When the sale of Goose Island to brewing giant AB-InBev happened back in March of 2011 took place, many craft beer fans swore they were done with Goose Island and wouldn’t give any of their hard earned dollars to a company owned by a multi-national brewing conglomerate. While many may have said such things at the time, it’s apparent that few have kept that promise when it comes to Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout.
First brewed to commemorate the 1000th batch at their original Clybourn brewpub, Bourbon County Brand Stout is a wonderful barrel-aged beer that is great fresh and even better with some years of age on it in the cellar. For years it got decent reviews from most fans but didn’t sell out with a quickness and was usually available on store shelves year-round. That all changed once they started offering variations of the Bourbon County brand such as Bourbon County Vanilla, Bourbon County Coffee, and others. Demand exploded not just for the variations but for the original brew too. The beer now sells out in almost an instant despite Goose Island expanding their barrel-aging program immensely to become the largest barrel-aged beer program in the United States.
With some time in the cellar, this bottle of Bourbon County from 2012 is aging wonderfully. Poured into a snifter glass, the foam disappears almost instantly. Aroma of milk chocolate with a light hint of coffee and a touch of vanilla. The bourbon really came out in flavor. Light prickly little bubbles of carbonation then super smooth roasty malt slides across the tongue. Bitter sweet chocolate and a hint of vanilla overtaken quickly by the roasty notes. A light hint of alcohol in the aftertaste.
Keep an eye out for this brew when it’s released as it goes quickly in any form. Grab some for now and plenty for the cellar as it ages wonderfully over periods of up to 5 years or more. Read more about Bourbon County Brand Stout here on the Goose Island website.