Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

2,564 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,564
Hads: 10,493
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 10.31%
Wants: 2,457
Gots: 5,601 | FT: 598
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: 2,564 | Hads: 10,493
Photo of everetends
4.37/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle thanks to a great trade with spointon. This is one of those that has sat on my wants list for a while. Served this one up in my Terrapin snifter.

A: Pours a pretty viscous and inky black color. That black is completely opaque, giving light zero chance at getting through this body. The head is a nice dark coffee brown that was a little over a quarter of an inch. the had has some pretty good retention as a thick and high ring. The lace is spotty, but present. Just a fine looking brew.

S: Well, it is appropriate they put bourbon in the name. Getting a really nice peat and spicy bourbon aroma that is just . . . lovely. Getting a decent amount of roasted dark malts. The sweetness melds nicely with bourbon. Thee i a bit of dark fruit going on in here along with . . . is that licorice? I taste a bit of licorice. Chocolate jumps out just a bit in the finish. Its a nice dark and slightly bitter chocolate going on here.

T: Really nice bourbon flavor that is absolutely there but it doesn't completely overtake this brew at all. Often times, bourbon brews can be a one trick pony, but this guy has some dynamics to it. Really nice chocolate coming through with the nice and roasted malty goodness in here. The malts have a slightly bitter and sweet thing going on here that really works. Actually getting some hops in here as well, bring a touch more bitterness in here and touch of dryness. Getting some nice wood (hehehe) and a slight touch of vanilla in here. The dark fruits are light but come out just a bit. The booziness is there but yet again it doesn't overpower. Very fuggin good.

M: Full bodied brew that has a nice, heavy and slick feel coming out here. This brew is chewy and has some nice weight to it. Alcohol heat is pretty darned good with a nice warming in the throat and belly. Has a nice warming quality to it. Carbonation is there but still allows this beer to be heavy and thick. Aftertaste is just some malts and bourbon lingering about.

D: Pretty good brew. Its got a lot going on here but it doesn't sit too heavy. It would be easy to put down a couple of these in a night and this one has gone quickly. The flavors and aromas are damned nice and this is a fine ass brew. If you can get it, I envy you. If you can't, seek it out. (2,276 characters)

Photo of Domingo
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty interesting to see Goose Island sending this beer (and this beer only) to Colorado.
Pours as pretty much the thickest, blackest, murkiest beer I've seen to date. Carbonation's minimal due to the potency and the oak barrels always seem to take a little away, too.
On the nose, you get waves of bourbon and vanilla, but with some roasty and chocolate flavors trailing.
The flavors are going crazy in this beer! Vanilla, bourbon, molasses, coconut, chocolate, sweet malts, and rum. Wow. I wouldn't guess it's 13% either.
Goes down very easily at first, but once you're 1/2 way finished, the sweetness and potency catches up with you. A definite sipper for the last half of the bottle.
I like this a lot, and I can only guess that splitting a bottle is ideal.
Surprisingly reminds me a whole lot of the Bull & Bush's Legend of the Liquid Brain and Royal Oil beers.
I'll be buying more for sure. (897 characters)

Photo of sevopie
3.39/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - Umm, black. Hardly even a hint of brown on the edges. Dark brown head that disappeared really quickly.

Smell - Interesting... I get a predominantly sweet flavor over the obvious bitter ones. The first smell that jumps out is maple syrup, followed by bourbon. I then get a bet of smoke as well as some wood and a bit of rum-like alcohol in there. Finally, you get a hint of chocolate and raisins in there.

Taste - Damn... its heavy on the smoke, heavy on the bourbon, and heavy on the wood. I taste a little chocolate and coffee and a hint of fruit, and then the alcohol kicks in. Previous reviewer is right... Subtlety is not a strong suit of this one.

Mouthfeel - Very, very thick and viscous. Somewhat light on the carbonation, but it kicks in after it is in your mouth for a bit.

Drinkability - This is going to be a total sipper, and a hard sell to finish the bottle. The flavors are crazy and in your face, and the viscous nature makes it even worse. I appreciate the extreme nature of the beer, but this will be the only time i have it. (1,059 characters)

Photo of DrShizzle
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Blind Tiger.

Wow, is this an intense, in your face beer. I'm not sure I ever used that phrase to describe a beer before, but that's what comes to mind. There is nothing subtle about it, from the nose, to the taste, to the boozy heat it leaves behind. If you like wood aged stouts, you're going to like it. If you don't, you won't.

It pours (oozes?) jet black and thick as old motor oil, little in the way of foam. The nose is all bourbon, wood, vanilla, coffee and chocolate. And, alcohol. Taste is exactly what it smells like and punches you in the tastebuds the second it hits em. All the bourbon, vanilla and coffee hit fast, and then the boozy heat finishes it off. This is a sipper for sure. Probably shouldn't have had it first...Very smooth in the mouth, as you'd expect from something like this with such little carbonation.

Its definitely an "experience" beer. Would I drink it again? Its only a matter of time...it just wouldn't be tomorrow. Still, first rate and worth trying if you can find it. To me, the only thing it could use is some subtlety. (1,080 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a deep, dark ink black with small ruby edges and a thin khaki colored head.

The nose is of rich bourbon. Wow. You would think you were dipping your nose into a glass of bourbon whiskey. Some caramel and smoke push their way through the intense bourbon, but its primarily vanilla, oak, milk chocolate and coffee.

Dear Lord. The flavors are overwhelming. Huge bourbon/whiskey flavor, vanilla, oak, tobacco, cherries, and a solid chocolate backbone. A good amount of alcohol heat is left behind.

Full-bodied, a tad oily.. Rich and lively.

This is a damn fine BA Stout and one that really sets the bar for the style. (654 characters)

Photo of erikm25
4.34/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Bottled only thrice days away from All Hallow's Eve 2008. Very appropriate as this beer pours blacker than a Halloween night. Sludged out of the bottle and into my snifter like a viscous serpent. At first there was practically no head. Towards the end a thin slithering dark brown foam stretched around the glass until it quickly shredded its bubbly skin.

S: Strong bourbon, chocolate oak, and almond nut aromas. Smoked caramel custard coated in brown sugars. Raisins steeped in ethanol.

T: One of the most malt complex and spicy-sweet tasting imperial stouts I have tried. Pronounced roasted vanilla, chocolate candy, rye whiskey, and ripened dark fruits. Licorice and molasses with a stinging hops like finish. Rum and raspberries. Massive boubon tasting beer with a high ABV.

M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Sticks to every waking taste bud.

D: This beer is overwhelming. Not a smooth representation of the style, like others I have tried, but this is what makes it both mind and mouth numbing. I am tempted to pick up another as it could end up being one of my favorite beers after some aging. Highly Recommended. (1,130 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on October 8, 2008.

G: Poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Motor-oil dark with a thin, quarter-finger head with minimal amounts of carbonation. The beer is completely opaque and near black.

S: Roasted malt and a lot of sweet chocolate scent. Minimal hints of dried fruits. Definite bourbon scent and hints of aged oak as well.

T: The taste is absolutely exquisite. Hints of the aforementioned oak, along with plenty of bourbon. Some chocolate and espresso hiding in the mix. The perfect balance and extremely complex--I would give this a 5.5 if I could.

M: Quite thick and extremely chewy. It really almost feels as if there's food in my mouth. A true "motor oil" beer. Moderate amounts of carbonation. Strong alcohol presence.

D: Very, very drinkable. This is high in ABV, but I could drink these until I couldn't drink any longer. (849 characters)

Photo of scifan
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to sirspysco for this in a trade. Bottle on 10-11-07.
Poured thick and dense with a very small dark brown head that quickly fades.
I can't believe this bottle has a year of age on it I smell the bourbon as soon as I started pouring. After a few big whiffs I'm getting mostly bourbon, but there is more lurking in the background. I'm picking up hints of some nice roasty aromas as well as some dark ripe fruit aromas as well.
The bourbon taste isn't as prevalent as the nose would suggest, It's definitely there but not as overpowering as I thought it would be. I'm also getting some roasted barley and some dark chocolate as well. Very nice. It kind of reminds me of Heresy a more intense but similar none the less. Good mouthfeel nice and creamy just like I like my stouts. The high alcohol content and the hot booziness from the bourbon makes this one a sipper. (876 characters)

Photo of chiguy2420
3.93/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review #7 from notes. On tap at Shorty's in NYC yesterday 4/14/09.

A: Pours a midnight black with a thin khaki colored head. Gorgeous appearance. Head dissipates rather quickly.

S: Smells of Bourbon, which I love the smell of and also oak. Smelled smokey and maybe alittle dark chocolate.

T: Took a few sips before I got used to it. Very strong alcohol taste but after a few sips its rather delightful. Bourbon and oak make way for the true flavor of the chocolate liqueur. Before you know it, it is going down rather easy.

M: Very syrupy. I had the first beer out of the new tap so it could explain that. Pretty smooth and rather enjoyable again. Really did like it.

D: While I did enjoy it, I couldn't have several of these in a row. In fact, I probably would drink one of these and move on to a something much lighter, a dubbel maybe.

Overall a pretty good beer. (871 characters)

Photo of willjschmidt
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (2008 edition) into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours dark as night with a thin tan head. It quickly recedes to leave no head whatsoever.

S: Vanilla, burnt chocolate, along with some bourbon.

T: Incredibly complex flavors. Layers upon layers of rich flavors. I got: vanilla, dark chocolate, smoke, bourbon, and some cherries. It's a tad on the sweet side making it a great pairing with dessert.

M: Full bodied, rich, silky smooth, with low carbonation.

D: This is the very definition of a sipper. It's a bit boozy but not as much as you'd expect with 13% ABV. (594 characters)

Photo of mattster
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened 12 Fl Oz bottle of 2008 (bottled 10/16/08) Brewage and poured into a snifter glass.

Color is dark, opaque black with virtually no head (slight lace atop brew).

Smell is of rich vanilla and chocolate with slight whiskey. Taste follows through and I also notice a slight coffee tone. Beer finishes somewhat smooth, but bubbles seem a tad bit high. As the brew warmed up, it became less carbonated and even smoother. I may have served stout to cold because the longer it spends in glass, the better and richer it becomes. (527 characters)

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

A - Pours nice and black. No real head to speak of. Just a small film of brown bubbles floating around on top.

S - Alcohol! With some vanilla from the oak.

T - Rich with the dark fruit, vanilla and of course bourbon. Caramel and toffee are hanging around in there too along with the vanilla. This is just really good.

M - Nice and viscous. Tingly.

D - I don't think I could take down more than two of these but I would definitely want to. (443 characters)

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black as black pour with virtually no head. A little head and some lacing and it could have had a 5.

S: Vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Very big nose of bourbon, very enjoyable for me!

T: Bourbon and vanilla up front with the oakiness riding on the back end.

M: Full bodied, creamy and lightly carbonated.

D: Wish I could drink more, but the ABV will catch up to me soon I think. I would definitely love to get through two in a sitting though! (448 characters)

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

1st review -- might as well start with a good one.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Westmalle chalice. This bottle was from an October '08 batch, so it's only aged about 6 months.

A: Very, very dark and opaque brown. Dare I say mahogany? Even with an aggressive pour, the head is almost non-existent; just a few small milk chocolate-colored bubbles forming near the glass.

S: Incredible. Tons of bourbon, chocolate, and a bit of a fruity/sugary sweetness that I can't quite put my finger on. Small hint of alcohol, but it's there -- not that that's surprising, considering the 13% ABV. Very tantalizing and complex.

T: The alcohol isn't well-hidden here, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. The bourbon again comes out in the taste -- especially at the finish. Incredibly sweet malt with hints of chocolate, it really complements the powerful bourbon flavor characteristics.

M: Absolutely coats the tongue. Very viscous. "Syrupy" would be a good word to describe this beer, from smell to taste to mouthfeel.

D: I would definitely have another, but not tonight. No way. This is without a doubt a sipper, and absolutely a one-and-done. Each sip lingers until you take the next. I'm about halfway through, and I might pair this with some good Swiss cheese.

Overall, this is a great beer. I've always been very impressed with Goose Island as a mid-range brewery, but this and Matilda has solidified them as, in my mind, capable of brewing very high-end stuff. (1,477 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.28/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage bottled 7-3-06. Label states 11%ABV. 12 ounce bottle split with psycohops. Poured into my chalice and allowed to warm a bit. Appears an opaque black color with about a finger of loose dark ecru foam. No lacing to speak of, but in it's place is a rich brown, syrup that coats the inside of the glass with every swirl. Smells of burnt toast that's right on the edge of being still edible, molasses, oak, tons of bourbon, and treacle. Tastes of booze soaked rich roasted coffee beans, plum pudding, raisins, bitter baking chocolate, hint of smoke and a gigantic bourbon sting in the mouth. Yep, the bourbon is still VERY much a part of this experience even after almost three years in the bottle. This could sit for at least three more. A full bodied, satisfying sipper with maybe a notch below medium in carbonation. Great stuff. (840 characters)

Photo of atpben
4.87/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at McNiven's in Indy. Pours pitch black with little head in a Matilda glass. Awesome aromas of vanilla, chocolate, and ofcourse bourbon. I just loved smelling this beer. Silky smooth taste with lots of chocolate and vanilla and lots of bourbon. I love bourbon so I really enjoyed that taste. I thought it was nicely done. I wish I knew which bourbon barrels it was aged in. I found it to go great with the Davidoff Millenium Blend. A great sipping beer. Currently my favorite Double/Imperial. I found it to be better than Kentucky Breakfast Stout. The bottle version requires a little aging to smooth it out. A++ (628 characters)

Photo of photomike
4.29/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque dark brown into my Westmalle chalice. Miniscule head, very intimidating.

Smell is a trip! A perfect blend of bourbon and chocolate. Boozy and surprising. My buddy actually thought this was a glass of hard alcohol when I told him to whiff it.

A gargoyle forms out of the few bubbles that remain on top of the beer. Fear not, beer, I am no evil spirit...but I am gonna drink ya.

Taste is unbelievable. Seriously, I didn't believe it at first. It took a few sips to get into this, but when I did, the payoff was huge. This beer is incredibly full bodied. All the flavors seem to be in perfect balance, and there is certainly a lot going on. Chocolate, for sure, lots of bourbon, definitely. Maybe some prune or dark, sweetened cherries, and vanilla. Very malty. Despite a noticeable alcoholic flavor in this 13% monster, the beer is amazingly smooth. Smooth at a level matched only by the Continental as portrayed by Chris Walken.

Flawless mouthfeel. Velvety smooth, as I mentioned before, with perfectly delicate carbonation. Full bodied and oily.

Drinkability? are you kidding me? Sure, considering the THIRTEEN PERCENT abv this is super drinkable, but there is no way you are going to want to have more than one of these. You would have to be a damn fool to do that. A damn fool. (1,304 characters)

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

taste- dark, smoked wood

color- dark reddish brown

clarity- too dark to say in the snifter, it poured clear though

smell- chocolate, boubon, wood

body- medium full, smooth, oily

appearance- nice, oily, chocolatey color, flat

above average stout...reminds me of several wood aged beers, strong ales, and barley wines. the alcohol comes on at the right moment...beer has a biscuit-like finishing note. (405 characters)

Photo of taez555
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from Notes. Tasted 3/25/09

This beer poured a black motor oil colored body with a non existent head. I poured this thing straight in, and nope, just small off-white bubbles. Still... motor oil black and thick.

Nose is a strong dark stout with touches of bourbon whiskey oak aging.

Taste is full bodied. Immediately hits with a strong dark chocolate. The chocolate is honestly what is at first most striking. It tastes like one of those gourmet 85% dark chocolate, almost bakers chocolate darkness. Very strong and very rich and just so.. so... so... fresh. Dark roasted espresso beans and loads dry smoky, almost ashy, smoke flavor. It smoke gives an odd sort of contrast to the chocolate. Dark boot leather. Alcohol is very present from the first sip. Very warming and a nice balance against the huge malt base. After one half the bottle (first beer of the day) I'm feeling a bit tipsy. It really hits you. This beer is a motherfucker. Hops only appear to offer to some balance to the malt base. The bourbon taste is very low key, it's there and you can taste is completely, but it's just not as in your face as you would expect a "bourbon stout" to be.

Worth the $22 a four pack I paid for this? I'm not, but I do know it's a damn good beer. Definitely a strong contender for best Bourbon aged Imp Stout. I'd give it the silver medal, right behind Founders KBS. (1,377 characters)

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

pours a jet black with a thin brown head, and some lacing.

smell of alcohol, dark chocolate, a hint of vanilla, woody, and a touch of smoke.

taste is smooth and strong, dark chocolate, slight alcohol comes through, lots of sour malt, some nuts, and wood, end is slightly dry.

taste is more pronounced as it warms. (316 characters)

Photo of NealCassady
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours tar black with no head, some dark brown hues. Nose is tremendous with burst of malty fruit, raisin, also hint of some tongue bruising hops. Most notable is the immediate smoothness that is uncommon in a beer on this size. The hit of sweet malt brings molasses, and dark chocolate to the forefront, as the sip finishes a tingling covers the palate. As the malty sweetness slowly melts off the tongue the bitterness becomes more prevalent in the elongated finish. Wonderful! (478 characters)

Photo of cnally
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a deadly brew. I've had it before but never gave it a review.

deep, deep black color. no head. at all. i'm not kidding.

smoky, chocolately scents of bourbon. a little malty, but the bourbon dominates.

a massively heady intense bourbon flavor right up front. the alcohol has some superior burn on the tongue, but once that fades, there is a smoky, burnt caramel flavor. the malt really comes through near the tail end.

spicy, high alcohol burn on the mouthfeel. heavy, sticky brew as well.

a great example of an extreme style. not just any stout, but a bourbon soaked stout. and it is not mild. this is a doozy of a beer, not at all for the faint of heart or beginner stout drinkers. (687 characters)

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)

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 2,564 ratings.