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Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale - Goose Island Beer Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,985 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 3,985
Reviews: 440
rAvg: 4.53
pDev: 8.17%
Wants: 490
Gots: 1,694 | FT: 279
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  12.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jplopez21 on 10-04-2013

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.
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Ratings: 3,985 | Reviews: 440 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of roostor07
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Renegrenade
3.75/5  rDev -17.2%

Photo of sendbeer
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.5/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of Rast
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Jimsal27
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of MPPHISH
4.25/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of MarkJBurch
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Prospero
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of BuckeyeFaninMI
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of silverblaze540
4.44/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Very very dark (although this could also be because the room was dark) with very little head. Looks very heavy and thick.

Smell - The smell was a bit sour and reminded me of soy sauce at first. Malty smell pierced through and then remained after the sour smell faded.

Taste - Very malty taste with strong barley essence and a bit sour with a slight burn. Pretty sweet and almost no bitterness. Light coffee and/or chocolate taste.

Mouth-feel - Very heavy feel and a mild burn. Medium carbonation.

Overall - This is an amazing tasting beer. One of the best I have ever had. I could drink it all night. Sweet and malty with almost no bitterness. A bit of a sourness to the taste and more so to the smell, but great great beer overall.

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of tbone1384
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of jarrgal
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Kramerbarthomer
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Xandrose
4.6/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mecmd
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of argock
4.65/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. Bottled on 24SEP13 on back of label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Tawny dark brown with 1/2-finger beige foamy head with decent retention for the style and ABV but no real lacing but plenty of alcohol legs.

S: Coconut and vanilla fly out first with caramel and candied dates next. Raisins and sweet bourbon character follow with more toffeeish burnt caramel. Even some chocolate notes come through with warming.

T: Out of sight flavor with marshmallow and vanilla coconut blending with toffee and cooked caramel followed by date, raisin, and cookie breadiness. The bourbon character is less than you'd imagine in the nose, but accents the malt flavors well. The same medium-dark chocolate note joins with a mocha like aftertaste. Alcohol character is very low to none. No yeast or hops character but there shouldn't be. Bourbon County Barleywine is a fine, complex, sweet but balanced representation with exceptional use of barrel characteristics.

M: Silky, low carbonation, lush and sumptuous with a definite full-body that misses syrupy by just the right amount.

O: A true pleasure to drink in every facet. I had Bourbon County Coffee Stout a few nights ago and I enjoy this one a lot more -- incredibly complex and, while sweet, provides so many wonderful nuances with the barrel character that prevents it from crossing over into over-sweet. Fantastic beer and worth effort to obtain.

Photo of injuredreserve
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of WhatsTheNoteSay
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of CaptCleveland
4.59/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle received via IP trade with siege06nd. Nice to meet another BA and fellow Clevelander and share a few brews and of course talk beer.

Dark brown-amber elixir poured into Hoppin' Frog snifter. 1/2 inch of vigorous foam settles to thin tan rim. Few wisps of lacing, legs all around.

The BC barrel aroma comes immediately wafting through, mingling with a complex amalgam of dark fruits, vanilla and molasses.

This is one awesome barleywine right out of the gate. The bourbon and barrel flavors are well balanced with the sweetness of the dark fruit and vanilla.

Medium to full body, nicely carbonated, smooth, slick a touch of heat at the end.

Really impressed with this brew and wonder how or if age will change it's almost flawless composition. This brew will convert the uninitiated to barleywines. Cheers!

Photo of chefduff2
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of imscotty
4.6/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5


A: This is a very dark Barleywine. Very deep brown, but still slightly transluscent. Amber hues are evident when the light passes through. A thin tan head forms and dies away within a minute. Light lacing.

S: A very aromatic beer. With malt, caramel, molasses, raison, vanilla, and bourbon alcohol.

T: Boom - sweet caramel, toffee maltiness. Dark fruit flavors linger, sweet figs and raison. After the initial sweet bomb, the alcohol heat seems to burn these flairs into your tongue. It has quite a warm, long lasting finish. Some light chocolate, coffee and bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied mouthfeel, really creamy and smooth. The carbonation is a little course for an English style barley wine. Not as heavy as some English Barleywines (Thomas Hardy is my standard for the stye), but a great mouthfeel.

O: I am a big fan of English Barleywines. Most of them I like to age for a few years before I drink them, but this GI Barleywine is certainly very enjoyable right out of the gate. Still, it is a tad sweet for my tastes and I am looking forward to see what a year or two in the cellar will do for these. I will come back to amend this review in one year.

Photo of dtomes
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 3,985 ratings.