Goose Island Beer Company in Chicago, Illinois. This is a 2010 vintage, bottled on 09/17/10 1857. Though this label has seen better days since (I'm guessing) having crap splashed on it and being pushed around some Whole Foods shelves for six months, only to be transported in a suitcase wrapped in a winter coat from Chicago to Miami, well, you get the idea. The presentation is simple, yet lovely. Big 22 has great stand-out shiny gold and brown lettering on an egg shell background. This is a Belgian Style Ale with Steeped Hibiscus Flowers.
How did I get this beer in South Florida? Goose Island beers are not available here, but luckily I have a colleague that makes an annual business trip to Chicago, and this was the week. Fleur was a target beer, but what I really wanted was Goose Island Juliet, Madame Rose and Lolita. Unfortunately, those beers are only distributed to bars which then mark up the prices dramatically and are not as willing to sell "to go". BTW, if you are one of the four or five bars I contacted last week about doing just that, selling those three sisters to go, thanks for not responding to my inquiries. If you're not going to reply to serious emails and calls, don't have a phone or contact page on your website. Dicks! Anyway, one day I'll have those three chicks, one day they will be mine. I don't know how, but it will happen.
Next, also while doing trip preparation, I came into contact with a Goose Island employee that saw the light of day with my apostrophe problem. You may recall that I've attempted futilely to have them change a template that yields a grammatical error on almost every beer profile page on their website. Again, it is one of my missions! This employee was helpful and while agreeing with me was forwarding the issue to a marketing person that could rectify the problem. Please?!? I'll be in touch.
Finally, Fleur has a fruity peach aroma, yeast too, but not too powerful. Sip. Now I know why they named this beer Fleur. Very flowery flavors, no way around them. The texture is quite awesome and noticeable right from the beginning too. Oh so creamy and smooth. The fruity apple and orange and peach theme continues from the aroma, lightly sweet with beautiful flavors. However, some hoppy bitter lemon and citrus keep the sweetness under control at all times, even adding some tartness to the profile.
Belgian yeast flavors and textures are prominent throughout. Carbonation is medium and just right. The 7% alcohol was not really noticeable. Although there are many flavors and they are all great, Fleur excels because they all are working together in harmony and not one is in your face. It's great because of the understated and subtle flavors! No Generals, All Privates. Yeasty finish. An excellent beer. But let's be clear, I am still a Sofie lover so stay the hell away from my girlfriend! But feel free to grab a Fleur when in Chicagoland or their distribution area or if you have a friend like I do! The end!
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