Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

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Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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10,405 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,405
Reviews: 2,709
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 2,429
Gots: 5,521 | FT: 590
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: 10,405 | Reviews: 2,709
Photo of Gushue3
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Last time I drank this i was crushing it out of the bomber in NYE. I'm gonna appreciate it this time. 09 vintage.

A- comes out of the bottle very dark with with some small transparent areas. Sits black in the snifter with a smaller mocha brown head that. Head quickly goes away and i can already smell it from the table.

S- BIG sweet booze smell. Hints of vanilla and wood along with malt make this smell very nice. Cant wait for it to warm up.

T- Nice big malt profile up front that is followed by tons of complexity. Dark chocolate is noticeable upfront along with spice and dark fruits. Good amount of hops in there as well. Every sip is great and has so many flavors.

M- VERY heavy. Big beer. More stouts should be this thick. Big mouthfeel with light carbonation. better than i remember.

O- Really good. tastes great. I'm gonna pick up another to let sit for a while.

Photo of stewart124
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you Pitstop Nelsonville.
Pours jet black with a reddish brown head that sits atop a mohagany tinted brew. This head is thick but goes away after a little while. Leaves whisps of head along the top as you drink.
Very strong smells of whiskey/bourbon with a oak or smoked or earthy smell.
Intense tastes to say the least. Strong malts and aged in an oak cask leads to the very strong tasting beer that warms your stomach all the way down. Tastes of currants and vanilla along with dark chocolate and coffee. Smooth silky body with a thick oil feel to it all. As far as I could tell the hops were well masked by the malts and bourbon. This one really knocked me over and my tastebuds were ruined for the night. Really impressed with Goose Island on this one and I might as well have followed this up with a snifter of bourbon.

Photo of GJ40
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sampled from a 12oz bottle in my DFH snifter. Thanks surge1311!

A - Jet black with a small tan head that dissipates quickly.

S - Loads of bourbon to start. But then it eases up a bit and you get hints of chocolate, coffee, molasses and licorice.

T - Intense! Lots of bourbon. It really dominates yet there's a nice depth of flavor. The roasted malts support it nicely. It hits you hard but it still doesn't seem like 15%.

M - Super creamy with a light airiness from the carbonation that enhances the thickness nicely.

O - This is on the extreme end of the bourbon beer spectrum for me but it works. I'd gladly go back for more.

Photo of BigJTrucker
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark thick black color, with very little head. Smell is huge! Lots of oak, vanilla and smokey roasted malt. Layers and layers of taste in this one. Caramel malt, figs, raisins, licorice all compete for attention. Mouthfeel is super thick, a formidable beer for any taste buds. Drinkability.... Hmm.... it is definitely a slow sipping stout. Strong ABV make this a hefty stout for sure.

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

9/26/12 bottle:

Appearance: You guessed it, black as the ace of spades with a little head that quickly disappears.

Smell: Bourbon, oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, raisins, dates and figs.

Taste: Definitely follows the nose. The beginning is a rich combo of chocolate and caramel that rolls into barrel goodness with some Bourbon underneath it all, but it's subtle. Where it's not subtle is in the boozy ending, that is ALL Bourbon and booze. However, make no mistake, for a 15% beer, this drinks a bit smaller than that, although it's still a bit hot at this young stage.That said, I've had KBS that was noticeably boozier in the end, despite being 4%ish abv less in strength.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, velvety and viscous as all hell. Perfect.

Overall: Although just a tad brash in its current form, it's still one hell of a beer. The flavor profile is unreal and hides the strong abv% very well. Can you imagine what a year in the cellar will do to this beer? You mean, besides making me cry about the fact that I didn't buy more? Amazing.

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage, thanks alleykatking!

A- Dark oily black with smallish wood-colored head. Some lacing, although not much.

S- Whoa bourbon! Smells delicious, good bourbon is dominant, followed by some vanilla, sweet molasses, and oak.

T- Again, big bourbon flavors, buttery roasted malt, woody bite too. What's amazing about this one is how it matures on the palate. There's a clear evolution from the bourbon to the roasted flavors and the lingering wood flavor. Finally finishes with an herbal hop bitterness. Some chocolate comes through as it drinks. Slightly hot, but nothing unbearable. Some vanilla in there too. Exceptional. This is a big beer that's definitely worth seeking out.

M- Thick, viscous, coating. Just how I like my stouts.

D- This one is a sipper for sure. Drinks like a nice bourbon... delicious. I could drink this all night.

Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5


A: Pours nice and dark velvet with a lovely sheen to it. head is orange brown that is a nice 2 finger at first that dissipates into just a ring around the glass.

S: This is at cellar temp so im expecting big. Smell is huge bourbon which I wanted. The normal vanilla and oak but with a great roast and butterscotch element. A slight tobacco with a molasses sweetness.

T: The taste is so smooth compared to the smell. Gees its good. lovely chocolate roast with the punch of bourbon in the end. After i swallow it gives the heat of a high quality bourbon sip where i breath the vanilla and oak. its not alcohol heat its just flavor.

M: Almost perfect body. not to sweet and syrupy but just thick enough to hold up all the flavor. carbonation is just a bit low though. its almost no pop at all.

D: I'm loving every sip of it. its a big beer so i know i couldnt drink a lot but its very well made with great flavors so i could sip on it all day long.

Photo of Argion
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

***Updated for 2014 Vintage***
Got a 4 pack of these just before the end of the year waiting for a good time to have one. Well it has arrived. Small and flavor are more reminiscent of the 2011 vintage but there is an extra something in there that makes the flavor better. Can't really identify it but whatever it is, it is the best one so far. Had this rated as a 4.63 originally but I upping the scores for this specific year.

***Original Review***
This is for both the 2011 and 2012 vintage. Although different enough to consider them separate beers they both are good and have the same merits. Servers a very dark black colour, with a bit head. in the 2011 vintage the bourbon influence can be noticed as you pour. A bit of a dark head but not much.

As indicated the 2011 vintage does have a strong Bourbon flavor to it. The 2012 however reminded me more of a very good port wine. I don't know if they changed the barrels this was conditioned in and that explains the change. I like port more than bourbon so the 2012 wins out just because of that.

This is a beer that almost has to be sipped, preferably while relaxing by a fireplace on a cold winter night.

Photo of MasterSki
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just drank a bottle from 2003 - it seems that first batch didn't even have real labels! They instead used a Honker's Ale label put on inside out, and then printed Bourbon County Stout in cash register style font. Drank out of a Goose Island snifter at Sheffield's Pub in Chicago.

A: Pitch black, solid dark brown head with decent retention but little lacing. Swishing the glass results in a molasses-like oozing down the sides of the glass.

S: Bourbon and oakiness were predominant. Some vanilla and caramel hints. Delicious!

T: Was exceptionally smooth while chilled, but the bourbon really came out as the glass warmed up. Sweeter than newly bottled BCS, with more malt presence.

M: Thick, creamy, and a little bit sticky.

D: At 13%+, you can only have maybe two of these in an evening. It looks like the 2008 is only 11% which might make it a little more consumable - but this aged bottle was one and done; although I can't imagine many beers that would be a worthy follow-up.

Bottom line: Grab some bottles, drink a few, cellar the rest!

Photo of gonzogambler
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 edition, drank a few 4 packs of these already this year and in the past and ready for another out of what I have saved. Fills the glass with blackness and very little tan head. Smell is roasted coffee, bourbon, vanilla, and happiness.

The taste still makes me smile like a tourist even though I'm just back visiting again. The alcohol is there but is nicely wrapped with dark chocolate, bourbon, and molasses. Beers like this remind me why my favorite style still is a stout or a porter even with all the love to the hop bombs (hot moms?).

Mouthfeel is rich and silky. Drinkability is excellent, but its definitely a sipper; its got more flavor than fits between my jaws.

Photo of Haybeerman
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Blacker than midnight underneath a hat. Thin dense brown head. Leasves a thin coat behind on the glass.

S: Sweet malt, cherry and wet charcoal. Vanilla and oak. Boozy.

T: Similar to smell, but very blended ahead of a hot alcohol finish.

M: Light body. Low carbonation. Kind of oily smooth (not in a bad way). Hot and very dry.

D: ABV is really big or would be very drinkable. Still, lots of rich, complex flavors make it a very interesting beer.

Photo of pagriley
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had the 2013 on tap last night and was blown away.
Enjoyed this a number of times last year, but the 1 year rest has made it perfect - just perfect.

Photo of optiontwo
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. poured into broad mouth glass

Appearance: Motor oil black, completely opaque, with just a ring around the glass no head.

Smell: Heavenly. Whiskey, chocolate, strong vanilla bean, dark cherries and figs.

Taste: Like a chocolate candy bar melted into a glass of bourbon, might sound gross but you have to try this brew. Other flavors include strong vanilla and very slight coffee.

Mouthfeel: Thick as thick can be. Coats your mouth, throat, stomach, and I have to imagine your intestines too. Carbonation is perfect for the style.

Drinkability: As delicious as it is it would be difficult to have more than just this one bottle. Perfect night cap.

Overall: One of the best beers I have ever tried. This beer is great, period. No matter who you are you should try this beer at least for the experience. I loved last years (have one in the cellar) and I love this years. I will be stocking up on this gem.

Photo of HopBomb515
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black and viscous as can be. Thin dark khaki head fades but leaves a ring that sticks around. Alcohol legs on the glass but not much stick. Big aromas of bourbon soaked dark cherry, coconut, caramel, toffee, coconut, wood, chocolate, vanilla and char. It all translates in the flavor and its immensely complex. Mouthfeel is full, sticky, coating yet not as thick as you'd expect. This is a great beer with huge complexity, but there is a local offering that does it a bit better.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Single finger tan head with excellent lacing on a jet black motor oil like body.

S: if I have one knock on this to keep it from a near perfect beer its the aroma. The aroma is excellent with coffee, dark chocolate, brown sugar and vanilla but is a bit more mild than I want to make it a top rated stout in this category.

T: perfect amount of sweetness from the milk and dark chocolate are the highlights of this beer. Notes of coffee, bourbon, vanilla on a roasted malt base which is all very well balanced and very complex. I really liked trying this one really cold then also warm. Interesting differences.

M: first drank this one fairly cold so it would be more the thickness of egg nog then let it warm up until it was still a thick and full body with light to moderate carbonation.

Overall: really happy we finally get this beer down in here in Jacksonville FL. I have missed its release the many times I have been up north this time of year. It is exactly what you expect and lives up to the expectations. Its scary how well the ABV is hidden and how drinkable this beer is.

Photo of northaustin
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

pours a pitch black with little head. there is carbonation, the beer is just so thick it has trouble escaping. the head is deep dark brown and disappears quickly and runs off the side of the glass leaving no lacing.

smell is mega alcohol of the bourbon variety. mixed in with a background of smooth caramel and cream.

taste has so many amazing flavors mixing perfectly. dark toffee, mellow caramel, vanilla and bourbon. a hint of the roasted malts can even be noticed.

mouthfeel: although the beer looks like oil, and
feels like oil in the beginning, it somehow leaves behind a smooth film that is pleasant during the entire session.

drinkability: god damn hail satan drink one for baby jesus

Photo of djbreezy
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2008 bottle at 68 degrees from the cellar into a snifter. Bottled on 10/16/08 1039. BA user squaremile spotted a couple remaining bottles at Bailey's Taproom recently. What a sweet find.

appearance - black and viscous, rich brown head recedes quickly, strong lacing

smell - huge chocolate, roasted malt, yeast, bread, oak barrel

taste - hot bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, enormous malt body, oak barrel, massive complexity

mouthfeel - thick, chewy, bold, some alcohol burn, warm, creamy, moderate carbonation

drinkability - heavy alcohol, rich and complex, intoxicating on many levels, amazing beer

Photo of Michigan
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
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

Photo of derkfromwi
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
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

Photo of Max578
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of Erikberglund
4.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The best stout ive ever had.

Photo of Erish
4.73/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of Gregaroo
4.73/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of hopstermonster1
4.73/5  rDev +2.8%
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!!

Photo of cringram01
4.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The standard by which Bourbon barrel aged stouts are to be judged.

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 10,405 ratings.