In a blog posted online yesterday, Goose Island’s Brewmaster Jared Jankoski released preliminary details about the 2016 Bourbon County Stout line. Here’s the upshot:
1) The beer was pasteurized this year.
Goose Island accomplished this with the use of a flash pasteurizer. Explains Jankoski, “The key benefit is microbiological stabilization, which is helpful for wood aged beers where the barrels we use can be inconsistent.” This will have no discernible flavor impact, he adds, nor will it affect how the beer ages.
“Thus far, many teams of trained sensory panelists have participated in blind triangle tastings and been unable to determine which beer had been flash pasteurized and which had not,” he adds.
2) Goose Island set stricter limited for barrels it obtained for aging.
Reacting to the inconsistency of whiskey barrels is a theme in 2016. Consistency is obviously key when making beer, and the brewery’s efforts to this end in 2016 include setting “very strict limits” on from where their barrels originate, and how long Goose Island allowed from the time of whiskey extraction to when barrels arrived for filling.
“By doing this, we are guaranteeing that the barrels used for Bourbon County Stout are freshly emptied and of the highest quality available,” Jankoski says.
3) Goose Island stepped up its coffee game.
The 2016 Bourbon County Stout Coffee is made from “micro lot” coffees sourced from a Costa Rica farm at 6,200 feet of elevation, Jankoski says.
“In theory the stress of higher elevation yields a coffee with higher sugar content, sweet and balanced once processed,” he adds. “In the end we chose it blindly through tastings and found it to lend a wonderful balance of fruit and cherry, chocolate and nuttiness and a sublime aroma.”
4) The 2016 Proprietor’s blend is a mix of dark chocolate and chipotle peppers.
Goose Island employee Emily Kosmal came up with the earthy, smoky blend, Jankoski says, which includes a BCS base aged in maple barrels to add the balancing sweetness.