This Year’s Goose Island Bourbon County Stout Variants Are Loaded with Cherries and Love LettersAugust 14, 2019
Goose Island just announced this year’s hotly anticipated line-up of variants on its iconic Bourbon County Stout and, per usual, the Chicago brewery has raised the bar on what you can put in a bourbon barrel. Ever since the first barrel-aged imperial stout two were tapped decades ago, the annually released lineup of beers has been an opportunity for the brewing team to show off its creative chops.
This year’s eight variants include Bourbon County Stout, Bourbon County Double Barrel Stout, Two-Year Reserve Bourbon County Stout, Reserve Rye Bourbon County Stout, Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout, Bourbon County Wheatwine Ale, Bourbon County Café de Olla Stout, and Bourbon County Mon Chéri Stout. Quinn Fuechsl, the brewer behind the latter, came up with his idea as a love letter in beer form. Since his wife, Megan, adores cherries, he wanted to create a fruit-forward beer in her honor.
“I had been toying with using granola in Bourbon County Stout for some time, and cherry has been a classic flavor in stout, and it was my wife that thought to marry the two together,” Fuechsl says. “After many tweaks, we found a nice mix of granola, oats and brown sugar, that gave us a ‘pie crust’ element to the beer, then layered in a mix of Balaton and Montmorency Tart cherries.”
Cherries also paired perfectly with the rich, chocolatey undertones already inherent to the classic Bourbon County Stout, while the brown sugar and oats gave the finished beer a subtle whiff of almond and amaretto. The end result boasts an exceptionally silky finish and a flavor profile reminiscent of a pleasantly boozy cherry cobbler. He dubbed his creation Mon Chéri Stout in honor of its inspiration.
“Mon Chéri is ‘my darling’ in French, a nod to the inspiration of this variant blend,” Fuechsl says. “Megan is beyond excited to have Cherry back in Bourbon County Stout.”