Beer of the Week: Bourbon County Band Stout

BY DI STAFF | DECEMBER 06, 2012 6:30 AM

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Name: Bourbon County Brand Stout
Product of: Goose Island Brewery, Chicago
Serving style: Snifter
Size: 12-ounce bottle

Outside John’s Grocery Wednesday afternoon, beer enthusiasts waited patiently for the delivery of several special brews. Most notably, customers turned out to try Goose Island’s renowned Bourbon County Brand Stout.

The Bourbon County namesake derives from the process of leaving the beer to develop in bourbon barrels for more than five years. The resulting brew is mysteriously inviting and delightfully mature on the senses.

Smell: Bourbon and vanilla are the most prominent scents, but molasses, dark fruits, coffee, and roasted malts are also in the mix. 4.8/5

Appearance:  Bourbon County pours jet-black into the snifter, where it supports a thin, coffee head that lasts only a few seconds before it dissipates without any glass lacing. The practically nonexistent carbonation gives the beer the appearance of motor oil in a glass. 4.7/5

Taste:  The taste brings everything that the smell promised and more; the first taste impression is of strong molasses, which slowly subsides into the residual sweetness of dark fruits. As the flavor of such dark fruits as plums, dates, raisins, and cherries sparkle on the tongue, bourbon and hops flavors grow and dominate the final taste impressions. 4.85/5

Bourbon County was my first real experience with an aged bourbon-style brew, but it only took me a few tastes to acknowledge the superior taste. While I highly recommend sampling the Bourbon County Brand Stout, I feel obliged to leave my readers with the same advice the checkout guy at John’s gave me: “It’s 15 percent alcohol, so drink it slowly.”

Overall Rating: 14.35/15

— by Dan Verhille

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