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Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

6,934 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6934
Reviews: 2281
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 9.63%

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  14.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
60 IBU

(Beer added by: drewbage on 06-26-2003)
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Ratings: 6,934 | Reviews: 2,281 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of beatenbyjacks


4.81/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - rich, dark, oil as it pours. Very thin caramel colored head.

Smell - BOURBON!!! Some chocolate and licorice as well. Quite complex

Taste - WOW is this one rich and delicious. Chocolate and a strong Bourbon finish

Mouthfeel - even @ 15% this one is quite smooth

Overall - This beer is one of a kind, but I cannot wait to try the other BCBS variants now! @ 15% this one sure is boozy, so be prepared to share.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 15:01:38 | More by beatenbyjacks
Photo of foobula


4.93/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled 10/15/13. Extremely dark with a caramel-colored meniscus. Huge sweet nose that you detect anywhere near the glass. Taste is very sweet (almost cola sweet) with some booziness. The flavors and booze are intense and really soak and coat your mouth while enjoying, and well after the sip is done. Swishing it around yields different sensations everywhere, and the flavors extend well into the throat. I get sweetness and booze, some dark roast, oak, dark fruits, coffee in the finish. As intense as it is, everything fits so well together. After years and years of enjoying this premiere beer, it has become a flavor unto itself that I would just call BCS goodness.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 13:31:38 | More by foobula
Photo of emyers


4.45/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a thick jet black with a thin medium brown lacing.

Smell: Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon. Some vanilla and oak along with just a hint of chocolate, and then back to the bourbon (which is excellent, by the way). Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the amount of bourbon in this, but I do wish there was a little more depth.

Taste: Wow. All of the bourbon in the aroma is still there and just as intense and delicious as expected. There are many more layers here though - rich dark chocolate and coffee provide an excellent backdrop to the bourbon. Oak, vanilla, and a touch of caramel malt sneak into the picture to add a bit more complexity. Just the right amount of alcohol heat on the finish. Phenomenal.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and rich. Low carbonation level gives it a velvety smooth texture going down. Again, the perfect amount of alcohol heat warms the palate.

Overall: Love this beer. The Bourbon County series nails bourbon presence better than any other beer I've had. While the original may be a bit over-reliant on the bourbon and lacks a certain level of balance and complexity that other beers like KBS have, it's pretty damn delicious.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 00:47:26 | More by emyers
Photo of ricknelson


4.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've had this beer many times. In drafts at Chicago's Wrigley Goose Island Pub. Bought bombers home from Chicago a few times. And now I can get it locally in Vermont fairly easily. This is a stout that is worth every penny that you must pay to get it; about $20 to $25 a four pack. Its the beer that I give to new comers to my man cave the "Big O Pub".
The appearance, nose, mouthfeel, and taste make it beer to remember. It has been up and down in the BA ratings over the past few years, but deserves to be in the top 10 for sure. Have and you will agree; this is a stout to remember.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 19:34:05 | More by ricknelson
Photo of rypkr


4.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Shout out to gipsy_danger for shipping me this

A - Motor. Fucking. Oil. This isssh is straight syrup. Heavy and thick. An aggressive pour nets little head and glass leaves a thick corn syrup lacing.

S - alcohol. Malted barley. Alcohol. Faint chocolate. A mild yeasty twinge lingers in the background behind the prominent smell.

T - incredibly mild given appearance, smell, and known abv. Taste incredibly heavy vanilla with light mocha, chocolate and coconut malt from start to finish. Aftertaste is a literal milk chocolate taste. Very uniquely it is sweet as the flavor passes and fades. The aftertaste leaves you believing you just had a sip of a chocolate shake.

M - very soft. Very mild. Nothing prickly or obtrusive. Moderate-heavy carbonation which is IMO on point for showcasing all it's flavor.

O - I can't dock this beer much. I've looked at visually better, and smelled better, but when push comes to shove this is 5/5 on point. Taste and feel are what truly make a beer and if you ask me this stout is every bit of the hype and is a world class beer. It stands shoulder to shoulder with dragons milk as a tie for my #1 favorite stout

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 23:47:08 | More by rypkr
Photo of ChrisKuhns


4.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Got a grand opportunity to try BCBS on tap at Whip In weeks ago. As of today, I still tasted it like the last time I enjoyed 8oz of it. I am desired to get a bottle of this and want to aged it for long time. I look forward to grab that opportunity if my eyes spotted that name of BCBS once again in the nearest future.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2014 03:05:28 | More by ChrisKuhns
Photo of whatthehull


4.93/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

July 28th 2011(from notes)

Poured into a la chouffe tulip

A - deep gluggy black, no head and no lacing

S - caramelized brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, bourbon, oak, earth, toasty malt, alcohol, tobacco and super creamy

T - very sweet, toasted everything, nice malt, oak, earth, chocolate, wood, vanilla, brown sugar and alcohol

M - huge body, well balanced, huge complexity, low acidity and long finish

D - not for your average beer guy. This is huge and tons of booze. If you love stouts I believe you will love everything about this beer

Final thought - great beer and 13%? awesome! This one lived up to the hype for me!

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 20:34:15 | More by whatthehull
Photo of schris


4.64/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is for a 2013 BCBS, tasted in March 2014. I had this beer over the course of two days (8 oz pour, recap, and fridge until the second day). The first night, it started out at cellar temperature and gradually warmed up; the second, I drink it at refrigerator temperature. I don't have a great palate for bourbon, itself, and this may have been why I actually enjoyed the tasting better when the beer was colder and the bourbon flavor was a little bit masked by the cold - in the same way that I find whiskey to be more refreshing at colder temperatures, but more complex and worthy of discussion when warmed up.

This beer looks great sliding into a glass. I was test-driving a set of new 8.5 oz snifters, and the whole scene felt very photogenic. The dark brown head bubbles up from the bottom after the beer has been poured out, rises for a second, and disappears again to leave a fine web of lacing around the edges. Bourbon-soaked aroma has a deep oaky quality to it. I also smelled cherries and caramel, which guided me in choosing pairings for this tasting - salted chocolate, dried cherries, aged swiss cheese, and a couple of marshmallows for a bit of whimsy.

The body is thick - sticky, creamy, and sweet. A big swallow of bourbon hits at the beginning, giving way to coffee, dark fruit, and some chocolate, though I didn't get as much chocolate as expected from other reviews. Finish is unexpectedly smooth, cleanly cutting off on the mild chocolate notes and not leaving much in the way of booziness.

All in all, this is a top-notch, iconic barrel-aged stout. I have a couple aging now, I look forward to revisiting it next year.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 04:18:31 | More by schris
Photo of SD-Alefan

South Dakota

4.74/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 32oz. growler into a snifter.
Thrilled that a local bar had this on tap as part of a Goose Island tap takeover this week.

Even with an aggressive pour, this beer produced almost no head, just a mist of dark brown foam along the edges and a dusting on top of the beer. It's virtually black with hints of rich mahogany along the top edge when held up to the light.

The aroma is mostly bourbon first with undertones of dark chocolate, maybe dried fruit, and a hint of roasting coffee. It's not overpowering in any way. The odor seems to strengthen as the beer warms.

The taste starts with the bourbon right up front, strong and boozy, almost like taking a shot of a nicely aged spirit. However, behind it is a shot of sweet caramel, then raisin, maybe a hint of plum and then a lingering, spicy dark chocolate taste the stays on the tongue for a time. The chocolate flavors seem to get stronger as it warms. I also get a hint of rich coffee. It's sweeter than I would have guessed. There is a lingering milk chocolate taste.

The moutfeel begins with a bit of prickly carbonation and then a little sticky sweetness that coats the tongue and lingers on the palate. It's not as heavy feeling as I expected.

Overall, an outstanding beer that is multi-layered and seems to change a bit with each sip. I'm really glad I got to try it and I'm looking forward to trying it bottled to compare.

Serving type: growler

03-23-2014 01:45:00 | More by SD-Alefan
Photo of Premo88


3.7/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

on-tap at Carney's Pub, Bryan, TX
(not sure if it's 2013 or when?)

L: black brew, brown head ... among the darker heads I've seen ... at least 1-inch head in the 8 oz. mini-nonic that comes with the purchase (Goose Island logo on it)

S: sweet malt; chocolate-covered almonds; prunes, dates ... awfully sweet, and it turns into one note -- whiskey

T: whiskey burn, whiskey and more whiskey; coffee; raisins and licorice seem to be poking through, but it's so sweet it smooths into dates/prunes; lots of cherry and vanilla as it warms

F: a hint flat but not super slick and suprisingly lightweight for such a thick-looking stout; so much alcohol that it's hard to call it "drinkable," but it is light

O: it's definitely a full-on tour de force of whiskey. again, though, I'm not sure which year this one is, but if it's *not* vintage 2013, then holy cow is this thing boozy. it's too close to licorice/raisins for my liking with almost no coffee/chocolate notes in it ... though it *is* sweet.

it doesn't come close to living up to the hype, which I'm happy about. a beer this hard to find with so much fanfare over it should be better.

Serving type: on-tap

03-22-2014 05:37:15 | More by Premo88
Photo of Jaxbrew


4.55/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I had the honor of enjoying this treat of a stout at TJ's in Paoli, PA. Bourbon County tap takeovers are like magnets for beer geeks.

Shoulder to shoulder we stood and this was the first beer I ordered. There something to be said about drinking a beer before you've eaten, well, this devious dark shadow got me good!! It was served a bit too cold, as most incredible craft beers are, but I couldn't resist the first sip anyway. WOW. This stuff is awesome! I steadily warmed the snifter in my hands to wake up some of the cold coma induced flavors that hid bundled within, shivering from the "typical darn right chilly" environment from which they were stashed. Patience is difficult for one with un-medicated ADHD, but knowing this stuff had so much more to offer, I persevered with the warming and enjoyed every last sip of this magical elixir. Thank you Bourbon County. Thank you.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2014 23:12:49 | More by Jaxbrew
Photo of MJKerr


3.08/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best part: you can smell the bourbon from across the room.

Apart from that I found it cloyingly sweet. It has the viscosity of motor oil. The first sip tastes complex and interesting, but gets old fast (reminded me of s'mores flavored pop tarts).

I'm a fan of bourbon barrel aged stouts, but this just feels like overkill.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 17:45:17 | More by MJKerr
Photo of N_Schleret


4.64/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a motor oil color with a half finger chocolate head that dissipates to a light ring.
S: Big bourbon up front. Hints of dark fruit, coffee, chocolate, molasses, and alcohol.
T: Again, bourbon up front along with coffee. The chocolate comes out in the end which stays for awhile, making me want more.
M: Heavy, dry, and bitter almost like eating a dark chocolate bar.
O: A top notch barrel ages stout. I will be seeking out the annual release when I can.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 14:29:17 | More by N_Schleret
Photo of boss302


4.36/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I had this from a take away growler from tap and in the bottle. I think I liked the tap version a bit better.
Poured pitch black with very little head.
Strong Bourbon boozy aroma.
Flavor was vanilla and chocolate at the start and finished smooth and roasty. Creamy milky texture that gave it a nice thickness. It also came with an noticeable alcohol flavor.
Tastes and feels like a high gravity beer that it is, it is not masked like some other high alcohol beers.
Overall a very chocolaty beer that is smooth and roasty. I enjoyed drinking it. I put a few up for aging to see how it is in 1 year and 2 years.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 04:00:20 | More by boss302
Photo of shadetree67


4.53/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage poured into a darkness snifter

A. Dark brown nearly black. Pour yielded minimal head that dissipated quickly. No lacing but you can see the beer coat the sides of the glass leaving a brown / gold tinge.

S. It smells great. Bourbon, vanilla and chocolate.

T. Bourbon first and foremost. Followed by vanilla and caramel. Finish has some dark fruits.

M. Low carbonation. thick and creamy mouth feel. A little heat on the back end but it's a pleasant amount. I was expecting more of a boozy finish but am glad it's not overwhelming.

O. I understand now why this is rated so highly. This is more balanced than other bourbon barrel stouts that I have tried. More smooth for sure. It was very difficult to get any of this in MN this year and am glad was able to track down a few. Looking forward to seeing how this ages.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 02:01:12 | More by shadetree67
Photo of SteveB24

New York

4.31/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

appearance; very dark brown, has almost a shine to it, pours a finger of brown head that settles into thin lacing. Not much more you can expect of a stout.

smell; rich roasted malt flavors with obvious , notes of coffee, chocolate and caramel, along with hints of dark fruits, the bourbon is also very obvious.

taste; the malt flavors hit you first, the smallest sip is bursting with caramel, coffee, dark fruit, chocolate, and pure malt sweetness, followed by the punch of the bourbon.

mouthfeel; to say this beer is full bodied is an understatement. very rich, thick, and creamy, with light /mild carbonation.

overall; the bourbon flavor was a bit overpowering, and the heaviness was also excesive, but it is a very inique beer experience and with trying.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 17:08:19 | More by SteveB24
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

4.65/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle at Varga in Philly. From notes.

A - Black pour with no head. Good carbonation. Appearance to be expected with high ABV. Doesn't look that great, but less troublesome than for other styles.

S - Intense nose all over the place. Lot's of dark fruit and smooth vanilla-like bourbon notes. Dark fruit and smooth bourbon. Really inviting. Pretty stuff.

T - Big and ballsy. Lot's of smooth bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit. Delicious sweet chocolate and booze that isn't aggressive, but encompasses the bourbon well. All the elements blend together in such a terrific way. Very, very nice.

M - Good carbonation, a bit of sting to finish with sweet bourbon and wood , full silky body.

O/D - This was really good. Lives up to the hype, and does what I like in a stout. RIch, flavourful, drinkable and sippable, this is quality.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 11:34:57 | More by tbeckett
Photo of Trifecta1


5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The perfect bourbon barrel aged stout, if there is one. Blows everything else away with its originality, richness, depth and sophistication. A must have for any beer appreciator. Aggressive, full, and boozy, it hits everything a bourbon barrel stout should be, and hits all marks with perfection, or as close to perfect as any beer can be, and easily accessible (on Black Friday). Buy as much as you can when you see it.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2014 01:54:09 | More by Trifecta1
Photo of Bighead6365

New York

5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So I don't even want to waste my time on this beer. For the first time in my life, I tasted true layers in a beer.

In what I counted, 5 true layers of flavor between boozy bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, almond, and caramel, in that order.

Never in my life have I experienced that. Enough said.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2014 04:48:43 | More by Bighead6365
Photo of kdahnke123


4.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage poured into a snifter.
A - Poured a very dark, thick stream with a little effervescence and no head.
S - Sweet, bourbon, malty and rich.
T - Bourbon and more bourbon with lots of roasted malt, some chocolate and oak, and a slight tang of hops on the end.
M - Very thick and mouth coating. Like a boozy chocolate shake.
O - An excellent version of an imperial stout with lots of layers. The incorporation of the bourbon is balanced without being overpowering. Outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2014 23:17:59 | More by kdahnke123
Photo of heysuz


4.95/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brew: Bourbon County Brand Stout

Intro: 12 oz. bottle served in a tulip glass

Appearance: Dark black, opaque. Ample head with good retention. It looked creamy when poured into the glass. It caused anticipation to build for the first smell/taste. It’s one of those beers where you can just tell it’s going to be good just from the appearance.

Smell: Rich malts, chocolate, dark fruits, bourbon, and alcohol with maybe a hint of vanilla. At 14+% ABV you can’t hide the alcohol but there is a host of fragrances that come through. The anticipation builds. It is a VERY inviting brew.

Taste: BINGO!!! Game over! The Holy Grail has been found! WOW!! This did not disappoint, in fact it exceeded all I’ve heard about it. You taste alcohol but not overpowering. There is sweetness but not cloying so. A perfect balance IMHO. This beer does it for me.

Mouthfeel: Creamy coating that lasts throughout. Just adds to the pleasure.

Overall: As I said, GAME OVER!! It has been found. It’s #1 in its class so far. I haven’t given a perfect 5.0 rating to anything because I figure I haven’t found it yet and don’t know what’s around the corner, but this is as close to perfection that I have found so far. Using this as the base for the variants just sets the tone for each beer to come from their catalog. Do yourself a favor; if you like stouts… seek this beer out. You won’t be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2014 19:53:59 | More by heysuz
Photo of dank203

New Jersey

4.63/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 version. Black, pure black , aroma strong with booze, chocolate, dark fruit. Flavor huge well balanced, booze warming, smooth and viscous. Wow still one of the best ever. A good standard for the style, one to.compare the rest to. Not out there with oddities, coffee or chocolate. Just classic bourbon barrel

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 03:27:08 | More by dank203
Photo of SiouxBeer


4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a thin dark mocha head that remained for the entire glass and left spotty lacing.

Aroma is rich, massive bourbon and chocolate notes along with a hit of alcohol heat and a hint of coffee and vanilla.

Taste is strong bourbon, rich chocolate, coffee, oak, vanilla, and is pleasantly warming.

Medium bodied and, slick, and smooth. Creamy and coating.

Overall a fantastic brew that is a treat to drink fresh or aged. Always look forward to each years release and stock up as much as my wallet will allow.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 13:46:16 | More by SiouxBeer
Photo of Ieatlambfries

New Jersey

4.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a growler filled at Joe Canals, Lawrenceville.

Pours an oily black. Very little head or carbonation. What little head it had, was dark tan to brown.

Intense oak and bourbon smell. Chocolate, coffee, and a bit of soy sauce. Whiff of alcohol lets you know what's in store from the almost 15% abv.

Flavors ran the gamut from wildly sweet to intensely savory. Beyond the heavy oak, vanilla, and bourbon, I tasted everything from baking coco, caramel, coffee, and figs, to burnt sugar, molasses, and soy sauce. Boozy finish.

Mouthfeel was oily and slick. Very little carbonation gave it an almost velvety feel.

Overall an intense brew. Not balanced, but goes down way too easy to not call it highly drinkable. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Serving type: growler

03-02-2014 20:57:17 | More by Ieatlambfries
Photo of melliott

New York

3.66/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

In short: too much separation; too much burn.

Pours great (had in snifter) - a thick dark brown. You can tell it's a big beer, and the smell will open your eyes quickly.

Overall, it's a heavy, almost syrupy beer. But there seems to be a watery start with some nice flavors in the middle and then a bourbon kick that burns more than ideal. As in, it works against the flavors of the beer which I barely got to taste.

I was surprised how unimpressed I was, and the off-duty bartender sitting next to me seemed less impressed. I'll gladly give their other flavors a taste, but this one missed the mark and I'm surprised to see it in the top 100.

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2014 20:59:19 | More by melliott
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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 6,934 ratings.