The arrival of Goose Island’s annual Bourbon County series is one of the most anticipated and hyped beer releases of the year. For the last couple of years the lineup for the release has been the standard stout, a coffee version of the stout and a barleywine that all see pretty wide national distribution. There are also two much harder to get variants that change from year to year as well. This year’s stout variants were vanilla rye and Proprietor’s, which was a cinnamon chocolate stout this year. The beers are simultaneously released across the country on Black Friday. This massive release throws the beer nerd universe into temporary chaos with people waiting in line for hours to get their hands on the elusive bottles.
While you should always take online ratings with a grain of salt, there are times when the prevailing opinions about a beer you've just had simply cannot be ignored. Take the 2013 Proprietor's Bourbon County Stout from Goose Island for instance. For a time, prior to being labeled as "retired," the beer was listed among the upper echelon on the Beer Advocate list of the Top 250 beers. In fact, users of the site had it ranked as the third or fourth best beer in the world. Is it really that good? At least for the moment, let's pretend we've given the Magic 8-Ball a shake and been met with the answer of "ask again later."