Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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10,402 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,402
Reviews: 2,709
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 2,430
Gots: 5,516 | FT: 590
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: 10,402 | Reviews: 2,709
Photo of beerboygb
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first review... I should have been working up to this beer. I love beer, whiskey, and wine. Frankly, I'm not sure which one this falls under. I had my wife do a "blind smelling", she thought it was a wine or whiskey. The bourbon flavor is immediate. My palate is more geared toward wine right now so all I can say is this is extremely enjoyed this stout. Dark as night with the slightest silky head. The bourbon is what made me a fan. Old Van Winkle 12 year "lot B"... Yum

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2008 bottling.
Heavy, viscous, engine oil black. Try as I might I couldn't force a head. Not even a skimy swirl. Nuthin'.

Smells of bourbon, succulent bourbon. Licorice, and vanilla as well. Taste focuses more on Good N' Plenty licorice, vanilla, and molasses with a bourbon undertone. So thick and goopy I feel I could get enough nourishment from the massive amount of malt that I don't have to eat for the rest of the day.

Delicious and immersive, I'd kill a man for this beer. One of those beers that's so I good I need a cigarette afterward. And I don't even smoke.

via duffextracold

Photo of steve8robin
4.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured an '08 last night...

A: Pours pitch black with a great mocha colored head that slowly disippates leaving a nice mocha rip on the glass.

S: Smells good. Scents of dark fruit and nuts.

T: First thing I taste is a nice thick walnut flavor followed by a slight buttery taste. This is so good.

M: Leaves a nice sticky walnut flavor in your mouth. Good carbonation.

D: Goes down super smooth. I can definitely pound these if I let myself. Gotta enjoy them slowly though and supress that urge.

All in all, this is one of my faves. Nice unique flavor that is not too over the top or too light. This would definitely be a great dessert beer.

Photo of drowland
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(original tasting) 2008 - Bottle. So black light won't go through, and a nice lingering dark brown head. The aroma is endless with sweet malt, oak, vanilla, tannins, a touch of bourbon, and a dash of alcohol. The flavor delivers big sweet malts and a dash of alcohol upfront followed by hints of candied fruit and finishing with a lingering definite coffee flavor layered with chocolates. I have since tried this a few times and am aging two more bottles. This stuff is simply amazing and everyone should try it. One of my favorite beers.

Photo of jlindros
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of Jettanbass9
4.2/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

vintage 2008.

A - Obsidian, jet black, void of color and impervious to light. A dark tan head tries to stick around but is knocked down by a high degree of alcohol. Sturdy, strong... a stout.

S - Bourbon! wow.... bourbon very much in the forefront. Vanilla, Oak, some sweet rum like aromas emerge. Smoke, raisin and roast mingle inbetween. Beneath the bourbon lies a very complex aromas.

T - Bourbon lies a canvas to fresh roasted coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla and resin. A smokey note lingers between the dark fruit and bourbon.

M - full bodied, no astringency and light carbonation. the classic approach to allowing these types of flavors to emerge.

D - Very drinkable brew that remains rich and complex. This beer is definitely meant to be savored.

Photo of JamisonM
4.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: served in a rounded wine glass 12 ounce bottle 2008 vintage

A: it really pours with no head its very dark super dark beer

S: smells rich complex sugars in there hints of vanilla and coffee

T: taste is a great one you could have this beer for dessert! alone I mean with nothing else! since its not aged (besides in the barral) I am guessing its even sweeter then an aged one. and the finish is fantasic sweet coffee chocolate and vanilla, the finish lingers on for atleast 20 or 30 secs with each drink. one to savor and take your time with for certain.

M: think and heavy coats the tongue wonderfully

D: its drinkable its think its one to savor don't gulp this one!

Photo of hayesez
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2006 - 12 oz. bottle

Poured very dark and thick into a snifter. Even with a strong pour, there was no head at all. A tiny ring of brown bubbles revealed the only carbonation.

Definitely a strong bourbon smell in this one; always nice when the beer reflects its name! Also hints of wood and a bit of vanilla. The high alcohol reveals itself strongly.

The taste is very much what you would expect from the smell. A strong bourbon tinge is present start to finish. Some vanilla as well. As the drink is finishing, a coffee after-taste is mixed with some bitter chocolate. I really like how this finishes. The booziness is definitely present, and detracts a bit, but still a solid beer! As the beer warms up, the alcohol intensifies a bit, but the mouthfeel gets even better. The silky smooth feel over the tongue is just my style!

This is a great beer. The one detractor is the alcoholic taste in the beer. I figured this would have mellowed out quite a bit after being stored for three years, but it is still very present. The rest of the beer, however, has certainly smoothed over time as all of the flavors overlap each other to make a truly delightful brew. Definitely a beer I will continue to drink.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of OttoBomb
4.16/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served on tap in 10 fl.oz. snifter glass, (November 24, 2009).

Eyes: Black as night. A small yet thick, dirty-tinted foam floats on top.

Nose: A potent bourbon aroma strikes first. There is also a nice oak smell, hints of chocolate and vanilla.

Tongue: Happily the taste is very alike the aroma. The bourbon is strong, as are the other pieces; oak, chocolate, and vanilla. The only down side is that the alcohol is a bit too pronounced.

Mouth: Rich, thick and sticks to the palate.

Libation: A fantastic piece of brewing, the bourbon flavor is well married with a smooth stout beer. I can't say this is exactly "drinkable" as the intense bourbon body and 13% ABV combine for a glass one needs to nurse for a while. I took a good 45 minutes for just 10 ounces. I think this will age very well, so I'll be putting a couple bottles away to give away as Christmas gifts next year.

This is certainly a beer that only a quality craft brewer could produce. Good on Goose Island for putting out such fine stuff.

Photo of BeerInReview
4.67/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

To preface, this is a review of a 2007 bottle.

A: This is as black as it can get. It poured thick with very little head.

S: It has a very inviting smell of bourbon, malt, and vanilla.

T: I can taste sweet malts, bourbon, and vanilla right off the bat. I can tell this is a 13% ABV beer. Wow! It's not harsh, but I can tell it's of higher alcohol content. My mouth is left with the taste of roasted malt/coffee.

M: It is what I would expect out of a bourbon barrel aged stout, very little carbonation and thick.

D: This is a very drinkable, full-bodied beer, but enjoy it in moderation. I wrote this review buzzed, and this was the only beer I had!

This is a very well balanced beer. The bourbon is smooth and melds well. I will be seeking out a four pack of this soon.

Photo of bahumutx
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on 10-21-08

Appearance: Dark. No light comes through. Pours with a very small head.

Smell: Slight alcohol aroma. Roasted malt, bourbon, slight vanilla and chocolate.

Taste: Roasted malt upfront and then progresses into a nice bourbon flavor(vanilla, oak). Ends with a nice malt flavor. Some alcohol flavor but it does not overpower the other flavors of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Very thick with little carbonation. Great for this style of beer.

Drinkability: Due to the ABV and mouthfeel, this is a sipper and only one bottle should be enjoyed.

I like this offering from Goose Island a lot!!! Great bourbon flavor without being to overpowering. Great job!!

Photo of Hornet2003
3.52/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-Tap at Goose Island Clybourne.

Interesting beer. The most intensely whiskey flavoured beer I have ever come across. Sour and musky woodsiness. Nice flavour but it is too much. Way too much for more than a taster. Sour and sweet bourbon flavour. The beer flavour is so masked it is flawed.

Interesting experience, but not an enjoyable experience if served in a greater than 5 oz sample.

I understand why this beer is coveted, because it is ridiculously extreme, but holy detritus, this is not enjoyable in quantity unless you're sharing.

Photo of minnunderground
4.2/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Hell yeah welcome to the BCS bowl! First off twist off..come on!

A-Pours with very little head, Very thick Black as night, Tiny bit of tan lacing

S-Bourban, Booze, choc.

T-wow...very complex...first bourban, then some choc, roasty malts, not much coffee maybe a hint of creamy ness but still with a bit of crispness, warms as it goes down

M-fells quite good on the mouth kinda dances around

D-Well the drink ability is in the middle, the taste is intense, the abv is intense, but really all in a good way.

Really would be a CHALLENGE to have a whole bomber in a sitting of this. I am very thankful I bought a 4 pack of 12oz. I will probably be putting the other three in the cellar to let them cool down a bit.

Photo of MrDanno96
4.32/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark as night with a thing ring of creamy looking tan head. Very minimal lacing. No light is getting through this thing.

S: I love how bourbon barrel aged things smell! Distinct smells of bourbon, oak, and vanilla. You can also find some subtle hints of coffee, chocolate, and cherries. Alcohol is also pretty apparent.

T: Tasty! Pretty similar to the nose: bourbon and sweet vanilla are most apparent. Very warm alcohol on the finish and aftertastes of coffee and chocolate linger for some time. Some oakiness is also in there. This reminds me of BT, but isn't nearly as complex. Keep in mind, however, that BT probably deserves about a 6 out of 5 for taste. What I'm trying to say is that Goose Island BCS is very good.

M: Smooth and chewy. The bite from the alcohol is a little harsh, but really not too bad.

D: As with most high quality Bourbon barrel aged stouts, this one is a tasty and complex sipper. I will definitely have this again, but I wouldn't drink more than one in a sitting. I'll definitely put a few of these in the cellar as well and see how they taste in a year or two.

Photo of lackenhauser
4.67/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black and very viscuous to pour. No real carbonation or head to speak of. Just the way this pours kicks it up a notch in my book. Heavy bourbon aroma with quite a boozy smell to it. Long lingering vanilla/oak smell. Huge roasted and imperial stout like flavor with the most intense bourbon flavors I have ever had in a beer. Over the top but not in a bad way. Even has the slight alcohol burn that you get in spirits-not like an overly alcoholic beer. Lingering burnt and bitter flavors-deep dark chocolate and roasted malt. Great body-thick and full. The alcohol flavor leaves quite the tingling sensation. A great beer all around. Quite in your face but well balanced in the long run. Could not do it all night by any stretch but still damn enjoyable.

Photo of at1234
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-opaque, pitch black in color. Sheer beauty when I poured this beer into a chimay glass.
S-an absurd amount of oak is the first thing that you smell after you crack open the bottle, followed up by obvious notes of bourbon, decadent dark chocolate and espresso.

T-holy shit. Wow, this is a tasty beverage.There is A LOT of alcohol present, but it's well balanced with the bourbon, oak, coffee and chocolate notes.

M-thick, rich, sticky...but not over the top. This thing has the perfect feel for an imperial stout.

D-one of the few stouts as robust as the bourbon county that I can easily knock back for hours. This may be too big for some people, but for the true stout connoisseur this will be an enjoyable treat. I just wish I bought more than one bottle, now I'm kicking myself in the dick for it.

Photo of mandoskippy
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this from a local store. The bottle said 2007 on it.

A: Poured DEEP black with a dark tan head, not much though, maybe half a finger quickly went away.

S: Wow, such a complex smell, you would almost think that no beer could live up to the smell. Chocolate, a tinge of alcohol, oak. Other stuff is in there too, I just don't know if I am experienced enough to distinguish them.

T: Flavor explosion. For a 13% beer you notice the alcohol, but it's not the front and center you'd expect. Lots of vanilla and a hint of coffee. The flavors seem to be changing in my mouth as I write this. Very complex, I could take very short sips and nurse this beer all night long!

M: I would have expected a 13% beer to attack my mouth more, but this is very smooth.

D: The only reason this doesn't get a 5 is I could only drink one of these in a setting. Very amazing beer, but 12 oz of this will be your main course!

A wonderful beer. A buddy and I saw this at the store in a four pack for 20 bucks, but we opted for two singles first to try it. I think I will go back for the 4 pack!

Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.09/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted 2009 vintage from 22 oz bomber
Served into a Bruery tulip glass at about 50-55 degrees.

Pours a jet black in the glass with a creamy tan froth that dissipates quickly... decent lacing that doesn't really stick to the glass. Pronounced aromas of molasses, caramel, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate, hints of blueberries (weird, but there), cherry pop tart (also weird, but there), sweet-sweet alcohol, & light smoke. (Can't really detect much of a hop presence, but know it's there to balance out the sweetness of this beer.) The nose is full, sweet, and pretty. The beer has a syrupy texture, alcohol sweetness/burn/tingle, complexity, depth, and a long finish. Overall a very good beer that is extremely thick and syrupy sweet. Due to it's huge alcohol content, the beer is a bit off balanced and not exactly smooth. Although I'm not a huge fan of this beer (esp for $12 a bottle), I can appreciate the effort here and look forward to having this with my Rib eye tonight!

Photo of dismal
4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had the 2008 and 2009 side by side for this one which I've been excited to do for quite some time. Poured into a snifter it pours jet black and thick like motor oil with a one finger dark tan head. The head quickly fades away and leaves little to no lacing down the glass. The smell is whiskey at first and upfront, it's followed by vanilla, oak, and chocolate. It seemed like the 2008 had more of a whiskey smell to it at first and as they warmed up the 2009 became more whiskey smelling and the 2008 had more chocolate when warming up. Taste was whiskey, vanilla, and chocolate. The 2009 had more of a whiskey taste while the 2008 had more of a chocolate taste making the 2008 way more drinkable and pleasant to drink. Both however had some whiskey in the taste it just wasn't as apparent with the age on the 2008. The mouthfeel differed greatly, the 2009 was kind of thin and the 2008 was very full, thick, and chewy. I thought it was pretty awesome how different these were with only one year between them. The main difference was taste and mouthfeel and with the one year it made it from a good beer to a great beer! I've also had this with about six months age on it and it was pretty good. The drinkability depends on this one. Fresh I'd give it a lower score (but still good) but with some age it become great even with the high ABV I'd love to drink a few of these. Overall fresh it's really good but I'd really recommend aging these for at least a year if not longer as it becomes more delicious. I'm going to age a few more of my 2008s for a while and I have plenty of 2009s to age and drink. Really great beer overall which coming from Goose Island I was expecting it anyways.

Photo of spartanfan
3.96/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz long neck bottled on 10/2/09

A: An aggressive pour yields a decent tan head that bubbles away quickly leaving only a minimal ring around the exterior, reminds me of the head on a glass of pop. Color is black as night and unyielding to any light that might enter.

S: Smell is of strong bourbon, chocolate, and butterscotch.

T: Taste is strongly of bourbon and chocolate. Vanilla and anise are also there. This is an extremely complex beer with too many flavors to list, but they all seem to balance well with the bourbon.

M: Mouthfeel is quite thick, almost syrupy, it leaves behind a coating with each mouthful.

D: This one is definitely a sipper. It has a powerful warming sensation after the swallow from all of the bourbon in it. It's not a chore to drink, but it's not one that I would want to drink all the time either.

Photo of Rizow
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A - Appearance starts with the bottle, and my introduction to Bourbon County Stout came not by any review or bartender's recommendation, but simply by noticing its label at the Lake Merritt Whole Foods in Oakland. When a beer's label tells me it's "...dark and dense as a black hole..." and that " sip has more flavor than your average case of beer", well, that grabs one's attention, innit?

Pours thick like motor oil, like molasses. It crawls out of the bottle into your glass. Dark, dark brown/black body, with a ring of caramel brown around the edge, and wisps of subtle white lattice lacing, too burly a beer to leave much at all of any foamy head. Looking straight down at it, into the goblet, it looks like a solar eclipse.

Smell - There's a strong, sweet nose to it. Roasted coffee, vanilla, and molasses are all mixed in with a burnt bourbon aroma. You can smell the syrup. It's immediately obvious that this is an extremely unusual beer.

Taste - The taste is a beast, bringing big, sweet flavors such as the omnipresent molasses, layered over the powerful alcohol. Somewhere buried deep, deep behind the monstrous front-end, there are fruity background notes, but more like bits of candied fruits embedded in a German Christmas cake. You can find burnt caramel, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and sweet syrup flavors throughout.

Feel - The very definition of a big, chewy stout; welcome to the beer-shake! Man, does this ever cry out for a big scoop of premium vanilla dropped right into the mouth of the glass! It creeps across the inside of your mouth, leaving a film over your tongue. Its feel (not its taste!) is almost like a medicinal syrup, like you're drinking it because your doctor prescribed it. It feels like quicksand in your mouth, threatening to pull you in.

Drinkability - This is no light summer sipping ale. It sits thick and heavy in your mouth, and fights with you going down. You'd only really ever go out of your way to finish a second bottle if you're making a point, like, a REALLY important point, to your unemployed drinking buddies. Packs a punch.

As someone who staggers through the night casting aside lesser beers in an unholy quest for that huge, chewy, sweet, powerful masterpiece, I am humbled in the presence of this superb, cruel, terrifying, glorious beer. It kisses you as it beats you. This is the one bourbon barrel aged stout to rule them all.

Photo of manahansf
4.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear light brown color with ruby red highlights and a thin lacy tan head. The nose is a light aroma of sweet malt with a background aroma of bourbon. Begins with a subtle grapefruit flavor which is followed by robust whiskey/alcohol flavor. Throughout the drink, there is a nice backbone of sweet malt/toffee flavors and a warming alcohol sensation. The mild full body has low carbonation levels and is very drinkable. The finish fades gracefully with a strong bourbon taste which is well balanced between sweet and dry.

Photo of TLove
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is straight up outstanding. After several bourbon stouts and bourbon RIS imitators (with the exception, perhaps, of Schafly), I haven't had a single, well-balanced bourbon stout. This is a luscious beer.

Pours a deep, viscous black motor oil with a thin, dark brown head that retains poorly and leaves little lacing. There are smells of raisin and bourbon with some almond. There is a strong bourbon, very heavy alcohol and bourbon taste with heavy, dark chocolate and a really full body. Alcohol goes right up the nose and produces some quince and vanilla on the mouth with a slick, but not syrupy, feel. A bit difficult to finish due to the sheer complexity and slightly sour bourbon components to the malt. Nevertheless, I would drink several of these in a sitting if they weren't so damn strong.

Photo of marvin213
2.97/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer looks like motor oil. Were it not for the slightest swirls of head, I'd funnel this into my car engine. The specks of head presence actually last, spinning slowly around as the liquid sits. Still, a foamier top would provide a more impressive production.

The smell is purty raw-dog bourbon. I mean it is sweet, sweet alcohol. Not sweet like sugared candy, but sweet like yeast-infested, alcoholic, sugar-laden slop. It's like a fraternity house on a football Saturday. It's strong, sweet, and unrefined.

The liquid's more quaffable than its sight or smell might attest. As the snifter reaches my lips, I brace as if I'm shooting a shotgun. Initially, the sip is sugary soothing--like a Pixie-stick. Even in this 2008, the alcohol is still hot: as I focus on taste and close my mouth to feel it, ethanol singes my cheeks and escapes thru my nose. It's an obnoxious beer but, by God, if it's a bourbon stout you want, it's a bourbon stout you get. Instead of having bourbon influence, this beer is like an android: 1/2 beer, 1/2 bourbon. It tastes like an average stout with a bourbon shot poured in it. It's a Kentucky car bomb.

The initial feel of every sip is a comforting layer of sweetness. As the sugar breaks down, however, you're left with a brow-furrowing, bourbony blaze. Even if served cold, this beer is HOT. Though extreme on these continuums, it's actually well-balanced. The sequence, though, from milk stout to liquor shot, might be better reversed.

Drinkability is less than average. How many beers actually taste like liquor? It's a novelty brew, and a good one. I'd like to keep one on hand to occasionally show the buddies. I know its aim is not everyday sessions, but it's not a real pleasant-drinkin' brew. It hits harder than 13%; in fact, it ain't far off from the 40% of its liquor counterpart. If you're just lookin' for a punch, perhaps you should consider the liquor approach.

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 10,402 ratings.