Chicago, Illinois based mostly Goose Island Beer Firm (owned by ABInBev) introduced their model lineup for 2023 Bourbon County Model Stout (BCBS) on August 7, which will probably be offered nationwide on Black Friday in November. On that day, the strains aren’t simply lengthy for TVs and toys; liquor shops across the nation will see strains for this barrel-aged beer.
The checklist for 2023 consists of the next: Bourbon County Model Authentic Stout, Bourbon County Model Eagle Uncommon 2-Yr Reserve Stout, Bourbon County Model Angel’s Envy 2-Yr Cask End Stout, Bourbon County Model Bananas Foster Stout, Bourbon County Model Yard Stout and Bourbon County Model Proprietor’s Stout. Full write-ups on every model can be found right here.
Beer aged in barrels? Sure and it’s extra frequent than you assume in at this time’s craft beer panorama. Many of the beers barrel-aged at this time are in bourbon barrels, with the beers being largely darkish beers like imperial stouts though primarily any beer model will be barrel-aged. Bourbon barrels can solely used as soon as by the distillery after which they’re offered to different liquor distilleries (normally Scotland or Canada) and breweries. Go into any brewery in America and I guess you’ll see bourbon or rye whiskey barrels.
Bourbon barrel-aging beer took off thanks partly to Goose Island, whose BCBS was the first barrel-aged model to hit the market within the early Nineties. Once they have been offered to the brewing big ABInBev in 2011, AbInBev took the beer and ramped up manufacturing, making Bourbon County an annual launch far higher than anybody had ever seen with many alternative variants. The Goose Island Barrel Home in Chicago, as soon as an enormous nondescript 130,000 sq. ft. warehouse for the beer, is now nonetheless a storage facility for barrels but additionally a non-public occasion area the place you will get married or host a celebration amongst probably the most wanted beers within the land.
What stood out this yr was the deal with explicit bourbon manufacturers: Angel’s Envy (owned by Bacardi) and Eagle Uncommon (owned by The Sazerac Firm). The restricted version beers made with these distilleries are one thing to get each bourbon geeks and beer geeks excited. The Eagle Uncommon collaboration is one they’ve performed earlier than whereas the Angel’s Envy is model new for 2023. It’s normally a grey space for breweries to make use of the identify of the distillery on their labels when releasing a barrel-aged beer however it’s extremely uncommon for breweries to work instantly with massive distilleries.
The Eagle Uncommon model is the bottom imperial stout aged for 2 years in Eagle Uncommon 10 yr bourbon barrels. Two years is a really very long time to age a beer in (it’s normally six months to a yr) and the brewery says the flavour notes are “strong oak, toasted almond, and warming vanilla.” These are all hallmarks of prolonged barrel growing older.
The Angel’s Envy collaboration is being deemed the primary “cask completed” BCBS. The beer is aged in Angel’s Envy bourbon barrels for one yr after which transferred to a second set of Ruby Port wine barrels the place it’s matured for an additional yr. Cask ending is well-liked in whiskey and scotch manufacturing. This “double barrel growing older” is completed by many craft breweries however this is without doubt one of the first time I’ve seen a brewery actively work with a distillery to showcase this type of conditioning.
It’s one other robust lineup from one of many preeminent bourbon barrel-aged manufacturers. Need to be taught extra about barrel-aging beer? Go to your native brewery to attempt their choices as nicely.