Despite the brewery being the first big domino to fall in Anheuser-Busch's chain of craft brewery acquisitions (which continued last week), Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Stout (BCBS) remains one of the most celebrated annual beer releases.
As per usual, the new line of BCBS won't be released in stores and at the brewery's Chicago taproom until Black Friday (November 29). However, the brewery announced the full line of stouts for 2019 on August 14. Goose Island will release eight variants this fall, including a special surprise box for folks who love comparing one year's batch to the next. (Or are cellaring some and don't feel like they can go back to the well quite yet.)
The 2019 beers will include:
- Bourbon County Stout: Aged in a mix of Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace, and Wild Turkey barrels.
- Bourbon County Double Barrel Stout: "Double the barrels and double the time," the announcement reads. This variant was first aged in 11-year-old Elijah Craig barrels, then in 12-year-old Elijah Craig barrels.
- 2-Year Reserve Bourbon County Stout: This spent twice the amount of time in-barrel as the standard BCS, aging in 11-year-old Knob Creek barrels.
- Reserve Rye Bourbon County Stout: This variant is "intended to showcase the nuances and flavor impact of a premium single source and highly sought after bourbon." This year, it will be Rittenhouse Rye.
- Proprietor's Bourbon County Stout: This year's Proprietor's is an "homage to variants of years past."
- Bourbon County Wheatwine Ale: This award-winning variant is back for the second year in a row. It's been aged in Larceny's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky casks, which uses wheat as the secondary grain instead of rye.
- Bourbon County Café de Olla Stout: Inspired by traditional Latin infused coffee and made with Intelligentsia beans and cold brew, this one also contains cassia bark, orange peel, and panela sugar garnish.
- Bourbon County Mon Chéri Stout: This one is "a love letter from the brewer, Quinn, to his wife who loves cherries." It's made with Balaton and Montmorency cherries, as well as oats and a little brown sugar.
"We're really excited for this year's release," said Keith Gabbett, Goose Island brewmaster. "Bourbon County Stout Original is one of the best yet with lots of rich chocolate and fudge notes. We've pushed our own expectations of what a BCS variant can be, which has resulted in some fantastic versions."