Inital Look/ Smell/ Appeal: Nothing is more exciting than pour a dark brown, perfectly thick headed, and rich, strong love-affair-of-a-bourbon-barrel-aged stout and knowing that this is a beer, year after year, one can enjoy. It’s a holy thing I think. Bourbon County Brand Stout ( abbreviated in the beer world as BCBS) from Goose Island is reverly-inducing. Eternally telling the sipper that life can be good. This beer, on its initial sip, opens up with a crescendo of sweet candy that hints at white chocolate and spicy mocha. Then you’re hit with a huge bourbon tickle. Well more like a masochistic punch in the fucking mouth.
Uniqueness: BCBS is really one of the most trademark, fairly available, examples the style. It is the rule of thumb to start your first experiences with bourbon aged stouts. From here, you will try smokey, funky, super sweet, floral, pungent, heavy, effervescent examples of bourbon aged beers - the list goes on and on. BCBS is a gateway drug into BA (barrel aged) barleywines, BA porters, BA ales, and BA funkified renditions. Prepare to pay away your paycheck in experiencing more barrel aged beers from here. They will be hard to come by, and even harder to give up.
Textures & Thickness (body): Imagine the best heavy comforting warmth emanating from a super smooth, ending is velvety enriching body. This beer instantly warms the mouth, throat, and soul. It is a tonic like concoction of bold variety. You can tell its a huge mouth feel, but, as the drinker, you’re not going to be overwhelmed. It’s like the ideal cup of coffee.
Overal Sessionablity: This beer is certainly a sipper.But you may find yourself overwhelmed by a strong desire to affix on swashing the black liquor through every pour and every crevice of your mouth. It will sit on your tongue and break your heart when it’s not in your stomach. By 6 oz in, you will feel the 14% abv. Not just in your head, but also in your fingers, and in your face.
I don’t know how, but Goose Island has built- by combining dark malts, beautiful yeast, soft? water, and time- a beer that will be sought after by freaks like me.
Notes on aging: It’s 3 or 4 months since this beer came out, and since my first bottle of it, this bottle has opened up with a heftier bourbon than the one I drank in December. You can tell there has been a change to the malt freshness, only in an interesting way (nothing bad). I wonder what I may experience with this beer, 1,2, or maybe 5 years from now. Hopefully it will age without oxidizing or without too much candy flavors.
Overall rating: 9.75/10 (I can’t give a perfect rating until I experience this beer in 2+ years)