1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand Barleywine AleBourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

3,201 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,201
Reviews: 337
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 355
Gots: 1,115 | FT: 201
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  12.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 that’s gone through many seasons of ritual care. The intricacies of the previous barrel denizens – oak, charcoal, hints of tobacco and vanilla, and that signature bourbon heat – 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.

(Beer added by: jplopez21 on 10-04-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,201 | Reviews: 337 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Lochnessmonster, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of beerwolf77
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

beerwolf77, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of mc4z
4.38/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a maroon color with minimal head/lacing. The smell is sweet with toffee and vanilla. The taste is even sweeter with strong caramel, vanilla, prunes, and oak. The sweetness is perfectly balanced by the bourbon. The mouthfeel is excellent, much smoother and lighter than I'd expect from the style and the ABV. Overall I really enjoyed this beer and thought it was a great execution of the style.

mc4z, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of vrbulldog22
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

vrbulldog22, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of squack
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

squack, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of nuckbuc
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

nuckbuc, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of victory4me
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%

victory4me, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of throwback
5/5  rDev +10.4%

throwback, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of portia99
4.34/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle (bottled 9/24/13) poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours with a slightly muddy body that is somewhat translucent. Medium brown in color with some mahogany highlights. A small cap of foam falls quickly leaving behind just a collar of tan foam and some small islands floating in the body of the beer.

S - Big boozy notes up front. Big brown sugar and toffee sweetness, buttery, notes of vanilla, dark fruits/prunes.

T - Similar to the nose. Bourbon up front with some noticeable alcohol warmth. Mildly tart with a slight cherry-ish fruitiness. Plenty of brown sugar, light caramel, and burnt sugary sweet character. Bourbon and just enough hop presence balance this out quite well. Vanilla smooths out the flavors and brings everything together.

M - Surprisingly smooth...big bourbon character but is kept well under control. Sweet, dessert like sugary presence helps promote the smooth character. Enough bitterness to even things out overall. Body is medium...could be a touch thicker. Carbonation is low and works well here.

O - Very good BA barleywine. A bit of a slow sipper, but not at all overbearing. Alcohol, although definitely noticeable, does not overpower. Bourbon barrel definitely enhances the beer. Without the bite of the bourbon, this might come across as too sweet and sugary. Still this is very smooth and a great after dinner/dessert beer.

portia99, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of williamjbauer
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

williamjbauer, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of ShemRahBoo
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

ShemRahBoo, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of Kaveman
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Kaveman, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

GeorgiaBeerGuy, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of Zuidman
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Zuidman, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

TheBeerAlmanac, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of Squidly
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Squidly, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of anteater
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

anteater, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of AJ01923
5/5  rDev +10.4%

AJ01923, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of travisdiener32
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

travisdiener32, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of bcerv-ca
3.25/5  rDev -28.3%

bcerv-ca, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

SkeeterBoganski, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of sansho
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

sansho, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle at churchkey in DC into snifter. Bottled the day before my birthday. Pours a ruby deep brown with zero head...not expecting and major carbonation cuse of the abv but its a syrup looking pour. Smell is nice caramel toffe malt reduction...classic barleywine with dried fruit and woody bourbon vanilla notes. Taste is super sweet toffee and vanilla bourbon. Its very sweet but works well. Its a high abv and it shows..the yeast still has a lot to clean up here...its very sweet. Don't get me wrong, its delicious but it needs to be dialed back a tad. Not the most amazing bw I've had but it is quite tasty.

Sometimes I feel price dictates ratings...in this case it kinda does. Its a pricey hyped 12oz bottle. While it is good, there is no doubting that, I feel people may rate this higher cuse of the cost, or lack of tasting other barleywines...

DrinkSlurm, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of APreacher
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

APreacher, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of DrStiffington
4.31/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Psyched to try this one! Pours thick and black into my Kane tulip glass. I've never seen a Barleywine this color before. Looks more like a stout. Get the bourbon booze, some sherry, maybe cherries on the nose. Strong taste. Hits with warm alcohol, sweet like chocolate covered cherries (kind of). Mouthfeel very thick, very little carbonation. Honestly, I'm sure I'll dig this one by the time I'm done with it, but this is not my favorite Barleywine by a long stretch. In my opinion, this type of beer works much better as a stout. The BCBS is a lot better. Well, I'm saving another of these to age.

Edit: with a year on it the taste is so epic, smooth, and delicious!

DrStiffington, Dec 26, 2013
Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 3,201 ratings.