Honey B | Goose Island Beer Co.

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21 Ratings

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

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
English-style barleywine aged in an Evan Williams bourbon barrel.

Added by MasterSki on 11-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 21 |  Reviews: 6
Photo of BRami127
4.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had this for the 1st time at FoBAB 2011 where it won Best In Show. Since then, both Goose Island Clybourn and Wrigleyville had them on tap. Poured into snifter.

A: Pours a deep, caramel brown. Very light brown head and very light lacing.

S: Strong, sweet scent of caramel and sugar. Also some bourbon notes

T: Heavy, with booze and sugar intermingling together. Surprisingly smooth. Unlike any barleywine I have ever drank before.

O: Easily the best Barelywine I have or will ever have. It's a shame this is a one off beer. It would be great if this was bottled, especially for a "Black Friday" release.

 607 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of hopswap1
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of cadaugherty
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of mvdillman
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Served into a snifter from Clybourne location.

A: medium mahogany with a finger of off white head.

S: bourbon with a hint of vanilla

T: the alcohol is covered really nicely. Tastes of toffee, and a little caramel come through.

M: full body

O: one of the best BA barley wines I've ever had.


 306 characters

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of ravot
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of antoines15
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of coz
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had a couple of these on-tap at the Clybourn brewpub. Served into a 10oz snifter:

A - pours a deep mahagoney brown with slight tones of amber. Whisks of foam head with bits of cloudy foam on the top and sides with very light lacing.

S - Rich tones of toffee, burnt brown sugar, caramel and dark fruit. Really nice bourbon notes with oak, vanilla, and strangely enough...bits of honey (although there is no honey in the brew.)

T - Heavy brown sugar, leather and toffee. Vanilla, oak nice subtle notes of bourbon and some figs. Really creamy and smooth.

M - Smooth and velvet with minimum carbonation. No burn from the ABV at all. Really great mouthfeel.

O - I really enjoyed this one. A very nice barrel aged english barleywine that I would love to have more of. Sadly, its only on-tap and at $10 for 10oz my budget won't allow me to drink a ton of it. Wish I could get a growler of this and just drink the shit outta it!

 925 characters

Photo of pirmannt1
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Urbancaver
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark orange. Nice frothy white head. Very nice appearance. Smells sweet and honey heavy. Not much else. Tastes oaky and honey strong. Sweet but has a nice tanin bite. Very nice carbonation levels. Almost syrupy thick mouthfeel. Very nice given the flavour profile. Overall very solid

 291 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of thanmad
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of ChrisPro
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried at Fobab, with notes from a second sampling at Goose Island. Served on tap in a 10 oz. snifter.

Appearance: My pour is a hazy brown color with a few hints of burgundy at the edges. A tan sea foam froth rests on top, fading to a light ring after a few minutes.

Smell: The aroma is much more bourbon forward than the flavor. After my nose processes the strong bourbon note, vanilla is the next strongest aroma. Sweet toffee, caramel, figs, and dates impart a strong sweetness, with a bit of roast malt and oak in the back.

Taste: As mentioned above, the bourbon plays a much more gentle role in the flavor, allowing the base flavors to really shine through. There is such an incredible vanilla flavor here, especially for a barleywine. The flavors are blended well together, with each component bringing more vanilla out. Caramel and toffee provide an enhanced sweetness with just a bit of roast to the malt presence up front. The gooey sweetness carries over to toffee soaked figs and dates and some rum raisin makes an appearance as well. Toward the end the bourbon presses through, helping to soften the gooey sweetness and bring out some of the barrel character as well. The finish is smooth, still fairly sweet, and full of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: My only true knock on this beer is that the carbonation feels fizzy. With a smoother, creamier carbonation, I would bump this score a point and probably the overall score half a point, really bringing it into the elite category. The rest of the body has a nice, full mouthfeel, with a gooey stickiness that is only partially softened by the barrel dryness toward the end. A bit of bourbon alcohol presence pleasantly reminds me of the 9.2% ABV.

Overall: This was a strong offering for GI to bring to Fobab. A very good bourbon barrel barleywine. This does not really push any boundaries, but there is no crime in bourbon barrel aging a barleywine well.

 1,910 characters

Photo of JoshVandy
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of thewimperoo
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of MasterSki
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at FoBAB 2011. Aged in a Evan Williams bourbon barrel. Served in a pint-shaped taster glass.

A - Sizable light tan foam that settles to a thick cap, leaving behind plenty of lacework. Hazed medium brown body.

S - Very nice mix of your usual barleywine flavors. Oak, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, honey-soaked cakes, some fruity toffee as well. Not sure if there is actually honey in this, but I wouldn't be surprised either way.

T - Taste is again very nice, with a similar blend of oak, bourbon, caramelized sugar. The finish is heavier with oak and a moderate whiskey bite to it. Alcohol is present, but not excessive for the style - hard to evaluate without a listed ABV.

M - Smooth, full body, lower carbonation, chewy texture and sticky finish, and light alcohol warmth.

D - A very well-crafted barrel-aged barleywine. This beer was listed as a GI - Wrigleyville contribution; not sure who's in charge over there but it's a shame this sort of stuff doesn't show up there as it's only a few blocks away. I can see why this would win best in show, as it's a very good but "safe" take on a "safe" style. I'd love to be able to enjoy a snifter of this in the future.

 1,176 characters

Honey B from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 21 ratings