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Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

6,984 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6984
Reviews: 2286
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 9.63%

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
Ratings: 6,984 | Reviews: 2,286 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DrinkNewport

Rhode Island

4.93/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bourbon County isn't really a beer so much as it is a recruitment tool for the craft beer movement.

There is nothing like giving a 6oz pour to a beer newbie and seeing the expression on their face when they taste a SERIOUS beer for the first time. The complexity and intensity experienced when Bourbon County enters your mouth rivals that of any wine or liquor, and you have no choice but to savor it.

The great thing about Bourbon County is that it was an intense beer before it was barrel-aged, so the bourbon flavor is an added benefit rather than an outsider trying to wrestle control.

WARNING: This beer will ruin most other imperial stouts for you. The only other stout that I've found that competes is the slightly-superior Dogfish Head World Wide Stout.

Pairing suggestion: Have Bourbon County with a piece of rich chocolate cake. I had it with a amazing piece that included peanut butter/cream cheese frosting and it was probably the best thing my taste buds have ever encountered.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2013 08:40:18 | More by DrinkNewport
Photo of BreweryRun


4/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Urge's 3rd anniversary. Jet black with almost no head. Smells like bourbon, roasted malts alcohol and vanilla. Taste is incredibly strong, lots of bourbon up front with strong vanilla, and alcohol flavors through the middle and back. Ends with a lingering chocolate flavor. LOTS of warming but the alcohol is not overpowering although very clearly present. Very good but I may not have the palette to discern all the more subtle complexities. It is clearly an insanely complex beer that is done very well and tastes great. That being said I've had other imperial stouts I prefer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2013 02:42:59 | More by BreweryRun
Photo of carmike813


4.91/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- dark thick black reminiscent of motor oil ... What I would expect from a stout beer of this category

S- bourbon whisky boom.... Really boozy aroma which is perfect if
That is your sort of thing (it is for me)

T- really boozy up front that settles nicely into deep dark chocolate

M- Really chewy and thick, this is a big beer that is very full

I have had the 2012 vintage on tap and in th bottle. The alcohol is ramped up in the 2012 vintage that changed the beer slightly that earlier (15% vs 13% ABV) editions. I prefer the slightly less ABV edition but still absolutely
Love this version as

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2013 04:07:25 | More by carmike813
Photo of pjkelley82

New York

4.94/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed at a Goose Island tasting at a local beer distributor.

Poured from tap into a plastic tasting cup. Year 2012

I purchased 4 12oz bottles a month prior so I can age them. Wanted to try It without opening up one of my bottles.

I'm not gonna go into specifics about appearance, mouthfeel and taste as most of the full reviews hit it dead on.

Basically, I had a feeling what the best Bourbon barrel beer should taste like and BCS was that one.... it had everything rolled into one without being overpowering in any aspect. It was a perfect balance between taste smoothness and alcohol... you really can't tell it's 15% alcohol... tastes like 7%-8%... no nasty aftertaste just perfection.

This is a beer you do not bring as a everyday beer to drink with your friends. This is a beer you hoard and save it for a special occasion. It's a sipper. It's also a beer that is world class and rightfully so... way better than KBS. I know.. there 2 different kinds of beers but just saying.. the best beer I've EVER had..

Edit: I forgot to mention at the tasting they had cheese there as well. They paired the stout with a blue cheese that mended just perfectly.

Edit2: review for 2013 and 2012 drank on black friday 2013...

This years batch seemed to have a better bourbon smell with it way up front.. I remember last years not being AS strong.. mouthfeel seems better this year and smell is way better than I remember fresh 2012... overall I liked 2012 better because it was slightly sweeter but this years taste phenomenal as usual....

2012...drank a year old version.... smell was extremely fruity and instantly I got angry because I only have 2 2012 left and im saving them for a vertical... the smell was so perfect, instantly a 5.. Dark fruits galore and the bourbon has taken a back seat... still alcohol presence but nothing offputting... creamy heavy mouthfeel but non cloying... I give the 2012 vintage with a year on it a better score than the fresh... imo just better with a year on it... well see about 2+...next year

Serving type: on-tap

06-23-2013 00:17:17 | More by pjkelley82
Photo of Mikecap


4.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Poured a deep, deep brown, nearly black into a 12 oz Allagash tulip. Short tannish head that stuck around for most of the glass. Lacing along the sides of the glass was present throughout.

Smell: Strong! Bourbon, chocolate, and caramel malts competing at the forefront here. Very sweet smell that is absolutely lovely.

Taste: Very heavy and some chocolate and caramel sweetness at play here. Very smooth but the alcohol is certainly present and this is certainly a sipper. Gets better as it warms up as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied without too much carbonation and relatively smooth for the amount of alcohol at play. Very creamy and sweet but again the alcohol is clearly present but not extremely overpowering.

Overall: This is my second time giving this a go and I am glad I did. My first experience left me thinking this beer was overhyped, but having it again was great. By far one of the best stouts I have had, but not quite on the level of Parabola. I would love to have this again, especially with some age on it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2013 15:14:10 | More by Mikecap
Photo of JohnG190

New York

4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours inky black with no discernible head. Wispy tan cap with decent lacing. Aroma of vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate. The palate follows the aroma with big flavors of bourbon, chocolate, dark fruits, followed by some vanilla and coconut. Sweet with some warming from the ABV. Mouthfeel is rich and full with just a touch of carbonation. Overall this is still an incredibly well crafted stout that is every bit the equal of other, much harder to get imperial stouts. Outstanding.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2013 22:40:50 | More by JohnG190
Photo of Flounder57


4.55/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a goblet at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: This beer poured no head, but had a small ring of foam around the top. It is pitch black with some vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Vanilla, oak, bourbon, spice, and boozy alcohol. The bourbon barrel covets all the traditional imperial stout flavors you traditionally look for. Still smells awesome.

Taste: so much more going on in this tasty beer. Same as above plus roasted coffee and chocolate. It really doesn't get any better than this.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, low to medium carbonation, boozy alcohol, and warming to the body.

Overall: Awesome beer. I don't really need to say much more.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2013 04:00:01 | More by Flounder57
Photo of JohnQVD

New York

4.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dark, almost black with almost no head, just a thin wisp of light brown foam that leaves small bits behind that slowly drop back into the glass. Smell is heavy bourbon and cocoa. Taste is chocolate, bourbon and raisins with a boozy, bitter finish. Feel is heavy with a burst of light carbonation.

Overall, this is excellent and well balanced. It could use just a touch less bourbon and I'd consider it basically perfect.

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2013 19:35:01 | More by JohnQVD
Photo of Docrock


4.93/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Sergio's 2-18-13 served in a snifter:

A- dark, almost black with minimal head. A slight ring of foam sits along the edge.

S- sweet bourbon with barely a hint of dark roasted malt.

T- the malt is huge with fair amounts of chocolate, vanilla and sweetness.

M- smooth, creamy with no noticeable carbonation. Full bodied and delicious. While the alcohol content is evident, it drinks remarkably well for 15%.

O- amazing, its actually hard to describe this beer. definitely one to savor and now i understand what the hype is about. so many dont deliver, this one certainly does, a must try for any barrel aged fan.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2013 03:25:14 | More by Docrock
Photo of sbxx


4.58/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Very dark with a 1/2 finger of sexy caramel-colored head. It's like it was whispering, "Taste me... you know you want to..." Yikes! Lightly coated the glass as I swirled it.

Smell - Big nose on this one. Oak, bourbon, cocoa, dark fruit, smoked wood, brown sugar, vanilla.

Taste - Very bourbon forward. Hints of chocolate, toffee, raisins as well.

Mouthfeel - Thick and sweet.

Overall - Definitely a dessert beer. Something to sip and enjoy over a good conversation. It's a hot one at 15%, but overall, very delicious. Looking forward to the 2013 batch already.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2013 07:01:27 | More by sbxx
Photo of Cee-Poe


4.6/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great beer on tap... now if only I could find some bottles of it!

A -- Pours deep black with slight lacing of head

S -- Sweet bourbon aromas with hints of barrel, smells delicious

T -- Amazing sweetness that is not over powering or cloying.

M -- Wonderfully small bubbles work well to cleans the palate enough to not have it be too syrupy

O -- It is a perfect dessert beer. Almost like a sundae for the beer drinker.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2013 17:38:51 | More by Cee-Poe
Photo of Stevedore


4.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2/2/13, 2012 vintage on tap at Brickhouse BBQ in Madison WI.

Aroma: Nose full of vanilla, wood and chocolate. Hints of dry, bourbon characteristics with the occasional whiff of dark fruits. You don't have to work very hard at all to get a nose from this brew. (4.25)

Colour: Thick jet black body, impenetrable to light. Pours with a 0.5-1cm brown head that evaporates rather quickly, leaving me a full glass of beer! Lacing sticks pretty well when I swirl it around in the snifter a bit. This time, it was an overall above-average appearance for its style. I suppose a thicker head would make it better. But not by much. (4)

Flavour: Incredible dark chocolate sweetness and vanilla flavors combines to make my palate pass out in ecstasy. Throughout I get some oak/wood with some bourbon flavours and heat. I get a little bit of cherry and fig also. You'd never guess this beer has a 15% ABV even with the heat, although the heat ramps up as I get to the bottom of the glass as it warms. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: This is probably the creamiest, thickest bodied brew I've had the privilege to drink, almost like drinking a dessert. Carbonation is as expected for the style. Runs a bit dry as expected from the bourbon barrel contribution yet still so easy to drink large swallows of. Incredibly well-done and it's clear that the BCBS series sets the standard for the style. (5)

Overall: The gold standard for barrel aged imperial stouts and I've enjoyed it each time I've had it whether its from the bottle or the tap. I've had a few other BA stouts that attempt to dethrone it, and while they are incredible in their own ways, I consider BCBS to be the granddaddy of them all. The only negative is that it's not a beer to take lightly- open one up when you have something to celebrate or are hankering for a bone-warmer in front of the fireplace- you prepare yourself to take on a beer like this. Don't open one up if you want to hang out with some buddies after work- open up a Zombie Dust or something if you do that- respect BCBS. (4.5)

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2013 20:20:20 | More by Stevedore
Photo of orangesol


4.45/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap on three separate occasions this year, the last of which being this one at the brewhouse restaurant.

A - Pours pitch black with a small half finger tall tan head leaving very tiny trails of lace down the top part of the glass.

S - Smells of melted milk chocolate, dark roast, fresh vanilla beans, sweet molasses and plenty of warm bourbon booze. This is simply intoxicating.

T - Starts off with a big dose of milk chocolate sweetness slowly giving way to hints of warm vanilla, dark fruit, molasses and dark roast. The bourbon heat is ever present, never really fading away. Finish is sweet with a bit of warm booze, lingering on the palate long after the finish.

M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Smooth feel with lots of residual sweetness and mild booze burn. The alcohol only grows as it sits in the glass.

O - Definitely one of the better stouts out there and well deserving of the attention it garners. Worth seeking out if you have the chance. I will get my fill while I can and I hope to see this more often in the future.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2013 06:38:37 | More by orangesol
Photo of littlebibs

New Hampshire

4.9/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sat afternoon wildcard weekend and I bump into this little jewel of a brew. I hadn't even heard of this one before, but sitting here at the Holy Grail in Epping, NH and this is on the menu, a special and its been a while since I had anything that comes close to the all around special combo of flavors of this bourbon stout. Coats your mouth and you get this bourbon chocolate boozey rush down your throat with a touch of vanillla, this is extreme delicious well crafted heaven! I can't recall ever having something this special, I love the bourbon edge just something to talk about, they only let me have two!!! but I will be back!!

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2013 21:35:19 | More by littlebibs
Photo of mynie


4.68/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap (!) at the Black Sparrow in Lafayette, Indiana. This was the first time I'd seen BCBS on tap aside from at GI or beer fests, so I figured what the hell.

Pours deep and black and mysterious like the soul of a really gothic dude. Not much of a head, but that's probably because the bartender was trying to give drinkers the biggest bang for the buck since the beer was goddamn expensive.

Maybe it was a little cold, but much of the complication of the bottle version (of fresher vintages, especially) was muted. There were big nodes of dark barley, fiery bourbon, and alcohol.

The joyous complication is much more apparent in the flavor, thank goodness. Fresh vanilla, vanilla extract, fire, stout malt, oak, whiskey, super ripe fruit, more fire, and cane sugar. Still almost unbelievably rich, although the body gets a little thin on the back end.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2013 17:51:02 | More by mynie


4.73/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$8.00 for 10oz, served in a tulip
This year's vintage is 14.5%
Sampled 26SEP12

[A] Served with a half finger of medium to medium dark brown bubbly head. Quick to recede and leaves no trace. What's left is a thick, ominously dark and very still beer. Black at its core and dark brown along the glass's edge. No chance for lacing.

[S] There's no hiding it. Bourbon strikes the nose first. But it's clean and extremely complimentary of the balance of the aroma profile. Dark bitter chocolate plus modest oak barrel and light vanilla adding the subtlety that such a robust aroma needs.

[T] Deeply roasted chocolate coating with a long lasting layer of rich, buttery caramel, lightly charred. Smooth bourbon integrates on every level. Moderate sweetness combined with ample carbonation cut through the bourbon barrel presence for a minute, which creeps slowly back onto the palate.

[M] The body lands between full and medium full. Ample carbonation and bitterness make a cloying texture and unnecessary residual sweetness an impossibility. But, a thicker, chewier mouthfeel would have been preferred. As well as a lower level of carbonation. (Interestingly, this isn't my typical experience on draft - and never from a bottle serving.) Lightly tannic. Alcoholic warmth is appropriate and welcomed.

[O] What needs to be said that hasn't been already? This beer is great. Fantastic even. And even better out of the bottle. BCBS: SEPA welcomes you fondly.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2012 14:00:36 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a spectacular imperial stout. one of the biggest ive ever encountered. on tap at j. ryans in syracuse, and served in a pint glass for 8 bucks! was sure id never get to try this after the recent sale, but got one from the beer gods. the pour is really black and sticky looking, with only a film of dark dark brown head. the nose is insane, tons of charcoal and wood, this spent some time in a serious barrel. theres also some dried fruit, raisins or something, and fresh tobacco, dark chocolate, vanilla, and loads of booze. the flavor is just as complex and intimidating as the nose, with alcohol and cocoa being key notes. old well used oak is in play as well, as is some pungent vanilla beans, lots of redisual sugars and black licorice. this is really one of the most potent and memorable beers ive had, worth all the hype. the feel is pretty darn heavy, massive body, decent but light carbonation, and a really sticky sludgy feel, like pine pitch or taffy. the whole outside of my glass was like super glue from the little bit that spilled over during the pout. overall an impressive beer, this couldnt be anyones daily drink, but it sure makes a special occasion, i am grateful to have gotten to try this, and i certainly got my fill from that pint. a luxurious and daring brew, a must try if you can get ahold of it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2012 00:42:28 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of haazer


4.73/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

By far my favorite beer tried at the Capones black friday event. Miniature 5.5 ounce snifter.

A- Thick black engine oil with enough mileage from what should've been 3 oil changes ago. A small tan ring resembles some head.

S- All bourbon in the nose really. Some vanilla, and interestingly enough a little bit of butterscotch. But I mean this is like sticking your nead in a snifter of makers mark without the alcohol esters.

T- Lots of smooth, creamy vanilla, and a mouth smacking buorbon kick. Sweet sweet roasty malts. Cocoa puffs, yes COCOA PUFFS at least what I pick up in here. Peanut butter I detected, and maybe even some syrup(unless that was left from Bolt Cutter). Honestly this is the best tasting barrel aged stout I've ever had. Not a hint of alcohol.

M- Super smooth. Rich, full bodied with a mid level carbonation amount. I can't get over not detecting the booze at all.

O- This thing is the real deal and I'm so glad I finally got a chance to try it. Would take this over KBS, which up till this point was my favorite stout. GI's distribution is now hitting PA and I sincerely hope that maybe, just maybe some point down the road this thing comes around more regularly.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2012 00:51:27 | More by haazer
Photo of polktheimpressionist


4.65/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this amazing beer at The Stables bar in Dixon, Il. I was a little taken aback by receiving it in a small 9oz snifter (normally Im used to getting pints) until I took the first sip. Robust doesn't even begin to describe this beer. Pitch black, no lace and the strong taste of bourbon confused me at first. About four sips in I was hooked on the overwhelming flavor this beer had to offer. Hints of coffee and chocolate make a good barrier between the flavorful and aromatic hops as well as the powerful bourbon. I was extremely pleased with the almost "oil like" consistency this beer had. I also enjoyed the sophistication I felt by enjoying this like I would a fine glass of liquor. I will say that I would never have more than two glasses of this a night. On top of it being a pricey beer, it is very powerful flavor and ABV wise. So be careful and enjoy!

ps- The Stables is the only place to find this on tap in a 45 mile radius. So if you happen to be passing through town please enjoy a fine brew at one of the finest establishments in our small town.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2012 16:36:27 | More by polktheimpressionist
Photo of ClarkHimself


4.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Chicago's Local Option

Half inch of carmel colored head that dissipated after a minute or two, but clung to the glass well. Smelled of all things primo stout: burnt coffee, chocolate... but mostly boozy bourbon. First sip follows the nose with a fiery taste of bourbon that smooths into what you'd expect from a great imperial stout. After several sips I also got hints of black licorice. The smell and taste of bourbon is great and sticks like cigarette smoke. This is definitely one of those beers that will lead to the, "How long and how much have you been drinking?!" question that you may get from your significant other. But it's a really fantastic beer, especially for the colder months... it warms you right up!

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2012 03:16:08 | More by ClarkHimself
Photo of Bouleboubier


4.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Huh...

Found out tonight they were having Goose Island tap takeover 3 blocks away, so I went - mostly to try this baby for the first time.

Wanted immediately, not knowing its ingredients, to measure this up against the Avery Mephistopheles, which is of similar strength and was served to me in the same cutesy lil 6oz snifter. This one has its differences, for sure.

A nice, nearly mousse-y, chocolate-milk colored head - slunk out rather quick. Black liquid. Surprised to not see legs - maybe the serving size is to blame?

Black malt and a little chocolate, at first, on the nose. A pleasant, potent, floral alcohol asserts itself more and more as it warms. Later on, I was getting something that said "nougat".

The flavor profile is decidedly more complex than the Avery. A bunch of vanilla early on, as well as that perfumy alcohol. Silky milk chocolate was there from the start and is later met and developed with some mild molasses notes. The bourbon element is superbly woven into the mix, not even close to domination - perfectly highlighting in the near background. Some vanilla and, to a much lesser extent, wood rise up slowly. Not much roasty flavor - not terribly surprising.

Up front, there's some soft silkiness to the body (curiously more so when colder) - just the right degree to balance - but it drops off in a swift flush, finishing (dangerously poundably) dry. I was seriously drinking this thinking I could easily put back a pint in less than a few couple minutes. Maybe could've had a lil more body.

Assuming this was young or fresh keg, the possibilities, the potential for aging this beer - it was weighing heavy on my sodden mind. I don't go out of my way to seek out beers (for the most part), but I must admit that I wouldn't hesitate to grab a 4-pack or 2 of this if we crossed paths again.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2012 03:47:16 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of B33R501


5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Now that i figured out you can pour this into a frozen glass and get the head to stick around
lets up the appearance score to a 5, making this my one 5 beer. Simply the best beer ive ever had, and I dont see how anything could top this. Perfect.

Below is the original draught review. This is the bottle review ... real simple, 5 words.
Bourbon chocolate fudge cake. Superb.

Wow. BCBS. Finally. Enjoyed at The Bishops Collar in the Fairmount area, Philadelphia.

Beautiful stout appearance. One sniff and I know right away this instantly leaps to the top of my list. Port Hop 15 (the recent draught release is perfectly carbonated and incredible); fresh Heady Topper and now this.

Big aroma vanilla, oak, caramel, even a little smoke. Huge flavor, big bourbon, but beautifully integrated with the stout. Smoke and peat, very sweet but never obnoxious. The thickest beer Ive had. Bourbon.

Words cannot describe, this beer is frigging fantastic. Love to try this in bottles.

Did I mention bourbon?

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2012 14:52:37 | More by B33R501
Photo of philbe311


4.26/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Full Review (2012 Version)

A - A very thin, less than a finger's worth, of medium khaki slightly smooth crisp head quickly fades away leaving very little in terms of lacing... A deep dark opaque sleek black color... A couple of carbonation bubbles can be seen clinging to the sides of the glass...

S - The bourbon barrel character is at the forefront (no surprise)... Next are faint hints of vanilla, dark fruit, and caramel... Did I mention booze - it never really fades and dominates each and every whiff...

T - This one is a booze bomb to start... You can't miss the heat and booze that leads on the palate... Once you get past the initial heat and booziness, there are layers of complexity and terrific balances... Slightly roasted malts... Cocoa... Vanilla... Caramel... Some dark fruit notes...

M -Full bodied... However, this one while still thick, viscous and chewy wasn't quite as thick, viscous and chewy as expected... A little carbonation with a lot of bite... Sleek and smooth... The heavy booze component can be felt in the throat (and even the nostrils) after each and every sip...

D - This one is a definite sipper that is to be enjoyed and savored... An excellent brew all the way around, but I'm not quite sure it leaves up to the lofty and almost unfair expectations... I will gladly enjoy the bottle that I picked up as well, but think I may give it a bit of time in the cellar to take a bit of the edge off and let some of the finer complexities emerge...

Update (2012 Version) - The year in the cellar has served this one very nicely... Smoothed out the rough edges considerably... Quite impressed...

Serving type: on-tap

10-25-2012 23:16:09 | More by philbe311
Photo of WillCarrera


4.53/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at Whole Foods P Street in DC, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours pitch black with a finger of creamy khaki head, leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Sweet aroma of dark fruit, chocolate, caramel, and bourbon.

T- Huge bitter dark chocolate flavor, some caramel and sweet vanilla and bourbon. There's also a big sweet dark fruit flavor, as well as a big sweet alcohol finish. For 15% the alcohol is well-restrained and avoids become too hot.

M- Full-bodied, moderate to low alcohol, thick, viscous and velvety feel.

O- A huge, awesome stout. It tends toward the sweet side but remains extremely well balanced, and is a great sipping beer and very drinkable even at 15%, a really excellent beer overall.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2012 18:32:52 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of smakawhat


4.65/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2012 poured on tap into a tulip at P ST NW Whole Foods DC. What a nice surprise! From notes. Had these vintages out of the bottle, but never on tap so excited!

Just a gleaming midnight black body, with just a touch of thin brown collar. Collar really doesn't stick around much, one odd carbonated bubble tiny and small occasionally pops its head up through the glass.

Nose is a big whiff of oak and thick molasses, with a giant whiskey note. Controlled but large. Some thick molasses and licorice without a huge sweetness, and a nice hint of alcohol. Piping coffee. It's all there.

Palate rushes with a great unbelievable silky feel. Vinous thick molasses make a big oak whiskey angle, with dense malt roast, and coating. Finish has that classic licorice angle, with the nice heat it provides and almost liqueur feel, creme de cassis, anisette, Italian dark bitters. Piping coffee warmth, but never burns going down, quite amazing.

Overall the brew on tap just sings and is a lot of fun.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2012 02:29:50 | More by smakawhat
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100 out of 100 based on 6,984 ratings.