In addition to being Black Friday, November 23 is also Goose Island Bourbon Country Stout release day, when the Chicago-based brewer unleashes the latest brews that have been sitting in barrels in its expansive warehouse. You'll see beer nerds line up in front of Binny's and local liquor stores, hoping to get their hands on bottles of the rarest (and hopefully, tastiest) variants of the dark, decadent, high-ABV beer.
This year, Goose Island is releasing eight versions of the popular stout (though it's possible that the number may shrink as November 23 nears—that's what happened last year). There are two new flavors on this year's list: Bourbon County Brand Wheatwine—made with malted wheat and bourbon—and County Brand Midnight Orange Stout, which combines orange zest and cocoa flavors. For the first time in years, there's no Bourbon County Coffee Stout on the lineup. Instead, you'll be able to snag a Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine, made with La Soledad coffee beans, sourced by Intelligentsia.
As usual, some variants will be available in more limited quantities, so you'll need to get to your local liquor or grocery store early if you want to get the cream of the crop. Take a look at the complete lineup of Bourbon County Brand Stouts below and get ready to stand in line.
Bourbon County Brand Stout (ABV: TBD)
Aged in 4-year-old Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.
Reserve Bourbon County Brand Stout (ABV: 15.2%)
The same base recipe as Bourbon County Original, aged in 12-year-old “Elijah Craig Barrel Proof” bourbon barrels.
Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout (ABV: TBD)
Brewed with a combination of dark chocolate and two types of cocoa nibs.
Bourbon County Brand Wheatwine (ABV: 15.4%)
Made from two-row and malted wheat, Wheatwine exhibits caramel, vanilla, butterscotch and toffee flavors.
Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout (ABV: 14.9%)
Made with whole, grade A vanilla beans from Madagascar.
Bourbon County Brand Bramble Rye Stout (ABV: TBD)
Bourbon County Stout aged in rye whiskey barrels, with raspberry and blackberry juice and puree from Michigan and Washington.
Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine (ABV: TBD)
An English-style Barleywine aged in 4-year-old Heaven Hill bourbon barrels, with La Soledad coffee beans, sourced by Intelligentsia, added just before bottling.
Bourbon County Brand Midnight Orange Stout (ABV: 14.9%)
Bourbon County base with Spanish orange peel zest and cocoa.