Tasting: October 5, 2012
Style: Stout (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
(c) 2012 popsonhops
Bourbon County Brand Stout
I’m a little obsessive.
This is the part where you say, “no way, c’mon really — you?”
Well, thanks for your kind support, but admittedly, I am. I have to confess that within hours after the first Goose Island beer hit New Jersey, I was on the phone asking someone at the brewery when Bourbon County Brand Stout was coming to New Jersey. I didn’t call once, I may have called three or four times over the last year. This past July, I finally got some sympathetic insight from someone at the brewery – “you didn’t hear it from me but start asking your distributor about it around September 1st. Needless to say, I shifted my obsession to my local retailers. Actually, I think I alerted them to the news that it was coming. And here it is – a bottle in my hand and a few more in my fridge.
Why am I so hyped up on this beer? It is simply the legend — the one that everyone followed. It is purported to be the first bourbon barrel aged stout. Goose Island was founded twenty years ago and this beer was created to celebrate their 1,000th batch of beer. It began winning major national awards in 2004.
As I carried this one to the kitchen, I paused to hold the bottle up to the light. Funny — I couldn’t see any light penetrate through the bottle. It certainly pours dark and thick like used motor oil with a big aroma of cocoa and dark fruit. Flavor bursts out of the gate with a flash of its barrel influence – vanilla, bourbon, cocoa, cherry and soy sauce but it finishes with a pronounced dominance of raisin/prune. I was really expecting something akin to Kentucky Breakfast Stout – but this is completely different and really enjoyable. The alcohol by volume (ABV) is a stunning 15%, yet it isn’t as boozy as you’d imagine. I suspect it’s just tucked behind the full-bodied and rich mouth feel. This is a gem – 96 points.