PattyBoy (302) - North Liberty, Iowa, USA - OCT 24, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours copper, tan head with lacing. Starts off like an Octoberfest, but with plenty of citrus hops. You can tell the cascades are there. This was quite good.
Gregis (1276) - Shawnee, Kansas, USA - OCT 23, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a clear copper with dense, frothy, beige head that leaves nice lace in its wake. If this is an ESB, itís the hoppiest one that Iíve ever smelt. The other reviews that say they detect little or no hops and/or that the malt is forward, on the nose, mustíve been sampling a different beer than I am. This one smells like an APA, with cascade hops up front and lightly bready and caramel malts in the background. On the thin side of medium-bodied, the mouthfeel is slick and finishes quickly and lightly bitter. The nose says "APA", but the flavor is a well-hopped ESB: rye bread and caramel malt up front with a nice cascade finish. This is one of the better ESBs that Iíve sampled, and itís definitely worth snagging some if you like the style.
ross (2008) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - OCT 23, 2007
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Another bottle from Sean, thanks. Pours out an orange color without much of a head at all. Smell is strong on malts and pretty sweet without any notice of hops. Taste is overly malty and rich, somewhat like a marzen beer. Actually as I drank it I sat there trying to think of what kind of beer this was, and I would have never guessed that it was an ESB. Good stuff, easy to drink, yet I dont think I could session this beer at all.
fraternie (797) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 21, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: SEP 13, 2009 Amber body with a healthy head. Nice autumn flavors of caramel, medium-boded malt flavors. Strong blast of hops and spice in the finish, medium length.
Driftwood6 (214) - USA - OCT 21, 2007
2.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap at Brixieís, Brookfield IL. I didnít know what style this beer was, but I was very disappointed. I could taste some Cascase hops-- but very weak. Yet no big malt or other flavor to command my attention. This beer kind of wimped along, sip by sip, until I could finally move on to something more interesting. Quite a dull experience.
JK (4157) - Uptown, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - OCT 20, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
A good bitter. Lots of hops for the style, and balanced by malt. Cloudy gold color.
TheBeerOrg (2145) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - OCT 20, 2007
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours orangish amber with a mostly receding tan head. Aroma of floral hops, notes of pine, light citrus, and toffee. Taste is primarily fruity hop resins mix with a slight sweetness that keeps the hops in check. Finishes with a light acidity. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly resinous with moderate carbonation. Enjoyable beer, just hoppy enough to have a full body.
badgerben (4323) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - OCT 19, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Copper color with a thin head. Big aroma of citrusy and Noble hops. Plenty of piney hop, paired up with a little oak, even though this isnít oak aged. Not a lot to it, but really better than I was expecting and a very worthy session.
joe1510 (501) - Illinois, USA - OCT 19, 2007
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Goose Islands Harvest Ale comes as a little bit of a surprise to me as itís not a wet hopped IPA or PA like the harvest ales Iím used to seeing. Anyway, on to the review. Pours a faded copper that has a slight chill haze and tiny particules throughout. A two finger soapy off-white head formed on the pour and fell to a skim coat with a fatter collar. Leaves decent lace lines after each sip.
The aroma starts and ends with a moderate hop presence along the lines of sweetened grapefruit, grassiness, a hint of this and that. Maybe some lemon. The grapefruit is most prominent but all the hops are seamless to the point its hard to tell where one begins and one ends. Donít get me wrong this beer smells surpemely balanced with an earthy caramel maltinees that balances things out.
Flavor is along the lines of the aroma. Great balance between the fresh vibrant hoppiness and the caramel sweet maltiness. The flavor sports sme of the sweet pale maltiness and itís very welcome. Itís one after the other over and over until this beer ends up down the gullet.
I find all of Goose Islands beers to have great mouthfeels. This is no exception. Mild carbonation keeps this beer smooth and creamy while allowing every flavor to work its way through nicely.
This is a good easy drinking very sessionable brew from Goose Island. The balance makes it one to pick up and drink the day away with.
This is a surprise of a harvest ale from Goose Island. Not the resiny one sided hoppiness like you might expect from a harvest ale but more supremely balanced and subtle making it highly drinkable.
BlackForestCO (961) - Aurora, Colorado, USA - OCT 19, 2007
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: JUN 11, 2008 Bottle thanks to drewbeerme. Poured a nice amber orange color with a moderate head that dimished to a ring. Aroma of crisp hops that really make it feel like fall. Light toffee and nut flavors lead you to a nice hop bite with some subtle fruitiness. I am not really into ESBís much, but this was a nice lunch beer.