After a Year in Our Cellar, A Few Ultra-Rare Brews Will Be Released Throughout November!
The moment we’ve all been (not so) patiently waiting for has finally arrived! The next batch of Creekside’s aged beers are set to come down from storage and go on sale this month! For those of you who never noticed the stack of cases back by the #DrinkPGH local section, it’s really a beautiful sight to behold. If I listen close, I can almost hear the stacks of Troegs Mad Elf and Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA calling out to me, “drink us, Tyler!” My patience finally wore out and I made a deal with my bosses: I can grab this month’s aged releases early if I do a review of them. So here we are! Before we get to my thoughts, let’s learn a little bit about the brews.
If there’s one thing Founders knows, it’s stouts. Sure, the Grand Rapids-based brewery pumps out great IPAs (like the super-drinkable and aptly named All Day IPA) and tasty, refreshing sours, but their dark stuff is unrivaled in terms of popularity. The original Breakfast Stout is delicious and roasty, with tons of coffee flavor (perfect for Saturday morning breakfast, right?). Then they decided to age it in bourbon barrels and release it as Kentucky Breakfast Stout - KBS for short. This was one of the most sought-after beers of the early 2010s and remains extremely popular in beer stores across the country. However, perhaps the most popular variant of Breakfast Stout is the Canadian Breakfast Stout – CBS for short.
Founders CBS proves that good things really do come to those who wait. According to the brewery, “Canadian Breakfast Stout is an Imperial Stout brewed with a blend of coffees and imported chocolates, then aged in spent bourbon barrels that have most recently been aging pure Michigan maple syrup.” CBS clocks in at a robust 11.7% ABV and this vintage currently holds a 4.39/5 on Untappd.
To most people, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year – a day to trample your fellow man to grab big screen TVs and iPads for 50% off. But to beer fans, it’s BCBS Day! A day to trample your fellow man for a delicious barrel aged stout! The history of this beer spans almost 30 years. The original BCBS was brewed at Goose Island in 1992 in celebration of their 1000th batch of beer. 17 years later, in 2005, it was released in bottles for the first time and sold exclusively in Chicago. Expansion to other states began in 2008, and, in the 12 years since, BCBS Release Day has grown into one of the more anticipated on the craft beer fan’s calendar. According to the brewery, “2019’s Bourbon Country Brand Stout has been aged in 4+ year old Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey barrels, yielding a rich, complex mouthfeel. Carrying intense flavours of dried cherry, rich cocoa, smooth caramel and vanilla, a hint of leather and tobacco also permeate this beer and deepen with every sip.” As previously mentioned, this variant of BCBS clocks in at 15.2% ABV and, at time of writing, holds a 4.51/5 on Untappd.
Now that you’ve heard a little bit about these brews, what do I think?
Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout (2019)
Look: It pours a pitch-black color and has more carbonation than I expected! It also has a slight, brownish head that dissipated rather quickly.
Smell: Aromas of chocolate and maple syrup are what stand out to me. There may be some coffee in there as well, but the sweet smell of chocolate is dominant.
Taste: God that’s good! Thick and heavy, but not overpowering. It really isn’t that boozy for being north of 11%. Sure, there’s a little heat up front, but the sweetness from the chocolate and maple really balance it out.
Thoughts: This beer is a real treat! It has so many layers to it – every sip is a little bit different. It especially starts to develop as it warms. I’ve had this beer in several different forms now – out of the bottle a few weeks after it was released in 2019, on nitro at Dive Bar in Southside, and now out of the bottle after a year of aging. The biggest differences I can distinguish after a year are a little bit more maple syrup and a little bit more mellowness. Looking forward to trying it again after 2 years of aging!
Tyler’s Rating: 4.75/5
Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout (2019) (15.2% ABV)
Look: This pours super dark, with more head than previous BCBS bottles I’ve had. Maybe I poured harder out of excitement! Also, I know this is the wrong glass for a stout (especially one as awesome as this), but it was the only Goose branded glass I had! Forgive me!
Smell: Aromas of chocolate and vanilla cut through all else on first whiff. There’s a little bit of bourbon on the nose as well, but just a hint.
Taste: Does anyone want to proxy buy more bottles of this for me when we release it? Because wow that’s an elite brew! Dark, roasty, chocolatey, rich, oaky... the list of words I could use to describe BCBS goes on and on. It’s definitely got some booze backbone to it (as to be expected at 15%), but the sweetness and complexity of the flavors keeps it from being overpoweringly harsh.
Thoughts: This was definitely worth the wait! It checks all the boxes for me – high ABV, lots of chocolate and other sweet notes, superbly drinkable. This beer will definitely keep you warm! And it just feels right that it’s snowing outside as I write this. Can’t wait to try the 2020 version next week!
Tyler’s Rating: 5/5
These particular beers will be available for in-store purchase only due to their ultra-limited availability, and only one bottle per customer. However, if you’re looking for any other beers from our wide selection, they can be found in our virtual store for curbside pickup or home delivery.