Chicago brewery Goose Island is known for its bourbon-barrel aged Bourbon County beers. Sarasota and Manatee counties will finally be getting these beers, which are going on sale on Nov. 29, Black Friday, according to a news release from Gold Coast Eagle Distributing in Lakewood Ranch.
We'll be getting four Bourbon County beers. I've never had any of them, so here are their descriptions from the news release:
"Bourbon County Brand Stout has been recognized by judges at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. BCBS is dark and dense in a powerful yet silky body made to be sipped. Its nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and smoke; finishing with a signature bourbon heat only this bold stout could harness. The beer is 14.5 percent alcohol-by-volume, develops in the bottle for up to five years and is sold in four packs of 12-ounce bottles."
"Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout is brewed using coffee roasted from Intelligentsia Coffee, Goose Island’s next-door neighbor at the Fulton Street brewery. Each year, Goose Island’s brewers collaborate with the coffee experts at Intelligentsia to select a new bean. With the change in coffee comes a change in the flavor profile, making each release truly unique from the previous years. The beer is 14.3 percent alcohol-by-volume, develops in the bottle for up to five years and is sold in four packs of 12-ounce bottles."
"Bourbon County Brand Barleywine is new in 2013 and is aged in the third-use barrels that were once home to Kentucky bourbon and then Bourbon County Brand Stout. This traditional English-style barleywine possesses the subtlety of flavor that only comes from a barrel that’s gone through many seasons of ritual care. The intricacies of the previous barrel denizens – oak, charcoal, hints of tobacco and vanilla, and that signature bourbon heat – are all present in this beer. Hearty and complex, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine is a titan and a timeline; a bold, flavorful journey through the craft of barrel aging. The beer is 14.2 percent alcohol-by-volume, develops in the bottle for up to five years and is sold in four packs of 12 ounce bottles."
"Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout is new for 2013 and is aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels with fresh mulberries, marionberries, and boysenberries and full of dark, spicy and pleasantly sweet flavors, this trio of berries nicely complements the flavors imparted from the barrel resulting in a smooth, jammy stout perfect for sipping on your back porch. The beer develops in the bottle for up to five years and is sold in 22-ounce bombers."
The release notes that Goose Island created the bourbon-barrel aged beer category in 1992. I know by reputation that these are very limited releases with consequently high prices. Don't dally if you want to try them.