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RATINGS: 604   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.12/5   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 (826) - 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 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Padron4KM (737) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - NOV 28, 2015
2015 bottle. Very dark for a Barley Wine, nearly opaque reddish brown with a creamy tan head. Nice retention, but spotty lace, due to the "legs" of alcohol coating the glass.
Aroma is intense and complex. Caramel, dates, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, tobacco, light hops, oak.
Flavor is sweet caramel, spice, oak, bourbon, vanilla, hints of chocolate and licorice, drying oak, and mild hop bitterness. Pair this with an Opus X Belicoso xXx or a Partagas Serie D no 3.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Alengrin (3675) - BELGIUM - NOV 27, 2015
The barley wine expansion of the Bourbon County series, vintage bottle at almost three years of age, still with the previous label. I heard a lot about this and I like my barley wines old, especially when barrel-aged, so this can hardly go wrong, I guess... Thin, pale greyish beige head dissolving quickly but leaving a wafer-thin rim on the edge of the glass and some dispersed flocks in the middle, even leaving a slight amount of lacing; colour is a deep, warm, intense dark burgundy, translucent with a stunningly beautiful ruby glow. The bouquet is as intense as it is seductive and yields countless impressions of the finest Belgian chocolates, candied cherries, vanilla-like tannins and wet oak, very old tawny port, bourbon-like alcohol, madera, espresso touch, caramel, more subtle hints of marmelade, fig, dried tree leaves, maple syrup, Cuban cigars, beef stock, honey liqueur, soft paprika powder, soy sauce. Intense candied sweet onset, candied fig, candied orange, candied cherries, but not cloying, kept in place by a deep, soft, very mildly balsamic-like sourishness and big meaty umami flavours extending well over the whole palate; carbo is tingling a little bit on the edges of the tongue but otherwise goes by unnoticed. A deep caramelly and softly chocolatey maltiness with lightly nutty edges underlies this wonderful array of flavours and bears a kind of subtle metallic ítingeí, but in this case feeling completely ínaturalí and only adding to this wonderful experience; this maltiness becomes more toastedly bittersweet in the end, where further drought is achieved by an accent of peppery hops subtle enough to only accentuate the fat malt character, as well as lovely drying wood and, inevitably, a warming glow of unmistakably bourbon-like, but also very liqueurish alcohol, not becoming astringent at any point. Mouthfeel is expectedly very vinous, more so than wine, in fact very sherry- or port wine-like. Bittersweetness, the key flavour combination to any good barley wine (and many other of the great classic beer styles), has been achieved to perfection here. I suspect the two years of cellaring have softened the alcohol and the hop bitterness a bit, improving the overall quality significantly, but the result is one of the most balanced, rich, sensual and perfect barley wines I ever tasted. In fact, since Iím a sucker for the style (which admittedly pushes my rating upward), this easily belongs to the best beers in general I ever tasted - tasting this is like making love to Ninkasi - the Sumerian beer goddess - herself. Truly divine, in other words: this is the kind of beer Iíd confront the biggest wine snob with, if only to prove what beer is capable of. Unforgettable - I am so glad I bought this goddess, and had the patience to wait till the time was right to consume her... I really cannot find anything wrong with this even in the smallest of details, so I am left with no other option than to grant this the perfect score. A 355 ml bottle seems hardly enough to extract the complete potential of flavors and aromas out of it!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
trevor211 (1475) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 27, 2015
On tap at Chuckís. Murky brown. Almost no head. Intense syrupy vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar notes. Biiiig boozy flavor. Cherries and medjool dates. Hot. Young. With a few years, this could well be a perfect barley wine. Delicious.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
badhack (448) - San Francisco, California, USA - NOV 27, 2015
Remarkably drinkable for its merged flavors and smoothness. Bourbon, maple syrup, vanilla. Dark brown. Poured from a 2013 bottle.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Tejas (945) - Dallas, Texas, USA - NOV 27, 2015
Bottled on Sept 17, 2013. Surprisingly, I liked the traditional Bourbon County fine but this Barleywine Bourbon County is too boozy, not smooth and far too sweet for me. Probably wouldíve been better if it were fresher but the store just released it recently so I assume the brewery has been sitting on it.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
tysongillmore (355) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - NOV 26, 2015
Dude!, this beer is simply the shit. Amazing thick, sweet, smooth bourbon, vanilla, oak, and chocolate. Simply amazing. But don't buy it, because I want it all. Thanks. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
corby112 (2704) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 22, 2015
Pours a very dark chestnut brown color thatís completely opaque with a 1.5 finger frothy beige head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Excellent retention, taking a while to finally settle and leaving large chunks of soapy lacing behind. Very inviting aroma with beautiful barrel character thatís perfectly integrated into the barleywine notes of the base beer. Nicely charred oak with subtle dry toothpick as well as some sweet, spicy bourbon, toasted coconut and a silky vanilla bean sweetness. Lots of spirit and barrel but it doesnít overpower the leathery malts and vinous dark fruit notes of the barleywine. Hints of caramel, toffee and tobacco along with some raisin, plum and fig. Smells amazing and Iím not sure how much it could improve. Full body wih a strong boozy barrel character thatís excellently integrated into the barleywine flavors of the base. Sweet and boozy but not overwhelmingly hot or one-dimensional. The barrel flavors are very strong but the leathery malts and dark fruit sweetness still stand out. Lots of sweet, spicy bourbon along with dry, toasted oak, marshmallow, toasted coconut and vanilla bean. Underneath the barrel, there is some slightly smokey, leathery malt followed by dark fruit and lighter malt sweetness. Leathery tobacco flavor countered by caramel, toffee, hazelnut and very sweet dark fruit notes, notably raisin, fig and plum. The spirit flavor is pretty strong but this beer only has slight heat and subtle warmth in the chest. The high ABV is relatively well masked making this complex and near perfectly balanced beer dangerously drinkable. Excellent! Hard to find fault with a barrel aged barleywine thatís so strong right out of the gate. This should age gracefully and Iím looking forward to seeing how it develops over time.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
ebone1988 (619) - Taylor, Michigan, USA - NOV 13, 2015
UPDATED: NOV 15, 2015 Sample at Rare Day. 2014 vintage. Aroma is wonderful, bourbon, smooth, sweet, nice malt, nice. Appearance is dark ruby brown, light brown head. Taste is unbelievable, toffee, caramel, dark fruit, malt, barrel, complex and wonderful. Mouthfeel is thick, medium carbonation and yes. Overall, one of the best barleywines available.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jhamp9 (1386) - Corinth, Texas, USA - NOV 12, 2015
Deep dark brown pour with a thin khaki head that fades to nothing. Aroma is molasses, bourbon, and vanilla. Taste is brown sugar, vannila, bourbon, and oak. On the the sweet side with a little alcohol heat. Slick full body.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
kvv104 (34) - - NOV 8, 2015
Draft pours darkish brown, no head. Smells a bit of liquorice chocolate. Taste great for a barly wine. Not heavy on the alcohol aftertaste.

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