Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,614 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,614
Hads: 10,754
Avg: 4.5
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 2,586
Gots: 5,910 | FT: 615
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
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 2,614 | Hads: 10,754
Photo of Umdrunner
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
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!

 423 characters

Photo of TBoneJones
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

 764 characters

Photo of teromous
4.07/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

 1,853 characters

Photo of Pizza-Steve
2.72/5  rDev -39.6%
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!

 978 characters

Photo of Stolenface1
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

 390 characters

Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
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.

 273 characters

Photo of rjd722
4.95/5  rDev +10%
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!

 566 characters

Photo of thebeers
4.16/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

 245 characters

Photo of zizouandyuki
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
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!

 517 characters

Photo of mobrado
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2015 edition. This drinks absolutely wonderfully right now. Not boozy at all, a miraculous feat at 14.3%. There is literally only a single thing I don't like about it--the hassle to get more. *sigh*

 198 characters

Photo of SquallLionhart
4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Vanilla. Molasses. Bourbon. Coffee. Chocolate. Retrieved from the cave (aka basement), 2014 release, 12oz bottle.

L: Black, thick black motor-oil, with a thin almost-orange brown head that bubbles lightly to the surface shortly after pouring.
S: Coffee and chocolate. And vanilla. And more (dark fruit even?). Almost reminds me of the smell of a good pipe tobacco from many years ago. Sweet, complex... It's intoxicating, really.
T: So much going on here. The vanilla/molasses is right up front. Coffee less prominent than it was in the smell. The bourbon-barrel flavor comes through later for me... less chocolate than some of the similar ones. The aftertaste is amazing. Leaves you wanting more. This one is good from start to finish.
F: Thick and sticky. Light on carbonation (I honestly could have had a little more carbonation on this one). High on alcohol. Warms you up as it goes down, but not so hot that it burns.
O: Admittedly, I didn't like this one as much as my cohorts when it first came out. First time I had it was release-day 2014.... in-your-face vanilla and bourbon, with a firey-hot alcohol finish. This one has definitely benefited from having a little 'alone time' downstairs. It's far better now than it was a year ago (IMO of course).

 1,262 characters

Photo of MarioM
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 16oz bottle pured into a snifter

A: Dark but not opaque like other stouts. Tan head that quickly dissipates with no lacing. Not an appetizing brew

S: Aroma is interesting. Full of vanilla and smooth chocolate with some booze.

T: Very smooth and amazing. I get lots of vanilla. Very smooth and dangerously drinkable. Nice smooth chocolate and mild bourbon. Not overpowering at all and very tasty!

F: Carbonation is perfect. Light alcohol in the after taste but no where near what I would expect from a 13.7% abv beer... Very nice...

O: A very well made brew that is worth the search/hunt. Incredibly smooth. Very good, can't wait to taste with some age.

 662 characters

Photo of dertyd
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing!!!!!!! The pour was as black as dirty motor oil. The smell was of chocolate,raisins,dark fruit and smoke
smoke. The taste was smooth with chocolate,raisins,raisinets,brownies and a slight soy sauce flavor what an amazing brew

 233 characters

Photo of BranfordBound
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Drinking the 2013 batch on tap at Craft 260 in Fairfield today. Pours super black with a small brown head of about one finger, leaves spotty lacing. Smell is instant bourbon, tons of barrel, hints of booze, malts, smoke. Taste is superb, if you want a bourbon bomb, this is it. Never too sweet, but backbone of tons of malt, molasses, chocolate, segues into the notes of bourbon, lots of wood, smoke, barrel, char. Finish lingers for days, never seems to escape your mouth. Some carbonation to break up the fan fare, definitely heavy body and very sticky in the mouth. Bourbon bomb, period, very well crafted. A sipping beer for when the snow flakes fall.

 655 characters

Photo of Myotus
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle ( bottled on 15Oct14) into a snifter.
LOOK: Pours with a half finger's worth of cinnamon colored foam that shrivels down into a khaki line after 10 seconds. Black in color with an orange tint. Rising bubbles are small in size and subtle in quantity. Lacing is thin and very subtle.
SMELL: Very strong aromas of molasses, plums, raisins, and figs entangle with mild aromas of vanilla, bourbon, and sweet chocolate. Subtle aromas of sweet coffee, oak, and hints of bitter roasted malts support the obvious sweet goodness.
TASTE: Initial taste is of very strong flavors of molasses, plums, raisins, and figs along with strong sweet chocolate flavors that are immediately followed by mild borubon and vanilla flavors. Mild flavors of sweet coffee and subtle flavors of oak step onto the palate right after. Hints of bitter roasted malts enter lastly as all previous flavors persist, except for bourbon flavors, which grow slightly stronger.
FEEL: Medium-bodied and subtly carbonated. Goes down smooth and creamy. Finishes with a slight dryness.
NOTE: Why have I waited so long to try this??? I know. It's because I don't like bourbon. But this was EXTREMELYsweet (I do have a gargantuan sweet tooth) instead of being extremely bourbony like I thought it was going to be.

 1,294 characters

Photo of GregA135
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2014 Bottle - Got this baby in a trade!

This was my first time ever trying BCBS and it definitely did not disappoint.
Poured into a snifter - a nice black color, with a tan head.
Instantly my smelling senses were hit with bourbon, vanilla and coffee.
Sipping the beer my palate was excited by the coffee, bourbon, molasses, vanilla, and chocolate. You can taste the booziness of the beer and the bourbon gave a slight burn after sipping. One word for this beer, DELICIOUS!
Medium body, light carbonation
This beer was so smooth! Can't wait to open the 2012 BCBS!

 571 characters

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle served in a snifter.

Dark black with a rich brown head. Smelled of bourbon, boozy, roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, toffee, burnt sugars, tons of barrel character, oaky, coconut, vanilla, marshmallow. Taste followed the nose to a tee with the exception of sweetness: this beer was over the top sweet for me and had a strong of fusel alcohols left in there even after a year in the cellar. It needs more time to mellow out. The taste was a bit too sweet for me on this one but it certainly has enough residual sugars to last for many years to come in a cellar under proper conditions. The rating is high because it was an excellent brew but I believe it can get better.

 682 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Jet black with a nice tan head. Almost no lacing. Bourbon, chocolate, molasses and a wee bit of coffee. The taste is the same but with a licorice note. Nice medium body. Superb beer.

 183 characters

Photo of jhavs
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz pour at Wicked Weed Funkatorium for their Barrel Aged Tap takeover for the 2015 Dark Arts release. Poured into a snifter.

A= Black, opaque, very thin ring of light brown foam around the glass edge.

S= Big aroma filled with dark roasted malts, coffee, bitter and sweet chocolate with a background of bourbon and dankness. Hint of dark fruits.

T= Dark roasted malt, bourbon spice, black coffee and bitter chocolate.

M= Heavy body with light carbonation.

O= Covers the high ABV with pleasant layers of flavor, bourbon aging does not overpower.

 553 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - 2014 version on tap

Pours pitch black with a small brown head. Smells of heavy dark roasted chocolate malts, little coffee, vanilla, and bourbon. The taste is impeccable. Dark roasted chocolate malts, hint of black coffee, with a nuance of bourbon and vanilla like flavors. The feel is very thin, almost like a wine. This is more of a barleywine than a typical bourbon aged stout. Though the mouthfeel may be thin, this beer does not lack in pure stout flavor with mild bourbon booziness. Overall, despite the thin wine-like mouthfeel and look, this beer is as stouty as stout can be! Pure chocolate, coffee, vanilla, bourbon notes shine through prominently.

 695 characters

Photo of Stevem68
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a motor oil color. Has a boozy sweet aroma with hints of vanilla and chocolate. Flavor is sweet, you get notes of vanilla, chocolate and bourbon. Leaves a warm boozy mouth feel. Overall I feel the hype didn't help this beer. It's very nice, for me it's similar to a ba Dark app with a little less vanilla and booziness.

 326 characters

Photo of PatrickBeebe
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 split 4 ways into snifters amongst family. Deep black, with dark brown head. Smells of black molasses. Taste is molasses and sugar. Slight heat from the alcohol on the back end. Vanilla and dark wood. Very big beer, so many flavors. Evolves nicely as it warms.

 265 characters

Photo of LloydDobler
4.98/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

'14 vintage

I haven't had one of these in months and this is my first time reviewing it. Keeping this one simple. Pours like black, liquid silk. The thinnest smattering of bubbles fizzes away in seconds, leaving my snifter looking like a floating 8-ball. The nose is a nice dose of bourbon with sugared rasins, dates(or something along those lines), and semi-sweet chocolate. The taste is such a smooth experience, with the bourbon up front but not boozy or abrasive at all. A little bitter chocolate and wood linger on the palate with a slight tinge of bourbon sour. Thick and creamy texture. Everything about this beer is crafted with the most delicacy. The favors meld perfectly together and the high ABV is completely forgettable as you are enjoying this easy drinking brew.

 779 characters

Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow. Just wow. I honestly did not expect this to meet expectations, I don't know why, but this is great. I enjoy it more than kbs, and slightly less than ANTEAD. Pours a night dark brown, one finger head. Smell is bourbon and tons of it, chocolate, vanilla, that order. Taste is bourbon and sweet caramel upfront, chocolate, barrel roast and oaky vanilla, before a smooth, creamy chocolate and barrel tannin finish. Unbelievably smooth for the alcohol content. Will definitely hop on any chance to get this or a variant in the future.

 534 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Have had the 2013 and 2014 several times. This is a 2014 bottle, almost a year old. Pours almost pitch black, finger brown head faded quickly into a thin ring and a diamond shape pattern in the middle, cool looking. Wow this brew has some nose, chocolate and vanilla, bourbon, a little red wine. The taste is bold but soft, if that's possible. The chocolate flavor is sweet and bitter, some fruit notes of cherry and raisin, vanilla is there also. Alcohol comes out in the end but is not intense or burning. Mouthfeel is medium and slippery. Overall this brew is just filled with flavor, one of my favorites.

 622 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 2,614 ratings.