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Broad Shoulders Barleywine - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Broad Shoulders Barleywine
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very good

40 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 18.23%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
"Dark caramel color with a rich velvery mouthfeel and subtle malt sweetness that balances with the huge amount of hops used to brew this beer."

(Beer added by: jrallen34 on 01-26-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
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3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

readbaron, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried on tap at the Clyburn pub, 28 Sep 2011. Served in a ~10 oz snifter.

Very small light brown head. Lightly carbonated. Clear dark reddish brown in color. Aromas of fig, dark fruits, some toffee, a hint of ethanol. Starts sweet and treacley. Dark fruits, figs, some date. Alcohol is not obvious in the glass but hits my head pretty quick. Medium body. Somewhat sweet, slight improvement as it warms. Finish is of mild dark fruits. Slightest touch of bitterness in the aftertaste, along with warming ethanol.

Menu has this listed as 8.7% ABV.

htomsirveaux, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Caramel colored beer with an off-white head that faded to a tight ring.

S - There actually isn't a ton of aroma on this one. A little bit of toffee, caramel, and butter, but it's almost a struggle to pull anything out on the nose. On the plus side, nothing smells bad.

T - Given the nose, there is a surpring amount of citrus hops in there. It's sweet, with mostly caramel malts and a little bit of butter. The taste is kind of bland, but straight-forward and not bad. Just not a ton going on here.

M - Not quite full bodied, a bit syrupy, with softer carbonation.

O - This is a solid beer, but I found it to be kind of boring, although it does drink well at 8%. Nothing I'd really care to consume on a regular basis.

AgentZero, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of Lawl3ss
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

(from notes)
On tap at Goose Island Clybourne 1/17/12. 10 oz. snifter.

Look- A beautiful clear burgundy/roasted chestnut with bright ruby highlights that got me excited. Started with a finger of ivory head that settled fairly quickly. No visible carbonation. This beer really looks like a nice brandy, particularly in a snifter. Dark for a barleywine, but it looks gooood.

Smell- Hints of dates, candied nuts, and licorice. Very subtle despite the snifter, which was unexpected. Swirling and warming didn't have much discernable affect.

Taste- Lightly sweet, strong dark fruit and toffee show themselves early. Burnt grain, anise, and rose hips emerge after a second, and the aftertaste is walnut-like. Not as bold as I prefer, but quite interesting. Alcohol well hidden.

Mouthfeel- Sticky, mild-to-medium carbonation. Mildly astringent on the back. Overly cloying for the rather mild palate. Finishes on the drier side, and quite tannic.

Overall- Didn't quite hit the right notes for me, too restrained (though this is appropriate for the English style claimed on the menu.) Mouthfeel was off-putting and didn't mesh well with the otherwise quite nice subdued feeling of the beverage. What I really have to knock points off for is the price, however. I realize that it is a brewpub specialty offering and is priced accordingly, but the truth is I could (and did, at the Binny's across the street) pick up a barleywine bomber I would enjoy much more for half of what I paid for 10 oz. of this brew. Perhaps Middle Ages' Druid Fluid has ruined me, but I'll pass on this one if there is a next time.

Lawl3ss, Jan 20, 2012
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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Gonzoillini, Jan 19, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

jaydoc, Nov 23, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

udouche, Feb 25, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

olafphysics, Dec 17, 2012
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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Dontcounttoday, Oct 11, 2012
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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

XmnwildX12, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of MasterSki
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this twice, both times out of taster glasses at GI-Clybourn. Probably served too cold.

A - Served with minimal foam that settles to a thin cap and thick-bubbled color, leaving behind a few minuscule spots of lace. Transparent caramel ruby-brown body.

S - Grapes, dark fruits, some clean alcohol, citrus hops. Surprisingly understated nose that doesn't open up all that much as the beer warms up.

T - Bready, some nebulous fruit sweetness, and a decent amount of toffee character as the beer approaches room temperature. Alcohol is better-hidden here. A little bit bland though.

M - Smooth texture, medium-full body, low but active carbonation, lightly sticky finish. Not much alcohol heat.

D - It's a pretty decent American barleywine, with some nice citrus hop character to go with a bready malt backbone. Goes down quite easily thanks to the fairly attenuated flavor profile. I'd rather just buy some Bigfoot though.

MasterSki, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at the Clybourn brewpub.

Not only was I unaware we were calling them "broads" again, but I was also unfamiliar with people focusing on their shoulders... *rimshot* Ahem, anyway, this stuff pours a clear tawny topped by a finger of glowing light tan foam. The nose comprises caramel, black grape, light honey, ruby red grapefruit rind, fig, and light pine resin. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some toffee, clove, and a touch of vanilla in the background. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, a very nice barleywine, though it came across as more English-style than American-, though I'm inclined to believe it's more of a transatlantic version than either of the others strictly-speaking. Good times nevertheless.

TMoney2591, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Goose Clybourn.

Deep reddish copper pour, creamy foam rises to the rim of the glass and settles to a sticky skim. Head retention is excellent, with a crown of lace that encircles the glass. Very attractive color.

Sweet toffee dominates the nose, some woody malt, and yeast esters that manifest as bananas doused in caramel syrup.

Rich malty sweetness, big toffee and dried fruit, almond paste, marzipan. Syrupy sweet and full bodied, dry finish with the barest hint of bitterness. Sweetness isn't overly cloying, but it's certainly one & done for me.

emerge077, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of GbVDave
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at GI-Cly 2/10/11.

A: Served a rusty caramel color with a thin and creamy, light-tan head that disappeared pretty quickly. Not much lace left behind.

S: This walked a fine line between sweet caramel and blistering hops. I also picked up a bit of green apple and toffee.

T: Sweet malt in the forefront with piney and citrus hops for balance. I kept searching for some overbearing alcohol flavor but could barely dig up a trace.

M: Relatively smooth with malty sweetness and oily hops to keep everything in check.

D: A nice effort. A tad overpriced, though.

GbVDave, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of Rhettroactive
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Rhettroactive, Oct 24, 2012
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Broad Shoulders Barleywine from Goose Island Beer Co.
86 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.