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It’ll be a few months before the fan favorite 2023 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout lineup is released—Black Friday (11/24), to be precise. But we have early details about the annual lineup of bourbon barrel-aged and uniquely flavored beers to share, and this year sounds as interesting as ever.
Chicago’s Goose Island brewery launched its Bourbon County Stout back in 1992, and started releasing it as a collection of variants available on Thanksgiving weekend in 2010. Thirteen years later, people are still lining up to get their hands on these bottles (and saving some to keep as collector’s items as well). The through-line is that these stout beers are mostly aged in a variety of bourbon barrels from well known distilleries like Jim Beam, Heaven Hill, and Wild Turkey. This year features some newer distilleries in the mix. “Along with the Bourbon County Brand Original Stout, we always strive to refine our craft and develop ever more unique and interesting takes on Bourbon County,” said senior brewmaster Daryl Hoedtke in a statement. “This year, we are excited to employ some techniques from our friends in the bourbon world, including partnering with Angel’s Envy to introduce a cask-finished variant of Bourbon County.”
The full lineup of the 2023 Bourbon County Stout lineup is as follows:
2023 Bourbon County Brand Original Stout
This is the classic release, a high-ABV (14.6 and 14.1 percent) stout that was aged for about 12 months in bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill, and Wild Turkey. Tasting notes include vanilla, cocoa, cherry, caramelized sugar, and almond.
2023 Bourbon County Brand Eagle Rare 2-Year Reserve Stout
Eagle Rare is a well-known bourbon brand produced at Buffalo Trace that has become more expensive and harder to find over the years. This beer was aged for two years in 10-year-old Eagle Rare barrels to impart notes of oak, toasted almond, and vanilla into the beer.
2023 Bourbon County Brand Angel’s Envy 2-Year Cask Finish Stout
This is the first ever cask-finish stout from Goose Island, and it was inspired by the bourbon produced by Louisville distillery Angel’s Envy. First the beer was aged in Angel’s Envy bourbon barrels for a year, then it was placed into ruby port barrels for an additional year to give it big notes of cherry, spice, and cocoa.
2023 Bourbon County Brand Bananas Foster Stout
Previously launched as a Chicago-only release in 2017, this beer will now be available nationwide. It was brewed with banana, cassia bark, and three different kinds of almonds to give it notes of cinnamon, nuts, and, of course, banana on the palate.
2023 Bourbon County Brand Backyard Stout
Ten years ago Goose Island released its Backyard Rye, which served as the inspiration for this new beer. The stout was aged for a year in bourbon barrels and then finished and blended with three different kinds of berries: mulberries, boysenberries, and marionberries. Those flavors shine through along with vanilla and chocolate notes.
2023 Bourbon County Brand Proprietor’s Stout
According to the brand, this is a tribute to the craft beer community of Chicago and was inspired by rice pudding. The beer was brewed with cassia bark, brown sugar, raisins and, in a first for the distillery, toasted rice. Look for notes of vanilla custard, dried fruit, and baking spice.
As mentioned before, the 2023 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout lineup will be available to purchase starting Friday, November 24. If you’re looking for past releases, you can find them available to purchase online from websites like Total Wine. And please keep things orderly this Black Friday, because you know how those crowds tend to spiral out of control.