LINCOLN PARK — The holy grail of barrel-aged beers is once again expected to bring out massive crowds during Goose Island's Black Friday release next month.
Goose Island is preparing to release its Bourbon County Brand Stout lineup of beers through special events in nine cities this year.
Goose Island has turned the often hectic day for bargain hunters, the Friday after Thanksgiving, into a holiday for beer lovers.
Last year more than 500 people lined up outside the Lincoln Park Binny's Beverage Depot, 1720 N. Marcey St., to get a chance to buy some of the rare brews.
Some customers had lined up as early as midnight last year and exactly 593 people had lined up outside before the official opening at 9 a.m.
This year will be the fifth year of the special event, which is expected to grow once again.
“The magic of our Bourbon County Brand Stout is the time and unpredictable weather conditions our beer experiences in the belly of each hand-picked bourbon barrel,” said Brett Porter, Brewmaster at Goose Island Beer Company. “Our brewers, much like our fans, are passionate about Bourbon County and we’re counting down the days until Black Friday when we can all enjoy the new variants of the Bourbon County family.”
This year's variants include:
• Bourbon County Brand Stout: The Original, a liquid as dark and dense as a black hole. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. Available nationally in 4- and 24-packs of 12-ounce bottles.
• Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout: This stout is made with a different coffee from Intelligentsia each year. With the change in coffee comes a change in the flavor profile, making each release truly unique from the previous years. The 2014 incarnation features Rwandan coffee. Available in 4- and 24-packs of 12-ounce bottles.
• Bourbon County Brand Barleywine: Aged in the third-use barrels that were once home to Kentucky bourbon and then the renowned Bourbon County Stout, this traditional English-style barleywine possess the subtlety of flavor that only comes from a barrel that’s gone through many seasons of ritual care. Available in 4- and 24-packs of 12-ounce bottles.
• Vanilla Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout: This year’s version features twist of aging the stout in Rye Whiskey barrels instead of bourbon hand-picked from four different distilleries. Each rye barrel features a two-pound mix of Mexican and Madagascar vanilla beans. This limited Vanilla Rye will be available nationwide in 22-ounce bottles.
• Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout: The second annual release of Proprietor’s is aged in Rye Whiskey barrels and features panela sugar, made into syrup with coconut water, Cassia bark and cocoa nibs. Available only in Chicago, in 22-ounce bottles.
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