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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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

8,329 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,329
Reviews: 2,363
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 1,910
Gots: 3,547 | FT: 374
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bourbon County Brand Stout Alström Bros
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Ratings: 8,329 | Reviews: 2,363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big beer. Very thick, full of chocolate, some wood, slight smoke, the bourbon and booziness. Knock yourself out. Rich and deep intensity of flavours, I got the caramel, coconut,. A very fine effort, a top stout. I had the 2006 bottle again in 2012 and it was too coconut. I had the 2007 in 2012 and it was rich and smooth, 4.25 territory.

I had the regular on tap 5 years later and it was pretty good and well integrated bourbon. Black colour, and scored that for this review.

Sammy, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

t0rin0, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.8/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to mjtiernan for sending me this one!

2009 vintage. Bottled on 10/9/09.

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch khaki head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random spots and streaks of lace slide back down into the remaining beer. Smell is of wood, vanilla, toasted coconut, and milk chocolate. Taste is of toasted coconut, vanilla, wood, and semi-sweet cocoa powder. There is a slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a thick and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a most excellent beer and I can see why this one is held in such high regard. A rare treat for me that I am glad I got to try.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev -2%

djrn2, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of zestar
5/5  rDev +8.9%

zestar, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +8.9%

spycow, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on October 8, 2008.

G: Poured into an oversized snifter.

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

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

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

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

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

Thorpe429, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -12.9%

acurtis, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

nmann08, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured absolutely jet black (like motor oil) with a mocha-colored head that quickly dissipated and left diminutive lacy patterns of bubbles.
S: The smell is intense and very complex with aromas of bourbon, oak and vanilla.
T: Like the aroma, the taste is also complex and well balanced between bourbon flavors and notes of alcohol, chocolate, oak and vanilla.
M: It feels full-bodied, very smooth and coats the palate. There is some warming from the alcohol.
D: Given the high alcohol content, this is definitely a beer that is imperative to sip very, very slowly.

Note: 2008 vintage

metter98, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

Texasfan549, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an espresso brown color with a brief coffee milk head that fades after a few seconds but sticks to the sides of the chalice

Smell: Bourbon, oak, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla and a hint of dried cherries

Taste: The bourbon is apparent from the start, and blends with the syrupy dark chocolate and vanilla flavors; a little later on the fruit arrives, with dried cherries, prunes and molasses; after the swallow, the dark chocolate and bourbon return to dominate the finish, with a boozy aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and syrupy, with relatively low carbonation (the carbonation level is higher at first); plenty of warmth in the gullet after the swallow

Drinkability: Extraordinarily well-balanced between the bourbon and stout elements

(My wife, Lex, likes this better than Speedway, her previous favorite beer.)

brentk56, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.85/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Charred oak barrel black with a wee glimmer of burnt umber at the bottom edge of the glass. Light simply has no chance. The small, dark caramel colored cap isn't as creamy as expected, nor as sticky. I'm sure the 11.0% ABV has a lot to do with it, but I like a bit more eye candy. This is one serious looking stout, though.

The aroma is outstanding. This is exactly what a stout aged in bourbon barrels ought to smell like. An insane amount of heavily roasted barley greets my nose with every sniff. In addition, there's plenty of dark caramel, dark brown sugar, vanilla and glorious bourbon whiskey. With a bit more power and a bit more aggressiveness, it'd be perfect.

The flavor *is* perfect. Absofreakinlutely perfect! It doesn't hurt that I love bourbon because those 100 days in the barrel were 100 days well and efficiently spent. If bourbon whiskey isn't your thing, then I'd suggest drinking another beer. This one positively oozes that glorious spirit. Unlike some beer of this sub-style, the proportion of stout to whiskey is juuust right.

The flavor profile consists of bittersweet chocolate, brown sugar, dark butterscotch, crushed vanilla beans, charred oak, a splash of ouzo and a tendril or two of smoke. The whiskey adds a certain wee heavy character, although there's no peatiness since bourbon is the whiskey of choice rather than Scotch. It's amazing how each sip is better than the last. Where will it end?

I'm a bit surprised at the sweetness, but probably shouldn't be given the gargantuan amount of malt. The mouthfeel is full (without being ponderous), heavily silky, polished gemstone-like and nicely chewy on the back end. Carbonation must be present, though you'd never know it. Perfect score. Again.

I expected one whole helluva lot from Bourbon County Stout. All the more amazing, then, that it blew right past those expectations as if they were sitting still. This remarkable beer is easily the best that I've ever had from Goose Island. It's a true American original and is the perfect marriage of double stout and bourbon. The next time I see BCS, I plan to clear out the store.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 27, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite stout,...period. Just finished my second 4-pack (not all today) but, for the year.

Aromas: Awsome. It has it all, malts, coffee, chocolate, cherries, raspberries, raisons, vanilla, caramel. It's basically a desert for the olfactory senses.

Appearance: Thicker, heavier, darker, and better colored than about any stout that I have ever had. It even sounds nicer when poured into a tulip glass.

Taste: Holds up to the aromas and more. One sip tells you that this is going to be a slow and steady drink. High barley and roasted grains without tasting harsh or "gainy". All of the fruits and sweetnesses in the aroma are compounded in the flavor. The sweet malt is quickly followed by fruity tartness and nice bittering from the dark malts and the well disguised hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, thick, and creamy. Coats the mouth incredibly well. Polishes off well without the stickyness associated with most high gravity brews.

Aftertaste: There's the bourbon. Until now, it hides in the background of all the other complexities. The bourbon flavors increase the caramel and vanilla flavors...and the alcohol. warming and lingering. Each sip makes you want to reflect before the next one.

Impression: overwhelming to the modest beer drinker. This one is definately for grown-ups (if not conissours). She's definately a sipper. Should only be enjoyed with good friend, a cozy fire, and hour to spare.

BEERchitect, Jun 05, 2005
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -12.9%

kjkinsey, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (courtesy of Dalaamar): Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown color foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of bourbon is quite powering as well as some chocolate and vanilla. Taste is a mix between some chocolate malt with hints of vanilla, coffee and oak. Bourbon presence is interesting but a bit too powerful for my liking since it brings too much alcohol, which is not something that I necessarily enjoy. Body is full and has a creamy texture, which I quite enjoy. Overall, this is a very interesting creation, which I’m glad, got a chance to try but I feel I would probably prefer the non-barrel aged version more. Also, this is more of a sipper then anything else and half a bottle would probably be enough for one session.

Phyl21ca, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of GRG1313
4.05/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottling - Original notes from 2008 state: Heavy, dark coffee, carmel and chocolate flavors with a long pleasant finish. 12/08;

Re-tasted 2/11; notes/review follows:

Black; almost no head but a short tan head with some serious swirl.

Nose is bitter black chocolate and roasted coffee; nose has undertones of rich red fruit.

Mouthfeel is thick, rich and viscous. Well balanced and heavy on the palate.

Flavors are bitter espresso, burnt toast; charcoal; burnt chocolate, bitter molasses; assertive bourbon, vanilla and have soy sauce tones. A nice sipper; a good example of an aged stout but will not get better with more age. Pleasant initial "sweet character" is already gone and replaced with the more refined bitter character. Not bad or good - just different.

My personal preferance is drinking this one a bit more fresh. Perhaps an example of the fact that a wood aged stout may not need additional aging. Finish is soy, bitter espresso and light salt.

GRG1313, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured thick, black as night oil like liquid which had a huge tan head that really very slowly faded leaving behind lots of gooey sticky brown lace. Very frothy and pillow like head, lots of waves in it.

S - Smell was strong, main hints were of caramel, with some chocolate mixed in and a strong alcohol presence. Lots of sweet vanilla and almost a mocha smell as well, very sweet overall.

M & T - First impression was wow, and very very strong. It was smooth, with not alot of carbonation. Huge bourbon whiskey type taste hit me right away as did the alcohol, this was not something to be messed with for sure. Very creamy thick feel and very strong alcohol presentation. Hints at french vanilla and a touch of chocolate rounded out the back side and added a bit of sweetness.

D - Overall this is probably the strongest tasting, in the sense of the upfront alcohol taste, I have had in a stout. I felt it was almost overdone a tad and could have been played back a bit. A definate sipper and probably could use to sit down in the cellar for a while. I would be intrested in trying some older years.

mikesgroove, Apr 11, 2007
Photo of ygtbsm94
4.5/5  rDev -2%

ygtbsm94, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

jaydoc, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A 2008 bottle poured into a snifter. The pour is dark as night with some thin mocha colored foam.

S: The smell is full of bourbon, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, and a slight bit of alcohol.

T: This is one smooth beverage. Great bourbon, chocolate, oak, and molasses flavors. There are still some alcohol presence, but it's nowhere near as hot as when fresh.

M: The carbonation is very light, but it works well with a 13% Impy Stout. The body is full, smooth, and creamy.

D: Even though the alcohol has died down quite a bit in a year+, it's still a big, big beer. I need to go out and buy more of this, because I see this only getting better.

womencantsail, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of kylehay2004
4.73/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Single finger tan head with excellent lacing on a jet black motor oil like body.

S: if I have one knock on this to keep it from a near perfect beer its the aroma. The aroma is excellent with coffee, dark chocolate, brown sugar and vanilla but is a bit more mild than I want to make it a top rated stout in this category.

T: perfect amount of sweetness from the milk and dark chocolate are the highlights of this beer. Notes of coffee, bourbon, vanilla on a roasted malt base which is all very well balanced and very complex. I really liked trying this one really cold then also warm. Interesting differences.

M: first drank this one fairly cold so it would be more the thickness of egg nog then let it warm up until it was still a thick and full body with light to moderate carbonation.

Overall: really happy we finally get this beer down in here in Jacksonville FL. I have missed its release the many times I have been up north this time of year. It is exactly what you expect and lives up to the expectations. Its scary how well the ABV is hidden and how drinkable this beer is.

kylehay2004, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a deep looking black color with a thin tan head on top that quickly disappears. There is no lacing on this brew either. The smell of the beer has a really nice roasted malt profile with an intense about of barrel aged bourbon-like aromas. The taste is sweet upfront that then switches over to a slightly smoked flavor with a chocolatey bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel of the beer is really smooth, lightly carbonated and goes down really easy. There is a bit of booze heat in there as well. Overall this beer is really nice, glad I finally got to try it.

Knapp85, Sep 30, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours an opaque black body with a large, lush dark tan head.

Smell: Intense aroma of chocolate-covered coffee beans and bourbon, with all the companion hints of vanilla, wood, and dark brown sugar. Light whiff of smoke.

Taste: Dark maltiness with chocolate, sweetened coffee, and dark caramel. Plenty of complimentary sweetness to go around. A bourbon flavor so exquisite, it's hard not to get excited about it. At this level, you get astoundingly distinct, robust flavors of vanilla beans, brown sugar, and charred oak. Anymore bourbon would turn this beer into an abomination of beerkind. The beer gets very chocolatey near the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium carbonation. Creamy, delectable mouthfeel. Warming alcohol presence.

Drinkability: Very good! The first sip was a joy, as was the last.

ChainGangGuy, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev -2%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 8,329 ratings.