A Guide to the Goose Island Black Friday Bourbon County Stout 2014 Official Release

In Beer News by Ryan

On Friday the largest ever coordinated roll out of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout will take place. The brewery is planning special releases in nine markets nationally; Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Francisco.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Goose Island Bourbon County Stout 2014 release in Chicago and beyond.

Photo Courtesy Goose Island

In Chicago, Binny’s Lincoln Park and Goose Island Clybourn have become a ground zero of sorts for Goose Island’s now annual Black Friday release.

The former will open its doors at 9am. However, if you’re hoping to snag bottles of this year’s variants you’ll probably have to line up hours in advance. There’s no word yet on how many bottles of each can be purchased.  Binny’s Lincoln Park Beer Manager Adam Vavrick tells Guys Drinking Beer the allotment is dependent on how many people show up, although judging from this lengthy thread on Beer Advocate it sounds like there will be plenty to go around.

Binny’s 30 other locations will also hold Bourbon County Stout release events as, I’m sure, will bottle shops across Chicago and the suburbs. Check with your local purveyor of fine craft beer to see what their plans are and if they are taking names, have a list, etc.

The Clybourn brewpub, meanwhile, is hosting a day-long Bourbon County Stout party with both ticketed and non-ticketed events.

The ticket-only event, a series of tastings sessions — which are already sold out, will guide drinkers through:

  • Bourbon County Brand Stout ’14
  • Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout ’14
  • Bourbon County Brand Barleywine ’14
  • Bourbon County Brand Vanilla ’14
  • Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout ’14

Attendees also get a bottle of Proprietor’s, which is a Chicago release only, and a Bourbon County snifter.

If you didn’t get tickets you can still drink plenty of Bourbon County Stout at the Clybourn brewpub. Bourbon County Stout 2012, 2013 and 2014 will be on tap from the get-go (9am) as will Bourbon County Barleywine 2013. They’ll also have special tappings throughout the day.

  • 11am – Cthulhu
  • 1pm – Bourbon County Coffee Stout 2014
  • 3pm – Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout 2014
  • 5pm – Bourbon County Vanilla Stout 2014
  • 7pm – Nuthulhu

Finally, here’s the skinny on the five Bourbon County Stout variants being released this year (descriptions and photos courtesy of Goose Island Beer Company):

(Click the images to scroll through larger versions)

Bourbon County Stout 2014, 4-packs of 12 oz bottles

Brewed in honor of the 1000th batch at our original Clybourn brewpub. A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer.

Bourbon County Barleywine 2014, 4-packs of 12 oz bottles

Aged in the third-use barrels that were once home to Kentucky bourbon and then our renowned Bourbon County Stout, this traditional English-style barleywine possesses the subtlety of flavor that only comes from a barrel that’s gone through many seasons of ritual care. The intricacies of the previous barrel denizens – oak, charcoal, hints of tobacco and vanilla, and that signature bourbon heat – are all present in this beer. Hearty and complex, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine is a titan and a timeline; a bold, flavorful journey through the craft of barrel aging.

Bourbon County Coffee Stout 2014, 4-packs of 12 oz bottles

Everyday Goose Island smells the wonderful coffee roasting next to our brewery at Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea. This world-class roaster puts the same passion and skill into their coffee as Goose Island does with its beer. This excellent stout is made with a different coffee from our friends next door each year. With the change in coffee comes a change in the flavor profile, making each release truly unique from the previous years.

2014 Release- Intelligentsia Zirikana from Rwanda

Bourbon County Vanilla Rye Stout 2014, 22 oz bottle

First brewed for the legendary festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer in Chicago, drinkers enjoyed this Bourbon County Variant so much we bottled it the next year (2010). People flocked to stores to get their hands on a bottle and have this one of a kind barrel aged stout. Over the past few years we have heard our fans express their love for this version and we are extremely proud to bring it back in 2014. This years version features a little twist of aging the stout in Rye Whiskey Barrels with a mix of Mexican and Madagascar vanilla beans!

Proprietor’s Bourbon County Stout 2014, 22 oz bottle

Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout is meant to show our immense gratitude to our neighbors here in Chicago – the loyal and adventurous fans whose support helped bring Bourbon County Brand Stout to towering new heights. Each year this release will differ from the previous year; a special variant created for Chicago and unique to the year it was released. Whether your first sip is today or was from that first batch in 1992, thank you for lifting us up on your big shoulders and joining us every year to celebrate the original bourbon barrel aged stout.

2014 variant – Made in Rye barrels with Cassia Bark, Cocoa Nibs, Panela and Coconut Water[/column]

For those of you who don’t want to wait til Friday to sample some Bourbon County Stout, Goose Island has four Black Wednesday events planned in Chicago and the suburbs. The events will be held at Sheffield’s, Fountainhead, The Beer Bistro and Jimmy’s Grill in Naperville.

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About the Author



Equal parts beer nerd and policy geek, Ryan is now the curator of the Guys Drinking Beer cellar. The skills he once used to dig through the annals of state government as a political reporter are now put to use offering unique takes on barrel-aged stouts, years-old barleywines and 10 + year verticals.

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