Category Archives: Goose Island

Review of Goose Island 25th Anniversary Ale

Oh yeah, it’s about time to crack open another brew for a craft beer review.  Today, I’ve got the Goose Island 25th Anniversary Ale produced by the Goose Island Beer Company located in Chicago, Illinois in my possesion.

We all know about Goose Island, so let’s forgo all of the small talk and check out the website,, for a commercial description.

Brewed as a collaboration between Goose Island Brewmaster Brett Porter, Senior Brewer Keith Gabbett, Pub Brewmaster Nick Barron and Alumni Brewmaster Greg Hall. Deep mahogany color, rich fruit aroma with notes of lilac, big malt body with touches of roast and a dry, crisp finish.

Let’s do this.


This beer came in a 12 oz. bottle with an ABV of 6.4%.

It poured a nice amber/caramel color.  Quite clear with some burnt orange highlights around the curves of the nonic glass.  A fairly easy pour produced a very light tan head that was smooth and creamy.  It wasn’t extremely large and the retention time was only so-so.  The lacing was a bit underscored and thin too.

The aroma brought forth a nice toasted biscuit and toasted bread crust profile.  A slight amount of toffee and a light waft of nuttiness tickled my nostrils.  I even discovered the most faint scent of orange peel.  It smelled really nice for the style and I thought it was very well balanced.

The taste had a very nice malty backbone.  Lightly sweet caramel undertones with toasted breads.  Some earthy/herbal, however mild, bitterness along with another noticeable shot of orange citrus and nutty goodness

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Smooth, kind of creamy, a wee bit chewy and mostly dry.  A good medium strength carbonation was to be had and even a feeling of warmth was found.  A nice shot of flavor was left behind on the palate after each sip as well.

Yeah, there is no doubt that this is nice beer.  Definitely worth a try.  It has a great malty profile that would suit the Fall season to a “t”.  It’s very flavorful and semi-complex, yet retains an ease of drinkability that couldn’t be denied.  I think I could set several of these down at one time without having too much trouble.  I may have to watch out though because at 6.4% ABV I’m sure it would get on top of me in a hurry.  Have you guys tried the Goose Island 25th Anniversary Ale yet?  If not, give it a whirl and see what you think.  I’d be interested in hearing your opinion.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.0 out of 5

Grade:  B+

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Posted by on August 30, 2013 in Country: USA, Goose Island


Review of Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout (2012)

Hello everyone. For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the 2012 version of the Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout produced by the Goose Island Beer Company located in Chicago, Illinois.

There really is no reason for me to bore you will small talk about this beer or this brewery. I’ve had it before and it’s great, but I’ve never reviewed it so it was about time I did so.

Let’s check out the website,, for the commercial description.

Everyday Goose Island smells the wonderful coffee roasting next to our brewery at Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea. This world class roaster puts the same passion and skill into their coffee as Goose Island does with its beer. This excellent stout is made with a different coffee from our friends next door each year. With the change in coffee comes a change in the flavor profile, making each release truly unique from the previous years.

Let’s sip.


This beer came in a 22 oz. bottle and it packed an ABV punch of 14.3%.

It poured black as night, thick and viscous. No highlights dared tried to peek through this liquid. It formed a small, but creamy and smooth tan head. The retention time was minimal as was the lacing, however a ton of clear alcohol was left clinging to the sides of the snifter when I tilted it from side to side.

The nose was beautiful. A magnificent waft of booze and wood. Hints of vanilla, sturdy coffee/espresso notes, alluring licorice and “baseball glove” leather. Some sweetness came through by way of some light chocolate and even a touch of caramel. Wow!!!! Complex and wonderful. Truly a world class aroma.

The taste released a delightful flavor of smooth and creamy chocolate at first. It was quickly followed by the embossed alcohol, remarkable leather and salient woodiness. It even tasted the slightest bit burnt. Deeper into the experience the bitter coffee began to take hold. It was buried in the profile at first, yet once it was allowed to sit and breathe it really became more harmonized and tasty. Some vanilla was noticed, although it was a little on the lighter side. Still, very well balanced, complex and proportioned for such a big beer.

The mouthfeel was full bodied. Smooth, dry, creamy, chewy, thick and slick. The carbonation was on the lower side of course, but a beautiful and welcomed warmth was felt from the initial sip until long after the swallow. The palate was absolutely drenched with goodness after each intake.

Well guys… This is a great beer. A perfect sipper to take the chill off the long, cold, Winter nights. It’s “big”, so the drinkability is not all that great. It was an “all nighter” for me, but if you’ve got the time to sit, let it develop and contemplate all that you are experiencing it becomes a great and sublime experience. Of all the variations of the Goose Island Bourbon County Stouts out there I believe that the Brand Coffee Stout is my favorite. I enjoyed it fresh because of the coffee notes, but it can be aged for a little while as well. I wouldn’t think for too long though because I’m sure those espresso tones may diminish somewhat. Either way, if you have yet to try this beer, pick up a bottle the next time you see it. I’m sure that you will find it delightful.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone. I really appreciate it.

Until next time. Cheers.

Score: 4.6 out of 5

Grade: A+

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Posted by on March 23, 2013 in Country: USA, Goose Island


Review of Goose Island Bourbon County Bramble Rye Stout

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Bourbon County Bramble Rye Stout produced by the Goose Island Beer Company located in Chicago, Illinois.

I’ve had the regular Bourbon County Stout a number of times and really like it, so when I was giving the opportunity to purchase the Bramble Rye I couldn’t pass it up.

From the website,, I found this description.

At Goose Island our brewers take every opportunity to experiment with new ingredients and aging techniques. For this edition of Bourbon County Brand Stout, they aged the classic recipe in rye whiskey barrels with raspberries and blackberries from Michigan. The result is a powerfully rich beer with notes of tart fruit and jam that fade into the warm spice of a fine rye whiskey.

I’m pumped about trying this brew. 

This beer has an ABV of 12.7% and it comes in a 22 oz. bottle.

It poured pitch black with a very dark, small, tan head.  Its texture was smooth, but it dissipated very quickly.  No lacing whatsoever was left behind.  A lot of clear alcohol was easily noticed on the sides of the snifter when tilted from side to side.

The nose brought forth a fairly robust aroma of whiskey.  A lot of wood and vanilla shown through while sturdy wafts of raspberries and blackberries added a fruity/tart redolence.  I honestly didn’t detect any rye bread or spiciness.  The alcohol and the fruits were the primary factors to tell the truth.  Overall, it was pretty robust and strong.

The taste let loose with some serious raspberry and blackberry savors.  Not so much tart, but very sweet.  A confident dose of whiskey did nothing to hide itself and it fully accentuated an undertone of oaky/woody earthiness.  A subtle dollop of vanilla was found as well.  Again, the rye was nearly undetectable.  

The mouthfeel was medium to mostly full bodied.  Very smooth, thick, dry and chewy with an extremely low amount of carbonation.  A great deal of warmth and burn was felt at the back of the throat and on into the belly with each swallow.  A tremendous amount of flavor drenched the palate and it hung around for a very long time after the sips.

Well, this is a nice beer.  There is no doubt about that.  However, it is very sweet and very boisterous when taken fresh.  At this point the drinkability is quite low.  I would love to obtain another bottle and let it sit for a few years.  The time should tame the heavy alcohol and sweetness and it may let that rye come through a touch more also. It’s definitely worth a try if you can obtain a bottle, although one should plan on taking some extended time with it when you hunker down for the tasting.  In my opinion it would be best to try on a cold Winters night.  Did you guys get the opportunity to sample the Goose Island Bourbon County Bramble Rye Stout?  What was your opinion?  Feel free to leave a comment at anytime.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I’m most grateful for the support.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.05 out of 5
Grade:  A-    

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Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Country: USA, Goose Island

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