The nose if full of Belgium spice up front. Picking up clove, candy sugar, sweet bread all mixed in with a yeast spiciness.
Taste is sweet, bread like, and spicy. This one is heavy on the clove. Still the bread and yeast push through making for quit a complex taste.
Mouthfeel medium bodied and well carbonated.

Jun 29, 2018
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keithmurray from Connecticut

3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - body is golden with a eggshell white head

Smell - brett funk, belgian yeast, clove

Taste - apricot, green apple, pear, brett funk, clove

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, brett upfront, citrus follows, dry finish

Overall - decent belgian style ale here, definitely worth a shot. Wonder what some age does to this beer?

Bottled in 8/2017

Price Point -$2.29/ 12 oz single

Jun 08, 2018
Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 4933 ratings