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Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

9,944 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,944
Reviews: 2,611
rAvg: 4.6
pDev: 9.57%
Wants: 2,220
Gots: 5,048 | FT: 527
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  13.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: drewbage on 06-26-2003

60 IBU
View: Beers (204) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bourbon County Brand Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,944 | Reviews: 2,611 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled on 9-20-12.

A- Pours dark as night, and oily slick. Little to no head, but ok lacing and retention on what's there. Collar of foam on the top is chocolatey brown in color.

S- Strong mix of bourbon, oak, and stouty goodness. Primary flavors are the strong whiskey flavor with definite notes of vanilla and oak mixed with traditional stout malt flavors. Hints of black licorice in the dark malts.

T- Starts off with a sweet vanilla-oak mix. Then the bourbon heat and flavor kicks in. Right in the middle, traditional stout flavors with heavy chocolate tones and a fair amount of coffee roast comes through. That black licorice flavor that was in the scent is also present on the palate; I think it might be anise. Ends with a slight coffee bite mixed in with a last little whiskey kick.

M- Thick and dense. One of the thickest and heaviest I've had. Lots of alcohol heat. Definitely a sipper. One that can warm you and last you through an entire night.

Overall, I think this one lives up to the hype. I think it may be a little over-proofed when compared to KBS and similar options, but it definitely has way more whiskey flavor to it. If you are a bourbon over, this is for you. I think this might be better in a few months when the heat has mellowed out a little bit.

Photo of bellywin
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of tectactoe
4.59/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2012 edition. Pours a thick, deep, black color with a very dark tan head. Beer is fairly volatile at first, producing a huge creamy head. Once the head finally dissipates away, it's hard to bring back. The nose on this beer is incredible. Huge oak and vanilla aromas, heavy bourbon and whisky, sweet caramel and roasty malts. HUGE nose, full of a powerful set of flavors - I think I just sat and smelled this beer for about five minutes before I finally took a taste. It will open up right in front of your nostrils.

The beer has a great vanilla taste right off the bat. You get hit with a syrupy sweetness that transforms into a flavor with bittersweet chocolate, malts, and heavy bourbon. As the beer warms up, the bourbon and oak flavors become more and more plentiful, but the wonderful vanilla flavor and aroma never goes away. The aftertaste leaves a nice buttery malt flavor on the tongue. The mouth is huge - super creamy, thick, and chewy with a mild amount of carbonation.

This is a beer you certainly must baby and sip slowly - however, it is worth every minute of it. Amazing brew here, with an incredible nose and flavor. I'm glad I got my hands on a four pack, and I plan on aging a few of these to see how they react.

EDIT: 2008 Vintage

Thanks to Jeff for sharing one of his '08 bottles. Last year to have the white label. God, this stuff was amazing. Bourbon was still strong and robust, but so incredibly smooth. Huge vanilla, chocolate, molasses. Sweet and warming all at once, silky on the palate. Oak notes were lighter but still present. Good reminder of why I love this beer so much.

Photo of RandomBattle
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a snifter, doing it right!

I've had this beer countless times over the years, this was the 2012 vintage, bottled less then a month ago.

Appearance - I gave this beer a nice hard pour to generate something of a head, and it worked. A beautiful mocha, bubbly head...which lasted about 3 seconds and converted into a thin wispy layer on the surface for a bit. About halfway through drinking it had disappeared completely.

Smell - one of the most perfect balances of a sweet roasty stout and oaky vanilla bourbon. It's the type of smell in which you revisit immediately because it was such a surprising pleasure. To the unfamiliar they might just catch a whiff and exclaim "Is there bourbon in that?". For those of us that have had many BA stouts we know that this is pure balance.

Taste - roast, chocolate, and vanilla enveloped in a delicate bourbon sweetness with a lingering oak spicyness. This beer is done masterfully.

Mouthfeel - thick and smooth. This beer goes down so well, coats the mouth, and is full bodied. One of the best sipping beers I have ever had.

Overall - absolutely love this beer, I've enjoyed every variation I've drank, and I'm looking forward to trying older vintages in the future.

Photo of freehafe
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of biga7346
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dense and black as oil, oily, slick, resiny against the glass, no lacing.

N - Massive vanilla bean, caramel, stiff amount of peat, burnt sugar, caramelized peaches, buttery, lots of booziness but it's actually inviting as it meshes with the nearly cloying sweetness and bourbon whiskey; oak barrel, peaches and sugar, creme brulee, cinnamon, simple syrup, toast points, rice pudding.

T/M - Brandy-like alcohol burn, cocoa nibs, vanilla bean, charred oak, burnt sugar, peat soil. And oh my dear god...what an amazing velvety finish, the coated aftertaste of just pure vanilla, bourbon, toffee, caramel, it absolutely coats the back of your palate. Some buttery, diacetyl notes, resiny, dense and overpowering alcohol (a bedtime beer); chocolate muffin, very warming, rum cake, old bananas, figgy.

D - Does it live up to the hype? Pretty difficult to answer but honestly I would say that super-coated, almost fluffy like mouthfeel is unlike anything I have ever tasted. I had a small sampler of an 08 and certainly don't remember anything like that. Definitely quaffable, a sipper, but dangerously drinkable at 14.5 abv. I would like to pair this with a rich dessert of some kind, maybe raspberry cheesecake or a chocolate tort.

Photo of beerguy24
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of liquorpig
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of rhhjr
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of BrownAleMale
4.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass.

Appearance- Pitch black in color with a small amount of khaki head. The look is kind of disappointing.

Smell- Lots of bourbon mixed with carmel, chocolate and carmel sweetness. Tons of complexity.

Taste- Up front you get bourbon followed by chocolate and a mellow burbon finish. Very strong warning from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Super thick but very very drinkable.

Overall- Super complex and tasty beer. Definitely the best bourbon aged beer I've ever drank.

Photo of mikediesel124
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of ADM
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Kinephys
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of MacStinson
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Etan
4.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

No review for BCBS? 2012 vintage will do. 12oz bottle into a snifter. 15% ABV on the label.

A: Pours a thick black with a small tan head.

S: Strong woody bourbon, hot caramel, dark chocolate, brown sugar.

T: Notes of thick, bittersweet chocolate dominate. Toffee and vanilla from the barrel. Lots of rich prunes and raisins in the finish. Heavy solvent alcohol heat is present as well, but it doesn't obscure the tannin-drenched maltiness of the beer in the least.

M: Thick and inky with fine carbonation. Sharp booze warmth as it goes down.

O: An awesome and powerful stout all around, more on the sweet rather than roasty side, which I tend to like (in balance).

Photo of claaark13
3.7/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle, 9/20/12 date. 15% ABV. I've had this on the day of the review and the previous night. Tonight it was served at 55 - 60 degrees in a Hill Farmstead tulip.

A - Pours very dark, airy medium-tan head that dissipates somewhat quickly into lacing....and then into mostly nothing. Lacing returns, legs are decent. Probably more like a 4.25 here.

S - Lots of oak, slight fudge, a singe to the nose hair and a distinctly strong aroma of woody bourbon. The booziness can certainly be found in the aroma, as most other notes get lost in that. Notes of raisin come through after a bit. Very potent, but not necessarily in the best of ways.

T - Nose clears on the first sip...tons of oak from start to finish. Fudge turns to woody bourbon, then raisins and licorice, then more woody bourbon on the finish. The finish is fairly harsh and seems overdosed with bourbon. There is a tad bit of vanilla, but mostly wood. Mild chocolate and molasses on the tongue once the bourbon subsides, days later.

M - Medium bodied, slightly prickly on the tongue. Not bad, but the tongue tickles after each sip from the heat.

O - I'm pretty disappointed with how this one tastes right off the bat, particularly in comparison to the previous few years when fresh (2009 - 2011). The way this sits right now, I think I'd prefer to just pour myself a neat couple ounces of Woodford Reserve. I'm not sure if it was the amount of bourbon in the barrels, the type of bourbon used or the base beer, but something happened on this one. I'll be sitting on the rest of my bottles for a while. The next time I get around to opening an older bottle, I'll revisit this review and hopefully do BCBS justice.

Photo of tut2528
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 Vintage
(I’ve had a 2008 fresh and 2008 aged for 4 years, 2009 fresh and 2011 fresh and aged 1 year)

Any year aged 1 year already deserves 5's across the board IMO... aged longer, it shouldn't be reviewed.... just thoroughly enjoyed.

A: pour is a deep black with absolutely no transparency. On an aggressive pour, about ½ fingers worth of dark mocha color head formation occurs that quickly dissipates. Swirling the brew you can see the glaze of alcohol that clings to the glass.

S: this is truly amazing. I pick up on huge bourbon notes that are so well balanced with dark fruits (predominately figs), huge sweet molasses, chocolate, and oak. Just smelling this one, one gets the sense that this is going to be amazing. Looking back I found that last years released was pretty hot fresh and the ABV really settled in quite nicely after a year. But this years is truly amazing. It’s higher ABV but I don’t find this hot one bit

T: damn this freaking amazing. 2008 was truly remarkable both fresh and aged. But I’m finding this one better than both the 2009 and the 2011 fresh (even with more ABV). Again, this is about as complex as it comes for this style. It has huge bourbon notes that are once again just amazingly well balanced with the dark fruits, molasses, alcohol, and chocolate. The alcohol is more noticeable here than in the nose but I don’t find it to be 15%. And the creamy vanilla finish just tops this one off.

M: absolutely full bodied, and I find it to be palate crushing. Not sure how you would be able to drink anything else after this. The bourbon and chocolate dance around the palate well after the finish with a touch of creaminess. It’s a very desirable taste and I just cant stop loving this brew.

O: damn near perfect for me already and its still fresh. As I stated, I think this one is better than last years fresh and I’m extremely excited to see how this one is going to mature since I just had an ‘11 just a month ago and thought it was freaking amazing. I’ll take this over KBS any day of the week.

Photo of sketcher6773
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Googs
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of djre4orm
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Rizalini
4.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2011. Poured from a 12oz bottle (bottled on 11/11/11), into my Deschutes tulip. Opened to celebrate my first fantasy baseball victory... Cheers!

A - Pours a viscous black color, with a very minimal dark brown head.

S - Huge coconut/bourbon aroma as soon as I popped the cork. Chocolate notes dance well with the bourbon.

T/M - The taste matches the smell so amazingly! Strong bourbon flavor hit my tongue first, that soon evolves to a rich chocolate flavor. There is a nice charedoak flavor on the back end as well. Thick/heavy mouthfeel, almost tongue coating.

O - The best bourbon stout I've ever had. I am so glad this one lived up to the hype. It's everything I want my bourbon stouts to be; big, bold, rich and bourbon-ey. One hell of an amazing beer. I would be more than happy to seek this one out again. Cheers

Photo of strohme2
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Grohnke
4.62/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 Vintage, bottled on 11/12/2009. 13% ABV.

Pours densely thick and oily. Black, impenetrable to light. There's not even enough head formation to cover the surface area. What little head formation there is, is signature cola-cinnamon colored and quickly dissipating

Aroma punches you in the face with ripe cherry and chocolate. Beautifully subtle bouquet of bourbon, vanilla, oak. Tremendous port-like aromas. Traces of roast, light traces of alcohol.

Cherry notes, bourbon, chocolate and light wood - near identical to the nose, which i am thrilled about. Molasses/brown sugar like sweetness. Cinnamonesque spiciness attributable to the alcohol. Vanilla on the far back tongue. Black licorice, raisin and plum begin to appear as it warms. Finish is sweet. Aftertaste is bourbony, residual sweetness, and chocolate.

Thick, viscous, relentlessly full, chewy body. Light carbonation. Creamy, and smooth. Alcohol gives off a slight warming feeling, just enough to feel spicy, however no where near offensive or overbearing. Actually, its complimentary to the huge body of this beast, but am excited to see it fall off even more with another year or 2 on it. Sticky residual sweetness. The physical sensation of drinking this beer, is so entirely pleasing.

It was a masterpiece back in 2009, and it continues to be that masterpiece today, only now a more bolder, distinguished version.

Photo of Boilerfood
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of ryanpj
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 9,944 ratings.