Saturday, May 31, 2014

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale

The Goose Island Brewery is in Chicago, Illinois. This is one of their famous Bourbon County brand beers aged in bourbon barrels, usually stouts, but in this case, a rare barleywine ale. This one was bottled on September 24, 2013.

The beer pours an extremely dark brown, just a shade or two shy of black. There is a very short and short-lived head of light tan foam. The aroma is sweet malt, toffee, sherry, with a fruity tartness, almost a vinous quality of alcohol and tangy fruitiness. There is some oak in the nose, but any bourbon is subsumed by the massive malt. The taste is very sweet malts, some dark roasted notes, carmelized sugar, dark fruits, alcohol fills the sinuses, and warms the throat. There is just enough wood to keep the sweetness from flying out of control. Vanilla comes it as it warms up. It is full-bodied, nearing syrupy. Since they bothered to put it in bourbon barrels, I wish the bourbon was more noticeable (found out why its not, and where the dark roast came from, these are third use barrels, first bourbon, then BCBS, then this). 

Almost nine months in the bottle, it is still a bit “hot,” give this one time to mellow. Nice, but not the same caliber as the stouts. 

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