Brew Review: Bourbon County Brand Stout

By Jonathan McNamara

It was a day of firsts. We won’t lie. There are many perks to working at a newspaper, but few stack up to receiving a beer in the mail for the first time (subtle hint to other brewers).

Yet not only was this our first time to receive beer in the mail here at New Times, it was our first time trying a beer aged in bourbon barrels. Bourbon County Brand Stout from The Goose Island Beer Co is aged ten months.

How does this unique “massive imperial stout” stack up?

Tastes: burly. Those ten months of aging give Bourbon County the flavor equivalent to taking a shot gun to the palette. There are notes of chocolate, honey, smoke, butter and caramel. They say alcohol puts hair on your chest. If that’s true then Bourbon County could put Rogaine out of business.

You can get yours: for the first time in Arizona. Thanks to an increase in “barrel-aging capacity” on the part of Goose Island Beer, there is finally enough to go around outside of Chicago. Feel privileged, Arizona because this stout is hitting only a select few other states.

Goes with: lumber-jacking, wearing helmets with horns on them and watching Dirty Harry movies. This beer is not for the average beer drinker. If you think Guinness is too much, stay away from this brew. It’ll eat you alive.

On its bottle, Brewmeister Greg Hall claims “people have even said it’s a great cigar beer, but I have yet to try a cigar that can stand up.”

Verdict: Bourbon County Stout is quite possibly the ultimate stout. Touting 13 percent alcohol content and a promise that improves with age up to five years, there may be nothing to rival its mega jolt of flavor. So I guess you just have to ask your self: do I feel lucky? Well, do ya’?

Happy Drinking, punk.

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