Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Beer Review: Goose Island "Pere Jacques" Belgian-Style

Goose Island "Pere Jacques" (2010) Beer Review

For my 30th birthday, my good friend Jason got me a couple of local Chicago beers from Goose Island, their belgian triple and their imperial stout. Both have been mellowing in the bottle for twelve months and so I figured it was time to open them up (yeah I know they would take up to 5 years of age, but the steepest improvement always seems to be in the first 6-12 months - and Mau [above] is impatient!) Anyway, this review is for the Pere Jacques, Goose Island's triple.

Nose: Amazing. One of the best noses I've smelled on a beer in ages. Huge, warm, with an undertone of good late-harvest desert wine. Wafts of wheat, oats and straw. Plenty of butterscotch, fresh carmel, a little yeast. Intense and aromatic! 

Drink: Frankly, the beer did not live up to the rock and roll party my nose had lead me to believe. At 8% ABV it is very drinkable. But the nose was an A++ so pretty much anything short of Rochefort #8 level of body and complexity would be a let-down. Anyway, this isn't a bad beer at all with plenty of carmel, golden raisin, banana salt-water toffee, rock sugar, grain and yeast playing around on the tongue with really solid integration. Hints of coriander and orange peel in the far corners  of the flavor. Very full mouth, with a small dollop of yeast, but not gritty or rough. Still good carbonation that tinges the tip of the tongue. And what is that subtle undertone? Hints of green apple cider and the end of the very long finish? Oh, that's a nice touch! Too bad it's a little weak in the middle. Reminds me of Scaldis Noel where it feels a bit flat in the center. But unlike Noel, the Pere Jacques didn't seem to have a temperature that it suddenly jumped out of the glass for that half of a degree.  

I would pair this with food next time - I think it would come alive with something like Cassolet

Next up: Arcadia's "Cocoa Loco"!

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