Goose Island 2014 Bourbon County Brand Stout

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"For me, the ideal BCS has all the different layers of flavor. Cherry, vanilla, roast, coffee, chocolate — all the layers of flavor in the blend. That is my goal as the brewmaster: infinite complexity." - Brett Porter, Goose Island Brewmaster

Brew Stats:

  • Style - imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels
  • ABV - 13.80%
  • IBU - 60
  • Served/sold in- 12 oz. bottles/4-pack
  • Availability - released nationally on Black Friday

We have a running half-joke here at Few Brews. No matter how tense the room, cracking open a bottle of Bourbon County Stout (BCS) will result in an instant aura of calmness. It is relaxation in a bottle. If you asked us, we'd say you don't even need to drink it... you definitely should drink it, but just the smell of BCS will have you taking one big deep breath and sitting -- nay, melting -- a little further back in your seat.

Goose Island's BCS is claimed to be the original bourbon barrel aged stout and is known to be one of the industry's best. This past year Goose Island released five variants of the brew -- Brand, Vanilla Rye, Coffee, Barleywine and Proprietors. Although more mellow than in previous years, the Brand Stout is chock-full of rich flavor. You'll taste roasty dark malts, molasses, dried fruits, vanilla and of course oak and bourbon. What's most impressive about BCS is how smooth it finishes. You won't find that with a lot of bourbon barrel aged stouts.

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Side note: if you're looking for an excellent write-up on the Coffee Stout, check out what our friend Drew Moody had to say at A Table in the Corner of the Cafe. Cheers!