[Day 1] Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

Yeah. You guessed it. MY FAVORITE BEER IN THE WORLD.

Considering this whole 12 Beers of Christmas thing is supposed to be about holiday and winter beers, I’m feeling pretty lucky that my favorite beer on earth just happens to be a winter release. It makes writing this “Day 1” post so much better.

Some of you may remember when I wrote about this beer last year. Even then I couldn’t begin to tell you how amazing it was, and I hadn’t even had it in over two years. In addition, I couldn’t find it in Seattle and was super bummed about it.


Goose Island‘s Bourbon County Stout is the epitome of the bourbon barrel-aged beer. At nearly 15% abv, it might even kill you, but that’s ok because I swear it will be worth it.

And this year, I actually get to drink it again.


There is a bottle shop in West Seattle (The Beer Junction), and I have sort of made friends with the owner. Every year since I moved to Seattle I have asked him if he was going to get any Bourbon County. And every year he has regrettably told me no.

Until now.

This year, it happened.

Bourbon County was released in Seattle.

I almost died.

The best part of this story is that they got so few bottles that they didn’t even announce it on their Facebook page, which is where I had been looking. So when I went in on Monday and they didn’t have it, the guy told me to check back Tuesday or Wednesday because that was delivery day.

But I couldn’t go until Thursday. And it was gone. OH NOES!!!!

But then, like a beer angel, the guy behind the register comes around to the front holding a single 12oz bottle of Bourbon County Stout and presents it to me. He had put it behind the register just for me, knowing that I would be devastated if I didn’t get one. It was the last bottle for sale, he said.


It’s kind of funny that I’m writing this post now, seeing as I haven’t even drunk my bottle of BCS yet. But I will. And you can be sure I will tell you all about it. For now, I will simply say the following:

This beer has singlehandedly made me feel joy, sadness, excitement, and depression. It has made me feel warm and fuzzy and wonderful inside, and has brought friends together in an effort to consume a 22oz bottle. It is the most wonderful beer in the world, released only at the most wonderful time of the year.

So, dear friends, Merry Christmas to you all. Find some friends and enjoy your favorite brew this holiday season. And fear not, when I get back to Seattle I will drink my Bourbon County and let you know all about the ecstasy that is barrel-aged beer.


Drink #2: Bourbon County Stout

Most of you have never had this beer. And most likely, unless you happen to be in Chicago at just the right time, you never will have this beer. Sucks to be you.

Those of you Chicagoans who have tasted this glorious beauty, AM I RIGHT?? I think I am right.

Goose Island Brewing in Chicago releases this beer once a year, usually in late November. The first release disappears very quickly, but Goose Island is smart and continues to stagger the limited release beer until February. So if you’re savvy, you’ll wait until mid-late December and snag a bottle then.

And then you drink it.

And then you die a little bit inside. But only because nothing else will ever live up.

It’s like coffee and chocolate and bourbon, all rolled up into a single dark, syrupy, rich beverage. And at 15% ABV, you’ll feel sooooo goooooood afterwards.

A 750ml bottle split 4 ways is about the perfect way to drink this. Or if you are willing to spend a good hour on it, you can drink a 12oz bottle yourself (I have done this, it is wonderful). But do not, under ANY circumstances, attempt to drink an entire 750ml bottle alone. The first reason is that it’s stronger than wine, so you’ll be drunk as shit. The second is that it is just so rich that about halfway through you’ll hate the beer and hate yourself, but mostly you’ll hate the beer and it will be very sad. Don’t hate the beer, please.

I have been waiting for 2 years now to get this beer out in Seattle, but to no avail. They were supposed to send it out here in December, but it didn’t happen. I might have to make it back to Chicago sometime soon…