Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

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Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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2,564 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,564
Hads: 10,491
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 5.16%
Wants: 2,454
Gots: 5,599 | FT: 597
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
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Reviews: 2,564 | Hads: 10,491
Photo of perrymarcus
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served in a chimay chalice.

pours a luscious, velvety jet black; viscous... less than a finger of a mocha-toned head that dissipates into a collar around the glass; some lacing, though nothing really to write home about on that front. still, a really nice looking imperial stout.

one whiff and the bourbon jumps at you right away; roasted malt follows, accompanied by vanilla, a touch of oak, chocolate, and alcohol. an oustanding aroma, rich with complexity.

bold bourbon flavor comes barreling through in the taste (no pun intended, honest), followed by the roasted malt, vanilla, oak, and a nice bitter chocolate presence... the alcohol is definitely a player but not as overwhelmingly as you'd expect considering the 13% abv - though there is some heat in the finish. very, very tasty. delicious, too. did i mention i'm liking this a lot?

full bodied, viscous mouthfeel; relatively lightly carbonated. leaves lips sticky. this is the definition of a sipper - one you'll want to savor. i can easily see this earning a spot in my regular rotation, only drawback being its hefty pricetag. (1,106 characters)

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a large tulip glass.
Pours motor oil dark and thick, zero head.
Smell is amazing, total bourbon in the nose with caramel notes.
Taste is insane. Bourbon that fades to delicious caramel and roasted malt.
Mouthfeel is thick, creamy and chewy.
Overall this beer is flat out amazing. I was intimidated by the bourbon on the nose at first but once my palate acclimated, it became warm and delicious. I was so happy to share this with my wife and a good friend. (488 characters)

Photo of larryi86
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to betsona for this!
2010, 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Black as night with a small dark tan head that disappears quickly.

S- Sweet. I am getting very rich chocolate smell, with hints of toffee, caramel malts, and a touch of oak and alcohol.

T- Nice complexity. The chocolate really stands out making this very sweet in a good way. I am getting some toffee and caramel. Nice smooth hint of oak and bourbon in the finish.

M- Thick, a little syrupy.

D- This is a great sipper. I am very impressed with this beer and just want more of it! This is a top notch stout right now I have one 2008 and another 2010 aging can't wait to see what age does to it. (674 characters)

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 11/07/12
Drank 12/10/13

Poured down the middle of a Bruery tulip glass filling it with blackness and a small brown head. A ring of head holds steady for quite some time.

The smell is overpowering. I opened it outside and could smell it from a couple feet away. Big barrel character flexes its muscle with toasted coconut and vanilla. Chocolate, a little bourbon heat, and some small amount of coffee/roast comes out. A fairly bright cherry note as the beer warmed up.

This is delectable. More bourbon flavor and heat is coming through on the palate. Lots of barrel delivering vanilla and coconut. Big sweet chocolate, dark fruit, cherry, and coffee.

The body is thick and silky smooth with light carbonation. Sticky sweet on the lips.

Mind = blown on this one. (774 characters)

Photo of HamdenHector
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: deep brown, almost black; 1 finger medium brown head that receded to a thin collar; little lacing;

S: bourbon, vanilla, tobacco, deeply roasted grains, bitter chocolate, black licorice;

T: sweet chocolate for a moment, then bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, and roasted grains; bittersweet chocolate in the background at the finish;

M: full bodied - almost syrupy; light creamy carbonation;

O: about as good as you can get; (427 characters)

Photo of Dawgboned37
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 version poured from a bottle into tulip glass. Beer pours like motor oil with a thin, caramel colored head. Immediately smelled the up-front, strong bourbon nose. As the name suggest, bourbon overwhelms the sip, but it does give way to a very strong base stout. The roasted malts come through as you swallow the very dark elixir, and leave a pleasing mild bourbon/toffee flavor on your breath.

**Also sampled a bottle of 2007 in Wrigleyville. My lovely wife purchased it for my birthday. Poured into two small snifter glasses. Virtually no head, so looked like a glass full of oil. Bourbon was still quite pronounced, but the overall flavor had mellowed with time. I think 6 years in the bottle may have been a bit long for my preference. (745 characters)

Photo of MacQ32
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 Vintage consumed 7/14/13

A - Very near black with a nice finger of chocolate colored head. OK retention and lacing. 4.5

S - Tons of super sweet chocolates and cherry/raisin dark fruits. Vanilla, bourbon and a light but sweet dark fruit aroma 4.75

T - super sweet and alcohol burn initially. The burn ligers but transitions into a vanilla bourbon sweet raisin and cherry flavor which hangs around until the finish and through the aftertaste 4.75

M - full bodied minimal carbonation. very chewy/sticky (more so than BCBCS) 4.75

O - Definitely one of the best biig stouts I've had. Fantastic desert beer/slow sipper. Very sweet 4.75

2013 Vintage consumed 12/9/13 14.9% - I found it to be very similar with a more significant bourbon nose but not flavor. (761 characters)

Photo of dasenebler
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009-labeled 12oz. bottle packaged on 1/14/10 (?).

Pours a deep dark hue, though there is definitely some ruby translucence as the thick freakness comes out of the bottle. No head, no lacing. The color is nice; the other attributes, not so much.

Aroma is huge and reeks of bourbon: big oakiness, alcohol and vanilla. To be honest, the usual "stout" aromas are outdone by those produced by the barrel aging and whiskey character.

Flavor is awesome and huge. This is definitely one of the best bourbon-barrel stouts available. The woody and buttery bourbon flavors are by no means shy, and the beer tastes like there is actually a shot or two of top-notch bourbon hiding in there. More sweet than dry. The finish is decidedly stout-like, with huge roasty, chocolately tones mixing with a super-warming alcohol presence. This is an exquisite beer, though I could see it being too hot for some. Mouthfeel matches the flavor in boldness-- slick and syrupy.

You, sir, are a delight! (982 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sunset Grill, Boston, MA on 3/1/10.

A - Appeared as an oily abyss of utter blackness with a sliver of burnt tan head that diminished further into a thin ring around the edge of the glass, leaving very little lace behind.

S - On the surface, BCS slams your olfactory with equal parts bourbon and vanilla, resulting in a tempting sweet and boozy aroma. Underneath it all lies a crispy malt character and a hint of milk chocolate. Easily one of the most pleasant and aromatic bourbon beers on the market.

T - Delicious concoction of lush vanilla and warm bourbon with hints of puffed rice-like malt, chocolate notes and toasted grains. Finishes with an earthy hop presence and bitter chocolate notes.

M - Oily and viscous with a warm, boozy character and bristly carbonation resulting in lots of friction on the tongue. Finishes with plenty of bitterness and some alcohol heat on the palate.

D - While the "B" aspect of BCS does indeed provide quite a healthy dose of alcohol warmth, it still drinks like a champ for a huge 13% Imperial Stout. This is a beautiful beer, no doubt about it. (1,101 characters)

Photo of Furlinator
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One's 300th Beer Advocate review shoud be reserved for a special beer, right?

Bottled on 08/20/13.

Pours opaque black. The thin tan head quickly disappears completely and leaves very faint spots of lace.

The smell is an absolutely amazing combination of dark chocolate, pipe tobacco, vanilla, coconut, oak, black cherry and a hint of bourbon. Unbelievable.

The taste is of dark chocolate, vanilla, coconut, molasses, dark stone fruit and a trace of bourbon. While the bourbon presence is detectable, it in no way overwhelms any of the other flavors, nor does it represent the massive weight and ABV of this brew.

The texture is heavy, thick, oily and viscous. It coats the entire palate and allows you to enjoy each sip for just a moment longer.

I've been sitting on this 4-pack for quite a while now, waiting for a worthy occasion to indulge. Now, it will be even harder to exercise self control and not devour the last three. This beer definitively lives up to all the hype and accolades. Simply stated, it is near perfection. (1,038 characters)

Photo of kidrogers
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

I normally don't like bourbon stouts, of any type and I tend to avoid them. I was wrong. Damn me for what I missed out on. This is an amazing beer. (150 characters)

Photo of jose_alehouseSD
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

had the opportunity to try this on draft about a week ago, this beer is such a treat down here in SD, its extremely rare when you do find it, it was amazing on tap none the less (177 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006 edition (received in trade via Brian aka msubulldog25)

My first Goose Island beer, probably not the best representation of their typical output. Glug-Glug-Glugs into a snifter the blackest, thickest murk I have ever seen come out of a beer bottle. The head is brown but doesn't last long at all. No lace and no head, but very good looking beyond imagining.

Nose is toasty melted chocolate, almost burnt, definitely some oak, big caramel, more chocolate, and toasted marshmallow. Alcohol is present but well-incorporated. Overall impression: it smells like s'mores just cooked over a campfire.

The flavor is amazing...if you're looking for a beer that'll flare your nostrils and give you a guilt-trip as if you just downed an entire chocolate cheesecake by yourself. Huge flavors of chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker (this is like liquified s'mores). The alcohol is hardly subtle, hardly well-hidden, riding through with the other flavors as if going to battle. The chocolate, caramel, vanilla and oak notes are all out on the frontline with the warming alcohol. A bourbon-like heat remains for the finish, which is mostly charred chocolate and big black cherries cooked in some bad-ass liqueur. Incredibly, insanely, indomitably delicious.

The mouthfeel is thick, viscous, oily, hefty, syrupy...nearly as gooey as taffy. A total delight, perhaps even a novelty, as this is probably the thickest beer I've had the chance to taste so far.

Wow. This is not "drinkable" by the everyday definition, but for what it is--a beer meant to be slowly savored--it is incredible. Not only a total dessert beer, but almost a meal in itself. As big as it is, it's also well-balanced. I can't imagine lovers of big stouts not going apeshit over this one. Delightful. Hail. (1,803 characters)

Photo of MrArmageddon
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled on 11/11/11

Poured into a pint glass because the only snifter I could find in the house is about 4 ounces. As soon as I popped the top the bourbon scent hit me. It filled the room. This year's batch is 14.5% so it makes sense.

This beer pours blacker than any other beer I've had. Put a high powered LED flashlight on one side of the glass and you wouldn't have known it by looking at the other side. Not really any head after it settles.

Obviously, bourbon is the strongest smell. After that you pick up some vanilla, some oak, a little bit of coffee/mocha in there, but not enough that it bothered me. Not a fan of coffee at all.

At first all I can taste is bourbon. It's the after taste of the first sip and the next few that start to reveal the other nuances. Little vanilla, little oaky.

Goes down smooth. Soooo smooth.

If you see it, buy it. Hang onto it. I have three left. Want to let them age, but I really want another one too! (952 characters)

Photo of TWStandley
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into my KTG Snifter. 2012 vintage.

Appeared a pitch black color with a one finger mocha head. Slight oily in appearance. When held to light, slight amber tinge around the edges.

Smells boozy and sweet. Intense bourbon smells including smokey wood, chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and plums. Slight coffee note.

Taste is incredibly complex. First you are hit with the bourbon taste. Sweet alcohol. Then comes through more of the creamy vanilla tastes. Aftertaste has a hint of expresso and sugar.

Alcohol content is well masked. Beer is very thick and syrupy. This is one to take small sips of and swish around on the pallete. Not a lot of carbonation.

I call this my "football game beer." Meaning that it takes and entire football game to get through a 12oz bottle. Each sip needs to be savored. This isn't for the faint of heart but also isn't SO intense that it isn't enjoyable. What a solid beer. (924 characters)

Photo of matjack85
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle with the bottled on date clearly marked on the back label. Mine said bottled on 10/05/08 and I opened it on 7/16/09, so it was just over 9 months old when I tried it. The Goose Island website said it will keep for 5 years, so I was well within the optimum tasting range.

The pour was black as oil with a slight purple tinge when held to light. There was absolutely no head, foam, or lacing anywhere to be found.

The smell was a heavenly mix of bourbon, chocolate, and caramel. I couldn't wait to taste it.

This is one delicious beer. Bourbon is the predominent flavor but it is not overwhelming. Chocolate and caramel malts along with a burnt wood barrel and coffee-like flavor add to the deliciousness. The addition of Willamette hops gives this beer a 60 on the IBU scale and helps to balance out all the sweet flavors.

The mouthfeel is smooth and full bodied with just enough moderate carbonation to make this easy to drink. The high alcohol content of 13% warms the throat and keeps this beer a sipper for sure, but if it didn't give me a head buzz after just one glass, I could have downed these all night.

This was my first crack at a barrel-aged bourbon beer and all I can say is that either Goose Island did one hell of a job with this one or else bourbon style beer is going to be one of my favorite styles from now on. (1,353 characters)

Photo of WritersBlock
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nice thick mouthfeel (unlike the very thin KBS). Deliciously smooth chocolate and bourbon flavors with a nice subtle alcohol burn down the throat. Amazing (154 characters)

Photo of Tomdee74
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Definitely one of my very favorites so happy to get it in Ct.

Awesome brew so glad nothings changed with InBev kudos to them for sticking with something that works great!

Not much more to say. I love it. Strongly recommend it. It's a bit pricey but worth it and good money to spend! (286 characters)

Photo of hmich176
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

I had this on tap at a local bar. Enjoyable beer. I am honestly not a huge bourbon fan, so I'm not nearly interested in this style of stout. However, I enjoyed the smoothness of the liquor, and the notes of chocolate on the backend. I wasn't surprised by the quality, but I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected.

Obviously, with it being held in high regard, there's the chance of it being overrated. No. Certainly not. What I had met the acclaim, deserves the acclaim. Cheers! (479 characters)

Photo of brurevu
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout gets its reputation for a reason. It is a full tilt face melting drinking experience that starts at your lips and rides down your throat grabbing every pore of your internal orifice on its way. The beer poured an opaque black with a subtle tan head. The bourbon aroma hit me when I opened the bottle and continued to waft from the glass as I leaned in for my first anticipatory sip. I also detected vanilla and hints of anise coming from the glass. The taste took over my mouth with a huge hit of bourbon that melded into large doses of vanilla and cocoa. There was a slight burnt bitterness at the tail end that lingered along with the bourbon. The BCBS was a big bourbon bomb that was surprisingly smooth and drinkable considering the ABV. With more and more Bourbon Barrel-Aged beers on the market it is still at the top of the list and one that should be emulated. In the end: You don’t drink a BCBS, it drinks you. (971 characters)

Photo of Nathan401
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Just drank a 2014. It needs another year for the bourbon to set back. Had a 2013 a month ago and it was top of my list. Wish they'd make more of this! Wish I could get some coffee (182 characters)

Photo of Maximot
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

...and on the 7th day, god created Bourbon County Brand Stout

Relatively new to bourbon stouts but this clearly sets the bar to date. Very complex with a multitude of flavors..chocolate, vanilla, coffee. Flavors to be expected in such a beer , but in this case, Goose Island seems to have figured out a balance that works out ideally. Moderately rich but not overly intense. Strong bourbon taste evident but well balanced, if not perfectly balanced, with other flavors. This beer can be sipped over a LONG period of time, and rightly so with its bold alcohol content. The flavors seem to linger on the palate longer than other beers in this category.

Subtle post sip heat from bourbon, but again, not too intense to distract from the flavor extravaganza. Moderately heavy/ full bodied. One would be very hard pressed to state that this beer is missing anything or should be changed in any way.

For the alcohol content, total package of complexity, and its scarcity, a 4 pack at $20-$25 should be considered a fair price if not a bargain. It has the ideal characteristics to leave one yearning for a literal bottomless glass. Standing ovation, with request for encore. WELL DONE! (1,183 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on October 8, 2008.

G: Poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Motor-oil dark with a thin, quarter-finger head with minimal amounts of carbonation. The beer is completely opaque and near black.

S: Roasted malt and a lot of sweet chocolate scent. Minimal hints of dried fruits. Definite bourbon scent and hints of aged oak as well.

T: The taste is absolutely exquisite. Hints of the aforementioned oak, along with plenty of bourbon. Some chocolate and espresso hiding in the mix. The perfect balance and extremely complex--I would give this a 5.5 if I could.

M: Quite thick and extremely chewy. It really almost feels as if there's food in my mouth. A true "motor oil" beer. Moderate amounts of carbonation. Strong alcohol presence.

D: Very, very drinkable. This is high in ABV, but I could drink these until I couldn't drink any longer. (849 characters)

Photo of kmo1030
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours motor oil black with not too much of a dark brown head.
the aromas wafting off this beer are killer. rich bourbon laden oakey vanilla hits you first. rich roasted chocolate and dark malts with touches of coffee slide in beneath that. you find dark honey, molasses and a bit of cigar tobacco.
the taste is absolutely decadent. it's like a liquid malt ball... there's some serious chocolatey flavors rolling around. the bourbon barrel is obviously very evident with lots of vanilla/oak and ever so slight char. all the bourbon flavors with none of the hard alcohol bite. a little deeper in you get dark caramelized sugar and molasses rounding things out. at times the vanilla takes almost a coconut turn. it's got just enough bitterness for balance. the aftertaste is like a smokey malt ball. just a ton of stuff going on in your mouth. this is nothing less than the definition of bourbon barrel aged imperial stout.
the mouthfeel is viscous and full bodied. it's got very mellow carbonation that only adds to it's silky smooth texture.
the drinkability is pretty great as far as beers this big go. the 13% abv isn't present at all other than a slight warming on the tongue and at the back fo the throat. an absolutely phenomenal beer. if you don't like it you're probably a jerk. (1,284 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had the 08 and 07 and loved both. Now I get to try the 09 and finally review it. Got this one in a very quick and great trade by Lunch.

A: Screw top, really guys?! Pours with almost no head, a few bubbles here and there, but so goes the style. But the head that does come rings around the sides of the glass and leaves a lacing. The pitch black color gives midnight a bad name. I think I feel the souls of mortals all around being sucked into this pit of darkness and light void. Even at the very bottom where it thins, no light escapes and I think it was born from Nazgul!

N: Well it starts off with a very light NOTHING. It actually starts with heavy bourbon and oak. A sweet oaky bourbon aroma just dances out of the glass and gently bashes the heck out of your nose! This is followed by some rich dark stout malts, some roasted, some chocolate, then some sweet caramel. A touch of vanilla rounds it off to an overall awesomeness that smells better than, ummm, something that smells great. A touch of alcohol comes out as the glass warms.

T: Super rich thickness that makes crude oil blush. It's thicker than my boss (just kidding), and richer than Bill Gates. A luscious sweet malt flavor starts to grow, but is battled back by more heavy oak and bourbon flavors. A touch of dark fruit comes through, but barely. Then comes some more sweet caramel and perhaps molasses. Another wave of chocolate hits with a slight creamy flavor accompanied by vanilla and more caramel. Think everything sweet that tastes awesome and throw it together in one glass. A touch of alcohol flavor, but barely. This this is dangerous being 13% and drinks like 8-9%.

M: Very little carbonation, but so thick I think it's absorbing my mouth into it to become one entity. Very velvety smooth and heavy. Still rich and smooth. A little bit of alcohol burn and warmth but barely.

F: Still pretty sweet and super thick. It never really leaves as it leaves a huge thick coat on the mouth. It leaves a new layer like my body created a new layer of skin, but only super thick beer. A slight lingering bourbon flavor, but it's mostly the chocolate, vanilla, and caramel. The crazy dark heavy richness of this makes Ozzy look like a church. OK, enough with the bad reference, but this beer is ridiculously thick and luscious, as well as delicious! Thanks again Paul. (2,343 characters)

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,564 ratings.