Goose Island Beer Co.

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American Wild Ale
4.15 | pDev: 10.36%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Belgian-style ale aged in French oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. Each barrel receives 50+ pounds of fresh raspberries. Spontaneous secondary fermentation in the barrels. Aged 8 months or more.
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Reviews: 381 | Ratings: 2,208
Photo of mikeg67
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml 2015 bottle. Pours hazy amber with tall, long-lasting, foamy off-white head. Nose is of funky yeast, caramel malt, wood, vinegar , nail polish and red fruit. Body is medium and tangy. Taste is very sour, funky yeast, red fruit, caramel, vinegar. Finish is long and sour. Too sour for me.

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Photo of Noah_Aimar
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on Nov 4th 2016, opened May 24th 2019:

Looks golden but where light shines through the glass most there appears faint cherry red. Minimal if any head with an interesting nose that promises tart and funk.

Tha funk, the tartness, the tease of a cherry sweetness on the finish, insanely interesting beer that gets better and better as you drink it. This is a truly a work of art that keeps you engaged the entire time you drink and marvel at it.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 6/20/13; drank 3/7/15 @ the Palace.

Murky strawberry appearance.

Small khaki head; no lace.

A mixture of tart & sweet cherry notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

A delightful mix of tart & sweet cherry flavors up front; a mildly carbonated bite on the finish.

A top-tier fruit beer.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2016 edition, poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a hazy amber with hints of pink/red, topped with a bubbly white head--about a finger tall and quick to dissipate.

S + T: The tartness is apparent in the nose--a sour fruit scent. A touch of woodiness and a balanced scent of raspberry. The flavor is similar, with an additional touch of green apple tartness.

M: Medium bodied, shimmering carbonation, though the highlight is the dryness.

O: A pleasant evening sipper--I was fortunate enough to find three bottles at a local Weis grocery store, sitting among some clearance items and marked incorrectly, so the assistant manager offered a bargain of selling all three for $7.99 per bottle, marked down from the previous $18.99 price tag. I suppose that made for a more pleasant experience. I struggle with the justification of such cost on many beers, though it is certainly an enjoyable drink.

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Photo of cardfan212
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

2015 vintage 765 mL bottle poured into a goblet.

Look - Pours a cloudy reddish-brown with a short white head and a decent amount of bubble streams. Looks pretty decent in the glass.

Smell - Light and dainty. Sweet fruits with a tangy acidic bite. Welcoming and interesting without being overbearing.

Taste - Starts out sweet and pretty, but very quickly turns into a very aggressive full-body pucker machine. This is one sour beer. I wish the sweet stayed around a bit longer or the sour wasn't so extreme, a bit of balance wouldn't hurt, but it's pretty good all said and done. All this changed on the second glass. The bottom of the bottle was much more mellow and balanced, and overall it was much more enjoyable.

Feel - The body is a fine medium, a bit of chewiness to it, but the carbonation could be more lively. It's a little too still for how sour it is.

Overall - I simultaneously like and dislike this beer. It's both subdued and bombastic. The sourness is not to be understated, but at the same time, it exudes a certain level of class. Maybe it's the fancy bottle or the high price tag throwing me off, but I can't help but be drawn to this beer.

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Photo of drtth
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 4 Feb 2016 so there’s about 3 years of bottle age.

The slightly hazy reddish tinged dark amber colored beer pours out into a Duvel glass with a thin loosely bubbled white head that soon recedes to a thin irregular island of foam and a thick ring around the glass before it disappears entirely leaving while leaving no lacing on the sides of the glass. At first, sipping creates a few scattered bits of lacing that quickly slide back down to the liquid but eventually there’s no foam at all.

The aromas include a hint of acidity/tartness, lots of raspberry and some red wine grapes against a background of some earthy, leathery funk and a bit of oak.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose and include raspberry, red grapes, with some light, almost vinegary tartness with the earthy, leathery funky character in the background. There’s also a bit of oak and what may be a very light bit of bitterness from the hops.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and mostly smooth with the light finely bubbled carbonation. The finish begins as the flavors begin to fade into a fairly long dry ending that remains tinged with fruit, light tartness and what seems to be a bit of bitterness remains as the other flavors all gradually disappear in the back of the palate.

The beer has a tasty balance with both some fruity light tartness and some light sweetness. The tartness is well controlled and does not overpower the other flavors so that the berry flavor, the red wine grapes and the sweetness come through as well as do some musty barnyard funk and some oak. An enjoyable drinkable beer worth trying and having more than if you find it and have to buy a 4 pack, especially if you are able to age some of the bottles. I'd say that so far aging has done it no harm for my tastes it may be even more enjoyable than if I'd found a fresh bottle.

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Photo of Viaduck
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Burnt orange in color, a hard pour generated a modest head that disappeared in the blink of an eye. Flowery aroma, honey, oak, sweet funk. Perfect balance of sweet & sour & a touch of salty, tart but not sour at all. Great flavor: plenty of oak & wine, mild funk, lactose & a blast of raspberries at the finish. It’s 9% is well hidden. Medium body with plenty’s of carbonation, it certainly wasn’t wasted on a head. One of the best sours I’ve tried.

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Photo of matcris
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

LOOKS: Amber to a red murky hue, with a small foam cap that dissipates quickly.
AROMA: Bright. Lots of white wine/grape, woody notes, and definitely picking up lots of raspberries.
TASTE: Ditto. Nice!
FEEL: Full carbonation, dry, and medium full body.
OA: Very tasty. I'd pick up more.

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Photo of hophugger
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Slightly dark rose color with light and filmy head. Aroma is big on raspberries and light on malt. Taste is sweet from the raspberries and the souriness is well.matched, as the balance is done quite well. Mouth feel is tingly with the feel.of tart berries and finishes with a good sweet feel, but too sweet

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Photo of emyers
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Semi cloudy reddish amber with a think white lacing.

Nose: tart berries. Some underlying brettanomyces

Taste: more tart berries, lactic acid, some bready character. Finish is pleasantly tart with subtle sweetness.

Feel: dry, tart

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Photo of GratefulFC
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a red, grapefruit color. Smell is slight hops and white wine. Taste is slight hops, white wine, and citrus. Taste is sour like a sour patch kid.

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Photo of JayQue
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The last of my expensive Goose Island Christmas present to myself. $23.99 for a 765 ml bottle!!!! Poured an orange color with a pinkish tinge with a small fizzy white head that fades very quickly. Minimal lacing on the flute glass. Aroma includes the raspberry, a little oak bitterness from the barrel and a nice sourness from the yeast. Taste is more of the same. The sourness is just right, not all that vinegary, just a sour patch candy type of pucker that blends very nicely with the fruit. Mouthfeel is light and tart. Good level of carbonation. Another winner, although an expensive one, from Goose Island.

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Photo of dream
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2016 Batch

Look: Amber peach with a nice head that dissipates somewhat quickly.

Smell: It smells like that cologne Aramis. No shit. It straight up smells like Aramis.

Taste: Hmm.. it tastes just like Aramis too. Not off putting, as Aramis is not a bad cologne. It's just's the question of do I want to taste it with a hint of raspberries and tartness.

Feel: Refreshing, if I took away the taste. It has an interesting carbonation profile, and I'm suspecting that's because of the Belgian leaning.

Overall: This is part of my Shelf Turd series reviews, dedicated to Lee's Liquor on East Sunset Road in Las Vegas. A legendary shelf turd beer shop which has absolutely no regard for craft beer. I got this beer for $9.99 marked down from $24.99. A shelf turd of 2 years, this beer was as I suspect still very fresh (it had that nice magical mist when you popped the top still). However it just wasn't amazing to me. Oh well, someone else might really enjoy it.

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Photo of rcole1958
1/5  rDev -75.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Outrageously priced at $34 for a 4-pack at my local craft shop. Come on, don’t you realize that you’re killing the Golden Beer Goose (pun intended)?

This review is predicated on a reasonable cost-to-benefit ratio, and Corporation that owns Goose Island Beer Co. has far exceeded the market limits of that calculus. Thus, my low rating.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
2.76/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Taste: woody oak, tart, raspberry, fermented fruit, sour, wine notes, acidic dry finish. medicine like nose, fermented berries, wine, oak nose. Deep reddish hue, mostly clear, not much head, or lace. Medium to med/full body. Too acidic for me. 32 IBUs

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Photo of animal69
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 varietal, tasted 5/19
Pours a still, fairly clear ruby red with little to no white head, zero lacing
Smell is tannic berry with slightly acrid apple peel and white wine aroma coming thru, touch of funky brett as it warms
Tart from the start, not as overpowering as when fresh, floral berry is at the forefront with a bready fill about midway, some vinous oak as well, slight bitterness and very subdued brett and alcohol in the finish
Dry light body, still yet somehow sparlking, touch of mineral, no signs of the high abv whatsoever
Overall, tried at a sour tasting and stood up to all the others if not above, dangerously drinkable

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Photo of WillNJ
2.14/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

looked good but tastes like vinegar and seltzer mixed with sour patch kids. I took a couple of sips, my face puckered and I used the rest to clean my drip coffee maker. awful. If you're selling vinegar in a bottle with a cute "lolita" name on it, don't charge $20/bottle.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 355ml bottle into glass. Bottled on date is '04NOV16 1257'.
Cloudy, reddish pale amber colored body. Some white sediment bodies (as mentioned on the label). Fizzy head quickly disappears. No lacing.
Aroma of raspberry, oak, red grape, and funk.
Taste has raspberry jam (but not too sweet), tart red grape and oak tannins, funk (horse blanket, earthy, leather), apple vinegar, and some bitter hops at the end. The natural fruit taste continues as the flavor profile fades away.
Medium mouth feel, with low carbonation.
Beer is tasty, with semi-sweet, tart, and sour aspects all mixing together.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy dark orange color with light beige head. Aroma is really fruity with raspberry jam and concentrated syrup. Taste is also fruity, not very tart, you can also get the wine barrel notes. Medium body with medium to low carbonation. Quite nice fruit notes, not too acidic, easy drinking.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Goose Island Beer Co. "Lolita - 2016 Release"
765 ML brown glass bottle, capped and covered with a capsule, "BOTTLED ON: 10DEC15 1415 8.1% ALC/VOL"
$18.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: The label reads "Belgian Style Wild Ale" so I wonder what I'm getting into here. It also notes wine barrels and raspberries so it's got to be good. It's poured a clear dark orange that looks kind of reddish in the full glass beneath a finger-thick head of big bubbled then creamy off-white foam. The nose is floral and fruity but mostly funky funky with a metallic sharpness, or acidity, raspy oak, a bit of "horse blanket", wet straw, and mineralish muddy soil. I could probably go on but I'm sure you get the idea. It truly is like a Belgian wild ale. The flavor follows but with more fruitiness, and this time it's clearly raspberry although you might suspect there's some cherry in there as well. It's not as smooth as I'd suspected, there's a kind of roughness to it, most likely from the oak, but neither is it as acidic as I thought it would be so it's smoother in that regard. Hmm, I take that back, it might be the oak, but I think there's also an odd phenolic there. Hmmm. I certainly appreciate the depth of character from the yeast and bacteria though, even if it is a little bit off; it would have been easier to just do a lactic ferment - this is the real deal. Looking back, the head hasn't held well, and there's just a thin floating island in the center of the glass and an average collar. Lacing is minimal with just a few spots and streaks here and there. I guess that's not bad for a sour beer though. Back to the beer itself, it's medium bodied with a gently biting effervescent carbonation. Overall it's a little bit rough, the Belgians are much better at blending, and the fresh oak from the wine barrels is a bit bold, but it remains a special beer nonetheless.

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Photo of Beejay
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: A ruby colored amber, hazy with a small white head that rapidly sinks into the beer.

S: Tart and acidic with hints of berries, red wine, and funk.

T: Raspberry jam, with a nice tartness, and some earthy funk.

M: Light in body, crisp, with moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

O: Overall a hell of a tasty brew, but falls a little short for the price point, and compared against other brewers doing similar styles.

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Photo of Impetuous
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle in 2017

The body is beautiful; it starts as a deep pink and goes to cherry red to amber. A pretty off white serves as a crown, which leaves us too soon.

Flavors are pretty amazing; tart raspberries which combines with hops for some very juicy goodness. It's somewhat acidic and it's stronger when it warms. Carbonation is very mellow which allows the flavors to really come through.

Very very good.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.61/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 11-4-16. DFH Tulip.

A: pours a pretty clear pinkish copper with a finger of off white head that quickly recedes. Loads of bubbling carbonation. Cloudy on the second pour, disturbing the sediment. I liked it better without.

S: sour, fruity, and - dare I say it - funky. I think that is the smell of brett. Kind of cheesy, nutty, or foot-like. Distinctly raspberry as it warms.

T: drier and way less sweet than I expected. Also less tart and more funk. Immediately dry arrival, slightly sour, then transitions to that funk; kind of like blue cheese? With berries, and then something almost glue like. Not in a bad way, in the way that some bourbons are (but not the cheap acetone fingernail polish remover type). Perhaps that is oak? The fruit and funk go back and forth taking turns dancing on your palate as the music turns bitter. Some mild medicinal note on the end. Hops, maybe? With this beer there is so much going on it is hard to tell. Complex but cohesive. Loses some complexity if you pour the sediment in, in my opinion.

M: light, crisp, highly carbonated, highly refreshing, slightly slick, but the sourness masks the slickness.

O: this is a beer that leaves me grasping for words. There is less sweetness here and less sourness than I was expecting. Had I known it tasted like this I would have drunk it sooner; had I drunk it sooner it might not have tasted like this. This is only the second sour I've had that has really blown me away, but it is spectacular. A must try for any craft beer enthusiast, and one I plan on buying again.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 7.9% abv

Appearance- Pours a ruby red, with thin head quick to dissipate. Effervescent. Hazy and opaque.

Smell- Smells of grape, raspberry. Wine like.

Taste- Raspberry fruit flavors abound with a vinous character. Barrel aged qualities also are noted, with an oak taste being prominent. Fruit flavors increase in sourness, with a wild yeast element. Finishes sour with some hop bitterness, still fruit notes through the end.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with low carbonation.

Overall- A flavorful wild ale. Quite sour and showing of an oak barrel aged sour beer. Complex and well done.

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Photo of jopezu
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

pours a hazy, rosy/peachy copper with a loose medium head that poofs instantly. nose; white grape/wine, band-aid brett, tart yeast funk, & berry syrup. taste; tart & sour... something... berry-ish. almost no malt or hops detected, just sour ale with hints of raspberry and belgian funk. almost malt vinegar aftertaste. medium carbonation & mouthfeel. i just can't... definitely interesting to try, but i can't see drinking an entire serving of this - sour enough to be completely palate desensitizing after just a couple sips. even hop bombs remain enjoyable for a beer or 2, but this guy is going to be a drain pour. i'll give it points for being unique and crafty, but this is way outside of my wheelhouse. i tried.

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Lolita from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2208 ratings