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RATINGS: 525   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.3   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 28   EST. CALORIES: 168   ABV: 5.6%
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Toffee brown, medium-bodied, with a creamy head and an aroma of raisins and freshly baked dark bread. Mild Winter’s rich caramel malt and spicy rye flavors are sure to take the bite out of whatever Old Man Winter brews up for you this year.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
wyzzywyz22 (2094) - Wirral, Merseyside, ENGLAND - JAN 15, 2010
Bottle, Beer Ritz, Leeds. Poured a clear browny amber colour with a , restrained off white head. Understated aroma, that showed traces of fruit and malt. Rye is evident in the flavour which was lightly spicy and slightly sweet. Nothing particularly outstanding but perfectly drinkable.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
zdk (1822) - New York, New York, USA - JAN 13, 2010
I really liked this ale. Pours dark amber with off white, thick frothy head (reminded me of how a dry stout looks, but wrong color) Arouma is spice and bready. Sweet roasted caramel malts, nuts and very lively peppermint and spice. This would be blah, but nice smooth mouthfeel and I’m really digging how the mintiness brings out the sweet malts without being overwhelming. Ends on a nice spice and hoppy finish.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Jow (2534) - New York, USA - JAN 11, 2010
Grabbed a bottle at O’Hare airport during layover. Sure my plane was already boarding and sure it was 9am but still I was on my way to Vegas. Amber red color very tiny head, pleasant enough to get me through takeoff. very drinkable winter lager which is why they call it mild i guess

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Papsoe (25074) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - JAN 10, 2010
Bottle 35,5 cl. Pours a clear warm amber with an off-white head. Sweet caramellish nose. Medium body, sweet caramel and pumpernickel with fruity notes and a dry, hoppy finish. 100110

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TonyDiUlio (653) - New Jersey, USA - JAN 7, 2010
Tasted this beer while on Beer Quest 2010 with the guys. This was beer number 80. Pour was medium amber. Lacing was good. Aroma was a little malty. Flavor is rye bread. Medium body. Some smokey flavor and a strange aftertaste.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
KimJohansen (10347) - Frederiksberg C, DENMARK - JAN 6, 2010
Clear amber with a tiny beige head. Sweet aroma with roasted malt, caramel and mild hops. Sweet flavour with roasted malt, caramel, nuts and hoppy notes. Dry fininsh.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
joergen (22872) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - JAN 6, 2010
Bottle at Ølbaren. Clear orange coloured with a small off white head. Sweet and fruity aroma of malts and caramel with notes of nuts and rubber. Sweet and fruity flavour of malts, caramel and hops. Hoppy finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
swoopjones (6737) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JAN 4, 2010
On tap @ Coles Buffalo NY> Medium caramel chestnut pour. Caramel malt, light roastiness, cereal grain iness in the aroma. Taste is rye bitterness, light fruit, caramel malt, some very light notes of christmas. Nice sessionable holiday beer. I like it

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
frylock (1135) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JAN 2, 2010
Dark amber color beneath a thin white head. Light rye and toasted malt aroma. Some crystal malts and cereal-like grain flavors. A bit of nuttiness, light roasted barley, faint noble hops and just a touch of rye spice.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1354) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 2, 2010
UPDATED: JAN 6, 2010 The word “mild” tends to scare me away when it comes to beer. Most of my favorites are quite intense in more ways than one, so I was a bit skeptical when it came to Goose Island Mild Winter. It purports to be a fairly complex beer and yet mild at the same time – is this even possible? Well, having actually drank it, I can say it is possible to have it both ways.


The brewer’s website describes the color of Mild Winter as “toffee” – which is something I’d associate with taste rather than appearance, but in this instance it’s quite accurate. This beer is a dark amber/rusty red color which is crystal-clear and moderately carbonated. It produces a big, beige, foamy head which is slow to dissolve but doesn’t leave much lacing on the glass.

The aroma is also toffee-like with a confectionary scent being the most predominant. It’s also generically “malty,” but mostly it’s mild.


Toffee and chocolate and flavors I tend to associate with autumn rather than winter seasonals, but somehow the Goose Island Brewery has managed to make those flavors adapt quite well to winter. Not unlike an Oktoberfest, Mild Winter’s most noticeable flavor is indeed toffee, but chocolate seems to be playing the role of sidekick rather than caramel.

This beer is made with six different malts and two hops and this is evident in the palate. Toffee, chocolate and a general “roasty” flavor are all noticeable. However, what’s also noticeable is just how well this beer lives up to its name: in that is mild. As I drank I noticed the palate went from fairly intense and sweet to mild, subdued, and (as much as I hate to say it) watery.

Goose Island recommends serving the beer at 40 degrees, but I noticed the flavors really opened up after I let the beer sit for a little while. Not that it suddenly exploded with flavor, but enough to make a noticeable difference. It was satisfying, to be sure, but some beer drinkers aren’t satisfied with simply being satisfied.


Winter beers tend to be very spicy and can often intimidate amateur palates. Not so with Goose Island Mild Winter which is in the running for one of the smoothest and easiest-to-drink beers I’ve ever encountered. This could be due to the blatantly mild and fairly watery body, but most likely this is intentional. Pedestrian drinkers will be able to slug down this brew as easy as any “lite” beer and the medium body lends itself to pairing with a wide variety of foods (probably not anything spicy, though).

The fact it weighs in at 5.6% ABV seems a little inflated to me since this drinks and feels like something much milder.


I have to say I genuinely enjoyed Goose Island Mild Winter, but I couldn’t help but want more from this beer. Perhaps that’s unfair for me to expect considering it’s an intentionally mild beer, but at least I can appreciate it’s craftsmanship and relative complexity. It’s a good beer for those looking for a winter brew that drinks like summer brew.

NOTE: watch the video version of this review at:


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