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Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,630 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,630
Hads: 10,801
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 19.82%
Wants: 2,586
Gots: 5,974 | FT: 620
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  13.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: drewbage on 06-26-2003

60 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bourbon County Brand Stout Alström Bros
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Reviews: 2,630 | Hads: 10,801
Photo of DoctorD
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle - very rich stout with a surprisingly balanced bourbon taste. I am not a huge fan of bourbon-aging because they usually are hot and taste like someone dumped a whiskey in a beer. But I can see why this is highly rated - it's smooth and the bourbon tastes like an integral part instead of something tossed in at the end. Full, lingering taste with no bitter bite or hot aftertaste. I would prefer GI had kept the 12oz bottle format instead of the 500ml bottles because this is pushing the limit of how much I would want to drink in one sitting. There are so many bourbon stouts out now that, while perhaps not as smooth as this, don't require an adventure to obtain them. I wouldn't stand in line for BCBS but I would certainly pick up a few bottles if I saw them available.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.66/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe i haven't rated this one before! Poured the 2015 version into a snifter glass. The color is absolutely jet black with no head or lacing to speak of, which is why I only gave it a 4 for "look." I assume that's due to the high ABV. What an aroma! Bourbon, cocoa, vanilla, and smoke. Maybe a little molasses, as well. I've never smelled a beer better than this one. The taste is huge: bourbon forward with a strong alcohol burn but the chocolate, vanilla, molasses, and raisin blend beautifully. This is a delightfully full-bodied stout; it's almost chewy, the way fine stout should feel. The 13.7% ABV hits hard; I wouldn't mind if it were a little less boozy. Putting aside the controversy of Goose Island's ownership, BCBS continues to merit the hype. I haven't been able to purchase the specialty versions but the "regular" BCBS is worth the thrill of the hunt to find.

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Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.51/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally had the chance to try the vaunted BCBS. 2015 version via growler fill consumed 24 hours after acquisition. Appearance is heavy and jet black with no head. Smell is incredibly boozy and bourbon-rich, with sweet toffee, vanilla, candied fruit, and sherry notes. The taste is where this beer really goes to eleven. The booziness amazingly becomes somewhat masked. What takes over is a luscious, sweet, rich vanilla silk with toffee, dark fruit, caramelized maple syrup, rich oak char, and malt for days. The aftertaste is the best part, with waves of each aforementioned flavor taking turns. The feel is, unsurprisingly, thick and rich and syrupy. I was worried the hype would be much greater than the product, but this is a fantastic beer. Clearly not something I could drink much of in one sitting. But as a slow sipper on a cool fall night, truly an experience that was worth the wait.

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Photo of OmahaKF
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smell is huge bourbon, cinnamon, vanilla, semi-sweet chocolate, toffee, and graham cracker.

Taste is bourbon up-front, creme brulee burnt sugar sweetness, and a hint of coffee. The finish is slightly boozy but overall very smooth. I think a little bit of age on this will only enhance the flavor profile. I did like that this year's version wasn't as "hot" as past year's.

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Photo of Labeorphile
4.99/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 spent some time aging. Pours jet black with a thin tan head that quickly recedes.

Nose is bourbon and chocolate. Maybe some vanilla and raisin?

Taste is amazing, one of my favorites. Mouth is smooth. Alcohol is hidden in the taste, but you feel it. I wish I could have a fridge full of this beer. One of my favorite examples of my favorite styles. I dont care what the hipsters say about bourbon barrel stouts.

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Photo of churchillps
3.49/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Simple, overly sweet, uninteresting, and the 2015 version is thin with a Splenda aftertaste.

Hope everyone else enjoyed, because this is has become a total gimmick with proceeds directly benefiting InBEV. The 2008 version is still one of my favorite beers of all time.

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Photo of Julianf1
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

First time trying usually stick with barleywines but WOW did this standout. taste of chocolate, molasses, raisins leather and cigars.
Pretty damn spectacular

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Photo of djkman
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

first time i ever had ghe chance to get this beer.
I have had KBS. Now this.
its worth the hype.
Bourbon and chocolate hits me first. Smooth down the gullet.
Holiday beer times ten.
I live in northern NJ and was lucky to get 2 bottles.
Very lucky apparently. I will gae the other next to my 2 bottles of dogfish head 120 IPAs abd my last 2 bottles of 2015 KBS.
2015 is definitely the year craft brew is exploding. the reason I say this is because demand for beers like this has gone up fast.

and thats my review.

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Photo of Hophazzard
4.69/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The smell is is much boozier than the taste. It's very smooth, especially for something that is 13+%. Certainly lives up to the hype. A damn good beer.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
4.14/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

10 oz snifter drawn from the tap. It's black, but I swear there are brown colors in there beneath the disapearing tan head.
Smells of chocolate and yep, booze.
Deep deep chocolate, vanilla and caramel flavors mask most upfront alcohol, but the burn warms the heart.
It feels silky and smooth and overall just a really good beer with high alcohol.

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Photo of tcoz86
4.24/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second time trying it and it was even better then the first. Very intense kick of your bourbon/Alcohol taste then the after taste is what gets you. The Vanilla/Caramel/Nutty flavor that coats your mouth and lingers is what keeps you wanting more.

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Photo of Nic1985Ace
4.99/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz 2013 BCBS

L: Pours jet black with small amount of tan head.

S: Nose is bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate.

T: I have to say I was a skeptic bc of the high alcohol %, bet it is hidden well behind a delicious blend of vanilla, chocolate, and cherries, truly unique and balanced, with just the right amount of bourbon and alcohol coming through.

F: This beer is thick, creamy, syrupy, and sticky, amazing going down.

O: Easily one of the best beers I've ever had, truly fantastic. Now I just need to get more. Outstanding!

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Photo of PhillyJ
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's few and far between that beer lives up to its own hype the limited release and the craft beer culture buildup . Goose island delivers. Bourbon County Stout is the best barrel aged stout I've had thus far I'm not going to name drop but I've had its competitors and bcbs has a smoothness that I haven't found in any other stout ,the mouthfeel really knocks this out of the park it's velvety and creamy without being overly sticky. Perfectly balanced and flavorful. I will gladly wait in a black Friday line for this offering. Cheers to the Goose for smashing my expectations and owning the hype.

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Photo of LADaveBN
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015. First time trying the regular BCBS. Didn't have to look too hard to find it on Black Friday. Lives up to the hype. An outstanding BA stout. Would like to try some variants.

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Photo of Barracudas
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is very smooth with a complex aroma. The aroma has an overpowering bourbon slant, with hints of charred oak, vanilla, caramel and smoke. The beer has an overpowering bourbon taste and packs a strong punch!

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Photo of Rob23
3.5/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2015 pint poured half into snifter.Zero lacing or head.Smell is overpowering with bourbon.Taste is overpowering with bourbon.Melty bourbon mouth feel.this one does pack a punch but I feel it is a bit over rated due to not being able to enjoy other aspects of a stout....hyped and way overpriced.

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Photo of Umdrunner
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

First timer with BCBS... Definitely lived up to the hype!
poured rich dark black, 1" tan head poured aggressively into snifter. Aroma of chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. Initial flavors are smooth chocolate, vanilla, caramel. The flavors slowly develop with oak and bourbon heat that lingers for minutes. This beer is so complex that I wish I knew more about beer flavors so I could accurately articulate what I am tasting!

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Very rich black body as poured into snifter. Barely a head at all. Sparse rust-colored lacing.
Nose is chocolate licorice, some maple-like syrup with some burn. But I can't seem to stop smelling it. My first go at this legendary stout is this 2015 bottle I stumbled upon this Black Friday. Never could catch it in the past, but the one year I wasn't looking for it I find a whole display of them lines up on a barrel AND in boxes. Sign says limit 2 per person so I grab 3.
Taste is much like the nose, but the with a terrific maple-like french toast flavor that's sweet and has cocoa, yet ends bourbon-woody, toasted and dry.
Feels medium thick, slightly oily, smooth sipping. Low carbonation.
Drinkability is high.
This is certainly top-notch among the style.

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Photo of teromous
4.07/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a review of the 2015 vintage. The bottle says "21OCT15 1704 14.3 ALC/VOL"

Appearance: No real head. It starts to form a very thin dark brown cap and it instantly fades to a hair-thin ring around the glass with what looks like an oil-slick of miniature bits of foam on the surface. No head means no retention and no lacing. The body of the beer is pitch black.

Aroma: Not much aroma here...there is a very faint sweet bourbon scent but I nearly have to submerge my nose to pick it up. Alcohol is apparent on the nose but this is negligible given that this is a 14.3% beer. Overall the aroma is much weaker than the majority of Imperial Stouts that I've had.

Taste: The beer is full of strong dark chocolate flavor that has a nice rich wonderful presence. The bourbon is there as well which really rounds out the overall profile of the beer and complements the chocolate character. It has a light toast at the end but it is very well balanced...not acrid at all. While the bourbon is present the beer doesn't come across as boozy.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very thick, rich, and smooth. That smoothness is cut a bit by alcohol burn but at 14.3% that really can be expected. It's a slow drinking sipping beer. Carbonation does feel low as the beer is still and brings no life across the palate. The beer is slightly sticky and lingers on the palate long after drinking

Overall: It is a very nice Imperial stout. Although the beer is already aged I noticed most people waited a year to review the previous batches. I wanted to see how it stacked up fresh. The appearance and aroma were sub-par or average at best but where this beer really shines is in the flavor...which is where it counts the most. The overall drinking experience was enjoyable. While I couldn't call this a perfect Imperial Stout overall, it is one that I would recommend.

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Photo of Pizza-Steve
2.72/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

My first impression - Love the 2015 bottles! 14.3%ABV!!!

No head on my pour, so no lacing, just a film of alcohol on the glass, but still nice aroma and BOOZY (not a bad thing)!

However, the sweetness intensity is more than I can handle! Way too heavy on the maple syrup/cherries/molasses, dominate the flavor profile for me, with maybe a hint of vanilla. Not getting any other notes?

Not nearly as balanced as I would have expected from BCBS.

Blood glucose approaching fatal level at 111.1 mmol/L ( 2,000 mg/dl ). Hope I pass out from the booze before I go into a sugar coma!

Take a glass of bourbon, dump in a box of maraschino cherries.
With one hand pour in some Aunt Jemima's and a bottle of molasses with the other.
Dump in a 5lb. bag of Dominos sugar and there you have it - 2015 Bourbon County Brand Stout :(

Mad love for the guys at Goose Island for kinda getting the whole Bourbon Barrel thing started, but sorry BCBS freaks... major dissapointment for me!

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Photo of Stolenface1
4.66/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 - 14.2%
Pours deep black on tap @ The Answer Brewpub. Next to no head. Aroma of bourbon, oak, roasted malt. chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, caramel, toffee and vanilla. Flavor is identical. VERY drinkable. Almost scary @ 14.2%ABV. Excellent BBA Stout. Its a shame they sold out to AB-InBev. My rating does not show it though. Ultra smooth flavor bomb here. ALMOST lives up to the hype.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look : No head, pitch black.

Smell : Lots and lots of bourbon. A bit of sweet chocolate and molasses as well.

Taste : Bourbon, a hint of vanilla, chocolate, and wood.

Feel : Medium carbonation, thick sticky body, extremely smooth. Has a warming boozy quality at the end.

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Photo of rjd722
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On tap at the Pour House in North Wales, lives up to the hype for sure. Deep jet black appearance, tiny foam head with no lacing. Huge and complex vanilla/bourbon notes on the aroma, pleasant dark chocolate mixed in as well. The flavor profile matches the aroma perfectly, extremely smooth with loads of vanilla, bourbon, and dark chocolate. Not hot at all, creamy and thick, dangerously drinkable. Having never tried the BCBS before I decided not to camp out in line to grab it but was lucky enough to find somewhere with it on tap. Next year though, I'll be there!

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Photo of thebeers
4.16/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Plum black with an impressive thick chocolate head. Sweet bourbon aroma with cherry, oak and chocolate. Creamy mouthfeel, slightly oily. Same flavors as nose with a little coffee and vanilla as well. Smooth, not at all hot, even fresh on tap.

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Photo of zizouandyuki
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft. This was BCBS 2014 aged for 1 year in cellar and put on draft to commemorate the 2015 release.

L: Dark like oil with a dark tan head
S: Warm and sweet, with distinct notes of bourbon and vanilla
T: Awesome! Complexity of sweetness from the bourbon and vanilla notes, combined with slight bitterness from roasted malts and taste of dark chocolate
F: Thick and rich. Very low carbonation.

I can't definitively say that this was the best beer I've had this fall, but certainly a contender!

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,630 ratings.