ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAR 2, 2014
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
12 oz bottle into a tulip.
A: Pours a murky dark brown color. Practically no head is formed - there isnít even much of a collar. The íheadí is off-white color, I guess. It doesnít look like much at all, but given what this beer is, itís a moot point.
S: And right before, sweet bourbon character hits the nostrils immediately. Vanilla, coconut, oak; you name it, itís here. Here, itís backed by a wonderful dark fruit aroma and (slightly) lesser chocolate notes. This smells like it will be one of the best dessert beers ever.
T: Holy frig. The opening flavors are heavy in vanilla, coconut, and bourbon. But that finish...dear lord, dat finish - what a vibrant explosion of dark fruit goodness. The finish becomes more caramel-forward as it gradually opens up. Thereís a slight booze note post-swallow and itís hardly a distraction. Some slight barrel comes through here, too. This brew has a lot to offer in terms of complexity and flavor, with everything easily distinct yet harmonious and well balanced (if rather sweet - hey, itís a barleywine). In many ways, itís even better than regular BCBS.
M: The secret here is how much smoother it is than most in the style. Even with a faint alcoholic bite, itís wonderfully soft yet with a cake-like density. It goes down as easily as a 12% barrel-aged monster can go down.
O: Iíve had a few barrel-aged barleywines before (Sucaba and Insanity spring to mind), but this is so far above those two itís not even funny. Everything here is brilliantly defined without being moronic. Best barleywine Iíve ever had? More like one of the best beers Iíve ever had.
Curse you, InBev.
Maakun (3089) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - JUN 17, 2016
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Rating 3000, shared at THT. Deep mahogany with short lasting beige head. Strong red wine, sherry, sour red berries, bourbon, vanilla, soft herbs, quite some alcohol. Over medium sweet, under medium sour and bitter. Full bodied. Obviously infected, but itís not that bad. Could have been sold as red wine barrel aged. Not great though.
mariuspoenari (1214) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - JUN 17, 2016
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sampled at THT June tasting. Possibly infected bottle. Dark ruby pour with no carbonation. Smells like red wine, caramel, chocolate, coffee. The taste is quite sour for a barleywine, with notes of red wine, sherry, port, coffee, chocolate. Not bad for an infected beer.
Douberd (4533) - Arnhem, NETHERLANDS - JUN 2, 2016
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(Goose Island Bourbon County Barleywine) Bottle 355 ml at home, served into a snifter. Vintage 2013, ABV 12.1%
Dark brown colour on the body, hazy and murky. Minimal brown head on top, with low retention.
Aroma of dark fruits, alcohol, vanilla, light liquorice, molasses, bourbon.
Taste has even more bourbon, light caramel, dark fruits, raisins, vanilla, plenty of alcohol, ripe pears.
Medium body with soft carbonation, sticky on the palate with a smooth texture.
Nice, very easy to drink in spite of its high ABV.
aleigator (702) - GERMANY - MAY 23, 2016
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bourbon County Barley Wine 2014
Pours a dark brown color with glowing ember hints, woven into the beers appearance, which comes along with almost no head at all. It produces a small, bubbly ring of lacing, revealing alcohol legs after swirling.
Smells of bright, sugar coated malts and boozy, ripe plums. Bakers chocolate blends into molasses and a warming oak quality. Roasted walnut shell compliments dried, scented wood and sun burned earth.
Has a pleasantly low carbonation, while featuring a decadent huge, sweet body, defined by sweet malts together with a spicy, oaken dryness. Does not have the thick, creamy mouthfeel the regular version provides, although it offers a pleasant silkness on the tongue.
Tastes of soft earth, hazelnuts, toasted malts and melted caramel among dried, sweet plums. Creates a pleasant sweetness of milk chocolate, wild honey, rock sugar and licorice, finding its balance in the dry, spicy Boubon barrel. Finishes with caramel, fudge and more molasses and a pleasant, boozy dryness, with a nice, bubbly refreshment from the carbonation, preventing the beer from becoming cloyingly sweet.
Comes very well together, its prominent, taste defining sweeter qualities find their balance in the perfect nuanced Bourbon barrel, which provides enough body to the malts to make this interesting till the last sip.
Gluepot (373) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 18, 2016
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at the ChurchKey, DC. A dark Mahogany body with a light tan head. A sumptuous nose includes bourbon, chocolate, berries and some acidity. The taste is intense, again featuring bourbon warmth and dark berries. Other elements include cherries, chocolate, caramel, some bitterness and acidity. The acidity plays well against the rich sweet elements.
oldrtybastrd (4914) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - MAY 11, 2016
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a kind of flat murky brown color. Aromas of malt and tons of bourbon. Flavors of light hops, malt, bourbon with an almost cask like quality.
bnokk (430) - Lee, Massachusetts, USA - APR 26, 2016
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
2014 in 2016 - APPEARANCE-
Super dark amber color. No head of carbonation.
NOSE- originally smelled a bit sweet barleywine, but the longer itís open, it smells hotter and hotter.
FLAVOR- barleywine with Bourbon overtones.
ACHops (1267) - Seattle, Washington, USA - APR 12, 2016
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap @ Beer Junction. Pours dark almost opaque mahogany with medium dark cream colored head that fades to a thin oily rim. Aroma is big sweet boozy toasted dark caramel malt, oak, molasses, soy sauce, bourbon, port. Taste is largely similar; vanilla, raisin, and dark fruit notes are more prominent here. Fairly thin mouthfeel, though it does open up into richness as it warms. I found this less boozy than regular BCBS. Great sipper.
drdisque (744) - Illinois, USA - MAR 19, 2016
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at Fatpour Chicago (2015 variant I believe). Pours cloudy muddy ruddy brown. Flavor is slightly smoky and dry with some vanilla bourbon flavors. More dry and pronounced than most bourbon beers Iíve had. Good, had high expectations and it was about what I expected.
dukeandduke (218) - Illinois, USA - MAR 19, 2016
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
3/4/16 Chicago (Goose Island Tap Room $7 6 oz draft pour into snifter). Thin pitch black pour, thin tan lacing. Bourbon, wine, malt, oak aroma. Sweet taste, wine, bourbon, molasses, cherry. Very smooth texture, extremely easy going down. Excellent offering - Keep them coming Goose Island!!!