RateBeer
overall
99
87
style
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
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Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 406   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.83   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 60   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Hair6a11 (1323) - Illinois, USA - APR 22, 2011
Bottle; Pour is Dark Brown with a khaki head that retains fairly modestly, really. Spotty, light lacing in this snifter. Frankly a bit off putting out of the gate, but the brew settles down fairly nicely. Certainly it must be said that this beer encompasses the desert beer concept. Aromas are a bit boozy, honestly. This bottle is new, however. Cocoa and Dark fruits as well, on the nose. This brew is sticky and very sweet from the addition of cacao nibs. It was an enjoyable experience overall, but I doubt I’d go out of my way to buy another bottle.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
CanIHave4Beers (3190) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - APR 20, 2011
Pours absolutely black with a big tight tan head and some small bit of lace. This all sort of fizzes out in the classic bourbon county fashion leaving a fairly still glass of black liquid that leaves sheets on the glass. The aroma is at first strikingly boozy with some apple, a bit of chocolate and some woody character. The flavor is chocolaty and roasty, fairly sweet all around with mild bitterness and detectable fruity hops. The booziness reminds me of very young (or at least fairly cheap) port, this is to say that it’s not all bad.... but it’s a little harsh. Mild dark fruit notes hang out in the background throughout. The palate is big, thick, and fairly syrupy. It’s not bad beer... not by a long shot. But I feel like the booziness got in the way a bit much. I feel genuinely compelled to go grab another bottle and keep it downstairs for a year or two... if for nothing else to see if it mellows.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
j12601 (6584) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - APR 18, 2011
Bottle at the release of batch 3 Rosso down at Captain Lawrence. Pours a deep dark black with a thin tan head. Cocoa, big roast and coffee. Big and sweet, lots of roast, a touch boozy, chewy roast brownies. Reminiscent of the slightly burnt corner pieces. Very good stuff.

4.9
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
fear025 (213) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - APR 17, 2011
Aroma:Lots of sweet malt, with chocolate and dark roasted malt too. The dark fruit aroma comes next, raisins, plums, etc. Appearance:This beer is black and thick, with a good size head that quickly dissipates. The beer has poor lacing. Taste:There are tons of roast flavors in the foretaste, which make way in the midtaste to chocolate, sweet malt, and caramel. I can taste the bitter hops more in the aftertaste, but they are still subdued. Palate:This beer is hugely thick, and there is a prominent hot alcohol bite in the foretaste. Good carbonation. Overall:This is a fantastic brew when fresh, and I really hope that the hot alcohol bite lessens as the beer ages. The chocolate flavors make this a great sipping dessert beer.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
portableparty (1909) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - APR 16, 2011
Bottle to snifter. Black brown pour with a quick tan head that fades to a collar. Aroma comes off with coffee soy and coco. Taste is boozy roasted malt, coffee and coco with some soy and dark fruit (prunes). Palate is full and slick oily feel with a tingly fizz and finishes hot and dry. Solid!

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
radioseer (299) - Virginia, USA - APR 15, 2011
Apperance has an opaque black color with little head and a brown lacing. Aroma is of Cacoa beans, Dark chocolate, leather, vanilla, oak, coffee and dark fruits. Taste is of Dark chocolate and figs, dates, etc. Creamy texture and flat carbonation. This is a beer that I am going to introduce to my cellar.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Headbanger (3246) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - APR 14, 2011
22oz bottle 4/14/11 (Binny’s Naperville) 60° in Snifter-Pours pitch black with a small tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of chocolate, rubbing alcohol, burnt cookies, and vanilla. Taste of chocolate, sweetness, and vanilla. This full bodied brew is well balanced and quite tasty. Wish there was more chocolate taste and the mouthful is defnitely sticky.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
HonkeyBra (3280) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - APR 14, 2011
From a 22 oz. bottle. This beer pours a very dark brown -- near black -- with a thin tan head that settles into a few whisps and a ring around the glass. Aroma of chocolate, brownies, cookie dough. There is a touch of smokiness, some raisins, some acetone. Flavor of dark chocolate, brownies. Also, an odd banana note. There is a fair amount of bitterness. There bitterness comes off as more of "burnt" rather than roasty. Also, a very strong nondescript sweetness. Mouthfeel is sticky and syrupy. This isn’t really my style.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DalzAle (1966) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - APR 14, 2011
Bottle. Dark black pour, a little ring of brown carbonation and a rich roasted malt and slightly vanilla aroma. Flavor is very bitter dry chocolate, creamy lactose, raisins and earthy on the finish. Decent beer (especially for the price), but I probably won’t buy it again.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
brewblackhole (1588) - Muskego, Wisconsin, USA - APR 14, 2011
Wow ,that is one black pour, very satisfying Imperial stout aroma, when you smell that depth,the richness,you know your dealing with upper echelon, plenty of roasted and chocolate liquer, the alcohol is tickling the nose a little,but still refined enough for a double digit abv,but yet a tad distracting, taste,ok now theres a big style IMP Stout,it has that Dark Lord mutiplicity of big malt flavors,roastedness,coffee bean,and most of all chocolate brownie batter,most definitely has a mildly sweet finish,not syrupy like DL, plenty of bitterness to combat all that malt sweetness, that alcohol still growls at you within that malting,but it all smooths out for a warming comforting finish and linger. The malt core makes it a charming bewitching brew to enjoy right now,if you are not adverse to that slight sweet finish,but I believe the bottles i bought to store will age and mellow superbly,interesting that this is half the price of of the Golden ticket beer


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