Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Bourbon County Brand Barleywine AleBourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale
5,420 Ratings
Bourbon County Brand Barleywine AleBourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale

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

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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,420 |  Reviews: 657
Photo of Travcofarms
1/5  rDev -77.8%

Photo of Raretm
1/5  rDev -77.8%

Photo of diamondlie
1/5  rDev -77.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1


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Photo of Edie
1/5  rDev -77.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
1/5  rDev -77.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Lots of cash flushed here. Unfortunately I was 4 for 4 for infection. BCBS and all variants are the ceme-de-la-creme of beers, it happens though, a bad batch. I would have thought that with the $$ and extensive knowledge that Goose Island has, a beer with problems like this should have been caught by quality control, and there definitely should have not been a limited return time for bottles. I ahve a couple left and hope to get a good one. Will update the review if I do.....

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Photo of Dirtnasty
1/5  rDev -77.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Photo of j25stew
1.03/5  rDev -77.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Infected. Brewery had a one month window to collect a refund. Company as big as inbev should have recalled the beer nation wide. Sour, wine notes, slick on tounge. I wont be buying anything from them again.

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Photo of ArrogantB
1.18/5  rDev -73.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Update 2015

Soured and infected, scores updated accordingly

I was able to get a bottle of this before black Friday, $5.99. Color is super dark brown, head died quick fast. Aroma is whiskey, sweet, fruity. Flavor is fruity, boozy, and might even have a touch of bourbon county stout but maybe that is the power of suggestion. Overall, pretty solid bourbon barrel barleywine but to me not as good as Bligh's or Abacus. I never had the original King Henry either so I can't speak to that one. Still, glad I bought a couple bottles.

 531 characters

Photo of the_aluminum_monster
1.19/5  rDev -73.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

"Develops in the bottle up to 5 years," according to the label.

I found out about the infection after it was too late to get a refund and finally decided to try it.

I loved this beer when fresh and enjoy sours, so I thought maybe even if mine was infected I might still like it. Nope. The sour taste was overwhelming and extremely unpleasant. Completely masked everything to the point that I couldn't even detect a hint of bourbon. This was the worst beer I have ever had and the only one I have ever drain poured.

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Photo of steveheady
1.31/5  rDev -71%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Drain pour sour as f

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Photo of nola1988
1.37/5  rDev -69.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

2015 vintage in a tulip (infected)

L: light darkness, red hue, no head.
S: sharp and sour, not unlike cherry. No notes of bourbon.
T: follows smell. A tart sourness. No maltiness, no notes of bourbon. Still syrup sweetness. Everything is masked by a sour funk and it holds none of its original features.
F: viscous but very thin for the style.
O: as GI releases BCBS today, I revisit this brew to reminded myself of last year's failure. Under normal situations, this barley-wine is a fine brew. But I can only review what is given... and it is a mess. Frankly, it is a sour, sweet mass that shows the horrors of "spontaneous fermentation." Any bourbon flavor has been destroyed. The sweet maltiness? Transformed into some sort of rotten cherry. While lines form at bottle shops around the country, I doubt few would wait for this offering despite GI's claims that some may enjoy it. Perhaps they right the ship this year. last years venture is certainly worth forgetting.

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Photo of Clemente285
1.38/5  rDev -69.4%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Photo of Grinz12
1.45/5  rDev -67.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Got a bad bottle, smell was almost like vinegar. Taste was extremely sour, could only take 2 sips. Called Goose Island and they were super cool about the refund. I'm just hoping that my coffee isn't a bad one.

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Photo of ESimmons
1.5/5  rDev -66.7%

Photo of hoppheadIPA
1.6/5  rDev -64.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Gross!!!! How do people find this palatable?

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Photo of Hoppity1
1.69/5  rDev -62.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 1.25

Photo of DannyBigs
1.86/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2


Upon first glance and smell, I thought I was fortunate enough to snag a bottle that wasn't affected by bacteria. Alas, I was incorrect to my dismay. Looked enough like a barleywine, deep caramel color and the aroma was what I expected. First sip tasted alright, but what came on after was a bit of sourness and acridity that isn't expected for the style. 1/5 drank, 4/5 drain pour, r.i.p. What a shame.

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Photo of bound4er
1.88/5  rDev -58.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours dark brown with crimson highlights. Produces a thin, tan head that recedes quickly to a skim. Smells of rich caramel malt, toffee, prune, alcohol and off-putting stinky diapers (wife said outhouse smell). Nose has me nervous to taste ... bitter raisin and bitter cherry framed around a thin mouthfeel with zero carbonation - INFECTED. I was really hoping that I didn't buy a bad bottle but alas, no such luck. Maybe next year I can update my review.

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Photo of HoodviewBrew
1.89/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very sour with bitter aftertaste. I must have gotten the infected bottles.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
1.96/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

loll was stupid enough to buy a couple 2015 bottles without googling it... should i really have to google a beer to check infection every time i get a bourbon county? anyway - now i know what turned and infected beer tastes like. super thin and fizzy - caramel and vanilla flavors are replaced by cherry spritzer type notes. sour in the most weird and unfortunate way. will update my review when i finally get to taste a good bottle of this one.

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Photo of Desp59
2/5  rDev -55.7%

Photo of hairylikeapeman
2/5  rDev -55.7%

Photo of Rainier
2/5  rDev -55.7%

Photo of JoeySchlitz
2.37/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Bottled on: 28OCT15 1439.
Definitely infected. Earlier bottle had a slight cherry taste - this bottle has fully developed sour and cardboard flavored. Highly carbonated but looks fine - dark root beer color with some garnet at edges. Smell is larger yeast, cardboard and a sour aroma. Taste follows with an acidic carmel blend with some cherry at the finish. Not enjoyable. Overall not a good follow for the big-beer/craft alliance. Thought qc was their strong suit..

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Photo of zero_signal
2.5/5  rDev -44.6%

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Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.51 out of 5 with 5,420 ratings