A Taste of Bourbon County Brand Stout 2023

A Taste of Bourbon County Brand Stout 2023

Curious about this year’s lineup of Bourbon County Brand Stout? We had a chance to visit the Goose Island Barrel Warehouse to give them a taste and we’re excited to report that Goose brought the thunder in 2023! Give a listen to our take in this episode of Barrel to Bottle the Binny’s Podcast.

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout 14.1% ABV

Another year of releases and once again Original stands tall. Aged in a blend of barrels from Wild Turkey, Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace & Four Roses – aromas of maple syrup, vanilla bean, and cocoa powder float above the glass. Decadent and full bodied, notes of caramel and pecan give way to a bright and spirited finish, accented by notes of molasses, dark chocolate, and a wisp of peppermint. As we’ve said before, the majority of the BCBS lineup we prefer to enjoy fresh. The best two candidates for cellaring are BCB Barleywine (when available) and the Original Bourbon County Brand Stout. Store out of the light and at cellar temp (50-55 degrees Fahrenheit) and you’ll have a rewarding collection of brews to revisit for years to come.  

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Eagle Rare 2-Year Reserve Stout

The majority of Bourbon County Brand Stout spends time aging in charred oak barrels that held bourbon for 4-6 years. This year’s Reserve offering spent two years resting in oak that previously held Eagle Rare, a 10-year-old single barrel offering from Buffalo Trace that is aptly named and coveted by many. Extended time in barrel allows for additional oxidation that brings stone fruit flavors to the forefront, with pronounced nectarine melding marvelously Buffalo Trace’s distinctive fruit forward yeast character. The nose here is also distinctive, with older oak imbuing the stout with notes of licorice, allspice, and clove.

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Angel’s Envy 2-Year Cask Finish Stout

The most ambitious project in the 2023 lineup, this stout was laid down for a year in Angel’s Envy bourbon barrels, after which a portion was transferred into port casks, then aged for an additional year. The final blend is a marvel to behold, bursting with bright fruit character and sporting a ruby colored glint in the glass. The nose offers an amalgamation of old oak, pipe tobacco, and toffee topped with walnuts. A wave of chocolate covered orange peel washes across the palate, followed by notes of raspberry, peach, and apricot. The finish is deeply layered and complex, delivering lasting notes of raspberry crème, golden sultanas, and chocolate covered cherry. Altogether an exemplary offering that proves carefully curated barrel finishing can take BCBS to new heights.

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Backyard Stout

The next offering was inspired by, but not a note for note reproduction of the 2013 favorite Backyard Rye. The big difference is the use of bourbon whiskey barrels over rye. Bourbon imbues this berry forward stout with a softer roundness - with rich bourbon sweetness providing the perfect foil to bright berry acidity. The magic ingredient here is mulberries, an earthy dark purple berry you’ll find growing wild in backyards and parks throughout Chicagoland. Featured alongside boysenberries and marionberries, the dark fruit flavor here is off the charts. Aromas of blackberry jam and raspberry sorbet set the stage for rich chocolate covered raspberry on the palate. The finish achieves a remarkable balance of sweetness and acidity, making this dangerously easy to drink. Make sure to let this warm up to near room temperature to let the full berry character shine through.

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Bananas Foster Stout

2017 Proprietor’s Stout is one of the most requested rebrews in the history of BCBS. We’re happy to report that it’s back and it’s as delicious as ever. Costa Rican banana puree imparts the lovely natural banana flavor, but how do you capture the rum flambe effect? Goose turned to the nutty richness of almond. They went with a mixture of ground, grated, and sliced – 9,000 pounds in total! Spicy cinnamon on the nose and banana bread richness across the palate and finish. This makes a great brunch pour, pairing especially well with oatmeal, pancakes, and Belgian waffles.

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Proprietor’s Stout

Rice pudding served as the inspiration for this years Proprietor’s Stout. Never had rice pudding? Time to make some – you’ve been missing out. A meticulous melding of cassia bark (think cinnamon), brown sugar, raisins, and toasted rice imbues this bourbon county with an alluring mixture of fruit and spice, with an inviting spiced rum character on the nose. The toasted rice is the key touch here, helping to capture that comforting character that fades deliciously into a maple and vanilla kissed finish. The combination of caramel richness and warming dessert spice make this perfect for sharing with friends this holiday season.