Goose Island Beer Co.

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Belgian Saison
Ranked #159
Ranked #2,825
4.12 | pDev: 9.95%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Notes: 80% Belgian Style Ale, 20% Belgian Style Ale aged in wine barrels with citrus peel. Champagne color, white pepper aroma, citrus & vanilla flavor, sparkling body.
Reviews: 1,144 | Ratings: 4,661 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by portia99:
Photo of portia99
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 poured from a 22oz bottle into a Portsmouth goblet. Tasting courtesy of nonstick.

A - Pours a beautiful pale straw yellow with ample carbonation. A tall white head that dissipates quickly leaving a tiny ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Not noticible lacing.

S - Tons of citrus, mostly orange, little bit of lemon too (almost Sprite like in aroma). Some sweet aromas and a little bit of spice. Very nice.

T - Light, lemony flavor, hints of sweetness from orangy touches. No hop bitterness or flavor at all. This could go down really quickly. Only the faintest woody flavors come thru. Probably wouldn't pick up on it if I didn't know it was barrel aged.

M - Tons of prickly carbonation. Light, somewhat thin, soda-like body.

D - Highly drinkable. Light, delicate flavors. Great summer beer. Perfect for a warm night with light summer food.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of J9gates
2.28/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Biased towards pales, so not wild about this one. Sharp fruity taste lingers unnecessarily long on the tongue. Not much body, but you can definitely taste the slightly higher ABV. Wheat aroma.

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Photo of OKbrew89
3.33/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap. Light golden color with a head that leaves a ring of lacing. Nose of floral hops, yeast, and pepper. Floral hops and sweet malt are upfront with pepper and funky yeast coming in on the back. Light body and medium carbonation.
There's an aftertaste to it that I think comes from the yeast. It's almost musky and makes each next sip seem less desirable. I got through one pint and I had to nurse it.

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Photo of SierraNevallagash
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz 2017 bottle, poured into a crystal goblet at about 50F

Pours a deep straw golden color, with about 90% clarity. A finger of very loud, fizzy white head aggressively settles down to a boiling cap in a matter or moments. Thousands of straying bubbles course upwards keeping the surface alive and dancing.

Nose is a touch of pilsner-like malt, that immediately shifts to this wonderful bouquet of tart lemon, barnyard funk, buttery oak, hay, white wine barrel, a touch of acetic zing, and some musty brett. It's wonderfully complex and surprising.

Palate is one of the most confusing ales I've tasted. There's just so much going on, it's hard to pin one thing down. I get that pilsner-esque malt character first, but then a big grassy note takes over. After the grass and hay, I get the lightest bit of tartness. To my relief, it's more of a lactic tart, and not like vinegar. But it's very subtle. A little.bit of lemon zest, a good bit of white vinous character, some oak, some serious funk that I just can't begin to describe - it's so familiar - it reminds me of something outside of the world of beer, but I cannot place it. There's also some herbal notes that remind me of cooking herbs, like oregano, cilantro, or maybe some spices. Basil, perhaps. That familiar funk peeks in and out, and then Brett comes in and washes everything but oaky vanillin away, leaving and light, dusty bitterness. After a long, complex finish, the faint ghost of the malt comes back, and lingers quietly.

Mouthfeel is fairly light in body, but there's a slight creaminess about it. Lively, fizzy, loose carbonation keeps everything exciting and aids in the flavor complexity.

Overall, this is a fantastic take on a saison. It's really more of a saison/wild ale hybrid, but hey, there's still a lot of saison character there. A good saison is one of my favorite beers, but the last 5 or so I've had have just been awful pilsners. This, however, has given me hope once again. It's complex, inviting yet challenging, refreshing, unique, and most importantly, enjoyable. Glad I got a 4 pack.

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Photo of VABA
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured from a 12 oz bottle (from a 4-pack) that was less than a month old. The beer had a very nice color. The aroma was very subtle. The taste was very sophisticated and elegant. Overall a very refined beer!

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Photo of dannycohen62
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pale gold color with a minimal head that dissipated quickly. Slightly hazy. Smells of yeast, straw, fruity esters, apple, gives the impression it might even have a hint of tartness. Taste is heavy on Belgian yeast, pear, crisp apple, followed by vanilla, oaky character. Dry, almost cider-like mouthfeel. Such a great beer, and the price makes it hard to pass up.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the slowest, longest, most protracted brewery horizontal that I have EVER conducted! I am in the midst of a purge of The Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody & I ran across a buncha GI beers, including this one. I am moonlighting in addition to my day gig so I haven't had a lot of drinking time upon returning home, hence the lagging, NOT lollygagging.

From the Bottle: "90% Belgian Style Ale blended with 10% Belgian Style Ale aged in Wine Barrels with Orange Peels"; "Develops in the bottle over 5 years. Contains live yeast. A sediment may form."; "Bottled on: 15Mar17 0848"; "2017 Belgian Style Saison".

I love it when a beer presents me with a conundrum right off of the bat! I generally strive for clarity from my pours in my beers, but this style can be "poor to good though haze is not unexpected". Hmm. I decided on a compromise - my initial pour would be very slow & gentle with an eye towards keeping the lees in place. My second pour would follow an in-bottle swirl to release the lees back into suspension for a waste not, want not pour. I Pop!ped the cap & began the initial pour, followed by an in-glass swirl to attempt to raise some head. This trick worked wonders & I wound up with just under two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, bone-white head with moderate retention that left behind some decent lacing. Color was Straw-Yellow (SRM = > 2, < 4) with the NE-quality clarity that I was striving for. Nose was at one very vinous and very barnyard funky. My guess would be white wine barrels & the funk was leathery & sweaty, like a saddle off a freshly-ridden camel. You thought that I was going to say "horse", didn't you? We rode camels in Hurghada, Egypt & man, can they work up a sweat! Thankfully, the vinousness outstripped the sweatiness in this one. Phew. Mouthfeel was light, soft, almost like a spritzer than a beer. The taste was only lightly funky, begging the question of how much of that characteristic it may have taken on over 5 years' time. On the other hand, it was quite vinous, but I also tasted a light orange citrusiness. Finish was dry, of course, but not so dry as to be unpleasant. Saisons were originally developed to be refreshing interludes for farm workers & this was certainly refreshing, And now, for the latter, second pour: I had replaced the cap following the initial pour so as not to allow the beer's CO2 to simply escape. I agitated the beer in the bottle nearly constantly as I drank to ensure that I would achieve the desired effect (or die trying). Never say "die", you say? A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but one! We must be bold in this day & age of beer, never cowardly! The color turned much more hazy & the nose & taste became slightly more pronounced, but overall, it did not change very much. Still, every drop of it got drank with nothing going to waste.

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Photo of Bombelsky
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange, hazy. Frothy white foam. 2 fingers tall. Diminishing to a small crown. Good lacing. High fruity aromas. Lemons. Yeasty. Rather tart with some light malty sweetness. Light hoppy flavor. Medium high fruitiness. Dry finish. Some tartness. Quite sparkling. Light body.

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Photo of Moneypenny
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy Wisdom! Divine inspiration in a glass. Rivals Hennepin on all counts. Not sure it surpasses Hennepin. This calls for multiple side by side comparison tastings. How will I handle the pressure?

Pours cloudy with a full figured head and some retention. Citrus and yeast on the nose. Some Bret but nuanced and done with a light hand. No barnyard effect. Definitely one to keep in rotation. Best I've had from Goose Island.

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Photo of NoBadBeer
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank while on the crapper. My first beer from G.I. Bright clean aroma, with crisp notes of white grapes and tropical fruit. Refreshing vinous taste similar to gruner veltliner. Slightly bretty with notes of bubblegum and tart kiwi. Well carbonated. I'm not generally a saison/farmhouse drinker but I found this to be a satisfying brew. If someone put one in my hands, I wouldnt turn it down.

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Photo of Handsome_Steve
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2015. A nice surprise. Lovely bright yellow color with a white head that dissipated. Reminded me of some of the Belgian ales I have had. The note was a bit fruity with a vanilla to banana scent. Taste was light and crisp but very smooth. Not a full bodied IPA taste; closer to a pilsiner but the citrus and vanilla make a nice finish. Lovely surprise.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden color-very carbonated but the head drops in the time I get from the counter to the chair. great aroma-somewhat of a musty and grassy scent. Hop spiciness and a moderate earthy funk. Wonderful sweet and malty/wheat flavor. Musty and funkified grassiness for sure. As earthy and deep as the flavor is it is quite clean and crisp. Very distinct lemon/lime quality. Very effervescent and lively mouthfeel. An amazing beer-so much going on in a small bottle and package. I bet this would really develop over time. Call it a funkified saison-call it damn good.

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Photo of bmwats
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a teku.

A: Golden hue. Rising effervescence throughout. Pours a 1 finger, bubbly, white head. Dissipates quickly leaving a smattering of bubbles on the surface. Slight lacing.

S: Yeast is prominent...kind of like lightly buttered sourdough..., a bit of funky fermented raspberry, and some lemon zest.

T: Yeasty and frambois-y. Tastes like is smells. A little citrus pith, and coriander in there.

M: Kind of a syrupy feel. A little "thicker" than expected. A slight steely finish, but mostly any aftertaste fades quickly.

D: Sip and savor the flavor.

Atmosphere is pretty strong. Nice coloration, continually rising effervescence, decent head, and some spotty lacing. Nose is yeasty with fermented fruit and citrus. Funky flavor... yeast, tangy raspberry, citrus, and spice... all lightly applied. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of bigclydeoliver
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of kawilliams81
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Sixofsigmas
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light yellow with a bountiful white lacing head.

Smells wonderful: a mix of belgian yeasts, lemon, some notes of spice, sort of an acidic vinegar(which I like), earthy...

Taste is slightly sour, lemon, smooth malt, peppery, some other spice that I don't recognize, bit of booze warmth, sort of a rural funk.

Mouth is smooth with medium carbonation/body with an alcohol heat at the end.

Very drinkable. Very enjoyable. Will be interesting what this is like as my other bottles age. I really like the work Goose Island puts into their brews.

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Photo of Brittanicvs
4.64/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, Sofie! Ma fleur de printemps délicat! I've heard only great things of this beer. I, however, overlooked it during my Saison bender because I could only get it in a 4-pack for more money than I had wished to spend at the time. I muse that was a mistake, because this beer is phenominal.

Serving: Bottle poured into a Tulip.

A- A warm Champagne. Slightly hazy, though that may be due to my poor transportation efforts. Pours a two-finger pure white head comprised of big bubbles that dissipate quickly into a single finger. Bubbles even shooting up the middle of the glass- looks heavily carbonated. Barely any lacing.

S- Wow, I can smell it from 2 feet away. TONS of light citrus and flowers. Almost a little soapy. A shy hint of coriander and spice. Smells like a perfect spring day.

T- Very tart up front, exactly like the smell suggests. Slightly sour, but not overly so. Like a combination of a green apple, a lemon, and a banana. Subtle hint of spice in the finish. Gonna wait for it to warm up a bit and see how it develops.

Getting a little buttery and grassy now. Still incredible. Some very light malt notes coming up.

M- Carbonation dominates. Drinks like a very dry Champagne. Gorgeous. Medium-light body due to the sediment. Exactly what I expected. The dryness prevails as it warms up.

O- Absolutely amazing beer. I'd love to sit down and have a few more, but at $18 for a 4-pack at my local beer store I had to spring for just a single bottle. Definitely the kind of beer I was looking for, and one of the drier Saisons I've had. I would have liked to see a higher ABV to try and get a little bit of booziness and malt sweetness to really make the buttery note shine, but at 6.5% Sofie does a fine job. Might give aging one of these a try.

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Photo of JohnQVD
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Mudawg
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of GeoffreyM
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of TargaFlorio
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Honus1
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of kvgomps
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of superfriend
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of V3XX069
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Sofie from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 4661 ratings