Sunday, 4 December 2016

Bourbon County

Origin: USA | Date: 2009 | ABV: 13% | On The Beer Nut: April 2010

There was much fuss in the beer blogoshire, and further abroad, about the arrival of this one to the UK recently: just 100 bottles in the country, at £20 a pop. But before the Goose Island brewery was sold to the world's biggest mass-market brewer, its appearance was a far more casual affair. I acquired a couple of bottles of the 2009 vintage back in 2010 and this one has been sitting in the stash ever since.

Slightly worryingly, the cap is a twist-off, peeling away with just the faintest hiss. It glugs out thickly and flatly, giving off a faint beefy Bovril smell as it does so. A proper sniff moves away from that and gives me sweeter hot fudge and butterscotch sauces. The bourbon character comes out on tasting, and rather tasty it is too: sweet vanilla and bitter tar, glowering at each other but neither able to dominate. You get to take your time moving from one to the other because of the massively thick texture. There's also a very real whisky flavour, a pleasantly sweet burn, scorching the gullet and warming the innards: it's one of the truest expressions of whisky in beer I've ever encountered.

This is beautiful, classic, stuff, and completely untroubled by eight summers in my attic. Everything I wrote about it originally still rings true. If you've bought a bottle of the 2016 you probably don't need to think about opening it for a while yet.

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