Bourbon County Brand Stout. It neither comes from a county named Bourbon, nor is that the brand (It is a product of Goose Island Brewing Company, Chicago, Il). It is, however a stout. It is thick as tar and black as my heart. Its flavours will overwhelm your senses like the smell of diesel in an engineroom, yet they are smooth and soothing like fresh rain on dirt. Short of Sam Adams' "Utopias" (which if you can find for less than $200 a bottle I will buy from you immediately) it is the most amazing thing that will happen to your mouth.
Bourbon County Stout is only distributed in November every year, and even then is hard to find. Currently I'm down to only one bottle of 2007 BCS in my cellar (/pantry), so I'm desperate to stock up on a supply to last me through the next year.
The search began in Bevmo. After determining that there was nothing where "Goose Island" would fall alphabetically on their craft beer shelf I ask an employee, and politely put up with him looking at the shelf himself as if I couldn't have handled that. Then as he's about to give up I prod him to look on his computer. I inform him the brewery is Goose Island and the distributor is Straub, and he sits there looking lost looking at the computer until another employee happens by, whom he asks who distributes Goose Island, and is told Straub, of course. He then determines that the Bevmo in Irvine has 200 units on order, but doesn't know when they'll come in.
I call the Bevmo in Irvine and the guy sounds frankly annoyed to be asked such a question. He tells me "probably later today!" and I strongly suspect he just pulled that out of his posterior end.
When I call back the next day the guy that answers the phone this time says "oh I don't think they've even bottled yet. I presume he hasn't the slightest idea what he's talking about either.
At the local Total Wine & More they don't seem to know any more, but at least they don't try to bullshit me with fake news about it -- they tell me they don't know anything and maybe if I call back in a week they might.
Later on I happen to be at the Total Wine in Thousand Oaks doing some other beer shopping but decide to ask what they have from Goose Island. I don't feel like getting into a world of voodoo rumours so I don't mention bourbon county. Even so, this simple inquiry causes two more employees to appear out of thin air, and after some flapping about like chickens they find the one bottle of Goose Island Pepe Nero. As they are departing however, one of them turns with a sly grin and says "no bourbon county here."
At the local brewing supply store (O'Sheas) I've had better luck. The first time I talked to them they didn't know if they were getting any but the person I talked to at least sounded thoroughly informed of the matter. More recently O'Shea's has announced they will be getting some in "as soon as Straub can gather enough together to put on a pallet for us," and O'Shea's will then apportion it out so no one runs away with all of it (there goes my plan).
Unrelated Picture of the Day
And in unrelated news here's a picture I took the other day of the barque Star of India and the ship HMS Surprise (from the Master and Commander movie), taken from the schooner Amazing Grace