Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

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Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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2,559 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,559
Hads: 10,477
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 5.16%
Wants: 2,452
Gots: 5,589 | FT: 595
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
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Reviews: 2,559 | Hads: 10,477
Photo of drumrboy22
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to EliteDigger for this one. Pours a deep, dark black with a very small, dark brown head. Little to no carbonation and no lacing.

Aroma was alcohol, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and malt.

Taste was bittersweet chocolate, bourbon, molasses and vanilla. Very complex and flavors are more apparent as it warms.

Very thick and syrupy. A really fantastic beer. This would make for a really nice sipper on a cold, winter night. (432 characters)

Photo of DHGranstrand
4.52/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Lightindarkness for the excellent choice of beers from the heartland of the USA!!

Pours thick tar black with minimal head and no lacing at all.

Smells fairly strongly of bourbon, good malt and alcohol (not surprising at 13%).

Tastes of bourbon, lots of rich malt followed by licorice, burnt espresso and finishes with alcohol.

Excellent mouthfeel. Very smooth and thick.

This is definitely a sipper. I might have to drink it slowly but I could enjoy this extreme version of stout deep into an evening.

Extremely good balance between the bourbon, viscosity and alcohol.

This is a great after dinner stout to have with a $20 Havana Cohiba! I loved the way it felt in my mouth. The alcohol is very subdued in the background until it starts to warm you from the inside.

Thanks again to Lightindarkness! Excellent trade, BA Bro! (841 characters)

Photo of bgramer
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the 2007 bottle.

Poured this into a chalice glass and it's a thick black pour with minimal tan head thats gone pretty quickly.

Intense aroma and flavor. I detected the bourbon and dark chocolate right away. Malty and toasty and boozy and bready, i can also taste caramels, creams, nuts but this is a big boozy beer that is strong on the finish, maybe a bit hot - wonder what another 6 months would do to this.

Definitely drink this slowly and enjoy it because as good as it is, it's a sipping beer and not for sessions either. (539 characters)

Photo of surlyseth
4.64/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ok. Bit the bullet price tag. Should be good!

A: Hmm. Looks uncarbonated. black. Flat stouty.

S: Chocolate and vanilla. A little smoke. Couldn't be better.

T: Sweet, syrupy chocolate and vanilla up front. Warming, smooth alcohol taste...Then, some black licorice. Or is it bourbon?

M: Velvety-smooth and then, surprisingly, enough carbonation to carry the sweetness along to the finish.

D: I Practiced delayed gratification and found it to be a necessary virtue with this one. It took two hours and the last sip was the best.

An all-out assault of your senses. An adventure for those with insatiable beer desires. (619 characters)

Photo of PhxHorn
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is a dark dark dark brown, almost black, with a light brown head. Smells of carmel, bourbon, licorice, coffee, and dark chocolate and the flavor is just what the aroma promises. Not a lot of roasted flavor, but that's OK. Similar to Yeti, Bell's, and Abyss, except it has a bit more of a sweeter flavor than any of those, and lacks the roasted flavor of Abyss. Overall, a great blend of flavors. The taste got better as it warmed up, and while I didn't taste a lot of alcohol, I certainly felt it. It's so thick and intense that I don't know that I'd want more than one at a time, but as stouts go, this is a very fine one. (629 characters)

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage

thanks to stopbarking for this brew

A - dark as a moonless, starless night, with at thin mahaogany head that fades quickly, far too dark to notice any other characteristics

S - Holy Bourbon! the bourbon hits you right away, even before the pour; the oakiness is obvious, it lends and accentuates some other notes like vanilla and a dark cherry aroma

T - of course the bourbon rears its potent head first in the flavor as well, the dark cherry and vanilla flavors are extant, a smoky, woody finish and a chocolate hint end the taste

M/D - a syrupy brew, but not to a unsavory point, it warms the gullet all the way down, the ABV hides well, a beer that is worth the hype, take that for what its worth, i'm a little partial to big stouts (753 characters)

Photo of bloberglawp
4.85/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh man... its sex in a glass...

Pours pitch black, brown head, no lacing... its 13% and it needed a good pour.

Aroma is bourbon, oak, roasted malt and vanilla. Delicious and could be sniffed at all night. Flavor is out of this world : Rich dark chocolate, sweet vanilla, wood, alcohol, spice, and coffee. Absolutely one of the most flavorful ales I've ever had.

A good sipper, unfortunately I had only one bottle, I now need more. (433 characters)

Photo of 1fastz28
4.16/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours as black as wesley snipes, its just pure black, harldy any head, while pouring it looked like a thick molasses coming out of the bottle. smell is surpringly bland, it smells chocolately and malty, as to be expected. taste gives me goosebumps. no pun intended, its a strong concoction has a winey sweetness to it at first with a more pungent bitterness aftertaste. has a very thick mouthfeel to it, it taste like a DARK chocolate, the bitterness is very similar. i'm afriad this beer isn't for me, its too much for me. i've had some extreme beers, but this one takes the cake, i just dont care for the taste, its like an explosion of flavor, but doesn't have one that should be there, atleast for my taste buds, just an over abundance of flavor. dont take my opinion for too much, but this beer is very extreme.


as this beer got warmer and warmer, it got much much much better, the chocolate flavor really started to come out, as did its sweet malty character, i must of originally drank it too cold (1,013 characters)

Photo of Risser09
4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottled poured into a snifter - 2007 bottling - Cellar temp

Appearance: Pours a very pitch black color with a brown head that is only a quarter inch high. It shows no sign of head retention. In fact, the head quickly disappears and doesn't leave anything on the glass or on the miniscus.

Smell: Intense. Dark chocolate, graham cracker, biscotti, creme brulee, caramel, vanilla, bourbon and booze. Deep malt overtones. Toasted oak and heavy alcohol.

Taste: Another intense experience. Mostly the same as the aroma. Dark chocolate, heavy vanilla, bourbon liquor. Caramelized sugars, licorice and a lot of boozy alcohol. My favorite part of this beer is the strong graham cracker flavor which makes this beer unique over so many other RIS contenders. It then fades to let the booze take over the finish. Outstanding.

Mouthfeel: Extremely chewy and pretty thick. Enough sugar to be palatable and enough booze to knock your socks off. Definitely a warming beer from the mouth to the belly. Alcohol is certainly pronounced.

Drinkability: This is a great beer, pure and simple. I cannot think of a better beer to enjoy in the depths of winter than this one. The complexity would be hard to rival. The bourbon flavors are strong and compliment the beer nicely and aren't annoyingly cloying. If the appearance (head,retention,lace) were better this would be near perfection. One would assume that this is hard to accompish with a beer soaked with bourbon. An awesome treat to be savored and cellared, good thing I have 3 more. (1,528 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.82/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this beer as my 300th review.

Poured from a bottle a "none more black" black with a quickly fading mocha head.

Aroma of sweet roasted malts, espresso, chocolate, oak, and of course, bourbon.

The taste is sweet and creamy with chocolate, espresso, creamy vanilla, and warm alcohol all shining through.Finish is surprisingly clean.

Rich, full mouthfeel, chewy, and lightly carbonated.

Wow! This is quite the stout. Drink it slow and enjoy this one. (459 characters)

Photo of jackhig
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from 12 oz. bottle into a cognac glass.

A- Pitch black even when held directly against the light. Beautiful. Caramel head but it is lost almost immediately.

S- Bourbon is the main smell that comes through here. I can already tell this will be a big beer.

T- Awesome. Chocolate upfront. Bourbon and roasted coffee come through on the aftertaste. Lasts forever in the mouth. Really complex.

M- Little carbonation. extremely viscous.

D- Even though it is delicious, the abv and the gravity will catch up to you. One is about all I can have. (550 characters)

Photo of pheggeseth
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to PHawk this one. 2006 vintage poured into my Darkness goblet.

A: pours THICK with virtually no head, no lacing, absolutely opaque. Kind of intimidating.

S: strong red wine, bittersweet chocolate, kind of a smokey vanilla in the back, alcohol is very present

T: charred malt with the warming alcohol immediately flowing over it, ends with a roasted vanilla flavor, kind of a caramel aftertaste that takes the bite out of the bitterness, very strong

M: thick and viscous, heavy, very little carbonation

D: wow, this one is serious, the bourbon aging is obvious, tasty and complex, but strong, would definitely only be having one of these (649 characters)

Photo of oakbluff
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours ebony black with some ruby coloured clarity. No head whatsoever. Little bit of lacing around edge of glass. Nose- powerful stuff- dark chocolate, espresso roast and bourbon heat rises up. Taste- thick oily monster. Beautiful roasted malts with big bourbon flavour. All nicely rounded though. Oak and hops show up in full force on the finish along with a wave of boozy heat. The vanilla also helps smooth out this powerhouse. The scary part is that drinkability is through the roof with this beer. I wish I had more... (523 characters)

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to RustyDiamond for the chance to knock this want off my list.

Bottled on 7/3/2006 and is listed at 11%, not the 13% here.

Pours jet black, no light being able to penetrate, decent tan head from an aggressive pour, little noticeable lacing.

Smells is quite powerful, strong malt backbone with subtle caramel tones, the real aroma is the smokiness and woodiness of this beer.

Taste is a real kick in the mouth, very creamy from the beginning, starts out chocolaty and malty then has an aftertaste of coffee and heavy smokiness, makes me feel like I've been smoking, strong warming sensation from the alcohol which off puts me a bit. (642 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: This beer pours a viscous and opaque black. No light gets through. A tiny tan head forms, but recedes fast and leaves no lace.
S: The nose is huge. The first thing I pick up on is vanilla and chocolate. Big bourbon and woody/oaky notes come through next. Sweet malt with dark fruits come in towards the end. A very complex and wonderful smelling beer.
T: Follows the nose. All the complexities work together to make one hell of a tastey beer. The bourbon comes through stong, but it does not overpower. A wonderful smokey oak flavor with vanilla, chocolate and dark fruits again. Plenty of warming alcohol as well.
M/D: Extremley rich and creamy. This just feels great in the mouth. There is lots of alcohol and bourbon flavor, so that might detract from the drinkability for some. Though, I love it. A sipping beer through and through.

I shared a bottle with a friend one night. We both loved it. I shared some with other friends, and they hated it. This is very complex that might not be for everyone, but I think it is a great beer. In my opinion, this is superlitive. (1,075 characters)

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TheBlackMallard for a great trade!

This black bitch pours super super viscous. Looks like used motor oil glug gluging and forming an eddy in the glass. Sickly putrid black. impenetrable when held up to blistering sun. I love it! The nose reeks of bourbon and wood with some alcohol in it as well. Taste is balls out malty with strong bourbon and oak. Roasted toasted oak and vanilla. Some blackness that is unexplainable rises out of this muk. Some sort of caramello or Rolo type of aftertaste while the alcoholic heat travels down the esophagus. Hop bitterness takes a back seat here, this one is all about the black sick disturbed malts. Mouthfeel is super thick and chewy which I love in an impy stout. Drinkability is good, but lacking a bit at the moment as this 2007 vintage is still a bit hot. I think these marks will go up in a year or so. Overall this is a very impressive brew. This is not your neo-hippie's wimpy oatmeal shit, this brew is fierce! An excellent concoction from Goose Island Beer Co. And an excellent trade with TheBlackMallard, thanks again Craig! (1,086 characters)

Photo of JToad
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow.. split a bottle with Fuzzy65 tonight...

Pours a dark pitch black, no light coming through here. Virtually no head, very heavy lacing on the side of the glass.

Smells of Dark Chocolate, bourbon smacks you right away, def. makes you take a step back!!

Very Chocolatey flavor, alchohol, while present, is very unassuming. No burn at all, given the alchohol content and strong bourbon smell it surprised me.

Very viscous, reminds me of a latte, thick milkshake.

All in all, an extreme stout. This is how I like my stouts, thick and heavy. Could not imagine drinking more than one of these. I shared a 12oz bottle, and that was more than enough for one sitting. The alchohol hits you about a half hour later, whew I was feeling it a little bit later!!

I loved it. Very well done GI. (788 characters)

Photo of dnichols
4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured the 12 ounce capped bottle into a chalice. It was date stamped October 12, 2007.

A: It poured a thick dark molasseses color with no appreciable head and no lacking.

S: There was a monster chocolate aroma that nearly masked all other odors. there were hints of the dark roasted malts and the sweet smell of bourbon.

T: It was like having a huge slice of German Chocolate cake. Sweet mike and bitter baker's chocolate were dominate flavors. However, hints of bourbon and dark ripe prunes were present. The alcohol was well hidden.

M: It was medium to full-bodied, creamy and smooth, nice clean and warm finish. No lingering aftertaste. Light to no carbonation.

D: I wish I had serval of these to celler. The bottle sampled was young and would improve with aging. However, this brew was ready to drink. It was balanced but lacked the strong coffee presence I expected. The bourbon nicely complemented the chocolate. (930 characters)

Photo of esch
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Perfectly black. Held a flashlight up to the glass and no light came through. I'd give it a five, but I was unable to coax a head out of it. There's a thin line of tan bubbles around the edge of the glass. Swirl the beer around the glass a bit and it leaves a yellow residue, like looking through a smoke stained window.

S: Oak and Bourbon, what else do you expect? Alcohol snaps through, finishes with a malty sweetness. At 60IBUs, I expected some hop aroma, but there's little to be found.

T: There is so much going on here. How amazing. Starts with plenty of sweetness...then an explosion of flavors. Roasted malt, milk chocolate, coffee, vanilla, smoke. Yum! Yum! Yum! Grainy/malty flavors are met in the finish with medium hop bitterness. Noticeable but balanaced alcohol underscores this all.

M: Viscous. Heavy on the palate. Low carbonation.

D: Bourbon County Stout might be the best beer I've had so far. I keep telling myself to sit back and savor this but the massive flavors make me keep sipping. (1,014 characters)

Photo of theformula
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer #44 in my 366 Days of Beer Quest, tasted on 2/13. HUGE thanks to ScoobyDank for the extra. That's right, extra!

A: Pours a body that's pitch black into a tulip glass. w/ a 2 finger espresso crema colored head. Opaque body; head lacks retention as expected, not much lacing.

S: Outstanding. This oak-aged RIS has the most pronounced bourbon character of any I've had by FAR. Awesome vanilla & charred oak along w/ the toffee-bourbon note. Alcohol is present but well integrated into the bourbon laced body. Dark chocolate & molasses malts give it a solid background. Great balance but the bourbon really stand out in this one.

M: Med. -full body, low carbonation. Extremely silky smooth, a bit oily. Nice.

T: The malts are very rich w/ an ample sweetness of molasses & toffee w/ dark chocolate becoming stronger as it warms. Vague fruits as well (plum, prune?) & black licorice. Then comes the charred oak & bourbon w/ vanilla, and the boozy bourbon hits the back of the throat w/ a nice, sharp punch. Warming. Finishes a bit smokey w/ wood.

D: An incredibly tasty barrel-aged RIS, this really is world class. It makes a great nightcap & the 13% ABV sneaks up on you but it's well hidden. Big, sweet & full of awesome oak & bourbon. I'd take this over a single malt scotch any day. Be careful though, and if you don't like smoke & bourbon, don't drink this one. Leave it for me. (1,388 characters)

Photo of Avryle
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. A fascinatingly unique brew. Intense in flavor and appearance. Worth the $9-12/bottle that I've paid to have the pleasure of experiencing a masterpiece of brewing genius.

A- Pours a viscous black with a thick mocha head. Head retention impressive despite its airy appearance.

S- Bourbon is prevalent with undertones of The ubiquitous "dark fruit", molasses, chocolate and vanilla. High boozy aroma, but in this case is it desirable and is to be expected of a brew that's A. 13% and B. Has the word, "Bourbon" in its name.

T- Again, bourbon is prevalent with all the favors recognized in the aroma coming forth- chocolate, molasses, vanilla, dates. Its complex, yet well balanced.

M- Viscous. This is one heavy brew. It has a syrupy quality that coats the mouth and throat going down.

D- Haha! Even splitting a 12oz bottle, this one took a while. Both the body and the intensity of flavor don't allow for easy drinking. This one's a sipper that's intended to be savored. (980 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.37/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle
Vintage 2006
Bottled on July 3, 2006
Acquired in a trade with nathan15

Poured a viscous, near pitch black with a barely there, flimsy film of coffee colored lace.

The aroma was exceptionally potent. Boozy, bourbon-like and oaky with ridiculous amounts of malts, brown sugar and vanilla notes. The bourbon was really over the top in this brew (in a good way). Dark chocolate was noticeable as well.

The taste was deep and dark and far more roasty than the nose. Rich, smooth, oaky and somewhat smoky. Charred oak, dark roasted coffee and bakers chocolate came through strong. Raisins and stone fruiits were also apparent. Slightly acrid with mild oxidative notes. Subtle minty hops appeared mid-palate and carried into the somewhat dry and woody finish. The aftertaste was moderately roasty and slightly sweet. As the beer warmed, the boozy alcohol really made its presence known, turning hot on the swallow.

Mouthfeel was extremely heavy and viscous. Slick, chewy and thick to the extreme.

As for drinkability, this beer was surprisingly quaffable for such an extreme, high alcohol brew.

Truly an experience in a bottle. (1,157 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.64/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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. (719 characters)

Photo of Gehrig
4.94/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Having seen this lingering around the excellent local Piccadilly for some time, I finally caved and picked up one of these in a mixed sixer. Foolish me, since I'll have to head back and grab some more of this positively incredible, unique, sturdy imperial stout.

A smattering of dark mocha-cherry head tops this blacker than black body. I had thought that Gonzo Imperial Porter and Yeti may be the blackest beers I'd had in some time. Bourbon County might top those, which is really saying something. The smell is so amazing it's difficult to describe the depth and complexity. There's no mistaking the bourbon, and the idea to soak this gem of a stout in bourbon barrels was nothing short of genius. Bourbon permeates this beauty from start to finish, yet there so much more--chocolate, vanilla bean, toffee--it's truly amazing.

Same goes with the flavor. Clearly, bourbon is preeminent, which might weigh too heavily for people sheepish about bourbon, and thankfully I am not one of those people. However, the deep complexity of this presents enough for any beer lover to ponder. Chocolate, butterscotch, vanilla, caramel all noticeable and extremely delicious. The malts in this are phenomenal.

Equally so, the texture is ridiculously rich. Though not heavily carbonated, the flavors interact ingeniously with each other in a beer that doesn't flatten. Though the ABV is very high (11%), this is an easy sipper and one you'd like to follow with another. Every delectable sip is a dip into one of the best beers around, bar none.

A masterpiece. (1,550 characters)

Photo of goschool
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage

Appearance: The pour is black as crude. One of the darkest colored heads I've ever seen pops up for a brief instance, before rescinding to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: The nose is loaded with roasted barley, dark chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, and bourbon.

Taste: The flavor profile is explosive. Dark chocolate, bourbon, toffee, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, and molasses leads into a burst of coconut, blackberry, anise, and semi-sweet chocolate, with espresso and another shot of bourbon at the finish.

Mouthfeel: It's super thick and oily with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a lovely huge, complex stout and it's best suited for sipping over a long period of time. (727 characters)

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,559 ratings.