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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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

8,110 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,110
Reviews: 2,352
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 1,843
Gots: 3,452 | FT: 379
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: 8,110 | Reviews: 2,352 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KansasBeerLover
4.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This 12 oz. bottle, the 2009 edition, has a date of 10/02/09, just over a month old.

Poured into a 14 oz. glass ( no snifters in my house) at the recommended 40*. A thin head with tiny bubbles that disappear with the first sip. Color is an extremely dark brown, dense enough that my penlight does not begin to penetrate. Dark enough that if it were coffee that a spoon would stand at attention in it.

Aroma and flavor are very similar. Smoky oak, chocolate, vanilla and alcohol. The flavor has a strong taste of good bourbon.

Mouthfeel - This brew is going for a long cruise on my palette.

Drinkability - I am 30 minutes into this glass, about 2/3 down. Long and slow, I could sip on this all night. But at 13% ABV I would have difficulty standing.

I will certainly put some of this on the shelf for future use, it will certainly improve with age.

KansasBeerLover, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of Beast35
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one big beer (2009 edition). Sampled it the other night at crown liquors and talked to the guy in charge of brewing it so i figured i'd sit down and work through one tonight. Poured into a DFH snifter. Poured a tar like black with a finger of tan head. Nose of BOURBON! with alcohol and coffee in the background. Taste is full of bourbon flavor backed with a coffee and chocolate. The alcohol comes through more as it warms and adds a spice to the brew. Mouthfeel is heavy, it sticks around for awhile. this is a sipper but i feel like i could sip this every night if given the chance.

Beast35, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of kbnooshay
4.4/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured super black with super dark frothy brown head that is almost as impressive as the head of a ten fidy! Aroma is of strong bourbon whiskey and sweet butterscotch. The taste is very whiskey heavy with a nice hint of vanilla and oats. This is one smooth brew. Super drinkable.

kbnooshay, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of Shumista
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Long day, luckily I found this little guy hiding in the back of my fridge. Woo hoo. 2008 vintage.

A- Bourbon County (Brand) Stout pours like oil, thick black and syrupy. Very little dark brown head present after an aggressive pour and tons of lacing left on the sides of the glass after each sip.
S- Bourbon, alcohol, vanilla, oak, dark fruit, caramel, smoke, coffee, chocolate...
T- Bourbon, alcohol, vanilla, oak, dark fruit, caramel, smoke, coffee, chocolate. Really the oak and vanilla pop out to me whereas the rest of the flavors mingle to form a strong dark roasty malt backbone.
M- Thick, chewy, syrupy, pillowy, warming.
D- Haha one is going to put me right to sleep I think.

Shumista, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of FBBrewingCo
4.8/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a review of the 2009 BCS.

Pours to a small coffee colored head with fairly low carbonation. The aroma has hints of brown sugar and caramel along with bourbon and alcohol notes.

The taste is actually more mellow than I was expecting. A very smooth and creamy stout with a good balance of oak and bourbon flavor finishing with a nice sweetness and a big alcohol finish.

Overall this is a very big, very enjoyable beer with great flavor and balance for an Imperial Stout. I'd drink one anytime.

FBBrewingCo, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of morimech
4.43/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage

Pours very dark black with 1/2" of mocha colored head that quickly settled to a thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass. I am impressed it showed as well as it did considering the ABV. Intense aroma of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, and alcohol. I can tell right now this is going to be a hot one. After one sip, it sure was hot. But there is plenty of flavor to make it worth drinking. A lot of vanilla and bourbon upfront with more subtle notes of chocolate, plums, and toffee. Finishes boozy with a lot of warmth. Full bodied with nice carbonation. If this had anymore carbonation it would be harsh with all the alcohol. This is the type of beer because of ABV and price, that is reserved for special occasions. I will need to save one for just such an occasion.

morimech, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of jacobseyb
4.55/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A=deep dark used motor oil black, poured an abysmal 1/2 inch head, that dissipated quickly with little to no crown

S=bourbon is more muted than expected, malts are vary prevalent, with coffee and caramel being the primary flavors

T=malty more than bourbon-y, definitely chocolaty with coffee and caramel, some bitters on the tail end.

M=very tight carbonation, with some crsipness and dryness to it.

D=very sweet, and the ABV don't lend to true sessionablity though I could drink it several nights in a row

jacobseyb, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of turamarth
4.7/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served into my Tremens glass :)
2009

Appearance: Motor Oil black, topped with a lovely rust colored centimeter thick head. This looks like a stout. It even looks a little evil.

Smell: First thing that hits my nose is a burst of toffee. Which I think is something I get often from things aged in bourbon barrels. Then deeper there are soft notes of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, and a nice under lying spicyness. Delicious.

Taste: Holy balls....this beer is more complex than an escher painting. Where some beers taste mimics the smell, this beer has all those subtle notes that the nose has...but in the taste...amp those notes up ten fold, then add about twenty layers of complexity (all that after one sip)! Notes of milk chocolate, vanilla, rich toffee, and spicyness. This beer is super sweet. There might even be some sweet fruit notes. I could go on and on, but there is more that i need to analyze.

Mouth: Thick, chewy, juicy. This is thick and chewy, but it still maintains a smooth silkiness. It has a nice tingle from the light carbonation. Coats the mouth with its yumminess.

Drink: If this beer wasn't 13% abv, I would session it like a mad man until it rotted my tummy with all its glorious sweetness.

This beer is a sultry ebony princess that will tug on your heart strings.

turamarth, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of Martin2D
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to fbm115 for sharing this one.

A - Pitch black with a decent tan head with lacing.

S - Woody, roasty, boozy, vanilla

T - Super woody and roasty. A good presence of vanilla and classic bourbon flavors play with the roasted malts. A decent hop presence, but the bourbon is on display here.

M - Medium-low carbonation and medium-heavy in body.

D - Very good beer. Unique, nice flavors and I could drink a lot of this if I had the chance. Extremely tasty.

Martin2D, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of Pehlman
4.38/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage

A: Black with a low golden brown head. No lacing.

S: A nice whiskey aroma with a bit of sweetness.

T: Tastes of bourbon, wood, and a punch in the mouth of vanilla! Maybe a little hint of roast.

M: Carbonation is much better than earlier vintages. Perfect amount for this beer!

D: I wish I always had a bottle around after those long days when I just need a beer. I could drink this pretty much any time. Thank you Goose Island! Next stop... Xmas Ale.

Pehlman, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of BarrelO
4/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on 10/2/09.

A: Black as night. What little head there is recedes to a thin film on the sides. Hardly any lacing.

S: Chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon.

T: Even more chocolate and vanilla. Also a hint of smoke. Pretty strong alcohol burn.

M: Fairly thin, but still big, if that makes any sense.

D: Definitely a sipper. Big and complex, but not necessarily enjoyable at this stage. I'd say it needs a bit more time in the cellar to come together.

BarrelO, Nov 05, 2009
Photo of cilldalua
4.9/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 32 Oz growler from Whole Food bowery beer room into a brandy snifter

S : Molasses, a dark candy, plays up the caramel and vanilla of the bourbon
A : Dark as night, perfect for this halloween evening, no head
T : complex, with a lot going on, treacle, dark chocolate, caramel and vanilla from the Bourbon Barrels, coffee at the back end
M : Thick and Syrupy in a good way, coats the tongue, lingers
D : Its strong and heavy, two are enough
O : This is one of the gold standards for a speciality stout, a treat for after dinner or after anything else that you enjoyed doing.

cilldalua, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of dpnelson1978
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into Duvel tulip.

$21.99 / 4 pk.

S: Chocolate, caramel, malt, and coffee.

A: Opaque black with small loose dark tan head that quickly dissipates into a small ring.

T: Sweet chocolate and caramel. Very nice! Some -OH on back end along with coffee / mocha.

M: Very low carbonation and medium to heavy body. Smooth.

D: Strong beer so not extremely drinkable, but it goes down fast. Watch out!

O: Wonderful beer, but super expensive. A treat if you can get your hands on some.

dpnelson1978, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of nomomentwasted
4.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Whew. Had this beer out of a bottle, poured into a snifter-style glass and served just below room temperature.

Appearance: Dark and vicious on the pour with a slight, tan head. Laces well, much like a stout should, but nothing about the pour or appearance screams anything more than your average imperial stout.

Smell: Whew. Big bourbon notes (although next to Black Tuesday, I would suppose they're a little more tame, but then again, what isn't?) and then a roasty, toasted malt filled second layer and finishing with a slight chocolate and vanilla, but mostly the bourbon and slight booziness.

Taste: Very complex, and a little sweeter than I was expecting. Bourbon is big and thick, with the booziness being quite strong. Chocolate and barley are here too, but on a secondary tier from the bourbon start. Although this wasn't the newest batch of BCS, it'd probably be just a tad better with another 6 months to a year on it. There are 6 more in the cellar though, and maybe I'll come back and update upon further review. I mean, I love a good bourbon beer, and when in the mood, this certainly delivers, but I think its strong suit is also what keeps it from being a 5: it's a little too much bourbon. Hopefully the mellowed sweetness will push that up a bit too, I really don't doubt it.

Mouthfeel: Ooh, so velvety and smooth. Powerful-good thickness and finishes warm. That 13% is definitely here, no doubt about it. Carbonation is spot-on too.

Drinkability: I feel bad knocking it, but it's not the most drinkable of beers. The boozy character catches up over the course of the bottle, but the rest of the experience is excellent. Drinks like a 13%, which hey, it is, making it feel pretty average in that department. But for a special occasion, and maybe some chocolate cake, this beer is happiness in a bottle.

nomomentwasted, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of brownbeer
4.18/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage

A- Hard pour. Engine oil with no head.

S- Powerful, boozy bourbon right off the bat. Vanilla, maple, peanut butter.

T- Noticeable bourbon with chocolat, faint smoke, vanilla, a lasting toasty oak/ sweet buttery choclate fade. Pleasant heat in the finish.

M- Robust and viscous with little carbonation.

D- Not all that drinkable but a good cool evening sipper.

brownbeer, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of robbyc1
4.4/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the bomb, a perfect marriage of RIS and bourbon barrel aging. Inky, blank, oily, with a sweet maltiness, but does not finish overly sweet due to the massive hop offset. The bourbon is a flavor component that complements perfectly, giving a complexity to a solid backbone. The only ding here is for drinkability, so good yet a 7 oz serving would suffice. Well made and cellerable.

robbyc1, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of cbros
4.35/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taken from notes on 10/23

Serving type- 2008 vintage bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a jet black with little head that disipates quickly and little to no cling.

S- BOURBON HELLO!! Man I could smell the bourbon coming off this beer as the waitress poured it. She sat the snifter down on the table and I could whiff the strong bourbon presence before even lifting it up. The bourbon smell totally overwhelmed any chance for ditecting any other smell notes coming off this beer.

T- One again the bourbon rules here. If it weren't for the malty smoooth finish to this beer I would have guessed that I was actually drinking bourbon straight up. Within the bourbon I got coffee and a little hops. But those flavors soon died because of the bourbon onslaught. This was definately a sipper and a one beer per visit deal.

The overall strength of this beer made having more than one out of the question. I had already had a few other different beers from the bar so I was certain that this would finish off my afternoon. Even at home I could not see myself having more than one, or if only drinking these 2 in a night. Any more for moe and it would quickly turn into a bad night. Overall this was everything that I expected and had hoped for and was very glad to give it a try. More importantly is that I have a bottle sitting in my cellar at home and I know know that this is a keeper, one that will be opened on a special occasion.

cbros, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of abcentfishing
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally found a 4 pack of this exceptional beer, according to the bottle it is great with a cigar so I found an exceptional cigar and after a long day I sat down to this great creation. The pour was like syrup slow dark and thick. Little or no head. The smell is slightly sweet with a hint of vanilla but nothing to prepare you for"THE TASTE" Goose Island did an exceptional job on this celebration beer and there will be a couple in my Beer celler for what did I read 5 years of aging. The taste is Imperial stout and bourbon and I do mean and!!!your really notice the blend. If you are like me and drink beer for the flavor this is one beer you should try and find a sip of. Little aftertaste just a nice 13% refreshing beer.... You will notice a buzz about half way down the glass always a little wake up call when your trying something new. I was home so no worries. I would rate this in the top couple of Imperial stouts my favorite being the Old Rasputin XXII.If you can find one do it is really worth a try.

abcentfishing, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of nkersten
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

a - 2007 bottle poured into a snifter. I think I count about 15-20 total bubbles. Little to no head with a vigorous pour, but a small tan bit sticks around the edge of the glass.
s- The smell is dominated by bourbon. Some chocolate malts, but mostly bourbon and oak.
t- The taste is amazing. Only slight hints of the bourbon aroma are present. The alcohol, roasted malt and bourbon are perfectly balanced. Finishes with some roasted coffee.
m- One of the heaviest, thickest beers I have ever tasted. Feels much heavier then the 2008 or 2009. Very similar to dark lord, if not heavier. To me, this is what a big imperial stout should be.
d- At 13% abv, I will not have more then one of these. For a big strong beer though, this one is very well balanced and doesn't have the alcohol burn that many 13% beers do. Overall an amazing beer, especially for any bourbon lover. Definitely gets better with age.

nkersten, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of aaronh
4.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pretty much a pitch black beer with a thick dark tan head. Aroma is amazing - vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, molasses. Unbelievable aromas. The flavor profile pretty much matches the aroma. The bourbon is very prominent, but not dominant, especially as the beer warms. The coffee and chocolate notes are also very assertive, and the sweet malt notes get swept away but the hops at the finish. The vanilla-laden bourbon flavors linger. Mouthfeel is very thick and creamy, almost like it's more viscous than your typical beer. Drinkability is good, but the alcohol can hit you hard.

aaronh, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of calise1122
4.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got the NFL Red Zone going and an album I got the other day I can't put away - Girls: Album. Really good, Beach Boys meet Elvis Costello, meets loneliness. It's cold outside and it is raining - I just got back from Orlando, making it feel even worse than it is... the bottle of 2008 Bourbon County Stout in my cellar is just screaming itself hoarse to grab my attention - I give in and pour the 12 oz bottle into a Portsmouth Brewery snifter.

Jet black with a granular brown sugar two finger deep beautiful head. It's a complete black out - light not standing a chance. Once the head fades down to a small brown lacing on the rim of the meniscus, I can actually see my reflection in the beer as I peer down at it. Tilted and held up to the window I start to see some of that Cola red on the edges. Really nice looking beer.

The smell is just intoxicating. Literally, the bourbon is done that well... it screams of dark chocolate, vanilla, marshmallow... even some graham cracker which delivers a very nostalgic freshly toasted smore aroma. And of course, the whisky... bourbon was the right choice here and it was aged to perfection. The maltiness of the big stout stand up just right... not giving into the bourbon, not even letting the bourbon lead the dance... the relationship is fair and equal. As it warms I get more dark fruits - specifically cherries

This was bottles almost exactly a year ago (10/21/08) and time has been a friend to this one. The bourbon is still there - very present and it doesn't fade. Long after each sip you taste wet wood, bourbon and maple syrup... and yes - it's sticky. Then there is the smoked malt and bitter dark chocolate that comes with it. There is a fair amount of smokiness here as well - somewhere in between what actual smoke tastes like and what "liquid smoke" brings to the table. Vanilla beans mixed with coffee beans is the other taste that comes to mind. Complex for sure and again - choosing bourbon minimizes any harsh peat flavor, but still brings the characteristic which is well received.

Mouthfeel is sticky and good. Nice full, thick body with a perfect amount of carbonation for a 13% barrel aged stout... maybe even a touch too carbonated at first. There is no getting around the booze here, it doesn't try to hide... it is right there for you. The first thing you smell when you open the bottle and the taste that remains coated in your mouth long after the last sip. But the incredible blend of malts (and I imagine incredible amounts) allow for the bourbon to do that. It works so perfectly.

What a fine offering from Goose Island. I took my time here and it was such a great experience... changing as the beer opened up, the vanilla changing from more caramel based at first to something rooted in dark fruits at the end. I imagine I will be drinking a good amount of this during the upcoming winter.

calise1122, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of jera1350
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Edition:

Thick, syrupy, pure black color with a thin brown head on top.

A deep whiff presents a strong bourbon and vanilla bean scent. Booze is apparent in this one.

Taste is just like the nose with an addition of some roasted coffee. Rich as can be. Bourbon, vanilla bean, chocolate and deep roasted malt with coffee is the basis here. Nice complexity, a great tasting stout.

Milkshake like texture, as full a body as I've ever had. Extremely dry finish. Syrupy smooth. Warming sensation from the alcohol.

Despite the high ABV, this one is hard to set down. It is a sipper, but it makes you want to keep sipping. One of the top Stouts in my book. Highly recommended.

jera1350, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of taylorhamrick
3.85/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark and slow. Looks thick and heavy, syrupy. Very black, looks just dense and heavy in the glass. The head is kind of thin, but it still looks very appetizing. The smell is just all bourbon. A little more bourbon than I was expecting, and its a 2008. I'm not even sure that I can detect anything else with out trying very hard. I mean, if you want a bourbon stout - this should satisfy you. The taste is like sweetened bourbon, with quite a bit of chocolate and a hint of coffee. I get a little hint of sticky malt, but mostly woody, slightly burnt bourbon flavor. Really interesting, and the bit of roastiness cuts the intensity. The body is really great. Thick and heavy, and the alcohol and burntness kind of helps to make it feel thin enough to swallow. The carbonation is dialed back, which is definitely a good thing. The drink is very slow. Sipper status, but quite enjoyable. I couldn't imagine drinking more than one of these in a month, but I would like to drink this more than quite a few similar beers.

taylorhamrick, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of kingcrowing
3.25/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 12oz bottle poured into an allagash snifter.

Pours black as motor oil, very thick looking with almost no head, just a tinge of dark brown lacing. Nose is very boozy and sweet, a bit unapproachable.

Wow, taste is very boozy and strong, this could sit in the cellar for a decade. Sweet and sharp on the palate. Finish is very smoky, bourbon and a bit earthy. Alcohol lingers, this is a real sipper.

kingcrowing, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of corby112
4.85/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ThomasHardy for sending me an 05 vintage of this as an extra!

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest of lighter colored edges when held to a light source. Completely still with no head at all. This looks like a goblet of oil.

Aroma is dominated by a ton of oaky bourbon with hints of vanilla. Also, I'm picking up a lot of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee bean, burnt toast and bourbon, bourbon, bourbon!

Heavy full chewy viscous mouthfeel with such a smooth creamy body that I can't believe this beer is 11%. The alcohol heat is excellently masked. Lots of wooden earthy oak notes and bourbon flavor with hints of subtle vanilla. Also a good bit of roasted chocolate malt, burnt toast, coffee, oatmeal and Bourbon! So creamy, smooth and well balanced. This beer is incredibly mellow afte the three years of aging. Nice alcohol warmth in the finish with some subtle hops. This beer is absolutely fantastic. I want to get a few more bottles so I can try it fresh and age a few for a decade or so. ISO more bottle!

corby112, Oct 15, 2009
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 8,110 ratings.