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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.

2,590 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,590
Hads: 10,618
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 19.82%
Wants: 2,525
Gots: 5,750 | 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
Reviews: 2,590 | Hads: 10,618
Photo of cpmichael
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from 10/16/2008.

A: Pours a dark black, but not as thick as you might imagine.

S: Most of the bourbon smell has dissipated, a hint of malts and chocolate.

T: Very complex, a lot of the heat has withered away, but there still is a bourbon presences, but it's not overwhelming. A malty, chocolate taste is noticeable. Maybe a hint of coffee, not over powering.

M: The alcohol is most present when just after finishing a sip. A slight burn, but nothing major. The rest of the flavors tingle the mouth.

D: A 12 oz. bottle is actually perfect when shared with another person. I wouldn't want any more than this, but having said that, it's super tasty and worth the $4.50 I paid for it.

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Photo of drxandy
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 batch, glad distribution was upped since i've never been able to find it before.

12oz split between 2 snifters, pours an oily opaque black with a creamy tan head that fades - looks amazing.

smells of lactose? most likely not but quite creamy smelling, vanilla, alcohol heat, chocolate, wow!

taste is of thick chocolate, hot alcohol, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, oak, roasty burnt malts, hops hide with the alcohol, raisins, deep and delicious, mmm I could see this aging beautifully.

mouthfeel is oily, creamy, slick, roasty, sweet, hot, amazing!!!

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured black color with medium brown rocky head that lasted with good lacing. Aroma was long complex roasted coffee and chocolate and wood. The flavor was rich of bourban, oak, malt and alcohol. Finish was long and had a good bite.

Good stout and well worth the hunt to find.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Couldn't be any blacker. Little beads of carbonation are only visible on the edge of the glass rising in constant streams. Two finger thick head is the color of coffee and cream. Head dissipates after a minute or two leaving only a thin top.

Powerful aroma, filled with notes of vanilla, soy sauce, metallic, oak, bourbon. Smells quite alcoholic.

Wow, this is very full bodied. Huge flavor. The body is soft and smooth as cream. Flavors of deeply roasted grains, cherry cordial, sweet caramel, and bourbon soaked oak chips. This beer is amazing the way that it balances the massive body with just enough bitterness and booze. Long lasting aftertaste leaves the mouth with lingering notes of bourbon goodness and charred oak.

Isn't hard to see why this is one of the highest rated beers in the world. It's massively flavorful and integrates the bourbon with the big ass stout in a perfect way. The carbonation is flawless and helps to create a creamy texture, giving an ideal mouthfeel for a big stout like this one. The beer is never cloyingly sweet and is mildly hot, unlike some other massive beers I've tried before. I give it very high marks.

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Photo of Offa
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage, drunk on 19 April 2011

Black, minimal carbonation and no real head but lasting, permanent thin foamy brown ring and some wisps.

Aroma is strong fermented brown bread, caramelized-burnt prunes, dark rum.

Taste is fairly complex, rich and strong, but not overly intense and fairly well restrained and balanced. It has coffee and dark toast, esp. in the finish, mostly caramelized sweet coffee & prunes, burnt sugar & a slight medicinal cough-syrup quality, esp. at the finish. It is boozy and alcoholic, with a rummy quality, but it is fairly mellow and very smooth and it is not rough or overly boozy, esp. considering the strength. It has some good complexity, with enough depth of character and with no single element overly intense or overpowering everything else. It is quite drinkable and never gets tiresome or boring, despite the fact that it is pretty strong and definitely a slow-sipping drink. It is excellent overall.

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Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the thickest, richest and tastiest stouts I've ever tried. If you like em "dark and sludgy" this one will do it for you. Pours black, with minor dark tan head. Little lacing. Nose of brandy, chocolate and burnt malts. Bold char broiled flavors abound, whiskey soaked raisins, dark chocolate, a double black expresso tossed in, some vanilla, oak and more chocolate late,sheesh, can you say complexity?!? Very thick, super bad dark flavors. Meta winter sipper. Not for the faint of heart or those not into super bold dark beers. Goose Island continues to impress. The arrival of their beers in the NYC area this fall and winter has been the highlight of the local beer scene, IMHO

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served in a large brandy snifter

A-Jet black color with a cinnamon brown head that quickly fades from a thin film to a line around the glass edge.

S- Roast malts with coffee and just a bit of prune and a faint bit of leather give this beer a bold nose.

T- A big burnt maltyness with some chocolate notes and a big finish of hops and alcoholic warmth. After a few sips I start to pick up a hint of vanilla and a bit of oakiness. The favor is big and bold but has some nice complexity.

M- This has a big body and is sweet and think on the lips and tongue. no carbonation is felt in the mouthfeel and its not really very hot in the mouthfeel.

D- This is a big chewy heavy stout with the alcohol, hops and roastiness to handle the conditioning in bourbon barrels. I nice beer but not one I could sit down and drink a 4 pack. I find myself drink water in between sips, this is beers version of port.

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Photo of Stigs
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle - 2008 vintage stored properly over the year or so I've had it. served in a standard pint glass.

A - pours *very* thick and syrupy, with just a few loose islands of bubbles and a tiny thin layer of khaki colored film. the beer is pitch black. almost lifeless, yet scary.

S - a bit sweet at first, with some dark fruits...plums and figs before the bitter roastiness slowly takes over. boozy all around from the bourbon, yet not dominating. other notes of cocoa powder, toasted nuts, and alcohol finish it out.

T - is this a big beer? no. its XBOX HUGE. flavors just assault the mouth without mercy. the big, bourbon booze actually hits first and takes a fierce stranglehold, letting other secondary flavors pass one by one according to its whim. first, its the dark fruits. then, a wave of sharp, deeply roasted and almost charred malts. finally, more sweetness abounds with the dark chocolate, maple syrup, and molasses. a more true bourbon flavor settles in as everything else dies down.

M - thick, enormous body with just a wisp of tight carbonation which is only noticeable after most of the beverage leaves the mouth. lingering syrupy sweetness, washed clean (as well as it can be) by a noticeable alcohol burn.

D - drinkability takes a hit from its big body and massive alcohol, yet its just delicious. wonderful winter sipper, spend some time and do this one slowly and correctly. a couple years has done some good to this, allowing the booze to come down to a tolerable level and let a few other flavors develop.

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4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At 12oz bottle into snifter. Bottled on 09.24.10 – 2010 Vintage – lot number 2056

A: As I have seen with the Bourbon county family, they do not have good head formation or retention, so with a vertical pour, I was able o get about a one finger radiant khaki head that dissipated within 30 seconds. The body is jet black and creates a lunar eclipse when held to the light. The lacing is non-existent.

S: The aroma of the bourbon barreled beast is a dominance of.. well bourbon, but a deep waft shows a a bitter hop complexity and a solid malt background as a base. This is a medium to high intensity aroma, while bourbon is in the forefront, it is in the name sake and as the vintages age, this becomes less evident, but this is a fairly fresh batch.

T/M: When the brew hits your lips, it creates a smooth, but thick sludge, that finishes well and leaves a warming and powerful mouthfeel. The bourbon is a very nice addition to a stout of this caliber. The notes of hop bitterness found in the nose are at the depths of this beer and hard to find among the overwhelming bourbon character. As for the mouthfeel, there is a creamy aspect that is Bourbon Brand County Stout that cannot be matched. One of the best high end stouts that has a high ABV and is still drinkable, (yes BCBS and the word drinkable, haha, where did the beer in my glass go?) The lingering sensation holds the key, which is the hop bitterness that makes this brew complete.

O: Overall, this is a beer for a cold night, break on a cross-country ski tour, hot tub, cigar, or a mid-morning watching one of my dogs with two torn ACL's, which I have enjoyed all of the above, unfortunately I am watching one of my six dogs now with a busted leg and this brew makes the warm, sunny day spent inside a bit better. But the beer has a very good way of hiding the ABV and the flavor characteristics give it a reason to go back. Looking forward to seeing how these hold up in the cellar and how they taste passed the four year mark.) Cheers!

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours an impenetrable black with a thin tan head that doesn't retain well, but this sucker is 13% so who cares. The aroma will really knock your socks off, with a huge bourbon presence upfront, followed by vanilla and caramel, coconut, burnt bread, some dark fruits, and a big alcohol presence. The flavor is similar to the aroma with big bourbon notes initially, followed by some coconut and vanilla, charcoal, caramel, dates and plums, a little coffee, chocolate and some fusel alcohol. The mouthfeel is smooth and velvety and drinkability is not very good (though you wouldn't expect it to be). A really fucking good imperial stout, a notch better than KBS in my book.

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Photo of WeeObese
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost pitch black with a very small dark tan head that fades very quickly. Smell of sweet cocoa powder, slight coffee, and bourbon. Flavors of dark chocolate, sweet maltiness balanced by a roasted grain. The bourbon then comes on very powerfully, but its not just bourbon flavored, which I like. Finishes with cocoa powder and vanilla and a strong alcohol burn. Perfectly carbonated, with a thick chewy body and a strong alcohol burn. very good beer and the 13% abv is hidden well. Perfect dessert dinner. Will age nicely.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had during a recent Goose Island Bourbon County Tasting in Charlotte with marine1975, boodingo, CarolinaKevin, HopDiggityDawg, and GehenHerzog at Mike Brawley's house with Budweiser sign blazing! Big thanks to marine1975 for bringing this one to the tasting! 2009 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Vieille Provisions Saison Dupont Willie. Poured pitch black with a half finger brown head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and big sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was pretty freaking tasty! I've had a few of these sitting my cellar for awhile now and have been wanting to tap into them. The alcohol on this one was still a prominent on this one for me. It wasn't overwhelming by any means, but I'm sure there are some more subtle characteristics to this one masked by it regardless. On the nose this one is quite big, but the flavor has mellowed some. Really nice backbone going on here. Really glad I got to try this one!

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Photo of CruisaC
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alright folks, here goes with my FIRST review. This one is a doosey. Went to my local Party Source and was disappointed to find out that the bottle version was sold out earlier in the week but, oh, by the way, they have it on tap and available for purchase by the growler.

A: dark, dark, brown poured that left a couple mm brown head. A swirl on the top of the glass that lets you know there's some alcohol there.

S: Coffee and alcohol and toasted coconut. Some of the bourbon breaks through here as well.

T: I taste the bourbon, the coffee, everything you'd expect from a quality barrel aged stout. The chocolate coffee flavor hangs around long after the liquid has gone down the gullet.

M: Thick, carbonation not overwhelming.

D: Certainly a sipper, but I find that the case with most of beers in this category. Overall I found it delicious and I was very happy to run into this. Wish I had a couple of bottles that I could let sit for a while.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to re-reviewing this beer. My original review from 3-8-10 of the 2009 Vintage was with a very unsophisticated palate. That review has been deleted and replaced by this one.

2010 Vintage. 12 oz bottle poured in to oversized CBS snifter.
Bottled on 10/15/10 1426.

A - Dark black with almost no head. A very small amount of light brown head formed and immediately disappeared. The bubbles were also very large (odd sized) bubbles.

S - Huge barrel aging qualities up front with aromas of bourbon, vanilla and oak. Some cocoa notes in the background along with a faint roasted malt aroma.

T - A great balance of flavours from the barrel - bourbon, vanilla and oak - are evident up front. The background has a light roasted malt profile with faint hints of cocoa. The barrel aging qualities definitely dominate this one. Considering the 13% ABV, this is smooth. The alcohol is warming though and it lingers in the finish.

M - Full bodied. Thick and viscous. A beautiful sludgy body. Light carbonation.

O - An excellent barrel aged RIS. As I suspected, this is miles better than my initial review suggested. Glad to have re-reviewed.

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Photo of nataku00
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, 2010 release, poured into a tulip glass. Tried 2008 version a few weeks ago so looking to try this and compare. Beer pours pitch black and dark, with no head except a few thin patches of dark brown film. Lots of alcohol legs on this one though, thick and coats the inside of the glass with long lasting beer film and I can swirl up a half a finger of bubbles that quickly dissipates. Looks like minimal carbonation if any.

Nose has a nice bourbon component, vanilla, nutty like toasted almonds, oak, toffee, dark fruit like cherry. A bit of the alcohol comes through in the aroma as well. Stout base is there, rich fudgy chocolate, roasted malts. Bourbon barrel is a bit stronger than the 2008 bottle I tried, where it was much more well integrated.

Taking a sip, the flavors are more balanced between stout and barrel, with more of the chocolate and dark fruits being on similar level with vanilla, almond, oak, and toffee. Not much roastiness in the flavor. Smooth, with a bit of the alcohol at the back of the tongue and throat.

Full body and silky on the tongue, minimum carbonation, though enough to lightly taunt your tongue. Sticky lingering flavors of chocolate and bourbon on a long finish. Definitely a sipper as this is a very flavorful beer.

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Photo of erosier
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a deep black with very little brown colored head that fades fast and leaves little to no lacing down the sides.
S: Smells of deep roasted malts, chocolate hints, caramel, and a huge bourbon smell that is the main aroma.
T: Like the nose, this one has a huge bourbon taste to it. It is a bit overpowering but after the initial bourbon there are some really nice chocolate, coffee, caramel flavors that really balance it out well. The aftertaste is a nice bourbon hint to it.
M: Very smooth, heavy, potent, perfect amount of carbonation for this style of beer.
D: Pretty drinkable considering it's well above 10% abv. Very nice mixing of flavors, very well balanced. Probably couldn't drink more than one of these, but if you're only going to have one beer, this would be it.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I tried this 2008 version shortly after it was released and thought it was WAY too hot. Since then, I have grown slightly more fond of bourbon aged beers, plus this now has a solid 6 months on it so I figure it is time to re-review. I wasn't going to crack this until January 2010 but I don't have the willpower...

Pours black as night with a small quarter inch dark brown head that scatters quickly leaving swirls that dance upon the top of the beer. Smell is bourbon, bourbon, and more bourbon. Some vanilla, wood, and chocolate too (dipped in bourbon). The taste is a seriously huge mash of bourbon and hops, not near as painful as I remember but still pretty bold even for my further developed palate. Not quite what I would call "harsh" though, which is a positive. Background flavors include chocolate, wood, and burnt caramel. Full bodied and creamy, exactly how an imperial stout should be. This is a big time sipper, not one to be messed with. World class beer with few flaws.

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Photo of BigBry
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage, 12oz bottle, $5.79. Bottled On date 10/16/08.
From the label: "I really wanted to do something special for our 1000th batch at the original Brewpub. Goose Island could have thrown a party, but we did something better. We brewed a beer. A really big batch of stout - so big, the malt was coming out of the top of the mash tun. After fermentation, we brought inn some bourbon barrels that aged the stout. One hundred days later Bourbon County Brand Stout was born. It's a liquid as DARK and DENSE as a black hole withthick foam the color of a bourbon barrel. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, vanilla, caramel and smoke. ONE SIP has MORE FLAVOR than your average case of beer. It overpowers anything in the room. People have even said it's a GREAT CIGAR BEER. But I have yet to try a cigar that can stand up. Greg Hall, Brewmaster"
Hey, with a lead up like that, it has to be good.
Pours a black color with ruby highlight. Minimal tan head, really just a thin ring. You could smell the bourbon as soon as the cap came off. Some roasted malt, charred burnt notes, a bit oaky, but bourbon whiskey dominates. The taste is not as hot with alcohol as the aroma would suggest. Flavors of roasted malt, some chocolate or cocoa, and the bourbon barrel; vanilla, oaksmoke. A nice beer with a background of bourbon, not overpowering alcohol burn. This is a sipper, to be enjoyed slowly.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, thick brown, minimal rings of brown bubbles, gone quickly. Whiffs of bourbon, vanilla, coconut, oak, dark bakers chocolate, medium roast espresso beans, faint char - fantastic. All notes from scent present, bourbon the star backed by lots of chocolate notes, oak/vanilla/coconut notes smooth out the taste, coffee and char notes take a back seat, mild fruit pops up. Towards the end, alcohol pops up and not the bourbon kind... not quite harsh, but noted. Full bodied, not as oily or sticky as had expected, minimal carbonation, maybe a splash more needed. Really good beer, imporves as it sits and warms to room temeperature.

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Photo of waldoiverson
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz Bottle into Nonic

A: black as midnight on a moonless night, tight carbonation in the 1.5 finger foam that slowly released

S: musty bread yeast, can smell the oak/vanilla, slight char in the end.

T: Candied plums, char, bread, vanilla in that order of release with the taste of burnt marshmallow as the finish (YUM!)

M: Smooth, kinda wish for a bit more carbonation to kill some of the sweetness, but it insures that this is a slow sipper

D: THis is as drinkable as a 13% beer can be, a one beer session that can last for awhile as it warms

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Photo of climax
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This classic poured the deep black I was expecting into an oversized wine glass. I didn't get much of a head out of it, but what did was brown retained excellent around the edges which seemed to take a redish hue in the light.

Nose was strong but smooth and inviting. Chocolate, whiskey, oak, sweet caramel, licorice, and subtle alcohol.

Wow what a flavor. Sweet chocolate, vanilla bean, caramel, woody along with aged whiskey. Finish was coffee and not overly dry.

Body was full as expected, a sipper for sure. The carbonation kept it crisp, while the alcohol kept it warm and warmer going down.

A whiskey lover's delight, this one does not disappoint. Great winter sipper or a beer to watch the game with....the whole game.

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Photo of chanokokoro
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly hard poured from a 2012 vintage 12 oz. bottle into a 9 oz. Perception rocks glass

Pours an opaque black with a thin fizzy light brown head which quickly dissipates. The nose is dominated by big bourbon booziness and heavy oak barrel with lighter accents of dark fruit. Opens with a blast of bourbon and oak joined by vanilla, raisins, plum and notes of black cherry. Finishes with strong bourbon booziness and more vanilla and oak. Full bodied, low carbonation, smooth and at times syrupy mouthfeel. This beer is a bruiser and delivers exactly as advertised: a big tasty imperial stout that packs an unmatched bourbon punch.

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Photo of Naugled
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served in tall sample glass

a: jet black opaque, blackest I've ever seen, no head but nice legs

s: beechnut tobacco and molassas

t: tobacco raisons, prunes, molassas, caramel, coffee, and sherry, nice balance with bitterness, not hot for a 13%

m: sweet and cloying, but in a good way, rich and creamy

d: good for a monster beer great dessert beer.

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Photo of tedpeer
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce pour into a chalice. Bottle from 2007.

A - Black and thick. Very little head, quickly settled to no head.

S - Coffee and bourbon aroma. Wife said it smelt like Kahlua.

T - Bourbon taste mostly overpowers everything else, but I still get a hint of coffee. After taste lingers a while.

M - creamy and smooth. Coats the mouth.

D - This one's a sipper and at 13%, one's my limit.

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Photo of rpardon7
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap an oil black with a small thick tan head that faded quickly. Smell is dominated by bourbon, roasted malts, and some hints of dark fruit and black liquorice. Taste is of chocolate, bourbon, warming alchohol, a bit of coffee, a hint of dark fruit and liqourice. Mouthfeel is thin and smooth not much carbonation. Drikability well this one is tough it is a wonderful beer however very high in ABV and that makes it tought to have more than one. That being said you could enjoy more than one when the time is right. But definately a sipper.

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,590 ratings.