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Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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2,577 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,577
Hads: 10,549
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 5.16%
Wants: 2,487
Gots: 5,684 | FT: 609
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: 2,577 | Hads: 10,549
Photo of scifan
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to sirspysco for this in a trade. Bottle on 10-11-07.
Poured thick and dense with a very small dark brown head that quickly fades.
I can't believe this bottle has a year of age on it I smell the bourbon as soon as I started pouring. After a few big whiffs I'm getting mostly bourbon, but there is more lurking in the background. I'm picking up hints of some nice roasty aromas as well as some dark ripe fruit aromas as well.
The bourbon taste isn't as prevalent as the nose would suggest, It's definitely there but not as overpowering as I thought it would be. I'm also getting some roasted barley and some dark chocolate as well. Very nice. It kind of reminds me of Heresy a more intense but similar none the less. Good mouthfeel nice and creamy just like I like my stouts. The high alcohol content and the hot booziness from the bourbon makes this one a sipper. (876 characters)

Photo of chiguy2420
3.93/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review #7 from notes. On tap at Shorty's in NYC yesterday 4/14/09.

A: Pours a midnight black with a thin khaki colored head. Gorgeous appearance. Head dissipates rather quickly.

S: Smells of Bourbon, which I love the smell of and also oak. Smelled smokey and maybe alittle dark chocolate.

T: Took a few sips before I got used to it. Very strong alcohol taste but after a few sips its rather delightful. Bourbon and oak make way for the true flavor of the chocolate liqueur. Before you know it, it is going down rather easy.

M: Very syrupy. I had the first beer out of the new tap so it could explain that. Pretty smooth and rather enjoyable again. Really did like it.

D: While I did enjoy it, I couldn't have several of these in a row. In fact, I probably would drink one of these and move on to a something much lighter, a dubbel maybe.

Overall a pretty good beer. (871 characters)

Photo of willjschmidt
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (2008 edition) into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours dark as night with a thin tan head. It quickly recedes to leave no head whatsoever.

S: Vanilla, burnt chocolate, along with some bourbon.

T: Incredibly complex flavors. Layers upon layers of rich flavors. I got: vanilla, dark chocolate, smoke, bourbon, and some cherries. It's a tad on the sweet side making it a great pairing with dessert.

M: Full bodied, rich, silky smooth, with low carbonation.

D: This is the very definition of a sipper. It's a bit boozy but not as much as you'd expect with 13% ABV. (594 characters)

Photo of mattster
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened 12 Fl Oz bottle of 2008 (bottled 10/16/08) Brewage and poured into a snifter glass.

Color is dark, opaque black with virtually no head (slight lace atop brew).

Smell is of rich vanilla and chocolate with slight whiskey. Taste follows through and I also notice a slight coffee tone. Beer finishes somewhat smooth, but bubbles seem a tad bit high. As the brew warmed up, it became less carbonated and even smoother. I may have served stout to cold because the longer it spends in glass, the better and richer it becomes. (527 characters)

Photo of infestaxion
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours nice and black. No real head to speak of. Just a small film of brown bubbles floating around on top.

S - Alcohol! With some vanilla from the oak.

T - Rich with the dark fruit, vanilla and of course bourbon. Caramel and toffee are hanging around in there too along with the vanilla. This is just really good.

M - Nice and viscous. Tingly.

D - I don't think I could take down more than two of these but I would definitely want to. (443 characters)

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black as black pour with virtually no head. A little head and some lacing and it could have had a 5.

S: Vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Very big nose of bourbon, very enjoyable for me!

T: Bourbon and vanilla up front with the oakiness riding on the back end.

M: Full bodied, creamy and lightly carbonated.

D: Wish I could drink more, but the ABV will catch up to me soon I think. I would definitely love to get through two in a sitting though! (448 characters)

Photo of mjthor
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1st review -- might as well start with a good one.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Westmalle chalice. This bottle was from an October '08 batch, so it's only aged about 6 months.

A: Very, very dark and opaque brown. Dare I say mahogany? Even with an aggressive pour, the head is almost non-existent; just a few small milk chocolate-colored bubbles forming near the glass.

S: Incredible. Tons of bourbon, chocolate, and a bit of a fruity/sugary sweetness that I can't quite put my finger on. Small hint of alcohol, but it's there -- not that that's surprising, considering the 13% ABV. Very tantalizing and complex.

T: The alcohol isn't well-hidden here, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. The bourbon again comes out in the taste -- especially at the finish. Incredibly sweet malt with hints of chocolate, it really complements the powerful bourbon flavor characteristics.

M: Absolutely coats the tongue. Very viscous. "Syrupy" would be a good word to describe this beer, from smell to taste to mouthfeel.

D: I would definitely have another, but not tonight. No way. This is without a doubt a sipper, and absolutely a one-and-done. Each sip lingers until you take the next. I'm about halfway through, and I might pair this with some good Swiss cheese.

Overall, this is a great beer. I've always been very impressed with Goose Island as a mid-range brewery, but this and Matilda has solidified them as, in my mind, capable of brewing very high-end stuff. (1,477 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.28/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage bottled 7-3-06. Label states 11%ABV. 12 ounce bottle split with psycohops. Poured into my chalice and allowed to warm a bit. Appears an opaque black color with about a finger of loose dark ecru foam. No lacing to speak of, but in it's place is a rich brown, syrup that coats the inside of the glass with every swirl. Smells of burnt toast that's right on the edge of being still edible, molasses, oak, tons of bourbon, and treacle. Tastes of booze soaked rich roasted coffee beans, plum pudding, raisins, bitter baking chocolate, hint of smoke and a gigantic bourbon sting in the mouth. Yep, the bourbon is still VERY much a part of this experience even after almost three years in the bottle. This could sit for at least three more. A full bodied, satisfying sipper with maybe a notch below medium in carbonation. Great stuff. (840 characters)

Photo of atpben
4.87/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at McNiven's in Indy. Pours pitch black with little head in a Matilda glass. Awesome aromas of vanilla, chocolate, and ofcourse bourbon. I just loved smelling this beer. Silky smooth taste with lots of chocolate and vanilla and lots of bourbon. I love bourbon so I really enjoyed that taste. I thought it was nicely done. I wish I knew which bourbon barrels it was aged in. I found it to go great with the Davidoff Millenium Blend. A great sipping beer. Currently my favorite Double/Imperial. I found it to be better than Kentucky Breakfast Stout. The bottle version requires a little aging to smooth it out. A++ (628 characters)

Photo of photomike
4.29/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque dark brown into my Westmalle chalice. Miniscule head, very intimidating.

Smell is a trip! A perfect blend of bourbon and chocolate. Boozy and surprising. My buddy actually thought this was a glass of hard alcohol when I told him to whiff it.

A gargoyle forms out of the few bubbles that remain on top of the beer. Fear not, beer, I am no evil spirit...but I am gonna drink ya.

Taste is unbelievable. Seriously, I didn't believe it at first. It took a few sips to get into this, but when I did, the payoff was huge. This beer is incredibly full bodied. All the flavors seem to be in perfect balance, and there is certainly a lot going on. Chocolate, for sure, lots of bourbon, definitely. Maybe some prune or dark, sweetened cherries, and vanilla. Very malty. Despite a noticeable alcoholic flavor in this 13% monster, the beer is amazingly smooth. Smooth at a level matched only by the Continental as portrayed by Chris Walken.

Flawless mouthfeel. Velvety smooth, as I mentioned before, with perfectly delicate carbonation. Full bodied and oily.

Drinkability? are you kidding me? Sure, considering the THIRTEEN PERCENT abv this is super drinkable, but there is no way you are going to want to have more than one of these. You would have to be a damn fool to do that. A damn fool. (1,304 characters)

Photo of NorCalYeti
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

taste- dark, smoked wood

color- dark reddish brown

clarity- too dark to say in the snifter, it poured clear though

smell- chocolate, boubon, wood

body- medium full, smooth, oily

appearance- nice, oily, chocolatey color, flat

above average stout...reminds me of several wood aged beers, strong ales, and barley wines. the alcohol comes on at the right moment...beer has a biscuit-like finishing note. (405 characters)

Photo of taez555
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from Notes. Tasted 3/25/09

This beer poured a black motor oil colored body with a non existent head. I poured this thing straight in, and nope, just small off-white bubbles. Still... motor oil black and thick.

Nose is a strong dark stout with touches of bourbon whiskey oak aging.

Taste is full bodied. Immediately hits with a strong dark chocolate. The chocolate is honestly what is at first most striking. It tastes like one of those gourmet 85% dark chocolate, almost bakers chocolate darkness. Very strong and very rich and just so.. so... so... fresh. Dark roasted espresso beans and loads dry smoky, almost ashy, smoke flavor. It smoke gives an odd sort of contrast to the chocolate. Dark boot leather. Alcohol is very present from the first sip. Very warming and a nice balance against the huge malt base. After one half the bottle (first beer of the day) I'm feeling a bit tipsy. It really hits you. This beer is a motherfucker. Hops only appear to offer to some balance to the malt base. The bourbon taste is very low key, it's there and you can taste is completely, but it's just not as in your face as you would expect a "bourbon stout" to be.

Worth the $22 a four pack I paid for this? I'm not, but I do know it's a damn good beer. Definitely a strong contender for best Bourbon aged Imp Stout. I'd give it the silver medal, right behind Founders KBS. (1,377 characters)

Photo of froghop
4.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a jet black with a thin brown head, and some lacing.

smell of alcohol, dark chocolate, a hint of vanilla, woody, and a touch of smoke.

taste is smooth and strong, dark chocolate, slight alcohol comes through, lots of sour malt, some nuts, and wood, end is slightly dry.

taste is more pronounced as it warms. (316 characters)

Photo of NealCassady
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours tar black with no head, some dark brown hues. Nose is tremendous with burst of malty fruit, raisin, also hint of some tongue bruising hops. Most notable is the immediate smoothness that is uncommon in a beer on this size. The hit of sweet malt brings molasses, and dark chocolate to the forefront, as the sip finishes a tingling covers the palate. As the malty sweetness slowly melts off the tongue the bitterness becomes more prevalent in the elongated finish. Wonderful! (478 characters)

Photo of cnally
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a deadly brew. I've had it before but never gave it a review.

deep, deep black color. no head. at all. i'm not kidding.

smoky, chocolately scents of bourbon. a little malty, but the bourbon dominates.

a massively heady intense bourbon flavor right up front. the alcohol has some superior burn on the tongue, but once that fades, there is a smoky, burnt caramel flavor. the malt really comes through near the tail end.

spicy, high alcohol burn on the mouthfeel. heavy, sticky brew as well.

a great example of an extreme style. not just any stout, but a bourbon soaked stout. and it is not mild. this is a doozy of a beer, not at all for the faint of heart or beginner stout drinkers. (687 characters)

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to vwcraig for the trade.

2007 release. poured into tulip.

thick, opaque black/brown. only slight reddish brown tint under direct light when tilting the glass. forceful pour gives a small tan head that eventually fades to a wispy layer, and then just a thin ring. some thin, splotchy lace occasionally sticks, but gradually fades and just slides back down.

aroma: raisins and dates mix with the bourbon and then oaky vanilla notes. these give way slightly to some subtle roasted malts and caramel. maybe a hint of coffee. minute trace of leafy hop.

taste: raisins, dried cherries and dark roasted malt with hint of molasses. bourbon and wood has notes of vanilla again, with a boozy yet smooth finish. moderate to bold bitterness from both the charred malts and hop resins, and mingles with the booze and woody bourbon.

smooth feel, almost viscous, with the boozy astringent bite coming towards the end, but manages to be offset slightly by the mild to moderate carbonation.

make no mistake: this is boozy and bourbony, but now with over a year on it, has mellowed out slightly, to the point where it is just starting to meld nicely with everything. would be interesting to try and age this further. (1,212 characters)

Photo of gregmoscetti
4.19/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't know how many other BA's allow price to skew their reviews but after paying $20 for a 4 pack, I was hoping to see the eyes of the christ child himself by sipping this beer. Don't get me wrong. It is damn good. I mean really good. It had a great viscosity to it, the bourbon was not too over powering, it was a solid imperial stout.

I dont understand the folks who drain poured it, however one guy said it was his first and I was like... yea... that was a rookie mistake for sure. All in all I enjoyed it. Tasted good, good mouthfeel, looked like most other stouts, smelled delicious. But I think I will always fight the price on some beers. (650 characters)

Photo of dukew456
4.84/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (08 vintage) into my Duvel tulip

A - Black and viscous, to a T. A dark tan head appears, but is not really a match for the abv of this beer; still, a ring of carbonation leaving slight lacing appears.

S - Vanilla, cherry, and chocolate come up on the front part of this beer, and are backed up by a strong charred oak and alcoholic finish. Incredibly delicious smelling.

T - Berry-like bourbon flavors up front give way to a rich chocolate taste on the end. This beer is pretty much what I will judge every new "bourbon stout" that I try against. Vanilla undertones complement the charred wood and chocolate characteristics of this beer incredibly well.

M&D - Obviously, the ABV doesn't allow for more than one of these beers a night. However, the rich mouthfeel won't leave you feeling like you need another.

Great beer, and my first A+ (871 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a light brown/tan head which quickly diminishes. Smells like bourbon and chocolate...what a great combo! Lots of chocolate and bourbon but the alcohol isn't so overpowering that it takes away from the sweetness...perfectly blended together. Great feel in the mouth...like a chocolate milkshake with alcohol! A couple of these and I'd be feeling pretty good although I will say it's an easy-to-drink stout, IMO. (427 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
4.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, bottled on 10/28/08. Pours a dark black with a creamy dark brown head that diminishes and laces the glass.

The aroma is bourbon with sweet chocolate and vanilla, dark fruits and alcohol.

The flavor is sweet chocolate, roasted malts black licorice and bourbon with a semi-bitter finish. The bourbon is well done and reserved - more like bourbon chocolates rather than strong liquor. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with velvety carbonation.

Overall, a very well done bourbon stout. The bourbon adds a lot to it without being overbearing on the alcohol like many are. (589 characters)

Photo of callmescraps
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw these for a long time before I noticed all the buzz, so I decided I'd give it a bid.

Appearance - Black. Pitch black. Almost no head at all. What appears is slightly tan.

Smell - Sweet chocolate booziness. Definite bourbon and vanilla. No joke about that bourbon. It is very, very powerful. It's nice smelling. Bitter chocolate rounding the whole thing out. It's nice.

Taste - Sweet bourbon goodness. Real hint of vanilla. Good mollasses as well. Very rich tasting. Someone said german chocolate cake + vanilla icing + bourbon. I think that about sums things up.

Mouthfeel - Incredibly thick. Syrup. Motor oil. More richness.

Drinkability - For all the booze, it's pretty good. But it's also super rich and thick. More than one might be problematic, but at 13% that's probably a good thing.

Huh. Stouts are generally not my favorite, but it turns out that my love of bourbon can trump anything. Usually I find stouts burnt and coffee-ish. This is a sweet vanilla bourbon flavor that really does it for me. (1,015 characters)

Photo of karengarys
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thiis stuff pours rather thick and dark. Duh! It leaves a small carmel colored head. ...cool!...

Smells of molasis and raisins. Very sweet.

Tastes rich and syrupy. thick. Sweet. Rasins again. This hides the alcohol amazingly well.

Mouthfeel is fairly rich and creamy.

This has a very rich and chewy body.

As it warms, the mouthfeel is less creamy, but remains well flavored and the alcohol does not shift into play, very nice.

I could drink several of these in a row if it weren't for the whallop the alcohol level offers.

Try it! It is worth the $5/bottle at least once to try. (586 characters)

Photo of gorby10826
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried it at Stoutfest 2009. Luckily there were multiple tables placed all over Goose Island Clybourn. Just had to go back for more.

Pours black with no head.

Bourbon, toffee, and chocolate.

Thick. Just like a good stout! Smooth as well. Creamy.

The bourbon seems to be toned down a bunch this year thanks to Greg changing the recipe a little.

Cheers! (355 characters)

Photo of washburnkid
4.27/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in my newly acquired snifter that used to belong to my grandpa.

A: Despite some aggressiveness, the beer poured with nearly zero head and almost zero retention. What did happen, though, was the incredibly thick body would adhere to the glass. I've never seen anything like it. Pitch black with the slightest hints of brown in the light.
S: Huge, complex aromas of licorice, vanilla, smatterings of coffee and an overwhelming bourbon nose.
T: Also huge and complex. Roasted, bittersweet chocolate. Huge black licorice flavors. The bourbon and alcohol burns as it slides down ever so smoothly. Vanilla and caramel add to the already sweet flavors. I feel like I wanted a little more balance to the taste, but still enjoyable.
M: Consistency of motor oil. Very smooth and slick. Very light carbonation. This is one of the thickest liquids I've consumed!
D: I split this 12oz for dessert. It was a great amount for the two of us. It's a great idea to take your time with this beer. I'd like to taste it a year from now. (1,025 characters)

Photo of discovolante65
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Wadsey for hooking me up with my first trade!

Poured into my brand spankin' new DFH 22oz snifter.

Pours like crude. A thick black that absorbs the light around it.
I tried my hardest to get a decent head out of it, but what I got was a 1/4 inch that disappeared as fast as I poured it out.
Sticky looking, stained the whole glass and continued to coat it with sheets of espresso colored haze all the way down.

Smells like raw brownie mix in a pan. You can smell some vanilla, and of course bourbon, and I believe I got some figgeys in there too. Chocolatey, gooey boozy delicious smells. I proceeded to huff this thing until my buddy yelled at me to "fucking try it already!".

Taste is just about the greatest thing I have ever encountered. I love bourbon, let me put that out there.
It is a combination of the best german chocolate cake I have ever had, with vanilla frosting, and someone added delicious bourbon to the batter. Unbelievable. Fucking incredible. I cannot believe that this is 13%. Aside from the obvious booziness of the bourbon aging, there is no alcohol detected whatsoever, even at room temp, no hotness, no sting, no burn. HOW?!?!?!

Mouthfeel is thick and chunky and I am almost able to chew on it. I swished each sip around continually before swallowing.

Drinkability - I am floored by this one. Best Stout I have ever tasted. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to try this. I was glad at first that I had two more, but by the time I was done with it, I was pissed that I only had two left. I immediately setup a trade for another 4-pak the next day.
I am really perplexed at how well balanced, and well hidden the alcohol is in this.
Great job!! (1,691 characters)

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,577 ratings.