Beer Review: Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout

This beer scares me. I won’t lie to you on that front. It’s a beer that’s been aged in a bourbon cask. It has a scary high alcohol content for a beer(13%) and its qualities out of the bottle are terrifying.  I’m actually taking notes, because I’m worried I won’t survive the tasting process.

This beer is the darkest  thing I have ever seen. It’s an abyss beer, a beer from which no light escapes. Deep within the glass, one can almost make out the movements of some ancient thing lost to the light aeons ago. The head is almost nonexistent. And what little there is almost a caramel color. It pours like syrup.

Immediately, the smell of bourbon fills the air after pouring. And on a closer inspection, there are a lot of smells lurking in this darkness. Emily says it smells like chocolate, which makes it a little less terrifying and makes my hyperbolic ramblings seem silly now.

Time for the first sip.

Good lord, it does taste like chocolate. And it’s a syrup. And it hits more like a liquor. Which is problematical.

Second sip verifies. Strong chocolate flavors and this is a stout that means business. I’ve begun to eat a sandwich. Both because I’m hungry and because I think a good beer should go well with food.

Whoa, there are more flavors coming out. It’s combining. It seems like…cinnamon. Some cinnamon has come out to play with the chocolate and beer. Strong flavors come barreling out to start and then the lighter ones follow in their wake.

This is not a beer you drink regularly. It’s too much flavor and kick for that. It’s most definitely a special occasion beer. The kind of beer that you crack out to show people just what a beer can do, especially when it’s been aged in a bourbon cask.

This is a kick-ass, rockin’ rolla kind of beer. So that’s like…an A.

Dylan Charles

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