Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Bourbon County Brand Barleywine AleBourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale
5,374 Ratings
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): 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,374 |  Reviews: 648
Photo of Mplsmetro57
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Skwalk47
4.34/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of capnamerica
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of HoudiniRN
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of sudsy2drunk
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of Agentveba
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of treywinkle
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of KTien
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of WeymouthMike
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of donovansill
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of reebtaerG
4.71/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had on draft at Beer Authority NYC on 5/24/14

A-Served a deep mahogany color with a nice head.

S-Aroma of dark fruit, bit of licorice, hint of whiskey with bit of caramel and malt.

T-Taste is a blend of dark fruit with the whiskey, malt and hint of chocolate. Mild bitterness and the finish is slightly sweet and sticky.

M-Mouthfeel is medium body, smooth and creamy with an excellent balance.

O-Overall one of the best barley wines I have had. Definitely well worth checking out.

 489 characters

Photo of Jdotswizz
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of TheOakKing
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of mrkdwrds
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of iamcalledjason
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of siege06nd
4.71/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into my 512 Anniversary snifter...

A. Pours an opaque, deep, blackstrap molasses brown. Sunburst tobacco edges in the light. A thin, tight khaki head that burns off to a consistent ring of tan on the sides with swirls of bubbles across the middle. Lacing is faint, but it's there. Oily legs leave a boozy-sweet coating along the rim. Darker than your average English BW, but gorgeous all the same.

S. Big toffee, raisin, dark cherry, caramel, and vanilla. Fresh brownie batter with dark chocolate crumbles speaks to the BCBS barrel aging here. Stronger than expected stone fruit present, including a bit of strawberry. Perhaps most surprising: orange zest, just a pinch. Lots of toasted marshmallow, coconut, and cashew in the bouquet as well. Infinitely complex, decadent, and inviting.

T. Very toffee, caramel, chocolate, and stone-fruit forward. BCBS influence is very heavy here, which isn't a bad thing, because the English BW base provides this wonderfully nutty, treacle-like backbone. The opening is vanilla, coconut, and chocolate, with the mid shifting more to caramel, roasted cashew, and slightly burned chocolate, and the finish resolving into a beautiful toasted coconut, marshmallow, chocolate tinged orange flavor. Wonderful.

M. Carbonation is moderate-low and the feel is hefty, thick, coating, and sweet. An excellent dessert beer, this would kill with some blue cheese and candied apricots. Full bodied to the teeth, this one is a meal in and of itself. Balance and complexity are top notch.

O. Had this alongside a King Henry and it held its own, though KH is starting to show its sherry-like oxidation notes, so it may not be an entirely fair comparison.The barrel on KH is certainly more "alive". It has more character and is surprisingly boozy after 2.5 years. BCBW is a bit better rounded, though. I guess that's a roundabout way of saying that BCBW is every ounce the beer that KH is. GI has become shockingly good at this game, and I hope they continue to play in this sandbox. BCBW isn't just one of the best releases of 2013, it's one of the best English BW's ever made. If you missed out on this in 2013, make sure you don't sleep on it this fall. Standing ovation.

 2,206 characters

Photo of casapy
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of JavaNoire
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of thinwhiteduke
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of falconxman
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of rdooley
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of robear
4.57/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The third-use barrels really make a difference here. I'm a sucker for multi-use barrels for Barleywine, and this works on every level. The stout comes through nicely at every step of the tasting process. It truly elevates a very good barleywine base into a legendary beer.

Better than BCBS, IMO.

 296 characters

Photo of whoneeds8
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of alostplot
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Pipelovejoy
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.51 out of 5 with 5,374 ratings