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 mwilbur
4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 765 mL bottle into cervoise. Bottle #1547. Bottled on 06AUG13.
A: Pours a clear light lemon hue with high carbonation producing a 1-2 inch white bubbly head...almost champagne-like.
S: Mild farmhouse funk, citrus, peaches, and a vinous note (akin to ice wine).
T: Chardonnay, farmhouse funk, and peaches (note: the peaches are fairly subdued) hit first. White pepper, soft cream, tart berries, and sweet citrus follow. Mild brett notes throughout.
M: Absolutely love the feel on this one. Effervescent tingle from the carbonation a la champagne with alternating sweet, tart, and sour notes dancing on the palate. Light-medium body. Lingers and matures nicely on the palate too...more tart and sour here.
D: Really enjoyed drinking this one. Starts out strong and only gets better from there. Refreshing and highly drinkable. Even decently sessionable with a reasonable 7.5% ABV. Goose Island knocked it out of the park with this one!

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Photo of snaotheus
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

765ml bottle poured into a pair of large snifters. Fridge temp, maybe 40 F. Bottled on: 1518 06 Aug 13. Some sediment left in the bottle, some poured into the snifters.

Pours cloudy, yellow, with a very creamy looking head. Unbelievable retention. Lots of very fine carbonation. Smell is vegetable, maybe unripe peaches. Something dank, perhaps. Maybe something peppery.

Taste is sour, fruity. Vague. I can't pick much out, but there's something tasty about this. I think I get a lot of the peach from the flavor. In fact, a lot from the aftertaste, it's peaches and cream, or maybe creamsicle/orange creamy flavor. Very interesting, and quite nice.

Mouthfeel is creamy, but dry. I like this.

My wife, on the other hand, is not a fan. And she loves sours.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours clear, slightly hazy straw color with a small fizzy white head with short retention

S- lots of yeasty funk up front, some raw doughy bread notes, subtle peach, hay, earthy notes, oak and white wine

T- the peach is more noticeable on the palate with some nice funky yeast mixed in. White wine flavors mesh in around mid-palate with traditional saison flavors. The close brings grapefruit and peach gummy rings

M- medium body with low carbonation, nearly flat mouthfeel and slick finish

O- Just enough funky Brett, but still lets the traditional saison flavors come through

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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 BMMillsy
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle grabbed during the holidays and poured for the Super Bowl. Pours a very light yellow color with big white frothy head. Aroma is lots of sour vinegar and hearty sweet peaches in the background. Flavor is smooth and sweet peaches, very light touched here, behind big sour vinegar flavors and bretty funk and plenty of dry bite at the end. The mouthfeel is light and nearly spritzy, lots of carbonation bite, but very easy drinking. A nice light sour beer that goes nicely in the family of ladies. Enjoyed this more than Gillian by a good margin.

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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 mverity
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Proof. Poured into a Goose Island wine-style glass. Slight haze to this beer. Color is like the skin of a lemon. Yellow/gold with a twinge of straw. Tons of bubbly white head that held about a minute before fading into a thinner head and medium collar. Lots of lacing. Aroma is like dry earth, faint barnyard funk, a healthy amount of peach is noticeable, but not at all overpowering. Taste is delightful: peachy farmhouse goodness. Dry/tart yeast. Earthy/floral hops. Simply divine. Nice high carbonation and medium-low body really make this fun to drink.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pale and hazy straw color. It has an aggressive tall white head that quickly subsides leaving behind some spotty lacing.

The Brett smells tart and funky. There's a light whiff of peaches and white grapes.

The peaches, wine barrels, and Brett meld together nicely. White sweet tarts and vinous.

Crisp and clean mouthfeel. Tart. Light body with effervescent carbonation.

I really dig this beer. It's not a great representation of a saison to style but it really showcases the Brett and fruity qualities.

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Photo of macher0
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This did not last long in the cellar.

Bottle to snifter.

A. Light straw. A little cloudy. Poured a healthy fine bubble egg shell head. Retreats slowly to a thin film and rim. Very nice laces. Straight line updraft of bubbles.

S. Very pleasant. Sour yeast and lacto. Light malts. Lemon and peaches. Funk.

T. Ohh ya more funk. Moderate tartness. Sour yeast, sour bacteria, neutral oak, syrupy peaches, with a little light malts.

M. Very smooth, high carbonation, light body. Thin.

O. Very similar carbonation level, viscosity, sour level, and overall feel to the older sisters. The peaches are subtle but apparent. Totally worth the price and highly recommended. I feel this is excellent where it's at in the aging process. If age brings out the peaches, then I hope the feel doesn't change. I'm glad I enjoyed it on a playoff weekend. This is certainly a bomber one can take to the head.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: pale golden and effervescent beer beneath a fluffy sea-foam white head; lacing sheets and streaks galore

S: white wine and dry oak, stale air and wet grassy fields; hints of sweeter orchard fruit

T: juicy pale fruit and hints of funky brett; wine barrel oak and pinot grigio; floral with bright herbs

M: medium bodied and fuzzy, but crisp and tart; yeastiness pronounced on finish, accompanied by a slight drying

O: an excellent ale - peaches added a nice, understated fruitiness, the wild yeast was balanced and kept things earthy and tacky; elevation of ale via wine barrel aging on-point. Recommended.

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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 1000lbgrizzly
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy straw, lazy streams of bubbles rising. Thin white head that leaves thin, sticky lacing. Bottle art is clean and enticing, color scheme a nice change from the usual drab Goose Island art.

S: Tart and sweet ripe citrus fruit, including peaches and faint oranges. Some faint yeast funk.

T: Sweet! Plenty of peach and other citrus fruits to go around, some funk, honestly not getting much else. It's very pleasing, full-bodied, but definitely straightforward and unbalanced. But, being unbalanced on the side of sweetness, I'm a fan.

M: Both effervescent, yet semi-syrupy from all the sugars. Supremely refreshing!

O: A great beer with tons of character, even if it is a simple one. Curious why it was released in the winter, this would be an amazing summer refresher. I might pick another one up for a hot summer day, if I feel like paying the $25 premium again.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.61/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A - Light golden haze with a head if carbonation on top

S - Tart peach, light vinegar. Really a rich sweet and juicy peach

T - Bretty, slight blue cheese, really farmhouse funk. Light tart vinegar. Juicy peaches to it that adds a nice sweetness to it. Light sweettarts.

M - Thick beer with good carbonation to it that makes it slightly creamy

O - One of the best peach sours I've had as it has a strong juicy peach flavor balanced with slight tartness and Brett. I hope they make this one often and a lot if it

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a 765 mL brown bottle with a standard bottle cap and foil around the top, similar to wine. The bottling date says August 2013, but this style should have no problem holding up over the course of four months. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack Series tulip glass.

Appearance - Initially pours a crystalline golden yellow, with no sediment or cloudiness in the body. In fact, the only "irregularities" are the lazy drift of carbonation bubbles rising towards the massive three-finger head. It's so clear that I can see a warped view of my kitchen in the background through the liquid. The enormous head is stark white and rocky, with bubbles beginning to burst and leave large pocking and mottled sheets of lacing down the glass. Upon subsequent pours from the bottle, the opacity changes a little bit from the presence of the sediment and yeast in the bottle. Still beautiful, just in a slightly different way.

Smell - Notes of chardonnay, tart but dry notes of fruit--the peach is definitely well-represented in the nose--and some fainter elements of wood and toasted sourdough from the grain base. Some nice traces of musty barnyard and wet hay, but I have to say the aroma leans more towards tart than funk. Not a problem by my view, although it does raise one's eyebrow at the "farmhouse" classification.

Taste - As expected, the initial taste is dry and tart, with a very wine-like quality that I imagine come from the addition of fruit and wine-barrel aging. White grapes, some light notes of apple cider vinegar, and coming in after the initial tartness has worn off is a delicious characteristic of fresh-cut peaches. Ripe and bright, but not strong enough to overpower the core beer characteristics--in other words, this doesn't taste like a "fruit beer". The tartness becomes a bit more pronounced (to my pleasure) as I let the glass warm up a tad. This is good enough to make one wonder if the traditional lambic breweries of Belgium should maybe give peaches a go. Of course, they probably have already at some point--given the price point on this beer, I'm curious if the cost of fresh peaches is just too prohibitive to use with any consistency.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied with ample carbonation and a wonderfully dry finish that entices the next sip. Very quaffable for a 7.5% beer--if I'd had to guess the ABV based solely on taste, it's very likely that I would've pegged this as closer to the traditional ales from which it draws; maybe a 5-6% lambic or similar.

Overall, a wonderfully tasty beer, and a definite candidate for people looking to crossover into sour beers. I especially love the fact that you can somewhat manage the level of sour based on the temperature at which you drink it. If you're new to sours, grab a bottle, pour a glass and take a few sips straight out of the fridge. Then let it sit a little while and take another swig after it's warmed up to something closer to 50°F. If it hadn't been so expensive, I might've tried to grab a second bottle to see how much it sours over time. Oh well.

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Photo of bmwats
4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a teku.

A: Slightly hazy, golden hue. Moderate amounts of rising effervescence. Pours into a 2 finger, bubbly white head. Dryly craters, dissipating to a collection of foam, a rim ring, and some dry residue. Persistent dry lacing remains.

S: Yeast, apricot, and raspberry.

T: Tastes like it smells. Lightly sweet fruity components consisting of fermented apricot and raspberry.

M: Light and crisp. Syrupy feel on the palate. Forward sweet and funk, with a hint of bitterness in the rear. Quite acidic. Dry finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really nice. A little hazy with fair amounts of carbonation evident throughout, bubbly head, and some dry persistent lacing. Nose is yeasty and fruity. Crisp and lightly sweet fruit components, balanced with lightly bitter yeastiness. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I bought the hype; I finally pulled the $25 trigger and picked up that 765mL bottle that’s been staring me in the face whenever I’ve perused the local bottle shop these past few months. Ah well, I guess it’s a late Christmas gift to myself. Cheers!

Bottled 08/12/2013, just about five months before the date of this tasting.

A: Hazy, pale goldenrod with an inch-high head of fizz, stark white and bubbly. It settles to just a short hill of retention over the nucleation site in seconds, leaving strands of delicate lace all around.

S: Mildly funky with a wonderful aroma of fresh peaches. Brett scents come off as green and slightly peppery – less must, more grass – and they make up the majority of the nose, but the peach adds an alluring fruit character. Lime, orange marmalade, and pear notes bounce around in the background.

T: A bright, bretty palate throughout, marked by dominant notes of fresh lemon, tangerine, crisp green apple, and a lightly metallic brine taste (reminiscent of a low-alcohol sauvignon blanc). All this combined makes a remarkably refreshing – though still complex – sipper. The flavor of genuine peach also permeates the palate, tasting exactly how I like them: underripe. That is, softly sweet, but with a sour edge, which meshes well with the brisk brett profile. Finishes without much of an aftertaste, maybe a sweet baked apple flavor but not much else; it hits a sour peak in the back-middle of the palate, so everything else seems a little diminished, including the finish.

M: Not as silky as I thought it would be. Actually, it has a somewhat oily body with a bright, effervescent carbonation, though in the end, that serves to bring this a step closer to the authentic Belgian experience.

O: My favorite Belgian-style beer from Goose Island, hands-down. I definitely got my money’s worth here – even at $25. Excellent.

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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 nataku00
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a hazy golden color with a finger of loose bubbly pure white head. Head dissipates quickly, but leaves a good amount of stick lacing that clings to the glass for a while. Nice carbonation, many tiny bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is stone fruit, apricot and peaches, lemon, light almond, green grape, mild earthy funk, and old oak.

Taste follows the nose, good apricot skin and fruit flavor up front, oak and earthy brett funk, and lactic acid sourness. Biscuit malt sweetness and sweeter stone fruit mid tongue, before a dry oaky finish.

Light body with plentiful soft carbonation.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 release (first batch). Tulip glass.

A: Pours a light straw color, good clarity, effervescent, with two fingers of airy, bright white head. Pretty good retention and a few streaks of lacing.

S: Peach, a little funk and white wine, lemon, a hint of clove, with a solid oak backbone.

T: Light, mouthwatering tart peach, white wine, hefty wheat, some sweetness, a little funkiness. Refreshing, and the flavors meld nicely.

M: Creamy texture. Very light carbonation with medium body.

O: Highly drinkable, refreshing with nice flavors, and pairs well with food. They got the peach addition right on this. The price tag makes this unreasonable for everyday drinking.

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Photo of popery
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours yellow with a touch of orange. Quite cloudy. Small to medium white head, a bit fizzy. The aroma is fruity with some mild grape and oak. The peaches come through bright and clean. Not terribly jammy. There's some lacto sourness and a touch of funk. The beer tastes mildly sour - picks up a bit as the beer warms. Again, the fruit is relatively strong and quite pleasant but not very jammy. Rather dry. More wine barrel flavor. Seems like a mild, buttery white wine. Finish is fruity and pleasant with a strong tannic oak note. Mouthfeel is a bit effervescent. There's more body to the beer than I'd expect from the flavor. This beer doesn't have the depth or complexity of some fruited sours, but it's very pleasant and easy to like. I can't really find a fault with the beer. It would be an excellent choice for someone new to sours, and I don't mean that as a slight. It's tasty, fun to drink and unlike most other fruit sours. Interesting and delicious.

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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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Photo of Etan
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into an oversized snifter. Took me a while to find this one for some reason.

A: Pours a clearish straw gold with a nice white head.

S: Lots of brett and moderate peach notes in the nose. Yogurty, gamey, peach flesh, cobwebs, sweet pale malt.

T: Taste brings moderate citrusy tartness, mild cloves and peach and white cake, palpable wine barrel notes, a bit lactic, vague dry grainy finish.

M: Light-bodied with almost-frothy carbonation.

O: A nice wild saison with a bit of a weak finish. Tasty but it doesn't stand up to other peach-brett saisons like Logsdon's Peche 'n Brett.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 11.10.13
Bottled on 1516 06AUG13

A - Pours a hazy light orange with a fizzy white head that is gone fast.

S - Lots of wine and barrel tartness, fruity sweetness, subtle peach.

T - Soft peach, chardonnay-wine and some subtle oak.

D - Decent carbonation with a light body, smooth.

O - Lots of wine and subtle peach. Nice, but spendy.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.56/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a light straw yellow in color with a mild amount of haze. Medium sized head that retained well and lacing is very good.

S- Light and slightly tart. Spicy and grainy with lemon tones. Tartness is enticing and shows just a slight amount peach.

T- Starts with a mild tart bang. Same great light and grainy flavors appear in the taste. Lemon grass flavor is there and then the peaches mix in. Slightly dry flavor after the peaches from the wine barrels.

M- Light, crisp, and highly carbonated. This is a classic light sour feel. Grainy and slightly tart, but still refreshing and easy to drink.

Overall, an awesome, somewhat sour, farmhouse ale. Not too sour, not too spicy or grainy, and tremendously easy to drink. It's refreshing and just a touch fruity.

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Photo of Roguer
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful one-finger snow white head with decent retention and nice lacing. Beer is incredibly lively, bubbling through the head. Beer is a cloudy pale yellow straw color.

Sharp Belgian yeast aroma: sweet yeast mingled with sharp funk. Lemon and wheat.

More sour than funky in the flavor, although there's a bit of both. Brett funkiness comes through as a mild cheesiness at the end. Up front, there's a sharp lemony and white wine sourness, riding a strong wheat background. I don't get any peaches. Very tasty wild Saison, extremely well balanced.

Mouthfeel is very light, even taking into account the tartness and the Brett funk. Balance and complexity, though, means you'll want to take your time. Lively with a pleasant sting.

This is my first of the GI "Sisters." It comes across as a fairly typical wild saison: light, noticeable Belgian yeast, straw, and Brett. That said, everything is well-represented and balanced, and GI did a good job marrying complexity and subtlety.

2013 edition.

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