Goose Island released their Mild Winter ale almost a week ago, so I figured it was time for me to try it. (Truth be told I’ve already had three…) They put a hefty measure of rye in this one, as well as roast barley and crystal malt, giving it a complex malt character.
If I’m not mistaken, Mild Winter (like the forthcoming Imperial Brown Goose) is a regular seasonal at the Clybourn brewpub location that has been promoted to distribution. Greg Hall, the Goose Island Brewmaster, calls it an American Mild, backing up the name by saying brewing with rye makes it more American, a strange claim as roggenbier (German for ‘rye beer’) is an old German style.
Mild Winter pours a brilliant rust with a redness bordering on purple. The head is a creamy straw, but doesn’t last long. The nose is subtle and spicy. A floral spiciness, something like potpourri, is followed by an almost grassy note. There is just a hint of fruit.
The taste is predominantly rye, which has a paradoxically fruity spiciness. There is something of a hop herbal flavor as well as a noticeable but not invasive hop bitterness. As the spiciness fades more malt flavors come through: biscuits and a light caramel sweetness. The palate is quite lively, and the light sweetness, slight bitterness, and spiciness balance quite well. A well executed mild ale.
By the way, I have no idea what Bull means by the comparison to Wayne Brady. That he is mild? I guess almost anyone seems mild next to Dave Chapelle, just as almost any beer seems mild next to lots of offerings from American micros.
Goose Island Mild Winter
RateBeer: 3.6 (2-8-7-4-15)