Although we are likely many months away from confirmation on which Bourbon County Brand Stout variants Goose Island Beer Co. is releasing this year, we now have a few details on at least three possibilities.
The Chicago-based brewery has filed labels with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) for three different variants of Bourbon County Anniversary Brand Stout 2020 (BCBS 2020), 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.
The three possible new variants include one keg label and two labels for 500ml bottles:
- 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 Weller 2020 — Imperial stout aged for two years in 12-year-old bourbon barrels that previously held Weller 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 — keg
Although release details for this year’s releases have not been confirmed, all but two of the eight bottled BCBS variants last year were available nationwide starting on the day after Thanksgiving, which fell on Nov. 29. Those exceptions were Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout, which has always been exclusively available in Chicago since its debut in 2013; and Bourbon County Double Barrel Stout 2019, which the brewery indicated would not have “a traditional retail release” that included an online lottery.
Goose Island has also filed labels for three additional variants in kegs this year, although it should be noted that the fact that a label has been filed for a specific beer or beers does not necessarily mean that those beers will ever be released:
- Bourbon County Brand Irish-Style Coffee Stout, an imperial stout aged in Irish whiskey barrels with coffee and lactose added
- Bourbon County Brand Dry-Hopped Stout 2019, an imperial dry-hopped stout aged in bourbon barrels
- Bourbon County Oyster Stout 2019, an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels with oyster shells added
When reached for comment via email, Stephanie O’Brien, spokesperson for Praytell Agency wrote: “We know our fans anxiously await the release of the official 2020 Bourbon County Stout lineup – and we love to see the excitement! The reality is each year we have dozens of variant submissions from our brewers and creative discussions with our spirits partners. You may expect to see more TTB labels listed, but trust us, you’ll know when we announce the official lineup.”