They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Saturday, 8 January 2011

G.I.B.C.S.A.W.V.B. Ale!

The weather round here has been crap for the past couple of days. (I wouldn't be a Yorkshire man if I didn't moan about the weather.) Yesterday morning saw almost 2 inches of snow fall and settle, and I hate the snow, it's fun for a day and after that it just gets mundane and inconvenient. Later that day saw a lot of rain which turned all the settled snow to a big pile of slush which was fun. And of course later that night it dipped below freezing which saw all the slush turn to a big ice rink, good news for anyone who likes being able to walk! Later that night around 12 the most unholy of fogs descended upon further Headingley which was rather surreal. Today was, to be honest, a little better - clear-ish sky and a little sun, but as always the bitter cold winds were there to firmly wipe any smiles of faces.

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!!!    


  1. I didn't find it very drinkable one sip was a could force down.

  2. I managed to drink a half with a mate when they had it on cask at the rake. It's very tasty but I was worried my eye balls might melt after the first sip!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hello ...
    My name is Ricardo, aui I live in Brazil and I really enjoyed of your posts, I'm adding your blog to my reading list ..
    Pass on my blog and leave a comment, craft beer is growing in Brazil for a look of my blog .... link below ...I am already a follower of your blog...
    Ein Prosit !!!

  5. Sounds like quite a formidable beer but ever so opulent! To be honest I doubt I'll last 12 months until I open this but it certainly sounds like a beer that should be shared.

  6. Naah Rob, be greedy, chuck it all in your most oversized snifter! I have a feeling this beer should be drunk as soon as, to get that real feel of vanilla, I think after a while the bourbon would take over completly.