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!

Big John - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Big JohnBig John

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,441 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,441
Reviews: 436
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 160
Gots: 602 | FT: 54
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,441 | Reviews: 436 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kirok1999
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a lingering light brown ring around the snifter and bits of thin foam floating around.
Smells caramely sweet, slight cherry and bits of wood and charcoal, which really matches the taste. There's a funky dark note in the finish, kinda musky and I'm not quite sure how to describe it. The finish lingers for quite a while. Low carbonation and a smooth dense mouthfeel.
This gets funkier as it warms up. It gets a lot darker and a bit dryer. It still finishes well but there's kind of a barnyard funk. I wonder what a few years in the bottle will do to it. The alcohol is well hidden up front but maybe it also contributes to the way the finish lingers.

kirok1999, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have been a huge fan of any Imperial Stout made by Goose Island, so this was a must try beer!

Bottle number 1644.

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Light black body with redish brown hues. 2 fingers of a medium khaki brown head that quickly dissapates into a small brown ring around the outside of the glass.

Smell: straight up cocoa and dark chocolates.

Taste: milk chocolate, dark chocolate and cocoa bitterness all integrated well together. Maybe a little coffee flavor too. The beer has a sweet chocolate taste when it sits on your tongue and turns to a cocoa bitterness when you swallow the beer. Some alcohol is tasted when you swallow, but no alcohol burn is noted with the obvious alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer with carbonation that is at the low end of moderate. Carbonation seems to make the bitterness of this beer become more obvious. This beer is a bit more carbonated than I would like it. Less carbonation would really make this beer go from very good to fantastic. The beer has a bit of a dry finish to it as well.

Overall: Another solid offering from Goose Island, better than average imperial stout. After drinking Big John, I do prefer the Bourbon County Stout to Big John. This beer will probably be better after it has a year or two in the cellar. Not much complexity and the sweet and bitter chocolate/cocoa flavors are the star players of this beer. A bit on the overcarbonated side as well. It is still worth seeking out a pint of this beer.

4DAloveofSTOUT, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours placidly into a tulip, mahogany tones glinting in the light.
A thin quarter inch of dark tan mocha foam dissipates soon after a couple minutes, receding to a ring around the edge. Spotty bits of froth slide down the glass after a sip is taken, but no lace forms.

Fried plantains in caramel syrup, sticky molasses, brown sugar, deep roastiness, dark chocolate. Rich and complex aroma.

Intense dark chocolate flavor, mellow bittersweetness, rich roastiness, woody tobacco and coffee candies. The roast character is soft and not acrid whatsoever. Sweet as expected with so much chocolate content, with a low level bitterness from the roast. Effortlessly smooth and silky, chewy with a lasting dry chocolate aftertaste, sticky on the lips. Alcohol really isn't perceptible at all. The cacao nibs take centerstage here, while the big roasted malts acting as the supporting cast.

Very enjoyable, a rich treat that is easy to finish, sipping for over an hour of course.
Well balanced for such a big stout.

emerge077, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of zhanson88
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out nearly black, appears totally opaque black once in the glass. One finger of mocha colored head forms that doesn't have much staying power.

Smell: I get a lot of sweet milk chocolate, heavy liquorice, light roast, and a hint of hop character. Fairly sweet overall.

Taste: Milk chocolate and liquorice are prevalent up front. Slight roast and espresso follow. Hops have faded at this point, but it's probably more enjoyable than it was fresh.

Mouthfeel/Overall: This beer is full bodied with low, creamy carbonation. One of the best aspects of the beer. I did enjoy this imperial stout quite a bit, but it's a bit sweet overall without a lot of roasted malt character. Not a lot of bitterness to offset.

zhanson88, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of sidetracked
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 3/25/11; shared with a friend.

Pours pitch black with a thin medium brown head. A small ring lingers on top of the beer.

Smell is bitter roasted malts, sweet molasses, and a little alcohol heat. Not a lot going on.

Sweet molasses, brown sugar and roasty malts upfront. Semi-sweet chocolate comes in at the finish. Light raisin/dried dark fruit sweetness throughout. Interesting mix of bitter and sweet constantly changing throughout a sip.

Full bodied, slightly syrupy with low carbonation. Little alcohol heat at the finish. Sticky.

Decent, but not that impressive. The alcohol heat was kind of surprising and could have been better integrated. I'll probably pass on purchasing this again in the future.

sidetracked, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of KeefD
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Noticed some low reviews of this beer. Are people just expecting it to be like Bourbon County? Because it's not supposed to be. This is a very good AIS.

Pours a very dark brown, but of course is pitch black in the tulip, with no head or lacing. Aroma is plenty of chocolate gentle roastiness, and a slight sting of alcohol in the nostrils, but I like boozy beers. The taste is a bit a hot, but it's not overwhelming. Booziness is front and center along with bitter baker's chocolate, and lots of graininess. Roast isn't as in-depth as I would typically like from an imperial stout, but I think this was done on purpose to let the chocolate really come out, which is definitely there in good supply. Mouthfeel is nearly full with an above average carbonation for the style, but plenty of swirling in the Duvel tulip toned it down a bit and it became nice and creamy, although the alcohol is definitely noticeable. This is definitely a tasty beer, but I think it needs about 6 months on it to mellow out the rough edges from the cocoa nibs, and I'll look forward to trying my other bottle in the fall.

KeefD, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of maximum12
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber bottled on 3/25/11. Thought we'd split this one up & take it down while it's still on shelves hereabouts, in case, you know, it's good, &, you know, I might want to buy another one. Or six.

Pours is Charon's soul black. Minimal toppings. Smell comes loping off the glass: full rich chocolate & a slidge of coffee underneath. C'nibs, they weren't kidding.

Big John is, aside from Boulevard's Chocolate Ale, is an unsightly chocolate bomb, not quite scraping the frosting off a birthday cake - but close. There are probably malts in there, & I can detect a touch of roast, but otherwise, that's it. Like silk boxers in the mouth, though, amazingly smooth.

Good beer. No depth, but if you like chocolate, this is a must-try.

maximum12, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of DaBrewsNIU
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber.
A - very dark, viscous with no head retention yet sticks to the glass when swirled around my Stella Artois glass.
S - alcohol comes first followed by dark malt, molasses, brown sugar, and butter chocolate. It smells like a mocha coffee with rum added to be honest, I love it!
T - low carbonation, sweet brown sugar up front fading to a malt, cocoa, coffee flavor with a lingering alcohol burn. This is accentuated once it warms a bit.
O - excellent beer. Very complex and extremely tasty! Too bad Goose Island sold out to the big brewers...we might not see things like this from them again.

DaBrewsNIU, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of Wisconsinality
3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into Delerium tulip.

A- Pours a pitch black with a decent mocha head, a little more than a half finger. The head dies down quickly and doesn't leave much in the way of lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Big roasted malts and a ton of black licorice. As the beer warms, the chocolate starts to come out a little more. A little brown sugar and alcohol round this one out.

T- A big helping of dark, bitter chocolate, molasses and black licorice. Roasted malts and sweetness which is assume is from the cocoa nibs.

M- Fuller bodied that has a little more carbonation than I was anticipating. Other than that, this is the typical big GI stout.

O- I didn't really know what to expect from this beer but this wasn't it. Not bad by any means but lacks some key components to make this a real winner.

Wisconsinality, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love BCS, Coffee BCS, Vanilla BCS, and Nightstalker. Needless to say, I was stoked when I heard a chocolate BCS minus bourbon was coming out. Big John was really good overall, but I feel like it falls short of all of the bourbon versions and Nightstalker when it's been aged a bit (I'm not a huge fan of fresh NS, but it is amazing with a year or so).

Pours the characteristic opaque black with a half inch or so of chocolate milk head. Nose is sweet--cocoa comes through with roasted malts and some sweeter malts. A bit boozy. I didn't like my first sip--it was sweet and off-flavored and boozy. As it warmed, though, it really evolved into a sweet, but nice imperial chocolate stout. I'm glad I split the bomber (I've never said that about GI's stouts!!!), but I really enjoyed what I had. Good stuff.

Smooth, creamy MF, potentially a tad much carbonation for my tastes. Overall very good, it's lacking a bit of the "it" factor, but I liked the sum a bit more than its individual parts (which is a good thing).

LordAdmNelson, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of gford217
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours pitch black in the glass with a small tan head that doesn't stick round long, leaving almost nothing after a couple minutes.

Aroma is definitely chocolate up front with roasted malts and a molasses sweetness in the background. Coffee notes as well.

The taste has a combination of chocolate malts and heavily roasted espresso beans. There are some sweet undertones, caramelized brown sugar maybe.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very creamy and smooth with good carbonation.

This is a solid impy stout but not in the league of the BCS series. Really good stout, lots of chocolate.

gford217, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of Sean9689
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Goose Invasion @ Small Bar Fullerton.

A - Pours black, mocha-color head, thin collar, no lace or retention.

S - Big chocolate, roast, oak, malts. Lots roast and sweetness here, in fact, the alcohol is very well-hidden.

T - Huge chocolate sweetness, roast, malts, burnt sugars, oak, and slight dark fruit notes in there as well. As with the nose, the alcohol is masked by the huge chocolate and roast notes.

M - Full body, rich and smooth, very viscous.

O - Perhaps a bit too sweet for me and really, I could use a little more alcohol on the nose and palate. That said, it's still a very solid stout and we'll see what some age does to this one.

Sean9689, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of kbutler1
3.15/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Poured into a DFH tulip glass a pitch black color with a 1 finger mocha tan head of tiny bubbles. More carbonated than I thought it would be. Roasty, bitter chocolate notes in the nose with a touch of alcohol as well. Medium/heavy mouthfeel with carbonation, maybe a little too carbonated and light for my tastes. The roast hits me first followed by a dry, bitter sweet chocolate flavor. The chocolate is more bitter to me than actually sweet. Booze is apparent in this one. Overall, a little let down by this.

kbutler1, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of jjanega08
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 03/25/11 1624

A= The pour is incredibly thick looking and a complete black out color. Looks rather syrupy. After a flat looking pour a nice finger of thick dark brown head comes out of it falling slowly to a thin skin on top of the glass with some average lacing on the glass.

S= The smell is somewhat muted? Weird I figured for such a big beer there would be more of an odor. I get some chocolate and roastyness from it. Other than that there isn't much. What I do smell is very quiet for such a large beer however.

T= The taste is not nearly as quite at the smell. Tons of roast and chocolate. There's a somewhat "woodyness" to it. I know it isn't barrel aged and it doesn't quite reach barrel wood but sort of a fresh lumber taste. There is also a bit of a fruityness on the finish as well. Sort of a banana like after taste.

M= Big thick and scary. Almost ideal for the Imperial Stout style.

O= Not quite as flavorful and complex as I had hoped but still a nice large beer. Worth checking out but not spending an arm and leg for.

jjanega08, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Three Floyds tulip pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!

Finally gonna be able to make up my mind about this beer after hearing all sorts o' chatter surrounding it. It pours a deeply dark black-brown topped by a finger of dirty cream foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, toasted oak, molasses, and rich chocolate. The taste holds plenty of roasted malts and chocolate (both dark and syrup), molasses, light oak, brown sugar, and light coffee. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a chewy feel. Overall, a solid stout indeed. I would not really call it great, but I would not turn down another bottle were it offered me.

TMoney2591, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of cmannes
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Surly Stein

Appearance: Dark dark brown with some red tint. Thin cocoa colored head.

Aroma: Cocoa, toffee, hint of the alcohol. More subtle than I expected.

Taste: There is a slight cola quality to it. Otherwise, some simple cocoa, toffee, burnt flavors. The heat of the alcohol comes in the finish with a bit of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, lingering. It tends to coat your mouth and hang out for a while. Not overly carbonated, but enough to be noticed. Not bad.

Overall: I can't say it's bad. I'd drink it again, but I was hoping for stronger flavors & smells. It's rather tame, considering the name "Big John."

cmannes, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of AleWatcher
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber shared at Easter gthering...
I'm the only official beer geek, and I'm the one that likes this least... It is blowing the mind of all the Miller Lite drinkers though!

Pours a deep red, mahogony and black cherry hues. Dark tan head of two fingers has average retention and weak lacing... The legs are strong and oily.
Smells of dark cocoa... Some caramel and burnt toffee too.
The taste has the same notes as the nose but with a cola quality that I don't really like. A boozy sting hits on the finish-- it's a bit much. This isn't the balanced offering nor the huge flavor bomb I was hoping for... It's too boozy to be well-balanced, and not flavorful enough to beat out Bourbon County.
The body is medium full and very oily and sticky.
The beer is decent, but not great... Certainly not a beer I'm going to get worked up over.

AleWatcher, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of KevSal
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this guys got a mix of reviews, Im on the higher side, I found it very enjoyable.

22oz poured into a goose island glass

A- looks good, thin dark drown head that fades quickly. pours a dark see thru brown, pitch black in the glass with dark brown edges, visible clear liquid on the very edge(this the alch?)
a minute in the glass the head is completely gone.

S-Smells great! got some dark fruits and some slight cherry, dark chocolate. I really like this guys nose, the hint if cherry, (or sweetness) is especially good.

T-yum this guy is tasty. I got lots of bitter chocolate that remains in the after taste, that slight cherry from the nose is present and ads to the taste. the first glass was the best, the second and third contained much more alch presents(butter chocolate still remains). with all the hype going around this one was better than expected.

M- very silky medium body mouthfeel. much lighter than the usual Goode island stout but I welcomed the change. thick enough to bring out the flavors across the mouth.

O- I really liked it. very good stout and very tasty. can't think of anything it taste like and that's the best part. Glad to seek it out again and give it a bit to mellow out, loved the dark chocolate tho!

KevSal, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of Arbitrator
3.33/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously sent by MasterSki. For the past week, I've been referring to this beer as "Big Johnson" among our tasting group, so I was a little embarrassed when I slipped and called it the same in front of my cousins, with whom I shared it. When worlds collide.

Anyway...

A: Pours a pitch black body with a dark mocha head, much like all of the Goose Island imperial stout series. I think this is the same recipe as Night Stalker, but without the dry hopping and adding in cacao nibs, right? Anyway, poor retention, no lace, no swirls.

S: Fudgy chocolate is immediate on the nose, as are concomitant flavors of roasted malt, licorice, and dark fruit. There's a noticeable component of booze, too. It's not super-solventy, but it's kind of off-putting for someone that rarely finds heat forgivable.

T: This has the hallmarks of aged Night Stalker, which turned into a beer with surprising flavors of licorice and dark fruit. Those are both present here, and they are more dominant than the cacao, which is more subtle than the nose promised. Roasted malt lends the beer some notes of coffee and an occasional, grainy sourness. Unlike Night Stalker, this doesn't have a dominant hoppy flavor or bitterness. It's pretty tasty, but it has a lot of extreme flavors that haven't melded together properly. It's rough around the edges.

M: This has the full-bodied, velvety feel of all of the Goose Island stouts -- and their characteristic heat, as well. It's not as solventy as fresh BCBS, but it's hot enough that you can't help but notice, and trying to drink this quickly will singe your nostril hairs. It's velvety and full -- but it's hot. Kind of a wash for me.

O: This is well-made, but it has some flaws (others might call them signatures) that I've come to associate with Goose Island. I have more coming, and I will definitely sit on one bottle for at least six months to see if that quells the alcoholic beast raging within.

Arbitrator, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of younger35
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Just picked up a bottle of this from Princeton’s and need to celebrate the upcoming Easter holiday correctly. Drank from my Darkness Snifter.

Appearance- Pours a pitch ass black with a small half finger dark brown head that bubbles away fairly quickly. A teeny tiny collar remains along with zero cap and zero lacing.
Smell- Well it’s definitely chocolaty smelling that’s for sure. A mixture of fudge and milk chocolate sort of ooze out of the glass. Dark and roasty with a deep coffee char that is fairly intense. Some caramel and whiffs of vanilla sneak in along with a bit of alcohol. Good smelling stuff.
Taste- Tons and tons of milk chocolate along with bitter ultra roasted malts. Like super roasted. I’d love to know the grain bill for this bastard. I don’t particularly get that sort of gritty raw chocolate that one would associate from cocoa nibs but I think the beer is just slightly too sweet to let that come aspect come through. A touch of hops in the finish adds a bit of dark fruitiness. A bit of warming too but nothing serious.
Mouthfeel- Silky smooth and creamy as hell. Seriously amazing mouthfeel. Perfect.
Drinkability- A little too sweet for my liking but its good. Definitely chocolaty but I would have liked the roast and sweetness to have been toned down just a touch. Sort of let the nibs show. The mouthfeel is amazing though, absolutely amazing.

younger35, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of OldIronLungs
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite excited to try this one - poured into a Duvel tulip a thick black with very little chocolate milk-like head that quickly falls back to the rim as a bubbly ring.

Nose is lightly burnt chocolate and roasted coffee with a touch of alcohol.

Big and sweet chocolate up front, slick feel, and dry roasted malts and light tobacco through the finish. Mostly smooth with very light carbonation - the alcohol makes its presence known with lingering heat. This is pretty intense sweetness, it's going to be a long sipper.

Glad I got two, but this isn't my favorite from GI - I think I liked the hoppy balance of Night Stalker more - a bottle of each will sit in solitary confinement for a while before I take them out.

OldIronLungs, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into pint goblet - Bottled 3/25/11

A: Poured a deep black with one finger head that dissipated into a thin tan lacing,decent carbonation.

S: Roasted malts , slight coffee and chocolate hints.

T: Deep roasted malts upfront , strong chocolate -slight coffee - licorice and anise - decent mouth feel ,nice finish and aftertaste-
the high abv% is well hidden in an abundance of flavors.

O: Overall I enjoyed this , lots of complex flavors that seem to express themselves as it warms - well blended and balanced .

InebriatedJoker, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of homebrewhawk
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber served in a snifter. Poured a deep brown with a thick tan head. Aroma of chocolate, but kind of a synthetic note. Also a bit of alcohol. Full bodied and rich. Flavor is much more chocolate rather than roasted barley. Long dry malty finish. Very smooth, pretty easy drinking for 11%. This beer didn't really make a big impression on me.

homebrewhawk, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of Gmann
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black color with a very small tight tan head that settles into a light ring.

The aroma is disappointing for an imperial stout. There is some light chocolate, light roast notes and some alcohol vapors, thats about it.

The taste is heavy on the roasted malt with hints of chocolate. There is a brownie batter flavor, fudgey. Not quite like ST Choklat, though. The flavor seems to stay true to the roasted nature of an imperial stout but adds a velvety chocolate note. There is a punch of a sour berry flavor.

The beer is full bodied with soft carbonation, finishes with a slight roasted bitterness. A nice smooth texture. There is an odd heat coming from this beer. There is a raw feel and the ABV is coming off a bit harsh.

I expected much more than what I got from this beer. It feels raw and the booze flavor needs to settle down some.

Gmann, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of SFLpunk
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Thanks to my man John for bringing me a Big John from Chicago! Bottled 3/25/11.

Pours super thick black with very little head. Nose immediately reminds me of Dark Lord! Big, angry and rich as hell. Charred notes, black-strap molasses, & Marmite comes to mind. Very "malty" (think malta goya) and loaded with umami.

Palate is big and thick ("that's what she said"). Lots and lots of malt(a) flavors and a lot of things that remind me of asian delicousness: umami, miso paste, and dank nori. Black patent leather, dates, plums, wet mulch and oily, sticky coffee beans. Super lush on the palate with a pleasant astringency (maybe just a bitterness) on the finish.

Notes: Didn't really get the cocoa nibs. Not the first cocoa beer that I've missed them. I suppose I don't really get the flavor. In any event, this is an epic beer and I believe rivals Dark Lord in style and character. Can't get DL? Grab this one.

SFLpunk, Apr 23, 2011
Big John from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.