Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,615 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,615
Hads: 10,757
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 19.82%
Wants: 2,587
Gots: 5,915 | FT: 616
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
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bourbon County Brand Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,615 | Hads: 10,757
Photo of rpstevens
3.82/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to screamforme for this bottle. Poured from a bottle into a snifter. The beer is oil black with a thin mocha head that fades quickly. The lacing is oily and sticky on the sides of the glass.

The smell is bourbon, as expected. There is some roasted malt aroma and some faint cinnamon in the background.

The taste is bourbon, cinnamon, bourbon, roasted coffee, bourbon, oak, bourbon, a little licorice and then some bourbon to finish it off. I have never had a beer with this much whiskey flavor present throughout the entire sip, wow.

The mouthfeel is thick and viscous. The booze hits your right away, but doesn't overpower the flavors of the beer. This would benefit from some time in the cellar, definitely a sipper, but an extreme beer that I am glad I tried.

 772 characters

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.8/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours inky black with a very small coffee colored head.

Aroma is loaded with bourbon. Heavy dark roasted malts accented with cinnamon, raisin, coffee, slight fruit and toast.

Taste is loaded with bourbon, cocoa, coffee.. very alchoholic at 13 but it hides it well enough. Bitterness from the roasted slightly burnt malt taste.

Thick mouthfeel. This is a great sipper.

 373 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed with the help of Wheatman106 and capra12

P: Poured from the bottle which said it was brewed 10/28/08, into a snifter.

A: Poured like used engine oil. Thick and dark and completely opaque. Very little carbonation and head formation. Left a slight ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

S: Smelled like exceptionally sweet soy sauce. Very robust and thick with strong alcoholic overtones that covered whatever other hints that may otherwise have been apparent.

T: Chocolate, raisins, with a strong alcoholic finish that lingers. Really couldn't taste the vanilla and oak taste described by on the bottle

M: Silky and heavily sweet flavor that coats the mouth and lingers all throughout. This is the definition of a robust and full beer.

D: Wouldn't have more than one of these at a time. BUT its not because it wasn't good... but rather, its so heavy and filling, one beer is enough to last the night.

 924 characters

Photo of x63x77
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What is left to be said. This is by far the best beer I have had to date. It is complex, thick. This is not a drink, but a drinking experience. I would suggest a nice food pairing, but I have yet to find something worthy to stand up against this masterpiece. If possible I would give it an A++.

Poured from a bottle into a nice heavy ale glass. I realize many people think this should be poured into a snifter, including the Goose Island folks, but in my mind it needed to be poured like a proper pint.

Appearance: Deep dark brown, small mocha colored head that disapates quickly leaving only a bit of lace.

Smell: Strong roasted malt, with coffee and chocolate overtones. High alcohol content gives the aroma a slight acidic bite that I would liken to a really nice Peruvian coffee. Bourbon aging leaves a nice undertone of sweet caramels and leather.

Taste: Absolutely spectacular from front to back. Great bit of sweetness from the malt, a shy concealed bitterness from the hops. The bourbon flavor resonates nicely in the after taste.

Mouth Feel: Thick, Smooth, Warming. It engulfs your whole body like the liquid metal in the matrix.

Drinkability: Personally I could drink this beer all day. At 13%, however, the day would be very short

 1,247 characters

Photo of Mayhem976
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Black midnight, very syurpy no light is going to pass through this guy. Medium size head, good fingers. My stout was crackling when I first poured it into my glass never seen that before.

S- Heavy barley grain smell, you're overwhelmed with a strong woody smoke bourbon smell to boot.

T- Heavy grain smoke woody flavor, the bourbon really is pronounced in this stout especially towards the end. Very very rich and heavy as hell.

M- Creamy, thick, and very rich on the palate. You will warm up a little due to the high amount of alcohol.

D- Never had anything close to this before, the rich woody bourbon flavor is a bit too much for me.... actually it blows my hat and socks right off! I don't want to take anything away from the fine folks at Goose Island, it's not really my style but with that said you can really tell this stout has been made with incredibly high amount of dedication.

 896 characters

Photo of frothyhead
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a viscous, oily, deep dark black with just a hint of brown around the edges into a snifter producing only a small brown ring of head.

Nose is boozy with bourbon and packed full of dark aromas - coffee, chocolate, vanilla, candy malt, and oak with some dark fruit (raisin and pomegranate). A complex, fantastic nose.

Mouth is full bodied, silky and smooth with low carbonation. Coats the entire mouth as it swirls and goes down, with a long, stinging finish.

Taste is much like the nose, alcohol bite throughout with sugary sweetness up front, vanilla and caramel, with the bitter chocolate and coffee coming in in the middle and finishing with a slightly bitter dryness. The prickly alcohol burn lingers for a while, along with the roasted malt and vanilla. The flavors combine to give hints of peanut butter toward the back end.

Drinkability is dangerous for 13%. The alcohol is there, big and bold, but the tastes and smells are so alluring you keep coming back for more.

Overall this beer is a thing of beauty. Complex and so well balanced. This is right up there among my absolute favorites.

 1,106 characters

Photo of TheRowan
4.59/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a 2006 i made a good trade for!

A: Looks very dark. Thick like wine or syrup. No head
S: Very Fragrant! A lot to think about here is my list. Port, sherry, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and many other good good things.
T: Almost bitter like coffee, so sweet and full of chocolate. The Bourbon really pulls through here! Werthers original the candy. Taffy and more coffee.
M: Has a bite all over and was soooo thick. Smooth and creamy. Rich and complex.
D: I would love to have more! One of my top 5 Beers of all time! I do not think i would wast having more than one of these at a time.

 589 characters

Photo of Foxtrot
4.84/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ringing in another Lakers victory with a Bourbon County Stout.

Poured a darker than night black body with a nice dark caramel colored head, with very light retention, and minimal lacing. I thought there would have been more head, but that doesn't detract from the fact that this is going a be a very good and very big beer.

Intense aromas. Massive roasted malts, with extreme doses of dark caramel, sugars, vanilla bean, and of course Bourbon. It is such a powerful and potent sniffer for sure.

Taste was a massive hit! Off the wall amounts of roasted malts and showcasing Bourbon in immense glory! Bittersweet chocolate is evident, along with flavors of brown sugar, burnt caramel, and pleasant vanilla bean. The bourbon plays really well with the other flavors, and accentuates the sugars and malts.

Top notch mouthfeel. Smooth, thick, velvety, chewy, etc. The list goes on and on about the mouthfeel. Fantastic!

Drinkability is good. The alcohol presence is nice, but is still really potent. I really enjoyed this beer, but can't see myself having more than one. Cheers!

 1,080 characters

Photo of kbeals
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 2008 bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A- Pours out very thick and is jet black. A little crown of dark brown head adorns the top of the beer.

S- Definite notes of coffee and vanilla, along with tons of bourbon smells, slightly smokey and woody, overall very pleasing.

T- This beer has an incredibly strong alcohol taste too it, a bit too much perhaps. Along with this comes coffee and a bit of a burnt taste.

M- Thick and chewy, just like any AIS should be.

D- This beer was very good, but the alcohol taste to it limits my wanting to drink it. I would probably never drink more than one of these in a night but the complexity left me wanting more after each sip. I would definitely buy this again.

 709 characters

Photo of jjboesen
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! What a delicious and delightful elixir! I finally got the chance to visit Bourbon County; it was in New York at the veritable Gingerman; it was served at room temperature in a 13-ounce chalice - a beer drinkers' depiction of the Holy Grail.

It is pitch black with a razor thin head; there is no lacing. This is serious beer. The nose is bombarded with heavy blasts of molasses and raisin while the palate is doused with thick blanket of semi-sweet chocolate. Additionally, there is the need to contemplate the Stout's malty mouthfeel of biscuity numbness that inundates the sensory nerves. Not a beer, but an experience. One is confused as to whether this potion should be revered or feared.

Take time to enjoy the Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. Find a comfortable chair, call over the dog to sit at your feet (if you get bashed, it will break the fall) and relax. Of course, in my case, just sit at the bar and slowly savor. It was expensive - $9.00. But it was worth every grubby penny. Wow!

 1,005 characters

Photo of jampics2
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle, poured into a snifter.

Pours soooo dark. Little ring of brown head - looking down at my snifter from ontop, it appears as if this liquid has caused an eclipse. This is an impressive looking beer!

Smells outstanding. Big bourbon notes, hell, even smells like a snifter of bourbon itself. Roasty malt as well - smells so delicious and appealing.

Tastes good - nice bourbon sting, roasty sweetness, and the finish is divine. But it is still very hot and bourbon-ey, but it's gotten better since the fresher one I had from this vintage. Gonna let a few bottles go another 2 years to see where this ends up. As it warms, the vanilla from the Bourbon and Oak starts to come out and the finish becomes even sweeter.

Mouthfeel is quite remarkable - not a chewey, milk-shakey RIS, but a good viscosity.

Drinkability suffers a touch b/c it's so strong - drinking more than one would be a task unless you're a big bourbon lover. Which I am ;)

Overall a unique and worthwhile beer that blurrs the line between a dark beer and a liquor. Top notch stuff Goose Island!

 1,073 characters

Photo of littlekidlover
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Awesome!!!! I poured half of the bottle into my beer tasting wine glass. There was a tiny caramel head that disappears quickly. This stuff pours like 10w30, Texas Tea! The smell is coffee, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, dried fruit, black cherry and alcohol, little bit of smoke. The taste is all that and just straight up bourbon. The mouthfeel is silky smooth like whole milk. If I didn't pass out first, I would drink this all day. Great Stout, one of the best I have had!

 473 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark black color, which allows a tiny bit of ruby to shine through. Has a small tan foamy head with nice retention. Does not leave a lace.

Smell - Bourbon, chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. The aroma is amazing, has a strong alcohol presence.

Taste - Exactly like the smell. Truly a great flavor. Sweet, and the alcohol really comes through.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied, chewy, nice carbonation.

Drinkability - You want to sip this one. I like Bourbon, so this is great for me.

 497 characters

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Tulip.

A. Chugs out of the bottle. A very thin dark tan head disappears almost immeadiately. Color is pure black. No lacing.

S. Bourbon, chocolate, molasses, vanilla, caramel, oak, coffee.

T. Coffee, bourbon, chocolate, some caramel malt sweetness, oak, alcohol.

M. Full bodied. Thick and creamy. Leaves a sugary stickiness on the lips.

D. This beer is definitely boozey. Although I probably wouldnt want more than one at a time, its a beer that leaves you wanting another one in the future. This is an intense, good beer.

 557 characters

Photo of Murchmac
3.06/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 bottle. I generally don't like bourbon aged beers, but had a friend in from Europe who likes bourbon and wanted him to see what he thought. Also, always keep trying the same style until something clicks.

Oozes out of the bottle with no carbonation a black motor oil with a tan creamy head.

Big old Bourbon smell, some dark chocolate, hints of vanilla.

Tastes of burning bourbon, vanilla, and cocoa, like the smell.

If you dont like bourbon, you'll hate this beer.... I dont like bourbon. Was hoping for more subtlety, maybe not possible with bourbon?

 560 characters

Photo of rowew
3.15/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, abv and bottled date are clearly marked. There is also the suggestion that this is a great cigar beer, which is appropriate considering I am pairing it with a cigar. I have no idea why Goose Island distributes this to Colorado and nothing else .. anybody know?

Appearance: As I would expect, it is super black, and very thick. Smallish head is also dark in color, fades to a bit of lacing.

Smell: Dominate aroma is definitely vanilla. Just a hint of some burnt sugar as well.

Taste: Fairly sweet, with tons of the same vanilla and burn sugar flavors. There is also a bit of coffee and chocolate, but I feel like they are over powered by the sweetness. Carbonation is very low.

Overall impression: I can't say I'm overly impressed - this has some definite burn, lots of oak and vanilla .. but the sweetness just overpowers everything else for me. I've had this both with and without the cigar .. its a bit more drinkable with the cigar, but the four pack I have will certainly be plenty for me.

 1,028 characters

Photo of Florida9
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: I've never described a beer as looking like motor oil, thinking the reference was somewhat tacky. However, I've never had a beer glug, glug, glug its way out of a bottle like, well, motor oil. This beer is black. The rim of the glass offers a slight hint of cola colored liquid, but otherwise, this is nothing but black. A thin dark tan head finds its way to the top after pouring, but doesn't stick around for very long. There is no lacing.

S: Reminds me of fresh brownies. Chocolate, vanilla, ganache and, yes, the decidedly un-brownie-like scent of a mellow bourbon. However, with all of the comments of smelling like bourbon, I decided to smell this against a glass of Rock Hill Farms bourbon and will say, while there are similarities, the chocolate presence is much more pronounced than is the bourbon.

T&M: Coats the tongue with chocolate, vanilla, and faint hint of coffee. There are notes of raisin and prune. Finishes with oak and a slight alcohol burn, though the viscosity of this beer does much to subdue the volatile alcohols. Carbonation is low, too low in my opinion, but the thick liquid does allow for a long, complex finish.

D: This beer reminds me of a PX sherry. Sweet, complex, and raisiny. The flatness of the beer and the high alcohol only goes to reinforce the connection. Drinkability is good, as long as your not too aggressive with this beer. It's a sipper for sure. A nice slow glass of beer, meant to be appreciated.

 1,452 characters

Photo of route66pubs
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle drank in June, 2009.

A - pours very dark with a creamy head that does not last long. Very thick and dark --- no air here.

S - Vanilla and caramel, with a slight chocolate feel.

T - What can you say? This beer is darn near perfect. Chocolate and slight raisin for an icredibly perfect balance.

M - Crisp yet bubbly, a perfect balance leads to a perfect head.

D - stilll hot after seven months, but easy to go down. Let it sit longer and you have a gem.

 468 characters

Photo of bhalter8
4.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straight from the bottle to goblet, pours a dark syrupy looking beer with thin tan head resting atop. The beer alone screams stout, and a burley one at that. Aroma is strong bourbon, very strong, it almost overwhelms the beer, but as it warms some chocolate and roasted malt comes through. There is a lot going on in this beer, more than just booze, which I was somewhat afraid of at first. Much like the smell, there is bourbon up front in the nose, but the sweet chocolate flavor is there, and hints of vanilla and some other sweetness I can't quite put my finger on, but there is more! A thick beer, that goes down slow, with an intense warming as you sip it. Definitely lives up to the billing, I love this beer and am looking forward to trying an aged bottle I got in trade, as well as aging few others just to see what happens.

 833 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beast pours like motor oil, black with barely any carbonation whatsover. There are some light chocolately brown bubbles around the edge, but that's all.

Wow, the bourbon smacked me in the face and I knew right away I was going to enjoy this one. I love me some bourbon and I love me some stout. Within the bourbon scent is oak and vanilla.

The taste? Vivid. The nose is clearly bourbon and it's counterparts, but there's also a backing of chocolate and over-ripe dark fruits. It's all very intense and compliment each other well.

It's one of the thickest imperial stouts that's ever passed my lips. Chewy and creamy. There's definitely an alcoholic burn to it, but to me that was expected with the high abv and the incorporation of bourbon barrels. As a result, the finish is extremely dry and after I was done with the beer I endulged in a nice tall glass of water.

This isn't a highly drinkable beer, but who the hell cares? It's amazingly delicious and one is all you'll need because it will last a while. Take it as a sipper and enjoy it for what it is.

My timing is a little off. I imagine this as a great winter-sittin'-by-the-fire beer, which is probably when I'll have it next.

 1,200 characters

Photo of DesMoinesMike
1.43/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5


When I poured this beer I thought it could pass for chocolate, DARK chocolate milk. The aroma was thick, like molasses and caramel and Jim Bean mixed together. The flavor mimmicked the aroma but had a bigger punch to my pallet. IT burned on the way down like liquor.

I have to say this isn't the shittiest tasting beer I've had, but it's up there. Perhaps I should just give up on finding an imperial that I like.

If you want S T R O N G, go for this bad boy.

 485 characters

Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed Fresh:

From bottle into tulip glass. Pours ink black with a dark toffee head that rapidly dissipates to a few wisps. The smell is bourbon moderated only slightly with molasses and faint vanilla and oak. Mouthfeel is classic imperial stout: heavy, thick, minimal carbonation. Chocolate, toffee and vanilla sweetness take the lead with coffee and burnt oak providing a strong backbone. Then the bourbon takes over. At first the bourbon helps supervise the sweetness, which otherwise would run amok. But the bourbon and alcohol bitterness defintely take over by the finish. That aftertaste is the true barometer of this beer; if you don't like bourbon, this is not the beer for you. Not much will pair with this other than dark chocolate (and even that doesn't stand up too well). We're going to cellar a few four-packs and see if it mellows with age. But while I think it could use a bit of the discipline that age provides, its complexity and flavor profile deserves attention right out of the blocks.

Edit: With 2-3 years on it, GIBCS may be one of my favorite beers, period.

 1,086 characters

Photo of WPRebelFan
3.26/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

2008 bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Poured very black and very thick with practically no head.

Smell: Bourbon, coffee, bourbon, vanilla, and a little more bourbon to finish it off.

Taste: Roasted malts with some coffee in there. It all seems to be overpowered by the bourbon though.

Mouthfeel: A big beer to say the least with no carbonation. It seems to overtake your mouth.

Drinkability: One at a sitting is plenty. If I want to drink bourbon, I'll drink bourbon.

 483 characters

Photo of jsh420
4.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 edition

pours pitch black with a 1 finger tan head that leaves very little lacing

smell is sweet bourbon oak vanilla and chocolate

taste is much like the smell but intense big bourbon oaky vanilla and chocolate - still a good amount of alcohol heat on this one

mouthfeel is is heavy but slick and mighty smooth with little amount of carbonation

drinkability - this beer is a sipper but you will love every last sip

overall this is the best bourbon aged beer that i have had - a lot more complex then founders kbs (which i have only had fresh)

 554 characters

Photo of merryjoulton
4.9/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, viscous deep black that only hints of brown on the very edges. Not one quanta of light passes through the middle. Smell is complex and impressive--vanilla, oak, cassis, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, teriyaki sauce, and alcohol. That is the most aroma components I think I've ever encountered in one beer. Taste is a bit less complex, but substantial nonetheless--the salty teriyaki component is there, roasty coffee beans, creamy syrupy malt. Mouthfeel is very thick and juicy. Drinkability will keep me from giving a perfect score simply because the 13% abv. is overwhelming me a little and the booze aroma becomes more and more evident as the glass empties.

 678 characters

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,615 ratings.