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Jason Johnson's picture

Judge's Review: 94 Rating - Goodwood Bourbon Barrel Stout by Goodwood Brewing Co.

August, 2018
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Goodwood Bourbon Barrel Stout by Goodwood Brewing Co. is being reviewed as a BJCP category 33B, Specialty Wood Aged beers. What we are expecting in an American Stout according the BJCP is "a fairly strong, highly roasted, bitter, hoppy dark stout. Has the body and dark flavors typical of stouts with a more aggressive American hop character and bitterness.". With that, add in some bourbon and barrel aged character to make this BJCP category 33B, Specialty Wood Aged beers which is specifically geared towards beers aged in barrels that previously held spirits.

Off the pour, the beer is black inside the glass with some deep brown mahogany highlights. The head is tan and has a long-lasting, well-formed foamy texture. In the nose I get a lot of coffee with some chocolate background notes. There is a light licorice aroma and some herbal hop character, which is not quite as aggressive as I'd expect in an American stout. I do get a low bourbon aroma and mild alcohol which is pleasant because it's not overdone like you see in many heavy-handed bourbon beers. The barrel notes come through as well with some vanilla and most likely the licorice I mentioned. When it comes to flavor, the beer is certainly what I pictured from the description. The dark roasted malts contribute a coffee-like flavor with a hint of chocolate. I get a medium bitterness from the hops and some of the flavor, which is a bit piney and herbal, but still on the lower end of the spectrum. The beer is incredibly smooth with a soft wash of bourbon and a moderate amount of spicy alcohol flavor. The vanilla tones come out in the finish and blend very well with the coffee and chocolate tones of the malt. The beer is mildly sweet with a light drying quality from the alcohol and grains. The mouthfeel is medium-full and very creamy. It's like velvet as I drink it. There is a moderate alcohol warmth and mild roasted grain astringency, but nothing off-putting.

Overall this beer is exceptional. I would recommend seeking this beer out and trying it for yourself. It will be perfect for those summer nights sitting by a lake or campfire as you unwind from the day. The chocolate and vanilla tones are satisfying as a day finisher; toss the bourbon into the mix, and you are on your way to a good night. The only gripe is the hop character, while noticeable, is a bit low for the style.