Three Sisters

Three sisters for your pleasure
Goose Island is one of the biggest "micros" in the US. . They have a great website with suggested food and cheese pairings, which as you know is a topic close to my own heart (or stomache!) It was long admired for trying new things, particularly in creating US/Belgian hybrids. Then it was bought by Anheuser-Busch INBEV and people were worried that would be the end of it. However the brewery still continues to push the boundaries with their innovative beers and not least among them is their vintage series of larger format (650ml) Belgian inspired beers.
I recently got hold of three* of them so here's my thoughts.

Cherry vinaigrette
Madame Rose is a cherry oud bruin, allegedly akin to Liefmans kriek. The oxidation and lactobacillus vinegar notes are certainly there in the nose, but to me its much closer to Rodenbach in flavour than the aforementioned kriek. The cherries are lost in the sourness, very much a salad dressing beer. A disappointing turnout for one I had highest hopes for.

Lolita is closer to a Frambioise lambic. Its a handsome deep red with a rotting hay bretty nose and plenty of sweet raspberry. In the mouth its tart and refreshing from that raspberry and fairly dry in palate from the Brett munching all of those usually body-building sugars. I much preferred the bottle of Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus that preceded this, especially price wise (this was a not inconsiderable £15).

Fleur power
Fleur is an interesting one. Blended with hibiscus and Kumbacha tea (a fermented mushroom beverage). It pours a pale amber (picture doesn't do the colour justice) with a floral meadow aroma. It has tart red fruit in spades plus finishes with rose petals. I'm not sure what the Kumbacha adds.
Just an excuse to show off the home-made
sushi really!
It made for a great beer to pair with sushi though. Certainly the stand-out of the three for me, so a shame its been semi-retired.

*Fleur has now been retired in favour of Juliet, a new beer which I have not yet found in the UK. It sounds similar to The Shot in the Dark Lambic.

I also have the smaller beers in the "series" which I will be reviewing next month.


  1. Such a shame when beers you are looking forward to, fail to deliver. I had my eye on a couple of these but may let them pass me by (or at least one)

  2. I had half an eye on "Madame Rose" and "Lolita" - but only half, because of their very high price together with my irrational sense of unease in regard to fruit lambics (especially the cherry variety). I think I might give them a miss, too, for the time being.

    I did have a "Fleur" some time ago. Thought it was nice, but not hugely memorable (about a 3.6 on the RateBeer scale for me).

  3. Lolita is worth it I think, its something a bit different with just brett fermentation. Madame Rose a disappointment to be frank.

    My scores, Lolita=3.5, fleur=3.6, madame rose=3.1

  4. That's a pity. I've been really looking forward to trying it. Looking forward to hearing what you think of the Sofie. btw Kombucha is fermented/soured tea. The 'mushroom' is just the layer of yeasts that develops.

  5. aha, i thought it was fermented fungus of some kind! Don't write them off just on my opinions,other people seem tohave enjoyed.

  6. Twenty euros, though...for that price, I'd be hoping for a decent shot a 4.0 or higher! (Though I don't think I'd be able to resist a Lost Abbey "Red Poppy" at that price - even in a smaller bottle.)

  7. just doesn't compare to the belgian stuff

  8. There's nothing like a slightly chilled emergency bottle of Cantillon on Sunday afternoon - to fend off the heat-stroke when the sun has just sprung out on you like a sadistic mugger...

    (I was born in Belfast, so I'm less receptive to photons than Dracula was.)