Lawson’s Finest Liquids: No Collusion

Lawson's Finest Liquids: No Collusion

Style: Whiskey barrel-aged Imperial Stout

Special Notes: Aged in Mad River Distillers’ “Hopscotch” Whiskey barrels.

ABV: 11.0%

IBU: N/A

Availability: No longer in production (brewed once)

@untappd says: 4.38/5

Sometimes, collusion amongst friends leads to very good beer.

Despite the fact that today’s beer is named No Collusion, it’s very much a product of collusion… without the deceptive part of the word’s meaning, though. It comes from a partnership between Vermont’s Lawson’s Finest Liquids (makers of the Sip of Sunshine) and Mad River Distillers (a Vermont-based maker of fine spirits).

The process is detailed on the bottle, but just in case you can’t read it, it’s basically this: First, they started with Mad River’s “Hopscotch” Vermont Whiskey barrels. After the whiskey was emptied, Lawson’s filled those barrels with a maple imperial stout. One year later, the barrels were tapped and the beer inside was harvested for sale.

Lawson's Finest Liquids: No Collusion label closeup
No fancy frills for this bottle. Just the facts, and the beer. (Credit: Martin Stezano / Beers on Windowsills)

The next collusion that led this beer to my Windowsill, is one amongst friends. My good buddy Brian, and his new wife, had themselves a house warming party. Another good friend of the Windowsill, Alex, brought this bottle to the party and shared it with all of the guests. Collaboration at its finest, all around!

What else can I say about this beer? It was so good, that I couldn’t stop thinking about it for a few days! I still remember it fondly! Chocolatey, mapley, whiskey goodness. Although, I must say, I didn’t realize it was aged in whiskey barrels until I saw the label. The beer itself was ultra smooth. The rest of the night got away from us a bit (Bourbon County and Pumking made appearances), but the Lawson’s really stuck in my mind. Incredible. I really hope they decide to make more some day.

Head over to Instagram to like and follow me for more great craft beer!

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. Lawson’s Finest Liquids: No Collusion . Sometimes, collusion amongst friends leads to very good beer. . Despite the fact that today’s beer is named No Collusion, it’s very much a product of collusion… without the deceptive part of the word’s meaning, though. It comes from a partnership between Vermont’s Lawson’s Finest Liquids (makers of the Sip of Sunshine) and Mad River Distillers (a Vermont-based maker of fine spirits). . The process is detailed on the bottle, but just in case you can’t read it, it’s basically this: First, they started with Mad River’s “Hopscotch” Vermont Whiskey barrels. After the whiskey was emptied, Lawson’s filled those barrels with a maple imperial stout. One year later, the barrels were tapped and the beer inside was harvested for sale. . The next collusion that led this beer to my Windowsill, is one amongst friends. My good buddy @itsmeitsbmd1085, and his new wife, had themselves a house warming party. Another good friend of the Windowsill, @sherk.alex, brought this bottle to the party and shared it with all of the guests. Collaboration at its finest, all around! . What else can I say about this beer? It was so good, that I couldn’t stop thinking about it for a few days! I still remember it fondly! Chocolatey, mapley, whiskey goodness. Although, I must say, I didn’t realize it was aged in whiskey barrels until I saw the label. The beer itself was ultra smooth. The rest of the night got away from us a bit (Bourbon County and Pumking made appearances), but the Lawson’s really stuck in my mind. Incredible. I really hope they decide to make more some day. . ABV: 11.0%, IBU: N/A, Limited availability (brewed once so far) . @untappd says: 4.38/5

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Other Half Brewing Co.: Space Soyez Sauce (Cocoa Nibs And Raspberries)

Other Half Brewing Co. and Zagovor Brewery: Space Soyez Sauce

Style: Red wine barrel-aged Imperial Stout

Special Notes: Aged with Ararat brandy-soaked staves, cocoa nibs and raspberries. Collaboration with Zagorov Brewery.

ABV: 12.0%

IBU: N/A

Availability: No longer in production

@untappd says: 4.25/5

The Windowsill is simply out of this world for Stout Season today!

Have you guys heard about the Russian Revolution? No, not the Communist one back in 1917 that I covered in my post about The Czar from Avery Brewing Company. I’m talking about the Russian craft beer revolution! Back in 2014, the Russian currency collapsed, making many things unaffordable for the Russian people. One of those things was foreign beer. But, from a tragedy, arose a great thing. When they couldn’t afford to get outside craft beer, many Russian people just decided to make their own. Over the last five years or so, the Russian craft industry has boomed, and there are now over 100 craft breweries in the country. That boom is partially why we got today’s Windowsill brew—the Space Soyez Sauce.

Back in 2015, Brooklyn’s Other Half Brewing Co. teamed up with Moscow’s Zagovor Brewery. Zagovor is the Russian word for “conspiracy,” and the brewery bills itself as a provider of “craft beer from the deep end of the Moscow underground.” There’s no conspiracy behind today’s beer, though. It’s phenomenal.

Other Half Brewing Co. and Zagovor Brewery: Space Soyez Sauce
Another classy bottle from Other Half. The contents inside were even better! (Credit: Martin Stezano / Beers on Windowsills)

I can honestly say that the Space Soyez Sauce is one of the more unique beers I’ve ever tried in my life. The base beer is a really solid imperial stout, but the two breweries put out three other varieties as well. All three varieties are aged in red wine barrels with Ararat brandy-soaked birch staves thrown in for good measure. One of them went to market just like that, but the other two are special. One is also aged on cherries and vanilla. The one I got, that you see in the photos, is aged on raspberries and cocoa nibs. I love nibs!

This variant is phenomenal. Every flavor is palatable. The rich chocolate, the red wine notes and the raspberries all shine through. The base stout is also quality, smooth and delicious despite the high ABV. When i first poured, the lack of thick head kind of made me pause, but the nose and flavor knocked it out of the box for me. Sadly, it’s not in production anymore, so you’ll have to dig to find it. I got my Space Soyez Sauce at Decicco & Sons!

You know what to do—check it out on Instagram! Follow, like and tell your beer-loving friends!

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. Other Half Brewing Co.: Space Soyez Sauce (Cocoa Nibs And Raspberries) . The Windowsill is simply out of this world for Stout Season today! . Have you guys heard about the Russian Revolution? No, not the Communist one back in 1917. I’m talking about the Russian craft beer revolution! Back in 2014, the Russian currency collapsed, making many things unaffordable for the Russian people. One of those things was foreign beer. But, from a tragedy, arose a great thing. When they couldn’t afford to get outside craft beer, many Russian people just decided to make their own. Over the last five years or so, the Russian craft industry has boomed, and there are now over 100 craft breweries in the country. That boom is partially why we got today’s Windowsill brew—the Space Soyez Sauce. . Back in 2015, Brooklyn’s Other Half Brewing Co. teamed up with Moscow’s @zagovorbrewery. Zagovor is the Russian word for “conspiracy,” and the brewery bills itself as a provider of “craft beer from the deep end of the Moscow underground.” There’s no conspiracy behind today’s beer, though. It’s phenomenal. . I can honestly say that the Space Soyez Sauce is one of the more unique beers I’ve ever tried in my life. The base beer is a really solid imperial stout, but the two breweries put out three other varieties as well. All three varieties are aged in red wine barrels with Ararat brandy-conditioned birch staves thrown in for good measure. One of them went to market just like that, but the other two are special. One is also aged on cherries and vanilla. The one I got, that you see in the photos, is aged on raspberries and cocoa nibs. I love nibs! . This variant is phenomenal. Every flavor is palatable. The rich chocolate, the red wine notes and the raspberries all shine through. The base stout is also quality, smooth and delicious despite the high ABV. When i first poured, the lack of thick head kind of made me pause, but the nose and flavor knocked it out of the box for me. Sadly, it’s not in production anymore, so you’ll have to dig to find it. I got mine at @deciccosbeer! . ABV: 12.0%, IBU: N/A, No longer in production . @untappd says: 4.25/5

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Wines on Windowsills Special: Exitus Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Wine

Exitus Wine

Style: Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Wine Blend

Special Notes: Blend of Zinfandel, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon

ABV: 15.9%

@wineenthusiast says: 86 points

For the first time ever, we’ve got a wine on the Windowsill today!

How did we get here? It’s a quick story, really. A few days ago, I received a follow from Exitus Wine. I was intrigued by their product, so I followed back and reached out to see if they would send me a sample to try and review for you Windowsillers. To my surprise, they responded right away and asked me for my address, so that they could send me something. Very cool!

So, what is Exitus wine? It’s a blend of Zinfandel, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon that is fermented in American stainless steel. What makes it special, and what caught my eye to begin with, is that it’s then aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for three months. Are you intrigued yet?

Exitus Wine
Now that’s a classy label! (Credit: Martin Stezano/Beers on Windowsills)

The brand was launched in 2018 by O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, family-owned and operated wine producer based in California. They own several nationally-known brands of wine and spirits, and the bourbon-barrel aged win is their next foray. Exitus is the latin word for departure, which is a bit of a metaphor for what this wine is. It bucks tradition. As Exitus boasts, it’s wine without rules.

I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge of wine is extremely limited. There’s a reason I do Beers on Windowsills, and never—until now—Wines on Windowsills. That being said, I actually liked this wine. I didn’t get a ton of bourbon in the flavor, although I did get some subtle notes of it, but it was pretty fruity and tasty. One thing, it was very dry. I’m not typically a big dry wine kind of guy, but I liked it. This is a terrible review, I know! But I thought this company treated me very graciously, and I wanted to shout them out, and tell you guys to try their product if you’re interested. I enjoyed it… in all of my wine ignorance.

Check it out on Instagram now!

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. Wines on Windowsills Special: Exitus Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Wine . For the first time ever, we’ve got a wine on the Windowsill today! . How did we get here? It’s a quick story, really. A few days ago, I received a follow from @exituswine. I was intrigued by their product, so I followed back and reached out to see if they would send me a sample to try and review for you Windowsillers. To my surprise, they responded right away and asked me for my address, so that they could send me something. Very cool! . So, what is Exitus wine? It’s a blend of Zinfandel, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon that is fermented in American stainless steel. What makes it special, and what caught my eye to begin with, is that it’s then aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for three months. Are you intrigued yet? . The brand was launched in 2018 by O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, family-owned and operated wine producer based in California. They own several nationally-known brands of wine and spirits, and the bourbon-barrel aged win is their next foray. Exitus is the latin word for departure, which is a bit of a metaphor for what this wine is, and what this post is for Beers on Windowsills. It bucks tradition. As Exitus boasts, it’s wine without rules. . I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge of wine is extremely limited. There’s a reason I do Beers on Windowsills, and never—until now—Wines on Windowsills. That being said, I actually liked this wine. I didn’t get a ton of bourbon in the flavor, although I did get some subtle notes of it, but it was pretty fruity and tasty. One thing, it was very dry. I’m not typically a big dry wine kind of guy, but I liked it. This is a terrible review, I know! But I thought this company treated me very graciously, and I wanted to shout them out, and tell you guys to try their product if you’re interested. I enjoyed it… in all of my wine ignorance. . ABV: 15.9%, Available year-round. . @wineenthusiast says: 86 points

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The Bruery: Bakery

The Bruery: Bakery

Style: Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Special Notes: Coconut and vanilla added

ABV: 13.0%

IBU: N/A

Availability: Year-rouns

@untappd says: 4.13/5

I’ve been hitting the bourbon barrel-aged stouts hard so far this month, but I might have to stop after today’s Windowsill brew. It’s unbelievably good!

Last week, I took a trip to Port Chester, New York for an eye doctor appointment. As I always do when I go to Port Chester, I stopped by Port Chester Beer Distributors—one of the best beer stores around. I went there with an intent to browse, but I ended up picking up a Founders Brewing Company CBS for my buddy Brian, a Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy from Oskar Blues Brewery and, at the recommendation of the PCBD guy, the Bakery by The Bruery. Best recommendation ever!

The Bruery: Bakery
Check out that beautiful label. (Credit: Martin Stezano/Beers on Windowsills)

The Bakery is an imperial stout aged bourbon barrels with coconut and natural vanilla flavor added. Bruery founder Scott Rue told The Full Pint that macaroons inspired this brew. Said Rue, “Macaroons bring back nostalgic feelings for me. As a kid, I would beg my Mom to buy them and devour them in one sitting. In college, my girlfriend (now wife) would buy fresh, chocolate-dipped macaroons from the campus coffee shop, which further fueled my appreciation for the dessert.”

So, did Rue do it right? Hell yes. I definitely taste what he was going for in the Bakery. I think the first word that comes to mind when I think of this brew is creamy. Super creamy. It’s also got some really good sweetness and, although you can taste the bourbon barrel character in it, the boozyness is not at all overpowering. This is how you barrel age a stout. So good!

Head over to Instagram to check this one out right now!

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. The Bruery: Bakery . I’ve been hitting the bourbon barrel-aged stouts hard so far this month, but I might have to stop after today’s Windowsill brew. It’s unbelievably good! . Last week, I took a trip to Port Chester, New York for an eye doctor appointment. As I always do when I go to Port Chester, I stopped by Port Chester Beer Distributors—one of the best beer stores around. I went there with an intent to browse, but I ended up picking up a @foundersbrewing CBS for my buddy @itsmeitsbmd1085, a Barrel-Aged TenFidy from @oskarnblues and, at the recommendation of the PCBD guy, the Bakery by @thebruery. Best recommendation ever! . The Bakery is an imperial stout aged bourbon barrels with coconut and natural vanilla flavor added. Bruery founder Scott Rue told @thefullpint that macaroons inspired this brew. Said Rue, “Macaroons bring back nostalgic feelings for me. As a kid, I would beg my Mom to buy them and devour them in one sitting. In college, my girlfriend (now wife) would buy fresh, chocolate-dipped macaroons from the campus coffee shop, which further fueled my appreciation for the dessert.” . So, did Rue do it right? Hell yes. I definitely taste what he was going for in the Bakery. I think the first word that comes to mind when I think of this brew is creamy. Super creamy. It’s also got some really good sweetness and, although you can taste the bourbon barrel character in it, the boozyness is not at all overpowering. This is how you barrel age a stout. So good! . ABV: 13.0%, IBU: N/A, Available year-round . @untappd says: 4.13/5

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Avery Brewing Company: Tweak (2017) Batch #4

Avery Brewing Company: Tweak

Style: Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Special Notes:  Coffee added, and aged for four months in bourbon barrels.

Hops: Columbus

Malts: Special B, Roasted Barley, Black, Aromatic, 2-Row

Yeast: Westmalle Belgian Ale

ABV: 16.0%

IBU: 65

Availability: Good luck!

@untappd says: 4.42/5

All of my BCB hunting had me tweaking for a barrel-aged stout!

All week long, I’ve been hunting and collecting the Goose Island Bourbon County Brand releases, knowing that I probably won’t get to taste their bourbon barrel-aged goodness until at least January. That seeking built up a thirst for something barrel-aged, chocolaty and with the consistency of motor oil… Delicious, 16% ABV motor oil.

When you need a good stout, you can’t go wrong with Colorado’s Avery Brewing Company. They’ve been putting out incredible beer since 1993, and today’s beer is no different. The Tweak has a backstory as interesting as its recipe. Avery has a famous stout they used to brew called Mephistopheles’ Stout (I had a bottle from 2007 on the Windowsill earlier this year). It’s a hefty whopper of a stout, indeed. What better to make a hefty stout better than to barrel age it?

Avery Brewing Company: Tweak
I knew this beer would kick my ass, but damn! (Credit: Martin Stezano/Beers on Windowsills)

That’s where the Tweak comes in… sort of. It was first brewed under a different name, Meph Addict. As you can imagine, that name did not come without controversy. It sounded like something Walter White would be concocting, and not a craft brewery. The decision was made to change the name to Tweak, which is still a Methamphetamine reference… if you want to get technical.

That being said, this beer was pretty awesome. It’s aged for four months in bourbon barrels, resulting in a viscous, oily, boozy and chocolatey stout, with really great notes of coffee, to boot. I’m so glad I picked it up. It really hit the spot, and damn near knocked me on my ass!

Head over to Instagram to see more great barrel-aged stouts on Windowsills!

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. Avery Brewing Company: Tweak (2017) Batch #4 . All of my BCB hunting had me tweaking for a barrel-aged stout! . All week long, I’ve been hunting and collecting the Goose Island Bourbon County Brand releases, knowing that I probably won't get to taste their bourbon barrel-aged goodness until at least January. All that seeking built up a thirst for something barrel-aged, chocolaty and with the consistency of motor oil… Delicious, 16% ABV motor oil. . When you need a good stout, you can’t go wrong with Colorado’s Avery Brewing Company. They’ve been putting out incredible beer since 1993, and today’s beer is no different. The Tweak has a backstory as interesting as its recipe. Avery has a famous stout they used to brew called Mephistopheles’ Stout (I had a bottle from 2007 on the Windowsill earlier this year). It’s a hefty whopper of a stout, indeed. What better to make a hefty stout better than to barrel age it? . That’s where the Tweak comes in… sort of. It was first brewed under a different name, Meph Addict. As you can imagine, that name did not come without controversy. It sounded like something Walter White would be concocting, and not a craft brewery. The decision was made to change the name to Tweak, which is still a Methamphetamine reference… if you want to get technical. . That being said, this beer was pretty awesome. It’s aged for four months in bourbon barrels, resulting in a viscous, oily, boozy and chocolatey stout, with really great notes of coffee, to boot. I’m so glad I picked it up. It really hit the spot, and damn near knocked me on my ass! . ABV: 16.0%, IBU: 65, Rotating availability . @untappd says: 4.42/5

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Goose Island Beer Company: Bourbon County Brand Reserve (2018)

Goose Island Beer Company: 2018 Bourbon County Brand Reserve Stout

Style: Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Special Notes: Aged in 12-year-old Elijah Craig Barrel Proof bourbon barrels.

Hops: Millenium

Malts: 2-Row, Black Malt, Caramel, Chocolate, Munich, Roast Barley

ABV: 15.2%

IBU: 60

Availability: Good luck!

@untappd says: 4.63/5

One last hunt on the Windowsill!

One thing beer hunting has taught me, it’s to never give up. This beer is proof that it pays to keep working the internet and the phones when you’re trying to track down specialty brews. Being that I don’t want to pay over $100 or more for the Chicago-only Proprietor’s Stout (that’s what “empty” bottles are selling for on Ebay), the acquisition of this 2018 Bourbon County Brand Reserve brings to an end my hunt for this year’s BCBs from Goose Island Beer Company. It was a fun ride, too!

Goose Island Beer Company: 2018 Bourbon County Brand Reserve Stout
Look at this silver sensation… (Credit: Martin Stezano/Beers on Windowsills)

How did I get the 2018 Reserve? I went back to a watering hole that had previously been emptied—the East Side Grocery on 2nd between 74th and 75th. Knowing they were expecting another shipment, I called them Thursday afternoon, and they graciously held me a bottle. Store policy dictated that I also had to buy another flavor in order to get the 2018 Reserve, which I suppose is fair enough. I ended up deciding on another bottle of the regular Bourbon County Brand Stout, which was the cheapest option available. Good to have another one for cellaring anyway, right?

I have to give yet another shout out to Windowsill Hero, Kristena, who once again saved me a 30-block trek to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She actually also saved me from not getting the 2018 Reserve at all. As it turns out, through what I assume is a miscommunication, when she got to the store, they didn’t have my bottle held, and claimed to never have heard of any Kristena. Did she give up? No! Like any true Windowsiller, she—in her own words—caused a scene until they “magically found” one last bottle behind the counter. She made the clerk so nervous that he had to call the owner… twice! Anyway, she bought it, and delivered it to my desk the next day. Hero! It’s good to have friends who enjoy a good treasure hunt!

Goose Island Beer Company: 2018 Bourbon County Brand Reserve Stout Box
You know it’s quality because of all the paragraphs. (Credit: Martin Stezano/Beers on Windowsills)

The difference between the 2018 Reserve and the 2018 regular is all in the barrels. The recipe for both beers is exactly the same. Same malts, same hops, same aging time. Other than the packaging—how cool is that box and the silver label?—the only distinction between the two is that the 2018 Reserve is aged in 12-year-old Elijah Craig Barrel Proof bourbon barrels. The Elijah Craig won whiskey of the year from Whisky Advocate, which is basically the top prize in the industry. I bet it’s gonna be smooth. I hope so, anyway… it was pricey!

Anybody want to send me the Proprietor’s Stout? Lol. Worth a shot, I think!

Once again, head over to Instagram to like and follow!

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Goose Island Beer Company: Bourbon County Brand Reserve (2018) . One last hunt on the Windowsill! . One thing beer hunting has taught me, it’s to never give up. This beer is proof that it pays to keep working the internet and the phones when you’re trying to track down specialty brews. Being that I don’t want to pay over $100 or more for the Chicago-only Proprietor’s Stout (that’s what “empty” bottles are selling for on Ebay), the acquisition of this 2018 Bourbon County Brand Reserve brings to an end my hunt for this year’s BCBs from Goose Island Beer Company. It was a fun ride, too! . How did I get the 2018 Reserve? The East Side Grocery on 2nd between 74th and 75th. Knowing they were expecting another shipment, I called them Thursday afternoon, and they graciously agreed to hold me a bottle. . I have to give yet another shout out to Windowsill Hero, Kristena, who once again saved me a 30-block trek to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She actually also saved me from not getting the 2018 Reserve at all. As it turns out, through what I assume is a miscommunication, when she got to the store, they didn’t have my bottle held, and claimed to never have heard of any Kristena. Did she give up? No! Like any true Windowsiller, she—in her own words—caused a scene until they “magically found” one last bottle behind the counter. She made the clerk so nervous that he had to call the owner… twice! Anyway, she bought it, and delivered it to my desk the next day. Hero! It’s good to have friends who enjoy a good treasure hunt! . The difference between the 2018 Reserve and the 2018 regular is all in the barrels. Other than the packaging—how cool is that box and the silver label?—the only distinction between the two is that the 2018 Reserve is aged in 12-year-old Elijah Craig Barrel Proof bourbon barrels. The Elijah Craig won whiskey of the year from Whisky Advocate, which is basically the top prize in the industry. I bet it’s gonna be smooth. I hope so, anyway… it was pricey! . Anybody want to send me the Proprietor's Stout? Lol. Worth a shot, I think! . ABV: 15.2%, IBU: 60, Availability? Good luck! . @untappd says: 4.63/5

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Goose Island Beer Company: Bourbon County Brand Bramble Rye Stout (2018)

Goose Island Beer Company: 2018 Bourbon County Brand Bramble Rye Stout

Style: Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

Special Notes: Additions of blackberry and raspberry juice and pureé

Hops: Columbus

Malts: 2-Row, Caramel, Chocolate, Debittered Black, Munich, Roast Barley, Rye

ABV: 12.7%

IBU: 60

Availability: Extremely limited availability

@untappd says: 4.27/5

I’m still hunting down the BCB releases for my Windowsill!

BeerMenus saves the day again! I sat down to eat my lunch today, which gave me an opportunity to search for more places around my office that might be carrying Goose Island Beer Company’s 2018 Bourbon County Brand releases. Again, I hit upon a local shop with several of the variants, including the Bramble Rye Stout! The place, Malt & Mold-Gramercy on 2nd Ave between 21st and 22nd, is a small shop that sells two basic things: Craft beer (the Malt part of the name) and Cheese (the Mold part of the name). I’d never heard of it, but it ended up being pretty awesome. Check out the beer and cheese gift baskets they do!

Malt & Mold refrigerator full of Bourbon County Brand releases
Just a portion of the Bourbon County Brand releases I found at Malt & Mold. (Credit: Martin Stezano/Beers on Windowsills)

As any good hunter knows, if you have the chance to get your prey, you take it. I called up Malt & Mold to confirm that they, indeed, had the Bramble Rye, and had them hold me a bottle. I gathered my heavy jacket (it’s cold out there in these NYC streets), and my hat, and started the roughly 24-block-walk. I hustled all the way, making it basically in 20 minutes. I couldn’t browse long because I had to get back to the office, but the little I did see was pretty impressive. Lots of solid craft beer, including what looked like the remnants of several cases of the BCB releases and even the 2018 Founders CBS (You’ll be mine soon, horse). In short order, I picked up the bottle from behind the counter and paid for it. I returned to work feeling great… the thrill of the successful hunt! I may or may not have changed the lyrics to “Bamboleo” by the Gypsy Kings to “Bramble-eyo.” Reports of that are, and will remain, forever unconfirmed.

Goose Island Beer Company: 2018 Bourbon County Brand Bramble Rye Stout
Don’t worry, I didn’t drink it at the office! (Credit: Martin Stezano/Beers on Windowsills)

The Bramble Rye is a little bit different than the other BCB stouts. First of all it’s aged in rye whisky barrels, rather than the traditional bourbon barrels used for the other variants. Secondly, Goose Island brewed this one with additions of blackberry and raspberry—in both juice and pureé form. The fruity stout is something I haven’t been able to taste too often, but I’m excited to crack this one open, and soon.

What’s your favorite variant so far? What has been the toughest to track down?

Check this one out on Instagram right now! You can also see the other variants!

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. Goose Island Beer Company: Bourbon County Brand Bramble Rye Stout (2018) . I’m still hunting down the BCB releases for my Windowsill! . @beermenus saves the day again! I sat down to eat my lunch today, which gave me an opportunity to search for more places around my office that might be carrying Goose Island Beer Company’s 2018 Bourbon County Brand releases. Again, I hit upon a local shop with several of the variants, including the Bramble Rye Stout! The place, @maltandmold on 2nd Ave between 21st and 22nd, is a small shop that sells two basic things: Craft beer (the Malt part of the name) and Cheese (the Mold part of the name). I’d never heard of it, but it ended up being pretty awesome. . As any good hunter knows, if you have the chance to get your prey, you take it. I called up Malt & Mold to confirm that they, indeed, had the Bramble Rye, and had them hold me a bottle. I gathered my heavy jacket (it’s cold out there in these NYC streets), and my hat, and started the roughly 24-block-walk. I hustled all the way, making it basically in 20 minutes. I couldn’t browse long because I had to get back to the office, but the little I did see was pretty impressive. Lots of solid craft beer, including what looked like the remnants of several cases of the BCB releases. In short order, I picked up the bottle from behind the counter and paid for it. I returned to work feeling great… the thrill of the successful hunt! . The Bramble Rye is a little bit different than the other BCB stouts. First of all it’s aged in rye whisky barrels, rather than the traditional bourbon barrels used for the other variants. Secondly, Goose Island brewed this one with additions of blackberry and raspberry—in both juice and pureé form. The fruity stout is something I haven’t been able to taste too often, but I’m excited to crack this one open, and soon. . What’s your favorite variant so far? What has been the toughest to track down? . ABV: 12.7%, IBU: 60, Limited availability . @untappd says: 4.27/5

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Goose Island Beer Company: Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine (2018)

Goose Island Beer Company: 2018 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine

Style: English Style Barleywine Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Special Notes: Finca La Soledad coffee from Guatemala.

Hops: Pilgrim

Malts: 2-Row, C-120, Caracrystal wheat, Dark Chocolate, Superior Pale

ABV: 15.1%

IBU: 60

Availability: Super limited availability

@untappd says: 4.3/5

Another day, another BCB release hunted down!

As the great Beatles song says, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” Every good beer hunter knows that sometimes you have to rely on the eyes, ears and hell sometimes even the feet and money of your buddies to get those rare brews. That’s how I ended up getting my hands on this bottle of the 2018 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine from Goose Island Beer Company.

I have the luxury of working in Midtown Manhattan—ok it’s not always a luxury—with access to an entire city’s worth of craft beer. A quick search on BeerMenus revealed the existence of a little bodega named the East Side Grocery, on 2nd Avenue, between 74th and 75th on the Upper East Side. Not only did the site say the grocery had the Bourbon County Brand Stout, it also said they’d gotten the Barleywine, the Bramble Rye Stout AND the BCBS Reserve. Say what?

Goose Island Beer Company: 2018 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine
Another day, another Bourbon County Brand release at my desk. (Credit: Martin Stezano/Beers on Windowsills)

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to make the 30-block walk. Rather than give up, I did some digging and found a friend that lived near the store. Kristena didn’t know she was going to be a Windowsill hero when she woke up yesterday, but she stepped up to the challenge and, although the bodega was out of the Reserve and the Bramble Rye, she snagged me the Coffee Barleywine on her way home!

The exciting part about this beer is that it’s the first ever Bourbon County Coffee Barleywine release. It’s a traditional, malt forward English-style Barleywine aged in 4+ year old Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels. Goose Island worked with Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee, flying all the way to Guatemala to source some of the world’s best coffee—Finca La Soledad. I’ve never had a coffee barleywine before, and I can’t wait to try it!

Pop over to Instagram to see our other 2018 Bourbon County Brand Releases. Make sure you like and follow!

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. Goose Island Beer Company: Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine (2018) . Another day, another BCB release hunted down! . As the great Beatles song says, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” Every good beer hunter knows that sometimes you have to rely on the eyes, ears and hell sometimes even the feet and money of your buddies to get those rare brews. That’s how I ended up getting my hands on this bottle of the 2018 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine from Goose Island Beer Company. . I have the luxury of working in Midtown Manhattan—ok it’s not always a luxury—with access to an entire city’s worth of craft beer. A quick search on @beernenus revealed the existence of a little bodega named the East Side Grocery, on 2nd Avenue, between 74th and 75th on the Upper East Side. Not only did the site say ESG had the BCBS, it also said they’d gotten the Barleywine, the Bramble Rye Stout AND the BCBS Reserve. Say what? . Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to make the 30-block walk. Rather than give up, I did some digging and found a friend that lived near the store. @kmagrips didn’t know she was going to be a Windowsill hero when she woke up yesterday, but she stepped up to the challenge and, although the bodega was out of the Reserve and the Bramble Rye, she snagged me the Coffee Barleywine on her way home! . The exciting part about this beer is that it’s the first ever Bourbon County Coffee Barleywine release. It’s a traditional, malt forward English-style Barleywine aged in 4+ year old Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels. Goose Island worked with Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee, flying all the way to Guatemala to source some of the world’s best coffee—Finca La Soledad. I’ve never had a coffee barleywine before, and I can’t wait to try it! . ABV: 15.1%, IBU: 60, Super limited availability . @untappd says: 4.3/5

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Two Roads Brewing Company: Roadsmary’s Other Baby (2017)

Two Roads Brewing Company: Roadsmary's Other Baby

Style: Rum barrel-aged pumpkin ale

Special Notes: Aged in Caribbean rum barrels

ABV: 9.3%

IBU: N/A

Availability: Very limited fall release

@untappd says: 3.91/5

Is it too late for pumpkin beer? Not on my Windowsill!

In October of 2017, I posted one of my favorite local beers, The Roadsmary’s Baby from Two Roads Brewing Company. It’s a pumpkin ale aged in Caribbean rum barrels, and I dug it because it showed off Two Roads’ barrel aging program’s vast potential. It’s appropriate that I waited a year before trying, and posting, today’s brew—the Roadsmary’s Other Baby—because the only difference between this, and the original, is time.

Barrel aging deepens the flavor of any beer ale and makes it just a little more complex. What Two Roads did with this alternate universe version of the original Baby is age it even longer in those Caribbean rum casks. That extra aging made the flavors even deeper, and ingrained the beer with even more oak and rum character. The notes of pumpkin and vanilla also became more enriched, making Roadsmary’s Other Baby a really delicious and robust pumpkin beer… Even though I had this too late to post it for Halloween.

Head over to Instagram to check it out now!

Founders Brewing Company: Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) (2017)

Founders Brewing Company: Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) (2017) on the Windowsill

Special Ingredients: Coffee, Chocolate

Special notes: Barrel Aged

ABV: 11.7%

IBU: 45

Availability: Once per year

@untappd says: 4.54/5

This was a great weekend to get the CBS on the Windowsill!

From one craft-questionable barrel-aged stout on the sill to another, we move onto today’s brew… The world renown Canadian Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company. Why do I call it craft-questionable? Because, in December 2014, Founders sold a 30% stake of its company to the Mahou-San Miguel Group. MSMG is a Spanish brewery that opened its taps in 1890 and is, today, the biggest producer of beer in Spain. Since the Brewers Association rules state that a brewery cannot be more than 25% owned by a macro-brewery and still be considered craft beer, Founders lost its certification.

Founders Brewing CBS Bottle
Legend has it that the Mountie always gets his man… (Martin Stezano/Beers on Windowsills)

Like with the Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stouts, my opinion on Founders is clear: if you make great beer, I’m gonna drink it. Because I have a friend that used to work for Founders, I’ve been exposed to a lot of their beer. I have very rarely been disappointed. The CBS is one of the finest stouts I’ve ever tasted. What Founders did was take its legendary Breakfast Stout and age it not just in bourbon barrels, but bourbon barrels that had previously housed maple syrup. The coffee, chocolate, maple and bourbon flavors mix together to make an absolutely amazing brew. I don’t care who owns 30% of the CBS, I’m loving 100% of it.

Check this one out on Instagram, now!

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. Founders Brewing Company: Canadian Breakfast Stout (2017) . This was a great weekend to get the CBS on the Windowsill! . From one craft-questionable barrel-aged stout on the sill to another, we move onto today’s brew… The world renown Canadian Breakfast Stout from Founders Brewing Company. Why do I call it craft-questionable? Because, in 2014, Founders sold a 30% stake of its company to the Mahou-San Miguel Group. MSMG is a Spanish brewery that opened its taps in 1890 and is, today, the biggest producer of beer in Spain. Since the Brewers Association rules state that a brewery cannot be more than 25% owned by a macro-brewery and still be considered craft beer, Founders lost its certification. . Like with the Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stouts, my opinion on Founders is clear: if you make great beer, I’m gonna drink it. Because I have a friend that used to work for Founders, I’ve been exposed to a lot of their beer. I have very rarely been disappointed. The CBS is one of the finest stouts I’ve ever tasted. What Founders did was take its legendary Breakfast Stout and age it not just in bourbon barrels, but bourbon barrels that had previously housed maple syrup. The coffee, chocolate, maple and bourbon flavors mix together to make an absolutely amazing brew. I don’t care who owns 30% of it, I’m loving 100% of it. . ABV: 11.7%, IBU: 45, Available once per year . @untappd says: 4.54/5

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