Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

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Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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2,590 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,590
Hads: 10,614
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 19.82%
Wants: 2,521
Gots: 5,749 | FT: 606
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: 2,590 | Hads: 10,614
Photo of theformula
4.49/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Avryle
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Damian
4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.94/5  rDev +10%
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.

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Photo of goschool
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of dkoehler42
3.83/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer does not lie when it tells you "One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer." My initial taste was of shock and distaste. However, the aftertaste is smooth and very nice. It pours a very dark color, which allows for no light to pass through. There is little to no head, and I potent smell, indicating this is not going to be a light beer. The initial taste is overpowering, and I can't quite put my finger on what it is. It has a nice smooth mouthfeel to it though, and the aftertaste is nice and sweet. I might put one of these away and let it age longer, as it's only a 2007 batch.

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

I'm writing this review after having sampled the second bottle of this, the first I had was a bit warmer, it hadn't had time to fully chill, the second is fully chilled. The big difference in the temp seems to affect the head, the warmer beer poured with a creamy head that didn't last long, the colder one had nearly no head, with just some light bubbling on it. The color was nearly pitch black, as dark as I've ever seen from any beer.

The smell of this is very powerful, I was telling people at work you know you have a good beer when the smell gives you a buzz! It's fairly complex, with a lot of vanilla noticeable, plus sweetness from the malt, I'd say a touch of caramel with almost a bit of apple thrown in. The alcohol is noticeable as well.

The taste starts a bit sweet, with definite chocolate and coffee notes. It has a bite to it, I'm guessing that is due to the bourbon aging, I am not familiar with the taste of bourbon, so can't quite place it, but that is most likely what it is. I didn't notice the smoky flavor at first, but it became more pronounced as I drank more. Also vanilla is fairly prominent.

Mouthfeel is very good, nice and thick to let you know this is a serious beer. It has a nice warm feeling going down, with a nice blending of flavors.

Overall this is one of the more unique beers I've tried, nothing I've had before really reminds me of it. Very much a reward beer, don't waste this for day to day drinking, enjoy it when you want to treat yourself. It's a bit too strong to have more than one or two at a time, but you'll enjoy the time spent with this one.

2007 bottle

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Photo of cokes
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2006 release. A little over a year in the cellar.

I loved this thing from the get-go. It pours like a malfunctioning printer spewing ink. Jet black. The type of shit you don't want to get on your least your nice stuff. The head is more a slumped shoulder of dark tan, as there is no chance for it to gather the vigor to rise very far above the molten body.
Now is where it truly gets special. A literal stampede up the nose. Coffee, fudge, Bourbon (the good stuff too, and high proof, like Wild Turkey Rare Breed, or George T. Stagg), after those three mainstays, its a kaleidoscopic array of fallout from berries (rasp- and blue-, and black-), black cherries, soy sauce, salt, barbecued beef fat, plum, and Pinot Noir.
It marinades the mouth with a briny coffee fudge Bourbon bombshell. It's like espresso mixed with soy sauce, tootsie rolls, barrel-proof Bourbon, prune juice, whole cherries, oak-barreled red wine, leather, and dried pine puree. And those are not suggestions, each one shows up exponentially on any given sip. Give it concentration, and it will morph into any of them and back again.
And that doesn't even touch on it's subtleties, which are too numerous to note, but burnt coconut, over-proof rum (a la boozy dark sugar), bbq beef, hot peppers, hazelnuts, cigar ash, and tar are all featured in bit roles. And yet the surface has merely been superficially scratched.
It's a thick, mouth-brutalizing, basically uncarbonated sludge. It's the closest American example to something like the polarizing Le Coq. Love it or hate it, it's thick, intense, and uncompromising. I happen to love it. It's drinkable only in that a glass will joyfully last the better part of an evening. And another glass will make the next evening every bit as enjoyable.
Haters will say that this is more marinade than beer. I'll say that they are right on, and I'd love to baste my head in this stuff as frequently as possible.
This scores as an experience. Buy a case, even at $5 a bottle, and it will last you indefinitely, as long as you want, or at least as long as you can ration out your hedonism.
As a stout, as a barrel-aged beer, or as something to remember and savor those special occasions with, this is tops, and without a close peer.
It is in every way phenominal.

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

12oz bottled on 10/11/07. Label indicates 13% abv.

Pours completely black with a small dark brown head made of ultra fine bubbles that slowly rises then fades to but a spotting.

Big malty sweet smells waft in my face, chocolaty with a bit of roastiness, vanilla and definitely some bourbon notes.

This is a big beer and it tastes like it! Big chewy mouthfeel, dark caramalt and roasted barley flavors balanced by substantial hop impression that finishes with a hot bit of bourbon oakiness.

Overall, a nice Impy Stout that could easily stand some age, but is ready to sip and contemplate now.

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Photo of budgood1
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 vintage.

pours out a motor oil black colour with ruby hues...a thin deep tan head appears and reduces quickly to slight wisps of lace. boozy bourbon aroma dominates, with plentiful dark, ripened fruits to compliment. chocolate, vanilla, caramel, toffee, smoke, all are intermingled in the nose as well. a tremendous smelling beer! the taste is an amazing balance between bittersweet chocolate, toffee, jim beam, coffee, vanilla cappuccino, nuts, fruits, leather, tobacco...i could go on and on. the 13% ABV is pretty apparent as an extreme warming sensation in the belly, and adds a nice boozy spice on top of the whiskey characteristics. there is a good dose of hops that hold there own against the bold brashness of intricate nuances. it's an amazingly complex beer with a tremendous balance of flavours, if i already didn't mention it. the body is aptly full figured..with a silky smooth mouthfeel. finishes with a boozy badness and a bitter hop bombast. sippability is perfect, and if i smoked cigars, this would be the beer i would pair a good one with.

it's been a long time since i've been floored by a beer that i deem fantastic. this one is about perfect in all aspects, especially for such a heavy hitter. this is a stout that deserves a big "hell yeah"!

well worth the premium price and highly recommended.

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Photo of Atron67
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- poured a dead black and even with a decent pour there was barely any foam build up and it faded pretty quick as well, not unexpected for a heavy ale.

S- no kidding on the bourbon smells, really delicious scents of chocolate, bourbon and malts.

T- rich maltiness throughout, turns into a strong bourbon flavor that then slowly fades into a really chocolately malty finish with a solid bitterness with it as well. spectacular throughout

M- thick as hell, light carbonation, lingers on the tongue for ever which is great for the style

D- not necessarily gonna drink a ton in one sitting, but i would wanna drink these alot

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.59/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle procured from NYC Whole Foods on Bowery, poured into a Stone OG tulip glass, 2007 edition bottled 1/20/07, currently #27 on the BA overall rankings

Appearance is pitch black hue with tinges of brown on the periphery, head is minimal, a mere thin ring of brown bubbles, moderate lacing

Smell is amazing, big notes of molasses, dark fruits, bourbon alcohol, and woody oak, some dark bitter chocolate and coffee tones, vanilla and roasty malts as well

Taste is also quite spectacular initially characterized by bittersweet chocolate malts, whisky, and dark fruits, transitions slowly to coffee and roast malts, vanilla, and a touch of earthy hops, finishes syrupy sweet with alcohol warming

Mouthfeel is full-bodied, thick viscous texture coats the mouth like motor oil, carbonation is ample

Drinkability is moderate at 11%, you can definitely feel the alcohol but it is not overwhelming, great mix of malts, dark fruits, hops, the bourbon barrel accents are a great accent that does not hijack the flavor profile, this is deserving of high ratings and I would love to try try again after a few years of cellaring, yum!

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Photo of tmitch75
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a single bottle at West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago.

Pours thick and dark - like motor oil - with head the color of a chocolate milkshake. Head is thin, though, and disappears fast.

Smells like a bottle of Jim Beam, even before it's poured. There is some vanilla and wood in there, but mostly just bourbon. Very strong smell.

Tastes like bourbon too with vanilla and smoky woody notes. Tastes like it smells.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily. Almost chewy. Very thick.

This beer really is one-of-a-kind. I'm not much of a bourbon guy, so I won't be seeking it out again, but I can definitely respect this beer and I am quite glad I got the chance to try it.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage.

This one pours out a thick, black liquid. Absolutely no light penetrating this bad boy. There is a thin head that is light brown in color.

The aroma was an extremely nice blending of coffee, bourbon, chocolate, and dark (almost burnt) roasted malts. Very "warm and inviting" smelling...if that makes sense.

The taste is simply outstanding. Perfect bitterness to complement the coffee, bourbon, and dark chocolate flavors. So smooth...the time in the cellar has done this beer well, very well. There is a hint of vanilla and caramel in here, too. Simply delicious.

This one is very full bodied. Thick, smooth, and extremely enjoyable at this point in time. I am looking forward to seeing how my remaining bottles continue to age...that is if I can leave them in the cellar and not drink them.

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

Split a 12oz bottle.

A: Possibly the blackest beer I have ever seen. Some tan mocha head.

S: Bourbon. Then stout. The alcohol smell from the bourbon dominates. There is a slight hint of roast in the background.

T:Bourbon up front. Almost feels like bourbon. The taste after that are incredible. Brown sugar comes first. Then a subtle malt sweetness. This is then followed by a rush of espresso then coffee bringing some bitterness. After that it goes into super dark chocolate. This is the best and most unexpected aftertaste in a beer ever.

M: Super thick. It felt like it was coating my soul.

D:Definitely a sipper. The first few sips you feel like you are enjoying a glass of bourbon. Really weird. It actually became more drinkable as it warmed up. This is an amazing beer.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.9/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006. Chalice. Pours black as a starless night. Thin dark carmel head. Less carbonation with aging. Bourbon tone is clearly apparent and is accentuated by the high ABV. Also coming through are notes of charred oak, dark chocolate, molasses, and a hint of raisin. Smell is equally alone draws you in. A truly amazing beer...the only drawback being it's lack of sessionability. My favorite winter beer to sip and contemplate as the snow is falling.

2/4/10 update:
Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter. 2006 vintage.
A: Pours super dark black--no light comes through with backlighting. Essentially no head. Quiet and strong...almost intimidating in appearance.
S: Sweet bourbon, charred oak, molasses, and dark dried fruit (especially raisin).
T: Mirrors aroma perfectly with the addition of the alcohol bite. Despite the ABV, the alcohol doesn't dominate here but instead is balanced well with the rest of the brew. Dark chocolate and vanilla come through with warming.
M: Heavy, smooth, and slightly oily. Mild alcohol burn. Taste lingers nicely, slowly fading. Sticky sweet. Wonderful.
D: A nearly perfect beer in my estimation...kudos to Goose Island! My only knock is that I just simply can't give this one--with an ABV of 13%--a 5 on drinkability. In comparison with the original review, I must say this has lost a half step with aging. If you have any 2005 or 2006 left at this point, drink them up!

12/29/14: 2006 vintage into snifter.
A: Pours thick and black as motor oil. No head; no carbonation. (4)
S: Boozy bourbon, dark sweet chocolate, dark tobacco, leather, and a hint of brown sugar and cream. Still potent here. (4.5)
T: Several off flavors here...definitely past peak (3).
M: Smooth and viscous. Moderately heavy body. Darkly sweet. (4)
D: Some aspects still going strong...especially the aroma. But overall this one is over the hill. (3.5)

1/12/15: 2007 vintage into snifter.
A: Pours thick and black as motoroil. No head. (4)
S: Strong sweet bourbon aroma. Dark chocolate, burnt wood, tobacco, and leather. (4.5)
T: Lost a step here. A bit weak...sort of follows aroma. (3)
M: Heavy body. Thick and darkly sweet. (3.5)
D: Definitely past peak. (3)

1/23/15: 2008 vintage into snifter. Bottled on 10/21/08.
A: Pours thick and black as motoroil. Just a whiff of dark mocha head. (4)
S: Sweet bourbon, charred wood, dark tobacco, old leather, and dark chocolate. (4.25)
T: Darkly sweet bourbon, dark chocolate, dates and other dark dried fruit, oaky vanilla, and mild dark tobacco. Lost a half-step, but still solid. (4)
M: Heavy body. Darkly sweet. Slightly oily feel. Only mild alcohol burn (age has definitely subdued this). Decent lingering on palate. (3.75)
D: This is actually still doing well even though this is 6 1/3 yrs old. (4)

1/25/15: 2009 vintage poured into snifter. Bottle on 1/14/10.
A: Pours an extremely dark black-brown. Doesn't seem quite as thick as prior vintages. No head. Very faint sticky lacing. (4)
S: Can smell the sweet bourbon booziness from a foot away. Dark chocolate, charred wood, dark tobacco, oaky vanilla, and a hint of leather. (4.25)
T: Bourbon soaked raisins, cinnamon, dark tobacco, bittersweet chocolate, oaky vanilla, and a hint of charred wood (not quite as heavy/dark as the aroma was suggesting). (4.5)
M: Heavy body. Moderate bourbon booze bite (softened a bit with age). Sticky sweet feel. Lingers nicely on the palate with a small amount of maturing too (again, can tell this one is a bit past prime). (4.25)
D: I'm drinking this one less than 2 weeks beyond the 5 year max shelf time recommended on the bottle. I would agree. You can tell it is starting to fade, but still is hanging on to much of the glory this brew has at its core. (4.25)

1/26/15: 2010 vintage into snifter. Bottled on 5/10 1405.
A: Pours extremely dark brown-black with just a skiff of super dark mocha head that recedes fairly quickly. (4.25)
S: Dark chocolate, charred wood, oaky vanilla, sweet bourbon, burnt brown sugar, and a hint of cola. (4.25)
T: Smooth dark chocolate, sweet bourbon, oaky vanilla, dark tobacco, leather, dark dried fruit, cinnamon and brown sugar, and charred wood. Very, very nice! (4.75)
M: Medium-heavy body (seems lighter than past vintages). Velvety smooth. Darkly sweet with a moderate boozy bourbon bite (you can tell this one has aged, but is now nicely settled down). Lingers and matures nicely on the palate. (4.5)
D: Tasting the various vintages recently, I can appreciate the various stages this beer goes through. This one really shines with the taste and mouthfeel and is only a step or two off in the appearance and smell when compared with a younger vintage. (4.5)

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Photo of jj21
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this violently into a Duvel tulip to get all the head I could out of it. Ended up a couple fingers from the top. Black dense body with brown bubbly head that sticks around for a while and lasted to the end. Smell was a smack in the face of coffee, chocolate and rasted malts. Flavor is a strong chocolate-vanilla with just enough bitterness. Very smooth mouthfeel for the viscosity of the brew. So drinkable for such a high alcohol and thickness beer. Need More!

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.71/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, 2007 Edition, consumed Feb. 4, 2008, 13% alc.

A: Pours a motor oil black, with a small thin tan head, which surprisingly stays around for a long time, though it looks kind of flat on the first pour.

S: Smells like a shot of whiskey, without all the heavy alcohol, you get the richness of the wood odour and the vanilla.

T: Heavy bourbon on the first sip, probably the most bourbon dominated strong stout I have ever had, much more than Firestone 11 or Angel's Share. Vanilla bean, caramel, molasses there as well. Some coffee and roasted malt flavours too, but they are light compared with the whiskey which dominates the flavour.

M: Endlessly smooth and rich, not cloying at all in its sweetness, one of the most full-bodied beers ever.

D: A fantastic brewing and aging accomplishment, very tasty stuff, but it's definitely a sipper, a beer you should take your time with to fully enjoy.

Edit - Having an '08 on 2/13/10, the flavour is just nuts. Huge whiskey/vanilla, dark roasted malts with an elegant alcoholic, but not boozy mouthfeel. Editing taste from a 4.5 to a 5. What is it with me and early February and BCS?

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Photo of flowerysong
3.06/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours with a slight viscosity and minimal head. Dense black with orange highlights.

Nose: Molasses and bourbon, with a slight chocolate influence.

Taste: Sweet treacle, toffee, bitter cocoa, hints of coffee. Bourbon influence shows up as slightly vegetal, mild vanilla notes from the oak, and also some nuttiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and tongue-coating, carbonation on the light side of medium.

Overall: Decent strong stout, but lacks a certain depth of flavour. On the sweet side, and at 13% ABV this is definitely one to sip.

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Photo of grub
4.87/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Viggo hooked me up with this one. thanks eric!

2007 vintage, bottled 10/12/07. sampled feb 2/08.

pours opaque black with a small dense brown head. the head drops fairly quick and leaves a bit of spotty lace behind.

aroma is intense. alcohol. bourbon. bit of vanilla. caramel sweetness. dark chocolate. bit of espresso. roasty. huge bread and biscuit malt. orange and tangerine.

taste is great. coffee. dark chocolate. caramel. big bread and biscuit malt. alcohol. lots of bourbon. vanilla. light orange and tangerine. nice roasty and toasty character. medium bitterness level.

mouthfeel is great. silky smooth medium-low carbonation level. nice big body.

drinkability is great. this one hides its alcohol quite well. excellent balance. just the perfect level of bourbon and barrel character. silky smooth. this is one excellent beer. thanks again eric!

previous review: 4.5/5.0/4.5/4/4. overall 4.5.

Viggo hooked me up with this one. thanks eric!

2006 vintage, bottled 07/14/06. sampled dec 2/06.

pours an opaque black colour with a half inch of thick dark reddish brown head. head drops fairly quickly and leaves almost no lace.

aroma is great. alcohol obvious. vanilla and bourbon. espresso and bittersweet chocolate. caramel. roasty and slightly smokey.

taste is great. strong vanilla and bourbon character. feels stronger than it is due to the bourbon presence. alcohol. espresso. bittersweet chocolate. caramel sweetness. nice and roasty.

mouthfeel is good. fairly big with a good moderate carbonation level.

drinkability is good. really tasty and drinkable. like having dessert. excellent beer. thanks again eric!

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Photo of MayorAdamWest
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let this one sit for a while. I chilled two and drank one the day it came out this year... I wasn't impressed. BUT! I let the other sit for about 30 days and even in the fridge it developed nicely.

2007 12oz bottle aged for 30 days served in a snifter.

Appearance: Not to copy others, but the only way to describe the appearance is "motor oil." Admittedly, I had mixed feels about it when I first I first poured it. I didn't quite know what to think it was much thicker than last years I had at the Clybourn brewpub.

Smell: After smelling it all apprehension disappeared. Chocolate, vanilla and of course bourbon scream out DRINK ME! After you are hit with the initial scents you get dark roasted malt, maybe coffee and vegetation.

Taste: Wow... just simply put... Wow. Maybe the best example of a bourbon aged stout I have every sampled. Tasting just as it smells with rich chocolate, vanilla with a nice bourbon and alcohol kick. After that the dark malts, a vegetable earthiness.

Mouthfeel: Thick... Slides down the side of the glass into your mouth. Coates your pallet with flavor. Rolls around your mouth with little carbonation. Wonderful.

Drinkability: Scary just how easy it is to drink. At 13% ABV you could drink a couple and not even know it. If you have more than one... Make sure the CTA is your ride home.

Worth the wait every year.

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Photo of EGledhill
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to JHammerly for the chance to try this.

Poured into chalice glass

A. pours like used motor oil. black with a thin brown head that disapates quickly leaving thin lacing around glass

S.the most fragrent, complex beer I've tried to date. Sweet burbon, chocolate, and vanilla lead the way with other sweet and spice tones laying in wait.

T. More complex and exciting than the smell, every sip leaves you with a diffrent variation of the last. Top is predominently coffee, chocolate, vanilla and slight alcohol, the deeper you get the more the alcohol takes over this brew. the latter third of this brings out some spices and haevy burbon. heavy yet extremely drinkable.

M. very thick and oily. exactly how I would picture a top end stout to preform. (sidenote. the burps even bring up a fantastic chocolate taste.)

D. Extremely drinkable for a 13%abv, not one that you're going to chug at the local bar. fantastic for dessert, or as a sipping beer

Pulled a trade last week for some more of these and glad i did. this is the ultimate for cold night sipping or special occassions

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

2007 Bottling - Dated 10/11/07

Pours a dark, pitch black that no light can pass through. No hue or highlights, just darkness. Has a very small initial coffee colored head, which quickly settled to a thin ring around the brew. No lace is left behind.

The heavy bourbon aroma hits as you pour. Dark roasted coffee and chocolate lie in the background. Hints of toffee and vanilla add some more sweetness. Very nice aroma.

Starts with huge amount of sweetness - Caramel, toffee, and vanilla. Next some roasted sweetness steps up with dark chocolate. Then the bourbon bomb drops. Bourbon, spices, oak, and alcohol - for a moment this could be whiskey you're sipping instead of beer. Big flavors, but surprisingly not too overpowering. Leaves a nice warming burn.

Super smooth and a little sticky. Full bodied, thick and hearty. A real sipper with great drinkability for such a big beer. Definitely a beer to sip slowly, savor, and enjoy. Perfect nightcap on a cold evening.

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Photo of moose3285
4.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured pitch black with very minimal brown head. Some lacing on the glass.

S - Very sweet bourbon smell with some chocolate. Not a very strong alcohol in the nose.

T - This is an incredibly complexed beer. You really feel like you're drinking something special with this beer and I will probably save the rest of these for special occasions. The taste starts out the same as the smell with a sweet bourbon flavor and moves to chocolate and roasted malts. The alcohol really makes itself known.

M - Really thick, creamy mouthfeel. Not a whole lot of carbonation, but that's alright.

D - I can't imagine drinking more than one of these in a night. However, one is incredibly drinkable.

My one complaint with this beer is the lack of a head. Other than that, it was great. Even at $20 for a 4-pack I would recommend picking this one up.

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,590 ratings.