Goose Island Gillian (9.5%) and Goose Island Juliet (8.0%)

A7DC9260-E032-48D3-8CDA-3AD968ED2AE0.jpeg 3BC141E6-5860-45CB-BD42-DD3B0E97A790.jpeg Both 750ml bottles which my wife got me for Christmas 2013. Having aged them for just over four-years, I cracked them open for Easter Day dinner with was time.

We started with Juliet, which was a rye beer aged in French Oak Cabernet Sauvignon barrels with blackberries and Brettanomyces. With an almost champagne carbonation, this was sour and fruity with blackberry and wine barrel notes shining through. Lemon juice zestiness and light spices were also in the profile before leading to a blackberry/winey dry finish. This was beautifully balanced and had aged perfectly.

Gillian - as I later found out - was named after Gillian Anderson (X-Files and some remarkable independent films) who worked at Goose Island Brewing in Chicago while a student at DePaul University. This was a wine barrel-aged White Pepper Strawberry Saison with crushed white pepper, Michigan strawberries and local farmers market honey.

More subtle and complex than Juliet, you couldn’t fail to pick up the Saison Yeast strain, while producing woody wine barrel notes with fresh fruit, sweet honey and light sourness. Carbonation was on point with a honey/strawberry semi-dry finish. Beautiful.

Two fabulous beers to enjoy on Easter Day and I was delighted that they had aged so well and kept their carbonation despite traveling 2,800 miles with us when we moved to San Diego from the eastern Midwest back in 2015.