KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 15, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
From notes. First reviewed 12/18/2011. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass at Monkís Pub. 2011 bottle.
A relatively small tan froth is touched with a few large rocky bubbles. The beer itself has a full brown color with some ruby edges. Mostly opaque with just a few transparent edges, this looks like a good barleywine.
The aroma is full of vanilla, oak, caramel, brown sugar, milk chocolate, figs, dates, and a large dose of bourbon for good measure.
There is a great bit of vanilla in the flavor. Vanilla sticks to the gooey caramel malt and brown sugar, coats the figs and dates, and leaves a good bit of residual flavor. Some cocoa adds a bit of further sweetness with a toasted bready malt before a strong bourbon and oak presence almost overwhelms my palate. I enjoy this flavor, but I was not quite as excited about it as the other two I shared the bottle with.
There is a fairly strong sweetness up front that rests on the tongue and adds a sticky feel, but this sensation is more than balanced out by the dry bourbon and oak toward the end. The carbonation is about 75% smooth and creamy and 25% adding a bit of bubbly crispness.
This beer has quickly gained a name for itself, from festivals last year and FOBAB this year. The bottles drink very well, and I imagine this will get even better as some of the flavors blend together over time.
Ughsmash (7248) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 10, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bomber. Poured very deep garnet with a short-lived khaki head. The aroma picked up rich vanilla, bourbon, and molasses with some oak too.. deep, dark, and welcoming.. large and in charge. The flavor found molasses, aged caramel, figs, and bourbon-laced raisins at the core.. tangy bourbon and oak plus peppery spices around.. more fruits, vanilla, barrel, and warmth on the long finish. Heavy-bodied with low carbonation on the palate.. lots of deep, resonating warmth.. came together really well.
drabmuh (194) - Maryland, USA - MAR 7, 2012
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
I figured Iíd write a few reviews tonight so I thought Iíd start with this. At the time of this review, this is the #1 American Barleywine on the "Top Beers - American Barleywine" -- serve in a Stone IRS snifter because it was handy.
Beer is dark brown, mostly clear, lazy thin head, no real lacing, low carbonation, low everything.
Aroma is sweet, nice, overall, a good liquor level, mildly oaky, sweet mostly.
Beer is fucking amazing, seriously so. Smooth as anything Iíve ever drank, at first bright sweetness, strong palate, i was worried for about a second, then boom, liquor, oak, malt sweetness, nice yeast presence, strong, great finish perhaps a little dryer than i like it but this beer? Seriously? wow. Just wow.
JAXSON (533) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 23, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAR 26, 2012 Pours a dark, dark burgundy with a thin ring around the edges. Nose is dripping with an intense, heavy barrel quality. Candied dates, figs, honey, even red apple, slight old leather and tobacco leaf. Plums and brown sugar. Bourbon is so neatly integrated it expresses itself plainly in all these other flavors. Mouth is thick, rich, sweet. Candied dark fruits, leather, orange liqueur, pleasant heat in the finish. Lots of plum and brown sugar character. Round malt, some tobacco dust on the mid to back palate. Intense, rich, super refined. Any fan of big barrel aged beers should adore this.
PD4Ever (109) - Kansas City, Missouri, USA - MAR 19, 2012
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Poured from 22oz bottle dated 10/8/11 into taster glass.
Aroma: dark fruits (raisins and plums), bourbon, sweetness, maple syrup, vanilla, a bit boozy
Appearance: Fairly clear, dark reddish brown, little to no head
Taste: Very sweet! mild bitter
Palate: lots of carbonation, very sweet and a bit bitter on the aftertaste. extremely smooth and a bit of heat from the bourbon
Overall: So much flavor in this. Just amazing. Exceeded all of my expectations. Was much sweeter than I expected. Really enjoyed the syrupy consistency and the carbonation. Like liquid candy in a glass. Wish I could have had more than the small sample I was given at a Goose Island tasting.
Sean9689 (286) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 23, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On-tap at Goose Invasion @ Small Bar Fullterton.
A - Pours a rusty reddish color, cream head, thick collar that leaves no lacing or retention.
S - Sweet dark fruits, burnt sugars, caramel, candy. Very sweet and the alcohol is nearly undetectable...very rich.
T - Goose has this listed at 13% on the tap menu, which I really canít believe, I barley get any alcohol from this beer. Super sweet, sugars, light bourbon, oak, big dark fruits. Sweet candy finish.
M - Full, good carbonation, uber rich.
O - I think this might be too sweet for some people, but I really loved this one. The rich sweetness was amazing and if this beer is really 13%, Iím amazed at how well they hid the alcohol. Def want this one again...hope it pops up somewhere soon!
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 21, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750ml Bottle (Bottled 10/8/11. #1015.): Complex, sweet aroma of malt, raisins, dark ripe fruit, rye, spicy oak, Bourbon, tobacco, vanilla, charred wood, and tar. Poured brown/very deep orange in color with a small, loose, brown head that disappeared and was replaced with s small, creamy, dense, tan head around the edges only. Cloudy. Lightly sparkling. Full of small and tiny-sized particles throughout. Flavor is heavily sweet. Tastes of malt, caramel, raisins, honey, maple syrup, Bourbon, figs, Earth, vanilla, and spicy oak. Full body. Viscous, syrupy, slightly sticky texture. Soft to average carbonation. Very complex, heavily sweet, malt, dark ripe fruit, honey, raisin, maple syrup, Bourbon, spicy oak finish is slightly sticky. 13.4%ABV is dangerously well hidden throughout. A little too sweet.
crossovert (8481) - Illinois, USA - MAR 24, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAY 20, 2013 Very nice barleywine. I didnít get the stout notes that people usually associate with it. It was tamer than I was expecting which led to a nice drinkability. Had this several times, just not as huge of fan as others. Overhyped beer.
djd07 (4899) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 5, 2012
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle as shown shared at RBWG 2012. Pours a dark brown with light beige head leaving sticky lacing. The aroma is roasted malt and chocolate. Thin mouthfeel with light roast oak and vanilla. Hides the alcohol well with a nice smooth finish. Wow really enjoyed this one, a very impressive barley wine from Goose Island.
Indra (2682) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - MAR 21, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
From 22oz. bottle, small 3-4oz. taster glass @ G.I. Beer School. Nose of rich, sweet, dark sugary malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, toffee, alcohol, cherry, molasses, some faint sherryish notes, raisin and faint toast. Clear deep dark red-brown color with a fine, lasting tan head. Flavor profile is hugely sweet, with dark, rich sugars, dark fruits, oak, alcohol, toffee, bourbon, vanilla, faint amounts of fruitcake, roast and cherryish fruit, with sweet, candyish overtones and a moderate degree of bitterness at the finish, which is hugely lasting and warming. Aftertaste shows plenty of lingering bourbon character. Smooth, warming, syrupy, almost sticky mouthfeel, body is just massive. Excellent stuff! Sad, though, that the presenter told us that this would probably never be made again, I sure hope thatís not true.