Booze | August 11, 2020 1:59 pm

Goose Island Announces 2020 Lineup of Its Fabled Bourbon County Program

The annual post-Thanksgiving release comes with six variants this year

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
Goose Island

Goose Island’s annual Bourbon County Stout release has become something of a post-Thanksgiving tradition, and despite everything going on in the world, this year will be no different: the Chicago brewery will celebrate 10 years of its popular barrel-aged release coming out the day after the holiday when it rolls out 2020 Bourbon County Stout offerings on Friday, November 27.

This year’s release will include the original Bourbon County Stout, an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels, as well as the following six variants:

  • Bourbon County Kentucky Fog Stout, inspired by the London Fog tea latte drink with Earl Grey tea and black tea from Kilogram Tea and clover honey from the Honey House
  • Bourbon County Special No. 4 Stout, which includes an oatmeal stout base, Intelligentsia Coffee, and bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup from Bissell Maple Farm in Jefferson, Ohio
  • Bourbon County Caramella Ale, a wheat wine aged in Larceny Wheated Bourbon barrels and featuring flavors of apple, cinnamon and caramel
  • Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout, a stout inspired by the Italian dessert spumoni (which includes cherries, pistachios, chocolate and vanilla flavors)
  • Birthday Bourbon County Stout, a stout aged in barrels that once held Old Forester Birthday Bourbon
  • Anniversary Bourbon County Stout, a stout that aged for two years in Weller 12-year bourbon barrels to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Goose Island releasing Bourbon County Stout on the day after Thanksgiving

Three of those variants were dreamed up by Goose Island employees as part of a company-wide contest held in January. Brewer Paul Cade came up with the idea for the Kentucky Fog Stout by drawing inspiration from his tea-loving girlfriend. Lab technician Joey Tidei created Bourbon County Caramella Ale to celebrate his favorite fall flavors, and brewer Emily Kosmal’s concept for Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout, the spumoni-inspired beer, came to her in her sleep.

“I think about BCS so often, that sometimes it appears in my dreams. I had a dream that I was in the Goose taproom serving spumoni ice cream and BCS,” Kosmal said in a press release. “The moment I awoke, I knew that was it! Spumoni would make a fun new variant. As an Italian American, spumoni has always been my favorite flavor of ice cream. Notes of chocolate, sweet cherry, pistachio, and vanilla paired with the rich, oaky, bourbon base of BCS is the dessert of my dreams.”

The Bourbon County release typically draws massive crowds to stores as well as Goose Island’s taproom, which could potentially be dangerous if the pandemic is still ongoing in November. But the brewery is prepared to alter its plans for the release if that’s the case.

“We’re continuing to monitor the current situation to ensure the safety of our fans and employees is at the center of our plans,” Goose Island president Todd Ahsmann said in a statement. “Plans are in progress but details are subject to change and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this situation.”