Bourbon County Brand Wheatwine
Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Brand WheatwineBourbon County Brand Wheatwine
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Style:
Wheat Beer - Wheatwine
ABV:
15.3%
Score:
94
Avg:
4.27 | pDev: 7.03%
Reviews:
139
Ratings:
423
From:
Goose Island Beer Co.
 
Illinois, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  13
Gots
  75
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Bourbon County Brand WheatwineBourbon County Brand Wheatwine
Notes: Made from two-row and malted wheat, Bourbon County Brand Wheatwine is making its debut this year (2018). As the first recipe to veer from the original Imperial Stout since Barleywine in 2013, Wheatwine is a deep amber color, lighter than it’s BCBS counterparts and a true medium to convey the characteristics of 4+ year old Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels. Wheatwine is full of high caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, and toffee flavors.

Batch 1 (2018): Aged in 4+ year old Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.
Batch 2 (2019): Aged 100% in Larceny wheated bourbon barrels.
Reviews: 139 | Ratings: 423 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Zythophile
Zythophile from District of Columbia

4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Date: 2018
Palate Contaminants: none

Color is substantially lighter than the usual BCBS, with a brown-tan with a bit of red. It barely even qualifies as opaque, too, as I can see through a couple inches of fluid pretty easily. Light tan head.

Sugar on the nose, for sure, but it's honey-ish. I'd say fruit-tree honey. There's a nice grain element to it, too.

What's on the nose is in the taste, but it's amped WAY up. The honey isn't overbearing, and the fruit, peaches and desiccated papayas, are a bit more forward. (I couldn't call it tropical, though.) The amplification goes for the grain, too. I know it says wheatwine, but some of the grain flavors are a bit darker, like I'm even catching sweet rye.

I have to say, there's a bit too much sugar. Just a little less, and it'd be great. Good amount of fine carbonation. Alcohol is surprisingly well hidden.

Feb 15, 2021
Photo of officerbill
officerbill from New York

4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2019 version drank in 01/21
Pours a deep, clear amber/red/gold with a thin vanishing head. The only evidence of carbonation is a thin stream from the etching style boring of the glass.
Bourbon, molasses, vanilla, wet oak, honey aromas
The taste follows the aroma with bourbon, vanilla, molasses, butterscotch, toffee, caramel, oak, something not quite as sugary as a glazed doughnut.
Smooth and sticky over the tongue, with no noticable carbonation, leaving a tongue dick to the roof of your mouth stickiness.
This is really sweet and really smooth, you don't notice the 15.3% until it's almost too late, of I had more bottles I would be tempted to drop a scoop of vanilla ice cream into this glass.

Jan 31, 2021
Photo of Fponce
Fponce from Illinois

3/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2019 batch.
I am a BCBS lover, but this one falls off bad of the regular stuff we all are accustomed to it. Super sweet, flat, odd smell. ..... stick to straight Barley wines , please.

Jan 22, 2021
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trevormajor from Ohio

4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

500 ML bottle, 2018 vintage born on 8/11/2018, poured into a snifter at 58 degrees F:
L - Amber colored, head disappeared immediately
S - caramel, butterscotch, toffee, bourbon
T - sweet taste with notes of caramel and toffee, bourbon comes through
F - thick mouthfeel, minimal carbonation
O - very similar to a barleywine, I'm not getting any wheat from this, but it is delicious!

Jan 18, 2021
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Dan-Man from California

4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2019 bottle...
Deep golden amber color...Wow, the nose of banana esters and butterscotch fill the bowl. Clear, concentrated and viscous in the mouth with flavors of pure wheat wine goodness and more toffee vanillin notes in the long heated finish. A fine high alcohol wheatwine ale (15.3%).

Nov 27, 2020
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RacerX5k from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is the 2018 original version ...

Look. I'm not going to do the usual rant but bottom line is this is not quite as good as The Bruery Wheatwine counterparts, 2016 White Oak and 2020 White Chocolate, the 2016 White Oak enjoyed in 2018 at marked down $10 a bottle then the last 5 at the ridiculous $5 a bottle, and this year's last 3 cans 2020 White Chocolate at $7 a can because my local big box knows how to move beer, because, that's what it's worth. The crazy amount of $ spent on the best beers ever made, the BCBS 2012 lineup, the many road trips, the memories so thick, worth every second, but those days long gone. The brand is not what it used to be ... and now always looking to spend like the deals above.

The review? Looks good, it's an Wheatwine, one of my favorite styles of beer I wish more breweries would attempt, at reasonable pricing. For example, I'd love to see Weyerbacher's take on this. Are they still in business? Have to check later. Smell and taste caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, wheat obviously contribute to the incredible smoothness and overall deliciousness of the beer. Could use some bourbon considering it's barrel aged. Overall, would drink this everyday at $8 a bottle, bottom line waste of money today at $18 a bottle. But need to remind myself, it's ok to be stupid occasionally. Of course, we will have ONE BCBS this year, and see if it's improved any on recent years.

Nov 26, 2020
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hardy008 from Minnesota

4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark amber with a one finger tan head and plenty of floaters. Nice aroma with Bourbon, caramel, vanilla, dark fruit, toffee and butterscotch. Tastes like it smells. Tastes as sweet as expected. Full bodied with moderate carbonation. A sweet beer with a sweet aftertaste.

Nov 15, 2020
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AllOfTheCats from Wisconsin

3.08/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Looks and smells better than it tastes, in my opinion. Never thought a beer could be this sweet. Almost like drinking thin honey. Glad to try it but realized I didn't really like this style.

Sep 27, 2020
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Bourbon County tulip glass.

Look is a light brown orange with little to no head.

Aroma smells like dark fruits and twizzlers.

Taste is deep vanilla bourbon.

Sep 20, 2020
Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Original rating of 4.19 was for the 2019, bottle aged one year. This update is for the 2018 aged two years.

L: Raspberry jam, dark honey, or sweet tea reddish brown. A short head fades to a lasting ring. Consistent rising bubbles and suspended sediment.

S: Really sweet, just at cloyingly so. A complex aroma with boozy astringency, a heaping ton of oak and vanilla from the barrel, and so many sugars. These remind me of candied orange peels, cherry Jolly Ranchers, apple juice, toffee, and maple syrup.
Update: The 2018 was more cherry than orange, but overall was roastier and less sweet on the nose.

T: Follows the nose but amped up more so on the booze and sweetness, and less fruity. It is drinkable, but pushing my limits. Even some notes of leather and vintage men’s Avon cologne.
Update: The 2018 was insanely toffee and roasted sugars - this was superior and less sweet than the 2019.

F: Syrupy but creamy. Med-heavy weight. Sticky. Some ‘floaties’ perceptible on the tongue.
Update: 2018 no sediment.

O: Not bad. Not balanced. I’ve heard the 2018 is far superior so I’m anxious to try the one I cellared.
Update: The 2018 was vastly superior - an completely different beer that would put the Firestones to shame. Top notch if you can find it.

Sep 14, 2020
Photo of DanO1066
DanO1066 from Maryland

4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Draught 8oz snifter at The Brass Tap here in Baltimore. Probably, need a direct "back-2-back" tasting of the barley & wheat versions (especially since there's some confusion "behind the bar" as to which version I'd previously been served)

Aug 16, 2020
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jimmybram from North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber colored with thin layer of carbonation. Alcohol on the nose with a banana, caramel finish. Taste is sweet and salty like caramel. Buttery, thin mouth feel. Overall one of my favorite variants of the Bourbon County Brand stouts. Well balanced and not overdone.

Jul 26, 2020
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Mister_Faucher from Washington

4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(2018) 500ml bottle served in a chalice glass.

Look- Medium opaque cola color, modest khaki head which recedes fairly quickly to a small ring of foam on the edges of the glass, minimal lacing. No carbonation streams visible.

Smell- Caramel/toffee type malts, bourbon boozy, syrupy creme brule type vanilla, toasted dark bread and dark fruits (raisins and dates), a bit of cherry.

Taste- Rich caramel malt, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla and dried dark fruits, burnt sugar and some coconut in there.

Feel- Medium/full bodied with an superbly smooth texture, boozy heat in the finish. Light carbonation on the tongue. A serious stickiness to it.

O- Some nice stuff right here, purchased at a gas station, a nice find. Worth trying.

Jun 10, 2020
Photo of pants678
pants678 from California

3.63/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Brown with no head.

Alcohol, though not piercing.

Vanilla and barrel come first and are prominent and sharp. Not getting much else other than notes of spice. I wish there was note of fruit, what's here is one-note and close to boring. Thankfully it doesn't finish medicinally.

Nothing added by feel.

Jun 06, 2020
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo from Netherlands

3.64/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Doopie shared this one a while back. Cheers, man!

From a 500ml bottle into tasting glasses
Vintage: 2019
Aged in Larceny Bourbon Barrels

APPEARANCE: Pours a looser, one finger, off-white head with lousy retention. Burnt umber in color, hazy, with no carbonation evident. Head fades to a faint wisp and ring, looking basically flat by the end.

SMELL: Bourbon, wheat malts, wood, coconut and vanilla cream, notes of caramel and toffee sweetness on the nose. Bold.

TASTE: Bourbon, oak, wheat malt, caramel and toffee sweetness, and some vanilla flavors up front. Some alcohol at the swallow, then a big finish of bourbon, wheat, toffee and caramel sweetness, some vanilla cream and coconut flavors. A decent bed of alcohol as well.

PALATE: Thinner body with higher levels of carbonation. Prickly on the palate, goes down prickly with a bit of a burn and finishes sticky. Some solid heat lingers. Typical harsh bourbon county feel.

OVERALL: Solid stuff. Sweet and boozy, mostly. It’s flavorful and enjoyable and will certainly fit the bill if you’re a fan of big, sweet, boozy brews. Good stuff and super glad to have tried this one out. I think I prefer the adjunct stout concoctions, but this is a solid barrel aged barley/wheatwine. Cheers, doops!

May 30, 2020
Photo of Scotchboy
Scotchboy from Idaho

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2019 bottling split into glasses.

Clear, dark coppery golden pour with a foamy off-white head. HUGE bourbony sweet nose of toffee and loads of malt, with notes of toasted caramel. Surprisingly not overly boozy, but the body of the beer is rich and sweet. Full, sticky-viscous body. Very sweet and malty and bourbon-forward (not sure how much the wheat is pushing to the front, hard to tell with the full-on assault from the barrels) but even with the sugary sweetness this is a delightful sipper.

May 26, 2020
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Franziskaner from Missouri

4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber in color with a fingernail of brown around most of the rim and covering a third of the top. The aroma is of pale wheat, bourbon, and vanilla. I’m tasting vanilla, pale wheat, and oak. The mouth is dry and a touch warm with booze.

May 10, 2020
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mschrei from Illinois

4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2018 edition. Ruby color, almost non-existent head and lacing. Very clear until I poured the last part of the bottle, when it becomes tannish and cloudy with a sea of particulates. Smell is malt, bourbon, dark fruit, and caramel. Taste starts with a bourbony buzz and a tangy dark fruit/cherry, and then it’s backed with a sweet blend of caramel, honey, and vanilla. Feel is medium bodied, big boozy presence. It starts with a quick clean crisp mouth watering feel that transitions into a bit of sticky thickness leading to a dry finish. It’s a complex beer that develops during tasting, which is interesting. I really like this.

Apr 17, 2020
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LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2019 Bottle:
L - Butterscotch in appearance - light amber/copper with a light tan head that dissipates quickly leaving behind a thin cap
S - Sweet bourbon, butterscotch, and caramel as well as a slight hint of alcohol
T - Follows the nose: lots of butterscotch up front and throughout along with notes of sweet, rich bourbon, some oak, caramel, vanilla, and a hint of alcohol the backend. Some honey as well.
F - Medium to full bodied with a light amount of carbonation. Soft.
O - A very well crafted wheatwine with some complex flavors

Apr 12, 2020
Photo of hoptheology
hoptheology from South Dakota

4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

16.9 oz bottle sent by Hinda65. 2018 vintage. North Coast tulip glass.
According to release date, (I'm not sure of time in bottle), it's approximately 1.5 years of age.

Pours a darker than expected dark caramel color with a fleeting head of 1/2 finger, receding to a fingernail.

Aroma of wet bourbon barrel, some light caramel, some light flecks of vanilla, and slight alcohol sting. Slight caramel apple phenolics.

Flavor brings dark fruits (plum and raisin) with slight pineapple bite, some caramel wax paper, some honey, slight vanilla, and wet bourbon barrel. Some slight caramel (golden delicious) apple.

Feel is definitely Bourbon County all the way to the bank. Signature burn and acidity with a nice oakiness and firm carbonation with a pleasant yet fierce heat.

Overall this one wasn't as impressive as even their regular BCBS, I mean honestly this is only about 3/4 as good - and for a variant being more expensive is a bit of a let down. I have a 2019 yet (paid $17.99) but unless that one impresses me quite a bit (though it just might with all the butterscotch adjectives floating around) I probably won't be going back for a 2020. It's a very good beer yes, but I'd sooner pay $7 less for a regular BCBS and have more enjoyment out of it.

Apr 05, 2020
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Ego from New Jersey

4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2019 vintage

eyes...
2 full fingers of off white head, quick crackle and fade, nothing but an o-ring in a wink, a quick roll of the glass reveals legs from the beefed up ABV, striking ruby/amber tone surely from the aging, consistent carbonation floats on up the way

nose...
boozy bourbon up the front, and I do mean up the front, in a blind whiff you might actually mistake this for bourbon, although on further inspection it is not quite as hot alcohol wise as the previous occupant of the barrel, buttery toffee laced with caramel, a tinge of tart cherries, slight whiff of wet wood, I think I hear a siren's song calling me to sail my ship gladly into a rocky death... inviting... intoxicating... seduction.

taste etc...
velvety slide right down the mouth, and warming on the way down after that, you sense the booze but do not taste it whatsoever, this is almost like drinking tamed bourbon, the sweetness, the vanilla note, all huge, but the ABV is sitting in the back just reminding you it is there only in the warming effect on the ole gullet, this drinks light (weight wise) which makes it all the more like bourbon, it is almost like lightly carbonated bourbon in that sense, the tart notes sit in the mouth for some time really make this a nice after dinner drink to share with friends, if they are deserving of such a libation that is, now with the rest of the bottle poured in there is some debris floating around, the vanilla is more pronounced in both the nose and flavor

verdict?
this is beer? wow. This is beer for bourbon lovers, this feels more like bourbon than stouts do, I was just having a glass of Basil's last night out on my deck and now tonight this, I have to tell you the experience is quite similar, the bourbon of course is way boozier, but the gamut of flavors and savory offering is a near experience, this beer is near transcendent, I'm floored, which is a rarity.

Apr 05, 2020
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2019 Vintage.

A - Pours a clear amber garnet color with minimal lacing and nice steady carbonation.

S - Sweet toffee and caramel aroma with some vanilla and pronounced sweet candy booziness.

T - Butterscotch, vanilla, caramel, and pronounced booziness and warming on the way down.

M - Thick, viscous, sugary on the lips, and lip smacking sticky.

O - Big, boozy, and sweet...a definite sipper.

Apr 02, 2020
Photo of Jacobier10
Jacobier10 from New Jersey

4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2018 vintage, 500 mL bottle, 15.4% ABV, bottled on Aug 13, 2018.

Deep amber color, almost zero head to speak of. A light swirl revives the head a bit.

Tons of butterscotch in the aroma. Toffee, vanilla, caramel and alcohol round it out. Hops are non-existent.

Rich and heavy malt flavor. Oaky bourbon as well from the barrel aging. Definitely a slow sipper, but at 15+% ABV you didn't need me to tell you that.

Full-bodied and sweet with very soft carbonation. Almost drinks like a butterscotch liqueur.

Overall, it's good, not outstanding. Probably my least favorite that I've ever had from the Bourbon County line. In all fairness though, Goose Island has set the bar pretty high with these in the past.

Apr 01, 2020
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firesidewithphil from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 2019 version of this variant is spectacular. The beer has a soft ale consistency which is a nice change of pace from their heavy stouts. It does have a very full body though. I would describe this as a caramel slice of bread. The barley and wheat sweetness carry the beer's flavor.

WW Ale has a bit of funk to it but not too much. Quite a bit of yeast sediment on the final pour.

@firesidewithphil

Mar 31, 2020
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GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep, Carmel with decent carbonation. Does have sediments and a very thin, off – white head.
An incredible smell of caramel malt, toasted bread, dark fruit and definite bourbon.
Taste follows nose. Carmel and toffee taste upfront. Some dates or other dark fruit. Malt gives smooth transition to the nice Larceny barrels. Also detecting vanilla and almond.
Very smooth operator and a variety worthy of the lineup.

Mar 29, 2020
Bourbon County Brand Wheatwine from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 423 ratings