Goose Island Beer Co.

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Stout - American Imperial
4.72 | pDev: 6.14%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels and finished with toasted hazelnuts and vanilla beans.
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 246 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mothman
mothman from Minnesota

4.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Clybourn. Heard this is the last keg in existence.

Black with little tan head.

Massive warming bourbon. So smooth. Molasses and caramel. The vanilla is nice. The hazelnut also adds a huge later. It is like bcs but more bourbon and more complex. Roasted malts in the finish. Oaky. Ends warming with more bourbon and a nice chocolate flavor.

Full bodied. The bourbon flavors in this are perfect. Simply amazing. So happy to have finally tried this.

Jul 27, 2016
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Mar02x from Netherlands

4.8/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Like drinking Nutella bourbon stout, but that was the intention I believe. So well done and balanced. None of the flavors over powers the others. I like this one very much and I do wish they make more, much more.

Jul 24, 2016
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winningwes91 from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy hazelnuts batman..this thing is the real deal..I can definitely see similarities between this and bourbon county. It's thick, sweet and delicious. A hazelnut, bourbon bomb.

Mar 13, 2016
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themaj from Illinois

4.9/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Smells unbelievable. Taste is still strong bourbon(even after a year in the bottle) hazelnuts, and vanilla. I'd like a touch more vanilla if being picky but overall a home run. Sad the brewpub will not be releasing anymore brews from there.

Feb 27, 2016
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ChicagoJ from Illinois

4.59/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chicago 2/14/16 - ($8 5 oz. pour into snifter glass at Goose Island Clybourn Brew Pub). Pitch black pour, razor thin tan lacing and head. Powerful and rich bourbon, sweet chocolate and hazelnut aroma. Taste of bourbon dominant, pleasantly offset by hazelnut and vanilla. Extremely smooth and heavy texture, somewhat like light syrup. Very glad I made the trip to sample this great offering by Goose Island!!!!

Feb 22, 2016
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bowzer4birdie from Illinois

5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at Goose Island Clybourn during their scheduled tapping last Sunday evening. Seriously, it's like drinking Nutella from a glass. Am so glad I had a chance to try this one.

Feb 17, 2016
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Kurmaraja from California

4.03/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Goose Island Clybourn. Huge anticipation for this. The pour left a lot to be desired. No head, more dark brown than black, not much in the way of legs. Aroma had some density, more chocolatey than nutty but there is some nuttiness ... reminiscent more of almond extract with it's heavy vanilla and alcohol burn than authentic nuts. Still, not bad. The flavor is chocolate, more of that almond extract, and then a fusel alcohol closer. No depth to it, and not much bourbon presence behond the booze. It is a bit heavy due to the low carbonation and yet, thin and almost evaporating due to the booziness.

An ok beer, tasty, but incomplete. I can't imagine that it was once a grand creation though maybe bottles are different. Regardless, this keg on draft is nothing special.

Feb 15, 2016
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The_Beer_Shark from Illinois

4.99/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looks like motor oil, smells of nutella, the taste matches the nose perfectly, and my favorite part was the mouthfeel. Smooth, warm, with a lot of viscosity. Wish I could get this beer again!

Oct 30, 2015
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4.16/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. The lip of the bottle cracked when we opened it, so we poured it through cheesecloth. Smells of bourbon and hazelnuts. Strong roasted malt and booze. Tastes sweet and bourbony up front. Nutty in the middle. Roasty and boozy in the finish. Heavy body. Medium carbonation. Really delicious.

Oct 06, 2015
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PHBoiler from Illinois

4.19/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep dark black but lacks the oily viscosity of big stouts. Does not coat the glass. Hints of nut character on the nose and in the finish. The bourbon is reserved in this. Solid dessert stout.

Aug 24, 2015
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mrn1ceguy from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Once it warms up, the hazelnut comes on beautiful in the nose. The hazelnut on the taste is not quite as good, but the base comes through very good. The finish is very smooth. Not quite what i was expecting, but very good none the less.

Aug 24, 2015
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siliconalchemy from Illinois

4.55/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second time, first from bottle. Incredible aromas, hazy color around the edges. Mouthfeel a touch thin, flavor lacks cohesion compared to FOBAB draft pour, but still great beer.

Jun 02, 2015
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Thirsty_In_Chicago from Illinois

4.48/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A very nice offering from Goose Island's Clybourn brewpub. Upon tasting I was surprised because contrary to most other reviews, I felt vanilla really dominated the flavor profile, and didn't get much hazelnut. May have just been this particular bottle.

Apr 20, 2015
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linnymtu from Michigan

5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Freakin awesome.

So this beer makes it into my top 2, only behind KBBS. So well balanced. It completely dominates a very good Nooner 8 beer by comparison. The Hazelnut nose and taste is perfect and compliments the beer without seeming artificial. I don't re-trade for beers often, but I already have for this masterpiece.

Mar 29, 2015
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brewtus from Ohio

4.84/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Russ and Jon for sharing this, seriously a mind blowing beer. One of the best BA stouts I've ever had. Nuts, bourbony, dangerously drinkable with a ton of flavor and body. Just a beautiful beer

Feb 05, 2015
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homebrew311 from Illinois

4.69/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Sampled many times at Stout Fest 2014. Review logged from notes. Apperance is thick, viscous, and black with no light passage and an ever so razor thin collar of head. The nose on this is amazing. What Grey Monday lacked in hazelnut character, this beer more than makes up for. The chocolate nutty quality that makes nutella like crack is almost perfectly captured in the aroma. Huge cocoa notes paired with dry roasty nut qualities, heavy hazelnut, and some creamy vanilla bourbon marshmallow coconut notes to support it. The flavor is a touch boozy like Cthulhu, this booziness is quickly masked by the decadent creamy chocolate and hazelnut notes that linger throughout. It is impressive how well the adjuncts are incorporated into this beer. Mouthfeel is big, not quite as much body as the BCS family, but every bit as much heat and then some. Overall, this beer needs to find its way into bottles. So tasty. I could only imagine the frenzy that would ensure on the trade forums if/when the brewpub bottles this.

Aug 07, 2014
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jegross2 from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing the Nutulhu from the Goose Island Beer Company out of Chicago, Illinois. This beer is Cthulhu with toasted hazelnuts and vanilla beans.

Score: 94

Tap pour served in mini-nonic Stoutfest 2014 pint glass. Review is a hybrid of notes taken on 03/29/14 (Stoutfest) and 05/13/14 (Goose Island's 26th Anniversary Party). Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Cola syrup color. Minimal head, no lacing. Oily legs, nice browning. 4/5

Smell: Hazelnut, syrup, peanut butter and chocolate. A hint of vanilla, ample fudginess as it warms. A kiss of alcohol, but no real bourbon character here. Lots of peanut butter and fudge and hazelnut. 4.25/5

Taste: Tastes like a hazelnut Reese's Peanut Buttercup. Fudgey chocolate, peanut butter and hazelnut, all in a big, lasting way. Faint booziness. No vanilla. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, low carbonation. Oily mouthfeel, dry finish. Sweet, but not cloying. A little boozy on the finish. 3.75/5

Overall: A really nice brew that could use a little more body. This is a hazelnut-infused Reese's Peanut Buttercup in a glass.

Cost: Unknown (both events had the pours included as part of the ticket price).

May 21, 2014
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SeanBond from Illinois

4.9/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

It's really a shame that GI Clybourn doesn't do yearly bottled releases (just special one-offs, generally), because this would be a "line up hours ahead"-worthy release every time.

Basically tastes like a slightly less thick version of BCBS, with more chocolate and a little hazelnut. Think Baudoinia, but instead of the IMPRESSION of chocolate, this stuff tastes like actual chocolate.

Do you like Nutella? Do you like beer? Do you like tasty things?

If the answer is yes to any of the above, and you have a chance to try this stuff, do it. Glorious. The only downside is my bottle is now gone, and I'm left with its painful memory...


May 14, 2014
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atomic from Illinois

5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a sampler glass at Stout fest 2014.

This is without a doubt the best beer I've ever had. I don't know how they were able to lock down the flavor of Nutella and bourbon oatmeal stout so well, but whatever magic they used worked.
I kept coming back to this beer the entire festival.

I'd very literally drink this one beer again and again until the end of time... its such a shame they will probably never make another.

Apr 06, 2014
Nutulhu from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 246 ratings