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Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - Rare

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RATINGS: 395   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.4   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 390   ABV: 13%
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From Greg Hall:
"BCS rare, Iím excited. Brewed in 2008, aged for 24 months in 23 year old Pappy Van Winkle Barrels. These are the very best smelling barrels Iíve come across in 18 years of barrel aging beer. Barrels were originally filled with spirit in 1985. We have 50 bourbon barrels aging, it will be a one time bottling, it will not be repeated."

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
dyetube (1187) - McKinney, Texas, USA - DEC 20, 2010
This beer pours a black with a medium tan head. The aromas are soy, roasted coffee, chocolate. The mouthfeel is stick, bitter and heavy like motor oil. Great beer!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
illinismitty (2270) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 18, 2010
Bottle shared with my brother, cousin, and some chick. Pours a viscous black with a faint brown head that disappears. Full bodied with a slick, velvety mouthfeel. Outstanding aroma- and you smell this thing 6 feet away- bourbon, coffee lacquer, and port wine. Flavor of espresso, plummy red wine, bourbon, and cherry. Oaky and warming finish, but not hot or peppery. A slow sipper for sure and nice melding of flavors. Excellent. Worth the price? If you split with four people...yes.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
douglas88 (6324) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 18, 2010
UPDATED: JUL 6, 2014 22 ounce bottle thanks to Dunt. What a nice brew, despite the price and the somewhat uninteresting name of írareí it holds up as a great brew. Pours a pure black color with a medium deep brown head. The aroma is heavenly; massive rich bourbon just explodes out of the glass, some dark fruits, cocoa, and wood later as it warms. A wonderful flavor; hot, just inhaling warms you up, massive bourbon, but not just bourbon, perfect bourbon, vanilla, wood, rich dark fruits and chocolates mix, this is no one trick pony, in fact it is very complex. Lovely. A great example of craft beer. Yes, this is massively a bourbon beer. But it is also a great Imperial Stout. I could rate this even higher.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Sledutah (5101) - Utah, USA - DEC 18, 2010
22oz bottle, #4265, generously shared by Doug, thanks
Appearance: Poured thick black with a medium sized dark tan head, it left a nice brown coating on the sides of the glass
Aroma: Bourbon, roasted malts, vanilla and chocolate
Taste: Smooth and full mouthfeel. Dark malts, chocolate and bourbon
This was an awesome beer. I enjoyed and savored every drop.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
urnes011 (16) - Minneapolis, USA - DEC 11, 2010
Bottle to snifter. In the middle of a Minnesota blizzard I am happy to say this beer completes me. Pours black and doesnít let any light through with no head. Viscous as hell. The aroma is out of this world and far beyond any beer I have ever had with huge bourbon and caramel notes. There is a sweetness that I canít get over. Taste is smooth, extra smooth and you can really taste the barrel in this one with a vanilla finish. Being a bourbon county lover I can say this is leaps and bounds better than the original and anyone who says itís not worth the price should reconsider...worth every bit of the 42.99 plus tax.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
mattyb83 (737) - Minnesota, USA - DEC 11, 2010
After spending the last 2 hours trying to push my buddyís car through the snow, and in the freezing minnesota cold, I finally get to pop this beer open. Big thanks to my buddy and his friends for bringing bottles up from chicago. Pour is black with an almost non-existent dark tan head. Excellent aroma here. Actually like the aroma more than the flavor. Quite sweet. Big chocolate and cream notes. Nice warming sensation with every sip, and lingering aftertaste is of chocolate chip cookie dough. Really just a great barrel aged beer to sip on during the great minnesota blizzard. Now just to find a hotel room because Iím stuck.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 10, 2010
Bourbon county rare. 5oz sample at goose island clybourn on the Black Friday releas... Pours a velvety, silky solid liquid night black pour with a thin khaki head quickly receding towards the glassí edge leaving a wispy presence of itís former self... Aroma is fairly assertive on the bourbon front, somewhat thick and sticky, with molasses and vanilla. Subtler coconut undertones mingle soflty with the aforementioned qualities... Flavors are much of what was described in the nose with smooth bourbon characteristics combining sublimely, well perhaps not to that extent, with more than subtle hints of vanilla. Not so much heat or a boozy presence detected (as it would with a fresh batch of BCS) although does make an appearance in a slow yet persistent manner... Body has held up to the prolonged aging which is significant in itself. Carbonation is present and body is smooth. Decadent to say the least. Not sure if itís worth the pricetag but itís a must-try for me as a bourbon county stout lover. 8/4/9/4/17

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
cpetrone84 (1535) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 29, 2010
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2011 Re-rate of brief notes from summer of 2011 from bottle. More rich chocolate cake than I remember, still strong but integrated bourbon with nice wood notes. Extremely rich and flavorful but a touch of heat detracting from a darn good beer! ****************** Had on tap on Black Friday at Clybourne. A-pours an opaque viscous black liquid with a dark tan head that is a little thin. S-the nose has strong bourbon notes and a touch of wood. Creamy milk chocolate and notes of caramel come in with a touch of anise and some fusel alcohol in the back. T-light bourbon notes, subtle but additive, sweet notes of dark fruits, black cherries and ripe plums, rich chocolate cake with a touch of bitter bakers chocolate. More malt sweetness comes in blended with some tangy anise, fusel alcohol in back with a fair bit of heat in the finish. M-huge chewy body, nicely carbonated, fairly dry finish with a crispness that seems almost astringent. D-pretty good stuff here, nice balance of malt sweetness and rich chocolate flavors. The bourbon barrel is done very well and the body holds up nicely. its a little sweet, boozy, and hot to be great, hopefully some of that will mellow with age but the sweetness could be an issue.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
17thfloor (2433) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 28, 2010
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2010 Draft. Iím sure the appearance is probably a 5... but in the little sippy cup thing they give it to you in... Iíll leave it a 4 for now. The aroma also suffers because of this, maybe itís because of waiting in the cold for a while, but it also seems muted. Wow, what a great marriage of bourbon and wonderful stout, the bourbon is quite strong but never gives the sense that itís too much, not subtle but remains ever sophisticated, the stout has just light touches of soy up front, a few people commented that it actually seems to have less depth than regular, the bourbon is just amazing... o so delicious. Mouthfeel seemed to be just a bit marshmallowy but that could be because this is out of a keg, so it fluffs up a bit, supremely drinkable though, no indication that itís 14% at all, and you donít tire of drinking it whatsoever, doesnít gloop up like other big stouts... probably will get a 5 on palate once I try it out of the bottle, (eh just tried some regular BCS, this is for sure a 5 on palate). Brilliant.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Pawola22 (3262) - Woodridge, Illinois, USA - NOV 27, 2010
22oz bottle, #3,642 with an 11/19/10 bottled on date. Picked up this piece of hype at the Binnyís LP Black Friday event. Pours an oily black colored body with a few ruby-brown traces around the edge. Thin, frothy, dark brown head that dissipates quickly and leaves a light ring around the outside. Aroma absolutely jumps out of the bottle upon opening. Extremely rich and smooth. Loaded with molasses, caramel cookies, vanilla, an underlying yet distinct roast, dark chocolate, and a very pleasant warming bourbon that never announces itself as boozy. Some raisins and dark fruits, soft oak, and barely a hint of leathery tobacco. The barrel presence is quite deep, but anything but overwhelming. Flavor is more the same. Loaded with thick, rich, and sweet chocolates, molasses, and caramel cookies up front. Smooth vanilla, somewhat salty oak, raisin, and roast follow quickly before the extremely deep barrel aspect wraps this up. Tons of sweet bourbon, but oh so soft and never boozy. The barrel completely dries this out with a very enjoyable warming feel that increases more and more as it flows down my throat. This beer finishes better than Peter North. Plenty of vanilla, raisin, bourbon, oak, rich chocolates, molasses, and fairly bitter roasts make it so complex before leaving a lengthy aftertaste. Full, silky smooth body and barely a trace of carbonation. Fantastic mouthfeel. Overall, I was skeptical, but the ratings are legit. This is every bit as good as advertised. The barrel aging on this is so deep and complex, but it still has plenty of sweet, rich, and roasty malts. Spectacular balance and enjoyable in every aspect. $43 and two hours in the cold is a pretty steep price tag, but damnit this is a world class barrel-aged imperial stout.

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