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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.

2,628 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,628
Hads: 10,785
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 19.82%
Wants: 2,588
Gots: 5,954 | FT: 618
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bourbon County Brand Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,628 | Hads: 10,785
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a snifter. 2007 release.

Pours black as an oil slick with a 1/2 finger of burnt mocha colored head. This eventually fizzles out into a still, dead looking black surface that reminds of the lifeless eyes of a Great White shark. Lacing is relegated to a spotty smattering at first and then eventually a fantastic looking oily brown residue that coats the side of the glass. The aroma is OMG! huge bourbon notes straight up my nose and other places.. Aaaaargh! I've never had a beer burn my eyeballs before! In all seriousness, the bourbon notes do absolutely dominate the nose but somehow I can still pick up some of the Stout notes, including chocolate, smoke, roast, and char.

The taste is just as boozy with bourbon notes as the aroma and it's no wonder that I put it in a snifter. Overpowering notes of oak and vanilla mingle with the molassass, roasted malts, chocolate, espresso, smoke, and soy sauce character of the Stout. There's a ton in there but it's all just a bit unbalanced towards the bourbon side right now. The mouthfeel is right up there with the deepest for me (Dark Lord & Expedition)and is just absolutely thick and chewy as can be. That 13% is present but gives off more warmth than it does heat and combines with the bourbon notes to finish things with a bit of a hot punch.

Wow! This is just a beast of a beer in every capacity. Huge bourbon? Huge Stout flavors? Huge alcohol? Check! Check! and Check! My only gripe with this beer is that right now, the bourbon overrides some of those wonderful Stout characteristics a little too much. I'm most definitley looking forward to aging a bottle of this for a year and revistiing it again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.92/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at ChurchKey.

Whoa, now, this is on tap here? Right on, CK, right on. Greg, you sure know how to make us DC-area BAs happy. This bad boy pours a dead black topped by a short-lived finger of foam that straddles the delicate line between dark tan and straight brown. The nose comprises some strong bourbon, oak, vanilla, coffee, anise, rich chocolate, and roasted malts. The taste is dominated by the bourbon and oak, not unlike the totalitarian government in "We" (look it up, Philistines!). The rest of the tongue finds itself inundated with chocolate syrup, molasses, maple syrup, and roasted malts. If it weren't for the o'erwhelming bourbon nonsense, this would be fantastic; instead, it's merely better than many. The body is rather hefty, with a light carbonation and a chewy feel. Overall, a nice offering, but way too heavy on the bourbon. Without this lack of balance, it would be great. Almost...

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.61/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

There's no doubt that Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout was aged in bourbon barrels. It's intense! The nose reeks of bourbon, wood, sweetened coconut, vanilla, chocolate, and caramel. WOW!

The appearance is beautiful as well, although the head retention could be better, But alcohol (11%!) will do that, and it does leave a very nice, initial ring of lace!

In the mouth it's full and creamy, particularly once it's initially bristling carbonation warms to become airy... and the burn of alcohol at the swallow is nice as well.

The flavor is too full to absorb in one or two sips, and only reveals itself fully about 1/4 way into the glass. There's almost too much to mention, and its flavors don't seem to appear in any order. So here's the list: whiskey (not necessarily bourbon, but there's definitely some! And I think also notes of something more salty, like an Islay Scotch), delicate fruit (apple, light red berries), coconut, hot alcohol, chocolate (as in German chocolate cake or raw, melted milk chocolate), molasses, coffee, spice (from the alcohol), dark fruit/the skins of dark fruit, dark red wine, pineapple/mango, dark caramel, smoke, wood, char. Stunning! But it is a sipper... there's way too much alcohol to take this in, apart from savoring it very slowly. It's so good, in fact, that the smell alone sholud keep you busy for quite some time. Overall, this is one full-throttle beer that's exceptionally satisfying, rich and drenched in alcohol! And although you CAN'T really drink more than one, it scores big because you will want to go and grab another bottle for another night!

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Photo of kojevergas
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 fl oz 2012 vintage brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Expectations are through the roof.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a tan floater of nice cream and thickness. Retention is bad, but hey, it's 15%. Body colour is a solid jet black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Roast, bourbon, oak, dark malts, caramel, and cream. An above average strength aroma.

T: Heavy bourbon and oak, caramel, vanilla, dark malts, coffee/java, and hints of vanilla. Impeccably balanced. Really well executed. Subtle and very complex. The alcohol doesn't come through at all. Really an incredible brew. Built near perfectly. Rich and delightful.

Mf: Perfect thickness and coarseness. Smooth and wet, aiding the flavours. Great palate presence.

Dr: Obscenely drinkable for the ABV. I'd definitely have this again. Would be good with some age on it. I'd buy this by the case. Lives up to the hype.


2013 vintage on 03.14.14:

The coffee notes I remember are absent, and this vintage comes across much less complex than I remember. I love the bourbon.



2013 vintage on 04.18.14:

A: Pours a predictable head of average retention. Body colour is a perfect opaque jet black.

Sm: Lovely bourbon notes with just enough char. Burnt dark malts. Chocolate. Sweetness. Nice oak and vanilla presence. A pleasant aroma of mild to moderate strength. Quite appealing.

T/Mf: The barrel is very well integrated into the base beer. The bourbon notes are powerful and evocative, and it has just enough of a faint fusel burn. Dark malts and chocolate malts lend it a dark sticky sweet base. Molasses.

Complex and intricate. Very well balanced. An incredibly deep and tasty beer. High flavour duration and intensity.

Perfect carbonation. Smooth, silky, creamy, and wet. Unrefreshing.

Dr: She's a sipper, alright. Definitely worth buying. A treat of a bourbon barrel aged beer. This one has earned its reputation. I'll continue to revisit this beer in future years; it's worth it.

High B+


2013 vintage.

HEAD: Gorgeous rich tan colour with a shiny complexion. Half a finger in width initially, but it recedes completely within 30 seconds. I’ve seen better retention.

BODY: Opaque solid dark black in colour.

Appears aptly carbonated. Overall, it isn’t unique or special by today's standards.

AROMA: Bourbon through and through. Subtle hints of vanilla and oak abound. Not the toasty oak I love. Not very wood-y, which I personally like.

The bourbon notes are definitely dominant, but they don’t overwhelm the base beer. There’s ample malty sweetness – probably from dark malts and chocolate malts – but what I’m really missing is a roasted barley presence, which would really bring this together nicely. Don’t look for hops or yeast here – it’s all about the malts. As it warms, it comes into focus more: molasses, caramel, and kisses of faint burnt sugars and barrel char. Additionally, I’m finding coconut – which is a difficult note to pull off (even Avery Brewing can’t seem to manage it).

This aroma suggests a sticky sweet brew with a definitive bourbon barrel presence. The highlight for me is definitely the coconut presence, which is what I think sets this beer apart.

It’s a pleasant, inviting, rich aroma of moderate strength, and never seems boozy or overbearing. If I had it blind I’d probably guess it was 11% ABV.

Mf: Sticky and slightly syrupy. Full-bodied. Thick. Not too filling. Smooth. Wet. Even with the subtle char and burnt notes, the texture never feels harsh. Near perfect carbonation. Plenty of heft and weight on the palate. Soft. Palate presence is good.


More of a roasted barley presence would lend it needed dryness/coarseness.

T: Simpler and more shallow than the 2009 and 2012 vintages

Roasted barley is sorely absent.

The coconut is a highlight, blending well with the dark/chocolate malt core. Molasses and faint char set off the barrel.

Not a very wood-y brew, which I like. It does have a bourbon-soaked oak presence, but I prefer a more toasted oak character. The bourbon is lovely, evoking genuine vanilla but no whisky spice. ABV isn't noticeable.

It’s a well-balanced beer but isn’t as masterfully and carefully constructed as I remember. Build is cohesive, but not gestalt; I could change/add individual notes and it wouldn’t disrupt the flavour profile. Not as deep as it could be.

Remarkable subtlety and complexity. Coconut lends it nuance. I’ve had far more intricate imperial stouts, but this is hard not to like.

O: The best Goose Island beer I’ve had. This is the definitive bourbon barrel aged stout, but I can’t help but think that other breweries have taken what Goose Island pioneered and used it in more effective ways.


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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.9/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Was surprised to see this on tap at a local dive-bar in downtown Baltimore... only $6 and they gave you at least a 12 oz. pour at least (this is compared to a pint of Yuengling going for $5)... quite a steal. Maybe not the best beer to start the night... this one is a doozy and one of the stronger beers I've tried. Yes I know it's 14.5% ABV, but DFH's offerings of this alcohol seem to go down a lot smoother. Anyways... a thick beer reeking of bourbon taste, with a strong alcohol bite. Packs a punch and had some good taste, but just too boozy for my own opinion.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 release poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and a touch of alcohol.

T: The taste starts out with a very thick roasted malt character and a strong flavor of chocolate. Then the taste of bourbon barrel aging asserts itself along with a mild alcohol sting. There are background flavors of coffee and dark fruit. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Very smooth and a little crisp but extremely viscous, as heavy body as I've ever experienced in a beer, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, slightly filling, very strong kick, excellent representation of style, this is a very good big stout worth drinking for as long as you can handle it.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was an '07 acquired in a trade w/ bgramer -thanks man! -shared at the stout tasting '10. poured chilled into a 1/2 pint.

The stout looks like black coffee with translucent clarity and has a mild brown ring of beads after the pour. The lace is spotty. The smell of this aged stout is a thing of beauty with the wood and malt producing some beautiful blended aroma of coffee and slight sherry/custard notes with a mild element of alcohol and subtle oak w/ mild bourbon. the feel is strong, lots of wood and alcohol with a subtle sweet element and strong wood presence, mild resinous texture with semi-dry finish.

The flavor has lively blend of vanilla, bourbon from the barrel aging and it pops! The taste lives up to the name as the cocoa and bourbon taste is sweet woody and gently toasted with vanilla from the oak playing off the intense dark malt flavors with a slight coffee in a mild degree, but the bourbon is pretty high in the flavor as expected even after three years in the cellar. I consider this a world class beer, wonderful use of barrels and still with all the alcohol in the flavor it has a high drinkability quotient for me - a crazy good bourbon barrel stout -I would love to have it in one of its other incarnations.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle from John's Marketplace, Portland, OR
'08 vintage, consumed at Beermongers in Dec. '11

Strolling into John's with my wife on our Portland beercation, I gravitated in an almost zen-like fashion directly to a shelf that had 4 bottles of this beer front and center for all the world to see, and I quickly snatched up two of them...then promptly returned to get the other two.

Being sure to share a bit with our bartender at Beermongers, we poured this one into a snifter. Color looked black, but was in fact the darkest of browns, with ruby tints, and a bubbly ringlet for a head. Big time bourbon in the aroma, along with scents of roasted malts and semi-sweet chocolate. Huge complexity in the taste, with obvious notes of bourbon-drenched oak up front, accompanied by some alcohol warmth. Mid-palate brought in notes of chocolate-covered cherries, dark malts, vegetal vanilla bean. A huge coffee profile in the finish. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel, full-bodied and robustly chewy. Highly drinkable, and highly recommended...if you can find it.

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Photo of russpowell
4.91/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This 2006 bottle is courtesy of BARLEYWINEO

Pours (into a snifter) pitch black with one finger of mocha colored head that rapidly drops away. Some lacing & zero head retention

S: Bourbon, raisins vanilla & dark chocolate

T: Rich chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, raisins & a little booze up front. Dryness, molasses & charred oak show themselves as this warms up. Finishes oaky, with loads of chocolate, a whisper of booze, vanilla, raisins & molasses

MF: Rich, sticky, oily, chewy & slick with almost no carbonation

Drinks great for the abv, but more than 2 & I think I'd need a nap. One of the better double stouts out there IMO

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I pop the cap and a whiff of mystery just hits my nose, and the bottle is a foot from my face. Pours pitch black with just a very small amount of tan head on the top. Nose hints of vanilla. A nice little tease for the senses really. Flavor is thick and complex. Vanilla, thick malts, and a load of body just come together. Thick liquid feel and a low carbonation still feel nice. Drinkable? This is more an interesting sipper. Something to ponder, and probably something that could use a few more years to mellow and chill.

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Photo of superspak
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2011 vintage bottled 11/11/2011. Pours viscous pitch black color with a small tan head that fades away to a ring of lace quickly. A fair amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of big bourbon, caramel, dark chocolate, toffee, roasted malt, molasses, vanilla, oak, and a touch of herbal, and booze. Damn nice and complex aromas, and hardly boozy at all. Taste of huge dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, bourbon, vanilla, oak, molasses, roasted malt, butterscotch, and a touch of herbal earthiness. Hardly any bitterness noticed on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, chocolate, bourbon, and molasses on the finish for a bit. Fantastic balance of flavors; with absolutely no cloying sweetness. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a huge creamy and lush mouthfeel as expected. Definitely a sipping beer, but is surprisingly smooth for 14.5%; with only a warming alcohol presence on the finish. Overall this is a phenomenal barrel aged imperial stout. As it warmed up it got much more smooth and complex.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.03/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears opaque black burnt malt color forms an oozing tan chocolate head leaves fine specks of lacing after the oil like pour. Aroma is primarily charred oak vanilla with dark chocolate whiskey barrel aging is here on multiple levels vinous fruit alcohol almost takes out some un needed nose hairs. Flavor is big almost too big half the bottle is an ample serving size for me the vanilla charred oak tone is great in moderation dark chocolate and espresso coffee with leafy tobacco like edge to it all with fusel alcohol finish it doesn't hide the fact that it's 11% alcohol by volume very well. Mouthfeel has a Chewy texture low carbontion as it warms it's a bit cloying on the palate. Drinkabiliy is limited for me, it challenges the senses but sessionability is key sometimes if looking for an extreme barrel aged creation you have found a full flavored one.

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Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm unimpressed with this beer's look: Even with a violent pour, there is nearly no head. And what's there, dies to a single layer of minute bubbles on the edge. Nearly black in color, no light shines through (even on the edges).

Strong alcohol smells of sherry and port. Sweet and rich to the nose, almost as if there's an apertif added to this beer.

It tastes like a port-induced dark beer. It doesn't have the typical stout flavors of coffee and chocolate. Lots of sweet plum (like Japanese plum wine) and no bitterness. The swallow and aftertaste shows off the high alcohol content--very warming to the tongue and stomach. Rich like cream in the body, almost oily. Very low carbonation.

This is an after-dinner sipping beer. I believe it is closer to taste and feel to an overpowered barley wine. It's like no other stout I've ever had. All this said, it's very tasty but not for the faint of heart. Worth seeking out for the unusual flavors present.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Thanks to Lunch for throwing this in as an extra in our trade!

a - Pours a very dark black, not letting in any light. Little carbonation and a little bit of a brown colored head that lasts for about a minute.

s - Wow, smells amazing. Lots of bourbon here, also a wood smell. A hint of chocolate as well.

t - Tastes just like it smells; delicious. A great bourbon taste, with caramel and a little bit of chocolate as well. Also taste the oak a bit.

m - Smooth and creamy, thick body, small amount of carbonation.

d - I really enjoyed this beer. It's one of the better bourbon stouts I've had and if you are a fan of whiskey like me, this is a definite must-try. Because of the 13% ABV I wouldn't drink too many at once but it sure tastes great.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looks: solid black, thick, unyielding, with a solid slab of cocoa-tan foam resting well above.

Smell: whiskey, charcoal, leather and molasses, rich and twisted with further flickers of carob and anise,...heady and delirious. Entices one to taste...

On the tongue: thick and full, all the way, slick, tasty, but...damn, this is a doozy! Wow, one taste, and it sticks and lingers...oooh, la, la, la...and, every taste lasts a long time, it stands so thick on the palate and in the memory, that one needn't return so soon. but, who can resist? I taste again, and it's thicker and richer than before...amazing! A bona-fide runner up to Dark Lord, for thickest and chewiest IS....and so slick with the whiskey effect, which I'm especially susceptible to.

I need a case of this, not one 12 ounce bottle. There's too much flavor here to sit in so small a vessell.

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Photo of orangesol
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just drank a bottle from 2003 - it seems that first batch didn't even have real labels! They instead used a Honker's Ale label put on inside out, and then printed Bourbon County Stout in cash register style font. Drank out of a Goose Island snifter at Sheffield's Pub in Chicago.

A: Pitch black, solid dark brown head with decent retention but little lacing. Swishing the glass results in a molasses-like oozing down the sides of the glass.

S: Bourbon and oakiness were predominant. Some vanilla and caramel hints. Delicious!

T: Was exceptionally smooth while chilled, but the bourbon really came out as the glass warmed up. Sweeter than newly bottled BCS, with more malt presence.

M: Thick, creamy, and a little bit sticky.

D: At 13%+, you can only have maybe two of these in an evening. It looks like the 2008 is only 11% which might make it a little more consumable - but this aged bottle was one and done; although I can't imagine many beers that would be a worthy follow-up.

Bottom line: Grab some bottles, drink a few, cellar the rest!

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Photo of jwc215
4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to PhxHorn for this one!

Pours black with a thin swirl that lasts. Not much "lacing", but "legs" stick.

The smell is of chocolate, some licorice and vanilla/bourbon.

The taste is of chocolate, licorice, with a vanilla sweetness from the bourbon. A pleasant bourbon character is there - strong enough to enjoy while not overpowering the delicious imp. stout character. It finishes with a woody dryness.

The feel is silky smooth. Full-bodied without being thick or too syrupy.

I would love to give "drinkability" a higher score, but the alcohol does show (though reasonably incorporated for the abv) on this potent sipper. This is a 2008 vintage - enjoyed very much. Would love to see how this baby turns out after aging (too bad it's not distributed around here). If you have the good fortune of having this in your area, grab some!

Great imp. stout with a nice bourbon character!

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 Edition - Bottled on 07/03/2006

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color, probably one of the darkest beers I have ever poured. The beer has an extremely thin dark mocha head which quickly reduces to an extremely thin ring at the edges of the glass. Very little lacing is observed.

S: Some dark roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, and just a hint of bourbon. This smells great and has great complexity to the aroma.

T: Surprisingly, it tastes even better than it smells. The flavor starts out a little sweet with some dark fruit (possibly just fig) and some lovely dark roasted malts. Then you get the caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate flavors. After that, you get just a light hint of what seems to be coconut. Finally, the bourbon flavors come out in the finish - lots of vanilla and oak coupled with some bourbon smoothness.

M: Medium to full bodied with very light amounts of carbonation. Extremely smooth, almost velvety.

O: This is a really special beer, one that you want to enjoy but wouldn't want to drink every day - it might just ruin your ability to enjoy lesser beers. It is a great sipping beer and one that I am thoroughly enjoying. Glad that I was able to get an aged version. There is a lot of complexity in the aroma and the taste and it appears that by aging, the harshness of the alcohol has been completely diminished (it is hardly even noticeable).

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Photo of mothman
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Edition

Pours a night sky black, just like the box says: a dark hole. I tried to get some head to come up on this beer, but not a lot. It is extremely thick.

Wow the smell is amazing; it literally made my mouth water. It smells similar to a chocolate covered banana, but packs a big bourbon flavor. Also, a sweet caramel, with a hint of vanilla.

First sip was a big wow. This one is definitely thick. Taste is a deep bourbon with roasted malts. The fruit also comes out and near the end there is a vanilla flavor.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. After it lingers around a while, the 13% comes out and is very overwhelming. Full bodied beer.

Overall, this was a monster. Amazing beer and well worth the $21 for the 4 pk. This beer took a while to finish. I highly recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage poured from a bottle into a tulip. Beer is black and has no head. There are a few tiny brown bubbles that form on the edge of the glass. There is minimal lacing on the glass. Looks like a flat stout. When you swirl the beer you get legs where the alcohol separates from the beer. Wow...

Aroma is like liquor, I suppose. Really strong. There is some sweetness. Can really smell the alcohol.

Beer is thick and has a great strong liquor presence to it. There is a strong roast character that comes up after the initial sweetness and alcohol of the bourbon. There is decent connectivity between the two flavors. The roast is not an aftertaste but a really late back flavor, there is no aftertaste. Second taste, the carbonation plays on the tongue a little, if there were more it may be better. Overall drinkability is good and so is mouthfeel. I want to try the 2009 for comparison.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Review from notes. Review is from 2009 vintage.

A: Pours a deep black color with a very small mocha colored head, little retention and lacing.

S: Lots of bourbon, some vanilla, a little bit chocolate, and a very faint maple aroma actually. The chocolate and vanilla mix slightly to give off a little bit of a mocha aroma.

T: Extremely smooth, again with a good bit of bourbon, vanilla, a little bit of chocolate, and caramel.

M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Nice and thick/chewy. The alcohol is there, but doesn't do anything to make the beer hard to drink. Just warms a little.

O: Fantastic beer, for the abv it is surprisingly easy to drink. Great flavor profile.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.55/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle acquired in the N00B BIF Round #5 from Derek, thanks a ton for sending this one my way to try! 2009 vintage split with my girlfriend and family, poured into multiple tulip glasses.

A: Deep dark brown, okay borderline black, body with a deep crimson ring around the top edge. Virtually no head and only a thin ring around the glass after everything settles out. No lacing is present, either. For being a higher ABV this is somewhat forgivable however I've seen stouts as big as this put on more of a show.

S: Huge, rich and thick bourbon notes make a profound appearance in the aroma, as you'd expect. Saturated liquor wood, super sweet milk chocolate, coffee and runny maple syrup also play a part in the nose. Honestly, this is just way too sweet of a nose, very rich and needs some serious mellowing in my opinion -- even at almost the two year mark.

T: Warming bourbon along with some thick viscous sweet milk chocolate flavors are first on the palate. Midway, is nothing but super sweet and syrupy flavors that seem chaotic and messy. The sweetness intensifies as this beer warms and becomes increasingly unbalanced and constructed. The finish brings a saving grace of a grounded toasted caramel malt backbone but it's simply not enough throughout the beer to compete with the sugars.

M: Low carbonation gives this a thick and chewy mouth feel, really ideal for a stout this big. It's slightly bubbly and tingly on the tongue and leaves you with a bit of a burn in the throat on the way down.

For me, this beer was almost the opposite of what I was expecting. I think before this beer hits the bourbon barrels it needs a bit more of a polished and refined base beer to withstand the test of time. Hopefully these bottles will mellow out their sweetness over time, and luckily I have one left to test this theory. For me as this sits now, it's overly sweet and just a bit messy.

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,628 ratings.