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RATINGS: 649   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.11/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 60   EST. CALORIES: 363   ABV: 12.1%
Aged in the third-use barrels that were once home to Kentucky bourbon and then our renowned Bourbon County Stout, this traditional English-style barleywine possesses the subtlety of flavor that only comes from a barrel thatís gone through many seasons of ritual care. The intricacies of the previous barrel denizens Ė oak, charcoal, hints of tobacco and vanilla, and that signature bourbon heat Ė are all present in this beer. Hearty and complex, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine is a titan and a timeline; a bold, flavorful journey through the craft of barrel aging.

ThisWangsChung's rating

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - MAR 2, 2014
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
chinchill (4327) - South Carolina, USA - OCT 11, 2016
12 oz, 17 Sept. 2013 bottle consumed in October 2016 from a Belgian snifter. Dark mahogany body with some sediment that eventually settles to the bottom of the glass. Aroma: ABV over 12% is evident, as is bourbon barrel. Hints of dark dried fruits, vanilla, dried cherries, and wood. Flavor: less boozy, but no less complex than the aroma suggests. Lightly sweet. Very rich. Feel: full, creamy smooth body with well hidden alcohol. Overall: excellent and highly complex version of the style.

   AROMA 1/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 1/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 1/20
RocketBrewer (1) - Garden Valley, California, USA - SEP 27, 2016 does not count
Bought a bottle of 2015 just over a month ago. INFECTED AND UNDRINKABLE! Found out it had been recalled and contacted Goose Island only to find out the recall was only for 1 month and ended in January (7 months before I purchased the beer) , sorry. I contacted them by email hoping to get some satisfaction. Got another sorry, canít refund your $15 beer. REALLY? A 1 month recall on a beer that THEY CLAIM CAN BE CELLARED FOR 5 YEARS! Iím sure there are many more in for a rude surprise still. DONíT WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY ON GOOSE ISLAND PRODUCTS!

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Frank (4024) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 7, 2016
Strictly speaking, it is not a great beer. Itís got lots of nice and actually rather subtle whiskey barrel notes w/ some nice raisin malt presence. But there is a lot of alcohol heat lucking in there w/ the berry and woody notes and an overbearing amount of sweetness. This is okay for a taste but digging in to any degree leads to all manner of flaws.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Stoned99 (1321) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 30, 2016
341ml bottle from trade with Jeffrey 6 months ago. Bottle date 24 Sep 13. In reality this was my gift of our trade... Yep gotta love gifts! Aroma: burned caramel, raisins, molasses, dark red fruits and this typical bourbon smell from those bcbs barrels. App: murky brown, no head. Taste and palate: full body, candied fruits in mouth, some raisins as well in mouth, medium high sweetness, light alcohol burning finish. Overall: Ok, well Iím well aware this beer is almost 3 years old so it might have changed quite a lot. Considering how good it is right now, canít imagine how good it was 3 years ago. Great beer. Hopefully I can drink this beer younger one day to revisit this rating.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jc1762 (846) - Washington DC, USA - JUL 24, 2016
2014 tap into a snifter showing dark caramel with translucent rims and sparse foam. The nose shows a lot of sweet caramel and vanilla with a light bourbon background. The palate is medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Sweet caramel and sugar cane immediately show with a light alcohol spice. Bourbon smokiness upon the finish and linger. A bit too sweet for my tastes but great with food.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
SPDickerman (1192) - Texas, USA - JUL 9, 2016
Pours murky dark brown with a small tan head. Smells strongly of dark fruits and toffee. Taste is caramel, dark fruit, like figs, and alcohol. Full-bodied with a smooth texture and soft mouth-carbonation, Goose Island Bourbon County Barleywine finishes with a lingering woody, bourbon heat.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Maakun (4064) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - JUN 17, 2016
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mariuspoenari (1689) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - JUN 17, 2016
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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Douberd (4912) - Arnhem, NETHERLANDS - JUN 2, 2016
(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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
aleigator (804) - GERMANY - MAY 23, 2016
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.

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