Category Archives: Goose Island

Review of Goose Island Night Stalker (2011)

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the 2011 version of Goose Island Night Stalker produced by the Goose Island Beer Company located in Chicago, Illinois.

From what I understand this beer is no longer brewed, so I’m going to take my time with it and try to savor every last drop.

From the website,, we find this little description.

A heavily-hopped imperial stout, Night Stalker is a heavyweight of a beer. It delivers a formidable punch of hops and rich roasted malt notes to the nose in a silky body that’s as dark as night.  

Mmmm.  Let’s drink.

This brew comes in a 22 oz. bottle with an ABV of 11.7%.

It poured black with absolutely no highlights whatsoever showing through.  The head was dark tan, medium sized, smooth, creamy and tightly compacted.  The retention time was adequate and the lacing looked rather nice too.  A thin skim of alcohol was left on the sides when rotated and tilted.  Very attractive in the glass I thought.

The nose still had a fairly robust fragrance of piney hops left.  Hints of dark, fruity raisin along with plenty of toasted breads and roasted grains.  A very pleasing waft of dark chocolate was intertwined with a very, very mild coffee aroma.  This brew really had a beautiful smell.  It had settled nicely with nary a hint of alcohol.  (I tried it when fresh a couple of years ago and I seem to remember the alcohol being a lot more prevalent.)

The flavor released the dark fruits right off the bat.  Relishes of raisin, fig and dates.  More toasted grains mixed with well blended touches of chocolate.  Some bitter coffee and light earthy/piney hops really tickled the sides of the tongue as it worked its way across the palate.  Even with a bit of age the taste still had a noticeable amount of alcohol present.  I guess that was to be expected considering the high ABV.  Oh well, still a very pleasant savor.

The mouthfeel was medium to mostly full bodied.  Thick, chewy, dry, velvety and smooth. The carbonation had subsided somewhat, but it was still solid enough.  A sturdy bit of warmth was felt and a great dose of flavor was left behind for me to enjoy between sips.

Well, obviously the hops have faded a bit and the higher than normal ABV doesn’t lend itself to a very high drinkability rating, however this brew remains a very good and enjoyable treat to partake in on a cool, crisp night.  One thing is for sure, the roasty aspects and the dark fruits have really begun to mesh well with the hops and become the most important aspect of the beer in my opinion.  I have one more bottle left and I’m going to try to hang onto it for a couple of more years.  I can’t wait to see how much more it morphs and evolves.

Did you guys ever get to try the Goose Island Night Stalker?  What was your opinion?  Did you like it?  Feel free to leave a comment if you would like.

Thanks for checking back in on another review guys.  I really appreciate the support.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.15 out of 5
Grade:  A- 


Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Country: USA, Goose Island


Review of Goose Island Sofie

Time for another review!!!!  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Goose Island Sofie produced by the Goose Island Beer Company located in Chicago, Illinois.

This brew has always been one of my favorites from Goose Island and one that seems to appeal to a wide range of craft beer drinkers.

Let’s get to the website,, and see what they have to say about it.

Fermented with wild yeasts and aged in wine barrels with orange peel, Sofie is a tart, dry, sparkling ale. A subtle, spicy white pepper note, a hint of citrus from the orange peel and a creamy vanilla finish make Sofie an intriguing choice for Champagne drinkers and beer drinkers who are fond of Belgian Saisons.

Nice!!!  Let’s drink.

This brew has an ABV of 6.5% and it comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

It poured a beautifully hazy, yellow/pineapple juice color.   A snow white head adorned the top of the liquid.  It was very soft, fluffy, soapy and large.  It maintained it’s size for a good long while and as it dissipated it left behind some solid lacing on the sides of the snifter.

The nose began by releasing a nice bit of funk and stinky wet hay.  Sound wafts of yeast and bread as well as some distinguished grassy notes.  Just a tad bit of orange citrus.  I actually discovered more lemon than orange I thought.  A firm scent of peppercorns came through later and really helped create a very well balanced and pleasing all around bouquet.  I like it.

The taste didn’t seem to be quite as forceful as the aroma.  The funk was minimized, however a gratifying, tarty profile started to emerge.  The orange citrus was noticed again, but like in the aroma, it was not extremely prevalent.  It also had a slight white wine similarity due to the discovery of some green grapes.  I’m assuming the wine barrels play a significant role in that as well.  As the brew warmed it started to dispense a firm dose of the yeast, “grassiness” and peppery spice.  Solid.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  A touch sharp, although crisp, dry and refreshing.  It had a lively, spritzy carbonation as well as a precise warmth from the peppercorns.  A good deal of flavor was left covering the palate long after the sip too.

I can easily see why the Goose Island Sofie is a favorite among beer drinkers.  It’s a reliable and dependable beer that really sets well with the Spring and Summer warmth.  Plus, it can be aged for up to 5 years for a nice vertical tasting.  The drinkability is outstanding and it has enough character to be contemplated for the entire session.  I know I like it and it’s a brew that I will continue to pick up on a regular basis.  What do you guys think of the Sofie?  Is it one of your favorites?  Feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate all of the support.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.2 out of 5
Grade:  A-    

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Posted by on October 13, 2012 in Country: USA, Goose Island


Review of Goose Island Nut Brown Ale

Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be sipping on a Goose Island Nut Brown Ale produced by the Goose Island Beer Company located in Chicago, Illinois.

It’s been a long time since I last had this brew.  If I remember correctly I enjoyed it quite well, so I wanted to give it a proper review for you guys.

From the website,, we find this description of the brew.

Our Nut Brown Ale combines the finest domestic and imported malts to produce a chestnut-hued ale of unusual complexity. Subtle notes of chocolate, honey and fine tobacco give this ale an enjoyable and satisfying “nutty” finish.

Let’s pour.

This beverage comes in a 12 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 5.3%.
It poured a clear, brown color with glowing burnt orange highlights at the bottom of the nonic glass.  The cap was tan, soft, fluffy, somewhat creamy and just a touch rocky.  It was excellently sized and the retention time was more than commendable.  The lacing didn’t look too bad either.  A nice ring of foam was left after each sip.  
The bouquet seemed a touch mild, however I was able to pick out some toasted grains and wheat bread.  The nuttiness was not the forerunner.  It was found, but touches of caramel and chocolate were a bit more pronounced.   A solid “leafy” base was discovered underneath and it really helped create a harmonious aroma.  
Within the taste I found more of the toasted/roasted grains and breads.  The nuttiness jumped out a tad more in the form of a hickory nut type of flavor.  Considerable earthiness, yet minimal sweetness from the caramel and chocolate malt.  I didn’t really find any of the tobacco or honey that was mentioned in the description though.  Oh well.  It still tasted pretty nice I thought. 
The mouthfeel was a solid medium.  Dry, smooth and slick with a good amount of carbonation.  Nevertheless, not an extreme amount of flavor was left behind on the palate after the sips.
Overall, I thought this was a decent Brown Ale.  It really set the mood for Fall when I tried it.  It’s definitely worth a try.  It’s nothing out of the ordinary or outstanding, yet it’s solid enough to enjoy and contemplate on a lazy afternoon.  The drinkability was good and I think I could have a few of these during one sitting with no problem whatsoever.  So, if you guys have yet to try the Goose Island Nut Brown Ale or if it has been awhile since you last did so… pick one up, give it a go and let me know what you think.  Feel free to leave a comment at anytime.  
Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it. 
Until next time.  Cheers.
Score:  3.7 out of 5
Grade:  B   
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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Country: USA, Goose Island

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