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 generate a great deal of buzz.
And for that reason alone, we thought you might want to know what they’ve got planned for this year.
According to a post on Goose Island’s website, the Chicago-based brewery will be releasing a total of EIGHT different variations of the barrel-aged brand this year and here’s what they’ve got planned…
Bourbon County Stout
This year’s Bourbon County Stout is aged in a mix of Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace, and Wild Turkey barrels, and re-blended for rich, complex mouthfeel… This is the classic and usually the most widely available.
Bourbon County Wheatwine
2018’s Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beers award-winning variation returns for second year. And this year it’s 100% aged in Heaven Hill bourbon casks resulting in a softer flavor profile, full of caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, and toffee notes.
Reserve Rye Bourbon County Stout
Goose Island’s annual Reserve Bourbon County Stout release is a testament to how a premium single source bourbon barrel can influence the nuances and flavors of our original BCS.
The 2019 Reserve Rye is aged in 100% Rittenhouse Rye barrels which according to the brewery “had a unique effect on the original imperial stout, imparting flavors of fruit and spice. Reserve Rye accentuates all that makes Rittenhouse and Bourbon County unique.”
2-Year Reserve Bourbon County Stout
The 2-Year Reserve Bourbon County Stout is aged 24 months in 11-year-old 25th Anniversary Knob Creek barrels.
According to Goose Island, the barrels of what many have called “a lifetime bourbon” deliver an oak-forward intensity accented with subtle hazelnut and chocolate notes that perfectly compliment the original Bourbon County Stout.
Bourbon County Café de Olla Stout
Created in partnership with Goose Island’s next door neighbors, Intelligentsia Coffee, the Café de Olla variation is inspired by the traditional Mexican beverage of the same name.
Goose Island added coffee beans and cold brew coffee to its Original Bourbon County Stout and then enhanced this beer further through additions of cassia bark, orange peel, and panela sugar.
Bourbon County Mon Chéri Stout
One of this year’s more unique variations, Bourbon County Mon Cheri Stout, is made with Balaton and Montmorency cherries, oats, and a dash of brown sugar.
Pumped with big amaretto and almond aromatics is said to have “a silky, velvety finish thanks to the addition of oats to the beer, which brings to mind cherry cobbler.”
Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout
2019’s “Chicagoland only” release is explained as a homage to some of the most beloved ingredients from Bourbon County variants of years past…
This from Goose Island Brewmaster Keith Gabbett…
“Toasted pecans, coconut, cocoa, and vanilla mingle together to create flavors reminiscent of Tiramisu. Expect an aroma of dark chocolate, toasted coconut, and caramel to round out this decadent stout.”
Bourbon County Double Barrel Stout
We’ve got to admit Bourbon County Double Barrel Stout sounds pretty impressive…
First aged for 12 months in 11-year-old oak barrels from Heaven Hill distilleries, the stout is then transferred for further aging in fresh 12-year-old Elijah Craig barrels the same barrels that housed the Whisky Advocate 2017 Whisky of the Year.
All image credits: Goose Island