Goose Island’s 2018 Bourbon County Release Lineup

Goose Island’s 2018 Bourbon County releases not the usual suspects

“You have to just leave your expectations of what beer is at the door with Bourbon County. You
can take 10 sips over the course of 10 minutes and taste something new every time.” – Mike Siegel Goose Island R&D Manager

Goose Island’s annual Bourbon County release is a much anticipated occasion for a world of beer lovers. And this year’s Black Friday release features eight Bourbon County variations, the brewery’s largest ever!

So here’s what’s coming in just over 100 days…

Bourbon County Brand Stout (ABV: TBD)

Aged in 4+ year old Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels, the original bourbon barrel-aged stout tastes as good as when we first brewed it over 20 years ago. Flavors of cocoa, vanilla, caramel, almond, cherry, plus leather and tobacco flavors permeate this complex beer and deepen with each sip.

“It ain’t broke, and we didn’t try to fix it.” – Brewmaster Jared Jankoski

Reserve Bourbon County Brand Stout (ABV: 15.2%)

The same base recipe as Bourbon County Original, but this beer is aged in 12-year old “Elijah Craig Barrel Proof” bourbon barrels. The bourbon from those barrels was awarded 2017 “Whisky of the Year” by Whisky Advocate, the top honor in the world of international whisky. Reserve is intended to showcase the nuances of a premium single source and highly sought-after bourbon.

We’ve been longtime fans of Elijah Craig. We started brewing the beer well before they won
Whisky of the Year, but it was certainly no surprise when they did – it’s a fantastic whisky. We
want the best quality ingredients, so it was a simple choice to go with Elijah Craig. We had all the
confidence in the world that this would make a great variant.”- Mike Siegel, R&D Manager

Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout (ABV: TBD)

This year’s Proprietor’s explores the broad spectrum of chocolate. Using a combination of dark chocolate and two types of cocoa nibs, this rich and decadent beer highlights the whole range of chocolate from smooth and silky milk chocolate flavors to deep and earthy dark chocolate.

This year’s Proprietor’s is unique in its simplicity. We only used one extra ingredient (chocolate),
but the flavor remains complex due to the different types we’re using.”- Brian LaGro, Brewer

Bourbon County Brand Wheatwine (ABV: 15.4%)

Made from two-row and malted wheat, Bourbon County Brand Wheatwine makes its debut. As the first recipe to veer from the original Imperial Stout since Barleywine in 2013, Wheatwine displays a deep amber color, lighter than its counterparts and acts as a true medium to convey the characteristics of our 4+ year old Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels. Wheatwine overflows with flavors of caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, and toffee.

“What if we brewed a variant of Bourbon County that used only the lightest malts available,
two-row and wheat, to showcase what the process does and not just the recipe? The beer is a
representation of the boil and the barrel. We boil for a very long time and what that does is
create a lot of melanoidins, high caramels and other characteristics that carry through bourbon
aging, but ultimately make Bourbon County what it is.”- Tim Faith, Brewer

Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout (ABV: 14.9%)

This longtime favorite makes a long-awaited return to the Bourbon County roster. Utilizing whole grade A vanilla beans from Madagascar, Vanilla delivers on all the quintessential things fans love about this variant: aromatic vanilla, marshmallow, toffee, oak and floral notes highlighting the creamy mouthfeel and enhancing the chocolate flavors that are ingrained in Bourbon County.

“As a lab analyst, it’s been a fun experience to be on a different side of things. Working in the
lab, I have a lot of interaction with the beer, so creating a variant came easy with what I felt
worked well with the Bourbon County characteristics.”
– Paul Lievens, Quality Assurance

Bourbon County Brand Bramble Rye Stout (ABV: TBD)

For this variant we aged Bourbon County Stout in rye whiskey barrels, then added raspberry and blackberry juice and puree from Michigan and Washington. The process resulted in complex jammy fruit notes that are prominent but well-integrated with the caramel and chocolate flavors of the beer and spicy ryecharacter from the barrels.

Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine (ABV: TBD)

Working with our friends at Intelligentsia, we flew down to Guatemala to source some of the world’s best coffee to use in the first-ever release of Coffee Barleywine. A malt-forward English-style Barleywine, the beer aged in 4+ year old Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels before we added La Soledad coffee beans right before packaging to impart a bold coffee aroma and flavor.

The folks at Intelligentsia are awesome to work with, they’re really guiding us to areas, people,
and farms that make a lot of sense. This year we went to Guatemala and got to source our
beans from a 5th generation family-owned farm. To me, it really resonates with what we do –
feeling close to the ingredients that are in our beers and making a conscious choice of how we
source our ingredients.”- Jared Jankoski, Brewmaster

Bourbon County Brand Midnight Orange Stout (ABV: 14.9%)

Brewer Oscar and Quality Analyst Paul created the concept for this new variant of Bourbon County. The result? Midnight Orange. They combined two things we love, orange and chocolate, taking Bourbon County into a new and exciting direction. While the chocolate compliments the Bourbon County base, the orange zest offers a point of contrast for a bold new flavor profile to delight Bourbon County fans and newcomers alike.

“As a lab analyst, it’s been a fun experience to be on a different side of things. Working in the
lab, I have a lot of interaction with the beer, so creating a variant came easy with what I felt
worked well with the Bourbon County characteristics.” – Paul Lievens, Quality Assurance Analyst

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