Pepe Nero (Goose Island Beer Company)

Style: Black Saison/Farmhouse Ale

6% ABV

30 IBU’s

Color: Mahogany

Malt: Pilsner, Rye, Crystal Rye, Black Malt

Hops: Pilgrim, Saaz

Bottle On: 04/16/12


I like this bottle.  It is simple, Victorian Gothic/1800’s in feel, and very fancy and appeasing to the eye.  The sides of the glass are a little crowded with text that could have had its own label on the very back, but I like the suggested glass on the side.  The fonts are all beautiful and fancy and the Goose Island symbol is simple and elegant.  This bottle is worthy of your shelf.


The beer pours like mahogany, just as their website claims, with a big beautiful sandy white cream head that leaves sticky tendrils of foam along the sides.  It sits in the glass like a black French roast coffee and is very appealing.  Carbonation seems to be constant and a little fierce along the edges of the glass, but the head retention is beautiful.   The beer smells like a saison, sweet and biscuity with a nice yeast sweet sour funk that hints at citrus and pear.  As the beer settles in the glass it ekes out touches of toffee and roasted malts, but nothing too pungent or noticeable.  The beer tastes odd for sure, quite tart with the citrus saison kick.  The Roasted malts and toffee dance at the back of the flavor and linger on the sides of the tongue as beautifully candied drizzling.  The aftertaste is also strong with a roasty nutty coffee like fizz from the malts which is lovely but bizarre.  The funk suggests some slight dark fruits but mostly a sweet bready sour citrus.  The taste is really quite bizarre and I am having a hard time pinpointing it exactly.  Mouthfeel is very smooth and slightly chewy on the tongue.  Carbonation is light and velvety, and the beer leaves the mouth with a perfect amount of saliva and dryness.  This beer seems to be a perfect fit for the cold winter months in front of a fire, and is really a bizarre take on the saison.  I am very intrigued, though I can’t say whether I actually liked it or not.  This beer is definitely worth a try, but I don’t know if it’s worth coming back too.



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