Bourbon County Proprietors is always a gamble. Sometimes you get incredible offerings like last year’s mind blowing banana bangers, and something you get well…2016 chili nightmare afterbirth. It’s always a PROP BET. For 2018 it seems like Goose Island wanted to hedge their risks and go with something relatively proven in the adjunctive world: cocoa nibs, chocolate, and then additional cocoa nibs. This seems like something out of the 2012 Bruery playbook, or a “restrained” iteration of what we are seeing Florida indulge in on a regular basis.
Right out the gates; this beer is a fudgy monster. It feels more viscous, has a touch thicker sheeting, and it got them cellulite tree trunk legs on the glass. The nose is a sticky shoryuken that upper cuts you with raw brownie pugilism. It overpowers the underlying barrel and oak and instead puts all its Madden points into LAVA CAKE. The taste follows suit and offers a bevy of flavors albeit all from the same Godiva dimension: Nestle Crunch, 85% cacao Whole Foods register chocolate, whipped batter, and closes with a chocolate Klondike sort of thing. If you really enjoy the depths of chocophilism like a recent divorcee, then fire up BLUE BLOODS and get to licking the bowl.
This does a lot right but it feels regressive predicated on marketing. They start with a world class base beer with depth and nuance, oak merged with tobacco, then lay down chocolate berber carpet over those oaky hardwood floors. If you got into beer 18 months ago, this will feel welcoming and safe. You will feel relevant while you read the ingredients aloud and confirm your expert palate by noting YES I GET THE CHOCOLATE. In lieu of grace, this goes Tampa to the max and sprays cocoa body spray, masking the delicate edges of the base beer. It’s still good, but it is good in like a Dwayne Johnson in SKYSCRAPER type of good: not something feel ethical consuming.
This will likely fall in the dead middle of the BCBS lineup for 2018 simply because it is so safe in every way. It validates people who don’t know anything, it wont upset the people who do. Everyone gets a brownie trophy, everyone feels special and alive.