Bourbon County Brand Caramella Ale
Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Brand Caramella AleBourbon County Brand Caramella Ale
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Wheat Beer - Wheatwine
4.29 | pDev: 6.99%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Bourbon County Brand Caramella AleBourbon County Brand Caramella Ale
Notes: Italian for candy, Caramella Ale is aged in Larceny Wheated Bourbon barrels with apple, cinnamon, and caramel flavoring.
Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 250 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ovaltine
ovaltine from Indiana

4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful copper color, nearly clear, with a couple of fingers of light tan head that dissipates in seconds. The nose has tart apple, cinnamon, and caramel as advertised on the bottle, and more than a little booze, as expected.

The tart apple is forward, with the cinnamon and caramel following, and the booze at the very back of the palate as a (substantial) warming note. This is truly delicious, but I’ve seen this described as a boozy caramel apple, and I respectfully disagree - on my palate, this is Grandma’s apple crisp, and as I said, it’s truly delicious, IMHO.

The mouthfeel is substantial, almost syrupy. What a flavorful, delightful beer this is. I’d love to sit on a bottle for a couple more years and see how it evolves.

Yesterday at 12:34 AM
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CHickman from New York

4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours opaque crimson/brown color with a tan 1 finger thick head that faded in average time and left little to no lacing. Smells like apples up front with the caramel and cinnamon coming in right behind that. The second wave is brown sugar, toffee, bourbon, faint vanilla, orange peel, toasted grains and wheat or yeast. The nose is not sweet but the dominant aromas are the caramel, apple, cinnamon and booze/bourbon, which work well together.

Tastes like apples, cinnamon, vanilla, white wine and toasted grains to start, followed by caramel, brandy, cola, honey, orange peel, rum, Bit-O-Honey candy, faint bourbon, oak notes, barrel char, nutty flavors and yeast. It’s a very complex brew that is different with each sip. I’m sure some stout purist weren’t thrilled with this variant but it should be appreciated for being a great BBA beer.

Mouthfeel was thick feeling and yet a little thin at the same time; didn’t have the same feel as the BCBS stouts, but wasn’t watery while hiding the ABV well.

Overall I thought it was very good and hit the mark for a wheat-wine aged in Larceny bourbon barrels with apples, cinnamon, and caramel. Held onto this bottle for a year and that age eliminated any real alcohol burn.

Saturday at 05:23 AM
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adrock314 from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consumed roughly one year after release. During that time the bottle was stored at cellar temp.

L: Deep copper color. Loads of red coming through when backlit. Straw colored head sticks around in a thin ring for quite a while. Very attractive pour. 4.75

S: Very aromatic. Jumps out of the glass as the beer warms. Initially there's a typical barleywine/wheatwine sweet scent. Malt aroma with some earthy and tobacco undertones - maybe a hint of dead leaves. Some wood in there. Loads of rich apple, like fresh pressed cider. Cinnamon and caramel are harder to find, but once you get a whiff it's hard to get past apple pie and/or candied caramel apples. 4.5

T: First sip is just sweet wheat and heat propped up by barrel. Next sip and there's an explosion of apple and caramel. Combination of boozy heat and some heat from the cinnamon. Beyond the obvious flavor elements there's actually a lot going on underneath the apple/caramel/cinnamon. Bourbon and oak fade in and out from sip to sip. Also some dried fruit in there - golden raisins, apricots, maybe some berry fruit snack gummies. Really enjoying this for now, although even with only 4-5oz down I can see this becoming too cloying very soon. 4.0.

F: Mouthfeel is good overall. Slick and coating, but appropriate carbonation to keep it from feeling too heavy on the palate. 4.0.

O: Pleasantly surprised. Historically I have not been a big fan of wheatwine in general, but the Larceny barrel BCBS variant from 2019 was a game changer for me. It's only because of that beer that I even bothered to buy any Caramella at all. I still felt like giving that wheatwine a dessert treatment would just put it waaaaay over the top, but thankfully I was wrong. 4.25.

Friday at 11:15 PM
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bourbon Country Brand Caramella Ale from Goose Island. 16.9 oz bottle from Spec’s # 69. $18.14 (including tax) ($1.073/oz). Stored at room temperature in store and at 40 degrees after purchase. Reviewed 13/11/21. Note that I use DD/MM/YY protocol.
Stamped on label “02SEP25” and on neck label “2020”. Served at 50.9 degrees in a hand washed and dried glass coffee cup. Final temperature 56.3 degrees.
Appearance – 4.
First pour – Medium Amber (SRM 12), hazy.
Body – Amber Brown (SRM 18), murky and opaque. When rear-lite, some particles, many bubbles, and a reddish tint to the murk.
Head – Small (Maximum 0.5 cm, aggressive center pour), bronze, fizzy with short retention, diminishing to no crown and a thin cap of constantly renewing bubbles. By the time the temperature reaches 54 degrees, the bubbles cease.
Lacing – None. Not really expected at 14.6% ABV.
Aroma – 4.25 – Cinnamon. No malt, no hops, no yeast.
Flavor – 4.5 – Begins a bit sweet with distinct cinnamon, caramel, and apple flavors, no malt, no hops, no yeast, no bourbon. No ethanol (14.6% ABV, as marked on container) taste or aroma; however, there is light gastric and esophageal burning. No dimethylsulfide or diacetyl.
Palate – 3.5 – Medium, syrupy, lively carbonation.
Final impression and summation: 4 No hint of beer or bourbon, flavor very much like a caramel apple. This is much in the “dessert beer” mode of Southern Tier – sweet, syrupy, and tongue-coating

Nov 13, 2021
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michaelsmith11 from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this one while sitting outside handing out candy on Halloween. it poured a light brownish red color. The smell was cinnamon, bourbon and caramel. The apple came through on the taste with a lot of caramel. It was sweet but it actually worked really well. My hopes weren't too high with this one but it exceeded my expectations.

Nov 02, 2021
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Caramella has a thin, off-white head, no lacing, and a semi-opaque copper appearance, with an oily "chemical spill" sheen, on top. The aroma is of very boozy "apple jack"-type malt beverage product, a touch of cinnamon, and bourbon barrel. The flavor is similar with low bitterness. Caramella has a heavy body and a sweet finish.


Oct 05, 2021
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BCole281 from Texas

4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 fl oz. bottle, drink by date 02SEP25. Poured into a teku glass.

A - pours a deep reddish-brown with minimal tan head that quickly recedes to a very thin ring.

S - Bourbon and cinnamon w/ faint apple notes.

T - Bourbon and caramel apple with cinnamon sugar on the finish. The finish keeps me coming back for another sip. ABV is very well hidden.

M - Medium-full bodied, low carbonation, smooth finish. Very easy to drink.

O - Being a cinnamon fan, this is a fantastic brew that is well worth the money. A shame it's a limited release. Cheers!

Sep 01, 2021
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours medium to dark reddish orange with a thin white head that dissipates to patches with light lacing. Aroma of caramel, apple, pear, green grapes, bourbon; boozy. Flavor is caramel malt, raisins, green apple, citron, cinnamon and bourbon. Bourbon and cinnamon apples in the finish. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess. A quite fruity wheatwine that is on the sweet side, just short of cloying. The green apple and cinnamon is an interesting twist for this style, reminiscent of a apple crisp. A solid dessert wheatwine that has somewhat less bourbon character than I expected, but with so much interesting flavor depth that I ended up a fan. Wish I had picked up two of these. As with most BCB varieties, aged nicely for a year and probably has a long cellar history ahead of it.

Aug 10, 2021
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trevormajor from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500ML bottle, born on 9/1/20, poured into a snifter at 53 degrees F:
L - a light caramel color, almost like dark iced tea
S - cinnamon, bourbon, apple
T - like eating a caramel apple that has been dipped in bourbon and then cinnamon; lots of cinnamon on the finish
F - medium mouthfeel with minimal carbonation, a bit silky
O - too much cinnamon for my liking, overpowers most other flavors; there are also notes of apple, bourbon and caramel

Aug 07, 2021
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Zythophile from District of Columbia

4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: 9/2/20
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Color is as dark an amber as could still be called amber. Minimal head, although fine, and absolutely no lacing. It's very clear, too.

The smell is candied apple with cinnamon. As it warms, that gets even stronger, although the apple takes on more of a cider character than fresh fruit. Points for uniqueness, and it has good strength, too.

All that's on the nose is also in the taste, plus there's a honey-ish thing going on, too. Actually, at times it's more like a fortified wine – I'll call it a slightly bitter Madeira malvasia – than a beer. The back end does have clover and bourbon, so at least those I sometimes get in BA stouts. Unfortunately, the whole is less than the sum of the parts because the pervasive sugar shoves everything apart.

Alcohol is super-well hidden for a fourteener. Maybe it's hiding behind all that sugar. (I hope I don't get a hangover off this one bottle.) Aftertaste actually matches the nose, moreso than the taste. Virtually no carbonation, although it doesn't come across as flat. Weight is heavy, even for the type. The negatives are down there, and the merits are up there, more than normally.

Jul 25, 2021
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

In what's likely the most playful Bourbon County Brand beer to date, Goose Island gets away from their roasty ways for a waltz down a more caramelized path, choosing the seldom seen Wheatwine style as its base.

Bright golden orange, and surprisingly sprite in its appearance, the strong Caramella Ale releases a dainty swirl of foam while teasing the nose with a burst of caramel, pulled candy, cream candy and a jolt of brandy for a full tingle of the nose. Unapologetically sweet, its early taste is chocked full of caramel, vanilla, coconut, cream, honey and toffee to appease the sweet tooth with the very first sip.

As the flavors unfold, the sweetness never backs down. A rise of bourbon influences bring its nutty elements of oak with a light toasted presence, along with those vanilla, coconut and caramelized oak flavor. A late presence of light hops add an herbal finish of peppery woods in a light and somber balance. Instead, its the spice of whisky that plays out like apple brandy on the finish to achieve any semblance of bitter balance.

Full, sweet and cloying, the beer is a divine sipper that's best suited for after dinner digestive quality. It finishes malty sweet and with impressions of caramel apple and circus peanuts with that certain flambe toastiness with a spice more of brandy than bourbon.

Jun 30, 2021
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours an orange/brown color with no head.
Aroma of bourbon, caramel, and fruit.
Taste follows the nose. Caramel, bourbon, apple.
Very sweet, which felt OK to me.

Jun 26, 2021
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hoptheology from South Dakota

4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16.9 oz flag bottle, into Parish brewery stemware.

Iced tea color with a fingernail of head.

Aroma of green apple skin and bourbon barrel, with a sharp wheat and caramel presence. Some dusty grain hull and wheat cracker as well.

Flavor is green apple sucker immediately with caramel syrup following. The back half changes things a bit and offers funky mushroom notes, almost musty or musky. Mold. Crisp caramel malt. Tastes like it's been openly fermented in an attic. Has some palatable alcohol flavor. As it warms and I get looser, I get more of a "broken-in" caramel Barleywine flavor. Tasting good.

Feel is hot and sticky, leaves a sticky upper lip, and has lots of busy carbonation. Lots of sticky sugar cling on the tonsils. Buzzing alcohol nips the cheeks after the finish. Medium plus bodied.

Overall a pretty enjoyable Wheatwine and for its price ($10.99) I would probably buy one more bottle. We don't get this one up here unfortunately, and we never did, but it's not a total deal breaker. It's always cool to see what other parts of the country have different Goose Island variants. Neat that I could find this in a floor stack next to some 6 day old Parish Envie. This works well especially as it warms, however it's not the best limited I've had.

$10.99 @ Rouse's Markets

Jun 06, 2021
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Greywulfken from New York

3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2020 release, 14.5% abv; a wheatwine aged in Larceny bourbon barrels and brewed with "natural" apple, cinnamon, and caramel flavors...

As I mentioned yesterday, BCBS has much less interest than 5-10 years ago when I was chasing down their vanilla and coffee releases... lol - remember those days? Anyways, this is strictly mediocre - "wheatwine" is just a barleywine with wheat instead of barley, so my expectation level is essentially the same, and this is very disappointing... Just a bunch of flavors added to an overly sweet, syrupy caramel apple of a beer - I guess if that's what you want, this'd be great, but to me, it's too sweet and lacking nuance and distinction - a strong sweet beer that tastes like apple caramel syrup...

Again, that's just my impression - totally could be that some folks will love it - and no disrespect intended - just too much of a flavored sugar beer bomb for me...

Jun 04, 2021
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maximum12 from Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GI BCS variants ain’t like in the old days, eh? Cherry Rye. Vanilla. Original barleywine. But here I am about to suck down my half of this 500ML bottle. My wife has the other half.

The pour is clear dark copper falling quickly to ear plug silence. The nose is predictable as a Friday afternoon nap: caramel & bourbon. Werther’s should look into that.

Bourbon County Brand Caramella Ale is very festive! I feel like I should put up the Christmas lights. Suffusive bourbon that warms down deep followed by an appropriate cinnamon dose & very light apple, oak, sweet dry wine, before the caramel overwhelms it all (‘cept the barrel) right through the last note of Santa Baby. Smooth & easy like a well oiled…machine.

Just when you give up on a franchise it belches forth a Deadpool like this. Unique, tasty, & in a style that hasn’t been made by every bumblef*ck brewery from Rosario to Xinghua. Excellent beer.

May 18, 2021
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

16.9 ounce bottle, 2020 vintage, drink by date of 02SEP25 printed on the label. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a somewhat clear dark burnt orange/brown color with maybe a half inch off-white head that fizzled away quickly. Not much lacing at all. Aroma is nice and sweet, the brew smells like caramel, vanilla, bourbon, sweet apple, cinnamon, oak and brown sugar. For the most part the taste is similar to the aroma, it's mostly sweet but there's also the addition of some tart apple and dark bready flavors. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's slick and rich with a moderate amount of carbonation. I thought this was a pretty good wheatwine, surprised when I saw this on the shelf a few weeks ago so I figured I'd get a bottle. Glad I picked this one up, worth trying if you get the chance to! $16.99 a bottle.

May 14, 2021
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LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - Caramel/copper in color with a good amount of clarity - no real head or lacing to speak of, but a thin white ring sticks around
S - Rich, sweet bourbon, cinnamon, and apples with hints of caramel
T - Apple cinnamon intermixed with rich, sweet bourbon along with rich caramel throughout - slight hints of bread, oak, and some molasses
F - Medium bodied leaning towards full with a light to medium amount of carbonation. Smooth.
O - A very solid wheatwine that hits the flavor profile it promises, but isn't overly complex from there, however, a very solid beer and interesting addition to the Goose Island BCBS series

Apr 12, 2021
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WoodBrew from Ohio

4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I am trying a bottle of this beer at my friend's house in Naples, Florida. It poured a clear rich amber with off white very thin ring head that is not leaving any lace. The scent had apple, cinnamon and hints of bourbon. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with apple peel start....caramel sweet finish with bourbon highlights. The mouthfeel was medium in body and had good carbonation. Overall it is a solid sipping beer.

Apr 01, 2021
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SaxmanRick from Minnesota

3.7/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Cellared for four months. This was a disappointment. Excessive cinnamon covered up the more desirable flavors. I sensed some underlying caramel and apple. Would never have guessed this was a wheatwine. Very hot from both cinnamon and alcohol. Additionally no real head and minimal lacing.

Some Bourbon County variants are better than others. This one was a fail. I hope it was only this bottle.

Mar 30, 2021
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mschrei from Illinois

4.82/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

It’s like the best glass of apple cider I’ve ever had. Ruby/maroon colors, healthy carbonation, a healthy foam that dissipates quickly leaving a memory’s worth of lacing. Smell is primarily two things: apple and bourbon. Caramel and cinnamon are there, but they’re the wallflowers hanging in the background while everyone is watching apple and bourbon grind it out on the dance floor, and I’m watching too. Taste is like biting into a spiked affy tapple: the thick sweet caramel meets you first, followed by the tart apple, and then booze follows it all up. I’m reminded of Trick or Treating last year, when a neighbor offered me some moonshine and cider. The only difference is this has less alcohol burn and is SMOOOOOTH. The lower end of big bodied, a healthy thickness, a strong alcohol presence. Just an excellent beer. I’ve had three of the top 100 Wheat Beer - Wheatwine beers, all of them from Pipeworks. This is better than all of them. I’m going to put it on the side to let it warm up to see how it rounds out. This beer is awesome.

Mar 25, 2021
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mickyge from Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle dated 02/sept25 2020. 14.6 abv
Darkish cider color, thin quickly dissipating head. Champagne like bubbles as it sits

Aroma is apples, cinnamon, toffee caramel. Green apples dominate

Taste is like eating a piece of very good apple pie, apples, cinnamon and caramel

Mouthfeel is sticky sweet, some tartness in the finish. Medium carbonation, full tasting and heavy

Overall this one I feel is meant for sharing, high abv and heavy flavoring is a lot to drink in a 16 oz format for 1 person. It is really tasty though.

Mar 21, 2021
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MNAle from Minnesota

4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is rich... spicy - cinnamon, fruit - apple.

Dark amber color, clear, with ample rising bubbles. Short tan head that recedes quickly to a thin ring. No lacing. (Occasional disconnected bubbles cling to the glass as you drink, but quickly slip down into the beer.)

The apple is forward in the taste, with the cinnamon and sweet caramel backing. The overall taste is sweet, little bittering to balance it. The middle develops in complexity, with the apple fading a bit and the sweet caramel and cinnamon becoming more prominent. The finish does become very slightly bitter, but the overall finish is sweet and sticky. The aftertaste is pleasant and leaves a coating on the tongue and the back of the mouth.

The mouth feel is thick and viscous, like a classic BCBS.

Overall, a richly flavored sweet beer. Even so, it is not cloying if you accept it for what it is - basically, a dessert beer or (as I hoped) an excellent evening sipping beer.

Mar 11, 2021
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Franziskaner from Missouri

3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color with a fingernail of off white around an eighth of the rim. The aroma is of cinnamon, Granny Smith apples, and caramel. I’m tasting cinnamon, bourbon, Granny Smith apple, and caramel. The mouth is thick, sticky, and chewy.

Feb 27, 2021
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hopsputin from New Jersey

4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a: light ruby red and caramel color. a hint of burnt punk. no real head to speak of

s: bourbon straight up right away. toffee, molasses, bread dough. loads of caramel, sweet sugar, and fruit cake. leather, oak, and a lot of sweet berries. a nice mild green apple and apple pie note along with some cinnamon oatmeal

t: lots of sweet berries, toffee, caramel. bourbon, green apples, and a nice mild cinnamon. leather, maple syrup, and molasses

m: sticky sweet, full mouthfeel. low carbonation

o: sweet and intense. very complex and the definition of a sipper, for sure. great malt characteristics. a delightful drinking experience

Feb 21, 2021
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Scotchboy from Idaho

4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome bottle sent to me from a friend, split into wine glasses.

A: Clear, rich golden amber with a small off-khaki head.

S: Warm apple pie character with a good dose of cinnamon, not spicy but definitely dessert-y; plenty of caramel, brown sugar, warm bourbon, and toffee/bready sweetness.

T: All of your senses tell you to expect more of slap of malty, boozy beer but this is just apple pie in a glass; cinnamon, caramel-covered apples, slightly toasted sweet bread, toffee, bourbon, mild vanilla.

MF: Rich, warm, smooth, full-bodied, lower carbonation.

O: Spectacular and delicious; GI is known for BCBS but they can throw together a wheat wine, that's for sure. Amazing stuff.

Thanks Aaron!

Feb 09, 2021
Bourbon County Brand Caramella Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 250 ratings