Goose Island Unveils Variants for This Year's Bourbon County Stout Release

The famed barrel-aged stout is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

goose island bourbon county stout 2022
Courtesy of Goose Island
Courtesy of Goose Island

No one wants to hear this in August, but fall is coming. That means it’s almost time to cozy up with a bottle of barrel-aged stout.

Bourbon County Stout has long been a pillar of the style. It has been divisive at times, particularly after its brewer, Goose Island, was purchased by beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2011. Nonetheless, the annual release remains a major event in the beer world, and though you can’t lay hands on it until November, the brewery has announced the seven variants that will comprise the 2022 release.

While the date it was first released has been debated, the brewery sticks with 1992 as the original release date for the style-defining brew. This year, it will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Bourbon County Stout with a line-up that includes a 30th Anniversary Reserve Stout.

In November, the brewery will release these seven beers.

  • Goose Island Bourbon County Stout: The classic release with a blend of stout aged in barrels from Heaven Hill, Four Roses, Wild Turkey, and Buffalo Trace.
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Two-Year Barleywine Reserve: This Reserve release was aged in 14-year, 16-year, and 17-year barrels from Old Fitzgerald’s Bottled-In-Bond Decanter Series. The base is Goose Island’s English-style Barleywine, brought back to the lineup for the first time since 2018.
  • Goose Island Bourbon County 30th Anniversary Reserve Stout: This release honors the original collaboration between Goose Island’s Gregory Hall and Jim Beam’s Booker Noe that birthed Bourbon County Stout. It’s aged in a blend of barrels from Jim Beam’s Small Batch Bourbon Collection.
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Biscotti Stout: The recipe for this release came from Jill Cerone, Goose Island’s People Manager. They were inspired by chocolate-dipped biscotti with flavors of anise, marzipan, cocoa, and buttered toffee.
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout: This variant is back for the first time since 2017, made in collaboration with Intelligentsia Coffee.
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Sir Isaac’s Stout: Melissa Alleguez and Ryan Hubona, from Goose Island’s e-commerce team, found a way to bring the flavors of figs to the stout lineup. Sir Isaac's Stout is a fig and graham cracker-inspired variant that used 10,000 pounds of figs to get to the final product.
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Proprietor’s Stout: Jason Krasowkski and Paul Cade, two Goose Island brewers, crafted the 2022 edition of the Proprietor's Stout. It’s a play on a jungle bird cocktail they found in the brewery’s home of Chicago that combines banana, coconut, lime, and pineapple into the profile.

The brewery hasn’t formally announced details around the release schedule, but it has always been released on Black Friday, often to long lines at the brewery doors in Chicago.

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin on Twitter.