One of the best parts of being a Cubs fan is Friday day games in the bleachers. Last week, we cut out a little early and headed for that little slice of paradise at corner of Clark & Addison. And while a true to form beer review of Wrigley would basically be a review of one of the all time greatest beers- Old Style- we decided the eschew the standard offerings and quench our thirst at Goose Island following the game. Here’s a quick run through of my four favorite beers from our stop.
Goose Island- Bourbon County Brand Stout 2015 Rare (14.8% ABV Barrel Aged Imperial Stout)
We get things rolling with the 16th highest rated beer of all time per Untappd. At 14.8%, it was one of the more “approachable” beers on draft. 2015 Rare was aged in 30 year old Heaven Hill Barrels for 2 years and has held up incredibly well since being bottled in 2015. The nose is almost maple syrupy sweet with loads of chocolate. The palate thins some, but is otherwise perfect. The finish is full of soft fruit, cherry wood, and leather. This is a beer that in 2015 was truly ahead of it’s time.
Goose Island- Bourbon County Brand Stout 2018 4 Year Double Barrel Eagle Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout (18.8% ABV Barrel Aged Imperial Stout)
Fasten your seatbelts, here we go with the almost 19% ABV stouts! This beer was aged for four, yes, FOUR years in Eagle Rare barrels. Eagle Rare is of the Buffalo Trace family of bourbons, so I was looking forward to a fruity, yet spicey beer. As expected, the nose of this beer was very wood forward. The palate was thick and packed full of sweet chocolate. As expected, the finish was hot, extremely boozy, and full of cherry.
Goose Island- Bourbon County Brand Stout Triple Barrel (18.8% ABV Barrel Aged Imperial Stout)
Our next high velocity pour was Triple Barrel stout. Triple Barrel was aged for 20 months in fresh bourbon barrels from 3 different distilleries- Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace, and Woodford Reserve. What could possibly go wrong? This beer basically obliterated my palate- a trip to the lumberyard through and through. Every time I tried to pull out another flavor, I just kept coming back to oak. A wonderful statement on why wood and stout is one of the greatest pairings of all time.
Goose Island- Bourbon County Brand Stout 2019 Proprietors Stout (14.5% ABV Barrel Aged Imperial Stout)
We dial it back with our last beer and finish up with 2019 prop which comes in at a lean 14.5% ABV. The 2019 vintage of Prop was adjuncted with toasted pecans, coconut, cocoa, and vanilla, which is supposed to remind the drinker of Tiramisu. I got a sweet, vanilla maple nose with a syrupy thick palate. The adjuncts are the focus, but the barrel and base beer cut through just right. A wonderful way to wrap up a great day in the city.
And just like that, another week in the books. We head into the Memorial Day weekend grateful for all of our servicemen and women who have given us the opportunity to enjoy time with our families and enjoy plenty of great beer. Until next time, cheers!