26. Goose Island – Pere Jacques (2009)

This past Saturday was Cinco de Mayo, but I didn’t do anything Cinco de Mayo-like.  My family headed out to the suburbs for the day, while I got to hang out in the city.  So, since I had the ability to wander around the city hopping from bar to bar, you would think I would do something Mexican-American related.  Maybe I’m getting old.

Instead I watched the Kentucky Derby at Sheffield’s.  Although, I’d be lying if I told you I went there specifically to watch it.  Truth is, I sat down at the bar and glanced up at the TV to see jockeys being interviewed.  Suddenly, I realized I was surrounded by people in wild hats and seersucker jackets.  I didn’t fit the part, but with the delicious barbeque and tasty craft beer I didn’t care.

After hanging out at Sheffield’s for a bit, I headed down to Goose Island on Clybourn.  A trip that turned out fantastic.  Before headed there I had heard good things about a beer called Gold Smoke, a smoked helles beer.  I was intrigued and definitely wanted to try it.  When I got to the bar and managed to find an open seat, this was right in front of me.  It was like the stars had aligned.

I enjoyed a couple Gold Smokes, got a sampler (seen at right), and walked out with a growler of Gold Smoke.

Before heading home, I stopped into my sister-in-law’s, who was having a small get-together.  She made some fantastic mango lime sorbet (well done, Caryn!), which made me seriously consider buying my own ice cream maker.  It’s gonna happen, I just don’t know when.

Since we’re talking about Goose Island, I had the pleasure of getting a hold of this little gem:

Goose Island Pere Jacques (2009)

Sight:  Brownish orange in color and quite cloudy

Smell:  Very fruity.  Apples, pears, citrus, with a slight sourness

Taste:  Very fruity, apples, syrupy mouthfeel, slightly tangy with a surprisingly light finish

My overall grade:  A

Heinz has ingrained into my head that good things come to those who wait.  In most cases, Heinz is wrong.  Incredibly wrong.  But, in this case, Heinz hit the nail on the head.  Three years after this little guy was bottled (honestly, the date matched, I didn’t do it on purpose), it had mellowed out and gained some wonderful flavors.  If you have a Pere Jacques at home, don’t be afraid of letting it sit for a while.

Two Brothers 15th Anniversary Beer #3 – Dark Mild:

Sight:  A molasses brown and crystal clear

Smell:  Lots of toffee.  There was a little light grassy hops hanging out in there too

Taste:  Thin and light.  It has a nice maltiness that isn’t overpowering.  The finish is delicate and slightly bitter.

My overall grade:  B

I could probably drink a six pack of these.  Not only is it light and flavorful, but it’s low on the ABV scale (3.2%). So it makes for a good summer beer, when you’re tired of those citrusy, wheaty “summer” beers.

And now I begin my countdown to the weekend.  104,400… 104,399… 104,398… 104,397… 104,396…

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