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Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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2,577 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,577
Hads: 10,547
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 5.16%
Wants: 2,487
Gots: 5,686 | FT: 609
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: 2,577 | Hads: 10,547
Photo of BeerBear
4.07/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage in a snifter glass.
Pour's black as night with mild carbonation and a short head.
Smell: molasses and hot alcohol aroma.
Taste: BIG bourbon blasts with toasted coconut, molasses, vanilla and tobacco notes. High heat from the Alcohol.
Feel: Lovely mouthfeel, low carbonation, smooth finish.

Overall this is a really nice beer. Clearly the idea to go big with the bourbon business is the goal, but for my own tastes it's a bit over the top and overshadows the other nice flavors trying to get noticed. (516 characters)

Photo of Dolphinsmarlins1
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured the 2014 edition in a snifter at around 50 degrees. Since this was the first time drinking it, I have no way of determining if it had mellowed from the 11 month aging since its bottling; nevertheless, it did have some bourbon fire on the front end, but it finished very smoothly. Bourbon flavor is accented with hints of chocolate, coffee, and spices. Wish I had more to drink, so I could see how it ages over the years. Overall, a great tasting beer. (460 characters)

Photo of VikingBeer
4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Serving type: a 2013 vintage, on tap at the great Beer Trappe, Lexington, KY. From notes dated 6/5/15. Beautiful pour: rich, oily, viscous-looking black liquid, with a pretty, rich brown head that lasts less long than I expected, and lacing that persists far longer. Smell is bourbon, rich, chocolate, coffee, and a maduro-tobacco sweetness, with a hint of smoke. Taste is...wow. An absolute bomb of flavor, mirroring the nose closely: bourbon, oak, coffee, dark (yet sweetish) chocolate, with occasional hints of spice and dark fruit. Rich mouthfeel, although over the 30-45 minutes I sipped my 13-ounce pour the carbonation fell off a good bit, making it seem a bit flat and syrupy for the last couple of ounces. I struggled a bit in rating this one for flavor; it's not as complex as, for instance, the great vintages of "Black Note," or, for that matter, the Bourbon County Barleywine. However, the two to three extra years of age on this one may have mellowed it a bit more than it needed. However, the definition and intensity of the flavors that ARE there, the drinkability and well-hidden alcohol, and the excellence of the overall taste experience compel me to rate it as I did. Well done, Goose Island. (1,212 characters)

Photo of FLima
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have saving this 2012 edition for a while, let’s see how this evolved.
Deepest possible black color with a thick one finger dark caramel head with very short retention and no laces.
Delicious aroma with notes of cocoa, bourbon, some roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, licorice, molasses, coconut and charred wood. All behaving well. Incredible that the alcohol of 15% is not there, no burning on your nostrils.
Luscious flavor with notes of molasses, slightly peppery and earthy hops, bourbon, cocoa, cinnamon, oak, lactic acid, cola, charred wood, lots of vanilla, fig jam, dark fruits, burnt coconut, mild tobacco and dark chocolate. Not overly sweet. Dry aftertaste with a rounded bitterness and its lingering notes.
Viscous and velvet body with proper carbonation. Alcohol of 15% abv is superbly disguised.
Great brew, it is a very complex and elegant stout. In my opinion what is actually behind its cult/hype besides its complexity, although not necessarily conscious, it is its perfect balance with relatively medium to high intensity flavors. Bourbon is not really the leading role; actually you have to think which one should be. They are mostly intense individually, though not overwhelming. The whole bottle went down easy; sipping this all along was pleasant and not cloying. But with you want Bourbon to rule and still leave room for other players, I would prefer the amazing Thirsty Dog Wulver Wee Heavy Ale (though different style).
I would sure grab this on the shelf when available, but I would not wait for it on long lines. (1,549 characters)

Photo of Delz
4.36/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is a great beer. The bourbon and chocolate comes through nicely. I know people may say I ma crazy, but I actually prefer KBS, Bmmb! and Mexican Cake. (162 characters)

Photo of IHeartPumking
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply an amazing beer that is so well done.

Chocolate, vanilla, molasses, and bourbon. What an incredible combination of aromas on the nose and flavors in the mouth.

I get excited just thinking about this beer's annual release. Can't wait to try the 2015 if I am able to get my hands on it this year. (303 characters)

Photo of deepsleeper
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So great for something so much more available than others in its category. I often find them in 4 packs too. Great for storing and brining out for dinners and special occasions with more casual friends. (202 characters)

Photo of BSenters
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Recently acquired two cases of this fantastic beer. I got the 14.4% version of 2014's bottling. Pours jet black with decent head. Vanilla, caramel, roasted malt and of course bourbon are dominate on the nose. As strong as it is, the boozy taste is not as much as you might expect a 14.4% to be and should recede over time (plan to store as many as I can keep my hands off of). The vanilla and chocolate compete with the bourbon and should win over time. Full mouth feel, almost chewy. Awesome beer. (505 characters)

Photo of rogerdandy
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I recently came across a bottle of this in a trade. It was from the 2013 run. I really enjoyed this beer but it was still pretty sweet and VERY bourbon forward. It was a 334ml bottle and it took me two hours to drink it. While worth trying I think that the BBA beers that are available currently, that took inspiration from this beer, are better and more balanced. Still lovely though. (386 characters)

Photo of ljjpowers
4.41/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. Much more vanilla/gingerbread shining through in taste than I originally anticipated. Otherwise, it was exactly what was expected--- dark chocolate, coffee, bourbon. It's hard to say that any other bourbon barrel aged beer is better than this, the original. Pleasantly surprised by the taste despite what I previously considered to be too much "hype" surrounding the brew. (377 characters)

Photo of oldn00b
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had again at a beer fest. About a 5oz pour, jet black. Huge tan head settled out nicely.

This is a near perfect barrel aged stout. I've had it on tap as much as in the bottle now and I feel like o tap is the way to go. Big alcohol at 14% but on tap it doesn't come off as boozy as it did from the bottle - perhaps a few extra months sitting does that. Anyway - fantastic beer. Tasted better than the 2014 KBS they had. (427 characters)

Photo of VetsPackage
4.91/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

King of the castle of widely distributed BA beers. Perfect in every way you cut it. All the essential bourbon characteristics backed by a robust base stout that could easily stand on its own. Boozy but easily consumed at 14%+. One of my all time favorites that never disappoints. The only time InBev gets my business (316 characters)

Photo of StinkyFishBoys
4.61/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Earthy and wet like bee syrup. What I love most about Bourbon County is they don't just brew the best stout they can and then use barrels in an effort to improve it's flavor (and inevitably it's BA score, lulz guys). They consider the barrel aging to be an essential source of flavor and not just an add-on. That is why BCBS is an icon and always will be. (355 characters)

Photo of Chris912
4.73/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Always try to find this because I keep on drinking what I have. Summer, winter...doesn't matter.

2014 Vintage - Drank 7/2015
A- Black as Dracula’s cape, with a light auburn color. Lacing sticks like a Stage Five Clinger and slowly drifts into the glass like an old man into a lukewarm bath. A wonderful sight, the beer lacing that is.
S- If you didn’t know any better, you’d say this was bourbon mixed with vanilla. It smells of roasted malt, booze, chocolate and pure anticipation.
T- Damn good – love it. Keep it comin’ keep it comin’. Vanilla, chocolate; the bourbon is present unlike many of the style.
F- Just thick enough, coats the mouth and remains there. No reason to take a sip for another minute or two, so savor! The heat slithers down ever so warmly, beautiful.
O- Yup! I’ll continue to seek this out, every year, all year, until either I run out of trade bait or my wife hides all our money. (920 characters)

Photo of gatorlove
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thank you to my bartender at gainesville house of beer for sharing this beer. Tons of raisins, chocolate, and vanilla on the nose and in the taste. More malty than expected. It tasty like a bread pudding with a decadent Bourbon caramel sauce. Just overall a great beer. (269 characters)

Photo of metsfansour
1.75/5  rDev -60.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Pors Jet Black with no lacing in a tulip glass

a bad tasting stout masked with heavy bourbon that kills the palate it is cloyingly sweet I honestly don't see what the hype is about. (183 characters)

Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.29/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 version

Pours black as night with thin brown head that dissipates to a ring around the glass. Smells of chocolate, pecans, vanilla, dates and booze. Sweet taste of dates and raisins. Vanilla on the finish with a large amount of lingering booziness. Great mouthfeel, thick and chewy. Certainly an excellent beer, but a bit too sweet for my tastes. (357 characters)

Photo of danh53
4.11/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is appropriately named. Bourbon is very prominent in the nose and the taste. The bourbon part is very well done compared to others in the style. Lots of vanilla, Carmel, and malt come through with chocolate and dark fruit from the base beer. The fruitiness takes over a little too much and I wish there was a little more on offer from the base stout, but the bourbon treatment really makes this a nice treat. I'll probably grab another 4 pack of this in the Fall, but I won't be stocking up like I did last year. (522 characters)

Photo of ChrisP802
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The name says it all, Bourbon. Not super overpowering, but a very strong taste of bourbon.
Pours out motor oil, jet black with small head
Harshness starts with sweetness to follow. If you don't like the taste of bourbon, you should go with another one of their stouts (coffee, barley wine)
Slightly thick mouthfeel
Drinkability is one bottle or maybe two shared. Sip slow and in my opinion tastes better in the winter (419 characters)

Photo of Chcshammonde
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ale Arsenal. Lucky to find it! Huge bourbon on the nose. A bit of spice at the back of the throat (from bourbon I'm guessing), rich an creamy mouthfeel. Flavors of raisins, fig, sweet bourbon, malt. Overall: great BA stout! Not my overall favorite but great. (275 characters)

Photo of reds2harleys
4.15/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This one left me a little disappointed. Not a bad brew but not worthy of all the hype around it. Color was good but taste left me wanting more. Pretty bland, which is rare for a BBA Stout. (191 characters)

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hands down this is the best smelling beer I've ever smelled.

Flavor: Chocolatey, molasses, and lots of figs. Alcohol is not really noticed when the beer is cold, however it is intensely noticed when the beer warms. Some red wine like characteristics. Just a beautiful, lovely, barrel aged stout. Get it when you can. (324 characters)

Photo of dannydetox
4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

brown, almost black brew with little head. aroma is maple, molasses, chocolate, and coconut. thick and viscous across the tongue, wuth deeply roastes malt and dark chocolate rising on the back end. vanilla persists, plus a tiny hint of the bourbon laced oak this ale rested against. solid example of a big barrelled american stout. (331 characters)

Photo of neurobot01
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage. Cellar temp into a snifter.

Look: fairly thick, very dark, with a light brown head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: chocolate, brown sugar, bourbon. Also brighter notes—spice, alcohol, cherry (almost medicinal).

Taste: chocolate, bourbon, a little coconut, hint of BBQ sauce. Just this side of too sweet, alcohol heat (but reads more like 12% than almost 15%).

Feel: medium to thick, very very solid—possibly the best element of the beer.

Overall: I like this a bit better than fresh; it's clearly a very good BA stout, but not worth the craziness it inspires. (583 characters)

Photo of Mehinaman
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

What really needs to be said about this beer that hasn't been said already? The only negative I will say is that I found my first two sips off putting in that I found th bourbon slightly overpowering. But then my pallete adapted, I settled in and quickly realized this is one of those rare things in life that lives up to the hype. I definitely consider it a "winter time" beer though. (385 characters)

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,577 ratings.