Goose Island Beer Co.

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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.
Reviews: 390 | Ratings: 2,222 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

2.86/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.25

2015 bottling

Look: Very hazy amber with a lot of bubbles stuck to the sides of the glass. A tiny ring of off-white head with no retention.

Smell: The distinctive, strong sour and barnyard funk scent of brett. Raspberry smell is very tart with little hint of sweetness.

Taste: Very sour, but with a medicinal bitterness underneath. Frankly rather unpleasant.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and very highly carbonated.

Overall: It's hard to tell if this bottle has gone off or if this is merely how it tastes; other wild ales I've had have tasted similar.

Jul 31, 2020
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EricBnSC from South Carolina

4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not bad for a 5 year old wild ale. The aroma is very fruit forward with tart raspberries and a hint of of the muskiness of cabernet wine. It finishes much like a dry wine but with hints of raspberry and hoppiness reminiscent of an IPA combined with a gose. Overall, it's great if you want to try something out of the ordinary and you have a fondness for dry red wine. Not a must try but worth a visit.

Jun 30, 2020
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RacerX5k from Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled August 2015 almost 5 years young now this has held up amazingly well. 1/2 price sale at the coolest local beer store imaginable, I have got some incredible buys here, including tonight's 1/2 price 2018 version CBS, which I remember being much more coffee forward (and preferable) than 2019's way sweet maple forward.

Look is absolutely gorgeous raspberry color, couldn't be any prettier. Aroma and taste is fresh, fruit, wild, wood, tart, funk, sour, raspberry all day. Finishes very dry, maybe just a tad off very woodsy due to being 5 years old. Doesn't really detract, at all, from an wonderful, funky, sour, treat. Amazing beer, GI should make it again, not that they've done anything right, lately.

Jun 20, 2020
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puck1225 from Texas

4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Broke this open for Easter.

Pours a beautiful bright reddish amber with an effervescent initial head and little lacing. Fragrant raspberry and strawberry smell and distinctive taste. Nice dry finish. Excellent with pre-dinner cheese and crackers.

Apr 12, 2020
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a wine-bottle style bomber (765 ounces?) into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Slightly hazed raspberry brown pour with a finger of fizzy white head. Nice ring of lacing.

S: Tart fruit and funk. Raspberry, jam, and oak.

T.F: Tart up front but not a strong pucker. Enough to get the salivary glands involved. Raspberry and fruit... funky and acidic. A bit of red wine/oak/tannins, but more raspberry and jam. Light lemon citrus. There's the sensation of residual sweetness that never really materializes. Medium to light bodied... zesty carbonation. Raspberry at the finish.

O: A well executed Wile Ale. Great complexity and flavor, even if I'm not picking up all of the wine barrel I was expecting. Definitely a treat.

Mar 15, 2020
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TinFang from California

4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

765 ml bottle purchased from a local market on sale at $16 each. Bottled 20 May 2015 7.8 abv indicated. Poured into a large tulip. Lolita has quite the bite. The wild yeast has consumed anything that’s remotely like sugar at this point, the result is an ale that’s as sour as it can get without being vinegar.

Look: clear rosé amber, transitory white head.
Smell: vinegar and crisp apples
Taste: tart funk of incredible strength and nuance. I seriously wondered if I could finish the glass as the experience was so intense. Small sips were quite rewarding - raspberry flavor as if you were eating just the very skin of the fruit, red wine tannin, a hint of oak and a megaton of unrestrained yeast activity. The funk has a broad feel across the tounge and probably provokes a physical reaction to the acidity and easily has more dimensions to it than any other sour I’ve had. Whatever sweetness remains is a ghost.
Feel: rather like champagne with less sparkle.
Overall: rewarding but you have to really appreciate sours.

Jan 01, 2020
Photo of mikeg67
mikeg67 from New Jersey

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.

Jun 24, 2019
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Noah_Aimar from Oregon

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.

May 25, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

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.

May 04, 2019
Photo of Proteus93
Proteus93 from Virginia

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.

Apr 28, 2019
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cardfan212 from Minnesota

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.

Apr 28, 2019
Photo of drtth
drtth from Pennsylvania

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.

Mar 10, 2019
Photo of Viaduck
Viaduck from California

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.

Feb 24, 2019
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matcris from Arizona

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.

Dec 21, 2018
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hophugger from Virginia

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

Nov 26, 2018
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emyers from Illinois

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

Sep 19, 2018
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GratefulFC from Arizona

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.

Sep 16, 2018
Photo of JayQue
JayQue from Virginia

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.

Sep 14, 2018
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dream from Nevada

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.

Aug 25, 2018
Photo of rcole1958
rcole1958 from Rhode Island

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.

Jul 23, 2018
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

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

Jun 19, 2018
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animal69 from Louisiana

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

May 28, 2018
Photo of WillNJ
WillNJ from New Jersey

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.

May 08, 2018
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

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.

Mar 16, 2018
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Ciocanelu from Romania

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.

Mar 05, 2018
Lolita from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2222 ratings