Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

2,820 Reviews
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Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
60 IBU

Added by drewbage on 06-26-2003

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Reviews: 2,820 | Ratings: 11,607
Photo of THSmusicman
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage poured into a tulip.

Look: This is the least interesting part of the beer. Looks black, as a imperial stout should be. There was no head on this one and no lacing on the glass. Meh

Smell: Smells fantastic! Tons of oak, vanilla, buttery caramel, a touch of smoke and coffee, an almost chestnut like smell and a bit of dark fruit.

Taste: Vanilla and oak upfront with a touch of bourbon. Smoke and chocolate make a slight appearance mid-sip and it finishes with caramel and chestnut.

Feel: Fells super thick for a barrel-aged stout. It's chewy and as thick as I would imagine oil being. It really coats the mouth well!

Overall: Anyone who has ever had this beer knows that this beer lives up to and possibly even exceeds the hype surrounding it! This is the beer that started the barrel aging craze and still is a top player in the category! Just wish this wasn't as hard to get and limited as it is....I enjoyed this 2014 (aged for 1+ year) as much, if not more than the fresh 2015 I had.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.81/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black with a thin, quickly disappearing dark creme/motor oil head. No lacing. Roasted malt notes lay the background for a boozy, bourbon aroma. A little bit of an alcohol tinge in the nose. A sip provides a robust dynamic between a smooth, roasted malt opening, to a bold, boozy, bourbon taste. All the while remaining somewhat sweet. The bourbon burn is held well within check. Mouth feel is exceptional. It feels bold and robust, creamy and smooth, thick and filling. It's a pleasure to drink for mouth feel alone. Overall, it's exceptional. It is well rounded, with plenty of complexities. It's also dangerously smooth for a 13%+ ABV beer.

Review for an aged bottle from 2014. Drank in late January, 2016.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of PDXAmbassador
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An old favorite.
Perfect low carb, superb dark color.
Taste is absolutely awesome. Lots of dark flavors - roast, surprising amount of black liquorice, almost umami but not a hint of soy sauce. Still, it was fresh, and had too much whiskey burn for my taste.
Mouthfeel was about what I expected - thick, but thinner due to barrel aging than the base beer would've been.
Overall a wonderful, beverage experience.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours pitch black with a minimal creamy dark tan head.

S: Highly concentrated aromas of vanilla and caramel. Some chalk and toasted oak, soft bourbon, figs and milk chocolate.

T: Rich bourbon and caramel with charred oak. Extremely sweet and pretty damn boozy, verging on cloying at times. Very restrained roast with dark chocolate notes, bread and toffee. Sweet boozy chocolaty finish.

F: Body verging on full with a chewy feel, medium-low carbonation, leaving a bit of mild warmth and a slick mouthfeel in between sips.

Overall: It’ll take me an hour or two to finish an 8oz pour of this beer, but it’s well worth it if you’re in the mood. As delicious as it is iconic.

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Photo of alarmclock314
4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 version, bottled on 11/11/15, 14.3% ABV, 16.9oz bottle. Seemed to have a lot more tart cherry and raw cocoa powder this year. Possibly the beginnings of a bad bottle, but it was fresh enough and the flavors were acceptable.

2014 version, bottled on 9/16/14, 14.4% ABV. This bottle was not as sweet as the 2013 version. Also had a bottle dated 10/24/14, 13.8% ABV. This one seemed a bit more carbonated and had more of a bourbon bite.

2013 version, bottled on 8/29/13, 14.9% ABV. Pours opaque black with a small-sized brown head. Smells of strong cocoa and bourbon. The taste follows very closely, but starts with cocoa, some vanilla and molasses, then ends with oak and bourbon... amazing. Thick and luscious mouthfeel with lower carbonation. Pleasant alcohol warming, well masked in the bold flavor. Like a bourbon chocolate dessert.

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Photo of BuzzedMedStudent
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


Appearance: An almost black pour with reddish tint. Dark khaki, half finger width head.

Aroma: Vanilla, cherry, bourbon and oaky

Taste: Heavy bourbon, rich cherry, chocolate, oak

Mouthfeel: Thick, rich, syrupy, minimal carbonation.

Overall: Best imperial stout that I have ever had, in fact, best beer that I have ever had. An amazing experience. I can't get enough. The more I have, the more flavors I discover. This is an extremely complex flavor composition.

*I still love the 2012 BCBS the most.

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Photo of SovereignGood
4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pitch black. Pours a minimal head that quickly dissipates into the abyss.
S: Intense coconut, oak, vanilla, dark fruits, caramel.
T: Dark fruit first with a little chocolate and nutty flavor followed by awesome barrel notes. The vanilla and caramel sweetness lasts for days.
F: Thick but not syrupy.

It's good

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Photo of thatjakeseckman
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I loved this beer more than I have loved any woman. More than the fat kid loves cake. More than I love cake. I am the fat kid.
I love this beer so much that I married it. It was rich, it was amazing, I had to change my undies after this beer. Even the dos Equis guy prefers this beer.

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Photo of kitch
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A 1 pint .9 fl oz (500ml) bottle with a bottled on date of 22nd October 2015, poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Poured an extremely dark dark brown colour with a reddish hue on the sides. Dark tanned head was very thin and did not last long and there was some thin spotty lacing.

Aroma: Rich rich aromas full of bourbon, oak, caramel, salted chocolate and vanilla.

Taste: Much like the aromas it was full of bourbon, oak, caramel, salted chocolate and vanilla. Stunning, heavenly goodness.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, thick motor oil like richness. Low carbonation. Nice light burn as it goes down.

Overall: Wow, this was amazing… a brilliant sipper. Even drinking it 3 months in, aromas, taste and feel were already wonderful. It should develop more complexity with a year or two of aging, which is what I’m going to do with the rest of my bottles.

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Photo of TheKlevin
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Consistently one of the best barrel aged beers available. Every year I have tried has been excellent. I prefer my barrel aged beers with coffe, but for a non adjunct barrel aged stout this does not disappoint

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Photo of bwood06
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz. bottle into a snifter

A - Beer pours an opaque black color with no visible carbonation. Head is non-existent after a slight fizziness erupted on top, even with a hard pour. Looking at this beer is like looking into the depths of space if space didn't have any stars. Slight motor oil resemblance right around the top edges where the beer meets the glass (surface tension area). 3.75/5

S - Aroma is heavily dominated by vanilla, bourbon, and oak. Very deep dark malty aroma that features ultra dark chocolate and a hint of espresso. The aroma is very heavy and syrupy, like straight molasses. Very grainy and earthy overall, but quite sweet. 4.5/5

T - Vanilla and toffee sweetness hit my palate right away with a quick transition into the oak and bourbon notes. Quite a bit of char and smoke go along with the oak and bourbon. Leather, molasses and vanilla dominate the middle of the tasting before a subtle and slow transition to a deep roasted espresso and ultra dark chocolate finish. 4.5/5

M - Very rich, heavy, creamy, and syrupy. Sticky throughout the entire profile. Carbonation tickle on the very front of the beer. Warming sensation on the back of the palate and the throat upon swallowing. 4.5/5

O - One Other than there being no head whatsoever, this beer is very hard to beat and is an explosion of flavors. No flavor is subtle here. They all stand out on their own at some point or another and make themselves known. 4.5/5

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Photo of novamat
4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours the dark black of long used motor oil and nearly as viscous, but I got very little head from my pour. Smell is mostly of bourbon with hints of oak and vanilla. Taste is of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, chocolate, but is slightly unbalanced by being a tad on the sweet side. Mouthfeel is excellent, not too much or little carbonation, not too sticky despite the sweetness. Overall this is an excellent beer, not the best of the barrel aged stouts that I've had, but it's close to the top of the pack. Can't wait to see what cellar aging does to the beer.

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Photo of enrique_m
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured this into a snifter and it is jet black, it gave a chocolate 1 inch head and it went away the smell you get vanilla, chocolate bourbon, and a nutty scent. the taste is bourbon heavy up front and you get the vanilla, chocolate, raisins, in the back. the brew is thick and syrupy. overall it is boozy and full of flavor and i cant wait to see how it gets 6 months from now.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 on tap at BC's Pizza & Beer and Das Bierhaus

A: Pours dark brown, basically black, with a rich brown head that settles to a thin layer and laces lightly.

S: Molasses and dark sugar up front, smooth bourbon, vanilla, toffee, a little roasted malt, hints of chocolate and coffee, and a touch of alcohol.

T: Vanilla, smooth bourbon, a little toasted coconut, molasses and brown sugar, roasted malt, a little coffee, faint chocolate, maybe a bit spicy, and a touch of alcohol on the finish.

M: Sticky full body, mild carbonation, velvety smooth with a little warmth on the finish.

O: This beer has impressed me more each time I try it. I wish a little more of the roasty character came through, but still a very enjoyable sipper.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.81/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2015 on draft pours black, faint reddish tones. Paper thin ring of tan head remains.

Smells of the bourbon, that's about it. Fairly mild though and not too boozy. Thick, thick body with taste following the nose. Some vanilla shows up later followed by some boozy warming, but it's still smooth. Finishes really clean with exceptionally balanced bitterness.

Overall, I don't have a long bourbon barrel pedigree, but this is definitely one of the best examples of the style I've ever tried.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.31/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours jet black with a thin head.

smells like bourbon and chocolate, heavy bourbon.

taste is full of bourbon. some chocolate and definitely coffee bitterness at the end.

overall it's certainly barrel aged and full of bourbon flavor. not sure if i like the overwhelming bourbon flavor. i see this being much better with age.

gets much better when it warms!

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Photo of Buck89
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

In a snifter. Dark, dark brown with a thin dark tan head. Great bourbon smell with oak, vanilla, and some roasted malt. Beautiful taste. Bourbon of course, with vanilla, oak, dark bread, coffee, and chocolate. The malt and the booze is well-balanced. Nice warming at the end with a chocolate finish. Not overly sweet. Full bodied but also with a silky smooth feel. Hard to imagine a better imperial stout.

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Photo of MtnSoup
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I wish this beer wasn't so damn delicious, but it is...and is my gold standard for imperial stouts. Vanilla, bourbon boozy goodness. Glad I've got a few cases, because these only get better with age.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This was hard to get, but totally worth it. Payed like 25 dlls here in Mexico. Pours deep black with a tan foam head. Aroma is great, bourbon, malts, chocolate, coffee, no hops. Taste is awesome, rich, complex, roasty, lots of bourbon and wood. Bold body, low carbonation. Excellent beer.

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Photo of salimoneus
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Very dark, pours thick, not much light escapes this beer

Smell: bourbon, vanilla, carmel, coffee, chocolate

Taste: amazingly well balanced for such a bourbon forward beer. very smooth. hides the 13.7% better than any other I've tried. aftertaste very smooth

Feel: great sipper, nice thick mouth feel

Overall: doesn't get much better. i don't think a perfect score exists, just in principle, but this beer is as close as it gets. definitely worth seeking out and stocking up on

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Photo of dream
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pours thick and dark. Some subtle microfizzys on top that appear to be doing their own unique cadence to edge of the glass from the center. Tilting the beer slightly 45 degrees and pulling it back to 90 degrees shows this beer is thick, making the palate water at the site of it.

Smell: A mature mix of vanilla, banana, bourbon, coffee, chocolate , burnt sugar and oak.

Taste: Follows the smell. A decadent delicious brew that is the best sipper I've had in a while. The alcohol is masked great . An explosion of all of the above smells hits the taste buds for a perfectly mixed brew.

Feel: Savory. I'm enjoying this like a fine wine more than a beer the way I'm sipping here. Very pleasant on the mouth.

Overall: I feel this is a near perfect beer.

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Photo of KettleBellFreak
4.93/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Damn. I hate to roll with the hype but this beer exceeds it for me.

Beautiful deep black color with tiny red/brown head, little carbonation. Smells like chocolate and caramel around a campfire. Flavor is bourbon, maple, chocolate, coconut and and almonds. The beer glides over the tongue in an oil slick bliss.

Jesus Christ this beer is good.

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Photo of Lahoi
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I awoke early on Black Friday to get this beer, so it better be good. As usual, I drank too much on Thanksgiving, so rising early on Black Friday isn't at the top of my to do list...until this year.

Glass: tulip

Setting: cold winter night, back porch, toasty fire

Demeanor (mine): Ready, willing, able, but just a little intimidated. Are my expectations too high?

It's showtime. Finally.

The bottle is a work of art in and of itself. The first sign of the liquid brings pure joy. It's dark. Which reminds me of a line from Airplanes: "I like my beer the way I like my . . ." Oh wait, never mind. It's not only dark; it's also rich. Not much head, but what is there is darker than most beers! So high in alcohol content that is has legs like a good distilled spirit.

Smells and tastes of molasses, baked cherries, vanilla, raisins, figs, dates, plus a little smoke and a little oak. Other than that, pretty basic stuff.

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Photo of coolforcats
4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours dark. Heavenly aroma- sorry I can't be more descriptive, but I was a few in. Surprisingly minimal heat. Slightly sweet (we did the 2014 and 2015 at a late 2015 tasting). Complexity certainly increased with age. Solid feel. One (two) of the more delicious darks I've ever had.

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Photo of Ohmmygawd
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I get it. This is a very special beer but it's overrated for all the hype and stress it creates. Maybe I'll sell the bottle on ebay for the same price I bought it for.

Look: I gave it a heavy pour at around 65 degrees and got a tiny head that dissipated very quickly. Sign of a very high booze content.
Smell: Chocolate, Vanilla, Coffee, dark fruits. A little bit of heat from the booze.
Taste: Chocolate, vanilla, coffee, dark fruits.
Feel: Covers your entire mouth and leaves you with a nice burning thanks to the booze. Definitely a sipper.
Overall: I like bourbon and I like beer. I like this beer but I regret the things I had to do to get it... I will never be clean again... I've got another bottle in the cellar and I'll sit on it for year or two.

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 2,820 ratings.