Today is the day that fans of Goose Island Beer Co.’s famous Bourbon County Brand Stout have been waiting for all year.
That is because with two exceptions, the Chicago-based brewery will be releasing the majority of bottled BCBS variants at retailers nationwide today. Those exceptions are 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 has indicated will not have “a traditional retail release” that included an online lottery earlier this month.
However, fans have another thing to be thankful for: this year, there are eight different variants being released in 500ml bottles:
The confirmed line-up for 2018 is:
- Bourbon County Brand Stout 2019
- Bourbon County Brand Wheatwine 2019
- Bourbon County Reserve Rye Bourbon County Stout 2019
- 2-Year Reserve Bourbon County Stout 2019
- Bourbon County Café de Olla Stout 2019
- Bourbon County Mon Chéri Stout 2019
- Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout 2019
- Bourbon County Double Barrel Stout 2019
Bourbon County Brand Stout 2019 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.
Also returning this year is Bourbon County Wheatwine 2019, a wheatwine-syle ale brewed with two-row and malted wheat before being 100 percent aged in 100 percent in bourbon casks that previously held Larceny wheated bourbon from Heaven Hill.
Bourbon County Reserve Rye Bourbon County Stout 2019 is an imperial stout 100 percent aged in barrels that previously held Rittenhouse Rye. According to Goose Island, the Reserve Bourbon County Stout variants are meant to “showcase how a premium single source bourbon barrel can influence the nuances and flavors of our original BCS.”
2-Year Reserve Bourbon County Stout 2019 is an imperial stout aged for 24 months in barrels that previously held Knob Creek 25th Anniversary for 11 years.
Bourbon County Café de Olla Stout 2019 is an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels and brewed with coffee beans and cold brew coffee sourced from Intelligentsia Coffee as well as additions of of cassia bark, orange peel and panela sugar. The variant was inspired by “the traditional Mexican beverage of the same name.”
Bourbon County Mon Chéri Stout 2019 is an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels and brewed with Balaton and Montmorency cherries, oats, and “a dash” of brown sugar. This variant is “a love letter from our brewer Quinn to his wife, an avid lover of all things cherry.”
Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout 2019 is an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels and conditioned on toasted pecans, coconut, cocoa, and vanilla. The flavors in this variant are meant to “mingle together to create flavors reminiscent of Tiramisu.”
Bourbon County Double Barrel Stout 2019 is an imperial stout that was first aged for 12 months in 11-year-old Elijah Craig barrels sourced from Heaven Hill. Goose Island then emptied the beer from those barrels and aged it in fresh 12-year-old Elijah Craig barrels, “the same barrels that housed the Whisky Advocate 2017 Whisky Of The Year.”
In addition, Goose Island will be releasing the Bourbon County Stout Vertical Collection, a sampler box which will include one each of three different vintages of Bourbon County Brand Stout: 2017, 2018 and 2019.
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
Finally, while the vast majority of the Bourbon County Brand Stout beers will be released at various times today, there have been multiple accounts of retailers selling the beers before the deadline, with some bottles being released as early as yesterday morning.