Editor’s Note: Goose Island Bourbon County Horchata turned out to be a fake label released by the brewery prior to the announcement. According to Goose Island, it’s not real.
Pastry stouts – i.e. stouts with dessert-like additions like vanilla beans or chocolate are wildly popular in beer right now. Goose Island has taken notice and looks to be adding pastry inspired additions to their famed Bourbon Country Brand Series.
Among the future dessert-themed releases could be Bourbon County Neopolitan Stout, as well as the above – Bourbon County Horchata Stout.
Horchata is aged in bourbon barrels with cinnamon, vanilla, and lactose milk sugar. Inspired by the popular sweet and milky Mexican drink.
Currently, Goose Island Bourbon County Horchata is slated as a draft offering. No confirmation currently on whether it will be bottled.
Style: Imperial Stout (w/ Cinnamon. Vanilla. Lactose. Barrel Aged. Bourbon.)
Note: This is a “sneak peek.” Details, release date, or release at all, are subject to change at anytime by the brewery.
Ed Note: Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Neopolitan Stout is a fake. The brewery created fake labels ahead of the official BCBS announcement.
The original story below from July 10th, 2018.
First get familiar with the term “pastry stout”. The beer industry is full of them these days. Take a simple imperial stout.- and throw in ingredients you’d find in a scone, brownie, cookie, or cake. Pastry stouts now have vanilla beans, cinnamon, cacao nibs, coconut, lactose, even breakfast cereal or movie theater candy. Not to mention aged various spirits barrels. They are basically alcoholic desserts.
Chicago’s Goose Island is home to one of the most well-known barrel-aged imperial stouts – Bourbon County. Over the years, Coffee, Vanilla, and berry editions have surfaced. Goose Island hasn’t turned a blind eye to the success of the (using this term loosely) “style” and is potentially bringing their own pastries to the table.
Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Neopolitan Stout looks to sweeten palates this fall. The imperial stout has been aged in bourbon barrels with vanilla, lactose milk sugar, strawberry puree, and chocolate. Think boozy ice cream.
No official announcement has been made by Goose Island on any of the 2018 variants.
Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Neopolitan Stout is slated for 16.9-ounce bottles and draft.
Goose Island Double Barrel Bourbon County, a double barrel aged edition of the well-known stout is in the works.
Currently, just a keg label has surfaced. Next month when Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout returns (on Black Friday), a double barrel aged variation might surface as well.
No word on which barrels were used for this variant and no release has been officially announced. This edition is big on booze – to the tune of 17.2% alcohol by volume.
It’s officially Black Friday. That means Goose Island Bourbon County 2016 (and its variants) are hitting shelves. The release has become a bit of a Black Friday drunken tradition.
Honestly, Bourbon County has a bit of a storied history. For years now, it has been one of the most sought after barrel aged imperial stouts in America. Then one day over five years ago now, the beer drinking public woke up to the news of Anheuser-Busch purchasing the brewery.
Honestly, we can recall videos of Goose Island fans pouring Bourbon County Brand Stout down the drain after the news. Still weird even today, considering all those drainpours were BCBS that were brewed pre-buyout, and have a suggested cellar life of up to 5 years. Hey, you deal with your emotions how you want to.
Fast-forward to the Black Friday release the following year. The lines were long. Social media was full of delighted drinkers. See – life DOES go on.
In October, Beer Street Journal got to try this year’s release. Let’s cut to the chase. It’s fantastic. A chewy, chocolatey, bottle of bourbon and molasses that will get you tipsy faster than a Dave Matthews jam solo. A year in bourbon barrels does some magical things to this beer.
Something else I’ve noticed when the above picture was posted to Instagram a few weeks ago. Commenters were trying to convince us this beer is infected. Sorry to break the hearts of those wanting Goose Island to be swallowed into the pits of hell. It’s not. From what we can tell, none of the variants are either. (Yes, four of the six editions had some issues last year.)
For 2016, the brewery has tried out a new “flash” pasteurization process that kills of the microbes (and the yeast) that could hurt your coveted bottle of beer. The term “flash” is key. It’s just heated long enough to kill anything bad, and not damage the flavor.
Here is what we aren’t going to do. We aren’t going to sit here and tell you this beer is terrible when it isn’t. We’ve met some brilliant, hardworking brewers at Goose Island. We report the news, and drink the beers. As many as we can get our hands on. You decide what you like or hate, or will drink or won’t, based on ownership, ideals, brewer’s politics, philosophy, artwork, favorite color, tv show, etc.
There you have it. Today people are shooting one another over parking spaces, toilet paper deals, and tvs. Others got in line early for some bourbon barrel imperial stout. There is a night of drinking ahead of those folks, and hangover tomorrow.
That’s perfect fine with us. Keep drinking.
Style: Imperial Stout (Barrel Aged. Bourbon.)
Availability: 22oz Bottles, Draft. Limited Release.
Goose Island Bourbon County Maple Rye Stout will not be a part of the brewery’s Bourbon County Series this year. The brewery will be leaving it to age in barrels longer.
The Bourbon County Series returns on Black Friday each year. In recent years the lineup has expanded with a few new variants. Among those Proprietor’s edition aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels, to be released solely in Chicago. The 2016 lineup will include Bourbon County Stout, Bourbon County Barleywine, and Bourbon County Coffee Stout.
After a few barrel pulls, the brewing team has determined Goose Island Bourbon County Maple Rye Stout won’t be ready for the light of day in 2016. The beer needs more time before considering whether to release it.
This edition features the base imperial stout, aged in both bourbon and rye whiskey barrels with maple syrup, cacao nibs, and chipotle peppers. When and if it will ever be released remains to be seen.
Ed note: Corrected the barrels used in Proprietor’s 2016 to reflect bourbon.
Goose Island Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout is a variant of the brewery’s widely known barrel-aged series, and may feature new barrel aging in its 2016 release.
In 2015, Goose Island Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout incorporated bourbon barrel-aging, plus maple, toasted pecans and Guajilo peppers. In the 2014 and 2013 releases, the barrels were rye whiskey.
It is important to note, that according to Goose Island the final barrels/blend for Proprietor’s Bourbon County have not been chosen. For now, it seems to be the direction the wind is blowing.
A Scotch whiskey variant is a new spin on this ever-evolving brand extension. Scotch barrels definitely bring a different kind of flavor profile into the mix. Depending on the scotch barrels, the resulting beer could be quite peaty and smoky (Scotch like Lagavulin and Islay). Single malts from producers like Speyside are a lighter, even slightly sweeter flavor.
The Proprietor’s release is designed as gift for the Chicago local and loyal. It’s meant to be a little weird, and fun. Scotch barrels are a new twist.
That is. If Goose Island uses them.
Variants of Proprietors include:
2014 variant – Made in Rye barrels with Cassia Bark, Cocoa Nibs, Panela and Coconut Water
2013 variant – Rye Whiskey Barrels with Toasted Coconut
Goose Island Proprietors Bourbon County Brand 2015 returns again on Black Friday, with a few things different then last year.
First – the bottle. You’ll notice new the packaging for the line for 2015. The bottles are embossed with the Bourbon County Brand logo, with the top featuring a “flag” with the beer description.
Goose Island Proprietors Bourbon County Brand 2015 is a barrel aged imperial stout, with maple, toasted pecans, and guaillopeppers.
To get the recipe for Proprietors, every brewer is encouraged to take home some Bourbon County Stout and experiment with ingredients. This year, brewer Di’s recipe got selected.
Goose Island Proprietors Bourbon County Brand 2015 will be available on Black Friday, November 27th, in 16.9 ounce bottles in Chicago only.
Style: Imperial Stout (w/ Maple, Peppers, Pecans. Barrel Aged. Bourbon.)
Availability: 16.9oz Bottles
Release: 11/27/15, Chicago only
Image via Goose Island