1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

7,998 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,998
Reviews: 2,342
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 1,801
Gots: 3,403 | FT: 374
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  14.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
60 IBU

(Beer added by: drewbage on 06-26-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bourbon County Brand Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,998 | Reviews: 2,342 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GOGRANDE
GOGRANDE

Colorado

4.58/5  rDev 0%

A: really nice looking, black syrup with a small brown head and lots of sticky beer legs.

S: holy crap...thats a hot bourbon bomb. Sweet bourbon, oak, choc, very hot.

T: wow! what a suprise. I thought the bourbon was gonna shoot me down on this but with 10 months on the bottle its just right. Im very happy with this beer. Im getting like a "Snickers" feel here. Nice choc and carmel up
front with a touch of oak, then the a nice serving of bourbon on the back end followed by a little burn in my throat. This beer is drinking very well. A little vanilla mixed in there with it. My burbs are tasting awesome :)

M: perfect, nice and thick.

D. not to bad for this big beer.

08-07-2010 19:45:54 | More by GOGRANDE
Photo of amanofbeer
amanofbeer

Illinois

2.1/5  rDev -54.1%

Served in a snifter glass. It looks like most aged imperial stouts I have had: dark as night, and virtually head-less. Pockets of foam rise to the surface and dissipate, replaced by new ones, as if it is still living. Interesting to watch.

As soon as I popped the cap (not realizing it was a twist off) I got a punch in the face of dark malt, and some bourbon. It honestly does not smell all too different from their Night Stalker stout, which was somewhat disappointing, as I was hoping for more bourbon. The smell consists of your standard caramel, chocolate, and coffee, (not to strong on the coffee however). The malts smell overpowering, and unbalanced.

Not only do I taste next to no bourbon, but it seems unbalanced for an imperial stout. There is a very present sweetness, accompanied by on overly bitter roasted malt flavor that really sticks in the back of the palate. The one redeeming factor in the flavor is the aftertaste. The bitterness dies off, and I finally can experience a slight bourbon lingering.

It has got to be one of, if not THE most, syrupy beer I have ever tasted. I highly regret opening this within 5 months of buying it. While I suppose 13% alcohol creates quite an awe effect, I now feel that this sort of abv does not belong in the category of stouts...(certainly without cellaring)...there are simply too many residual sugars, and the extremely high gravity makes for a poor amount of head, and a thick coating on the mouth and throat. Even clearing the palate before hand with about 12 ounces of water wasn't enough to prevent me from needing water during the drink. It also seemed to inherit what I consider a negative quality of bourbon, which is a burn in the back of the mouth that dissipates as the aftertaste begins.

I started drinking this 15 minutes before I started writing, and I am now only 3/4s of the way done. It's a sipper for sure, and not one I want to spend $6.39 on again any time soon (5 months, at least!!!)

I could imagine this being better on tap, but only if the syrupy-ness is reduced. I am somewhat disappointed that the final gravity couldn't have gotten a bit lower. Aging would Clearly do this beer justice. Cheers, all the same.

08-03-2010 02:27:07 | More by amanofbeer
Photo of Trystero
Trystero

Ohio

4.58/5  rDev 0%

I am currently drinking this at the Goose Island branch in Wrigleyville. It is quite the treat. Served in a snifter..

A: Typical of what you would expect for a draft bourbon stout. Slight brown appearance with little head and no lacing. Dark, almost opaque throughout the body of the glass.

S: Smell is a kick in the face of bourbon, with slight notes of caramel and some chocolate.

T: First hints are not as strong of bourbon as the aroma, but it does contain lots of vanilla and oak. Pleasantly, there is not as much of an alcohol taste as the smell would suggest. Amazing coffee/chocolate finish that sits very well and invites more.

M: Thin, yet appropriate.

D: Amazing for one snifter. The 13% ABV makes another slightly intimidating.

08-02-2010 20:17:05 | More by Trystero
Photo of ptykozoon
ptykozoon

California

4.03/5  rDev -12%

*08' Vintage* Pours black even when raised to the light. A small but lovely caramel colored head appears (even after 2 years!) but dissipates very fast. Almost perfect.

Smell is subtle, perhaps died down, but I'm getting caramel, chocolate, cocoa puffs, milk and vanilla.

This beer tastes great, the carbonation is basically gone but the beer has enough flavor that it remains balanced and exciting. The alcohol is a prominent flavor in this brew, strong and harsh on the throat. There is a roastiness/dryness I'm picking up as well, along with the aforementioned smells. Not getting too much bourbon, I believe it has died down.

The beer tastes exceptionally versatile, therefore balanced, therefore mouthfeel is good.

I could drink a few of these no doubt.

08-01-2010 04:02:31 | More by ptykozoon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

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
Photo of oglmcdgl
oglmcdgl

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +2.6%

08 bottle pour into my trusty duvel tulip.

A- a finger of mocha color head from a very head pour that settles to a near mirror finish. Pitch black in color with just the slights shine at the edges when held to the light.

S- huge amount of bourbon and dark roasted malts. Molasses and bitter chocolate. Blackberries and figs. Some char and smoke as well.

T- opens up with chocolate, fudge, browies, and bourbon. Espresso and super dark roasted malts. Wood and char with black strap molasses and a hint of vanilla. Fig preserves, dates, brown sugar. More of the booze comes through as the brew warms.

M- thick and chewy with a syrupy smack to it. Some of the nicer carb I've seen from a stout of the stature. Even after two years this still has some heat but it works well with the beer as a whole.

D- this is a laviathan of a beer in strength and flavor but its so enjoyable you keep coming back for more.

07-29-2010 02:04:35 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of northaustin
northaustin

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

pours a pitch black with little head. there is carbonation, the beer is just so thick it has trouble escaping. the head is deep dark brown and disappears quickly and runs off the side of the glass leaving no lacing.

smell is mega alcohol of the bourbon variety. mixed in with a background of smooth caramel and cream.

taste has so many amazing flavors mixing perfectly. dark toffee, mellow caramel, vanilla and bourbon. a hint of the roasted malts can even be noticed.

mouthfeel: although the beer looks like oil, and
feels like oil in the beginning, it somehow leaves behind a smooth film that is pleasant during the entire session.

drinkability: god damn hail satan drink one for baby jesus

07-28-2010 03:46:04 | More by northaustin
Photo of neorunner
neorunner

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -7.2%

Sixth beer from the Blind Beers BIF thanks to SHolland119.

Jet black into Ommegang chalice. Thin oily head after a moderately violent pour. Traces of head linger with little to no carbonation visible. Aroma is fusel alcohol and dark fruits with a burbon note in the background. First taste is a massive mouthful of bourbon and it is oh so good. Creamy chocolate compliments the bourbon character nicely. If any of the other blind beers are a gauge this beer has some substantial alcohol content. Chocolate malt abounds and any chance of bitterness is masked by the bourbon profile. A bit of kreik note comming through from somewhere, could just be an aspect of the dark fruit I smelled earlier.

07-26-2010 17:23:14 | More by neorunner
Photo of thetomG
thetomG

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -5.5%

2008 vintage...

Super dark brown pour with virtually NO head. Intense aromas of malts and bourbon. Flavor is more of the same but magnified immensely and with a nice bit of vanilla coming through in the finish. The bourbon in this 2008 version has mellowed out a bit making it more drinkable (IMO) and very delicious. A bit sweet, very syrupy (but not overly so) this is a sipper for sure, but an excellent beer no matter how you look at it. I am admittedly not a huge fan of bourbon so when you factor that into the equation this stuff is fantastic.

Will definitely drink this again.

07-24-2010 22:20:07 | More by thetomG
Photo of TheDeuce
TheDeuce

New York

4.85/5  rDev +5.9%

Bourbon County Stout..in a bottle at Resto...2008 version

Appearance - dark brown to black into a snifter, gentle thin layer of foam that stays, creamy viscosity.

Smell -obvious bourbon background, chocolate malt, alcohol, slight smokiness.

Taste/Mouthfeel-creamy with immediate dual hits of vanilla milk and sweet alcohol, somehow it works, the bourbon flavor stays in the background but adds notes, caramel and chocolate malt, two flavors balance very well, exceptionally smooth.

Drinkability-flavorful and balanced for the style, no discernable issues.

Overall-a wonderful beer, no doubt age has helped too, a triumph with unique flavors and good character, I really enjoyed it.

07-24-2010 14:23:00 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of Erish
Erish

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

I shared this 2009 vintage 22 oz bottle with friends, and we poured into what was available, wheat glasses... I don't think it suffered for it.

A: dark reddish umber, the reddish-cream head was thick, creamy, and long lasting.

S: ripe cherries, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, plenty of rich bourbon notes, with alcoholic sweetness and toasted oak.

T: all that was in the smell, and more, there was wonderful harmonious quality to the flavors, they played together nicely; in addition to what I nosed, there were boysenberries, currants, molasses, raisin bread, the finish featured lingering espresso notes, as well as a nice gentle bitterness from the hops. I can't imagine how they could have improved upon this beer.

M: thick, silky, the carbonation was subtle but omnipresent.

D: if you love stouts, heck, even if you casually enjoy stouts, you will almost definitely love this beer. I am going to get more of this beer, and look forward to cellaring it.

07-23-2010 05:00:49 | More by Erish
Photo of tronester
tronester

Oklahoma

4.05/5  rDev -11.6%

Pours a inky pitch black with a very small dark brown head, wow. Smells strongly of darkly caramelized sugar and ethyl alcohol. Very pungent. Taste is an onslaught of flavor. It starts with charred wood, then a rich maltose middle and a vanilla, coffee and chocolate finish. Strong aftertaste of alcohol. Mouthfeel is like syrup, super chewy and decadent. Very little carbonation which is perfect for this beer. Drinkability though is pretty low though. The sheer amounts of alchol affects how much you can drink. That said, this is an excellent beer that I would certainly get again!

07-21-2010 04:31:01 | More by tronester
Photo of ridglens
ridglens

Indiana

4.38/5  rDev -4.4%

Poured into a snifter, third or fourth time i have had it so 'bout time to review it! i started it cold and sipped it to warm

a- super dark brown to black, dark brown 1 finger foam, goes to thin layer but thick ring around the edge...no light comes through anywhere i would like a little more head/lacing

S- sweet caramely bourbon everywhere, and it smells damn good.

t- just great! right away a smokey sweet kind of wood-ish flavor, collowed by a hint of bitter burnt coffee/chocolate. then the bourbon and caramel take over, and wash the whole mouth over. as the beer warms, a more developed malt profile comes through, not overly sweet but enough to balance the hotness of the alcohol and dark bitterness.. just a friggin' great beer. a little hot though...

M- really good for the style. thick and savory, but not the over-sugared way too sticky feeling. very nice. the lasting and warming burn down the throat is an especially nice touch, like taking a sip of super smooth bourbon. a little more carbonation would be nice, but definitely still very good.

D- pretty hot beer, definitely a sipper. it is so smooth, however, that it begs to be drank!

overall, not perfect, but one hell of a damn great beer!

07-20-2010 01:52:11 | More by ridglens
Photo of velosuds
velosuds

Oregon

4.3/5  rDev -6.1%

2008 edition bottled on 10/16/08. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a clear pint glass. Single purchased at Whole Foods San Rafael, CA (first place I have seen this) for $4.99.

A-Pours a midnight black. Very dark. No light gets through this beauty. A one finger, creamy tan head quickly recedes into a scant lace.

S-Alcohol from the bourbon barrels is the predominant aroma. Very fragrant. Vanilla and raisin notes are also present.

T-This is definitely a bourbon stout, and probably deserves its own style classification, as it is very different from non-bourbon barreled double stouts. I admit it is not my thing. Bourbon whiskey from 100 days aging in bourbon barrels is the most dominant flavor profile. However, there are some very nice stout beer flavors in the background like brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate, and dried fruits, especially raisins. Taste definitely improves as it warms, and becomes very sweet. The alcohol adds to the flavor rather than detracts from it. Well done. Label indicates this ages well up to 5 years, and perhaps the bourbon profile will mellow.

M-Deliciously smooth with medium to full body. Warming due to the alcohol.

D-This is a fine beer. Best enjoyed by sipping. A good value for such a big beer at 13% ABV.

07-19-2010 03:56:15 | More by velosuds
Photo of violanojblues
violanojblues

Michigan

4.55/5  rDev -0.7%

A - very dark. no light coming thru my glass, even on the sides. little head - small toasty ring around the edge.

S - boozy and sweet with a vanilla and raisiny profile. the chocolate-roasted malt character really comes thru nicely.

T - very complex but not overdone. the dried fruitiness is a nice aftertaste and works well with the booziness.

M - a bit chewy, possibly from the vanilla character. very full.

D - a really nice evening sipper.

a boozy-sweet, roasty treat!

07-19-2010 01:52:49 | More by violanojblues
Photo of Backer2004
Backer2004

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev -5.5%

Found in Louisville for $5.95 a twelve ounce beer. Great for those pairing with chocolate - nice for bourbon lovers. Very thick, little head, nice complexity. Chocolate and raisin notes. Not too much lacing. This was bottled only 6 months ago so could age a bit. Worth trying-but not as good as the KBS .

07-18-2010 01:20:39 | More by Backer2004
Photo of lovindahops
lovindahops

New York

4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

A 2009 bottle. This is gonna be good

A- a dark as night look. There is a toasty foam look on the top. Really a hearty look to it.

S- big time smoked malt flavor that is combined with chocolate and some coconut. Dark fruit is present as well. Toasty, toasty, toasty malt flavor with the alcohol present

T- a flavor fest of chocolate toasted themes. There is some butterscotch and coconut meshed together. An easy way to describe this is a "decked out stout" that has smooth flavor and tastes RIDICULOUS

M- creamy and thick. Tastes great

D- you have to sip this. It is one heck of a desert beer. Arguably one of the top stouts out there. The alcohol is actually hidden as you go. Still, the syrupy thickness makes you want to take it slow and steady

07-17-2010 02:12:06 | More by lovindahops
Photo of eclaycamp
eclaycamp

Kansas

4.65/5  rDev +1.5%

Stouts for summer. Why not? While lots of folks are reaching for a pilsner or pale ale, I figured I'd go the opposite direction, drinking some stouts, which I usually prefer to have in the dead of winter.

2007 vintage. Oh baby. Syrupy pour with very little head that bubbles a bit but otherwise is unimpressive. Color is coal, pitch black. Smell is bourbon, wood, chocolate syrup, roasted malt. Promises to be a hefty beer. Tastes amazing, with caramel, toffee, butterscotch, and roasted flavors. Hefty mouthfeel, with the ABV really apparant in the body of the beer, along with the barrel aging. This is a sipping beer. There's really no comparing this to anything else on the market. It's simply incredible.

07-17-2010 00:57:07 | More by eclaycamp
Photo of Chello
Chello

Georgia

4.3/5  rDev -6.1%

12 oz. Bottle

Pours thick and black with a thin tan head.

Smells of bourbon, oak, and a bit of alcohol.

Upfront taste of bourbon, a sweet roasted malt, with a heavy lingering toffee and caramel taste.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth, which complements the taste perfectly.

Does have some alcohol heat, but less than you would expect from a beer of this caliber.

Cheers.

07-15-2010 22:38:45 | More by Chello
Photo of Luk13
Luk13

Quebec (Canada)

4.72/5  rDev +3.1%

Bottle 2008 vintage. Opaque black pour with no head although some head rises when stirred. Aroma is bourbon, oak barrel, butter, roasted malt, and a hint of alcohol vapors. Taste is ... a loss for words. Vanilla, oak and cocoa but joined with a mouthfeel that is so extraordinary, in it's creaminess and fullness. It only loses a few points to its not quite entirely hidden alcohol that makes it kind of prickly. The best imperial stout I've had so far.

07-15-2010 17:55:01 | More by Luk13
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla

California

4.6/5  rDev +0.4%

A: poured black as night that looked liked oil coming out of the bottle with a half finger of head that left good sticky lacing on the glass.

S: coconut and bourbon dominate the nose with roasted malts and chocolate notes. There is also booze, oak, and dark fruit scents as well.

T: there is so much going on here that consist of bourbon like the nose coconuts, raisins, booze, chocolate, and roasted malt accents. It also has toffee and candy sugar but has so many ingredients to list; very complex.

M: full body with a moderate amount of carbonation that had a sweet, roasty, rich and booze finish.

D: this beer was something else and is on another level, both versions of this brew are great. It drank well and is exceptional all across the board. This is definitely everyone has to try at least once.

07-05-2010 08:26:08 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of gregalobeer
gregalobeer

Connecticut

3.08/5  rDev -32.8%

This beer is a challenge. A stanky bourbon-bogged challenge. I don't like peeking at the review average before I write, but I did this time, and I'm somewhat taken aback. The color and texture are gorgeous, but the taste is all but offensive. Most of the elements of a nasty sub-par bourbon are present, none of the charming woodsy flavors or alcohol kicks, and all of the foul composty, earthy tones. Something is rotten in this brew. I don't plan on finishing the bottle, and those who are sharing feel the same.

07-03-2010 02:03:43 | More by gregalobeer
Photo of aubuc1
aubuc1

Florida

4.6/5  rDev +0.4%

22 oz bottled on 12/19/09.

Pours pitch black with a tan head.

Smell is smooth bourbon with a nice roasty match.

Taste is a sweet, bourbon, with a thick rich alcohol warmth. Perfect.

Mouthfeel is a really creamy delight.

For the sheer size, it is pretty drinkable.

A sheer pleasure.

07-03-2010 00:20:29 | More by aubuc1
Photo of Bendurgin
Bendurgin

Maine

3.63/5  rDev -20.7%

A big thanks to Fostah is in order for this one. Poured this into a tulip. Pours black with a thin tan head that vanishes quickly. Not much lacing. Not surprising due to the high abv. I don't even need to lean into the glass to smell the bourbon. In fact, when I cracked the bottle cap halfway off I got a big hit of bourbon. It's a little tough to pick up on anything else in this but there are faint aromas of cocoa and roasted malts. Rich toffee lingers in the shadows of bourbon. This really smells nice, but it is predominantly bourbon. Wow! I figured I'd get a lot of bourbon from the smell but this is outrageous! Rich bourbon hits the tongue with notes of toffee, cocoa and coffee. Bourbon really shines through in this one though. The only thing it loses on for me is that I can taste alcohol just a bit, but a 13% bourbon bomb like this I can't be surprised. Wonderfully silky mouth feel. Just enough carbonation and the body is nice and heavy. This beer is tough to drink. It took me three hours to tank through the behemoth! I've had big barrel aged beers, but he bourbon flavor got so heavy at the end it really drank more like a whiskey than a beer.

07-02-2010 01:31:43 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of DukeKensington
DukeKensington

Michigan

4.1/5  rDev -10.5%

Don't make the mistake I did at first with this beer, and which I'm certain is the result of many of the negative reviews. Make sure to drink it at cellar temperature. Too cold and all you will smell and taste is bourbon, but let it warm up a bit and you will find a lot to enjoy.

A - Deep black, with a small amount of caramel head

S - Plenty of bourbon, but also strong caramel, and occasional hints of chocolate and coffee

T - Drink this too cold and it's all bourbon, to the point of non-drinkability. But let it warm up and you will pull out a lot of complexity. Caramel and chocolate detected above definitely present, as well as strong roasted malt. The bourbon is the flavor that kicks in strongest at first, even at cellar temperature, so give it a little time. But be careful about letting it wash around too long. The bourbon will come back to kick you in the ass.

M - Fairly light body for what I've experienced with other imperial stouts, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Smooth, but with a bit of a bite.

D - A bit more bourbon than I would have liked, but overall pretty good. I would definitely buy it again (assuming of course, there weren't other new beers available).

07-01-2010 22:51:31 | More by DukeKensington
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 7,998 ratings.