Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout 2013: A bucket list beer that I obtained (and have since stocked up on), this monster is brewed to an amazingly high 14.9% abv and is aged in bourbon barrels for 8 to 12 months. This beer was originally brewed in honour of the 1000th batch at their original brewpub many years ago and has since become one of the first mass produced barrel aged beers. They have at least 4-5 variants of this beer released every year on Black Friday and this is the base version. Due to the style and alcohol content of this, you pretty much want it almost at room temperature when you drink it so be sure to plan for that when you chill a bottle or take one out of the fridge.
Aroma and Appearance: It pours a dark brown with no foam and no bubbles. The aroma is insane, featuring cocoa, booze, vanilla, bourbon, oak, leather, molasses, smoke and soot.
Flavour: Upfront is bourbon, vanilla and bit of dark coffee with sherry, brown sugar, and toffee in the middle, finishing with dry cocoa, molasses, oak and heavenly chocolate.
Overall Impression: People line up for this one for a reason, it is stellar and I have loaded my cellar with a fair amount of bottles for some long term aging.
Rating: No joke, 10/10 an outstanding beer. I hope to try some of the variants, especially the coffee and barleywine one.
Food Pairing: Rich organic dark chocolate would be amazing with this, I’ll test that out with the next one I open.
Just to give you an idea of the buzz that this beer generates, here’s a video of the 2013 release. That lineup surpasses any iPhone launch that I have ever seen!