Standing in lines for Goose Island’s annual Black Friday Bourbon County Stout Release is for many beer lovers still a rite of passage.
And although many in the craft beer community dismiss Goose Island (now owned by AB InBev) as no longer being ‘craft beer,’ their annual Bourbon County Brand release still generates a great deal of buzz.
But one of the benefits of Goose Island’s alignment with Anheuser-Busch InBev is distribution, which ensures that its annual Goose Island Bourbon County Stout variations are now widely available on Black Friday, that’s WIDELY AVAILABLE as in coast-to-coast.
In August the Chicago-based brewery that’s renowned for championing America’s first barrel-aged stout, announced that it is releasing a total of seven different variations of the barrel-aged brand along with its classic in 2021…
They’re all aggressively high octane, with ABVs that linger around 15%, and as always this year’s Bourbon County release sounds uber-interesting.
Here’s how Goose Island describes this year’s lineup, that as usual becomes available on Black Friday, with the exception of its Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout which as a gift to its hometown fans is a Chicagoland exclusive release…
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
This year, our Imperial Stout is aged and blended from freshly emptied bourbon barrels from Heaven Hill, Four Roses, Wild Turkey, and Buffalo Trace distilleries. Expect flavors of vanilla, dark chocolate, toffee, molasses, almond, and dried fruit.
Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout
“In 2010, we released the first-ever Bourbon County Stout variants and our Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout has been a fan favorite ever since. For the first time since 2017, we brought back a coffee variant this year in partnership with our friends and neighbors Intelligentsia Coffee. Intelligentsia relies on Burundi for some of the cleanest, sweetest coffees in the world that ultimately complement the quality and tasting notes of Bourbon County Stout.”
Goose Island Bourbon County Biscotti Stout
“Inspired by the Italian desserts of her childhood, Jill Cerone, People Manager at Goose Island, dreamed up this option after grabbing a box of chocolate-dipped biscotti from her cabinet. Working with the brewing team, Jill brought the flavor to life with notes of anise, marzipan, cocoa, and buttered toffee.”
Goose Island Bourbon County Sir Isaac’s Stout
“For years, brewers at Goose Island have brainstormed ways to incorporate figs in Bourbon County Stout. Highlighting the dried fried profiles extracted from the bourbon in the barrels, our brewers used Black Mission figs (10,000 pounds of them, to be specific) to create this variant resulting in characteristics of dried fruit, honey, molasses, and citrus, all reminiscent of the classic fig cookie sold on shelves today.”
Goose Island Bourbon County Proprietor’s Stout (Chicagoland Only)
“The 2022 Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout is inspired by a love for cocktails and the vibrant hospitality industry here in Chicago. The result is a brewer’s take on a jungle bird cocktail that combines banana, coconut, lime, and a new ingredient for the Bourbon County Stout family – pineapple.”
Goose Island Bourbon County Two-Year Barleywine Reserve
“Bringing back our classic English-style Barleywine for the first time since 2018, we knew this was going to be something special. Our Two-Year Barleywine Reserve evokes the rich intricacies from that of Old Fitzgerald’s Bottled-In-Bond Series for a velvety taste of rich malt, entwined with notes of toffee, cherry, vanilla, fig, and almond. This Reserve offers us a rare opportunity to highlight the distinct characteristics of our rich Barleywine aged in 14-year, 16-year and 17-year-old barrels of an amazing bourbon pedigree.”
Goose Island Bourbon County 30th Anniversary Reserve Stout
“Going back to the inception of Bourbon County Stout, the 30th Anniversary Stout is aged from a blend of Jim Beam barrels from their Small Batch Bourbon Collection barrels. The 30th Anniversary Stout is a celebration of all the people who have enjoyed, worked on, and been a part of the Bourbon County Stout brand over the years. Expect notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, cherry, and almond.”
(All image credits Goose Island Beer)