orangesol (875) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 5, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Served on-tap at Al’s of Hampden.
A - Pours pitch black with a one finger tall tan head, dissipating down to next to nothing, leaving no lace at all down the glass.
S - Smell of mild bourbon, caramelized brown sugar, vanilla, fresh baked toffee, dark fruits and some mild booziness. Smells great, just gets a little too boozy at the end, some more time should help that out.
T - Starts off with the combo of sweets - Mainly the vanilla, brown sugar and toffee - quickly giving way to a mix of dark fruits, oak and warming bourbon. Finish is still pretty sweet with a smooth hit of warming booze, lingering on the palate long after the finish. The flavors are well integrated and the bourbon isn’t over the top which is nice.
M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Smooth, sweet feel with less alcohol than I was expecting which is always a plus.
O - It is no KH so people can stop with that, it is however a really nice BA barleywine. It has everything I love in a BA Barleywine and it was still fairly easy to finish. I am going to need to get a few bottles of this before its all gone.
musinj6 (402) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - OCT 15, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a very dark brown with off white head that quickly dissipates. Forward bourbon aroma with dark fruit and candied sugar. Boozy, but very well balanced. Moderately sweet. Hint of tobacco. Long mildly sweet finish. Soft carbonation. Full bodied deliciousness.
berlinmany (224) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - OCT 14, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I first had the one forced through the coffee randall, which was pretty interesting. Very pronounced coffee. Then I had the regular, which poured a surprisingly dark, cloudy chestnut brown with a small khaki head. I guess it’s picking up a little depth of color from the barrels, too. Anyway, the 15% ABV is present but not overpowering, with nice mellow bourbon barrel notes (vanilla, whiskey, caramel, brown sugar, oak) layered atop sweet malts and dark fruits of the barley wine.
Angelmonster (119) - Colorado, USA - OCT 13, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a black body with a muddy brown hue. Head is 1/5 an inch and tan in color. Head retention and lacing are average for the style.
Smell is of sweet bourbon soaked fudge. caramelized sugar and charred oak.
Taste is very sweet, kinda reminds me of dark lord. Caramelized bourbon soaked dates, chocolate syrup, tobacco and burnt malt dominate palate. Aftertaste is big on bourbon.
Mouthfeel is pretty viscous, carbonation levels are average for style. Head was pretty weak and didn’t contribute much.
Overall this beer was pretty tasty but a bit on the sweet side. Not too boozy for 12 percent but theres nothing there to offset the cloying sweetness. Probably my least favorite of the bourbon county series.
dave9974 (2) - - OCT 12, 2014 does not count
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Always great. Goose Island has their BC brand dialed in pretty close to perfect.
One of my fav barleywines.
Darkmagus82 (1727) - - OCT 8, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Transfer from BA review on 1-13-14-
Poured from bottle into a snifter
Appearance – The beer pours a murky mahogany/brown color with tons of particulates seen floating about. Upon pouring there is a tiny bit of fizzy foam that forms atop the brew. This fades almost instantly leaving almost no lace on the sides of the glass. Upon swirling the beer in the glass some fingers of thick beer stick to the sides of the glass slowly fading back to the base of the snifter and again leaving almost no lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest of sweeter smells with tons of caramel and toffee. Along with these smells are some aromas of roasted malt nature with some chocolate and darker bread as well as some other more fruit like aromas of orange, fig, and raisin. Along with these aromas are some big smells of oak with a good dose of boozy bourbon as well. Some smells of a more earthy and grassy nature are there as well, mixing with the rest to produce and overall sweet and oaky barleywine smell.
Taste – The taste follows the nose rather nicely. It begins with tons of sweetness of caramel and toffee. The caramel starts out stronger in the taste, but as the taste moves on, the toffee really takes over, giving a more buttery flavor to the beer. Along with the sweet, are some chocolate and oaky flavors upfront, which while they start out lighter, get quite potent toward the end. Notes of hop come to the tongue more toward the middle of the taste. They begin mostly of an herbal nature with some earthy tastes coming later on. A moderate amount of a tobacco taste develop from the beginning to the end combining with the herbal and earthy tastes to give a bit of a green flavor to the brew. Toward the end the oaky flavors get rather potent and are combined with some darker fruits of raisin and fig as well as some nice bourbon flavors that develop more toward the middle and the end of the taste. The combination of flavors that is left, with all the transitions of the oaky, sweet, and hop flavors of the brew, end up leaving an oaky bourbon, sweet, and lightly hopped boozy flavor to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. Both are quite fantastic for the big, sweet, bourbon and oaky flavors of the brew and make this beer a nice slow sipper just as it is intended to be.
Overall – A nice sweeter, slow sipping, barleywine with plenty of nice bourbon and oaky flavors. This is one to sit down with on a cold evening night in front of a fire slowly sip away while reading the paper or a nice book.
tmoreau (2465) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - OCT 7, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2013 version, on tap at Lunar Brewing Co., viscously dispensed to a snifter, displaying a darkest brown color, with ruby highlighting showing through the clarity, a frothy layer of brownish tan head foam that was surprisingly quick in diminishing to a thin ring & film, and foamy spots & small, leggy bubbles on the glass. The aroma was substantial malt & sweetness, with notes of mocha, caramel, barrel induced vanilla, dark fruit, and a strong bourbon scent. Full bodied, with soft & low carbonation, the flavor followed as the nose, remaining quite sweet, thick & syrupy, adding some molasses, oaky/tannic tartness, and bourbon that was boozy, yet pleasantly warming. The year heightened the complexity, and brought the notes together nicely. Huge!
abcfan (725) - New Jersey, USA - OCT 5, 2014
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Aroma is sweet bourbon, with hints of vanilla. Pours deep red/ brown with little head. Amazing taste, fruity and complex.
Ktwse (2078) - SWEDEN - SEP 29, 2014
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours murky brown with flat tan head. Aroma of alcohol, cherries, muscovado, light butterscotch, vanilla, bourbon barrels. Taste is big boozy sweet, fruit and butterscotch, before a lingering alcohol warming sticky and mildly bitter finish. Rich, creamy body with soft carbonation. Excellent!
nuplastikk (4565) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 28, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12oz bottle shared at CC/KY tasting. Rich boozy caramel aroma. Pretty awesome, certainly worthy of the BC name. Excellent, sublime.
ciocanelu (73) - Timisoara, ROMANIA - SEP 25, 2014
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
One of the best barleywines I ever had! Dark brown color with a decent, creamy head. Very thick, syrupy pour. Lots of dark malts and caramel with big bourbon notes. Excellent!