Goose Island Beer Co.

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Wild Ale
Ranked #124
Ranked #1,026
4.28 | pDev: 10.05%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Notes: A rye beer aged in French oak (Robert Craig Cabernet Sauvignon) with blackberries and Brettanomyces.
Reviews: 374 | Ratings: 1,637 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by ThisWangsChung:
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a reddish copper color with excellent vibrance and lowish clarity. The head sucks - as soon as it tries to form, it fades to nothing in no time.

S: Light vinegar, rye malts, pleasant earthy funk, tart blackberries, and other assorted fruits. Lacks the restrained intensity of La Folie, but I still like how it smells a lot.

T: The first sip brings intense tartness, but it balances itself well with the rye's neutral bitterness and the ever-so-slight dark berry sweetness. The barnyard funk appears on the aftertaste and exhales. There are some light subtleties throughout, as well, aiding complexity. I said that the rye and mild sweetness helps balance it out, but it still seems a little harshly acidic at times. Otherwise, it's damn good, with a nice Flemish-style quality to it.

M: Very dry and mouth puckering, which is expected given its wild characteristics and rye backbone. I really like how the prickly, lighter texture becomes slightly creamier after swishing it around in the mouth. It's more of a sipper than a chugger, to be sure. And while carbonation is high, it's never overdone. If I have a complaint, it's that the oak tannins are a little overdone on the back end.

O: The only other sour I've had apart from La Folie - and it ain't La Folie. This is best split amongst multiple people, because a little REALLY goes a long way. Despite that, it's still a wholly solid and unique wild ale that any sour lover(s) would enjoy.

Jul 08, 2012
More User Reviews:
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KYGunner from Kentucky

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

No hint of slowing down this wild ale had all the sour and tartness that I love but was so smooth and easy to drink. Flavor tended towards cranberry juice but I could certainly taste the Sauvignon grapes and blackberries.

Jan 18, 2016
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BillRoth from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Jul 14, 2013
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OldIronLungs from Massachusetts

1/5  rDev -76.6%

Jun 17, 2014
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Phillyz from Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +11%

Jun 09, 2013
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shelby415 from Oregon

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Aug 14, 2014
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Farnswurth from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Nov 05, 2013
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sahd-1 from Illinois

4/5  rDev -6.5%

Apr 28, 2014
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GreatStoutman from Texas

3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 12, 2016
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Burt from Rhode Island

4/5  rDev -6.5%

Apr 23, 2014
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DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Juliet 2010, bottle pour at Hawthorne's for Goose Island Migration Week. "Aged in Cabernet barrels with blackberries and fermented with wild yeasts"

A little faded, no doubt, but still legit and delicious.

The taste is on point, sour ma non troppo. Crisp, vinous, fruity. Yogurt and old milk. Plenty of bacteria to go around.

The mouthfeel is still remarkable strong despite the age, with a nice peppery-spicy-grape-y finish that lingers oh-so-pleasantly.

So drinkable and easy, yet complex.

Sep 29, 2015
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inlimbo77 from Delaware

4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, 1/26/12
Lost Abbey snifter

A: Pours a beautiful pinkish plum color. Definitely berry like. Lots of carbonation streaming off the bottom of the glass. Thin ring of bright head head forms around the edges of the glass. Leaves no lacing at all. Very effervescent and bubbly like champagne.

S: Smells of funk: wet hay, horse blanket, etc. There is some tart berry smells in there too. Also, that lactic acid smell. Red wine vinegar.

T: Right up front on the tongue you get blasted with tart berry. Lactic acid flavors. Not a Gueze like mouth pucker, but definitely some little dangers in the tongue. Middle of the mouth, the tart funky notes are still there but it mellows a touch and smoothes. Very vinous in nature. Nice dry wine finish. Leaves you wanting and needing another sip.

M: Light bodied. Very easy drinking. Alcohol amazing hidden. Don't taste it at all.

Jun 17, 2012
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tsauce2 from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Oct 19, 2013
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Houser from Pennsylvania

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

Nov 22, 2016
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NeilFlaiz from California

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Jul 19, 2013
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sanha926 from New York

4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mar 16, 2016
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ygtbsm94 from Utah

3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Jan 29, 2012
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SpdKilz from Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Taken from notes when I was home in the Midwest. A big thanks to Peesie for letting me know a few locations where this beer was still available. Split between my brother-in-law and myself.

Appearance - Pours into a pair of RR Tulips with a ruby-red color that is slightly pink when held up to direct sunlight. About three fingers of fizzy white head that quickly dissipates once it "settles down" and leaves decent lacing. There was slight over carbonation issues but nothing along the gushing lines.

Smell - Tartness, funk, softer fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. I am really only used to RR AWA's so this is a new type of aroma from this type of beer. More whiffs yields the very prevalent brettanomyces character of the beer.

Taste - Similar to the nose though the most prevalent berry taste I notice is blackberry. Not as tart as I was expecting, nor very sweet. Somewhere in-between to be honest. Also not as funky as I was expecting, though not in a bad way. To put it simply, this is a relatively "balanced" AWA if there is such a thing. Not as puckering as say Temptation or Consecration, though still enjoyable in its own way.

Mouthfeel - Quite carbonated, almost overly so. Somewhat spritzy. It prickles the tongue though I don't consider it to be a dire distraction from the overall character of the beer.

Drinkability - As with all AWA's, in my opinion, you can't really session them. This beer was quite drinkable in the fact it was not as mouth puckering as other AWA's or sours. Overall an enjoyable beer to be sipped on the 51st floor of a downtown Chicago condo looking out over lake Michigan and Navy Pier. Glad I have one more in my Midwest cellar, and that I know of a place that will most likely have quite a few of these on their shelves for years to come.

May 28, 2010
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takashi37 from New Jersey

4/5  rDev -6.5%

Jan 16, 2012
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anteater from Oregon

4.12/5  rDev -3.7%

Dec 04, 2014
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scottDC from District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -6.5%

Jul 21, 2013
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

May 14, 2016
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dfillius from Iowa

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Sep 06, 2012
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thecheapies from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 01/26/12 and served in tulip glasses.

Pours a lovely warm shade of rosy burnt-orange. Very effervescent on the pour, similar to sparkling wine. The head fizzled loudly to a small outer ring on the surface. 4.0

Sniffing this one, I get a lot of sourness and a lot of Brett. An emphasis on Brett; nutty morels and rife with horse blanket and wet straw. Very tart note of berries is outshined by the prominent French oak barrel. Notes of vino from the cabernet are also quite evident. Very lightly crisp rye malt note that is flooded by acidic aromas and cheesy funk. 4.5

Exceptional layout with a forefront prickle of spicy rye base and nutty Brett funk, easing out into green berry tartness and oak in the middle, and finishing with a pronounced vinegary sour that's semi-fruity, more rye grain, and a clenching tannic character. Don't get me wrong, the acidity is there from start-to-finish, but the other flavors trade spotlights early in the sip. Just the right amount of 'pushing-the-envelope' tartness, overall. Woody, sour, and with a half-teaspoon of sugar sweetness. Vinous notes are lesser than those in the nose. Notes of white cranberry, tobacco leaf, red currant, blackberry, and sour cherry. 4.5

Drinks slowly because of the acidity. Big pucker dries out this light-medium body of beer. The carbonation is pretty stand-pat. There's enough going on in the complexity of flavors that you don't need a showy effervescence. Well maintained. Justifiably exquisite. 4.0

American Wild Ales have a pretty high ceiling, in general. Juliet hovers amongst other great examples in the top tier of sour craft beers. An elegant offering from a prestigious brewery. One o'their best sister beers. 4.5

Jul 25, 2012
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notchucknorris from California

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Feb 19, 2014
Juliet from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 1637 ratings