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Gillian | Goose Island Beer Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
76 Reviews
THE BROS
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BEER INFO

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

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Gillian - Saison with Strawberry, Honey, and White Pepper

Alias of Scully: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1549/61122

Added by Jason on 08-12-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
76
Ratings:
659
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
25.79%
 
 
Wants:
70
Gots:
200
For Trade:
31
User Reviews
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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 659
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Hazed golden yellow. Head is bright-white and bubbly. Minimal retention leaves a small collar in relatively short order. Moderate carbonation on the pour. A vigorous swirl creates a rich creamy one-finger head that drops pretty quickly.

Smell: Fresh juicy strawberry. A touch of honey laced through the back with a soft peppery spiciness. Deeply fruity with a slight push of peach, apple, and pear. Very light pale maltiness thrown in the mix. A touch of bread with oak tannins. Wine barrel rounds the whole thing out. Push of grape skin and bright white wine. Warming ups the strawberry flesh and wine component. A bit of powdery floral yeast. A touch musty and damp.

Taste: A little bit less assertive than the nose would indicate. Nice push of clean fresh strawberry up front. A touch of pepper runs through the back of the whole thing. Softly spicy. Raw honey adds a nice element as well. Yeast is very light with some mild fruity esters. A touch of apple skin. Grape must with a nice push of oak and white wine. Almost like a spritzer on the finish. Manages to keep the slightly tart push of strawberry. Some underlying musty funk. A touch grassy and damp. Juicy. Slight citric acid tartness. A nice complexity and fruity depth.

Mouthfeel: Mediumish body with a moderate carbonation. Slightly dry on the finish with an initial juicy sip.

Overall: Definitely not the ugly one.

A nice blend of powdery funk and fruit. Manages to balance strawberry and wine without being a wine cooler. Well played and delightful. Not the best of the "Sisters," but it's definitely drinkable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Goose Island asks us to pay an ultra-premium price in order to enjoy their strawberry infused, sour Saison. With their reputation on the line and with my wallet at ransom, the ale proves to be much more lambic-inspired than that of farmhouse.

Medium goldenrod in color and with threads of peach and amber, the hazy ale pours and simply gleams with a glow despite its yeasty veil. As its racy carbonation rises to fuel a light creamy head, its retention is light as the beer's acidity breaks up the bubble and relegates any head character to a dainty necklace with minimal spotty lace. The beer looks as much like sparkling white wine as it does ale.

Musty fruit springs to life like dehydrated lemons, limes, tart green apples, under-ripened berries and over-ripe strawberry. The ale miraculously retains the recognizable characterists that are unique to strawberry without fermenting away its subtle and volitile aromas. A waft of weathered oak, cellar-like must, saddle leather and wet hay offers up a robust and pungent "mossy" earth character to complement its sourish twang.

To taste, its "Pez" like malt sweetness is somewhat confectionary although light. Supple honeysuckle gives the beer's fruit flavor a riper taste before turning bracingly acidic in the middle. Dried and must fruits pile on the taste buds with sour white grapes, crab apple, tart berries, lemons, limes and unmistakable strawberries! Caught somewhere between dry cider and white wine vinegar- its sour tone is front and center. Earthy flavors of cooked hay, sea salt, brine and mineral is lightly rustic and raw as a woodish and leathery taste leave final impressions with echoes of strawberry and wheat in aftertaste.

Its light and bone-dry body becomes racy with its champagne-like carbonation that carries away its early candied sweetness. What's left is an arid and acidic texture that evaporates off the palate like cotton candy. Much of the beer's flavor experience happens in aftertaste as its high carbonation ushers in a quick and fleeting finish of pepper, warmth, wood spice and sourness.

Gillian is the queen of the crop of Goose Island sours because of its complex offerings of earth to its sourness. Gillian is unique in that the earthen qualities are quintessential Brussels, and doesn't only lean on sourness to carry the load. Also, the way that it retains its strawberry aroma and flavor is nothing short of remarkable.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.66/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

765ml brown glass bottle with classy understated red label and white foil-ed over branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at Argonaut Liquor in Denver, CO and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster stem tulip/snifter hybrid glass in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, CO. Reviewed live. 2013 vintage. "Ale brewed with strawberries, honey, & white pepper. Aged in wine barrels." "Belgian style farmhouse ale." Reviewed as a farmhouse ale. Bottled 11 Sep 13. 9.5% ABV confirmed.

Served chilled after a period of rest following its removal from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a quarter finger white head which recedes to nothing inside 15 seconds. No lacing.

Body colour is a vibrant orange-copper. Translucent but nontransparent. Appears well-carbonated. No floating yeast particles are visible.

I'm quite disappointed with the (lack of) head, but overall I'm optimistic. It's not unique or special, but there are no egregious flaws.

Sm: Wonderfully subtle strawberry notes - real authentic strawberry, not some artificial fruit syrup. Crystal malts. Belgian pale malts. Light honey. A hint of tart fruit, maybe even a kiss of sourness. Hop profile is floral and fruity but vague. Maybe some faint white wine? I only notice it because I'm looking for it. A pleasant clean aroma of moderate strength.

No alcohol is detectable.

T: Lightly sour - particularly on the finish - which is a welcome characteristic. Faint nebulous white wine tones guide the beer and lend it some cohesion throughout. Belgian pale malts, tame honey, and crystal malts provide the accomodating effective foundation. The strawberry is lovely - it's very subtle yet still evocative, and there are no traces of any artificial fruit syrups or extracts; strawberry is a hard note to nail, but Goose Island succeeds here. If brettanomyces was used, it's extremely reticent here because I'm not finding it at all - no funkiness or biscuity character at all. The honey sweetness is nice, but I would like a bit more sourness. Hop profile is almost purely floral, but there are some light nectary and fruity notes as well, all of which complement the other flavours well.

Overall, it's a very balanced brew with some impressive cohesion, but it isn't gestalt. I love how the fruit is handled. Well-built, with notable complexity and subtlety. I'd even say the strawberry is intricate and nuanced, but the white wine does feel a bit wasted - there just isn't much character there, let alone any true barrel/wood notes. Sadly, no white pepper comes through. I do get a hint of peach. I'm content to treat this like an American wild ale rather than a saison as there's not as much complexity here as a good saison would have, nor is there any white pepper or milky character. For a wild ale, the depth, duration, and intensity of flavour are average. (It's too intense for a saison and nowhere near as deep).

No alcohol, overt spice, or cream comes through.I can't tell what kind of yeast is effecting the sourness, but I'd get it's actually a bit of lactobacillus bacteria.

The strawberry note is exquisite, and is easily the highlight of the beer for me.

Not puckerworthy, but it provides enough sourness for sour lovers to be satisfied. If Cascade Kriek is a 10 on the sourness scale, this is a 5.

Mf: Crisp, soft, smooth, and wet. Refreshing. Medium-bodied. Great comforting approachable presence on the palate. Perfectly carbonated. Constructively, it is a bit too thin. Above average acidity. Really complements the flavour profile well.

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

Dr: Incredibly drinkable; I could easily kill a few bottles of this in a night. It's a shockingly effective profile for a saison-meets-sour, and I'd recommend it to friends if not for the flat-out-ridonkulous price point. With the myriad of superior offerings in the style available well below this price point, I can't say I'd get this again. At half its price, it'd be worth it every once in a while. As much as I've enjoyed this bottle, it's still not a world class beer - and it disturbs me that the brewers labelled this a saison. Well worth trying once if you've got the scratch. Hides its ABV very well; I'd guess this was 7% if I tried it blind.

B

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Photo of Jonada
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2013 vintage 765ml bottle poured into a Russian River stemmed glass.

Appearance: Pours a pale yellow orange color with less than a finger of a fizzy white head that dissipates almost instantly to a thin collar. Body is hazy with lots of visible carbonation streaming throughout the glass.

Smell: Fresh strawberries, white pepper, saison yeast, slight acidity, honey, slight lactic character, light barnyard funk and a hint of orange. Aroma is complex and appealing.

Taste: A light acidic sourness hits the palate right away. After that it follows the nose pretty very closely with more strawberry, white grape, honey, funk, and oak. Big white pepper flavors on the palate which carry through to the finish and linger into the after taste (to the point of producing a slight spicy burn and you get towards the end of the bottle).

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crisp. Moderate levels of lively carbonation help move the flavors along. Finishes tart and dry. Booze is very well hidden.

Overall: Another good beer from Goose Island. Delicate and complex with just enough sour/wild character to remind you it's there, but doesn't overwhelm the other flavors of the beer. My one gripe would be that this could benefit from them toning down the pepper a bit. With all that being said, while this is a really good beer, I don't think it justifies the $29.99 price tag it carries.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks for sharing Matt!

(A)- Pours a cloudy pale orange/blush red color. Produced some minimal white froth that dissipated quickly.

(S)- A nice dryness throughout. The strawberry and peppercorn is very obvious. Ever so slight hint of some funky tartness.

(T)- Very much a saison (on the dry side) with a great dry yeast character. Good vibrant strawberry fruit bits. Thankfully, the peppercorn just adds a slight hint of spice to the finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance to this. Not overly oaky, but good trio of saison base, strawberry fruit, and dry spiced barrel. Again, very happy the peppercorn takes a supporting role and does not become overpowering.

(O)- Wish it carried a bit more tartness into the mix, but the vibrant fruit and dry oak is quite nice. I will admit, for the price this bottle goes for, I expected more.

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Photo of MCain04
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Goose Island for this bottle to review! Poured into a GI belgian glass.

Appearance is a cloudy straw yellow body with a fizzy white head which dissipated into minimal rimming and no lacing.

Smell is of lactate, delicate strawberry, surprisingly strong pepper, some other tropical fruit like kiwi and mango, and lemon.

Taste is of soft sweet fruit, primarily strawberry, tart but not too sour, pepper is somewhat subdued throughout but perhaps present on the very back end.

Mouthfeel is effervescent, light to medium body, smooth, mildly sticky and dry, very drinkable.

Overall, for the price this is definitely a once in a while treat, but this was a very, very enjoyed beer. Great fruit flavor and sour notes are just perfect with a good balance of sweet, tart, and pepper. Very drinkable.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a bright, effervescent looking, hazy orange. Medium sized head forms and sticks around just a little bit. Not very much lacing.

S- Fairly complex with strawberry being first and foremost on the nose. Some pepper and traditional saison spiciness mixes in behind the fruit. Towards the end, some lemongrass and light grainy notes make an appearance.

T- Starts with a bang of strawberry fruitiness and grassy saison flavors. Grains and some lemon peek in there too. The end is mainly a dull, grainy, saison flavor profile with a hint of lingering strawberry as it fades away. Throughout the drink, there are bits and pieces of pepper and just a touch of the underlying sweetness from the honey.

M- Light across the palate and quite highly carbonated, making it crisp and a little stinging on the tongue. The 9.5% ABV isn't really evident in the flavor, but is slightly noticeable in the drying sensation left in the mouth.

Overall, this is a very good beer. I'm not sure it's worth the $30 price tag, as it's not much better than Lolita or Juliet, but it is unique. Glad I got a bottle to try and enjoy. This is a very interesting and delicious beer.

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Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a hazy orange blossom honey color capped by about an inch of foam that fades quickly, leaving a smattering of dots and squiggles behind

Smell: A lot of acidity in the aroma, with tart strawberries, grapefruit, white peppercorns and barnyard funk

Taste: Biscuity malt lays the backbone, but the lactic sour flavors take over quickly, bringing strawberry yogurt sweetened with a hint of honey; in the middle, the tartness continues to build, with barnyard funk, grapefruit and the peppercorn elements adding a hot complexity; the finish brings back the strawberry elements, though the puckery tartness lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation; puckery and a bit hot from the peppercorn

Overall: Pricey, but well worth a try - this beer is a stab in a new direction (and how many beers truly provide that these days)

Thanks, redsand22, for the opportunity

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A heavy price tag for this, it's a very nice beer but maybe not worth the $.

The beer pours a nice solid orange color with a decent head, very hazy it's very opaque. No lacing on my glass.

The smell leads off with strawberry big time but then has a very hearty backbone of citrus, pepper: reminds me of the peppercorns you might get in a Thai dish with the young peppercorns still connected to the 'vine.' The taste follows in some ways but to me has a HUGE grapefruit juice presence in the bitterness and acid which I think is a tangent from the pepper, and also some band aid in the flavor, some vanilla oak notes as well. Tangerine, strawberry cream, slight sweetness. Would not have guessed honey if I didn't read it on the label.

The feel is pretty good, it has a depth and decent amount of carbonation that props up the flavors in the beer nicely, but doesn't make it exceptional. Hope that makes sense.

A nice beer, but maybe $10-15 too expensive depending on how much you pay. Maybe a $18-20 beer to me in the big format bottle.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

765ml bottle into a HF wine glass

A: Pours a slightly hazy light golden color with a finger and a half of fizzy white foam. Poor retention and lacing.

S: Strong peppercorn, citrus, and grapefruit. Some musty funk behind that. Peppercorn certainly stands out in the aroma, though.

T: Strong tart, slightly sour grapefruit is most evident. Peppercorn comes in after that. As in the aroma, the peppercorn is quite strong in the flavor. Some musty funk behind that, but certainly not strong - just enough to remind you this is a Saison. The beer remains well balanced between dry and sweet (for my palate that admittedly tends to prefer dry Saisons). As the beer warms, the peppercorn comes out more and more.

M: Medium thickness with fairly high carbonation.

O: A very nice Saison, but disappointing both for the price and after having Halia (which is certainly better). I do like the peppercorn in here, but with it was toned down quite a bit.

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Photo of Gruber221
4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Gillian is by far my favorite of the four sisters. It is a glass of sour strawberry, earthy funk deliciousness with a hint of pepper smoothed out with honey.

Its frigin awesome!!!

Thanks to Railroad Street Bar and Grill in Limerick PA for hooking me up. If you are in the Area they have a limited amount in bottles available.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy yellow orange. Not much of a head. No collar.

Smell - Grapefruit. Nice grapefruit. White pepper. Tons of citrus. Combines to yield an herbal character.

Taste - Grapefruit. Less of the pepper. More white wine. Herbal character in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Kinda sweet.

Overall - I really dig this. Awesome grapefruit flavor, even though it isn't listed in the description.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a wine glass from a 750ml bottle.

The brew pours a very nice hazy bright golden yellow color. There is a thin dense white head that forms that is lively but recedes supper quickly.

Aroma is delicious with notes of fresh and ripened strawberries a plenty. There is a nice sugary sweetness in the nose as well. Woody notes as well as some slight peppery and earthy funk notes can be perceived in the nose as well but they merely compliment that nice and not too intense strawberry notes. There is a nice mild and traditional saison tartness to the nose as well.

Flavor follows the nose pretty well. The brew starts off with some nice sweet-tart fresh strawberry notes and some nice grainy and earthy notes. There are some nice fruity tartness notes that are also slightly woody and have some slight funk. As the brew warms the strawberry notes play really well with the yeasty esters and phenols. The woody notes compliment the brew very well and the mild tartness make this brew refreshing delight.

Overall this is sooo well done. The strawberry notes are so well done and understated and don’t detract from the base saison notes.

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Photo of gr0g
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Despite the strawberries, Gillian the beer isn't really a redhead. Cloudy with an orange-amber color. Meek head formation and retention as only a small, fizzy head is formed. Interesting aroma features hints of fresh strawberries and Brett funk. Some band-aid and musty cellar. Hints at a tart, fruity flavor.

Flavor is, indeed, tart and fruity. For a strong saison, the alcohol is expertly hidden. Tartness comes on upfront, leading to a dry finish. It also helps to mask a sweetness that would otherwise be apparent. Minor funky notes. No strawberry in the flavor, more like tart apple and grape skin. Interesting and tasty, but not as much as, say, Matilda. Suffers from a slight undercarbonation.

At a $27 dollar price point, Gillian underdelivers. It's a complex saison with some funk, and it's certainly tasty, but I was hoping for something epic given the high price.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

765ml, 2013
Tulip

A: Slightly hazed pale yellow color. Initially a very thin layer of bright white. Nothing, I mean nothing, after a couple seconds.

S: A strange sweetness. Almost fake strawberry initially (I thought), with that honey sweetness. You get some mild funkiness. But for the most part it's fruit.

T: Nice punch of pepper on the tip of the tongue. You do get that strawberry. It's more natural that it smells. The honey adds some sweetness. The finish is dry but not as dry Halia. This one really grew on me. Really enjoyed finishing it off.

M: Light medium.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a clear, golden color with a slight head. There is a slight scent of strawberries with yeast and wine. The taste has decent amount of yeast and you can really taste the white pepper. The taste was fairly interesting and texture was great. Not exactly what I was expecting from a sour ale but interesting in its own way.

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Photo of kevanb
3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

765ml bottle poured into a Goose Island "goose" wine glass.

The beer pours a hazy golden color, hues of apricot and straw with many bubbles rising to the top of the glass. There is a loose fizzy head that briefly appears, hardly a quarter finger high that vanishes immediately leaving no lace or film behind. The aroma is pleasant, lots of sweet strawberry and honey, bretty funk that is both fruity and dirty, a bit of straw, pale grain, light chardonnay barrel with some earthy peppercorn at the back end. The flavors are in line, mild strawberry fruit with honey sweetness, some peach flesh, white grape with a bit of lemon zest with oak, bretty funk and a nice layer of peppercorn before an unusual and somewhat unpleasant mineral quality pops up, reminiscent of a minerally white wine. The body is zippy, crisp and lively, takes a bigger swish to coat the mouth, and finishes with a bit of a creamy touch, although perhaps a bit weak.

Verdict: An interesting soured saison from Goose Island. I feel like strawberry is such a tough fruit to translate to beer as the fruit itself is mostly water, and this one just failed to really pop. The peppercorn was a pleasant experience, but the mineral qualities found on the tongue just didn't do it for me, it felt a bit out of place and broke up the balance of the beer. It's got a lot of redeeming qualities, it's just not quite there, perhaps time will help.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

765 ml bottle poured into a small snifter. Bottled 9/12/13. Apricot in color. Light carbonation. Slight haze. Aroma includes green apple, faint strawberry and tart vinegar. Some white pepper on tasting. Nice and puckering, great mouthfeel. Delicious.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

765ml bottle, with 2013 bottlecap cover. Split with Regen today, 10/6/2013. Poured into a Perfect Pint glass.

Beautiful looking beer. Pours a hazy straw-gold body that looks quite effervescent with a white 1cm head that retains fairly well. Lacing is there in spots. I'm just mostly struck by how nice it looks.

Smells interesting. Some light pepper scents, and some rubber. Definitely get quite a bit of strawberry tartness, if not the strawberry flavour. All comes together in a very interesting way.

Very tasty, if not a bit different. I've had a fair amount of saisons and this definitely fits the profile. Strawberries are present along with a rubbery, funky Brett flavour. Some barrel shows up here too. Very clean, fairly interesting profile.

Medium bodied, a bit heavy handed. The alcohol always reminds you that its there. Its a big flavoured beer, well-carbonated.

This is actually excellent. I was skeptical of this beer coming into this.. its still nowhere near $30, very interesting for a saison but if it was $15, we'd be raving about how good this is. Still, its GI and they definitely are heavy-handed in how they execute their barrel-aged wild ales and saisons. I wish they would be a bit more subtle, like the Belgian masters.

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Photo of nabit
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honestly, I couldn't agree more with the review of siege06nd. Basically saved me a lot of typing. Thank you! However, I did pick up on the white pepper and honey really easily. Also, I think this beer will age VERY nicely within the recommended 5 year window. I have also tried Halia and really enjoyed that one as well. After trying 2 of the 4 sisters this year, I am convinced they are all worth purchasing and laying down for few years. Very unique and exquisite.

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Photo of bobhits
3.27/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy yellow with gold and orange highlights. A very acidic fizzy carbontion, somewhat boring but very to style.

There's a lot of citrus aromas. Strawberry dominates but the citric notes bring out hints of orange, pineapple, and passion fruit.

I'm not a big fan of strawberry, but thankfully the mix of light pepper, strong acidic notes, and a relatively minimalist malt bill keeps this pretty exciting.

Sour yet carbonated well enough to keep it interest. The 9.5% is very hard to notice.

Two major flaws with this beer. The price is high. The bottle is annoyingly large. I hope this is a beer that's WELL distributed otherwise opening this means 10 others aren't going to get it, really who makes a damn 765 ml sour? Put it in an 11.2 oz bottle or something!

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Photo of dar482
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes super hazy yellow orange color.

The aroma has a breadiness with a fruity berry note along with lots of honey sweetness. There's tartness and a bit of funk in there.

The flavor mostly hits of white pepper and pure floral honey. The sweetness is really definitely honey. The light pepper lingers around with a gentle tartness throughout. There's some fruit in there, but it isn't not really that strawberry forward. The funk in there that gives this beer some barnyard notes. The barrels dry this beer out at the end of the palate.

The beer is quite drinkable and really hides its alcohol well. However, still a bit weak on the flavor for me.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Lots of fizzy sounding carbonation, and barely a faint white head is made which dissolves instantly. Very fine pencil thin collar is left while always drinking, sitting on top of a tang deep but opaque and even orb glowing yellow. Some nice rising carbonation a little on the sides, and some good rising carbonation in the middle.

Very interesting nose, fruity but no sense of heat or hot brett. Strawberry and cake like cooked dough, fluffy, with a sense of cookie like action sensing of strawberry shortcake and some cream. Quite fruity and moderately sweet with hints of lemon peel as well.

Palate jumps on first sip. The brett makes it presence right away but flashes out in a quick heat on the finish with some pepper. Fruit in the mid palate of strawberry and nice punch like qualities. Large carbonation and prickly but not jarring, doesn't give way to the thick fruit angles which contrast more into peaches and lemon while drinking. Subsequent sips keep this moving and repeating, but the brett flashes draw you back since they disappear so quickly. Sweetness turns more into vanilla than honey once again providing a shortcake like sensation of angel food cake.

Overall this is quite impressive, but not much sense of oak flavor or round feel, and I couldn't sense this comes from a barrel, which is an impressive feat in it's own right. Tastes more like a fruit lambic than a saison. It's a great beer but I am not going crazy in love over it. Tasty indeed though.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by raveskdr. Thanks Chris.

The beer is hazy and light orange with a small white head. The aroma offers strawberries, oak, funk. Smells nice. The flavor brings strawberries and wine. Light alcohol presence. Moderate carbonation and mild acidity. A delicate honey sweetness with a light burn in the back. Tasty.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

765 ml bottle (1 pint 9.87 fl oz.) with bottled on date September 12, 2013 printed on the back label. Very excited to have landed a bottle of this beer after much deliberation. Expectations are decently high based on my experience with Goose Island Halia. My bottle lists a 9.50% abv, rather than the 9.00% abv listed on BeerAdvocate.

Poured into an over-sized wine glass, per the death of my snifter.

A - Pours a nice golden orange colored body, much like Goose Island Halia, with about two fingers of fizzy white head, audibly sizzling away. No lacing. Looks pretty nice.

S - Smell is of barnyard funk, ripe strawberries, peaches, white wine alcohol presence, faint but noticeable white pepper, and what some would describe as "horseblanket". Smells fruity and tart. A mouthwatering aroma. I can't wait to try it. Soft leathery notes in there also, much like Goose Island Halia again.

T - First sip kicks off with some tartness and funky brett, followed by sweet ripe strawberries, some white sugar presumably from the honey, bitter yeast presence, some soft leather, and sour grapes from the wine barrel. I'm really only getting the faintest bit of the white pepper on the aftertaste.

M - Feel is just a bit sticky with some yeast and pepper lingering on the palate, but is otherwise as smooth and clean as can be.

Overall, a very nice beer, but I'm not entirely sure I would pay another $30 to have this again. In my opinion, this is a far better and more complex beer than it's sister companion, but still not as utterly remarkable as I was hoping for. I guess I just set the bar too high, since this is some highly drinkable brew, especially at 9.50% abv. Highly recommended; I would undoubtedly have this again if it weren't for the price tag and limited availability.

Goose Island Gillian ---4/5.

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Gillian from Goose Island Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.
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