Discussion in 'US - Midwest' started by Jaycase, Apr 22, 2022.
...and Vanilla Rye
Never had KH, but I popped a can of VSOJ b1 the day after release, and 2yr BW seems really close to how good fresh VSOJ was from what I remember. Would love to do a side by side, but its not fair to compare fresh beers with aged ones.
I don't expect 2yr BW to age well, similar to how VSOJ hasn't aged well either.
I'm not the fanboy of Rev that lots of others on here are, but I think there's a big difference in ageability between Rev and BCBS. There's a pretty wide consensus that Rev beers are best fresh and only seem to get worse over time. That doesn't mean that at 1 year their beers still can't be great, but it seems like nearly everyone on BA prefers and thinks Rev beers are better fresh, whereas the same isn't even close to true for BCBS-related beers.
I tend to favor Rev's offerings in general, but this assessment nails my experience and preference.
Replying late on this one but the last couple posts about 2-yr Barleywine reminded me that it really shouldn't be compared to the past "Double Barrel" offerings, at least as far as price. In terms of process, it's more comparable to 2019's 2-yr Reserve, which was probably closer to $30 retail than $40.
I agree with this as well, but wanted to add a caveat. I do not think recent versions of BCBS age like their predecessors. I use to try to keep a minimum 5 year vert going and drink one of every year close to Black Friday, but have decided to cut that back to 3-4 years now after the last 2 year’s tastings. 16/17/18 were def better fresh than their 5 year mark for me, but when I finished the non-infected 15 I was wishing I had more left. This could be a little to do with pasteurization, but also think it has to do with tweaks to make BCBS more approachable fresh. Just my opinion though.
Anyone still looking for any 2 year barleywine? My buddy's liquor store has a case still at $38 a pop. It's in Woodridge.
I (think) I agree on BCBS, I just dunno if that would extend to a BW. But I also don't drink nearly as many of them as I do stouts, so wtf do I know.
New Bohemia in Golden Valley, MN has over a dozen of the Goose Island BCBS brews on tap. They sell flights, though a little pricey. I had a flight and my favorites were Bourbon County Brand Biscotti Stout (2022) and Bourbon County Brand Sir Isaac's Stout (2022)
Not really comparable IMO.
2 year barleywine is an oak/whiskey bomb to me. There are some notes of dark fruits, but for the most part I find it an aggressive tasting barleywine that beats you over the head with the bourbon notes.
King Henry was essentially the opposite in its incredible ability to balance all sorts of delicious flavors without covering any of them up. It's been a long time since I had my last bottle but I remember there being the charred oak, vanilla, caramel, dark fruit and an almost butterscotch quality.
To me, it's still the perfect beer, and the beer I look back on more than any others because at the time I had been intro craft beer for a few years, but it rocked my mind for how much balance and flavor a beer could hold. Truly incredible stuff.
I was really excited for 2 year BW because I was hoping it would actually recapture some of that magic, and then when I heard the over the top reviews (this is the best Bourbon County beer EVER!!!!! - which having had it twice now, is an insane take to me), I got even more excited for it. For me it was a flop, not in the sense that it was bad, and maybe if I went in with lower expectations I would have had a higher opinion of it, but it was a real disappointment for me.
So, in short, not alike in terms of flavor profile, not alike in terms of being brash/balanced and not really comparable in overall quality, at least to me.
Take that for what it's worth from someone who had 4 bottles of King Henry, but someone who hasn't had it in close to a decade.
You thought that a 17% ABV Barleywine that was 60% DBed, that clearly has ~4% of the ABV contributed by spirits and intended to highlight the bourbon character specifically, would be comparable to a 13.4% Barleywine that was instead aged in used BCBS barrels and had very little bourbon presence?
They were never going to have the same flavor profile. They were always going to be Apples and oranges.
I can't imagine how someone could read my post and have that be the takeaway.
Someone asked how the two beers compared. I said they weren't comparable.
The only thing I mentioned was hoping they would recapture the magic/lightning in a bottle they had with King Henry. I did not say I was hoping or thinking they would even taste similar.
My disappointment in the beer was due to how it tasted and my high expectations for it before I tasted it. I found it to be very underwhelming, it is what it is.
I think there's something to be said for those beers that were so incredible way back and how much our palates have changed over the years and all the great beer we had. I had a similar expectation for BCBS Coffee, since the first time I had it in 2014 was the best beer I'd ever had (I didn't acquire 16 and 17 until years after the release). There's no way that 2014 could have been that much better than 2022. I love the 2022, but I'm pretty sure if I tasted it with my 2014 palate I would have been absolutely blown away. I've absolutely abused my taste buds with beer and bourbon over the years, and I'm sure many of us have.
As a huge fan of the 12oz era of Goose Bourbon County Barleywine...you nailed my feelings here.
It's a good beer. It's also a pretty blunt instrument that lacks the depth and complexity that elevated "regular" Goose Barleywine; no need to even invoke King Henry's lengthy (and earned) shadow.
Does he ship to CT?
For anyone still looking Open Door in Clarendon Hills has everything. At least 6-7 cases of the BW, WT 4 packs
So, who in Chicago wants to take the lead and organize a 12oz single-barrel share? I’d love to try them side-by-side but can’t do the hunting and driving needed to get all 4 on my own. I’m happy to provide support but don’t have time to lead the effort.
I think this is right. The 2YBW was much more in your face than I remember King Henry I think the mouthfeel was different too. I remember the KH as being kind of soft and powdery.
Those are still some of the very best BCBS beers of all time. And to this point...
While I do not doubt there is some truth in this sentiment, I have had 2013 and 2014 BCBBW fairly recently, within the last 2 years, both on tap and from the bottle.
The 2013 is past its prime but the 2014s I've had recently are still incredible beers. All that to say, I've had 2022 with a modern palate and the 2014 with a modern palate, and the old school BCBBW still blow away the 2022.
ISO Barleywine in the Madison WI area. I was able to pickup everything else except prop at Riley’s last week. Very strange for me not being in CHI for this.
Was out at the Yardhouse in Lombard for lunch last week and they had a big BCS thing going on.
Safe to say that this years shelf turds seem to be Regular (both 12oz and 16.9), Coffee and Sir Isaacs and maybe to a lesser degree 30 yr because of the $40+ price point? Saw these in multiple stores in multiple states sitting out, but didn't see any Biscotti for some reason. Did they make less of the Biscotti or is it just as popular as the 2 Yr Barley?
This is 100% true in general, I think. The first time I had the OG BCBBW I was really impressed, and same thing with Straight Jacket. Granted, the first batch of BW was (I think?) supposedly the best, but nothing compares to that first time you run into a beer or flavor profile you really like; I still love SJ, but it's not nearly as crazy to me any more (especially with VSOJ running around).
I always thought '13 BCBBW was more stout-like in character than '14, and preferred it. Not that '14 was bad, but I thought '13 inched it's way forward. This is a small margin. Compare that to, say, the different vintages of SJ (i.e. comparing SJ to SJ only)...The years of SJ where VSOJ is blended in is miles ahead of SJ when VSOJ is not blended in.
Yeah, that sounds right; 2013 is pretty early in my craft beer "career" so I didn't have a ton of stuff to compare it to, but that does sound like what I remembered liking about it (I remember people getting caught up in the hype and comparing it to KH back then).
I agree on SJ, but I think in general VSOJ has left such a strong impression in my mind at this point that it's hard to go back to anything not "Very Special Old".
At this point, I don't think this is true. Every year of Straight Jacket is on point & excellent, going on the last 4 years. There hasn't been a year, to me, in that span that the quality has dipped at all.
Also, saying VSOJ was ever "blended in" doesn't really track; VSOJ is just a blend of older barrels itself, so I doubt they were making a unique blend of VSOJ and THEN adding it to the blend of Straight Jacket. Years ago when the program was young they started adding older barrels into Straight Jacket from time to time and we took that to mean there was "VSOJ" in Straight Jacket (myself included). Now I'd assume there are VSOJ worthy barrels hitting the Straight Jacket blend every year.
Perhaps @BeerCruncher can elaborate, if he cares.
Don't make Doug venture into the lair of the evil Enemy!
This is my understanding of their blending process as well. Basically, SJ and VSOJ share the same stock barleywine recipe - some batches are sweeter, some are drier, some are aged longer than others, and they use some kick ass spreadsheet skills to inform a target blend.
For sure palates differ, and I can understand if some people think that there isn't a noticeable difference. To my palate, I certainly noticed the uptick in depth associated with VSOJ blended into SJ during the last 2 batches that had this. I believe that was 2021 and...2018? Think it was the same year the first batch of VSOJ was canned.
Regarding the VSOJ "blended in" comment. I swear I remember the description (if not by Doug, someone who seemed to speak on it "with authority" saying that the first batch of SJ "with VSOJ" was like 40% VSOJ blended in. Since they literally canned it that year, I mean, it would make sense if it was legitimately VSOJ blended in rather than just older barrels. But *shrug*, it's just what I remember. I wouldn't swear on it.
@ktr5010 @flat_lander @4DAloveofSTOUT Any of you remember?
Edit: Not saying VSOJ is a different recipe or anything, just saying that I seem to recall it being described as not just older stock, but the same VSOJ that was canned/kegged.
I’m not savvy enough to quote a post from an old thread, but this is what Doug said on 11/5/19 (emphasis mine):
This years Straight Jacket is going to be made of 3 different batches primarily, A) 1 Year, B) 1.5 Year, C) 2 Year old components. The two year old component is actually nearly 50% of the blend, but that is the dry component. In 2018, the "30% VSOJ year", that was sweet component. Again, this does not mean Straight Jacket is 50% VSOJ, but it does mean that half of the blend spent two years in the barrel. The sweeter component is more on the younger side, which will make this a different combination of age/sweet/dry than we've had before. Marty is insistent that this is his favorite and most ready to go out of the gate of all Straight Jackets.
Thanks! Very nicely done.
A component of this that I was particularly curious about - not having perfect recall - was whether VSOJ was "just" older barrels or "specially selected honey barrels" for older aging. That obviously would make the outcome different (older vs. older 'honey' barrels). Sounds like they don't test all the barrels at the 1-year mark and select which are the 'honey' barrels that will age longer.
Definitely remember that last year's SJ had VSOJ blended in, but the percentages I don't remember at all. Unfortunately I am not much help besides confirming SJ has VSOJ blended into it.
That’s a great question, and one I would ask Marty if I had a chance to corner him. I suspect there is intermediate sampling, which may be a part of the process that results in the upcoming “double barrel” VSOJ.
@Jsimansk covered my recollection here.
Also, ISO Marty's super sexy SJ spreadsheet.
Has anyone come across an official confirmation regarding the 2022 Four Pack "Easter Eggs"?
I have seen two of the five (WLLT and GI) in the wild. I believe it is safe to assume
GI = Blended
HH = Heaven Hill
WT = Wild Turkey
BT = Buffalo Trace
The WLLT is the one which I am seeking confirmation, whether this is single Willett or Four Roses barrels. The latter would make sense since it is part of their blend this year, but the abbreviation would lead one toward guessing Willett.
On untappd, the WLLT beers are listed under Four Roses. I want to correct the listing I created here if warranted. Reaching out to Josh Noel and will attempt the GI customer service line when they open in the interim. Couldn't find nothing on GI's website or via twitter searches.
let me know what you find out and I can update the entries here accordingly.
The distributor replied back confirming the WLLT were made from Willett, not Four Roses, barrels. The entry can remain as is.
Also, they did not list BT = Buffalo Trace, which was an individual "Easter Egg" in 2020, but does not appear to be in 2022. I'll leave the listing I created up for a few more days to allow confirmation / rebuttal before requesting a deletion.
There is an Untappd listing for BT, but only one review with no picture listing a BT code / bottle. If a BA member has a 2022 BT bottle, please reply with a picture.
I don't think there are any 4-packs with the BT code. The BT easter Egg bottles were just the 16.9 oz bottles in 2020.
The 4 I have at WLLT, HH, WT, and GI - so WLLT replaced BT this go around.
Forgive my ignorance, but what does "WT" stand for? I'm not a bourbon drinker.
sorry - I assumed everyone knew the abbreviations ...
WT = Wild Turkey
HH = Heaven Hill
WLLT = Willet
BT = Buffalo Trace