Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "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.

Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,768 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,768
Hads: 11,346
Avg: 4.5
pDev: 19.78%
Wants: 2,636
Gots: 6,729 | FT: 682
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States | website

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: 2,768 | Hads: 11,346
Photo of Kgoldsbe
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Before it opens up the overwhelming taste is chocolate after some time in the glass the taste is much more complex with many aspects of the bourbon barrels. There is a maple roasted nut aspect to this stout as well. The feel is thick, rich and chewy. This beer is very hedonistic!

 281 characters

Photo of Pantalones
4.81/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Written from notes when I had this on Christmas. My first time ever drinking this beer; 16.9 ounce bottle from the 2015 release, with bottling date of October 1st, 2015. Pours with much glug-glug-glugging noise into my tulip-type glass.

The appearance of this beer is... black. Like not just really dark brown, but pitch black. Even the foam on top (which fizzes loudly at first before shrinking to a ring around the outside and a few traces) is pretty dark brown. My little LED flashlight can't penetrate this beer's darkness at all. The foam fizzing away to almost nothing so fast is a bit odd, but otherwise this looks really nice.

Smells sweet, a bit vanilla-ish, and sometimes I pick up on something a bit nutty or woody? Certainly smells different from other stouts I've had, but smells very good. After drinking a bit, I'm picking up a bit more stouty roastiness in the smell. And as a random side-note, apparently bugs LOVE the smell of Bourbon County Stout -- I had to swat three little fruit flies that I wasn't aware were in the room shortly after I started drinking it, as they had started to hover around the glass (and still-partially-full bottle) and I really didn't want to end up drinking some bugs if they decided to dive-bomb it.

Taste... wow! Just a little sip and I got some definite woody/nutty, sweetness, a bit of vanilla, and then a really nice roasty/chocolate/coffee blending together at the end. Burps are like a chocolate milkshake almost immediately after drinking any of this. There's so much going on that I'm having a hard time describing it all -- something about my second sip really reminded me of pecan pie, for example, and I got just a hint of alcohol in there, too. Something reminds me of maple syrup, too. This is by far the sweetest, chocolatiest stout I've ever had! Actually, this is at least as good as the image of "what a big barrel-aged stout will taste like" I had in my mind before drinking one, probably better actually. For literally being better than I could even imagine, the taste of this beer earns my first-ever 5/5 score on here.

Definitely feels thicker than most beers I've had. Okay, probably thicker than *all* beers I've had! Even a little sip feels pretty substantial, yet it tastes so good that more than a little sip works too. The alcohol is more noticeable in the mouthfeel than anywhere else, with a bit of warmth the first couple times the beer touches your lips and some definite stomach-warming going on, but for a whopping 13.7% ABV it's almost completely hidden -- I've had 7-8% ABV beers that had more perceived alcohol.

I was actually afraid I'd not like this beer, if you can believe that; I'd never had bourbon or any bourbon-barrel-aged stouts before, and I wasn't sure if any beer could ever live up to the reputation that a beer like this one has (even for someone who doesn't really buy into "hype.") Now I'm glad I grabbed three bottles when I had the chance -- though two will be shared with family or friends (good Christmas present, huh?), I'll still get to have some of this beer again without having to wait until next Thanksgiving!!

Absolute DOES live up to its reputation. This is really, really good stuff.

 3,223 characters

Photo of RJB66
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now I know what the fuss is all about. Goose Island has done a great job with this beer. All I've heard is that this brew sets the standard for BA beers. It is the best BA I've had. I'm glad I have more. Super easy drinking, a little boozy but it should be expected. I highly recommend trying one or two of these. I have a 2014 and 3 more 2015's . I'm looking forward to trying each of them.

 391 characters

Photo of hardysf
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

what can i say that somebody else hasnt. This is a wonderful beer. I don't care who owns or produces it; the more that is available the better for everybody else.

 164 characters

Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As the originator of barrel aged stouts, BCBS continues to remain supreme among the strong cohort of russian imperial stouts. 2015 is just as superb as past years. I am thinking about experimenting an cold pressing coffee to make BCBCS with 10% coffee and 90% original stout

 274 characters

Photo of mdgogiants
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let this beer warm a bit (50F). Gets a more full taste. Very boozy with definite Bourbon notes. Smoky and deep sweetness that will keep you sipping this fine crafted brew!

 174 characters

Photo of BrownAleBollocks
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black motor oil consistency that shows almost no head, but what is there is a dark brown sugar color. Aroma is amazing with bourbon, vanilla, smoke, bittersweet chocolate, and dark fruits. Taste follows with chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, oak, dark fruit, smoke, and barrel character, just an amazing melange of harmonious flavors. Mouthfeel is oily, silky, and so super smooth and creamy. Overall, an excellent beer and one I'm glad I got to try, because it is one of the best I've had.

 515 characters

Photo of Vogie
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 9/24/14. Served in a tulip glass.

Pours a jet black silky motor oil that leaves virtually no head. Aromas of cherries, alcohol, vanilla, wood, syrup, and dark chocolate. Taste is complex with a real thick chocolate upfront that transitions into a woody alcohol burn finish. Mouthfeel is heavy and chewy.

True to its name Bourbon County takes its cues from the barrel. You definitely get more of the bourbon than stout flavor. At 13.8% abv it packs a punch. A great brew to share with friends and family around the holidays. Perhaps a bit too much hype surrounding this series but this one is the more easily found beer in the Bourbon County line up so if you see it pick one up. That is if you can afford it.

Cheers!

 730 characters

Photo of 20holmbrew
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle (14.3 abv) poured into a snifter.

A: pitch black with very thin tan head

S: straight bourbon, raisin, oak

T: smokey malts, delicious bourbon

M: very thick and creamy. Pretty chewy

O: this was my first time trying and was blown away. I have never tasted such a thick and creamy stout. Picked up 2 bottles. I will save one for next year to compare to next year's batch.

 386 characters

Photo of ABhatia
1.78/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Probably the most overrated beer I've ever had. Pour is heavy with no head. Taste like stale bourbon and stale beer mixed together and aged in a rotting wooden barrel. It leaves you with a disgusting aftertaste that stays in the throat forever.

 246 characters

Photo of CO-Bloom
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Strong Bourbon, vanilla oak, raisins, semi sharp booze that is cut by sweetness. I do love this stout but the bourbon booziness does overshadow most of the flavor profile and I am left missing some of my favorite coffee and dark chocolate notes that are more present in the style. For those of you new to the style, try letting it warm so more of the complexity comes through. Great beer to share with my wife on Christmas Day (her gift to me!). Lives up to its hype but I would prefer more dark roasted malt to shine to balance out the sweet vanilla caramel of the bourbon.

 574 characters

Photo of Brysky
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark with very little head. First dip takes in the entire flavor with a beautifully aroma.

Just finished Christmas dinner with my folks and split a 750ml of brooklyn black ops with my father so I had a stout in my mind. Drove back to tampa from Sarasota and stopped at the copper top pub and noticed they have a shelf full of these... So glad I got to try.

 363 characters

Photo of Czequershuus
3.92/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer pours black with a medium sized head. The nose offers up a huge dose of booziness, followed by walnut, vanilla, and cinnamon. The flavor is fairly sweet, with strong vanilla, oak, baking spice, and bourbon flavors. The mouthfeel is rich and filling. Overall this is a very good beer for showcasing what bourbon barrel aging can do, but not as complex or nuanced as others I have had.

 393 characters

Photo of SDak
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed a 2015 bottle post Christmas feast with several craft beer newbies. I shared the story of the beer and they were amazed with the story of how this beer is made, and how hard it is to obtain. Of course they all thought it was amazing, this is a legend.

 259 characters

Photo of arobb1015
3.07/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Taste of alcohol is noticeable, malty flavor, no head, hardly any carbonation. Potent caramel smell. Not enough carbonation for my liking, rather flat. Certainly lives up to its Bourbon aspect. I found this beer to be very similar in character to St. Bernardus Abt 12. Would I purchase this again? Likely not, only because I don't enjoy the overly sweet taste. I felt that I had to try it though from all the raves I had heard. For those who truly enjoy this flavor of beer, my review, I'm sure, will do no justice. I found the flavoring too sweet. I think I'd enjoy their coffee stout much more than this. I'm curious about the taste deviation against the Barleywine counterpart.

 680 characters

Photo of tconlon69
4.31/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Has this in a 11oz goblet. Pub has this on tap. Not much of a head, good chocolate and roasted
Smell. The bourbon is nice spicey bite at the end of my taste.

 158 characters

Photo of TrojanRB
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage poured into Simon Pearce tulip

Oily, inky black appearance. No head, just thin traces of khaki.

Very boozy smell. Bourbon, more bourbon, vanilla, and raisin. I get some spiced rum as well.

Bourbon, cocoa, dark molasses. A bit of fruit, maybe prune. The ABV is well masked however.

This is a beer you can chew on. Viscous, lightly carbonated, the flavored really stick with you.

This is my first time with the legendary BCBS. The hype is extreme, but this is a world class representation of the style.

 520 characters

Photo of Curt2969
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Phenomenal offering from Goose Island. Thanks to my brother for getting me 10 of these!!! Initially, the bourbon scent is strong but it gently tapers off to leave you with aromas of vanilla, caramel, some fruitiness, and, oh yeah, bourbon. They all come together to bring this 14.3% ABV masterpiece into a surprisingly easy to drink stout worthy of the hype. Now with all that being said, it is not my favorite imperial stout. I must say that Great Lakes Bourbon Barrel Aged Blackout Stout is the best I have ever had. I think it's flavor profile is a bit more complex (and dangerously easy to drink). But all in all, if you have the opportunity to pick one of these up, don't hesitate.

 693 characters

Photo of Tmsmaloy
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I (like an idiot) did not believe the hype of this beer. I thought that somehow being owned by Anheuser-Busch
Brewing company somehow took credit away. The beer is beautiful, a dissipating head and deep color looked appealing. The explosive sweetness cut by alcohol made me wish there was more. The abv made me happy I didn't.

 326 characters

Photo of Junkforadam
4.34/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smells of bourbon, nice dark color, very little head, tastes of brown sugar and chocolate, the 14% abv is well hidden. Great taste, but certainly doesn't stand far above all BA stouts.

 184 characters

Photo of Joe_Palooka
4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I lucked into finding a total of 16 bottles of this wonderful nectar. 14 regular and 2 of the barley wine. I have yet to try the barley wine but I found the regular to be much easier to drink than last years offering. I drank both side by side to weigh the differences. Even after a year the 2014 was almost too bourbony tasting and I like bourbon. I am going to age about ten of these and drink one a year for the next ten years to compare each new vintage. Enjoy if you can find any more! On another note, I don't know why bars sell this cold on tap, I understand they pretty much have to but this beer is so much better just below room temperature. The flavors are way better!

 679 characters

Photo of Beers-es
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 16.9oz bottle (14.3% bottled 23OCT15) into a snifter, pours black, but with a deep ruby edge showing with light behind it. Very small mocha-colored head that never completely disappears. Smells like bourbon initially, then that's mixed with ripe dark fruits and toffee/caramel. Alcohol is pretty strong on the nose.

Taste has bourbon throughout, but is joined with the fruit/toffee flavors. Definitely boozy but not unpleasantly so. Sweetness is spot on. Feel is outstanding, with a smooth thickness that's nicely cut with a little carbonation.

Overall this is a masterful BA stout. The thing that impresses me is how all the flavors come together into something that, while I can pick out different elements like bourbon and fruit, still are almost more than the sum of their parts, adding up to something singular yet complex.

 839 characters

Photo of illpass78
4.86/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

500 ml bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Doing this one in two shifts. Paired with long-grain brown rice, root vegetables and veggie sausage. Let's party.

Appearance: Black as night. Short tan head that reduces to bubbles and stays that way. Not much lacing.

Aroma: Bourbon, chocolate, rum cake, coffee, vanilla, smoke. Somewhat forbidding. Clearly a beer that means business.

Taste: Follows the nose pretty perfectly. Kind of reminds me of chocolate rum cake. Bourbon is very noticeable, and there's definitely booze heat, but it's a perfect combination of flavors. Vanilla's there, chocolate's there.

Mouthfeel: Velvet smooth with a burn on the finish. Perfect.

Overall: Damned near perfect stout. A triumph.

 717 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.13/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

From the 500 ml bottle which cost fifteen bucks. Simply no foam at all. I poured into a couple different glasses. Mouthfeel is syrup. Aroma of, I swear, Manischewitz blackberry wine topped off with vodka.

Molasses is the predominate taste with a serious overdose of licorice. I don't taste the alleged Bourbon much. I keep thinking of Sugar Daddy suckers. The caramel taste just lingers. Seems like kind of a sugary alcoholic mess to me, and it doesn't get any better as it warms. I always look for Bourbon barrel flavored brews since my wife always likes to try them, and I think most of them are both tastier and more drinkable than this.

 641 characters

Photo of KevCan
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ordered on draft at Union Pub in Washington DC. Marked as 14.2% in the menu.

Look: Dark with tan head.

Smell: Mostly bourbon and roasted malt.

Taste: Coffee, bourbon, vanilla, rum chocolate cake. Alcohol is very obvious but not too hot for me.

Feel: Very creamy, thick, almost chewy.

Overall: Fantastic. Lives up to the hype.

 330 characters

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 2,768 ratings.