To what do you attribute the ABV% Creep in Bourbon County Stout?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by JJFoodie, Feb 2, 2013.

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  1. JJFoodie

    JJFoodie Initiate (194) May 11, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    So, as all of us Texans are waiting with baited breath for GI to fully arrive, the debate of whether or not we as BAs will support them as an InBev line is raging. While people are split about supporting GI, the general consensus is that it may only be a matter of time before our beloved BCBS is tampered with through cost-cutting measures, rendering it a shadow of itself. That started me thinking about the rise in ABV% over the past few years from 13%, then 14.5%, and now 15%. Positively or not, and from a cost-cutting/profit-maximizing standpoint or not, it seems as if the beer has already been at least tweaked. I'm just curious as to what the BA community may believe the reason for the creep in ABV% may be, and what it may or may not mean for the beer's future...sorry for the long-windedness (shit, even THAT was long!), but I haven't had a creative outlet all day and so this is away, my BA family!

  2. sleuthdog

    sleuthdog Devotee (430) Oct 21, 2008 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Not going to help answer your question but I can say as I'm sure many others will attest to...this years batch is outstanding and there has been no degradation in quality due to the buy out. BCBS lives on!!!!
  3. Blanco

    Blanco Devotee (458) Oct 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    fmccormi likes this.
  4. PsilohsaiBiN

    PsilohsaiBiN Defender (614) Aug 10, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Still one of the best beers ever, but now that Laffler is gone...
    beercules101 likes this.
  5. beercules101

    beercules101 Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2012 British Indian Ocean Territory

    Pretty damn difficult to dial in a high abv beer to a consistent ABV. Dogfish Head says 120 Minute, WWS, and Raison D'extra is 18% but certain batches have been less and some even higher. Not sure why its rising over the years though, an issue with blending barrels as production increases perhaps? But I would never expect vintages to be exactly the same.

    sleuth is right though, 2012 is drinking phenomenally right now.
    seeswo likes this.
  6. Crackerroll

    Crackerroll Initiate (0) Jan 16, 2011 Missouri

  7. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Initiate (0) Jul 24, 2011 Maine

    I read something about yeast strains evolving over time to handle more alcohol before dying off...I think it may have been Jim Koch talking about it...not sure if that applies here...but it's one possibility.
    afrokaze likes this.
  8. mdvatab

    mdvatab Zealot (574) Apr 5, 2006 Indiana

    As others have said-- the bottom line is, '12 BCBS is drinking deliciously. Ratings and many other threads/postings support my opinion. Why not try it and form your own opinion, though? As far as there being some link between the rise in ABV and an ABInbev profit grab of some sort, could you please explain how this might work? I'm not above conspiracies, but I don't get it. The following potential contributors to more alcohol come to mind:

    --Higher-gravity wort due to more malt? (more sugar than before, but should be more expensive)
    --Higher-gravity wort due to addition of another type of sugar like table sugar? (wouldn't this thin the body of the beer?)
    --Higher ABV finished product due to some kind of spirit (whiskey? vodka? Everclear?) added? (Higher cost? Thinner body?)
    --Higher ABV from whiskey barrels (more time in the barrels? different barrels?)

    Who knows what's going on? At the end of the day, though, I think it comes down to this question: If a company can make a product as good or better while increasing their profits, be it ABI, Dogfish Head, or Sierra f'ing Nevada, are you against it?
  9. LiquidCourage

    LiquidCourage Initiate (158) Nov 1, 2012 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    I dont see why InBev would tamper with Bourbon County Stout? Its probably the only Goose Island beer that flies off the shelves. How many other beers can get away with $24 for a four pack?
  10. weatherdog

    weatherdog Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2007 Illinois

    Bourbon County was awesome before Laffler's time and it'll continue to be awesome after it. He's not god, people. There are plenty of capable people still left running the show over there.
  11. Spider889

    Spider889 Savant (976) Mar 24, 2010 Ohio
    Industry Beer Trader

    You mean until they all "take sanctuary" at the new Lagunitas brewery... ;-)
    afrokaze likes this.
  12. TwelveOunces

    TwelveOunces Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2011 Kentucky

    The rise in ABV seems pretty obvious to me. People's palates are expanding as fast as the craft beer industry. People can handle bigger beers. I would be surprised if it didnt keep going up.
  13. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Initiate (0) Jul 24, 2011 Maine

    I'll take a pallet of 18% ABV BCBS for my palate now please.
  14. MasterCraft

    MasterCraft Initiate (0) Sep 2, 2012 Massachusetts

    That reasoning strikes me as pretty silly, and certainly not obvious.
    weatherdog likes this.
  15. TwelveOunces

    TwelveOunces Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2011 Kentucky

    When was the last time a beer has dropped in ABV? Beers are getting stronger everywhere.
  16. fujindemon74

    fujindemon74 Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    The reason for the %abv creep?

    My prayers being answered.
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