Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout

Review Date 3/9/2019     By John Staradumsky

Birthday beer! I was sitting out on my patio drinking birthday beer on March 14th of 2021. Rummaging through my collection of brews, I decided to drink my bottle of Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout. This is a 2017 release, and I believe that was the last year that Goose Island brewed it up. I bought it in 2018, the weekend after Thanksgiving, at Target of all places.

This version of Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout is labeled as “stout aged in bourbon barrels with blueberry juice and almond extract added.” The label also promises “Aromas of rich dark chocolate, fresh blueberry, and nutty marzipan.” I would be drinking this with about 3 ½ years of age on it. That’s chump change for a barrel aged beer of this magnitude.

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout 2017 has an alcohol content of 12.6% by volume and I paid $18.99 for my bottle. It is marked on the label as packaged 10AUG17. I actually saw this at Total Wine on Black Friday of 2017 for $24, but that price is far too much for one bottle of beer.

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout 2017 pours to a jet-black color with a light creamy tan head on a vigorous pour and a nose of roasted malts, subtle blueberry fruit and boozy bourbon. Taking a sip, the beer is full in body, chocolaty, roasty, quite woody (in fact more woody to me than bourbony), and pops with blueberry fruit in the finish as well as a hint of raisin. The almond comes through, too, if you search for it, and the bourbon booziness I wanted at the fore does come forward a little more in the finish. The beer ends dry and boozy, and I have to say this is rather good.

This is a tasty beer indeed, though not my favorite of the Bourbon County Brand line. I would give it 4 ½ stars to style and hedonistically. I did very much enjoy it, you see. The sticking point is going to be the price. While this is, as I said, good, it is not $19 a bottle good. I will deduct a full star for that super high price. Would I buy it again? Sadly, at that price, I would not.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.