19 April 2010

Coming out of the walls

The beer gods have been trying to force Goose Island's Bourbon County stout down me for a couple of months now. First it appeared in local off licences, then I got given a bottle from a returnee from the US (cheers again, Derek), and then James the proprietor of The Salt House forced some upon me when I was last in Galway. Obviously, a 13% ABV bourbon-barrel-aged stout from an excellent Chicago microbrewery wouldn't be my thing at all, but it's been hard to resist. It's only recently that I finally decided to sit down and get it out of my system. Or into my system. Whatever.

I followed James's recommendation and accompanied it with a cigar: a spicy Ecuadorian number imported by my globetrotting sister and really rather pleasant. But this isn't a cigar blog.

Above all, Bourbon County is sweet -- thick, molasses-like, with chocolate in spades and masses of blow-your-head spirit or liqueur notes. It wears its whisky ancestry very prominently: you don't get much by way of wood flavours, just lots and lots of Kentucky firewater. Of the smoothest sort imaginable, of course, adding a lovely touch of balance.

I wouldn't say the cigar is necessary to enjoy it, nor does it add much to the flavour, but it certainly doesn't interfere with it either: you could have this with a pickled skunk curry and still pick out the beer's flavour complexities. It demands your attention and it's more than welcome to mine a second time over.


  1. Sounds like a great pairing though. I was doing some cigar-beer pairing experiments myself last week while on holiday. CABPOW anyone? :D

  2. Haha! Bitchin'!

    Happy birthday, btw.

  3. I hope you puffed the cigar and said the words "I love it when a plan comes together" It's the law to say that whenever you have a stogie in your hand.

  4. Thank you, Mr. Nut.

    CL, I say that, but usually inside my head. I don't know what the German Hannibal said...