Mild Winter | Goose Island Beer Co.

very good
373 Reviews
Mild WinterMild Winter

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

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Toffee color, dark bread aroma, caramel and rye flavor, medium-light body.

Added by botham on 08-17-2008

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Reviews: 373 | Ratings: 905
Photo of Mitchster
4.8/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

$8.99 for a 6'er. Brewed with 2-row pale, carapils, dark chocolate malts, roast barley, and rye flake. Hopped with Willamette and Tettnang. 28 IBU's, 5.6% ABV.

Pours out to a clear dark brown, forming a tall, stiff light yellow head with excellent retention and great solid sheets of lace. Very fine small layer of yeast in the bottom of the bottle. Carbonation is moderate. When I first smelled this, I thought, hrmmm...something spicy in here, and seeing as how it's a "Winter" ale, I thought, maybe nutmeg or ginger, but no, it's the rye. It's very subtle but adds a tremendous depth of character on top of the mild toasty malts and hint of lightly toasted grain husk. Wonderful nose. The mouthfeel is smooth and soft, nice and rounded with a light acidity and a clean finish. The taste opens up with a lightly hoppy carbonated acidity, followed by nuts, like toasted almonds with a lingering mild sweetness in the middle, finishing with a hint of caramel, and then this really nice mellow aftertaste of leather and tobacco. Infinitely drinkable.

This has to be the single best brown ale I've ever had. There are layers upon layers of complexity, and it's exceptionally smooth, flavorful and drinkable. Not a single fault. Subtle and balanced. This, to me, defines a mild brown ale and what it should be. I am definitely gonna have to stock up on this while it's still around. Very highly recommended. I would give it all 5's if I couldn't imagine it was even better on tap.

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Photo of bearsxco
4.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a pint glass. Poured amber in color with a one finger light beige one finger head, almost white in color. Slight reddish copper color when held up to light. nice mild smell, plum and light nuttines, winter smell. A lot of retention as glass empties. Very little carbonation. Slight plum and nutty flavor. Great balance of spices and flavor. A perfect winter session beer. One of my favorites that I always have on hand during the winter.

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Photo of equinox
4.6/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So I brought this beer along to drink after a hike on a mild late-autumn day. It was the first time I had this beer. I have enjoyed other Goose Island products, and I thought I'd give this one a try. I did not realize it was a rye beer, an I had never had a rye beer before. This was certainly the most refreshing winter beer I'd ever had and it was spot-on for after a strenuous hike. I would describe the beer as light. I did get the vanilla and hazelnut taste. It also was creamy. I would recommend drinking this in the afternoon. You could certainly enjoy a couple. I think you would like this beer and I would suggest picking some up. I

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Photo of Darker
4.58/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Goose Island Mild Winter was one of the beers I was recommended by kegworks Facebook blog. To start off it looks and smells wonderful. It is also, to date, is the first rye beer I have ever tasted. The flavor is excellent and remains solid during the first pull with little to no aftertaste, but what is really impressive about this beer was the mouthfeel. Goose Island Mild Winter is like drinking liquid silk. I could draw some parallels to a mouthfeel equivalence with some of the cold coffee beverages on the market such as the Starbucks frappuccino, but the feel of this beverage in your mouth is truly sublime. The only criticism i would wage against this beer is that, and this may be personal, is that it makes me feel thirsty afterward, as if there was a small amount of MSG in the bottle, this though may be just an aspect of the style.

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Photo of Brunite
4.55/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A dark amber color with some orange tint around the edges. A nice medium spongey off-white head results from a moderate pour. Not much lingering lace.

Smell: There is sweet caramel malt backbone that comes through on front with just a little rye on the edges. Very little hoppiness noted.

Taste: This beer comes across almost as a brown ale at first. Bready, malty, sweetness predominate. Some toffee. As the beer warms....the rye comes through.

Mouthfeel: Medium thick....slightly chewy. Carbonation is just right. Leaves a touch of lingering sweetness and rye taste. I like the lingering flavors here...what I want from this beer.

Drinkability: Perfect for this style. This goes down easy and leaves a pleasant flavor memory. Lower ABV and IBU make this one a great session beer. While called "Mild Winter"...this is drinkable and fills a slot in my fridge all year long.

Overall: A great "average" beer. Not world class. But light years ahead of BMC junk. A great beer for the rotation when you want something easy too drink that is heavy on flavor without blowing you away. Good stuff and another great beer from GI to add to the stable.

EDIT: (2-5-11) The more I drink this one....the more I am impressed and the more complex the flavors seem to get. The rye stands out more and more as you experience this and know what to look for. This tastes like a loaf of fresh rye bread. Each swirl of the glass reignites the foam and the creamy/chewiness is amazing. I like this more each time I try it and had to give it props.This beer is definitely in my "top 10 to have in the fridge all the time" list. If Founders Red's is my "go-to" Rye/IPA...this is my "go-to" Rye/Brown Ale. These two will keep any rye lover happy!

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Photo of TheOtherBob
4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This reminds me of the old, long-mourned Goose Island Nut Brown that I used to drink in college, with perhaps more of a rye note. The Nut Brown was one of my favorites, so I'm glad to see a similar beer make an appearance.

The appearance is dark brown, with a good head that sticks around. I walked away for a bit while it warmed, and when I came back there was still a solid head. Nice.

The smell is a little nutty, with some raisin -- and clearly some malt hanging around.

Taste is what you expect -- malty, solid, smooth.

And it certainly felt good to me going down.

Overall, I don't think this is the best beer I've ever had -- but it's familiar, it's comforting, and it ...I mean, can I say this? It makes me happy. It's like an old friend. So for me it's a great beer -- even if it's not necessarily anything special.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.52/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 11-18-12.

A- Pours a deep, rusty brownish red. Clarity is high despite the dark color. Dense, medium head of about 1.5 fingers. Great lacing and retention.

S- Mostly malty, with some sweet mixed in. Dull malts include caramel and toffee notes. Nutty flavor mixed in too, with a muted brown sugar like sweetness.

T- Starts off just like the scent, with a pretty solid malt bill. Caramel and toffee notes start and dominate throughout most of the drink. Persistent moderate sweetness underlies the whole drink with brown sugar notes. Slight hints of the rye and wheat grain peak in and out. The drink ends with a small, malty bite. Lingering caramel and toffee malts stay on the palate for a short while after the drink.

M- More carbonated than expected, but still incredibly smooth. Dense, frothy head adds to the feel on the tongue, thickening it up a bit. Smooth and moderately thick going down. Having no alcohol feel or taste, this one is good for a session.

Overall, I am presently surprised by this beer. I've been passing this up quite often and find myself regretting it now. A pretty darn tasty malty beer that's easy drinking and affordable. Go out and try it.

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Photo of Chugmonkey
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. Thought this would be passive and boring - NOT!!!

Enticing looking brown/auburn color, creamy thin head, nice webbed lacing.

Smells earthy, slightly spicy, very inviting. Taste is earthy, slightly spicy, toasty, bready, lots of depth to savor in the taste.

Feel is pure silk, just slides down before you know it. Leaves you craving another big swig as you ponder the wonderful complexities of all the flavors.

This blew me away. May be the best thing besides deep dish pizza to come out of Chicago ever. I can't imagine how a fresh mug on tap would be. Excuse me while I wipe this drool off of my chin.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.48/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a clear rusty burnt orange-brown with a thick very stable ivory colored head. nice thick rings of lace and excellent foam retention, this one is rye rye nice to look at.

S-tons of spicy rye character in the aroma, with the allowance of not being overly hopped. toasted bread crust, mild caramel and toffee, and a touch of cocoa, faint hint of citrus and cassia. the toasty rye aroma is amazing.

T- again, plenty of rye flavor with some tartness, some caramel & chocolate, but this is not a sweet beer, its grainy and woodsy and dry, a little smokey, a real 'man' flavored beer. it literally tastes like hearty toasted grains, rye bread WITHOUT the caraway, and floral noble hops and that's all. what beautiful simplicity. finishes with a zesty bitterness that smooths out quickly .

MF- medium carbonation, medium bodied, with a pleasant husk feeling, somewhat juicy, tight prickly bubbles, slightly astringent

D- you know, when i was a young boy, my grandfather would... wait a minute. nevermind. i like how this beer lets the rye flavor stand out most of all. very satisfying. goose island is one of my favorite breweries despite their AB ties and they continue to supply this side of the country at least, with excellent beer. great for a session, even in springtime.

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Photo of bamadog
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, and to be sure, I'll definitely be picking up some more of this. I see that when I am reviewing this that it has a B+ average, but I feel that when it's said and done my numbers will give it a slightly higher score than that because I am absolutely digging this beer.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, but not like a coffee brown, more like a really dark tea, and shows some light ruby highlights; comes with a 2 finger head that is thick, frothy and merengue-like; body is very clear and shows moderately strong carbonation; full lacing holds to the sides of the glass; head dwindles very slowly and remains a full thick skim on the surface.

Smell: Amazing! Light coffee roastiness (reminds me a bit of Coffee Bender, actually); slightly carmalized sugary scent is blended in as well... not really complex, but very potent and wonderful smelling.

Taste: Just like the name, the flavors are mild, yet very nice, especially the light coffee roastiness; slight nuttiness and natural sweetness; aftertaste is a soft hoppiness that brings about just a slight touch of a grassy bitterness for balance.

Mouthfeel: A little thin, but still fairly creamy; carbonation is very soft; a very slight stickiness is left behind. I would have liked the body to be a bit thicker, but overall it's still pretty decent.

Drinkability: Nice for cool weather; moderate ABV and it's not heavy at all, nice mild flavors make for a great sessionable beer. I could drink this all day long during the holidays.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly clouded amber brown. Creme head. Nose is exactly what I would think a mild to be. Full enough rye/grain character. Flavor brings a hearty rye flavor profile. It doesn't obliterate my mouth, but it's pleasant enough. Feel is smooth on liquid and the carbonation is middle of the road with a slight nip at the tongue. Mmmmm. This is a nice rye. I could go for several of these on a cold, snowy, miserable night. Or any other time for that matter.

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Photo of sonata2008
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Mild Winter was on tap and was served in a 16 oz. glass. It had a dark copper color with light creamy foam and some nice lacing.

Smell: The aroma was filled with toasty, roasty notes. There was also a hint of chocolate and whisper of coffee.

Taste: I could really taste roasted malts in this beer and also a light bit of coffee flavor . Lovely malt taste. I could almost chew the grain.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with light carbonation. Dry finish with a bit of fizzy carbonation at the very end.

Drinkability: I love rye beers and I found Goose Island Mild Winter to be a very drinkable beer. Nicely balanced. It would go well with many things - chips, pizza, steak, salad, etc.

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Photo of homersimpson67
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful dark chocolate with a giant frothing 3-4 fingers of thick malty foam.

Very inviting ale that smells terrific, malt and cocoa and perhaps a smidge of nutmeg, reminds me of Christmas in the 70's.

Taste is quite enjoyable, definately mild as the name implies but very satifying and quite drinkable, maybe its the rye that is so inviting, quite delicious.

Mouthfeel is nothing special but the overall mild flavor and smell make it a real nonfactor, at least for me.

Overall a very nice winter ale that was a pleasant surprise at the small town local liquor store. Haven't always been a huge fan of Goose Island but they seem to have gotten something right with this one. Don't remember trying a beer with rye before but it is definately something I'll look forward to trying again.

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Photo of cadizkyguy
4.41/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into my Sam Adams Sensory Glass and WOW, what a great looking brew. I've had this beer in the past month but this is the first time in my SA glass and it's definitely a 5.0 in appearance. I'm surprised at how few reviews this beer has. All I can say is a lot of people are missing out on a great offering from Goose Island. Smells like fresh baked bread. Tastes very bready, too. You can taste the rye. Mouthful and drinkability are very good, too. Too bad this is only a seasonal offering and I have only two more in the fridge. I purchased this at Santori's Liquors in Lansing, IL and glad I did.

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Photo of fx20736
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, served cool.

transparent chestnut brown with a 2 finger off white head.

aroma of rich toasted malts, chocolate and a faint, vegetal hoppiness.

mouthfeel: soft and powdery.

taste: light dusting of cocoa and toasted pecans on brown bread. Imagine Malt-o-meal with just enough herbal bitterness for balance.

damn! this is tasty, tasty beer! ABV seems a bit high for the style but wow this goes down easy and then some! Another fantastic beer from Goose Island!

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Photo of beergod1
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a darker dull brown amber with a thin bubbly white sudsy head. Smells like an ESB, wet grains, spicy toasted malts, caramel, light floral hop bite. This stuff is very mellow, a rye ESB, softly spicy, softly malty, softly bitter, slightly chewy and bready, light floral hops. Medium/light bodied with sharp carbonation.A really nice balance for very drinkable beer. I really need to find more of this...can't seem to find this in this area very easy.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a sample bottle dropped off today. Bottled on date was 10/31/08. Into the Two Brothers pint glass...

A - Light brown body with three fingers of head that left very attractive lacing. Good retention.

S - Rye is nice and spicy, very present in the aroma. Molasses and caramel sweetness are complimented by esters and a perfume hoppyness.

T - The entry contains nice caramel sweetness, with almond nuttiness and a nice toasted quality to the malt. The rye spiciness hit me immediately, and grew as I approached the swallow. Just a bit of balancing hops in the finish, leaving a nice, spicy and bready finish.

M - Plenty full, with very mild carbonation.

D - This is impressive. I hope it tastes this good with a little bit of time in the bottle. In a season full of spiced beers, it was very refreshing to try a beer going in a different direction. Everything a wonderfully balanced, with a nice, rich traditional malt complexity. Look forward to seeing this everywhere as the new winter seasonal.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An incredible surprise currently on tap at Pazzo's.

The beer opens with a bright amber, golden, orangy hue that seems to glow in the glass. A froathy eggshell colored head forms on top of the glass and laced, retained well down to the last sip.

Aromas favor the carmel, toffee, malty notes first with a spicy, malty rye pepperiness that makes a seamless transition into the classic Goose Island floral hop character. Very inviting aroma.

Flavors also portray the malt profile that is caught somewhere between an Amber Ale and a Brown Ale. Again the spicy rye notes provide the perfect bridge going into the hop floral hop notes at mid-palate.

moderate body that seems malty-rich up front, but has an evaproative quality that lifts off of the tongue and whisps into a classic hoppy dryness for maximum drinkability.

The beer tells the same story from the appearance and aroma to the taste and texture. Very consistant throughout and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of RichieS2
4.37/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into pilsner glass.

A - Dark brown, just barely able to see through, Respectable lasing left on the glass.

S - Pleasing bouquet of malt, a lot of noticeable spices.

T - Starts with the pleasant lightness of wheat which is soon replaced with myriad spices which then ends with a citrus finish. In other words the taste is excellent. Nice

M - Nice and thick.

O - Great! I really liked this one and would recommend this to anyone when the weather is cold.

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Photo of obrendano
4.36/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

absolutely perfect for the light dusting we just had in Maryland

A - rich varnished wood color, foamy head, could not ask for a prettier ale

S - nice dark smell to it, wet toasted barley and rye, caramel and hints of milky chocolate

T - this is malt city, mouth is coated in warming toasty taste, some prickliness from the rye and an incredible chocolate undertone, maybe some slight hints of hop, but the real winner here is the chocolate malt and the rye

M - very smooth, not too bubbly, easy drinking

D - as I said, a good one to put on some music and chill with in the warmth while watching the rest of the world deal with the bitter cold outside your window

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Photo of sgoodship
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the JewelOsco grocery store on Des Plaines & Fulton in Chicago. Bottled on 11/11/08.

A: Dark brown at the top and more golden colored at the bottom. Nice one finger frothy head. Really nice spotty lacing as the brew is consumed. Every sip revitalizes the head.

S: Nice bready malt with an exceptional earthy, sour, dry rye malt.

T: Very tasty. A crisp, refreshing start that goes into a lovely round bready malt taste in the middle and finishes with a rye sourness that adds a sharp tang on the palette. Not that familiar with this style but I have found that rye is really appealing to me in general. I love how it quenches the thirst. As the brew warmed up, more of a caramel malt joined the action and it was a really nice addition. The combination of sweetness and sourness almost took on a lemony profile.

M: Feels almost medium bodied - so smooth. Full in the mouth but slight tingly carbonation combined with the rye is so nice and crisp.

D: Lovely brew. It's so easy to get carried away with big beers and forget to appreciate the lovely subtleties of milder brews. This is a wonderfully refreshing beer. Perfectly balanced and just right for a session.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a murky amber color. The head is one inch of solid eggshell colored foam that recedes quickly into a nice cap of lacing. The aroma is of toffee, caramel, a hint of cocoa, and a faint hint of spice. The taste is similar to the aroma with a lot of complex toffee and caramel malt flavors and just a little spice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with light, soft carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a very good beer that I will surely drink again.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rye beer is not one of my favorites, but this one works for me. It may be the first rye that I would buy again.

I was picking up some beers on Friday at one of the stores with a weak variety (Marcs), but they had this (something I had never had) and the Goose Island xmas beer. So I went for the all goose selection. I knew the xmas was OK ad I figured I could sip these over time if I hated them. What a pleasant surprise.

Unlike many ryes, it doesn't hit you in the palate and take over everything. It is a bit mild (as in the name) for a rye, and that's why I like it. It's still good even though they are almost gone.

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Photo of pmccallum86
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a deep dark red color with a thick bubbly head.

Smell is of light rye and caramel malts, pretty damn good.

Taste is great, smooth rye malt with some spice and creamy sweet malt character, very good beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with low carbonation. Good beer, I am pleasantly surprised with the taste of this bad boy.

Very drinkable, great beer.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Goose Island seems to have stepped up their brewing in the last couple of years, and this is another triumph. This rye ale is an attractive deep amber with a rich foam and a fruity, biscuity nose. So far seems enticing! Taste is a surprisingly smooth and spicy, with a hint of clove. Subtle and tasty, this one's definitely enjoyable.

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Mild Winter from Goose Island Beer Co.
3.75 out of 5 based on 905 ratings.
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