GuamVice (71) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 22, 2013
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
On tap at Goose Island Brew Pub Clybourn. Dark copper with creamy but slightly thin head. Smells of caramel vanilla very very sweet enticing smell. Thick appearance cannot see much light through glass. Very thick smooth on the tongue. Bready with sweet malty front, spicy middle, and then finishes with a nice alcohol burn. Fantastic complex beer that is very rich and intense. Can only drink one at a time; very concentrated flavor.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
crossovert (7722) - Illinois, USA - FEB 23, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sweet honey, caramel, vanilla, bourob, and oak beer. Very smooth mouthfeel for a barleywine.
holdenn (2083) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - AUG 21, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
FoBAB 2011. Light brown with a creamy beige head. Rich sweet aromas. Malts that are sweet but clean. Sweet malts. So sweet but not bad. Bitter finish but not enough to counteract all that sweet malt. Surprised this one got gold. 7/3/7/3/14
KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 13, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
From notes. First reviewed 11/19/2011. Tried at Fobab, with notes from a second sampling at Goose Island. Served on tap in a 10 oz. snifter.
My pour is a hazy brown color with a few hints of burgundy at the edges. A tan sea foam froth rests on top, fading to a light ring after a few minutes.
The aroma is much more bourbon forward than the flavor. After my nose processes the strong bourbon note, vanilla is the next strongest aroma. Sweet toffee, caramel, figs, and dates impart a strong sweetness, with a bit of roast malt and oak in the back.
As mentioned above, the bourbon plays a much more gentle role in the flavor, allowing the base flavors to really shine through. There is such an incredible vanilla flavor here, especially for a barleywine. The flavors are blended well together, with each component bringing more vanilla out. Caramel and toffee provide an enhanced sweetness with just a bit of roast to the malt presence up front. The gooey sweetness carries over to toffee soaked figs and dates and some rum raisin makes an appearance as well. Toward the end the bourbon presses through, helping to soften the gooey sweetness and bring out some of the barrel character as well. The finish is smooth, still fairly sweet, and full of vanilla.
My only true knock on this beer is that the carbonation feels fizzy. With a smoother, creamier carbonation, I would bump this score a point and probably the overall score half a point, really bringing it into the elite category. The rest of the body has a nice, full mouthfeel, with a gooey stickiness that is only partially softened by the barrel dryness toward the end. A bit of bourbon alcohol presence pleasantly reminds me of the 9.2% ABV.
This was a strong offering for GI to bring to Fobab. A very good bourbon barrel barleywine. This does not really push any boundaries, but there is no crime in simply aging a barleywine in bourbon barrels well.
JoePeesie (871) - Long Lake, Illinois, USA - FEB 1, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
FoBAB 11’ Pours a lighter than expected brown with an off whit head. Nose and taste are of fig, dark fruits, sweet chocolate, vanilla, caramel, bourbon. Very nice beer.
deyholla (6861) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 21, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampled from the tap at 2011 FOBAB. Poured a near clear deep amber with a cream colored opaque head that dissiapted to the edges. Aroma had a lot sweet grains with honey and toffee as well as a hint of vanilla backing. Flavor had a good amount of toffee and honey with sweet grains and bourbon.
msante79 (2210) - Mount Prospect, Illinois, USA - NOV 18, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Fobab 9. Poured tannish brown with small tan head. Aromas of sweet caramel and toffee with some bourbon. Flavors of butterscotch, bourbon, vanilla, and some fruit. Mouthfeel was good. Tasty barley wine but not the in the top 3 barley wines I had that day let alone best in show.
NobleSquirrel (3437) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 16, 2011
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draft at FoBAB 9. I liked this before it was cool! Pours a deep brownish bronze with a nice and fluffy head. Nose is fantastic. Brown sugar, vanilla, honey and marshmallows. Some deep fruitiness as well. Really reminds me a lot of Surly 3. On tasting, it is sweet with a ton of supple bitterness to support it. Light oak tannins help to build the structure. More of the honey and toffee notes come in to support as well. Really clean and full. The toffee also brings with it some coco notes as well. I just really loved this beer.
pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 15, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2012 Goose island Honey B consumed at FOBAB after it had won best of show... Pours a darker mahogony with a medium silky light beige head head... Light fluffy bourbon and vanilla to pair with caramel and cotton candy.. flavors are much of the same with caramel and rich toffee notes upfront. more barrel notes towards the middle which then mesh well with the aforementioned flavor profile. Finishes in a slightly spicy boozy note. smooth medium to full bodied. fairly nice but a bit too much along the residual sugar front. Some warmth creeps in early and keeps hold.
TheAlum (5833) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - NOV 14, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampled on tap at FoBAB 2011 (Chicago, IL). Pours a nice rich toffee hue, decent haze and rich cakey tannish head. Stays big, laces well. Aromas are rich and toffee, butterscotch, gentle touches of red fruit, some oak, bourbon. Initial is full and rich, intelligent offerings of high barrel and oak, vanilla and spirit. Touches of fruit, and toffee, vanilla. Gentle spirit grows fairly strong. Nice, sweeter, well coordinated. I can see why this won awards. But overall, the experience lacks complexity and variety. Nice barrel aged barleywine with a good barrel flavor. Best in show makes sense with one, though it wouldn’t have been my choice, I do respect it.