English Barleywine

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Barleywine (2014)

The arrival of Goose Island’s annual Bourbon County series is one of the most anticipated and hyped beer releases of the year. For the last couple of years the lineup for the release has been the standard stout, a coffee version of the stout and a barleywine that all see pretty wide national distribution. There are also two much harder to get variants that change from year to year as well. This year’s stout variants were vanilla rye and Proprietor’s, which was a cinnamon chocolate stout this year. The beers are simultaneously released across the country on Black Friday. This massive release throws the beer nerd universe into temporary chaos with people waiting in line for hours to get their hands on the elusive bottles.

Firestone Walker §ucaba (2014)

My introduction to bourbon barrel aged beers began much like my introduction to sour beers, with a brewery considered to be among the best in the world at the style: Firestone Walker. In this case that formative beer was Parabola, an impeccable bourbon barrel-aged Russian imperial stout and I've been a Firestone Walker fan from that day since. Since that experience, I've made it a point to get my hands on and try as many of Firestone's annual bourbon barrel releases as possible.