Highlights from Goose Island’s 2023 Bourbon County Stout Lineup

The annual bourbon barrel-aged brews were announced, and include a few archival updates and a Bananas Foster Stout

Goose Island Bourbon County Stouts for 2023
The Goose Island Bourbon County Stouts for 2023
Goose Island

It’s the best time of year for beer drinkers: The Chicago-based Goose Island Beer Co. just announced its upcoming lineup of bourbon barrel-aged stouts.

The 2023 Bourbon County Brand Stout Family features six beers that have been aged in freshly emptied bourbon barrels. This year, that includes barrels from Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill, Four Roses and Wild Turkey. The additional aging lasts about a year, though this year sees some tweaks to the formula.

Some background: The first Bourbon County Original Stout was brewed in 1992 to celebrate Goose Island’s 1,000th batch of beer for that year. As the originators of the style — the brewery was actually disqualified from the Great American Beer Fest when they first submitted their signature barrel-aged stout because there was no barrel-aged category — Goose Island has greatly expanded upon its original mission over 31 years, now putting out several new releases each year on Black Friday.

We Tested and Ranked Every 2022 Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
This year’s lineup features pineapple, figs and a whole lot of booze

“As architects of bourbon barrel-aged stout, our 2023 line-up could not be more reflective of what we strive to achieve here at Goose Island Beer Co.,” says Todd Ahsmann, President of Goose Island Beer Co. “Our brewers demonstrate not only a mastery of their craft in brewing, but also a mastery of their skill in blending — which is such a crucial component to the unique quality and character of Bourbon County. From our Original Stout, to our exceptional variants, and to our newest innovation, Bourbon County Cask Finish Stout, our 2023 line-up showcases the work and dedication that goes into every pour of the original bourbon barrel-aged stout.”

The six variants this year:

  • 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
  • 2023 Bourbon County Brand Proprietor’s Stout

Of note, both the Eagle Rare and Angel’s Envy releases are actually aged two years in barrels, with the latter expression aged a year in former Angel’s Envy bourbon barrels and then another in a set of Ruby Port wine barrels. Meanwhile, the Bananas Foster release marks a debut on the national stage after a locals-only 2017 release. It utilizes bananas, three types of almonds and cassia bark. The Backyard Stout was inspired by a 2013 Backyard Rye release. This one features mulberry, boysenberry and marionberry. And the Proprietor’s Stout is inspired by, of all things, rice pudding. It marks the first time the brewery has used toasted rice as an ingredient, where it pairs with cassia bark, brown sugar and raisins.

The good news for us? We plan on drinking and ranking these as they get closer to their Black Friday release, much like we did last year.


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