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.

2,634 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,634
Hads: 10,815
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 19.82%
Wants: 2,588
Gots: 5,993 | FT: 619
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: 2,634 | Hads: 10,815
Photo of Ksmoove27
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 546 characters

Photo of Abk542
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

 222 characters

Photo of imstimpy
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

 897 characters

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.

 785 characters

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.

 898 characters

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.

 893 characters

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.

 378 characters

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.

 421 characters

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.

 270 characters

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

 158 characters

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.

 513 characters

Photo of Hophazzard
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 151 characters

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.

 355 characters

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.

 246 characters

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!

 528 characters

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.

 599 characters

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.

 178 characters

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!

 214 characters

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.

 295 characters

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!

 423 characters

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.

 764 characters

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.

 1,853 characters

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!

 978 characters

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.

 390 characters

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.

 273 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,634 ratings.