Tuesday, June 16, 2009


THE VICE BLOG calls it “one of my absolute favorite brews around”. THE BREW CLUB says, “It’s a special beer and should be tried by anyone looking to push their beer experience envelope to the limits!”. Some dude on Beer Advocate says, “I got notes of toffee and vanilla, some highly complex lacing on the glass, and a nutty oakiness that was more precious to me than anything since Darklord Day”. What’s everyone yakety-yakking about? Why, GOOSE ISLAND BOURBON COUNTY STOUT, of course. This beer has the pundits heaving their collective bosom in amazement at the oaky, inky, nutty, bourbony, jumbo-sized ABV in the little teeny 12-ounce bottle. I decided to do battle with this killer stout on Friday night, and herein lies my report.

GOOSE ISLAND are already studs in our book, just based on the MATILDA and the 312 URBAN WHEAT we’ve enjoyed from them previously. When in Chicago, it’s Goose Island for us. Well, that and THREE FLOYDS, and all the other ones that are good from thataway. BOURBON COUNTY STOUT was super high on the hypometer, however, and I just had to check it out. First off – yeah, it’s good. I popped the cap, poured it, and whammo – just the best whiff of vanilla I’ve had since the Woolworth’s counter after the sock hop. The beer is completely jet black, with zero head rentention. Very still…..a little creepy…….like it’s challenging you. Wow, that’s a sweet beer. Jesus, that’s almost too sweet. I’m getting a little smoke in the aftertaste, but contrary to what I’m read & been told, this isn’t “more bourbon than beer” – alas, it’s “more candy than beer”. Don’t get me wrong – I like candy – and this is the good stuff. Caramel, vanilla, and 13% alcohol by volume. Whew. Currently the 40th ranked beer in the entire world on Beer Advocate. I liked it just fine, and may have another one day, but if I’m going to go for some big-ass whomper of a stout, I’m pulling for THE ABYSS or SERPENT’S STOUT instead. 7/10.


Chipper Dave said...

I saw a bottle of that in my local store here in Colorado the other day. I think I'll definitely have to pick up one of the Bourbon County Stouts and age it for a while. Would be interesting to see what time will do with that beer. Thanks for the tip.

Aaron Goldfarb said...

That's a good point...it is very candied. But what can I say? Guess I have a sweet tooth. Have you had Brooklyn Black Ops? More muted in both bourbon and candy goodness...you'd probably like it better.

Vince said...

Did you let it warm slightly before drinking? The gentleman at Naja's Place in Redondo advised me to let it warm closer to room temperature to let the full flavoring awaken. I will admit it's quite sweet, but the complexity revealed itself better after I let it warm a bit.

Scott @TheBrewClub said...

Thanks for the quote in your post! Usually, I'm very unquotable because I write mostly gibberish, but I sounded pretty good there. Thanks!

I got myself 2 bottles, one of which I'm hanging on to for a few years. It was suggested to me that I drink it warm-ish, (and slowly) which I did. Unreal stuff. I didn't think it was quite so sweet but still a cool beer.

I'm going to check out the other two you mentioned to compare.

Jez said...

I think I might have suggested the Pere Jacques by Goose Island here before. I like it even more than Matilda.