Goose Island Beer Co.

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Pale Ale - Belgian
3.86 | pDev: 11.14%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Reviews: 269 | Ratings: 450 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of DaverCS
DaverCS from Arizona

3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Labeled Aug 26, 2016

Aroma is a pale yellow color with a quickly dissipating head.

Aroma is of bright citrus, Belgian yeast, and green grape. Relatively similar to Sophie without the same intensity.

Taste is on the thinner side with not enough carbonation for my palate. I get a ton of pear and peach character which is very pleasant. Lots of yeast character with a mildly bitter finish. I consumed this out of the fridge, which was perhaps still a bit too warm. If the flavors don’t dull with the cold, this would be an excellent food-pairing beer.

Overall, the beer was a bit thin and under-carbonated. I liked the base flavors, but the aggressive American-style hopping did detract from the pleasant yeast character. I paired this with spinach and ricotta-stuffed jumbo shells in a meat ragu. It gets a 79/100.

Jan 20, 2018
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WesMantooth from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

4oz sample pour in a 6oz taster

It is a bright, yellow gold with a bright white soapy head.

Smells yeasty with some banana, a little bit of citrus, and semi peppery.

There is a decent amount of banana, but not like a Hefe, some spicy white pepper and coriander, and a subltle crisp bite of orange- lemon with a lot of grainy backdrop. A bit of bitterness at the end.

Not sure about Belgian Pale necessarily, but a good Belgian beer either way.

Feb 27, 2017
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taste: yeast bread, banana notes with subtle coriander, peppery ,piney hops. Mild spice bread nose. Gold, slight haze, with a white head and broken lattice of lace on glass. Medium/full body. A meal in a glass. 40 IBUs

Dec 05, 2016
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Hadn't seen Demolition for several years. Glad to see it back. Bought as part of GI's sampler pack for Costco.
Looks to be the same, a nice Belgian Blonde. Smells subtle, but not distinguishing.
Had it a bit cold so the flavors (mostly spices) didn't emerge until mid-bottle. About then, appetizers started and this Pale went well with a food medley... in part because it was dry enough in the finish. Re-rated upward slightly on 3/5/17.
Overall, Have it again when you can find it.

May 14, 2016
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barczar from Kentucky

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2010 vintage. Rating set to current average.

Aroma is pear ester dominant, with notes of clove and banana. There's a fairly strong cardboard character that fades and really lets the esters shine.

Flavor has really held up well, very pear ester dominant, with clove and green apple to accent. Impressive.

Mar 23, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.34/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Hazy, golden beer, 1/4" white head. Aroma was muted belgian spice rack, but plenty of toasted pale malts too.

Taste was more pale malt, a little bit of coriander, black pepper, banana. Definitely a yeast driven beer flavor wise. Carbonation appropriate for the mouthfeel. Nowhere near as much citrus as Sofie.

Its alright, nothing groundbreaking.

Feb 04, 2016
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pat61 from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This pours hazy orange to amber under a thin cream colored film of foam.
S: this has esters and bread in the aroma
T: Yeasty with some peach and faint biscuit.
F: The body is medium and the carbonation is low for the style.
O: This strikes me as a little uninspired which is suprising because Goose Island can do better than this.

Apr 17, 2015
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TheBeerdedCharmer from Pennsylvania

3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 Pint, 6 oz bottle poured into a glass.

A: Cloudy yellow color, thick head.

S: Smells mostly yeasty, some alcohol scent.

T: Strong yeast taste but there is definitely some fruity hints to it as well. Not as good as I'd hoped from a Belgian Pale Ale.

M: Fairly smooth, not overly carbonated.

O: I'm not big on yeasty or wheaty tasting beers but it was definitely drinkable.

Jun 24, 2014
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schoolboy from Ohio

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was a cool one - picked it up last week and it had a bottled date of May 18, 2011. That seemed like it was intentional - that they held them back for a while, but maybe it just sat somewhere. Either way, I'm sure the taste was effected by this, and here's how:

It pours a nice golden color with decent head and lacing. The aroma is uniquely pungent and slightly yeasty - like and unusual wheat beer.

The taste is also unique. It tastes tangy and yeasty and a bit fruity. It's definitely something different. I'm not sure it is true to style, but it is very pleasant. The aftertaste lingers a bit funky too. I'm not sure if I want to drink this with dinner - I think I'll polish it off while cooking.

The pre-aged Belgian I thought I had here was maybe an over the hill Belgian that was still very interesting and drinkable.

Feb 06, 2014
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Mike_Moe from Illinois

4.36/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Yellow beer, a little bit of chill haze to it, thin white head.
Aroma: Aroma was Belgian, but some more American smells as well.
Flavor: The first sip is a light body with fine fizzy carbonation with toasted malts. Texture is a little thin but that just makes the beer easier to drink. It’ medium bodied, with a slightly hoppy finish.
Overall: Good toasted malt flavor, a pretty good drinkable beer. A very good beer for the price. They probably retired this beer to concentrate on the brews that could demand a better price point.

Jan 10, 2014
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Brenden from Ohio

4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This was a random pickup; there are still some on shelves here and I hadn't tried it yet. Now I feel lucky.

This pale ale is that, a bright pale yellow with even brighter medium yellow highlights. It's extremely bubbly, and the head it forms is very frothy and dense, situating on top of the beer at higher than one finger. Lacing is chunky with some webbing, and generally quite plentiful.
There's lots of fresh white pepper, some greenery and raw young wood, and softer fruity esters on the nose with plenty of zest, citrus and spicing. There's a strong but gentle yeasty (mustier) undertone with lots of bread to the malts, too.
The flavor brings lots of nicely spices orange and lemon, some gentle rind-like bitterness, with a sort of dryer quality to the malts on the tongue, more crackery than bready. Pepper is still strong, along with sweeter spiciness, and the raw greenery is added to by an earthiness in the hops.
The carbonation in this beer is very nice, plentiful but soft and not too filling, velvety smooth without giving up the crisp bite. Dryness is forward but isn't allowed to dominate too strongly, as some candi-sugar sweetness works on the palate to keep this beer even.

Dec 03, 2013
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buschbeer from Ohio

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle
Served in a tulip glass
Bottled 04/01/11 "Will remain fresh for 180 days from bottled on date"

A - It is a hazy, pale yellow with a couple inches of white head.

S - I smell some Belgian yeast. It also has a sweet aroma, almost candy-like.

T - The taste starts out a little sweet. Then the Belgian yeast spicy taste comes into play. The finish is lemony.

M - Medium

O - I like the spicy Belgian yeast combination with the lemon finish. It makes for an enjoyable beer. I didn't realize that it was two years old when I bought it. It was a nice find.

Aug 16, 2013
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YoDude from Illinois

2.78/5  rDev -28%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Goose Island Demolition, aged 2 years 3 months in my beer cellar, 7.2% ABV
A 22oz bottle and poured into an old school Falstaff challis.

Appearance: Poured pale gold with a creamy but faint head and little lacing.

Smell: Funk, that’s it.

Taste: Lemon meringue, a hint of pepper, and the musty barnyard. Once that all goes away, a nice toasted malt flavor remains.

Mouth feel: Light body and good carbonation. A slight funky, savory aftertaste and a warming alcohol effect.

Overall: When Goose Island announced it would no longer brew Demolition, I bought a bottle wherever I saw it. This was one of the first in a long line of GI specialty beers. When young, it was a nice attempt at a Belgian-style Golden ale. With aging, the hops are long gone and it has become more of a farmhouse ale. Still enjoyable, but it has definitely reached maturity.

Jul 26, 2013
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weonfire from Illinois

4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sight - golden color. medium carb, cloudy, medium head retention. very inviting

Smell - sweet, dank floral, citrus, perfume, lots of yeast remaining

feel - heavy, smooth

Taste - herbal, grassy, floral, piney, citrus, biscuity

Est serving temperature: 38

served in a mini snifter

Jan 20, 2013
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rlee1390 from Indiana

3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Yellow with a two finger light fluffy head that doesn't last long.

S-Lemon, grass, some wheat with bread/toasty notes.

T-Similar to the nose but it tastes slightly skunked, lager-like, off for a BPA. Not much bitterness either. Mainly bread notes with lemon and grass sneaking in.

M-Light in body with slight carbonation.

O-The taste is off, maybe it is because the bottle was just past (a week) the best buy date, but a week shouldn't make it that far off.

Aug 27, 2012
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Flounder57 from Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle was poured into a large Duvel snifter glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a small puffy head that is still there. It is a golden straw yellow with some hazey clarity to it and bubbles coming up through the center of the glass. Super nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: bready malts, yeasty esters, spiciness, some vanilla, pineapple, mango, and tangerine too.

Taste: pretty tasty brew. All the characteristics above are blended well together. You get the hops, malts, spiciness, yeastiness in every sip and makes this one well rounded with slight bitterness to the end.

Mouthfeel: smooth, a little dry, medium bodied, medium to high carbonation, and enjoyable to dirnk.

Overall: Another pretty solid BPA in my standards. I tried this last year and had not been able to score a bottle till earlier this afternoon.

Aug 09, 2012
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LiquidAmber from Washington

3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 11/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a pale orange amber with a slight head, but nice lacing. Belgian spice and banana aroma. Light malt, with a astringent spice flavor. Honey and light fruit. Not that well balanced. Clove and cardamom too forward. The spices overwhelm the other light flavors. A rare GI miss for me.

Jul 12, 2012
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mrsheeps from New York

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A) mostly clear straw yellow with some extremely small floaties, decent head retention and lacing
S) lots of citrus and yeast, some grass, faint apple
T) lots of lemon, peppers, and spice, medium hop bitterness
M) nicely sweet, spicy, and even a tiny bit tart upfront, but with an unpleasantly booze-y aftertaste
O) fairly solid despite disappointing aftertaste

Jul 03, 2012
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 02/06/11 will see how this holds up...

Pours a hazed gold with a finger of pearl colored head, tons of bubbles cling to the glass. Great lacing & head retention

S: Grapefruit, grainy bread notes

T: Pears, honey malt, breadyness, crackery dryness, golden delicious apples up front. Slight fruitty yeast snap to this as it warms, some pine & lemon hops as well, a bit of pineapple & juicy fruit. Finishes with juicy fruit, breadyness & a bit of pineapple

MF: Medium bodied, fairly firm carbonation, good balance

A good BPA, will try again to see how a fresher one compares, the yeast characteristics are tamped down on this one, plus the hops I'm guessing. Drinks easy enough

Jun 12, 2012
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feloniousmonk from Minnesota

3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Goose Island Demolition Belgia-style Golden Ale. "Brewed to honor the brave souls who kept our brewpub open while wrecking balls tore down the mall around us. Cheers! Greg Hall, brewmaster." 7.2% ABV . Will remain fresh 180 days from the bottled on date. Bottled on: 8/10/11. Ooops. We're a bit off on this one. Well, let's find out the only way we can.

Bright golden color, beautiful white head, starts big and settles down to a slim layer.

Aroma: Spice hits the nose right off, quickly matched with citrus fruit. Cracked pepper and orange peel, under the glimmer of hops.

Taste: Sweet malt and zesty hops start us off. Spicy, sweet, and sharp. Light body, malt flavor that's both crisp and juicy, ending just short of dry. Expertly consumable. And without the roar of high alcohol, although…just about.

Very likable Belgian Golden ale, but somewhat short of impressive.

May 22, 2012
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facundoCNB from New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a beautiful clear straw yellow pour with an inch of fluffy white head, excellent amounts of lacing. smells of lemon, pepper, bread, grass. bitter up front with an even more bitter grassy earth taste following. has a sweet, refreshing finish with a touch of citrus. tastes of lemon, grassy hops, earthy hops. medium bodied, light tasting with a light creaminess texture, mild carbonation. overall this is a very refreshing ale, which would make it a great session beer, but at over 7% it's kind of high in abv. it's a pretty solid beer.. nothing overly impressive about it, but also, above your average blonde. could use a bit more character taste-wise, but other than that it's great.

Apr 29, 2012
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RickS95 from Indiana

3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on date of 11/04/10 so I'm well past the 'best by' date of 180 days beyond.

Pours a hazy golden/bronze. Looks like grapefruit juice. The head is minimal and doesn't have much retention.

Has a very fruity scent. Smells like funky Belgian yeast. Citrus, apple, pineapple.

There's little fruit taste. There's some pear early on, but soon after the pepper spice and hops take over. A slight piney finish.

Not very complex and not much happens early on. Near the swallow, it's spicy and bitter. It finishes pretty dry, but with a bit of tartness as well.

Overall it's an easy beer to drink, though I'm wondering if some of the tartness is actually sour because the beer is a bit old. Regardless, it's not a bad beer and I look forward to another in the future.

Apr 22, 2012
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superspak from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip, bottled 5/7/2010. Pours hazy golden straw color with a small 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some nice spotty lacing on the glass, witha fair amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of big lemon, biscuit, apricot, apple, pear, grape, coriander, grass, floral, grain, light yeast spices, and a bit of alcohol. Some pretty nice and balanced aromas. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, grape, biscuit, pepper, grass, honey, grain, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of lemon, pear, biscuit, honey, and yeast spices on the finish for a bit. Flavors are more on the sweet side than the spicy side; but is not cloying at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Very smooth to drink, but is good for sipping on. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish. Overall this is a very nice and enjoyable Belgian pale. Nice flavor balance and complexity.

Mar 19, 2012
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Murrhey from Washington

3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into an oversized wine glass. Reviewed live.

A- One finger white head, dense and long retention. Rich golden color. Fluffy lacing. Nice looking beer.

S- Light fruits and bubblegum. Sweet smell with a distinct alcoholic note as well. Floral hops tie it together. Maybe a bit acerbic though.

T- Fruity and alcoholic. The sweetness and booze really take over the show. Subdued while overdrawn. Meh.

M- Winey and thick carbonation.

O- Pretty good.

Mar 12, 2012
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SickGnar from Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy golden with floaties and no rising bubbles seen. Good size bright white cap of foam that falls to a skim which retain well & leaves some alright lacing.

S: Estery fruit notes of the apples & pears variety along with peppery & spicy yeast notes. Crackery malts with some sugar cookie / candy-like sweetness. No hops found, perhaps a ghost hint, but then this is bottle is over a year old. Reasonable strength and the fruity / spicy combination is promising.

T: Open with a mix of sugar cookie & candi sweetness and light fruits – apples & pears mostly, but also some soft tropical fruit & a hint of citrus. Right on the heels is a solid base of crackery malt with just a touch of doughy biscuit. Also following closely are peppery & spicy yeast notes. Citrus aspect (sweet, fruity lemon mostly) of fruit grows a bit in the middle. As the sweetness & fruit fades the yeast notes get increasingly earthy with very subdued phenolics and a ghost hint of funk. No real hop character, but some background bitterness does emerge and linger with the earthy yeast note in the finish.

M: Just below medium for body. In comparison CO2 leans just a hair to the brisk side, but in a softly expansive manner. Start sweet, but with minimal sticky sugars. Quite attenuated & dry overall. Finish grows increasingly drying with hop & yeast each playing a role. Quenching.

D: This aged quite well. Lost the hops, but that is par for the course. I really like the contrast / combination of fruity & sweet on one hand, and peppery / spicy / earthy on the other. Even a year old this is quite nice. A sort of light BGS or a strong golden pale. Too bad they stopped making it as I want to try a fresh one.

Mar 04, 2012
Demolition from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 450 ratings