The other day I was given a heads-up by a store on getting myself a bottle of Rare Bourbon County Stout by Goose Island.  I discussed whether to purchase Rare with Beer Bitch.  This discussion should send up a big red flag.  I never discuss beer purchases prior to purchase, much like she never asks what I think of her shoes.  Either way, purchases show up and the other person goes “Oh, what is that?”  I thought very, very hard on this and actually have a list of reasons why I am not buying it.

For your consideration:

  1. I tried an early batch of Rare in the Spring at a Goose Island event.  While I know it was not the finished product, and Bourbon County Stout (BCS) usually takes a year to age once in the bottle.  At the time I was not impressed.
  2. The name.  I could fire up a homebrew kit make a limited number of bottles, and call it rare.  Just because I call it rare does not mean it is a good beer.
  3. We do not know if this is good beer.  This is a new recipe.  How do we know it is really worth it?  It might be indistinguishable from the regular BCS recipe.
  4. Goose Island has had quality control issues.  We can all remember a recall of Matilda their flagship beer, and reports of contaminated taps at their brewpub.
  5. Cost.  At $45 a bottle it may or may not be worth it.  Not that I am opposed to spending that amount for a bottle of beer, but I want to know it is worth it.  I have a sneaky suspicion this beer might only be worth a few dollars more than regular BCS.
Now I know in a few weeks many of you will likely point out positive Beer Advocate reviews or your own good experiences with this beer.  I think you should keep in mind a psychology theory known as confirmation bias. It is the idea that a person has a belief and will look for any evidence to confirm that they made a correct decision.  I hope if you bought a bottle you do not regret it.  If you did not buy a bottle and regret it please use my list to console yourself.  Hopefully you will end up believing it.



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