Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

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Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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9,463 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,463
Reviews: 2,506
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 2,086
Gots: 4,431 | FT: 457
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  14.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
60 IBU

(Beer added by: drewbage on 06-26-2003)
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Ratings: 9,463 | Reviews: 2,506 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CJthirty7
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whoa whiskey! And fuck finding a cigar that could be matched with this stout. Romeo and Julieta Cubano care of Dubai. Dipped the butt in this creamy stout and we are off. If you love whiskey and you love a sweet, sweet stout, this beer is for you. I don't love whiskey, but damn, I love this beer.

$20 a 4-pack?! You know what, screw the mortgage, I'm just going to stock up on this. I can live on Ramen... for beers sake.

Photo of Avryle
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. A fascinatingly unique brew. Intense in flavor and appearance. Worth the $9-12/bottle that I've paid to have the pleasure of experiencing a masterpiece of brewing genius.

A- Pours a viscous black with a thick mocha head. Head retention impressive despite its airy appearance.

S- Bourbon is prevalent with undertones of The ubiquitous "dark fruit", molasses, chocolate and vanilla. High boozy aroma, but in this case is it desirable and is to be expected of a brew that's A. 13% and B. Has the word, "Bourbon" in its name.

T- Again, bourbon is prevalent with all the favors recognized in the aroma coming forth- chocolate, molasses, vanilla, dates. Its complex, yet well balanced.

M- Viscous. This is one heavy brew. It has a syrupy quality that coats the mouth and throat going down.

D- Haha! Even splitting a 12oz bottle, this one took a while. Both the body and the intensity of flavor don't allow for easy drinking. This one's a sipper that's intended to be savored.

Photo of rayjay
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

08 release purchased in CA.

Poured into my big Stone RIS goblet. Minimal head, oily slicks, coffee stained foam around the edges and no lace. Black like strong coffee. Carbonation looks low.

Great smooth and sweet bourbon nose. Bourbon just dominates. Like bourbon candy. Fumy higher alcohols, burnt fruit esters, fresh sweet vanilla creme, and carmel malt too.

Huge sticky chewy body. Sweet 120L carmel malt clings on forever, along with tons of bitter black malt and or barley and vanilla extract. Bourbon isn't quite as present as in the nose but still makes a strong impression. Some alcohol heat; relatively speaking at 13% abv the alcohol is well...not well hidden...well contrasted. Immensely complex, but not just a mere big extreme beer but also a very well made beer in general.

Carbonation is fairly low, probably 2.20. Works well with the beer. Good drinkability, but it's the kind of beer that yells at you to slow down and savor it.

Any fan of malts is certainly going to appreciate this sweet bourbon-laden sipper of a beer. Thanks for sending Goose Island to CA! Cheers!

Photo of projectflam86
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got through a trade with a061183. Thanks for the brews!

Bottled on date says 10/16/08. This one is almost 10 months old. I plan to keep a couple more for aging.

A- Pours a thick jet black color with a thin mocha colored head that quickly recedes into a small ring. Some scattered lacing.

S- Huge aroma of bourbon. Some nice scents of vanilla, bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt.

T- Whoa, this is one bourbony booze bomb! Tons of bourbon vanilla flavor blasting away with reckless force. Major oak and roasted caramel malt flavor that comprise a majority of the taste. Alcohol is quite apparent, although this brew does way in at 13.00%. Probably the most flavorful stout that I have had to date.

M- Full bodied with medium/low carbonation. Thick and chewy.

D- This brew tells you what its going to be like from the get go. "Bourbon County Stout" is exactly that, a huge bourbon flavored stout that doesn't hold back. Drinkable considering the 13% ABV but still boozy.

Photo of craftaholic
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz into a snifter this one is dark as night. The dark tan foam dissipates mighty quick.

Smell: This one is definitely a bourbon stout because that aroma is dominating. The scent is so strong that you could smell it across the room even with a house full of thanksgiving scents. Mixed into that lovely aroma is hints of nice oak and touches of chocolate and creamy vanilla.

Taste: The malt greets you up front and then the oaky bourbon opens right up. There is a dark fruits flavor that reminds me of chocolate covered cordial cherries and figs. This one is somewhat hot and im thinking with some age on it; it'll do quite well. There is a lingering burnt malt flavor and a dark chocolate nuance.

Mouthfeel: Robust and full bodied; it's nice and slick yet smooth it coats the mouth but in a nice dusting instead of a vicious syrup. Leaves the palate numb and coated.

Drinkability: It is quite intense but yet for what its worth its highly drinkable. It is definitely a sipper but I wouldn't drink more than one in a sitting.

Overall: Got to love bourbon and thankfully I do because the flavor is there in this tough as nails stout.

Photo of ahalloin
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from 2008

I poured this baby fairly aggressively into a pint glass in hopes of some substantial head. No dice! I got a thin layer of dark molasses colored head atop a pitch blach fluid. Almost no light gets through this bad boy. A teensy bit can be seen at the very edges. A thin ring of lacing persists most of the way down the glass as I drink. With a slight tilt of the glass, you can see, the beer definitely "has legs".

I poured the glass about a foot from my nose, however, I easily had a whiff of the powerful bourbon aroma. Upon closer sniffing, I can ascertain the smell as a somewhat dry bourbon smell with hints of toasted malts, sweet molasses, and cinammon.

A sip reveals a massive palette of bourbon chocolate candy! Holy cow!! It has been a while since I last had this. By nights end I may end up raiding my stash of yesteryear GIBCS... but I digress. Man, that is a big flavor. The alcohol is very present but not overbearing. It has a nice warming quality for these cold nights. Bourbon is definitely at the forefront, but I wouldn't say the beer is unbalanced, just boozy.

Drinkability....hmmmm....Ask yourself, do you like fizzy yellow beer even in winter? If yes, this may not be for you. This beer isn't messing around. For the "full-flavor" types out there, it is certainly drinkable!

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Huh...

Found out tonight they were having Goose Island tap takeover 3 blocks away, so I went - mostly to try this baby for the first time.

Wanted immediately, not knowing its ingredients, to measure this up against the Avery Mephistopheles, which is of similar strength and was served to me in the same cutesy lil 6oz snifter. This one has its differences, for sure.

A nice, nearly mousse-y, chocolate-milk colored head - slunk out rather quick. Black liquid. Surprised to not see legs - maybe the serving size is to blame?

Black malt and a little chocolate, at first, on the nose. A pleasant, potent, floral alcohol asserts itself more and more as it warms. Later on, I was getting something that said "nougat".

The flavor profile is decidedly more complex than the Avery. A bunch of vanilla early on, as well as that perfumy alcohol. Silky milk chocolate was there from the start and is later met and developed with some mild molasses notes. The bourbon element is superbly woven into the mix, not even close to domination - perfectly highlighting in the near background. Some vanilla and, to a much lesser extent, wood rise up slowly. Not much roasty flavor - not terribly surprising.

Up front, there's some soft silkiness to the body (curiously more so when colder) - just the right degree to balance - but it drops off in a swift flush, finishing (dangerously poundably) dry. I was seriously drinking this thinking I could easily put back a pint in less than a few couple minutes. Maybe could've had a lil more body.

Assuming this was young or fresh keg, the possibilities, the potential for aging this beer - it was weighing heavy on my sodden mind. I don't go out of my way to seek out beers (for the most part), but I must admit that I wouldn't hesitate to grab a 4-pack or 2 of this if we crossed paths again.

Photo of foogerd
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage

A- Black as night with a film of espresso colored head.

S- Roasted pecans and nuts, milk chocolate, vanilla powder, hardly any booze character that im used to when drinking it fresh.

T- The aging has taken away the characteristic burn which melded well with the brew when fresh, here the sweet bourbon and vanilla stands out and overtakes your senses.

M- Coats the mouth with an overpowering force of sweetness.

O- Excellent version, in my eyes I value both the fresh and aged equally depends what you're looking for from this brew. If you want that upfront bourbon burn then go for the fresh, but if your looking for more of a confectionery desert brew go for the aged version.

Photo of Auracom
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Unbelievable. BCBS is nowhere to be found in virtually the entire midwest (including hometown Chicago), and the night I arrive in Rochester I find cases of the stuff in both 2010 and 2009 vintages.

This review is of a 2009 12 oz. from May 22nd, served in an over-sized wine glass.

The appearance is as-expected. Absurdly-dark black coloring, entirely opaque. Light just doesn't belong in this brew. No head. No lacing. It swirls around in the glass a bit thinner than I anticipated. Rather menacing when it's completely stilll.

The aroma is DOMINATED by bourbon. Underlying tones of dark chocolate, raisins, and dates. Roasted notes really weren't present. The nose is overwhelming at first... the bourbon really is something else in this piece.

Taste follows with more complexity. Again, the bourbon is just kick-you-in-the-face powerful, but underneath that sits slight dark chocolate, stronger milk chocolate, more dark fruit, and a little vanilla (which really is very helpful for this profile). The ABV is quite strong. This bottle still needs more age. The bourbon notes do balance out a bit once you let this hit room temp.

Mouthfeel isn't too thick or chewy. Smooth as butter with decent carbonation. Relatively dry, long finish.

I cannot help but put this one head-to-head with the beloved KBS. This certainly has less balance and goes more for broke on overall intensity. It is a hellishly-intense stout. The bourbon is so dominant that I can see how people might be turned off and find this very undrinkable, but I find bourbon damn delicious so yeah. If you want absolute balance, go KBS. If you want huge profiles, go BCBS.

Update: I won't regrade this one, but I do want to mention that the 2012 vintage, even fresh, is superior to the 2009 I had. Vastly improved mouthfeel, better balance, but still absurdly robust flavor profile with a kick-you-in-the-face level of bourbon. Also, 14.5% ftw!

Update #2: The Fall 2012 batch of BCBS is utterly fantastic. Now @ 15%, it's as well-balanced as it's ever been. Easily bests KBS. Would probably put it around a 4.70.

Photo of jcompton
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a sniffter.

Strong smell of bourbon. Taste had a strong bourbon kick followed with a mild chocolate finish. Definitely one of the most complex, fullest beers to ever hit my palate. As a person who enjoys a glass of Jim Beam or Knob Creek on occasion, I will certainly try this beer again. If one wants a beer to pour and enjoy on a snowy winter day, this is it.

Photo of draheim
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz (bottled 9/24/2010) into a snifter. Pours inky black w/ no head whatsoever. Some carbonation visible, but absolutely zero head, let alone lacing.

Aroma is chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, smoky char, black licorice. Smells delicious, rich, complex.

Taste is dark, roasty, bitter. Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, booze, black licorice, oak. Bourbon is strong w/ this one. Rich & tasty, warming.

Mouthfeel is thick, chewy, sticky, ooey-gooey, coating. A dessert beer.

Overall this is one rich, delicious, decadent beer. Booze is not well hidden at all, but I don't mind that. Bourbon flavor is strong and intense, almost to a fault - in fact the dominance of the bourbon is the reason I can't give it a perfect 5 for taste. And lack of any head detracts from a higher score for appearance. Otherwise, an undeniably delicious beer. Glad I had a chance to try it, will keep my other bottle in the cellar for a couple more years. Or try to at least.

Photo of demcorhip
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a trade with Mynie, thanks bro! Enjoyed this one at the end of a mini-gathering session with fellow BAs chonyr and raider, and what a way to end a session.

Black as coal with a light tan coloured head. Adequately carbonated, and no lacings.

And what aroma! Buttery and nutty bourbon, oak, vanilla, burnt malts with scents of chocolate and coffee, and treacle.

Very rich, bourbon, vanilla, caramel and treacle and finishes with the chocolate/coffee flavours of the malts.

Insanely rich and balanced brew. The bourbon flavours wonderfully compliment the chocolate/coffee flavours from the burnt malts, and the sweetness, buttery, caramel and treacle nicely balance the bitterness of the burnt malts.

Pour this one in a snifter and i could sniff and sip blissfully all night long. Can see how this one actually lives up to the hyperbole on the label and that no cigar is a match for this one. We enjoyed 99% cocao chocolate with this one and they complimented each other very nicely. Hope i can find this one again. l

Photo of Powderhornphil
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage

Yeah this beer is black alright. Almost one finger of tan head.

Smells chocolate, boozy bourbon.

Tastes very sweet, chocolate and caramel. Bourbon taste and light booze one the finish. also this finishes very sweet.

The mouthfeel is pretty light for such a big beer.

This is probably my favorite yet. It is also the freshest I have had this. A very nice beer and I can understand the hype this gets.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 ounce bottle sealed with a crown cap decorated with a black, gold & white logo. A small tight neck label is cream colored with a black border and a year 2006 above a row of four stars, well the third star is in fact replace with a goose head. The main label is very Spartan; the words “Bourbon County Stout” are set into a wealth of smaller black text on the cream colored background. Strength Listed at 11% ABV on the front label with a ‘Bottled On This Date’ of 070306 with a recommendation that this will keep for over five years.

Appearance: Gelatinous thick black body which seems to embrace and contain the dissolved carbonation to such an extent that it refuses to let it out on the pour; only when it settles does some of conditioning escape to form a short-lived thin dark brown covering, but that too soon disappears leaving only a prune juice appearance. Subsequent top-ups reinstate a thinning head but sadly this brew never benefits from a real head to speak of, that said, the swirled look in my Stone Russian Imperial Stout Glass is still one of a great brew and the accompanying aural “fizz” from each massage of the glass is fantastic. Funny thing is (I just returned to this part of my Review) the final top-up produced a fine looking dark tan head that only lasted for 30 seconds or so.

Nose: Intense aromas; soft bourbon trails a stronger vanilla and higher Coconut with some dark chocolate too. Cocoa beans, burnt toast and roasted coffee linger in the finish. A strong nose that develops complexity as it warms.

Taste: It is hard to part from the tastes on the initial sip, as the nose is pummeled by the strong aromas at the same time the mouth experiences the wonderful flavors. Trapped in a thick black liquid glass volcanic lava flow there is a rich dark malt base swirled with coconut shavings, molasses, vanilla, bonfire toffee, dark chocolate, raisins, dark rum, cigar smoke and bourbon chasers with some peat laden smoked oak casks to add a parched dryness to the finish. Complex and intense with a deeply entrained assortment of rich, thick, strong tastes. Superb!

Mouthfeel: Thick syrup flows onto the palate with an intensely warming backdrop to the swallow. Slick and oily, viscous and sly, rich and rewarding. It s 11% but the strength is on the back drop to the warming heat in the gullet.

Drinkability: It was a slow partner overall, but it never disappointed and at times I found myself slowing down with this one, such was its gorgeous cross-section of flavors that needed closer inspection.

Overall: This was a monstrous offering, an immensely warming brew that comforted. The whole 12 ounce sipped like a fine Brandy and lasted the whole 90 minutes whilst I watched Saturdays EPL footy match between Manchester United and Manchester City all over again. This feels like one of those brews where the closer you are to danger the further you are from harm.

A Bourbon Barrel Aged Thanks to BigHuge for this super treat!!!

Photo of Chico1985
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sat on this 12 ouncer for a few months. Not quite ready to open my BA Stout Trooper so I figured I'd have a different barrel-aged beer. Pours thick and black, a dark brown pinky-size head. Quickly reduced to a small swirling cap and thick ring around the edge, understandable for the ABV. Leaves minimal lacing. Bourbon is quite apparent in the smell, huge vanilla and dark malt scents, some caramel. Much of the same in the taste, lots of bourbon and vanilla with heavy dark roasted malts. Alcohol is definitely hot on the tongue and throat, it shows every bit of it's 13%, and it is kind of a deterrent. Some age must do wonders for this beer as many reviewers can attest. Mouthfeel is pretty incredible, very thick and silky smooth, reminds me of Kate the Great almost. It would probably get a 5 in that category if it wasn't so hot with booze. A bit more caramel helps lightens things up later on in the taste. Drinkability is low for me, the booze is still way too hot and present in every sip. It's definitely a quality brew and I will be buying a 4-pack to age, I've read it takes at least a year for it to really shine. But for now it's a bit too hot to place in the tier of excellence.

EDIT - Found a couple '08s, cracked one open tonight (5/9/10). Bottle date is 10-21-08 so this is over 18 months old. Head disappears in the blink of an eye. Booze is still just as present in the nose, but the taste has definitely mellowed out. Alcohol is still obviously there but doesn't burn the throat anymore. The mouthfeel and taste are better now, has a new level of thickness and complexity, more of a burnt chocolate taste than I remember being present in the fresh bottle. Pairs good with some neopolitan ice cream. Though the booze is still a bit hot for my liking, this is drinking very well as of 18 months. I have one more '08 and four '09s...looking forward to trying them over the next 4-5 years.

Photo of Phelps
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage

Looks: inky, with a late-appearing fizzy head the color of cinnamon. The finger of foam quickly fades to a ring and silky film, but doesn't leave much in the way of lace.

Smells: heavily of bourbon, but smooth. Nicely blended, with flavors of vanilla, cocoa, light oak, toasty malts, molasses and plums. Love the malts on this, and the balance is perfect.

Tastes: like vanilla extract. The first blast is of bourbon tang, with the accompanying alcohol heat. Nearly two years of age has done little to quell the ethanol monster, as it's still powerful and fiery. Dark plums and sweet molasses blend to create a flavor like brandy, with notes of subtle butter and toffee. Waves of espresso emerge at the finish. I like how the flavors have blended, but the alcohol burn is still distracting. How many years would it take for this to die down?

Feels: smooth and creamy. Light carbonation and a full body harmonize to create a very enjoyable texture. Other than the destructive alcohol, this is pretty perfect.

Drinks: like unification. Age has done wonders for this beer and has brought together flavors that were just a little estranged in the fresh bottles I've tried. While the alcohol heat's still quite heady, the going gets easier as I drink. BCS goes down smooth and it doesn't quit. Still the classic barrel-aged stout.


Tasting notes:

Bottled 10-9-09, enjoyed March 2011.

Huge legs like syrup as I swirl the glass. Nose is smooth, yet somewhat subdued and very buttery. Taste has developed incredible smoothness. More molasses and coffee has emerged, bourbon has actually faded a bit. The alcohol burn has died down considerably as well. Goes down so easily. So good my ears just popped. I'm bumping my previous taste score to 4.5 to reflect my experience with this bottle.

Photo of radioscooter
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh. My God.

The last reviewer did such a good job stating not only his experience - but pretty much mine exactly as well, that I just want to cut and paste his review to double the good vibes. But that wouldn't be kosher so...

As mentioned, the smell sets you up for a pure Bourbon experience but then the taste just kills you dead. I can't drink Bourbon at all. Nor do I drink coffee. But I love the aromas that go with them both. This is Bourbon without the shudder. It's as if you took the experience of having some Maker's Mark with some fine chocolate, then a a little espresso to sober up.

The very obvious 13% ABV reminds you that you need to share this bottle with a friend. Or two. Which, thankfully, I did.

I could not sip this all night, but the mouthfeel is splendid. Going to buy a few more bottles. Price is well worth it.

Photo of Beerzebub
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Yetiman420 for trading me this.

12oz, bottled 10/28/08, poured in a big wine glass at 52 F/ 11 C.

Mainly black, but a beautiful golden brown coffee color at the rim. No head but a thin ring of froth that leaves some spotty lace. Even that goes away - no head or lace whatsoever, and then it actually looks quite good.

Smells delicious. Hot bourbon, menthol, and spice, with cedar, dark fruit, black licorice, caramel, and cocoa.

Tastes like raisins up front, then bourbon builds and builds, along with menthol, licorice, cedar, vanilla, cookie spices, caramel, dark roasted coffee beans, and chocolate syrup. The raisin flavor stays in there, getting stickier and sweeter as it entangles with the bourbon and everything. Long finish, sweet roasty bourbon, with a hot/cold minty alcohol burn that's completely welcome.

Viscous and sticky stuff. Quite easy to drink, for what it is.

Great beer, I enjoyed this.

Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Robust, yet smooth beer. The flavors are very outgoing, and maybe a bit too much. Very dark with a decent head, doesn't really stick, and I wish it did - really makes each sip feel better in the mouth. Smell is quite good - very molasses and tons of sweet bourbon, and some spice underneath. Taste is also quite good, but I feel like there is so much bourbon and molasses that it isn't quite balanced. It seems to cover up the high alcohol content (13%) a little too much - I like to have a nice alcohol bite in a big and heavy beer like this. It is still remarkably warm and soothing, and the beer definitely gets better as you drink it, so I'll give it a 4.5 there. Feel is, like the general taste, silky smooth and very warming to the palate and throat. Maybe all that bourbon I'm tasting is actually the alcohol, but in that case it is extremely well masked (not hidden. masked). The alcohol may be masked well, but you certainly feel it after the bottle is near done - this is as strong as most wines, and it is so expensive ($24 for the 4 pack) that I can't give it a really high drinkability rating, but I certainly enjoyed this beer, and I really look forward to aging it and tasting it later on. If you're looking for a beer with a super outgoing character, definitely check this out - extremely memorable and every sip is very fulfilling.

Photo of jefferz5000
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first formal review, and I do believe that this beer is beyond worthy of my efforts. Recieved a bottle in two trades, so a big thanks to Cuzco and chcfan.

Taken out of the fridge to warm up for a bit before pouring not too aggressively into my Duvel glass. Pours like motor oil as a deep tan head develops.

Smell hits hard with loads of bourbon. Pretty overwhelming and not in a bad way at all. Maybe a bit of semisweet chocolate coming through, as well as in the taste. Mostly just bourbon is what i'm getting in both areas.

Feels thick and chewy in the mouth. Most definitely a sipper. Overall, this beer has caught me off guard in it's extreme bourbony quality.

Photo of dave12285
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Served out of a bottle from a trade. Poured into a wide mouth belgian beer glass.

A: Very dark with a small, dark brown head. Similar to a thin oil.

S: Roasted malt, lots of chocolate, booze, coffee

T: Amazing! A lot sweeter than i would have thought but then again, it is 13%. Roasted malts and chocolate just like the nose.

M: Very silky and mouth coating. Lingering flavor all throughout the mouth.

D: Drinkable enough to get through a 12oz bottle but it would be tough to have much more back-to-back.

Overall, a great beer that we don't get out here. Very happy i got to try this one. Highly recommended.

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Did an 06/07/08 Vertical on Christmas. First time having any of these vintages for me. Thanks to GbvDave for the trade! All three- Awesome!

All of them poured dead black with no head, but produced a very dark tan ring upon swirling.

The aroma on all of them was initially bourbon, with caramel and vanilla notes. Behind that was a booziness that couldn't be missed. Some of them seemed to produce more roasted notes than others, specifically the 08. The strongest bourbon aroma was on the 07.

The 07 seemed to have the most syrupy-bourbon taste which was almost overpowering. The 08 was initially full of roasted malt flavor but then came in the bourbon strong with a slight alcohol burn but somewhat covered up by the big vanilla and caramel notes. The 06 was my favorite and really benefitted from the age- it was very balanced with all the roasted flavors in equilibrium with the bourbon notes. The mouthfeel was just thick enough, and for some the sweetness of the bourbon and abundance of malt may be too much, but it was just about at my threshold.

Obviously all of these were sippers but the drinkability was as good as could be expected with a 13% ABV beer. I am glad I got a few more of these to have over the holidays, and I can't wait to see how the 08 develops over the course of a year or two.

Photo of DrJay
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Inky, thick pour produced a thin chocolatey head. It settled quickly to a ring, but remained throughout and left fine, spotty lacing. Wow, what an aroma! The first thing I thought of was a really earthy, leathery, dark red wine, but then the vanilla, oak, and alcohol hit me. Definitely whisky. There's a rich roasted quality as well, but this is overpowered by everything else. Malty and sweet with a fair bit of chocolate starts things off on the first sip, followed by massive whisky/alcohol and vanilla in the middle. It mellows out again at the end, with chocolate and roast coming forward again, and it finishes with lingering alcohol warmth. Low carbonation and quite creamy. Full bodied, almost heavy, but not cloying at all. Alcohol is a bit aggressive, but appropriate. This is a "take no prisoners" kind of beer, really big and not apologetic about it. Fabulous. Thanks Viggo!

Photo of armock
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a black color with a thin brown head that fades quickly to a ring

S - Is a nose full of bourbon with nice oak and vanilla scents on the roasted malt

T - A wonderful blend of flavors the bourbon and oak flavors are strong but work very well with the stout as they don't overpower

M - This beer has a creamy smooth full body with light carbonation to it

D - This is just about as drinkable as you can get for a 13% abv beer yeah you can taste the alcohol but this beer is very smooth making it easy to drink this is a must try before you die beer

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle 14,5% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
Bottled on: 11/11/11

Thanks to both Brabander and Futura123 for sending me bottles of this.

Appearance: BCBS pours thick and oily and appears pitch black in the glass. Surprisingly a back light reveals a lot of deep red along the edges of the glass - this is no where near as dark as I would expect from a 14,5% imperial stout. A rough pour yields a small, fast dissipating, mocha colured head and a swirl coats the glass in heavy yellow tinted alcohol legs.

Smell: As expected, the initial nose offers a ton of bourbon, along side vanilla, caramel and toasted coconut. As the beer warms, the base imperial stout notes begin to emerge, these include: Dark chocolate, dark fruits (plums, raisins and cherries) and a touch of black liquorice. The barrel character on offer in the nose is fantastic, but I think I might prefer a little more power and complexity from the base beer.

Taste: Mmmm, this is absolutely delicious - the flavour certainly offers a better balance between the bourbon barrels and the base beer than the nose. Notes include: Sweet bourbon, vanilla, dark caramel, butterscotch, a little toasted coconut, dark fruits (plums, raisins, cherries and dates), a little molasses and some black liquorice.
There is a little of the 14,5% note, but it is far from bothersome.

Mouthfeel: I was expecting this one to be almost flat, but it is surprisingly well carbonated - medium level and wonderfully smooth. The body is fantastic - thick, chewy and oily.

Overall: BCBS is a fantastic barrel aged imperial stout and one I would certainly buy a lot of if I lived in the States! I would also love to try a few older vintages - particularly the '09, which I hear is drinking fantastically at the moment.

2012 Vintage thanks to gn0sis. Bottle on: 11/07/2012. 15,0% Abv.

Appearance: Identical to the 2011 vintage. 4
Smell: Massive bourbon blast up front (I prefer the bourbon character here to the 2011), with notes of soft vanilla, toasted coconut, oak, caramel and butterscotch. Warming brings out the base beer, with a ton of dark fruits (raisins, liqueur cherries and some plum), molasses, a fair amount of liquorice and a hint of chocolate. 4.5
Taste: As with the 2011, there is a fantastic combination of sweet bourbon and the dark fruity base beer. There is more dark fruit character than in the 2011 and a little more liquorice. Again, the booze is very well hidden. 4.5
Mouthfeel: No! This is way over carbonated - medium-high level and not all that smooth (it does thankfully settle down reasonably quickly though). As with the 2011, the body is perfect. 3.5
Overall: Slightly sweeter than the 2011 and aside from the carbonation a little better. 4.5

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 9,463 ratings.