Tag Archive: Gose


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.

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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.

Stewart Hawkshead Margarita Gose
Stewart: Hawkshead: Margarita Gose (Scotland: Gose: 6% ABV)

Visual: Yellowed to lemon juice coloured body. Large off white head. Hazy mid body. Lots of sediment at the base.

Nose: Green leaves. Slight sweat. Thin squeezed lime. Crushed sesame seeds. Thin lemon. Bitty orange juice. Malt toffee drinks.

Body: Slightly tart and sour. Sour cream and chives. Greenery. Tart apples. Sharp lime. Sherbety feel and flavour. Blackpool rock. Wheaty. Malt drinks.

Finish: Lemon. Funky character. Sharp lime. Brown bread. Sour pineapple juice air. Lemongrass. Cane sugar. Greenery.

Conclusion: The observant of you may have noticed that I have not used the word “Margarita” at any point in the actual tasting notes above. This can be interpreted in one of two ways 1) That I am a dedicated tasting noter and as such would not take such short cuts. Or 2) That it has been fucking years since I have had a margarita and as such I only have a vague memory of what they taste like. (Hypothetically there is a 3) It tastes nothing like a margarita, but from the notes you can probably guess that is not true)

Anyway, number 2 is true, I admit. From my vague-arse memories this does take pretty margarita like. So…

Well, for a gose they have worked very well on the body. I’ve had a few gose now, and a thin body seems to be the curse of a bad gose resulting in that terrible sweat sock water style that is the bad stereotype of the style. This pulls forwards a decent body and instead just bursts with flavour. It is a sour, tart base, pushed with squeezed fruit sharp flavours and greenery. This , more than anything else puts me in mind of the first description I ever heard of a gose – like a sour salted Belgian wit. The base really has that Belgian wit texture that is not evident in many of the style I have tried.

As it warms more malt drink notes come out – it makes it more beer like and robust, though that does seem to work against the main margarita conceit. So, rambling aside – is it any good? Actually – yeah it is. Based on vague memory I would say it seems to meet its concept well. As a gose it emphasises the positive of the style and hides the negative. As just a beer it is just beer like enough to feel worth doing rather than just having a margarita itself, it is fresh and refreshing and has a good wodge of tart flavour. Another beer that could have been just a gimmick, but ends up working out much better than that.

Background: Been meaning to try this for a while, recommended by Independent Spirit it is a gose made to try and emulate Margaritas. To do so they have used motueka hops, salt and kaffir lime leaves. In preparation for the soon to be released new Against Me! Album, I was listening to 23 Live Sex Acts album while drinking this.

Wild Beer Co Smoke and Barrels Summer

Wild Beer Co: Smoke ‘n’ Barrels: Summer (England: Gose: 4% ABV)

Visual: Light clear lemon juice. Small mound of bubbles for a head.

Nose: Lightly tart. Peaty smoked bacon. Light brine. Black olives. Tart lemon juice. Salt. White bread. Meringue.

Body: Fresh. Pocari sweat. Pineapple. Mineral water. Light squeezed orange. Mild salami. Lightly acidic.

Finish: Brown bread. Smoked ham. Lemon juice. Squeezed orange. Dried seaweed wraps.

Conclusion: Another gose, I seem to be almost tripping over them these days. This continues the trend of each gose I encounter being very odd in a completely different and distinct way from the last one.

It is quite light texture wise, and this the acidity and citrus flavours brought to it are similarly mellow. That is a touch disappointing as the smooth aroma was promising a bigger, smoked bacon style beer. Being promised bacon and then having it snatched a way is a mean trick indeed.

In fact the smoke doesn’t seem to have made a huge impact on this. What you do get of it is more an edge note that saves itself for a slightly bigger showing in the finish. Now the smoke isn’t absent, but it isn’t heavy and the aroma promised more. However because of that it lacks the instant hook that the excellent spring version of this had. Instead, and oddly for an orange gose, you mainly get a salted lemon juice flavour with the smoke just adding a gritty feel at the edge.

It is ok, kind of fresh, and shows the gose character without being heavily defined by it – but it doesn’t really hang its various elements together well enough to become more than, or make full use of, the sum of its parts.

A fresh gose then, light of texture, with only a bit of smoke weight.

So, erm, ok.

Background: The second Smoke and Barrels of the year. As I was very impressed with the Spring one, I thought grabbing the next take was a no brainer. This one is going a tad more unusual, with the base being the suddenly popular gose style, made with smoked malts, sea salt, and smoked orange, after time spent ageing in the wooded ex beer barrels. Drunk while listening to Dope: Life for a bit of energy to the night. This was grabbed from the ever reliable local – Independent Spirit.

Wild Beer Co Sleeping Lemons Export

Wild Beer Co: Sleeping Lemons Export (England: Gose: 6% ABV)

Visual: Clear apple juice with short lived white fizzy head.

Nose: Cider apples. Salted lemon. Musky grapes. Vinegar touch. Sweaty socks. Slightly sharp. Jiff lemon.

Body: Tart lemon. Mild golden syrup. Salty. Pocari sweat drink. Chalk touch. Tart apples. Light brown bread. Caramelised brown sugar. Lime notes.

Finish: Lemon juice. Strawberries. Salt. Vanilla. Pocari sweat. Tart apples. Light chilli warmth.

Conclusion: Looks like Sleeping Lemons just needed a bit more weight to make it work. Which may note have been the opening line you expected from a tasting note with the words “Sweaty socks” in it. Don’t worry, that is a very mild note, and in it’s place is pretty inoffensive. Really.

Anyway, with the extra strength the lemon now really comes across. First like sharp lemons, then like dried salted lemons, then a mix of both. It has a bigger sweet body that the original as well – the tart character is the the main part – front and centre, but now it doesn’t feel light behind. It has something to push forwards when the citrus fades.

I think, by my poor memory, the hibernating lemons keg version was slightly better – probably the slight extra keg carbonation actually helped there – it made it feel like a fresher and more lovely drink. One of the flaws here is that it feels slightly still so it doesn’t liven up the mouth as you would expect. Therefore over time it can become a tad heavy on the tongue.

However, despite that, In general this is a big improvement. The traditional Wild Beer apple character meets a beefed up lime gose with hints of the Japanese Pocari Sweat energy drink in there as well, because of course!

Not perfect, but a big improvement.

Background: I am fairly sure this is the same as, or very similar to, “Hibernating Lemons” which I ran into on keg a while back and very much enjoyed. They have the same abv and are both beefed up versions of Sleeping Lemons. Sleeping Lemons didn’t do much for me, so I was surprised by how much I liked Hibernating Lemons, so when I grabbed this from Independent Spirit I hoped it was as good. Drunk while listening to The Algorithm: Brute Force. Very strange mathcore and electronic mash up music. Very fun.

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