Tag Archive: Gose

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.

Welde Badisch Gose

Welde: Badisch Gose (Germany: Gose: 4.6% ABV)

Visual: Lemon curd, hazy and carbonated. Moderate white head.

Nose: Lemon and meringue. Salted rock. Lime. Muesli. Light funky yeast. Orange slices.

Body: Tart lime. Creamy. Soft lemon juice and lemon curd. Pocari sweat drink. Light rock. Orange. Slight salt. Mild gherkin.

Finish: Milky. Lemon and lime juice mix. Meringue. Ready salted potato crisps.

Conclusion: Early on during drinking this I would have just guessed it as a slightly creamier take on a hefeweizen, that is if I didn’t already know better. The huge words “gose” on the bottle were a dead giveaway. Anyway, it is full of soft lemon, both as curd and meringue, notes – easy drinking, refreshing and pleasing.

Even as that I was happy with it, though I did think it didn’t really show any sign of its unusual style choice. However slowly, over time the gose character comes out – lightly salted, kind of like ready salted crisps, and with a just slightly rocky character. However unlike other gritty beers this did not come in so heavy as to intrude, instead being a smaller note than even the small cloying touch that develops. The refreshing styling still dominates the beer, but now it has a touch of edge to it – the subtle salt created thirst hurrying you to sip again.

With the recent onslaught of gose beers I have gone from never having tried them to having had a bevy of bad examples, a bunch of mediocre, a handful of good, and one other or maybe two other that, like this one, genuinely shines. It doesn’t push the unusual notes too hard, just lets them gently inform your experience of the beer.

If you are unsure of the gose style I would say give this one a try – it doesn’t seem a radical reinterpretation, but neither does it cleave too hard to harshness to impress you with its authenticity. It keeps just enough tradition, adds class and craft and creates an easy drinking beer with an edge.

Background: This was another birthday gift beer, many thanks, and also another chance to try the salted, sour, wheat beer style that is the gose. Drunk while chilling out after watching the first few episodes of series two of Daredevil, I was in a fair good mood and listening to some of the old favourite band The Eels. Always was especially a fan of “Climbing To The Moon”, but they were generally all good.

Magic Rock Salty Kiss

Magic Rock: Salty Kiss (England: Gose: 4.1% ABV)

Visual: Hazy yellow. Some floating bits. White bubbled head that leaves suds.

Nose: Shortbread and gooseberry.

Body: Fresh. Gooseberry. Lightly acidic. Lemon. Light salt. Vanilla sweetness. Apples.

Finish: Grapes and pineapple. Salt touch. Sulphur. Lime. Dry and slightly musty. Apples.

Conclusion: Simple – effective, but simple. This won’t win any awards for the widest range of taste sensations – Mainly light gooseberry, lightly salty, squeezed lime and vanilla. That is the main set, and frankly most of the set. The whole thing is delivered quite lightly – in fact when cool it felt watery at times, so I didn’t have high hopes that this was going to do well by me.

It actually holds up better than I expected – while never complex it gains more citrus notes, with the lemon coming through and the general feel building up nicely. It does feel kind of musty behind the tart front end – however overall it is refreshing and has just enough hint of it’s beer character because of those off notes. That mustiness and sulphur doesn’t quite work with the beer, but call to the more real ale style which actually helps make it feel like more than just salty fruit juice.

I still would find it hard to rave about it, but it is oddly compelling. The saltiness is done just enough to add an edge and really encourage further drinking, and the tart fruit is easy going and thirst quenching.

For from perfect, yet somehow I feel if I see it on tap I’ll probably grab a half to wake up the taste buds in the middle of a session – so it can’t be all bad.

Background: A gooseberry gose. Interesting – made with gooseberry, sea buckthorn and sea salt in collaboration with Kissmeyer Beer. I think I am starting to get a handle on the gose style, having had ones from the terrible salty water tasting, to the interesting to the genuinely excellent and fruity with salt backing. So, this, with its awesome canned artwork, was one to try. grabbed from Independent Spirit. A phrases I say a lot. Drunk while listening to some Carcass. I am quite the metal kick at the mo.

Wild Beer Co Sleeping Lemons

Wild Beer Co: Sleeping Lemons (England: Gose: 3.6% ABV)

Visual: Pale hazy lemon juice. Thin white head that doesn’t last long. Some carbonation.

Nose: Dry. Light lemons. Muggy wheat. Cardboard.

Body: Tart lemon. Salty. Slightly muggy wheat beer back. Lemon juice. Lime notes.

Finish: Lightly salty crackers. Fish skin. Lemon juice.

Conclusion: Ok, flavour wise this one is pretty easy to sum up – lemon juice, slightly salty, with that muggy wheat beer back a gose often offers. Contrary to what the bottle says I would hardly call it “Wonderfully complex” or even that sour when you come down to it.

So, the more important question is posed, does it work as a beer? Eh. Well. A gose tends to have to be really good for me to get along with it. While the style intrigues me I’ve only encountered a handful I would drink regularly. Which is my polite way of saying that under the lemon, the base gose here really isn’t that exciting.

The lemon is a good pick for the beer though, the tarter elements really livens the beer up and complements the saltiness. It refreshes where the saltiness induces a thirst. Overall, I don’t really have much to say about this on. The base adds a little to it so it doesn’t just taste like alcoholic lemon juice, but not that much. It never really comes across as a beer in itself.

So mainly salty alcoholic lemon juice. Mainly. A bit meh for me.

Background: Is it gose season or something? This is a gose from Wild Beer Co, made with lemons as well as the usual salt. Wild beer co really have been living up to their name recently and are probably my favourite new brewery of the past few years. Drunk whilst listening to Foo Fighters: The Colour and The Shape. Used to be a huge fan of them then fell out of the habit of listening to them during the time they spent denying HIV caused AIDS. Thankfully they put that behind them years ago, just never really got back into listening to them a lot. Still fun. grabbed this bottle at Independent Spirit.

Almanac Golden Gale Gose

Almanac: Golden Gale Gose (USA: Gose – Traditional: 5% ABV)

Visual: Golden yellow clear main body. Small white head that fizzes and diminishes quickly.

Nose: Dough. Salt. Cucumber. Chilli seeds.

Body: Sherbety fizzy feel up front. Salt. Sweet lemon and lemon curd. Squeezed lime. Dried banana notes. Doughnut base and rustic notes. Weak orange notes.

Finish: Cane sugar. Earthy bitterness. Lemon and fresh lime. Vanilla ice cream. Carrot and coriander.

Conclusion: Gose gallantly gallops greatly going on. Ok, that was just gratuitous alliteration. So, here the gose goes more towards a slight sour and doughy base that most of the style seems to express, rather than the very fresh example I found in the recent Westbrook take. In fact, while the beers are sour wheat beers at the base, this actually reminds me more of the rustic saisons that are out there- it has that earthy and rough edged touch to it.

Not that it seems that way initially – the aroma is actually quite dull. Slightly vegetable like and uninteresting. The first sip comes in fizzy and excitable but without much flavour. It is only as the beer starts to calm down that the interesting sour dough and rustic saison starts to come out, along with a light spice that also calls to the saison character.

While it doesn’t have the thickest feel the use of the lemon and lime freshness means it works with rather than against that. It doesn’t seem to need much weight to make it work – it has a slightly cordial style and it gives a freshness that belies the solid sour base.

As for the thing that seems ever present in a gose – that being the salt – it is here but gently done. It feels more a flavour enhancer that the thirst inducing element that it can be in some beers.

Overall, pretty robust despite the lighter fizzy textures. The matching of the lighter done citrus fruit character over the grounding of the saison like base and the sour base keeps you going rather than drying you out, and the spices allow for new character to come in late on in the beer. It all makes for a solid beer, not exciting but solidly sippable.

Background: Gose Time. Or, how time gose by. I have terrible puns. Anyway, after missing out on heading to Germany to try the few remaining goses in their home country, I have tried to make up for it by trying a lot of the craft beer examples. This one, made with sea salt, lemon verbena and coriander turned up in Brewdog’s guest beer selection. So I grabbed it.

Westbrook Gose

Westbrook: Gose (USA: Traditional – Gose: 4% ABV)

Visual: Hazy lemon juice yellow. Large loose white bubbled head.

Nose: Mixed tropical fruit juice. Fresh. Grape skins. Dried apricot.

Body: Sharp. Lemon juice. Salty. Cider and sharp apples. Dried banana. Carrot. Pineapple. Slight sulphur. White wine.

Finish: Sharp lemon juice. Pineapple. Salted biscuits. Carrots.

Conclusion: You know, after the utterly wonderful De Molen Muhle and Bahnhof Barrel Aged Gose every other gose I have had have been interesting  but not really enamoured me with the style. I was wondering if I just don’t get the non barrel aged version of the style. This, thankfully, put me back on track as it is a lovely gose – I have no idea how authentic or not it is, but what matters to me is it is a damn enjoyable beer.

It has a lambic like dry and sharp fruity base, with lots of tropical fruit and some cider apples style. In a way it reminds me of Wild Beer co’s sour beers, mainly in the cider styling. The flavours seem surprisingly consistent for a sour beer as well, with non of the holographic flavour tendencies. A lot of the time it can feel like a very dry alcoholic fruit juice, but one that really enlivens the mouth.

The gose style shows its own twist that comes in with that slight thirst inducing saltiness – not too heavy, but it gives a real urge to drink on and adds to that slight sulphur feel mid body that gives it some weight. For closest comparison it seems like a Wild Beer co Sourdough style base, and then makes it so it drags you into drinking more and more – enhancing rather than quenching your thirst. Each mouthful you take gives the illusion of slaking that thirst before it comes anew.

I am impressed – for me it is far more robust that most goses I have encountered and it means the special elements are not the only elements that stand out. Lambic, cider, salt, fruit juice and white wine all meet and mix to make this a great beer.

Background: Ok, here we gose again. Seriously I should stop doing gose puns. Anyway, the salted wheat beer sour, thing, from Germany – it is getting a nice resurgence from the craft beer movement after damn near dying out. When this turned up on Brewdog’s Guest beer selection I figured it was, again, time to expand my gose experience. Drunk while listening to even more Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Lovely drinking music.

Wild Beer Co Tom Yum Gose

Wild Beer Co: Tom Yum Gose (England: Gose: 4% ABV)

Visual: Reddened to amber. Thin off white dash for a head.

Nose: Ginger. Salted bread. Touch of sulphur.

Body: Dry. Ginger and paprika. Sour dough. Unleavened bread. Warming. Sharp lime behind. Fizzes heavily in the mouth.

Finish: Paprika and pepper. Salt water. Warming. Carrots. Light lime.

Conclusion: Gose experimentation time again. When I say experimentation, well, this is one hell of an experiment. Unfortunately it seems the hypothesis being tested is “Will I enjoy this” and the result is “not overly, no”.

These tests were rigorously conducted. I plucked eyeballs from two people before starting, so it is a double blind test. That is how it works. Science that is. So my findings cannot be disputed. That is also how science works. Wikipedia will agree with me as soon as I get around to editing it.

Anyway, there is a very heavy ginger flavour to this, and accompany spices, and they really dominate the game. I’m sure that there may be more going on in this beer, possible even a lot – I mean the list of ingredients is impressive – but as your mouth recovers from the warmth all you really get is salted water with squeezed lime. So, overall, salted water filled with chilli power and a single squeezed lime then. Not really something I would recommend having as a drink. I’ve not had the soup it is inspired by so I can’t speak for accuracy, but I hope it has something to give it a bit more body, as that is what this feels like it needs, a bit more in the middle for the other elements to add the heat to.

Very oddly this beer feels fizzy, not initially, but held in the mouth I could hear it fizzing against my teeth vigorously. Again interesting, but not really what suited the beer.

Now, I will admit I have been umming and ahhing about the gose style overall in my recent experiments with it, but they all encouraged me to try more – this didn’t. then again this is really not standard for a gose best I can tell.

I’m not taken by it I am afraid – it really feels like spice dumped into a beer not ready to handle it. A rare swing and miss from Wild beer Company.

Background: Gose hunt 2015 continues! Oddly, apparently a USA brewery called Tomoka makes a beer with exactly the same name. Even for the odd style that is the salted sour wheat ale thing that is gose, this is double odd. Made with chilli, galangal, lemongrass, coriander, kaffir lime and lime zest – this is an attempt to make a beer like an old soup recipe. Craft beer, ya have to love it. Drunk while listening to Against Me!, who I may never get bored of.

Wiper and True IMBC Gose

Wiper and True: IMBC: Gose (England:Traditional – Gose: 3.3% ABV)

Visual: Pale lemon juice. Huge tight bubble white froth for head, which leaves a lot of sud trails as the beer is drunk. Quite a lot of small bubbled carbonation to the body.

Nose: Sour cream. Lemon curd. Tiny sulphur. Coriander. Sour dough. Hard boiled eggs. Palma violets.

Body: Gentle mouth feel. Light lemon. Prickly feel. Salt and pepper. Soft white bread. Noble hop feel and bitterness.

Finish: Sour dough and wholemeal bread. Fresh. Some sulphur and boiled eggs. Pepper. Light salt. Light wheaty character. Hop oils

Conclusion: My third gose review! Compared to the last one this is a somewhat simpler beast to get a handle on. It this was a “normal” beer then it would be a gentle, slight lemony, summer beer, low abv, easy to drink, and easy going.

It isn’t a quote unquote normal beer. It is the eternal enigma of the gose, so…

What we have here is a beer with a cloyed sour bread aroma to it, slight sulphur, or egg imagery to it. It feels and smells like reigned in cousin of a whisky mash tun. Though of course, this is a much more enjoyable drink, and doesn’t knock you out if you breath in too hard. I assume. I will admit I didn’t test that last one for health and safety reasons.

It also has that salt character I am coming to link with gose, not heavily in flavour, but the fact that it is rapidly thirst inducing. It all makes for something quite odd – the flavour says easy and just mildly tart, but easy time you dip your head to the glass you are engulfed by big bready sour aroma that utterly encloses the environment you drink in.

It is a charming conceit, despite how unusual it sounds, it feels a bit like a working meal pint. Something to go with a ploughman’s sandwich, or other savoury foods, in the middle of the day. Despite being amused by it, I can’t see it slipping into a standard beer session, or having just as an easy going beer. It does feel like a good complement for food, but it doesn’t quite grab me as a beer by itself.

Again, I describe more that critique – this is not a favourite beer, but of the two “More traditional” gose I have had this is more open and easier to get a hold on. Possibly due to being the less traditional of the two. An experience, and a pint with a purpose, but not one I would have for general consumption.

Background: Continuing experimentation with the Gose style to try and get a handle on this rare style. Apparently this is the less authentic of the two I picked up – though I don’t have the experience on this style to comment. Anyway, drunk, with the now very common background of the Guilty Gear XX music. Picked up from Independent Spirit.

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