I really don't like to be the one to moan of January blues, I try to be as positive as possible, but maybe it's just the combination of the weather and the 4th cold in a row getting me down a little.
So, I tell myself, time to do something about it! I need a perk up/ wake up/ warm up! and there was only one thing on my mind after a shift at the shop;
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout aged with Vanilla Beans Ale! ((don't worry, in my Ikea snifter glass, not a schooner! (get our own at your local Ikea!))
I got this beer a couple of days ago at the Grove on our staff Christmas do, and it's been staring at me since. Now Rob at HopZine told me I should try age this beer for about a year, but I just couldn't help myself, I wanted it! and to be fair I'm not entirely sure what the aging process would do for the vanilla beans in this brew.
This is not a beer. This was a glass full of your best imperial stout, added with a shot of your best bourbon, added with a hundred vanilla beans and a big block of fresh cut of oak wood chucked in the glass for good luck! It pours pitch black, (as you'd expect) with the head colour of a bourbon biscuit, which quickly disappears to leave what looks like a flat beer. It is anything but. Massive powerful aromas abound of; bourbon, vanilla (obviously), cocoa and dark chocolate, sherry, oak, burnt malt mixed with burnt currents all bashed together with a spiritual alcohol whiff. The taste; a novice drinker may spit out his tongue and say indescribable but I saw WOW!! It's like someone has dropped a flaming shot of bourbon into the most powerful stout you can name, and then punched you in the face with a vanilla/oak glove! Massive smooth textures which mask the alcohol but you can tell it's still there from the huge spirt burn on the swallow - intense warming! Powerful and complex it's what we (beer geeks if you want to single us out, frankly I couldn't care less, call us what you want.) seek out - things new, beers modern and innovative, and for me Extreme Beers! because I cant get enough of them! If brewers keep brewing them I'll keep drinking them.
This beer (and I use the term beer lightly) is a decadent, devilish concoction, and at 13% it lives up to the hype of Rate Beer's 100 rating! As I come to the end of this brew while I write this post I feel rejuvenated, renewed and a little battered! It's defo the best beer I've had of 2011! I say that without question, - but I can't wait for what this new year heralds though.
ROLL ON 2011!!!