Beyond beer: Goodwood preparing to launch its first bourbon

Goodwood Stout Bourbon will be released in early February. | Courtesy of Goodwood

Since Goodwood Brewing Co. has been in existence — after rebranding itself from Bluegrass Brewing Co. in 2015 — its focus has been on creating beers that have been aged in used barrels, whether that be bourbon, wine, brandy, etc.

The Louisville company has successfully made dozens of beers using this method and has become known for its quality, professionally made products, some of which are flagship beers like the Louisville Lager and Walnut Brown Ale, and some that are experimental, like its Rare Wood Series.

Now, Goodwood is going a step further by reversing its process and officially entering the spirits business. Along with aging beer in used bourbon barrels, the company now will age (or, rather “finish”) bourbon in used beer barrels that were formerly bourbon barrels when it launches its first spirits product, Goodwood Stout Bourbon.

“Bourbon has always been an integral part of the Goodwood product line with our barrel-aged program,” Goodwood CEO Ted Mitzlaff said in a news release. “We are located in the heart of bourbon country and understand the tremendous impact barrel finishing has on creating superior taste profiles. We are extremely excited to launch our first of many spirit expressions and believe the consumer will enjoy our Stout Bourbon as much as we do.”

Goodwood started in 2015.

The 12-year-old bourbon, which was sourced from the Barton 1792 Distillery, will be bottled at 90 proof and retail for about $110 a bottle.

According to the release, the stout barrel adds a malty sweetness to the bourbon, as well as a subtle cocoa character.

Insider reached out to Molly Burke, vice president of marketing, for a few more specifics about the product, which she says will hit store shelves in Louisville and Lexington and in the taproom in NuLu in early February. The small batch bourbon sourced was a very small amount and will yield only about 1,900 bottles.

Burke says the taproom has always had its liquor license, but it is currently working on getting its package liquor resale license so patrons can buy bottles there as well. Unfortunately, that license has been delayed due to the government shutdown.

But back to the bourbon. The Goodwood Stout Bourbon will be the first of many the company plans to release, and Goodwood will experiment with both spirit — brandy, gin, tequila — and the finishing barrel, which could be any one of their beers.

“We are looking into using our Bourbon Barrel Ale and Brandy Barrel Honey Ale,” says Burke. “It has been fun brainstorming different potential combos — like finishing a gin with our Spruce Tip IPA.”

Goodwood will not necessarily source bourbon from Barton every time, as surplus bourbon often ebbs and flows.

“We want to continue doing very small batches of high-quality product, so (we’ll go with) wherever we can find juice that fits that goal,” adds Burke.