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Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - Neapolitan

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - Neapolitan
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RATINGS: 12   MEAN: 4.11/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.65/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 60   EST. CALORIES: 390   ABV: 13%
Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Vanilla beans, Cacao Nibs, and Strawberries. Over the past few years, our brewers have experimented with many different Bourbon County Brand Stout variations including cacao nibs, vanilla, and strawberries. One of our brewers had the bright idea to blend the three together to mimic Neapolitan ice cream.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 7, 2012
From ntoes. First reviewed 8/26/2011. A generous pour into a cervoise at the Great Taste of the Midwest. Like I expect from an Bourbon County variant, this is pitch black. Watching the pour, a small tan head resulted from a straight vertical pour into the glass, but it did not last long. A ring remained for the duration. It took a minute for this to really open up in the nose. The usual bourbon county notes are most apparent. Full roasted malt, some light espresso, some bourbon, and a little chocolate. After letting it warm up for a minute, some nice vanilla notes and surprisingly vibrant strawberry aromas come out as well. This falls on the sweeter side of the Bourbon County variants I have had, and on the sweeter side of bourbon barrel stouts in general. Full chewy roasted malt blends with dark chocolate and bourbon up front. A burst of vanilla comes through next, and finally, strong chocolate covered strawberries dipped in bourbon. Just an incredible flavor. The mouthfeel is thick, viscous, and chewy. I love how creamy Bourbon County becomes with time on it, and the full creaminess complements the flavors perfectly. The carbonation blends so well with the viscous nature of the beer so if I close my eyes I can easily envision Neapolitan ice cream. Full bodied, like all of the variations. This was incredible. Each one of the flavors is distinct, which is no small accomplishment. One of my worries for a beer like this would be that the flavors would blend together and lose definition, but this was not the case! Delicious.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
drewbeerme (3917) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 17, 2011
gtmw 11, Pours black with white head nose strawberry, vanilla, chocolate fudge ice cream. Flavors hints of strawberry upfront, chocolatey, bourbon, oxidized, with long doughy caramelized port finish. they nailed it in the aroma but the flavors are very muddled.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
holdenn (2110) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 5, 2011
Rating #1800! On draft at GTMW 2011. After wandering though the bourbon county fair, we came to the long awaited neapolitan. Black thick color with a minimal head. The chocolate and vanilla really come through. I canít pick out the aroma of strawberries at first but it definitely smells exactly like Neopoliran ice cream. I mean exactly. This is spot on. Sadly the flavor doesnít work as well. Strawberry and vanilla hit the tongue but donít last. Thereís a soy sauce oxidized flavor that sadly takes it over. Possibly one of the BCS batches got introduced to a lot of oxygen. Over time the oxidized notes fade somewhat and this becomes more enjoyable. Bitter roasty sweet flavors, that are largely chocolate and vanilla, become muddled by that fresh bourbon. Bourbon is hot and strong in the flavor. That aroma is so perfect, too bad the rest couldnít follow through. If it werenít oxidized and there wasnít the bourbon (maybe just the base beer aged on the neapolitan flavors sans bourbon barrels) this would be awesome. Despite a few flaws its a nice beer. 9/4/8/4/15

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
madvike (3205) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 28, 2011
On tap at GTMW - Full disclosure--Iím not a fan of regular BCS, really liked the coffee variant, and thought vanilla was pretty good. This is the first variant that really wasnít up my alley. Poured like I thought it would--black, with no head. Aroma was the beat thing about this beer--creme brulee, freeze-dried strawberry, vanilla, hazelnut. The taste has much of the same, with vanilla more prominent and nutty stawberry coming through. Itís a little hot, thought all the variants have less heat than the original. Slick, and not much carbonation--didnít like this one much at all.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DalzAle (2026) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - AUG 18, 2011
On tap at the great taste. Had the good base backbone of bourbon county stout and then a nice mellow vanilla and light artifical strawberry flavoring. It reminded me a lot of the freeze dried neopolitan sandwiches youíd get at the science museum as a kid. Really good take on the beer, I dig it!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Brigadier (3550) - Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA - AUG 18, 2011
On tap at GTMW (2011)

The clear winner of the day was no surprise. In fact I think I liked this better than even the Rare variation that I had towards the close of the festival. The mixture of flavors creates a thick texture that is almost more like a rich dessert than a beer. The vanilla takes center stage but other aspects balance well. As youíd imagine the beer itself is thick, oily, and takes a while to crawl down the sides of a glass. This was the only beer worth the wait.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 17, 2011
On tap at GTMW. Poured inky black with not much going on for head. The aroma picked up rich dark chocolate, vanilla, and molasses paired with Neapolitan ice cream accents (yes, I did pick up freeze-dried vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, blended together).. black pepper hit heavy on the back of the nose.. well-balanced. The flavor had a syrupy foray of vanilla and well-roasted molasses notes.. more warm, dark sugars showed and supported the core.. a touch of dried ice cream on the back (mostly strawberry), over a peppery, satisfying finish. Heavy-bodied with not a whole lot of carbonation going on.. excellent mouthfeel. Glad I got to try this!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
pete4999 (1445) - Buffalo, New York, USA - AUG 15, 2011
On tap at the Great Taste. Poured, as expected, a dark, nearly black stout. The strawberries, and to a lesser extent, vanilla, really did a number on this one. I loved it - the same taste weíve come to expect from BCS with a strawberry flair. Only wish I couldíve gotten some of their other ones!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jckp64 (356) - St Louis, Missouri, USA - AUG 14, 2011
On draft at the GTMW. Pours pitch black with a tan head. Aroma strawberries, cocoa, vanilla. Flavor is strawberries, vanilla and cocoa. The vanilla and strawberries really take charge in this beer. A pretty good BCS variation.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheAlum (6956) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - AUG 14, 2011
Draft on tap at Great Taste of the Midwest 2011 (Madison, WI). Pours a pitchblack dark opaque blackish hue with thick brownish edges. A small frothy darker brown head dies to nothing. Aromas are strawberries and vanilla, a touch of cocoa. Decent barrel presence, with oak, vanilla, a touch of Bourbon. Sweet toffee, caramel, and toast. Bread, chocolate, and coffee. Rich. Initiail is rich and full bodied, strawberries and vanilla assert itself. Some cocoa, roast, caramel, toffee, more vanilla. Some toffee, bread. Wet oak, more tannins. Rich, the strawberry really gives it an interesting feel. With the vanilla, some strawberry shortcake essence. Finish is thick and sweet, lingering tannins, toffee, cocoa, and more vanilla. Pretty sweet, but well done. Rich in many ways, strawberries and vanilla, some cocoa linger on. Iím a bit surprised at the strength of the strawberry, bigger sweet vanilla. The spirit is there, but lighter and covered up a bit. Some roast, cocoa gets covered up a good deal. I mean, itís there.. But the vanilla and strawberry overtake it. I love me a BCS treatment, and this was tasty and a top tier beer, but a bit muddled and overdone if we are gonna nitpick. Very cool beer, but I can think of a version or two of BCS Iíd take instead.

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