Friday, January 29, 2010

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

Bourbon County Stout

Style: Imperial Stout

Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Purchased at 99 Bottles. Federal Way, WA

Read More about Goose Island on Beer Advocate.

Aroma: Rich aroma of bourbon and burnt oak with hints of dark chocolate and vanilla coming through as well. There is a spicy alcohol aroma that nearly burns the nose if you take a good breath in of this beer, which you want to do because the aroma is excellent. A slight roasted character lies in the back but you have to look for it amongst the bourbon and wood.

Appearance: Pours a motor oil black with initially an almond brown head, though the head dissipates very quickly and is all but gone within a minute of pouring. The beer does maintain a very thin ring around the glass. Light lacing will stick to the glass with a swirl.

Flavor: The tongue is hit up front with an oaken bourbon character which is quickly followed by a rich dark chocolate sweetness. Some dark fruit is present as the flavors progress toward the middle, prune and molasses are clear but there is the hint of vanilla as well. Toward the middle further enters a roasted quality, and the bourbon comes back again in full force before an alcohol bite finishes the beer off with a hot spice. The finish closes with some sweetness on the tongue and alcohol spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with medium carbonation. The malt character fills the mouth with a stickiness but this is offset by the dryness and warming character of the 13% alcohol content. Finish is dry at the back of the throat, but the malty body maintains a sticky sweetness on the tongue and lips.

Overall: Of Bourbon Barrel aged beers this certainly sits as one of my favorites. The bourbon character is well pronounced without being overwhelming. Aroma and flavor character runs the gamut from warm alcohol and bourbon spice to malt and chocolate richness. The combination of bourbon character and a rich imperial stout make this an excellent example of bourbon barrel aging.

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Beer enthusiast and advocate. Recognized beer judge and traveler of west coast beer destinations.