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Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,577 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,577
Hads: 10,544
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 5.16%
Wants: 2,485
Gots: 5,685 | FT: 609
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bourbon County Brand Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,577 | Hads: 10,544
Photo of chrisjws
4.93/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 vintage, 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Was refrigerated and allowed to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

A: Pitch black. Less than a finger of head. Swirling I can see some alcohol legs.
S: Little bit of dark fruit. Roasty. Bourbon. Cocoa. Some vanilla undertones. Slight booziness.
T: Big coffee, roasty, bourbon and cocoa flavors up front. Finishes with cocoa and whiskey lingering in the aftertaste.
M: Heavy yet incredibly smooth. Goes down very nicely with light carbonation complimenting the flavors perfectly. Coats your mouth and leaves you wanting more.
O: Very intense. Worth savoring each sip. One of the best bourbon beers out there. (678 characters)

Photo of Moose90
4.17/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2008 Bottle Tasted in 2015, also had on-tap (2014), and in bottles (2013), updating review with past tasting notes.

A — Pours a deep and dark nearly black hue into the glass, super dark and rich looking, thick and oily, brown tinged edges.

S — Smells a bit hot and chocolaty initially, lots of bourbon character and char, little bit of licorice.

T — Quite sweet and rich, lots of chocolate, oak, cinnamon, licorice, vanilla, molasses, bourbon, quite hot and sweet.

M — Very thick and sticky. Long lasting finish.

O — Very good overall, it is quite sweet though, which is OK, it is still a near world class beer, no doubt about it. (647 characters)

Photo of ajm5108
3.16/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've never loved BCBS...For my palette I have always picked up way too much of the smoked hickory / wet wood aroma & taste. It is certainly unique & complex and all that jazz, just not for me. It reminds of a camp fire after it has been rained on. The bourbon / oak / vanilla is mixed in there somewhere but the charred elements overwhelm it. (345 characters)

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.52/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a 2012 bottle that has been sitting in my cellar for about 2 years at this point. The beer itself pours with NO head at all, almost no ringing at all. The beer is inky black, not redness on the edges here. The nose is rather subdued here, unlike most stouts, I have no hint of coffee at all. There is some mild candied fruit, but it is very mild. The taste is a bit malty up front, quickly fades to some very sweet malt, and then fades with a lingering boozy sweetness. This beer has great mouthfeel and is silky smooth. Beer is a bit boozy, but nothing extreme. Its also a bit sweeter than anything that I am used to but its not bad at all. Its an interesting beer, but nothing I would buy again. (716 characters)

Photo of K-Dog
4.96/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Being from Michigan I've been able to have kbs and bells blacknote. Bcbs is fantastic and just slightly better than previous mentioned. Smell is amazing as is the taste worth the hype. (184 characters)

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

LOOK: Black. Totally opaque in the glass. Viscous, even seems to pour slow. Almost no head at all. Very thin bit of brown bubbles around the rim.

SMELL: Holy bourbon, Batman. Boozy whiskey smell, but you need to come in close for it. (It's not just wafting off...) Style points for that being somehow both assertive and subtle.

TASTE: Tastes like bourbon with the sharp boozy alcohol bite removed. (So like bourbon with the volume turned down?) Rich and complex. Notes here like leather and smoke, a slight touch of chocolate. But bourbon is running the show from start to finish. Everything else is just part of the chorus.

FEEL: In a word: sumptuous. Rich and oily. Thick and chewy. Sticks around long after you finished swallowing. (737 characters)

Photo of dleigh
4.24/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The type of beer I can just stick my nose in the glass and smell for hours. Taste can get a little cloying, though. I've only had it fresh, but I bet it would be 5/5 if aged for a year or two. (192 characters)

Photo of jellikit
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle.
Appearance: pitch black with a light brown creamy head.
Smell: chocolate, coconut, , light whisky.
Taste: chocolate, coconut, raisin, tobacco, bourbon-booze.
Mouthfeel: low carbonation, thick body, cloyingly sweet.
Overall: big and tasty. Definitely a sipper. Will buy again if I can afford the ridiculously high price I paid for this 12 oz. bottle. Yum. (378 characters)

Photo of dboon
4.37/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Move over KBS cuz GIBCS is the real deal. This 08 vintage bottle relinquished a snifter of indian ink as black as Joan Jett’s chopped locks. The sweet smell of bourbon and roasted malt rose up into the air to greet me. This beer is thick and almost syrupy with taste of vanilla, sweet malt, bourbon, and coffee.. (314 characters)

Photo of Don_Quixote
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: A pitch black color with the slightest brown tint if held up to LED lights, it's the malt.

S: Dark fruit first, mostly malty dates and some prune action for me. The bourbon is a backdrop to this killer whiff, at least I think so.

T: Goes down smooth, like a milk stout but with a bourbon hint in the backdrop. I enjoy boozy (hot like the nerds say) in my BA stouts.

F: Straight silk with a perfect amount of carb. A bit sticky on the feel…weird, could be the thickness of the ingredients?

O: I've had the best of them, including all the years of this bad boy. 2014 may need to sit another year but this year's has done an incredible job. (646 characters)

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.89/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Black pour with a blood red tinge on edges in my chalice . Thin brown head. Caramel, toffee and bourbon nose - as it warms, the scent reminds me of biting into a caramel apple at the fair-fresh fruit and candy satisfaction. Initial taste is caramel candy and toffee with a bourbon linger. Semi sweet caramel as liquid warms tempered by oak/whiskey background. Creamy medium plus mouthfeel and alcohol bite on tongue-as it warms, sticky sweet. Overall, outstanding. Big, velvety, boozy. Simply put: heavenly. (508 characters)

Photo of marieli
4.14/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle. Restaurant. Approximately Cellar to start. Beautiful looking dark beer with minor head. Smell includes chocolate with strong roast that is almost coffee-like. But also, strong bourbon. That smell mellowed a bit over time. Flavor was similar to smell. The bourbon mellowed a bit during the middle but reappeared toward the end. The mouthfeel redefined what a score of 5 is to me. Incredibly smooth, creamy, thick, lush. I do not care for a strong bourbon taste and this has it, even though it's a bit mellow, but I would drink this again just for how it feels! If you like bourbon aged stouts, I strongly suggest you get ahold of this beer. (657 characters)

Photo of HoneyLamb
4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer at the amazing restaurant in Bethlehem called Corked on 3/10/15 for $16 for the glass off the tap. This was one of the best beers I've ever had. Worth every penny. (178 characters)

Photo of LoganRyanMurphy
4.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfection in a (tulip) glass. This stout is certainly a beauty to behold; it is as black as coal, with no head (which is okay for the style). The smell is harder to describe, but you can tell it will be worth your while. Upon tasting this masterpiece of a beer, one is immediately overwhelmed by the flavor of bourbon and vanilla. This will be a wonderful experience, of course, if you appreciate bourbon. Such was the case for me. The mouthfeel was indescribable. Silky smooth yet effervescent at the same time. This is absolutely a world class beer! (552 characters)

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)

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,577 ratings.