Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.
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Ratings: 7,926 | Reviews: 2,339 | Display Reviews Only:
4.05/5 rDev -11.6%
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.
02-20-2011 06:38:07 | More by GRG1313
4.73/5 rDev +3.3%
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.
12-05-2013 02:40:18 | More by kylehay2004
4.2/5 rDev -8.3%
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.
09-30-2012 14:38:35 | More by Knapp85
4.05/5 rDev -11.6%
Bottled on 11/13/09.Finally a chance to try this,it has escaped my grasp a few times.Poured deep as an oil slick,no light showing through this puppy,a thinner dark mocha colored head atop.Powerful oaky bourbon notes in the nose,notes of vanilla and some alcohol dipped dark fruit became stronger as the beer warmed.Bourbon is the big flavor component on the palate,vanilla tinged and oaky,there is a slight buttery-rum flavor in the fisnish as well.This will warm the insides thats for sure,its a young bottle and its powerful,a great beer to sip on,who its warm in here right now.
04-05-2010 00:34:04 | More by oberon
3.88/5 rDev -15.3%
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...
07-30-2010 06:21:54 | More by TMoney2591
4.63/5 rDev +1.1%
Year old bottle.
Drizzles into a wide chalice, poured very slowly, intentionally trying to create some foam. It works, some irregular bubbles stretch over the surface, that slowly succumb to the strength of the stout. A ring of milk chocolate froth clings to the rim of the glass. Served at a cool cellar temp.
Whiff of mild vanilla, and a hint of bourbon. Mysteriously, the aroma hides the onslaught of flavor that will roll out soon after. First sip is a slow burst of chocolate, vanilla, oak, and of course, bourbon. The barrel aging and cellaring has melded this stout symbiotically with bourbon in an unbelievable way. Alcohol has mellowed with time, which furthers the drinkability aspect. Bittersweet chocolate and coffee hang on the palate in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is silky, infinitely smooth and rich.
This is a rare treat.
11-03-2006 03:01:15 | More by emerge077
4.86/5 rDev +6.1%
A - Poured out a jet black color with a small, creamy brown head. No lace.
S - It smelled of chocolate, caramel and vanilla.
T - It tasted of butter, chocolate and roasted malt. It also had a smoky/alcohol flavor.
M - Mouthfeel was very creamy and soft. Also, quite warm because of the alcohol content.
D - Outstanding beer. The range of flavors was awesome.
03-29-2007 02:28:34 | More by zeff80
4.63/5 rDev +1.1%
Appearance - Pitch black, even when thinned it's still opaque. A quater-inch of head appears for a moment and then disappears.
Smell - Over-the-top bourbon with traces of dark fruit, molasses and chocolate. Alcohol is plainly noticeable but entirely appropriate and even enjoyable.
Taste - Bourbon makes itself known immediately, though it's nicely blended with flavors of vanilla, raisins, dark chocolate and molasses. Intensely rich and flavorful. Bourbon lingers on in the finish, with a hot, warming quality in the swallow.
Mouthfeel - Thick, syrupy and coating. Moderate carbonation; more than I was expecting from a barrel-aged beer.
Notes - Exceptional stuff; one of the better bourbon barrel beers I've had.
02-28-2008 01:09:15 | More by largadeer
4.5/5 rDev -1.7%
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), cocoanut, 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!
05-17-2005 23:29:30 | More by NeroFiddled
4.25/5 rDev -7.2%
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.
01-01-2008 06:56:44 | More by RblWthACoz
4.43/5 rDev -3.3%
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.
01-11-2011 04:07:07 | More by TheManiacalOne
4/5 rDev -12.7%
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.
02-15-2006 22:30:15 | More by WVbeergeek
4.93/5 rDev +7.6%
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
08-09-2007 03:23:43 | More by russpowell
4.72/5 rDev +3.1%
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!
10-17-2008 02:00:00 | More by MasterSki
4.45/5 rDev -2.8%
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.
05-21-2008 16:44:14 | More by Kegatron
4.68/5 rDev +2.2%
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.
04-09-2005 10:05:48 | More by feloniousmonk
4.33/5 rDev -5.5%
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.
12-31-2009 03:43:55 | More by drabmuh
4.6/5 rDev +0.4%
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.
10-26-2010 00:24:17 | More by Slatetank
4.78/5 rDev +4.4%
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.
11-29-2009 01:58:42 | More by jlindros
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 7,926 ratings.