Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale | Goose Island Beer Co.

5,104 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Bourbon County Brand Barleywine AleBourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale

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

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.60%

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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,104 |  Reviews: 583
Photo of zeledonia
3.8/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasted 1 May 2014.

Pours deep brown, slightly reddish-brown at the edges. Just a thin layer of yellowish-tan head, gone pretty quick, not much lacing. Not terrible, but exactly stunning.

Smell is bright, full of fruit and whiskey and sweetness. It's a bit two-toned, not as integrated as I'd like, with the barrel and the barleywine striking slightly different notes. Plums, figs, tobacco. Pretty darn nice, but lacking the pop of the best -bal barleywines.

Taste is, again, good but could be better. It's harsh, which is expected for such a high-ABV beer, but it's harsh in ways that it doesn't need to be. More barrel, more bourbon bite, than I'd like. Deeply fruity. The pieces don't quite fit together, and the sharpness knocks it down a few notches for me.

Feel is decent. The occasional sip feels flat, but the majority are carbonated enough. Medium-bodied, kinda heavy and chewy.

I feel like I'm trashing this beer by not giving it lights-out ratings. But it's not a lights-out beer. Not like Sucaba, or Arctic Devil, or King Henry, or MoAS. Biggest flaw is the imperfect integration of the base and the barrel. It's good, not great.

 1,145 characters

Photo of weaksauce
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of mbcrew484
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of clubarsky91
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of MEW
5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Violet_Apocalypse
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of stogirelli
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of johnhiltz
5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Mayo2323
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Ksource
5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of BillKuhnel
5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Devi0us
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of RoninTK3
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of SFC21
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 9/24/13, poured into Teku glass.

The nose is fantastic. Huge vanilla notes, along with bourbon, slightly burnt caramel, brown sugar and smoke. Tastes outrageously good, with the heavy malts beautifully balanced by the bourbon finish. This is outstanding.

 268 characters

Photo of sanitysgoodbye
5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of ccurrid
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of LGB362
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of schneid
5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of standardcherry
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of ncstateplaya
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of AndrewScottPentland
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of brahdeel
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of duff247
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of adamcarlson28
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of mdlb44
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.49 out of 5 based on 5,104 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.