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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.

2,614 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,614
Hads: 10,754
Avg: 4.5
pDev: 19.78%
Wants: 2,585
Gots: 5,902 | 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
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Reviews: 2,614 | Hads: 10,754
Photo of GriswoldR3
1.25/5  rDev -72.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

This beer, if you can call it beer, is the absolute worst that I have ever had. Not sure how it receives such a high rating. I am a big fan of strong beers including imperial stouts and ipas but somehow this beer is just too much. Tastes like a blend of stout, red wine and bourbon. Un-drinkable in my opinion.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
1.43/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5


When I poured this beer I thought it could pass for chocolate, DARK chocolate milk. The aroma was thick, like molasses and caramel and Jim Bean mixed together. The flavor mimmicked the aroma but had a bigger punch to my pallet. IT burned on the way down like liquor.

I have to say this isn't the shittiest tasting beer I've had, but it's up there. Perhaps I should just give up on finding an imperial that I like.

If you want S T R O N G, go for this bad boy.

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Photo of TAREUA
1.52/5  rDev -66.2%
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.

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Photo of goochpunch
1.63/5  rDev -63.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25


Ink black body and hardly any head at all. Smell is more bourbon barrel than anything. Lot of vanilla, chocolate, and a weird buttery aroma. The butter is so strong. Kind of soured/rancid. Pros for flavor: roasty malts, chocolate, caramel. Cons: overwhelming barrel, vanilla, butter, soy sauce, sweetness, booze. Mouthfeel is slick and kind of flat. Booze numbs the tongue. I really don't like this at all. It's grossing me out. A fine example of a messy, bourbon barrel-forwarded stout.

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Photo of metsfansour
1.75/5  rDev -61.1%
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.

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Photo of greenengineer
1.76/5  rDev -60.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I like beer, I like Bourbon, I thought I would like this, but was very disappointed.

Very little head, but a nice dark appearance. "Bourbony" tast was overwhelming from the first sip. Cloying, sticky, nasty, like drinking a large glass of bad Bourbon. The Bourbon taste is overwhelming. 12 oz felt like about 10 oz too much. I have three more bottles - anybody want them?

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Photo of RayzTheRoof
1.85/5  rDev -58.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Beer snobs will say this is the greatest beer ever, but honestly, all I taste is licorice. That is it. That is all there is. It is just really alcoholic licorice. There are no hints of chocolate or vanilla, and the bourbon is virtually non-existent. It really just tastes like licorice. I don't understand how people taste otherwise.

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Photo of drumhaggart
1.92/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - Black. Minimal coffee-colored head that dissipated rapidly

S - Bourbon. Overwhelmingly bourbon. Nothing but bourbon

T - Bourbon. Strong bourbon

M - Smooth. Carbonation seemed just about right

D - I'm sorry, but I couldn't finish this bottle.

This tastes to me like stout-flavored bourbon. I like bourbon. When I was younger, bourbon was my mixed drink of choice. I do not, however, find this mixture appealing (in any way, shape or form). If you want the same taste (at less cost), just mix Ten High half and half with Guinness.

Apparently a large number of folks find this appealing. I am not one of them.

Edit: In all fairness, this beer had only been in the bottle for 5 months. Another year of aging could have an effect on my opinion, but it is unlikely to make me love this beer. If I wanted bourbon, I would have bought bourbon.

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Photo of Rainier
1.95/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.75

Umm, where do I start.

First of all, I know the BCBS train is probably gonna be outside my apartment with pitch forks. After tasting this beer, it's either I got a bad batch, I have abnormal taste buds, or it's just an overhyped beer.

Appearance - looked like normal imperial stouts. No head pretty much.
Smell - bourbon, coffee, vanilla. Ok, it's typical barrel aged stuff.
Taste - Tasted like alcohol straight up. Let it warm up, more alcohol! I get same notes from the smell here.
Mouthfeel - meh, it was very syrupy. it left a foul taste in my mouth
Overall - worst night of my life. I could not sleep. I kept moving around my bed all night long. Very gassy, trying to burp everytime just to get rid out the fowlness.

Sorry guys, this is my first experience on this beer, but sorry BCBS doesn't do it for me. I'm glad.

Edit: December 16, 2013... This is gross. Sorry guys.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
1.96/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed on 8/15/08. Bottle, 2007. Pours black with a small dark tan/red head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of bourbon. Flavor of bourbon, alcohol sweetness. I can tell that this is a better bourbon barrel aged beer than a lot of other BBA beers, but I can't actually taste any of the underlying stout. I suppose it's less bourbony than other beers, but it is definitely dominated by the bourbon. And I don't want my beer to taste like bourbon, I want it to taste like beer. Also the 13% makes it extremely difficult to drink. Suffice it to say, I didn't care for this bourbon bomb.
4/3/4/2/10 (2.3/5)

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Photo of thgreatrandini
2/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I know everyone else in beerdom loves this brew but...yeesh...it was a conscious task to finish one bottle and not pour it out. Not one for me, at least not yet.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
2.1/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I wanted to love this beer, I truly did. I guess I am finding out that even though I am a huge stout fan, it seems that I just don't like imperial stouts that much. They to me are way too alcoholic and can become too harsh because of the enormous liquor taste.

A-Pitch black with a tan head that faded quick. Standard imperial stout.
S-Burdon, some vanilla, OAK!
T- HARSH. Most imperial stouts are like this, so I may be bias.
Heavy alcoholic taste. Not what one would want for a beer flavor. Drink liqueur if you want to taste alcohol (that's why I like beer).
M-Typical for an imperial stout, but not my cup of tea. Very carbonated, with a heavy warming feeling. Not beer in feel.
D- I like to drink my beer, but this is no where near drinkable. I don't want a beer that can only be sipped. It's so thick and heavy in alcohol that the drinkability is nowhere to be found.

My expectation according to Goose Island was a velvety, smooth beer, with a rich vanilla and oak taste. Sorry Goose Island, but you are clueless about this beer.

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Photo of JamesS
2.12/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a very deep black color, although with very little head and almost no lacing. I was very disappointed with this beer, as I expected a stout with some bourbon lacing, not a pint of bourbon with some stout lacing. The scent and taste are nearly all bourbon flavors, so strong that no stout attributes come through. This also causes the whole thing to be very rough. It's not at all balanced. Not a good beer, which is a shame after the other wonderful 'big' beers I've had of Goose Island's.

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Photo of amanofbeer
2.14/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Served in a snifter glass. It looks like most aged imperial stouts I have had: dark as night, and virtually head-less. Pockets of foam rise to the surface and dissipate, replaced by new ones, as if it is still living. Interesting to watch.

As soon as I popped the cap (not realizing it was a twist off) I got a punch in the face of dark malt, and some bourbon. It honestly does not smell all too different from their Night Stalker stout, which was somewhat disappointing, as I was hoping for more bourbon. The smell consists of your standard caramel, chocolate, and coffee, (not to strong on the coffee however). The malts smell overpowering, and unbalanced.

Not only do I taste next to no bourbon, but it seems unbalanced for an imperial stout. There is a very present sweetness, accompanied by on overly bitter roasted malt flavor that really sticks in the back of the palate. The one redeeming factor in the flavor is the aftertaste. The bitterness dies off, and I finally can experience a slight bourbon lingering.

It has got to be one of, if not THE most, syrupy beer I have ever tasted. I highly regret opening this within 5 months of buying it. While I suppose 13% alcohol creates quite an awe effect, I now feel that this sort of abv does not belong in the category of stouts...(certainly without cellaring)...there are simply too many residual sugars, and the extremely high gravity makes for a poor amount of head, and a thick coating on the mouth and throat. Even clearing the palate before hand with about 12 ounces of water wasn't enough to prevent me from needing water during the drink. It also seemed to inherit what I consider a negative quality of bourbon, which is a burn in the back of the mouth that dissipates as the aftertaste begins.

I started drinking this 15 minutes before I started writing, and I am now only 3/4s of the way done. It's a sipper for sure, and not one I want to spend $6.39 on again any time soon (5 months, at least!!!)

I could imagine this being better on tap, but only if the syrupy-ness is reduced. I am somewhat disappointed that the final gravity couldn't have gotten a bit lower. Aging would Clearly do this beer justice. Cheers, all the same.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
2.2/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a jet black color with no head and lacing.

Bourbon hits your nostrils right away, reminds me of brandy, a little hint of dark chocolate.

Tasted like I was drinkig straight from a brandy bottle. Unfortunately this turned me off and I couldn't get passed that strong brandy like taste. I did get some decent dark chocolate malts after the bourbon like taste went away after awhile.

This was my first RIS and once again I tried to drink this but couldnt so I had to drain pour this.

Drinkability was None for me, bourbon like taste was way to overpowering for me to enjoy this. Hopefully the next RIS I try goes better.

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Photo of xhcadamx
2.24/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A - Very Black and oily poured with absolutely no head. I think I saw one carbonation bubble.

S - bourbon, char, bourbon, molasses, tobacco, and bourbon

T - Tastes exactly like it smells.

M - This beer was very slick and creamy. No carbonation whatsoever.

D - I had to choke this one down. There is no way I could have more than one of these

Overall I wasn't impressed with this beer at all. I love RIS and enjoy bourbon. This just missed the mark.

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Photo of jodybrutal
2.24/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

L: Pitch black pour with very little head.

S: Smells of straight Bourbon whiskey and not much else.

T: Sickeningly sweet dark chocolate, anise, soy sauce and Bourbon.

M: Slick and sticky and just way too hot for me.

O: I know people swear by this stuff, but it's just not for me. I somehow managed to finish 3/4 of the 12 ounces before it met the drain. Honestly it was just awful, and the most regrettable 9 dollars I've ever spent on beer. A can of Ten Fidy with a shot of Jägermeister would have been much more enjoyable and probably less expensive.

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Photo of SafeAtFirst
2.29/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Vintage 2007 13% ABV
[Bottled on 10/12/2007 - Poured on 11/29/2007]

Pours a deep black, looks thick coming out of the bottle. No head at all, just a few brown bubbles clinging to the side of the snifter. Looks similar to a glass of used motor oil.

Initial aroma is a blast of dark molasses. Later I pick up more molasses with hints of oak. I took a sniff from a bottle of Wellers just to make sure I wasn't missing any bourbon aromas...I'm not.

Initial taste is also dominated by molasses and a pronounced alcohol burn. As it warms the beer actually mellows out a little with touches of oak tannin and smoke. Mouth feel is thick, but thanks to the alcohol, not that smooth.

Overall, I'm struggling with this beer. I expected so much more. Perhaps some time in the cellar will help mellow this beast out a bit...

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Photo of mikul93
2.3/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2


A Poured like motor oil. Black as night with no head whatsoever.

S Bourbon, bourbon and bourbon. Slight chocolate but I'm not getting much else.

T Bourbon, bourbon and bourbon. This was not very well balanced. I know it's called "Bourbon County", but there is not much else going on here. Some bitter chocolate flavor.

M Very thick beer but nice carbonation.

O I really really wanted to like this on account that I have a rare that I still need to pop open, but it was really hard for me to enjoy this. The Bourbon flavor was just to much for me. Probably needed to cellar it for another year or two.

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Photo of biglite351
2.34/5  rDev -48%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - pitch black which was nice but two glasses drew no head at all.

S - whisky, whisky and maybe a little whisky.

T - has more actual stout like flavor than most other bourbon barrel brews that I have tried in the past. There seems to be a little fruity flavor coming through, almost like raisins. Bourbon hit on the top of the mouth.

M - mild coating. Alcohol burn in throat. After a few drinks the front sides of the tongue get a numb tingle.

D - I do not care for hard alcohol so I would not be drinking this.

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Photo of unclederby
2.34/5  rDev -48%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

this things a few months old now...
pours out black as a starless night and capped by a 1/2 inch tan head which doesn't hang around long.

smell is sweet and alcoholic and noticeably "burnt". also, i'm getting traces of molasses, soy sauce, wood, and plums. it's not a totally pleasant bouquet but i can work with it.

this brew is still very hot, as i'm getting a lot of alcohol right up front. i suppose it's bourbon but it comes off as rum-like, specifically captain morgan's (it's kinda spicy). it's all alcohol and licorice (anise). there is some sweetness up front but man it really finishes up with a healthy dose of burnt, smoky bitterness.

did they age this in barrels that had survived a fire? on that note, i don't know what charred wood tastes like but i think it might taste like this beer. it certainly doesn't lack for subtlety...

there's just something here that's not well integrated.

the mouthfeel - if you can let this odd almalgam of flavors linger for awhile - is thick, oily and viscous and leaves nothing to desire for the style.

ugh, i just got another whiff of this and it reminded me of a urinal, i kid you effing not.

drinkability? i'm forcing myself to finish this thing.

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Photo of darleys
2.35/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The aroma of alcohol/whiskey was dominant. Taste was overwhelmed by flavor of bourbon/alcohol. I am a big fan of bourbon, but this did not work for me in this beer. While the flavors of a stout were present, I felt that they were overwhelmed by the bourbon/alcohol taste. I just kept thinking "diesel fuel" the whole time I drank the beer.

**Readers Note - I drank this simultaneously with an Expedition Stout, which may have tainted my review.

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Photo of Ummagum
2.36/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2007 vintage in a 12 oz bottle. Poured black with a small brownish head. Left a small collar around the glass. Overwhelmed by the bourbon smell and taste. I did not enjoy this beer. I have enjoyed other beers by this brewer, but this one did not impress me.

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Photo of PEBKAC
2.41/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Bottled: 10/11/07

Last bottle in this Top 100 BIF box received from kmpitz2. I've been dreading this one for a bit(just not my style). My reviews were due in about a month ago, but Kevin has assured me I would still receive partial credit & be able to go on the senior trip come the end of the semester. Yay! :D

Into a Unibroue tulip this one goes. Nice & slow. The beer oozes out & collects quietly with just a whimper of activity right around the edge of the glass. A second pour to top it off yields a mushy bowl of Coco Crisps, but it doesn't last long. Black & boring, with hints of amber right at the rim.

Big eye-watering scents of charcoal, liquorice, cocoa powder, caramelized onions, teriyaki & bbq sauces. Your can almost smell some crispy pork fat sizzling somewhere in there too. The alcohol hides behind everything, but doesn't come at you raw. The fumes though, however salivating, give me quite a headache.

Moving on...

Heavy espresso flavor, charred marshmallows, bitter chocolate, wood, tobacco smoke, & hard on with the whiskey & leather shoes. Oh man, I can't do, I just can't. I'm such a puss. ... The body is completely flat & feels like light cream going down(& I can dig that). The whiskey, the wood, & the intense tannins just kill me though. Close to four ounces in & I need some air in the worst way. I have such a headache.

However good, however bad, it's just too much for a twelve ounce serving. The flavors are there, but the barrel flavors are just so concentrated & overdone, that it's way too much for me to sincerely enjoy. Maybe if it came in a two ounce nip aged half as long? Maybe some soft serve on the side?

This review took almost an hour in the making, & boy did I try. Quarter ounce sip after half lung whiff, I tried. It made me realize just how insane some of you out there really are. :P

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Photo of Trappissed
2.42/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

If you like your beer like your soy sauce, then this is the stout for you. It definitely smells better than it tastes. A very unique smell. The aroma does give off a slight bourbon, almost liqueur-like quality. I wanted to taste the bourbon, but all I was getting was soy sauce. A couple of friends who tried it agreed as well. It would certainly be great to cook with. Even sipping it, I just could not appreciate the "complex" flavors.

The mouthfeel was decent, not overwhelmingly thick or oily. Drinkability was low on the scale, even taking into account the high abv %. Couldn't taste much alcohol actually, just sweet- pungent-acidic-vinegary-soy sauce. There were mild bourbon notes to be fair. This review probably won't go over very well, but it is my honest opinion. This is my first bourbon barrel-aged stout, but I have tried a few imperial stouts. I also should say that I do enjoy bourbon, so this is not a biased review.

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 2,614 ratings.