Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale | Goose Island Beer Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,420 |  Reviews: 657
Photo of ChicagoNick
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Tmappin
4/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of mdfb79
4.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From 11/29/13 notes. Had two 12 oz. glasses of this on tap at Top Hops in NYC and loved it. Served in Goose Island stemware.

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown color with one inhc of light tan head and low to moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of sweet bourbon, dark fruits, raisins, molasses, oak, toffee, toasted malts, and caramel malts. The nose is awesome. Lots of bourbon and sweet dark fruits, with caramel on the back end of it.

t - Tastes of sweet bourbon, caramel malts, toffee, sweet dark fruits, raisins, figs, vanilla, cream, sugar, oak, toasted malts, bread, roasted malts, and molasses/syrup. Taste has a little more caramel and vanilla than the nose had which steps it up a little bit in my eyes, and still has a lot of fruit and bourbon. Awesome and complex.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Really no heat for the ABV and pretty smooth and creamy.

o - Overall I thought this was awesome; exactly what I was hoping for. Tons of delicious bourbon, fruits, and caramel to it, and there it is not too hot. Love that it is coming in 12 oz. bottles too. Reminds me a bit of King Henry, though a bit more dark fruits. Well worth it, glad to have a few bottles and really hope they make this year round.

 1,217 characters

Photo of OPSippin
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Hefewiseman
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of atoulouk
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of stakem
4.36/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Steve for the hookup on a 12oz bottle of this. Poured into a matching bourbon county snifter the brew appears dark brown in color with a fine ring of clarity around the edges. A tan finger is quick to collapse holding with a fine line around the perimeter.

The aroma is sweet of caramelized sugars: toffee, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, creme brûlée, oak, raisins and prunes. Quite dark and fruity smelling with alcohol ever-present but integrated nicely.

Based off the aroma alone, one would think this is gonna be a sticky sweet brew. Luckily the residual sugars are tempered by the alcohol and a bit of hoppy bitterness. Flavors of raw oak blend into raisons, dates, figs, prunes...a whole gauntlet of dark fruity alcohol. Molasses, toffee, caramel, vanilla, slightly dusty wood and earthen to herbal bitter hops round the flavor profile out.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. A boozy sipper that is quite complex and certainly worth seeking out. Considering the amount of bourbon county stout that was/is made, I hope this means this brew will see greater volume/distribution in the future. This offering comes out with the bar set unreasonably high falling in the wake of King Henry...I wont draw any comparisons to that brew but wow is this good and everything I hoped it would be. Damn, I would like more of this.

 1,378 characters

Photo of Durb777
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of phishphorce
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of nharres
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of IPAFan521
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of MSandahl23
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of BlackNote
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of GuttaMane138
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of NaplesBeerGeezer
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Rekrule
2.5/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of myuncle
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of MichaelBigbone
4.34/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Wow. Is that rich!
I do not have much exposure to barley wines.

This smells sweet, nutty, creamy. I pick up banana, cream, citrus, nuts, nutmeg, molasses, chocolate, coffee, bourbon, tobacco, vanilla.

Very very complex drink.

Sweet to rich and complex from the smell to the after taste. Aftertaste- It's almost a full circle back to the sweetness you pick up in the smell. There is an alcohol taste in there, I've picked up with a couple barley wines I've had before(again, limited experience with these)
I'm wishing I could pick up more of the bourbon I had been promised, but maybe that's the other flavor since taste but separated . Wow.

Compared to: Firestone walker special releases(maybe?)

 704 characters

Photo of 4amepiphany
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of PalatePilot
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of BrettHead
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of bennetj17
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of StoneTSR
4.24/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: From the instant it leaves the bottle this beer looks viscous and rich. The color is a deep, deep murky mahogany. Unlike other variations of BCBS, this one actually had a head for about ten seconds. It swelled up quickly, but immediately fell and one, long, lonely wisp ended up connecting one side of my glass to the other across the surface. No lacing.

SMELL: Enormous aroma. I can smell it as it pours from two feet away. Vanilla, oak, chocolate, brown sugar, but not as much banana or clove as I expected.

TASTE: Wow. A lot more wood on this one than the nose indicated. The oak punches the palate up front as some more nuanced flavors creep in on the edges of the tongue; chocolate first, then followed by a little vanilla and brown sugar. Somewhat surprisingly, the hops come through pretty strong. As the beer warms it brings out a lot more vanilla as the wood remains strong, but gives way to more traditional Barleywine flavors such as that banana and clove that seemed to be missing from the nose.

MOUTHFEEL: For a 12%+ barrel-aged Barleywine there is a fair amount of sparkle here. Big, rich and a little sticky, the BCBBA provides a dryer start than most Barleywines along with a pleasant semi-sweet finish.

OVERALL: I suppose I should have expected the unexpected from a beer aged in barrels that had previously aged BCBS that had originally been Bourbon barrels. That said, I was surprised by quite a few aspects of this beer. This is quite a tasty treat, but I will be looking forward to seeing how it does in a year or two.

 1,555 characters

Photo of Jspriest
4/5  rDev -11.3%

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