Ah my first dance with Goose Island was with sweet old Matilda. She was gentle but instructing at the same time. Oh how we’ve grown on to sample the other “rarer” madames in the GI lineup, but I don’t see Bourbon County waiting for that 2 a.m. call, only sweet old ‘Tilda. Anyway, let’s check her out in today’s review.
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Belgian Strong Pale Ale | 7.00% ABV
A: the head is a full two finger affair that subsides after a moment into some gentle lacing, nothing out of the ordinary, particularly for the belgium strong style. Strangely calm color, inbetween brass and copper, nothing too menacing here, a step above a pale ale in its appearance. She’s a sweet old lady who can always jitterbug with light white lacey doilies for your cup of amber tea.
S: This has some grapes (white), pear, a bit of honey dryness, clove, nothing musky or out of the ordinary. very sweet bouquet. This has a huge distribution and is my air raid shelter from shitty BMC when I go to overpriced West Hollywood bars.
T: This ale is very sweet on the palate, no hoppy finish, almost sweet through and through, the finish is a mild crisp ginger almost, reminscient of a saison, not in the style of a belgium strong. the sweet fruit notes come through and linger shortly.
M: the straw appearance gives an upfront note as to what you will be expecting, a quick burn that doesnt coat especially well, but the yeast is present and allows the spiciness to gently pass. Upon tasting a creaminess develops to enhance the fruit notes, but again, passes rather quickly. It was like that Chimpanzee movie, come on Disney, a “movie” that is 78 minutes long? Come on.
D: A solid blend between a saison style and belgium table ale, I feel the “STRONG” is a bit misplaced, but maybe my american palate is too jaded for extremes, however, this is made in Chicago, where are the meat packing houses and the spirit of the Jungle, the bitter cold, the inclement people? This is a solid Nissan Altima of belgium ales, very drinkable but not quite notable in any respect. In light of the pircetag, probably will not purchase again, pound for pound. The 7 percent is nice, but with the hops and ABV arms race out there, you can get pilsners in 7 percent so its particularly not a heavy hitter for its style.
Narrative: You said this would be the last time, you curse yourself, breath swilling cold in circlets from your lips, “you ARE A BELGIAN ALE” you told yourself that when you looked in the bezzled mirror, you told yourself when you filled up your handbag, dont sell yourself short, you can do this. A john approaches in a Mitsubishi Mirage, not exactly your market but hey, “Belgium strong, what’s your pleasure” he looks displased…is it…my color? No…I look almost how I should..” YOU? You’re a belgizn strong? I had you pegged more for a French farmhouse girl…what’re you into?” He’s judgmental, and I am nervous, he knows, he knows I am mediocre and he’s smelling it as well “I am into whatever can foot the bill sweetie” He gestures knowingly that this baleful ale will be costly but ultimately fulfilling. The mighty 4 cylinder revvs towards consumption. It was a tawdry sham, but it was still fulfilling deep down.