Online Tasting: Goose Island Bourbon County! (November 24-28, 2021)

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Beer_Economicus, Nov 24, 2021 at 5:36 AM.

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  1. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Crusader (738) Apr 8, 2017 Ohio

    Welcome to the second annual Beer Advocate Bourbon County Online Tasting Thread! We are hosting this tasting to celebrate the 2021 release, which occurs (each and every) 'Black Friday'. All Bourbon County beers are welcome. This includes Base (2005 - 2021), Barleywine, Coffee, Wheatwine, Reserve(s), and all other variants.

    The thread will be open through Sunday (the 28th). This tasting event provides the opportunity to share your thoughts, experiences and pictures as a community. Share how your experience has changed across the years you have consumed BCBS. Although have been many variants, there are X core beers: (1) Base, (2) BCBBW (Fresh BBA or 3rd use), (3) Coffee BCBS, (4) Vanilla Variant, (5) Rare Variant, (6) Berry Variant, and (7) Propreitors, and finally (most recently), various "Barrel treatments," i.e. the BCBS "Reserve" series. Although some of these are defunct and many of these vary from year to year, there are few enough (and few enough "common" variants from each year) that the list is manageable, and allows for compare and contrast.

    Post anytime starting now!

    Thanks for @FBarber for sponsoring this weekend, @ChicagoJ for kicking this off last year (and his enthusiastic support this year), and to @Todd and @Jason for creating and keeping the community going through good times and bad.

    Also, don't forget. There exists the Vintage Bourbon County Review Thread! Please feel free to cross post your post in this thread with that one (located here).

    Now, onto the beer and other juicy details!

    I've been on BA since 2017, and what brought me to BA was a desire to find 'world class beer' for a friend of mine. Well, I got hooked; I became a member, and quickly I decided that trading seemed cool. It wasn't long after that obtaining Bourbon County would become a primary focus. First it was any BCBS, and once I tasted BCBS, it became an obsession. Obtaining any BCBS turned into 'vintage' BCBS (2014 and earlier), then BCBBW (gotta try that 3rd use barrel!), BCBCS (i.e. Coffee BCBS), and then...2015 Rare. And if I wasn't obsessed enough, I became engrossed in the Bourbon County legends. -VR (2014 Vanilla Rye), Prop 14, BCBVS (I.e. OG Vanilla), and...OG Rare. While there were others that I lusted after (and failed to ever obtain), one that I tracked down but just couldn't push myself to open was King Henry....Until tonight.


    Goose Island – King Henry Barleywine Ale (2011)

    13.4% ABV

    The beer is listed as a “Barleywine – English” on BA.

    The beer was removed from a 40ish degree temp fridge after having been refrigerated for approximately 3 years. Beer poured into 2012 BCBS Tulip.

    First Impression: Bottle hissed, and an aroma of raisins rose to my nose. Beautiful color. Low carb. 4.5

    Appearance: Poured beautifully. A wonderful, deep mahogany with a seemingly black backing. Limited head quickly disappeared. Murky (but it is 3rd use, so of course it is); only visible at the edges. 4.75

    Smell: Rich and boozy. Alcohol heat up front followed by sugars (momentarily), before quickly giving way to granny smith apples, cotton candy, gummy candy, and finally raisins. Man is this complex. No barrel on the nose (but never is with BA barleywines compared to stouts). 5.0

    Taste: This is heaven. There’s so much here. There’s layers. Heavy and prominent is the classic leather, with tobacco taking a back note (more so than in 2013/2014). The taste leads with vague sweet fruits, followed by sweetness and leather followed by a drying, oakiness. The booziness is subdued compared to a fresh Bourbon County, but the alcohol is warming and “soft”, starting in the chest and moving up.

    How does this compare to 2013/2014? There’s a smoothness with more rounded corners compared to 13/14. The same way that a more refined whiskey has fewer harsh edges, the same thing here. In this case, there are no harsh edges. This is rich and decadent without an overemphasis on the raisin, which is where many barleywines suffer. (Yes, Raisin is a common and delicious flavor, but sometimes it becomes overpowering.) 4.80

    Mouthfeel: It’s about perfect. It has just the right viscosity, but perhaps once warm – if anything – it comes off a tad syrupy. It feels wonderful in the mouth. (Yep, I said it.) 4.75

    Overall: I’ve had this for probably 3 years, and I’ve been scared to open it. I looove 2013/2014, but particularly 2013. I’ve always dreamed of this, particularly after having rare and especially being a fan of wheated whiskies. I’ve built this up to be this monolith that I’ve worried it wouldn’t live up. Turns out, it does, but not at first. When I first opened the bottle, I was disappointed. I said, oh man, this must be past it’s prime. The flavor is every bit as good as MJK (which I had just 3 days ago), but there’s something about it – perhaps it not being as fresh – that just left it feeling like it was lacking. Well, first impressions aren’t everything. After a few ounces, these first impressions faded away. It’s a little low carb compared to what it should be from the age, but that hampers it only a little given that it’s a barleywine (and something like MJK is served still).

    This is every bit as good as MJK. Really, the only thing that sets those two beers apart is the age (this is older now), and the ABV. That beer is 20%, and the booziness is noticeable. For some reason it works, though, and it works well. I’m getting a bit lost in this comparison, but the point is that this isn’t just world class, it’s at the pinnacle. I am very grateful that I got to experience this beer, and feel fortunate to have done so. 4.75

    BA Review Score: 4.83

    My review can be found here.
  2. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Crusader (738) Apr 8, 2017 Ohio

    Here are some stats from last year, courtesy of @ChicagoJ :

    Total Reviews 134!

    By Year:
    • 2020 (63)
    • 2019 (17)
    • 2018 (14)
    • 2017 (11)
    • 2014 (8)
    • 2016 (7)
    • 2013 (7)
    • 2015 (4)
    • 2012 (2)
    • 2011 (1)
    By Type:
    • Original (57 Total): 2020 (20 - 15 unidentified, 3 blended, 1 Buffalo Trace & 1 Heaven Hill); 2018 (7); 2019 (6); 2017 (5); 2014 (5); 2016 (4); 2013 (4); 2015 (3); 2012 (2); 2011 (1).
    • Special #4 Stout (18 Total): 2020 (18)
    • Kentucky Fog Stout (14 Total): 2020 (14)
    • Caramella Ale (9 Total): 2020 (9)
    • Café de Olla Stout (7 Total): 2019 (7)
    • Coffee Stout (6 Total): 2017 (1); 2014 (3); 2013 (2)
    • Barleywine (5 Total): 2017 (2); 2016 (2); 2013 (1)
    • Vanilla Stout (3 Total): 2018 (3)
    • Proprietor’s Stout (2 Total): 2019 (1); 2016 (1)
    • Midnight Orange Stout (2 Total): 2018 (2)
    • Reserve Stout (2 Total): 2018 (1); 2017 (1)
    • Northwoods Stout (2 Total): 2017 (2)
    • Anniversary Stout (1 Total): 2020 (1)
    • Birthday Stout (1 Total): 2020 (1)
    • Reserve Rye Stout (1 Total): 2019 (1)
    • Wheatwine (1 Total): 2019 (1)
    • Mon Chéri Stout (1 Total): 2019 (1)
    • Coffee Barleywine (1 Total): 2018 (1)
    • Regal Rye (1 Total): 2015 (1)
  3. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,648) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    @Beer_Economicus What’s MJK?

    I don’t know if people get alerts when you tag that many. It might be limited to the first five tags or something.
    GreenBayBA, Bitterbill, SWChi and 6 others like this.
  4. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,906) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    It's a very highly esteemed beer from side project.
  5. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (3,758) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Goose Island BCBS

    Happy Thanksgiving weekend, BAs. :beers:

    I’m very sorry to report that the once-tasty Bourbon County Brand Stout is leaving a sour taste in my mouth this Black Friday’s Eve — not entirely unlike the infection that tainted BCBS bottles fairly soon after the formerly-independent Goose Island sold out to a massive transnational corporation.

    Revisiting the popular brew today, BCBS pours as black in color as John Hall’s heart must have been when he told underpaid and under-appreciated Goose Island staff that a union was a poor fit for them (this after he himself had made tens of millions off their and others’ labor by selling the company to AB InBev). Somehow BCBS manages to appear both thick headed and incredibly airy and vapid at the same time, a feat that the infamous Hall family certainly deserves credit for.

    Moving on to the nose, the beer smells rotten. It has the same stink of a multi-billion dollar conglomerate firing employees associated with a union drive — not for exercising their legal rights, of course, but for a supposed lack of funds — while simultaneously giving the remaining workers a bonus. Something just smells off.

    The taste, as mentioned above, is sour. Something vile and nasty has infected the once important, but now often surpassed, BBA imperial stout. Only far beneath that sickness do notes of iron, horse blanket and salt peak through — characteristics hinting at the blood, sweat and tears of the unnamed workers who actually produce, bottle, transport and sell the beverage.

    The feel is oily and slick, like the union-busting firms many CEOs hire so that they don’t have to treat the workers to whom they owe their fortunes with respect.

    The overall impression BCBS gives off these days is, in a word, disgusting. :poop::poop::poop:

    This kid gets it…
  6. Providence

    Providence Crusader (758) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Best review I've ever read.
  7. sulldaddy

    sulldaddy Poo-Bah (4,171) Apr 6, 2003 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    I second that motion!
  8. BeerVikingSailor

    BeerVikingSailor Meyvn (1,080) Nov 19, 2009 Ohio

    2018 edition - very delicious, I wish I had some more bottles (only have 1 ea 2018-19-20)....ah well, first world problems, eh?

    Drinking freakin' awesome!

  9. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,421) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    Were you able to get an early 2021 bottle or draft, or is your review from a prior vintage?

    Want to thank @Beer_Economicus for taking over this thread which I created last year and initially volunteered to host this year. He has done a great job so far, and BAs looking to try this year's edition, bottles from their cellar or perhaps vintage draft pours have a great bar and bartender this year! I didn't realize King Henry was considered a Bourbon County Brand Stout. :stuck_out_tongue:

    I'll likely have a few bottles this weekend from the cellar, mainly as a courtesy to BAs looking to find out if they should bust certain bottles open or let them age further.

    Last year was the first I did not seek a full allotment, and if I were in the market this year, I would once again primarily consider just the standard version(s) (if Easter Eggs return) and limit the barrel only to draft at 312 day or Blanton's only, due to the very high prices ($2-$3 + per oz), and the fact that I do not like most of the taste profiles from this years variants based on my brothers notes from tasting all of the 2021 versions. I find much better value (price and quality) with Revolution's Deep Woods releases the past few years and once I passed on Double Barrel (IIRC $10 for 3 oz) a few years ago, I shed my GI FOMO.

    Til I return...

    Every child had a pretty good shot
    To get at least as far as their old man got
    But something happened on the way to that place
    They threw an American flag in our face....

    Well I'm living here in Allentown
    And it's hard to keep a good man down
    But I won't be getting up today

    And it's getting very hard to stay
    And we're living here in Allentown
  10. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (5,428) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    2020 Goose Island - Bourbon County Brand Birthday Stout


    This was the only 2020 release I had not yet written a review for, so here it goes.

    Pours pitch black, shiny and completely opaque. Thin mocha colored head forms on the beer, lingers for a moment, and then quickly dissipates leaving just a thin ring of foam along the outside of the top of the beer. Aroma is absolutely delicious with notes of dark fruits, cassis, raisin and oak, wet wood, bourbon, maple sugar and brown sugar. Its pungent, complex and alluring.

    Taste follows the nose with notes of dark fruits - prune, raisin and cassis - with notes of wet wood, oak, bourbon and a slight peppery spiciness on the back end. There is a moderate level of sweetness to the beer with notes of maple sugar and brown sugar. There is a decent amount of dark fruit on the beer that also contributes to the overall impression of sweetness. Feel is thick (but not overly thick), smooth, velvety. Moderate carbonation. Semi-dry finish. Slight heat on the back end.

    Overall an outstanding barrel aged stout. Regardless of the bourbon barrels it was aged in and that aspect, this is just an excellent barrel aged stout.
  11. BourbonForBeer

    BourbonForBeer Aspirant (213) May 11, 2020 Illinois

    Ah, I don’t have any BCS to join in with all of you.... OP who has the King Henry and has had MJK, those both sounds great. I’d love a chance to try either. Sorry I can’t contribute...

    Congrats on your finds and being able to track those down to try!
  12. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Savant (993) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    This is pretty much my review, but would add the bitter taste is most likely due to the Binny’s BCBS lottery scandal where they promised people allocations in a lottery and then realized that math is hard and 2000 people minus 1500 BCBS packages leaves you with a shortage of -500 packages…. But hey, 2021 worker shortages so who can expect good help with at least 4th grade math skills anymore.
    GreenBayBA, Rug, SFACRKnight and 9 others like this.
  13. BigIronH

    BigIronH Savant (956) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
    Society Trader

    [​IMG] The time has come for me to wind down for a 4 day weekend, and keeping me company is a 2020 BCBS. Here goes;

    The look of this beer is alluring. Pours an absolute pitch black with a half inch mocha/tan head that quickly receded to a very thin ring. No lacing to speak of. With every sip, a slicked caramel oil is left clinging to the inside of the glass for a moment.

    The aroma is complex to say the least. I get raisin, brown sugar, chocolate, vanilla, and oak/charred wood. My grandma has a place in Arizona and she occasionally will bring me home some dried dates. That candied, dried fruit aroma is there as well.

    Taste follows suit in much of the same aspects. Dried fruit on the front, morphing to a burnt sugar/caramel and vanilla, and settling on barrel and alcohol notes on the finish.

    The feel of this beer is thick and oily. Mouth coating in the best of ways. I really like this beer and look forward to this years variants. My mother in law manages a store and already secured this for me for the sum of $48. By following the forums it seems to be a decent deal. [​IMG]I hope the news doesn’t prevent you from enjoying a perfectly good beer. I guess I’ve always managed to put my assumptions aside in favor of enjoying a good beer with my pals. Cheers, all.
  14. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (13,470) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    BCBS Wheatwine 2019 aged in Larceny barrels, 15.3% ABV. With two years aging, still has that nice sweet butterscotch and caramel/toffee flavor, perhaps some moleasses. No bitterness, and doesn't taste boozy. I rated this 4.44 originally, just revised to 4.59. I note a lot of floaties I don't recall seeing before.

    I missed the 2020 Caramella Wheatwine because we didn't get it here. Reportedly we're getting some leftover 2020 variants this year, and I look forward to trying Caramella.

    I didn't spot this thread until an hour ago, so I tossed this wheatwine in the freezer and a 2017 OG BCBS in the fridge for tomorrow. I'll have three new ones Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Cola, Fourteen, and Cherry Wood) so I can decide if I need to stock up. I'll have Caramella next week.

    #14 bbtkd, Nov 25, 2021 at 12:23 AM
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021 at 12:32 AM
  15. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (13,470) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    Is the Double/Roasted being distributed in Michigan?
    #15 bbtkd, Nov 25, 2021 at 12:30 AM
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021 at 12:37 AM
  16. BigIronH

    BigIronH Savant (956) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
    Society Trader

    The Double Barrel is indeed being distributed here and probably to quite a few places. My mother in law runs a grocery store and she got 6 bottles so I can only imagine what my usual bottle shop ended up with.
    GreenBayBA, micada, Peach63 and 6 others like this.
  17. tolar111

    tolar111 Defender (653) Aug 17, 2008 New York

    Sasieni Four Dot, that's a classic, the beers not bad either
  18. BigIronH

    BigIronH Savant (956) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
    Society Trader

    This pipe was gifted to me by my good friend and trade partner Dave @Blogjackets , which I am very thankful for and I’m really enjoying this bowl with this beer in particular. Cheers, my friend.
    GreenBayBA, Peach63, SWChi and 6 others like this.
  19. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (3,920) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    First, absolutely HUUUUUUGE shoutout to my friend @FBarber and @Beer_Economicus for sponsoring and hosting this magnificent event. The time and effort these two magnificent beer nerds have invested is greatly appreciated.

    My history with BCBS goes back directly to 2011 or so and indirectly to 1976, IIRC.

    So first, the indirect. It’s the summer in Northern Indiana, and 13-year-old ovaltine is hanging out with a lifelong buddy (we’ve been friends for 53 years) and my buddy’s cousin, and long story short, some beer and shots were consumed.

    I don’t remember the beer, but the whiskey was Jack Daniels. I remember it going down (it burned) and coming up (it ….. “projectiled”).

    So I literally can’t whiff at whiskey without a little double clutch.

    Which is why, circa 2011, I was surprised to find myself walking out of my beer store in Mankato, Minnesota with a 4-pack of 12 oz bottles of BCBS after my beer store buyer told me, “You’ve gotta try this - it’s AWESOME!”

    A big stout aged in bourbon barrels. Remember that word “projectiled.” Yet off I went with that 4-pack, a relatively nascent beer nerd walking into the lion’s den.

    And after getting home and keeping that BCBS refrigerated at roughly 39 deg, I popped open a bottle and poured it into a snifter.

    Whereupon I nearly passed out from the bourbon aromas attacking my nose. What the fliggity flock is this????? It’s bourbon, and it’s literally smacking me in the face with a 2 x 4.

    That 12 oz bottle took me an hour and a half to work through, but I did, and the next 3 bottles over the next couple of months were easier.

    This was the process of a palate developing (and learning that letting these big, boozy beers warm up a bit makes them MUCH more approachable).

    So now, a decade later, I’m a full-fledged BCBS super fan. I’ll be out early on Friday, in line to pick up my allotment. And I’ll think about that first bottle and the battle that nearly knocked me out (literally).

    Let’s do this live.


    I pulled this 2018 bottle out of the beer fridge 45 minutes before opening it, so it’s warmed to the point that the pour has plenty of booze, but a sufficient amount of vanilla and caramel to smooth it out.

    A big pull has a little bit of alcohol warming way at the back of the palate, with rich and creamy vanilla and caramel up front. I love it when, after a big drink that has no alcohol AT ALL, I breath out and there’s the booze.

    That’s how I can handle the bourbon - it’s hidden in the vanilla and caramel (and yes, a bit of oak, though I get zero smoke), and it’s delicious.

    I believe this is my last 2018, but I have a surplus of 2019/2020 and variants, so I’ll be back repeatedly over the course of this holiday weekend.

  20. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (13,470) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    Hmmm... perhaps there's something to the rumor of us getting at least one of the high-end variants (Reserve 150, Reserve Blanton, or Double Barrel/Toasted Barrel) we haven't gotten before. Up until three years ago we only got OG BCBS in small quantities.
    GreenBayBA, Peach63, ChicagoJ and 5 others like this.
  21. BigIronH

    BigIronH Savant (956) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
    Society Trader

    I pray to see Blantons on Friday. From what I understand that is set to be about 10$ cheaper than the DB but also much harder to find. I’m sure @Beer_Economicus can let us know more about the distribution/pricing scale when he logs back on. If there’s something you can’t get, message me and I will see about grabbing extras for you. Cheers, my friend.
    GreenBayBA, brewskis, Peach63 and 8 others like this.
  22. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,421) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    @BigIronH - If you still have the bottle, do you mind sharing which 2020 Regular you reviewed (On the rear lable: BT = Buffalo Trace, HH = Heaven Hill, WT = Wild Turkey, none of these three = a blended version, which is what they did release widespread most years).

    I initially planned on limiting beers in this thread to new to me beers, but I'm pretty tired and just want to relax and enjoy a beer without too much writing, thinking and focus. I picked the beer I have nearly a dozen left of, primarily due to a $5 per bottle sale before the 2020 release.

    2019 Cafe de Olla Stout


    I last had one 10 days ago and did a writeup in the cellar thread linked here. The Cellar Thread, and @Beer_Economicus 's BCBS dedicated thread are great resources for those who cellar beer.

    This vintage is just over the "develops in the bottle for up to 2 years" recommended drinking time. Reviewing my fresh version vs. the bottle 10 days ago, it did degrade some, primarily the loss of Orange, which was expected, and a drop off in the quality of the coffee, with slight hints of pepper for me at this point.

    While I wish I could go back in time and drink these fresher, I am still grateful I am enjoying this now. Coffee was always my favorite variant, and even though we haven't had a straight up coffee in several years, I was pleasantly surprised with the barleywine coffee blend in 2017, and this version in 2019.

    I'm going to be sipping on this for the next hour or so, and catching up with the threads. Looking forward to your reviews and will likely catch you next tomorrow with a formal fresh review of a new to me 2020 vintage variant.
  23. adrock314

    adrock314 Champion (897) Apr 14, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Thanks to the usual suspects for putting this together again. I’ve been telling myself for years that I should skip BCBS, but then the variants are announced and I get sucked right in. Im starting the weekend off with 2020 Anniversary.
    My intention was to do a formal review but then I got distracted several times and now I’m just too lazy. Can’t say I’d be able to pick this out blind when put up against a standard BCBS, but it is damn good. Maybe a little more complexity from the extended aging period, or maybe it’s just a really good barrel aged stout. Not sure what else I’ll get into this weekend, but planning on trying a Caramella for the first time and/or maybe an old BW or something. Cheers.
  24. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (13,470) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    I just had one of these a few days ago, and I also noted that the coffee had fallen off a bit. I noted that this seemed to reveal more chocolate, and I liked it.
    GreenBayBA, SWChi, ChicagoJ and 3 others like this.
  25. snaotheus

    snaotheus Poo-Bah (5,380) Oct 6, 2008 Washington
    Society Trader

    Glorious @FBarber talked me into cracking a Bourbon County Brand Stout, and my wife chose a 2019 vintage. I was careful to preserve the five-year flight that I currently have stashed in the fridge, since my friend has the two prior years and I'll get the next year this weekend. Not sure when he and I and his kids (who are of legal drinking age) will be able to get together for an epic 8 year flight of BCBS, but hopefully before the end of the year...
    Also, I have convinced a few co-workers to try to acquire some BCBS this weekend, and join me for their first taste of it next Wednesday.

    This is a legendary beer, and it is worth the attention.
  26. BigIronH

    BigIronH Savant (956) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
    Society Trader

    It must be the blended version.
  27. Resistance88

    Resistance88 Initiate (146) Apr 9, 2015 California

    Hall Of Fame Review here.
    Drank the last bottle i had in the fridge a few months ago and never wanna see it again. "Selling out" is one thing, but hiding behind the excuse of lack of funds to destroy something employees deserve is an end all for me.
    Someone pin that review at the top of the BCBS review page:joy:

    PS: Did you drink all those??
    GreenBayBA, stmoorea, bbtkd and 7 others like this.
  28. larryi86

    larryi86 Poo-Bah (4,868) Apr 4, 2010 Delaware
    Society Trader

    Wonderful review, still not sure what to with the three bottles I have left.
    GreenBayBA, bbtkd, sulldaddy and 7 others like this.
  29. CB_Michigan

    CB_Michigan Devotee (497) Sep 4, 2014 Illinois
    Society Trader

    I’ll probably open a bottle of last year’s OG tomorrow and have last year’s Prop with my dad while watching the Michigan game on Sat. Hopefully I’ll find a moment to post a note (maybe even 2) in this thread. Big shout out to @Beer_Economicus for hosting and @FBarber for all the work on keeping these tasting threads organized.

    As for this year, I’ve halted my GI purchases due to the union issue. I grew up in a PATCO household and even remember being on the picket lines as a youngster. Many years later, my dad was a shop steward for the NALC, so you can guess where my sympathies lie. That said, I won’t begrudge anyone whose purchasing habits differ from mine. I’ve always enjoyed the extended BCBS lineup and they’ve been a big part of my beer journey. It’ll be a bittersweet moment as I finish off the final bottles in my cellar.
    GreenBayBA, stmoorea, bbtkd and 14 others like this.
  30. Resistance88

    Resistance88 Initiate (146) Apr 9, 2015 California

    Drink em all in one day and never look back.
    I used to like BCBS , that shits all over me ,too.
    From now on it'll just he speedway,Rasputin and Expedition. Can't even do Founders KBS anymore.
  31. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,905) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Stop scabbing BAs, buy local, support your neighbors.
  32. larryi86

    larryi86 Poo-Bah (4,868) Apr 4, 2010 Delaware
    Society Trader

    Not sure I can do all three in one day, but I can make two happen. Might save the last 2020 for this thread next year. I haven’t had any from Founders in a long time, but like you said there are plenty of other great stouts out there
  33. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (5,428) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Time for #2 - Goose Island Brewing Company - Double Barrel Stout (2019). This one is the only bottled BCBS release of the past 5 years that I have not yet had, so I am pretty excited to give this one a try.


    Pours an oily pitch black color. Completely opaque and on the viscous side. Thin, weak, fizzy mocha colored head. Head dissipates pretty quickly leaving just a thin ring of foam along the outside of the top of the beer. Aroma has notes of oak, marshmallow, vanilla, wet oak, musty wood, chocolate, and young leather. This one was in barrels for roughly 2 years and it shows - the barrel is the main attraction here and its lovely.

    Taste follows the nose with the barrel being showcased - lovely notes of oak, bourbon, brown sugar, maple, burnt sugar, vanilla, marshmallow, a little bit of dark chocolate fudge or bakers chocolate. Hints of ripe cherry and dark prunes provide a fleeting hint of fruitiness. There is a mustiness or certain leatheriness to the flavor profile especially towards the back end. This is a barrel aged stout for the bourbon lover. Feel is thick, viscous, smooth and velvety. Moderate carbonation.

    Overall, this is delicious. The barrels shine through here and shape the beer in a truly delicious way.
  34. Jaycase

    Jaycase Meyvn (1,454) Jan 13, 2007 Illinois

    Big thanks to @Beer_Economicus for hosting the thread & leading off with KH :open_mouth:. And thanks to @FBarber & @ChicagoJ for their help and work with last year's thread as well.

    Haven't been a fan of GI's move away from 12 oz bottles so at this point I'm slowly trying to finish the bottles I have on hand. Emphasis on slow. :laughing: Revisiting this one from 2014.


    Gave this bottle an aggressive pour resulting in a mocha colored slight head which quickly dissipates.
    Aroma is a mixture of dark chocolate, vanilla & oak primarily. None of these characteristics is sharp in any way and their presence is more akin to the last vestiges of a memory just about swallowed by time. There is a noticeable oxidation presence on the aroma as well.
    It's the taste where this beer still shines. Flavor follows on from the aroma with the same mixture of dark chocolate, vanilla & oak with chocolate being the predominant flavor remaining.
    This beer still has the same classic silky BCBS mouthfeel. Carbonation is low, not unexpectedly.

    For 7 years of age, it's still drinking quite well. Still worthy of any BCBS vertical tasting imo. Cheers!
  35. VodkaPong87

    VodkaPong87 Initiate (111) Oct 9, 2020 Connecticut

    Had my bottle of this 2 weeks ago and loved it. I have a Birthday still to open, just waiting for the right night.
    GreenBayBA, SWChi, bbtkd and 6 others like this.
  36. LongTaco15

    LongTaco15 Aspirant (252) Feb 4, 2016 Illinois


    Prop ‘17. Pulled from the mystery wall at Prop Day 2018. Hopefully Prop Day can make its way back to being awesome again some day.

    Stored in my basement and put in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Upon opening and initial pour, still smells like bananas foster! Ripe bananas, bourbon caramel, and cinnamon.

    Taste is mainly cassia bark/cinnamon with a faint creamy banana finish. Still surprisingly boozy. One of my favorite Props and it still doesn’t disappoint. Glad to get this one off the shelf! Cheers
  37. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (5,428) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Thats my favorite prop - glad its still drinking well!
    GreenBayBA, SWChi, bbtkd and 9 others like this.
  38. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,296) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    Love the review! I also had this for the first and only time with many years of age on it. Was really impressively surprised how well it had aged, a consistent theme amongst BCB beers.

    But I am confused by the comparison to MJK, didn’t even know what that was. King Henry is an all time beer advocate Hall of Fame legend , no need to compare it to the latest trendy, ultra rare, flavor of the month. Legends stand alone, comparisons to the new and now don’t do them justice.

    Anywyas, glad you got to trying, there probably aren’t many bottle floating around anymore! Such a fantastic beer!
    GreenBayBA, SWChi, bbtkd and 8 others like this.
  39. Number1Framer

    Number1Framer Initiate (156) Mar 13, 2016 Wisconsin

    Doin a 2020 Heaven Hill easter egg bottle tonight. Last year I won a lotto and it was my first time getting the full allocation - or at least I thought it was until a day or two later I caught wind of the single barrel easter eggs. I checked the extras I picked up while in Chicago that day and 3 were marked HH. I gave one away and since I thought the "blend" version of 2020 regular was the weakest vintage I've had, I'm interested in finally cracking one of these for myself.

    Body and pour are what you'd expect - dark and heavy. The aroma is giving me a caramel dark fruit vibe. First sips I'm pulling classic BCBS chocolatey bourbon but with a dark fruit twist ending in a zing of drying charry barrel. Got a bit of a chocolate-dipped fire roasted raisiney fig thing goin on and I dig it. As it warms in the glass and my palate is opening up to it, the fruits stick along for the ride as does the dryness of the barrel linger but it does sweeten up somewhat. The booze heat also becomes more pronounced as it opens up which is not a bad thing IMO.

    I like this lots more than the blend bottles of 2020 I've had which were just a flat one note chocolate thing for me each of 3 or 4 times I had it. Would love to stumble across bottles of the Wild Turkey and Buffalo Trace next week when I head down into IL! I don't do pictures on this site because what a PITA, but here's my photographic proof on Untappy: I usually try to write sensible descriptions on my Untappd checkins unless I've already checked something in a zillion times, so anyone here feel free to give me a follow if you want.
  40. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Crusader (738) Apr 8, 2017 Ohio

    I am absolutely jamming on all the great reviews and all the activity this year! This is fantastic.

    Yesterday (Wednesday) was our family thanksgiving, since my wife works TDay, and all weekend, so I am a bit slow getting back to respond to all the kind words, great reviews, AND questions!

    The reason I ended up comparing King Henry to MJK was because (1) I juuuust had MJK, so I think it is a reasonable comparison, (2) MJK is probably the most expensive BA Barleywine someone can acquire at this point, and most importantly (3) lots of reviews I read for MJK said something to the effect of “This is the best (beer or BA BW) that I have ever had…and it’s not even close!” Well, I dunno about all that. Sooo, since I got the chance to try MJK, and since I opened King Henry, it just felt like a natural comparison to make.

    @BigIronH Toasted is being distributed fairly widely. In Cincinnati, I think every store that is getting BCBS is also getting toasted. Which, is surprising. I think Toasted should be very easy to come by compared to Blantons. Sadly, Blantons is one I am pretty sure I won’t get the opportunity to buy/try unless I trade for it. Only 1 store in town is getting it, and they said since they will be releasing it at 5pm, they have well over a hundred people show up (last year). For some many reasons I can’t do that.

    Keep the reviews and conversation going! Loving this!
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