Heartwood (2010 Symposium Ale) | Goose Island Beer Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Heartwood (2010 Symposium Ale)Heartwood (2010 Symposium Ale)
32 Ratings
Heartwood (2010 Symposium Ale)Heartwood (2010 Symposium Ale)

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewers from fifteen Illinois breweries formed four teams, each creating a recipe and brewing it at Goose Island Beer Co: Imperial Stout, Imperial IPA, Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy and Barleywine. All were aged seperately in bourbon barrels. The resulting Symposium ale is our taste-tested blend of all four batches.

Added by nickfl on 04-22-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 14
Photo of kscaldef
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bainard
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ChicagoNick
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of vinny21bal
5/5  rDev +24.4%

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of PHBoiler
4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is drinking extremely smooth. It far surpassed the FW 16 we had next to it. The blend gives an old ale taste with some bourbon, oak, dark fruit, tannin, and rich chocolate. All of those blend seemlessly without sticking out. You'd be in for a great night if you had a 55 degree bottle of this to enjoy over time. It's not quite Melange 3, but it's in the ball park.

 375 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of nulledge
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of jdhasse
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of BrianBo
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of MarcatGSB
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of thewimperoo
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of AgentZero
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Nicole for hooking me up with this!

A - Brown colored beer with a small, tan head that didn't rise up very high. Little bit of stick left on the sides.

S - Well, when this beer was described to me it sounded like a disaster with all the stuff they were mixing together. It smells better than I guessed it would have, although it's definitely a "strong ale" aka we mixed a bunch of stuff together and need a catch-all category to put this in. A lot of wood, molasses, alcohol, caramel, bourbon? and sweet fruit.

T - Kind of beats you over the head with flavor. Heavy malts and molasses, some alcohol burn, caramel, and some surprising hops in there as well. Interesting, but should have given it a year to cool down as it's drinking hotter than preferred.

M - Medium bodied with soft carbonation.

O - It's an interesting mix that wasn't a massive failure like I was expecting. Flavors are too hot and heavy but glad I got to try it.

 947 characters

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After winning this from a HopCast contest I finally have the courage to brave this beer, and I must say it has heavy notes of oak, bourbon, and a nice earthy hop bitterness on the finish. Heartwood pours with a half a finger head that dissipates extremely quick. On the nose it has a beautiful aroma of sweet vanilla, oak, bourbon, and some sweet, bready, two row malt. Heartwood also has a dark coffee like appearance with slight crimson on the edge of it. As for the mouthfeel, it has a nice a bubbly carbonation with smooth richness. Overall, I have to say this beer was well done. One thing I would do next time with this beer is not to oak/barrel age most of the components; I feel it covers the subtleties of the styles and just allows for huge bourbon and oak notes. I am not saying Oak and Bourbon are a bad thing, but sometimes can be over done. But, once again, this is a well done beer and would definitely try it again.

 931 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jarret Crader of Hellbender Brewing for sharing this one.

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a small, khaki colored head of foam. Minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of vanilla, oak and some bourbon. There are some bready malts and toffee, too.

T - Fairly boozy malt with sweet caramel. The oak and vanilla are quite prominent.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a somewhat dry finish.

D - This is a nice beer and I'm really glad I got the chance to try this.

 504 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Thanks to Stawn for opening this.

A: Dark brown with some crimson highlights. Wispy beige head.

S: Scotch ale comes through strong, imparting caramel, toffee, and bread notes. Bourbon is quite strong, smells great. Some evident booze and earth notes. Booze is actually pretty evident but well integrated. Some oak notes and light tannins. Faint chocolate notes.

T: Bourbon, toffee, caramel, low bitterness, alcohol is quite powerful, could stand to mellow a bit but it's still quite nice. Light chocolate notes, lots of oak. Boozy bourbon toffee finish.

M: Creamy mouthfeel and dry, moderate carbonation and medium body:

Overall: Great beer, though a touch boozy in the flavor. Delicious.

 703 characters

Photo of thetomG
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark brown/amber pour - surprisingly lighter in color with a small layer of head composed of tiny dense bubbles. Aroma and smell are dominated by bourbon. There is a nice strong malt presence as well - its just a very very strong beer overall.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but the high abv and intensely strong flavors make it a true sipper. This was good now, but I think it would be even better with more time on it.

Very glad I was able to try this one!

 455 characters

Photo of nkersten
3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes, thanks to Mike for sharing this one. Pours a medium brown with a small tan head. Smell is caramel, bourbon, lots of oak, and some euro hops. Taste follows smell, it is a bit harsh and boozy. A bit on the sweet side, lots of sugar and bourbon. Mouthfeel was a bit thin, some heat, low carbonation. Not the most drinkable beer right now, like others have said this one could use a bit of time to mellow.

 422 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Heartwood (2010 Symposium Ale) from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 32 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.