1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

8,136 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,136
Reviews: 2,352
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 1,846
Gots: 3,464 | FT: 382
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
Ratings: 8,136 | Reviews: 2,352 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gueuzedreg
4.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2008 12oz into a pint (thanks Oliver!)

Jet black, thick syrup, aged perfectly. This beer aged for five years is so far in advance of any bourbon forward brew that I have had ever. This is my first Goose Island, and I am impressed. I don't get much of the midwest incredible BA stouts in CO, I figured we would, but no. Incredible, perfect smell and mouthfeel. Taste is not far behind. One of my favorite beers. I will be looking for this one soon. And this is not even the RARE, but I can imagine back in 2008 things were a little more refined.

gueuzedreg, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of pat_usher
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

pat_usher, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of mrchrisray
5/5  rDev +9.2%

mrchrisray, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of jwhancher
5/5  rDev +9.2%

jwhancher, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of bmmortale
5/5  rDev +9.2%

bmmortale, Jul 13, 2013
Photo of timmy2b
2.41/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

On draft at the bar, very fresh keg.

Ill be that guy and say that I am not a fan. The bourbon was overpowering in both the smell and the taste. The vanilla that was supposed to be in the smell was not present due to the overpowering scent of bourbon.

This left a huge bourbon taste on my tongue and did not allow me to taste any other flavors.

Color was perfect for a heavy stout, dark but not cloudy. Head remained for a little while, but ended as a small amount around the edges of the goblet the beer was served in.

I can see how this would be a good beer to barrel aged beer fans, but it is not for me.

timmy2b, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of treyrab
3.9/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First off, this one needs to be buried in a cave for 50 years and given to my grandchildren. I found this to be pretty hot with bourbon. This is not a stout with some bourbon, its a bourbon with some stout.

A: Pours a sludgy black oil that yields a minute dark brown head that does not last at all. Five minutes in and there is no head at all on this one now.

S: Straight Kentucky mash up front. Not much else. If I use my imagination I may be able to note some chocolate, roast and caramel in there, but the bourbon masks everything.

T: If I were a whiskey fan I would be in heaven. But I'm not. I found the whiskey notes to be overpowering and take away from the other flavors in there. Once you swallow you can get a glimpse of chocolate and caramel but those get ass-whooped by the bourbon.

Overall, this is candy for a whiskey lover, but I found the bourbon to be a little distracting.

treyrab, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of Lukafer
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black, very little tan head.

S - Bourbon, alcohol and sweet chocolate.

T - Very good! Bourbon, oak, chocolate and alcohol. This is a really good beer now, cellared for a while I think it would be a great beer.

M - -Thick and syrupy, very nice.

D - Well, normally I would say I could only drink one, or split it with someone, but I had the opportunity to go to a party that had a pony keg of this. 1/2 glass pours and still had a hell of a hangover, so watch it with this one.

Lukafer, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of C2H5
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

C2H5, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of lilsmizzul1225
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

lilsmizzul1225, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of GDBEERMAN
4.35/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At 12oz bottle into snifter. Bottled on 09.24.10 – 2010 Vintage – lot number 2056

A: As I have seen with the Bourbon county family, they do not have good head formation or retention, so with a vertical pour, I was able o get about a one finger radiant khaki head that dissipated within 30 seconds. The body is jet black and creates a lunar eclipse when held to the light. The lacing is non-existent.

S: The aroma of the bourbon barreled beast is a dominance of.. well bourbon, but a deep waft shows a a bitter hop complexity and a solid malt background as a base. This is a medium to high intensity aroma, while bourbon is in the forefront, it is in the name sake and as the vintages age, this becomes less evident, but this is a fairly fresh batch.

T/M: When the brew hits your lips, it creates a smooth, but thick sludge, that finishes well and leaves a warming and powerful mouthfeel. The bourbon is a very nice addition to a stout of this caliber. The notes of hop bitterness found in the nose are at the depths of this beer and hard to find among the overwhelming bourbon character. As for the mouthfeel, there is a creamy aspect that is Bourbon Brand County Stout that cannot be matched. One of the best high end stouts that has a high ABV and is still drinkable, (yes BCBS and the word drinkable, haha, where did the beer in my glass go?) The lingering sensation holds the key, which is the hop bitterness that makes this brew complete.

O: Overall, this is a beer for a cold night, break on a cross-country ski tour, hot tub, cigar, or a mid-morning watching one of my dogs with two torn ACL's, which I have enjoyed all of the above, unfortunately I am watching one of my six dogs now with a busted leg and this brew makes the warm, sunny day spent inside a bit better. But the beer has a very good way of hiding the ABV and the flavor characteristics give it a reason to go back. Looking forward to seeing how these hold up in the cellar and how they taste passed the four year mark.) Cheers!

GDBEERMAN, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of HopsMatt
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%

HopsMatt, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of hopswap1
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

hopswap1, Nov 10, 2012
Photo of Jonada
4.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 bottle. 2012 vintage. Bottled on 9/20/2012. Served in a snifter

Appearance: Pours pitch black with less than a finger of a tan head that dissipates quickly to a thin collar. Body is completely opaque. Lots of alcohol legs sticking to the glass.

Smell: Bourbon, caramel, vanilla, chocolate, coconut, wood, and some dark fruit. Smells amazing.

Taste: Chocolate, roasted malt, bourbon, butterscotch, caramel, toffee, vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, viscous mouthfeel. Carbonation on the lower end of medium. Noticeable alcohol warmth after the finish, but goes down stupidly smooth for 15%.

Overall: World class stuff. I love this beer

Jonada, Apr 26, 2013
Photo of bradfordjohnson
5/5  rDev +9.2%

bradfordjohnson, Sep 05, 2012
Photo of Evarigan
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Evarigan, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of GaryMarkle84
5/5  rDev +9.2%

GaryMarkle84, Oct 24, 2012
Photo of carmike813
4.91/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- dark thick black reminiscent of motor oil ... What I would expect from a stout beer of this category

S- bourbon whisky boom.... Really boozy aroma which is perfect if
That is your sort of thing (it is for me)

T- really boozy up front that settles nicely into deep dark chocolate

M- Really chewy and thick, this is a big beer that is very full

I have had the 2012 vintage on tap and in th bottle. The alcohol is ramped up in the 2012 vintage that changed the beer slightly that earlier (15% vs 13% ABV) editions. I prefer the slightly less ABV edition but still absolutely
Love this version as
Well

carmike813, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.55/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle, the appearance was jet black and produced a mocha head. It had the thickness of motor oil with the lacing to follow. The nose of this stout might be the best scent I have experienced on a beer. The maltiness and the bourbon somehow morphed into a coconut aroma. I wanted to take a bite out of the glass. The initial taste was a very smooth and sweet chocolate with tart coffee in the background. Also making noise was the vanilla notes produced by the bourbon. The bourbon notes were not as active as I aniticipated. The stout finished with a warming almost sticky aftertaste. This stout was some serious lingering powers.

JohnnyHopps, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of maxcoinage
5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 Vintage 12oz Bottled dated 8/23/12 (exactly 1 year ago), poured into a snifter with a very small thin mocha head that settled quickly. Color is jet black.

Aroma - bourbon, vanilla, figs, roasted malt

The taste is very complex--bourbon, dates, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel - nice hot finish

Mouthfeel - carb has fallen off a bit , doesn't seem as thick as when fresh, but it's definitely quite viscous

Overall this is no doubt my favorite beer. Being a huge fan of stouts and whiskey, this is the top for me! I have 4 more in the cellar will have to space them out over 6-12 mos a piece to see how it holds up.

maxcoinage, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of OUJayhawk1799
4/5  rDev -12.7%

OUJayhawk1799, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of lic217
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

lic217, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of pschul4
4.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

By far my favorite beer. Not the best beer I've ever had, but when you take homerism/availability into account this is my favorite.

A- Pours black as night with no head, who wants head on their 14.5% bourbon stout? Not me!

S- BOOM! Bourbon in your face! Sweet chocolatey, coffee-y scents with the faintest hint of vanilla to balance everything stunningly. I don't even wanna drink it (I'm lying) I'd rather just smell it.

T- Oh yes... Yes! YESSS!!!! If you're reading this and have never had bcbs let me know if you're from out of town and in the chicago land area and I'll split a bottle with you (as long as I have a bottle to share, they tend to go quickly in my cellar). It's a mind blowing combination of super strong (but perfect) bourbon and chocolate with, as predicted by the nose, coffee and vanilla perfecting it.

M- Thick, real thick. Only stout I've ever had thicker was Marshal Zhukov and that was too thick for me. This is perfect coating thickness that leaves you tasting the beer long after it leaves your palate.

O- Basically perfect. It's #3 (behind CBS and King Henry) on my list of "best beers" and #1 on my list of "favorite beers" get this at all costs and I'll do what I can to help people who haven't had a taste get some.

pschul4, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of Yabev15
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Yabev15, Sep 28, 2012
Photo of -NESTO-
5/5  rDev +9.2%

-NESTO-, Sep 01, 2013
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 8,136 ratings.