Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Goose Island Beer Co. - Lolita
I had never tried any of Goose Island's sour beers until recently, when I tried their excellent peach saison, Halia. I loved it so much, that I made sure to pick up the other three beers in the series before they left shelves. A few weeks ago, I tried Juliet, a blackberry sour that was pretty incredible. And last night, I went for Lolita, a raspberry sour aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. Let's give this puppy a try.
Lolita pours a hazed amber color with a reddish tinge to it. Barely any head formed initially, and what did for crackeled away into nothing almost immediately. I wouldn't really call this beer a looker, but the smell more than made up for it. Tons of underripe raspberry, sweeter raspberry jam notes and cranberry tartness practically billow from the glass. As the beer warms a touch, I started to get more barrel notes out of it. A musty oak note started to emerge, bringing with it a vinous character, some vanilla and a touch of spice.
Similar to the smell, the first thing you taste in here is a big underripe raspberry tartness. In fact, every flavor in here seems pretty dialed up. After the raspberry, I got a meaty sour cherry note and some Pinot Noir flavors. (Note: I'm far from being a wine person. What I smelled reminded me of Pinot Noir, but after seeing this beer was aged in Cab barrels, it could have easily been that, too. If you are a wine person, give this a try and let me know what you think.) A lighter white wine flavor emerges right towards the end and then cascades down to a lemony tart and slightly acetic finish. This beer isn't overly sweet by any means, but I still enjoyed the light tannic dryness that the finish brought. Because this beer seems to be very dialed up (both in flavor and in alcohol), I feel like it loses a few points for not having the depth that a lot of lighter beers in this style have. However, any complaints I have on this beer are pretty minor. It's a pretty great beer and definitely worth a try.
Final Grade: A-
Top 250 Beers Tasted: 129