Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout

December 24, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | Filed under Brewer: Goose Island, Country: America, Grade: A plus, Style: Stout.

13% ABV bottled (2008 BATCH)

Beer connoisseurship is kind of like drug addiction.  I just realized this.  Every “lower” beer a gateway to something higher.  Once you’ve had a 6% stout it becomes hard to ever enjoy a 5% one.  And once you’ve had a 10% beer it becomes hard to enjoy that 6% one you so used to love.  Bourbon or whiskey barrel that 10% brew and now a “normal” 10% tastes like a Coors Light!  It’s a slippery fucking slope.  Us beer geeks are always looking for the higher buzz and it makes us jaded men and women.  It’s not a good thing to be at the point where throwing back pale ales is like drinking a root beer.

I’d been anxious to try Bourbon County for several years now.  It’s not exactly a rare beer, but it never seems to make it to the East Coast.  Though it seems now that its distribution has been kicked up a notch throughout all of America.  The 29th ranked beer in the world, my friend had lucked into a bottle the day before Thanksgiving.  On Thanksgiving day, when he went to grab the bottle, it placed atop the fridge, he slammed the Kenmore a little too strongly and the bottle rocked, rocked, rocked and then in slow motion tumbled the five feet, shattering with a glorious and potent explosion.

In shock and holding back tears, we fell to the floor, using our fingers like a cat uses his paws in a milk dish in order to taste a little of the wasted brew.  Yes, despicable but true.  We had no choice.  We thought we might never get to try it again.  Fortunately, I again found a bottle of it this week and snatched the sucker up.

Aged in sixteen-year-old charred oak bourbon barrels for 10 months this is one massive brew.  One Beer Advocate commentator described it as a “beer-aged bourbon.”  That about sums it up.  This one kicked my ass and I spent well over two hours indulging in the 12 ounce bottle.

Packed with hints of vanilla, caramel, smoke, chocolate, and a prominent and scalding bourbon booziness which I totally dig, this is right up there with Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and the likewise bourbon-barreled Schlafly Reserve.  In fact, I will go so far as to say that this is the second best stout I’ve had in my life after Darkness.


5 Responses to “Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout”

  1. Dave says:

    Your recent beer finds are making me jealous. Merry Xmas bro hope all is well.

  2. I tell you, I had an epic run the last 10 days or so. I feel like a grade inflator giving all these beers A+’s but, fuck, they all are!

    Merry Christmas to you too! Hope you are drinking well today.

  3. Dave says:

    DFH Olde School Barleywine for me today sir. It will put hair on your chest.

  4. Got a bottle in my fridge. Never had it before but excited to try it.

  5. Dave says:

    Enjoy but if I know your taste. Old Guardian will remain your favorite. DFH version is good but a tad bit unbalanced. Alcohol burn is big on this one. But it’s still good.

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