Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout

I have griped about the lack of quality brews to reach the islands of Hawaii many-a-time. The slow dribble of better beers making their way to the islands is agonizing at times but I manage. We manage. Sometimes we get bad news. News like, oh I don’t know, AB/InBev purchasing yet another beloved craft brewery, thus leaving a bitter (not in a good way) taste in your mouths. But, my life is is ruled by silver linings, and the best thing to come out of AB/InBev’s purchase of Goose Island out of Chicago was it had now put within reach their Bourbon County Brand Stout. 
Even with mass distribution of the Goose Island portfolio, getting your hands on a BCBS is a trial within itself. This stuff goes quick and unless you have underground knowledge it’s seems at times of where and when the stock flows in, you are not gonna get your fix. This last year however, I got a leg up on the craft beer vultures that ransack the Bourbon County shelf (yes, a small and lonely, singular, shelf) and acquired the elusive stout. 
With the realization that the enjoyment of this one may be experiences that are few and far between I decided to wait for the occasion to present itself that would merit such an epically built up beer to be had. When that day arrived the giddy beer geek in me shut the world out and very selfishly yet contently proceeded to experience what is known as, “The Hype”. So with proper glassware and reckless abandon I embark on a beer that epitomizes the search, the reason, the smile that tells all (if any were in the room), and it’s song that goes a little something like this… 
A pop of the cap and you can tell that there is very little carbonation in this beer, which is honestly one of the characteristics of barrel aged brews so no worries there. What you do get is a release of deep aromas laced with chocolate and tobacco. Toffee and bits of bourbon soaked barrel goodness lofts into the air to let you know exactly what you’re in for. The pour is slow and elegant while the head collects at the top like frothy caramel foam that quickly returns to the abyss from whence it came. 
Now stick your nose in that and tell me that isn’t the most relaxing moment you’ve had all day. It’s like a massage for your sinuses. At first sip all of your aromatic expectations are fulfilled and you exhale the bourbon burn from the 14.4% ABV of the 2014 batch. The lace blankets the inside of the snifter and your mouth. It stays with you long after you have swallowed as if imprinted on your brain with the hopes that you will never have to see the bottom of your glass. But alas, eventually inevitability wins out and it’s done. 
I can say from my experiences that the beers that truly move me have that extra bit of heart or care that truly sets them apart from the others. They come with expectations, pre-formed perceptions, and it’s an awesome thing when your hopes are delivered so completely. When it comes to silver linings, this is the absolute best scenario you could hope for. The hype, justified. The heart, content. The search? Far from over…
The UrD rating for this gem is and easy 9.25/10. 


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