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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.

7,937 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,937
Reviews: 2,339
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 1,775
Gots: 3,379 | FT: 368
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,937 | Reviews: 2,339 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of br3wmeister


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

A- Pours super dark brown almost black with a tiny brown head that dissipates quickly and leaves not lacing.

S- Lots of deep rich aromas, molasses, tobacco, dark chocolate and coffee up front. Also some nice sweetness comes through in the middle, hints of vanilla. Bourbon notes from beginning to end with a light touch of hops.

T- This is a very rich full flavored beer starting off with chocolate, brown sugar and tobacco flavors that lead into some smooth sweetness again I would say vanilla. Then there is a good bourbon kick and it drys out rapidly with a hint of hops and dry roasted bitter aftertaste. Some alcohol bite in the end.

M- Full bodied with some good smoothness initially then an alcohol and hop bite in the end. Quite enjoyable.

Overall I would have to say this is a great stout. Great aroma and flavors, the head is lacking a bit but it more then makes up for it in other areas. Yumm.

03-06-2009 04:46:10 | More by br3wmeister
Photo of phreak1983


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

Giving a bottle of 2008 a second review a year after my initial review.

A- Pitch black with a ring of brown foam.

S- Oak, roasted malt and a little vanilla.

T- Just like it smells, and the alcohol burn it had a year ago is barely noticable! The vanilla has emerged after a year of aging too!

M- Perfect viscosity and still smooth and easy to drink.

D- I think I could actually drink another one if I had one!

This beer has improved a great deal with one year of aging! I was not crazy about it a first due to the harsh taste of alcohol but I am going to buy some 2009 for my cellar and get some more 2008 if it is still available!

02-16-2010 09:39:02 | More by phreak1983
Photo of orangesol


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

Served on-tap on three separate occasions this year, the last of which being this one at the brewhouse restaurant.

A - Pours pitch black with a small half finger tall tan head leaving very tiny trails of lace down the top part of the glass.

S - Smells of melted milk chocolate, dark roast, fresh vanilla beans, sweet molasses and plenty of warm bourbon booze. This is simply intoxicating.

T - Starts off with a big dose of milk chocolate sweetness slowly giving way to hints of warm vanilla, dark fruit, molasses and dark roast. The bourbon heat is ever present, never really fading away. Finish is sweet with a bit of warm booze, lingering on the palate long after the finish.

M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Smooth feel with lots of residual sweetness and mild booze burn. The alcohol only grows as it sits in the glass.

O - Definitely one of the better stouts out there and well deserving of the attention it garners. Worth seeking out if you have the chance. I will get my fill while I can and I hope to see this more often in the future.

01-07-2013 06:38:37 | More by orangesol
Photo of justforrazors


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

2012 vintage consumed this evening. Poured into snifter glass.

A- Pours a jet black with a thick two-finger mocha head. It quickly recedes to a ring around the edge of the glass. Significant alcohol legs. Looks perfect for a beer of this style, very inviting.

S- Dominated by bourbon. There is some vanilla, roast malt, and a slight chocolate as well as coffee, but it is definitely minimal compared to the liquor aroma.

T- Up front there is more bourbon, vanilla, and some chocolate. As I swallow, there are some fruit esters, predominantly cherry with some fig, as well as a ton of alcohol. The finish is quite long, and the bitterness becomes present to help balance out the syrupy sweetness of the malts and bourbon.

M- This is a thick and viscous beer, almost syrup in consistency. Although the feeling of the beer coats your mouth for some time, it is silky smooth. The only downfall I can note is the alcohol sting that you can feel almost immediately after you take a sip.

O- This is a fantastic beer, but I think the 2012 still needs a few more months for the bourbon to calm down. It is an awesome beer, but I see improving in the future.

05-10-2013 01:25:39 | More by justforrazors
Photo of homebrew311


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

2009 12 oz bottle poured into NB globe.

A: black motor oil pour with insanely dark brown head that disappears pretty quickly, heavy lacing

S: bourbon, chocolate, bourbon, chocolate WOW! these two smells dominate but are so rich and complex... the bourbon lends a vanilla sweetness and an oaky character, the chocolate character smells very dark like baking chocolate

T: I get the chocolate first on the tongue in the form of deep dark chocolate/ cocoa. This is followed by an onslaught of bourbon. This is the most integrated bourbon barrel aged stout I have tried. The bourbon is very strong, but the malty backbone keeps it from being too harsh. This is definitely an intense beer, but it is well balanced for its stature

MF: thick, creamy, chewy, velvety, low carb, perfect

D: Too boozy to have more than one but the flavor is exquisite and this sets the curve for BBA stouts IMO. The only other one I enjoyed more was KBS

12-19-2009 04:11:35 | More by homebrew311
Photo of MrDave14


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

Sipped this over a few hours during a power outtage and it made the evening a delight. Imperial stouts are a favorite style of mine and this beer exceeded expectations. GIBCBS has deep rich flavor, jet-black color and a nice aroma. Yummy, yummy, yummy!

06-07-2013 02:34:44 | More by MrDave14
Photo of ZDub


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

Served from a 650mL bomber poured into a Duvel glass. Bottled on: 10/16/09

A - Black as night, with just wisp of dark tan head which barely hangs around, reassuring you that this is in fact beer and not used motor oil.

S - Heavenly. Deep dark chocolate notes. Woody, Earthy, Nutty, Dark Malts, Caramel, and a hint of alcohol.

T - Wow. Upfront I get hit with a decadent caramel/chocolate sweetness which is quickly followed by a not insignificant warm burst of alcohol.

M - Heavy. Think store-bought chocolate milk made with whole milk.

D - Excellent beer but because of the heftiness and alcohol I doubt there are many who would finish more than one bomber in a sitting.

Notes: For me, the only thing holding this beer back is the alcohol burn. It's not intolerable, but it's more pronounced than I would like.

09-09-2010 23:52:05 | More by ZDub
Photo of cdkrenz


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

I've had this beer cellared since July of 2008. The label reads that its from the 2007 batch. I figure since this review will give me my discipleship that now is the time to pop the top.

A - Dark brown, milky, thin, bubbly head. It fades fast to reveal a thick, black, and action packed surface. This is a sight.

S - Dark chocolate, coffee, clove.

T - Rich semi-sweet chocolate, very mild coffee flavor, noticeable hoppy clove.

M - The feel in my stomach is something to note. It offers a weight that's certainly recognizable. The mouthfeel is smooth and silky and creamy.

~ This is not a brew for the meager. If you're going to indulge in this top of the line brew... make sure you have the capacity and love to really enjoy it.

What's even better? While sampling this fine beer one of my favorite songs came on the radio. Peace Frog by The Doors.

Oh, and guess what else? I've just become a Disciple!

02-21-2009 21:28:11 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of nova009


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

Poured from a 2009 bomber into a snifter

A: Black as night, almost nonexistent tan head, very little lacing...looks very enticing

S: WOW this smells fantastic, the bourbon really hits the nose hard, mixture of oak and vanilla follow, my mouth is watering at the smell of this one

T: extremely rich taste, bourbon and coffee flavors dominate, subtle vanilla notes, the alcohol is balanced well

M: medium body, smooth and not overly heavy, light carbonation, this is one you want to swirl in your mouth for a bit

D: you can't have too many glasses of this in a night, however this is a great one to sit with and sip, grab a nice cigar and enjoy

06-10-2010 03:38:05 | More by nova009
Photo of turboedtwo


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

While drinking this I felt I should finally review a beer. I wish I could be as descriptive as others but perhaps with time.

Appearance - Poured into a snifter glass. The color is about as dark as they come. Had to hold it directly over a light to see a hint of brown.

Smell - The smell is amazing, definitely strong, however I can't put my finger on it. The girlfriend could smell it from about 4 feet away.

Taste - The first taste is of bourbon with a slight chocolate finish. Definitely flavorful.

Mouthfeel - It feels like a typical stout to me, thick and heavy. Although it has that feel in my throat like I drank some hard liquor.

Drinkability - This is definitely one you want to take your time on. Definitely not something that should be rushed through.

01-12-2009 07:05:02 | More by turboedtwo
Photo of lovindahops

New York

4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

A 2009 bottle. This is gonna be good

A- a dark as night look. There is a toasty foam look on the top. Really a hearty look to it.

S- big time smoked malt flavor that is combined with chocolate and some coconut. Dark fruit is present as well. Toasty, toasty, toasty malt flavor with the alcohol present

T- a flavor fest of chocolate toasted themes. There is some butterscotch and coconut meshed together. An easy way to describe this is a "decked out stout" that has smooth flavor and tastes RIDICULOUS

M- creamy and thick. Tastes great

D- you have to sip this. It is one heck of a desert beer. Arguably one of the top stouts out there. The alcohol is actually hidden as you go. Still, the syrupy thickness makes you want to take it slow and steady

07-17-2010 02:12:06 | More by lovindahops
Photo of Jacurdy60


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

Received in a trade from Florida9. Very grateful. Freshness date reads 11/07/12. Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

A-Pours a thick black, motor oil-esque liquid. Opaque, impermeable, blacker than Satan's butthole. Absolutely lovely. Medium width copper colored head that retains well. Very thick but leaves little lacing.

S-A bit phenolic. The booze is definitely present but it's not overwhelming. Notes of vanilla and charred oak are in the back of the nose. I'm also picking up on some dark fruits as well, however it's very faint.

T-Bourbon flavor hits you in the face at the front of the palate as does the alcohol, but I like it. A lot. As I swallow, the bourbon boozy flavor fades into a subtle vanilla flavor with a bit of zesty spiced dark fruit. I'm not getting any coffee notes in this stout which is unusual.

MF-Creamy, thick, smooth, chewy, fantastic. One of the better feels on a brew I've ever experienced. It's very thick, but the booziness in the back of the finish makes it a bit dry

O-A world-class brew, as al the other reviews show. Balanced to perfection. Complex as hell. Tastes good. Smells like heaven. Has a great feel. I love this beer.

06-07-2013 01:09:14 | More by Jacurdy60
Photo of bigdonniebrasco


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

12oz. poured into "Lucy" my snifter that I do most of my reviews from.

Appearance: Motor oil black, completely opaque, ... no REALLY! Imagine an eight ball wrapped in tarpaper, in the bottom of a tar pit at midnight! I poured this beer from 12" high just to see if I could make it produce a head. All I got for my efforts was ½ a finger at best and it dissipated to a thin mocha colored ring in seconds.

Smell: Heavenly. There is a LOT going on here! Licorice hits hard, followed immediately with the inevitable waft of bourbon, bittersweet chocolate, strong vanilla bean, roasted grains / coffee, dried cherries and figs.

Taste: Tasted like the smell would lead you to believe. Like dark chocolate melted into a glass of bourbon, licorice and dried cherries. This may not sound appealing, but trust me... this works! Other flavors include, bourbon (but not overpowering) molasses, and very slight coffee

Mouthfeel: Thick as thick can be. You can almost chew this big beer! Coats your mouth, in a good way. Velvety, viscous, and oily are just some of the adjectives that come to mind Carbonation is perfect for the style, which is to say barely there.

Drinkability: As delicious as it is, it would be difficult to have more than just one bottle at any one sitting. Perfect nightcap.

Overall: One of the best beers I have ever tried. This beer is fantastic, period... No disclaimer! It is nice to see some breweries pushing the envelope of beer making.
No matter who you are you should try this beer at least for the experience. I have had this offering from GI on two previous occasions. I have two more bottles and I really hope I can leave them in the cellar for a few more years before cracking into them.

01-26-2009 04:02:03 | More by bigdonniebrasco
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

2009 vintage. Pours a jet black without some tan head, but head is a little bit thin without much lacing. Tons of bourbon in the nose, with vanilla, chocolate and a bit of coffee. Taste has a nice amount of bitterness, but more sweetness. The alcohol is pretty apparent with the bourbon flavours, but it blends really well with the roasted stout. Very smooth, but not a lot of carbonation. I am having no issues finishing off this bomber myself.

08-25-2010 02:45:45 | More by kwjd
Photo of icefisherman


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

first thoughts man this had better be worth the money not an easy beer to get hands on also not a inexpencive beer at leat around here all that aside. . . . WOW is about all i need to sum up this beer looks black no other colors suround it its just black. from the time the bottle is cracked to well after the time its all gone all one could smell in the house was burbon and malt and a little bit more burbon tasty tasty stuff mmm.... burbon and beer my 2 favorite adult beverages all in one wonderfully delicious burbony chockatly coffeey almost chew beverage makes me want to drink the rest of them all richt now just thinking about it but i know that that would leave me very disapointed a very good beer

06-04-2007 15:58:54 | More by icefisherman
Photo of emyers


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

Appearance: Pours a thick jet black with a thin medium brown lacing.

Smell: Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon. Some vanilla and oak along with just a hint of chocolate, and then back to the bourbon (which is excellent, by the way). Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the amount of bourbon in this, but I do wish there was a little more depth.

Taste: Wow. All of the bourbon in the aroma is still there and just as intense and delicious as expected. There are many more layers here though - rich dark chocolate and coffee provide an excellent backdrop to the bourbon. Oak, vanilla, and a touch of caramel malt sneak into the picture to add a bit more complexity. Just the right amount of alcohol heat on the finish. Phenomenal.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and rich. Low carbonation level gives it a velvety smooth texture going down. Again, the perfect amount of alcohol heat warms the palate.

Overall: Love this beer. The Bourbon County series nails bourbon presence better than any other beer I've had. While the original may be a bit over-reliant on the bourbon and lacks a certain level of balance and complexity that other beers like KBS have, it's pretty damn delicious.

04-07-2014 00:47:26 | More by emyers
Photo of dakid618


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Pours jet black with virtually no head. Smell is chocolatey with strong bourbon scents. Taste is very alcohol heavy but delicious. This beer wows me with every drink. Light hot mouthfeel. This is very drinkable for being 13% ABV. Not sessionable but an outstanding IS. I love this brew!

02-03-2009 03:40:48 | More by dakid618
Photo of westweasel


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

The beer poured out fairly thick, into a pint glass. The appearance was jet black and opaque, with only a sliver of a tan head.

The strongest scent present is bourbon, but I also got vanilla, chocolate, and a roasty scent. Very interesting!

The taste was bourbon, roasted grains, caramel, raisins, and a little vanilla.

The mouthfeel was somewhere between medium and full, with a strong bourbony aftertaste.

The drinkability is very good for a barrel-aged beer that has this much alcohol. An exceptional beer.

04-07-2007 02:15:42 | More by westweasel
Photo of JoEBoBpr


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

Poured into an oversized wine glass from a 12oz bottle. Looking foreword to sipping this one. 2009 vintage.

A - A generous pour shows a pitch black oily and creamy liquid with some brown hints. There is a .5 inch head that is tan and dense but recedes pretty quickly and leaves little lacing.

S - Strong Bourbon smell is immediately and almost over-whelimgly present. Wow! Prunes and raisins, some anise and some woody hints. Very complex beer. Vanilla spice and some chocolate. Very Boozy and very delicious.

T & M - Creamy and oily with some strong, very strong bourbon flavors. tons of maple syrup, vanilla, chocolate and nice spices as well. Oaky flavors match well with the aromas. My taste buds are on overdrive! Complex and delicious beer. As the beer goes down a warming almost burning aftertaste engulfs my throat and tongue. Definitely 13 ABV. Creamy and complex full bodied beer. Great stuff.

D - Well. Definitely a sippin beer and a one bottle and done for me. But very delicious and would have again.

03-16-2010 01:45:11 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of mryuk


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

On tap at hop leaf poured in a snifter.

pours a dark brown with no head.

smell is mostly bourbon and sweet malts.

taste is extremely smooth and enjoyable for a 13% beer. much less bourbon than expected and lots of sweet malts.

mouth is thick with low but sufficient carbonation.

very enjoyable beer. stands up to my favorite of the type, the rasputin anniversary, but does not surpass. excellent beer.

06-11-2011 17:31:39 | More by mryuk
Photo of Joeynocturnum

New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

Beersis81 thanks for the trade.

A- Thick, black and viscous motor-oil like. Slight medium brown head that quickly disappates and no lacing to speak of.

S- I was intimadated by the smell of bourbon, not being a bourbon drinker, strong bourbon smell slight chocolate notes.

T- Didn't taste the bourbon as much as I smelled it which was great.

M- Was exceptional, slight carbonation smooth sipper.

D- Very drinkable, but probably better that I opened the 12oz. vs. the 22oz. I had. It packed a punch like expected, but don't think I could have handle a 22 in one sitting.

02-11-2010 02:18:03 | More by Joeynocturnum
Photo of smbslt


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

A - one finger head with loud collapsing bubbles. No sustaining carbonation, pitch brown

S - fudge - like the inside of kitchy shops in vacation towns - overwhelming but in a good way

T - licorice, burned sugar

M - thick any syrupy

O - Always great to be have a beer live up to the hype.

12-08-2012 03:17:38 | More by smbslt
Photo of SqueeCantCook


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

Pulled this out of the fridge when I got home from work and poured it into a Glencairn Glass a couple minutes after I got showered and changed.

A: Black with creamy mocha head that fades to a thin lid. Nice rim around the top of the glass. I held this against a light and nothing got through. This is black hole black. Giving it a little swirl, leaves some short legs. That's 13% for you.
S: Bourbon up front with some nice chocolate notes. Few hints of nuts; maybe almonds or hazelnuts, dried fruit; figs and cherries. Molasses, tings of vanilla and brown sugar. Of course some oak too with a bit of coffee bean. A nice dark, mahogany roast.

T/M: Chocolate right off the bat. I expected it to be a bit heavier on the tongue, but it's fairly light to medium for its percentage. The chocolate taste fades slowly into bourbon casks with a couple bits of charcoal from the toast. Taking a second sip, the toast comes through a bit more that fades to sweet vanillin and a couple other sugary notations. The finish is quite long that hangs around, dancing with notes of smoke, vanilla, molasses, bourbon and chocolate. The chocolate is a tad overwhelming for a bourbon stout; but then again it is a stout.

D: The high ABV isn't a bad thing; it's a sipper, for sure. One of these could last me an evening. You won't be able to slam this down in a bar and ask for another pint of it anytime soon; it's not a social beer unless you're down for a deep conversation and can only get sips in between making points.

This will definitely be in my line of beers I'd try again; keep a couple in the back of a chiller and visit every now and then. I would think to use this in a dessert too or at least pair it with it.


- Dan

06-27-2010 04:29:37 | More by SqueeCantCook
Photo of thekevlarkid


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

Out of a bomber bottle generously provided to me by a BA friend this brew was as thick and dark as molasses. The retention of the head was good and the lacing impressive. Swirling it in my tulip, it moved like chocolate milk, so rich and viscous it was, only black and oily. The aroma was rich and enticing; I smelled chocolate, tobacco, whiskey, oiled leather, coffee, dark caramel and hints of vanilla. The flavor profile was equally complex and robust. Again, I tasted that zip of bourbon whiskey, this time right from the start, followed by the dark chocolate and chocolate syrup flavors. I also tasted leather, dark malt, molasses, coffee, leather, prunes and the alcohol punch. As it warmed up some elements of wood and vanilla appeared reflecting the oak barrel aging. The sharp, punchy elements were off set by the soft, chocolaty elements creating a nice balance. The mouthfeel was creamy, the body full and the carbonation appropriate enough to help it feel full without being heavy. A truly enjoyable brew and well worth going out of one's way for.

02-16-2010 15:31:06 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of kdb150


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

Poured half from a 12 oz. bottle of 2012 BCBS into my stout glass at ~65 degrees, and recapped the bottle to finish tomorrow. UPDATE - editing my review from the other half, because my stout glass may have been a bit dirty. Better appearance and smell this time pouring into a tulip; the glass selection definitely made a difference.

A - Pours a blackish-brown with a small brown head, which dissipates to a ring that sticks around. Held up to light and viewed at an angle, brownish hues are seen around the edges of what is otherwise a midnight black beer. No lacing to speak of

S - Bourbon and booze are big in the nose. This is not at all surprising given the name and the enormity of this beer, and there is some toasty malts and pretty big sweetness detectable underneath.

T - Bourbon is up front but not dominant. Big sweet vanilla and moderate roastiness follow, with no alcohol detectable. Wood is also there in the background the whole time. The whole thing melds together very well, and the way it hides the alcohol is remarkable. The roasty dark malts come through towards the finish, and they do so very pleasantly. Towards the end of my pour, I think my palate became acclimated to the sweetness, and the booze became noticeable, but this is nevertheless a very, very delicious beer.

M - Thick, but not syrupy, which keeps the sweetness from being cloying. Perfect for both the style and size, and the carb stuck around throughout. At no point does this become overwhelming or too thick. Great feel.

O - This is a very impressive beer. To be able to make a bourbon barrel aged beer this young and this big which is this drinkable is a real achievement. I maintain that sticking to 6 ounces at a time is recommended, simply to avoid the affects of too much 15% ABV beer, but this does not fatigue or overwhelm the palate the way many giant beers do when young.

11-17-2012 03:26:12 | More by kdb150
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 7,937 ratings.