Goose Island Harvest Ale

Goose Island's IPA was a good one. The 312 Urban Wheat was even better. The Honker's Ale was slightly better than average, but the point is that the brewer has a good record so far, and they are fairly consistently flavorful. Time to try the Harvest Ale (since autumn is upon us) and enjoy a warm Tennessee evening.

The color is a coppery tone with some red. The head is thick, and it goes away slowly. It sticks to the sides jealously, and the sticky network of bubbles remains fairly thick on the top of the beer. The aroma is very weak, but it's complex - a little malty, a little floral, a bit grainy, an a bit hoppy. The strength of the aroma could be upped, but I am still really looking forward to this being a great beverage.

First sip confirms the complexity of the aroma. It's a strong taste with hops that are not particularly bitter, and I suspect that is because they are well balanced with the malt. the floral notes are nice and loose around the top layer of the beverage while the grainy, bready malt flavor is a firm undercurrent. There is a lot happening with this beer, and I fear that drinking it while eating would really deprive the consumer of an appreciation of the amount of work that has clearly gone into this one.

As I take a big swig, the beer takes a step back. The complexity starts to unravel a bit. there might be a bit too much going on here. everything was nicely separated in the sip is now a kind of jumbled mess. Maybe it's because I only took one gulp. Yup. that was the problem. I took a second, bigger draught, and the whole thing got good again. The real addition here is a sweet finish and a carbonation tickle at the top of the palate. Both the taste and the sensation are good ones that only increase the worth of the beer.

It's safe to say I like this one. Goose Island has earned a place in my fridge, and I'll look forward to others as they come down the pipe.

4.0/5

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