Total Score: 63.0
Today’s brew comes from Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Company. The brewery takes its name from the only island on the Chicago River. The man-made island was created in the 1850s as a result of a clay excavation project. First opening their doors in 1988, Goose Island has grown at a staggering pace ever since, opening a second location across from Wrigley Field in 1999, and announcing its purchase by Anheuser-Busch in early 2011. They’ve become so big that some of their production has to be outsourced. Their beers, which have won countless awards at various beer competitions, are distributed to 26 states and several European countries.
Pere Jacque is a Belgian Style Dubbel that was recently awarded a gold medal at the 2011 World Beer Championships. I’m not sure whether this is the Pere Jacques that Goose Island named the beer after or not, but Wikipedia reveals that Père Jacques was a Roman-Catholic priest who tried to help Jewish people when the Nazis occupied France and ultimately died after being imprisoned in a concentration camp.
Goose Island suggests pairing its complex fruity flavors with other rich flavors like bittersweet chocolate or wild game. The bottle notes that the beer was inspired by trips to Belgium, and as Goose Island’s Ken Hunnemeder shared in and email to BTB, specifically the Rochefort Trappist brewery. He notes that the alcohol to become more subdued with age, and that the dried fruit character should be more pronounced. The bottle notes that this is suitable for aging up to 5 years. Well, it’s been 2 ½ and I’m not prepared to wait any longer.
Poured from a bomber dated May 1, 2009, into funky shaped Goose Island glass. I’m a big fan of the simple, understated label. Nice full creamy head, dark ivory in color, which dwindles away to a thicker film within a minute or two. Beer is a cloudy dark copper, pushing mahogany. Smell is very good and very strong: intensely sweet and slightly tart ripe fruits, mainly cherry with some prune and plum. Super malty. Sweetness so strong it’s like smelling candy. Taste is a major disappointment from the smell. Still really sweet, but lacking the fruits from the smell. Extremely harsh from a combination of too much sweetness, tartness, and lots of booze. Really just an unpleasant taste. A few more sips and I think the part that’s really killing me is the sweetness. Just way too damn sugary. Mouthfeel is decent, but irrelevant at this point as the taste is just too much.
Overall I’m totally unsatisfied by this. I waited until I had some time to drink a full bomber, but I ended up only drinking about 6 oz. Legitimately bad. Not recommended.
Look: 9/10 Smell: 9.5/10 Taste: 5/10 All-Around: 5/10