overall
99
86
style
RATINGS: 453   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.84/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 60   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Inspired by the epic skyline of Chicago, Goose Island’s brewers set out to craft Big John; a tall, bold slugger of a stout that stands out vividly against the little soft beers out there. Epic amounts of roasted malt and an addition of cacao nibs give Big John a massive chocolate flavor and aroma. With a body as substantial and black as the building to which it pays homage, Big John is sure to inspire a sense of awe with every sip.

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3.9
Benzai (15446) - Oirschot, THE NETHERLANDS, NETHERLANDS - JAN 16, 2012
Sampled @ RBBWG Antwerpen. Courtesy of Klaas. Pitch black, opaque color. Smell malts, coffee, alcohol, liquorice. Taste is really almost the same. I get malts, coffee, alcohol and some liquorice again. Medium body, medium carbo.

3.8
JorisPPattyn (9927) - Ursel, BELGIUM - JAN 15, 2012
No head; black beer with red-ruby highlights. Chocolate, rumcake and even alcohol and fusels in the nose. Roasted, sweet, with a touch of saltiness, like roastcrust on meat. And then, some hint of (dark) spirit; fusels again to the fore. Very full-bodied, alcoholladen and -warming; rich as few. Goose Island might have become AB/Inbev; as long as they make this kind of stuff, they remain a great brewery to me.

3.4
wnoble (1251) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - JAN 2, 2012
Thick viscous black pour and head is dark brown. Nose is sweet fruits alcohol, anise, and roasty woody malts. Flavor is honey, sweet alcoholic and roasted peppers and. around spices. Chocolate does. one through. oily mouthfeel. nice.

3.9
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 31, 2011
Pours a viscous pitch black with a one finger mocha head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind. Slightly smokey, roasted malt aroma with lots of chocolate and booze. Strong dark malt character with hints of burnt toast, coffee bean, oatmeal and dark chocolate. Although there is a strong roast quality, it never becomes burnt or over powering with lots of sweet chocolate balancing things out. On the fuller end of medium bodied with a decent balance of dry, roasted malt, earthy hops, sweet chocolate and boozy heat. Slightly bitter with some piny hops and deeply roasted dark malts. Hints of dark chocolate, coffee bean, oatmeal and burnt toast but it never becomes to acrid because the sweet cocoa comes in and balances things out. The cocoa flavor is prominent and without it this beer could have been an overly roasted booze bomb. As it is, this is a well balanced, flavorful beer that is dangerously drinkable. Slight heat in the finish but the ABV is excellently masked. If I didn’t know that it was 11.5% I would be in trouble.

3.9
emacgee (4674) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - DEC 26, 2011
Pours viscous dark black with one finger of dark tan head. Rich nose with lots of black strap molasses and chocolate, bitter coffee and light alcohol. Very rich flavor with lots of molasses and bitter bakers chocolate. Burnt grain and black coffee. Full bodied with a viscous palate and warming finish.

3.5
msojka (457) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 24, 2011
Pour is jet black with little to no head. Nose is of all different kinds of malt with a strong chocolate back bone. Flavor is very sweet, though with a bit more of a coffee kick.

4
csteele2144 (125) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 29, 2011
22oz, pours pitch black, aromas of chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar. sweet, chocolate and carmel taste up front, seems to have mellowed on the alcohol since the first bottle I had.

4.1
Mora2000 (6158) - McKinney, Texas, USA - NOV 27, 2011
Thanks to Pawola22 for sending me this bottle. The beer pours a very dark brown to black color with a smallish tan head. The aroma is very powerful. I get a ton of chocolate up front, as well as some heavily roasted malts. The flavor is more of the same. There is a lot of milk chocolate and dry cocoa powder in the aroma, as well as some roasted malts. This beer is definitely all about the chocolate and is very enjoyable. The alcohol is completely hidden and the beer is very easy to drink. Thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

3.7
ekoerper (599) - Iowa, USA - NOV 20, 2011
Aroma: chocolate, caramel, booze, somewhat ashy, coffee notes. Pours black, very thin tan head with seconds of retention. Flavor is quite roasty, notes of coffee and ash, chocolate, toffee and slight sweetness. Fairly boozy, moderate-high bitterness. Full body, medium carbonation.

4.2
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - NOV 19, 2011
22oz bottle: pours an oily opaque with a small, but creamy beige head. Has a rich sweet dark caramel malty nose with some dark fruity complexity and dark chocolate. Starts with good fullness and chewy dark caramel maltiness with molten dark chocolate and raisin complexity before a sweet and warming roasty finish. A full-bodied and complex brew that should age well.


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