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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

8,533 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,533
Reviews: 2,377
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 1,987
Gots: 3,626 | FT: 378
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: 8,533 | Reviews: 2,377 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HeartPAC
3.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Serving Type: Bottle
Appearance: Darker than a winter day in Alaska, frothy tan head which rapidly fades into a smoky ring.
Smell: One word...Bourbon, ok two words...spiced raisin.
Taste: Sweet and oaky at the front door that slowly fades into a spicy twinge at the back door. Definitely some chocolate hiding in there too.
Mouthfeel: Appropriate carbonation. Spicy overtones really light up the taste-buds, the mouth really feels alive even minutes after you swig.
Drinkability: The overwhelming aroma and flavor are great for taste but really slow the process, unless you have some time and a cigar on your schedule.
Overview: Fantastic beer, but you need to pick your spots with this one. Lucky enough to reside in the Chicagoland area and able to endulge on Goose Island products at will!! Would definitely come back to this one though!

HeartPAC, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of Pabs311
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to gibb on this one

A- Pours deep black in color with a thin chocolaty head that dissapears quickly leaving minimal lacing.

S- The bourbon can deffinatly be picked up here. some vanilla and toffee mixed with the bourbon bozziness are mighty strong. theres also some milk chocolate and a slight hint of coffee from the malts here. very nice aroma.

T- The taste is a mirror of the aroma. vanilla, toffee and bourbon make up the forefront of this beers taste and then theres a nice hint of maltiness that shows itself as chocolate and coffee.

M/D- full bodied, low carbonation, great mouthfeel and very smooth. i wish they'd bring goose island to CT cause this beer is something i wish i could get my hand on. great beer.

Pabs311, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of NoLiberty
4.43/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours thick and velvety into the glass with little to no head to speak of; slight tan edging around the glass that quickly settles into a mirror-like cap of no carbonation. Color is completely black.

Smell: Big, thick, luscious, deep, enticing and intoxicating. Strong notes of sweet burnt malt, warm alcohol, vanilla, oak, leather, coco and roasted raisins. These all blend together into a delicious aroma bouquet that asks to be drank.

Taste: The taste very closely matches the nose, which is nice: slightly bitter notes up front, followed quickly by sweet roasted malt and vanilla, alcohol, raisins, prunes, and blends together with oak and finished with strong bitterness. Aftertaste is bready and satisfying. The flavor is all around huge, couldn't get much bigger without being too intense. But this is just right all around, super fun to drink.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy bodied with good however light carbonation. Alcohol is warming and activates the taste buds but doesn't overpower.

Drinkability: For the strength and intensity of the flavors this beer is exceptionally drinkable.

NoLiberty, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of Kendo
4.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a Piraat tulip/snifter. Small chocolatey brown head over a black body. Head disappears just about immediately.

S: From a distance, it's all bourbon. Gets stronger as I get my nose into it. Smell stays throughout, even as it warms.

T: Wow. Lots going on. Bourbony booze is the most obvious thing, both in the nose and the initial impression on the palate. Finishes with heat felt at the back of the mouth and down the gulley. There's also dark dried fruit -- raisins and raisiny port -- and molasses. After each sip, I get just a touch of chocolate -- milk chocolate, not dark chocolate -- on the front of the tongue.

M: Full-bodied. Slightly -- and surprisingly -- creamy. Better in feel as it warms (or maybe just because I've become acustomed to the boozy taste and hot feel).

D: OK. A sipper. Took one hour, 30 mins to finish.

Kendo, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of ffejherb
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sunset Grill, Boston, MA on 3/1/10.

A - Appeared as an oily abyss of utter blackness with a sliver of burnt tan head that diminished further into a thin ring around the edge of the glass, leaving very little lace behind.

S - On the surface, BCS slams your olfactory with equal parts bourbon and vanilla, resulting in a tempting sweet and boozy aroma. Underneath it all lies a crispy malt character and a hint of milk chocolate. Easily one of the most pleasant and aromatic bourbon beers on the market.

T - Delicious concoction of lush vanilla and warm bourbon with hints of puffed rice-like malt, chocolate notes and toasted grains. Finishes with an earthy hop presence and bitter chocolate notes.

M - Oily and viscous with a warm, boozy character and bristly carbonation resulting in lots of friction on the tongue. Finishes with plenty of bitterness and some alcohol heat on the palate.

D - While the "B" aspect of BCS does indeed provide quite a healthy dose of alcohol warmth, it still drinks like a champ for a huge 13% Imperial Stout. This is a beautiful beer, no doubt about it.

ffejherb, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of Steamhead
4.68/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First of all, this beer is a mainstay in my rotation...an almost perfect default nightcap when only one beer is needed. It has been an angelic presence in the freezing winter. A companion through many hours of fireside contemplation. On the right night it becomes almost effortless in drinkability even remarkably balanced.
Into the glass pours a none-more-black oil that slowly generates an espresso crema-esque layer of carbonation on the surface. The smell is akin to walking down a hall of kitchens. Impressions of chocolate brownies, bourbon balls, coffee cake, and burnt brown sugar atop a just torched creme brulee fill the mind. The spectrum of scents is so incredible that it could be a vapor course at Moto. The taste demands an hour's repose. Dark, bitter chocolate precedes the vanilla, caramel, smoke and charred notes of fine bourbon. Dried cherries and raisins form in a holy alliance with classic stout traits of coffee and cream. It is thick enough to be a foodstuff. The finish makes me wonder how they bottled silk? This particular day I paired with a 2007 Kentucky Black Gold cigar aged in Woodford barrels for two years. The earthy, mellow notes meld flawlessly with the rich, smoky character of the brew. Yes, this certainly is the greatest cigar beer in the world. And this is why I always have a few cases around. Cheers to Greg Hall and Goose Island, 2009 is the best Bourbon County Stout of all.

Steamhead, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of jtrem14
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poors a rich dark brown, with almost no head. That little amount of head quickly subsides into the body, making it look a bit flat. No lacing on the glass at all.

At first you are hit with the very distinct bourbon aroma, and then that quickly moves to a dark roasted malty smell and then finishes with the sweetness of brownsugar/molasses and raisins.

The taste is much of the same as the aroma. The woodiness of the bourbon barrels really comes through and injects its tongue numbing wonderful taste to the front end. Then the sweet flavors begin to take over as the raisins and molasses are really pronounced. You also get a subtle bit of nuttyness and toffee flavors.

It comes in to your mouth a bit strong, as I mentioned the tongue numbing. However, that is only briefly and very welcome (to me) as it is followed by a rich and smooth texture that I would expect in a stout.

While this is a very boozy beer, it is very easy to drink for me. I love bourbon and stouts. The two pair very nicely for me and I could definitely sit back and drink this on any given night.

great brew

jtrem14, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of jeremyn
3.7/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22oz bomber poured into a brandy snifter. About 50 degrees.

Smell: sweet alcohol, molasses, wood, raisin, dark cherry

Taste: sweet alcohol, molasses, chocolate, anise, moderate bitterness -- but only on the back end

Mouthfeel: thinner than I expected but creamy. Low carbonation but nice fine bubbles.

Drinkability: a bit low due to the alcohol and sweetness. I'm sharing one and I still think we might have trouble finishing it. Cooling it down didn't really help.

It's hard for me to rate this. I don't go head-over-heels for these sweet, huge ABV stouts. I like it, but it's hard for me to enjoy much more than 5-10 sips. If I could buy a 12 oz bottle to share, or if I tasted a few sips of it at a friend's house, I'd probably rate this higher... . But when I spend $13 on a bomber, I feel like I need to finish it. After the 5-10 sip sweet spot, I don't enjoy it quite as much as I did at first.

jeremyn, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of SLeffler27
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The head barely covers the opaque dark walnut, almost black beer with a fire of ruby red highlights. This one has true legs that suspend above the level for a long while. The label art adds a touch of class too.

The bourbon reaches out from a long distance to announce the sweet chocolate beer with licorice and espresso notes. Cherry and oak come up with the alcohol fumes released with a quick swirl, and as it warms, rich chocolate fudge come out.

The snifter glass showcases the chocolate and bourbon nicely. The malts are a bit roasted, enough to bring some bitterness out for a long finish. The flavors unfold in layers as it warms. Just superb.

Smooth and creamy, with a light prickly carbonation within a full body dry beer. Each sip builds another layer of sticky residue on the lips. The alcohol is a prominent and additive player, not just present for effect.

Sit back and sip this one as a companion to a book, cigar, or deep conversation. BCS lives up to its reputation. I was also fortunate enough to find this on draught, and while still excellent, the bottled version was superior.

SLeffler27, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of Reaper16
4.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 12oz. bottle served into a snifter

Pours the deepest shade of brown you'll ever see. This beer isn't black, it is too brown around the edges to give that color impression. This being a 13% ABV beer I'm not going to fault it for only having the thinnest smear of tan foam at its peak and quickly reducing to nothing at all.

Lots of strong aromas to this one (like anyone would expect otherwise). Malt smells like baking cookies -- sugar and semisweet chocolate chips -- ground the boozy, rich bourbon aromas. Considerable bourbon; watch out. Some nutty scents play with a subtle twinge of vanilla. Many people would score this 4.5 but I'm not simply impressed because of a spirit aroma presence. This is definitely good but it doesn't amaze me.

The first thing that I notice is that the alcohol heat has calmed down considerably in just five months or so. Bourbon is still the strongest, most prominent flavor in this beer but it doesn't overwhelm everything else. The dark fruits are able to peek through and get to interact with the vanilla. There is some light oak from the barrels but it is light. Unfortunately that light oak taste is the closest thing that BCS gets to providing balance to all the malty, boozy sweetness. Everything works though. Everything works very well.

Bourbon County Stout has a chewiness indicative of most nice imperial stouts. Such a toothsome, silky feel is a nice choice to highlight all the sweet flavors that the beer brings. It isn't so thick as to by syrupy, however, which is nice. As far as drinkability goes, well, it is kind of hard to rate a 13% ABV beer as highly drinkable. But this beer, at this stage and in the future, isn't too hot from alcohol. It is delicious. And you can drink a 12oz. bottle by yourself without getting off-your-rocker inebriated.

Everyone knows how good this stout is. It appears to be getting better year after year, as this five-month old 2009 bottle is as good or better than the 2008 vintage right now. I'm excited to taste the coffee and vanilla versions releasing for the first time this year.

Reaper16, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of Pahn
4.63/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass. 2008 vintage.

Appearance: Vigorous pour yields a < 1cm tan head that disappears immediately and doesn't leave any lacing. Beer is solid engine oil black with a tiny bit of brown at the edges. No lacing or legs to speak of.

Smell: Huge aroma of roasted malt, caramel, coffee, chocolate, alcohol. Thick and rich. Definitely some oak character to the smell, with a slight hint of vanilla lurking in the background. Other subtle nutty notes as well. Promises a lot.

Taste: Follows the smell, which is to say that it tastes amazing. The taste is so smooth and deep. It starts off with a big hit of vibrantly rich malt, caramel, cake, and vanilla that moves beautifully into bourbon and hot alcohol in the finish. As I get deeper into the glass, the bourbon character starts to show itself within that big flavor explosion up front, which works really well. This is a special tasting stout. It's very light on the dark fruit (pretty much absent) and smoke, but huge on the deep roasted malt, bourbon, caramel, cake flavors. Tons going on, but all the flavors make sense together, and balance perfectly. I can't rate a taste like this below 5.0.

Mouthfeel: Very thick, but smooth and creamy rather than sticky or chewy. Hard to fathom something this heavy and bold never gets sticky, but it really doesn't. The mild/medium carbonation is felt up front and works perfectly to compliment that crazy hit of malty flavors that characterizes the beginning of every sip. Finishes very hot, but the alcohol doesn't dull the flavor or hurt the creaminess of the feel. Excellent.

Drinkability: Obviously I love this beer, but I can't see myself having it on anything but special occasions. This isn't because of the hefty $6-$7/12oz price tag either; beer this good merits spending money like that. It's more so that the beer is a powerhouse, and a special combination of flavors that's better for occasional enjoyment than regular consumption. Also, I think I would get a bit overwhelmed if I had this beer more than once a month.

There isn't much else to say in closing. Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout is just an expertly made beer, that hits soaringly high notes in aroma, taste, and mouthfeel. This is a beer to age for a few years and then bring out when you want to be especially decadent and indulgent. Absolutely delicious stout.

Note: I don't actually know how hard it is to find 2008 or below Bourbon County Stout, but at the moment the Whole Foods at Union Square has a bunch, all from 2008. Not sure if this note will be a help to anyone, but I'll include it just in case.

Pahn, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of RedBrewer83
4/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aggressively poured into goblet...

A: Pours a viscous jet black with a small one finger dark mocha head that is creamy but falls very quickly, typical of stouts....

S: Huge bourbon aroma right up front, very dominant, but hints of vanilla, roasted chocolate malt, coffee and molasses are also present. Pretty complex.

T: Follows the nose, very dominated by the bourbon, but after awhile it almost seems to blow off and the beer becomes much more complex. Vanilla is also very big in the palate, hops are only present in the sense that the beer isn't cloying and is actually pretty well balanced for 13%. Excited to try this again after a few years in the bottle.

M: Heavy body with fairly smooth creamy carbonation, slightly oily.

D: Not as drinkable as it could be, a little heavy and despite the booze being almost unnoticeable it still has such a heavy bourbon element that it slows the drinking.

RedBrewer83, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of mikebiewer
4.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

You can see the video review of this beer if you would actually like to see the beer since you can't upload any pictures, links, or video to these reviews.

Just copy and paste into your browser.
http://mikesbrewreview.com/review-of-goose-island-bourbon-county-stout-ep008/

I'm only going to say this once. I think packaging plays a huge role in craft beer taste testing and I know that when a beer is judged by the BJCP guidelines it is always a blind taste test. However, that is not what it is like going into the beer store. With all of the wacky packages and names, it is hard to sift through all the people yelling at me. So, I say it once, I think packaging is important to the average Joe beer drinker, so therefore, its going into my reviews from here on out.

Review of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

Packaging

With a black, glossy, elegant package highlighted by just a touch of a yellowish brown, the package actually mimics the beer you are about to pour. If you are a stout fan, you'll look at this package and your mouth will start watering. The elegance makes paying $20 for it seem worth it. Its like buying a Mac vs a PC. You pay a lil more, but when you open the package up you feel like a kid on Christmas.

Appearance

The beer pours a deep black, and I mean black. You can not see through this one. The head on ours wasn't that good, but it could totally be the glasses, as I can see that it wants to be more. What is there almost mimics the package perfectly.
Smell

The moment I opened the bottle I could smell the liquor steaming off this beer. It jumped right into my nose. After the liquor smell subsided I could smell the chocolate, roasted malts. There is very little hop aroma if any.

Taste

Amazing. The moment you drink it the bourbon comes through completely and overwhelms you right off the bat. After a drink or two though you start to taste the chocolate and coffee followed up by a vanilla after taste. It tastes a bit like Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, but with a lot of liquor and a more chocolate bitter taste. I did not taste a lot of oak. It was there, but I was more amazed with the bourbon and sweetness than I was the oak.

Mouthfeel

Its a bit thicker, but not terrible. Once it starts to warm up you get more of the thickness. The carbonation is light.

Drinkability

Depends on what you have going on the next day. I drank 2 and I was pretty much done. I had a good buzz going on and I could have easily switched into my regular whiskey water drinks. It is filling, but for a person who likes bourbon, this is a great dinner beer or night cap.

Overall

I definitely recommend this brew if you like whiskey, bourbon and stouts. One of the best ways I could describe this beer would be to take the syrup they use to mix up coke products, mix it with whiskey, and drink it. Its sweet and spicy with a bit of roasty bitterness. Totally worth the money.

mikebiewer, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of DanielRP
4.13/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Ølbutikken, Copenhagen. Brewed 2008. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Dark and thick as the night. The foam is cocoa brown but disappears quickly (common among aged stouts).

Smell: Roasted nuts, mocca, a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Soft. Strong coffee/cocoa. Develops into dark syrup and walnuts going down your throat, warming your insides :-) 13% indeed.

Mouthfeel: Thick, hint of carbonatio, just right.

Drinkability: I feel the tingling alcohol sensation after just a few sips. The warmth in the throat exposes that it is not to be played around with. The creaminess makes it pleasant to drink, but there is enough taste to last. After a while this fact starts to settle in and the drinking goes really slow.

It's not miles away from Southern Tier Oat, with the added bourbon touch and less molasses. Both rank high personally, but I feel that I had to put more of an effort in to get this one down. Maybe I should share it if the opportunity for a next time comes.

DanielRP, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of tturaiders
3.85/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Holy Bourbon, Batman!

Pours jet black and looks quite thick. Not much of a head but you do get a faint hint of brown around the edges.

Smells like Bourbon, believe it or not. You can also smell some chocolate, coffee, caramel, and alcohol.

Initially, I was slammed by Bourbon. After my first drink, I could distinguish some nice chocolate flavors but for me personally, it was a ton of Bourbon and quite sweet.

It's a very thick beer with hardly any carbonation at all. I know stouts don't have as much carbonation but this one seems to be lacking...ever for this style.

I did, in fact, enjoy the beer. I think over time, I'd probably enjoy it even more. The Bourbon and sweetness was just a bit too much for me to drink this very often. I'd like to try it again after it was cellared for a while.

tturaiders, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of fairdinkum2
4.4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this beer. I've had the good fortune to have tasted this at the Goose Island Brewery on tap. I wanted to buy the bottled version but it was $30. Binny's across the road had 650 ml bottles at $12.

This 2009 vintage has been in my beer cellar for the last 4 months. Holy S#%T this stout is un-freakin' believably good!

Beautiful pour. Dark red, black with a thick dark tan head. Nose of vanilla, bourbon, oak and warm roasted malts. The taste doesn't let up from there. Just unbelievably, rich, silky mouthfeel. Sweet bourbon, vanilla, malt. Syrupy texture, long finish.

This stout will age well for some time to come. It's already like a fine port - totally decadent!

fairdinkum2, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of davesway10
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a Stout. Pours black as the blackest night, light appears to be drawn into it like a massive black hole. The strong alcohol/Bourbon/Chocolate tastes are electric. This beer is not for the faint of heart. For me this is the ultimate stout, I LOVE THIS BEER.

davesway10, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of Brez07
4.4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 version poured into a Portsmouth snifter

A: Very dark pour with hints of brown along the edges. A thin mocha head which leads to a similar colored ring around the glass. No lacing

S: Holy boozey bourbon! I love it, but it's pretty strong. This is a subtle hint of chocolate/vanilla, but it's being serious depressed by the bourbon. This is one I can tell will be "hot"

T: Yup, sure is. But damn tasty, lots of flavors. The bourbon starts everything off, with the chocolate/vanilla coming out nicely from behind the alcohol

M: Very full bodied beer. Tingly with carbonation at first, then thickness/creaminess. It warms my throat with just the first sip

D: Sipped this one slooowly. Very "hot" right now. Great beer, but definitely needs some age to mellow the alcohol out.

Brez07, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of Lukafer
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black, very little tan head.

S - Bourbon, alcohol and sweet chocolate.

T - Very good! Bourbon, oak, chocolate and alcohol. This is a really good beer now, cellared for a while I think it would be a great beer.

M - -Thick and syrupy, very nice.

D - Well, normally I would say I could only drink one, or split it with someone, but I had the opportunity to go to a party that had a pony keg of this. 1/2 glass pours and still had a hell of a hangover, so watch it with this one.

Lukafer, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of DrDoitchbig
3.65/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: If I didn't know better I'd say I wrenched off the drain plug on my car and let the used motor oil drain out into my glass. A bottomless black with just the faintest glimmer of dark, dark brown on the edges. Light isn't getting through this one. Thankfully a finger's worth of head formed on an aggressive pour, reminding me that I wasn't in fact about to commit suicide via consumption of 10W30.

Smell: Wow, this is highly aromatic. The two B's are clearly in control here. Bourbon and booze, this is strong stuff. After taking a deep whiff I almost feel a slight burn in my nostrils. After the onslaught of alcohol in floats a plethora of scents. Dark chocolate, as in 85% cacao dark chocolate. Digging deeper you get hints of anise, espresso, dark fruits and even a touch of worn leather.

Taste: Have I mentioned this is a bourbon bomb? To the point where I feel like I'm sipping on a 12 oz. serving of Jim Beam. It's not as complex as the smell. The dark chocolate is still present. The anise is here as well. But the bourbon is more overpowering than it is in the smell and doesn't allow anything else to show itself.

Mouthfeel: Ridiculously thick and vicious to the point of it being syrupy. I never thought I'd say this, but I think it's too thick. I don't usually complain about carbonation, but even for a 13% beer it's extremely low.

Drinkability: As I said early it felt like having a 12 oz. serving of straight Kentucky Bourbon. When I crack my next bottle, I will be sharing this because to be honest I had trouble finishing this. It took me almost 2 hours to kill off the glass.

Overall I enjoyed the experience and there are certainly signs that this could become a good, even great beer with some age on it. But right now it's just too hot and bourbon ridden for me to love it. I have three bottles left and I plan on tasting them at different junctures during the next 2 to 3 years. I will update this review at those points in time.

DrDoitchbig, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of generalnotsew
4.8/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: I actually got a pretty decent head out of this. Only a quarter of an inch thick but good for the style. Blackest stout I ever laid my eyes on. You can drive a car 100,000 miles then change the oil and it wouldn't be this black.

S: Sweet chocolate malts blend well with the bourbon notes and the coffee lingering in the background. The chocolate and bourbon work well together. Neither is overpowering the other.

T: Mmmmm. Smooth, rich, nutty dark chocolate with the bourbon playing nicely and not taking over. Strangely enough I get a lot of coconut in this thing. All the flavors are very subtle. I have had 2 bourbon barrel aged stouts and many regular imperial ones. You know what? This tastes nothing like any beer I ever had before. The flavor is pure brilliance!

M: So smooth, silky and creamy. It is like drinking chocolate mousse.

D: Dangerously drinkable. I swear I cannot detect a hint of alcohol other than the bourbon notes. It does not even have that warming quality.

This stuff is black liquid gold. Usually I drink a Imperial Stout and get pretty much the same taste with slight variations in each. This beer is completely left field of any other Imperial Stout. Almost a style of it's own.

generalnotsew, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of kcbrewfan
4.35/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Bottle cellar temperature bottle poured into pint glass
Appearance is black as night with a slight caramel colored head that fades quickly.

Smells strongly of raisins, hints of toffee, and bourbon. Alcohol is definitely prevalent before it is even tasted.

Initial taste is that of raisins [and figs?] and fades into the warming bourbon flavoring. Slightly fruity at first then a woody alcohol permeates the palate.

Fairly thick. has a viscosity not unlike a syrup and coats the interior of the mouth in a wash of its flavors.

I agree with a few of the other posters: Almost TOO drinkable for its 13% abv. This flavorful brew covers up those strong alcohol notes well.

Overall an impressive beer. Not the darkest or strongest aged stout I've had but its aroma and character are definitely unique. I bought it at the suggestion of a friend and will be buying it again.

kcbrewfan, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of Doomcifer
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a pitch-black with a tiny caramel colored head that vanishes right away. Aromas if extremely rich. Tons of dark, overripe fruits, raisins, plums...vanilla bean, oak, molasses, maple syrup, the list goes on and on. Very in your face aroma and I think I smelled this beer for about 5 minutes before I even took a sip. Tastes is even more jaw-dropping and complex. Initial flavors of overripe fruits ala rasins, figs, and the like. Then steps in HUGE flavors of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, slight oakiness, nutty, roasty, molasses....absolutely phenomenal. This beer has one of the most amazing lingering aftertastes of any beer I have ever had. Mouthfeel is also ridiculous. Definitely one of the top 3 most viscous beers I have ever had as well. I can literally feel this beer coating my mouth. I feel like I have to chew it before swallowing. Light on the carbonation but seems perfect for this brew. Nice warmth in the finish. I cannot stop smelling and tasting this beer, sip after sip...and that;s a dangerous thing at 13%. Definitely one of the most amazing beers I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. I only bought a single 12oz bottle to see if it was worth the price as I am often very skeptical nowadays. But this beer delivers in spades. Time to stock up. I can only imagine what this beer will offer with some years on it. Gawdayum!

Doomcifer, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of semibaked
4.8/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A - Pours into the glass and it is about 10 shades of black, small amount a brown sugar colored head.

S - I get vanilla and caramel right away which I wasn't expecting at all, usually with bourbon aged beers you get a huge whiff of bourbon but not with this, I do smell it but it is subdued along with the malts and coffee.

T - Wow is this good, strong bourbon and wood comes through then come great sweetness like vanilla, caramel and sugar. Also this has alot more carbonation that I thought it would. Very nice balance.

M - Nice viscous body kinda like motor oil, coats my mouth very well, full bodied and satisfying.

D - Extremely enjoyable beer, top notch in the style and I will certainly be buying this again, totally worth the price.

semibaked, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.22/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a really dark black into an oversized wine glass. It has a pretty, light mocha head which goes from barely a finger high to nothing in a matter of seconds. However, left behind is a ring of head around the glass that sticks there when left alone. The lacing is a mix of curvilinear forms and medium-sized dots that linger for awhile.

S: Whoa, heavy on the bourbon, please. This beer's moniker is apt. What a great scent! Mixed in with the bourbon notes are roasted malts, vanilla, caramel, a little espresso, some good alcohol, and a great woodsy-v aroma.

T: The most important thing to note is just how big this flavor is. It has a huge bourbon and oak sweetness the blends pretty well with the darker espresso and acidic alcohol tastes. To be really picky, I would say that the component flavors do not meld together perfectly. There is just a slight disconnect in each flavor standing out from the others during the duration of the sip. The finish has a pretty heavy alcohol burn on the tongue and in the nose that is followed by a nice, dry, coffee-esque finish.

M: This really runs the gamut. It has at the same time a big creamy feel and a puckering acidity. This dichotomy is very stimulating to my brain and I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around how exactly I feel about it. After thinking a good while on it and taking another sip, I think that the bitter acidity overwhelms the creaminess just a little too much. I still enjoy it, though.

D: For all I have said about the conflicting duality of this beer, the drinkability is really quite good for a 13% Goliath. That said, if I had more than one, I'd be pretty wacky.

TCHopCraver, Feb 27, 2010
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 8,533 ratings.