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
5,420 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:
#130
Reviews:
657
Ratings:
5,420
pDev:
8.87%
 
 
Wants:
754
Gots:
2,669
Trade:
345
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,420 |  Reviews: 657
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

Photo of BenBreeg
4.53/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Samlover55
4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle into Tulip
Bottled on 10/19/16 basically two years old
It Appears a dark black with dark tan head, but is closer to brown when held up at the light
Aroma is caramel, brown sugar, bourbon
The taste is caramelized brown sugar, subtle leather, even more subtle heat, with smooth vanilla bourbon finish
The feel is thick and smooth, no alcohol burn
Overall I can't ask for a better BBA barleywine, smooth tasty, not much more to say

 442 characters

Photo of Nass
3.14/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I don't know why this brewery gets so much praise because I don't care for their Barleywine. It's great that they are the originators of the bourbon barrel aged stout, but they are mass produced now. I never thought that I would see the day that my local grocery store would have bottles Bourbon County Bourbon Barrel Aged beers for sales but I saw some recently & I was surprised. This brewery has clearly gone downhill in reputation over the last few years. Maybe there beers used to be better 10 years ago, I wouldn't know. Barleywines are already sweet but the bourbon barrel aging makes it extra sweet. This was my first bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine by the way. It's not a good beer but it's not terrible either. It's still worth a try if you want to get into this beer style. I am getting some of the 14.4% abv in the taste, but it's not too off putting or messing up the flavor profile of the beer. To me this is not a world class beer. I don't care how long your brewery has been brewing well crafted beer if your beer is not living up to the hype that it gets I am not going to give you a high score. I am going to give your beer the score that it deserves. Just because the name Bourbon County is on a label does not mean that the beer is automatically going to be World Class, just face it Goose Island Beer Co. fell off. Cheers! B-

 1,345 characters

Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.37/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I am semi ashamed to buy anything from INBEV but this is an exception, and an exceptional beer, so I will swallow my protest of Budweiser (they suck as brewers) and continue to look forward to this brew. Well for at least this year anyway. I am amazed that Bud, with all their resources, just can’t seem to brew world class beer. They have the horses but just can’t seem to saddle up!

 390 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
4.24/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle, 2017

Pours dark opaque brown, very little light penetration. Dark red glow when held to light. Head is yellowish and dissipates to nothing pretty quickly.

Aroma is of apple, molasses, licorice, biscuit, sourdough, oak, bourbon and leather.

Flavor is extremely rich. Molasses, apple butter, sweet bread, cereal, brown sugar, fig, leather, bourbon, oak, maple and pecan.

Full, syrupy body. Light tingly carbonation on the tongue. Booze warmth throughout.

Rich, very slow drinking, decadent. Definitely worth trying at least once just to know. Personally I prefer the stout. Very glad to be having this though.

 639 characters

Photo of Jromanowicz09
4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DaveCash
4.52/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Deep, dark ruby brown. Not completely impenetrable to light, but close. Direct sunlight showed the red in it. Slight brownish head that faded quickly to a cap, but still left decent lacing.

S---Rich, deep & boozy. Vanilla from oak. Not as much bourbon/whiskey as I was expecting. Sweet with dark fruits (fig/raisin) and some chocolate & caramel. I don't give a lot of 5 grades, but this is one.

T---Toffee & chocolate are in the forefront. Oakiness really shows up. Dark fruits follow from the aroma. Cherries show up. Hardly anything from hops present. This is world class stuff.

F---Big, thick & heavy. More carbonation than I expected lightened it just a little bit. This is a powerhouse. Was expecting more heat from the ABV, but it was pretty damn smooth.

O---Absolutely wow. This is what every beer should try to be. It's way high ABV isn't really a dominant feature, although it's obviously noticeable. Would like more, please.

 1,004 characters

Photo of BrueryDC
4.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

Photo of lloydboss
4.23/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2017 vintage enjoyed August 2018

32 characters

Photo of Richter121
4.23/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of buzzedup
4.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of MaximalC
4.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky, burnt tawny color with no head to speak of. Aroma smells of raisins, figs, brown sugar, and caramel.

The taste features a highly balanced blend of raisins, prunes, plums, dates, figs, and brown sugar, accompanied by notes of toffee, caramel, cherry, and apple. Hopping is modest and slightly spicy--just enough to lend some contrast. Bourbon barrel mellows things out with oak and vanilla on the back end. Warming alcohol is detectable, but far less so than its mammoth ABV would suggest. Medium body and mild carbonation make for a sturdy mouthfeel.

This is the benchmark of barleywines as far as I'm concerned. It's extremely balanced and offers up a cornucopia of candied fruits and effuses luxury and class from top to bottom. Quite possibly Goose Island's best beer.

 795 characters

Photo of JCashman03
4.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jbdpsu82
4.45/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of 505beergeek
4/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beardmatt
3.5/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Sporeg
4.74/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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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