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Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,414 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,414
Reviews: 2,493
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 2,073
Gots: 4,384 | FT: 454
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: 9,414 | Reviews: 2,493 | Display Reviews Only:
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

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

Thanks to JohnTravolta21 for this bottle, 06 vintage!

Pours thick, syrupy jet black, standard RIS appearance. Cocoaey one-finger head, a bit of lacing. Smells big of bourbon barrel and booze, but in a good way, has a sweetness to it instead of a bitterness.

First thought: Holy crap, it's an expresso RIS! Huge sweetness explodes on the start with a bit of vanilla, then tempered by the booziness of the bourbon taste, with some woodiness as well. Slight bitterness through the end with some hops (about in the middle, as far as RISes go), and an absolute coffee blast at the end. The booziness and the coffee are what linger, but the booziness (aged taste) makes you shudder in a great way, not from acrid bitterness, but from how well those flavors merge with everything else going on. First and foremost though, this is a hugely sweet RIS. The sweetness never completely relents, just is tempered into the rest of the flavor. Mouthful is coating, filling, lingering in all the right ways, amazing spunk behind this beer. Pretty creamy, just rolls off the tongue. The ABV doesn't come off nearly as much as in the smell, it hides it better probably than any Impy Stout I've tried so far save Abyss. As it warms, the bourbon aspect comes out more and more, but while it gives a nice kick, i don't feel it really detracts a great deal from drinkability. I think the fact that mine is 2 years old makes this aspect stand out more than it normally would. After drinking, the lingering flavors are like from one of those flavored coffee drinks from Starbucks, except those feel overly sweet and artificial, while this feels hearty, naturally/perfectly sweet and delicious. I don't know how the fresher stuff comes off, but this aged bottle is amazing!

Photo of jim1904
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a longneck into a crystal glass goblet. Slightly below cellar temp, I'd say about 50 degrees or so.

A - Simply incredible. A jet black silk ribbon flows from the bottle into a pool of completely opaque, oily black with a dark tan head about a finger-and-a-half tall, receding at a fairly slow pace with average lacing for an Imperial stout. If nothing else, this beer exemplifies what a good stout should LOOK like.

S - Almost off-puttingly boozy until you realize that what you're smelling is almost a dead ringer for a good Kentucky bourbon. Sweet, woody, a little sharp in that good bourbonesque way.

T - Surprising. The bourbon-ish woody taste is definitely there in the immediate front and the lingering back (where the woodiness really comes out in full force), but I found that the dominating flavor here was not bourbon but chocolate. Definitely very sweet without being cloying whatsoever, a lot of good mocha, coffee, roasty toasty, woody notes. I'm sure this sounds like a run-of-the-mill Imperial stout review by now (chocolate! coffee! toast!) but this beer nails it. The bourbon character definitely hits up front, and kind of lingers around for several minutes throughout, but the chocolate quality is pleasantly surprising. For 13% and a nose to match, the alcohol here is really very subdued, giving a little burn in the throat at the very end.

D - Tiny bubbles, velvety smooth, heavy (HEAVY) body. A fine example of a good Imperial stout body. Not a session beer by any means, of course.

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

This beer is a pitch black color, with hardly any head created by the gentle pouring of this beer into a tulip glass. The aroma is rich with notes of Bourbon, vanilla, a strong oak character, and woody tannins. The aroma is very appealing with a liquor-like alcohol note to it as well. The taste is quite thick, definitely a dessert, rich malt character that is dominated by the oak contributions; Bourbon, vanillin, and a slight tannic oakiness, and a definite buttery oak note. There are notes of coffee and roast malt here, but the rich buttery oak character dominates the palate. This beer is so rich and full, really a meal in a glass, it took me a while to chew my way through this beer, which was perfect for my last beer of the night.

Photo of nrbw23
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a black with a very small little caramel colored head. The head dissipates in a few seconds, leaving a small ring of bubbles and leaving very little lacing.

S- Smells of hints a roasted malt and vanilla, but is overwhelmed by the bourbon and that's really all I can pick up.

T- Tastes is pretty similar to the smell with hints chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malt. Again tons of bourbon and the alcohol is every where here and not hidden at all.

M- Body is thick, full bodied and the carbonation is right on.

D- Very awesome brew for sure.

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

2009 vintage, tasted along with 2011 KBS. Poured into a Chimay goblet. I've been hanging on to this one for a while, so I was very excited to try it.

Poured with no head, just a thin circle of white around the outer edges of the glass, and barely any lacing. Swirling it around kicked up a little foam, but it dissipated quickly. Jet black color, with a high viscosity. Smelled sweet of raisins and vanilla, with a boozy undercurrent. Also maybe a little chocolate in the smell. The bourbon was very apparent in the taste - not so much the presence of intense alcohol, but more in the oaky vanilla flavor that was dominant. There was a roasted maltiness as well, and a slight hoppiness that translated to a rather bitter finish. Nice dichotomy between the sweet and bitter. Mouthfeel was medium in weight (heavier than the KBS) with a decent level of carbonation resulting in a creamy texture.

This was an excellent beer, and I'm even more excited to try the coffee version as it was the only flavors I really found myself missing. Having tried it alongside KBS, I believe KBS has the more complex flavor profile, and I missed some of the subtle nuances of KBS, but BCBS definitely stands up on its own and is fantastic. Definitely will be seeking this out again, especially with GI on its way to PA!

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

dark tan head that dissappears relatively quicky. Dark rich, pitch black color. Rich aroma, complex aroma. Obvious presence of bourbon, also some candied flavors like liqourice and warming, roastiness. Flavors are just as bold and complex. Bourbon is very present, but very well blended with other flavors of the beer. The roasted malts are very presence. Hint of dark fruity notes as well. Very thick, long sipping beer. Great winter beer, well actually great beer to enjoy anytime, but defintely the type of beer that warms your bones on cold winter nights.

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

On draft at Chicago's Local Option

Half inch of carmel colored head that dissipated after a minute or two, but clung to the glass well. Smelled of all things primo stout: burnt coffee, chocolate... but mostly boozy bourbon. First sip follows the nose with a fiery taste of bourbon that smooths into what you'd expect from a great imperial stout. After several sips I also got hints of black licorice. The smell and taste of bourbon is great and sticks like cigarette smoke. This is definitely one of those beers that will lead to the, "How long and how much have you been drinking?!" question that you may get from your significant other. But it's a really fantastic beer, especially for the colder months... it warms you right up!

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

2011 Vintage 11/11/11

A: Pitch Black, looks like motor oil

S: Really complex with a huge waft of Bourbon

T: Tons of bourbon and pretty boozy but still pretty well balanced. Flavors develop throughout on this one. After the bourbon hits your pallet there are nice nuances. Chocolate, cherries and a little hint of vanilla.

M: Full bodied and viscous. Considering the high ABV this is pretty drinkable.

O: Really well done beer by GI. Can't wait to see how this one develops over the years.

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

2009 Vintage

A: Black with a low golden brown head. No lacing.

S: A nice whiskey aroma with a bit of sweetness.

T: Tastes of bourbon, wood, and a punch in the mouth of vanilla! Maybe a little hint of roast.

M: Carbonation is much better than earlier vintages. Perfect amount for this beer!

D: I wish I always had a bottle around after those long days when I just need a beer. I could drink this pretty much any time. Thank you Goose Island! Next stop... Xmas Ale.

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

2009 Vintage

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. The color is a deep, rich, black with almost no head whatsoever, just the thinnest ring of dark tan suds around the edges of the surface. Some very, very light lacing left behind.

The aroma is filled with bourbon, oak, light vanilla notes and some straight up alcohol heat. Roasted malts linger in the background.

The flavor echos the nose with bourbon, smooth, creamy chocolate and vanilla. Very good, the bourbon is front and center, but the beer finishes so smooth with the chocolate and vanilla. The initial bourbon flavor transitions to a bourbon soaked wood flavor mixed with dark, roasty malts. Very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is smooth, rich, creamy and almost velvety. Low carbonation and warming alcohol. Quite good for a bourbon stout. If the body were just a tad thicker this would be perfection.

Drinkability is surprisingly good, especially for a 13% ABV bourbon stout. A rich beer that is definitely a sipper, but you can't stop sipping.

Overall, this is an excellent bourbon stout. Probably one of the smoothest, well balanced offerings I have had for this style. Like the rest of the BA community, I highly recommend this beer and I'm very excited to try the Coffee version that's currently sitting in my cellar. Good work Goose Island!

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

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From 12-oz bottle bottled on 10/12/07 to my Grimbergen chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours motor oil black thickness with a little bit of head that disappears pretty quickly.

Smell: Smells of bourbon whisky, chocolate, a hint of coffee and I think cherries. There is a lot going on here.

Taste: Real nice and sweet at the beginning, with chocolate tones, caramel and sweet malts. Spicy alcohol and bitterness ends the tasting just right.

Mouthfeel: Buttery-smooth and coats your throat on the way down.

Drinkability: The high alcohol content keeps this from being a beer I could drink many of in one sitting, but would make for an excellent after dinner drink. I wasn't able to confirm the 13% as listed by Wetpaperbag, but the alcohol is definitely up there. Would definitely recommend.

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

Bottle from 10/16/2008.

A: Pours a dark black, but not as thick as you might imagine.

S: Most of the bourbon smell has dissipated, a hint of malts and chocolate.

T: Very complex, a lot of the heat has withered away, but there still is a bourbon presences, but it's not overwhelming. A malty, chocolate taste is noticeable. Maybe a hint of coffee, not over powering.

M: The alcohol is most present when just after finishing a sip. A slight burn, but nothing major. The rest of the flavors tingle the mouth.

D: A 12 oz. bottle is actually perfect when shared with another person. I wouldn't want any more than this, but having said that, it's super tasty and worth the $4.50 I paid for it.

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 9,414 ratings.