A bottle of Goose Island stout
Every 2023 Goose Island Bourbon County Variant, Ranked
6. Angel's Envy 2-Year
Angel's Envy is highly regarded as a game-changer for innovating the second-barrel finish, but replicating that proved tricky for the Goose Island team.
There's a sourness here that doesn't quite play right. Imagine making a beer cocktail of a flat lambic with a cask stout, and you'll have a rough idea of the incongruent notes.
5. Bananas Foster
Bananas Foster was another challenge for the brewing team, ultimately using 10,000 pounds of almonds. The beer is all bananas on your nose — real nice ones, too.
Sadly, it comes across as a bit scorchy when you sip it, and it tastes more like the flambé than its caramel remains. It'd be better if there were a smidge less singe.
4. Eagle Rare 2-Year
This sipping stout has the same notes as the Original, but condensed. It lands in the middle placement as it features everything great about the other beers.
3. Backyard
From underneath this drink’s imperial stout weight wafts the aroma of three kinds of berries: mulberry, boysenberry, and marionberry. However, it's still pretty stouty.
The Backyard actually tastes more like wine than the port wine-casked Angel's Envy finish. It has a manageable 12.9% ABV and gives a deceptively drinkable flourish.
2. Bourbon County Original
The Bourbon County Original spent an average of 12 months aging in used bourbon barrels, and it has notes of chocolate, cherry, rye bread, and banana.
The taste delivers dark chocolate with attendant fruitiness. Heavy at the first sip, the BCS series returns to what it does best: being a terrific, flavorful, and filling beer.
1. Proprietor's
The team at Chicagoland assembled "a beer worthy of the city of Chicago" based on rice pudding. In it, you'll mainly pick up the smell of brownie and blondie.
The actual raisins used burst forward, while the cassia bark is surprisingly subtle. The brown sugar is evident from nose to finish, and the final beer is sweet and fruity.