Goose Island was kind enough to send me a sample of their Bourbon County Stout at one time, and I am finally got around to reviewing it. a few weeks later.
Goose Island is a brewery out of the Windy City, Chicago, Illinois. According to the press release they sent me with the beer (which was packaged in a recyclable and reusable tin container and packed with recycled and recyclable Prairie Eco Pack inside a 100% post consumer recycled box):
Goose Island Brewing Company has been celebrating the annual release of its Bourbon County Stout since it was first created 16 years ago by brewmaster Greg Hall to commemorate the 1000th batch at the original Chicago brewpub…
Apparently this beer was aged for 10 months in 16-year-old bourbon barrels. The press release describes this as “dark and dense”, and with a flavor so intense, “only the most decadent chocolate dessert can stand up to it”.
On the pour you can tell this is one thick, thick beer. It pours like a fine motor oil, black and thick and clinging to the glass. There is very little head to speak of, but what is there is caramel brown. The beer is absolutely opaque. As a matter of fact, it looks pitch black.
There are definitely roasted malt and deep dark fruit aromas here as well as chocolate and coffee notes. There are hints of bourbon as well. This smells like it will be one strong thick brew, not for the faint of heart!
This seems actually thicker than you anticipate, which is difficult to accomplish. The higher alcohol content is definitely noticeable, but it does not distract from the overall flavor profile. You can taste the roasted malt and the oak of the bourbon barrel, and chocolate and coffee notes are there as well in varying degrees that seem to change with each taste. Overall the flavor is intense!
This beer is one very well suited for aging, and I would definitely like to try this after it ages a couple of years. It’s a little too thick for my tastes, but it is a unique and interesting beer. It would probably be fantastic after aging a while. Something to be savored, as a fine wine.
Recommended: If you’re after a thick, intensely nuanced beer, absolutely. Definitely something to try now and to age, to compare the flavors as they mellow.
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