Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Bourbon County Brand Barleywine AleBourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale
BA SCORE
4.51/5
World-Class
5,442 Ratings
Bourbon County Brand Barleywine AleBourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
gooseisland.com

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by jplopez21 on 10-04-2013

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#137
Reviews:
666
Ratings:
5,442
pDev:
8.65%
 
 
Wants:
755
Gots:
2,675
Trade:
342
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,442 |  Reviews: 666
Photo of antrocks
4.16/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of videofrog
4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jjquinter
3.88/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Wolvmar
4.58/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Dec 31, 2018. 2016 vintage poured into a tulip glass.

Pour: dark amber, no head, no clouds, no lacing.

Nose: see 2017 review but in a tulip glass this time. Even better!

Taste: similar to 2017 but maybe even more subtle and balanced. Lots of chocolate, still plenty of bourbon heat even after two years. Caramel, burnt toffee. Brandied dark fruits. Awesome.

Mouthfeel: very mild carbonation. Luscious, velvety, oily. Awesome.

Overall: hard to say if it’s better with age but this was exceptional. Might have one more 2016...hoping, hoping, hoping. If not, 2017 will be two years old soon!

==========

Jan 2018. 2017 vintage (4 months old) poured into. Highball glass (best available at hotel).

Pour: beautiful amber and rose color. Small head but pour was small and not aggressive. Minimal lacing.

Nose: dark brandied fruits, brown sugar, toffee, bready malt. Lots going on and really nice. Poured into a snifter would have been even better.

Taste: sweet, dark fruit, some bourbon, oak, smooth malts. Hints of toffee, brown sugar. Really complex but the sweet dark fruits dominate. Slight alcohol burn. Hops are present but not bitter.

Mouthfeel: great viscousity, oily, rich. Light carbonation. Wonderful.

Overall: this is great beer. Get any you can. Great complexity and easy drinking despite the big ABV.

 1,329 characters

Photo of TylerJ
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of KAP1356
4.26/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cuy50
3.92/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Zythophile
4.26/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: 2016
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Dark brown, but not totally opaque. Minimal late-arriving head. Well, it's reputation isn't based on looks...

Onward to the smell. Lots of butter, some molasses, and a little cola. Actually, more cola, plus some cilantro. I know I frequently get these scents out of aged barleywines, but the butter and cola are notably strong here.

Nice spicy kick right up front in the taste. Then it settles into a nice smoky, sweet flavor, like my perfect rum would. Mahogany. Following the spice, there are herbs, somewhere between bay and tarragon. And here's something I don't get much, it's a bit metallic. Not to the degree of being a detriment, but it's still surprising. The finish is anise and shockingly, barley.

Even though it doesn't show up on the pour, there's a reasonable amount of fine carbonation. It's surprising difficult to agitate out, though. (So, points for that, maybe?) Aftertaste reminds me most of chicory. The woodsiness and cola also stick around for quite a while. Alcohol is fairly well hidden for a thirteener.

 1,083 characters

Photo of martinimike82
4.81/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of opieo
4.73/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

An American bourbon barrel aged Belgian Quad. Beautifully complex and bourbon strong. The dark multi flavored brew is well balanced so, other than the bourbon, nothing overwhelms the flavors. A top quality brew. Too bad Goose Island sold out to Big Brew Industry.

 263 characters

Photo of ian_graf
4.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TooGood
4.41/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sunsjammer
4.31/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2016 bottle shared with arizcards...thanks bro!

47 characters

Photo of pavpav12
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JellybonesElmer
4.62/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JSMench
4.41/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage, bottled 9/18/14. Poured with almost no head. Extremely balanced smell, notes of caramel, chocolate and a touch of berries balance out the booze. It drinks very smooth for its 12.3%. Nice mouth feel, thick, and finishes smooth.

 244 characters

Photo of buschbeer
4.09/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 FL OZ bottle
Served in a snifter
2014

This beer pours a deep shade of brown. It is topped with less than an inch of tan head that leaves no lacing.

I get some dark fruit aromas, fig comes to mind. I definitely get some booze. There is some oak.

The taste is dark fruit with caramel and vanilla from the bourbon. I get a woody/oaky dry finsh.

Full bodied. Thick, sticky mouthfeel

This is my first taste of ABIs famed barleywine. While my first taste of the stout equalled if not surpassed my expectations this beer did not. It is good. It just has such mythilogical status that I expected more like I did out of the stout. Maybe it is better fresher. I can think of an Ohio barleywine that absolutely blows it away. Hell, the JW Lees I had last week was better. Good beer. Not worth chasing but grab it if it is convenient.

 830 characters

Photo of travelguy
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of illtexzona
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of npolachek
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark mocha colored pour with reasonable head. Smells of barley, oak, and mild vanilla. Sweet Tate’s of caramel and bourbon. Very drinkable despite its very high ABV.

 167 characters

Photo of drrone
4.96/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of lsthwy
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.41/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I loved Bourbon County Brand Barlewine Ale from Goose Island. In my opinion it lived up to the hype.

Look: dark brown slightly reddish with a thin mocca colored head

Aroma: caramel, dark fruits, bourbon

Flavor: It's sweet raisin bread, caramel, dark fruits, bourbon, red wine, amazingly the alcohol isn't very prominent. It's quite sweet, but this is more than terrific.

Feel: full body, syrupy

 398 characters

Photo of CFCforlife
4.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of C_Adams
4/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.51 out of 5 with 5,442 ratings