Goose Island Beer Co.

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Belgian Saison
Ranked #118
Ranked #2,127
4.17 | pDev: 8.15%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Notes: Brewed with the Saison and farmhouse ales of Belgium in mind, we added fresh Georgia peaches and Brettanomyces claussenii to a fresh white wine barrel and aged the Saison base for 9 months. Stretching the boundaries of the traditional style, we decided to put our own little spin on it.

Formerly known as Mae.
Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 1,010 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of justintcoons
3.56/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2017.
12 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Lightly yeasty and hazy pale-blonde. Head fizzles out immediately. Lively carbonation.

Lactic acid, peach, Sweet Tarts, and lemon juice.

Moderate to heavy lactic sourness. Lemon juice, Sweet Tarts, and peach puree. Slight white wine and oak.

Medium-light bodied, sour, and off-dry.

Peach, white wine, sour. That's all you need to know.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Stamped on label is bottled on date of '14JAN17'. Label terms this to be a "Belgian Style Wild Ale".
Sediment heavy, pale gold colored body. Brief fizzy white head disappears almost immediately after the pour. No lacing.
Aroma is redolent with saucy peach, along with funk leather and tobacco, with lemon tartness, and rich oak barrel.
Taste is tart and dry, with peach, lemon, oak barrel, earthy leather funk, and Brett.
Medium mouth feel, with very good carbonation.
Tasty, dry, white wine like brew with a bright peach flavor and smell. Refreshing and a pleasant sparkle in the mouth. Lots of sediment in the glass detracts from the appearance.

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Photo of Lucular
3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

There are a lot of great aspects to this beer: fruity peach flavor, depth of flavor with oak, white wine, leather/funkiness, Belgian yeast esters, and a restrained sourness. However, it is also too sweet for my liking, lowering the scores a bit.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml 2016 bottle. Pours golden with tall, long-lasting, foamy off-white head. Nose is of funky yeast, vinegar , bready malt and ripe fruit. Body is full and tangy. Taste is similar to aroma. Finish is long and sour. Nice brew.

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Photo of Foyle
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass. Hazy gold with plenty of sediment. Aroma is sour, floral, and peaches. Flavor tart, peach, yeast roll. Overall very good.

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Photo of mschrei
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great example of the style. Bottled 2/3/16. Slight hazy pale yellow, no foam, some particulates. Smell is tart and funky, as is the taste with a slightly salty background. Very dry. Everything I expect from a saison/farmhouse.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fundamentally, there seems to be a psychological issue of $20+ for a barrel aged saison. And I get it, I have it too. But once, just once, i decided to take the expensive path with this beer. And then it sat in the cellar. But then, after 5 years, it found its literal spot in the sunshine this summer, as we broke it out for a day around the pool.

Pours golden and light amber, surprisingly good carbonation still on this beer, easily put forth a 1/2" white head. Aroma was a delicious bouquet of hay, wood and peaches, with a tart light rain and a subsequent nice sunny day.

Taste was a lot more sourness than you get with saisons, so this is kind of one of those saison wild ales essentially, but its still delicious however you categorize it. The peach was subtle all the way through, but still firmly present. The brett amount was sizeable and contributed to further dryness and levity to the beer in the mouthfeel.

These are quite the treat.

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Photo of Nismo15
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A very good sour. Almost reminds me to Hansen’s experimental ale which is a fantastic lambic.... would recommend to anyone with taste. It’s a fine wine in a beer bottle.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ridiculously expensive. Interestingly good.
I put off Halia forever. My plan was to return to GI's taproom and have Halia on the cheap. Worried that I might not be able to ride my bike out of there, I deferred on Halia. Procrastination only raises the price. I paid $25 for her in a weak moment.

Worth it? Well, not enough to do it twice. But, my first time was almost worth the price. First of all, Halia is a masterful (and probably groundbreaking) use of the techniques we, today, commonly taste in the saison style. The flat carbonation, the winey aromas, the tart fruit.... they are all here put together as one offering.

Now... that doesn't mean that I like this trend (me being a fuddy-duddy.) But more than most styles, the saison lends itself to the experimentation of the individual farmhouse. Sometimes we get close to a masterpiece like Halia... more times, we get a failed experiment. I personally would have liked to have Halia for the price of the failed experiment.

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Photo of IKR
3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear straw yellow color with a small white head that quickly faded.

Smell: Moderate barnyard funk with some moderate grassy/hay notes. I also get some mild fruity notes.

Taste: Moderate barnyard funk, sweetish peach notes, faint tart citrus notes along with some grassy hay notes. The nose and taste profile scream Wild Ale rather than a Saison but regardless the taste profile is tasty and has a light dry finish that works well for the beer.

Mouth-feel: Fairly light-bodied with a modest level of carbonation. Thicker than most Saison's I've had but not bad.

Overall: Not sure if i'd classify this as a Saison but that doesn't matter. It's a tasty easy drinking beer that would be perfect on a hot day.

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Photo of JayQue
3.99/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 750 ml bottle. Beautiful clear, dark golden color with a small bubbly white head that fades fast. No lacing on the glass. Aroma is Brett/wild yeast and peaches. No hoppy aspect to speak of. Malty by default. Strong, pleasant aroma. Taste is more of an Amer. Wild Ale than a Saison. None of the funk, lemon zest, barnyard/horseblanket aspects of a Saison. Tartness and fruit are the main aromas and tastes. Still an outstanding drink though. Mouthfeel is tart, fruity and fairly light but still crisp. Very enjoyable beer but nowhere near a classic saison.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On draught at Gaslight Social Club.

Pours a brilliantly clear light gold, small and quickly disappearing head of foam, no lacing.

Strong peachy smell but it gives it up for the intense aromas of Brett. Can't say that it smells sour.

The taste continues with the Brett where the smell left off. Light sour notes of umm peaches, tough to positively identify the fruit as such, whatever, it's pitted but not dark fruit.

Fairly light bodied with adequate carbonation.

Very good for 1 glass. ;)

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Almost clear yellow color with just a bit of white head. Aroma has floral notes like elderflower and linden with some light citrus tartness. Taste has mellow fruit notes like peach, mirabelle plum, melon, apricot, ripe pear with a light acidity. Medium body with medium minus carbonation. Really well integrated fruit flavors with some nice floral notes.

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Photo of zeff80
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. Poured out a hazy, straw yellow color with a small, white head of foam. It smelled of peach, funky brett and some white grapes. Very funky with a sweet peach taste.

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Photo of gatornation
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage Pours a light yellow/golden hue with a fluffy white head. Smell and taste were white fruit and peach mixed with white wine and slight sour fruity esters. Mouth sweet and fruity with mild funk peach not as prominent as i would like. A wine and champagne saison to me very easy to drink.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Goose Island Beer Co. "Halia"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED ON: 14JAN2017 0822 7.7% ALC/VOL"
$8.49 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: Nice label, nice bottle - Goose Island's packaging has certainly improved. It's poured for me a surprisingly short head of bright white that faded almost immediately. The body is hazy and golden. The aroma smells of Brettanomyces (mustiness, light mineral, some sharpness, light wet straw), oak, and soft golden fruit. The flavor affirms that with a bright tartness, soft chalky minerals, fruitiness (a hint of lemon, apple, and peach), drying oak, and a moderately grainy-sweet golden maltiness. It finishes dry, fruity, and lightly grassy and spicy. It's light bodied, maybe light-medium, and gently crisp more due to its acidity than its moderate carbonation. Although it's not that bold it remains fairly complex, and quite refreshing and enjoyable.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from 2013

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip to a light gold topped by a dense two finger white head that fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of light sourness, fruity esters with some orchard fruit notes and some nice peach aroma.
T: Taste is some light acidity with some nice horseblanket and barnyard notes with a hint of baind aids. Still some nice peach flavor as well. Swallow is more light sourness with some lingering peach flavor.
M: The beer has a moderate amount of heft on the palate. The level of carbonation is a little prickly and the beer is very effervescent. The beer also finishes on the dry side due to the acidity.
O: Overall this is a really nice beer with some good flavors and complexity. It has held up well over time and could probably have gone a little bit longer. Very enjoyable and worth a try if you can stomach the price.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light golden color, almost akin to a chardonnay in color. Fine, soda-like carbonation with no head retention.

Aroma is incredibly funk-forward. The beer doesn’t exude sourness, but some lactic notes are present. Lots of wine-barrel character, some melon, citrus peel, and some baking soda.

Taste is incredibly meaty; an umami bomb. Very funky beer that is dominated by beef jerky, hoarse blanket, and general barnyard characters. A more tame lactic character comes forth near mid-sip, which does break up the funk nicely. Out of all the sister beers tasted, this is the least sour and most funky. White wine barrel and perhaps a bit of green grape character are introduced near the conclusion of the sip. A buttery note finishes the sip. While there is not an overabundance of peach, actually it is quite lost, I do get more of a fermented peach skin.

Overall, this is a unique beer. I have tried all of the sister beers in the past, but I didn’t formally review them. I am re-trying them now that they are in the smaller format and more easily accessible on tap. From my memory a few years ago, this was my favorite variant. Years ago, I hated sours, now I love them. Perhaps, I enjoyed the beer most, as it is the least sour. Regardless, I am glad I re-reviewed this beer. I am not impressed, especially at the price point. Strange combination of flavors that don’t meld all that well. The beer needs more tartness and more peach character. I see it pairing well with a pan seared trout with grapefruit salad and roasted green beans. It gets a 81/100.

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Photo of vainosuomi
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: light golden color, minimal head, light sediment
Smell: Very fruity and sour—green apple, peach. Oak and boozy notes.
Taste: Follows nose. Dominated by tart fruits, slight sweetness and earthy hop notes.
Feel: medium body, heavy carbonation

Overall pretty good. Very well done. If you like sours or champagne-like beers go for it.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely. A nice pale orange body, white head. Nose hits with acidity along with the expected peach notes, and some grape and woody hints. The taste emphasizes the wine element, and the peach is largely in the background, but I have no reservations about that, because the result is a delicious, tart, deeply satisfying experience.

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Photo of anteatr23
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden hazy mimosa orange with a small head. Noticeable carbonation. Smells of citrus and brett, sour. Taste is sharply sour and bitter, moving into a funky brett with a good deal sour/sweet peaches. Creamy mouthfeel, little bit of acid burn. Really nice and approachable.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Halia pours a hazy golden color with no head. Very rich and tart aroma. Taste is also creamy and tart, with hints of sour fruit and subtle earthy tones. Good body and feel. Overall, it is a bit more sour and tart, but a very fine beer to sip.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

From the 750 ml. bottle. 2016 batch. Sampled on January 20, 2017. This was my 3,000th review for Beer Advocate.

It looks pretty decent I'll give it that with its soft yellow-olive color. The head builds up and fades away immediately.

The aroma has a kind of white grape, white bread, toasted bread, spicy, and tart sensation. It smells like a sour should smell.

The body is interesting. It is soft and medium but also quite bubbly and/or carbonated.

The sour, tart characters are evident in the taste along with a grapefruit and spicy hoppiness that penetrates the finish. I will not argue that this was a nice Belgian Farmhouse Ale but I have had others that are just as good for half the price. This one cost me $22.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 1/13/2017 at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick, RI, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains esters, Belgian yeast, citrus and some peaches.

T: The taste starts out tart with flavors of citrus, peaches and wild Belgian yeast funk that transition into some sweetness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly tart.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid sour beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No doubt about the peach presence, particularly on the nose, lighter on the palate, which feels the slightest bit thin. A fun spin on Sofie. Really wish these sisters could be cheaper, but the fruit really is done well.

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Halia from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1010 ratings