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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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,770 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,770
Hads: 11,355
Avg: 4.5
pDev: 19.78%
Wants: 2,635
Gots: 6,737 | FT: 683
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States | website

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: 2,770 | Hads: 11,355
Photo of Schwarz04
3.53/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Midnight black, impossible to see through even against a light. When poured fast creates a thick light chocolate colored head, however it dissipates quickly... Sparse lacing present.

Smell: at 13%abv quite pronounced presence of bourbon. Also a slight hint of banana is present.

Taste: At 13abv the taste of alcohol is very present bourbon and a slight hint of banana along with bitter chocolate are present.

Mouthfeel: All I get from this is a more pronounced taste of bourbon and bitterness, with a bit of a dry feeling afterward...not too pleasant in my opinion.

Drinkability: Very very low, again at 13%abv I would have alot of trouble drinking more than one of these...

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Photo of schellsbeer
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

There are not words to describe this beer. Exceptional....As close to perfect as a RIS has ever been made. Incredible!!! 2008 bottle and very incredible batch it is.

I love Surly Darkness....and Dark Lord....but please....

This RIS is pure enjoyment in a bottle. Creamy. Vanilla. Malt. Black as sin. Little carbonation. High alcohol content is the only drawback which leads to a 2.5 on drinkability but come on...

I have put 3 away for later....much later. Next year, I will purchase another 4 pack, drink one and put the others away...and on and on the cycle will continue.

This is the art of craft brewing at its best....PERIOD. Take note Macros....After this beer, you have nothing to offer.

There is so much flavor and taste one bottle that it puts a case of the crap beer (or for that matter average craft beer) to shame. Well worth the money for just sitting back and enjoying life.

Enjoy...s..l..o..w..l..y. Life isn't meant to be rushed all the time!

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had out of a 12oz bottle at Beer School at Whole Foods in Lakeview in Chicago, IL on 12/16/08. Had this before but this is when I took notes to review it.

A: Dark black with the only light making it brown coming through on the thin edges of the beer...slight coppery-dark khaki head that reduces down to just a rim, viscous, not much lacing.

S: smells of alcohol and bourbon at first, trying to find more odors i picked up slight coffee, chocolate, roasted malts

T: the alcohol and bourbon are less pronounced in the flavor, which is good...the other odors come through as flavors, which makes it taste like it's got some mocha syrup in there

M: CREAMY and VISCOUS, low carbonation...it's like drinking a bourbon-mocha syrup, which sounds horrible but it's amazing

D: VERY drinkable which comes as a huge surprise, no surprise that i'm feeling drunk after just a few sips though...alcohol is well hidden with just the perfect amount of bourbon bite while drinking, i'm loving the flavors too so I'd drink as much as I could until the booze sets in and makes me stop.

This is definitely one of the best beers I've had.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at Ginger Man in NYC. First experience with this beer, never had it in a bottle.

A: Still, pitch black liquid, looks very thick and slippery with trace amounts of a deep brown head.
S: Incredible, overwhelming aroma that immediately greets everyone at the table. Huge bourbon notes obviously with lots of heat. If I try and get past the bourbon there is some oak notes, vanilla and ok maybe all of that is just wishful thinking, this just reeks of booze. Not necessarily a bad thing, I love just smelling this, but a little too one dimensional to be considered "perfect".
T: No surprise, massive bourbon and boozy flavors immediately, barely resembling a "beer". Taking your time with sipping it, the alcohol starts to burn a little more, but more the chocolately, malty backbone comes through. This is a heavy, full bodied beer, with very little carbonation and coats the entire mouth. The finish is amazing and lingers forever with dark chocolate and bourbon flavors and a surprising hop pinch. Overall, a very impressive beer, but I'm a little disappointed in the end. KBS is one of my favorite beers, and while just as big as this seems more balanced and complex, but also more drinkable. For me this beer falls closer to an after dinner speciality than a beer I would frequently return to.

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Photo of NoahSYGG
2.99/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This was not what I expected. The smell was typical for an imperial stout. I got slight hints of bourbon and no beer. The color was jet black with a brownish little to no head. The flavor was much better then I expected. It had big hints of caramel and vanilla on the finish. better than i thought. will get you drunk

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Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | 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, charred oak, dark chocolate, molasses, vanilla and a hint of dried cherries

Taste: The bourbon is apparent from the start, and blends with the charred oak, molasses, 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

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Photo of apwilla
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 release in 12oz bottle, first time seen in NV.
pours like motor oil, coating the sides of the glass. smell is a little smokier than i expected, also a bourbon like sweetness, oak, vanilla, caramel. first couple sips boozy, in a really good way. very potent, kinda glad it's not a 22oz!
also bought a 2008 abyss for tomorrow, should be interesting to compare!

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Photo of drxandy
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 batch, glad distribution was upped since i've never been able to find it before.

12oz split between 2 snifters, pours an oily opaque black with a creamy tan head that fades - looks amazing.

smells of lactose? most likely not but quite creamy smelling, vanilla, alcohol heat, chocolate, wow!

taste is of thick chocolate, hot alcohol, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, oak, roasty burnt malts, hops hide with the alcohol, raisins, deep and delicious, mmm I could see this aging beautifully.

mouthfeel is oily, creamy, slick, roasty, sweet, hot, amazing!!!

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

700th BA Review
2008 bottling

The cellar-temperature twist-off topped twelve-ounce bottle, cracked open with a threatening hiss and poured into a large tulip glass reveals an inky jet-black body with a tingle of bronze at the event horizon, trimmed with a thin ring of oily light brown foam. No real cap of bubbles dares show itself atop the drink, and the distinct gooey ring on the glass and a few freckles of lacing scattered about fail to keep the brew from looking pretty damned ominous. At its tar-hearted heart, the evil-dark stout sucks even direct sunlight into the black hole seething in my glass.

The smell is dark and chocolatey-sweet with plenty of savory, oaky, Bourbony booze. The aroma is warm, tangy and familiar, and reminds me of dark molasses cakes and fresh-baked pecan brownies drizzled with Wild Turkey and Godiva chocolate liqueur.

The taste is rich and chocolatey-sweet with the drying aromatic burn of smoky, oaky, charred-barrel aged bourbon. Powdered cocoa-style bitter dryness and a bright sweet-apple fruitiness clash headlong in a delectable melee, but upon meeting up with a bombproof juggernaut of thick dark caramel syrup, alkaline-bitter and fruity-sweet are forced to bury the hatchet and join the dark side, resulting in a tag-team tour-de-force in succulence, an undeniable dark malty richness, all wrought in the utter oaky, boozy decadence that is the hallmark of this magnificent elixir we know and love as "Bourbon County Stout".

The drink is silky and full-bodied with light carbonation, and is, without a shadow of a doubt, one savory little sipper. I'd heard and read so much hype about this brew I was just dying to try it, and I'm happy to report that BCS is "all that"-- no foolin'. Many thanks to Buckeye-lovin' Dr. Brad for this magnificent bottle of brew!

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Photo of BevMoPatrick1
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had the 2008 vintage, thanks for finally making it to California. Dark as night, with nice brown lacing. Taste, lets just say if you don't like bourbon, you need not apply. Lots of chocolate, and again no shortage of bourbon. Mouthfeel is a warm coating feel that just makes you want to curl up with this one. Drinkability is great, but approach slowly. This beer should be cellared for a few years, but drinking it now ain't too shabby either.

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Photo of mykie73
4.1/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am glad this beer is now easily available in Oregon.

A. Very Black with half a finger head.

S can really smell the bourbon and some vanilla (more or the bourbon)

T Sweet, chocolate, vanilla, molasses and yes...bourbon. The alcohol is very present...it's bourbon for crying out loud...but it blends well with the other flavors. Delicious fresh, can not wait to age this!

M This is one yummy sticky beer....sticky, sticky, sticky,

D I can sit with this one for a while.

Great Beer!

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Photo of 21mmer
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, poured into a snifter

a- pours dark black. not the darkest i have seen, but not too much light getting though. mocha colored head that doesn't stick around for very long. nice and viscous, clings to the glass.

s- obviously, strong bourbon notes, but also dark malty aroma, woodsy, with a hint of molasses and slightly sweet

t- you can definitely taste the bourbon barrel in this beer. but also huge malt flavor, dark cherries/raisins/dried fruits. slightly sweet....a hint of molasses and vanilla. a nice little alcohol kick that burns the mouth and nose in the most pleasant fashion.

m- delightful. coats the mouth and tongue. slightly oily and viscous. leaves the lips and mustache whiskers sticky.

d- i could drink this beer all night...of course, at 13%, i think it would be a relatively short night.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Bourbon County Stout poured black as oil with no carbonation and no foam head. It smelled of high alcohol content but with the familiar smell of the whiskey and raisins.

The taste was, whoooa, what a wallup of bourbon attitude. It brought the whiskey in the nose then on the palate and finished with a smooth sweetness and a slight bitterness on the end. In the mouth slapped the buds into submission then burned on the way down. This one is definitely a sipper. Not a bad brew but it takes a while to get over the 13 abv.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.87/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Paid $6.99 for a loose 12 oz bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. I am somewhat unclear if this is the standard Bourbon County Stout or if this is the Batch 1000. The picture on beeradvocate of the Batch 1000 is a 2007 vintage. Since my beer is the 2006 vintage, I am assuming I do not have the batch 1000, but it is indicated in the story written on the label of the beer that that "they wanted to do something special for our 1000th batch." Oh well, here it goes, I'm reviewing it here on December 10, 2008 and it was bottled on July 3, 2006. Apparently it ages very well. One discrepancy; bottle says 11% ABV, beeradvocate says 13%. Ah well, it's strong enough!

Poured into a small snifter. A quarter inch of very dark brown head that dissipates rather quickly. Black. Minimal lacing.

Wow that is a heavy nose. Some alcohol. Heavy, heavy malts. Nicely roasted. Somewhat smokey, woodsy, and mild chocolate. Some serious stuff.

Strong flavors of smoke, roasted malts, oak, chocolate and even some coffee. Alcohol is present.

A very full body. Rather creamy. Lasting aftertaste of smoke and chocolate. Minimal carbonation.

Definitely a sipper. As indicated on the bottle, this would go great with a cigar or other strong flavors.

Not for the weak. Worthy trying, but at $6.99 a bottle (cheap midwest prices), I'm not sure if I'll be getting this one again.

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Photo of RunDWP
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This is a pretty BIG beer, and a great drinking experience. Poured jet black into a tulip with a small, wispy brown head that died down pretty quickly. Great vanilla, bourbon, and malty aroma. The taste was outstanding, with a malt with just the right amount of sweetness, with vanilla, oak, and bourbon notes in the mix. A little anise like, earthy bitterness at the finish. Very creamy, luscious mouth feel, and the 13% alchohol level is barely detectable, but I definitely felt it. It's not cheap at $20 for a four-pack of 12 oz bottles, but to me, it's definitely worth it.

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Photo of scottoale
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just bought a four pack of this big, bad-ass brew and what a treat it is. 12oz. brown longneck with a twist-off cap and a bottled on date of : 10/16/08 0906. On to the pour...

This stuff pours as black as brown can be, with a small thick head of cappuccino/cocoa brown. Carbonation seems subtle as it should be.

The smell is an amazing big black patent malty, chocolate infused, caramel thick-n-chewy, espresso seeping, gooey molasses laden, boat load of bourbon smackin', sweet syrupy aroma that reminds me of DarkLord and Bourbon BA Speedway having an exposive conflict, and then blending their ways. Honestly, the smell is insane!

The taste does not disappoint...just as intense as it smells, and then some. This brew is bigger than big and should age like a dream...for years I would imagine. Huge body, huge sweetness and lethal potency...a beer that will earn respect.

I really love this kind of ale and recommend it only to those that know what the heyell they're gettin into, no joke! Truly one of the biggest i've tasted and am enjoying immensely.

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Photo of seanbhudson
3.62/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

APPEARANCE:
Pours a obsidian black color with a medium brown head that dissipates a slowly. Not much lacing.
SMELL:
Bourbon, oak, chocolate, molasses. Hints of leather.
TASTE:
Wow, that is an intense beer! Bourbon, molasses, caramel. Definitely on the sweet side but has a slight alcohol burn.
Finishes with a slight smoky flavor
MOUTHFEEL
FULL body beer with a syrupy texture. Light fizzy carbonation.
DRINKABILITY:
This is a sipping beer. I split a 12 ounce beer with a friend and that was plenty. I would probably give this beer a C based on drinkability but you have to give it an A for complexity and uniqueness.
NOTES: BBCSD-E2

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Photo of caskstrength
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They must have left some bourbon in those barrels, because, holy sh*t, the smell. Who would have thought a few weeks in that wood and this is what happens. I'm a casual bourbon drinker, but if I were hard core I would be all over this beer, buying up everything I could find.

chocolate and figs and licorice and tobacco and molasses, but with a wallop of oaky, smoky, bourbon. And it's thick. And some alcohol, a lot of it. I think I'd like it even more if it were a tad less thick/sweet. (and the 2009 was a little less thick/sweet to my palate, improving what had little room to improve)

If you like strong, thick, motor oil stouts, and you like bourbon barrel aged beer, you have found the promised land. Is there something more intense and representative of the style than this?

(I actually like it fresh and hot. Gets a little thick/sweet/gooey the longer it sits. Needs that boozy bite to balance the thick sweetness.)

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Photo of magictrokini
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It finally made its way to San Diego! And it is everything I heard it was. Pours midnight black, with a short tan head. Rich, full aroma of choclate dipped in bourbon and wrapped in leather. The taste is sooo good. Chocolate and roasty malt topped with caramel. More bourbon and oak with hints of smoke, vanilla, and coffee. The prevalence of the alcohol only enhances the flavors. I love you Bourbon County Stout.

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Photo of number1bum
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #500 for me, so I decided to go with something awesome. I picked up some 08 BCS in Chicago a month ago, so here goes.

Pours completely pitch black, thick as motor oil, but only produces about one finger of dark tan head even with a pretty vigorous pour. Keeps a thin, patchy lace and doesn't leave any stick, although it does regenerate some head as it's swirled and consumed.

Smell is an amazing combo of sweet chocolate and bourbon, but doesn't just end there. It's rich and sweet, with molasses and caramel in addition to the chocolate, plus some vanilla bean and roasted malt. The bourbon is bold and boozy and I love it.

As bold as the smell is, the taste is even more robust. It's just incredibly flavorful, dripping with flavor in every drop. Huge roasted malt flavor with lots of chocolate, molasses and caramel sweetness, and some coffee for good measure. And on top of all that is the bourbon, which is very strong but a beautiful complement to the sweetness. Loads of bourbon whiskey flavor, which is definitely boozy and not for the feint of heart. Some vanilla and roasty bitterness round this one out, with some oaky bourbon lingering on the palate.

The feel on this beer is incredible - thick, rich and chewy, full bodied and very smooth. Very creamy, with just a bit of chalkiness to the finish, or else it's perfection.

This is without a doubt a sipper, but an incredible one. I can't imagine anyone liking this beer who doesn't like the taste of bourbon, because it is here in a big way. Personally, I love bourbon, so I love this. A fantastic beer that I will be certain to pick up again and again in the future.

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Photo of HappyBivouac
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 batch. Bottled Oct. 16. Poured into a glass mug.

a- pours a beautiful midnight brown/black that no light whatsoever can get through. thin deep tan head that goes away fast, leaving a film.

s- absolutely incredible smell! delicious bourbon, vanilla, burned oak, toffee, deep dark bitter chocolate. smells a little like spiced booze and some ever so slight fruity notes. mmm.

t/m- perfection. rich vanilla and brown sugar taste with bourbon booze right up front. rich, dense, velvety smooth. slight carbonation bite-- any more would sour the experience but this is perfect. sweetness rounding it out with caramel and a hint at figs raisins, some spice. oak is there throughout and the finish is warm bitter mocha and an amazing deep roasty feel. Holy crap. this is a seriously intense sipper.

d- This is just an amazing beer. There is absolutely nothing negative I cana say about it, and I tried really hard to think of anything that could be improved. Nothing. I am way too busy enjoying this. This is my favorite stout now, absolutely. I may have to get a few more bottles of this year's batch to try and age (per goose island's reccommendation), because I don't know how long these few are going to be able to stick around!

Incredible, wonderful stout. Completely exceeded my expectations-- I was expecting this to just be dominated by alcohol, but they managed to do wonders here. I'm in love.

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Photo of BigJTrucker
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark thick black color, with very little head. Smell is huge! Lots of oak, vanilla and smokey roasted malt. Layers and layers of taste in this one. Caramel malt, figs, raisins, licorice all compete for attention. Mouthfeel is super thick, a formidable beer for any taste buds. Drinkability.... Hmm.... it is definitely a slow sipping stout. Strong ABV make this a hefty stout for sure.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep blackest black blackness in a bottle with a viscosity akin to motor oil. This stuff is like black liquid sludge comming out of the bottle, and once in the tulip glass it slowly forms a big dark brown dense wall of foam. Rentention is decent (good for a high ABV beer), and lots of dark chocolate lace is left on the glass.

S - Rich double chocolate chip cookies, coconut cream pie, pina colada, black licorice, dates, prunes, and chocoalte covered raisins. This is insanely complex, and very boozy! I can smell why this is called Bourbon County...it really does have some sweet bourbon and oak notes. I could smell this all night.

T - Super sweet milk chocolate combined with the bitterness of dark chocolate. Chocolate chip cookies washed down with hot chocolate and a shot of top shelf bourbon. There are very little coffee, espresso, or burnt notes in this one contrary to most big stouts but I like that! Far too many imperial/doouble stouts attack your palate with burnt roasted coffee, but this one is far sweeter and milky-rich.

M - Massively full bodied, boozy as hell, thick, viscous, rich, and chunky with silken carbonation and a sweet/dry finish that leaves tons of sugar on your teeth. This feels like my mouth after eating some killer double chocolate chipo cookies washed down with ice cold whole milk.

D - An outstanding beer! Seriously, seriously good shit. This is a little to sweet and heavy for regular drinking and thats the only reason (and maybe the price) that this isn't getting fives across the board. This is one of the world's finest brews IMO.

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Photo of orangemoustache
4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Holy mother of dark beers,this is as black as they get. Dirty motor oil with the same visible viscosity,thick and mid-night black. The head is smaller than your average stout,but I can tell already this is no ordinary stout,no lacing,but I'm not one to complain with such a huge ABV. This smells of Bourbon and oak mostly with chard burnt notes that smell like a pair of jeans the morning after a fall wiener roast. This is a sweet malt monster coating the pallet with caramel,chocolate,bourbon is very pronounced,lots of aged barrel and earthy burnt oak flavors. Alcohol becomes more apparent as this warms. The mouthfeel is over the top,this is one heavy/full bodied mofo,and I love it,I do wish it had a touch more carbonation to round off a more creamy feel. This is a serious beer,enjoy!!

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Photo of SykDoc
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. It poured a thick, dark brew with minimal head but a small lacing. Held to the light, it is completely opaque with a ruby color at the edges.

The aroma of alcohol and bourbon is quite intense initially. After a couple minutes of sniffing this fine beverage, I was able to pull out some notes of spice and fruit.

The taste was the winner for me. It starts with a strong dark/bitter chocolate and caramel. This is followed by some oak and smoke notes with a bit of malt. It leaves the pleasant taste of bourbon at the end. It is very complex and very good. Given the alcohol content, it was not an overwhelming component to the taste.

The mouthfeel was thick and minimal carbonation. It is full body and has a nice velvety feel that sits on your tongue with the bourbon flavor.

The drinkability is quite good, however the hidden alcohol and the overall thick texture keeps you from being able to drink many of these in a row. I will say this, any chance I get to purchase and save some of this, I will. Imagine what it will taste like in a couple of years, when the flavor should be even more complex. Great beer.

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 2,770 ratings.