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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

8,144 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,144
Reviews: 2,352
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 1,847
Gots: 3,467 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bourbon County Brand Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,144 | Reviews: 2,352 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of colts9016
4.22/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to kels for this bottle.

Poured into a pint glass at 52 degrees.

Appearance: A jet black color like burnt motor oil. There was a very dark tan head that was one finger thick. There is no clarity to the beer, this sucker is not going to allow any light through.

Nose: A rich roasted malt, charred wood, vanilla, coffee, smoke, caramel, and chocolate. The bourbon is subtle but very present in the beer. In the background of the beer is a burnt sugar character, raisins, and fruity esters.

Taste: A rich roasted malt complex, with smoke, charred wood, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, bourbon, raisins, and molasses. In the back ground of the beer is fruity esters, cream, and burnt sugar.

Overall: This beer is liquid syrup, you can cut this beer with a steak knife, chewy, creamy and slightly carbonated. The finish is full and slightly bitter. Okay, I was not expecting this type of beer from Goose Island. It is super rich, super thick, and it has a lot going on in the beer. I am surprised that the alcohol is buried deep and is inconspicuous. The first impression is this beer is a definite sipper, therefore making the drink ability a little bit lower. I rather like the fact that it is a bold in your face beer and very good stout.

colts9016, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle - 2007, very fresh.

Pours like used motor oil, thick and opaque black. Almost no head.

Nose is huge: massive bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, hints of coffee. Delicious. Little carbonation.

Flavor is just as big as the nose, and just as delicious: huge dark malt, massive bourbon, chocolate, some coffee. Undeniably smooth drinking. Palate is thick, coats the mouth. Finishes long and smooth. Beer is definitely a slow sipper, but even with the bourbon taste, it's smoother than any bourbon.

Mouthfeel is smooth, little carbonation, very oily and viscous.

As gargantuan as this beer is, it's hard to stop drinking. So delicious you have to pull yourself away from it. Fantastic.

Rerate - bottle, 2007, aged 3-4 months. A little age greatly reign in the vanilla and bourbon notes, and the alcohol to a lesser degree, bringing up the coffee and roast malt notes. I actually prefer the rawer, fresher version

JohnQVegas, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of darklordlager
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008
Pours a pitch black, like pouring motor oil. Minimal head that dissipates immediately after the pour.

Smell is of intense dark fruits and figs. Sweet chocolate and caramel.

Taste is an intense blast of sweet fruitness, complex caramel, and a lingering fusel alcohol. Vanilla,

Mouthfeel is carbonated enough to keep it interesting.

Intense flavours

2009
Pours a Midnight black with sparse light brown lacing lining the sides, struggling to keep from being swallowed up.
4.5

Smell- Bourbon, roasted malt, vanilla, chocolate, caramel. chocolate, woody.
4-4.5

Taste-Bourbon, caramel, and vanilla are all very upfront, boozy finish. Definitely a sipper.
4.0

Mouthfeel- velevety with a slight syrupy element to it. Slick, with a lingering boozy/roasty aftertaste.
4.5

Just how I remember it--big, boozy bourbon with nice vanilla and caramel notes.
4.5

darklordlager, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of drnknmnky
4.38/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip

A- Dark brown , almost vlack, head that didn't last long and left a little collar.

S- BOURBON, strong bourbon, chocolate both sweet and dark a light smokiness to them

TM - chocolate, bourbon, hints of mocha. and more I couldn't finger right away. ripe dark fruit maybe. Currant. Smooth, like silk. not as hot a 13% would make it seem. When they talk about there being more flavor in one sip there not kidding.

D- Good, Loved it but writing about it now. I don't know if it's something I'd want more ofmore than 1 of. Plus @ 13% ABV kind hard to session.

drnknmnky, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of JoshuaCain
3.8/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottle dated 10/08/08
pours a very, very dark brown, nearly black. not much of a head at all.
aroma is very sweet malt, wood, moist earth and chocolate cake. a very prominent alcohol singe tingles the nose a bit on each whiff.
tastes of charred wood and bakers chocolate, with a bit of licorice, black coffee and a very boozy finish. definitely retains more of the stout flavor profile than taking on alot of bourbon taste, except in the finish and aftertaste.
mouthfeel is pretty full, but still a little thinner than it could be.
flavor is really good, but overall drinkability is just okay, this one is just too strong and boozy to drink more than one. will try one again next year.

JoshuaCain, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of brokenleadedcask
4.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first time reviewing so I thought I'd start with a doozy

A- Dark opaque brown with a hint of copper around the top poured with very little head that disappeared after a few minutes.

S- The first smell before the glass got close was dark chocolate. Then the bourbon smacked me in the face when I got closer, with hits of campfire

T- Roasted espresso beans soaked in bourbon for twelve days in a smokey bar. Definitely a 13 percenter.

M- Maybe I'm used to the BBA style but it was smooth as velvet, I was expecting a lingering sticky-ness

D- A sipper or for desert would be fine. I could not drink 2 of these but glad I bought a four pack to have again

brokenleadedcask, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of tmoneyba
4.35/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured black color with medium brown rocky head that lasted with good lacing. Aroma was long complex roasted coffee and chocolate and wood. The flavor was rich of bourban, oak, malt and alcohol. Finish was long and had a good bite.

Good stout and well worth the hunt to find.

tmoneyba, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of pdxwhisky
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow - black as oil coming out of the bottle. Heavy duty aromas of tobacco, licorice, malts, and bourbon. Nice first sip, but the flavor grows a bit out of sequence as too much might be going on at once. Overall drinkability is a bit hard, as this is a beer that requires a big meal prior in able to cut through the viscousness. A great beer, though, but not for the unexpected drinker.

pdxwhisky, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of soccerman7
4.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Holy Smoke. Served in a goblet

A - 2 shades to pitch black with a dark tan, thin head.

S - Fantastic nose of bourbon, alcohol, smoke, maple, and malts.

T - Extremely complex, with the sweetness of the malt and bourbon very pleasant against the oak and smoke. A lot of maple notes with the hops cleaning it out. Excellent

M- This was my only knock against this beer. It was a bit high on the alcohol taste which did burn a bit and the sweetness really coated the mouth by the 3rd or fourth sip. Started eating food half way through the goblet and it was difficult to really taste.

D - overall an excellent version of oaked imperial stout. very interesting and certainly worth trying.

soccerman7, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of cameraman
4.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a black opaque color, looks thick and syrupy as it is being poured. Very little evidence of a head, a beige feint line forms around the glass. The bourbon fragrance is strong, so strong I am giessing which distilleries barrels were used. There are touches of chocolate and dark roasted malt scents. The taste is strong, rich and robust, with chocolate, malty sweetness, with touches coffee and dried fruit. Then the bourbon comes in to compliment it all together, it finishes with a bit of a boozy flavor at the end. The feel is thick, rich and oily, as it slides across the palate. The surprise is I am expecting a little touch of a burn from alchol, but there is none. Everything about this beer is strong, though the look is little weak, but the aroma, taste, and feel are top notch. This is a great night cap beer or excellent with a cigar.

cameraman, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of TheDoorman
4.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black appearance with a coffee brown head. Aroma alone will knock your socks off. Just completely filled with bourbon and rich roasted malt flavors. Taste follows the nose. Bourbon, bourbon and more bourbon. Roasted malt and chocolate and coffee notes are abundant as well. I nice melding of many very strong characteristics, each of which assert themselves nicely. Full bodied, thick, creamy and luxurious mouthfeel. Beautiful. Alcohol is present, and noticeable, as it should be for a bourbon-barrel stout. It doesn't get better than this.

TheDoorman, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of joerodiii
4.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle in a Duvel tulip.

This is an amazing beer. The appearance is an opaque black, thick but not syrupy. The aroma is strongly bourbon, but it is nicely balanced with chocolate, roasted barley, sweetness, and alcohol.

In spite of it's richness and strength, this beer's taste makes it the most drinkable RIS I've ever had. The bourbon is definitely up front, but it does not overpower the rest of the beer. There is a fairly strong chocolate taste that increases as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is almost perfect, just thick enough.

If it wasn't so expensive, I could drink this beer all the time.

joerodiii, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of cvs241
3.7/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a thick viscous black with a very small little caramel colored head. The head dissipates in a few seconds leaving very little lacing. The smell hints a roasted malt and vanilla, but is overwhelmed by the bourbon. The flavor is similar to the smell with hints chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malt. The beer is overly sweet and there seems to be little bitterness to balance this. The feel of the beer is thick, and the alcohol isn't hidden whatsoever. The beer is almost hard to drink and certainly wouldn't want more than one in a sitting. Overall an interesting offering that I might come back to, but it isn't going to be a regular in my fridge.

cvs241, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of ScenicWoozy
4.85/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours with very little head. Even the laser etching on the bottom of the glass can't bring about anything but the slightest amount. What did show up quickly disappears. On the plus side, it did pour with the stout thickness I would expect.

The smell is mostly caramel, a bit toffee and backed by the obvious smell of alcohol.

At first the taste is much more of the same, but it then mellows out into the roasted flavor of coffee. All the while, there's a grape like fruitiness in the background. There is definitely booze in this beer.

The mouthfeel is much better than I expected. Even though there is a complete lack of head, carbonation is still certainly there. I was a bit worried I'd have troubles swallowing it down. Flat beer makes me pour a beer down the drain quicker than anything else. Instead, I want to swig this around a bit.

I love the complexity of this beer. Take a sip, let it sit, and then swallow. The flavor continues to change for a good minute. How many sips does it take to get to the bottom of my glass? I don't think I could keep track. I keep forgetting after shouting, "Damn that's good!"

ScenicWoozy, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of dakid618
4.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Pours jet black with virtually no head. Smell is chocolatey with strong bourbon scents. Taste is very alcohol heavy but delicious. This beer wows me with every drink. Light hot mouthfeel. This is very drinkable for being 13% ABV. Not sessionable but an outstanding IS. I love this brew!

dakid618, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of raoulduke37
4.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Failed to give this one a hard pour, which would have increased the head (according to an earlier review), but bearing that in mind, I saw very little of the tan head and then for only a brief period. Appearance was jet black, very thick, looks a lot like Stone Russian Imperial Stout.

Smell was very very good. Dark chocolate, definitely bourbon, even the oak barrel s evident, but the alcohol smell is not masked. It smells like a really good port wine.

Decadent is definitely the word. Truffle chocolate, coffee, again port wine, but the alcohol taste is not masked well at all, and at times overpowers the brew. If you are feeling like a stiff drink but don't want whiskey, this is the brew of choice, gentlemen.

Mouthfeel was great - thick, creamy, smooth, everything you'd want from a stout. Tastes like dessert.

Drinkability is way down due to the alcohol. Not a session beer. More of a get drunk and write a killer poem beer, if you're the Faulkner type anyway. Keep this one away from your friend who tends to go overboard.

raoulduke37, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of Ljunkan
5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 bottle. Pours a pitch black color, looks very oily; the head is small and it dies.

Smell is absolutely fantastic! I can't say I've smelled anything better lately, it has been a while since I had Närke Kaggen and I'm not really sure, but this could even be better than that one. Lots of roasted malts, dark chocolate, fudge, toffee, almonds, oak, vanilla, bourbon and even some light smokiness behind all this too.

Taste is powerful; very sweet, yet balanced, in my opinion. Roasted malt, dark chocolate, fudge, almonds, oak, vanilla and bourbon. Perfection. A slight warming note from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is extremely filling. A fullbodied beer, very creamy and thick, low carbonation. Long, pleasant finish. Overall this have to be the best beer I've had together with Kaggen! Maybe the absolute best one.

Ljunkan, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of Ummagum
2.3/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2007 vintage in a 12 oz bottle. Poured black with a small brownish head. Left a small collar around the glass. Overwhelmed by the bourbon smell and taste. I did not enjoy this beer. I have enjoyed other beers by this brewer, but this one did not impress me.

Ummagum, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of AChamberlain
4/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black, no head. Strong bourbon aroma, caramel. Rasins and vanilla as well. Some coconut and a good amount of alcohol. Sweet caramel flavor, nutty finish. A bit too thin. Aroma and flavor are great and have me coming back. A bit overated in my opinion.

AChamberlain, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of johnd513
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours thick and black like motor oil with a small thin brown head that quickly disappears. Huge bourbon smell, with chocolate and coffee. Tastes of huge bourbon, chocolate vanilla and The mouthfeel is extremely thick and syrupy with a full body and relatively low carbonation. Drinkability is high considering the high abv. One of my new favorite Imperial Stouts.

johnd513, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of BierFan
4.55/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on date of 10/21/08. Poured from a 12 ounce brown twist off bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Jet black. A hard pour into a pint glass yielded a perfect 2 inch brown head.

Smell: The smell is a concoction of oak, vanilla, bourbon, and a bit of smokiness. I feel like I could get drunk just by smelling it, the aroma is that powerful.

Taste: More vanilla, oak, and bourbon in the taste. The alcohol warms the throat on the way down. Smokey aftertaste. The mouthfeel is thinner than the smell and taste would lead you to believe.

BierFan, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage on tap at the Ginger Man in NYC.

Scorched soil and blackened branches, it appears like the ashy aftermath of a forest fire. It's an image appropriately conjured by a beer that spent one-hundred days in charred oak. It is discernibly opaque although its trim is accented with a burnt creme brulee crust. Its gingerbread brown head is gigantic even in an oversize brandy glass. Its lacing is spotty and various sized bubbles mark the surface like craters.

Ahhh the amazing scent of Bourbon County Stout! The confined intimacy of the barrel has married bitter dark cocoa, freshly pulled espresso, warm toasty biscuits, firewood, just lit cigars, dark caramel, and a combination of singed and smoked oak. I'd guess it's a ratio of two parts bourbon and one part heavy roast Imperial Stout. It is a seductive and soothing call to the senses. You will cascade under it. It is simply marvelous.

This sample is very, very fresh and I'm not sure all nuances have had enough time to evolve. Still, this is every bit an orgiastic feast as you'll find in a beer. Notes of creme brulee, vanilla custard, and chocolate truffle satisfy the most urged cravings of the decadent one could have. Along with the cigars and oak chips dipped in chocolate it stands to reason that those hints of dark caramel, roast malts, and bitter espresso will come forth even more with time.

Still young the bourbon is very forward. Bits of tobacco, toasted oak, vanilla bean and exotic eastern spices means this could probably appeal to whiskey fans as much as beer lovers. Not being overlooked, however, the connoisseurs will appreciate the plethora of hops that were used. It's hard to believe so much grassy, hop leaf presence can co-exist with the dark, rich characteristics of the beer and bourbon.

The mouthfeel is especially, incredibly, fabulously thick. It's like licking the inside of a tobacco barrel and then gnawing on the wood; I can still feel the splinters in my gums. The beer itself resounds like a dark, dark, and bitter, bitter unrefined cocoa. It has a burnt coffee bean like astringency. The charred wood is dry with a strong smokey presence. There is a good deal of alcohol warmth (it's young still remember) that heats the soul without burning the tongue.

There must have been claw marks on the inside of those barrels. This stout has absorbed so much of the bourbon character but astoundingly maintained its thick, heavy roast Imperial Stout qualities; it's a marriage not a balancing act. This is a drink designed for contemplation and reflection. It demands respect and drinks with grace and refinement. Given all the choices in the world there are few beers that I would rather savour.

biegaman, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of bheilman
4.38/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Delicious beer unlike almost anything I've drank in the past. It has a deep dark color with a nice dark brown head that was fairly thin. The smell is very sweet with caramel and vanilla. The taste is great, like I already mentioned, thick malt presence although not in an overwhelming way, more in the taste. I also taste that vanilla and some raisins and caramel, I also taste something that's not really coffee like but some of that style of robustness is hittin my tongue. Their is enough hops to notice it, but this is definitely strong on the malt. The aftertaste is good although I do feel a little of the alcohol burning as I exhale. I'm guessing this beer is going to improve as it gets a bit warmer and I'm also excited to try this again after it ages a year or so.

bheilman, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of CoolJosh
4.22/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have been meaning to try this beer for way too long. Actually, this beer was one of the first beers I had traded for. The bottle I will be drinking is a 2007.

A really hazy dark blood red glass that is as dark as you can get with out be completely opaque. Slight dark brown mahogany bubbles float on top that evaporate quickly into thin air. Very still.

Tons of bourbon mash, lots of vanilla, some caramel, slight cocoa, fairly sweet and creamy. The bourbon is overwhelming, hence the name. The smooth however is very warming and refined. With the bottle being aged and never having tried a fresh one, I have nothing to compare it to.

Incredibly complex even though the predominate flavor that jumps out is bourbon. Tons of caramel and toffee flavors. Incredibly smooth in swallowing, but fairly sweet and sticky mouthfeel that really rides the top and bottom of your mouth. Great roasted malts that produce a very nice texture and flavor assortment. Some cocoa and vanilla are present in the background, and are greatly overshadowed by the bourbon. Very bread-like/cracker after taste. Hints of oak are in the background as well. Definitely a slow sipper but a fantastic one at that.

CoolJosh, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of kels
4.33/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hesitated to pick up a pack of this at $19.99 for 4, but I couldn't resist. I just kept hearing from everybody how great it was. Reviewed on a bottle-pour into a snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown, nearly black with no head and a light tan ring of lace at the top. Beer appears thick and creamy - swirls of tan lace float atop the liquid.

Smell: Deliciously delicate bourbon-scent with creamy bittersweet chocolate and light roasted coffee.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Oh wow...goodness...it is absolutely delicious. The backdrop of the taste is an amazingly balanced creamy and bitter chocolate - a little on the syrupy side. Compliments of dark, fruity roasted coffee and sweet bourbon are both strongly present. There's even a hoppy character that comes through slightly under the alcohol. There's a distinct dryness in the palate, and it seems to come from hints of charred oak flavor from the barrels. The alcohol warms all the way into my stomach just like a good bourbon. It's amazing. So strong in the taste. The mouthfeel is creamy and fairly well carbonated and goes down easy.

Drinkability: If the ABV wasn't so strong, I'd have to have another.

Definitely worth the cost - I can't wait to age the other 3 and see what I get. I've heard of people buying these each year and drinking aged sets vertically. I might have to give that a try.

kels, Jan 27, 2009
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 8,144 ratings.