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Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

10,064 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,064
Reviews: 2,633
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 9.57%
Wants: 2,257
Gots: 5,182 | FT: 546
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: 10,064 | Reviews: 2,633
Photo of lightindarkness
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This 2007 brew boasts a 13% ABV, unlike the 11% noted in its profile. With its consistency and alcohol characteristics, this beer seems nearly as well served in a cordial glass as a pint.

Poured a ridiculously dark, somewhat syrupy consistency, such that light is sucked in, like a black hole. It has a surprisingly small coffee-colored head (I attribute the weak head to the thick body of the beer). A swirl in the glass produces a caramel colored layer of film that sticks to the sides of the glass.

The nose on this beast throws immediate scents of chocolate, coffee, caramel, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Further inspection reveals a coconutty sweetness and more depth to the liquor. Some scents of dark-roasted grains and autumn leaves are faintly detectable from within the malt.

Heavy on the taste, more than can be handled in a full swig, so sip carefully. Strong up front unsweetened cocoa, chocolate, and vanilla. Oaky tannins add a complex woody softness to this heavily flavored beer. Not too bitter despite its darkness, with some desirable sweetness, lending to a balance of malts, heavy on the chocolate and black. Nearly coconut earthy sweetness with a nutty undertone that somewhat offsets the heavy estery strong alcohol and phenol overtones. This beer breathes heavily of liquor and cocoa.

In the mouth it is sticky and smooth, hanging around even when you try to swallow. Somewhat thick and medicinal, though certainly very appealing to lovers of AD/ISs.

Overall, this is a chewy, unbelievably full beer. Each sip is a mouthful. Very desserty, and as such not an easy drinker. Consider splitting a bottle with a friend unless you're up to the challenge.

Photo of HipCzech
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 355 mL bottle poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter ("bottled on: 08AUG14 1109").

Appearance: Deep, dark near-black brown. Hazy, light brown fringe of foam and limited lacing; no head.

Smell: Roasted malt, vanilla, and some warming alcohol.

Taste: Roasted malts, cocoa, burnt caramel, molasses, vanilla and dark fruit. Bourbon barrel is hinted at but never takes over.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body and light carbonation with a very lush, silky smooth feel.

Overall: Not as complex or intense as some newer barrel-aged stouts, but so smooth and balanced with all the elements tightly integrated.

Photo of Plasmafunk
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of YieldToNothing
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle into a tulip

pours a jet black with no head
smell annihilates you with bourbon....in a good way
bourbon is definitely present in the taste. this beer has zero desire to hide the booziness.
i dig it, definitely a must try, but not the kind of style i gravitate towards.

Photo of Get_Lowell
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into 10 oz snifter from tap.

A: Black body, tan head.

S: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, slight hint of vanilla.

T: Big chocolate flavor on the front, roasted malt, subtle bourbon flavor, slight malt bitterness on finish.

P: Medium body with a creamy consistency. Very smooth.

O: Such a balanced imperial stout with regards to the big chocolate flavor and the very light bitterness on the back end. It truly is a dessert in a glass. Serves as such a strong starting point for all of the variants in the series.

Photo of CH3CH2OH
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm old fashioned, and the lack of a head is a minus for me even at this abv. Nice black color, though. Smell is overwhelmingly bourbon, taste is bourbon up front with bitterness in the finish. Further sips expose chocolate and coffee. Mouthfeel is round and satisfying. Very drinkable for this strength. One of my favorite strong stouts.

Photo of NHbeerguy
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a small brownish head. Head goes away very quickly. Leaves little as far as lacing. The smell is all bourbon with a slight hint of chocolate and malts. The taste is very smooth with great bourbon flavor followed by that very slight chocolate kick. Mouthfeel was on the thicker side. The bourbon def stays for a bit. Overall this is a great beer. Great beer to just sit back and relax with.

Photo of MjBrewhouse
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of erikm25
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Bottled only thrice days away from All Hallow's Eve 2008. Very appropriate as this beer pours blacker than a Halloween night. Sludged out of the bottle and into my snifter like a viscous serpent. At first there was practically no head. Towards the end a thin slithering dark brown foam stretched around the glass until it quickly shredded its bubbly skin.

S: Strong bourbon, chocolate oak, and almond nut aromas. Smoked caramel custard coated in brown sugars. Raisins steeped in ethanol.

T: One of the most malt complex and spicy-sweet tasting imperial stouts I have tried. Pronounced roasted vanilla, chocolate candy, rye whiskey, and ripened dark fruits. Licorice and molasses with a stinging hops like finish. Rum and raspberries. Massive boubon tasting beer with a high ABV.

M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Sticks to every waking taste bud.

D: This beer is overwhelming. Not a smooth representation of the style, like others I have tried, but this is what makes it both mind and mouth numbing. I am tempted to pick up another as it could end up being one of my favorite beers after some aging. Highly Recommended.

Photo of alyankus
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Small head with little to no lacing. Great deep dark brown/black color

Nose: Vanilla, coconut, chocolate, figs, dates raisins fill the nose

Palate: More of the same. The initial impression is of German chocolate cake. Very sweet and smooth. There is more of a pronounced date quality than fig on the palate. Some heat on the finish but if paired correctly (Cigars, a mousse of some sort, pudding, other desserts with high fat contents) it might not be noticed. All in all an excellent beer.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have received this from several people in trades. So, thanks to all of you! Thankfully, this is my last beer tonight.

This is the 2007 vintage. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pitch black with a motor oil consistency. No carbonation and very little head. Slightly disappointing in that regard. Although, with the high abv, this is better than nothing.

Aroma is bourbon filled and oaky. Plenty of vanilla extract as well. Not a whole lot of roastiness as the bourbon seems to be the most predominant aroma. I got what I was expecting, and I loved it.

More bourbon and vanilla in the flavor. A good dose of toffee nuttiness as well, almost like hazelnut. Alcohol is surprisingly well hidden: it is very warming but doesnt add any heat or raw alcohol to the flavor, which is always nice. Very full bodied. Thick and chewy and robust.

A solid bourbon barrel beer. Probaly not my favorite, but top notch nevertheless.

Photo of Robdiesel21
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of -Rick
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of pmoore311
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first review on BA, and being that it is winter here in MI, I thought I would start with my favorite Big Stout.

Poured thick with about 1/2 finger of a chocolate head.

The smell was great, vanilla, bitter chocolate, and bourbon are right up front. I could use a little more though.

The taste is spectacular, with a very roasted malty smoky flavor with lots of vanilla and bourbon present. It tastes almost like it is a Stout mixed with Bourbon. What a great combo. What sets this apart for me is the very nice finish, that is less sweet that some of the other big stouts out there.

For being 13% the drinkability is spectacular, as there is a nice warming from the alcohol, but not too intensely hot.

For me when it come to BA Big Stouts this is what I measure all others against. Next up will be the Abyss.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

GI- Bourbon Stout

Thanks to Pimpp for this 1.

A- Black! Thick black with a small tan head. Decent retentiona and lacing.
S- Charcoal, alcohol, tobacco.
T- Sugary/ syrupy sweet malt, charcoal/ burnt campfire oak chips, stinky cigar tobacco, and bitter dark chocolate.
M- Sweet and hot throughout with a creamy bourbon finish.

Overall- Excellent night cap. I would prefer this to real Bourbon!

Photo of mikey711
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bottle from October 10, 2008. Props to my girlfriend for buying me this while in chicago. Splitting this beer with my dad.

A pitch black treat comes pouring from the bottle into my snifter with a brown head that sits on top. There is some lace, but the head retention is not great. Gotta love motor oil!

Lots of bourbon, coffee, and oak hits my nose. Then chocolate and vanilla.

A great tasting brew. Bourbon and vanilla up front, followed by some roasted coffee and chocolate, then bourbon again in the finish, which leaves my tongue tingling as I wait for the next sip. As it warms there is some fruitiness too.

I love how this beer just leaves my mouth tingling. So many flavors so little time. There is a creaminess and fullness to this beer. The drinkability is pretty good. I would love to have more than one but don't want to put a big dent in my stash.

Photo of nickd717
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn. S$%# m@*$&%f@*#^%s this s@*# is f@&%ing good. If stupid annoyances like my job and reality didn't get in the way, I would probably sit by the fire every night in my robe drinking this beer, smoking a fine Cuban, and watching the great comedic masterpieces of legendary actor Adam Sandler.

A - Pours black with a small brown head.

S - Incredible aroma of coffee, chocolate, roast, smoke, vanilla, and sweet malt.

T - Roasted malt and caramel malt as well as molasses, coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, and of course a strong bourbon finish.

M - Thick and oily as hell, only ever so slightly boozy.

D - Fairly high considering the ABV and bourbon in this one.

Photo of RRC87
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage
Had on-tap at Stub and Herbs at Darkness Eve

A: Pitch black that doesn't allow any light to penetrate it, even at the corners. There is a dark creamy head that leaves dissipates quickly.

S: The aroma is dominated by vanilla and bourbon as would make since. These are supplemented by a sweet tobacco. There is also a tiny bit of alcohol in there as well but only enough to cut through.

T: the taste is very complex and very deep with one layer on top of the other. The largest player is the bourbon and vanilla but there are also notes reminiscent of tobacco. There is also the subtlest hint of soy on the end. The only reason it doesn't get a five is because the alcohol is still pretty forward as it warms.

M: Thick and viscous. It goes down silky smooth and clings to the palate and leaves a sweet residue that you taste for long after you swallow.

D: Surprisingly drinkable for the ABV. Obviously you don't want to drink to much of this to quick, but then again that isn't what it's designed to be. Clearly a sipper but just delicious.

Overall: Would have been higher, but the booze becomes a bit too prevent as it warms; none the less, this is absolutely deliciousness. Everyone should try it at least once.

Photo of mkotsayfan
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a deep dark oily black with a minimal amount of dark mocha head that dissipates fairly quickly. The aroma has lots of bourbon, some black licorice, with some chocolate and roasted malts mixed in. The taste is a better mix of the aroma notes than was to be expected. Even though the bourbon shines through on this heavy ABV beer, the chocolate/coconut/roasted malt notes really balance it out. The mouthfeel is thick bodied with decent carbonation, and a nice silky smooth quality.

Top notch stout from Goose Island, you have to be in the right mood for it though, because it will hit you hard if you're not ready.

Photo of Synergy87
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 9/17/2012. Served in Duvel Tulip.

A - Pours pitch black, no light penetrates through. A very thin tan head quickly dissipates.

S - Bourbon, wood, roasted malt, vanilla.

T - That hot bourbon kick initially, but quickly dies down and the flavors come out: oak, dark chocolate, a bit of coffee, and a touch of vanilla. Surprisingly not as complex as I'd thought it would be, even after letting it warm up. The flavor is so damn good I can't help but rate the taste higher regardless. WIth a year or 2 of cellaring, this will taste even better, the wood and dark chocolate should blend together less seamlessly, and more layers of flavor will come out, add more complexity and lessen the hot bourbon, which really isn't as bad as others seem to think, I think KBS was hotter to be perfectly honest.

M - Amazing mouthfeel, very smooth for 15% abv, oily yet chewy, a nice subtle carbonation which I dont usually notice much of for this style, carbonation is usually more flat, and as expected, an overall warming mouthfeel (it is 15% abv...)

O - I am so happy I found 2 more bottles, so I can age this for a year, and the other for 2. I really think this will shine with a year or 2 on it. I have had a 5 year version at Darklord day 2012, but I can't recall the flavor profile, other than that it wasn't boozy at all and some serious depth and complexity.

Photo of blckwiteboy
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly boozy but smooth. Some say last year was better but this year was still great.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a goblet, the beer pours black with a small dark brown head which doesn't stick around for too long. Obviously, it smells primarily like bourbon, and very sweet smelling overall. Some other smells that come through are vanilla, chocolate, malt and molasses. It tastes the same way to me, but with some coffee taste in there too, and a bittersweet aftertaste. I could definitely notice the alcohol in this beer. A lot of different flavors hit me all at once with this beer, it's a real "big" beer. It also has a big full body, with a creamy, slick, chewy mouthfeel to it. At first all the taste and alcohol hit me pretty good, but after a while I got used to drinking it. This is definitely a sipping beer, there's no way I could drink this quickly. I'd definitely recommend this to others, it's another really good beer from Goose Island.

Photo of Rutager
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 9/24/10.

Appearance. Pours black and viscous. Less than half a finger of creamy brown head.

Smell. Big bourbon smell with some toasty wood, molasses and vanilla.

Taste. This is one big beer. Bourbon and molasses off the top. Vanilla and wood come out as the booze fades away.

Mouthfeel. Full body for sure, but not over the top full. Smooth lower carbonation. A little syrupy and a little warm, but appropriate for the style.

Overall. Really nice big stout. The bourbon is pretty prominent, but nice and everything else about this one is fantastic. Great sipper while watching game 2 of the Stanley cup finals. Go 'nucks!!

Huge thanks to piclee for this one.

11/11/2014 - Had a 2008 bottle last night (thanks Lurkaholic!!) and it was much different from the more recent ones I've had. Bourbon is very subtle, everything's integrated nicely and don't remember any bad oxidation flavours, maybe a tiny bit of sherry in a good way. Really nice stuff, will be aging bottles for many years based on this.

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ba Review #246
Served On: 12/15/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 15.0%
Date/ Code: 09/26/12 (2314)

This should be a real treat. It was a 12oz bottle from a couple 4-packs I lucked into at Ye Old Spirits Shop in Frederick, MD ($21.99 per 4-pack).

Look: Serious blackness as expected. An initial mocha colored head that settled down to a thin lace around the edges. Major alcohol legs coated the glass when swirled. Appeared very viscous.

Smell: Pungent bourbon oak vanillins with some earthy coconut and caramelized brown sugar. Also some molasses and semisweet dark chocolate.

Taste: Super think mouth feel. First up was a predominate alcohol sweetness with an earthy oak presence to offer some resistance to the accompanied whiskey heat (definitely a sipper here). An alcohol warmth starts at the tongue and followed clear down to the pit of the stomach. The caramelized brown sugar and chocolate appeared once the warming sensation subsided somewhere around the middle. The finish was more of the woody vanilla quality that had a slight coffee bitterness that almost didn’t quite register with all the sweetness on the palate.

This would have to be one of the most complex barrel aged ‘big beers’ I have ever had. It was definitely one to savor and enjoy over the course of many hours. I would definitely recommend cellaring this one for at least 5 or more years to help zero in to any true oak characters. The residual whiskey of a fresh bottle just seemed to distract from many of the other potential notes to be discovered in this beer.

Photo of notjaredlouche
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 9/20/12. Poured into a Sam Adams glass around 50F or so (warm bottle stuck in freezer for 30min).

Appearance - pours a thick very dark brown, almost black. Looks almost exactly like used motor oil. I had up to a one-finger head while pouring, a minute later I now have a 2mm head. Thick lacing on the glass. Once in a glass, it takes on more of a reddish-brown hue.

Smell - chocolate and vanilla. A bit of that bourbony smell, but it's not overpowering. Definitely a better smell profile when poured into a glass - if you just smell from the neck of the bottle, all you get is strong alcohol.

Taste -Difficult to pick this one apart. The bourbon taste is most noticeable, there are other tastes which become more apparent on the back end, mostly vanilla and chocolate, as with the smell. The bourbon taste lingers the longest.

Mouthfeel - interesting, since it comes into the mouth very smooth, then you get the mild carbonation bite, and then it exits the mouth as smooth as it came in. Very heavy, almost syrupy.

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 10,064 ratings.