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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

8,566 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,566
Reviews: 2,379
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 2,003
Gots: 3,640 | FT: 384
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: 8,566 | Reviews: 2,379 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BierFan
4.55/5  rDev -0.9%
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 +4.1%
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 -4.6%
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 -8.1%
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 -5.7%
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
Photo of jkendrick
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown with virtually no head on a moderately aggressive pour. There is just a light brown ring on the edge of the goblet and no lacing.

Aroma: The bourbon and oak dominate the nose. There is some vanilla and caramel in the back.

Mouthfeel: This is a thick beer. It is smooth and chewy with light carbonation.

Taste: The bourbon is strong at first and almost overwhelming. It would be overwhelming if not for the oakiness, which sets in next, and the vanilla and roasted malt which help to balance. There is a caramel taste that lingers in the finish. The strong alcohol and bourbon stings almost numbs the mouth and is very warming on this cold, snowy night.

Overall Impressions: The bourbon is almost too much at first, but it is quickly balanced and makes for a fine sipping stout. A little more spicy oak (my favorite bourbon is George T. Stagg) and better presentation with a head and lacing would catapult this beer into the upper echelon. As it stands, it is one fine adult beverage.

jkendrick, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of Jmoore50
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Holy Bourbon Kick To The Head Batman!

This was a great gift, a free gift, one that I did not expect. This is the type of beer you have when you are naked in a snowstorm. This brew is almost like a shot of bourbon.

The appearance is gorgeous. It is so dark and black and came with almost, almost, a 1/16 inch head. It does this liquor-alcohol thing on the side of the glass, just like Baileys. I was playing with the brew and it leaves an alcoholic residue on the side of the glass that just slides down the side like silk. Really a beautiful brew.

The smell is nuts, crazy, absurd. It smells like the ABV is 25%, not only 13%. The smell burns your nostrils a little, but in a totally good way. You can smell caramel, liquor or just that alcohol sting, bourbon, cocoa, and a little smoked smell.

The taste is intensely strong. It tastes like a sweet bourbon. The alcohol comes through mostly, but also dark sugars, maybe some fruits and deff some caramel and cocoa. It is a little hard to drink although because you get that warm feeling all over your body. Really great on the tongue also.

The palate gets some mercy in this one. With all the usual suspects, high alcohol percentage, bourbon aged, Imperial Stout, you would think your tongue is going to be brutally raped. Not with this brew because it is as smooth as silk. It just slides down so easily it is the reason I gave it such good reviews. I enjoyed the taste but also could drink it. The mouthfeel is superb, the drinkability is not as good just because your stomach is taking the heat blasts, not a beer you could drink a sixer of. I really would love this again, and would love to have this aged. Overall a highly recommended brew.

J

Jmoore50, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of bigdonniebrasco
4.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz. poured into "Lucy" my snifter that I do most of my reviews from.

Appearance: Motor oil black, completely opaque, ... no REALLY! Imagine an eight ball wrapped in tarpaper, in the bottom of a tar pit at midnight! I poured this beer from 12" high just to see if I could make it produce a head. All I got for my efforts was ½ a finger at best and it dissipated to a thin mocha colored ring in seconds.

Smell: Heavenly. There is a LOT going on here! Licorice hits hard, followed immediately with the inevitable waft of bourbon, bittersweet chocolate, strong vanilla bean, roasted grains / coffee, dried cherries and figs.

Taste: Tasted like the smell would lead you to believe. Like dark chocolate melted into a glass of bourbon, licorice and dried cherries. This may not sound appealing, but trust me... this works! Other flavors include, bourbon (but not overpowering) molasses, and very slight coffee

Mouthfeel: Thick as thick can be. You can almost chew this big beer! Coats your mouth, in a good way. Velvety, viscous, and oily are just some of the adjectives that come to mind Carbonation is perfect for the style, which is to say barely there.

Drinkability: As delicious as it is, it would be difficult to have more than just one bottle at any one sitting. Perfect nightcap.

Overall: One of the best beers I have ever tried. This beer is fantastic, period... No disclaimer! It is nice to see some breweries pushing the envelope of beer making.
No matter who you are you should try this beer at least for the experience. I have had this offering from GI on two previous occasions. I have two more bottles and I really hope I can leave them in the cellar for a few more years before cracking into them.

bigdonniebrasco, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of ahalloin
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from 2008

I poured this baby fairly aggressively into a pint glass in hopes of some substantial head. No dice! I got a thin layer of dark molasses colored head atop a pitch blach fluid. Almost no light gets through this bad boy. A teensy bit can be seen at the very edges. A thin ring of lacing persists most of the way down the glass as I drink. With a slight tilt of the glass, you can see, the beer definitely "has legs".

I poured the glass about a foot from my nose, however, I easily had a whiff of the powerful bourbon aroma. Upon closer sniffing, I can ascertain the smell as a somewhat dry bourbon smell with hints of toasted malts, sweet molasses, and cinammon.

A sip reveals a massive palette of bourbon chocolate candy! Holy cow!! It has been a while since I last had this. By nights end I may end up raiding my stash of yesteryear GIBCS... but I digress. Man, that is a big flavor. The alcohol is very present but not overbearing. It has a nice warming quality for these cold nights. Bourbon is definitely at the forefront, but I wouldn't say the beer is unbalanced, just boozy.

Drinkability....hmmmm....Ask yourself, do you like fizzy yellow beer even in winter? If yes, this may not be for you. This beer isn't messing around. For the "full-flavor" types out there, it is certainly drinkable!

ahalloin, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of CHickman
4.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1/25/2009-Rough brew, and I'm a big fan of stouts. Very heavy with a smokey flavor that's sweet, you can taste vanilla & bourbon. This is a beer that I would have at home to end an evening or just to sip and enjoy as it's a hearty brew. It's very strong and the bourbon aging is evident, and while I thought that this was a very tasty brew, the fact remains that it would be tough to have more than one in a single sitting.

2012 batch review, bottled on 9/26/12: pours as black as night with a small dark brown head that was full of tiny little bubbles and faded fast, leaving a little head around the edges and the head completely disappeared and then the brew looked like spent motor oil sitting is a drain pan.

Smells of rich vanilla, bourbon, chocolate and molasses initially, with oaky and burnt wood notes following and then some obvious booze from the bourbon barrels. Really sweet, with some much of these similar notes in the aroma that it’s like a sweet, boozy wine that has thick coffee and glass of bourbon mixed in. There seems to be earthy and dark fruit notes as well, but they get pulled into the tornado of booze and smoky sweetness to make anything hard to nail down in this complicated mix.

Tastes very sweet like it smells, with molasses, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, dark fruit like raisin or plum, caramel, oaky and burnt wood notes, red wine, brown sugar, tea leaf, peat moss and of course some nice booze from the bourbon barrels, which after some aging seems more like a dark rum than bourbon. Like the nose the flavor is really sweet, but surprisingly mellow considering the high ABV; the booze is like a deep red wine on steroids mikes with the after dinner espresso and shot - delicious. The complexity and simplicity are the ying and yang which make a perfect slow sipper.

Mouthfeel is very slick and creamy across the tongue, with basically no carbonation, a very thick chewy body like a soup, and an almost extreme sweetness which manages to mellow out as it goes down allowing this to be dangerously drinkable.

Overall it was excellent, and I’ve really enjoyed this over the past few years. After having this again in 2011 & 2012, my appreciation of it grew exponentially and I love it. It is everything that an imperial beer and barrel aged experiment should be and a huge pillar of the craft beer movement.

12/31/13-shared a 4 pack on New Year's Eve and loved the 2013 batch. It had zero alcohol presence or burn and was very sweet with a lot of vanilla, caramel, oak and bourbon sweetness that was really complex and dangerously smooth and drinkable. I need to go get more while it is still available near me, it was outstanding.

Had another 2013 bottle on 6/5/14 that was bottled on 10/9/13, which had a nice dark tan 1 finger head that faded very slowly and left a layer on top. Smelled of vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit, chocolate and molasses; rich, sweet and complex, it hid the ABV well and was more like a port wine or merlot. Tastes very sweet with vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit like cherry, dates or chocolate dipped strawberry, sweet rum-like flavor, chocolate, licorice, brown sugar, and molasses; there is a bitterness like burnt coffee and syrup or toffee melted in it, almost like a dark chocolate malted ball candy that was dipped in booze. Perfectly hides the alcohol and slides down too easy with very minor heat. Excellent again.

CHickman, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of jdklks
4.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a spirit-thick black with shining dark amber edges and a small, thin medium brown head that dissipates quickly and leaves without a trace. smell is of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, a hint of coffee, and hazelnut. Absolutely amazing.

It's bourbon hot all the way through in the flavor, but is accompanied well by sweet dark fruits up front that soon give way to chocolate and vanilla. The finish adds a hint of coffee roastiness, which gives a sense of burnt hazelnut/walnuts. This is truly one of the best imperial stouts available. Every flavor is bursting to the extreme, and all mingle well together.

The mouthfeel is outstanding. Just the right amount of carbonation for its extreme thickness. The drinkability is fantastic for such a high abv/thick beer. Definitely one of my favorites.

jdklks, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of treyrab
3.9/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First off, this one needs to be buried in a cave for 50 years and given to my grandchildren. I found this to be pretty hot with bourbon. This is not a stout with some bourbon, its a bourbon with some stout.

A: Pours a sludgy black oil that yields a minute dark brown head that does not last at all. Five minutes in and there is no head at all on this one now.

S: Straight Kentucky mash up front. Not much else. If I use my imagination I may be able to note some chocolate, roast and caramel in there, but the bourbon masks everything.

T: If I were a whiskey fan I would be in heaven. But I'm not. I found the whiskey notes to be overpowering and take away from the other flavors in there. Once you swallow you can get a glimpse of chocolate and caramel but those get ass-whooped by the bourbon.

Overall, this is candy for a whiskey lover, but I found the bourbon to be a little distracting.

treyrab, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of PerzentRizen
4.35/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is only the second time I have had this beer but it is absolutely amazing. I would love to try a vertical tasting of this great stout.

I poured this one into a brandy snifter. There is little to no head and there is absolutely no head retention in the back end. This beer pours black as night with very little carbonation.

The aroma is of peat, burnt caramel, and loads of bourbon, oak, cherry pie (really), and light tobacco.

The taste is shocking the first time you try it. It's like a kick in the teeth - in a good way. This beer eats other beers for breakfast. This beer makes Oaked Yeti taste like a corona light. The bottle tells you there's more taste in one sip than in a whole case of other beers and it's right. This beer actually tastes like a palate of beer. At 20 bucks a four pack it better! The first taste is of extremely sweet bourbon, burnt sugar, a numbing effect like chewing on fresh tobacco leaves, a super long finish (like 5 or 6 minutes long), and the best stout richness you could imagine.

The mouthfeel is extremely sharp and full. It seems like a blackhole because even the smallest sip feels like a german panzer just "hopped" on your tongue (pun intended). This beer is heavy, thick, and massive!

As for drinkability I would say that at the price and the extreme, taste, and heaviness that this beer is anything but drinkable. The only redeaming quality here is the fact that this beer amazingily great. I won't slam any part of it. You will only want one at a time, but you will savor it and probably love it. If you don't send it my way - I love this beer! Slainte!!!

PerzentRizen, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of Magpie14
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Excited about this one, I have heard much. I hope this boy is in order and is as good as they say. I snagged this one from the Belmont Station...great effing place

A: poured viscous with creamed mahogany colored head. No head retention and lace, due to the alcohol I imagine. Oh, by the way, did I mention it is as black as night, absolute darkness. Not a gleam of light gets through this one, simply wonderful!

S: I was wondering how this would play out in the bourbon department. Sometimes the "Bourbon Stout" label can be a bit pretentious and tame, not this one! I was blown back by heavy raw bourbon nose, spiced vanilla, caramel, and roasted smoky grains

T: absolute monster of a beer, huge in every way. Dark semi sweet chocolate with vanilla flavors and rich buttery caramel tones drizzled over fresh coconut flakes. Barley in the mix as well, dark and deeply roasted. Also, soft smokiness pulls through in the end complimenting the roasted flavors. Another great asset is just a touch of earthiness to it. I am also picking out delicate spiced cherries rounding out the finish. It is hard to come across brews like this...a bourbon bomb of dark, rich, complex flavors

M: whew! body is lush, silky, and creamy. Sits in the mouth wonderfully and even though alcohol/bourbon flavors mingle around the palate, this guy is easily drinkable. Flavor profile intensifies as it slowly warms. Alcohol notes getting a bit wry and stronger as it sits (not a bad thing for me when it is bourbon, some might not like)

D: take it, hold it, and love it. Great beer and great sipper for anytime of the year. Could there be any better combo, bourbon and beer/stout. Ha! take a sip...feel that mild burn...oh yea! Immaculate brew!

Magpie14, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of Bananaman
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I didn't think this day would come, or did I? I decided to order 4 bottles of this one from Systembolaget to share with my friend David. I just had to try out a bottle as I didn't have the patience to wait another week to try it out!

When poured it looks absolutley, solid, black. In the glass it leaves a small ring of foam in it's black majesty, the ring of foam is beige/brown.

The nose has lots of burned almonds, nuts, vanilla, honey, oaks, rosted malts, hops, fudge and lots of chocolate! Amazing smells, can't get much better actually!

You just drool for more after tasting a drop of this beer. Lots of chocolate, oaks, vanilla, honey, burned almonds. Almost like drinking some kind of chocolate sauce, but this is way better! The beer is quite sweet, but it's balanced by the burnt notes and the hops. Incredibly filling beer anyway!

I'm glad I'm going to have to oppurtunity to try this atleast two times more!

Bananaman, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of digitalbullet
4.55/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This brew is black as coal. No light shines through this intense beer. Little head was formed when poured. The head that was there was tan in color.

Smell: Very sweet. Hints of vanilla and a strong bourbon character is noted.

Taste: This beer is a sipper to say the least. The malty sweetness hits your palate like a ton of bricks. You can definatly taste the bourbon in this great beer.

Mouthfeel: I would say this was least favorite part. It was slick and coated your tongue. I am not too partial on that.

Drinkability: Very good beer. Expensive however. If you buy a 4 pack (about $20) out here in Cali. I would share one with a good buddy (or drink it by yourself you greedy bastard) and cellar it for a few years.
I anticipate with some aging this can be a truely exceptional beer.

digitalbullet, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Robust, yet smooth beer. The flavors are very outgoing, and maybe a bit too much. Very dark with a decent head, doesn't really stick, and I wish it did - really makes each sip feel better in the mouth. Smell is quite good - very molasses and tons of sweet bourbon, and some spice underneath. Taste is also quite good, but I feel like there is so much bourbon and molasses that it isn't quite balanced. It seems to cover up the high alcohol content (13%) a little too much - I like to have a nice alcohol bite in a big and heavy beer like this. It is still remarkably warm and soothing, and the beer definitely gets better as you drink it, so I'll give it a 4.5 there. Feel is, like the general taste, silky smooth and very warming to the palate and throat. Maybe all that bourbon I'm tasting is actually the alcohol, but in that case it is extremely well masked (not hidden. masked). The alcohol may be masked well, but you certainly feel it after the bottle is near done - this is as strong as most wines, and it is so expensive ($24 for the 4 pack) that I can't give it a really high drinkability rating, but I certainly enjoyed this beer, and I really look forward to aging it and tasting it later on. If you're looking for a beer with a super outgoing character, definitely check this out - extremely memorable and every sip is very fulfilling.

prsguitarsr4me, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of Spidey13
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage: pours black as well with a teeny-tiny brown head. Lots of roastiness and coffee on the nose, alogn with a bit of alcohol, bourbon, and smoke.

The taste is very nice, with lots of sweet roasty flavors. Some chocolate/caramel Rollo action also shows up. Some alcohol, vanilla, oak flavors also. The mouthfeel is very smooth with low carbonation.

Overall, this beer is way too drinkable to be 13% ABV. I'm feeling pretty good after this bottle.

Spidey13, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of schroederm
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a goblet:

Dark as night. Pours with a satisfying glug-glug-glug: thick as hell. Head dissipates pretty much immediately into a chocolaty ring. Little lacing. Smell and taste... BOURBON. I'm quite a fan. The nose is overwhelming, and hides several elements you'll find in the taste: molasses, vanilla, mesquite honey, and milk chocolate. Mouthfeel is quite viscous. Slightly more drinkable than its peers, but at 13% a couple beers go very far.

Overall: My review may be a little skewed. This beer is dwarfed by the Older Viscosity I had recently. I'd say it's on par or slightly better than the Founder's Kentucky... so in short, this is a fantastic beer, especially if you're a bourbon fan.

schroederm, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of jjanega08
4.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A= Pours an oily black color with no head on it but you can't expect much from a beast like this. No lacing on the glass but a distinct darkness left.
S= Deep bourbon notes, heavy chocolate, smooth coffee, creamy vanilla, ect. This beer actually surprised me and left me a little confused. There is sooo much to smell. Each whiff gives off a very distinctive nd very unique odor. They notes are all very easy to pick out and choose from. Wow
T= Just like the nose. Amazing taste on this beer. Like it says on the label. There is more flavor in this beer that in the average case of beer. There definitely is a lot of flavor. The bourbon is there but doesn't run the show like I expected it would.
M= Coats your mouth in a slick oily ooze. Finishes sooo smooth. This baby will get very very nice with some time on it.
D= Wow, if I could afford this or if I could handle this all the time I would. I wish non-alcoholic beer tasted like this so I could just drink it all the time. This beer lives up to everything everyone has ever said about it. Amazing and delicious. I can't wait to have more. The new interesting things kept coming and hopefully will carry on to the next glass. This beer is an adventure.

jjanega08, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of KarlHungus
4.85/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a thick used motor oil black color. The head is a quarter inch of tan foam which recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of chocolate, graham crackers (it reminds me of smores), roasted malt and booze. The taste is like the aroma times ten. There is so much chocolate, and roasted male that it is nearly overwhelming....nearly but not quite. There is some firm heat in the finish, but it really adds to the experience. The mouthfeel is extremely full bodied with a vibrant, silky texture, and appropriately low carbonation. Overall, I have a true love for huge imperial stouts. Sure I couldn't drink them every day, but I love having one every other month or so. I really like how this stout isn't overpowered with hops. A hoppy stout (along with a hoppy hefe) is kind of beer I just can't stand. I could taste some hops in this beer, but they were in the background, and I'm sure will fade with age. It seems that a lot of other huge imperial stouts have coffee, or chocolate, of wood, or bourbon in them. I like that Bourbon County doesn't. It truly is a classic imperial stout, but bigger.

KarlHungus, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of bunnyhustle
3.3/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with small mocha head. Virtually no retention or lacing. Looks a bit like a glass of paint. Smell was very boozy, too bozy for me. I found it to be a little distracting. Beneath the alcohol there was some toffee and vanilla cream. The taste wasnt terrible, the best part about this beer. A complex blend of caramel, vanilla, expresso, alcohol, and sweet chocolate syrup. Very thick mouthfeel. Perhaps the thickest, most dense beer I've ever had. Not the most drinkable beer. While I did enjoy it, I certainly did not fall in love with it. The look was off, the smell was overpowering, the taste was very intense, and it was heavy as a brick. Not to mention the ABV which will kick your butt.

bunnyhustle, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Ginger Man at NYC, a 13oz pour in a large snifter.

I've had it in the bottle before and really liked it, but it was even better on tap. Incredibly dark, pitch black nearly, with some brown highlights. Minimal head. Smell is huge chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, with a lot of darker fruit and, of course, oak. Some earthy hops in there but pretty overwhelmed by the malt. Alcohol present. The taste is lots and lots of caramel, vanilla, oak; thick, syrupy malt, with just the right amount of carbonation. As I continued through the snifter it really opened up to raspberries, cherries, lactose, bourbon, boozey spice. Finishes with a nice layer of just slightly bitter hops. The alcohol is there, but it's nicely hidden especially considering the abv.

Will be going back to Ginger Man for this one.

PlaywrightSam, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of Mdog
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black, small head quickly fades out, I suppose that's pretty typical for a really high ABV beer.

Smell: Bourbon, booze, vanilla, char.

Taste: Rich vanilla sweetness, butterscotch, chocolate, alcohol burn in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and coating.

Drinkability: Have to take it slow, one is enough for a night. Plus it is really expensive so more of a special treat than a regular.

Next in the line of stouts I'm trying here in the frigid winter is the Bourbon County Stout. I used to live next to Bourbon County, Kansas and I don't recall a big distillery business there? :-)

Anyway, I liked this beer a lot. Usually even with very strong beers I drink them too fast and too cold. I let this one sit out for a while before opening and then took about 45 minutes longer than usual to drink the 12oz. Very tasty stuff.

Mdog, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of ThirdLap
3.85/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Stone IRS goblet @ ~55°. Picked this one up from the Vacaville Nugget for $5. Probably my eighth GIBCS in the last three months.

This stuff pours like Aunt Jemima pancake syrup. Thick, and with no head to speak of, GIBCS doesn't leave legs, it coats the glass like polyurethane. Jesus.

Bourbon, soy, alcohol, and dark fruits are the first things that hit me. This isn't beer with a hint of bourbon, it's bourbon with a hint of beer! Not necessarily a bad thing, but surprising unless you know what you're in for! A previous glass of this prompted me to break out my bottle of Maker's Mark, something I do maybe 3x year.

Dark chocolates, vanilla, dark fruits, and molasses reveal themselves at it warms. I don't quite get the coffee or anise that others found. The heavy mollases and sweetness has me searching my vocabulary, and I find myself coming very close to using the word 'cloying' for the first time in a review.

Mouthfeel is slick and oily. Carbonation is minimal, and the finish is characterized by strong alcohol burn and a distinct coating of the mouth.

I don't think I've ever made it through more than one of these in a sitting.

I begin to realize about halfway into the glass how much I've already missed. This is a hugely complex beer. GIBCS deserves its spot on the top 100 not because it's the best of its style, but because it's one that keeps you coming back to explore further. It pushes the boundaries as to what beer is supposed to (and can) be, the kind that expands palates and helps create new styles.

ThirdLap, Jan 18, 2009
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 8,566 ratings.