While some people think of Black Friday as an opportunity to score the best shopping deals, others know that the day after Thanksgiving is the annual highly coveted beer release. The 2023 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout offerings are an impressive collection. Whether beer drinkers are able to score one bottle or one of each, these Goose Island beers are the best gift to open this holiday season.
As the originator of the bourbon barrel-aged stout, Goose Island appreciates that there is a balance between staying true to its origin but also pushing creativity by embracing flavor innovations. During the multi-month aging process, the robust beer takes on the caramelization, spice, and sweetness that the bourbon barrels offer.
Given that there are six varieties in 2023 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout offerings, the differences in barrels bring very different flavors to the conversation. Although certain characteristics unite them all, each one stands on its own. Some might become quite coveted by both beer and bourbon drinkers.
Generally, Goose Island uses Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill, Four Roses and Wild Turkey distilleries bourbon barrels for these offerings. Whether beer drinkers choose a bottle based on the distillery or the flavor profile is a personal decision. Sometimes the connection is clear, other times the offering takes a different direction.
2023 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout offerings ranked
The 2023 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout offerings include: 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 and 2023 Bourbon County Brand Proprietor’s Stout.
While all this year’s offerings are superb, the 2023 Bourbon County Brand Angel’s Envy 2-Year Cask Finish Stout is the highlight of the group. As the first “cask finish” offering, the flavor is quite nuanced. With a touch of sweetness from cherry and a warm spice note, it is quite enjoyable.
Angel’s Envy often has an inherent sweetness. That characteristic comes through in this Cask finished stout. For anyone who has a bottle of the bourbon on hand, enjoying both the stout and bourbon together is quite enjoyable.
The second most coveted 2023 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout offering would be the 2023 Bourbon County Brand Eagle Rare 2-Year Reserve Stout. This one is probably the most complex of the annual offerings. The oak notes are predominantly featured. Even though there is some vanilla for approachability and a warmth from the toasted almond, it is big, bold. Like the City of Broad Shoulders, this stout is meant to make a memorable impression.
Although the 2023 Bourbon County Brand Proprietor’s Stout has quite a limited release, it showcases the brewers’ creativity. As seen in previous years, it is an opportunity to try something quite different. This year’s offering is a nod to rice pudding. By using rice in the brewing process, the flavor feels a touch nostalgic, homey, and comforting. Although it might not be best served with the same dessert, it is a delightful choice to enjoy with a bread pudding.
Overall, all of this year’s Goose Island Bourbon County Stout offerings are quite outstanding. It seems that every year the beer brand sets the bar higher. It is time to raise a glass to the craftsmanship that deserves all the accolades.