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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.

10,086 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,086
Reviews: 2,635
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 9.57%
Wants: 2,258
Gots: 5,200 | FT: 553
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,086 | Reviews: 2,635
Reviews by KC9LDB:
Photo of KC9LDB
5/5  rDev +8.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of RaulMondesi
4.87/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

What's that thing called? Cloud 9? Well, this bad boi just put Raul on cloud 11. I mean, Raul is feeling this thing like the "massage" that he just got down at the local parlor. Blacker than sin and as dangerous as a 2x4 with a nail in it, Raul was more into this thang than that one time your mama got bubble gum stick in her hair.

Sleek, sexy, and luxurious. This lil sucker is nothing but luxurious.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #62 (Mar 2012):

LOOK: Black, brown lacing

SMELL: Charred wood, barrel juice, vanilla, ripe figs, light molasses, alcohol, fudge, burnt raisins

TASTE: Creamy, thick body, smooth, molasses, mild charcoal, deep caramel, burnt dark fruit, vanilla, booze, roasted cocoa nibs, molasses finish

Some argue this is not craft beer anymore due to change of ownership—we say “bollocks” to that. BCS has cult status and deservedly so. A slow sipper due to the size, and closing in on perfection makes it very easy to sip!! Cheers to Goose Island for its continuation and expansion within their barrel program.

Photo of dmgeng
4.83/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Traded one of my coworkers who hordes these beer for a particular 2013 vintage bottle that he said was his favorite beer of all time.

A - Jet black color devoid of all light reflecting out of this elixir. It pours beautifully with a dark khaki head and nice lacing. A very beautiful beer in the glass.

S - Tons of of sweet stout smell with roasted, chocolate, caramel, bourbon, and vanilla. Smells very strong and bursting with flavor.

T - A rush of flavor hits your palate but it is clear this is exactly what you would expect with the bourbon and imperial stout character holding your tongue hostage. The roasted, chocolate, and malt flavors blend perfectly with the oak, bourbon, and vanilla that comes with the barrel aging process. This beer tastes like one of the best beers in the world but is more bourbon forward, less complex, and higher in alcohol than some other top-tier bourbon barrel aged stouts.

M - Huge mouth-feel with light carbonation. This is probably the thickest and most heavenly bodied beers I've ever had.

Overall, this is a tremendous and amazing beer that deserves respect and a discerning palate to appreciate such grandeur. Though the bourbon is front and center it is smooth and flavorful and really adds a great deal to the amazing base imperial stout. Only a few weeks ago did I have the "other" amazing bourbon barrel stout, "KBS" and I would choose the Founder's counter part over Bourbon County only due to the ability to better discern all of the flavors instead of this beer where the flavors are so strong and fulfilling that the palate can be overwhelmed. Both of these beers are astonishing and should be sought out but in the end only one with prevail and for my palate "KBS" is the champion.

Glass- Snifter

Photo of BEERchitect
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite stout,...period. Just finished my second 4-pack (not all today) but, for the year.

Aromas: Awsome. It has it all, malts, coffee, chocolate, cherries, raspberries, raisons, vanilla, caramel. It's basically a desert for the olfactory senses.

Appearance: Thicker, heavier, darker, and better colored than about any stout that I have ever had. It even sounds nicer when poured into a tulip glass.

Taste: Holds up to the aromas and more. One sip tells you that this is going to be a slow and steady drink. High barley and roasted grains without tasting harsh or "gainy". All of the fruits and sweetnesses in the aroma are compounded in the flavor. The sweet malt is quickly followed by fruity tartness and nice bittering from the dark malts and the well disguised hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, thick, and creamy. Coats the mouth incredibly well. Polishes off well without the stickyness associated with most high gravity brews.

Aftertaste: There's the bourbon. Until now, it hides in the background of all the other complexities. The bourbon flavors increase the caramel and vanilla flavors...and the alcohol. warming and lingering. Each sip makes you want to reflect before the next one.

Impression: overwhelming to the modest beer drinker. This one is definately for grown-ups (if not conissours). She's definately a sipper. Should only be enjoyed with good friend, a cozy fire, and hour to spare.

Photo of floridadrift
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Man shit. Girl-man shit.

A: As black as it was before the big bang.

T: Booze and vanilla and acidic bitterness from all the blackness and space oddity booze.

M: Perfectly thick, semi-hard to swallow because my mouth likes it so much.

O: Holy Grail ALERT

Photo of Apellonious
4.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz 2014 bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - Poured a dark black with a brief razor thin dark tan head.

S - Boubon, dark fruit, malts.

T - Follows the nose, with added hints of chocolate and vanilla. Caramel, syrup.

M - Velvety, gets sticky as it warms. Enough carbonation to hold it together.

O - Impressive. As good as advertised, even at 8 a 12 oz.

Photo of Viscousbike
5/5  rDev +8.7%

New favorite beer; and that's coming from an IPA guy. Totally lives up to the hype.

Photo of TAREUA
1.52/5  rDev -67%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I got this from a wine/beer shop where the owner said he'd heard good things about this one but hadn't tried it yet. Well, he won't hear anything good from me. I don't remember the last time I didn't finish a beer. Just dreadful bleck. A friend with me shared my opinion.

This beer either represents the Emporers New Clothes of craft beer or there was something wrong with this bottle. It looked a fine dark brown/black. The smell was of molasses, burned things,raw alcohol and more burned molasses. A hint of overheated radiator was one of the better scents. The taste was big and layered, but the waves of burned sugar, gloppy sorghum, alcohol, just kept coming like a string of plague rats jumping into my mouth. I'm not sure of the mouthfeel, as I was too busy thinking of ways to apologize to my tongue.

If you took a Guinness and let it bounce around in your car trunk for a summer spent in the desert, added various burned molasses concoctions and some bourbon you had washed your feet in, you might approximate the flavor. This is the Edsel of beers in my opinion, and I am a huge fan of big stouts.

Photo of Hab11
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bourbon County Stout 2014 from a 12oz. Bottle. Reviewed with Three Lions.
Look: Molassaes Color, dark like the back of a closet during a power outage. Slight caramel head. Very little lacing but leaves resin up the glass.
Smell: chocolate liqueur nose and can definitely get some of the oak from the barrel. Would love to know the bourbon that was in the barrel as it has a smoothness to it that's appealing. Chocolate Nibs with some sort of plum or date.
Taste: A lot a like a Milkyway Midnight. Vanilla, Chocolate, Cherry Cordial, caramel malt. So much more going on I can even describe. This is packed with flavors. The alcohol definitely comes through. Again would love to know the brand of Bourbon.
Mouthfeel: sticky like a good single malt bourbon or scotch, syrupie but not overly so. It is very creamy mid tongue. Finishes hot like a whiskey.
Overall: Three Lions wasn't lying this is incredible.

Photo of ThreeLions
4.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed with Hab11.
Picked up this gem to share with my brother in law. Have had multiple times, first time reviewing it. Here goes:
At first pour this beer comes out the color of spent motor oil. Faintest hint of head quickly dissipates leaving a molasses colored beer. Upon swirling the beer leaves a syrupy resinous coating along the sides of the glass.
Aroma: what a smell. The alcohol (at 13.8%) is far from hidden. Intense burn. Dark fruit and wood come through up front with chocolate notes in the background. It is like a rich chocolate liquer.
Taste: Taste is an obvious 5. So rich. Dark chocolate milky way? My god this is rich. I feel like I'm drinking a dessert. A very boozy dessert I might add. The look on my sister's face when she had a sip said it all. So comical. This is an intense beer. It's so heavy, so thick and creamy, so boozy...it's over the top.
Mouth: in general I hate putting numbers to or talking about mouthful but this was an easy 5. From the first sip I knew it was a 5 before any hint of flavor was processed. So thick and perfect.
Overall. What is there to say really? It's a near flawless beer. If you enjoy barrel aged stouts then you need to seek out this brew. If you aren't familiar then this would be a great place to start but beware because setting the standard with this...this benchmark will leave you let down by a large number of other beer claiming to deliver a similar product.

Photo of Beer_Doge
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


So bourbon.

Such chocolate.

Much sipper.



Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Charred oak barrel black with a wee glimmer of burnt umber at the bottom edge of the glass. Light simply has no chance. The small, dark caramel colored cap isn't as creamy as expected, nor as sticky. I'm sure the 11.0% ABV has a lot to do with it, but I like a bit more eye candy. This is one serious looking stout, though.

The aroma is outstanding. This is exactly what a stout aged in bourbon barrels ought to smell like. An insane amount of heavily roasted barley greets my nose with every sniff. In addition, there's plenty of dark caramel, dark brown sugar, vanilla and glorious bourbon whiskey. With a bit more power and a bit more aggressiveness, it'd be perfect.

The flavor *is* perfect. Absofreakinlutely perfect! It doesn't hurt that I love bourbon because those 100 days in the barrel were 100 days well and efficiently spent. If bourbon whiskey isn't your thing, then I'd suggest drinking another beer. This one positively oozes that glorious spirit. Unlike some beer of this sub-style, the proportion of stout to whiskey is juuust right.

The flavor profile consists of bittersweet chocolate, brown sugar, dark butterscotch, crushed vanilla beans, charred oak, a splash of ouzo and a tendril or two of smoke. The whiskey adds a certain wee heavy character, although there's no peatiness since bourbon is the whiskey of choice rather than Scotch. It's amazing how each sip is better than the last. Where will it end?

I'm a bit surprised at the sweetness, but probably shouldn't be given the gargantuan amount of malt. The mouthfeel is full (without being ponderous), heavily silky, polished gemstone-like and nicely chewy on the back end. Carbonation must be present, though you'd never know it. Perfect score. Again.

I expected one whole helluva lot from Bourbon County Stout. All the more amazing, then, that it blew right past those expectations as if they were sitting still. This remarkable beer is easily the best that I've ever had from Goose Island. It's a true American original and is the perfect marriage of double stout and bourbon. The next time I see BCS, I plan to clear out the store.

Photo of BrbnBarlAgdBil
4.93/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had heard of this beer over and over again and I was happy with my BlackOps and Old Raspy Barrel Aged, but wow did they get this beer right. The subtle notes throughout the beer hit your tongue as it tingles from the bourbon barrels. Hints of smoke and wood touch the palate as the beer goes down so very smooth. Thank you Closisinthehouse for the new addiction.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.36/5  rDev -27%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (courtesy of Dalaamar): Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown color foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of bourbon is quite powering as well as some chocolate and vanilla. Taste is a mix between some chocolate malt with hints of vanilla, coffee and oak. Bourbon presence is interesting but a bit too powerful for my liking since it brings too much alcohol, which is not something that I necessarily enjoy. Body is full and has a creamy texture, which I quite enjoy. Overall, this is a very interesting creation, which I’m glad, got a chance to try but I feel I would probably prefer the non-barrel aged version more. Also, this is more of a sipper then anything else and half a bottle would probably be enough for one session.

Photo of eddiebo
4.11/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this both on tap and from a 12 oz. bottle this week. Better on tap but a tough find. Way more boozy and tighter from the bottle, hold a bottle for a year. An outstanding stout with rich, multifaceted flavor. Mouthfeel is viscous perfection. Chocolate, prune, worcestshire sauce, and bourbon flavors all prevalent. More complex from the bottle but eminently drinkable on tap. Makes for an epic after meal sipper. Highly recommended.

Photo of Boccu
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite bourbon stouts. True bourbon taste hints of coffee yet blended perfectly

Photo of sleepyteacher
3.13/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Though I cannot say that I was bowled over, blown away, or even highly impressed by this beer, I can say that it taught me a good lesson.

In beer drinking, I have grown up in a house that serves all of its beer in frosted mugs. I served my first craft imperial stout that way and, though it was still pretty good, I definitely found that it tastes better with a little air and room temp heat added to it. So now, I have been trying to drink my stouts and porters at around 50 degrees.

This beer came to the table frosty cold, from the restaurants frig, and it got significantly better as it warmed up. Unfortunately, with only 12 oz, it may not have had enough time to warm properly.

Still, hard to believe this beer is 15%. Even my girlfriend said that it tastes like boozy caramel. I have had beers similar in taste to this one that are 1/2 the price and and about 1/3rd the ABV. So I'm not sure what draws drinkers to stand in line for hours to get this beer. Maybe it gets better with age. Maybe it gets better at room temp. At least I know it won't get better with a frosted mug.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on October 8, 2008.

G: Poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Motor-oil dark with a thin, quarter-finger head with minimal amounts of carbonation. The beer is completely opaque and near black.

S: Roasted malt and a lot of sweet chocolate scent. Minimal hints of dried fruits. Definite bourbon scent and hints of aged oak as well.

T: The taste is absolutely exquisite. Hints of the aforementioned oak, along with plenty of bourbon. Some chocolate and espresso hiding in the mix. The perfect balance and extremely complex--I would give this a 5.5 if I could.

M: Quite thick and extremely chewy. It really almost feels as if there's food in my mouth. A true "motor oil" beer. Moderate amounts of carbonation. Strong alcohol presence.

D: Very, very drinkable. This is high in ABV, but I could drink these until I couldn't drink any longer.

Photo of womencantsail
4.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A 2008 bottle poured into a snifter. The pour is dark as night with some thin mocha colored foam.

S: The smell is full of bourbon, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, and a slight bit of alcohol.

T: This is one smooth beverage. Great bourbon, chocolate, oak, and molasses flavors. There are still some alcohol presence, but it's nowhere near as hot as when fresh.

M: The carbonation is very light, but it works well with a 13% Impy Stout. The body is full, smooth, and creamy.

D: Even though the alcohol has died down quite a bit in a year+, it's still a big, big beer. I need to go out and buy more of this, because I see this only getting better.

Photo of EveningCordial
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into snifter.

A- Nice and dark, small khaki head. Not much carbonation present.

S- Lots of bourbon when fresh. This ages very well and loses the heat if that's what you like. Notes of chocolate, burnt malts and grain, wood, and a little leather and pipe tobacco. Alcohol definitely present.

T- Bourbon forward.. big surprise. Chocolate and coffee in the backseat. Some vanilla and oak also present. Follows the nose.

M- Full bodied yet silky and smooth. Definitely needs to be served a little less than room temperature. The heat is a nice finish.

O- A prime example of a barrel aged stout. Almost flawless. Highly recommended and always look forward to its release.

Photo of jmejones
3.6/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Coats the mouth well. Smell is intoxicating, excuse the pun. However, way too sweet for this Russian Imperial lover, and I lucked up on a case that my wife and friends will end up drinking. Almost dessert like. Very disappointed at my first time having.

Photo of humuloner22
4.32/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a good beer. Not what its gets the hype about and definitely not worth the annoyance of seeking it out. Very bourbon forward. Bu t this beer is thin for the style. Everyone talks this beer up and thinks its the best thing ever but truly it really isn't that fantastic. I have had BA stouts that were better balanced. If I want to drink bourbon I will and if I want to drink a stout I will. This is the 14.4 edition by the way (2014). Its a good beer but it is more overhyped to me than it is worth seeking out. If it was a regular beer sitting on a shelf and people could buy it every day unlike the current situation of Black Friday, this would be among the higher echelons of beerdom, but all things considered its not worth the craziness.

Appearance: Black, no head whatsoever.

Smell: strong bourbon and chocolate. It smells amazing!

Taste: not as good as the aroma would let you believe.

Overall: This is an overhyped beer like no other. I bought a bunch of this one but this was the only 14.4 version I had tonight I also have the other abv 13.8, I think? Its a tasty beer, but as far as BA stouts go, this was good but its no better than other ones I have had. Maybe older versions are better. I am not taking into account the new ownership, I am simply reviewing this beer as I see it. If it was a blind taste test, I don't know if it would get as high a review as I gave it. Maybe I should do that with some friends just to see what everyone thinks!

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.77/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to mjtiernan for sending me this one!

2009 vintage. Bottled on 10/9/09.

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch khaki head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random spots and streaks of lace slide back down into the remaining beer. Smell is of wood, vanilla, toasted coconut, and milk chocolate. Taste is of toasted coconut, vanilla, wood, and semi-sweet cocoa powder. There is a slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a thick and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a most excellent beer and I can see why this one is held in such high regard. A rare treat for me that I am glad I got to try.

Photo of baywater
5/5  rDev +8.7%

This beer is not on the same level as any of the other beers I have drank. After drinking this I have tried to drink some of my favorites and they don't even compare.

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 10,086 ratings.