“Every one of these incredible stouts in our 2023 Bourbon County Brand line-up is a testament to what we at Goose Island have built over the years, as well as what is yet to come. Looking back at our legacy as innovators in craft beer, we are excited to have the opportunity to share our evolution with you this year. Continuously determined to explore the full range of both barrel and variant expressions, we tirelessly strive to push the boundaries of what beer can be.” - John Zadlo, Senior Brand Manager
Introducing the 2023 members of the Bourbon County Brand Family.
2023 Bourbon County Brand Original Stout
After crafting the very first bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout, we’ve learned that to have the best beer, you start with the best possible ingredients. Barrels are such an important ingredient, and we continue to use only the best our friends on the bourbon trail have to offer.
Bourbon County Original Stout is aged in a mix of freshly emptied bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill, Four Roses and Wild Turkey distilleries.
Barrel aged for an average of 12 months, Original boasts deeply developed flavors of fudge, vanilla, and caramelized sugar with a rich, decadent mouthfeel.
2023 Bourbon County Brand Eagle Rare 2-Year Reserve Stout
With a heritage rooted in authenticity and a commitment to craftsmanship, Eagle Rare captures the essence of American history with its Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. Just as bourbon is a uniquely American product, Bourbon County Brand Stout is distinctly Chicago. From the carefully selected American oak barrels sourced from Eagle Rare in Kentucky to the distinct combination of our unique climate and original imperial stout recipe crafted here; Bourbon County Eagle Rare Reserve Stout epitomizes a proud American legacy.
Aged for two years in extraordinary Eagle Rare 10-year-old barrels, each sip is a culmination of our passion, intricately woven together with the nuanced flavors imparted by these remarkable barrels. Eagle Rare Reserve is an incredibly complex and boldly rich stout that celebrates the essence of American brewing at its finest.
2023 Bourbon County Brand Angel's Envy 2-Year Cask Finish Stout
Introducing the newest addition to the Bourbon County family: our first-ever “Cask Finish” stout. Inspired by the innovation of our friends at Angel’s Envy, we embarked on a journey to further develop the complexity of barrel-aged stout by introducing never-before-used finishing barrels. The beer starts in freshly emptied barrels that once held Angel’s Envy Kentucky straight bourbon. After aging in those for a year, the beer was transferred to a second set of Ruby Port wine barrels where it patiently matured for another year. By replicating Angel Envy's finishing process, we refined and amplified the flavors of cherry, spice, and cocoa within this aged stout. Bourbon County Angel’s Envy Cask Finish Stout is a testament to our legacy as the originators of bourbon barrel-aged stout.
2023 Bourbon County Brand Bananas Foster Stout
Welcoming back another member of the family this year, Bourbon County Bananas Foster Stout makes its debut on the national stage. This recipe was first released in 2017 as Bourbon County Brand Proprietor’s Stout only to Chicago drinkers. Beloved by many, this release is especially near and dear to our innovation brewer Quinn Fuechsl’s heart.
At the time when we first released this beer, the brewery hadn’t experimented with bananas much. However, Quinn had a good feeling that the fruit, along with almond and cassia bark, would be perfect ingredients in a bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout — indeed, he was right. Sure to bring a bit of flair to your palate, this decadent pour is well-balanced with deep caramelization, aromas of fresh baked banana bread and warm notes of cinnamon and almond.
2023 Bourbon County Brand Backyard Stout
Feeling nostalgic this year, we dove into our Bourbon County vault and pulled out an iconic recipe. In 2013, we released “Backyard Rye” and our senior innovation manager Mike Siegel found himself hand picking mulberries off trees just steps away from our Goose Island Barrel House in Chicago. Inspired by that initial release and by his own childhood memories of picking fruit in his own backyard, Mike set to work on this year’s Bourbon County Backyard Stout.
This barrel-aged stout was first aged in bourbon barrels for at least one year, and then finished and blended with mulberries, boysenberries and marionberries. Each addition of berry contributes its own distinct flavor profile, with some adding sweetness and others providing acidity and complexity. A taste of the past, this imperial stout is a balanced and nuanced play on fresh fruit, vanilla, and chocolate.
2023 Bourbon County Brand Proprietor's Stout
Year after year, Proprietor’s Stout is an homage to the adventurous craft beer community in Chicago. Bourbon County Proprietor’s Stout embodies that spirit while subtly evoking a comforting sense of home and the holidays.
In the heart of Chicago winter, we were inspired by the warming flavors of a classic dessert: rice pudding. Never having used rice as an ingredient in a stout before, we were excited for the opportunity to brew these flavors into a beer worthy of the city of Chicago.
Using a combination of cassia bark, brown sugar, raisins and toasted rice, the final recipe is a taste of home cooking. This stout wraps you in a culinary blanket of toasted rice, vanilla custard, dried fruit, and baking spices. Proprietor’s is our love language, Chicago.
Cheers to another great year. See you on Black Friday.