Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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2,564 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,564
Hads: 10,492
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 10.31%
Wants: 2,456
Gots: 5,601 | FT: 597
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: 10,492
Photo of AylwinForbes
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ben Mollin went for this one. It is the blackest beer I've ever seen - completely opaque and yet not thick; it does pour out of the glass remarkably enough. The aroma is divine: you can smell the bourbon fragrance rising from the surface, along with molasses and treacle. After that, the taste is almost an anti-climax. It is very drinkable though and can slip down with deceptive ease. I can see it being a polemical beer: not everyone will like it; Dulcie hated it. (467 characters)

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

I poured this imperial stout from a 12 oz bottle into an oversized snjifter. It poured an opaque black with virtually no head. A nice syrupy brew.

The nose is delightful with notes of bourbon and dark over ripened fruits.

The taste is deliciously sweet with maltiness, and chocolate covered cherries, oh...and don't forget the bourbon. It actually has a nice bourbon booziness that I found enjoyable.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewy with a slight alcohol burn that as a whisky lover I did not find unpleasant in the least.

After a long day at work this was definately a nice way to start the weekend. Enjoy!!! (615 characters)

Photo of DubbelTrubbel
4.69/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 (bottled 11-08-12, 15% abv) cellared, into snifter

I had this fresh, six months ago and this time and it is drinking very well now. Flavors/aromas I get out of it: vanilla, oak, bourbon, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, coffee, espresso, roast malt, barley in general and a little alcohol. Yeah, it's good! (311 characters)

Photo of MA_hops
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super complex. Tastes completely different depending upon whether your drinking it cold or room temperature. Raisins, bourbon and a rich malty sweetness add to the mystery tastes behind BCBS. (191 characters)

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

first thoughts man this had better be worth the money not an easy beer to get hands on also not a inexpencive beer at leat around here all that aside. . . . WOW is about all i need to sum up this beer looks black no other colors suround it its just black. from the time the bottle is cracked to well after the time its all gone all one could smell in the house was burbon and malt and a little bit more burbon tasty tasty stuff mmm.... burbon and beer my 2 favorite adult beverages all in one wonderfully delicious burbony chockatly coffeey almost chew beverage makes me want to drink the rest of them all richt now just thinking about it but i know that that would leave me very disapointed a very good beer (708 characters)

Photo of jj21
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this violently into a Duvel tulip to get all the head I could out of it. Ended up a couple fingers from the top. Black dense body with brown bubbly head that sticks around for a while and lasted to the end. Smell was a smack in the face of coffee, chocolate and rasted malts. Flavor is a strong chocolate-vanilla with just enough bitterness. Very smooth mouthfeel for the viscosity of the brew. So drinkable for such a high alcohol and thickness beer. Need More! (476 characters)

Photo of soccerman7
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Holy Smoke. Served in a goblet

A - 2 shades to pitch black with a dark tan, thin head.

S - Fantastic nose of bourbon, alcohol, smoke, maple, and malts.

T - Extremely complex, with the sweetness of the malt and bourbon very pleasant against the oak and smoke. A lot of maple notes with the hops cleaning it out. Excellent

M- This was my only knock against this beer. It was a bit high on the alcohol taste which did burn a bit and the sweetness really coated the mouth by the 3rd or fourth sip. Started eating food half way through the goblet and it was difficult to really taste.

D - overall an excellent version of oaked imperial stout. very interesting and certainly worth trying. (700 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 Duane_Opfer
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottled on 8/29/13. Consumed on 11/28.

A - Pours thick, almost black in color. Half finger of deep cinnamon colored head which quickly dissipates. Strong initial carbonation, but quickly fades.

S - Intensely fragrant. Bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit, and dark chocolate.

T - Very flavorful. Bourbon, dark chocolate, espresso, and brown sugar. Bourbon well balanced with other flavors. No doubt this is a big beer, but not a glass of bourbon... it's a stout with bourbon tones. Very warming and slightly peppery from higher alcohol content. However, despite ~15% ABV, it's not an alcohol bomb. You know it's there, and it's definitely a slow drinking beer, but it is not overwhelming by any means.

M - Silky with very nice carbonation. Thick, but not overly sticky.

O - No surprises here... it's as good as advertised. Love it. (867 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 nicnut45
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 BCS Served at room temp

A- The blackest of beers I have ever seen. A coca cola like head, fat and bubbly.

S-Dark canided cherries, molasses, soy sauce, leather, tobacco, and a slight saltiness.

T-Charred oak sweetness. Alcohol bite is sharp and has a nice warming effect as you drink. Lot of flavors comes at you as you sip. Theres chocolate covered cherries, burnt marshmallows, vanilla, maple, and its all tied up in a certain oakey sweetness.

M.F.- Im drinking this at room temperature, so it feels a bit lighter then if it was chilled. It is thick yet so smooth. Very little carbonation.

D-This beer is a sipper no doubt, but I find myself craving it at times and a 4 pack doesnt last long with me. I had a hard time giving a bottle to a buddy of mine. But it is too good not share. Will be getting more in the future. (832 characters)

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

12 oz bottle in pint glass

A: Deep, dark body topped off by quickly dissipating 1/2 inch of tan foam. Black as night!

S: A lot going on here--the bourbon is the most obvious followed by coffee, milk chocolate, caramel, dark fruit and vanilla. Excellent!

T: Clear bourbon presence. Some alcohol, milk and dark chocolate, molasses, soy, caramel and raisins. Outstanding!

M: Thick and creamy.

D: This is about as drinkable as a 13% barrel-aged RIS can get. Goes down smoothly but I'm feeling a bit impaired at this point!

This is a very special beer. Probably in my top 10! (577 characters)

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

Poured from the bottle to a snifter. cellar temp

This beer is super black and thick. A tan/coffee colored head forms buts dissapates fairly quickly.

Smells dark...Chocolate and whisky come across right away. Followed by a burnt sugar/caramel smells. Some harsh alcohol as well.

Taste is creamy and thick. lots of sweetness and malted vanilla milk shake flavor. A little bready. Toasted marshmallow, coffee, tobacco also come through. Very complex as it warms.

Excellent beer, one of the best out there. (507 characters)

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

09 Vintage as an extra, thanks to a very, very generous trader by the name of Rbridges001! Had on tap at RnH a few weeks ago, but wanted to give this one a proper review.

A - Black as night and very viscous. Pours a small dark mocha head that recedes neither slowly nor quickly - average head retention. No lacing to speak of.

S - BOURBON! Lots of alcohol on this one, just how I like them! Really though, there must be 1/4 of a shot in these 12 ozs! Burnt molasses, chocolate, and dark sugar hide beneath, coming out more as it warms.

T - Bourbon, burnt coffee, roasted chocolate malts and a hint of vanilla burst forth out of this one. The dark chocolate flavor is almost too similar to the real thing, but manages to never become off-putting.

M - Very creamy, like a dark bourbon cream that slides back way to easily

D - There is a reason I hardly remember that night at RnH, because this is way too drinkable for 13%! Well done GI (942 characters)

Photo of hmich176
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

I had this on tap at a local bar. Enjoyable beer. I am honestly not a huge bourbon fan, so I'm not nearly interested in this style of stout. However, I enjoyed the smoothness of the liquor, and the notes of chocolate on the backend. I wasn't surprised by the quality, but I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected.

Obviously, with it being held in high regard, there's the chance of it being overrated. No. Certainly not. What I had met the acclaim, deserves the acclaim. Cheers! (479 characters)

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

Wow.. split a bottle with Fuzzy65 tonight...

Pours a dark pitch black, no light coming through here. Virtually no head, very heavy lacing on the side of the glass.

Smells of Dark Chocolate, bourbon smacks you right away, def. makes you take a step back!!

Very Chocolatey flavor, alchohol, while present, is very unassuming. No burn at all, given the alchohol content and strong bourbon smell it surprised me.

Very viscous, reminds me of a latte, thick milkshake.

All in all, an extreme stout. This is how I like my stouts, thick and heavy. Could not imagine drinking more than one of these. I shared a 12oz bottle, and that was more than enough for one sitting. The alchohol hits you about a half hour later, whew I was feeling it a little bit later!!

I loved it. Very well done GI. (788 characters)

Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5


A: Pours nice and dark velvet with a lovely sheen to it. head is orange brown that is a nice 2 finger at first that dissipates into just a ring around the glass.

S: This is at cellar temp so im expecting big. Smell is huge bourbon which I wanted. The normal vanilla and oak but with a great roast and butterscotch element. A slight tobacco with a molasses sweetness.

T: The taste is so smooth compared to the smell. Gees its good. lovely chocolate roast with the punch of bourbon in the end. After i swallow it gives the heat of a high quality bourbon sip where i breath the vanilla and oak. its not alcohol heat its just flavor.

M: Almost perfect body. not to sweet and syrupy but just thick enough to hold up all the flavor. carbonation is just a bit low though. its almost no pop at all.

D: I'm loving every sip of it. its a big beer so i know i couldnt drink a lot but its very well made with great flavors so i could sip on it all day long. (958 characters)

Photo of NeedBeerHere
3.99/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle

Smell is Black as night but only a tiny brown head with little retention. Smell is definitely mostly chocolate, maybe some dark malts, and a little booze. Taste is quite bit more boozy, with lots of chocolate. Realy not tasting much else. Mouthfeel is really thick is one might thing. Overall since it hasn't bee aged we have a little booze and lots of chocolate, Really not anything to crazy except what one would expect. Really great beer but with some time on it the beer would be BETTE!!!! (506 characters)

Photo of Jack_Malts
4.73/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours motor oil black with a a 1 finger chocolate head. I'm reviewing this fresh (2014) by the way. Let it be known that aging changes this beer a lot, although I would argue that it's not necessarily better, just different.

Smells like sweet vanilla chocolate with a viscous roasty sort of soy sauce aroma, lots of intense, sweet caramelized barley. The taste follows with huge roasted barley notes enveloped in vanilla/caramel/dark chocolate glaze. Kind of like salty alcoholic brownie batter. Actually, salty alcoholic brownie batter kind of sums up fresh bcbs pretty well. Thick, viscous, slick and creamy mouthfeel. Syrupy sweet goodness.

What can I say? It's just a friggin delicious beer, enjoyable every time. Age smooths out the alcohol, makes the mouthfeel more slick by getting rid of some carbonation, and brings it much closer to actual brownie batter in a glass. Worth drinking now, and worth cellaring (two to three years seems to be the sweet spot). Is it worth the hype? Why not? Every time I open one it pretty much makes my night. (1,051 characters)

Photo of mryuk
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at hop leaf poured in a snifter.

pours a dark brown with no head.

smell is mostly bourbon and sweet malts.

taste is extremely smooth and enjoyable for a 13% beer. much less bourbon than expected and lots of sweet malts.

mouth is thick with low but sufficient carbonation.

very enjoyable beer. stands up to my favorite of the type, the rasputin anniversary, but does not surpass. excellent beer. (406 characters)

Photo of PaleAlien2
3.05/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I found this beer to be way too alcoholic. So much so that I could barely detect any other flavors as I drank it.
It pours as black as the African night with no real head to speak of. I looks extremely thick as it pours though it seems pretty average when you drink it.
Smells like church wine. Just below the strong alcohol flavor, a woody oak scent can be detected. Maybe some flowers in there as well.
If you like warming, this is the beer for you because this one warms all the way to the stomach. It's not for me though. (526 characters)

Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.37/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Robust, yet smooth beer. The flavors are very outgoing, and maybe a bit too much. Very dark with a decent head, doesn't really stick, and I wish it did - really makes each sip feel better in the mouth. Smell is quite good - very molasses and tons of sweet bourbon, and some spice underneath. Taste is also quite good, but I feel like there is so much bourbon and molasses that it isn't quite balanced. It seems to cover up the high alcohol content (13%) a little too much - I like to have a nice alcohol bite in a big and heavy beer like this. It is still remarkably warm and soothing, and the beer definitely gets better as you drink it, so I'll give it a 4.5 there. Feel is, like the general taste, silky smooth and very warming to the palate and throat. Maybe all that bourbon I'm tasting is actually the alcohol, but in that case it is extremely well masked (not hidden. masked). The alcohol may be masked well, but you certainly feel it after the bottle is near done - this is as strong as most wines, and it is so expensive ($24 for the 4 pack) that I can't give it a really high drinkability rating, but I certainly enjoyed this beer, and I really look forward to aging it and tasting it later on. If you're looking for a beer with a super outgoing character, definitely check this out - extremely memorable and every sip is very fulfilling. (1,348 characters)

Photo of BigB415
4.26/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First thing I notice about this is the chocolate taste and bourbon smell/taste. Great for sipping. Sometimes I think I'm sipping on a port or sherry since the alcohol is so high and noticeable and the chocolate presence. For 13% it's pretty smooth. I would like to see how it ages over the course of 5 years so maybe I'll buy 5 bottles and have one every year and compare notes. (378 characters)

Photo of angelogarcia3
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sapsuckers in Huntington, NY pours this beer in a brandy snifter glass. Bourbon County Stout beer pours thick with a very dark almost black head. The nose has aromas of bourbon, alcohol, vanilla, and a hint of chocolate. In the mouth this beer has a syrrupy quality that is well balanced. No mistaking the flavors of bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla in this beer. It has subtle flavors of caramel and rum truffle. It goes down smooth with a nice warm toasty feeling in the throat and stomach. This in my opinion is the best beer in America! Period! (547 characters)

Photo of BobJude
4.17/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014 in a snifter. Black as ink with no head. Mostly bourbon to the nose and taste. Viscous, coated my whole mouth. I am not a fan of bourbon so this was a stretch for me -trying one without aging. I am going to let the rest sit in the dark cool room in my basement for years to come - looking forward to the bourbon mellowing and more of the other flavors coming to the front. (382 characters)

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