Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 443   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.84/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 60   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
Inspired by the epic skyline of Chicago, Goose Island’s brewers set out to craft Big John; a tall, bold slugger of a stout that stands out vividly against the little soft beers out there. Epic amounts of roasted malt and an addition of cacao nibs give Big John a massive chocolate flavor and aroma. With a body as substantial and black as the building to which it pays homage, Big John is sure to inspire a sense of awe with every sip.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - NOV 19, 2011
Courtesy of northernbrews. Almost black, oily, no head. Aroma has rich chocolate up front, plum-like note in the background I really dig, light alcohol in the backend. Well balanced flavor, chocolate, roast, maple like sweetness, alcohol hotness in finish. Pretty solid overall.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ksurkin (1021) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - NOV 11, 2011
22oz bomber, dated 3/25/11, courtesy of beerlover4ever on BA. thanks, mark! pours a deep, dark, slightly oily black with a rich, one-finger, dark beige head that has solid retention and leaves thick rings of lace on the glass. aroma is great with big notes of baker’s chocolate, brownie crusts, and hershey’s syrup backed by by heavy roasted malts, mild, roasted coffee, and subtle notes of graham cracker. flavor is wonderful as well with a heavy blast of dark chocolate, mocha frappacino, and chocolate cream pie backed by rich espresso, charred malts, and vanilla nougat with subtle notes of black cherry, walnuts, and candied raisins on the back end. palate is on the fuller side of medium bodied with smooth carbonation and a lingering, rich, roasted finish. overall, another great imperial stout from goose island.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
gunnar (6909) - Sandnes, NORWAY - NOV 8, 2011
Bottle from Cracked Kettle, Amsterdam. Pours pitch black as the night with a small tanned head. Aroma is sweet and dark, cocoa, coffee, port and prunes. Taste is dark malty , light sour roasted malts, heavy roasted malts, and heavenly good, all the way.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Sigmund (5972) - Tau, NORWAY - NOV 8, 2011
Bottle, kindly shared by gunnar. ABV 11.5%. Pitch black colour, moderate brown head. Nice roasty aroma, notes of coffee and cocoa, hints of leather. Fairly sweet and malty flavour, strong roasty coffee and cocoa notes. Lovely! Has "much of everything", but is not too extreme. Well balanced.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
FROTHINGSLOSH (5768) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 5, 2011
Sampled from a 22 oz brown bottle this beer poured thick, black and oily with a small tan head that faded quickly and left no lacing. The aroma was sweetish cocoa, vanilla and licorice. The flavor was sweetish cocoa, vanilla, brown sugar, coffee, nut, licorice and port wine. Nicely complex as the flavors roll over the tongue. The finish was long with cocoa, vanilla, port and brown sugar lingering. Full bodied. Intense and complex. Excellent.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BigBeer45 (1354) - Michigan, USA - NOV 3, 2011
UPDATED: NOV 4, 2011 Bottle, sampled in tulip and small Brandy snifter, this Imperial Stout had a black pour with brown-ruby at the edges of the glass, and barely gave a partial cover when poured, this beer left a film on the glass when swirled, and was too dark to see any bubbles but I did see a few small slow streams at the sides of the glass, it left small spots of lacing when the glass was swirled, there was no sediment in the bottle, this beer had aromas of chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt with some dark roasted malt (there was a touch of burnt malt notes), faint coffee in the background, generous brown sugar and chocolate sweetness, and faint alcohol in the background (nothing that would distract from the enjoyment of this beer), the chocolate was out front in this beer, the flavors were roasted malt with a little dark (burnt) roasted malt, chocolate, a little caramel, chocolate and brown sugar sweetness, the finish had a little bite from a little roasted malt bitterness (astringency) and alcohol on the tongue with a sweetness that got bigger as the ale warmed up, there was a little alcohol touch on the palate, not biting or overly so and did not take away from enjoying but it is noticeable, the mouth feel was on the full side with a little creamy feel on the tongue, this felt nice on the palate, a big chocolate and roasted malt beer with a little alcohol, a nice night sipper, this bottle could have been aged a while longer, this Impy was pretty sweet and got sweeter as it warmed, this went a little overboard on sweetness, which I do not mind to much, a dessert drink but nothing about this drink that causes me to say ‘Wow!’, even though I was a little disappointed with this Impy it was a good drink.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
BiochemProf (179) - Boone, North Carolina, USA - NOV 3, 2011
Thick black pour with a foamy tan head that quickly fades. Aroma of molasses, raisins and alcohol. Syrupy molasses flavor at the start followed by a sharp bitterness and alcohol heat. Didn’t taste as much chocolate as I expected. Thick mouthfeel with an underlying tingly prickly carbonation. Another nicely crafted Goose Island brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
markwise (4898) - North of Tampa, Florida, USA - NOV 3, 2011
Thanks to Tooch4321 for this one in trade. Cheers, Adam! Pours imperial stout brown with a tan head. Nose is big chocolate, some booze, roasted malts, some plum/ dark fruit, and a bit of earth. Flavor is cacao all over with a bit of abrasive dryness in the finish along with some lingering cacao. Medium in body and chocolatey overall.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
pushkinwow (2343) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 30, 2011
Bomber = 1 year or so old. Black, with a faint ruby ring at the edge of the glass that appears after the mocha head disappears. The hops have faded which to be honest I prefer. You get a nice sweet roasted malt, booze, anise. Full bodied, sweet, low carbonation, alcohol, fairly smooth considering, becomes nice and bitter, long finish with some malt, booze, chocolate and anise, great bitterness. Much prefer this with some time on it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
michael-pollack (4959) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 28, 2011
22oz. Bottle: Aroma of malt, roasting, some smoke, vanilla, slight soy, sugar-cookie, and a hint of alcohol. Poured pitch black in color with a tiny, loose, brown head that quickly disappeared, except for around the edges. Opaque. Very slightly sparkling. Flavor is medium sweet and lightly bitter. Tastes of malt, roasting, tar, cacao, vanilla, light wood, chocolate. Medium body. Oily, slick texture. Soft to average carbonation. Malt, roast, slight soy, tar, wood, vanilla finish is slightly dry. 13%ABV is noticeable in the aroma but nowhere else.

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