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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.

8,558 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,558
Reviews: 2,379
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 1,996
Gots: 3,635 | FT: 383
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: 8,558 | Reviews: 2,379 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beagle75
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (with a twist-off cap! Really?) into a half-pint snifter.
2006 vintage, according to the label the abv is 11%

A: Opaque black color with a few specks of fine brown bubbles but no head. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Very dark chocolate and equally dark fruit are joined in perfect balance, with an assertive--but not overpowering--note of bourbon spirit. While the chocolate quality is dizzying in its depth, it is enhanced by the subtle presence of husky malt that is as toasty as it is roasty.

T: Begins sweet, with dark and fermented stone fruit that is surprisingly lively on the palate, followed by some unctuous pudding-like chocolate that finds itself outdistanced by the smell. Acidity is restrained but still detectable, breaking even in the final tally. A solid dose of volatile alcohol is present into the middle, as is some understated charred oak, where brown sugar dominates and some rustic coffee follows. Dark and spirituous flavors, including bourbon, combine with moderate bitterness and puckering minerality in the finish, allowing roasted barley to linger on the palate.

M: Medium viscosity, silky smooth on the palate featuring a distinct lack of alcohol burn but some volatile dissipation, with very low carbonation.

D/O: It would be easy to gently compliment this beer and move on if it did not represent such a pivotal contribution to the craft beer world. This particular time capsule from 2006 was brewed at a time when spirit-infused and wood-aged beers were almost unheard of, yet it holds its own with the contemporaries of today. The smell is swoon-worthy, delivering some really remarkable dark chocolate even five years on. Other qualities are not as noteworthy, but the predictable flavors are still pleasant enough. It is kind to the palate, with an appropriate amount of spirit coming through in the taste without being hot or fatiguing. While it was a long time in coming, this one was worth the wait.

beagle75, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of MS22
3.6/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I went in to this expecting the grandeur of KBS or CBS . . . please keep that in mind.

Poured super deep black with the faintest of tan/brown head and lacing into a large snifter. Nearly no light penetrates through.

Smell is coffee, malts, chocolate, bourbon, a bit of astringency and tar on the end.

Taste was heavy. Everything I would have expected coming in blind. Bourbon and sweetness dominate. Coffee and chocolate round out the middle. The end finishes with more bourbon and a tinge of vanilla. Extremely boozy for being only 2% higher in alcohol than KBS.

Mouthfeel is as viscous as anything I've had. Older Viscosity is the nearest thing I can think of. More coating than Parabola, DL, etc.

Overall this was something I built up in my head as a must try and in the end I think all the hype around it kind of set me up for a let down. Just too boozy.

I hope the Vanilla, Coffee, and Rare I have all turn out for the better!

MS22, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of JAXSON
4.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 rate.

12oz bottle, I believe this was the 2009 vintage. Pours a thick, deep brown/black, with a nice mocha head. Roasty aroma heavy on malt with some potentially cloying qualities. Bitter chocolate shavings and roasted coffee. Flavor is rich and heavy, quite good. Smooth, creamy bitter chocolate and a bitter finish heavy on roasted coffee beans. Finish is hot with a touch of harsh bourbon. Thanks Malcolm!

February 2012 Edit of the 2011 batch. Awesome rich brownie nose, gooey, super well integrated bourbon barrel. Near Rare in terms of decadence and quality on the nose. Mouth is rich, gooey chocolate brownie, silky feel. Perhaps a touch drier and less intense on the finish than Rare. Fantastic batch, easily the best bottle of this I've had, though I haven't had a lot. Raising my score a bunch.

JAXSON, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of mtberry
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled 2009 - tasted late 2010

A - Very dark color. Like a great stout should be. Light tan head that sticks around for awhile, considering it's 13% abv.

S - Smells amazing. I love bourbon, so this is right up my alley. You get a few hints of oak and molasses, but it's pretty much all bourbon.

T - This is just great. I can easily say this is the best beer I've ever had. Although this is my first review on here, I was introduced to good beer about 4 years ago. My favorite style is Imperial Stout/Russian Imperial Stout. Hands down the best.

M - Mouthfeel is very nice. Carbonation is just right. Very thick and heavy.

O - I'm not sure what else to say. Everyone has to try this beer at least once in their life. Here in Texas we don't get this beer, so I look forward to try the other bottles in my cellar. I'm not sure what it tastes like fresh, but I imagine that a year of aging did this beer some good. It might be too overpowering fresh (but just a guess). Best beer I've had to date.

mtberry, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of socon67
4.22/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours syrupy thick with a black color that looks like liquid velvet. No lacing and minimal head. Just looks menacing.

S - Very pronounced scent of bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate. If someone could spike your Swiss Miss Cocoa, this would be the result.

T - The bourbon is pungent. For those that love boilermakers this is Nirvana. Behind that the beer has flavors of chocolate and hearty malt. This is like a meal. Easily a gift for the big stout lovers.

M - Its heavy, it doesn't care, and despite beign exceptionally balanced is a beast. So know that this is a sipper and not a meal compliment.

O - Loved this on draft, liked it alot in bottles. At least for now GI has not been screwed by the A-B takeover. For those who like bourbon or monster stouts this is a must try. Also a great curiosity beer for craft newbies.

socon67, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of youradhere
4.43/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage, 12oz bottle.

Pours pitch black with a nice fluffy brown head. Smell is bourbon vanilla, some chocolate, very interesting aromas. Taste is not as much bourbon as in the nose, vanilla and toffee, tootsie roll chocolate dominates. Very good flavor. Mouthfeel is thick and balance is great. Fantastic beer, and well worth aging- the bourbon mellows out perfectly with time!

youradhere, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of NCBeerFan
4.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for StoutFest for passing along this 2007 vintage as an extra in a distant trade….was waiting for a good time to crack it open, so with all of the Irene madness going on, the wife and I decided to split a bottle.

Pours a pitch black, with a thin tan head. Wow, the aroma is just awesome….not quite as intense as a fresh BCS, but the usual suspects are all there: bourbon, bitter chocolate, vanilla, and a little love (according to my wife :-). Again, the brew has mellowed out some over the past few years, but it has aged nicely….the taste closely follows the nose, but we're both noticing some dark fruity notes, maybe chocolate-covered cherries, and a slight bitterness from the chocolate. it goes does so smoothly, but there's still that noticeable alcohol burn and a touch of bitterness.

I don't think I've had another BA stout that had this much time on it, and this one has held up quite well. I kinda wished I had held onto it and tried it as part of a vertical, but since the wife and I both love the BCSes, they tend to not stay in our cellar for very long. One of the best BA stouts out there, IMHO!!

NCBeerFan, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of kungpao
4.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage served into Southern Star tulip.

A- Dark black with ruby hughes on the edges. Looks like cocoa cola. No head to speak of when poured.

S- Bourban, oak, vanilla, tons of roasted malts and sweet sugary maple syrup like smell. Alot of alcohol boozey smell as well. This beer is quite fragrant.

T- Bittering hops up front followed by sweet roasted malts and chocolatey maple syrup. Plenty of bourbon and vanilla and quite a bit of heat from the ABV.

M- A little thin for the style. Not the strongest point of the beer.

O- A nice BIG beer. Not my favorite barrel aged stout but definitely a quality one. I feel like the heat from the ABV was a bit overwhelming. I have a feeling this one will most definitely age well.

kungpao, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of mattboyer182
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This review is actually for the '07 version, drank in early 2011.

A - Pitch black color with no head.

S - Good chocolatey bourbon smell.

T - Very smooth, sweet taste. Slight flavors of both chocolate and vanilla. Alcohol has definitely mellowed over the years.

M - Smooth and creamy with a full body

O - Very good beer. Recommend aging for a while.

mattboyer182, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of brew3crew
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage bomber

A-dark black with no head whstsoever

S-very smooth bourbon smell that makes me want to dive in

t- nice malty backbone that is perfectly accentuated by the bourbon

M-medium body and very smooth

0-Very good beer. Must have more!

brew3crew, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of RHCP313
4.68/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to BA rageagainst123 for pointing me in the right direction to pick a few packs and bombers of this up while visiting the Finger Lakes.

2009 vintage
12 oz. bottle, poured into a snifter.
Playing: The National: High Violet

A: Pours an ominous-looking midnight black. It's visibly slow wave movement in the pour is almost intimidating. Virtually no head forms, but a clear 360-degree khaki crown surrounds spotty patches of cloud-patterned carbonation patches.

S: Lots of strong vanilla in the nose, more extract than bean on account of the alcohol heat. Sweet bakers chocolate, figs, raisins and hints of the bourbon barrel come through.

T: Starts with a bitingly sweet wave of dark chocolate, followed by boozy oak, moving alcohol heat right through my nose. Bourbon/whiskey flavors are pronounced but extremely smooth. Flavors of dried fruit soaked in booze remind me of my great grandmother's tasty-but-flammable Welsh Christmas "pudding". Deep, complex and warming.

M: Viscous, thick, creamy and smooth. It foams thick like meringue and dissipates into oily spots of caramelized sweetness.

O: This beer is classic. It's signature flavor is so memorable yet so new and expansively complex every time I drink it. It's a world-class pioneer of the style and doesn't falter in continuing to set the standard. I sipped 6 ounces of this as a dessert beer for over 40 minutes and each one was a pleasure.

RHCP313, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of mmmbeer
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to BA BanditBrewingCo for the sample. 12 oz. twist-off longneck, bottled 11/12/09. Brewed with two-row, Munich, chocolate, caramel, roasted, and debittered black malts; hopped to 60 IBUs with Willamette and aged in a bourbon barrel. No sound upon opening - hope it's carbonated. Pours black with just a hint of tan collar and no hope of lacing or head retention at this ABV. Very aromatic, with vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, stewed raisins/prunes and perhaps some minty rye from the bourbon. Excellent, but I wish it had a bit more stout character. It is in fact carbonated, and tastes very rich, a little sweet, with notes of burnt caramel, milk chocolate, vanilla, maple syrup, bourbon, spicy oak, peppery ethanol, blackberries, black cherries and raisins. You can just barely find the stout beneath, but it yields roast, dark chocolate and a moderate bitterness. Very thick and viscous on the tongue, lightly-carbonated, quite drying, tannic?, chewy and almost syrupy with a long finish. Even after two hours and nearly flat, the mouthfeel is still fine. Very highly-concentrated and quite complex, with lots of bourbon (wet barrel?) and an effortless drinkability. Almost more bourbon than stout, but this is a wonderful beer that deserves its reputation and could probably age for a decade or more.

mmmbeer, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of ShanePB
3.55/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle acquired in the N00B BIF Round #5 from Derek, thanks a ton for sending this one my way to try! 2009 vintage split with my girlfriend and family, poured into multiple tulip glasses.

A: Deep dark brown, okay borderline black, body with a deep crimson ring around the top edge. Virtually no head and only a thin ring around the glass after everything settles out. No lacing is present, either. For being a higher ABV this is somewhat forgivable however I've seen stouts as big as this put on more of a show.

S: Huge, rich and thick bourbon notes make a profound appearance in the aroma, as you'd expect. Saturated liquor wood, super sweet milk chocolate, coffee and runny maple syrup also play a part in the nose. Honestly, this is just way too sweet of a nose, very rich and needs some serious mellowing in my opinion -- even at almost the two year mark.

T: Warming bourbon along with some thick viscous sweet milk chocolate flavors are first on the palate. Midway, is nothing but super sweet and syrupy flavors that seem chaotic and messy. The sweetness intensifies as this beer warms and becomes increasingly unbalanced and constructed. The finish brings a saving grace of a grounded toasted caramel malt backbone but it's simply not enough throughout the beer to compete with the sugars.

M: Low carbonation gives this a thick and chewy mouth feel, really ideal for a stout this big. It's slightly bubbly and tingly on the tongue and leaves you with a bit of a burn in the throat on the way down.

For me, this beer was almost the opposite of what I was expecting. I think before this beer hits the bourbon barrels it needs a bit more of a polished and refined base beer to withstand the test of time. Hopefully these bottles will mellow out their sweetness over time, and luckily I have one left to test this theory. For me as this sits now, it's overly sweet and just a bit messy.

ShanePB, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of SAxDRC5
4.58/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage

A - Black and thick with a mocha head. absolutely opaque.

S - mostly bourbon. really really good bourbon. I also smell cocoa, coffee oak, cherry and vanilla

T - tastes like it smells. big bourbon taste. sweeter than I expected. I think I would prefer more hops in the end.

M - perfection. smooth, thick, and creamy, with a touch of warm alcohol on the end. this level of carbonation is exactly what I expect in a stout. From now on I'll probably compare all stouts to this one as far as mouthfeel.

O - top 5 beers I've ever had. more hops bitterness would be nice in the smell and taste. I can't imagine a more perfect looking or feeling beer however.

SAxDRC5, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 2009 bottle into snifter. Jet black (I mean absolutely black) very thin tan head that disappears almost immediately.

What a boozy aroma! Definite woody notes as well. Coffee-like acidity ( can one smell acidity?)

Wow. Unlike any beer I have tasted. Buttery bourbon flavor permeates the taste. A coffee stout style bitter finish males me want to try the coffee version.

Velvety mouthfeel. A bit boozy but still delicious. Looking forward to seeing how the others in the cellar age.

ProudBeerSnob, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of LittleDon
4.58/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

10 oz. in a brandy snifter squeezed out of the last of the keg at Sunset Grill & Tap on 8/10/11.

Damn. One of the best beers I've had in a long time. Near perfect. Jet black with a dense creamy head. Very soft with low carbonation. Bourbon oaky aroma. Rich body. The flavor starts with a bourbon like quality and finishes with dried fruit and vanilla. The alcohol is very well disguised. If any negative can be said about it (and it's only a slight knock) is that it's a bit toward the sweet side. However, this makes it the perfect after dinner beverage.

LittleDon, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of mgbickel
4.2/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I have sampled multiple vintages of this and found each one similar with subtle differences. For the purposes of this review, I am using a 22 oz bottle of 2009.

Poured into a Duck Rabbit snifter. The body is black as night with a razor thin hat of dark mahogany bubbles. The foam vanished quickly, leaving behind zero lace.

As expected, the nose has bourbon in bunches. Fermented cherries, oak and buttery dark fruits round things out.

This one is boozy right off the bat! The bourbon hits fast and hard up front. The middle turns a little woody before a strong, bitter coffee finish. The ABV is in full effect, warming your chest and throat.

Thick mouth feel, chewy with almost zero carbonation.

This is very tasty and complex, but the alcohol is not hidden at all!! Awesome sipping beer that gets better with age!

mgbickel, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of davey101
4.86/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2009 Vintage, bottled on 11/12/2009, #1318. Reviewed on 08-08-2011, making it almost two years old. 13% abv. Poured into an over sized wine glass.

A - Perfectly black body. Even holding it up to the light I don't get any brown or red hints, just black. Really dark mocha head that doesn't stick around for very long. The lacing and retention is pretty awesome. A swirl of the glass produces more mocha foam that almost has a red tint. Theres even legs too! Just looks perfect. 5.0/5

S - Bourbon initially. High quality bourbon. Then oak, vanilla, cocoa powder, and lots of roasty malty goodness. The finish is certainly alcoholic. 4.5/5

T - Crazy smooth. I taste bourbon, oak, rich vanilla, and some coffee and chocolate notes. Just a hint of bitter roasted malts. The finish is alcoholic and warming. It does come off a bit strong, but in a good way. Its not even that complex of a beer. Its just extremely well put together, Every flavor flows together perfectly. Nothing really stands out or steals the show. Really fantastic taste. 5.0/5

M - Velvety smooth and super thick. Its coats your tongue and doesn't go away until the last nuance of vanilla and bourbon fades away. Being so creamy and having fairly low carbonation, its a sipper. 4.5/5

O - This is one of my favorite stouts. The bourbon barrel notes really compliment the base beer. Its just so smooth and rich with tons of amazing flavors. If the AB-Inbev buy out means a higher supply of this stuff, then I'm game. 4.5/5

2011 Vintage, bottled on, 11/11/2011, #1711. Reviewed on 05-15-2012, making it roughly 6 months old. 14.5% abv. Poured into a brandy snifter.

A - Pitch black body. Dark mocha one finger high head. Settles down to a thin cap and thick edging. Some light lacing but a swirl leaves behind a ridiculous amount of alcoholic legs and regenerates the head. A thin layer of alcohol just stays on the side of the glass for eternity. Perfect. 5.0/5

S - Heavy bourbon notes. Dark caramelized fruits, molasses, oak, maple, caramel, butterscotch and loads of sweet vanilla. This leads into some bitter cocoa powder and coffee beans. There is a nice alcoholic burn on the finish. 5.0/5

T - Starts off with hot bourbon notes. Roasty and lightly bitter cocoa powder with vanilla and caramel sweetness. Some faint notes of dark fruits, coconut, and maple. The finish is long and bitter. Alcohol is prevalent but well integrated. 4.5/5

M - Quite boozy, so much so that the thick syrupy mouth feel seems to become watery towards the finish. Really coats your mouth though. 4.5/5

O - For a six month old beer this is drinking really damn well. I think I prefer it with a year or two on it though. The flavors seem to meld together a bit more which helps with the intense boozy bourbon notes. The '09 having only 13% abv also helps its cause a bit. 4.5/5

davey101, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of seeswo
4.48/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle enjoyed next to BCBS Rare, but I've had many bottles, many different vintages.

Pours black with a small tan head. The nose is strongly barrel influenced - vanilla and wood and bourbon, mix with a touch of chocolate and roasted malts. The taste is very similar with a pretty aggressive bourbon burn (even for this vintage) that gives the beer a rougher quality. The chocolate and roasted quality move their way a bit to the background. Carbonation is a nicely a bit subdued. Not creamy, but big. Nowhere near is smooth or decadent as the Rare, but still a pretty impressive beer available somewhat easily in $20/4 packs. That said, it is altogether a bit harsh. This quality is more pronounced with the 09-10 bottles, whereas the 2007 bottles taste a bit past.

[Edit: LOL on this old review]

seeswo, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of OddNotion
4.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle split with my girlfriend... so glad I got her into big stouts finally as she is helping me celebrate my graduation from graduate school!

2009 vintage sent to me by the more than generous mikesgroove! Thanks again man, I think at this point I really owe you!

Appearance: No head at all. Pitch black and with the half pour I get some deep brown around the extreme edges.

Smell: Chocolate, relatively strong bourbon smell which I am loving! Smells very sweet. Decent amount of booziness.

Taste: Wow has time worked its wonders on this bad boy! Next to zero alcohol burn which is incredible for a 13% beast of a bourbon barrel beer. So smooth and just a great stout! Chocolatey, slight roastiness, minmal bitterness remains, hints of vanilla, and of course bourbon. Still remains among my top stouts!

Mouthfeel: Beautifully thick and still silky smooth. Nice light carbonation. I have yet to have a beer with a better mouthfeel.

Overall: Give me more of this! I am always ISO and am so glad I will be moving to an area that sees Goose Island distribution in a week. I love this beer and consider it to be the perfect sipper. As I am also trying to get into bourbon I feel that this beer encompases the flavors perfectly where the beer still stands on is own but the bourbon and oak just add another layer of flavor.

OddNotion, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of funkyaudio
4.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was from the 2008 batch and has a white label. I noticed from Goose Island's web site that the 2009 batch now sports a black label. I was more intrigued by the 2008 batch however as it had already been aged an additional year and would supposedly have mellowed in bitterness a bit more. The beer itself had been aged slightly in bourbon barrels and would supposedly pick up a lot of character from the wood and lingering traces of bourbon.

I poured the Bourbon County Stout (BCS) into a large snifter type glass to help bring out all of the aromas and wow did it ever! The brew poured a thick jet black with just a slight 1 finger head, even with an aggressive pour. There was just a trace of lacing on the glass that didn't stick around long. That's fairly typical of an aged impy stout in my experience.

funkyaudio, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.68/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Darkness snifter.

Bottle Date: 10/28/08

A- After the initial pour a thin brown head formed but dissipated quickly to nothing, slight lacing on the sides of the glass, pitch black motor oil appearance.
S- Wow the aroma is intense, very nice big bourbon aroma, strong vanilla, oak, chocolate, sweet caramel.
T-O my this beer is delicious, huge bourbon flavor, as well as vanilla upfront, nice sweet taste with a slight bitterness, alcohol is definitely present which only adds to the experience of this beer, oak presence, chocolate, caramel, malt, really warming, definitely a sipper.
M- Big mouth feel, nice bite after every sip, coats the palate, warming as it goes down.
O- I’ve had the more recent vintages of this beer and was impressed, but with drinking the 08 I am blown away, I love this beer, only wish I had more of the 08, one of the best Barrel aged stouts I’ve had.

Chriscrundwell12, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of andrewinski1
4.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you, Tro, for sending this my way. I read a passing comment today from someone saying 2008 was prime to drink right now, so here we go. Poured into a tulip. This looks thick. The color is pitch black. Not much head at all, just a few bubbles around the rim of the glass.

The aroma is full of chocolate malt and bourbon. The aroma is slightly sweet, but the intensity of the oaky, bourbon aromas are in the forefront.

The taste is sweet and chocolatey with a hot, bourbony finish. This is definitely on the sweeter side, and might be cloying to some if not for the hefty dose of bourbon in the finish.

This is huge and chewy, with only a bit of carbonation. The mouthfeel is perfect for this beer.

This is a fantastic beer. It isn't perfectly balanced, but the flavors it delivers are remarkable.

andrewinski1, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of jondeelee
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Goose Island's 2009 Bourbon County Stout promises that one sip will have "more flavor than your average case of beer." Judging by the smell alone, this promise doesn't seem exaggerated: the brew is ripe with bourbon, milk chocolate, dark (90%) chocolate, figs, port, molasses, tobacco, and anise.

On the tongue, the first flavor is an intense bourbon & charcoal burst, followed by an almost equally-intense injection of black licorice, smoky tobacco, port, chocolate & black malts, all atop a thick bed of almost-burnt sugars. The power of these flavors cannot be understated, and even the hyperbolic promise that every sip has more flavor than a case of beer seems understated. So heady is the brew that the liquid seems supersaturated, and it is difficult to imagine that any more flavor could have been squeezed into the bottle. As a result, the mouthfeel is highly syrupy--thicker even than condensed milk--and so little room is left for anything else that carbonation barely manages a medium-light.

Overall, while I think this is one of the more astounding beers I've ever tasted, I do recognize that only the most hardy of beer-drinkers could appreciate the result. Buyer beware, then: if you think Guinness is borderline, this is definitely not the drink for you. But if you seek the thickest, darkest, mealiest, most flavorful stout on the planet, you have a shot at a contender with this one.

jondeelee, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of Treebs
4.43/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #100

2008 Vintage. 12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter. 

A: Pours a jet black, slightly viscous with quick half finger dark caramel head that quickly dissipates into nothing leaving some slight popping bubbles. 

S: I'm picking up the bourbon right away and it's still fairly strong for being almost 3 years years old. This makes me happy. I'm picking up some light oak notes, almost like wet wood chips, with very faint hint of smoke. 

T: From first sip there is a multitude flavors. It's a roller coaster of flavor enjoyment. The opening of this brew is a slight kick of bourbon with a charred oak smokeyness, like the embers of a campfire. It's smoothes out in the middle to a very light vanilla and finishes with an almost roasted coffee malt. As the beer warms the heat from the alcohol becomes more pronounced. 

M: Slightly syrupy on the mouth, heavy bodied with little carbonation. The brew coats the palate leaving an oaky and light dark chocolate mix. Minutes after a sip the taste still clings to the tongue. 

O: Wow. I saved this for my 100th review and I'm glad I did. I'm so glad the bourbon held up  and I'm glad there was still a whirlwind of flavor after the last 3 years. This is definitely a sipping beer, no questions asked, and  A must for any fan of BA stouts.  

Treebs, Aug 01, 2011
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 8,558 ratings.