Off the Wall: Halia

haliaName: Halia
Brewery: Goose Island
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Chicago, Illinois
Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 7.50%
First Brewed: –
Price: $21.99

Ricky’s Thoughts

I didn’t want to review a beer tonight. I am still behind from our vacation. I have over 130 emails that I need to respond to from today alone! Not to mention the blogs I need to write. Anyway, tonight we are drinking a bottle of Halia, another sister. I really enjoyed the first one, and this one is brewed with peaches. They also used Brettanomyces in this, which scares me… But I am keeping an open mind. Tim would be happy about that.
On BeerAdvocate, this beer has a  92 making it “outstanding” according to the 308 people that have reviewed it. I haven’t heard a lot about it, but am excited to try it. Here goes nothing. Cheers!
Oh, and I almost forgot. Last night I was on my way home, and Steve Thompson called. He was at Four Peaks for their 10th anniversary party. I got the chance to try 4 new beers from them including a tequila barrel aged Raj IPA. It was divine. We are going to a scotch library tomorrow night, so I need to sound astute. OK, let’s drink.
In the Glass: It has a nice pale yellow color to it and left a sticky white head. I am seeing a TON of tiny bubbles rushing to the surface. I almost want this beer to be carbonated. I like the style, and the older I get the more I can appreciate an insanely carbonated beer like that. Also, I want to mention the weight of the bottles. They are heavy! We don’t recycle, but we should. Do you recycle? I would love to visit a beer bottle making factory sometime.
I have to say it… Let’s see what she smells like. See what I did there?
Nose: It smells like Brett wrapped around peaches. That isn’t a bad thing, and the more Brett beers I drink, the more I can appreciate the flavor. I just hope this tastes like carbonated peach juice. Even the color of the label makes me think about peaches. Peaches and sweet tea. I am OK with sweet tea vodka, but not sure beer is ready for a flavor like that.
Flavor: It is carbonated, that is for sure. You get a hint of peach up front, but then it mellows out to a nice Brett finish. This isn’t life changing, and in my opinion not as good as the first sister, but it is a really nice refreshing beer. It is also ice cold, so I am going to let it breathe a little bit before I finish my glass. It is also a really quick finish, and a beer that you could sit here and chug. For $21.99 a bottle, not sure I can afford to chug it… But you get the picture.
Mouthfeel: At first, there is a ton of carbonation… Which I wanted and I like. But as it mellows out, the beer becomes somewhat boring leading a really dull finish. It is easy to drink, don’t get me wrong. But I just am not impressed with much of anything in this beer. I think Sheryl would agree, Gillian is a better beer. This is not worth $21.99.
Aftertaste: What aftertaste? There isn’t much going on here. Most of the flavor is up front, but as you swallow, the flavor quickly leaves and you are left with a somewhat drying almost grassy flavor on your palate. I hope the other 2 sisters are better than this.
Does anyone know where they got the name for these beers? Are there really four sisters out there with these names? If so, that’s really cool. If not, then a brewery needs to find some sisters and/or brothers and work on a line of beers with that in mind. Based on the name, you have to assume that is the case here. 2 more sisters to go!
Rating: 3/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

Ricky was reluctant to review a beer tonight because we are so far behind on posting the ones we have reviewed. Well, I am so far behind on posting the ones we have reviewed. But I really wanted to drink another one of these. If I know Goose Island at all, I am sure they are all good.

As you’ve probably figured out by now, tonight we are reviewing another of Goose Island’s “four sisters”, Halia. He wanted to review them in order of rating going up, so that’s what we are doing. I took the 4 beers and found all their ratings on both BeerAdvocate and RateBeer and averaged them. We are reviewing them starting with the lowest. Actually, we did Gillian first, and it tied with Halia. Next will be Juliet and Lolita. Which one was highest? You’ll have to wait and see to find out.

Halia, in the glass, looks a very golden yellow and hazy. It’s got lots of little tiny bubbles floating to the top, so I’m expecting moderate carbonation. Although those are a lot of bubbles, so it might be very carbonated. It’s also got some heavy head to it, which is still very sticky and clinging to the top of the glass. It smells… well, if it’s possible for something to smell both citrusy and spicy at the same time, this is it. Interesting nose.

It tastes… well, definitely fruity. It’s lemony, but only slightly sour. And there is some carbonation in there. It almost reminds me of drinking a lemon cocktail of some sort. Weird. It’s ok, but nothing outstanding, honestly. I definitely liked Gillian better. This one’s just not overly impressive. And given the price, I definitely won’t be buying it again.

Rating: 3.5/5

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