Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.
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Ratings: 7,926 | Reviews: 2,339 | Display Reviews Only:
4.1/5 rDev -10.5%
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I'm only going to say this once. I think packaging plays a huge role in craft beer taste testing and I know that when a beer is judged by the BJCP guidelines it is always a blind taste test. However, that is not what it is like going into the beer store. With all of the wacky packages and names, it is hard to sift through all the people yelling at me. So, I say it once, I think packaging is important to the average Joe beer drinker, so therefore, its going into my reviews from here on out.
Review of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
With a black, glossy, elegant package highlighted by just a touch of a yellowish brown, the package actually mimics the beer you are about to pour. If you are a stout fan, you'll look at this package and your mouth will start watering. The elegance makes paying $20 for it seem worth it. Its like buying a Mac vs a PC. You pay a lil more, but when you open the package up you feel like a kid on Christmas.
The beer pours a deep black, and I mean black. You can not see through this one. The head on ours wasn't that good, but it could totally be the glasses, as I can see that it wants to be more. What is there almost mimics the package perfectly.
The moment I opened the bottle I could smell the liquor steaming off this beer. It jumped right into my nose. After the liquor smell subsided I could smell the chocolate, roasted malts. There is very little hop aroma if any.
Amazing. The moment you drink it the bourbon comes through completely and overwhelms you right off the bat. After a drink or two though you start to taste the chocolate and coffee followed up by a vanilla after taste. It tastes a bit like Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, but with a lot of liquor and a more chocolate bitter taste. I did not taste a lot of oak. It was there, but I was more amazed with the bourbon and sweetness than I was the oak.
Its a bit thicker, but not terrible. Once it starts to warm up you get more of the thickness. The carbonation is light.
Depends on what you have going on the next day. I drank 2 and I was pretty much done. I had a good buzz going on and I could have easily switched into my regular whiskey water drinks. It is filling, but for a person who likes bourbon, this is a great dinner beer or night cap.
I definitely recommend this brew if you like whiskey, bourbon and stouts. One of the best ways I could describe this beer would be to take the syrup they use to mix up coke products, mix it with whiskey, and drink it. Its sweet and spicy with a bit of roasty bitterness. Totally worth the money.
03-06-2010 19:54:09 | More by mikebiewer
4.13/5 rDev -9.8%
Bottle from Ølbutikken, Copenhagen. Brewed 2008. Served in a snifter.
Appearance: Dark and thick as the night. The foam is cocoa brown but disappears quickly (common among aged stouts).
Smell: Roasted nuts, mocca, a hint of alcohol.
Taste: Soft. Strong coffee/cocoa. Develops into dark syrup and walnuts going down your throat, warming your insides :-) 13% indeed.
Mouthfeel: Thick, hint of carbonatio, just right.
Drinkability: I feel the tingling alcohol sensation after just a few sips. The warmth in the throat exposes that it is not to be played around with. The creaminess makes it pleasant to drink, but there is enough taste to last. After a while this fact starts to settle in and the drinking goes really slow.
It's not miles away from Southern Tier Oat, with the added bourbon touch and less molasses. Both rank high personally, but I feel that I had to put more of an effort in to get this one down. Maybe I should share it if the opportunity for a next time comes.
03-06-2010 12:23:10 | More by DanielRP
3.85/5 rDev -15.9%
Holy Bourbon, Batman!
Pours jet black and looks quite thick. Not much of a head but you do get a faint hint of brown around the edges.
Smells like Bourbon, believe it or not. You can also smell some chocolate, coffee, caramel, and alcohol.
Initially, I was slammed by Bourbon. After my first drink, I could distinguish some nice chocolate flavors but for me personally, it was a ton of Bourbon and quite sweet.
It's a very thick beer with hardly any carbonation at all. I know stouts don't have as much carbonation but this one seems to be lacking...ever for this style.
I did, in fact, enjoy the beer. I think over time, I'd probably enjoy it even more. The Bourbon and sweetness was just a bit too much for me to drink this very often. I'd like to try it again after it was cellared for a while.
03-05-2010 06:46:46 | More by tturaiders
4.4/5 rDev -3.9%
I can't believe I haven't reviewed this beer. I've had the good fortune to have tasted this at the Goose Island Brewery on tap. I wanted to buy the bottled version but it was $30. Binny's across the road had 650 ml bottles at $12.
This 2009 vintage has been in my beer cellar for the last 4 months. Holy S#%T this stout is un-freakin' believably good!
Beautiful pour. Dark red, black with a thick dark tan head. Nose of vanilla, bourbon, oak and warm roasted malts. The taste doesn't let up from there. Just unbelievably, rich, silky mouthfeel. Sweet bourbon, vanilla, malt. Syrupy texture, long finish.
This stout will age well for some time to come. It's already like a fine port - totally decadent!
03-05-2010 01:21:16 | More by fairdinkum2
4.75/5 rDev +3.7%
Wow, what a Stout. Pours black as the blackest night, light appears to be drawn into it like a massive black hole. The strong alcohol/Bourbon/Chocolate tastes are electric. This beer is not for the faint of heart. For me this is the ultimate stout, I LOVE THIS BEER.
03-01-2010 23:35:49 | More by davesway10
4.4/5 rDev -3.9%
2009 version poured into a Portsmouth snifter
A: Very dark pour with hints of brown along the edges. A thin mocha head which leads to a similar colored ring around the glass. No lacing
S: Holy boozey bourbon! I love it, but it's pretty strong. This is a subtle hint of chocolate/vanilla, but it's being serious depressed by the bourbon. This is one I can tell will be "hot"
T: Yup, sure is. But damn tasty, lots of flavors. The bourbon starts everything off, with the chocolate/vanilla coming out nicely from behind the alcohol
M: Very full bodied beer. Tingly with carbonation at first, then thickness/creaminess. It warms my throat with just the first sip
D: Sipped this one slooowly. Very "hot" right now. Great beer, but definitely needs some age to mellow the alcohol out.
03-01-2010 22:46:17 | More by Brez07
4.75/5 rDev +3.7%
A - Pitch black, very little tan head.
S - Bourbon, alcohol and sweet chocolate.
T - Very good! Bourbon, oak, chocolate and alcohol. This is a really good beer now, cellared for a while I think it would be a great beer.
M - -Thick and syrupy, very nice.
D - Well, normally I would say I could only drink one, or split it with someone, but I had the opportunity to go to a party that had a pony keg of this. 1/2 glass pours and still had a hell of a hangover, so watch it with this one.
02-28-2010 20:46:19 | More by Lukafer
3.65/5 rDev -20.3%
Appearance: If I didn't know better I'd say I wrenched off the drain plug on my car and let the used motor oil drain out into my glass. A bottomless black with just the faintest glimmer of dark, dark brown on the edges. Light isn't getting through this one. Thankfully a finger's worth of head formed on an aggressive pour, reminding me that I wasn't in fact about to commit suicide via consumption of 10W30.
Smell: Wow, this is highly aromatic. The two B's are clearly in control here. Bourbon and booze, this is strong stuff. After taking a deep whiff I almost feel a slight burn in my nostrils. After the onslaught of alcohol in floats a plethora of scents. Dark chocolate, as in 85% cacao dark chocolate. Digging deeper you get hints of anise, espresso, dark fruits and even a touch of worn leather.
Taste: Have I mentioned this is a bourbon bomb? To the point where I feel like I'm sipping on a 12 oz. serving of Jim Beam. It's not as complex as the smell. The dark chocolate is still present. The anise is here as well. But the bourbon is more overpowering than it is in the smell and doesn't allow anything else to show itself.
Mouthfeel: Ridiculously thick and vicious to the point of it being syrupy. I never thought I'd say this, but I think it's too thick. I don't usually complain about carbonation, but even for a 13% beer it's extremely low.
Drinkability: As I said early it felt like having a 12 oz. serving of straight Kentucky Bourbon. When I crack my next bottle, I will be sharing this because to be honest I had trouble finishing this. It took me almost 2 hours to kill off the glass.
Overall I enjoyed the experience and there are certainly signs that this could become a good, even great beer with some age on it. But right now it's just too hot and bourbon ridden for me to love it. I have three bottles left and I plan on tasting them at different junctures during the next 2 to 3 years. I will update this review at those points in time.
02-28-2010 08:11:19 | More by DrDoitchbig
4.8/5 rDev +4.8%
A: I actually got a pretty decent head out of this. Only a quarter of an inch thick but good for the style. Blackest stout I ever laid my eyes on. You can drive a car 100,000 miles then change the oil and it wouldn't be this black.
S: Sweet chocolate malts blend well with the bourbon notes and the coffee lingering in the background. The chocolate and bourbon work well together. Neither is overpowering the other.
T: Mmmmm. Smooth, rich, nutty dark chocolate with the bourbon playing nicely and not taking over. Strangely enough I get a lot of coconut in this thing. All the flavors are very subtle. I have had 2 bourbon barrel aged stouts and many regular imperial ones. You know what? This tastes nothing like any beer I ever had before. The flavor is pure brilliance!
M: So smooth, silky and creamy. It is like drinking chocolate mousse.
D: Dangerously drinkable. I swear I cannot detect a hint of alcohol other than the bourbon notes. It does not even have that warming quality.
This stuff is black liquid gold. Usually I drink a Imperial Stout and get pretty much the same taste with slight variations in each. This beer is completely left field of any other Imperial Stout. Almost a style of it's own.
02-28-2010 08:04:10 | More by generalnotsew
4.35/5 rDev -5%
2009 Bottle cellar temperature bottle poured into pint glass
Appearance is black as night with a slight caramel colored head that fades quickly.
Smells strongly of raisins, hints of toffee, and bourbon. Alcohol is definitely prevalent before it is even tasted.
Initial taste is that of raisins [and figs?] and fades into the warming bourbon flavoring. Slightly fruity at first then a woody alcohol permeates the palate.
Fairly thick. has a viscosity not unlike a syrup and coats the interior of the mouth in a wash of its flavors.
I agree with a few of the other posters: Almost TOO drinkable for its 13% abv. This flavorful brew covers up those strong alcohol notes well.
Overall an impressive beer. Not the darkest or strongest aged stout I've had but its aroma and character are definitely unique. I bought it at the suggestion of a friend and will be buying it again.
02-28-2010 06:20:14 | More by kcbrewfan
5/5 rDev +9.2%
Pours a pitch-black with a tiny caramel colored head that vanishes right away. Aromas if extremely rich. Tons of dark, overripe fruits, raisins, plums...vanilla bean, oak, molasses, maple syrup, the list goes on and on. Very in your face aroma and I think I smelled this beer for about 5 minutes before I even took a sip. Tastes is even more jaw-dropping and complex. Initial flavors of overripe fruits ala rasins, figs, and the like. Then steps in HUGE flavors of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, slight oakiness, nutty, roasty, molasses....absolutely phenomenal. This beer has one of the most amazing lingering aftertastes of any beer I have ever had. Mouthfeel is also ridiculous. Definitely one of the top 3 most viscous beers I have ever had as well. I can literally feel this beer coating my mouth. I feel like I have to chew it before swallowing. Light on the carbonation but seems perfect for this brew. Nice warmth in the finish. I cannot stop smelling and tasting this beer, sip after sip...and that;s a dangerous thing at 13%. Definitely one of the most amazing beers I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. I only bought a single 12oz bottle to see if it was worth the price as I am often very skeptical nowadays. But this beer delivers in spades. Time to stock up. I can only imagine what this beer will offer with some years on it. Gawdayum!
02-27-2010 04:53:33 | More by Doomcifer
4.8/5 rDev +4.8%
Poured from a bottle into a tulip.
A - Pours into the glass and it is about 10 shades of black, small amount a brown sugar colored head.
S - I get vanilla and caramel right away which I wasn't expecting at all, usually with bourbon aged beers you get a huge whiff of bourbon but not with this, I do smell it but it is subdued along with the malts and coffee.
T - Wow is this good, strong bourbon and wood comes through then come great sweetness like vanilla, caramel and sugar. Also this has alot more carbonation that I thought it would. Very nice balance.
M - Nice viscous body kinda like motor oil, coats my mouth very well, full bodied and satisfying.
D - Extremely enjoyable beer, top notch in the style and I will certainly be buying this again, totally worth the price.
02-27-2010 02:42:50 | More by semibaked
4.22/5 rDev -7.9%
A: Pours a really dark black into an oversized wine glass. It has a pretty, light mocha head which goes from barely a finger high to nothing in a matter of seconds. However, left behind is a ring of head around the glass that sticks there when left alone. The lacing is a mix of curvilinear forms and medium-sized dots that linger for awhile.
S: Whoa, heavy on the bourbon, please. This beer's moniker is apt. What a great scent! Mixed in with the bourbon notes are roasted malts, vanilla, caramel, a little espresso, some good alcohol, and a great woodsy-v aroma.
T: The most important thing to note is just how big this flavor is. It has a huge bourbon and oak sweetness the blends pretty well with the darker espresso and acidic alcohol tastes. To be really picky, I would say that the component flavors do not meld together perfectly. There is just a slight disconnect in each flavor standing out from the others during the duration of the sip. The finish has a pretty heavy alcohol burn on the tongue and in the nose that is followed by a nice, dry, coffee-esque finish.
M: This really runs the gamut. It has at the same time a big creamy feel and a puckering acidity. This dichotomy is very stimulating to my brain and I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around how exactly I feel about it. After thinking a good while on it and taking another sip, I think that the bitter acidity overwhelms the creaminess just a little too much. I still enjoy it, though.
D: For all I have said about the conflicting duality of this beer, the drinkability is really quite good for a 13% Goliath. That said, if I had more than one, I'd be pretty wacky.
02-27-2010 01:01:58 | More by TCHopCraver
4.83/5 rDev +5.5%
Had from the bottle and on tap
Look: pitch black
Smell: bourbon, vanilla, some dark fruits of raisin and cherry
Taste: Absolutely amazing. Bourbon and vanilla come through perfectly with the sweet tint of raisin and cherry. Slightest touch of coffee and chocolate.
Mouthfeel: Heavy yes, boozy yes, but that is exactly what I need on a cold winter night of drinking.
Drinkability: I only wish I could drink this all night. One or two max will make one happy. I gave one to my Dad a year ago and I have never heard the man talk so much in a night.
02-26-2010 23:18:11 | More by MarkFy
4.43/5 rDev -3.3%
Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.
The beer poured ink-black and syrupy with a thin, creamy brown head into a chalice. The initial whiff was of Bourbon, oak, and vanilla, with the Bourbon aroma dominating. A big Bourbon flavor, with fainter oak and vanilla components and alcoholic esters - surprisingly smooth given the high ABV. The mouthfeel was pretty thick and oily, with low carbonation and nice lacing down the glass. A really potent stout, obviously, but surprisingly drinkable.
02-26-2010 20:48:29 | More by pershan
4.43/5 rDev -3.3%
Bottle poured into a large snifter. This is pitch black with only a small amount of head that quickly subsides. Smells intensely sweet with a mix of bourbon, raisins, cherries, and caramel. Alcohol is very noticeable in the smell.
Taste is extremely sweet. Bourbon is the dominant flavor, with some other hints of vanilla, raisin, and cherry. Alcohol blends into the flavor very well.
This is delicious and very drinkable. Met and exceeded my expectations.
02-26-2010 02:25:09 | More by webmanspidey
4.8/5 rDev +4.8%
12oz. bottle, 2009 release only a few months old, poured into a tulip.
A: Black as night with about a finger of beautiful brown foam. Foam holds up pretty well and a good amount of lacing forms with each sip, but it doesn't stick around too long. As it warms the lacing sticks to the glass a lot better, though it disappears completely as I let it rest between sips.
S: Just a couple minutes out of the fridge, lots of oaky-vanilla booziness and a bit of sweet chocolate, a bit reminiscent of a tawny port (I drink more port than bourbon so that comes to mind more readily). A bit of warming reveals coffee and dark fruit, cherries I think- need to allow some more warming to get a better sense. A few more minutes of warming and now each sniff catches alternating aromas of chocolate covered cherries and chocolate covered raisins. Delightful. I continue to detect more aromas, but there's so much going on I can't quite decipher some of the other notes I'm sniffing. Rich caramel malt is one of them.
T: First few sips are all chocolate and booze. As it warms the booze settles a bit- though it's definitely still there- while the aromas of coffee and chocolate covered fruits make their way across the taste buds. The flavors continue to evolve as I make my way down the glass- bitter coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses, and dark cherries. So much going on but so well put together.
M: Thick and then some, very rich and fudgy. Wish I had a brownie or some kind of rich chocolaty dessert to go with it. The finish exhibits a pleasant bitterness from the coffee flavors (and presumably some hops) and lingers nicely from sip to sip. As thick as this brew is, BCS is also pleasantly smooth, with an oily slickness that follows step by step with the long finish.
D: What more can I say? Bourbon County Stout is so complex yet so well balanced. So many aromas, flavors and a complex finish/mouthfeel that all blend together with near flawless precision. It's almost perfect.... Almost.
02-25-2010 03:37:10 | More by jhoban19
4.33/5 rDev -5.5%
Pours a very dark black with a small mocha colored head that fades fast. A very think pour.
First whiff is Bourbon and oak! WOW. Then you get an aroma of mocha and vanilla. Its quite a rush to the nose. The first sip is the same, sharp bourbon with hints of port and oak. Another sip brings coffee, chocolate, and booze!
Its definatly a sipper. The booze is strong, but its more from the bourbon presence than the overall ABV. Actually the more you drink the more it smooths out and becomes just a nice tasty warmth. Now this review is of a 2009 vintage, bottled on 2/18/09. I would imagine another year would make it even smoother. With that said, I can't think a fresh one would be very easy to get down with all of the booze and bourbon. But if you can find an aged one, pick it up!! Its one of the most unique stouts I have had, buts its not one for those who don't like the uniqeness of the bourbon flavor.
02-24-2010 20:49:15 | More by Liverpool08
4.83/5 rDev +5.5%
A- Black with a ring of brown foam.
S- Oaky with a little vanilla.
T- Just like it smells, with a hint of vanilla!
M- Smooth and easy to drink.
D- I could definately drink another one if I had one!
This beer was really teriffic. I highly reccomend picking one up yourself. Probably the best beer I've had from Goose Island.
02-22-2010 22:53:36 | More by jdefont
4.43/5 rDev -3.3%
Pours a surprizing dark brown black translucent color that leaves a very small mocha head and recedes quickly. Swirls along the glass like oil almost.
Smell: Smells like cedar, bourbon, sherry along with your standard imperial stout. Chocolatly bourbon and caramel come through and sting the nostrils slightly.
Taste: Tastes very smooth. Big dose of vanilla, bourbon and woody characters come through, almost like a scotch. Very balanced for such high abv but the alcohol is comming through. Despite the alcohol bite, i believe its meant to be that way and it showcases the stout brilliantly.
Mouthfeel: low carbonated and perfect for this style. Doesnt leave the mouth overly cloying or dry. very smooth transition through all of the layers.
Drinkability: I wouldnt drink more than a bomber of this, but its easy to drink. High abv and huge complex flavors make this perfect with food and its delicious enough to have by itself.
02-22-2010 20:51:36 | More by Augustiner719
5/5 rDev +9.2%
Review from notes Aug 28, 09
A - Poured an intense, heavy pitch black with a dense 1/4" tan head. Nothing comes through, everything is sucked into this black abyss. Excellent retention the whole time. 5.0
S - Like Thomas Hardy's meets Serpent's Stout and got married at Maker's Mark. Very rich fruitiness of figs and dates. Touch of caramel and toffee. A splash of whiskey and oakiness. Some blackberries as well. Whispers of dark chocolate flows through, trailing a tiny hint of alcohol. 5.0
T - Holy. Shit. This beer is the new Arrogant Bastard. But it wears a top hat, monocle, and carries a cane with a concealed flask. Bold chocolatey notes mingle with intense roasted barley and port wine. Immense, black ruination of your palate is instant. It douses your palate with rich RIS-like roastiness, chocolate, and fruits with an English barleywine sweetness. Vanilla with a touch of alcohol warmth in the finish. 5.0
M - Full bodied, creamy, velvety smooth. Smooth carbonation barely leaves a prickly on the tongue. Coats the palate nicely. 5.0
D - Dangerously drinkable. Please don't drive after this, because you'll surely have more than one of these. 5.0
02-21-2010 18:25:36 | More by DmanGTR
4.7/5 rDev +2.6%
a: Minimal tan head. Black with a slight bit of redness to it. In the snifter, certainly no light passing through this.
s: bourbon barrel aroma dominate here. whirlwind of chocolate, vanilla, coconut and caramel type smells.
t: its quite impressive how the bourbon doesn't overpower but instead extends the spectrum of the flavor. Those mentioned in smell all come together perfectly. Really well done. Delicious sweetness to it.
m: creamy, silky smooth. carbonation is there and probably where it should be.
d: this goes down too easily.
Before I drank this I had imagined what perfect bourbon stout would taste like, and this is pretty close. Certainly one of the best stouts I've had. Try this if you haven't (though I think most of you have).
02-21-2010 18:03:26 | More by billyshears
4.33/5 rDev -5.5%
I got this from Dunt in a BIF. I poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a thick, jet black with a thin tan head. There are huge notes of bourbon on the nose. Upfront the flavor of booze is prevalent. It mellows out on the finish, with some sweetness and hints of vanilla. The beer is full bodied and an all night sipper. Truly a great beer.
02-20-2010 22:33:14 | More by bonkers
4.5/5 rDev -1.7%
Came in a 7 oz short glass, with a rich brown head atop a thick black beer. Smelled sweet of bourbon and a bit of malt. The beer was well balanced with bourbon and malt falling wonderfully across the palate. The alcoholic character was very evident, although was balanced with the sipping nature that this beer became.
02-20-2010 04:23:40 | More by kjyost
4.38/5 rDev -4.4%
2008 vintage poured into wide mouthed goblet.
A - Pitch black with just an island of brown foam, not enough to call it a head, swirling across the surface and clinging to the edges, in all very much like espresso crema.
S - Aroma of fine bourbon makes a big first impression, further examination reveals rich concentrated raisins, dark roasted malt, charred oak, and vanilla.
T- The bourbon flavor is much more subdued than the aroma would suggest, but plenty rich bourbon character comes through without taking control, allowing this to really drink like a stout. Dark dried fruit, vanilla, charcoal, rich dark chocolate, carob, toffee, leather, dark rum, sweet pipe tobacco. Finishes a bit boozy with a hint of smoke. Rich. Complex. Amazing.
M - Super smooth, rich, and full bodied with oily coating quality without smothering. Perfect light carbonation.
D - Very, very, scarily drinkable. Its a sipper that I find myself going for a bit more heavily than I should. Will pick this up whenever I see it.
02-19-2010 03:29:15 | More by JTahoe
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 7,926 ratings.