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Favorite BCBS Variation Poll

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by ChugginOil, Jan 18, 2013.


What's Your Favorite BCBS?

  1. BCBS

  2. BCBS Coffee

  3. BCBS Vanilla

  4. BCBS Rare

  5. BCBS Bramble Rye

  6. BCBS Cherry Rye

  7. Other Draft-Only Variations

  1. chronie

    chronie Aficionado (190) Illinois Aug 1, 2011

    Can you expand on how Rare is falling off?
  2. tjfilippo

    tjfilippo Savant (280) Illinois Jan 28, 2008 Verified

    I'd like to hear as well. Vanilla was my favorite beer fresh, however... the last few times i've had it it tastes like regular BCS. I haven't had rare in a long time (I guess I should open my bottles soon), but 2009 BCS is epic. Absolutely destroyed the 2012 when we did a side by side last month. I can't imagine Rare tasting worse than '09, which was phenominal.
  3. Anonymous1

    Anonymous1 Savant (490) Illinois Mar 19, 2012 Verified

    The gravity is dropping and its mellowing out.

    Now its medium bodied and the barrel characteristics aren't as prevalent. Now it just tastes like 2009 BCBS. No joke.
  4. bpfrush

    bpfrush Advocate (615) Wisconsin Jan 24, 2009 Verified

    The Neapolitan I had at the Great Taste a few years ago
  5. jegross2

    jegross2 Champion (750) Illinois Jan 3, 2010 Verified

    In order, as of a month or so ago, for me:

    Apple Brandy BCS
    Coffee 12
    08 BCS
    Pinot BCS
    10 BCS
    Cherry Rye
    11 BCS
    09 BCS
    12 BCS
    Baudonia (Low Storage BCS)
    Manhattan BCS
    "Cherry BCS"
    07 BCS
    06 BCS
    05 BCS

    I think 08 has peaked, and by association, this means Rare is likely peaking as well (though still drinking marvelously -- assuming stored correctly). Vanilla is almost as good as Rare for me, and the vanilla character is still excellent. I think 09 is hotter than 10, but no one else agrees with me.
  6. funhog

    funhog Advocate (540) Illinois Mar 8, 2011 Verified

    Jeff, Where's the Coffee 11?
  7. jegross2

    jegross2 Champion (750) Illinois Jan 3, 2010 Verified

    And COffee 10, oops!

    '10 Coffee was on par with '10 BCS, and '11 BCS Coffee just tastes like '11 BCS now. '10 Coffee still has delicious coffee flavor. Buffalo Trace BCS didnt taste any different to me. Also, was it ever confirmed what kind of wine the Wine BCS was at FOBAB this year?

    Now, if only I could try Ghost Pepper and Neopolitan BCS...and maybe an 03 (just cause).
  8. pmoney

    pmoney Advocate (665) Colorado Apr 15, 2011 Verified

    I've had most of these a couple times within the last few months. My Top-5 are as follows:

    Bramble Rye
    2008 BCBS
    Cherry Rye
  9. RC0032

    RC0032 Aficionado (240) Illinois Mar 10, 2009 Verified

    ^^ This hands down.
  10. mdomask

    mdomask Savant (370) Illinois May 27, 2012

    I can see the chocolate fudge, but I got a very earthy taste off Baudoinia. Maybe it was just knowing about the barrel fungus, but I got a huge amount of it on the nose, and a decent amount in the taste.

    The closest thing I can compare it to is corn smut (aka huitlacoche), which is a fungus that grows on corn husks and is a delicacy in Mexico. That also had the woody, earthy smell/taste with a bit of dark chocolate bittersweetness.
  11. exitmusic00

    exitmusic00 Savant (290) Oregon Mar 15, 2010

    YES!!! Had this at the GI takeover at Acre...absolutely incredible.
  12. robboyd

    robboyd Savant (295) Indiana Aug 7, 2011

    Just speaking to the order of the regular BCS vertical, I was pretty surprised at this order. I did this 5 year vert with a tasting group a few months ago and I think everyone in the group had the 09 as the best. After that it was a mix between the 08 and 11, followed by the 12 and the 10 pulling up the rear. The 10 was the biggest outlier of the group in terms of general profile. The 08 seemed muddled, or to have "fallen off," compared to the 09 and felt past it's prime. The 11 was surprisingly good for just a year. It made me reconsider aging these beers beyond a year, which I might put into practice if the 5 year vertical next year holds true to this. The 12 was still a bit hot, as to be expected.

    I think storage might come into play in the differences from your list to ours. From what I understand, the 10 bottle from our group was stored at normal refrigerator temp the entire time while the rest were stored at or close to 55 degrees the entire time. You would think it would just taste "newer" because of it, but it seriously was off compared to the rest of the bottles. Any help on explaining how that might be? I'm also surprised you had the 09 so low. It was the unanimous winner in our group and was such a great beer.

    As far as the OP's question. Bramble is my favorite variant in all that I have tried.
  13. yeahnatenelson

    yeahnatenelson Advocate (700) Illinois Feb 8, 2010 Verified

    It's getting dull, the barrel character is becoming muted. See also: 2008 BCBS, and to a lesser extent, King Henry.

    Bourbon County, arguably, peaks at around 2-3 years. People are raving about 2009 now in the way that they were raving about 2008 a year ago. Not surprising.
  14. yeahnatenelson

    yeahnatenelson Advocate (700) Illinois Feb 8, 2010 Verified

    ...and to get back on topic, Apple Brandy BCBS was the truth.
  15. FlssmrBrewAlum

    FlssmrBrewAlum Savant (305) Illinois Feb 25, 2009 Verified

    Additionally, the blending really seems to of made BCS much more drinkable out the gate, thus, it would not surprise me if 2011 or 2012 are considered at their peak at release or in a much shorter time span post release and taper off slowly from there.. as opposed to how older vintages were
  16. yeahnatenelson

    yeahnatenelson Advocate (700) Illinois Feb 8, 2010 Verified

    The 2011 vintage, definitely. 2012, IMSDHO, has enough heat to have some staying power, but it will probably peak closer to two years instead of three.

    Semi-related note: does anybody else remember how hot 2009 was fresh??
  17. mjmadsen21

    mjmadsen21 Savant (280) Indiana Jan 13, 2012 Verified

    We actually recently added vanilla beans and ghost chilis to regular bcbs 2012 bottles then quickly recapped and let them sit for 2 weeks. Had them on saturday and the vanilla was unreal! Me being a chili head I loved the ghost chili variation as well as the combo with vanilla bean. I don think I am going to look for bourbon county vanilla anymore...just make my own!
    moefriedman likes this.
  18. jegross2

    jegross2 Champion (750) Illinois Jan 3, 2010 Verified

    Not really sure. It's not that I disliked 09. I just found it a bit "hot" by comparison to the bookend years (08/10). The 08 has definitely peaked, and its not as good as it was a year ago, but its not "falling off" in my opinion. 08 is in that "drink now/soon" category still. 07 is halfway down the slope and 06 has totally fallen off. I based these opinions on the verticals I have participated in three times in the past 6 months, but this is again just my personal observation. Everyones palate differs.
    davey101 likes this.
  19. jegross2

    jegross2 Champion (750) Illinois Jan 3, 2010 Verified

    IIRC, and someone please check this before we end up with another JEG-started 07 BCS fiasco on our hands, this is because the last couple of years have been blended to taste.
  20. davey101

    davey101 Champion (820) Connecticut Apr 14, 2009

    Vanilla with a year on it was phenomenal! Not better than the base beer IMO, but the best variation I've had (bramble, '10-'12 Coffee). Can't wait to try an incoming cherry rye. I've given up hope on ever trying Rare though :(

    Will be having my '09-'11 bottles this week probably. Can't wait to try that '09!
  21. this post makes me want to buy a pound of vanilla beans from ebay. losing a little carbonation isn't gonna hurt bcbs all that much...

    BUNZILLA Champion (850) Indiana Jan 14, 2011 Verified

    I'm totally going to try this! Sounds like fun :)
  23. yeahnatenelson

    yeahnatenelson Advocate (700) Illinois Feb 8, 2010 Verified

    Somehow I doubt it. Personal opinion: Laffler got reeel good at blending over the past few years.
  24. mjmadsen21

    mjmadsen21 Savant (280) Indiana Jan 13, 2012 Verified

    Actually if you have a few people and do it in assembly line fashion to minimize the time the bottle is open it should be fine. Maybe the sugars in the vanilla beans help to recarb? Any we opened still had that wonderful carbonated sound and did not seem less carbonated then regular bcbs.
    kool3320 and tinypyramids like this.
  25. yeahnatenelson

    yeahnatenelson Advocate (700) Illinois Feb 8, 2010 Verified

    There is a bar in the west 'burbs that runs BCBS through a hopback full of split vanilla beans. It works pretty well.

    Now to just find a keg of BCBS...
    stevegoz likes this.
  26. burica2020

    burica2020 Savant (430) Illinois Nov 17, 2009

    Am I again in the minority that loved wine bcbs and wasn't a huge fan of apple Brady? Apple wasn't cherry bad but it wasn't that good.
  27. DavoleBomb

    DavoleBomb Advocate (635) Ohio Mar 29, 2008

    I'm amazed that so many people like Bramble the best. BCS is just about perfect and Bramble doesn't taste much like BCS.
    crushedvol likes this.
  28. tjfilippo

    tjfilippo Savant (280) Illinois Jan 28, 2008 Verified

    Very interesting. Did you just add one bean per bottle and recap? I need details!! Thanks!!
  29. kool3320

    kool3320 Aficionado (140) Indiana Aug 22, 2010 Verified

    1) Vanilla. 2) Rare. 3) Regular BCS. 4) Bourdonia (hidden gem). 5) Coffee. 6) Cherry Rye. 7) Bramble

    As for the draft only....limited exposure
    1) Rare (on tap at release 2010, was amazing) 1.5) Apple Brandy. 2) Choclate (blending) 3) Ancho chili (stout fest 2011) 4) Raspberry/Coffe infusion ( block party)
  30. kool3320

    kool3320 Aficionado (140) Indiana Aug 22, 2010 Verified

    I was able to taste these home made variants. They were fantastic!! I need to go find some vanilla beans and start dropping them in my BCS. Warning though no more than 1/2 a ghost pepper per bottle. The pour i had from the 2 pepper bottle almost burned my tounge off.

  31. mbockstruck30

    mbockstruck30 Savant (405) Illinois Dec 31, 2010 Verified

    I completely agreed when this was fresh. But have you tried it lately? Still one of my least favorite variations, but it is drinking fantastically right now.
  32. DavoleBomb

    DavoleBomb Advocate (635) Ohio Mar 29, 2008

    I traded for one bottle when it was fresh, drank it, then never thought about it again..
  33. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Minnesota Apr 1, 2011

    1.) Rare
    2.) Regular (with some age)
    3.) Coffee
    4.) Bramble
    5.) Cherry

    The ranking doesn't mean much though... they are all fantastic in my opinion.