After months of waiting, we know now which Bourbon County Brand Stout—otherwise known as BCBS—variants Goose Island Beer Co. is releasing on Black Friday.
“This year’s Bourbon County Stout lineup is special because it marks a milestone that we are particularly proud of, the 10th anniversary of our namesake Black Friday release,” said Todd Ahsmann, president at Goose Island, in a press release. “Back in 2010 we had no idea the impact our Bourbon County Stout release on Black Friday would have on the craft beer community, and today we are proud of the tradition it’s become. Cheers to our fans and those who have been with us all of these years!”
On Nov. 27, Goose Island will be releasing seven different BCBS variants in 500ml bottles. The confirmed line-up for Black Friday 2020 will be:
- 2020 Bourbon County Stout
- 2020 Bourbon County Kentucky Fog Stout
- 2020 Bourbon County Special #4 Stout
- 2020 Bourbon County Caramella Ale
- 2020 Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout
- 2020 Birthday Bourbon County Stout
- 2020 Anniversary Bourbon County Stout
Bourbon County Brand Stout 2020 is an imperial stout brewed with two-row, Black, Caramel, Chocolate, Munich 10 and Roasted Barley malts and is hopped with Millennium hops before being aged in a mix of bourbon barrels that previously held Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey for one year.
2020 Bourbon County Kentucky Fog Stout is the brewery’s first-ever tea-inspired variant inspired by one of the brewer’s girlfriend who prefers tea over coffee. A take on the London Fog tea drink, the barrel-aged stout is conditioned on Earl Grey Tea and Black Tea from Kilogram Tea, as well as clover honey from The Honey House.
2020 Bourbon County Special #4 Stout is an oatmeal stout variant of Goose Island’s original Bourbon County Stout recipe brewed with crystal oats and aged in bourbon barrels. After barrel aging, both cold brew and single origin coffee from Ethiopia called “Metad Buku” from Intelligentsia Coffee was added, as well as bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup from Bissell Maple Farm in Ohio.
2020 Bourbon County Caramella Ale is a wheatwine-style aged in Larceny Wheated Bourbon barrels with apple, cinnamon, and natural caramel flavor added after aging.
2020 Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout was inspired by third-generation Italian American brewer Emily Kosmal’s love of spumoni, a classic Italian frozen dessert that contains candied fruit and nuts between each layer. This variant was blended with fresh pistachios, cacao nibs, candied Amarena cherries, and natural vanilla flavors.
2020 Birthday Bourbon County Stout was aged in Old Forester Birthday Bourbon barrels that were hand-selected 11-year old barrels and chosen from one specific day of production.
2020 Anniversary Bourbon County Stout has been aged for two years in Weller 12 Year barrels and is a special variant this year to “celebrate Goose Island’s 10-year tradition of releasing Bourbon County Stout on Black Friday.”
In addition, Goose Island filed labels for six additional variants that were not included in the announcement:
- Bourbon County Old Forester President’s Choice Bourbon 2020 — Imperial stout aged in barrels that previously held 2019 Old Forester Birthday bourbon — keg
- Bourbon County Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2020 — Imperial stout aged in barrels that previously held 2019 Old Forester Birthday bourbon — 500ml bottles and kegs
- Bourbon County Anniversary Brand Stout Eagle Rare 2020 — Imperial stout aged for two years in bourbon barrels that previously held Eagle Rare bourbon — 500ml bottles
- Bourbon County Anniversary Brand Stout Blanton’s 2020 — Imperial stout aged for 18 months in bourbon barrels that previously held Blanton’s bourbon — kegs
- Bourbon County Brand Toasted Coconut Stout 2020 — Imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels and conditioned on toasted coconut — 500ml bottles and kegs
- Bourbon County Brand Peaches & Cream Wheatwine Ale — Wheatwine-style ale aged in barrels that previously held Larceny bourbon and conditioned on both peaches and vanilla beans — 500ml bottles and kegs
According to Goose Island, all of the Bourbon County Brand Stout bottles are scheduled to be released on the day after Thanksgiving, which this year falls on Nov. 27. While most variants have historically been sold at retailers nationwide, the notable exception is Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout, which has always been exclusively available in the Chicago area since its debut in 2013.