Goose Island Bourbon County Stout 2022

Last year I was just about to head home from the States so I stopped by a liquor store with a good craft beer selection, as I usually do. I already knew I was over the limit on beer I had to bring back to Canada so while this beer was calling my name.. it didn't 100% bother me to not buy it until the next time I made a visit to the states 2-3 months later. The beer was Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout. Thankfully for me, a good friend gifted me a bottle of it pre-COVID so I got to review that way back then.. It's just one of those beers that still happens to be one of those holy grails of beers.. even when owned by one of the largest beverage companies in the world, AB InBev.

I don't need to say much more about Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout - it's a masterpiece, it's boozy, it's sweet and it's incredibly decadent - a dessert in a bottle.. and this bottle is listed as 14.3% ABV - definitely a beer you need to share with a couple of friends ("Friends.. Ha.. what friends?" as Cody thinks to himself about to review this beer)

Appearance: The body is pitch black with a moderate amount of burnt caramel head on top. The head diminishes quite quickly to the point that there's only a slim amount of bubbles around the rim of the glass and right immediately on top of the beer. 

Aroma: Brown sugar, molasses, dark chocolate, oak, vanilla and a sweet & boozy caramelly Bourbon aroma in there. If this were a chocolate bar.. this would probably my favourite chocolate bar! Tad smokey.

Taste: My very first impression (after several years) was that it was a bit watery the instant it hit my palate but then nope nope nope.. I get a very rich creamy, silky presence caressing the tongue.. nice! It's quite sweet with caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, a mild earthy peat-like presence and a very heavy dose of Bourbon to give it a booziness like no other. Definitely a sipper, quite desserty and chocolatey as well. 

Overall Thoughts: I didn't look at my review notes of the 2018 edition until I finished the 2022 review but I felt pretty snobby/negative with this one. Well, I guess this batch was more balanced - the Bourbon, the vanilla, the oak, the chocolate.. etc. It's sweet, sure, but it's definitely a 'winter evening, sink into your chair, watch your favourite hockey team score a bunch of goals' kind of beer. 14.3% is boozy, I do feel it warming me up, but that's a given.

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