Friday, November 21, 2014

Feature Beer Friday! - Goose Island 2013 Bourbon County Stout

I've been saving this review until just now, because as a lot of you know may know, next Friday will be the release of the Goose Island 2014 Bourbon County Stout. I still have a few mixed feeling regarding Goose Island being taken over by AB-InBev, but for the most part it seems to have been a positive thing for both the brewery and consumers like me. Before the takeover Goose Island wasn't available in Louisiana and it would have taken some luck or trading to get some Bourbon County Stout. It's still not easy to find (it will likely sell out on black Friday) but at least it's possible. We also see their barrel aged sours and other great beers regularly and the quality doesn't seem to have dropped off at all. 

For the uninitiated, Bourbon County Stout is the grandfather of barrel-aged imperial stouts. It was one of my first tastes of craft beer back with friends at the Wrigleyville Goose Island location years ago, and it stuck with me. All batches tend to vary a bit in the abv, but the 2013 version was a ridiculous 14.9%... and yes you read that right. They age it for 8-10 months in first-use bourbon barrels, so there is nothing between the bourbon and the bourbon county stout. 

Reviewers: Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene), Brenton Day (The Ale Runner), Chuck Pierce (Me And My Big Mouth), and Buddy Ethridge (Baton Rouge Adventures in Beer).

Serving: Poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

Appearance: Dark black with a tan head. Brenton said that it looked "perfect" and I can't really disagree.

 Dark, rich, and sexy. There are fantastic notes of bourbon, oak, and vanilla to compliment the roasted malt flavors of the stout.

Taste: Rich vanilla with a slight medicinal note at the front that quickly gives way to the roasted stout and bourbon flavors. That slight off flavor is probably coming from the strong alcohol content of the beer, but it was gone as fast as it was there.  

 Smooth, and the little tinge of off flavor didn't linger at all. Thick and rich, I could drink more of this than would be safe.

Overall: There's a reason this one is so sought after, it's a great beer. It has everything you would want in a barrel aged stout, and sets the bar high for all other attempts out there.

Try to find some next Friday, it'll be way more fun than fighting the crowds at Wal-Mart or Best Buy! And if you miss out on the bottles, we will almost certainly see a few kegs throughout town.

Overall Rating: 94.75
My Rating: 93

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