Goose Island Brew Company – Bourbon County Stout 2016

Imperial Stout • 13.8 % ABV • Chicago, Illinois USA

It’s official, I’ve finally shifted the Winter bug and can finally taste beer. What better way to kick things off than with something big.
Bourbon County by Goose Island, An Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels for 150 days to offer as they say “A mix of charred oak, vanilla, caramel and smoke”.
The beer itself aside, the only criticism I have is that AB Inbev own the Goose Island brand, as they with a large number of brands around the world.
Through their $100 billion merger with SABMiller back in October 2016, they just completed the third largest acquisition in history along with the largest ever in Britain.
It’s too big a topic to discuss in a beer review, so let’s get back to the task at hand.
A review of Bourbon County!

Bourbon County is black in colour, producing a small brown head which settles quickly. It’s difficult to make out the clarity but this is a rich looking beer.
Although the aroma isn’t as strong as other examples I’ve tried, the first thing to hit you is the peaty bourbon from the barrel ageing as well as a smooth vanilla.
Towards the end you can pick up roasted malts, a little smokiness and a light alcohol warming at the back of the throat.
The aroma translates really well into the flavour, with the bourbon coming through at the start. This leads into the darker malt flavours and smokiness but gives the addition of licorice at the back of the tongue.
Finally, you are led into a light and tangy fruitiness along with a warming sensation on the way down.
A rich and full-bodied beer with a seltzer like carbonation on the tongue. A little alcohol warmth and no astringency to speak of. Smooth and easy.

Bourbon County is definitely a sipping beer at 13.8% and absolutely spot on for the Winter evenings. It could certainly rival craft breweries known for their imperial stouts.
A good example of an imperial stout which I wouldn’t be opposed to drinking again, despite the current owners.

If you have had an opportunity to try a bottle, then visit @biertaster and let me know what you thought of Bourbon County.

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