Dec 23, 2013

Goose Island Lolita

Back in October, Goose Island released four Belgian-style wild ales. Two were new products: Gillian and Halia. And two were 2013 vintages of previous releases: Lolita and Juliet. I’ve only seen three of the four in stores and, due to their individual price points, decided to pick up a single bottle of Lolita.

This 8.7% ABV wild ale in a framboise-like structure. The beer is fermented with Brettanomyces and aged in wine barrels on 30,000 pounds of fresh raspberries. I’m not sure how long the beer rested in those barrels, but it was long enough to part a lightly vinous and woody character to a flavor profile that delivers a wonderful tartness and surprising drinkability.


Hazy copper in color, Lolita pours with zero head and an effervescent-like bubble activity.

Goose Island Lolita photo


A solid tartness and funk arrive immediately with hints of cherries, raspberries, wood, a peppery presence and a decent bit of red wine.


The label of this beer is simple and refined. The nose is fairly complex and layered. The flavor is a combination of the two — it’s got a wash of flavors, but is all delivered smoothly with a refined character. The beer is tart and acidic which is bolstered by the active mouthfeel. Cherries, wood, light caramel, raspberries, wine and a nice level of malt sweetness combine to temper the sour nature of the beer. The tartness is initially quite sharp, but fades smoothly to a lingering and long lasting tingle in the clean finish. There’s just a hint of alcohol warmth.


This beer, for me, carries just the right amount of tartness to go along with the wine barrel influence and the wild funk of the Brett. It’s got a great body and a mouthfeel that is active and light. Lolita is a deceptive one that’s for sure.

Rating: 4.25/5

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