Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beer Review: Bourbon County Brand Stout (10/12/07 alleged Pappy Van Winkle Version)

Reviewing the alleged Pappy Van Winkle aged version of the 2007 vintage Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Brewing Company. I can find no corroborating information that Pappy barrels were actually used on this second bottling.
Score: 99

Bottled on "10/12/07." Served in a pint glass and enjoyed on 03/23/12.

Appearance: Has the traditional Bourbon County Brand Stout appearance. That is: jet black with a thin mocha colored head at pour that quickly disappears with minimal lacing and average retention. 4/5

Smell: Rich and luscious vanilla mixed with dark and milk chocolate. Some molasses, dark fruit, brown sugar and mellow bourbon. 5/5

Taste: Rich chocolate with just a hint of booze that is only noticeable because I am doing this side by side with the 2008 and regular 2007 Bourbon County Stout (aged in 12-16 year Heaven Hill barrels). Molasses and dark fruit on the midpalate with a chewy, bourbon-soaked raisin flavor in the finish. There more of a vanilla twist on the tongue than the regular 2007 Bourbon County Stout, and vanilla flavor modestly grows as the beer layers. Very rich in flavor and delicately balanced. There is smooth bourbon flavor with only a minimal boozy bite. Like all the Bourbon County Stout vintages, the finish lingers like crazy, and when it is gone, you want more. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, virtually no carbonation. Thick and syrupy mouthfeel. Slightly sweet finish. 5/5

Overall:  Maybe this is merely the power of suggestion or merely the power of variable aging under variable conditions, but I felt this bottle was a little richer and molassier than the other 2007 Bourbon County Stout bottling I tried at the tasting. Either way, this is a phenominal beer.

Recommendation: The 2007 and 2008 vintages of the Bourbon County Stout are drinking perfectly right now. Go get one (assuming it's been aged properly).

Pairings: Steak.

Cost: $5.99 for a 12 oz bottle or $19.99 for a four pack.

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