As we enter Black Friday it means one thing to barrel aged stout lovers, the release of Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout! Allocation of this beer has been delivered to its accounts and most shops in the Portland area will offer it for sale beginning today.
This year the Chicago based brewer will release six varieties of Bourbon County Brand Stout – Bourbon County Brand Stout, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine, Bourbon County Brand Stout Coffee, Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout, Bourbon County Proprietor’s Brand Stout, and Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout.
Here’s a rundown on all six of the 2017 Goose Island Bourbon County Brand stouts.
Bourbon County Brand Stout (Original):
The aroma and taste are an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. Barrels were second use, fresh-unrinsed, 5 to 7-year-old bourbon barrels. Brewed in honor of the 1,000th batch at our original Clybourn brewpub. A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel.
Bourbon County Brand Barleywine:
Medium-bodied with hints of oak, charcoal, tobacco, vanilla, and the signature bourbon heat that is the hallmark of this barrel-aged Barleywine. Barrels were second use, fresh-unrinsed, 5 to 7-year-old bourbon barrels. In years past, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine was aged in third use bourbon barrels that previously housed our barrel-aged stout. This year’s Barleywine was aged exclusively in freshly emptied, second use bourbon barrels, so expect this vintage to have a slightly higher ABV and an enhanced bourbon character. According to our Brewmaster Jared Jankoski, this release should have sublime barrel-aged character.
Bourbon County Brand Stout Coffee:
Every day Goose Island smells the freshly roasted coffee beans from our next-door neighbor, Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea. This world class roaster puts the same passion and skill into their coffee as Goose Island does with its beer. This excellent stout is made with a different coffee blend each year; with the change in coffee comes a change in the flavor profile, making each release truly unique from the last. This year, we are using Intelligentsia’s Black Cat Espresso. Black Cat Espresso was the bean we used in the first Bourbon County Coffee release in 2010 and we are excited to bring it back!
Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout (National Variant):
Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout has aromas of rich dark chocolate, fresh blueberry,and nutty marzipan. Barrels were second use, fresh-unrinsed, 5 to 7-year-old bourbon barrels. The concept for this year’s National Bourbon County variant has been bouncing around in Goose Island Brewmaster Jared Jankoski’s head for a couple years. Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout combines some of his favorite flavors—blueberry and almond. The addition of almond extract lends a marzipan-like fruity character that complements the blueberry note. It was challenging to dial in the levels and ratios in this beer, but the result is well worth the effort.
Bourbon County Proprietor’s Brand Stout:
With a flavor profile that is evocative of the classic bananas Foster recipe, this year’s Proprietors has balanced aromas of banana, cassia bark and roasted almonds, and gives a great depth and integration of flavors. Will be available exclusively in Chicago. Brewed by Goose Island brewer Quinn Fuechsl.
Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout:
Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout is expected to be delicious with the familiar notes of charred oak, vanilla, caramel, and smoke, but with added depth contributed by 11-year-old Knob Creek Bourbon barrels. It will have a limited release in Chicago and Kentucky.