Jan 14, 2014

Goose Island Gillian

Last month, I published a review for Goose Island’s Lolita, a barrel-aged wild ale that I found pretty darn tasty. It was one of four beers released in a limited series for the company. I found that beer wonderfully sour and lively, and vowed to check out the other three products in the series. Well, I’ve only picked up one so far and it was this bottle of Gillian, a wild ale brewed with strawberries, honey, and white pepper before heading into wine barrels for a measure of time.

Again, due to the price point of these beers, I had to limit myself to only one, and Gillian sounded like one that I might enjoy. And enjoy it I did. I think I actually fancy it more than the Lolita. Gillian weighs in at 9.5% ABV and brings a bit more floral fruit and barrel presence to the palate than its sibling did. It’s just as refined, but seems to present itself better, if that makes any sense.


Gillian pours golden in color with a slight haze and no head to speak of.

Goose Island Gillian photo


Grass, hay, lemon, a welcome sourness, grains, subtle strawberry, soft vinous grapes and a light funkniness all combine for an exceptional nose.


Much like Lolita, Gillian comes across as classy and refined as a solid amount of sour tartness arrives immediately, fading slowly toward a long lasting finish. Hints of grape, wood, grain, hay, lemony citrus and strawberry all come to a head after the initial burst of tartness has softened. The effervescent mouthfeel tingles the senses as the light bodied beer finishes slightly dry. The vinous grape notes comes out a bit more as the beer has had a chance to warm.


I thoroughly enjoyed both Lolita and Gillian, but I think I prefer this one over the former. It’s just got a more well rounded character and array of flavors that really hit the spot. I’ll have to save up a bit before I can justify going after the other two beers in this limited run, but if they are anywhere as tasty and Lolita and Gillian, it’ll be worth the wait.

Rating: 4.25/5

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