To jog your memory, here is the review of the 2014 (fresh).
Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Barleywine | Chicago, IL | 12.1% ABV.
Served semi-chilled from a 12 oz bottle and poured into a goblet. Pours a dark brown to almost black color (with perhaps a hint of purple?) with a frothy 2 finger tan foam head. After about 30 seconds the head is completely gone (took some skill to get the picture the way I did!). Smells are of bourbon, dark fruits, yeast, vanilla and hints of tobacco. Carbonation is light with a very full body. Taste is sweet and malty, with hints of the vanilla and oak from the aging process. The barrel used here was originally a bourbon barrel, then used for Bourbon County Stout and then for the Bourbon County Barleywine. Through this 3 layer process, complex flavors, aromas and appearances are evident. Aftertaste is quite sweet, and the alcohol is well hidden.
The 2013 version was noticeably different. The sweetness characterized by the 2014 version was mostly gone. Rather, the focus was on the oak, tobacco, and dark fruits. Figs, raisins and plums were evident, with a slight hint of vanilla. The alcohol was much more noticeable, yet the finish a lot smoother. It was a fascinating beer, and I have another 8 or 9 bottles stored away. I still have plenty of the 2014, so next year I will be able to host a 3 year vertical tasting. I am interested to see how much more complex the 2013 gets with another year of proper aging.