Bourbon County Brand Barleywine
Reviewed by Jez on 28.12.18 in bottle
92 / 100
2017 edition. 500ml brown bottle purchased from Santa Clara Liquor in Santa Clara, CA. Shared with Sam over the 2018 Christmas break.

Pours a deep, deep ruby red, almost to an actual opaque brown. It starts of with a fine fizzy head around the edge, but settles out quickly, leaving the beer looking very dense and still. Body is heavy, but a little volatile. Looks impressive, in any case.

Nose is heady and strong. It definitely has the classic BCB bourbon oak notes, but with a lovely undertone of dried fruit, cherries and red currants. It has a sharpness from the noticeable alcohol as well, which gives it an aroma a bit like tannic red wine. There's a solidity to it, almost a pork-crackling meatiness as well. It's quite impressive.

Taste is also great. Here it has a rich, slick sweetness, that connects very well with the light vinous quality—it creates a yin and yang of balance. Bourbon oak is noticeable again, but it's not the main event. Instead, there's plenty more dried fruit and a light acidity, again suggesting tart cherries on the back of the palate.

Feel is vaporous, but with a stickiness on the back.

Yeah, this is a very fine cousin to the BCB stout. It shares some commonalities, but it is without a doubt its own beer. The differences tend to be accentuated due to the comparison, but even then, it's a beer that stands on its own two feet, and carves itself a place in the pantheon.
appearance: 4.25 | aroma: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | drinkability: 4.5