When I heard that Goose Island had sold the majority stake of their own company to Anheuser-Busch, I immediately went out and bought a bottle or two of everything I could find from their 'Vintage' series (I didn't find Pepe Nero, but will grab one next time I see it). Back in May, I reviewed Sofie, a Belgian style golden ale with a touch of funk. Now I'm on to Pere Jacques, an Abbey ale that I've had before but never reviewed.
Pere Jacques pours a murky, reddish brown. The head is thin and dissipates quickly, although a ring of carbonation clings to the edge and leaves nice lacing all the way down. Aromas are of bread and yeast, caramel, cherry, plum and other dark fruits, as well as a hint of port. I even caught a small bit of Cola when I sniffed hard as the head was still kicking about. Flavors are very typical of the Abbey style; raisin bread, figs, rich malts, some spice, cinnamon, and then banana as it warms. It's only slightly boozy, the 8% ABV easily detectable but not overpowering, and you definitely get the port in there as well. Medium bodied and a bit syrupy. Finish is lightly bitter, but like the alcohol, not unpleasant. I had this along with a roasted chicken sandwich with chipotle aioli on multi-grain focaccia, and the Pere Jacques was a perfect compliment to the spice from the aioli... cut right through it. Yet another delicious beer from Goose Island that hopefully won't be ruined by A-B.