Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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2,561 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,561
Hads: 10,482
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 10.31%
Wants: 2,452
Gots: 5,593 | FT: 596
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
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Reviews: 2,561 | Hads: 10,482
Photo of tillmac62
4.52/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

BOD 8/29/14. Pours dark as a starless night. Almost no head, but being barrel aged, this is acceptable.

Tremendous nose led off by bourbon. Underneath are dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel and hints of dark fruit (plum) and oak.

Heavy full bodied with a texture that goes beyond creamy to the point of being thick. Above normal carbonation with effervescence from the middle on. Palate perfection.

The flavor profile is World Class. This is quite intense in terms of bourbon and alcohol and results in the complexity being slightly muted by these intensities. Balance is reasonable, all things considered, as the other flavors pop in the middle. It begins with bourbon over a rich caramel and chocolate sweetness. As the bourbon fades, alcohol comes to the forefront. In the middle, the alcohol flavor masking effect fades and the complexity of this stout becomes discernible. Waves of vanilla, sweet chocolate and slight plum cascade over an oak background. The finish is a slow fade of sweet caramel and vanilla over a receding oak. The finish leaves that burn at the back of throat, an astringent alcohol pucker and a touch of sweet caramel and chocolate. (1,173 characters)

Photo of brurevu
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout gets its reputation for a reason. It is a full tilt face melting drinking experience that starts at your lips and rides down your throat grabbing every pore of your internal orifice on its way. The beer poured an opaque black with a subtle tan head. The bourbon aroma hit me when I opened the bottle and continued to waft from the glass as I leaned in for my first anticipatory sip. I also detected vanilla and hints of anise coming from the glass. The taste took over my mouth with a huge hit of bourbon that melded into large doses of vanilla and cocoa. There was a slight burnt bitterness at the tail end that lingered along with the bourbon. The BCBS was a big bourbon bomb that was surprisingly smooth and drinkable considering the ABV. With more and more Bourbon Barrel-Aged beers on the market it is still at the top of the list and one that should be emulated. In the end: You don’t drink a BCBS, it drinks you. (971 characters)

Photo of montesown
4.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Bottle
Extremlely smooth taste, with just a bite of the Bourbon. I would like to try the Stout without the Bourbon to see the difference. You hardly notice the 13.8% ABV. Excellent around beer. (198 characters)

Photo of CoffeePorter
4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The first time I tried this beer I honestly didn't like it. I gave it another try a few weeks later and I must say that it was surprisingly good. Perhaps my senses were more "open" to discover and enjoy all the complexities of the various flavors.

The beer is very much black with almost no head.

Smells of banana, wheat, graham cracker, dough and mild notes of chocolate.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Every sip I taste something different, very enjoyable experience. It can be both very sweet and somewhat bitter. It definitely is a beer that one must take their time with in order to fully appreciate it.

There was a lot of carbonation which definitely added to the beer.

Overall, this could be a beer that needs to be tried on more than one occasion in order to awake one's senses. Bravo Goose Island! (818 characters)

Photo of T1i1m1
4.61/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Such a big flavor. 2014 version. Tasted this only a couple of weeks after release. Barrel age flavor hits you up front with sweetness and bourbon and coffee coming in later. This is a lot to take in. The booze is not in the flavor, but in the feel after a couple of sips. (271 characters)

Photo of SierraFlight
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle of 2013 vintage into tulip during #bottlecherwednesdays at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach. Black liquid with thin tan head that barely sticks. Aroma is full-on bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and wood. Taste is unbelievable! Big hit of booze, sweet chocolate, fig, and vanilla, some roastiness. Full bodied, low carbonation, beautifully silky and chewy texture, finishes with a nice warming sensation on the way down. Clearly outstanding! (453 characters)

Photo of hopflyer
4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Not much more I can say that hasn't been already.

Bottled 9/24/14.

Almost opaque black, touch of ruby highlights.

Smooth vanilla with prominent bourbon in the nose.

Taste off the bat for me is vanilla and the bourbon compliments it perfectly. Other BBA beer I've had are all out assault of booze but this one is far from that. Vanilla remains and followed by some chocolate and a bit of coffee. Some charred wood thrown on for good measure.

High side of medium for the body and medium carb. Not the most viscous but it's just right.

No question world class. Was weary that the bourbon would be overwhelming but it's placed perfectly in this one. (660 characters)

Photo of Sparty1224
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Founder's CBS snifter. Bottled on 10/17/14, making this 4 months old.

A: Thick, thick, thick. Almost no head to speak of, just a light brown trace of a head near the edges. Beautiful looking beer.

S: Words can't do this aroma justice. The complexity and depth on this nose is unreal. The bourbon is just so perfectly integrated. Smelling this makes me feel like I just stuck my head into a fresh bourbon barrel. Bourbon really dominates here, with some slight notes of vanilla, chocolate, oak and tobacco in the background.

T: Wow, perfection. Not a single off-note here. From beginning to end, this beer just glides right across your palate hitting you with wave after wave of chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon, roasted coffee, almonds. Just pitch perfect.

M: Again, perfection. This beer is so, so thick and full. My only gripe with this beer in the past had been that it may be too hot and boozy for me, but this year they nailed it. Maybe because it's 4 months out, or because they toned it down, I don't know, but the bourbon here is just perfectly integrated. What did you expect from a beer called Bourbon County?

O: This is the real deal right here. This is the pinnacle of barrel-aged stouts. Every other BA Imperial Stout needs to be held to this standard right here. I hate giving out 5s across the board, but this imperfect rating system forces me too. Certainly high 90s here. The booziness may be an issue for some, but no one can deny the unbelievable aroma and flavor profile of this beer. It has pretty much everything you want from this style.

Recommendation: Absolutely a must-try. Plus, it's getting more and more available each year! (1,699 characters)

Photo of jren
4.23/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a 2014 recently. I felt it was a little too hot and probably needs 6-12 months to improve. I also felt it felt more syrup like that smooth? I look forward to a second round in the summer. (196 characters)

Photo of hops_slut
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014: on draft into a imperial pint glass.

pitch black in color, amazing sweet smell with a tiny presence of bourbon

tons of flavor, sweet and yet still a bourbon bomb

very smooth feel. Not quite as syrupy as you would think for what it is.

all around basically perfect! (274 characters)

Photo of ricchezza
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours black, almost syrup; producing a thin coffee colored head.
There is noticeable alcohol presence in the aroma.
A smooth, yet slick, mouthfeel gives way to a big caramel and chocolate taste.
At 13.8% ABV the alcohol that was present in the aroma is completely masked in flavor.
It’s quickly apparent why people make such a bug deal of this limited release: it’s absolutely delicious! (402 characters)

Photo of uvachief
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Boom clap. Draft into a 12 oz brandy snifter. Pours a deep viscous black with no head at all - guessing the high ABV killed the head. Smells of caramelized sugars with hints of roasted malts, vanilla and booze. Tastes are dominating by complex vanilla flavors from the barrel and the bourbon. Stout or coffee is barely noticeable. Sort of like a smoother 3 Brothers Resolute but not 14 Surly Darkness Rye Barrel Aged smooth. Lots of alcohol but subtly hidden. Ridiculously drinkable high ABV beer. Medium bodied in the mouth. Not as thick as you would expect. Silky. Not the best beer I have had (14 Surly Darkness Rye Barrel Aged) but not far either. It's up there. Extremely good beer and one you would age and enjoy for years to come. World class. (763 characters)

Photo of dukeandduke
4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2/7 (Home) - 2014 Bottle. Have been a big fan of this beer since the first time I’ve had it. Whiskey is my non beer alcohol of choice. Distinct whiskey and carmel smell and taste is what I love about this beer. The beer is very strong, and pleasant to drink, The texture is smooth, and the blend of flavors works very well. Excellent beer and I look forward to continued drinking of the stout, and their other offerings (have a BC coffee on tap)! (448 characters)

Photo of MisSigsFan
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap finally. I think it's a great BA stout, but honestly it's very very overrated. I was looking for this to blow my mind but it was pretty much like every other BA I've had, except way more bourbon-y. The balance seems a little off. I will say though, for close to 15% this drinks smooth as hell. (310 characters)

Photo of atr2605
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours black with a tan head with nice retention. I didn't get a great pour from the bartender
S-tons oak, vanilla, honey, cocoa
T-very heavy vanilla and chocolate flavor, with coffee and honey sweetness following. Huge beer.
M-full bodied and creamy
O- very flavorful, delicious brew (285 characters)

Photo of crazyfoMostout
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Not much I can add here that hasn't been said. To say this beer is well crafted would be an epic understatement. One of the few that actually lived up to it's hype. (164 characters)

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

Pours thick and black into my snifter. Smell is incredible and taste is magic. Sweet and boozy with bourbon, chocolate and vanilla all showing up here. As it warms, these flavors increase. This is a top five beer for me. A true masterpiece. (240 characters)

Photo of Beric
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Bottle into tulip
Served: 30 January 2014

Appearance: Pours a deep, almost viscous black with no head at all (likely due to alcohol). Poured hard, yielded a brief deep brown head that quickly collapsed to nothing. Looks like your average strong stout.

Aroma: Really sweet, almost cloying at times. Muted notes of vanilla and sweet malts. Alcohol present in the nose, but not overwhelmingly so.

Taste: Wow, very surprised how this one came together here. The beer is dominated by the vanilla flavors from the barrel and the bourbon, so much so that the stout base was almost completely overwhelmed other than just the softest assertion of roasty sweetness. This is almost like drinking a dark-chocolate vanilla espresso bean. Lots of alcohol, but masked nicely. Exceedingly drinkable for how big this beer is.

Mouthfeel: Huge body, viscous, and silky.

Overall: It's not rated a 100 for nothing. This is not the best beer I've ever had, but it's up there. Extremely good beer, and one I will enjoy for years to come. That said, I only bought one bottle, and I think that was enough for me until next year. This beer sits with you for a while. World class. (1,168 characters)

Photo of galwayjoyce
3.6/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I am confused regarding the hype.
This beer is overly boozy, unbalanced, and holds on to it's reputation through name cache, and high ABV.
Goose Island is part of the macro world now...can we stop pretending it is so mind-bending?
I get it--it comes with the beer Connoisseur training package, but there are other imperial stouts that deserve our attention more. (362 characters)

Photo of Hab11
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bourbon County Stout 2014 from a 12oz. Bottle. Reviewed with Three Lions.
Look: Molassaes Color, dark like the back of a closet during a power outage. Slight caramel head. Very little lacing but leaves resin up the glass.
Smell: chocolate liqueur nose and can definitely get some of the oak from the barrel. Would love to know the bourbon that was in the barrel as it has a smoothness to it that's appealing. Chocolate Nibs with some sort of plum or date.
Taste: A lot a like a Milkyway Midnight. Vanilla, Chocolate, Cherry Cordial, caramel malt. So much more going on I can even describe. This is packed with flavors. The alcohol definitely comes through. Again would love to know the brand of Bourbon.
Mouthfeel: sticky like a good single malt bourbon or scotch, syrupie but not overly so. It is very creamy mid tongue. Finishes hot like a whiskey.
Overall: Three Lions wasn't lying this is incredible. (911 characters)

Photo of ThreeLions
4.94/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed with Hab11.
Picked up this gem to share with my brother in law. Have had multiple times, first time reviewing it. Here goes:
At first pour this beer comes out the color of spent motor oil. Faintest hint of head quickly dissipates leaving a molasses colored beer. Upon swirling the beer leaves a syrupy resinous coating along the sides of the glass.
Aroma: what a smell. The alcohol (at 13.8%) is far from hidden. Intense burn. Dark fruit and wood come through up front with chocolate notes in the background. It is like a rich chocolate liquer.
Taste: Taste is an obvious 5. So rich. Dark chocolate milky way? My god this is rich. I feel like I'm drinking a dessert. A very boozy dessert I might add. The look on my sister's face when she had a sip said it all. So comical. This is an intense beer. It's so heavy, so thick and creamy, so's over the top.
Mouth: in general I hate putting numbers to or talking about mouthful but this was an easy 5. From the first sip I knew it was a 5 before any hint of flavor was processed. So thick and perfect.
Overall. What is there to say really? It's a near flawless beer. If you enjoy barrel aged stouts then you need to seek out this brew. If you aren't familiar then this would be a great place to start but beware because setting the standard with this...this benchmark will leave you let down by a large number of other beer claiming to deliver a similar product. (1,453 characters)

Photo of silverblaze540
4.71/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Pitch black with almost no head. What little head there is is tan in color.

S - Strong bourbon notes, sweet, chocolate. The bourbon almost smells like soy sauce.

T - Very sweet front, with that soy sauce bourbon taste. Middle is a bit chocolately. The finish is a slightly bitter coffee. The presence of the alcohol is very noticeable.

M - Very thick and smooth. Strong alcohol burn.

O - A very very intense taste and smell. Very sweet, and the alcohol really packs a punch. Not a light and easy drink but very tasty, nonetheless. (548 characters)

Photo of eddiebo
4.11/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this both on tap and from a 12 oz. bottle this week. Better on tap but a tough find. Way more boozy and tighter from the bottle, hold a bottle for a year. An outstanding stout with rich, multifaceted flavor. Mouthfeel is viscous perfection. Chocolate, prune, worcestshire sauce, and bourbon flavors all prevalent. More complex from the bottle but eminently drinkable on tap. Makes for an epic after meal sipper. Highly recommended. (435 characters)

Photo of EveningCordial
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into snifter.

A- Nice and dark, small khaki head. Not much carbonation present.

S- Lots of bourbon when fresh. This ages very well and loses the heat if that's what you like. Notes of chocolate, burnt malts and grain, wood, and a little leather and pipe tobacco. Alcohol definitely present.

T- Bourbon forward.. big surprise. Chocolate and coffee in the backseat. Some vanilla and oak also present. Follows the nose.

M- Full bodied yet silky and smooth. Definitely needs to be served a little less than room temperature. The heat is a nice finish.

O- A prime example of a barrel aged stout. Almost flawless. Highly recommended and always look forward to its release. (708 characters)

Photo of badgustav
4.81/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This has become the bar by which I measure all bourbon stouts. There is a strong and distinct bourbon smell and flavour to this beer, though it is mellowed and sweetened on the tongue. Very hard to find (especially the further from Black Friday you get) but worth picking up and stashing a few away. Ages very well. (315 characters)

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,561 ratings.