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Broad Shoulders Barleywine | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Very Good
41 Ratings

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Dark caramel color with a rich velvery mouthfeel and subtle malt sweetness that balances with the huge amount of hops used to brew this beer."

Added by jrallen34 on 01-26-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 41 |  Reviews: 11
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Goose Clybourn.

Deep reddish copper pour, creamy foam rises to the rim of the glass and settles to a sticky skim. Head retention is excellent, with a crown of lace that encircles the glass. Very attractive color.

Sweet toffee dominates the nose, some woody malt, and yeast esters that manifest as bananas doused in caramel syrup.

Rich malty sweetness, big toffee and dried fruit, almond paste, marzipan. Syrupy sweet and full bodied, dry finish with the barest hint of bitterness. Sweetness isn't overly cloying, but it's certainly one & done for me.

 564 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at the Clybourn brewpub.

Not only was I unaware we were calling them "broads" again, but I was also unfamiliar with people focusing on their shoulders... *rimshot* Ahem, anyway, this stuff pours a clear tawny topped by a finger of glowing light tan foam. The nose comprises caramel, black grape, light honey, ruby red grapefruit rind, fig, and light pine resin. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some toffee, clove, and a touch of vanilla in the background. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, a very nice barleywine, though it came across as more English-style than American-, though I'm inclined to believe it's more of a transatlantic version than either of the others strictly-speaking. Good times nevertheless.

 816 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this twice, both times out of taster glasses at GI-Clybourn. Probably served too cold.

A - Served with minimal foam that settles to a thin cap and thick-bubbled color, leaving behind a few minuscule spots of lace. Transparent caramel ruby-brown body.

S - Grapes, dark fruits, some clean alcohol, citrus hops. Surprisingly understated nose that doesn't open up all that much as the beer warms up.

T - Bready, some nebulous fruit sweetness, and a decent amount of toffee character as the beer approaches room temperature. Alcohol is better-hidden here. A little bit bland though.

M - Smooth texture, medium-full body, low but active carbonation, lightly sticky finish. Not much alcohol heat.

D - It's a pretty decent American barleywine, with some nice citrus hop character to go with a bready malt backbone. Goes down quite easily thanks to the fairly attenuated flavor profile. I'd rather just buy some Bigfoot though.

 932 characters

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Rhettroactive
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a slightly dense deep red toffee brown body with a light tan head of thick cream that last a bit.

S- The vinous grainy aroma has some dry fruit hints when it warms a bit.

T- The toffee flavor has a nougat taste to it with some nice toasted malt notes coming through when it warms. There is a nice green hop hint in the finish. The finish is almost sweet but I think it is a dry finish with the malt character giving it more of a sweet perception.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no real alcohol heat until the last few sips.

O- This is a very easy to drink barleywine that is a bit on the dry side with a good but subtle hop support in the finish adds some nice depth.

 726 characters

Photo of thinwhiteduke
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Dactrius
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of jrallen34
4.39/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the pub...Pours dark copper with lots of amber notes, very clear edges, but murky center. A light tan head, with sparse foam and lacing...The aroma is an typical barleywine, sweet toffee balanced by hops. Not unique but executed correctly...The taste is on the sweeter side, but not sweet so its really drinkable. I almost prefer this to the Icarus. A little hop balance, super drinkable for 8%. Recommend.

 416 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Caramel colored beer with an off-white head that faded to a tight ring.

S - There actually isn't a ton of aroma on this one. A little bit of toffee, caramel, and butter, but it's almost a struggle to pull anything out on the nose. On the plus side, nothing smells bad.

T - Given the nose, there is a surpring amount of citrus hops in there. It's sweet, with mostly caramel malts and a little bit of butter. The taste is kind of bland, but straight-forward and not bad. Just not a ton going on here.

M - Not quite full bodied, a bit syrupy, with softer carbonation.

O - This is a solid beer, but I found it to be kind of boring, although it does drink well at 8%. Nothing I'd really care to consume on a regular basis.

 725 characters

Photo of Brew33
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of GbVDave
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at GI-Cly 2/10/11.

A: Served a rusty caramel color with a thin and creamy, light-tan head that disappeared pretty quickly. Not much lace left behind.

S: This walked a fine line between sweet caramel and blistering hops. I also picked up a bit of green apple and toffee.

T: Sweet malt in the forefront with piney and citrus hops for balance. I kept searching for some overbearing alcohol flavor but could barely dig up a trace.

M: Relatively smooth with malty sweetness and oily hops to keep everything in check.

D: A nice effort. A tad overpriced, though.

 580 characters

Photo of Kiniey01
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of coz
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of jegross2
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Alpha309
3.39/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried on tap at the Clyburn pub, 28 Sep 2011. Served in a ~10 oz snifter.

Very small light brown head. Lightly carbonated. Clear dark reddish brown in color. Aromas of fig, dark fruits, some toffee, a hint of ethanol. Starts sweet and treacley. Dark fruits, figs, some date. Alcohol is not obvious in the glass but hits my head pretty quick. Medium body. Somewhat sweet, slight improvement as it warms. Finish is of mild dark fruits. Slightest touch of bitterness in the aftertaste, along with warming ethanol.

Menu has this listed as 8.7% ABV.

 546 characters

Photo of Treebs
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the GI Wrigleyville location. Not sure if they brewed a seperate batch specifically for this location but it was listed as an English Barleywine with an ABV of 8.7%. 10 oz. pour served in a snifter.

A: Pours a clear, dark mohagony with rich ruby hues around the edges and where ever light hits. One finger, off-white head that leaves some splotchy lace down the glass.

S: Definitely a nice mixture of some toasted malt, resin-like hops and some rich dark fruits.

T: There is a lot more going on in the mouth which is big plus. There is more dark fruits present with figs and dates, but there are sweet fruits present as well. I'm getting a slight grape taste in addition to a nice caramel malt backbone. Finishes with some nice leafy hops.

M: Medium bodied with a nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Dried fruits are left on the palate. Medium carbonation.

O: I enjoyed this brew. There were more hops and fruits present and I'm glad after such an average nose the taste was able to really come together. I'd like to figure out why this was listed differently though.

 1,089 characters

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of sbricker
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of funkyaudio
5/5  rDev +30.5%

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Broad Shoulders Barleywine from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 41 ratings
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