All hail, one of the best vintages to hit store shelves every winter. Yes, that’s right, the Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout is just that, one of the best. It’s also one of the best to cellar, or at least that is what more seasoned beer cellerars…if that’s even a word, have told me.
But what I wanted to do with this four pack, before I close it up and let it magically evolve over time, was to have one fresh, or at least as fresh as I could get it. I happened upon a random four pack at a local liquor store this week that has no business carrying it, and I’d be willing to bet 90% of the shoppers don’t give a second look to. It cost me $20, but I am pretty sure that most of the Cincinnati area stores that had it at one time, are out, and may charge more if they get any additional stock later this winter.
Since this was the first BCBS I reviewed, I wanted to do it right. So I made sure to let it get close to room temperature and of course used a snifter as my glassware of choice. (Just got a new CBS snifter from the good folks at Founders).
I let it flow and have been sipping it for the past hour or so. First of all, it’s a booze bomb at 14.5%, which is an increase over the 13% or so from previous years. The easiest way I can describe this baby without getting all adjective heavy is that it’s like an amazing stout mixed with an amazing shot of amazing bourbon. It’s also amazing, if you missed that.
I’d say it’s a recommend if you like bourbon barrel beer in general, but this one is just a step above some of my other favorites like Hoppin Frog Barrel Aged BORIS (which is brilliant) and some of the super dense and sweet stuff that Southern Tier puts out (Creme Brulee, Choclat, or Mokah).
Of course, this makes me really curious about how it’s gonna age, so you can expect a follow up about 12 months from now on what this does while in the cellar. When a bottle tells me that it “Develops In The Bottle For Up To 5 Years”, I listen.
Have you tried BCBS 2011? How does it compare with previous years? What was your impression?