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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.

7,917 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,917
Reviews: 2,338
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 1,773
Gots: 3,377 | FT: 366
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
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Ratings: 7,917 | Reviews: 2,338 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mbudner


4.9/5  rDev +7%

'08 vintage bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a motor oil black with almost no head whatsoever (some dark mocha colored bubbles.) Nice and viscous.

S- Chocolatey bourbon goodness. Heavy notes of vanilla and wood combined with sweet chocolate malts. Great heat, just enough bourbon without being over-powering.

T- A lot like the smell. Simply perfect balance between the bourbon and the stout flavors. A year on this beer has turned it from a great brew to a fantastic one. The bourbon heat hits my lips and the back of my throat in the finish, but so much complexity and chocolate in the mid-palate.

M- The carbonation is nice and low, which is great because a lot tend to be over-carbonated. I might like a few more bubbles, but no complaints. Nice and chewy, for sho. There is a great heat to this beer after a year that keeps it special without ruining the flavors of the base stout itself. Lots of stout-y chocolate malts competing with the vanilla, oak and spices of the bourbon. The oak leaves a nice dryness as well.

D- This is a joke at 13%; I could drink it all day and all night. It is a thick chewy BA stout, but it goes down nice and easy leaving me wishing I had picked up a few more bottles.

12-24-2009 05:25:39 | More by mbudner
Photo of brewdoc75


4.83/5  rDev +5.5%

I'll start this by disclosing that I typically do not care for bourbon. This has made me hesitant to try this beer. But nevertheless, I have a 3 year vertical in my cellar. Tonight, I decided to give this years batch a try.

A: Dark black. Some ruby undertones when the light can refract through. Strong, off-white, chocolate head that lasts quite a while. Served to me in a 10 oz snifter. Very inviting and quite succulent appearing. The head dies a little too quickly. If it lasted a bit longer, this very well could have been a 5.

S: The aroma is initially that of a top shelf bourbon. Very boozy. This quickly trends to a pleasant roasty aroma followed by some chocolate and vanilla. Slightly smoky as well.

T: All I can say is "wow." Tons of flavors going on. First I get a lovely burnt coconut, followed by some vanilla, chocolate, a hint of coffee and even some caramel. The coconut flavors are what make me swoon. Like a atomic, chocolate, coconut macaroon. The bourbon is present in the end. Not overly strong like some and just right. I didn't feel the alcohol too much as well. This is contrary to other reviews. The flavors were very well balanced. The hops were there to provide very appropriate bitterness. The flavors overall could be described as "epic."

M: Medium to heavy bodied, but definitely on the lighter end for an imperial stout. Smooth. I may want a hint more velvety mouthfeel in a high alcohol stout like this, but really not a terrible fault.

D: This was definitely an epic beer. The flavors were incredible. I really don't care for bourbon, but this beer makes me want a rematch. I was really taken aback with this beer. I'm gonna collect a few more years and try my vertical that i have in my cellar. In the meantime, I may pick up another 4 pack of this years batch. If you haven't tried this, you must. My drinking partner tonight was a novice and even loved it. GO BUY THIS NOW!

12-23-2009 03:42:52 | More by brewdoc75
Photo of pmoore311


4.4/5  rDev -3.9%

This is my first review on BA, and being that it is winter here in MI, I thought I would start with my favorite Big Stout.

Poured thick with about 1/2 finger of a chocolate head.

The smell was great, vanilla, bitter chocolate, and bourbon are right up front. I could use a little more though.

The taste is spectacular, with a very roasted malty smoky flavor with lots of vanilla and bourbon present. It tastes almost like it is a Stout mixed with Bourbon. What a great combo. What sets this apart for me is the very nice finish, that is less sweet that some of the other big stouts out there.

For being 13% the drinkability is spectacular, as there is a nice warming from the alcohol, but not too intensely hot.

For me when it come to BA Big Stouts this is what I measure all others against. Next up will be the Abyss.

12-22-2009 18:08:05 | More by pmoore311
Photo of sidetracked


4.78/5  rDev +4.4%

2008 vintage.

Pours black with just a little thin brown head which dissipates almost instantly.

Smells of bourbon and slightly of vanilla.

Tastes of roasted malts and a bit sweet like caramel or brown sugar. The barrel aging comes through as both hints of bourbon and a woodsyness. A little bitter chocolate at the end finishes out the taste.

This is one thick beer. Very chewy. With the almost complete lack of head, I would have expect the beer to be flat, but there is still a good carbonation to it.

A great beer to savor and enjoy. I'd like to drink another, but with the high ABV one per night is good.

12-22-2009 04:33:28 | More by sidetracked
Photo of Zaplt


4.22/5  rDev -7.9%

Appearance - Thick deep black stout - tones of red and browns in light. Very little head.

Smell - Woah! Very strong Bourbon - cherry, sweet fruity, licorice, caramel, roasty.

Taste - This beer is huge!!! Extremely complex taste with many layers -- intense alcohol at first which seemed to mellow with time (warmth or just me getting used to it?) sweet flavors from the smell come through very strong in the taste - cherry, licorice, with tones of caramel and chocolate (oak).

Mouthfeel - Really syrupy, smooth, and thick. Goes down surprisingly smooth for 13% but is a bit intense. Aftertaste is extremely sweet...

Drinkability - First sip I was not ready but as I sat with it for a while the complexity became more and more apparent and more and more deep. An amazing beer but hard to handle - I think if it was just slightly less alcoholic and they let the flavor come through a little more I would be completely satisfied. Amazing beer though.

12-21-2009 08:16:43 | More by Zaplt
Photo of animal69


4.1/5  rDev -10.5%

A- pours a viscous almost impenatrable brown-black color w/ a very thin brown cap which dissipates almost immediately leaving a nominal lacing in my snifter

S- wow, this smells just like a liquor, massive bourbon nose up front with notes of wood, vanilla, tobbaco and soy sauce spread throughout, a bit of alcohol present esp. as it warmed

T- starts out fairly sweet, taste is also mainly bourbon with licorice and a smokey wood flavor, some fruit that i can't quite describe in there as well, almost sense some coconut(?) in the slightly alcoholic finish where the only bitterness i could detect comes through

M- a rich full body bordering on cloying, yet in a not unpleasant way, moderate to low carbonation, feels slick on the tongue

D- not a bad beer but def. a sipper, my 1st bourbon barrel aged, could prob. use some aging

12-21-2009 03:29:30 | More by animal69
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

4/5  rDev -12.7%

Fresh 2009 bomber. Thanks, JamnesCameron!

Pours like chocolate syrup. Dark brown/black color. Impenetrable. Smallish chocolate head retains well. Not much lacing.

Aroma is mostly bourbon. A lot of sweetness, like caramel, vanilla, and chocolate.

Flavor follows. A lot of sweetness with a light, bittering roast. Really, really rich flavor. Definitely a dessert/cigar beer.

Thick, viscous feel. Like drinking syrup. Very low carbonation level. The ABV is noticeable, but not enough to make this an unpleasant drinking experience. Half of the bomber took well over an hour to drink - this is definitely a slow sipper, meant to be savored. Can't wait to get my hands on more bottles to age.

12-21-2009 03:02:39 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of cpetrone84


4.58/5  rDev 0%

had on tap in chicago at goose island

A-pours two fingers of a thick dark caramel colored head that has an ok retention with a light lacing on the glass. the beer is jet black in color and doesn't allow light to pass through

S-huge notes of bourbon overpower the nose, hints of chocolate malt are subtly present with a touch of molasses

T-great taste from the bourbon barrel aging, it gives it a beautiful complexity, there is a lot of roasted chocolate malt, some molasses, a hint of hops towards the finish, some sweet citrus

M-so big, full bodied with an extremely smooth mouthfeel and a light warming from the alcohol (still well hidden for such a high abv). Nice amount of carbonation and aging would probably reduce this making it perfect

D-I could drink this all day, awesome flavor, great mouthfeel, well hidden alcohol with a nice warming, chewy and thick...give me more!

12-19-2009 05:34:38 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of homebrew311


4.45/5  rDev -2.8%

2009 12 oz bottle poured into NB globe.

A: black motor oil pour with insanely dark brown head that disappears pretty quickly, heavy lacing

S: bourbon, chocolate, bourbon, chocolate WOW! these two smells dominate but are so rich and complex... the bourbon lends a vanilla sweetness and an oaky character, the chocolate character smells very dark like baking chocolate

T: I get the chocolate first on the tongue in the form of deep dark chocolate/ cocoa. This is followed by an onslaught of bourbon. This is the most integrated bourbon barrel aged stout I have tried. The bourbon is very strong, but the malty backbone keeps it from being too harsh. This is definitely an intense beer, but it is well balanced for its stature

MF: thick, creamy, chewy, velvety, low carb, perfect

D: Too boozy to have more than one but the flavor is exquisite and this sets the curve for BBA stouts IMO. The only other one I enjoyed more was KBS

12-19-2009 04:11:35 | More by homebrew311
Photo of veachster


4.47/5  rDev -2.4%

A - Poors thick and black with a not so impressive dark tan head. Head retention is ok.

S - Right away I picked up bourbon. The bourbon overpowered everything else right away but seemed like it settled and the smell of roasted malts and a chocolate coffee came through.

T - The bourbon hits followed by a coffee. Definately can taste the chocolately roasted malts. No signs of lacing in the glass.

M - It sits crispy (carbonation) at first then it becomes a nice smooth creamy feel. The bourbon lingers out and bites a little bit. Chocolate seems to stick around for the after taste.

D - It is a very nice stout and seems like a good choice to share for the holiday with family and friends. I wouldn't slam the bottle by any means nor drink more than one at a time, but I am very much enjoying it.

12-19-2009 03:10:00 | More by veachster
Photo of ocelot2500


4.8/5  rDev +4.8%

Pours a jet black with a small, tight brown cap that leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass.

Smells of roasted malts, alcohol, and vanilla. Plenty of brown sugar as well with coffee and chocolate.

Tastes of the roasted malts up front followed by a big bourbon flavor. Notes of coffee, chocolate and molasses. From the bourbon comes vanilla and oak notes. It is plenty sweet with a big boozy flavor as well.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy. A bit chewy and syrupy.

12-19-2009 02:43:41 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of OtherShoe2


4.55/5  rDev -0.7%

Pours jet black with a cocoa colored head that is gone in a flash. No lacing .

Big aromas in this one. First is molasses and a cherry/bourbon scent. Then a little white pepper in the nose, then maybe some coffee. When it comes down to it, there is nothing bitter or sharp here. Just smooth and inviting.

More of the same. An incredibly smooth beverage. Some dark roasted malt bitterness, but perfectly balanced with the bourbon edge. Sweetness invades with hints of vanilla and some molasses bite. Even at 13% (and this was a young bottle -- 2009), not a bit of chemical alcohol. You'd never know what a kick this one has. Creamy, smooth, and delicious, right to the lingering bittersweet finish.

A mouth coater for sure. And a sipper. You just cannot take big swills, not would you want to. The slow drinking necessity extends the pleasure of this beverage. Only drawback -- this 12 0z. brew (bought in MA) cost me $7.00. Very much a special treat for me, and more than likely I will pine for this when I see it, but won't spend the money again. Everyone who loves stout -- hell, everyone who loves beer should try this once. I can only imaging what a year or two of aging would do to this.

12-18-2009 21:33:23 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of AndrewD1022


4.43/5  rDev -3.3%

This was a 2008 bottle that I have been storing for Christmas. The beer was poured into a regular pint glass.

The pour was like pouring out a coffee. There is no opacity when it is in the glass and even when you are at the very end of the drink it's still very dark. After the pour, the head does not stay at all. However, there is always a small ring of brown head around the glass.

Smell is very simple, think bourbon. With subtle hints of coffee and molasses. The smell is very smooth. Compared to my initial tasting of bourbon county stout it is a little smoother after a year.

The taste follows very closely with the smell. Hints of bourbon, sweet molasses, vanilla and caramel. Some smokey taste to it hits later on the back of your pallet.

The mouthfeel is very smooth at the beginning and sort of sneaks up in the end. With the hint of bourbon coming into play later in the taste, it really brings a whole new feel to the beer.

Drinkability is up to the drinker. I could probably have one of these every few days. However, for people not accustomed to this beer. It is a huge undertaking. Usually takes me about an hour to drink a full bottle.

This is one amazing beer. I have had this beer in two consecutive years and both years are very good. Aging is recommended and from the reviews it is a good choice.

12-18-2009 03:36:03 | More by AndrewD1022
Photo of Redbear


4.55/5  rDev -0.7%

This is a 2006 bottle I found at a neat liquor store in Chicago. I served it in a wide mouth glass.

This beer pours pitch black; you can't see through it at all until the very last drops. There is almost no head, but tiny traces of the coffee coloring stick around for the whole drink.

The nose smells highly of alcohol but not in the gasoline-like sense. The scent of coffee or bitter chocolate accompanies it well.

Tasting this beer is a treat. Full, rich chocolaty flavor in the mouth with a slight sting in the back of the throat; really a full taste that I have trouble picking out all of its subtleties. Surprisingly drinkable for a 13% abv beer.

I'm actually surprised that this 2006 bottle tastes almost identical to the new 2009 ones, but I'm not complaining. A great beer for sure.

12-17-2009 19:42:58 | More by Redbear
Photo of oceanman


4.7/5  rDev +2.6%

Pours near black, off-white head, good lacing.

Blast of bourbon on nose, then like a sundae - hot fudge over vanilla ice cream, a bit of marshmallow

Tastes like French vanilla ice cream, dash of cappucino, balanced taste of bourbon, chocolate fudge. Bourbon/alcohol rise as beer warms.

Light carbonation, slight syrup, sweetness balanced out by alcohol and a faint bitterness, quite smooth given the intensity of flavor. Probably would be even better with age.

Sad to see this bottle go. Shocked to see it was 13%. Excellent all around.

12-17-2009 03:56:51 | More by oceanman
Photo of AHebel


4.15/5  rDev -9.4%

2008 Bottle poured into a snifter.

BCS pours almost black, thick, with practically no head. At first, right after pouring, the aroma is almost solely bourbon, but once it's opened up for a min. that takes a backseat to vanilla, raisin, and dark, chocolatey-roasted malts. Mouthfeel is great, with mild carbonation and a perfectly thick, light, syrupy consistency. After a year, there's still a slight, very acceptable dry alcohol finish that comes after smooth, bourbon-chocolate-oaky-smokey flavors. I think the flavor of vanilla sticks around afterward as well. Overall a great stout, which is hard for me to say, because this is the only GI beer that I've decided I liked. Used to live in Chicago so I had most available. The tour I went on was a joke....

Pleasantly surprised with this beer!

12-15-2009 20:46:20 | More by AHebel
Photo of gyllstromk


4.18/5  rDev -8.7%

This was a 2008 bottle.

Pours jet black with very mild carbonation. Nose is coffee, bourbon, molasses, candy, and chocolate. Flavor starts with chewy, caramel candy, transitions to vanilla soda, a coffee finish, with hot alcohol on the exhale. One of the thickest, creamiest feels, and a burnt, stickiness on the aftertaste. Almost certainly the most bourbon from any "bourbon" stout I've had.

12-14-2009 21:29:27 | More by gyllstromk
Photo of Travlr

District of Columbia

4.13/5  rDev -9.8%

A: Black with a large-bubble head that settles quickly into three distinct islands (no kidding) and an edge of foam.
S: aroma resembles Jack Daniels lite.
T: flavor starts with malt and caramel, then progresses to bourbon, enough to mask most of the beer flavor.
M: decent body, very smooth for a bourbon brew.
D: a slight toning down of the bourbon aspect would go over well, although this is an otherwise tasty beer.

12-14-2009 02:24:51 | More by Travlr
Photo of mdwalsh


4.28/5  rDev -6.6%

A: Black, no head, but not the blackest I've ever seen.

S: Bourbony, with just a bit of booze to it.

T: Bourbon is strong, but smooth, and the alcohol from the nose is gone.

M: Smooth, heavy but in a light, drinkable kind of way

D: I mentioned to someone it's just a bit "too big"

12-14-2009 02:22:08 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of brian23456


4.6/5  rDev +0.4%

2008 bottle

A- Just about as dark as a beer can be. Not much for head, sticky lacing.

S- Very powerful smell. Lots of bourbon, wood, vanilla, chocolate and maybe some charcoal.

T- Similar to the smell, very powerful with lots of bourbon, wood, vanilla and chocolate. There is definatley some booziness, but at 13% it's reasonable.

M- Very thick, viscous and chewy. Carbonation is on the low side.

D- Definatley a sipper! This beer is pushing the envelope but does it very well, tons of smell, flavor and a extremley thick mouthfell. It's quite delicious but I can olny drink one every once in a while, and enjoy the hell out of it every time!

12-12-2009 04:38:46 | More by brian23456
Photo of womencantsail


4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

A: A 2008 bottle poured into a snifter. The pour is dark as night with some thin mocha colored foam.

S: The smell is full of bourbon, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, and a slight bit of alcohol.

T: This is one smooth beverage. Great bourbon, chocolate, oak, and molasses flavors. There are still some alcohol presence, but it's nowhere near as hot as when fresh.

M: The carbonation is very light, but it works well with a 13% Impy Stout. The body is full, smooth, and creamy.

D: Even though the alcohol has died down quite a bit in a year+, it's still a big, big beer. I need to go out and buy more of this, because I see this only getting better.

12-11-2009 05:37:00 | More by womencantsail
Photo of AdmiralDiaz


4.83/5  rDev +5.5%

2008 Poured from 12oz bottle to snifter.

A: Pours quite thick into a black body with a one-finger reddish-brown head with okay retention.

S: Strong Strong bourbon! Sweet malts with molasses, chocolate, oak, and dark fruit. Smells amazing!

T: Amazing! Malty up front with alcohol coming in just weak enough to enjoy, turns to hints of chocolate about halfway though with heavy molasses, oak, dark fruit, finishing with the perfect essence of milk chocolate and of course there is strong bourbon overtones across the palate. Simply amazing.

M: Bubbles dance across the tongue perfectly in this fairly thick beer. Doesn't get much better than this.

D: Pretty drinkable for how bold it is, the alcohol doesn't come out strongly at all, I honestly think this is so delicious I could do the entire four pack in a night. Possibly the best beer I've had.

12-11-2009 04:19:31 | More by AdmiralDiaz
Photo of garymuchow


4.18/5  rDev -8.7%

Yikes 13%! A twist off cap, on a beer this big. That seems incorrect. 2009 version.
Alcohol. Bourbon. Wood. Initial sweetness of candy-like sweetness of a vanilla/butterscotch "adult" like candy I would have hated as a kid, but somehow is appealing to adults. Not incredibly complex but steady, interesting and pleasing.
Small layer of dark bubbles start the cap, but slowly settle into a tan ring. Very black. Black as night here on a cold early winter evening in MN.
Whoa momma, is that full and rich. Flavors similar to aroma except the alcohol is in full evidence, pushing the flavors and intensity, slightly burning, enhancing the bourbon and lingering, lingering, lingering. Slow down on this one, it's a sipper. A small drink goes a long ways. Warming in the gut right away. I really like the vanilla flavors up front, but the bourbon towards the back to too much for me (I'm not a big bourbon guy).
Very nicely carbonated, soft, fine, small bubbles enhance the drink. Smooth considering the alcohol. Rich in flavor, but not feel. Surprisingly on the smaller size for feel.
A little goes a long way with this one. A 12oz bottle is more than enough. I'd actually prefer to share even that size bottle. I do look forward to aging the remainder of these bottles as I hope it mellows the most intense aspects and doesn't hurt the things I most enjoy.

12-11-2009 03:14:59 | More by garymuchow
Photo of pmccallum86


4.4/5  rDev -3.9%

Let me start by saying this is the biggest stout I have ever tasted, holy shit this is a sipper!

Appearance is dark evil black with a small dark brown head that dissipates quickly leaving lacing cemented to the snifter.

Smell is of bourbon, lots of bourbon. Also some tobacco, vanilla and a shit load of malt scents.

Tastes like someone poured a stout, syrup and bourbon into a barrel and let it age for a year. Big heavy bourbon flavors assault the tongue as well as a tobacco flavor and some sweet maple syrup. Alcohol also comes through immediately, This beer is a definite night capper.

Mouthfeel is thick, viscous and mean. This is a big fucking stout.

Drinkability is original, its a pleasure to drink for being so big, thick and boozy. Nothing better for a winter warmer or a night cap.

12-10-2009 20:09:25 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of deruiz10


4.63/5  rDev +1.1%

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Half-finger head is coffee and cream color, quickly fades to nothing and leaves no lacing. Pour is as about as close to pitch-black as they come, impervious to light.

S - Dark malts and chocolate, hints of caramel, blackberries, coffee. Alcohol is present but hides pretty well amongst the other odorants. Smells a lot like the berry-flavored chocolate you might find in a box of chocolates.

T - Dark, toasty malts. Chocolate through and through with hints of caramel, brown sugar, and a fair amount of coffee. Aftertaste is chocolate and mocha. Very complex with the alcohol providing a bit of a bite, but not overpowering.

M - Creamy and just heavy enough. Lingers in the mouth even after you've downed the hatch.

D - A heavy brew to be sure, best to take it slow. Overall one, if not the, best stout I've tried.

12-09-2009 04:37:01 | More by deruiz10
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 7,917 ratings.