I see your -21 degree windchill and raise you a 12.9% abv barleywine…

I see your -21 degree windchill and raise you a 12.9% abv barleywine…

Goose Island Beer Company 2015 Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale, Chicago, IL

Goose Island 2015 Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale poured into a beer chalice.
Goose Island 2015 Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale

12.9% abv. The last version I tried was 12.3% abv and it was fabulous, so let’s see what this one brings. Bottled on October 28, 2015 making this over 2 years old. Remarkably, this is one of just a few dates of the 2015 release that was not recalled due to an unplanned exposure to a wild yeast. I feel lucky to have this one. It pours very dark brown with virtually no head. Burst of cherries, black strap molasses, and oak aromas upon opening the bottle. First sip is rich, sweet malt and dark fruit. Almost immediate alcohol warming, so this is perfect for a night that sports a -9 degree windchill that is falling to a -21 degree windchill in a few hours. All kinds of flavors bounce around the mouth including bourbon vanilla, cocoa, dates, figs, and anise. Oaky and sweet bourbon flavors get stronger with each sip. Full bodied and heavy on the tongue. A touch oily, yet viscous at the same time. Taste continues to develop with each sip…tawny port, sherry, toffee, caramel, and rum drenched raisins. Bourbon vanilla flavor lingers and lingers! This beer is boozy and delicious. Despite the disappointing sale to InBev, I am glad they have not messed with a good thing.