Bourbon County Brand Wheatwine
Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Brand WheatwineBourbon County Brand Wheatwine
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Style:
American Wheatwine Ale
Ranked #2
ABV:
15.3%
Score:
94
Ranked #1,338
Avg:
4.27 | pDev: 6.32%
Reviews:
75
Ratings:
260
From:
Goose Island Beer Co.
 
Illinois, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  2
Gots
  52
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.
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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 260
Reviews by BYOFB:
Photo of BYOFB
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of TheGent
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours the exact color I was hoping it would for the style. Translucent reddish-brown. Iced tea. Under the light:
deep, ruby red. Streams of minute bubbles rise to the top of my glass in single file lines forming a thin off white head around the edge of my glass.

Smell: Toffee, caramel, butterscotch (especially as it warms), marshmallow, vanilla, coconut, sweet potatoes glazed with maple and marshmallow (fresh on my mind from Thanksgiving), Creme brûlée/caramelized sugar, tawny port, carrot cake with rich cream cheese frosting. Raisin and dried apricot, but doesn’t ever get much more fruity, and certainly doesn’t go heavy on the dark dried fruit for me.

Taste: I’m not going to list out a bunch of different flavors. This beer is cohesive. It tastes like all of the above combined perfectly. I think the brighter fruit notes of dried apricot pop more and a nuttiness comes out as the beer warms up. There’s a slight ethyl alcohol aspect to the beer, as expected for the style and high ABV. It all works well and is never hot.

Mouthfeel: This beer is pillowy soft. Soft carbonation. The sugary sweetness coats my lips and will be there when I wake up in the morning. Warming on the palate and in the pipes.

Overall: At it’s coldest, my first impression of this beer was barleywine. Specifically, BCBBW 2017. But, upon warming up and further inspection this beer delivered much more complexity. I love this beer. I’ve only had two variants so far (Midnight Orange) and this is the clear favorite so far. A style that allows for so much complexity, and this beer delivers. If the alcohol mellowed over time this could be even more of a gem than it is today. Again, I don’t think it’s too hot, and alcohol probably counterbalances the sweetness.

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Photo of kevanb
2.94/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml bottle, 2018 release, poured into a 14oz snifter glass.

The beer pours a dark amber color, nice opacity but there is a bit of clarity, almost like a cola brown with a thin tan head, very fizzy that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing. The aroma is okay, strong oak, moderate char, a bit of bitter chocolate, lots of burnt wheat and dark toasted grain, soft bourbon that has a nice caramel quality but it's quite hot and the charred and roasted qualities really take over. The flavors are better, lots of caramel, brown sugar, rich malted grain but again, the barrel is really strong and heavy on the charred oak flavor, the bourbon is hot and spicy and there isn't a whole lot else going on. The mouthfeel is okay, a bit syrupy but it coats well, medium body that finishes with a bit of heat and feels quite dry.

Verdict: A pretty poor showing from Goose Island. Beyond the char, roast, smoke, burned qualities, the beer is ultimately bland and somewhat syrupy from a texture perspective. Not a lot of redeeming qualities in this one.

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

say what you want about goose island, who owns them, how bad their ipa is, whatever, when i drink this, i instantly forget all of that. big thanks to my brother for the procurement of this bottle. we had a blast drinking it. it sure is sturdy, wow, the alcohol content here is off the charts, a total blazer, but as warm and wintery as it is, its not over the top boozy, shocking for its listed strength, but this is exactly what i want in the style, a little zip always works in its favor. the beer is a few shades darker than anticipated, a copper color, rust maybe, without a ton of head on it after a moment, and a viscous density and a little less than fully clear. aroma of strong whiskey, butterscotch, and vanilla beans, a cooked sugar thing, probably very long boiled, the grain is quite concentrated, simple though really from a malt perspective, a lot less complexity on the base beer than i thought their might be, but i dont mind that, the wheat is fresh tasting to me and it adds a lot of body to this. im not sure how good this would be without the barrels, or rather how interesting, but with the whiskey, its incredible. a nice rich maple sort of sweetness is there with all the oak and vanilla character, and the bourbon itself is quite flavorful from about halfway through until the end. sweet sure, but not overdone. caramel, toffee, butterscotch, vanilla cream, its just awesome, dense and woody, long lasting, and something im sure will age super well like all of these do. i knew this would be great, but it still exceeded my expectations! perfect for holiday time.

 1,588 characters

Photo of dukeandduke
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11/21/18 (Chicago): 8 oz $13 draft pour into snifter glass at Fountainhead. Bronze red pour, light wheat aroma. Caramel butterscotch sweetness is the first taste, backed by pineapple. Bourbon emerges sweetly as this warms. Outstanding balance and taste. Very thin texture, silky smooth drinking. Overall very unique and excellent tasting offering, one of the best this BCS season.

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Photo of mrbelvebeer1
3.74/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

‘18 Bourbon County Wheatwine. Pours a nice, rust color. Thin, as expected, and, obviously a lot of wheat and sweetness on the nose. A surprising deviation to the Goose Bourbon County family. A lot of heat right away, that sticks with you after it goes down. A smooth mouthfeel, however. The bourbon here is overpowering. Not a good balance.

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Photo of Gkruszewski
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WOLFGANG
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

040619 2018 Bottle Thanks Paul.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2019-08-08
16.9oz bottle served in a snifter. 2018 batch. 11AUG18 13:26.

Pours a dark, dark amber-brown. Almost no head, and very little carbonation. Smell is booze, fig, bourbon, molasses.

Taste is very rich -- less booze, more molasses and toffee and dates, a little wood and char.

Mouthfeel is thick, rich, but a little too still. Overall, it's good, but fall short of excellent.

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Photo of schinebd
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

BrailerB58787838

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Photo of Budlum
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of garymuchow
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another snow day in SCMN. Average winter overall but a savage February with 2 or 3 more snow falls expected in the next week. With the work on clearing the snow today I earned this one for a long evening sipper.
From a distance the first take was kinda' sweet and vanilla. Close range rich light malt with alcohol and more of a candy quality to the vanilla and wood. Again from a distance there is some fruit to the sweetness that gets lost up close.
Loud, fizzy head that settles to a smear in fairly short order. Nice red to the amber and mostly clear. The head that remains is tan.
Wow! That's big and rich and warm and a very quick hard shot of alcohol to the gut. Almost sticky to the teeth. Yet in all this mayhem there is something quite enjoyable. Sweet, but not too much. Pushing on richness but the alcohol cuts it some as does the carbonation. A mix of candy sweetness with a firm malt base too. A little rosy and flowery to the alcohol, but it does seem in balance. The wood and bourbon show but do not dominate. Soft vanilla at times.
More carbonation than I expected and it helps. Otherwise it would be too syrupy. Moderate to bigger feel and a little slickness and stickiness (on the teeth). Carbonation helps the softness. Good job on the carbonation. It's just what it should be. It's impressively not hot for how young it is. Vanilla comes on stronger as it warms and pushes maybe a little too much.
In sum, it's not great, but it is good and somewhat better than that. For a beer this big it avoids all the obvious pitfalls and brings on a beer that is satisfying, although patience is required to get through something like this alone.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Goose Island Beer Co. "Bourbon County Brand Wheatwine"
16.9 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED ON: 13AUG18 13:46 15.4% ALC/VOL"
$14.99 @ ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Wildwood, FL

Notes via stream of consciousness: Here we have a wheatwine aged in Bourbon barrels; probably a good idea because wheatwines tend to be fairly blocky and one-sided in character unless hops are used to liven them. It's poured a surprisingly deep copper color with a ruby sheen and golden highlights beneath a short head of yellowed off-white foam. The head dropped almost immediately but strong beers tend to have poor head retention and lacing, and this is a whopping 15.4%! The aroma is completely malty, and let me see, do I find wheat in it? Yes, for sure, and also some caramel and even a hint of fruit. Nice. So far, so good. OK, on to the flavor... there's a fruitiness there that's quite nice and helps to cut through it, and then some soft Bourbon and oak notes atop the massive, and clearly wheaty (at this point) and bready malt base. Damn! I've never had a wheat wine like this! It still seems kind of reigned in like most of the other wheat wines I've had, but it does reach over the normal outer limits and seems in my opinion more like a standard barleywine. I'm finding a nice strawberry note in it, and a very nice honeyish and golden caramel note. Also vanilla! It's sweet for sure but it's pleasant, and a spritz of alcohol and some drying oak help to dry it in the finish. This is surely a sipper! Diabetics need not apply. OK, so what else am I finding here? There are some hops tucked into a corner of the enveloping malt, leafy and perhaps spicy (although that might be the alcohol), and perhaps a touch floral (again, that could be the alcohol), and maybe lightly citrusy (orange) and tea-like - and even very subtly piney (although again, that might be the alcohol stepping in). Yes, I totally get a kind of Chinese fortune cookie orange & sugary toasty-bread note in the finish! This is impressive! To me it has all of the complexity of a regular barleywine that you don't normally find in a wheatwine. I have to wonder, how much of that is due to barrel aging though? I'm guessing a lot. I think there's been some oxidation that's enhanced the caramel aspect of it, and then there's that bit of oak and sliver of Bourbon. Geez, I can already feel some of the alcohol. Did I miss anything? Mouthfeel - full bodied and moderately carbonated, which is good, I think any more carbonic bit might throw it off, and it's perfect as a fairly thick, smooth, sugary sipper. This is without question the best wheatwine I've ever tasted, and additionally one of the best beers that I've tasted world-wide. Wheatwine is not an easy style to pull off and "this one goes to eleven".
Review# 6,421

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Courtesy of Tyler, thanks buddy! Bottled August 13th 2018.

It pours a clear deep amber with a minimal head of short lasting foam.

The nose gives me loads of caramel, Bourbon, vanilla, really sweet overall but so inviting.

The taste has the caramel and Bourbon, vanilla reminds me of cream soda, bits of toffee, very low with the bitterness which suits me fine. Booze isn't too intrusive so that's another plus.

Approaching full bodied, adequate carbonation.

An impressive sipper, this is!

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Photo of arizcards
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a bottle at the Craft Beer Quick Stop on Black Friday for $16.99. Bottled on 8-11-18; consumed on 1-19-19.

Beer poured a light brown with a smallish soap bubble head that dissipated quickly.

Nose is vanilla and dark fruits with a touch of alcohol.

Taste is dark fruit forward with vanilla, leather, bourbon with a continual alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall this is an interesting brew with some complexities that could benefit from some aging. I will throw it into the wine cooler for 6-12 months as see if there is some improvement. Bottom line is this was an expensive splurge for a fun beer that has some potential!

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Photo of emerge077
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Draft served in a small snifter.
Dark brown, deep reddish tone when held to the light, bright clarity.
Ample foam at first that stays initially but fades to a thin ring, no lacing.

Aroma of oxidized malt, sweet caramel, vague hint of toffee & sugary fruit.
Sweet and sticky, low level barrel character, heavy sweet oxidized caramel malt. A bit of a chore to drink, not much barrel here, lacking complexity in favor of sweet booziness. Not bad, but certainly not worth the premium price.

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Photo of rab53
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of russpowell
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours an effervescent chestnut with a pinky of tan head. Viscious, zero head retention & lacing

S: Banana taffy, butterscotch, a tough of green banana peel, nice Bourbon touches as it warms

T: Nice Bourbon notes, raisins, toffee, vanilla, a little fig & barrel warmth, plus a little brown sugar. Boozey brown sugar, barrel booze in restrained amounts, figs, vanilla, & dryness as this warms, a little green banana as well, unexpected, but works for me. Finishes dry with boozey warmth, figs, vanilla, brown sugar & a touch of maple syrup

MF: Medium body, slight carbonation, becomes chewier as it warms, more warming as well

This delivers the goods, although I would be hard pressed to buy this again at this insane pricepoint ( $25 )

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

8/11/2018 bottle poured into a DFH tulip. Brownish mahogany body over a very small head. Smell is just boozy complex sweetness with hints of vanilla, brown sugar and caramel permeating everything. Taste reflects the smell but with a bitterness on the back end, maybe from the hops. Mouthfeel was a bit thinner than the stouts, surely by design. Not unpleasant by any means and the alc was balanced nicely.

I wish I'd bought a few more of these to age to find out what happens. I hope this wasn't just a one off.

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Photo of johnInLA
3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of charrel
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cjgator3
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

16oz bottle poured into a snifter. This is the first year for a wheatwine version of Bourbon County and I hope it’s not the last. The sweet, caramel and vanilla notes compliment the bourbon barrels magnificently. The taste is smooth, malty, boozy (but not in a bad way). In my opinion, this is better than the barelywine version of Bourbon County which I have enjoyed for years.

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Photo of szmnnl99
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of metter98
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is clear dark red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with just a minuscule ring of white bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of bourbon are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has lots of flavors of bourbon from the barrel aging.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The alcohol lends a bit of warmth to the mouthfeel.
O: This beer doesn't taste as full in body compared to other beers in the style, as the wheatwine seems to provide a lighter base for the underlying beer.

Note: 2018 vintage

Serving type: bottle

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Bourbon County Brand Wheatwine from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 260 ratings