Whenever I get a media kit, there’s this recalcitrant streak to judge the beer under extreme scrutiny like some strident official. CASTING WARES UPON MY DOORSTEP, WHO SEEKS THE PALATE TRIBUNAL.
With Goose Island much hay was made a decade ago about the InBev sale, some dudes with creaky joints and Stone Temple Pilots cassettes probably still care. In the modern era of insane financial mergers and Amoretti puree, that buyout seems quaint especially in light of the trajectory that Goose Island has taken with their seemingly limitless checkbook.
Their barrel sourcing and quality has been apeshit. While it would be amazing to dunk on a press bottle with my arm in the pot on some Vince Carter action, I simply cannot. This barleywine is a masterpiece.
The packaging is gorgeous and patently unfair. But the contents itself could be in a waxed double-knotted Trojan and still be immaculate. This beer delivers on the legacy of the previously recalled Barleywine reserve and improves it to dizzying degrees. This is not only the best of the BCBS lineup for 2022, it might be the best beer that Goose Island has ever made, including the 2010 fresh Rare, 2014 VR, and whatever god tier old currency you can think of. The siren song of Mike Smith before his departure is spicy boulevardier phoenix rising from Old Fitz ashes.
The heat is there and lights up your chest like E.T. It provides so many layers from graham cracker, to Boston Baked beans, settling into this warm halvah aspect. It remains vibrant and never sucrose driven. It is like a more unruly VSOJ, or a shredded ADWTD with fig newton vascularity.
The gray goo scenario is when nano machines replicate and consume all biomass on earth. Giving a warm endorsement to a ubiquitous high quality barrel program with limitless corporate resources feels irresponsible. But this beer is incredible and no amount of Aw shucksing or block corporate proxy voting can change that.
This bottle will shatter your NNN, pls don’t try this beer, it’s masterful and now I need to lay down I’m very sleepy.