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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.

9,763 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,763
Reviews: 2,577
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 2,159
Gots: 4,844 | FT: 496
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 (210) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,763 | Reviews: 2,577 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jtk
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of CelticAleMan
4.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

Photo of jegross2
4.57/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing a fresh 2011 vintage bottle of the infamous Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Brewing Company.

Score: 96

2011 vintage bottle poured in a 22 oz snifter glass served at room temperature.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a quarter finger of bubbly mocha head that quickly subsides into an extremely thin ring around the edge of the glass. This baby is completely opaque; absolutely no light gets through it. I even put a bright LED flashlight behind the glass and no light is peeking through. Leaves small, brief streaks of oily lacing along the side of the glass. Swirling brings back some of the sexy mocha-chocolate colored head. 4/5

Smell: Huge aromas of maple syrup, caramel and vanilla extract. Tons of raisins, figs and brown sugar. Lots of dark fruit and notes of cherry. Some booziness. Rich, roasted dark chocolate and sweet bourbon. Some faint roasted coffee. The aroma is very complex and robust. 4.5/5

Taste: The flavor is just as complex and robust as the aroma. Despite all the bold individual flavors, however, the brew is still very balanced overall. Heavy notes of bourbon and maple hit first. Then rich chocolate, figs and plums. A little cherry and caramel-malt sweetness on the mid-palate. The beer finishes with sweet molasses and vanilla, and the flavors really linger. As the beer layers, increasing amounts of caramel, raisins, and sweet, luscious dark chocolate gradually build on the mid-palate. There is also some counter-balancing roasted coffee bean bitterness too. There is definitely some warming alcohol presence in the beer, but it is not a fiery type of alcohol character. Just the beer gently hugging your insides on the way down. As the beer layers, more roasted coffee bitterness, brown sugar, cherries and raisins come out in the finish. And boy does the finish linger. This is liquid decadence. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, oily, viscous and chewy with minimal carbonation. The finish is sweet and sticky with a friendly warming sensation on the way down. 5/5

Overall: This is beer lives up to it's hype, although it's one the sweeter side of stouts. If you can find a bottle at retail prices, it's an absolute bargain. Although this beer used to be hot fresh, the 2011 vintage is drinking smooth out of the gate. This is one of the best beers to age.

Recommendation: This is an absolute must try beer. I remember disliking it when I first got in to craft beer about four years ago, so perhaps this is not one for the casual drinker, but I am presently finding this brew to be smooth enough, even fresh, that I think I can probably recommend it all around -- especially to fans of high-shelf brown liquors. Beer geeks absolutely need to seek this one out. The aromas and flavors of the Bourbon Country Brand Stout are extremely complex and robust, and the flavors really linger. This is an extreme example of how tons of different flavors in a single beer can be balanced and stick out at the same time. Cheers!

Pairings: This one is a full dessert in its own right, but if you must pair it with something, try a warm chocolate cake or a Beef Wellington.

Cost: $5.99 for a single 12 oz bottle or $21.99 for a four pack (if you are luck enough to find a store that will sell you four at the four pack price). Alternatively, if you are like me, you might have even paid $45+ for three of them because Chicago was otherwise sold out and you really, REALLY wanted to get your hands on some. Certainly worth buying at least one -- even if you have to pay the profiteering rate.

Photo of locke459
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of Tamarack22
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

Photo of PhineasGage
4/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Beerontwowheels
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of DeutschesBier
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

Photo of farundrpar
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of sideshowe
4.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of CaptainNomihodai
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of dlello2
4.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Did a 2010 and 2011 side-by-side. Both poured from 12oz bottles into identical snifters. (From Notes)

A - Black and thick and syrupy. Very little/no head. Shows up and leaves. Definitely alcohol lacing.

S - Smell gave me the chills. Bourbon and sweetness, dark caramel, woodiness, brown sugar. All quite intense in the nose.

T - Sweetness first which is balanced by a nice thick mouthfeel and a bite of alcohol. Then bourbon comes in the middle with roasted faint coffee notes. Wow this is so smooth. The end is so complex and the aftertaste is incredible. Sweet and warming bourbon leads to tons of chocolate. Chocolate stays forever as the beer really coats the mouth well. Hmm... how can the bourbon be so balanced!

O - An amazing beer. Definitely one of my favorites ever. Truly complex, so smooth. Wonderful aftertaste. Can't imagine what even more time in the cellar would do.

A - Thick thick darkness. Even less head than the 2010... weird. Looks great--syrupy, chewy. Black.

S - Smells similar to the 2010 but hotter. Also getting more chocolate on the nose. Again it's warming me just from the smell.

T - Flavors and bite a lot more front-heavy than the 2010. Definitely not as smooth (but I really don't mind it... in fact I like it quite a lot!). Certainly getting booziness from this one. Doesn't coat the mouth as completely as the 2010... and the aftertaste is not sticking with me quite as long. It starts bitter, then goes to chocolate.

O - Definitely enjoyable (I wish I could drink this all day... damn you tolerance).

**After warming up for about 30 mins:
2010 still has a ring of head clinging to glass, the '11 has none. Bourbon grabs the middle of the tongue on both like crazy. Flavors even more complex. Great.

Edit: 2011 version with a few months of age on it. Absolutely beautiful. I went back and changed the mouthfeel to a 5. This beer is truly fantastic. The taste is verging on a 5... I'd give it a 4.75 if I could. The faint hops and coconut really do it for me. Truly great.

Photo of ahoover66
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of SkiBum22
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 bottle poured into dogfish head snifter.

A: Rich, opaque pitch black, with a smallish brown head that leaves a long-lasting lace.

S: Very good bourbon, with chocolate in the background.

T: Surprisingly mellow for a beer this strong and this new. Chocolate, bourbon, coffee, dark fruits, light molasses. Some sweetness but not too much.

M: Surprisingly thin for a beer with such a high ABV. Very smooth and silky. Bourbon county stouts always have amazing mouthfeel.

O: This is beer is close to perfection. Goose Island really knows how to use barrels. Every beer from this series is absolutely amazing.

Photo of ZacharyJ
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of morimoto76
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of BRoss242
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of Jparkanzky
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of pirmannt1
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of areich6
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of brokentee
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of siege06nd
4.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle of the 2011 vintage poured into a snifter...

A: Impenetrably dark, dark, dark brown, nearly black. Pours with little head, just a wisp of creamy bubbles rim the top of the brew and swirl within. Minimal lacing.

S: Ok, that's more like it. Roasted chocolate, loads of sweet, dark fruit (cherry, plum), a hint of coffee, sweet vanilla from the barrel aging, decadent caramel. Wow.

T: This is dessert. Thick, viscous, and cloying. Like the thickest chocolate milk you ever had laced with bourbon. Super sweet chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. Very assertive bourbon flavor, but not offensive. Shockingly smooth. The bourbon is all over it, but it doesn't overwhelm. Lots of ripe dark fruit flavors. Spectacular.

M: Fantastic. The bourbon flavor is incredibly balanced, perhaps the best I've ever experienced. The flavors are all so well integrated, like movement in a symphony...chocolate, to vanilla, to caramel, to ripe dark fruit, to bourbon, back to chocolate. Every sip of this one is an experience. Epic.

O: Goose Island BCBS is worth every ounce of the hype. At 14.5%, this one is a bruiser, but it is surprisingly smooth right now. That being said, I think age can only help this beer. If you can, grab two. One for now, one for later. Unbelievably delicious, and beats out KBS by just a hair, in my opinion.

Photo of RohoMech
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of dbol
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 9,763 ratings.