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RATINGS: 406   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.83   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 60   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
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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 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
badlizard (5539) - Berkeley, California, USA - JUN 22, 2011
Black with a fizzy tan head. Sweet sugary and chocolate aroma. Rich buttery chocolate and cocoa nib taste with a sugary finish and notes of cherry.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
DavoleBomb (1467) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 21, 2011
Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to a crushedvol and LusciousJackson for this. 2.5 A: Black in color. A fairly aggressive pour yielded only one finger of light brown, frothy/creamy hybrid head with pathetic retention and absolutely no lacing. GI can make damn tasty stouts, but rarely make them look good. 4.0 S: Sweet milk chocolate dominates as the cacao nibs really shines through. Secondly, there is a good bit of dark caramel and molasses. Roastiness is there, but it’s rather light. Underneath the rest is a light smokiness and even some bacon notes. Maybe a touch of tobacco. 4.5 T: Despite the brewer’s description of "epic amounts of roasted malt," this leans heavily to the sweet side of the spectrum. This tastes like what I imagine BCS tastes like without the bourbon and with a bit more chocolate. Intense chocolate and caramel. Molasses and brown sugar next. Some dark fruitiness with a light roastiness that doesn’t quite match the sweetness. Perhaps a touch of coffee as well. Considerable booziness, almost like BCS even though the ABV is lower and bourobn isn’t involved. I really had a hard time giving this a taste score as I waffled back and forth between 4.0 and 4.5. In the end I think I might have got it right, but who knows. 3.5 M: Heavy body. I usually gravitate toward rich, heavy bodies in my IS’s, but this has a bit too much residual sugar and it becomes cloying. From time to time, I found myself spitting out huge amylase ridden sugar wads. Lightly chewy as well. This would be about perfect if it wasn’t cloying. 4.0 D: This is a nice addition to the GI lineup. I always wondered why they never put out a regular imperial stout (this is a hell of a lot closer than Nightstalker) and I hope this sticks around. I think I enjoyed this more than my scores suggest. Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 06-04-2011 22:56:35

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
That1Guy (1883) - Greeley, Colorado, USA - JUN 19, 2011
Crushed with Honkeybra. Nice impy. Thick and black. Has some nice roast and chocolate flavors. Nothing mind-blowing, but it’s still a good beer. Glad Honkeybra brought this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pawola22 (3262) - Woodridge, Illinois, USA - JUN 16, 2011
22oz bottle. Pours a black colored body with a thin, creamy and gently frothy, dark brown head that dissipates quickly and leaves a nice lacing throughout. Aroma has lots of caramel and molasses up front with a good amount of sweeter, rich chocolates and cocoa nibs. A bit of a toffee-cookie, a soft roast, and a touch of rum soaked dark fruits. Flavor is very thick up front with tons of chocolate, cookies, caramel, and some molasses. Toffee, some darker cocoa, a soft roast, and some light floral hops come in. More of the rum soaked dark fruits follow into the end as the roast comes out a bit more along with plenty of malts. The finish is a bit too chewy and sweet, but dries pleasantly with a nice mix of bitter cocoas, a soft roast, and a light earthy and floral hopping. Just a hint of alcohol. Lengthy aftertaste following a very full, smooth body and light, creamy carbonation. Overall, a very rich, bold, and sweet imperial stout. Its definitely balanced with enough of a roast, subtle hop, and cocoa nib bitterness, but the sweetness clearly takes the forefront. Nonetheless, this was a pleasant sipper and never got cloyingly sweet. I look forward to coming back to this in the future.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
alpar (160) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - JUN 15, 2011
Poured from a bottle to a snifter. A: Crazy dark and viscous. Looks great complimented by the good carbonation. S: Woo Hoo, nice Chocolate and a bit of heat. Overall though this is smelling really good for a young beer that is this BIG! T: Fantastic, I barely taste any alcohol and just taste velvet chocolate followed by badass malts. Really a wonderful taste, yet so simple. M: Thick and to be expected by the Goose. O: Yet another top notch stout that I think far surpasses their Night Stalker offering. No hops in this badboy.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
BeerandBlues2 (9465) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - JUN 14, 2011
Bottle. Pours opaque with a large, creamy tan head, long retention with good lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (roast, chocolate, coffee), average hops (earthy, woody), and dark fruit esters with notes of alcohol, charcoal, and heavy chocolate. Flavor is heavy malt with smooth chocolate. Full body, heavy warmth, medium carbonation with a sweet finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
mbpufall (83) - Andover, Minnesota, USA - JUN 10, 2011
Kind of disappointing, but may need to revisit. Pours oily black with thin tan head. Aroma is burnt chocolate, a little ashy, slight dried fruit and some alcohol. Also oily on the palate. Flavor is more dark fruits, strong alcohol, with a bit of dark chocolate on the finish. Sadly thinking dinner is negatively affecting this one.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
hopscotch (8908) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUN 8, 2011
Bottle… Farewell to ibrew2or3… Pours pitch black with a small, creamy, rust-colored head. The aroma is of charcoal, alcohol, minerals and a whisper of acetaldehyde. Medium to full-bodied and slick with jazzy carbonation. The flavor is bitter, burnt and alcoholic with a lot more charcoal and tobacco than chocolate. Finishes sticky, bitter and boozy. Bottle courtesy of TheGuy!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
dcschiller (2207) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - JUN 7, 2011
(Sampled at Dak’s Memorial Day tasting. Courtesy of Dak!). Pours dark brown with minimal tan head. Aroma has lots of chocolate and some coffee. Tast is sweet with some cocoa, roasty bitterness and alcohol. Thinner bodiedwith an oily texture. Not bad, but less than I expected from Goose Island. We’ll see how this ages

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
boFNjackson (4118) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUN 5, 2011
Bottle... Poured black as oil with a thin, khaki. Full bodied, thick palate, some slight roast with lots of dark chocolate and sweet malt tones. Some dark fruits, esters, figs, and a creeping bitterness.

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