Bourbon County Stout gets Aussie release

Out Friday: Bourbon County Stout

We’re used to the sight of people lining up in all conditions to get their hands on the latest mobile phone, but would you do the same for one of the world’s best beers?

That’s exactly what the beer community is expecting when Chicago brewing company, Goose Island, brings 900 bottles of their limited edition Bourbon County Stout (BCS) to Melbourne next week, in an Australian first.

After years of being fiercely coveted by the beer community in the US, Goose Island’s limited edition Bourbon County Stout is heading to Australia with a very limited release, to be first tapped atmidnightthe evening ofThursday 23 November. Those in the attendance will be the first in the world to get a taste of this rare brew in 2017.

Bourbon County Stout dates back to the early 1990s when Brewmaster, Greg Hall, brewed the first batch of BCS. As the name suggests, the stout was aged in bourbon barrels in a process so renowned it warranted a documentary ‘Grit and Grain: The Story of Bourbon County Stout’.

In explaining what makes BCS so special, and so highly regarded, by beer enthusiasts globally, Ken Stout, President of Goose Island International, said it was like nothing else in the world.

“There really is no other beer out there quite like it. We’ve learned a lot in our two plus decades of barrel aging at Goose Island. One of the things we’ve discovered is that the weather in Chicago is a really big advantage for aging in bourbon barrels. Our barrel aging warehouse is not temperature controlled, because we want the barrels to be exposed to the full range of temperature fluctuation. In the heat of the summer, the pores in the barrel staves expand, and our base beer can then penetrate deeply into the wood. And of course it’s deep in those staves where the bourbon rested at the distillery. So we end up pulling all of these beautiful residual flavours from the barrel, such as vanilla, char notes, hints of wood, and of course, the wonderful aromas and flavours that the bourbon left behind. And then, in the depth of winter, when temperatures can reach as low as 20 below (Fahrenheit), those same pores contract and ‘squeeze’ the BCS back into the belly of the barrel. That’s how we get so many different layers of flavours in BCS. And that takes experience, expertise, and time, as we age for close to a year for each BCS batch” said Stout.

Previous BCS releases in the US have seen beer connoisseurs queue in the ice cold streets of Chicago – and elsewhere around the States – to get their hands on a bottle, waiting hours on the notorious Black Friday day after Thanksgiving – when it is released in limited amounts each year.

Punters will be able to get their hands on a taste of Bourbon County Stout atmidnightthe evening of23 Novemberat Forester’s Pub & Dining in Melbourne, Uncle Hops at The Bank in Sydney, and Dutch Trading Co. in WA.

BCS brew will go on sale for $29 on the morning of the November 24that Slowbeer in Fitzroy, Melbourne and Cutty Cellars in Crows Nest, Sydney. A very limited supply will be available on BoozeBud as well.

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