Gillian | Goose Island Beer Co.

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

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:

Added by Jason on 08-12-2011

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Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 716
Photo of spoony
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a 765 ml bottle (dated September 11, 2013) into a tulip. Reviewed from notes dated January 5, 2014.

A-Interestingly, my first pour is nearly clear and golden in color. The second pour from the same bottle is much more cloudy and looks like crystalized honey in color and clarity. I get about a finger of short-lived white head both times and no lacing.

S-My first whiff suggests strawberries, white grape, green apple, and a pretty substantial lactic tartness. Further sniffing discloses some oaky tannin-like dryness, some alcohol warmth, and a bit of honey as the beer nears room temperature. Pretty inviting.

T-The taste is similar to the smell with a subdued but noticeable strawberry flavor; dry, tart white grape, a touch of honey, and tart granny smith apple. There is a nice, vinous acidity that provides a good bit of tartness and a warming, slightly medicinal alcohol. It is mostly dry on the finish despite the honey flavor up front.

M-The feel is lighter to medium in body with a chunky, assertive carbonation.

O-This is a really nice take on strawberry, which is a hard flavor to do right in a beer, IMHO. The honey provides just enough sweetness to balance the dry, acidic fruit flavors. This may not be my favorite sister from GI, but I would happily drink more of this and it goes great with food. It would pair especially with roast chicken.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.74/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A - Light yellow with an orange haze. Small amount of carbonation sits on top

S - Strawberries, passion fruit, tart lemon, and slight sweet tarts.

T - Strawberries up front, light vinegar and sweet tart. Pepper spice in the back

M - Really thick, much thicker than I'd like. Kinda chewy overall. Finish is dry

O - Another solid sour from GI but I wasn't as impressed with this one as I was with Halia. Good strawberry presence and the pepper is there but light

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Photo of thezach
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How a fruit beer should be done for ever and always. The strawberry is subtle, much more so than the raspberry in Lolita, but dead-on. There is no cloying sweetness, it is tart, dry, a little funky, and wonderfully carbonated - nice and prickly to keep the beer light. My favorite is still Lolita, but what a well-balanced wild fruit ale.

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Photo of cvm4
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Version

A - Pours a slightly cloudy apple juice color with a fizzy one finger head that dissipates pretty and doesn't stay around to say hello. Lacing and retention are minimal.

S - Funky yeast characteristics and sweet berry aroma to start off. The latter has a white wine tart character and more of a belgian quality.

T - To me, the belgian yeast is much more evident throughout on the taste. It really follows the nose, in my opinion. Really good funk, strawberry sweetness, some lemon and a little white pepper.

M - Lighter bodied and medium carbonation. Crisp body and effervescent.

O - Really enjoyable take on the style. The strawberries and tartness are a treat.

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Photo of Florida9
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy pale pastel yellow. Forms a smallish, fizzy white head that reduces to absolutely nothingness fairly quickly. No lacing.

S: Aroma is quite pleasant. Typical Saison notes: yeasty esters, fruity, and fresh. With some bright berry notes and hints of pepper.

T: Tastes is similar. Very inviting. Again there are those typical Saison flavors: yeasty, slightly peppery, and lemony. But then there is another layer of flavor. Strawberry, hay, mildly vinous. Maybe some Brett notes, though I question if I am perceiving the white pepper as Brett.

M: Lighter bodied with a effervescent carbonation. Mildy prickly. Tart, but not quite sour.

O: A very nice take on the style. Rather enjoyable.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My friend brought over a bottle of Goose Island's Gillian to share. I really wanted to try some of the new Belgian inspired beers that Goose Island recently released and I was pretty happy when my friend brought over a couple to try, so lets see how it goes. Bottled on September 11 2013. Poured from a brown 750ml bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks pretty good, it's pretty simple, but I think it looks pretty classy. It poured a cloudy bright yellow color that took on more of a golden hue when held to the light with two fingers worth of white head that died down to a thin ring that eventually disappeared and it left some spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, but i wish the lacing and the head retention were a little better.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness that has a really slight honey like aroma to it followed by a good amount of funky yeast being the first to show up and it imparts some funky, barnyard, and wet hay like aromas that really stand out. Up next comes the strawberrys which were a little lighter then I expected but they impart a nice light strawberry aroma with some fruity sweetness in the background. Towards the end a little bit of barrel comes through imparting a dry white wine like aroma that was on the light side. The aroma was pretty good but I thought it could have a little better balance.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness that still had the really light honey aspect to it and it was followed by strawberrys being the first to show up and they impart a light natural strawberry like flavor with some fruity sweetness and a little bit of generic berry flavors in the background. Up next comes the yeast which really shows up and it imparts all the those funky barnyard and farmhouse like quality's that I got in the aroma. Towards the end there's a light spicy flavor with some light dry white wine flavors with an equally light wood flavor that isn't too noticeable and its followed by a medium amount of tartness that was just slightly sour with a fruity and funky aftertaste. This was very nice tasting beer, but with a little more balance I think it could be awesome.

M- Fairly smooth, medium tart, lively, crisp, medium bodied with a good amount of higher medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was very nice and it worked really well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a good example of the style, it had all the aspects that I look for in the style with no off flavors or anything that stuck out as not being true to style, I enjoyed it. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, crisp, lively, not too filling, and the taste did a good job of holding my attention and keeping me coming back for more, I think half the bottle would be the perfect amount but I wouldn't rule out drinking the who bottle if I had the chance and I think this would be a perfect summertime brew. What I liked the most about this beer was the complexity, there were some nice layers to this beer that did a great hob at holding my attention. What I liked the least about this beer was the balance, it wasn't bad by any means, but I thought yeast stuck out a little too much and I would like to see some of those other flavors come out a little more to balance out that yeast. I would for sure buy this beer again, my friend payed $12 for this beer and I think that's a fair price and I would for sure pick one up if I saw it on the shelf. I would recommend this to anyone who likes the style. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, I have been craving something funky for a little while and this beer did a good job at fulfilling that. Good job guys, like i said before I'm not the biggest Good Island fan, but I really like this Belgian series they do and I have yet to be disappointed by one, keep up the good work and I'll keep a look out for more beers from this series.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 11.12.13
Bottled on: 1142

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

S - Nice strawberry sweetness, slightly tart.

T - Strawberry sweetness, tehn a puckering tartness and a spice-pepper finish.

D - Good carbonation with a light body, tart and pepper finish.

O - A nice fruit, then tart punch. Pleasent finish.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Fishpaws shared with Dad. Unexpectedly pours hazy light golden color with a fizzy white head that goes away quickly. Aroma of strawberries, sour vinegar, crisp Brett. Flavor follows with tangy tart strawberry, crisp spicy yeast finish. Very light and airy with huge effervescent carbonation and lingering tart strawberry on the palate. Overall a neat take on a strawberry beer. Almost champagne like. Not my favorite sister brew but interesting brew and nicely crafted.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml foiled and capped bottle into Tired Hands stemware. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a frothy 2 finger white head that dissipates quickly. Beer is a clear, dark goldenrod. Lacing is spotty and sparse with little stick. Average.

Big strawberry notes in conjunction with oak, hay, froth and a lingering background of spices. Mellow but clean with some nice notes that come through.

Opens sweet strawberry and funk. Hay, oak, wood, plastic and cobwebs. Sweet and tart red fruit throughout. Spicy and funky end with an accented tart and peppery finish. Same aftertaste. This is pretty good.

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth and goes down aggressive and bubbly. Finishes accented with a slightly filmy and lingering aftertaste. Excellent.

Another very impressive beer from Goose Island. Their wild offerings are getting close to rivaling their legendary stouts... which is really saying something. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy bright yellow, nice carbonation, one finger head.

S-Strawberries but not that much, more of a faint note. Some tartness, slight grapes and honey.

T-Starts with strawberry and tartness. The strawberry isn't overly sweet or domination or artificial which was nice to see. Then honey and a tad bit of spice from the pepper. Slight grapes but not much oak.

M-Light with nice carbonation and crisp.

O-A good beer, one of the better strawberry ones. But for the price tag not worth a second try.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Consumed 12/10/13

Appearance: Light orange with some nice honey highlights - some golden highlights - lightly cloudy - some milky clarity around the edges - pours with a medium sized, creamy head - keeps a few hints of a cap, leaves some spots of lacing

Smell: Strawberries and lots of funk - nicely wet, damp, funky, musty - nicely tart - strawberry flesh holds up remarkably well, especially considering the barrel-aging - some white wine - some light grains in the background, some light sweetness

Taste: Wet, tart, and sour, with some really nice fruit - as the aroma suggests, the strawberry flesh here is remarkable - a light touch of honey, and the peppercorns are much more apparent in the taste than in the aroma - musty, damp basement, very went funk - lots of white wine flavor - extremely interesting - nice, pale malts at the base

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with some interesting spiciness from the peppercorns, lightly puckering, nicely smooth, nicely carbonated, touch of alcohol heat

Overall: I want to believe

This bottle is almost worth $30. Almost. The sourness and tartness elements are great, as are the strawberry flavors. The peppercorn is kind of weird, but it works. This is not the best sour from Goose Island, but it's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
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 +3.9%
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 -11.2%
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.


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Photo of Jonada
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
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%
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 +7.5%
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%
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
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | 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 and white peppercorns; a vinous quality with some 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 white wine grape, barnyard funk, grapefruit and the peppercorn elements adding 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 +3.2%
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 -4.9%
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 +10.7%
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 -3.9%
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 +1.2%
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 -6.6%
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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Gillian from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.12 out of 5 based on 716 ratings.
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