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Big John - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Big JohnBig John

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,379 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,379
Reviews: 434
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 161
Gots: 599 | FT: 51
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewmasters Notes:
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 cacoa 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 each sip.

(Beer added by: aasher on 03-13-2011)
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Ratings: 1,379 | Reviews: 434 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dragonWhale
dragonWhale

New York

3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks also to whosoever shared this at the Rosso release. Poured into my little Elysian snifter.

Nigh on black and oily, with a sexy little cocoa head. Big aromas of chocolate booze. A little coffee and roastiness hide in the background.
It's quite good, but needs some time to get better, allow the flavors to integrate more. As is, the alcohol is too hot, but in that respect, it's kind've like having a bourbon candy. Just one that burns a little. A fine beer from these people, big on chocolate, thick and chewy.
Next time I go to one of these releases I'm going to bring a little burner so I can heat beers like this up. Would've loved to try this at 140 or so. Little bit of hot cocoa..hell yeah.
Give this beer some more time and it could be quite fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 16:22:22 | More by dragonWhale
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a generous BA for sharing this at the Rosso release. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a very, very dark brown color with a thin light mocha head and a bit of lacing. The nose has roasted malt plus chocolate and some mild coffee. Chocolate is the most prevalent, definitely notice the cocoa. Flavor is a bit of a letdown. There's a bit too much booze and the chocolate doesn't come through as well. Mild roast and also some dark fruit aspects that I didn't particularly care for. Body is medium to full with good carbonation. Pretty good overall, but doesn't live up to their other stouts.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 12:01:06 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big John. Big ol John, Johnny boy. Into a snifter split with Oglmcdgl.

Big John is a big ol black stout just like all the others. No lighter spots on the edge, this one is pitch black. A nice inch of foamy dark tan/brown foam that leaves no stick, but a ring around the glass.

Smell is really big and roasty and not hoppy like the night stalker, thank god. Along with the roast, there is the anise and dark fruit which is a turn off, it's not on dragon stout level though. Some chocolate and cocco nib scent.

Big John comes through in taste as well, it's a big ol stout that is sweet but not choklat sweet. Not a bunch of vanilla but cocco instead. Anise in the middle and the dark fruit as well. Chocolate with cocco taste and some warming alcohol in the end.

Feel is a big roasty above medium build with depth and a rich aftertaste on the mouth. The heat only comes and goes in the end. Carb is there but does not kill the sensitive tounge, no sting. Warming and a great build on this.

Overall this exceeded expectations. Im not the biggest stout guy but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Glad I have a bottle of this to lay down to smooth out the edges.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 03:11:20 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of oglmcdgl
oglmcdgl

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle split with onix1agr.

A- a steady pour yields a finger of latte colored head that settles quickly to leave just a ring around the glass and a small island of fizz in the middle. A good hard swirl brings back the cream on top but again its quickly vanishes. Black, black, black in color not a bit of light makes it through the body but there is the faintest of dark brown at the edges when held to the light.

S- dark roasted malts, chocolate, anise, coffee, brown sugar. Over ripe dark berries, and some molasses.

T- opens up with a sweet almost burnt malt hit that rolls into bakers chocolate and molasses. Coffee, touches of anise and dark fruit again. The balance is very impressive and each flavor while bold never over shadows the others.

M- full bodied but not too much. A bit of chew to it and a little syrupy. Nice light carb that does hold its own in this big brew. Small amount of heat from this very fresh bottle.

O- I'm all about this brew. Huge flavors that blend perfectly and make for a superb ride. Big enough to cure what ales you but easy enough to down a big ole glass. Well done GI hope you can keep it up with the new owners.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 02:51:13 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of jwinship83
jwinship83

Illinois

3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

very excited for this one. 22oz bottle picked up at my local whole foods my chance. i thought that i had missed it in all the local stores, it sold out so quickly. drank from my stone IRS snifter.

A- this one pours out an opaque black colored body with a moderate coffee colored head on top. the head lasts for a few seconds before falling, and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- there is chocolate and sweetness bursting from the glass. dark chocolate, milk chocolate. lots of roasted malts also. the alcohol sneaks through a bit also.

T- the taste is overwhelmingly sweet. too sweet. lots of dark roasted malts give way to plenty of the chocolate that i could smell. lots of dark chocolate. lots of milk chocolate. just tons of chocolate. the booze comes through in a big way also. a tough of coffee and earthy hops at the end finish this one off.

M- this beer comes with a big body and is almost chewy. lots of warming from the alcohol. very sweet.

D- too sweet for me. im glad i wasnt a glutton with this and left a couple on the shelf. i wouldnt enjoy having them. i liked nightstalker and the classic bourbon county much more than this. the bottle was much too large for just me.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 02:41:33 | More by jwinship83
Photo of cjacobsen
cjacobsen

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(A) Pours really, really dark. Black with no light let through, even on the edges. A small, chocolate brown head that diminished quickly.

(S) Nose is big on chocolate and some roasted coffee. The nose is definitely dominated by the chocolate.

(T) Much like the nose. Big on chocolate. And its a sweet lighter chocolate, not a cocoa or bitter dark. There's a decent array of roasted malts and coffee brings up the rear. The flavor is definitely big up front and I could see some people thinking its too sweet, but I think that since its still fresh, it's got a lot there. Whenever I see that a beer is brewed with cocoa nibs, this is what I would envision that beer tasting like.

(M) It's a very rich beer, thick and a lot of big body to it. Almost got a chewy aspect to it, like you're eating chocolate cake.

(O) Really good. I love it. I think that since its fresh, the taste is still really sweet and chocolaty, but with some time on it I think the flavors will blend and mellow a bit more and will turn out to be still a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 13:49:09 | More by cjacobsen
Photo of FanofHefe
FanofHefe

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 3-25-11. Poured from the bomber into a Duvel tulip. Deep, dark, black body with a small mocha head. Minimal retention and just a smattering of lacing.

Rich aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, and a hint of vanilla.

The flavor is heavy on the chocolate, as expected. But, a nice blend of dark malt and some caramel and molasses mixed in. Very slight hop bitterness on the back end, but very subdued.

Smooth, thick mouthfeel that goes down easy. Only the smallest notice of the alcohol. I think this will age very well. Another superior stout from Goose Island.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2011 23:42:15 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390

Indiana

4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was the first to pick up a bottle at the local shop and now I'm wishing I had the money to pick up another to age.

A-Jet black, two finger creamy deep brown head that leaves behind some lacing.

S-Chocolate and roasted malts.

T-Starts with chocolate and roasted malts. Extremely sweet. Ends with bitterness (60 IBUs, the same as DFH 60 minute, absolutely amazing). Well balanced and mouth watering

M-Medium bodied, smooth and creamy.

D-An amazing beer. The alcohol is not present, a sipper but a great sipper at that. I love this beer, one the best I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2011 23:40:36 | More by rlee1390
Photo of fear025
fear025

Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Aroma:Lots of sweet malt, with chocolate and dark roasted malt too. The dark fruit aroma comes next, raisins, plums, etc.

Appearance:This beer is black and thick, with a good size head that quickly dissipates. The beer has poor lacing.

Taste:There are tons of roast flavors in the foretaste, which make way in the midtaste to chocolate, sweet malt, and caramel. I can taste the bitter hops more in the aftertaste, but they are still subdued.

Mouthfeel:This beer is hugely thick, and there is a prominent hot alcohol bite in the foretaste. Good carbonation.

Drinkability:This is a fantastic brew when fresh, and I really hope that the hot alcohol bite lessens as the beer ages. The chocolate flavors make this a great sipping dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 20:50:18 | More by fear025
Photo of jimmy82063
jimmy82063

Connecticut

4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Scored a bomber of this in Westchester, NY. Poured into a snifter. Bottled on date 3/25/11....a youngster!

A) Jet black, no real head to notice, minor lacing.

S) Chocolate of course get some dried fruit as well.

T) My first thought is where's the Bourbon as I am kind of used to that from GI. The semi-sweet chocolate taste is really dominant (expected). If you like chocolate this is for you. What I like is that the sweetness is not overpowering.

M) Very smooth, no alcohol burn at all.

O) What surprised me here is the overall drinkability of this which I thought was pretty easy given the ABV. Not sure what aging would do to this (but hopefully I'll find out!). Really enjoyed this....this would have been a great holiday release!

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 17:58:26 | More by jimmy82063
Photo of CMB2012
CMB2012

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, dated 3/25/11, served in a snifter at cellar temperature.

A- Thick, oily, black with slight hints of dark brown when held to light. Not much foam, but what is there is espresso colored. Not much lacing.

S- Sweet vanilla and chocolate, roasted malts, some dark fruit, and alcohol.

T- The chocolate is the obvious standout ingredient in this beer, and it definitely comes across in the flavor. The taste is as if there were actual chocolate bars dissolved in the beer, mixed with prunes and a couple raisins, some rustic bread, and a little bit of espresso. It's not overly complex, but it is very well done.

M- Thick, viscous, chewy, full body indeed. Good carbonation for IS.

O- It's a good brew, I just wish it were more available. I have yet to try a BCBS of any kind, and I have not cracked open the bottle of night stalker I have in my fridge, but if the quality goes up from here, then I can't wait to try them all!

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 15:58:15 | More by CMB2012
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
UMNbeerhunter

Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Darkness goblet on 4/16/11.

Pours a oil black with a huge mocha colored head that takes several minutes to dissipate leaving no lacing. I would like to have seen more lacing but the head color and the rest looks great.

Smells of roasted malts and chocolate. It still has some bourbon to it but its mostly covered up by the cocoa nibs. The smell is very sweet and enjoyable.

Taste is much of the same. I taste mostly cocoa nibs and the sweet malts. The bournbon barrel aging is still there but gets covered up at the moment. I think that the bourbon may come out more in a year after the chocolate has faded.

Mouthfeel is medium weight, and there is a significant resin that sticks to your mouth and leaves the taste of chocolate. I like this brew.

Overall this is another hit by GI. While its a little on the sweet side and I wish it started with some more bourbon flavor its a great beer. I hope I can get this for awhile longer because I would like to age some.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 07:06:56 | More by UMNbeerhunter
Photo of BrewCrew2010
BrewCrew2010

Mississippi

4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours like black motor oil. Head is dense, creamy, tan, and long lasting.

S: Smells amazing! Strong milk chocolate aroma with notes of booze, roasted malts, and bourbon.

T: First thought is that this taste like a spiked glass of chocolate milk. Great flavor of bourbon, coffee, vanilla, milk chocolate, roasted malts. Perfectly balanced between the heat and the sweetness. A must try for Imperial Stout lovers.

M: Smooth and creamy, although the heat makes it a sipper. Full body & light-medium carbonation.

O: This beer is great. It reminded me of Ten Fidy, but this one has a great bourbon twist on it.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 21:10:54 | More by BrewCrew2010
Photo of AJacob81
AJacob81

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 3/25/11, poured into a New Belgium globelet for swirling.

A - Almost pitch black, but hues of dark chocolate brown appear when held to the light. One finger of filmy deep khaki head forms, and retains as a thin lacquer throughout. Vigorous swirls produce polka-dot lacing and short-lived half-finger burnt meringue heads. Very visually appealing, more dynamic than the absolute void in a glass that is most BCBS variants.

S - Slightly disappointing, really. Doesn't pop the way my favorite big stouts do. Restrained notes of coffee, molasses, and hot cocoa. As it warms, the swirling releases some anise and brown sugar aromas as well, but on the whole very subdued.

T - Follows the nose up front; coffee and roasted malt make a strong opening, the chocolate is subtle but actually very sweet. Hops are also present in an undefined earthiness. The finish is dominated by blackstrap molasses and a not insignificant hint of sticky maple syrup. Very interesting overall, but lacking the balanced complexity of a Founders Imperial, or even Night Stalker, Big John's close relation.

M and D - The mouthfeel is medium-thick, velvety and more than a little creamy. The finish is sticky, almost cloying, but not quite. Drinkability suffers a touch from the sticky sweetness, but the alcohol masks well and isn't a distraction as it can be with BCBS.

A very pleasant chocolate stout, but lacking somewhat in cohesion, Big John is worth a go. However, I'd place it behind Night Stalker and all members of the BCBS family in the Goose imperial stout sweepstakes.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 18:15:57 | More by AJacob81
Photo of 1noa
1noa

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick with light toffee colored head. Strong aromas of chocolate and coffee. Smooth and sweet at first, then settles into a subtle, pleasing bitterness. You can taste the malt, not at all boozy, and ends with a subtle linger of flavor at the back of the palate. In my opinion an excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 18:01:02 | More by 1noa
Photo of flocculate
flocculate

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All reviews below are spot on and won't reiterate what was already said.

I only have one comment that may add value,

Aroma - there was virtually no aroma to my pour. I split the bottle with a buddy. He agrees - almost no aroma. A little hop perhaps, but didn't get any aroma profiles that were described below.

The label reports a bottling of 3/25/11, batch #1943.

Otherwise, an exceptional imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 04:41:54 | More by flocculate
Photo of WankelEngine
WankelEngine

Illinois

4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A: Almost pitch black with just the slightest tinge of ruby red around the edges when held up to a light. There is a small, light tan head of maybe half a finger which diminishes quickly. No lacing.

S: The smell is potent. I feel a spiciness in my nostrils almost like I’m taking a big whiff of nice brandy. There are notes of coffee and sweet caramel malt. I can also make out some light tropical fruit flavors and a little bitterness.

T: There is a lot to this taste. It starts out sweet and malty, almost like a brown ale. As I savor, it suddenly becomes a lot bitterer. The flavor of coffee is powerful. Behind that are herbs, sweet fruit flavors, cherry and orange peel. The coffee flavor changes to a strong, dark chocolate flavor which last for a long, bitter after taste.

M: I can feel the high alcohol content. It is moderately thick and just a little syrupy. The carbonation is extremely light.

O: Delicious and potent. Definitely a sipper, it’s very strong in both flavor and alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 01:33:55 | More by WankelEngine
Photo of pdoran10
pdoran10

Minnesota

3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a viscous motor oil looking black. Almost no head. No lacing.

Smell is singed bread and chocolate sweetness. I am reminded of fresh cocoa mulch used in landscaping that my neighbors used growing up. A hint of alcohol heat and some weird earthiness.

Taste is roast and a hint of alcohol heat, with the cocoa nibs' bittersweet flavor coming in at the end. Sort of an earthy bitter dark chocolate flavor that isn't working as well as I thought it would on it's own. Most of the malt character seems muddled by the cocoa flavor. Still overall a nice flavor.

Mouthfeel is thick and virtually flat. I am fine with low carbonation on big stouts, but this is VERY lightly carbonated.

A solid effort that comes up a bit short when compared with some of Goose Island's other epic big stouts. Solid, but a bit flawed flavors and construction with a bit of alcohol heat.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 08:41:14 | More by pdoran10
Photo of wschmit
wschmit

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber dated "03/25/11 1854" into a Perfect Pint.

A: Looks and pours like motor oil, a beautiful viscosity. I am astonished by the silence of the pour--it slips out of the bottle and into the glass with barely a splash. A very slight mocha head crowns the otherwise pitch black body. Only the very edges let a bit of light through, showing a darkly caramelized brown.

S: Rum, roasted malt, and chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. Kind of like rum balls at the office holiday party, except actually good. This has a better chocolate nose than any chocolate stout I've come up against--Rogue, Brooklyn, Young's, namely. Sweet, but still more cocoa than sugar.

T: A bit hot up front, but then long, lingering cacao and coffee notes--reminds me of eating raw cocoa beans, frankly. All the usual notes are here: caramel, roast, toast, cigar. Biggest ding is it's a still hot. Some age will do wonders, if it doesn't lose any of the chocolate magic.

M: As thick and mouth-coating as it looks. Very little carbonation--perhaps a bit more would pick it up nicely, but it's just too big for much more.

O: Yet another fine rendition on the Bourbon County theme, minus the bourbon and plus the chocolate. It's a fine alternative if you ever get sick of whiskey beers but still want an excellent all around imperial stout with more than simple malt complexity. Give this some age, though, perhaps a year, and it'll be even better.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 04:03:30 | More by wschmit
Photo of alpinebryant
alpinebryant

Connecticut

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 3.25.11
First out of IL review; what an honor !

When I first saw the news on this beer being released I was really excited. I had good reason to, this is a great beer.

Pours a dark oilcan black with a healthy tan head.

Aroma of fresh cocoa nibs, (I have a package in my closet) roasted chocolate, roasted malts and sweet sugary malt.

Taste is extremely smooth with a very creamy body. The cocoa nibs kick your face in at first followed by a lot of sweetness and some hot boozy flavors. Yeah this is hot, but it is very good. One thing that goose Island does very well is make a massive variety of stouts. Clearly Goose Island was doing this right and BMC saw an opportunity to hop into the market of imperial stouts with higher margins. Enough about politics, on to the beer... There is a nice fresh vanilla flavor in here right now not even three weeks after bottling. Plenty of roasted malt flavors and a definite espresso roast presence. Absolutely no ashiness or bad aftertastes.

Of the cocoa nibbed beers that I have had, this is thicker than any of them. Similar in taste to Teddy Bear kisses which was great, this has a much thicker body and many more roasted / smoked flavors in it. Neither are overdone and this is another great job by GI. Light Carbonation which is about right for the style

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 23:51:16 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yet another stout from GI, this one has a particularly cool label.

A: pours a fizzy pitch black with a collar of dark brown head. Opaque.

S: rich dark chocolate, loads of roasted malt, a hint of anise, a touch of vanilla and a ever so mild hop bite.

T: big sweetness up front, notes of molasses, and licorice, this all turns to a dry deep dark cacao character. The finish presents a considerable amount of heat. The heat and cocoa balance out the sweetness nicely.

MF: big body, almost syrupy texture, carbonation seems a tad higher than the other GI stouts

O: Well this is yet another delicious variant of the BCS base beer. This one doesn't have as much character as the rest, but is still incredibly delicious.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 05:20:14 | More by homebrew311
Photo of Davidpgibbons
Davidpgibbons

Illinois

4.9/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Took me a while to track down a bottle but im glad i finally did.
Found some in Andersonville, i think is the only place that actually got a case in chicago.
I had also tried this at stout fest, didnt leave a lasting impression so i thought i would give it another try.
S- aroma hits hard with coco and a bourbon-like smell very boozy, kind of stings the nostrals
A- appearence is pretty standard... When poured, leaves a nice caramel/ mocha head which goes away quickly leaving a nice tan lacing ring around the edges of glass
T- taste is a very deep chocolate that smooths out to hit the tongue with its mild booze. Very similar to bcbs being that it is the base. The aftertaste is pleasent leaving a cocoa character lingering.
Overall im a huge fan, have 4 bottles left, ill drink two and save two. I hope this will get better with age, im sure it will

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 04:49:02 | More by Davidpgibbons
Photo of weatherdog
weatherdog

Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a Goose Island signature glass. Bottled 3/25/11.

It pours an ever familiar BCS midnight velvety black, a 1 finger seep mocha head rises from the depths and settles down into a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. No lacing is present.

The aroma is of sweet sugary malt and alcohol. It isn't as hot as BCS obviously but it's still up there. A very mild bitter roasted chocolate aroma near the backend. It's just so rich and thick.

The taste has an obvious amount of rich sweet chocolate flavored malt but there is a surprising bitterness as well. It's not enough to make this beer balanced but I think it goes a long way to not having it undrinkably sweet. There is just a tiny amount of roasted malt flavor near the end but once again this baby is sweet. An obvious alcohol warmth coats the throat as it goes down.

The only obvious flaw with this beer is the mouthfeel. It's so sweet and dense and rich that without very careful analysis sweetness is all that is detected. I'm not positive, but I'm assuming this is the base beer to BCS. If this is the case I think they made a mistake having such an underattenuated beer. In BCS the bourbon goes a long way to thinning out the beer and making it (relatively) drinkable and not cloying. This beer lacks the thinning sensation and just comes across as a liquid sugar delivery system, not a terrible thing, but certainly not my preference.

Overall it's not a bad beer by any stretch but just lacking that barrel character that GI does so well with and ties the beer together. It's one thick drink and since my wife fell asleep, the one who I was supposed to split the bomber with, I'm gonna attempt to drink the whole thing. Wish me luck.

EDIT: It's about an hour later and the beer was warmed up to room temperature. I'm enjoying it much more this way. The sweetness seems a bit cut down and the individual chocolate flavor seems to pop. This is as much as a sipper as fresh BCS but I'm enjoying the second half of the bomber MUCH more than the first. I've bumped up a few of the scores to match.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 04:42:34 | More by weatherdog
Photo of WillCarrera
WillCarrera

Ohio

4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at the Clybourne Pub. Bottled on date of March 25, 2011, bought it two days later on the 27th.

A - Pitch black, even held to light there's just barely any color at the edges. Even a rough pour produces only about a centimeter of mocha tan head, which quickly dissipates and leaves a thin ring around the edges of the glass.

S - Very sweet, mostly milk chocolate and alcohol, not picking up any hop aroma at all.

T- The first wave is a powerful blend of dark chocolate, coffee and warm, bourbon-y sweet alcohol. On the back end it melts into an earthy mocha flavor. The alcohol is pretty powerful but isn't excessive.

M- Very creamy, coats your mouth with a nice coffee flavor.

O- A pretty damn good stout, considerably better than Night Stalker in my opinion. Definitely worth drinking again.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 01:47:53 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks black, not getting any light to pass through, but we both expected this didn't we? I mean this base does have a reputation to keep. fades to a collar quickly.

The aroma of chocolate comes through as a very dark and roasty chocolate, almost mocha like in that there is coffee notes within, but i'm sure that is just from the level of roasted malts.
Rich goodness, way creamier and more milk chocolate then i was expecting from the nose, there is a background roasty bitterness but this one is dense ghirardelli creamy mouthfeel full of chocolate. Just lovin the alcohol poking through and keeping this one multi dimensional, it balances out the sweetness alot, without the warmth i think the Cacao would be too much alone, but all elements combined this one sits very nicely, just a bit on the sweeter side of course.

Good beer, worth getting some bottles of, one of the better chocolate forward beers i've had.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 02:23:55 | More by ChadQuest
Big John from Goose Island Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,379 ratings.