Halia | Goose Island Beer Co.

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

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by sidetracked on 04-24-2011

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Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 934
Photo of ikantspel
2.52/5  rDev -39%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into a duvel tulip
Bottled on 8.9.13

Pours a lager golden color with a small white head, small but thick lacing on the glass

Barnyard funk, apples, cranberries, dry wood

Starts off very tart, mellows into grapes, peach, and banana

Kinda was expecting more for they style, not sure it represents it right

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Photo of JVB
2.65/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

This one was hard to choke down, ended up drain dumping. Wife picked it up confusing it with the release of BCBS.

Initial pour was intriguing, very thick consistency. LOADS of peach flesh.

Smell was absolutely amazing.

Taste reminded me of a vurp that you swallow back down. Too Sour...

Mouth feel was same as orange juice with extra pulp.

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Photo of Beerlover
2.95/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Second beer I've had of the sister series from goose island. Hazy golden yellow with a ton of bubbles, looks like champagne, a half inch slowly dissipating white foamy head. Smells very funky/yeasty, with some mild peachy fruit aromas. Taste is very tart! Pretty good if you like sours but very rich, the peach is there but kind of hidden, was hoping for more peachiness. Good beer from a great brewery but for the price I don't think i'll try this one again. If you can split the cost one this one with one or two other people then it would be well worth it considering it's just too tart to take on one your own.

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Photo of dukeandduke
3.26/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

2/7/16 Chicago (10 oz $6 cask pour into plastic cup at Goose Island Tap Room). Clear light golden hue, light carbonation, medium puffy white head, generous lacing. Peaches predominate aroma, yeasty and citrus scent as well. Mild sour taste, peaches clear standout with citrus and other vague sweet fruits I couldn't pin down. Very thin texture, no carbonation, very easy going down, somewhat like a beer left out. Overall good offering.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.35/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

"Belgian style farmhouse ale." 7.50% ABV confirmed. Bottled 06 Aug 13. "0855." "Ale aged in wine barrels with peaches." Expectations are high given its $21ish price point. 765ml brown glass bottle with classy understated label art and orange foil-ed over branded pressure cap acquired at Argonaut Liquor and served into a slender stem-tulip in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, CO. 2013 vintage.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it pours.

Pours a four finger wide head of white colour. Somewhat thin. Lacking creaminess. Spotty lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is good - about 4 minutes.

Body colour is a slightly hazy yellow of average vibrance. Appears well-carbonated.

Overall, it looks okay for a saison and average for a wild ale. I'm not really sure what it is at this point. Not unique or special, but there are no egregious flaws.

Sm: Lemongrass, faint lemon peel, faint brettanomyces-induced funkiness, floral hop character, fruity hop character, a white wine tone, and peach fruits (along with accompanying esters). Light bready and biscuity malts. Some biscuity yeast character replete with vitamins. Some hay.

A clean fragrant pleasant aroma of moderate strength. I really wanted some tart fruit or sourness from this. There's none of the nuanced white pepper or milky notes you'd expect in a good saison, and none of the notes you'd want in a sour.

No alcohol presence is noticeable.

T: Floral and fruity hop character. A backgrounded white wine tone is present and adds little; it doesn't even guide the beer or lend much cohesion, but rather distracts. Faint hay. Golden malts. Some biscuity and lightly funky brettanomyces yeast. No real sourness or tartness at all. Light peach fruit; it's not particularly evocative - it isn't juicy orchard fruit or anything. Has an unwelcome kiss of lychee. Sadly, there aren't any real barrel notes at all - no rich oak wood or anything.

Decently balanced, but certainly not gestalt. Fair complexity and decent subtlety. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

If they were shooting for a saison, they flat out missed the requisite subtlety, intricacy, and nuance. There's no white pepper, spice, or milky notes here at all. If they were shooting for a wild ale, they flat out missed the requisite sourness and the beneficial tart fruit.

Even the highlights here - the peach fruit and the brettanomyces yeast - feel like wasted potential. Subdued for a saison.

No alcohol comes through.

Mf: Lightly coarse - unnecessarily so. Wet. Somewhat refreshing. A bit overcarbonated. Decent body and thickness. There's nothing terrible here, but it just doesn't complement the flavour profile as well as it ought to. Gets the job done, but it doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to the taste. Fair presence on the palate.

Not oily, harsh, astringent, gushed, hot, scratchy, or boozy.

I'd like the mouthfeel to be dry, juicy, and vaguely refreshing like an orchard fruit, but it falls well short.

Dr: Certainly drinkable, but at this price point it just isn't worth it. Frankly, the wine barrel aging isn't helping the base beer at all, and I figure that's probably what drove the price up in the first place. This is disappointing work from Goose Island, but only because it's priced unreasonably. It'd be fine at $8.99. It drinks like a good-but-not-great saison. Hides its ABV well. The peach notes in particular were disappointingly reticent. I'll easily kill this bottle alone, but I definitely wouldn't get it again, nor would I recommend it to friends.


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Photo of TruePerception
3.4/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Goose Islands' Halia, saison aged in wine barrels with peaches. Supposedly, lots of peaches. 7.5%.

A: A little over half a finger of head. Hazy yellow. Bright towards outsides, deeper and duller towards the center.

S: Definitely more peach aroma than a peach wheat beer would have. Fruit fades quickly, leaving behind peach skin and pit notes. Some acidity

T/MF: Very crisp and cool. Almost champagne-like sparkle. Peach is light, leaning more towards skin and pit. Very dry, but it seems to work better for this beer than it might a wheat. Pit bitterness in the background.

This seems like a step up for wheat beer fans, but not nearly worth the $22 price tag, to me. I blame AB for that...

Poured from a 765mL(?!) bottle, into Belgian tulip glass.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.41/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Boulevard tulip snifter.

Luckily for my poor ass, VDubb's brother was willing to share this bottle with us. Good man. It pours a partly-hazy gold topped by over a finger of lightly cream-white foam. The nose comprises white grape must, mildly-funky citrus, cracked wheat, light Belgian yeast, and a touch of black pepper deep in the background. The taste basically mirrors the smell, though with more funk, mostly growing on some faded fruit that they tell me is a "peach". Sure, whatever you say, he says, nodding condescendingly. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, there isn't enough flavor (especially in the peach department) here to warrant the price tag. In the end, it comes across as a week, lightly Brett-ed, lightly fruited saison. Not a bad beer, but a thoroughly disappointing one.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I honestly never heard of this one until someone brought a bottle to a recent tasting. But now that I see it used to be Mae, I'm pretty sure I did have it back in the day during on of my Chicago trips.

Hazy, pale yellow pour, with a foamy white head that settled to a thick ringlet; soapy lacing. Aroma heavy with Belgian yeast (brett), flowery, with notes of white wine, with a slight earthy funk; almost BPAish. Didn't really pick up any peaches in the aroma or the taste. Otherwise, flavors of pale malts, white grapes, a rather controlled acidity/tartness, brett, and some barnyard notes. Light-medium body, slightly prickly mouthfeel, but seemed like it might get a bit chewy if not consumed at a cooler temperature. In other words, this is basically a bottle to share, and I wouldn't tackle it on my own (especially for the price at which I've been seeing it). Decent, but not too memorable.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.54/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Slightly hazy yellow body. Small white head. Thin collar.

Smell - Citrusy. White wine. Bretty and earthy. Some stone fruits.

Taste - Bretty immediately. Stone fruits. Earthy and a little bitter.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Sweet but the brett cuts it.

Overall - Definitely not worth the price, but objectively it's not bad.

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Photo of Pencible
3.56/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a clear straw with quickly dissipating white head.
S: It smelled like tart white wine vinegar, with some funky oak and sour apple and a hint of sweet peach.
T: It tasted like tart vinegar and metallic minerals, with some sour apple and funky oak and unripe apricot. It had a clean, lasting sour aftertaste.
M: It was thin and very carbonated like champagne. Nice bubbly body.
D: This was a nice sour, but the scent and taste didn't have as much peach or complexity as I hoped. The body was fitting, but the finish was a little harsh, so it was better to sip. A fine brew, but not top tier for the style, and ultimately forgettable.

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Photo of morimech
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2013 Vintage

Pours a pale yellow color with a slight haze. Just over one finger forms before settling to a thin cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left down the glass.

I get a combination of brett funk with slight barnyard aromas. Smells vinous with slight pepper notes. Get more from the wine barrel than the peaches which I do not pick up on at all.

The flavor is dry, mildly funky and acidic, with mild grape notes. Peaches? I am not picking up on any. I am rather unimpressed with this beer. It is good but the flavor is not knocking my socks off. The funk has not really developed yet and the fruit is not making itself known.

Light and effervescent just the way I like my funky/sour beers. Hard to believe this has a 7.5% ABV.

Would not be worth it at half the price. Probably would improve with age but I wonder where the peaches went.

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Photo of champ103
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazed and vibrant golden/orange color. A two finger white head forms and recedes to a ring that sticks throughout. Silky and fine lace is left behind.
S: Bretty and earthy up front. Kind of a phenolic and plastic band aid aroma. A light citrus fruity flavor.
T: Like the nose, Brett forward. Earthy and phenolic. Citrus fruit with a bit more acidic bite in the finish. No peach flavor can be detected at all.
M/D: A medium body with ultra soft carbonation. A bit thin and I want more of a crisp bite. Pleasantly dry though. Not hard to drink. This will be gone in know time.

This is a fine Bretty Saison/Wild Ale. Not the best however. Considering that and the outrageous price, not something I am coming back to with all the great Saisons sitting on the shelf. A good beer, but Praire Artisan price point is so much better. Let alone a much better product.

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Photo of vainosuomi
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
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 PHBoiler
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Really looking forward to this beer. The bottle poured a nice orange colored body with a one finger foamy white head. Pretty cloudy as I would expect it to be. There is no fruit on the nose. You get some of the Belgian yeast esters and a bit of oak. The taste is loaded with lactic/yogurty tartness. The base saison does come through, but it is certainly an oaked beer. You get hints of the white wine barrel, but the barrel seems to have really killed the efferevescence in the mouthfeel. I just don't know where the peaches are. That was the lone reason I bought this beer. It would satisfy you if you're looking for a tart saison with some wine character, but if you tell me I'm getting peaches then I want it to taste like peaches. This one was a far cry from Gillian for me in terms of delivering the flavor. I only got hints of peach when the beer came close to room temperature.

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Photo of corby112
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 06AUG13

Pours a very cloudy, dark golden yellow color with banana-like hues and a massive pillowy white head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Excellent retention with streaks of soapy lacing coating the glass on the way down.

Inviting aroma with a nice balance of earthy farmhouse yeast, wine barrel, musty brett and light fruit. There's a decent amount of funk from the bugs and saison yeasts which is nicely complimented by grassy hops, peppery spice and a tame barrel character. Some toast oak and damp basement along with vinous light grape sweetness and a slight buttery presence but it's not offensive or too heavy on the diacetyl. As it warms, the peaches and ester-y light fruit notes stand out a bit more. Juicy canned peaches along with grape, apple and pear. Not the most complex aroma but the brett and farmhouse funk are nicely balanced by light fruit and subtle white wine characteristics.

Medium body with tight, tingling carbonation and a strong white wine barrel presence that slightly overpowers the wild yeast, peaches and saison flavors. Not much oak with just a touch of wood/toothpick but there is a really strong sweet vinous fruit flavor with light grape, raisin and buttery Chardonnay. This is followed by some peppery spice, possibly coriander or grains of oaradise, wild bugs and funky farmhouse yeast. Some grass and hay-like flavor along with musty brett and crisp light fruit, especially cider and pear. Light, crisp and refreshing with nice flavor but it's lacking depth and complexity. The white wine flavors are pleasant enough and this beer is very easy to drink, but I just wish that the peaches and farmhouse/saison flavors were a bit stronger. Decent beer but I wouldn't buy it again, especially at it's high price point.

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Photo of FLima
3.74/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hazy yellow color with a thin aired head.
Light aroma, peaches just shows up randomly when it warms up. Notes of funky lemony sourness.
Flavor of white wine, pear, green apples, lemon, funky yeast and just a bit of white pepper. Again no peaches. Barrel aging is quite subtle. Very dry aftertaste.
Light to medium body with medium carbonation.
Good beer even though I was expecting more peaches. In my mind I was singing: I am going to the country and eat a lot of peaches...

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Photo of hardy008
3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy pale gold with a two finger white head which fades quickly, leaving a small collar of foam. The aroma has tart peaches, Brett, oak, and tannin's.

Tastes like it smells. More tart than sweet, but not overly tart. Does not have as much of the peppery taste or funk as some of the best Saisons. The tart peaches overpower everything else. Neutral wine barrels were used, and it shows. There is not the taste of any one specific type of wine.

Medium bodied with higher than average carbonation. A good, but not great Saison.

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Photo of thezach
3.79/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

To be completely fair, I really enjoy wild's and farmhouse beers. And while I enjoy the tartness and funk you can get on the nose, they don't intrigue me as much as saisons and other Belgian and American styles do. Wilds and brett beers run a bit together to me.

That being said, Halia has noticeable oak character that really sets it apart. A bright and hazy golden yellow with a white head that quickly settles into nice lacing. It's very dry and has a wonderful mouthfeel about it. There are definite layers of flavor and aroma, peaches, buttery wood, bright tartness. I could enjoy this one for a while on a spring or summer's day, and I would definitely recommend having one now and saving another to savor at just that moment, though at $25+ for a bottle, that could be difficult.

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Photo of Rutager
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I think it said Aug 2013 on the bottle.

Appearance. Pours a lemony gold ... lulz lemony gold. light haze, half finger of frothy white head that fades quickly to a lasting skim.

Smell. Floral peach notes, some tart juiciness, a little whit wine, and some dry oaky funk.

Taste tart peaches and a ton of woody oaky followed by that mellow toasty vanilla. Some dry white wine for sure that doesn't sit amazingly well in the aftertaste. Super serial, it's gotta sit well in the aftertaste. Yeah...

Mouthfeel. Below medium body, fine and lively carbonation.

Overall. It's a good fruited saison but doesn't hold a candle to the PnB I've been spoiled with lately.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle of the 2013 vintage, bought over by Doug today, 11/4/2013. Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

Looks like an above-average saison- clear straw-orange body, effervescent with a nice fluffy white head that has solid retention. Not much lacing.

Smells delicious actually, hints of peaches accompany a decent funkiness and some oak. Not surprising, but its very delicious smelling.

However, the flavour profile is just not as good as it smells. Some funk, some mustiness, some oak, a little bit of fruity sweetness that doesn't immediately translate to peaches for me. But there are definitely faint hints of peaches. I get no white wine in this. Disappointing, honestly, but not bad.

Mouthfeel is the biggest achilles heel on this. This is so watery and thin bodied for a saison which isn't the most full-bodied style. Carbonation is good and sufficient, but not enough to overcome the wateriness of this beer.

This beer was so disappointing, I just didn't want to finish my glass yet alone the bottle. Watery, not interesting enough. In fact, the Crooked Stave Vielle saison we opened up after this was just so much flavourful, Halia tasted like water after we cracked the CS bottle. No way this is worth $23, and I'm absolutely done with Goose Island sours/saisons from here on. If you're thinking about taking the plunge, don't. You're better off with a Saison Dupont or something like that.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

No label information. Halia is brewed in the style of a Farmhouse Ale aged in white wine barrels with peaches added. Available in limited release 750ml. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle to a tulip glass. 2013 vintage.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, fizzy head of an off white tone, short lived, over a hazy golden amber body with abundant, lively carbonation. Retention is below average and there is no visible lacing. 3

(Smell) Pale and lightly toasted bread malts, spicy and peppery yeast characters and a mellow tartness and acidity. Fruit notes of peach and apricot juices and vinous white grape undertones for a tangy and drying delivery. Very slight pinch of grain alcohol. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Many of the characteristics of the aroma, very light malt profile of pale malts, stone fruit characteristics of apricot, peach, and white grape juices, medium dry. Soft yeast characters with light peppery and spicy flavors, slightly dry, very little funk, moderate acidity and tartness. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is smooth, slick, silky, medium dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, shy of medium overall. Balance is nearly even tangy and acidic to sweet. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) A tasty saison offering, but surprisingly not nearly at the caliber of their more readily available Belgian saisons, like Sofie. Decently balanced and the fruit is certainly there but there are really very few high points that distinguish the peach and white wine characters out from the spicy and peppery qualities of the saison yeast. Enjoyable overall but arguably not worth the hefty price. This would be a more reasonable buy and worth a sampling if put into 12 oz. bottled 4 packs like Sofie. 3.75

Goose Island Beer Co.'s
Halia Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale

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Photo of Lemke10
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This pours a mostly clear, golden color with a slight foamy head. The aroma is a mixture of peaches and grapes. The taste is very carbonated and yeasty with lingering hints of sour peaches. Interesting but not quite what I was looking for or expecting in a sour/wild ale.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Hazy yellow-gold. Head is bright-white, creamy, and tight. Drops to a small cap in short order. Some splotches of lacing. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Big bretty push right up front. Earthy, damp, musty, and loaded with bretty funk. Some barnyard and grass. Slightly tart and sweet peach running through the back. Some nice wine barrel notes. Grape skin and slightly tart and juicy grape flesh thrown in the mix. A touch of dry apple cider and light acetic vinegar. Fruity esters as well. Powdery yeast. Warming pushes even more of the brett to the front. Some hay and lime juice.

Taste: Tart peach flesh coupled with a tiny bit of juicy peach flesh. Brett is huge. Earthy, damp, yeasty, and funky. Some barnyard must. Damp cellar. Grassy and nicely floral. Wine barrel adds some nice grape must and skin. Tart lime juice and green apple. Slightly acidic with a touch of acetic acid. Nice and bright and fruity. Super clean. Pear and mealy crab apple. A slight touch of wheat thrown in the mix. Slightly vinous.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body. Slightly above average carbonation. Bright and clean and crisp. Very slightly dry on the finish.

Overall: Peachy keen jelly bean.

Brett and peach. Funky and fruity in good measure. It's worth drinking, but it might need a little bit more time to develop more complexity.

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Photo of NCalement
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass.

A- Clear golden yellow with a fast white head. Looks like a lager. No fruit chunks or even haze.

S- Lots of white wine up front. Followed by tart funk, oak, butter, green apple, pear, hay, wheat and spice. Peaches are present but not very pungent. Smells nice.

T- Sour funk, oak, peaches, spice, biscuit, lemon, a little soapy bitterness. No alcohol. This is pleasantly sour. Reminds me of a heavier berliner weisse. Very good.

M- Active carbonation, light body,crisp finish that as a tannin quality from the barrels. Leaves your mouth watering for more. Very good

O- Great beer that has a heavy $ tag on it, but worth it non the less. Wish there was a little more peach but the sour element is a very nice surprise.

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Photo of draheim
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

765mL (2013) into a tulip. Pours a slightly hazy pale yellow w/ a 1-finger white head, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is tart and lemony with underlying biscuity pale malt.

Taste is likewise light and crisp, but not particularly complex. Basically pale malt fermented by wild yeast. A hint of oak. It's good, but it's pretty one-dimensional.

Mouthfeel is refreshing and drinkable, finishes dry.

Overall a passable wild ale, but not one I'd feel compelled to drink again.

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Halia from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.13 out of 5 based on 934 ratings.
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