Like Netflix asking “Are you still watching?” just as you settle into a binge session, some things in life, and in beer, will always be there for us. So while 2020 might look a little different—don’t expect long lines of beer-lovers stretching down the block—the release of this year’s batch of Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout will happen on Black Friday, November 27, like clockwork.
Not only will this year’s release happen, it will be a special one for the Chicago brewery (owned by AB InBev, an investor in October), marking ten years since the first batch of Bourbon County Stout was released in 2010. In honor of this, Goose Island has made an anniversary blend aged two years in Weller 12-year barrels to give the final product an even deeper oak and bourbon quality.
“This year’s Bourbon County Stout lineup is special because it marks a milestone that we are particularly proud of, the tenth anniversary of our namesake Black Friday release,” Todd Ahsmann, President, Goose Island, said in a release. “Back in 2010 we had no idea the impact our Bourbon County Stout release on Black Friday would have on the craft beer community, and today we are proud of the tradition it’s become.”
The lineup includes six other variants in addition to Anniversary Bourbon County Stout: original; Kentucky Fog, a take on the London Fog tea drink and made with Earl Grey and black tea; Special #4, an oatmeal stout with Intelligentsia cold coffee and single-origin coffee beans as well as barrel-aged maple syrup added; Caramella Ale, a wheatwine aged with apple, cinnamon, and caramel flavor; Birthday, aged in 11-year-old Old Forester Birthday Bourbon barrels; and Proprietor’s.
This year’s Proprietor’s stout, a variant created via a brewery-wide contest to select the flavor profile, was designed by brewer Emily Kosmal and inspired by her love of spumoni. The beer is blended with pistachios, cacao nibs, candied Amarena cherries, and natural vanilla flavors to mirror the layered flavors of the Italian frozen treat. It’s a beer for dessert or anytime during these times.