WisconsinBeer (715) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - SEP 13, 2008
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nice deep orange color, foamy head with a bit of lace. Flavor is nice caramel malt with a dry hop backbone. Medium bodied, easy drinking. Lingering toffee finish. Good stuff, although I definitely miss the bottled GI Oktoberfest!
hillfiiiiire (323) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 12, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a nice amber color with a frothy white head that leaves some solid lacing. Grassy hop aroma in the nose. Flavor comes through with some nice malty bread notes with the hops being more subdued in the flavor when compared with the aroma. Creamy body. Pretty all right beer.
notalush (5279) - Denver, Colorado, USA - SEP 11, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours a clear, fiery orange, with an impressive lace - leafy, herbal hops greet the nose first, followed by a little nuttiness and some bread, however, the fresh hops remain the stars of the show, keeping the aroma zesty and almost spicy - low, soft carbonation - medium-bodied - the hops aren’t quite as present in the flavor - in this case, bready malts grab most of the attention, and the hops serve to add a brisk, tea-like character and moderate bitterness to cut those malts - the hops surge in the finish, though, adding a peppery/spicy dimension that makes things much more interesting - a decent ESB, but there are far better out there.
ketchepillar (1172) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - SEP 10, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: SEP 16, 2010 9/10/2008. Lovely dry hopping profile. Nice nuttiness but would be much nicer if it were fuller-bodied. It’s kinda watery. Great lasting bitter finish. Very sessionable, perfect for beautiful fall day. 7/4/7/3/15 - 3.6
9/15/2010. Sublime. As I drink it while talking to the brewer it makes perfect sense- esb bittered with columbus and finished with cascade. Really really well done. One of the most drinkable hoppy beers I’ve had in quite awhile. 8/4/8/4/15 - 3.9
WabashMan (1017) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - SEP 6, 2008
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
A beer that I somehow missed in previous years, so I was glad to see this one on the shelf. It’s odd that GI would put out their harvest beer at the end of summer, rather than at the first hops harvest as most do, but the colors of the label and the first (American) football on the TV coincide to please me very much. The beer inside, sadly, doesn’t quite live up. Aroma is fairly weak --- too weak, really --- and what little there is is dominated by the fresh hops. Appearance is lovely, however, with a nice, dark copper color and a creamy, off white head. Flavors are also dominated by the fresh hops, a little grassy along with the bitter, with a little sweetness from the malt. Finish is on the shorter end of medium. All in all, not a bad brew, but not exceptional in any way. Had it lived up to the appearance (which really had my mouth watering), I’d have been extremely pleased.
Vav (13) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 3, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Much better than last year’s batch. 12oz bottle, poured into pint glass. Excellent burnt orange color with a creamy head. Aroma of Cascades hits first, with a sweet toffee-ish note on the second sniff. Smooth mouthfeel, excellent hop flavor and bitterness, with the malt not as up front as an ESB should be. Loses points for that, no distinct grainy-ness..more of your typical american malts for an english style. Overall, it’s tasty, but it’s not exemplary.
sersdf (1018) - chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 2, 2008
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 13/20
this beer is irritating because ’harvest ale’ should mean wet hops, and this is anything but. it’s malt dominated, but metallic. not much hops, actually reasonably close to other ESB’s i’ve had, but less sweet and less smooth. i think it’s a pretty poor offering.
Trev (1991) - Lakeville, Minnesota, USA - AUG 31, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: SEP 26, 2008 Pours a nice copper with a medium white frothy head.
Aroma is very nice floral and grassy hop. Flavour is again medium floral hop tones backed by a strong caramel malt backbone.
A very nice change from the octoberfests I’ve been indulging in.
mcjay (463) - Neenah, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 31, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 20, 2009 Deep hazy copper color with a strong cascade hop aroma. Has a nice, long lasting off white head. Dry, grainy flavor with a hint of sweet malts and citrus. A delicious and unique brew that stands out from the other fall seasonal beers.
FunkyBrewster (1518) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 28, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a dark golden almost red color with a nice white lingering head. Aroma is very hoppy for an ESB, which is somewhat standard for Goose Island. Some sweet maltiness hides behind the very strong hop bitterness. Flavor starts very hoppy, but is surprisingly overwhelmed by the bitterness that follows through the finish. Quite a pleasant surprise though there is still a large amount of sweetness throughout. Medium body and medium carbonation. A good ESB, I’d call it an American ESB because it adds some much by way of hops.