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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.

8,094 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,094
Reviews: 2,350
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 1,842
Gots: 3,448 | FT: 379
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: 8,094 | Reviews: 2,350 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vancer
4.8/5  rDev +4.8%

Goose stout # 1 from babydoc, bottled 7/3/06, whata guy!

Good Golly, Miss Molly = pure black motor oil capped by a reddish brown head – first time I’ve ever seen this. Sheet lacing slides all around the NB snifter glass.

Massive whiff of anise, choc, coffee, and the kitchen sink. Wow. If it wasn’t for the thick and rich body, I would guess it to be Maker’s Mark bourbon. A full dark fruit basket in every taste, but still nicely alcohol hot. It may be 11%, but I’m having to slow down on my tasting sips. Actually a bit sweet in the finish.

Unbelievably gooey and tasty, I feel sorry for those that have not had the opportunity to try this.

Vancer, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
4.38/5  rDev -4.4%

When poured aggressively, appears an opaque dark brown color with less than a finger dark tan head that fades quickly with little lacing.

S - The aroma is immediate and aggressive bourbon. Beneath that, a chocolate malty undertone.

In the mouth, the immediate feel is a 'ting' of the alcohol and hop. It has a heavy body without being syrupy. It is also quite smooth and creamy.

The flavor mirrors the smell. Dominantly bourbon, a wonderful basic chocolate flavor is balanced by a vanilla and roast malt flavors.

There is no hiding the 11% ABV in this experience. It's definitely a sipper. A recommended remody after snowblowing the driveway.

jjayjaye, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of BWH3
4.53/5  rDev -1.1%

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout 12oz Bottle
Bottling Date: 07/03/06
Drinking Vessel: Goblet
Temp: 50-55 F

Appearance: Pitch black with cocoa colored head. Average head retention that leaves a distinct ring clinging to the glass. Very little carbonation. Would like to see better head for a stout. Most impressive aspect of the appearance is the viscosity of the beer and the caramel legs that cling to the glass when aerating.

Scent: Vanilla and caramel aroma is amazing. The bourbon odor is also detectable. A coffee scent is more subtle, but it comes out as it warms. Very little hops or roasted barley in the aroma.

Taste: Heavily dominated by the caramel, vanilla, and coffee. Pretty much tastes like it smells with a bit of a bite that may have been picked up from the bourbon barrel. Hops are indistinct but provide a nice soft bitterness to cleanse the palate. Very little aftertaste. Again, very little roasted barley flavor.

Mouthfeel: Wonderful fullness to compliment the rich aromas and flavor. Very light carbonation but comes out with gentle swirl.

Drinkability: Drinks more like a liqueur than a beer. It certainly warms the body on a cold winter’s evening and would be a great accompaniment to a cigar.

BWH3, Feb 21, 2007
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

With a vigorous pour you get a result that is pure visual perfection. Jet black body with slight carbonation bubbles clinging to the side. Hosts a deep chocolate brown head that fades a little to quick. Nose is amazingly sweet and port like. It includes notes of real vanilla, anise and toffee. As I take the first sip let me just say: wow! This beer is huge. Amazing collection of flavors dance together on the mouth such as raisan, burnt malt, anise, cough syrup, and hints of silky chocolate on the end. A massive belly warmer. Bring of the cold nights.

SPLITGRIN, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of dhchatfield
4.4/5  rDev -3.9%

Superbowl Sunday....I'm not a Chicago native, but I've lived here for 18 years. Goose island seems like the right idea. And since it's been stout's and nothing but stout's this week....

Poured into my Scaldis Noel mini tulip. Thanks HimerMan!

A - Black...opaque black...octupus ink black. this is the start of my third bottle....try as I might, and can't raise a head...maybe it's my age.

S - If double stout's are supposed to smell like cheap soy sauce, it's all good. Something tells me they're not. I got a second opinion, once again, from my 13 year old son. "Smells like tamari, Dad"
Opinion confirmed.

T - This is a total and complete departure from the above. Coffee, brandied raisins, chocolate, dark rum, bourbon...unbelievably complex in its' variety. Really, really good.

M - Very full and long lasting, especially taking into account the ABV. Very little throat burn, but definately a kick at the end that rips across the palate and clears the way for the next hit.

D - I'm at home, and am staying that way. Drinkable? Hell yes, if you have no other plans. And in this case, I didn't.

Go Bears


dhchatfield, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of WeisGuy
3.95/5  rDev -13.8%

Thanks to HimerMan for getting me my first bottle of this fine brew. 2006 Vintage.

a - pours quite viscous and jet black, tiny khaki head with retention around the edges and a spot in the middle, slight lacing

s - burnt malt, bittersweet chocolate, and alcohol dominate the aroma, faint hints of oak and vanilla provide greater depth

t - quite a bit of sweetness up front, molasses in with dark roasted malt and chocolate in the body, finish is somewhat sweet with a strong alcohol presense

m - full-bodied, viscous, little carbonation, dry finish

d - great sipping beer, but I wouldn't classify it as overly drinkable, alcohol is a bit too present for me to have more than one of these, but that is what's intended with this brew I'm guessing

Very good brew overall. I do wish that the oak/vanilla flavors were a bit more evident. I would love to age a couple of these for a year of two to see how the flavor develops. The alcohol is still a little harsh, but it's great nonetheless.

WeisGuy, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%

12oz. bottle, 2006 vintage.

Poured a deep, dark, mahogany color. Appeared clear when held up to light. Ruby highlights. Modest, brown head.

Aroma was delicious. Bourbon, chocolate, alcohol, raisins, caramel/molasses, and just a bit of licorice.

Taste was even better. Bourbon, roast characteristics, alcohol, chocolate, coffee. All blended together in a perfectly harmonious manner. Overall, much more sweet than bitter.

Mouthfeel was as heavy as it gets. Carbonation seemed very low. To me, this beer was not even a bit drying. Alcohol warming kicks in quickly.

Not much to say except this is one of the best stouts I've had. Wish it was distributed a bit more widely. Next year, I will make a point of getting to Chicago when it is "in season".

, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of brewandbbq
4.7/5  rDev +2.6%

Vintage dated 1/5/05

Pours oily black and viscous, with not a trace of a head that developes even with an exagerated pour.
Almost perfectly opaque, with the exeption being the very edge of the body shimmering a crimson-mahogany hue.
The first whiff has a surprising buisuity note, followed by bourbon, chocolate syrup, and cocoa-dusted espresso beans.
Further aromatics reveal a slight oaky woodiness, brownie batter, whisky, and shades of kahlua, vanilla, and leather.
Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Carbonation is extremely mild and barely a notch above a cask ale.
The pallet delivers big time. Rich and luscious, with a dark chocolate backbone and a bourbon-steeped espresso exterior.
The bourbon is complementary to the essence of the brew, and a testament to the art of blending barrels. Alcohol is warming at 11%, but the sheer tastiness of the beer keeps you coming back quickly. Finishes with lingering bakers chocolate, kona roast, and malt whiskey.
I can only speculate that this example has become perfectly balanced in it two years in the cellar.
Big thanks to weefishheads for this treat.

brewandbbq, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of kajerm
4.65/5  rDev +1.5%

vintage 2006, bottle, purchased at a very very very nice grocery store. pours gravity-well black with a neat one-finger tan head that stands up pretty well. this is a gorgeous beer, I could stare at it for hours.

it has a really powerful smell, chocolate and coffee with spiciness and definite malt. what I smell (and taste) most of all, though, is alcohol. the flavor is super-complex, though, and I'm probably too dumb to come close to describing it all. maltiness and alcohol run the show, but there's a delicate balance of other things going on that I might be able to pick out if all that booze (it's really 13%, not 11.) the beer is nice and chewy, but maybe a little thin for the style, which works in its favor, actually.

the alcohol drops drinkability to nil. when I opened one fresh, I couldn't even finish it. after I let it sit for a month and half or so, it had calmed down a lot, revealing a fantastic flavor profile, but it was still all blurred together by the alcohol.

I got another four-pack, and I'm laying them down for as long as I can stand. some aging could make this into a really legendary beer.

RERATE: Aged for three months-- wow, this is so awesome. The bite has calmed down (although it's still there in force), and the chocolate note has pretty much disappeared entirely. Coffee has chilled out a little, but it's definitley present. This is exactly what I hoped would happen-- the uncompromising, ass-kicking ethanol has taken a back seat and the other stuff in the beer is able to shine.

And damn, that other stuff is good. Dark fruit, and some unusual malt notes. The wood and bourbon flavors are much more noticeable. There is something surprisingly belgian about the flavor-- maybe it's the fruitiness and the unreal sick awesome malt blend.

Drinkability is way up, but this stuff is still basically tasty motor oil.

RERERATE: sweet zombie jesus, this stuff just gets better the longer I sit on it.

RERERERATE: At one year out, I'd consider selling myself into white slavery for another bottle of this god among beers. Year-old '06 Bourbon County makes other stouts totally undrinkable.

kajerm, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.68/5  rDev +2.2%

Brewed in 2006.

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Quite pretty coming out of the bottle - a dark, dark, dark, dark crude. There is no head at all in my bottle, and the tiniest bit of barely-perceptible lacing. Still, the body is a slight notch above other stouts (hard to do, in my opinion), so I like it. Still, if you look at my other reviews I'm a sucker for heads and especially lacing, and this doesn't deliver in those departments.

Smell: Dear lord in heaven this is an amazing stout. Almost smells like an Old Ale up front - that intensely strong, nutty alcohol. Then your olfactory capabilities register that what you're smelling is the deep, charred oak characteristic of a nice bourbon. Wonderful. Following that is vanilla, deep dark chocolates with nutty fillings, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Just huge, intense flavors that meld exceptionally well.

Taste: I'm floored. Dark cherries, dark chocolate, black licorice, candy sugar, bourbon of course, oak, a slight alcohol, and on the end the sip the most pronounced espresso flavor I've ever tasted in a stout, and I've tasted a lot of them. And good espresso, too. Just absolutely wonderful, huge stout flavors that make for one of the biggest, baddest, most wonderful beers I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. Exceptional.

Mouthfeel: Carbonated nicely, otherwise thick and coffee-like. There is little to no burn considering the ABV. Good.

Drinkability: The ABV is hard to find in the mouth, although it does exist pretty assertively in the nose. Extremely drinkable, extremely flavorable, excellent stout.

RidiculedDisplay, Jan 25, 2007
Photo of homebrewhawk
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

2006 Vintage 12oz brown bottle 11%ABV
Drank in a brandy snifter, cellar temperature.
Poured an opaque deep brown, not much of a head.
The aroma on this beer is amazing, lots of dark chocolate, molasses,
bourbon, and vanilla.
Initially, I got a pretty good hit of alcohol, really big body. There are even some hops in the middle. This beer really shines in the finish, you get a ton of chocolate and a some oaky, vanilla. Very warming.

This is like drinking a chocolate cake, a true dessert beer. Very complex flavors. Expensive, but worth every penny.

homebrewhawk, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of IntriqKen
4.85/5  rDev +5.9%

Oh my lord!
Poured jet black with no head ...wait....slowly the head develops to a thick dark tan half finger that melts to a very sticky ring of thick lace.
Vintage 2006
Aroma is vanilla, chocolate, espresso and definite oak...almost raw wood oak.
Mouthfeel is just this side of a mocha milk shake..it is that thick and rich.
Flavors is intensely dessert...chocolate first....creamed coffee...vanilla... and some kind of mysterious goodness.
Afterwards you feel the strong warmth of alcohol working it's way down your entire torso.
This is a very long sipper and an incredible dessert and the thickest beer I have ever had....
Thanks nflmvp for the first 'meal in a glass' I've ever tried.

IntriqKen, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev -4.4%

12oz bottle from Secret Santa jay23. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a skim of dark brown bubbles above the opaque dark brown/black brew. Bubbles mostly head for the rim, with fleeting lace. Aroma is heavy dark grain sweetness, with alcohol noticeable. Taste is super rich chocolatey sweetness, with a tinge of dark fruits in the middle, and partially submerged alcohol in the close and aftertaste, which warms the soul. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, yet chewy, and drinkability is slow, but everything makes you want to come back for more when you can. A decadent pleasure.

ppoitras, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.85/5  rDev +5.9%

Using my oversized Riedel snifter for this one. Many thanks to NucularGeorge for this winner.

A: Pours like full on soy sauce by with more viscosity. Black as espresso. Head was thick at first pour but has since degraded to a fine film of dark beige bubbles.

S: Bourbon, oak, vanilla, oily bakers chocolate, s'mores and cafe au lait

T: I get silky bitter chocolate with bourbon massaging the tip of the tongue. Both flavors grow together until the bourbon simply explodes...vapors shoot to the nasal cavity while vanilla and butterscotch begin blending with the chocolate. A roasted personality begins to take shape around the middle of the tongue and takes root, adding more dimension to this already intense brew. Finishes with a nip of licorice, loads of chocolate brownie, alcohol and some soy sauce.

M: Full, thick, chewy, creamy and divine.

D: Wow. This was so friggin' good.

Westsidethreat, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev -11.6%

A 12 oz bottle from a trade with mmcave.

A: The ale pours a nice thick blackness. As I examine it closer, it looks more dark brown. On pour, there is little carbonation and the stout settles to a mere off-white ring around the edge of the glass.

S: The aroma is a well-balanced combination of roasted chocolate and sweet bourbon. When well-mixed, the bourbon aroma is absolutely intoxicating (see my review of bottled Curieux).

T: This stout accepts the responsibility that comes with the name bourbon! The first sensations to register on the tongue are sickly sweet bourbon notes, some vanilla, brown sugar and butter flavors all shine. The stout is fully enveloped by the bourbon character, allowing those flavors to run the gamut from start to finish. I struggle to find any roasted, chocolatey malt body, but the fantastic bourbon character steals the limelight.

M: The bourbon character is well done here, imparting some nice flavors that I think could overpower something less powerful than a double stout.

D: The 11% abv is a whopper, but the buttery sweet bourbon flavors are wonderful. This is an excellent night cap.

akorsak, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of ChazMania
4.78/5  rDev +4.4%

Bottled. This is probably the most complex full flavored Stout to ever touch this beer lovers lips. It pours like a chocolate fondue, thick and with that great "gulp"ing sound. The flavor has all kinds of complexity....chocolate, cherry, fig, molasses, bourbon, it's simply off the map.
I'm generally more of a hop-head but always appreciate a masterly-crafted beer. This is a masterpiece to the kind of Van Halen 1.

ChazMania, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of kirok1999
4.63/5  rDev +1.1%

Thanks to FtownThrowDown for this baby. Pours black as coal, sticks to the side of the glass like oil. You can seriously see a thin trail of it slide down, only other stout I've seen do this is Rogue Imperial Stout.
Nose is all bourbon, vanilla, oak, slight sweet dark fruit, and alcohol.
Taste is an amplification of the smell times 10. Huge sweet malts, dark cherries, raisins, vanilla, oak, smoke. A massive monster of flavors.
Thick as glue in the mouth. Sticky on the lips and viscous as oil.
I could sip this bastard all night. Not as harsh and bitter as Rogue, nicely sweet and challenging to drink and appreciate. If you haven't had it yet, get it!

kirok1999, Jan 10, 2007
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.83/5  rDev +5.5%

Oh Yeah, This is the real deal!

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a steamed glass. The liquid is an amazingly thick molasses like viscus concoction, that sticks to the glass and flows very slowly. The head is 1 finger thick, dark brown and leaves little lace. But really the carbonation is right on the thickness of the brew holds it back, like bubbles in a lava lamp.

The smell is Awesome, Big RIS, Big Bourbon!

The taste follows. This is a great world class brew. Typical great RIS, mild burnt toastyness, chocolate and Espresso. Plus the bourbon, the oak and just right. Sometimes the oak and vanilla are over done, This one is Spot On!

Mouthfeel is wonderful. Just top shelf all the way.

Drinkability is great. I with I could sip this brew all day everyday.
Prosit und Zum Wohl.

Thanks to JPM30 and NFLMVP for a small stash of this great brew.MK

MuenchenerKindl, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of orfeu
4.88/5  rDev +6.6%

2006 bottling. Many thanks to czoch75 for sending me a sample. Served at cellar temperature. Pours extremely viscously into a 17-ounce snifter, with only a thin wisp of burnt ochre foam that quickly disperses to a miniscule ring on top of a ponderous, tar-like body that is as black "as the night itself, Mayor." The nose is outright decadent, with boozy vanilla, toffee, chocolate, and rum-soaked raisin aromas. An almost medicinal dark berry essence wafts up as well, with slight coffee notes emerging here and there. Extremely complex bouquet, to say the least. And the taste exhibits at least as much complexity, if not more. But first, there is the mouthfeel: it is a velvety, chewy, expansive, creamy oil-slick, with a beguilingly syrupy quality that causes the beer to roll around the entire palate, almost to the point where it threatens to escape in order to coat the lips. Amazing. The taste, now: dark chocolate bitterness, with liquified cacao nibs melds with black bourbon-infused cherries coated with the thinnest of toffee-mocha candy shells. A sharp, alcohol nip at the finish, along with some vanilla coffee roast flavor. Mild to medium oaky tannins throughout, with a lingering woody pucker that remains alongside some chewy date booziness in the aftertaste. This is a stellar sipping experience as of right now, one that begs to be drawn out for as long as possible. However, I imagine some careful cellaring would do wonders for this gargantuan stout, inching it ever nearer to perfection. A monumental achievement in brewing.

orfeu, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of kimcgolf
4.35/5  rDev -5%

Pours to an oily jet black, with dark brown head that lingers to mid-glass and leaves okay lacing. Aroma is a nice blend of charred oak, nuts, smoke and alcohol, while the flavor floows in the same footsteps. The interesting thing about this full-bodied beer was that different sips seemed to yield different presence of the 11% alcohol, regardless of the temperature. This all culminated in a nice, long warming finish.

The alcohol was a little more dominant than I care for, or which is why I did not rate as high as say, the Great Divide Yeti. However, this was a most enjoyable beer on a winter’s night.

kimcgolf, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of briman
4.4/5  rDev -3.9%

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours pitch black, & opaque. Thin dark brown head, average retention. Decent lacing.

Aroma is rich dark roasted malts, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, & a touch of alcohol.

Flavor has a lot of complexity....oak, vanilla, bourbon. Vanilla really comes out in the dry finish with a nice warm alcohol bite. Moderate hop presence couples with a touch of a black malt bitterness into the aftertaste. Flavors linger long after.

Full thick body, moderate carbonation. Smooth & velvety...coats all the way down...and stays awhile. Balance is good. Everything melds together very well. Alcohol warming is evident. Certainly not a session beer at 11%, but certainly more than good enough to have again.

briman, Jan 04, 2007
Photo of jdoherty
4.53/5  rDev -1.1%

Look, this beer is flat out spectacular and theres no other way to put it.

A: Pours like melted chocolate slowly into the glass. It is opaque and nearly jet black. Tan head which is small but heavy. This will line the glass with for the entire way down. Outstanding

S: If you blindfolded me I'd tell you its light bourbon. It smells great once you get used to the strong smell. Also smoky smells with a little hint of chocolate running up your nose.

T: Awesome. You can taste the residue from the bourbon casks and a little mix of chocolate and vanilla. Tastes a little burnt altogther and draws all the different notes into a great balance

M: A thick coating the mouth in a way I have never tasted before, I literally could taste this beer in my mouth for an hour or so after I drank it.

D: It would be impossible to have more than one of these in one sitting, but who cares. Theres more going on in a bottle than most other cases

jdoherty, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of beaglemac
4.65/5  rDev +1.5%

Pours a motor oil black and makes a tiny tanned head, a swirl of the glass leaves legs of syrupy sweet stout.

Aroma is deep chocolate, caramel, toffee, soy sauce, alcohol and a very subtle woodsy vanilla from the oak.

Taste is very hot, alcohol isn't masked too well, medium bourbon notes, vanilla, rich roasted and burnt caramel flavors mingle with chocolate and coffee.

Very full bodied, velvety texture on the palate, hot warming alcohol that burns as it goes down and ultimately leads to a dry finish. Carbonation level is very low. Leaves a thick coating on the palate.

I want to thank NucularGeorge for this tasty treat... Not a huge stout fan, but this one impressesd me.

beaglemac, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of blackie
4.76/5  rDev +3.9%

appearance: Pours a thick, deep mocha colored head that slowly recedes to leave a nice ring around the glass. The beer is blackish in color.

smell: Dense, layered aromas of dark and milk chocolates, roasted barley, and dark fruits. Chocolate fudge ice cream. Just the right amount of boozy bourbon presence with some slight wood.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is smooth and the body extremely full and creamy. Very nice...can't ask for much more here.

taste: Decadent chocolate cream and deep roasts lead a barrage of flavor that defies easy description. Heavy and sugary on the tongue. Woody, smoked bourbon notes. Dark fruits in a molasses syrup. Muddy hop flavor and a much needed bitterness in the finish.

drinkability: easy enough for such a big beer, and absolutely delicious

split with dirtylou in Madison

01.2014 review of a 09.2012 bottle - it's big, it's bad, and smells of the richest fucking imperial stout in existence, but let's top it off with an intensely layered oak and bourbon profile. absurd.

old score: 4.5, 4.5, 5, 5, 4.5

blackie, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of GbVDave
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice. Neck label says "2006". This review assisted by Dr. Brian (PurdueDoc).

A: Pure black, tiny tan head raised only by the most vigorous of pours. Pours like used motor oil.

S: HUGE bourbon aroma, vanilla, brown sugar, subtle clove or spice, did I mention bourbon?

T: The huge bourbon nose steps aside to let other things come out to play. Vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, and molassas all make their presence felt.

M: Thick like molassas in January. Thick and coating. You'll definately want to finish up your night with this-the tastebuds will be cashed.

D: It's crazy that this beer can be considered so drinkable. If you were to judge this by nose alone you would think that it would taste like pure bourbon. When you finally taste it it's so balanced and nuanced it's scary.

GbVDave, Dec 31, 2006
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 8,094 ratings.