Tag Archives: bourbon county

Bourbon County Brand Stout variants announced

01-goose-island-bcbs-barleywineBlack Friday is getting a little bit blacker this year with Goose Island’s announcement that this year’s Bourbon County Brand Stout (BCBS) release will include seven variants of the highly-coveted brew. The glut of variants come courtesy of some lost barrels that were recently found and an abundance of great brewing ideas.

As is expected, the anchor of the BCBS line is its original stout aged in fresh Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. The brewery’s website promises that this year’s edition will be good as ever and possibly a touch heavier in alcohol content.

Like the original, this year’s barleywine has been moved to fresh bourbon barrels. Because of this move, imbibers can expect higher alcohol content as well.

Intelligentsia’s Black Cat Espresso was used in the coffee variant this year marking a hearkening back to the first year BCBS was offered with a coffee variant.

Brewmaster Jared Jankoski says on Goose Island’s website that this year’s national variant, “Is from a concept that has bouncing around in my head for a couple years, combining some of my favorite flavors – blueberry and almond.”

Jankoski goes on to say that the almonds add a marzapan-like character that compliments the blueberry notes beautifully.

One of the most sought-after variants of Bourbon County Brand is the Proprietors. This year’s version is a blend of flavors that features bananas, cassia bark and roasted almonds.

The two new variants that will surely be the hottest bottles on Black Friday include what Goose Island is calling Bourbon County Brand Reserve Stout. This special edition consists of the BCBS base aged in freshly emptied 11 year old Knob Creek barrels.

The second extra variant comes courtesy of some long-lost barleywine barrels. Once found it was discovered that the barrels had been lost for two years and had aged superbly. Wanting to make the beer even more special, it was transferred to 35 year-old Heaven Hill barrels where it remained for an astounding 20 months.

With variants like this year’s the annual BCBS release on Black Friday is sure to be even more popular than in the past. My suggestion, if you want all to variants, start saving your pennies now and plan to line up very early in the morning on the day after Thanksgiving.


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Posted by on June 13, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases


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Vintage Series from Goose Island comes to Jax

goose-islandGoose Island Brewery has been a Chicago mainstay for over 25 years. Known for their drinkable beers such as 312 Urban Wheat and Honkers IPA, the brewery is also known for its outstanding Bourbon barrel-aged Bourbon County Stout. Here in Jacksonville, the brewery’s mainstream beers have been available in both bottles and on tap for several months but their more ambitious and interesting beers are just now coming to our market.

Look for the following outstanding brews on shelves now.

Sofie: Fermented with wild yeasts and aged in wine barrels with orange peel, Sofie is a tart, dry, sparkling ale. A subtle, spicy white pepper note, a hint of citrus from the orange peel and a creamy vanilla finish make Sofie an intriguing choice for Champagne drinkers and beer drinkers who are fond of Belgian Saisons.

Pere Jacques: Brewed with loads of malt and Belgian yeast, Pere Jacques is a wonderfully fruity, malty ale. Pere Jacques’ complex flavors stand shoulder to shoulder with the Belgian Dubbels enjoyed in the world’s finest beer bars. At the dining table it’s the perfect alternative to a glass of vintage port.

Matilda: Wild in character, with a slightly fruity aroma and a spicy yeast flavor that is as unique as it is satisfying – Matilda is an intriguing choice for beer and wine lovers alike. Dry and quenching, it’s the perfect accompaniment at the dining table or for casually socializing at the bar.

Pepe Nero: With an aroma of roasted chestnuts and a mysteriously dark, mahogany hue, Pepe Nero is a farmhouse ale brewed with black peppercorns. His roasty sweetness melds into a lingering, earthy, black pepper finish that is ideal for pairing with grilled meats and roasted vegetables.

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Posted by on August 22, 2013 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery


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Goose Island to roll out nationally with both draft and bottled brews

Goose-Island-logoBack in 1988 John Hall set out on a mission to not only educate consumers, but to challenge them as well. Back then, the big brewery’s brands were practically the only beers available. And in the neighborhoods of Chicago, Ill. those brands were embedded deeply into the psyche of beer-drinkers. Hall decided to do something about that. After several trips across Europe, where he enjoyed visiting many brewpubs, Hall decided to open his own brewpub.  Goose Island Brewpub was opened its doors on May 13, 1988.

In the years since, Goose Island brews have become the stuff of legends. Thirsty Chicago beer-lovers soon discovered the little brewpub and in just seven years, the demand had grown to such a point that Hall began looking for a larger brewing facility. In 1995 he found a suitable place and began brewing and bottling his beers for the greater Chicagoland area. But, once again, demand outpaced production and Hall once again began a search for more production space. Where he finally settled was a location just an out-of-park home run from the cathedral of many Chicagoans, Wrigley Field.

Over the years, Goose Island has made its mark on the beer industry. Not only was Goose Island one of the pioneers of the craft beer industry, the booming brewery introduced beer-drinkers to styles that set their taste buds and hearts on fire. The brewery’s legendary Bourbon County Stout recently won accolades as one of the 20 most influential beers of all time as the result of a poll of beer experts conducted by website First We Feasts.  The brew consistently scores among the very top brews on beer rating websites like Rate Beer and Beer Advocate. The barrels used to create the first batch of the stout are said to have been Elijah Craig 18 Year Old Single barrel bourbon, the oldest Single Barrel Bourbon in the world at 18 years. Other accounts say that they were 25-year old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels.

In 2011, it was announced that Goose Island would sell its operations and brands to Anheuser-Busch. Shortly after the announcement, AB declared its intent to take the brand national. Just last week another announcement was made concerning the roll-out.

“As a native Chicago line of brands, the national launch will bring one of the Windy City’s most acclaimed creations to consumers across the country,” said Andy Goeler, Goose Island CEO and president. “Throughout the craft segment, Goose Island’s beers are recognized, respected and loved, maintaining a passionate and knowledgeable fan base over many decades.”

The four brews to go national will be:

  • 312 Urban Wheat Ale
  • Honker’s Ale, an English-style bitter.
  • India Pale Ale (IPA)

And a seasonal rotating brew that will include:

  • Mild Winter (In 2013: February, November – December) an American mild ale.
  • Summertime (In 2013: March – August) a kölsch brewed in the traditional German fashion.
  • Harvest Ale (In 2013: September – October) a copper-colored extra special bitter (ESB) made with Cascade hops and the richest Midwestern malts.

According to a press release from AB, the beers will be brewed at the company’s Fort Collins, Colo. and Baldwinsville, N.Y. breweries. All the beers will be available on draught. Additionally, all will be available in bottles later this spring.

Watch for these highly acclaimed beers to appear at your favorite bars as well as on the shelves of your beer purveyor soon.


Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery


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