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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.

2,643 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,643
Hads: 10,855
Avg: 4.5
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 2,588
Gots: 6,054 | 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: 2,643 | Hads: 10,855
Photo of 303beer
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours jet black. Gives a half inch of coffee colored head that slowly thins. The nose is barrel, smoke, and toffee. Barrel and booze is the first impression then it mellowed into some kind of awesomeness. Light coco powder flavor dominated the finish. Very good job. This is an awesome barrel stout.

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Photo of do_ob
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

250th beer review!

2015 edition. 500 mL bottle into a Duvel glass. Pours a medium-dark brown and settles pitch black in the glass. About 1/2 a finger of dark tan head initially - this quickly fizzed down to a thin skirt that hung around the edges. HUGE aroma on this beer. I could smell it as I was pouring. Strong notes of bourbon, chocolate, burnt wood, molasses, caramel, vanilla, and maple syrup. Not a strong roasty malt smell, suprisingly. Awesome balanced aroma, and thankfully not overly boozy. The taste follows right along, not missing a beat. Delicious, sweet carmelized bourbon, oakey bitter coffee and chocolate, sweet vanilla, sticky molasses...wow. Notes of vanilla and caramel become more pronounced on the aftertaste. Great feel on this, too. Nice and dense but not to the point of being overly chewy. Incredibly smooth for 13.8%. While it is a tad hot, I'd say 8 months in the cellar would even this thing out to perfection. Incredibly well balanced and crafted.

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Photo of Arkrebel
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have always been just marginally interested in Goose Island beers. Their 312 and Honkers Ale are usually pretty safe choices when found on tap but not necessarily what I would call the top in their respective catagories.

Having said that the barrel aged Bourbon County Stout really impressed me. The flavor is complex enough that several sips are needed to really get the flavor profile.

My wife is not nearly as adventurous as I am in beers. She typically universally does not like the stout varieties. She tried this one and while it's not her new favorite beer she did try more than one taste and was impressed by the complexity of the flavors.

I plan to get three more of these as soon as I can. Two will be opened and shared on a beach in Florida preferably with a nice robust cigar. The other I will try to cellar for a while but I make no guarantees.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - 4.5 - pitch black beer with mocha head that dissipates quickly, not much lacing, understandable for 14.3% abv
S - 5 - huge smooth bourbon/vanilla/umami/creaminess all at once, dark malts in the background, molasses, hint of dark fruits, milk chocolate
T - 5 - bourbon, vanilla, coconut, oak, molasses, butterscotch, umami, cream, milk chocolate, dark fruits (sweet red cherries and figs), dark malts are there but smoothed out, this is not a roasty beer nor is there bitterness from the dark malts
M - 5 - thick. Alc covered surprisingly at 14.3%. Aftertaste is bourbon, oak, vanilla, butterscotch, molasses.
O - 5 - this is a perfect beer. I don't know if the appearance could really be improved at 14.3%. I'm more just being nitpick because there was no head after a little while. Otherwise the only beers I've had that come close to this are Parabola, Black Note, KBS.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L - Jet black with less than a half-finger of brown head.

S - Bourbon, chocolate, cherries, oak, big wood and coffee

T - Sweet, sticky bourbon, cherry, dark fruits, pipe tobacco, charred oak, chocolate, coffee, and smoke.

F - Thick and viscous. Warming in the chest, but no alcohol taste

O - Lives up to its reputation. Complex flavors and easily drinkable for the style. Seven thumbs up!

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Photo of Foxybrau
4.93/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bourbon County 2014 turned everything I knew about beer on it's head. A year later, my palate has come a long way and I've been dying to get into another bottle. 2015 is perfection, and luckily I'll have quite a number of them to space out out over the months. Really looking forward to setting aside a 2015 and pairing it with a 2016 next winter. This stout is the standard-bearer for me. I've had a lot of good brews since my first Bourbon County, but nothing has compared. It's beer-heroin.

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Photo of Bfarr
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Black and thin tan head. Very viscous and not beer looking at all. Very strong and clear bourbon, oak, and vanilla aromas. Smooth chocolate and bourbon vanilla with light oak and raisin and a chocolate linger. Silky smooth with a milky full body.

Extremely smooth and well balanced flavors. My usual complaint for bourbon barrel age beers is they are overpowering in the flavors picked up by the barrel and therefore make it pointless to drink a beer when you should be having bourbon. It is very sweet and almost like chocolate milk at times so a little is lost but overall it is an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of jakecattleco
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2015 bottle into a snifter. First time having this beer, very very good. So brown is almost black, with a pencil thin layer of tan head that disappears quite quickly. Great nose, chocolate, cherries and bourbon. Taste really matches the nose, and isn't too bourbon forward. Surprisingly drinkable for the ABV. While the mouthfeel and finish were good, I was surprised by lack of viscosity for the base beer. Would I chase the beer, doubtful. Would I buy it if available and reasonably priced, Absolutely! Looking forward to a head 2 head with KBS at Christmas.

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Photo of Ksmoove27
4.44/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - 10 oz snifter drawn from the tap. It's black, with a tan head one inch head. Good lacing.

Smell - Bourbon and more bourbon. Coffee, roasted malt and light cinnamon.

Taste - Bourbon/charred oak upfront but followed quickly by roasted malt, chocolate and coffee.

Feel - Heavy body but creamy and smooth. Coats the mouth.

Overall - As a bourbon drinker the aroma and taste were a warm welcome, both figuratively and literally. There is certainly a booziness, but it is nicely masked with the complexity of flavors. This is very good.

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Photo of Abk542
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Rich dark color, very thick, like motor oil. Absolutely delicious bourbon forward flavor with a chocolate finish, I remember more chocolate flavor last year. Overall unbelievable beer, well worthy of the Black Friday hunt.

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Photo of imstimpy
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2015 bottle, poured at 55*F into an Epic Brewing snifter.

It pours with almost no head. What little there is laces lightly to the glass then disappears within thirty seconds. It is a deep deep brown, on the verge of black, like used engine oil. Swirl it lightly and the sugars coat the glass and make legs.

The first smell is just overwhelmingly heaven. It smells of primarily of chocolate, with roasted malt and grain mixed in for the perfect stout nose. As it breathes, the bourbon shows up in the nose, masking the stout.

The taste is heavenly! The bourbon is there, but unbelievably balanced through the palate. After the swallow, the warmth creeps in with a taste of bourbon. Sip slowly and savor the roast. Sip in quick succession and the chocolate and bourbon oversaturate the tongue.

The feel is thick! It coats the tongue, then melts away like a quality piece of chocolate or fudge.

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Photo of DoctorD
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
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 +3.6%
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 +0.2%
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 -1.3%
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 +10.9%
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 -22.4%
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 +7.8%
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 +11.1%
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
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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 -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 -5.8%
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 +10.9%
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 +10.4%
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 +5.6%
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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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 2,643 ratings.