Notes of a Beer Nerd: Bourbon County Stout
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Enjoyed on 9/22/2009
Brewery: Goose Island Beer Company
Location: Chicago, IL
Beer: Bourbon County Stout
Presentation: 12 Fl. Oz. (355 ML) – Brown Glass Bottle
Style: Imperial Stout
Barrel: Oak – Bourbon
Malt: 2-Row, Munich, Chocolate, Caramel, Roast Barley, Debittered Black
Recommended Serving Temp: 40 degrees
Notes from the bottle: “I really wanted to do something special for our 1000th batch at the original brewpub. Goose Island could have thrown a party. But we did something better. We brewed a beer. A really big batch of stout-so big the malt was coming out of the top of the mash tun. After fermentation we brought in some bourbon barrels to age the stout. One hundred and fifty days later, Bourbon County Stout was born-A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with a thick foam the color of bourbon barrels. The nose is a mix of charred oak, vanilla,carmel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. It overpowers anything in the room. People have even said that it’s a great cigar beer, but I haven’t yet tried a cigar that would stand up to it.”
-Greg Hall, Brewmaster
Best Enjoyed in a broad mouthed glass.
Bottled on: 10/28/2008
Flavor will continue to develop over 5 years.
Food Pairings: Flourless Chocolate Cake
Cheese Pairings: Capriole Bourbon Chocolate Torte
World Beer Cup Recognition:
Judging Category: Barrel Aged Beer: 2006: Gold Medal
Beer Advocate: A
Rate Beer: 100 (4.19)
I let this sit in the bottle and warm for almost an hour after I removed it from the fridge before pouring. Clearly not strong carbonation, as is generally the case with big imperial stouts. A very vigorous pour produced a thin head on top of the most opaque of solutions. Though it was small and short-lived, it possessed the most marvelous hue. It seemed to glow in the light with a powerful rust color. Miniscule reddish brown bubbles settled to a thin of wisp on the surface and gathered where the fluid met the glass, like light was being projected from below the glass and spilling past the blackness. The scent is stunning, so complex my knees began to tremble. I believe I have found my true love. Oaky, woody, bourbon booziness has never been so evident in a beer. It stings the nose with its heat. The weather is not nearly cold enough for the warming blanket that will soon encase me. So many more scents…vanilla (oh so much vanilla), chocolate, coffee, molasses, pretzely malts. The mouthfeel is a bit slick and coating, viscous…for your lingering enjoyment. I may now realize why the brewers prefer serving this one at 40 degree. The flavors are becoming more and more masked by the intense alcohol. It has become liquor before my eyes, stunning liquor at that. I can completely see the “cigar beer” nature of Bourbon County Stout. I feel distinguished imbibing it…and that I should be wearing a smoking jacket. I feel very confident that I could forever be sustained on the glory of this stout. May we grow old together my friend.