Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

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Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

9,479 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,479
Reviews: 2,511
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 2,089
Gots: 4,453 | FT: 457
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,479 | Reviews: 2,511 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of doughanson78
4.6/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. BIG thanks to podunkparte for bringing this over!

A: Maybe the best looking beer I've ever seen. Poured the blackest black. No light had even the slightest chance at this one. The slightest head, maybe 1/4 finger, and went away instantly. Head never came back, even with an aggressive swirl. No lacing (but with no head what can you expect?). Huge alcohol legs. Just a beautiful beer!

S: Not the greatest smell. Pretty boosy, but what can you really expect from 13% ABV? Chocolate. Light coffee. Light caramel.

T: OMG! Dark chocolate. Vanilla. Light coffee. The finish? About a minute, maybe more (seriously), worth of a butterscotch flavor that keeps building and building, begging you not to take another drink, until it fades and you HAVE to take another drink.

M: Full bodied. Creamy. Decent.

O: Up with the best beers I've ever had. I love butterscotch. When Podunkparte told me butterscotch I was like "no way", but sure enough, like sucking on a worthers original! Get this beer if you can!

Photo of eric5bellies
4.63/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Nicks6217 for this one. 2009 Vintage.

A - Pours the classic Ebony colour with a coffee tanned head that reduces to a film.

S - Bourbon hits you up straight away, nice beef extract and heavy coffee aromas, with a Vanilla twist. Plenty on offer in the Aroma.

T - This is big. Such heavy toffee flavours that are so very well complimented by the vanilla and coffee, The bourbon comes in at the end and leaves your taste buds wanting more.

M - Super oily smoothness with a full body and low carbonation.

O - Only disappointment is the head died too quick, but that doesn't detract for this A+ beer.

Photo of elgiacomo
4.58/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle (screw cap, really!?), bottled Oct 28, 2008. 2.5 years old. Served at cellar temperature. Huge thanks to Ryan for this gift.

Pours black with a one finger brown head that leaves short-lived lacing and holds a wispy cap and foamy ring.

Aroma is deep, rich and powerful bourbon, very strong on the bourbon with great underlying notes of premium dark chocolate, anise, black currants, roasted malts, coffee, and some dark fruits such as figs, raisins, plums as well as some sinus-clearing alcohol. Excellent strength and complexity. An aroma so strong, I taste it without having to take a sip. Damn.

Flavor is bourbon, and lots of it, but never overpowers the incredible base beer which features notes of dark chocolate, anise, black currants, plums, raisins, figs, caramel, oak, vanilla, dark roasted malts, coffee. Hops? heh. There is some sweetness and alcohol on the finish but minimal considering the 13% ABV. Dangerously drinkable and crazy complex.

Mouthfeel is full, sticky, thick, with soft-ish carbonation.

A sipper in every sense of the word. An absolute treat. A revelation. A journey. A masterpiece.

Photo of Cavery
4.05/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared last weekend with Klym, review from notes!

2009 750ml bottle into over-sized wine glass.

A: Midnight in a glass, completely opaque with a ring of foam surrounding the edges. A modest half finger head formed, but the boozy body forced it not to lace, thus it rapidly disintegrated. Nothing alarming, all according to plan with a big beer.

S: Copious amounts of those familiar dark beer dark fruits: Fig, Cherry, and subtle prune. A bit of an unexpected menthol peppermint sting to the nostrils. An overt note of big bourbon is assimilated with the musky peppermint.

T: Dark fruits continue into the taste, but are restrained by a soothingly warm alcohol. Strong menthol sensations cool the mouth and throat. Sipping revives the cycle of warming alcohol and cooling menthol. There's a biting saltiness in the finish. This is a savory stout that emphasizes the convergence of dark fruits, scorched malt sweetness, and salty cream sauces. Delicious, but not for the faint of heart.

M: The mouth is greatly complimented by all prior characteristics. The menthol complexity parallels the rolling carbonation in the mouth for a unique drinking experience. A full body with airy mint qualities that sits atop the brew like a fancy garnish. This is great on this savory stout.

O: This beer is the work of a fine brew-smith. This is a complicated beer review. It is a unique brew that could be mistaken for a monotonous one. The mouth and flavor synchronization makes for a memorable savory experience that I hope is not lost on too many drinkers. Give credit to the brewers of this beer as you would the chefs of fine restaurants, and be sure to tip well.

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 2009 12oz bottle into pint goblet.

A: Poured a deep black with half finger head that quickly decended into a thin coffee colored lacing.

S: Bourbon ,chocolate,coffee,anise.

T: Deep roated malts with a bourbon kick,slight coffee notes with plenty of chocolate, slight anise with molasses hints as well, some oak notes can be sensed also.

O: Overall I love this beer - I have had it on several occasions but hadn't reviewed it untill opening one tonight, I really enjoy the thickness and the way it coats the tounge also the way it leaves and oilslick type webbing as it lowers ,as the beer warms the flavors just explode, It's sticky sweet and every sip makes you want another one - One of the only beers I have ever had that makes me want to lick the glass after it's empty. I need more.

Photo of oline73
4.63/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into goblet. This bottle is the 2009 version.

Appearance: Almost black with a little light coming through at the edges. A finger of dark tan head goes away completely.

Smell: Sweet smooth bourbon with hints of roast, dark fruit, vanilla, and dark chocolate.

Taste: This is a very smooth beer. Lots of bourbon up front with a nice warm alcohol burn. Hints of oak, dark fruit, and vanilla. The finish is warm and a bit bitter.

Mouthfeel: Thick and smooth with mild carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: The age has smoothed this beer out even more. The balance is fantastic and I will definitely have more in the future.

Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The bottle pours a slick deep black with a light khaki head, The lacing is light but the liquid grips and obfuscates the sides of the glass. No light penetrates this darkness, not even at the edges.

S: It smells like a cherry cordial melted into a spiteful sludge. There are notes of dates, currants, licorice, and dark chocolate. There is an earthy oak to it too that makes this 12oz bottle pack a haymaker.

T: The taste is surprisingly straight forward, the fruits are absent from the taste but the coffee and chocolate notes make a big impression. There is very little hoppy dryness, just a full, welcoming sweetness that is followed by mellowed by a big coffee body that has a slight heat that would benefit from some aging, but that is the case with most people obsessed with chocolate.

M: This doesn’t have a huge Abyssesque body to it. I don’t chew on the malts for hours and ruminate on it. Given the impressive ABV, it gets in, imparts a huge flavor and the finish is pretty standard. I am sure you would be able to smell this a mile away, but the taste doesn’t linger too long, which is a good aspect since the initial taste is where it is at with this beer.

D: As far as imperial stouts go, this is excellent. For something this huge with a staggering presence, I think I could actually go beyond the 12oz and request a bomber to myself. The weather will likely be the deciding factor for this beer as most situations outside will not be equal opportunity employers for stouts in general but the sweetness and light finish to this stout puts it in a nice position to argue its case for outdoor activities. Michelob Ultra nervously eyes its Canondale bicycle.

Narrative: “TELL US WHERE YOU HID THE BODY!” Sargeant Myers slammed his fist down on the cast aluminum table shaking Raven Moonclaw’s glass of water. “The body, my dear sargeant, is a part of what Aristoteleans call ‘the Aether’ and as a skilled ilusionist, I can never reveal my secrets.” He produced from thin air a Capri slim and ignited it spontaneously, despite being searched top to bottom upon booking. “You see my dear corporal, the line between menace and altruist is murkily unclear” with a swift slight of hand he transformed his Capri cigarette into an ebony gecko. “WHAT THE-” Sargeant Myers staggered back wiping his brow. “The problem with ethics and illusionists is the code of secrecy, for how can an objective ethical code exists without parameters of repentance or accountability, my good enforcer?” The handcuffs clicked and shattered into sixlet candies onto the floor. “I myself do not detest the wicked, but merely embrace the sweet for the fleeting moments I am-” a black clod of smoke appeared and the final resonating words filled the interrogation room: “BEHOLDEN.”

Photo of Klym
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured into an oversize wine glass.

A: Pours dark with a dark red shine outlining throughout the glass. Wheat brown one finger head that dies quickly into a bubble ring around the top with close to no lacing. Nothing alarming but nothing unusually impressive.

S: Bourbon, roasted wheat grains, molasses and a little bit of fig in the nose. Traditional high-quality bourbon barrel aged stout smell.

T: Such a smooth, rich, and spicy bourbon taste upfront that then rolls through the taste of a dark fruit sucked of most of its sweetness then soaked in bourbon and rolled in savory spices and finally ends with a milk chocolate esque sweetness and some bourbon burn/dark chocolate bitterness in the after taste. Delicious, high quality, but no large step away from a great many well-made bourbon barrel aged stouts.

M: Mouth feel is surprisingly carbonated considering the evaporating head. Nice feel in the mouth but a little prickly and almost numbing toward the end.

O: If they aimed to capture Bourbon character in a stout and smooth it with beer qualities and add a little spice, they have done a great job with this beer. It's perhaps unfair that I've tried this after many other bourbon barrel aged stouts when it is one of the more original ones in the timeline, but I have a hard time getting excited over this given the great many other stouts that emphasize the bourbon and ride its beerified glory. Wish it would go further beyond its barrel, but still undoubtedly an incredibly delicious stout with beautifully integrated flavors.

Photo of IronCitySteve
4.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 BCBS

A: Pours a thick black color with a small dark brown foam head that quickly dissipates, not much of a film left. No real lacing.

S: Lots of dark chocolate, roasted espresso, roasted nuts, charred wood and bourbon.

T: The beer starts off a thick creamy amount of chocolate. Nice and sweet, but not overly sweet. The burnt wood and bourbon is quite apparent in the middle, overpowering the sweet chocolate. On the back end, there is more bourbon, oak and charred wood, but there is also some espresso and chocolate.

M: A nice full bodied beer that leaves a slightly boozy taste on the palate.

O: This is a really complex and tasty imperial stout. Not overly boozy as it is masked by the bourbon flavors. This is a must try for almost any craft beer enthusiast.

Photo of daedalusfinch
3.95/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened a 2008 single I'd been saving for a bit as a pick-me-up after a cruddy day. Slow-poured into two Val Dieu goblets.

A: Simply gorgeous. It was black and viscous, coating the sides of the glass on a swirl, almost too thick to leave a lacing.

S: Strong, strong dark chocolate base with nutty overtones and hint of dark forest fruits. Bringing the beer close, I could smell/feel the bourbon. Not overly complex.

T: First sip almost knocked me over with the dark chocolate -- we're talking 90%+ cocoa content dark chocolate -- and I began to wonder if this was really from the same batch I'd fallen in love with a few months ago. As I continued, the drink really opened up. Though the dark chocolate remained, hints of earthy nuts, cassis, and coffee began to shine through.

M: Almost milky in consistency, it had a mostly enjoyable mouth-feel. It was warming in the mouth like a sipping bourbon, but not on it's way down the throat, which is a good thing.

O: Still a fantastic beer and one of my favorites, but I think I let my mind run away with me after the last tasting and built this beer up to mythic levels. It's top notch, for sure, and I'll be seeking out more; it's just not the nectar of the gods I thought it was.

Photo of mryuk
4.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at hop leaf poured in a snifter.

pours a dark brown with no head.

smell is mostly bourbon and sweet malts.

taste is extremely smooth and enjoyable for a 13% beer. much less bourbon than expected and lots of sweet malts.

mouth is thick with low but sufficient carbonation.

very enjoyable beer. stands up to my favorite of the type, the rasputin anniversary, but does not surpass. excellent beer.

Photo of busterthecat
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date: 11/12/09. A single 12oz bottle poured into an oversized tulip glass.

A- Pours a very dark caramel brown hue, sits black in glass. A faint mocha filmy head forms then quickly disappears.

S- Bam, one whiff is intense. Like a chocolate and bourbon liquor. Smooth like bailey's. Sweet, strong, some oak. Very appealing.

T- Wow, lots of woodsy bourbon & chocolate upfront that slowly fades to melted toffee and smooth creamy caramel that ends with a faint nuttiness. Very complex. Rich and decadent. The flavors really pull through every sip.

M- Big bodied and round. Velvety smooth feel that is pretty coating. Lingers well and isn't overpowering. Light alcohol feel for 13% and how bourbony it tastes/ smells. Not overbearing on palate at all. Well constrained.

O- A fantastic beer. Really been looking forward to this and it lived up to expectations. Very easy to drink. Will be buying this regularly when I can.

Photo of GDBEERMAN
4.35/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At 12oz bottle into snifter. Bottled on 09.24.10 – 2010 Vintage – lot number 2056

A: As I have seen with the Bourbon county family, they do not have good head formation or retention, so with a vertical pour, I was able o get about a one finger radiant khaki head that dissipated within 30 seconds. The body is jet black and creates a lunar eclipse when held to the light. The lacing is non-existent.

S: The aroma of the bourbon barreled beast is a dominance of.. well bourbon, but a deep waft shows a a bitter hop complexity and a solid malt background as a base. This is a medium to high intensity aroma, while bourbon is in the forefront, it is in the name sake and as the vintages age, this becomes less evident, but this is a fairly fresh batch.

T/M: When the brew hits your lips, it creates a smooth, but thick sludge, that finishes well and leaves a warming and powerful mouthfeel. The bourbon is a very nice addition to a stout of this caliber. The notes of hop bitterness found in the nose are at the depths of this beer and hard to find among the overwhelming bourbon character. As for the mouthfeel, there is a creamy aspect that is Bourbon Brand County Stout that cannot be matched. One of the best high end stouts that has a high ABV and is still drinkable, (yes BCBS and the word drinkable, haha, where did the beer in my glass go?) The lingering sensation holds the key, which is the hop bitterness that makes this brew complete.

O: Overall, this is a beer for a cold night, break on a cross-country ski tour, hot tub, cigar, or a mid-morning watching one of my dogs with two torn ACL's, which I have enjoyed all of the above, unfortunately I am watching one of my six dogs now with a busted leg and this brew makes the warm, sunny day spent inside a bit better. But the beer has a very good way of hiding the ABV and the flavor characteristics give it a reason to go back. Looking forward to seeing how these hold up in the cellar and how they taste passed the four year mark.) Cheers!

Photo of hamilton23
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into tulip glass at Hoffer's Cigar Bar

A: Black as night with about a finger of brown creamy head.

S: Bourbon, chocolate and vanilla.

T: Follows the nose with lots of bourbon, sweet with notes of chocolate and vanilla

M: Slightly syrupy, slick smooth

O: An amazing beer. Lots of sweetness, a fair amount of bourbon, chocolate and very drinkable at 13%.

Photo of Auracom
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Unbelievable. BCBS is nowhere to be found in virtually the entire midwest (including hometown Chicago), and the night I arrive in Rochester I find cases of the stuff in both 2010 and 2009 vintages.

This review is of a 2009 12 oz. from May 22nd, served in an over-sized wine glass.

The appearance is as-expected. Absurdly-dark black coloring, entirely opaque. Light just doesn't belong in this brew. No head. No lacing. It swirls around in the glass a bit thinner than I anticipated. Rather menacing when it's completely stilll.

The aroma is DOMINATED by bourbon. Underlying tones of dark chocolate, raisins, and dates. Roasted notes really weren't present. The nose is overwhelming at first... the bourbon really is something else in this piece.

Taste follows with more complexity. Again, the bourbon is just kick-you-in-the-face powerful, but underneath that sits slight dark chocolate, stronger milk chocolate, more dark fruit, and a little vanilla (which really is very helpful for this profile). The ABV is quite strong. This bottle still needs more age. The bourbon notes do balance out a bit once you let this hit room temp.

Mouthfeel isn't too thick or chewy. Smooth as butter with decent carbonation. Relatively dry, long finish.

I cannot help but put this one head-to-head with the beloved KBS. This certainly has less balance and goes more for broke on overall intensity. It is a hellishly-intense stout. The bourbon is so dominant that I can see how people might be turned off and find this very undrinkable, but I find bourbon damn delicious so yeah. If you want absolute balance, go KBS. If you want huge profiles, go BCBS.

Update: I won't regrade this one, but I do want to mention that the 2012 vintage, even fresh, is superior to the 2009 I had. Vastly improved mouthfeel, better balance, but still absurdly robust flavor profile with a kick-you-in-the-face level of bourbon. Also, 14.5% ftw!

Update #2: The Fall 2012 batch of BCBS is utterly fantastic. Now @ 15%, it's as well-balanced as it's ever been. Easily bests KBS. Would probably put it around a 4.70.

Photo of claspada
3.38/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle thanks to ericfb18.
Pours completely flat pitch black with no head which is upsetting. Probably the most lifeless beer I have ever seen to be honest.

Aromas of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, vanilla, dark caramels and a ton of oak and bourbon still after 3 years.

The taste is pretty damn serious. Huge doses of vanilla, bourbon and wood, this is definitely a sipper and it;s kicking my @$$. Really intense amounts of bourbon, more so than any beer I have had to date. I had this on tap a several months ago and it was much more balanced; maybe the hops falling out have made this a tad to thick for my liking. Becomes more booze and wood intense as well as it warms and the chocolate and sweet vanilla notes become less of a factor.

The mouthfeel is thick and heavy, no carbonation what-so-ever here. The alcohol is up front in your face as well; which I can tolerate as a bourbon drinker but this is pow in your face over the top. Becomes more oak and wood intense as well as it warms.

Overall I enjoyed this much more a few months back fresh and on tap. Maybe the vintages have become more mellow since 2008 or was just a heavy/new barrel they were using back then.

Photo of Rutager
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 9/24/10.

Appearance. Pours black and viscous. Less than half a finger of creamy brown head.

Smell. Big bourbon smell with some toasty wood, molasses and vanilla.

Taste. This is one big beer. Bourbon and molasses off the top. Vanilla and wood come out as the booze fades away.

Mouthfeel. Full body for sure, but not over the top full. Smooth lower carbonation. A little syrupy and a little warm, but appropriate for the style.

Overall. Really nice big stout. The bourbon is pretty prominent, but nice and everything else about this one is fantastic. Great sipper while watching game 2 of the Stanley cup finals. Go 'nucks!!

Huge thanks to piclee for this one.

11/11/2014 - Had a 2008 bottle last night (thanks Lurkaholic!!) and it was much different from the more recent ones I've had. Bourbon is very subtle, everything's integrated nicely and don't remember any bad oxidation flavours, maybe a tiny bit of sherry in a good way. Really nice stuff, will be aging bottles for many years based on this.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.68/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz (2010 vintage) bottle into a snifter glass. Pours a super thick oil black with a thin light brown head that leaves a very thin collar of light brown lace throughout the drinking session. The nose is cocoa, coffee, vanilla and oak bourbon, some nutty oxidation, and an warming alcohol burn. The flavor starts off with the lightly sweet vanilla, light cinnamon, and caramel bourbon, moving to chocolate, creamy coffee, molasses, and some nuttiness. The body is huge, thick, and viscous and sticky with very light carbonation, and a long bitter alcoholic finish that also features flavors of coffee, bourbon, cinnamon, and vanilla. Was looking forward to trying this one - this is a complex beer within itself. I look forward to trying the 2007-2009 vertical and Rare that I have in my cellar in the near future.

Photo of Bennettrox
4.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Screamforme (Mark) for this one! Just finished a long 16 hour third shift and this is just what I need before I get some much needed sleep!

2007 335ml vintage

A - As dark as motor oil. Rich black goodness, laces the Duvel tulip like a gem. Half finger aggressively poured head.

S - Sweet bourbon, chocolate, molasses, coffee, damn this is complex.

T - Shit me sideways, this is great! Taste is almost identical to the nose. More bourbon (not overpowering though), chocolate, caramel, strong oak finish.

M - Very full bodied. This goes down deceivingly easy though. Feels great going down, a little alcohol burn to warm the stomach.

O - A damn tasty bourbon stout. Perhaps one of my favorite. Time has done this beauty well, I would love to try one of these fresh side by side with another vintage. A must for any big stout lover.

And 13%? really? this is dangerous...

Photo of jcartamdg
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my bruery snifter. 2009 vintage. Pours pitch black with a 1 finger head that dissipates into a nice ring clinging onto my glass. Aroma of bourbon, oak and some vanilla. Taste follows the nose, still a bit hot but not in a bad way. Alcohol is there but doesn't hit till the end of the taste. Thick yet smooth, this is one great stout!

Photo of vkv822
4.63/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into snifter.
2008 vintage. Big thanks to jbck109 for this awesome extra!

Pours black with a thin bubbly caramel-mocha colored head that quickly dissipates to leave a thin ring of tiny bubbles around the rim.

The nose is a wonderful blend of chocolate, bourbon, oaky-vanilla.

The taste follows the nose, with rich chocolate notes, lightly roasted malts, bourbon and vanilla-oak notes. It finishes with a very pleasant, warming, bourbon feel.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with subtle carbonation. Very pleasant, though it could be slightly more viscous in my opinion.

A truly amazing beer that has aged wonderfully and I am very thankful to be able to try. The flavors are incredibly balanced, but have not become muddled. They are all given their chance to shine at some point.

Again, a huge thanks to jbck109 for the generous extra!

Photo of JoshVandy
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet, as I've reviewed a few of the variants.

2007 Vintage.

355mL bottle with a bottled on date of 10/17/07 into a Founders snifter.

A- Pours nearly pitch black with just a small half finger tan colored head before disappearing back into the daunting liquid in the glass. Pretty par for the course on the appearance for BCS.

S- Um, what? This smells amazing. Strong chocolate and bourbon notes jump out of the glass, along with a very nice vanilla component as well. This smells a lot like the Vanilla variation, only more subtle in the vanilla. Roasted malts and a hint of oaky dark fruits also come through.

T- Wow. That's about all I can say. Follows the nose quite well, with chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla notes all seamlessly integrated together. All of the strong heat from the barrel has almost disappeared completely, making way for all of the other flavors to shine. Nice warming heat in the back of the throat as it finishes, with absolutely no traces of its 13% ABV. This beer is something special.

M- Thick, creamy, and mind-meltingly smooth, with medium carbonation. Absolutely coats the mouth in flavor, lingering relentlessly until the next sip.

O- Simply put, I was blown away by this vintage. Any gripes people have with this beer being "hot" and not very good can be laid to rest with this vintage, obviously. Almost 4 years in the bottle have done wonders to this. There is not a trace of alcohol in this beer, with only the full flavors and subtle heat of bourbon and slight oak remaining to tell you this was aged in a barrel. Smooth beyond reason, I could easily knock back a few of these before noticing the alcohol. I'm so glad a have a bunch of these left to savor over the coming months and years. If this is any indication of what Rare is like, I'm in for a treat when I open that bottle. A fine example of a nearly perfect -bal beer. Well done.

Photo of NWer
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured deep rich black into my brandy snifter.
Aroma is overwhelming. Bourbon in spades. Incredible nose.
Extends to taste matching the aroma.
Obviously a sipping beer leaves a wonderful aftertaste that allows me to savor a small amount for a long time.

Photo of bfields4
4.55/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black as night with a nice caramel colored head.

Bourbon bellows off this beer. The first thing to hit my senses as I poured it into the glass. The oak character comes through as well. Nice dark chocolate malt aroma. Vanilla is also very present.

Wow very complex flavors. First thing to hit my tongue was cherries than a smokey oak and charcoal. Dark chocolate and a touch of vanilla. A bit of heat bites at the end of every sip.

A phenomenal brew. Nice and chewy, but still velvety smooth. A touch hot for me but a perfect special occasion brew. I can't wait to see what a couple more years do to this guy.

Photo of mjtiernan
4.8/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2009 - 12oz bottle poured into a Brooklyn snifter

I did this review as a side-by-side tasting with an ’11 KBS

A – Black with a modest amount of brown bubbles that dissipated into a nice ring around the outside of the glass.

S – Mostly vanilla and oak and bourbon with some chocolate in there.

T – Oh this is good! Time has been good to this one. It has almost transcended from beer to food. There is virtually no heat from the bourbon…not nearly as much as I expected from the nose. Bittersweet chocolate is very present, as is cream. Getting a good amount of black pepper. There’s actually a really nice cake or breakfast cereal quality that I can’t quite put my palette on.

M – Luxurious. Good amount of carb. Drinkability is way more than you should expect from a strong barrel aged stout.

O – This is an amazing beer right now. Get as much as you can because it may not be around forever.

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 9,479 ratings.