Tag Archive: Gose


One Mile End: Morello Cherry Gose (England: Gose: 4.2% ABV)

Visual: Hazy apricot, that turns rose hued at times. A thin dash of bubbles for a head. Fast, small bubbled carbonation.

Nose: Salt touched and musty. Shortbread. Subtle cherries. Fresh dough and yeastie.

Body: Soft, tart red cherries. Strawberry. Slight chalk. Tart apples. Pear perry. Cake sponge.

Finish: Tart red cherry. Black cherry yogurt. Slight salt. Brown bread. Juniper berries. Petals. Wet socks. Vanilla.

Conclusion: Hmm, a generally quite nice one here – ok that may seem like I am damning with faint praise, but let me give some context. For some reason, despite the fact I really love morello cherries, most beers made with them have hit some rocky waters. Thus I am pleased that this is fairly decent.

First impressions are good, it hits nicely on the eye- at worst being a pretty but generic apricot colour, but moves to a nicely rose hued glimmer when the light hits it right. Unfortunately the aroma doesn’t sell it to a similar extent – it is quite yeastie and musty, in a fresh dough kind of fashion. It has some refreshing tart notes but is generally quite simple.

The body comes through though, using a lovely pear perry to cider apple styled base, lightly salted in way that makes drinking it far too easy. The cherry notes are understated but well expressed – giving a tart red cherry character that is always present, but doesn’t dominate – tart but with sweet edges. So, yep, the lovely fruit that is Morello cherry is used right in this oh so easy to drink tart beer. There’s even a slight vanilla note in the finish that give a cream like note to go with the cherries. Nice.

It isn’t perfect, as it can be a little chalky at times – but mixing that cider and perry like base, with a slight salty gose style and bring red fruit makes something very drinkable.

I appreciate both it and the good use of fruit within it.

Background: Ohh Morello Cherry! I am a big fan of those cherries. Gose I have had mixed experiences with, probably because there seems to be such a range in how people interpret the style. Any which way, glad to see the style getting more show these days considering it was down to two breweries in Germany that made the style at one point. Don’t know much about One Mile End – they are a new brewery on me, so let’s see how they do. I put on the amazing, Svalbard, It’s Hard To Have Hope while drinking. Such a good album. This beer was grabbed from the ever reliable Independent Spirit.

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Ritterguts: Bärentöter Sour Gose Bock (Germany: Gose: 6.6% ABV)

Visual: Reddened brown. Massive, lightly brown touched head.

Nose: Cinnamon and coriander. Wheaty. Light lemon. Sour malt chocolate. Lightly tart. Fresh sour dough. Slightly salted. Light caramel. Tart grapes.

Body: Salty. Vinous, sour red wine soaked brown bread. Tart black cherries. Coriander. Fruitcake. Tart grapes. Bread pudding.

Finish: Gummed brown paper. Salt. Watered down vinegar. Brown bread. Malt chocolate drinks. Spotted dick pudding. Peppery. Dry Madeira.

Conclusion: This is a very bready gose – it keeps the salty and wheaty gose character, but feels heavier – backed by a vinous, sour wine set of notes an a fruitcake style that makes it very different to the other gose I have encountered. I presume this is the higher abv, but who knows, my encounters with Gose over the years have been pretty varied already.

It starts out a bit underwhelming, but quickly builds. It is never too tart, in fact few gose I have tried go really heavy on that side, but it has a gentle sourness given bready weight and accentuated by the spice to give an odd bread pudding soaked in wine kind of character. I wonder if anyone has even made that, a spiced, wine soaked Bread Pudding. It sounds like the kind of thing that should exist.

Anyway, I digress, this is gentle, but gains an extraordinary amount of complexity as you take your time with it. It remains very grounded and mellow, but rewards you with such a range of vinous, fruity, sweet, and spice notes. If it wasn’t for the higher abv, it feels like it would be the perfect examine throughout a warmer day kind of beer.

As is, it feels like a rewarding after dinner drink. It is spirity enough to call to the traditional port or similar that it would replace, heavy enough to stand up to what was eaten before, and the light salt makes it dangerously drinkable, and with enough going on that you can just let it slip down and enjoy.

Very worth trying.

Background: First beer of The Arrogant Sour Festival that was on at the Moor Tap room recently. In fact it was recommended by one of the staff, and since actual Gose from Germany are still not a super common thing I thought it would be nice to give it a go. I went to the festival on the Sunday due to feeling a bit under the weather the day before, so was worried all the good beers would have gone. I should not have worried, they still had a great selection left. This one is mad with six different malts, coriander, orange peel and ceylon cinnamon. Also I presume salt, as Gose are a kind of slightly salted, spiced, wheat beer, but that was not listed.

Omnipollo: Bianca – Blueberry Maple Pancake Lassi Gose (Sweden: Gose: 6% ABV)

Visual: Oozes out of the can on opening necessitating a quick(ish) pour. Black cherry red with a brighter deep black cherry red head.

Nose: Thick American style pancakes. Blueberry muffins. Strawberry. Creamy. Red berries. Pips.

Body: Sweet blueberry and black cherry. Lightly tart red grape backing. Thick and creamy. Sweet red grapes. Fresh apples. Toffee. Maple syrup.

Finish: Red grape juice. Thick pancakes. Slight dry wood. Light acrid dryness. Fresh berries. Slight salt water. Charring. Maple. Syrup. Tannins and dry teabags.

Conclusion: Whelp, this does what it says on the tin. Like, seriously spot on. But! Before we get into that, this thing is a tad energetic. When I popped open the can it instantly oozed out thickly, filling the rim and pouring over the lid over the can. It wasn’t quick or explosive, and I didn’t lose much, but be aware. It can be excitable.

Anyway, even within the loose and varied style guidelines that make up the gose, this is the least gose like gose that I have ever encountered. I don’t doubt that there is something recognisable as a gose used as the base – but damn if it is not overwhelmed by the many and varied ingredients added.

It is thick and sturdy, creamy but with thick American pancakes to muffins sweet bready feel that has been just utterly packed with tons of berries. The berries are not limited to the blueberries of the name, there are blueberries, red-berries, red grapes, black cherry and grape juice. It is fruity as heck, lightly tart in some places but generally just sweet fruit juice, enlivened by maple syrup sweetness.

The most gose like element is also the weakest element – the finish. It starts out similar to the body, but gains a welcome, slightly salty gose style pretty quickly. Unfortunately this builds and builds into a very dry, slightly charred, astringent and then finally acrid note over time. The beer definitely needs a less sweet note to underline the experience so it doesn’t get sickly – but the finish feels like it went too far in that direction.

It is very different, very fun and very sweet. Rough at the end, but for the rest of the beer it is super intense in selling its gimmick. Now, with all that said, it is bloody expensive, which means it is not one I can recommend lightly – you may want to think twice before jumping in, but while not perfect it is a hell of an experience.

Background: We all know why I bought this right? The long list of Blueberry Maple etc etc. It sounded weird enough I had to give it a try, even though it was more than a tad pricey. From a quick google it seems there are a lot of beers in the Bianca series. Wonder if there is one of just the base gose, as that would be interesting to see. Any which way, this was grabbed from Independent Spirit and drunk while listening to Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes – Blossom. Still utterly epic, utterly huge tunes.

To Øl: Põhjala: Graff Gadient – Rye and Apple Gose (Estonia: Gose: 5.8% ABV)

Visual: Light clear brown to apricot. Short lived off white head.

Nose: Cloying sweet apricot. Crushed palma violets. Stewed peaches. Apple. Thick syrup character. Apple pie fillings. Cough syrup.

Body: Apple pie filling. Oak. Apple juice. Tart. Rye bread. Acidic front. Oats.

Finish: Tart cider. Dry fudge. Acidic pear. Varnish air. Fresh cut apples. Menthol cough sweets. White wine.

Conclusion: I’ve come to accept that the goses I encountered in Germany, and the goses I encounter in the rest of the world are going to be totally different things. That’s cool, styles cross pollinate and pick up local character. Even with that said, this, this is unusual.

It is tart, kind of gose meets lambic or berliner weisse – that bit sharper and tarter than most gose are, and with lots of the apple on show. It is a mix of tart cider like notes, matched with thick apple pie filling sweetness, all over dry rye bread notes.

Now that is odd, not not that odd, definitely not odd enough to trip my WTF? radar. So what is unusual, ok, but unusual is this menthol cough sweets to cough syrup set of notes that come across in a medicinal but very syrupy way. That was unexpected. It matches with the stewed apricot and peach notes, so is not as out of place as you might expect – but is still a strange feel and taste based on 1) My expectations of a gose 2) My expectations based on the special ingredients and 3) my expectations of any beer ever.

It isn’t bad, but it feels weird – you can be enjoying those tart apple notes, and general acidic character – when suddenly you are hit with the cough syrup notes and it just takes out out of it. It breaks up the experience in a way that ruins the flow of the beer.

Interesting but the medicinal cough syrup notes just make it one I can’t get into properly.

Background: This is described as both a rye and apple gose, and half beer half cider. Made with spontaneous fermented cider, Estonian apple juice and three varieties of thyme, this sounded odd enough to be worth a try. Not tried anything from Põhjala before, but To Øl tend to be pretty good. This was another one grabbed from Independent Spirit. Put on a mix of Jonathan Young stuff while drinking, mainly his excellent track “Bait”- an original track rather than the covers he tends to do. Well worth checking out.

Wander Beyond: Paddle Raspberry Gose (England: Gose: 4.3% ABV)

Visual: Reddened apricot. Moderate creamy off white head.

Nose; Tart, fresh raspberry. Very clean. Light grapes and twigs. Raspberry yogurt underneath. Soft apricot.

Body: Soft raspberry. Slight salt to white bread. Slightly thick body. Chalk touch. Vanilla. Slight rocks. Apricot. Wet socks. Vanilla yogurt.

Finish: Light raspberry. Light strawberry. Light chalk dryness. Stale white bread. Lightly creamy.

Conclusion: Well, the aroma on this sure sells the raspberry gose gimmick. It is frankly just plain, fresh raspberry cleanly done in a raspberry cooler kind of way backed by slightly creamier raspberry yogurt notes. Very simple, very fresh – maybe a few apricot hints in there, but it lead me to expect the body would be similar – a very raspberry kind of beer.

So, well, it wasn’t that.

The body does have a nice touch of raspberry that heads out into join strawberry notes in the finish but it is built around a core of, well, fairly vanilla yogurt with slight salt and touches of what people tend to call the “sweaty sock” gose taste.

It is thick textured – especially for a gose, thick in a way that I would call creamy except it lacks the accompanying flavour you would expect from such a descriptor. The thickness does not manage to banish the very neutral flavour of this beer though, waiting until the finish where it finally moves out of the way and lets the tarter notes play again.

This feels like a great mouthfeel that manages to kneecap the flavour the aroma promised, producing an empty weight of a beer that only occasionally has the fruit rising up to pay off the promise it made early on.

A sub optimal beer.

Background: Wader Beyond is a new brewery on me but their bright and colourful illustrated can caught me eye, so I decided to give them a go. They have here tried their hand at a gose – a risky one to use an introduction to a new Brewery as they can vary so much, but I felt like it was gose time again. Gose is a German style that nearly died out – a lightly salted wheat beer that if often just slightly soured. This, like a lot of the new interpretations, is made with fruit, raspberry in this case. I was going to see Machine Head live shortly after this, so slammed on some of their tunes as warm up for the big gig.

Founders: Green Zebra (USA: Gose: 4.6% ABV)

Visual: Slightly dark lemon juice. Some carbonation. Large fluffy white head.

Nose: Slight sulphur. Distinct watermelon.

Body: Golden syrup. Vanilla. Watermelon. Cane sugar. Grapes. Honey. Apples. Salt. Shortbread.

Finish: Golden syrup. Watermelon. Salt and vinegar crisps. Honey. Apples. Crapes. Lime cordial.

Conclusion: This is possibly the sweetest gose I have ever had. It eschews the harshly salty and tart recent craft takes on the style, even goes past the light sweetness of the Goslar breweries’ take in the style, and instead goes into a full on honey beer thing that tastes more like a watermelon mead than anything else.

Now the salt notes come out softly later, so it isn’t abandoning the gose side – but what really sells this beer is the watermelon. I was imaging this would be fresh watermelon over a tart gose- instead I’m getting sweet watermelon doused in syrup and honey. It is a simple joy. It is shockingly sweet for a sub 5% abv beer – I don’t know how the heck they manages that without a higher malt load, then they use an impressively detailed set of watermelon notes, along with apples, grapes and other green fruit to add contrast and complexity to the beer.

The most gose like element is the slightly drier and saltier finish, but even that is fair honey dominated. Time allows you to get used to the sweetness, and then the watermelon and the rest of the fruit can really rock – in fact, at this point I kind of dig it.

Now – this is a simple sweet crowd pleaser of a beer and far from what you would expect from a gose, but frankly I enjoy it. Go in to it with the right expectations (i.e. not expecting heavy tartness or saltiness) and this does the watermelon thing in a really fun fashion. It it a classic? No. Is it a joy to drink? yes. And some days that is all you want.

Background: I’ve been meaning to pick this up for a while, a watermelon gose just sounded off enough to be fun. Unfortunately other beers kept jumping ahead in the queue. But now, finally I have it. Another one grabbed from Independent Spirit. Goses are now far from the nearly dead style they once were – slightly salted wheat beers that vary massively in level of tartness, sweetness and saltiness in the expressions I have encountered. This was drunk while listening to Andrew WK’s new album again – it is just so damn joyous.


Nomad: Saltpan Desert Gose (Australia: Gose: 4.8% ABV)

Visual: Pale lemon juice. Large white head over a hazy and still body.

Nose: Sulphur. Sour dough. Lime cordial to squeezed lime. Buttery shortbread. Straw. Flour. Butterscotch.

Body: Vanilla toffee. Lime. Buttery shortbread. Light salt. Light chalk note. Butterscotch.

Finish: Soft lime. Shortbread. Light salt. Key lime pie. Slight meringue. Flour. Butterscotch.

Conclusion: First up – yes I know butterscotch is generally considered to be an off note in beer, but here it is awesome, so I’m not complaining about that at all.

What this does right? – well for one it avoids the ultra salty, sweaty sock like interpretation of a gose which is fine by me. It instead goes for a softly sweet wheat interpretation that reminds me of the varied gose of Goslar. It has soft buttery shortbread, vanilla toffee and such notes (oh and butterscotch) that give a nice, but not heavy nor sickly, sweetness.

The sweetness is counterbalanced by a light lime character that gives just a slightly fresh character alongside a slight salt – showing the gose style without ramming it down your throat. While none of the flavours are heavy, it has what feels like a kind of lactose thickness – it is still easy to drink from the lime notes, but that extra grip just makes everything much more evident without being more intense.

Together, the light tartness makes it refreshing, the thickness gives it grip and the sweetness (again, including the butterscotch – I will defend it to the end!) makes it flavoursome and complex.

This is both a good call to the traditional gose, and good at adding in that lime twist. This is like a fresh, salted, lime covered piece of shortbread. On of the best gose I have had – easy to drink, yet full of flavour and grip. Lovely.

Background: I’ve been split on the gose style – a slightly sour wheat beer made with salt and spices. Some are awesome, some taste like sweaty socks. Having travelled to Goslar last year, I found that their interpretation was much more mellow than most other ones I had run into, being much more wheat beer like than most. Anyway, saw this – from a brewery in Australia I had not tried before, made with pink salt and desert limes, and I thought this might be one to my tastes. It was grabbed from Independent Spirit and drunk while listening to Bayley and Shinsuke Nakamura’s theme songs on loop. No I did not get bored of them. They are awesome.

To Øl: Santa Gose F*** It All (Denmark: Gose: 4% ABV)

Visual: Clear dark yellow. Massive sud leaving yellow white head. Small bubbled carbonation in the body.

Nose: Gooseberry. Light wheat. Light white pepper. Dry passion fruit.

Body: Tart. Gooseberry. Salt. Tart grapes. Slight guava. Light chalk. Dry mango. Flour.

Finish: Lime. Tart. Pineapple. Salt. Slight sweat. Wet cardboard. Guava juice. Dry mango. Dry bitterness. Flour. Slight grit. Charring.

Conclusion: So, after trying an authentic German gose earlier this year, and after trying a couple of the varied new wave craft goses that have come out recently, I find myself with this – THE CHRISTMAS GOSE!

I’m not sure what part of this makes it a Christmas beer, but what it does have is that it opens with an appropriately tart gooseberry like base that seems to be moving more towards the new wave craft interpretation of a gose, backed by soft salt, almost sweat like notes. Man the things you write that sound terrible but actually are not. Anyway, initially that salt character is pleasant but by the end the salt does become very drying in the finish.

More on that later – for now we shall look at the mid body, which is where the fruit infusion comes in. It is quite subtly done, with sweet guava and dry mango notes around the edges giving some much needed extra body. It isn’t that the main body is bad, just a little light, but still very fresh and easy to drink.

So, the first half to two thirds of this beer does the job well – tart, fruity, fresh with subtle salt over time. Then, we get that finish…

The finish starts ok, with some pineapple but also a slight cardboard touch which does not work. Then that cardboard touch becomes gritty, then charred and matched with rough, dry salty bitterness. It is harsh and feels like it works against everything the rest of the beer sets up.

Two thirds of this is a good beer, with a third of fuck no. Nearly good but that finish hurts it so bad I can’t recommend it.

Background; The censorship is on the can, not because of me – I would happily have written “Fuck It All”. In fact I just did. A beer for the Christmas period, with appropriate sentiments. I am not a total Grinch, more nonplussed than angry about Christmas – for me it is just a nice time to catch up with friends and family. Anyway, this is a gose – a salted wheat beer style that nearly died out, but has had a recent resurgence. Like a lot of the craft beer interpretations this one is made with fruit – Passion fruit, guava and mango to be exact. Picked up from Independent Spirit. I got into the festive spirit by putting on Testament – Low. Ok they have nothing to do with Christmas, so I was in the right spirit for me.

Altenauer Brauerei Kolberg: Die Butterhanne Gose Gold: Dunkel (Germany: Gose: Unknown abv)

Visual: Reddened brown. Small bubble carbonation. Thin off white head.

Nose: Malt chocolate. Light wheat. Light pepper. Light orange skin. Slightly fizzy – gives imagery like cola bottle sweets.

Body: Light malt chocolate. Slight sour dough. Light banana and cloves. Mild salt character. Light coriander and carrot. Slight chalk feel. Light toffee and cola bottles.

Finish: Light salt. Light orange. Light coriander. Malt chocolate. Slight fresh feel. Cola bottles. Vanilla.

Conclusion: This seem far closer to the core dunkel style than the hell gose did to a standard hell beer. It has the soft malt chocolate and vanilla into a coke bottle sweet style sweetness.

The only real tell that this is a gose, not a general dunkel are the coriander notes – which frankly aren’t alien to dunkels themselves, and the soft saltiness in the finish. Compared to the Brauhaus Goslar Gose Hell the salt is less intense as well. Here it is even more gentle, just a slight thirst inducing element in the finish rather than the noticeable sea salt and vinegar crisps style of Brahaus Goslars’ beer.

So, first let’s look at it as a dunkel – it is smooth with good use of vanilla sweetness and some slight cloying notes. It would be a competent, if slightly thin dunkel taken by itself. Again it comes down to the salt to give that slight quirk, and slight thirst inducing element that makes it worth examining. By itself the Dunkel is ok, bringing some light banana weisse notes – it is easy to drink, but just a tad thin. The salt doesn’t really change that much – so being a gose makes only very subtle changes to this one.

What interests me is, is this lack of the gose influence having a big impact part of it being the Dunkel interpretation? – or is it because of the different breweries style? To find out I had a little of Die Butterhanne Gose Gold Hell and saw how it compared directly to Brauhaus Goslar’s version. This one is slightly lighter in the Hell version as well – but still more recognisably salted and spicy than the dunkel version. It also has a slightly buttery character and some very light raspberry notes in a tiny amount of tartness. The Brauhaus Golsar version definitely uses the gose aspect more and better in my opinion.

So, in conclusion of the conclusion – this is ok, but I would say if you are looking for the gose experience, the hell version is the way to go.

Background: Second gose from Goslar! This one tried in the Die Butterhanne pub/restaurant pretty much right next to the Brauhaus Goslar where I tired my first gose mere hours before. A few things on the name 1) They don’t mention which brewery makes it for them on the menu, so I googled and this is what ratebeer gave me. 2) Yes I know Gose Gold Dunkel sounds stupid – I suspect it should be Gose Gold and Gose Dunkel – however this is how they are listed on the menu, so its what I put above. 3) No idea on the abv on this, it wasn’t listed and a quick google has no one else seeming better informed than me. Anyway, after trying my first gose, I decided to try a different brewery and to go for the dark rather than the light variant to mix it up a bit and see how they compared. As mentioned in the notes I also tried their light Gose Gold, but didn’t do notes on that one- just referred to it where appropriate in this one.

Brauhaus Goslar: Gose Das Harzer Urbier Hell (Germany: Gose: 4.8% ABV)

Visual: Hazy yellow. Some small bubbled carbonation. An inch of loose bubbles head that leaves suds.

Nose: Small amounts of soft lemon. Carrot. Coriander. Orange peel.

Body: Slight honey. Barley biscuits. Slight salt. Lemon. Vanilla touch. Slightly cloying touch. Mild coriander.

Finish: Slight sea salt. Salty vinegar. Tangy – gherkins. Slight soft lemon and lime. Vanilla. Light orange. Slightly wheaty. Slight hop bitterness.

Conclusion: So, an actual gose, in actual Goslar. Time to try a beer from where was born! Softer and more gentle that I expected. Though I had been warned, it still was a mild surprise that it doesn’t have the sourness associated with the gose name, more just a gentle kind of clotting style. Instead it comes in showing light citrus notes, closer to what I would expect from a Belgian wit, matching it with soft vanilla notes backing it.

The saltiness expected is more of a thing, though even with this in the main body it is fairly gentle. The finish is where the full effect comes out. Kind of sea salt in style, with mild vinegar notes, akin to what you get on crisps , and with a low level bitterness. Not harsh, but quite the thirst inducer, and not an unpleasant end to the beer, for all it may sound otherwise. A very nice unusual note.

It is refreshing and thirst inducing at the same time – smooth to drink, and subtly backed by the more expected wheat beer characteristics. It worked very well in the sunny environment I was in and was far easier to drink than I imagined it would be. Without the salt and such it would be a very solid, middle of the road wit style beer – it is definitely the salt that makes it distinctive, adding a tang, while not having much overall sourness – more sough dough and sour cream mild notes coming it lightly at the tail end as the cloying notes rise a bit.

Very glad to have tried this – very far from the horrid “sweaty sock” reputation that some recent gose clones have gained – I can see what great promise the style has and it is a solid beer in itself.

Fascinating.

Background: A gose in Germany! In Goslar itself, birthplace of the style. The gose style, a slightly salted, often slightly sour wheat beer has had a resurgence in popularity over the last year or so. Considering only Goslar and Leipzig made it for many years,and the style had nearly died out- it is pretty cool to see it back. However, every gose beer I have tried from craft brewers have been quite different – from quite horrid sweaty sock tasting beers, to tart fruity beers, to quite well hopped or spiced beers. So, I was very interested to try one of the originals to see what the base of the beer style was like. I had been informed by the staff of Craft Beer Kontor that Goslar breweries hold that the beer should not be that sour – that the Leipzig version is only sour as it is based on the Goslar exports which had gone off slightly by the time it had reached them. Because of that I was braced for this to be less sour than I would have otherwise expected. Anyway, drank at the Brauhaus Goslar itself – the staff were very helpful as well when we had a very minor injury that needed napkins to stop blood flow. Many thanks to them! This is listed as 30 IBU – higher than I would have expected, if not overly high in general.

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