Back in 1992, Chicagoans were the first drinkers to give a dark, viscous imperial stout aged in Bourbon barrels a try. In a time when craft beer was in its infancy, it was Chicagoans that welcomed this innovative barrel-aged stout with open minds and eager pallets. That stout of course, is Bourbon County Brand Stout, the first beer aged in a Bourbon barrel. Since 2013, as a thank you to our adventurous and loyal Chicago fans, Bourbon County Stout Proprietor’s is released in Chicago one day only – Black Friday.
We have continued a now standard tradition of inviting brewers and others to share their ideas for BCS variant additions, and we once again found our answer among Goose Island’s brewers. Emily Kosmal has been at Goose for close to two years and came to us with a solid background in food science. She paired some ingredients she loves together that she felt would be a home run in BCS – dark chocolate and chipotle peppers. This one, simply put, is awesome! The earthy, smoky notes of the chipotle peppers in both the aroma and flavor are perfectly balanced by the rich chocolate aroma and flavor of the selected cocoa nibs. The BCS base aged in maple barrels adds the balancing sweetness and the expected depth and complexity to complement and fill out the final blend.
The Bissell family has been harvesting and refining maple syrup for nearly two centuries. Maintaining family tradition while at the same time balancing innovation. Their innovation begins with aging maple syrup in Bourbon barrels, a process that is risky and unconventional. We at Goose Island applaud those who take risks to redefine the definition of their industry.