In an unassuming red brick building in the Garfield Park neighborhood, thousands of beer filled bourbon barrels lay carefully resting. While most contain expressions of their renowned Bourbon County Stout, many others are filled with experimental brews. While big bourbon character stands at the forefront of BCS, the Goose Island Cooper Project takes a more delicate approach. A shorter time in wood imparts nuanced bourbon notes, while still allowing the base beer to shine. Like Cooper Project No. 1, every drop of this Blonde Doppelbock is carefully crafted and patiently aged right here in Chicago.
Bourbon barrel aged wines have exploded in popularity alongside bourbon. We’re happy to offer three different takes on this up and coming style. These wines are aged in traditional oak and then finished for several months in used bourbon barrels to add complexity without the sweet bourbon notes overwhelming the wine.
Schlafly may be new to Chicagoland but they are veterans of the Midwest craft brewing scene. Opening their doors in 1991 they focused on brewing quality examples of classic beer styles (of particular note is their Kolsch). But they are also brewing up some great versions of popular new styles, such as imperial stouts, and Schlafly’s take is nothing short of tremendous.
Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
On the nose it’s an intoxicating mix of vanilla, toffee, dates and roasted pecans. Rich and decadent with notes of cocoa and coffee, leading to a bright spirited finish. This is a hidden gem from an unsung hero. As good as it is fresh, it also ages beautifully and with vintage dated 25.4oz bottles priced at $11.99 they are an affordable way to build up your cellar.