Goose Island Beer Co.

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Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
Ranked #20
Ranked #5,067
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: 1,333 | Ratings: 4,952 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rapayn01
rapayn01 from Kentucky

3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's been about 5 years since I had this beer at a local event (held at the football stadium in a large party room. This is not a style I generally pursue, but I found this beer to be tasty and the flavor grew on me as I consumed it. I didn't take a lot of notes on Untappd but I found the bottle to be somewhat spicey and unique.

Jun 16, 2021
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rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Drink by 10Jan26.

L---Rich, clear copper color. White head faded to a cap fairly quickly and left ok lacing.

S---Sweet, rock candy, clove & yeast.

T---Dried fruits, candy sugar, spice, yeast.

F---Medium/full bodied. Good carbonation.

O---A really tasty one. I was going to buy two, but only got one. Wish I had gotten two.

May 21, 2021
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Sigmund from Norway

3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

355 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. Also available in Norway at Vinmonopolet. ABV is 7%. Deep golden to amber colour, big white (or slightly off-white) head. Strong fruity and spicy aroma, notes of cloves, Belgian ale yeast and alcohol. Fairly rich mouthfeel. Drank it a bit too warm, but the flavour has a decent fruity and malty sweetness with some notes of mild spices and moderate hops in the finish. Pretty good stuff.

May 08, 2021
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Beertsipper from New York

2.79/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Look: Amber/copper. Very small beige head.
Nose: banana, clove, bubble gum, band aid, rubber.
Taste: Follows the nose, with a mild malt sweetness. Sweaty socks also detected.
Mouthfeel: Medium with a chewy to oily kind of vibe.
Overall: Probably the worst representation of this style that I've had. And this is a style I basically enjoy very much.
Won't purchase again.

Nov 24, 2020
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slightly hazy and deep copper gold color with thin, dense white lacing.

S - Sweet light Belgian candy sugar aroma, pear, a hint of white grape, and spice.

T - Light spice, a little bit of green apple, white grape, and pear, with biscuity malt.

M - Big medium body with soft, gentle carbonation.

O - As I work through this 12 oz bottle it's starting to grow on me.

Nov 13, 2020
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jkblr from Indiana

4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle Drink By 04NOV24 (about a year old) poured into a tulip glass at fridge temp 7% ABV 26 IBU. The beer pours moderately hazy in a medium amber color. The head is light khaki and recedes to a thin ring and single layer of bubbles. Minimal lacing. The aroma is mild funk, pineapple and a little wheat malt. The taste is semisweet wheat & biscuit malt with barnyard funk creeping in before an earthy mildly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation and a mostly dry finish. Overall, good.

Oct 08, 2020
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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

Sep 23, 2020
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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
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Rug 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
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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
Photo of mbcarrol
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
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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
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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
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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
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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
Matilda from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 4952 ratings