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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.

2,605 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,605
Hads: 10,710
Avg: 4.5
pDev: 19.78%
Wants: 2,587
Gots: 5,822 | FT: 610
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: 2,605 | Hads: 10,710
Photo of Michigan
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 Vintage. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 22oz snifter.

A-Pours a deep, slick, oily black. Very small mocha head that fades quickly. No light passing through.

S-Smoke, oak, barrel, bourbon. Nicely balanced. I'm not sensing much alcohol on the nose. Dark chocolate covered espresso beans. Vanilla, tobacco, touch of leather. maybe a bit of maple?

T- Wowza! Big, bold, badass stout. It doesn't really punch you in the face like some of these "extreme beers". I'm impressed by how balanced it is. It's simply delicious. Lingering aftertaste. Full of dark chocolate, malt, bourbon. It tastes like America. Masterfully masked alcohol (like america)

M-Light carbonation that opens the taste buds. Full mouthfeel. Not greasy or oily. It sits in your mouth.

O-I agree. It's one of the best stouts in the world. I could do cases of this

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Photo of derkfromwi
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage served in large snifter glass

A: Very Dark, little bit of head that disappears quickly, good carbonation for as thick as it appears

S: Molasses, bourbon, touch of vanilla, chocolate, booze and caramel

T: Very complex and tasty, bourbon, smoky, little bit of chocolate

M: Smooth, creamy, and thick, but wouldn't think it's 14.5% ABV, nice

O: Awesome beer, bourbon doesn't overpower, a lot going on here, wish I had more to cellar

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Photo of Max578
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My first Bourbon County Brand Stout. Looking forward to this. Bought three 4 packs, planning on aging one.

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pour a jet black and slowly develops a quiet coffee-and-cream head. Light lacing, head fades soon after pouring.

S- Like taking a shot of some straight Kentucky bourbon. Great amounts of vanilla and caramel, lighter amounts of dried fruit. Slightest amount of smoke comes in before the booze closes it strong.

T- Much like the smell, the caramel and vanilla from the bourbon hit up front. Dates and figs are present, and a lot of black coffee. The alcohol is present in a perfect way. a silky dark chocolate malt finishes strong.

M- Thick, smooth, velvety. light carbonation coats the tongue. Makes for the perfect sip.

O- Blown away. Not much else to say... One of the best beers I have had, and will absolutely be seeking this out for years to come.

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Photo of Erish
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I shared this 2009 vintage 22 oz bottle with friends, and we poured into what was available, wheat glasses... I don't think it suffered for it.

A: dark reddish umber, the reddish-cream head was thick, creamy, and long lasting.

S: ripe cherries, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, plenty of rich bourbon notes, with alcoholic sweetness and toasted oak.

T: all that was in the smell, and more, there was wonderful harmonious quality to the flavors, they played together nicely; in addition to what I nosed, there were boysenberries, currants, molasses, raisin bread, the finish featured lingering espresso notes, as well as a nice gentle bitterness from the hops. I can't imagine how they could have improved upon this beer.

M: thick, silky, the carbonation was subtle but omnipresent.

D: if you love stouts, heck, even if you casually enjoy stouts, you will almost definitely love this beer. I am going to get more of this beer, and look forward to cellaring it.

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

6-9-15 - On tap at Penn Tap Room in Doylestown, PA. Served into a fun little glass bulb of some sort. So so so good. I came here (yet again) when I heard this was on tap. Get your own and don't rely on others' so called "reviews". This GI is personal.

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Photo of hopstermonster1
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just had a bottle, thanks to a good friend. The beer is very black and thick once poured out of the bottle. You immediately smell bourbon, vanilla oak and slow roasted coffee. The more I drank, the more complex this beer became. It kept changing notes. I was picking up all the typical flavors of an imperial stout, plus that very noticeable bourbon taste!! I would highly recommend you locate this beer. Do not be turned off by its 15.00% ABV. Simply Amazing!!

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Photo of Chris912
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of Jack_Malts
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours motor oil black with a a 1 finger chocolate head. I'm reviewing this fresh (2014) by the way. Let it be known that aging changes this beer a lot, although I would argue that it's not necessarily better, just different.

Smells like sweet vanilla chocolate with a viscous roasty sort of soy sauce aroma, lots of intense, sweet caramelized barley. The taste follows with huge roasted barley notes enveloped in vanilla/caramel/dark chocolate glaze. Kind of like salty alcoholic brownie batter. Actually, salty alcoholic brownie batter kind of sums up fresh bcbs pretty well. Thick, viscous, slick and creamy mouthfeel. Syrupy sweet goodness.

What can I say? It's just a friggin delicious beer, enjoyable every time. Age smooths out the alcohol, makes the mouthfeel more slick by getting rid of some carbonation, and brings it much closer to actual brownie batter in a glass. Worth drinking now, and worth cellaring (two to three years seems to be the sweet spot). Is it worth the hype? Why not? Every time I open one it pretty much makes my night.

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Photo of paulys55
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up in a nice bottle shop in Beacon Hill, Boston,MA. Pours oily black with a really nice head. Smell the bourbon right away and it was nicely present in the taste. This gem really began to shine as it warmed revealing an array of rich flavors and a nice bourbon warmth in the finish. Really enjoyed this brew and will certainly seek out in the future.

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Photo of anteater
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2008 Bourbon County Brand Stout

A: Deep black, hardly any carb

S: Heaven. Such rich intense aromas of bourbon, chocolate and oak

T: The first sip validated what all the hype is about - this beer tastes phenomenal. Huge bourbon, chocolate, oak, vanilla and espresso flavors. Incredibly easy to drink

M: So thick, so good

O: I enjoyed the 2008 more than 2012 or 2013 which are the only others I've had. All great but the 2008 was special

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Photo of BlindPig
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Thin dark mocha head on a BLACK body.
S- Big chocolate malts, some roasted malts in there too, bourbon comes through but really manages to blend in nicley with the other aromas, oak, earthy hops also.
T- Very interesting first sip. It went from strong bourbon and oak flavors and then you could feel everything just change notes and went to really rich chocolate (almost like double chocolate milk or something) and then that faded in strength and went to a blend between that and a light oak. Second sip did the same thing but a few flavors got more announced. A bitterness comes through and builds up on the front/mid of your tongue. The bourbon always seems to come off strong right at the bat but then gives way to huge chocolate and light roasted flavors. Just as your swallowing the alcohol really heats up the back of your throat pretty roughly then fades to a hot but more calm warming. Vanilla flavors really come through nice also.
M- Really big full body with low to medium carbonation (not as smooth as I would like it for a such a big stout). Leaves a light tingle on the tongue.
D- This is a very good beer. You can not drink this fast at all and is a big sipper. I think how strong they got the chocolate flavors is just great. Now excuse me while I go sit outside and sip this on one of the last colder nights. Also I wish I could give this a 4.75 but I can't. I don't feel it is a 5 though so just a note. Actually on everything I wish I could give it a 4.75.

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Photo of 4amepiphany
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow. I keep picking up as many packs I can. If not to trade, I'd be happy having a whole stash to myself and whoever wants to partake in a drink. Heavy bourbon notes. Wonderful, chewy, oily.. I compare all stouts' mouthfeels to this one. (The Baudoinia variant is just a little better to me though, less heat, more subdued and balanced taste, with the thickness I like) Pitch black in color, modest head and carbonation. I'm grateful it comes from my city. Thanks, GI.

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Photo of davesway10
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a Stout. Pours black as the blackest night, light appears to be drawn into it like a massive black hole. The strong alcohol/Bourbon/Chocolate tastes are electric. This beer is not for the faint of heart. For me this is the ultimate stout, I LOVE THIS BEER.

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Photo of gafferjohn
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very Special Thank You to My friend at the Blue Dog for hooking me up with this beauty.

Bottle has a 10/2009 date.

This is incredible ! smell of bourbon hits strong up front but not harsh. Chocolate and Oak in there too ?

This thing is dark and dank. No light gettin' thru this puppy. Head is thin and dark brown and doesn't last long.

Taste is strong with Bourbon but balanced beautifully like no other brew I've had. I love this beer.

Awesome mouthfeel. I could sip this all day long.

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Photo of WMEugene
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Decided to enjoy a BCBS this fine Christmas Eve day. Bottled in August 2013 and a whopping 14+% abv!

A - Pours a fine, rich black color with a rich brown head that dissipates quickly to a narrow ring. It leaves some lacing.

S - Bourbon notes and some faint roasted malts, chocolate and vanilla come through - for as high octane as this is, the smell is a bit underwhelming which isn't necessarily a bad thing since some beers of this sort you can smell from across the room.

T - Wow, the bourbon just comes through and perfectly accents the stout flavors. I'm picking up some toffee, chocolate and vanilla which compliment the richness of the bourbon. It is a bit on the sweet side, which is really nice.

M - Really full bodied and smooth from start to finish. The taste lingers on the tongue and is really creamy.

O - This is one of the best bourbon barrel stouts I have ever had. This is well worth the price for a bottle. Understand that you will need to like both bourbon and dark stouts to enjoy this beer as the flavor is strong and full-bodied. If you're like me and love those types then enjoy!

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Photo of ricknelson
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've had this beer many times. In drafts at Chicago's Wrigley Goose Island Pub. Bought bombers home from Chicago a few times. And now I can get it locally in Vermont fairly easily. This is a stout that is worth every penny that you must pay to get it; about $20 to $25 a four pack. Its the beer that I give to new comers to my man cave the "Big O Pub".
The appearance, nose, mouthfeel, and taste make it beer to remember. It has been up and down in the BA ratings over the past few years, but deserves to be in the top 10 for sure. Have and you will agree; this is a stout to remember.

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Photo of abfraser
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Dark black; little, if no head

S: Coconut, vanilla, bourbon. This barely even smells like beer but a smooth, complex bourbon instead

T: Damn good. As in go get a bottle good. Creamy oak and vanilla, good balance. Everything is exceptional here.

M: Dangerously smooth. Lots of complexity that lingers for quite awhile.

D: An excellent brew but you probably wouldn't want that many in one sitting given the 13% abv

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Photo of JoshVandy
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet, as I've reviewed a few of the variants.

2007 Vintage.

355mL bottle with a bottled on date of 10/17/07 into a Founders snifter.

A- Pours nearly pitch black with just a small half finger tan colored head before disappearing back into the daunting liquid in the glass. Pretty par for the course on the appearance for BCS.

S- Um, what? This smells amazing. Strong chocolate and bourbon notes jump out of the glass, along with a very nice vanilla component as well. This smells a lot like the Vanilla variation, only more subtle in the vanilla. Roasted malts and a hint of oaky dark fruits also come through.

T- Wow. That's about all I can say. Follows the nose quite well, with chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla notes all seamlessly integrated together. All of the strong heat from the barrel has almost disappeared completely, making way for all of the other flavors to shine. Nice warming heat in the back of the throat as it finishes, with absolutely no traces of its 13% ABV. This beer is something special.

M- Thick, creamy, and mind-meltingly smooth, with medium carbonation. Absolutely coats the mouth in flavor, lingering relentlessly until the next sip.

O- Simply put, I was blown away by this vintage. Any gripes people have with this beer being "hot" and not very good can be laid to rest with this vintage, obviously. Almost 4 years in the bottle have done wonders to this. There is not a trace of alcohol in this beer, with only the full flavors and subtle heat of bourbon and slight oak remaining to tell you this was aged in a barrel. Smooth beyond reason, I could easily knock back a few of these before noticing the alcohol. I'm so glad a have a bunch of these left to savor over the coming months and years. If this is any indication of what Rare is like, I'm in for a treat when I open that bottle. A fine example of a nearly perfect -bal beer. Well done.

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Photo of HopsHopenstein
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes 3/29/12 (im a bit behind transferring my reviews)
Poured into a Kate the Great snifter
2011 vintage

A- Black w/ a reddish tint where the light hits the edge of the glass. Little to no head, the head that was present disappeared quickly. Nice looking beer follows the style.

S- Big bourbon aroma (who would have thought ;) ) along w/ vanilla, oak, molasses, roasted malts and hints of dark chocolate and coffee. Really great aroma the bourbon being the focus on my nose.

T- Taste follows the nose with the bourbon, vanilla, oak, and roasted malts. Great big flavors fit well together w/ a perfect touch of sweetness and booziness. The alcohol heat is present but it fits for my taste.

O- I now see why people seek this brew out, its one of my favorite barrel aged stouts to date. Big aroma, Big flavor, and a Big treat to drink. Im really excited to try the 09 that I have in the cellar. Great beer, highly recommended.

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Photo of brewtus
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had to purchase a four pack online because of Ohios dumb 12% abv law. I've been holding out and was glad to finally have my first bcs. Poured 12oz bottle into snifter. pours oil black with a very quick fading dark tan head. Smells boozy, oaky, dark fruits, lots of bourbon. Texture is very velvety and smooth.Taste is AMAZING boozy bourbon, oak, dark creamy chocolate, some dark fruits, a little sweetness. Overall I see why this is such a hyped beer, it's pretty complex and very tasty. I'm very impressed with it and its everything I wanted.

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Photo of erha2
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 Edition Bottled 9/20/2012

Appearance: Black, almost no head.

Smell: Chocolate, cherry, dark fruits, some bourbon-like flavors like vanilla. Seriously complex.

Taste: Chocolate again. Rich and boozy. Bourbon. Raisins. Vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, little carbonation.

Overall: Big, delicious sipper. Do not drink this cold. So many flavors from the bourbon barrel aging come out as it warms.

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Photo of marcfromphilly
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

As overhyped and well sought after as it may be, this 2014 bottle was opened on 09.05.15 and refrigerated for nearly a year. What a damn good beer by the innovators of BBS style beers. Thick, creamy, and full, this beer was boozy and rich, but in such a good way. Fuck yea goose mafuggin island

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow. Just wow. I honestly did not expect this to meet expectations, I don't know why, but this is great. I enjoy it more than kbs, and slightly less than ANTEAD. Pours a night dark brown, one finger head. Smell is bourbon and tons of it, chocolate, vanilla, that order. Taste is bourbon and sweet caramel upfront, chocolate, barrel roast and oaky vanilla, before a smooth, creamy chocolate and barrel tannin finish. Unbelievably smooth for the alcohol content. Will definitely hop on any chance to get this or a variant in the future.

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Photo of fire34fighter
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Probably my favorite beer ever. Absolutely delicious. I was lucky enough to pick up 2 4 packs of this and I look forward to aging it to see how it compares to next years. Delicious chocolate fudge notes with a strong bourbon finish. The smoothes stout I've ever had.

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Photo of Joshpu
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle to a snifter.

A: Poured black with almost no head.

S: Big bourbon barrel characteristics/ oak/ vanilla. Caramel, dark fruit, a really smooth toffee smell.

T: So rich with very dark flavors. Coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruit. Lots of butterscotch. Slight tobacco on the end.

M: Full bodied. Creamy, probably the best mouth feel I have had on a stout for such a big beer. The alcohol and alcohol burn is there but it adds to the savory flavors. Pretty amazing how smooth it goes down, just crazy how fast I can drink this almost 15% beer.

Overall the best stout I have had to this point. Definitely lives up to the hype.

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 2,605 ratings.