1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,539 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,539
Reviews: 2,377
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 1,986
Gots: 3,627 | 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
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: 8,539 | Reviews: 2,377 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of deruiz10
4.63/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Half-finger head is coffee and cream color, quickly fades to nothing and leaves no lacing. Pour is as about as close to pitch-black as they come, impervious to light.

S - Dark malts and chocolate, hints of caramel, blackberries, coffee. Alcohol is present but hides pretty well amongst the other odorants. Smells a lot like the berry-flavored chocolate you might find in a box of chocolates.

T - Dark, toasty malts. Chocolate through and through with hints of caramel, brown sugar, and a fair amount of coffee. Aftertaste is chocolate and mocha. Very complex with the alcohol providing a bit of a bite, but not overpowering.

M - Creamy and just heavy enough. Lingers in the mouth even after you've downed the hatch.

D - A heavy brew to be sure, best to take it slow. Overall one, if not the, best stout I've tried.

deruiz10, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of soupyman10
4.58/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Solid look, pitch black but with a white head, no lacing. Nose is big - licorice, chocolate. Flavor is monsterous as well, and incredible. Licorice, again, no booze at all, chocolate, bourbon on the back of the tongue. Roasted malt, a touch of coffee, dried fruit, nearly smoky at times. Near perfect, flavor-wise. Body is think and full, nearly creamy. An excellent beer that I would have again in a second - looking forward to trying it aged.

soupyman10, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of bismarksays
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark almost black. Looks thick. A small amount of tan head.

S: Roasted malt, sweet bourbon, coffee

T:Flavor bomb of bourbon, vanilla undertones, roasted malt (in between coffee and dark chocolate). Very well balanced for such an extreme stout.

M: Thick almost liquer like. It makes this one a sipper, which with flavors like these, it should be

D: Hard to rate the drinkability of a beer you really should have one of. I guess on one hand, I can really only drink one a night. On the other, I would drink one every night if the budget allowed.

Worth the hype and the price.

bismarksays, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of capra12
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured jet black and opaque with a light brown head.

Smell: Dark grapes, and naturally sweet raisins with a hint of soy sauce.

Taste: Opens withe a rich sweet malty raisin profile which fluctuates in intensity from open to finish with a very sweet concord grape finish leaving a dark and malty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with no carbonation, smooth and coarse.

Drinkability: I would definitely have this again but I would only recommend this to those who seek rich dark malt profiles, dark sweet fruit and a subtle earthiness.

capra12, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of curasowa
3.9/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Pours an dark, dark brown color with just a touch of dark tan head that faded quickly without any real lacing. Smells like a glass of bourbon; medicinal with some smokey notes mixed in. The alcohol hits you right away and warms your mouth. After the initial shock, the complexity of the beer comes out. With-in a thick, creamy body lies flavors of vanilla and caramel along with some hints of the malt before the alcohol makes a reappearance on the finish. This is a really complex, cool beer, but I don't think I could drink more than one. Definitely going to cellar a few bottles and see how it ages.

curasowa, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of taigor
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap poured into 8oz glass.

A - Pitch black, non-transparent with no head at all and slight lacing around glass.

S - Bourbon smell right away with hints of dark chocolate, caramel and coffee.

T - Very sweet and bourbon oak upfront followed by alcohol and coffee stout bitterness finish.

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Definitely a dessert sipper beer. Overall probably the best bourbon stout ever.

taigor, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of Walken
4.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Goose Island: Bourbon County Stout (2008) (Tasted 12/06/09)
12 oz. bottle, poured into a tulip

Appearance: Hard pour yields a large, flat, mocha colored head that fades pretty quickly. The lace wants to hold on to the side of the glass, but it's just not happening. The beer is an inky, opaque, midnight black color.
Odor: Overripe fruit on top, hefty bourbon & oak behind that with espresso and bakers chocolate in the back.
Consistency: Medium full body with a definite oily slickness. Mild carbonation, oak-derived tannins and alcohol heat from the bourbon lend some astringency tugging at the tongue keeping the full body from feeling overly heavy.
Taste: Damn man. This is good. Flavors are extremely well integrated. Oak & bourbon in front. Chocolate flavors are rich and diverse, a mix of dark and milk, the immense body contributing to the latter. Dark red fruitiness, almost wine-like, minor coconut. Background is filled out by charred wood and molasses flavors. Finish is akin to chasing some bourbon with a dark chocolate brownie.

This is an exceptional beer. I'd like to try this fresh, curious as to how much more intense the bourbon/oak is.

Walken, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of Gtreid
4.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008, aquired during the Football BIF. 12 oz. bottle poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Pitch black. The pour produces next to no head, and it leaves no lace.

A: Strong burbon notes along with chocolate and roasty coffee. No hop aroma, this one is straight burbon.

T: This is where BCS shines. The barrel aging is supurb. Burbon notes are huge. Chocolate and roasty coffee are great. I get a great earthiness, and a smooth finish.

M: Next to no carbonation. Very oily, but smooth.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is just ok. the high abv acompanied with the oily mouthfeel makes it a little hard to swallow. Overall, I'm glad I'm sharing this 12 0z. bottle, but a good example of a barrel aged brew. Skal.

Gtreid, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of movingtrain
4.8/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Growler pour, sampled in a 12 ounce snifter.

Pours jet-black, completely opaque. Very little head on top.

Smells of molasses, brown sugar, dark chocolate, tobacco, dark malts, cherry, vanilla. Some heavy alcohol in the nose here, as well.

Tastes is very alcoholic...incredibly strong. This beer is a sipper for sure. Tastes of creamy dark chocolate, cinnamon, molasses, heavy cream, vanilla, and, well, alcohol. The bourbon barrel flavor is prominent, as well...and it should be. But, it is not overpowering...it is quite well-balanced in the mix of flavors involved.

This is an impressive brew. Not one that is good for drinking in mass amounts, but one that is just right to sit around for a few hours and just enjoy. It's strong, high in alcohol, and has some big flavors.

This is a world-class stout...delicious and powerful.

movingtrain, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of beerboygb
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first review... I should have been working up to this beer. I love beer, whiskey, and wine. Frankly, I'm not sure which one this falls under. I had my wife do a "blind smelling", she thought it was a wine or whiskey. The bourbon flavor is immediate. My palate is more geared toward wine right now so all I can say is this is extremely enjoyed this stout. Dark as night with the slightest silky head. The bourbon is what made me a fan. Old Van Winkle 12 year "lot B"... Yum

beerboygb, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2008 bottling.
Heavy, viscous, engine oil black. Try as I might I couldn't force a head. Not even a skimy swirl. Nuthin'.

Smells of bourbon, succulent bourbon. Licorice, and vanilla as well. Taste focuses more on Good N' Plenty licorice, vanilla, and molasses with a bourbon undertone. So thick and goopy I feel I could get enough nourishment from the massive amount of malt that I don't have to eat for the rest of the day.

Delicious and immersive, I'd kill a man for this beer. One of those beers that's so I good I need a cigarette afterward. And I don't even smoke.

via duffextracold

donkeyrunner, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of steve8robin
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured an '08 last night...

A: Pours pitch black with a great mocha colored head that slowly disippates leaving a nice mocha rip on the glass.

S: Smells good. Scents of dark fruit and nuts.

T: First thing I taste is a nice thick walnut flavor followed by a slight buttery taste. This is so good.

M: Leaves a nice sticky walnut flavor in your mouth. Good carbonation.

D: Goes down super smooth. I can definitely pound these if I let myself. Gotta enjoy them slowly though and supress that urge.

All in all, this is one of my faves. Nice unique flavor that is not too over the top or too light. This would definitely be a great dessert beer.

steve8robin, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of drowland
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(original tasting) 2008 - Bottle. So black light won't go through, and a nice lingering dark brown head. The aroma is endless with sweet malt, oak, vanilla, tannins, a touch of bourbon, and a dash of alcohol. The flavor delivers big sweet malts and a dash of alcohol upfront followed by hints of candied fruit and finishing with a lingering definite coffee flavor layered with chocolates. I have since tried this a few times and am aging two more bottles. This stuff is simply amazing and everyone should try it. One of my favorite beers.

drowland, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of jlindros
4.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had the 08 and 07 and loved both. Now I get to try the 09 and finally review it. Got this one in a very quick and great trade by Lunch.

A: Screw top, really guys?! Pours with almost no head, a few bubbles here and there, but so goes the style. But the head that does come rings around the sides of the glass and leaves a lacing. The pitch black color gives midnight a bad name. I think I feel the souls of mortals all around being sucked into this pit of darkness and light void. Even at the very bottom where it thins, no light escapes and I think it was born from Nazgul!

N: Well it starts off with a very light NOTHING. It actually starts with heavy bourbon and oak. A sweet oaky bourbon aroma just dances out of the glass and gently bashes the heck out of your nose! This is followed by some rich dark stout malts, some roasted, some chocolate, then some sweet caramel. A touch of vanilla rounds it off to an overall awesomeness that smells better than, ummm, something that smells great. A touch of alcohol comes out as the glass warms.

T: Super rich thickness that makes crude oil blush. It's thicker than my boss (just kidding), and richer than Bill Gates. A luscious sweet malt flavor starts to grow, but is battled back by more heavy oak and bourbon flavors. A touch of dark fruit comes through, but barely. Then comes some more sweet caramel and perhaps molasses. Another wave of chocolate hits with a slight creamy flavor accompanied by vanilla and more caramel. Think everything sweet that tastes awesome and throw it together in one glass. A touch of alcohol flavor, but barely. This this is dangerous being 13% and drinks like 8-9%.

M: Very little carbonation, but so thick I think it's absorbing my mouth into it to become one entity. Very velvety smooth and heavy. Still rich and smooth. A little bit of alcohol burn and warmth but barely.

F: Still pretty sweet and super thick. It never really leaves as it leaves a huge thick coat on the mouth. It leaves a new layer like my body created a new layer of skin, but only super thick beer. A slight lingering bourbon flavor, but it's mostly the chocolate, vanilla, and caramel. The crazy dark heavy richness of this makes Ozzy look like a church. OK, enough with the bad reference, but this beer is ridiculously thick and luscious, as well as delicious! Thanks again Paul.

jlindros, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of Jettanbass9
4.22/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

vintage 2008.

A - Obsidian, jet black, void of color and impervious to light. A dark tan head tries to stick around but is knocked down by a high degree of alcohol. Sturdy, strong... a stout.

S - Bourbon! wow.... bourbon very much in the forefront. Vanilla, Oak, some sweet rum like aromas emerge. Smoke, raisin and roast mingle inbetween. Beneath the bourbon lies a very complex aromas.

T - Bourbon lies a canvas to fresh roasted coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla and resin. A smokey note lingers between the dark fruit and bourbon.

M - full bodied, no astringency and light carbonation. the classic approach to allowing these types of flavors to emerge.

D - Very drinkable brew that remains rich and complex. This beer is definitely meant to be savored.

Jettanbass9, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of JamisonM
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: served in a rounded wine glass 12 ounce bottle 2008 vintage

A: it really pours with no head its very dark super dark beer

S: smells rich complex sugars in there hints of vanilla and coffee

T: taste is a great one you could have this beer for dessert! alone I mean with nothing else! since its not aged (besides in the barral) I am guessing its even sweeter then an aged one. and the finish is fantasic sweet coffee chocolate and vanilla, the finish lingers on for atleast 20 or 30 secs with each drink. one to savor and take your time with for certain.

M: think and heavy coats the tongue wonderfully

D: its drinkable its think its one to savor don't gulp this one!

JamisonM, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of hayesez
4.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2006 - 12 oz. bottle

Poured very dark and thick into a snifter. Even with a strong pour, there was no head at all. A tiny ring of brown bubbles revealed the only carbonation.

Definitely a strong bourbon smell in this one; always nice when the beer reflects its name! Also hints of wood and a bit of vanilla. The high alcohol reveals itself strongly.

The taste is very much what you would expect from the smell. A strong bourbon tinge is present start to finish. Some vanilla as well. As the drink is finishing, a coffee after-taste is mixed with some bitter chocolate. I really like how this finishes. The booziness is definitely present, and detracts a bit, but still a solid beer! As the beer warms up, the alcohol intensifies a bit, but the mouthfeel gets even better. The silky smooth feel over the tongue is just my style!

This is a great beer. The one detractor is the alcoholic taste in the beer. I figured this would have mellowed out quite a bit after being stored for three years, but it is still very present. The rest of the beer, however, has certainly smoothed over time as all of the flavors overlap each other to make a truly delightful brew. Definitely a beer I will continue to drink.

hayesez, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of craftaholic
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz into a snifter this one is dark as night. The dark tan foam dissipates mighty quick.

Smell: This one is definitely a bourbon stout because that aroma is dominating. The scent is so strong that you could smell it across the room even with a house full of thanksgiving scents. Mixed into that lovely aroma is hints of nice oak and touches of chocolate and creamy vanilla.

Taste: The malt greets you up front and then the oaky bourbon opens right up. There is a dark fruits flavor that reminds me of chocolate covered cordial cherries and figs. This one is somewhat hot and im thinking with some age on it; it'll do quite well. There is a lingering burnt malt flavor and a dark chocolate nuance.

Mouthfeel: Robust and full bodied; it's nice and slick yet smooth it coats the mouth but in a nice dusting instead of a vicious syrup. Leaves the palate numb and coated.

Drinkability: It is quite intense but yet for what its worth its highly drinkable. It is definitely a sipper but I wouldn't drink more than one in a sitting.

Overall: Got to love bourbon and thankfully I do because the flavor is there in this tough as nails stout.

craftaholic, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of OttoBomb
4.2/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served on tap in 10 fl.oz. snifter glass, (November 24, 2009).

Eyes: Black as night. A small yet thick, dirty-tinted foam floats on top.

Nose: A potent bourbon aroma strikes first. There is also a nice oak smell, hints of chocolate and vanilla.

Tongue: Happily the taste is very alike the aroma. The bourbon is strong, as are the other pieces; oak, chocolate, and vanilla. The only down side is that the alcohol is a bit too pronounced.

Mouth: Rich, thick and sticks to the palate.

Libation: A fantastic piece of brewing, the bourbon flavor is well married with a smooth stout beer. I can't say this is exactly "drinkable" as the intense bourbon body and 13% ABV combine for a glass one needs to nurse for a while. I took a good 45 minutes for just 10 ounces. I think this will age very well, so I'll be putting a couple bottles away to give away as Christmas gifts next year.

This is certainly a beer that only a quality craft brewer could produce. Good on Goose Island for putting out such fine stuff.

OttoBomb, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of BeerInReview
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

To preface, this is a review of a 2007 bottle.

A: This is as black as it can get. It poured thick with very little head.

S: It has a very inviting smell of bourbon, malt, and vanilla.

T: I can taste sweet malts, bourbon, and vanilla right off the bat. I can tell this is a 13% ABV beer. Wow! It's not harsh, but I can tell it's of higher alcohol content. My mouth is left with the taste of roasted malt/coffee.

M: It is what I would expect out of a bourbon barrel aged stout, very little carbonation and thick.

D: This is a very drinkable, full-bodied beer, but enjoy it in moderation. I wrote this review buzzed, and this was the only beer I had!

This is a very well balanced beer. The bourbon is smooth and melds well. I will be seeking out a four pack of this soon.

BeerInReview, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of bahumutx
4.85/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on 10-21-08

Appearance: Dark. No light comes through. Pours with a very small head.

Smell: Slight alcohol aroma. Roasted malt, bourbon, slight vanilla and chocolate.

Taste: Roasted malt upfront and then progresses into a nice bourbon flavor(vanilla, oak). Ends with a nice malt flavor. Some alcohol flavor but it does not overpower the other flavors of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Very thick with little carbonation. Great for this style of beer.

Drinkability: Due to the ABV and mouthfeel, this is a sipper and only one bottle should be enjoyed.

I like this offering from Goose Island a lot!!! Great bourbon flavor without being to overpowering. Great job!!

bahumutx, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of Hornet2003
3.48/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-Tap at Goose Island Clybourne.

Interesting beer. The most intensely whiskey flavoured beer I have ever come across. Sour and musky woodsiness. Nice flavour but it is too much. Way too much for more than a taster. Sour and sweet bourbon flavour. The beer flavour is so masked it is flawed.

Interesting experience, but not an enjoyable experience if served in a greater than 5 oz sample.

I understand why this beer is coveted, because it is ridiculously extreme, but holy detritus, this is not enjoyable in quantity unless you're sharing.

Hornet2003, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of minnunderground
4.22/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Hell yeah welcome to the BCS bowl! First off twist off..come on!

A-Pours with very little head, Very thick Black as night, Tiny bit of tan lacing

S-Bourban, Booze, choc.

T-wow...very complex...first bourban, then some choc, roasty malts, not much coffee maybe a hint of creamy ness but still with a bit of crispness, warms as it goes down

M-fells quite good on the mouth kinda dances around

D-Well the drink ability is in the middle, the taste is intense, the abv is intense, but really all in a good way.

Really would be a CHALLENGE to have a whole bomber in a sitting of this. I am very thankful I bought a 4 pack of 12oz. I will probably be putting the other three in the cellar to let them cool down a bit.

minnunderground, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of MrDanno96
4.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark as night with a thing ring of creamy looking tan head. Very minimal lacing. No light is getting through this thing.

S: I love how bourbon barrel aged things smell! Distinct smells of bourbon, oak, and vanilla. You can also find some subtle hints of coffee, chocolate, and cherries. Alcohol is also pretty apparent.

T: Tasty! Pretty similar to the nose: bourbon and sweet vanilla are most apparent. Very warm alcohol on the finish and aftertastes of coffee and chocolate linger for some time. Some oakiness is also in there. This reminds me of BT, but isn't nearly as complex. Keep in mind, however, that BT probably deserves about a 6 out of 5 for taste. What I'm trying to say is that Goose Island BCS is very good.

M: Smooth and chewy. The bite from the alcohol is a little harsh, but really not too bad.

D: As with most high quality Bourbon barrel aged stouts, this one is a tasty and complex sipper. I will definitely have this again, but I wouldn't drink more than one in a sitting. I'll definitely put a few of these in the cellar as well and see how they taste in a year or two.

MrDanno96, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of lackenhauser
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black and very viscuous to pour. No real carbonation or head to speak of. Just the way this pours kicks it up a notch in my book. Heavy bourbon aroma with quite a boozy smell to it. Long lingering vanilla/oak smell. Huge roasted and imperial stout like flavor with the most intense bourbon flavors I have ever had in a beer. Over the top but not in a bad way. Even has the slight alcohol burn that you get in spirits-not like an overly alcoholic beer. Lingering burnt and bitter flavors-deep dark chocolate and roasted malt. Great body-thick and full. The alcohol flavor leaves quite the tingling sensation. A great beer all around. Quite in your face but well balanced in the long run. Could not do it all night by any stretch but still damn enjoyable.

lackenhauser, Nov 23, 2009
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 8,539 ratings.