Chameleon’s Pub in Mount Vernon Hosting Bourbon Barrel Aged Beer Tapping January 30th!


It’s always great to see a small town bar, especially my favorite watering hole, get their hands on some brews that most small town bars aren’t able to land. Chameleon’s Pub and Grub here in Mt. Vernon will have their own barrel-aged tap takeover that will feature this year’s Goose Island Bourbon County stout and also feature 3 Iowa brewed barrel aged beers. The event is next Thursday January 30th, stop on in if you’re around the Mt. Vernon area! Here are more deets on these tappings:

Winter is in full swing in Iowa and what could be better than belling up to the bar with a barrel aged brew to warm your insides. We will be tapping four beautifully crafted barrel aged brews featuring the nationally renown Bourbon County from Chicago’s Goose Island Barrel House along side three local brews. We will be offering specially priced flights on the night of the event so you can try all four! These beers are very limited and will go fast so be sure to stop before they go.

This year’s Bourbon County Stout, aged in a mix of Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace, and Wild Turkey barrels, yields a rich, complex mouthfeel. Flavors of cocoa, fudge, vanilla, caramel, almond, plus leather and tobacco, permeate this beer and deepen with each sip. At 14.7 ABV it won’t take long to forget the cold and to feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Our local options are as followed;

2019 Jesus on a Forklift a barrel-aged imperial rye stout from Exile Brewing Co. of Des Moines, Iowa. This heavy hitter was aged for 9 months in first use Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels and gives of flavors and aromas of rich chocolate, with bourbon and the rye lending some spiciness.

Back Road coconut porter aged in Jim Beam barrels from Millstream Brewing Co. out of Amana Iowa. Black malt and roasted barley give the beer its color, and coffee-like flavors.

Wake the F Up Iowa Imperial Coffee stout from Backpocket Brewing out of Coralville, Iowa. This beer features coffee from our fellow Mount Vernon business owners and friends at Wake Up Iowa Coffee and is barrel aged it in Cedar Ridge and Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels to make Wake The F Up Iowa – an imperial coffee stout that’s plenty boozy, plenty smooth.

2015 Bourbon County Lineup Announced

Goose Island chicagoThanks to the Beer Counselor for the link to the Chicago Tribune article announcing the lineup for 2015 Bourbon County Stout. Obviously, not sure what Iowa will see, but you can expect every year to be a Black Friday beer shopping spree and I’m sure it will continue to get busier. The following is courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:

  • Bourbon County Brand Stout
  • Bourbon County Brand Barleywine
  • Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, made with Intelligentsia’s Los Delirios Nicaraguan coffee bean
  • Bourbon County Brand Regal Rye Stout, made with blackberry juice, cocktail cherries and sea salt
  • Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout, made with maple syrup aged in bourbon barrels, toasted pecans and guajillo peppers
  • Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout, which is being aged for two years in 35-year-old Heaven Hill whiskey barrels.

To read further on each of these releases please view the article here, terrific read:

Goose Island finalizes Bourbon County Stout Lineup

gooseThe following article comes courtesy of Chicago Tribune writer Josh Noel. Another Black Friday release should see beer lovers hitting the liquor stores early! Cheers!

Goose Island has finalized its roster of 2014 releases in its vaunted Bourbon County Stout series, all of which will be released, as usual, on Black Friday. This year that lands on Nov. 28. lists seven of the world’s top 20 beers as from the Bourbon County Stout series. The rankings may be due for a shakeup.

Here’s Goose Island’s lineup:
Bourbon County Brand Stout: Same recipe has always, this bourbon barrel-aged stout will be available nationally in four-packs.
Proprietors: The second annual release under the Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout will feature panela sugar that’s made into a syrup with coconut water, Cassia bark (which is essentially cinnamon) and cocoa nibs. (Last year’s version, a stout aged in rye whiskey barrels with toasted coconut, might have been the brewery’s best release of 2013.) Available only in Chicago, in 22-ounce bottles.
Vanilla Rye: Goose’s previous stab at a Vanilla Bourbon County Stout beer, in 2010, remains one of the brewery’s most-lauded beers ever. A return seemed inevitable, and here it is — sort of.

This incarnation is aged in rye whiskey, instead of bourbon, barrels. Goose is using barrels from four different distilleries, then blending the results before bottling. Each rye barrel is aging with two pounds of vanilla beans from Mexico and Madagascar. There will be limited nationwide availability in 22-ounce bottles.
Coffee: An annual staple, but with a different coffee infusion every year, the 2014 incarnation features Rwandan coffee from Intelligentsia. Available in four-packs nationally.

Barleywine: This beer debuted last year and will be similar to the original, featuring “third use” barrels — former Kentucky bourbon barrels that later housed Bourbon County Stout before hosting the barelywine. Available in four-packs of 12-ounce bottles.

The Hot 25 of 2013 PART 1!

25Deviating a bit from my last posts as the best “new” beers of the year, I’m going back to a topic that usually gets a lot of great beer talk going throughout the Eastern Iowa beer lovers: The Best Beers of 2013!

Now, all of these beers have to have been available for purchase at any Eastern Iowa beers stores, brewpubs, or breweries. There are a few that stayed on from last year and some brand new ones this year. Overall, it was a really great year for beer in Eastern Iowa and the future continues to look promising. These are all beers I’ve TRIED this year, I have some that are still in the cellar that haven’t been cracked, so I might have left some off. Feel free to email me your list of the best in Eastern Iowa or your state this year! I’ll do this in 5 installments, so without further ado…….

big grove**Big Grove Brewery Good Day to DIPA**
My favorite release so far from the folks in Solon, IA. A wonderfully balanced double IPA that gives you the citrus, reisonous pine, and the balance of the malts that we seek in our double IPAs. If you haven’t visited this place, the beer is excellent and food is just as good. A must visit location if you are in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area. A dynamite combo is this double IPA with their Korean Chicken wings. My mouth is watering!


mornin' delight**Toppling Goliath Mornin’ Delight**
I’m not sure if I’ve wrote about a beer as much as I have about Mornin’ Delight. The original release garnered a bit of publicity, but it has blown up into much more since that wonderful Saturday morning in Decorah. This and the Kentucky Brunch release might highlight my favorite beer moments of 2013! The trade demand out there is incredibly high for this brew so if you still have a bottle of the greatness, count yourself lucky!

From the brewery:

Brewer’s Choice, debuted at Great Taste of the Midwest 2011. A Russian Imperial Stout. Breakfast of champions, just add pancakes. Made with real maple syrup and a super secret brewers’ ingredient.

RATEBEER: 100/100

backwoods**Founders Backwoods Bastard**
When I think of the fall/winter season this is the first beer that pops into my head. One of the first real “big beers” to hit the chilly months and it is the perfect accompaniment to a chilly autumn or brutally cold winter day. Didn’t finish your case of this? No worries, it ages pretty damn nice as well. From the brewery:

Big and delicious for your ’perty mouth. Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts. A bit of earthy spice and a scintilla of dark cherries. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.
RATEBEER: 100/100

Goose Island**Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout**
As much as I try not to support Anheiuser Busch, I just can’t ignore this brew. It really is that damn good and the variants I’ve had are also excellent. I was fortunate enough to be in East Dubuque, IL area during the release and walked right in to get my allotment. If you haven’t visited Family Beer and Liquor the management there are some of the nicest, most helpful people around. Black Friday will never be the same! From the brewery:

“I really wanted to do something special for our 1000th batch at the original brewpub. Goose Island could have thrown a party. But we did something better. We brewed a beer. A really big batch of stout-so big the malt was coming out of the top of the mash tun. After fermentation we brought in some bourbon barrels to age the stout. One hundred and fifty days later, Bourbon County Stout was born-A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with a thick foam the color of bourbon barrels. The nose is a mix of charred oak, vanilla,carmel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. It overpowers anything in the room. People have even said that it’s a great cigar beer, but I haven’t yet tried a cigar that would stand up to it.” Brewmaster Greg Hall; 
RATEBEER: 100/100

enjoy by**Stone Enjoy By….**
For my last beer on this installment I go with one of my all-time favorites. Say what you will about Stone, they turn out some fantastic beers and this one is my favorite. A brewery that isn’t scared to push the envelope and give us beer drinkers a unique experience which we enjoy 9/10, hits a major home run every time with this brew! And the good news? We should be seeing more of this on our shelves next week! From the brewery:

You have in your hands a devastatingly fresh double IPA. While freshness is a key component of many beers- especially big, citrusy, floral IPAs- we’ve taken it further, a lot further, in this IPA. You see, we specifically brewed it NOT to last. We’ve not only gone to extensive lengths to ensure that you’re getting this beer in your hands within an extraordinarily short window, we made sure that the Enjoy By date isn’t randomly etched in tiny text somewhere on the bottle, to be overlooked by all but the most attentive of retailers and beer fans. Instead, we’ve sent a clear message with the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right now to enjoy this IPA.

RATEBEER: 100/100

There’s part 1 of “THE LIST”, stay tuned to more in the next few weeks! Don’t agree or do agree? I would love to hear your thoughts, unless you’re an uppity prick, then nevermind!

Goose Island BCS Event at Oakland Road Hy-Vee

bcsI just received the following email from the Oakland Road Hy-Vee in Cedar Rapids, IA. Hope everyone gets a chance to get a few bottles of this brew!

Stop by this Friday and get your Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. We will start selling at noon on Friday. This will be limited and on a first come first serve basis. We will also be sampling some other tasty treats from Goose Island. Here is a list of what will be pouring


Goose Island 2009 Christmas Ale

Goose Island Matilda

Goose Island Juliet

Goose Island Halia

Goose Island Lolita

Goose Island Gillian

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout Release Date

bbcsBlack Friday usually has mothers’ and wives dragging their spouses out in the wee hours of the day to shop for the holidays. This year, it might be easier to get the fellas out and about as Goose Island will release their much anticipated Bourbon County Stout beers and variants on Black Friday. Here’s more from

(Chicago, IL) – Goose Island Beer Company announced its lineup of Bourbon County Brand Stout variants for the upcoming winter season on Friday. More details below…

This Black Friday, November 29, Goose Island Beer Company will be releasing this year’s much anticipated Bourbon County family.

The original bourbon barrel aged stout, Bourbon County Brand Stout, will be available in limited quantities in ALL STATES, where legal.

Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout is made with our neighbors and collaborators Intelligentsia Coffee with Los Inmortales coffee beans from El Salvador. Available this year in 4pks in limited quantities.

New releases this year include:

Bourbon County Brand Barleywine:
Aged in third use bourbon barrels (previously bourbon and Bourbon County Brand Stout)
Available in 4pks in limited quantities

Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout:
Aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels with fresh mulberries, marionberries, and boysenberries
Available in 22oz Bombers in even more limited quantities

Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout:
Available ONLY IN CHICAGO, thanks for all the support over the past 25 years.
Aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels with coconut toasted by our brewers
Available in 22oz Bombers in VERY limited quantities

Beer Review #99: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

bcsThe very first barrel-aged beer America stills stands strong today as Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout continues to make beer headlines nationwide as one of/if not the best barrel-aged beer around. I got up very early on a cold Iowa Tuesday morning to capture the prize of a few four-packs of this brew, and was glad I did. As I have slowly evolved into a barrel-aged beer lover, I’ve come to appreciate what the booze offers a really good crafted stout. Earlier in my beer drinking days, I would have scoffed, and possibly spit this beer out proclaiming it to be too boozy and downright undrinkable, but now, I relish the opportunity to taste the vanilla from the bourbon and oak flavor from the barrel.

Goose Island has made many headlines in the beer world this last few years as the Evil Empire that is AB-InBev bought them out, and as much as I avoid buying the big 3, I’ve also come to appreciate that Goose Island hasn’t sacrificed their quality of product with the buyout…. yet, and I hope they never do.

From the brewery:

“I really wanted to do something special for our 1000th batch at the original brewpub. Goose Island could have thrown a party. But we did something better. We brewed a beer. A really big batch of stout-so big the malt was coming out of the top of the mash tun. After fermentation we brought in some bourbon barrels to age the stout. One hundred and fifty days later, Bourbon County Stout was born-A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with a thick foam the color of bourbon barrels. The nose is a mix of charred oak, vanilla,carmel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. It overpowers anything in the room. People have even said that it’s a great cigar beer, but I haven’t yet tried a cigar that would stand up to it.”

I will be letting a few four packs age and hopefully at some point I can put together a vertical tasting of this beer, but as I was sipping the last one, (about 2 weeks ago), and as it warmed, it might have been the best barrel-age I’ve tasted. The aroma of the vanilla shines through the longer this beer sits, and as I finished the last half of it, it started tasting like a liquid form of an almond joy candy bar. Anyone else get that flavor? Such a great beer to sit and sip on, especially on a cold winter night! The alcohol warms you up nicely but does not overpower the fantastic flavor of this wonderfully well-crafted brew.  Cheers!


Style: Imperial Stout


Purchased at: Hy-Vee

Pour: Viscous black pour, very thick.

Aroma: Bourbon sweetness, vanilla, coconut.

Flavor: Chocolate flavor, the bourbon is there, coconut is well. Liquid almond joy (that can get you drunk) rating: 100/100 rating: 100/100

Overall: A

My recommendation: A fantastic beer, proceed with caution as a few of these could put you on your ass pretty quick. If you are not into barrel-aged beers this would be something great to try with a group of people at a tasting event.