Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout lineup was recently announced, and beer lovers around the country are already marking the November release date down on their calendars. This annual release consists of stout that is aged in whiskey barrels from different Kentucky distilleries, with coffee or fruit added for flavoring to some of the beer.
In 2015 and 2018, Goose Island partnered with Kentucky’s Heaven Hill to obtain barrels for aging the stout, and the brewery is touting that continued relationship. “This year we are lucky enough to partner with [Heaven Hill] on three different releases,” said Goose Island R&D manager Mike Siegel. “They share our love of bringing together beer and bourbon, and they make outstanding whiskey across the board.”
Conor O’Driscoll, Heaven Hill Distillery master distiller, was equally enthusiastic about working together. “Bourbon and beer is a partnership that makes sense,” he said. “It not only gives our barrels another life, but when you partner with another team that values quality and innovation, it allows for a creative, educational space for the consumer to enjoy these special products.” Barrels from Wild Turkey and Jim Beam are being used this year as well.
The Chicago brewery, owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev since 2011, will celebrate the cut-throat nature of the holiday season by making the lineup available on Black Friday (11/29/19), as it has in recent years. Hopefully this won’t be a typical Black Friday scenario, with frantic beer nerds pushing each other down to get their hands on all eight beers when liquor stores’ doors open that morning. For the completist, a vertical collection will also be available that includes Bourbon County Stout from 2017, 2018, and 2019.
This year’s Bourbon County Stout lineup is as follows:
- Bourbon County Stout aged in Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace, and Wild Turkey barrels.
- Bourbon County Double Barrel Stout aged first in 11-year-old Elijah Craig barrels, then in 12-year-old Elijah Craig barrels.
- 2-year Reserve Bourbon County Stout aged for two years in 11-year-old Knob Creek barrels.
- Reserve Rye Bourbon County Stout aged in Rittenhouse Rye barrels.
- Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout “an homage to variants of years past.”
- Bourbon County Wheatwine Ale aged in Larceny wheated bourbon barrels.
- Bourbon County Café de Olla Stout with Intelligentsia Coffee beans and cold brew added, along with cassia bark, orange peel, and panela sugar.
- Bourbon County Mon Chéri Stout made with Balenton and Montmorency cherries, brewed with oats and a dash of brown sugar.