Big John
Goose Island Beer Co.

Big JohnBig John
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American Imperial Stout
ABV:
11.5%
Score:
92
Avg:
4.12 | pDev: 10.68%
Reviews:
456
Ratings:
1,579
From:
Goose Island Beer Co.
 
Illinois, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  178
Gots
  554
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Big JohnBig John
Notes: Brewmasters Notes:
Inspired by the epic skyline of Chicago, Goose Island's brewers set out to craft Big John; a tall, bold slugger of a stout that stands out vividly against the little soft beers out there. Epic amounts of roasted malt and an addition of cacoa nibs give Big John a massive chocolate flavor and aroma. With a body as substantial and black as the building to which it pays homage, Big John is sure to inspire a sense of awe with each sip.
Reviews: 456 | Ratings: 1,579 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by output01x:
Photo of output01x
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650 mL. bottle (Bottled On 03/25/11) into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a 1/2-finger mocha-colored creamy head that quickly diminishes to a very light dusting and thin foam ring. The body is nearly perfectly black with only the faintest traces of crimson red when held to light.

Dark chocolate and roasted malts combine to create a decadent nose. A thick booze aromas lingers in the background.

Just like the nose, the flavors are primarily roasted malts, dark chocolates, and a decent alcohol warmth. Mocha and woodiness notes add to the experience. A dry coffee aftertaste is noticable at the back of the throat.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer is carbonated just enough to keep it from being syrupy but it is still rather sticky.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of bgold86
4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage, poured into a 12 ounce snifter glass at just above room temperature. Huge huge chocolate and dark cherry nose, slight hints of espresso and cinnamon. Taste is hugely decadent, tons of chocolate and surprisingly huge amounts of roast! Really wish GI would brew this treasure again...

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle, 2013 vintage, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a full finger of chocolate-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic! Tons of rich, earthy, bready, roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted dark bread and freshly roasted coffee beans, as well as dark chocolate, brown sugar, and a touch of licorice. Rich and inviting.

Taste: Wow! Rich and chewy and delicious! Strong flavors of roasted malt up front, imparting notes of espresso and roasted nuts, followed by tons of chocolate, brown sugar-like sweetness and a touch of lactose-like cream. So delicious!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and rich, and extremely smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 11.5%, there is a pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a delicious, rich, creamy, malty, chocolaty, slightly sweet beer! Great on its own, I’m sure it would be fantastic as a desert beer!

 1,056 characters

Photo of HopSynonymous
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber out of my HF chalice. Oldest beer I've ever had at 4.5 years. 3/25/11 bottle date.

L- Pitch black, opaque, small tan ring, no lacing. Viscous when swirled around.
S- Malty and chocolatey. Bit of alcohol heat with a large inhale. I don't know why I get BA quality, but I do.
T- Again, could be a bourbon barrel beer. It's sweet, chocolatey, dark fruits like cherry and plum, vanilla. Delicious.
F- Thick, but with more carb than I expected for a 4 year old beer!
O- Yum. Bomber is a beast to take down by yourself, but it is worth it. Not getting much change as it warm up and sits, which is a bit of a bummer, but this is a fantastic beer. Very nice.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.71/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some great lacing. Aroma of dark chocolate malt with light roasted malt and light residual sugar notes. Taste is a sublime mix between black milk chocolate with some light molasses and liquorice notes with light dry roasted malt notes also perceptible. Body is full with nice thick creamy texture and good carbonation and no alcohol presence is easily identifiable. I really enjoyed this huge beer and I’m glad they were able to maintain such balance and drinkability to match the complexity of this beer.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

single finger dark tan head on a jet black body with no light passing through. Lots of vanilla with dark fruit and chocolate. A very nice dark fruit, vanilla and chocolate mix in the flavor as well. Right amount of sweetness. Slight roasted malt note. thick in body, very smooth and viscous/creamy. light to moderate carbonation. Another excellent beer from goose island. This one is very smooth and flavorful. Strong but not too boozy.

 436 characters

Photo of graemebrown
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of marine1975
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of EricCioe
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of tvanr
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of Casey3236
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of scottDC
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Kahlerbock
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of bauermj
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of guillemiro
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of nzerbe
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Benesi88
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of blmar311
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of Phelps
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 3-25-11. Poured into a snifter.

Pours thick and syrupy, the viscid liquid merging in the glass to absolute blackness. A hair-thin layer of cinnamon-colored bubbles rises from the depths and remains as a thin ring.

Oh lordy. Charcoal, hints of smoke and tons of chocolate in all its glorious forms: cocoa powder, milk, dark, nibs. The smoky, chocolatey stuff is perfectly complemented by prunes and a good amount of piney hops. Pretty glorious.

A sweet, heavy flavor. Molasses, prunes, cedar smoke, sweet dark chocolate syrup and pine.

The body’s a treacly, hefty medium-full. It’s a creamy delight to swirl about. Very light, prickly carbonation, and ethanol fumes in the nose.

Good stuff, if a little heavy and sweet. Like the stepchild between Night Stalker and BCS.

 790 characters

Photo of harrylee773
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Jacob007
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of OptionParalysis
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Big John from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1579 ratings