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We like beer, and we like bourbon, but we love bourbon beer. It began last September, when we visited Oskar Blues in Lyons, Colorado. The bar onsite had two bourbon-barrel-aged beers on tap, Gordon and Ten Fidy. All it took was one sip, and we were done for. The beers were almost too good, and, for a time, ruined our taste for anything that hadn’t spent a few months soaking in the residue of good ole Kentucky brown liquor.

Oskar Blues doesn’t distribute its bourbon beers to DC (not yet anyway, though we did make a trip to Max’s in Baltimore last fall when they got hold of a keg of the stuff). The closest thing we’ve been able to find locally is Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout. It pours like motor oil, tastes of divine revelation, and at 13% ABV, demands your respect. Take it from us, this is a sipping beer. You can find it, probably among other places, at Connecticut Wine & Liquor Deli in Dupont Circle.

But hold on, it appears that the original Bourbon County will now be joined by at least three limited-edition seasonal variations. Goose Island’s 2010 schedule includes the debut of Bourbon County Coffee Stout (due in March), Bourbon County Vanilla Stout (due in October), and Rare Bourbon County Stout (due in November). It all adds up to a great year for bourbon beer devotees, and (we hope) could indicate an industry-wide effort to come up with yet more barrel-aged concoctions to keep things interesting.

Photo courtesy of Goose Island Beer Company