Bourbon County Brand Wheatwine
Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Brand WheatwineBourbon County Brand Wheatwine
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Style:
American Wheatwine Ale
Ranked #1
ABV:
15.3%
Score:
94
Ranked #1,291
Avg:
4.27 | pDev: 6.56%
Reviews:
91
Ratings:
305
From:
Goose Island Beer Co.
 
Illinois, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  7
Gots
  64
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: 91 | Ratings: 305 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Lucular:
Photo of Lucular
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

5 oz pour on tap. Pours a golden yellow with practically zero head. Aroma and flavor feature sweet bourbon along with the promised caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, and toffee but there is also a crazy amount of alcohol heat. I get it, this is 15.3% abv but it is not well-balanced at all. I wouldn't call it a hot, cloying mess but nevertheless it is light years away from the standard its BCBS brethren have set over the years.

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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.

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

Dark amber color that is nearly clear with reddish tints and a sudsy tan head that dissipates in seconds, this big ol’ wheatwine tosses around boozy vanilla and toffee notes like rice after a wedding.

The taste features the vanilla and toffee notes, but the booze is surprisingly reduced, and there’s a stone fruit component that really mixes well with the vanilla and toffee and booze. Wow, is this on point.

The mouthfeel is nice and full, the final check mark for this big, full-flavored, balanced beer.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.49/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 sd123
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DokiDokiLitFam
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2019 Bottle

Pours out thick, a dark honey color. Yellow brown. Half a finger of white formation. Bubbles rise extremely slowly to the top. Appears to be some form of sediment floating or suspended with in. Very light flakey pieces.

Nose is strong alcohol right off the bat. Followed by sweet, sugary butterscotch toffee. Fruit sits mildly underneath.

Taste is similar to the nose. Strong booze, butterscotch/toffee/caramel, fruit. This eventually cascades into a strong bready character. A touch of savoriness. Like taking a chunk of freshly baked bread. The tiniest, and I mean almost insignificant, presence of bittering from hops.

Full bodied mouthfeel. A bit of stickiness. Very fine bubbles which lightly hit the pallet and then disappear.


This is a very smooth, straightfoward brew. It doesn't blossom out as much as I had hoped. The booze doesn't have anywhere to hide so it sticks out quite strongly. A slow sipper that might need to be accompanied with something. Enjoyable enough by itself, but a tiny bit underwhelming.

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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 jwalters
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2019 bottle (08sep24) 15.3% alc/vol
Reviewed on 11/29/19

I've only had one other wheatwine ale, the classic Smuttynose from the "Big Beer" series going back more than a decade ago. I was always a big fan of that beer... So we'll see...

Pours out looking very relaxed, as it should due to the aging. A deep red amber and mahogany color, unfiltered with floaties bits and actually some lively carbonation inside.

The nose has an abundance of sweet maltiness, caramel, bourbon barrel wood with old leather, toffee and herbal hops and yeast.

First sip: wow is that ever heavy, slick and boozy!! Maybe the most dense malty body and flavor I've ever experienced. Thick caramel syrup, hot whiskey style heat with some very sweet fruitiness, mostly cherries and then it's all barrel-aged flavors of old mahogany furniture and oak chips. The complexity of the later aspect is very deep.

My lips are actually sticky due to the syrupy thick sweet malt. The wheat based malt does provide a jazzy and earthy flavor and mouthfeel, but the aging process has made the body and taste about as slick and heavy as it gets.

The only thing I can compare this to stylewise is the classic Smuttynose version, which is very different considering it was not barrel aged. So I consider this to be a certain style unto itself. I will rate it accordingly.

Caution: 15.3% abv. Is no joke, pour>swirl>sip and repeat! Got a fine cigar? Blaze it!

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Photo of Wolvmar
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2019 vintage poured into pint tumbler. Siesta Key FL.

Pour: yellow amber, thin one finger white foam head that dissipated quickly leaving a thin ring.

Nose: sweet caramel, bourbon, toffee.

Taste: caramel, toffee, bourbon, hint of dark fruit, leather, some oak. Plenty of rich malt to hold it together. It’s sweet and boozy but balanced enough.

Mouthfeel: syrupy, sticky but surprisingly clean finish. Moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: reminds me of a barleywine but even sweeter and more syrupy. Flavors are very pronounced but work well together. Absolutely trying and seems like a good representation of the style. Not an ATF for me but would probably buy another bottle if I saw it.

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

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 Shantzak
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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 Chris7482
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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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Bourbon County Brand Wheatwine from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 305 ratings