London – Hackney (Borough of) – Shoreditch – Goose Island
I’m not going to write up anything more about my visit to Goose Island today, as nothing has changed, it’s still brilliant. I still can’t name another location I’ve been where the bar staff are as knowledgeable, and passionate, about beer. And thanks to the manager today for remembering my blog posts when I mentioned my name (I’d add that I made a reservation to get a table so needed to say my name, I didn’t walk in and announce my name and expect rose petals to be thrown on the floor). More about Goose Island coming up soon, as I’ve convinced Liam to come with me to enjoy the whole experience of the bar and I hope the staff can deal with that beer education challenge 🙂
What I did want to write about though, mostly to remind myself, was this most decadent beer. This is the 14.6% Bourbon County Brand Stout (2020) and the manager said they had to have this on for their re-opening. It is sublime and manages to hide its strength so that it doesn’t taste like sump oil, as my friend Steve has suggested about some of what I call my decadent stouts. There’s a complexity to the flavours, both with the mouthfeel and the aftertaste. There’s vanilla, caramel, bourbon, toffee, biscuit (well, I think there’s biscuit and I don’t think anyone else does) and chocolate, and it remains beautifully smooth. I don’t know how a brewery can make a beer of this strength this smooth and easy to drink.
I managed to sip my way through this without ever getting bored of it, it’s liquid beauty and I think it might be the best beer that I’ve ever had. It has a staggeringly good rating of 4.47 on Untappd, from just under 40,000 different reviews. I’m looking forwards to the 2021 version which comes out I think towards the end of the year, which will again be aged in bourbon whiskey barrels. I haven’t got excited about the release of a beer before, so this is a first.