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ABV Chicago Craft Beer Podcast

ABV Chicago

A Chicago-based craft beer podcast with beer and events reviews. Visit our website at!

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For a few years running, Cruz Blanca’s Luchador series has been perhaps the most inspired and creative lineup of the holy trinity of Chicago barrel-aged beer special releases. We get a mouthful on this episode, as we drink through all eight of these big and burly beers aged in a seemingly endless number of different barrels. And it’s only half stouts; find out what kind of magic Cruz gets up to with Imperial Blonde Ales and Imperial Rice Ales. In addition to our complete remote tasting (with head brewer Jacob Sembrano giving us frequent text updates), we talk about the new life philosophy to help endure the rest of the year, our desire for some dry-bushed beers, and why we might be bailing on barrel-aged December prematurely. Suizo!

Beers Reviewed

El PopStar (Imperial rice ale aged in American whiskey finished Spanish sherry barrels)

Tigre Blanco (Imperial rice ale aged in Italian muscatel barrels with white vermouth botanicals)

Coco Fantasma (Imperial blonde ale aged in bourbon, rum, and rye whiskey barrels with chocolate, coconut, and almond)

Loco Dinero (Imperial blonde ale aged in bourbon, rum, and rye whiskey barrels with Sparrow Coffee)

Rey Gordo (Imperial stout aged in 11 year Bardstown bourbon barrels)

Rey Cuvee (2017 + 2018 + 2019 Rey Gordo blended and barrel-aged in American whiskey finished Spanish sherry barrels)

Senior Bandito (Imperial stout aged in rye whiskey barrels with sweet cherry, cinnamon, and spices)

Tarzan Boy (Imperial stout aged in South American rum barrels with banana, Oaxacan coffee, piloncillo, and vanilla)

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In preparation for a Black Friday like never before, we got a chance to sample through this year’s full lineup of Goose Island’s Bourbon County to help you decide exactly how many online lotteries to enter. Though there are no headline-grabbers like Double Barrel or Rare this year, the seven beer lineup is impressively consistent, even though our individual rankings are very divergent. Get the stories behind these beers (as relayed through us from the media tasting with the Goose team), and find out which one Craig calls a “throwback to Rare” and which one Ryan believes is the best of a particular type of variant that we’ve seen in ages. Also, we try and come up with the Seven Beer Wonders of the U.S., relive some missteps of BCBS past, and rebrand as just a couple of nuts in the flavorspace.

Beers Reviewed

Bourbon County Brand Stout 2020

Birthday Bourbon County Stout (Imperial stout aged in Old Forester Birthday Bourbon barrels)

Anniversary Bourbon County Stout (Imperial stout aged 2 years in Weller 12 Year bourbon barrels)

Bourbon County Caramella Ale (Wheatwine aged in Larceny Wheated Bourbon barrels w/ apple, cinnamon, and natural caramel flavor)

Bourbon County Kentucky Fog Stout (Imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels w/ Earl Grey Tea, Black Tea, and clover honey)

Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout 2020 (Imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels w/ fresh pistachios, cacao nibs, candied Amarena cherries, and natural vanilla flavors)

Bourbon County Special #4 Stout (Imperial oatmeal stout aged in bourbon barrels w/ Ethiopian coffee and bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup)

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