RATINGS: 453   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.84/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 60   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
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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DialSquare (5031) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - OCT 6, 2011
Samples up at Proof (sorry, didn’t get down who brought it). Sparse notes: big warm cocoa sweet - leather - light coffee - earthy floral - 7.0

evanlarkin (307) - Northfield, Minnesota, USA - OCT 4, 2011
Ported from BA. Appearance: Dark dark brown, close to black, with just a tinge of brown along the edges. A little more brown is visible when it’s up to the light, but it’s still pretty dark. Not much head, less than a finger total when poured into a snifter. Nothing much to be said for lacing. Smell: Chocolate and milk (chocolate milk?) predominate, with espresso and booze in the background, finally giving way to an oakiness that I have never experienced before. If you just smell lightly, there’s a kind of licorice character to it which is very pleasant. Taste: It’s like a more explosive experience of the smell. Chocolate and a milkiness come first, and suddenly you’re hit by the booziness of it all. Then you get some coffee beans, followed by an oak flavor that almost seems more like a texture than a taste. There is a subtle bitterness in the background that tastes as much like coffee as hops. Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, and full. It coats your mouth, but doesn’t stick as long as many other imperial stouts, which serves to entice the drinker to have another sip. Overall: This is a really solid stout, definitely placing itself in my personal top 5 list. It’s not entirely a unique flavor, but definitely superior to most that I have encountered in the current market. If I find it at another store, or if it becomes an annual brew, I will definitely purchase more.

hopdog (12584) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 1, 2011
22oz bottle. Bottled 3/15/11. Black pour with a smaller sized tan head. Aromas of chocolate, roast, some woodiness, cocoa, and vanilla. Tastes of roast, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, dark fruits, and some coffee. Warming alcohol.

madvike (3264) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 15, 2011
Bottle - Pours black with a reddish tint and a thin tan head. A lot of boozy sharpness on the nose, really obscures the malty sweetness below. Taste is better, with chocolatey roast, but it’s still super sweet. Molasses and sugary sweetness. Big, thick and syrupy. I would have liked this a couple years ago, but now it’s too much and too sweet.

robinvboyer (4674) - Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 13, 2011
Black pour, mocha head. Bitter cocoa, very sweet roasted malts, burnt sugar, vanilla and caramel. The mouthfeel is very thick, and creamy. Loads of sweetness, cocoa, vanilla and a sweet urnt sugar/malt finish. Reminds me alot f the bourbon county minus the barrel, nice stuff!

bhensonb (15208) - Woodland, California, USA - SEP 13, 2011
Bomber from Half Time. Pours brown/black with no head. Aromas of bourbon/vanilla (????) and chocolate. Full bodied. Heat is definitely noticeable. Quite. Flavor is chocolate with a lot of dark smooth burnt malt. It sour seems bourbonified.

marcus (10227) - Sacramento, California, USA - SEP 12, 2011
Bottle shared by bhensonb. Pours very dark brown with no head and a chocolate and alcohol aroma. There is a heavy chocolate and plum flavor with a very hot alcohol trail that tastes like bourbon. This is indeed a big beer.

Nuffield (4171) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - SEP 10, 2011
This one really rocked, and it is a pleasure to call it my 3000th beer rated. It has layers of oozing flavors, with melted chocolate, roasty and toasty malts, and just the right bitterness. The palate works extremely well, too. Very appropriate to drink this day because Jazz88, the best best man in the world, was visiting with his son John.

mar (5417) - Dallas, Texas, USA - SEP 8, 2011
bottle thanks to pantanap. pitch black pour with an espresso head. nose is sweet chocolate, roasted malts, light vanilla, and more chocolate. thick palate, flavor is heavy on the roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and a heavily roasted finish. how much alcohol is in this thing? i’m getting none honestly.

Trev (2023) - Lakeville, Minnesota, USA - SEP 7, 2011
pour is dark dark brown with a thin brown head. aroma is vinous fruitiness, dark chocolate, vanilla, cocoa. hint of licorice Milky body, roasted maltiness, bitter chocolate. soy sauce.

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