Purchased: 765ml bottle bought at Evolution Wine & Spirits in Chicago, IL; 2013 (bottled 6/20/2013)
Style/ABV: American Wild Ale/Sour/Saison, 8.2%
Reported IBUs: 32
It is unseasonably warm outside, which means a fruity sour should hit all sorts of the right spot. About Goose Island:
Goose Island is a Chicago-based brewery that began as a brewpub on Clybourn, which opened on May 1988. The actual brewery opened on 1995, and is located on the Southwest side of Chicago. The second brewpub, located in Wrigleyville by the Chicago Cubs, was opened in 1999. On March 28, 2011, Goose Island sold 58% of the brewery to Anheuser-Busch. The remaining 42% of the brewery is supposed to be acquired by A-B InBev in the future, and there has been much discussion about the brewery's takeover. On November 16th, founder and CEO, John Hall, announced he would be leaving Goose Island. On January 1st, 2013, Anheuser-Busch "veteran" Andy Goeler will take over Goose Island. Additionally, around the same time as John Hall's departure, resident barrel-program leader John Laffler also announced his departure from Goose Island. There have been many changes regarding Goose Island...so we will see what the future has in store for Goose Island.The Lolita is inspired by pedophilia or something. Fermented with wild ale yeast and aged on raspberries in wine barrels, this wild Belgian-style Ale features Super Styrian, Styrian Goldings, and Saaz hops, and 2-Row and Caramel malts. The beer also uses sugar as a fermentable, and Goose Island lists it as a malt. Punching in at a variable ABV around 8.2%, and packing 32 IBUs, this beer is an all-American sour.
|Goose Island Lolita|
The beer pours into a swampy, reddish-orange-brown, auburn color. There was a pinky of amber head that rapidly dissolved before I could snap a picture. This beer is quite lively, with crackling carbonation, and tiny bubbles rising upwards in the glass in streams. It's quite effervescent. Bright light confirms the same stuff.
Let's talk about the aroma. There is tons of lactic funk and tart vinegar on this beer's nose. You get apple cider vinegar, the essence of pickled foods, and lots of sour fruits. You also get some nice wood and barrel character, with some notable wood tannin and distinct red wine notes. There is also some sweet and sugary aromas, with some jammy raspberries and strawberries. The jammy fruit notes are my favorite part of this beer, and despite the murky appearance and assertive tartness, no 12-year-old would say no to a sip of this.
This beer is aggressively sour, but in all the right ways. The taste is a mixture of jammy fruits, raspberry currants, sour/tart raspberry, and tons of wood tannin from the barrel. You get some red apple cider vinegar, and there is a lot of acidic vinegar and lactic funk in this. As the beer warms up, the rich caramel malt base starts to pop, and you get a lot of raspberry candy and sugary raspberry. There's even a hint of dark caramel in the mix. It reminds me a bit of the New Belgium Frambrozen, only with about five more levels of inception or complexity or whatever.
I love this beer, and the fact that it is sitting on shelves right now means you can love it too. Hide yo' 12-year-olds or make them your wife. This one isn't quite world class, but it's pretty damn good. The mouthfeel is medium-full, with tons of supporting carbonation. The beer is driven by acidic tartness, and finishes high and dry. As it warms up the caramel malts start to pop, which adds some complexity to an already complex beer. Palate depth is good, complexity is also good. You get tart fruits, raspberry currants, and raspberries up front; that rolls into some caramel malts, sugars, apple cider vinegar, raspberry candy; the finish is super dry raspberry. There's a version of this beer brewed with tea, and it makes a lot of sense as to why. There are tons of raspberry currants which bring that herbal/medicinal/tea vibe.
Rating: Above-Average (4.0/5.0 Untappd)
I'm feeling a Strong Above-Average on this. This is really good for an American sour brewed with raspberries. Major league stuff, and you can age this or drink it fresh. It's also available, and priced reasonably at a little over ~$20 a bottle. It's not the Juliet, but what can you do. The barrel character and wine-like elements suggest food pairings like steak, beef, grilled meats, and olives and cheeses. The strong vinegar element would also work with anything that benefits from some aggressive, woody acidity.
Random Thought: I was going to bust out the Juliet tomorrow, but I think maybe not. I might try to drink the Halia instead.