I was ecstatic to walk into the beer store tonight and find Goose Island Big John had arrived to little old Columbus Ohio. Ive been waiting for this for a while as imperial stouts are my fav, so I cracked one open tonight. Bottled on 03/25 and listed @ 11.5 abv and 60 ibu.
I gave it a C, and that's being generous. It had a nice appearance and had a nice waterfall effect when poured heavy. However, it was cloyingly sweet with crystal malts that overwhelmed the roast and any hops in it. There was only a very slight alcohol note present when larger drinks were taken - less than some Imperial stouts that came in around 9% I fermented at 64F. I took a gravity reading on it and it was around 1.040. Wowsers!!!! No wonder it was cloyingly sweet and no hop bitterness was present. I'm thinking they had some sort of fermentation issue which is leading me to believe it's not a 11.5% abv - anyone have any knowledge about whether this might have happened? Sorry Goose, but this is a failure on your part for all the hype that's beer around this beer. I guess that's what happens when you are worrying more about a sell-off deal than brewing good beer. I'm just extremely disappointed.
Edit: have another bottles to give it another shot in a couple weeks.