Friday April 3rd 2020
Friday was a bit strange, because I really wanted it to feel like Friday, but obviously it just didn’t. It was a muddled mish-mash of a day, a bit of an emotional rollercoaster as I attempted to ward off a heavy-hearted sadness, as this was the day we should have been embarking on our road trip for my upcoming 40th birthday. The weather here in Austin did not help matters. Our Spring storms arrived full-pelt and the sky erupted over our heads, hurling down sheets of rain capable of soaking us in seconds and constant jolts of thunder and lightning – all fun and games when you’re safely indoors, but obviously, this was the day we had chosen to go to the store. Ho hum. On the plus side, the results of our Total Wines supermarket sweep should keep us going for a while. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. By the time we arrived home, cold, wet and feeling decidedly un-Fridayish, we were ready to jump straight in with some heavy hitters, and I raided my Big Stout Collection for something suitably uplifting. While I would be lying if I said that beer solves everything and tears were not shed, it is certainly true that some beers have the power calm, distract and console, and this was certainly one of them.
Boulevard Tasting Room Imperial Sweet Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels
For me, Boulevard are synonymous with excellence on so many levels, and this velvety nectar of a Stout epitomises everything I love about them. Lush and gentle but also weighty and rich, drinking this beer felt utterly soothing, the sweet-cream lactose and smooth, full bourbon coming together so beautifully that to compare it to a boozy milkshake would be to do it a disservice. The balance was absolutely perfect, and despite being someone who is not usually a fan of sweet beers, I could happily drink this every day, trauma or no trauma. A big thank you to our lovely friends James and Christy who gave us this beer – you guys are awesome!
The Boulevard Tasting Room series has yet to disappoint me, in fact, Boulevard overall have yet to disappoint me. We loved their taproom so much that we returned for a second visit the next day! The quality of the beers, fantastic tour, brilliant atmosphere and outstanding customer service remain etched into our brains, and have become the benchmark for every taproom that we visit. When all this is over, make this a beercation must-visit. In the meantime, find this beer and its friends, and drink them when you’re sad, or when you’re happy, or any time at all, for a little taste of heaven.