As the makers of the very first bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout, Goose Island understands that its annual release comes with great expectations. Both beer and bourbon drinkers brave the lines for those coveted bottles. With the 2023 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout offerings, the release brings a taste of familiar, a touch of innovation, and a nod to the tradition that is always front of mind.
With its characteristic char, the bourbon barrel has become coveted. While bourbon only uses the barrel once, that wood has absorbed flavor that can impart its goodness into other beverages. From wine to other spirits, there is no reason for that wood to go to waste.
When Goose Island started to brew its Bourbon County Stout, they were in a category by itself. Over time, other brewers have borrowed the idea. Still, the originator stands out in the crowd. From their ability to source the best barrels to continually pushing the flavor conversation forward, the annual releases are both a nod to their past yet a glimpse into their future.
What are the 2023 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout offerings?
The 2023 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout offerings are quite varied. The offerings are:
- 2023 Bourbon County Brand Original Stout
- 2023 Bourbon County Brand Eagle Rare 2-Year Reserve Stout
- 2023 Bourbon County Brand Angel’s Envy 2-Year Cask Finish Stout
- 2023 Bourbon County Brand Bananas Foster Stout
- 2023 Bourbon County Brand Backyard Stout
- 2023 Bourbon County Brand Proprietor’s Stout
For the first time ever, Goose Island is using an Angel’s Envy barrel. Given that this bourbon has some burnt sugar and caramel notes, those nuances will influence the stout. Blending that item with the finish in Ruby Port wine barrels, this beer will take drinkers on a journey. From cherry to spice, it might be the beer to slowly sip while sitting by the fire.
Another standout offering will be the 2023 Bourbon County Brand Eagle Rare 2-Year Reserve Stout. A passion project for the brewers, the beer has spent two years in extraordinary Eagle Rare 10-year-old barrels. This particular bottle might be the most sought out of the six offerings.
Always a treat for the Chicago market is the Proprietor’s Stout. This year’s offering is inspired by rice pudding. Although desserts have influenced these unique expressions, this year’s beer ventures into new territory, the use of rice. Although this idea is not like a sake, the warm, baking spices will come through but it will be subtle. Like grandma’s dessert is a token of her love, this year’s Proprietor’s Stout is a love letter to Goose Island fans.
The 2023 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout family of beers will be released on Friday, November 24. Check with retailers for availability and pricing.