Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

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Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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2,562 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,562
Hads: 10,483
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 5.16%
Wants: 2,452
Gots: 5,594 | FT: 595
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: 2,562 | Hads: 10,483
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 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.!...

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)

Photo of BeerStine
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on 10/08/08.

Pours black like motor oil with one of the darkest brown heads I've seen. Carbonation seems surprisingly high. Smell is great. Never smelled a beer quite like this. Smells of oak barrels, figs, vanilla, booze, chocolate, coffee, dark richness! Taste is just as amazing as the smell. Tastes of dark richness with a boozy kick to it that clears out your nostrils. There also is a chocolate flavor in there that tastes like the darkest chocolate I've had times two. Definitely more of an earthy/woody flavor with a sweet dark fruit finish. Slightly bitter but with a sweet finish. Mouthfeel is a little lighter than I expected with a little more carbonation that I expected too. The drinkablity is pretty good, although I dont know that I'd drink more than one. I think this beer would do very well with aging. (865 characters)

Photo of stonequarrywest
4.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Almost black pour with no head. Smell vanilla and burnt cherries? with a tinge of bourbon. With a deep breath I can feel the bourbon in my nose. Love It. Thick chewy mouthfeel that coats the entire tongue and a little burn as it warms. A strong 13%..A definite sipper!! (269 characters)

Photo of Wackyfoot
4.06/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extremely expensive 4 pack of bottles. Pours very black but with red highlights to it, smells strongly of bourbon and dark chocolate. The flavor has some very nice chocolate and coffee notes to it and the mouthfeel is pretty creamy, but honestly this beer is far too "hot" for me at this stage. I set the other three bottles to cellar and very much look forward to drinking and re-rating probably around christmas of 09 (419 characters)

Photo of bosco7
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage.

Pours black and no head.

Smells of caramel, coffee, chocolate, vanilla and bread pudding.

Taste is amazing. Chocolate and coffee upfront followed by caramel and toffee. Whoa man this is awesome. Finish is boozy and full of vanilla.

Thick chunky mouthfeel that doesnt get too cloying. For 13 % abv this is extremely drinkable. Probably one of the best Imperial stouts I've ever had. Highly recommended. (420 characters)

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

i scored a half-growler at the whole foods on houston st in nyc -
couldn't wait to pop this open - i agree with most everything i've read here - loved everything about this beer - i'll have to try the bottle version and see how it compares - this may be the best stout i ever drank - good good stuff. (300 characters)

Photo of Beejay
4.17/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark black. Not a lot of carbonation, and little to no head.. looks like liquid obsidian.

S: Rich and deep, slightly tart with the smell of alcohol.

T: Thick and rich.. A nutty/ oak taste to it.. Dark mellow chocolate.. A real nice finish.. Bourbon is not as prevalent, but still very smooth..

M:Thick and chewy.. Slick and it coats as it goes down. Note to self, see if spoon will stand up straight in it.

D: Very good. A bit of a bite from the high ABV. Don't think I could do more than 1 in a night. But something good to be appreciated. (552 characters)

Photo of brow1901
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had the BCS on tap at the Ginger Man in NYC, somehow buying a $9 glass seemed more wise than the $20 four pack. But what the hell how often do you come across this beer on tap.

A- This beer is dark as a black hole. Zero light penetration, I can feel the time and gravity getting sucked into the glass. :) It arrived in a snifter with no head at all that is to be expected tho, the tiny bubles I found were also very dark like coffee.

S- This thing stinks of burbon, that is all I really could smell. This is my first burbon barrel aged brew so I didn't know what to expect. To be honest I was a bit shocked, everytime I went for a sip I thought I was about to drink burbon.

T- Amazing complex taste, but again I was shocked by the burbon flavors. I thought it might be like an IPA where the brew reeks of hops but the taste isn't as strong or an oak aged brew, but this thing really tastes like booze. Sipping only with beer!

M- The mouth feel is thick, but it ends nicely. The thickness slides down easily and drys the mouth in the finish.

D- I lowered the score on the drinkability because it was a challenge to finish, simply because it was so strong. This beer won't sneak up on you thats for sure. (1,208 characters)

Photo of DukeofAle
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a truly huge beer - they don't get much bigger. Do I need to say that it's nearly black, extremely bold and powerfull? That it is quite heavy-bodied? Or that the head is thick? One of these might leave you wondering which way is up. The taste is very strong - as you'd expect - and the bourbon comes through. Like many of the best you have to work a bit for this one - it is not easily accessible. Just very, very good. (427 characters)

Photo of selecter70
4.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another great Fette Sau experience. Supposedly brewed directly for the restaurant (different from bottle version?...), this stout was a perfect pairing, although I'd be more inclined to call it a porter. No complaints otherwise. A dark brown-to-black pour with the tiniest head & lace of beige with ruby, a rich aroma of banana-bourbon-& chocolate excites the nostrils! Although 13%, the alcohol does not kill off flavor; smooth sweet-dark chocolate & plum brandy come to mind with vanilla & a hint of lemon-peel. Smoothly sweet, rich & chewy, this is a great dessert cordial, meant not for downing several, but enjoying one slowly, especially while your stomach smiles at dinner. (680 characters)

Photo of MPLS
4.85/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dear Goose Island you are Goliath and I am David please let us fight to the drunken death!!!

A: Keeping with my black as night theme this lives up to it. Not a black hole, but about as black as they come. Small 1 cm chocolate head. Noticing again the high ABV leaves little lacing.

S:Charred Bourbon! Tobacco, dirt, smoke, unobtrusive sweetness.

T: Emotional side: Holy big beer! Rational: Unequivocal dry and delicious bourbon aging up front that give way to a good range of flavors: Caramel, vanilla, creamy chocolate. The finish is just as awe-inspiring, full of oak chunks and tenderhearted alcohol.

M: The alcohol makes it warm, the sweet taste makes this seem like a liquid milkshake, downright creamy.

D: Very damn drinkable, every taste @ different temperatures brings joy. 13% ABV and high price make this unsessionable. A big beer that beckons you to have another...another...another...and another sip. (917 characters)

Photo of johnnieoz
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottled on 10/08/2008.

A: Dark, dark brown. Not quite black. Minimal head, but the beer legs (lacing) is nice.

S: Extreme vanilla, boozy bourbon notes. The whole living room lit up when I opened this...

T: Coffee, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla....delicious.

M: A slight alcohol be expected I suppose. Otherwise this is SOLID.

D: Weighing in at 13% abv, one GIBCS could do you in...yet, I think I could handle two...and that's saying a lot, especially after starting this session w/ one Tripel Karmeliet and one Piraat
(both 33cl).

An excellent Extreme Imperial Stout. I will buy more for my cellar. (615 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 4 pack at BevMo back in late November for $19.99. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to try!

Beer poured into an oversized wine glass, dark brown/black with no head to speak of. Nose is quite good with a big bourbon smell initially. As it warms more am detecting chocolate, vanilla, and toasted wood. Initial sip was bourbon. As it warms detecting chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malts. Mouthfeel is perfect, full and chewy, and extremely smooth. Overall drinkability is good. The abv is over the top and very present which makes this a perfect after dinner brew to sip on.

7-9-11: Sipping on a bomber bottled on 10-9-09. Bourbon notes have mellowed a smidge, alcohol still present and warming. Beer is as smooth and full as ever. The oaked bourbon, roasted malts, chocolate, and vanilla play together very well. This beer is still very strong and could easily go another 3-4 years. Damn, i should have grabbed a 4 pack last winter to age! (957 characters)

Photo of beveritt
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Front label has the story behind and description of the beer. Thanks to DoctorDog for hooking me up with this.

Appearance: Pours with 1/2 finger of very dark brown, big-bubbled head. This settles very quickly, leaving just a small spot of foam above the nucleation point and a ring around the glass The beer itself is black as night, with no hints of light seeping through. Thick layer of well-compacted sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Strong aroma of cherry and vanilla, with hints of bourbon alcohol in the finish.

Taste: Wow, the alcohol aspects of the bourbon is not nearly as evident in the taste as it was in the smell. Not being a huge fan of hard liquor, I was actually worried that this one might be too much, but not at all. This taste like chocolate milk, creamy and slightly sweet. Flavors of oak and vanilla in the finish. High ABV is extremely well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation level, which is fitting for this beer. Mouthfeel is unbelievably thick.

Drinkability: I can't believe it took me this long to try this one; it has been in my refrigerator for several months. I guess I was a little intimidated by the 13% ABV. Now, I wish I had more. I can't imagine how great this stuff would be with a few years to mellow and blend. (1,341 characters)

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

After bringing a bottle home from Minnesota over Christmas, and patiently waiting to crack it open, I see it today at my local beer store. So, now is as good a time as any...

Pours into a goblet a very dark brown color that really only has a color as it's going from bottle to glass. Once in the sipping vessel, it is completely black with no head to speak of. Even a sustained swirl of the glass brings just a little brown head to the top.

Aroma is sweet and full of bourbon. There's no doubt that this beer spent a good long time in oak bourbon barrels. The oak even comes through under the heavy whiskey.

Flavor is huge and multidimensional. At first it seems like a big oak aged stout with lots of roasty malts and some oaked vanilla character. As it sits in my mouth, it slowly starts to release the bourbon. It has a bit of a smokey-sweet taste towards the middle but the finish is very much like a fine single malt. It's drying as the alcohol evaporates off the tongue. I'm left with a peat and smoke taste that is really excellent.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth and as full in body as a beer can really be. The carbonation is nice and low, as it should be, with nothing getting in the way of enjoying it over several hours. It started slightly cooled but is warming nicely.

What a special beer. When I think back on what beer was to me five years ago, this seems like something from a different planet. You have to appreciate what they've done here, being a bigger brewery. Goose Island makes many good beers but it's good to see that their brewmaster still has the freedom of expression to put something like this out on the shelves. (1,645 characters)

Photo of DrewOSU
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Beer given to me by Newtonty, thanks buddy!

A: Pours espresso brown to light black, with a redish hue and tiny, small cherry head. Lacing is minimal and watery.

S: HUGE NOSE. I drank this beer at room temp and the aroma almost knocks you over. I don't know where to start on the aromas that come out of this beer! Bourbon, vanilla, cherry, sweet malts and chocolate to say the least. Everything is comes off this glass and explodes into the olfactory hues.

M/T: Full bodied feel, goes down like maple syrup on the back of the tongue and down the throat. Sting of the bourbon on the tonsils almost feels like you are taking a shot, not a drink of a beer. This beer explodes in your mouth with flavor. No dull edges. Thick, chunky, full of vanilla and bourbon. The flavors change even after swallow. Amazingly thick.

D: I had a hard time getting through ½ a 12 oz bottle I shared with a friend, because this beer was so huge. It is a complete antitheses of a session beer and that is a good thing. Its like a alcohol desert. One of the biggest beers I have ever had. So even though I enjoyed every drop of my small glass, one only please. (1,144 characters)

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,562 ratings.