Bourbon County Vanilla Rye 2014

Welcome to Craft Beer Expedition! Here I will be exploring the biggest and the best beers and eats across the country. My love for good food and great beer has conceived this idea to document and share my experiences with you in hopes that I can entertain and inspire you to get out and taste the world. Each craft beer or dish will be rated on a five star system. 5 stars being the best you can get versus 1 start meaning you should avoid this at all cost.

Craft Beer Expedition will be especially enjoyable to those who may be just beginning to experience the craft beer and foodie scene. I will do my best to provide thorough information of location, attainability and any other kind of information I think will be useful to first timers.

For our first post together I have something very special to share with you. Lovers of big beers and the darkest of stouts will be needed for this particular beer. Behold, Bourbon County Vanilla Rye 2014!

This is a 22oz bottle that I poured into my 24kt gold Dark Lord Day snifter. For those who have not had the pleasure of tasting this beer yet, Bourbon County is only released once a year, the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday), but its not that easy to acquire on that day. While the die hard shoppers are standing in line for the best deals for Christmas, the Beer Geeks are up and about at 3AM and standing in line at their favorite beer store for a chance to acquire elusive Bourbon County stout and its variants. I happened to win this particluar bottle at a raffle, but the retail price for one of these bombers was $24.00. The base of the beer (regular Bourbon County Stout) is not that hard to find year round if you know where to go, it’s the variants that go for a high premium.  This variant of Bourbon County is added with Madagascar Vanilla Beans. Let’s open this baby!

Appearance – Black, black and more black. This particular our created a tan head with a pronounced vanilla bean aroma. Not much lacing at all.

Smell – A Vanilla/Marshmallow bomb with hints of chocolate fudge and toffee. I cannot stop smelling this! The barrel brings hints of coconut, caramel and bourbon.

Taste – Words escape me with this ridiculously delicious beer. Dancing on the front of the palette is a vanilla/toffee soirée that comes in heavy and lingers. On the middle of the tongue, a German chocolate cake taste mixed with caramel and char from the barrel. Definitely drink this beer in the winter.  Goes down silky and warms your throat and stomach.

Viscosity – This beer is thick, creamy and leaves your lips smacking. Almost chewy. Possibly one of the most enjoyable parts of sipping this amazing beer is being able to taste it long after you have swallowed.

Overall – I mean, come on now… Goose Island invented the barrel aging system. They started it all. If you know me you know that I’m a huge Bourbon County advocate. I don’t usually drink stouts unless it’s something special and this particular beer is out of this world fantastic. The rye barrel aging process compliments the Vanilla Bean/ Marshmallowy goodness. If you can get your hands on one, this is an experience you must partake in. Easily one of the best (definitely top 10) beers that I have ever had the pleasure of sipping.

Now its time that I hear from you. Have you tried this beer? Do you want to try it? Id love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this fantastic brew in the comment section below. For those who have tries VR 2010 how does this hold up to the older brother?

Great people drink great beer. Cheers to all you Beer Geeks!

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About the Author:

I am a Filmmaker with 10 years experience in the Film and Video Production Industry. I started my career on Hollywood film sets as a Production Assistant and now dedicate my life to creating videos for Youtube. I have had the pleasure of working with some amazing film crews, artists, companies and exclusive production studios such as: Sony, 20th Century Fox, CBS, Warner Brothers, Treehouse Pictures, Facebook, The Style Network, The Food Network, Netflix, Amazon Studios Plate Magazine, Hotels Magazine and The Culinary Institute of America.. Inspired by the world and the wonders that lie in it, I constantly thrive to create new ideas and videos to deliver to the world in hopes that I can entertain and inspire people in the ways that my influences have affected me.


  1. Adam May 12, 2018 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    Sweet! Literally… I have a hard time with some BC variants, because they can be off-the-charts sweet to the point of cloying. How do you feel the vanilla held up in this one? That’s always been the knock on this particular variant – the vanilla fades quickly

    • John Adam Gallegos May 15, 2018 at 2:58 pm - Reply

      I definitely agree with you, Adam. This particular bottle was a vanilla bomb. The pub that I won it from definitely knew how to keep it in good care. Funny you mention the vanilla fading. I remember drinking a 2010 VR in 2014 and the vanilla was still very pronounced. I guess it it very contingent on the bottle you get and the hands that touched it before you haha!

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