Online Tasting: Goose Island Bourbon County! (November 24-28, 2021)

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Beer_Economicus, Nov 24, 2021 at 5:36 AM.

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  1. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (2,927) Dec 1, 2010 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    I will likely open the 2021 BCBS today or tomorrow and will contribute my thoughts here. I had the 2021 cherry wood BCBS the other night (some of the local retailers put the bottles on the shelves already, Black Friday be damned). I am definitely a BCBS fan but that might have been the worst variant I can recall (haven’t had them all). Thin and fizzy and markedly less full bodied and satisfying than the flagship. I also saw the cola bottle for 25 dollars and passed, that doesn’t sound appealing at all to me.
     
  2. Roy_Hobbs

    Roy_Hobbs Champion (879) Jan 21, 2017 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    I have a bunch of saisons lined up for later today, and wasn't going to have any high ABV beers, but given that I have way too many bottles of BCBS in one of the beer fridges, I figured I'd pick out a random one and give it a go.

    This is the Bramble Rye Stout version from 2018. The bottle description is "Stout aged in rye whiskey barrels and blended with raspberries and blackberries"
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    4.05/5 rDev -7.7%
    look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

    Pours with distinct reddish / purple hues....almost as if some red wine crashed the party. No discernible head. Aroma is decadent. Very sweet, with berries clearly present. I keep going back and forth as to whether I'm smelling blackberries or raspberries, but in the end I'm not sure I'm picking up either distinctly, but rather an amalgamation of the two. Some rich chocolate notes lurk beneath.

    Taste is berries, immediately followed by the rye barrels. This beer has a long finish, and only deep into that finish do I pick up the core, base stout flavors. Sweet overall, borderline syrupy, but it stays just on the right side of that line. Full bodied but not quite as chewy as the ABV might otherwise imply.

    Overall this is tasty and worth a try, especially if you like berries.
     
  3. Giantspace

    Giantspace Champion (893) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Been sitting in this one for years. I have a 12 sitting too. I have not had any of these in a long time. While they are good beers I find them to be quite sweet. I picked up the 12’s by pure chance at a Shop Rite liquor. I saw these bottles for a price I thought then crazy, $5 a single 12oz. I was buying Allagash Curiuex large format for around $8. The last bottle I bought was the first year of the larger bottle size, I will open that some day to probably find it infected. After reading about the treatment of employees I will not be buying anymore goose, not that I really do anyhow. I have not bought Founders in a bunch of years either and till I hear they fixed their problems with management I won’t.

    Have a great Turkey day and enjoy those you gather with, that’s really the best part of this holiday.

    Enjoy

    [​IMG]
     
  4. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,421) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    Day two, and I have a new to me Bourbon County from 2020 lined up for the rest of the tasting. I likely won't cross the one a day threshold, as 16.9 oz of a similarly numbered percentage of ABV is fine enough these days, both in terms of calories and alcohol.

    Bourbon County Brand Caramella Ale

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    Bottle Notes:
    14.6% ABV, 16.9 oz, best by 9/3/25 (five years from bottle date). Ale with natural flavors. 100% aged in barrels from our friends at Larceny bourbon. Wheatwine Ale aged in bourbon barrels with apple, cinnamon, and natural caramel flavor.

    Appearance:
    Multiple pours into a BCBS GI snifter. Beautiful clear bronze colour base, light off-white tan head quickly dissipates leaving a persistent ring around the glass and a Milky Way Galaxy like spinning replica above the base. Consistent medium to heavy carbonation throughout. Impressive. 4.75

    Aroma:
    Freshly baked apple pie, cinnamon, caramel front and center, smells very sweet. Getting a whiskey backing, light rubbing alcohol. Not strong, but nice mellow and altogether enticing. 4.25

    Taste:
    Tastes consistent with the aroma and advertised profile. Cinnamon Apple Pie, covered by a caramel glaze and whipped cream. Unlike the aroma, the strong nice silky smooth bourbon holds this all together very well. Perfect balance here, not sure why I came in fearing this one when Goose Island typically delivers in terms of balance. Pie and bourbon, who knew this would come out so good. 4.75

    Mouthfeel:
    The level of thickness is amazing, rank this up with Hopslam and Dogfish 120 in terms of the thickness factor. Full creamy rich decadent body, light fizzy carbonation sustained throughout, lighter and more delicate than the visual cues, very well balanced though drifts toward sweetness as this warms. The bourbon is well incorporated, slight burn as this warms (I am now 20 minutes in). Overall very unique and well loved mouthfeel on this one. 4.75

    Overall:
    Well, not sure why this caught me by surprise, but the execution in terms of the flavor, balance, and excellent blending certainly puts this at the top of my wheatwine list, and one of the best BC variants I can recall in some time. This was a throw in to my allocation last year, but so glad they wouldn't take it back. I've been trying to back off of overly sweet offerings, but occasional samples are OK, and this is an excellent offering I am very grateful to be enjoying today! Happy Thanksgiving!!! 4.75

    Well my slotted order was from least anticipated to most, can only hope my final three measure up to this one.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
     
    #44 ChicagoJ, Nov 25, 2021 at 5:38 PM
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021 at 5:53 PM
  5. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (2,927) Dec 1, 2010 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    i had a bottle of this a few weeks ago and enjoyed it a lot, liked it when it came out last year but seems like it’s only gotten better with all the elements really coming together harmoniously, and mellowing a bit so it’s not so over the top caramel apple (still sweet but more manageable with the finish drying out a bit).
     
  6. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (5,754) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia
    Society

    Over the years, BCBS has become more available to me, as seems to be the case for many. Over the years, I've found myself less and less enthused about the beer which admittedly includes its price. Last year was my first chance at some variants that GI distributed more widely, so I bought some of those despite their even more lofty price.

    Today, because I like comparison reviews, I am going to side-by-side last year's regular BCBS and Special #4 (oatmeal stout with coffee and maple), both aged in bourbon barrels. The regular had a drink by June of '25 with #4 nearer its "expiration" of Sept '22.

    [​IMG]
    The oatmeal stout had a larger, more stable head. Both had nice coverage as they sat to warm a little, #4 hiding its dark surface better.

    Regular BCBS has a more fruity note to it - a mix of cranberry and red wine grape. Stout #4 Has a more definitive, roasted coffee note in contrast. BCBS's coffee seeps out eventually, but it keeps a berry-like aspect of some more fruity coffees. Maple can still be detected in #4, bringing just a little bit of a sweet to the aroma. BCBS gives me the impression of its ABV more than #4.

    So far, #4 is speaking more to me than BCBS.

    BCBS brings some alcohol warmth along with its medium opening feel. The beer seems to grow a bit thicker as it hits different parts of my mouth, but never gets too heavy. Stout #4 is more full from the opening. It continues to hide its booziness even as it hits my palate. BCBS is a little more sticky, while #4 cleans up a tad better.

    My first impressions are of dark fruit (more than berry) and a moderate strength roast when I sip BCBS. There is a little bit of a wine or port edge to it. Stout #4 is sweeter, though the maple itself blends into the deeper roast notes. It is quite possible the coffee is still bringing the extra roast, even after a year or so. The roasted notes of #4 add a nice amount of countering bitterness to the opening sweetness. Comparatively, BCBS's sweetness level seems just that - more even throughout the entire sip.

    So, Stout #4 seems to have held up pretty well. I believe it was one of the options that was between 50% and 100% more than the classic BCBS. It definitely comes across to me in this tasting as being worth a little more, though maybe not that much more.
     
  7. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (13,470) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    BCBS OG 2017, 14.1% ABV, with four years of aging. It has an incredibly strong cocoa taste.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,906) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I've never had MJK (or any side project dark beers for that matter) but it's worth noting that it is simply a barrel aged barleywine from one of the most respected brewers of big BAd barley wines and stouts currently working. In fact it appears to be one that is regarded as his best work. Any comparison to that beer is certainly intended as a compliment.

    as for me, I popped a 19 regular to sip while I finished the prep work and showered and prepared to head over to meet the family at our gathering this turkey day. We only started seeing regular in 2018 and I've never seen any variants. I was sufficiently impressed with my first tastes of bcbs to acknowledge that it deserves the hype and I continue to enjoy the beer.

    This 2019 is drinking great with some wonderful walnut and hazelnut notes laid over the barrel char, dark fruits, dark chocolate, and hint of booze.

    That said, I'm probably done with GI as well. It was never a major part of my beer experience, so it's not a sweat to hold them accountable. I will certainly drink the 4 or 5 left in my cellar, after all they already got my money from that and I don't have any social media accounts that I could use to harvest likes from for drain pouring them.

    I'm just thankful to live in a time and place where the choices of premium beers produced by minimally decently behaved humans is sufficient for me to not have to face the moral dilemma of giving up good beer just to uphold my basic morals. Much love and appreciation to the crowd here for providing me with a beer nerd community that I don't have in real life, and especially to @FBarber for keeping these tastings humming along!

    And to @Beer_Economicus, and all the other bcbs fans, I respect your right to enjoy the things you like and am grateful that you all have more access than ever to the kind of beer you really love. Happy turkey day everyone, and here's to hoping that we can all do better at keeping gratitude in our hearts and minds in the year to come!

    Cheers folks!
     
    GreenBayBA, CaptainHate, Rug and 21 others like this.
  9. CB_Michigan

    CB_Michigan Devotee (497) Sep 4, 2014 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Cracked a 2019 Reg while spending time with my folks and my wife’s parents. This is really nice. It’s more viscous than I remember, with great flavor. I remember being a bit disappointed with last year’s Reg, and this bottle reinforces that 2019 was/is difficult to top. It doesn’t have the intense chocolate/fudge quality as it did when fresh, but the barrel seems more prominent and the sweetness has subsided a little. It’s just a top-tier, balanced straight up BBA stout.
     
  10. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (3,920) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I’m breaking out a special beer for Day #2, one I’ve had for a year. On the eve of the 2021 release, let’s do this.

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    [​IMG]

    4.68/5 rDev +0.2%
    look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

    Pours perfectly inky black with a bit of leakage to dark mahogany on the edges and a foamy dark tan head that sizzles a bit. Absolutely beautiful in the glass, IMHO.

    The nose is loud and proud and boozy up front, which isn’t surprising given the 15.2% ABV, but it’s not a booze sledgehammer - there’s some nuance, with space for black cherry and plum stone fruit aromas to shine, and some dark chocolate and toffee notes in the background.

    The stone fruit flavors are forward, which I appreciate because I love black cherries and plums, and they work well with the subtle dark chocolate and toffee, with an oaky boozy flavor at the very back of the palate. Wow, is this delicious.

    The mouthfeel is substantial, with significant gravity, and a full creaminess that works so well with this beer. A masterful rendition of a BA imperial stout, I could drink this until it came out my ears. World class stuff, IMHO.
     
  11. mschrei

    mschrei Poo-Bah (3,032) Jul 4, 2014 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Just an amazing beer to enjoy on a night I wasn’t thinking could be possible due to my father in law’s health.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Justonemore91

    Justonemore91 Zealot (551) Nov 24, 2018 New York
    Society Trader

    [​IMG]
    getting toasted on Thanksgiving . Just amazing cheers
     
  13. SMH_NWI

    SMH_NWI Devotee (480) Jan 8, 2015 Texas
    Trader

    [​IMG]

    G
    ood beer and a Cowboys L ha ha
     
  14. adrock314

    adrock314 Champion (897) Apr 14, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Shared some ‘17 with the fam over dinner.
    [​IMG]
    I didn’t really immersive myself in the beer for obvious reasons, so no formal review. It was quite good. Dominant chocolate note. Dangerously easy to drink.

    Home now and polishing off the Anniversary that I opened last night. Delicious - even after spending the night in the fridge with a silicone stopper.
    [​IMG]
    Happy Thanksgiving advocates!
     
  15. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,296) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    I love me some Bourbon County. My most cellared series of beers. I would love partaking in an entire weekend of these nectar of the gods, but alas I am trying to be healthy for my upcoming nuptials (gotta fit in that tux), so limiting myself to one. I mean I had to have at least one, I couldn’t not participate in this tasting!

    Cross posting with the great Cellar Reviews 2021 thread. Go check it out if you want to join our merry group of Cellar Dwellars!

    Celebrating the holiday with one of my favorite Bourbon County beers to date (I’ve been fortunate enough to try all bottled variants except 2019 Double Barrel and 2019 Prop), BCB Reserve 2017 Knob Creek. Originally drank one of these at just under 3 years after bottling and rated a 4.75 at that time, trailing only OG Vanilla Rye and BCBCS, even slightly above OG Rare ‘10 as my highest rated BCB beers ever. It was just a near perfect blend of barrel and base beer characters. It’s sitting at slightly over 4 years from bottling now, let’s see how it’s drinking.

    Pours opaque black, small dark mocha head, dissipates quickly. Aroma is hugely barrel: some whiskey booziness, charred oak, herbaceous, big nutty characters, and campfire toasted marshmallow. Base beer characters are more subdued, mostly roasted malt and some semi sweet bakers cocoa. Taste is dark fruits first, followed by chocolate, then big barrel characters on the finish. Mouthfeel is full bodied but not thick, good drinkability for the ABV. Overall this remains excellent but I do think some of the flavors are starting to fade. I’d say it’s past it’s prime, but still a gem of a beer.

    4/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5
    (Original/fresh review: 4/4.5/5/4.75/4.75; actually not fresh but reviewed approx 3 years after bottling).

    [​IMG]

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    Happy Thanksgiving fellow advocates of beer!
     
  16. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Crusader (738) Apr 8, 2017 Ohio
    Trader

    Today is a new beer to me.

    Goose Island – Bourbon County Brand Reserve Rye Stout

    14.5% ABV

    The beer is listed as “Stout – American Imperial” on BA.

    The beer was removed from a 45ish degree temp fridge after having been refrigerated for approximately 4 months. Beer poured into 2012 BCBS snifter.

    First Impression: Pours dark/thicker for BCBS. Beautiful as always. While I don’t like the new bottle size, I do love the way the bottles pour. 4.5

    Appearance: Similar to (and not substantively different than) standard BCBS. It’s midnight black. You can’t see through the glass except when taking a sip, and then only at the edges. Decent head on an aggressive pour (much more than an older vintage with more age). Head disappears at a reasonable space, with a faint ring left around the glass for some time. 4.75

    Smell: Boozy, but not like you poured yourself a nip of whiskey. There’s a faint rye spice thing going on similar to holiday spices in cookies. Hints of dark fruits and also berries, -in particular, blueberries. Faint cola. No discernable chocolate or rich malt on the nose. This is a real pleasure. 4.5

    Taste: I think the rye integrates itself more with the base than bourbon, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I think it is better. It’s just that rye seems to mesh in a way that makes it feel more like it is one with the base, whereas bourbon feels like you have this bourbon…and then you have this base. The older the vintage, the more these mesh as one, and the younger the vintage, the more that bourbon reminds you, ‘HEY, I’M HERE FIRST.’

    With the rye, you don’t really get that deep chocolate, fudge, bourbon soaked brownies note that so many people love, especially from 2014 BCBS. You still get a lot of chocolate, but it tends more towards cacao powder and bittersweet chocolate with perhaps only a hair of dark chocolate. The rye comes in two forms. On the front end, you notice there’s no bourbon. Because it is so well integrated, it’s almost like you miss it. But, then on the backend you get it. You start to get some of that rye spice. To me, there’s only the most mild of ‘spiciness’ associated, but you get many of those holiday baking flavors. For me, they aren’t distinguishable, they are just melding as one, but that is what it conjures up. Definitely not distinctively ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, honey, etc. There’s just a touch, a kiss of berry. I can see how Backyard Rye probably would have played well. Unfortunately, that was one I never got to try. 4.5

    Mouthfeel: To me, this seems a tad thicker than the bourbon versions. It’s no thicc boi, but it’s classic BCBS. Thicker than most, but not pastry. It’s thick enough to slow you down, but thin enough to make it so you can drink a full 16.9oz in a night if you so choose, assuming you can handle the ABV. By comparison, pastry stouts for me are difficult to stomach that many ounces due to their viscosity. They are too much.

    I sat here debating how to rate this. For the style, a non pastry, I think it’s pretty much spot on, so I’m going with a 4.85. Perhaps it could be just a tad thicker, but that’s a pretty minor complaint. 4.85

    Overall: You know, I wasn’t sure about this one at the start. I wanted to be googoo and gaagaa all over it. So my expectations were high. Then I opened it, and man, it felt like a let down. I had built it up so much it was just a big let down. Then I took a long time to get to know this beer. I sipped on about 12 ounces last night for a few hours. Then tonight, after using a fancy champagne stopper, I consumed the last. The more I consumed, the more I enjoyed this. I think I may have even enjoyed it more on night 2 than night 1, and I attribute that to the small amount of oxidation difference between Day 1 and Day 2. -And, further, I’m going to attribute that additional amount of satisfaction due to the fact that, in general, I think 2-3 years is kind of the sweet spot for “base” Bourbon County. At least since 2016. I just don’t like it right out of the gate quite as much. The 2-3 year mark may come as a surprise to anyone that has seen my love for older vintages. Much as it pains me to say it, I do think there is a difference 2015 and earlier vs. post 2015, but I don’t necessarily attribute that specifically to the new process; partially I attribute that to the changing recipe for the base, which definitely has changed (and that's not an opinion, it's a note the brewers have mentioned and then been repeated on the Binny's podcast, for example). 4.65

    In summary, this was a real pleasure to drink. And I think the BA review score of 4.58 gives a pretty accurate picture. There’s no way to not call this world class, in my opinion. I think the only turnoff for some is the rye.

    BA Review Score: 4.58

    My review can be found here: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1146/434223/?ba=Beer_Economicus#review

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Crusader (738) Apr 8, 2017 Ohio
    Trader

    Really enjoying all the reviews. It looks like everyone has had a great start to their holiday week/weekend.

    I wanted to share a little more about me and my connection with Bourbon County. I can't quite explain why I like it so much. I could talk about the killer bourbon flavor, about the way that everything feels perfectly incorporated, and so on, but ultimately it's all about the palate. For me, this hits all the right spots. It just does. It brings me a level of happiness that few other beers have managed to, and no other 'mass produced' beer has accomplished.

    Far and away, I have more BCBS than anything else in my cellar. In fact, I have a BCBS-dedicated fridge. Crazy, right?

    BCBS is also the only brewiana I collect. -And, I do collect it. I'm only missing a few items at this point, but they are hard to find. Very, very hard to find.

    Working on my next beer and review. I'll give you a hint...It's a Bourbon County. :grin::stuck_out_tongue::sunglasses:
     
  18. Jaycase

    Jaycase Meyvn (1,454) Jan 13, 2007 Illinois
    Trader

    Greetings & Salutations, BAs. Hope all those who celebrate Thanksgiving had a nice holiday.

    Tonight have opened another 12 oz oldie but goodie, 2013 BCBBW.

    [​IMG]

    Pours a very dark burgundy. Aggressive pour gave way to a thin light tan head.
    Aroma consists primarily of dark fruit such as plum & raisin. Vanilla and oak are present as well and complement the dark fruit nicely.
    Similar to the 2014 BCBS from yesterday, where this beer is still delivering the goods is on the taste. Each sip reveals layers of dark fruit enveloped with vanilla. A tinge of brown sugar adds to the modest level of sweetness. In the finish come notes of chocolate, more vanilla and oak.
    Medium body. Low carbonation. A bit syrupy with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. A level of sweetness throughout but finishes dry.

    This beer has held up quite well over its eight years. While I thought the 2014 BCBS from yesterday was still drinking nicely, this beer has aged like a champ.

    2013 BCBBW has been cited as a benchmark BA Barleywine & you will not get any argument from me. Yes, its best years are in the past undoubtedly but it still drinks remarkably well given its age. Cheers!
     
  19. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Crusader (738) Apr 8, 2017 Ohio
    Trader

    2013 BCBBW is quite possibly my favorite beer of all time, if we can exclude anything you might have only tried once. As the kids say, "It fucks". Or is that what the old farts say? I love it, ok?
     
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  20. Beer_Economicus

    Beer_Economicus Crusader (738) Apr 8, 2017 Ohio
    Trader

    Goose Island – Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout (BCBCS – 2014)

    12.6% ABV

    The beer is listed as “Stout – American Imperial” on BA.

    The beer was removed from a 40ish degree temp fridge after having been refrigerated for approximately 2 years. Beer poured into 2012 BCBS snifter.

    First Impression: Pours dark, thinner than BCBS. 4.5

    Appearance: Standard Bourbon County. An aggressive pour years only a small amount of khaki head that fades quickly, leaving only a small ring around the glass. 4.25

    Smell: Coffee up front. Mostly this cold-brew smelling with a hint of grounds and also the dread ‘pepper’. Weak barrel on the nose. 4.25

    Taste: 2014 and earlier BCBCS is what all coffee stouts should be judged on for me. As the kids say, ‘it fucks’. And after this many years, to still say that? Come on. Taste starts with the coffee, shifts to bourbon, pulls in some chocolate fudge brownies, shifts back to bourbon, finishes on coffee, and then a slow finish lasts for longer than most BA stouts, let alone BA coffee stouts. Impressive for 12.5% abv. 4.70

    Mouthfeel: Coffee stouts are always thinner than their regular counterparts. They just are. While this is clearly thinner than the regular, not appreciably so. For judging this against other coffee stouts, this is still upper echelon. 4.75

    Overall: This is a great beer, and I’m jamming on this. I debated about whether to have this tonight, because I have to get up in 4.5 hours to hit the BCBS release. Well, I’m glad I did, but only because I chose to drink this tonight. It’s really fantastic. It’s incredible how well this has held up. I did have this a few years back (just once), and while it was great, I don’t remember enjoying it quite this much. This is just singing tonight. It’s everything that I want. And the finish just keeps going. I’m in heaven. All this said – could it be better? Of course. I’d love to have even more barrel. I’d love to see how this shined at 15%. But for what it is, and compared to others, this is Heaven. 4.65

    BA Review Score: 4.56

    My review can be found here: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1146/57747/?ba=Beer_Economicus#review

    [​IMG]

     
  21. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,223) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
    Society

    I'm finishing Thanksgiving Day with slightly more than half a bottle of BCBS 2020. The rest will be stoppered for later in the weekend.

    Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout 2020
    ABV: 14.6%
    IBU: 60

    [​IMG]

    Strong bourbon aroma. Vanilla and chocolate.

    Classic BCBS look. Impenetrable black below a short tan-brown thick head but with short retention. Sheets of lacing while the head exists as I tip the glass, but the lacing mostly slides down quickly.

    This year-old 2020 BCBS tastes wonderful. Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, roasted, dark fruits. A slight bitterness begins in the middle and carries through somewhat unconvincingly into the aftertaste. The alcohol is ever present as a pleasant warming. This is without a doubt a world class sipping BA stout.

    The body is thick and viscous, with a smoothness broken up by the warmth.

    Overall, a superb ending of Thanksgiving Day.

    L: 4.25 | S: 4.75 | T: 4.75 | F: 4.75 | O: 4.5 | Rating: 4.67
     
  22. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (3,920) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    Who made a pickup today?

    Me!!!

    [​IMG]

    Very excited to try both variants (at a later date), and I think I’ll give one of the base a whirl tonight in this thread.
     
    GreenBayBA, Rug, FBarber and 14 others like this.
  23. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,421) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    I have my second new to me 2020 variant, I believe GI's first use of maple syrup.

    Bourbon County Brand Special #4 Stout

    [​IMG]


    Bottle Notes: Develops in the bottle up to 2 years, or until 9/14/22, so bottled on 9/15/20 @12:22. 13.3% ABV. Oatmeal stout aged in bourbon barrels with coffee and maple syrup. 16.9 oz. Notes of mocha, roasted nuts, sweet maple, and a touch of blueberry.

    In collaboration with friends, made with bourbon barrel aged maple syrup from Bissell maple farm and coffee from Intelligentsia.

    Appearance:
    Multiple pours into a GI 12 oz snifter. Dark brown base nice tan head leaves creamy ring above the base. 4.0

    Aroma:
    Peppery lead, dark roast coffee follows, faint maple syrup, all light to mild in strength, this after 10 minutes in. 3.5

    Taste:
    Dark roast grinds, bitter and strong which won't suit the taste of some, but hits my preference. Maple sweetness complements well, syrupy sweet and sticky. Barrel absent, coffee covers all. Similar to the 2020 Proprietor, the adjuncts overwhelm the barrel and are the greatest departures from a traditional BCBS taste and barrel profile. The nice roast dark coffee is the only point of recommendation. 3.25

    Mouthfeel:
    Medium body, syrup adds perceived thickness. Light fizzy complementary carbonation holds throughout. Dark roast coffee bitterness blocks out all else, a half hour in it is getting stronger and the anticipated barrel or other taste profiles did not materialize. ABV felt, though not tasted as the barrel is felt, not enjoyed. 3.25

    Overall:
    Despite my preference for coffee above all other adjuncts, the dark roast coffee was bitter and enjoyed, but this offering lacks the balance and complexity of BCBS offerings enjoyed throughout the years. Syrup adds a reprieve with blunt sweetness, but no barrel, no rich complex base to enjoy, this is the most poorly executed BCBS I can recall from memory. How the mighty have fallen. 3.5

    Meh, so glad I have no more of these, and over a dozen Cafe Deth / Cafe Supermassive Cafe Deth in my refrigerator. Hoping the last two planned for the weekend can exceed this adjunct dominating offering.

    The Revolution will NOT be televised, but will be enjoyed year-round except on Mondays and Tuesdays, on Kenzie Avenue.
     
  24. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,648) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    If you're taking requests, I'd like to see you open the cola one for the thread.
     
    GreenBayBA, FBarber, bbtkd and 13 others like this.
  25. BigIronH

    BigIronH Savant (956) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
    Society Trader

    I’m interested to see who got a Blantons or who even visited a store that got them. I got a ‘19 base and a 14, and a Double Barrel the other night. I passed on the 150 and the rest of the variants as well as the ‘21 base as it’s all but certain they’re going to sit anyhow and I’m sure I can try it at another time.
     
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  26. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,223) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
    Society

    I've never bought BCBS or variants on Good Friday before. First, I don't chase. Second, as of last year I've been avoiding in-store shopping anywhere as much as possible, and I'm still holding to that.

    HOWEVER, this year one of the retailers was allowing on-line ordering and curb-side pickup for BCBS and for those variants for which they had sufficient stock.

    Anyhow, I'll be picking up my order later this morning.

    We'll see which ones actually end up in the box at pickup. Sometimes the on-line inventory will show items in stock when they really aren't.
     
  27. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (3,920) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    So it is written, so it shall be done. In the fridge now, to be enjoyed later this evening or tomorrow.

    [​IMG]
     
  28. Raj

    Raj Disciple (339) Jun 25, 2014 Illinois
    Trader

    I opened up a 2017 Knob Creek reserve last night. Agree with the excellent review above by @zac16125 — lots of woody barrel notes, more chocolate and less dark fruit than standard bcbs. There is a nice charred oak character and cinnamon candy flavor to the finish, which is very reminiscent of Knob Creek. A little lighter in mouthfeel than standard bcbs but not thin. This one had been kicking around in my cellar for a bit. I didn’t have this beer fresh, it seems to be holding up well but I don’t think cellaring this longer is going to improve it.

    [​IMG]
     
  29. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (3,920) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    Good luck! I went to a store that’s about 10 minutes from our house and is BY FAR the best beer store in the area. The beer buyer from that store told me on Tuesday that he’d been able score some Fourteen, but their overall allotment was half of what they received in 2020, so everything would be sold on a ”first come, first served” basis.

    The store opened at 10 am this morning, so I got to the store around 8:45 am - and was first in line. So I sat in the car, and around 5 minutes later, two more cars pulled into the lot. We sat in our cars, then around 9:15 a couple more cars showed up, so we got out of our cars and very loosely lined up.

    It’s cold here today, but not anywhere near “Minnesota cold,” so standing outside wasn’t a chore. We talked beer - one guy was in from Iowa, so a lot of TG discussion and all of the 5 of us talking had been to Dark Lord Day, so a lotta DL chatter commenced (a common refrain - there is a LOT of Chemtrailmix floating around), and of course BCBS talk.

    The store employees showed up around 9:30, and by that time, the line was 20 or so deep. They said the BCBS hadn’t arrived yet, but they’d open early if it showed up before 10. And it did arrive early (though none of us in line saw it arrive), so we got in at 9:45 am.

    And were told we could purchase one variant, or two “base” BCBS. Reduced allotment indeed! They had the base, Fourteen, Cherrywood, and Cola, so I chose the Fourteen and was on my way an hour or so after arriving.

    Whilst I was driving home, I decided to swing by the beer store that’s 5 minutes from our house. It has a decent beer selection, but if the store I just visited scores a 98 (nearly A++) for their selection, the closer store scores a 71 (C-). They have the basics covered but neither the breadth nor the depth that beer nerds enjoy so much - you know, the guy that stands in the aisle for 45 minutes, pecking away furiously at his phone, checking the BA ratings. That’s me.

    Anywho, I walked in at 9:55 am. No line - in fact, I don’t think there was anyone in the store. I asked at the counter if they had any BCBS and the gentleman at the counter said, “You can purchase two of the base and one of the variants” and pointed to his left. They had the Cola and Cherrywood, so I chose the Cola and got my two base beers and was on my way home at 9:58.

    Total time inside the two stores (I share your concern about indoors and large gatherings): maybe 3 minutes.

    Total enjoyment derived from the process: priceless.
     
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  30. GrumpyGas

    GrumpyGas Poo-Bah (2,237) Apr 7, 2009 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Really enjoyed the Anniversary yesterday.
    [​IMG]
    Then the Caramela really put me to bed last night.

    Now having this year's Proprietor's. I was anticipating teeth dissolving sweetness.
    [​IMG]
    I am pleasantly surprised. I've let it warm for 20 minutes or so and the strawberry vanilla flavors stand out but do not overpower the base. Right out of the tap the aroma was pretty muted. Definitely a cake aroma with strawberry and vanilla, notes with a hint of coconut. Flavors match and the feel, thinner than the typical base, is still creamy and full.

    Thanks @Beer_Economicus for hosting.
     
  31. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (3,920) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
    Society Trader

    Now THAT is the way to hit the BCBS party train - bang out 3 or 4 variants in 5 oz pours on tap, then some food, then an Uber home.

    I agree on the Anniversary - traveshamockery good, IMHO.

    Is it just me, or is the ABV across the lineup lower this year? I know how ridonkulous that sounds when we're talking 12.8% - 14.3% ABV beers, but that's the feeling I get, and I am way too lazy to do much digging.

    I like the way you roll.
     
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  32. GrumpyGas

    GrumpyGas Poo-Bah (2,237) Apr 7, 2009 Illinois
    Society Trader

    I read somewhere they sacrificed abv for mouthfeel this year.

    Having this year's Cherry now. I will get the original to compare, but it seems like a little more ≈ something. Investigation continues.
     
  33. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,223) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
    Society

    Thanks!

    Just got back from my pick up. Contactless curb-side pickup, so no stories... :pensive:

    [​IMG]

    2 OG, 1 Fourteen and 1 Cherry Wood. They're all chilling in the 'fridge, along with one of last year's Caramella.
     
  34. jonphisher

    jonphisher Defender (672) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
    Trader

    Curious about that fourteen, unless I missed it I didn’t see it reviewed yet. I’m hoping to get around to opening one of my last remaining 2018 vanillas by the end of the weekend.
     
  35. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,648) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    [​IMG]


    For people unfamiliar with the above beer, Goose Island Suffolk County Stout was a beer released in early 2021. It was a riff on BCBS with an English twist. The beer was a collaboration with Adnams - a beer brewer and spirit distiller in Suffolk, England. It is an imperial stout brewed with English hops and English malts and then aged in Adnams Southwold Single Malt Whisky barrels.

    [​IMG]

    Adnams goes back to the late 1800s. They used to be imported to the US, but I haven't seen product from them in ages. I used to be able to find their cask beer on rare occasions. I miss drinking such beers and there really isn't an available similar drinking experience for me. UK beers from companies that aren't multinational are increasingly rare over here. Samuel Smith and Robinsons are the only two I can think of that still show up with decent availability. Pretty much everything else is held by some other big company. Oddly enough, this (extremely American) AB InBev beer is about as close as I can get today to drinking anything associated with Adnams. Adnams only started doing distilling in 2010 at their Copper House distillery. Their Single Malt Whisky is an award winner.

    It's interesting to note differences on the label between Suffolk County Stout and regular BCBS. Suffolk County is given a 2 year best by date as opposed to the 5 year date of BCBS. Suffolk County also states that the bottle contains live yeast. Does anybody know if this isn't the case for BCBS?

    Suffolk County is the usual opaque black. Tastes of char, licorice, dates, nuts, and wood. Reminds me of street asphalt. It's fruity, sweet, bitter, sharp, and has a touch of acidity. It's full bodied and very fizzy but with a small head. It's surprisingly drinkable once you adjust to it.

    [​IMG]

    Back when I obtained this bottle of Suffolk County, I grabbed a 2020 BCBS as well to do a side by side comparison. At first, I had some of each beer separate, and then I had them next to each other. When had separate, the regular BCBS came across as a far more decadent beer than the more austere Suffolk County. It was richer, sweeter, and had more coconut. But having them together painted a different picture and REALLY illustrated how a side by side comparison can change one's perception of a beer. It's not that one experience was necessarily false, but that the impression of something fluctuates.

    When I did my first blind comparison, I misidentified the beers. Suffolk County came across as fuller and bigger... and that was the opposite of my impression when having them separate. I tried two more blind comparisons (there's a lot of mileage in these bottles), and I misidentified them again. My take on these beers was clearly different when had simultaneously. I had a little left in each bottle and decided to take a break. After walking away from them for a bit, I did one final comparison and this time I identified them correctly. It seems like I needed to reset my palate due to the intensity of the beers.

    In the end, the coconut character of BCBS and the sharpness and acidity of Suffolk County pointed to which beer was which... but Suffolk County came across as the fuller beer... and that was what consistently threw me off the other times. It might be possible that the flavor differences of the two beers created different impressions of body and fullness in my mind when I had them on their own (with the luxurious flavors of BCBS creating a sense of a velvety body, and the drinkabilty of Suffolk creating the opposite impression), but when had together a different impression was created. Or maybe my tastebuds were just tired and overworked.

    I didn't open these beers with much enthusiasm, but I ended up really enjoying them. I give a lot of credit to the people in the art department at work here. It's clear that the parent company has a lot of muscle in this regard. People tend to speak poorly about the current BCBS bottles because they don't like the size compared to the previous 4 packs, but the designers have done an incredible job with the packaging of BCBS. The Suffolk County bottle has a more "English" feel with the oval label. I assume the lighthouse in the graphic is a nod to the Southwold Lighthouse. Here's a pic of it and the Sole Bay Inn - an Adnams pub. If international travel ever becomes a reality in my life again, the first place I would want to go is England to enjoy places like this.

    @FBarber @JackHorzempa @cavedave

    [​IMG]
     
  36. GrumpyGas

    GrumpyGas Poo-Bah (2,237) Apr 7, 2009 Illinois
    Society Trader

    This!!
    This....

    is why I come to BA. Great stories, relevant history, and appreciation for all that goes into the beer experience.

    THANK YOU.
     
  37. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,648) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Thank you to you too.
     
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  38. jonphisher

    jonphisher Defender (672) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
    Trader

    A great read as always @zid. Loved that one. Cheers.
     
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  39. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,905) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    I'm curious how you get good Friday and black Friday confused...
     
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  40. Roy_Hobbs

    Roy_Hobbs Champion (879) Jan 21, 2017 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    Excellent post all around. Well done
     
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