The official release is most likely still months away, but thanks to labels filed with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), we now know what this year’s Goose Island Beer Co.’s regular Bourbon County Brand Stout looks like.
As with previous incarnations, Bourbon County Brand Stout 2018 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 bourbon barrels. According to the brewery, the stout debuted on draft in 1992, but it was another four years before the stout was bottled for the first time in 1996.
While release details have not been confirmed, all but two of the six bottled BCBS variants last year were available nationwide starting on the day after Thanksgiving, which fell on Nov. 24. The exceptions were Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout, which has always been exclusively available in Chicago since its debut in 2013 and Bourbon County Brand Stout Reserve 2017.
BCBS 2018 will be packaged in 500ml bottles, which Goose Island introduced in 2015 for the Bourbon County Brand family, replacing the 12- and 22-ounce bottles that had been used for years.
In addition, all of the Bourbon County Brand Stout releases in 2016 and 2017 were pasteurized using a process called flash pasteurization, which Goose Island began implementing in direct response to the multiple infection issues the brewery encountered with 2015’s releases of Bourbon County Stout, Bourbon County Stout Coffee, Bourbon County Stout Proprietor’s and Bourbon County Barleywine.
When reached by email, a spokesperson for Goose Island declined to comment.