After almost a year of waiting, we now know what the 2016 crop of Bourbon County Brand Stout (BCBS) releases will be, but that is not the only big news.
According to an article in Paste Magazine, this year will bring four different versions of the popular imperial stout, which like last year’s release will come packaged in 500ml bottles.
The brewery has confirmed that this year’s BCBS releases will be pasteurized using a process called flash pasteurization.
According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the beer will be heated to approximately 160 degrees for about 30 seconds to kill bacteria before rapidly cooling it down again. This is in direct response to the multiple infection issues the brewery encountered with last year’s releases of Bourbon County Stout, Bourbon County Stout Coffee, Bourbon County Stout Proprietor’s and Bourbon County Barleywine.
Earlier this year the Chicago-based brewery offered refunds for bottles of 2015 Bourbon County Brand Stout, Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine and 2015 Proprietor’s Stout. The brewery stated the beer developed “off flavors” that “are not to our standards.”
The 2016 line-up is as follows:
- 2016 Bourbon County Stout — Aged in bourbon barrels.
- 2016 Bourbon County Stout Coffee — Brewed with Intelligentsia Flecha Roja coffee sourced from Coast Rica.
- 2016 Bourbon County Barleywine — Aged in first-use bourbon barrels.
- 2016 Bourbon County Stout Proprietor’s — Brewed with chipotle peppers and cocoa nibs before being aged in bourbon barrels that previously stored maple syrup. Chicago exclusive.
In addition to the four beers above, Goose Island applied and received label approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) for two additional BCBS variants: Bourbon County Brand Maple Rye Stout and 2016 Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout aged in Scotch whisky barrels. In an email, Megan Largesse, communications manager at The High End for Anheuser-Busch InBev, told Tenemu that there will not be a second version of Proprietor’s and that “there will be no Rye variant this year – our brewmaster (Jared Jankoski) determined it needed more aging before it was ready to extract from the barrels.”
This is the first time in Goose Island’s 28-year history that a beer will be pasteurized. The brewery has said it has no plans to pasteurize any additional beers.
Update (Sept. 30, 2016) — This post was updated to include a quote concerning Bourbon County Brand Maple Rye Stout and 2016 Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout aged in Scotch whisky barrels. It was originally published on Sept. 29, 2016.