A Lame Duck From Goose Island

Type of Beer: Stout
Beer: Bourbon County Stout
Brewery: Goose Island
Rating: 3/10
Place of Purchase: Roger Wilco, Deptford, NJ
Bottling Date: NA

Nose: Bourbon, maybe a little bit of chocolate

Mouth: Thick, more bourbon. Slight chocolate. Sweet after taste. Doesn’t finish clean. Very bourbony in the finish.

Well, I was rather dissappointed in this. It got lots of raves and many people gushed over the idea of this beer being in my possesion. I was excited to try it and, well, it was off-putting. Seriously.

As a beer this is awful. It’s thick and syrupy. It coats everything it touches and the carbonation is barely present because of how thick it is. It reminds me of a bottle of flat Pepsi that sat in the sun all day. It was almost like drinking diluted glue. It was very dark too and there was something about the malt profile that wasn’t chocolate, coffee, caramel or any of the other dark roast malt flavors usually with a dark, heavy beer like this. It tasted almost burned. Not the good kinda of smokey, peaty burn that you get in a good scotch or even Jack Daniels. This almost had an acidic, ashy profile.

Speaking of profiles, this has a few. They collide with fury too. As I mentioned, the malt is a bit past the mark. The only bonus is that it provides for a sweet aftertaste but that may be more of an artifact of the bourbon casks than the malt. That bourbon? Yeah, it’s there. Way too much of it too. This doesn’t even taste like a beer. It tastes like bourbon that somebody spilled hot chocolate in. This is another off-putting flavor profile. It is so strong on the bourbon front that one actually expects the mouth feel and nose of bourbon and when you get this thick, syrupy gooey coating in your mouth…yeah.

Have you ever heard of “Dum-Dums”? They are lollipops that come in an assortment of flavors. Kind of like Jelly Belly jelly beans. Well, “Dum-Dums” have a flavor called “Buttered Popcorn”. The thing about this flavor is that it tastes EXACTLY like buttered popcorn. Even smells like movie theater popcorn. The problem is, this is a massive mind#$%& because you stick this in your mouth and your brain is screaming “YAY! POPCORN!” Your mouth though, it’s saying “No, dude, it’s a lollipop.” Your brain and mouth argue until your brain overrides your mouth and makes you chomp down on this lollipop like it’s a piece of forgiving popcorn. You crunh in to the hard candy and hopefully avoid breaking a tooth. Meanwhile, your mouth is telling your brain “SEE! TOLD YOU SO!” while your brain feebly tries to wrap itself around what just happened while muttering “I don’t get it!”

That’s what’s going on here. Only not with buttered popcorn flavor vs. lollipop texture. This is your braining seeing bourbon while your mouth is saying beer. If you like that sort of thing, go for this. Me, I don’t. I want a beer to taste like a beer. I’m all for experimenting with flavor profiles and adding hints of other such things like wine, scotch, bourbon and so on. It shouldn’t be the predominant flavor though and that’s what’s happened here. So this get lows marks because it’s marketed as a great beer but it’s clearly a really bad bourbon.

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