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Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand Vanilla StoutBourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,150 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,150
Reviews: 404
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 8.5%
Wants: 1,510
Gots: 423 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rudylaw on 11-08-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bourbon County Brand Stout spiced with fresh vanilla beans.
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Ratings: 1,150 | Reviews: 404 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.54/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at the bottle share hosted by Adam Fine Wine & Liquor held at Sophie’s Place in Redondo Beach, CA.

2010 vintage. Bottled 11/5/10.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, tons of vanilla aromas, wood, and bourbon. Taste is much the same but really vanilla forward with an alcohol kick and woody finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with an absolutely fantastic smell and great flavor that make it dangerously drinkable for its ABV.

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dreadnaught33 for sharing this at a recent tasting. Served in a snifter.

Pours near black with a thin mocha head and a few legs on the side of the glass. The nose brings forward quite a bit of strong vanilla character. Really incredible. Also there is a good dosing of bourbon plus some chocolate. The taste further enhances the vanilla with the bourbon and chocolate making up the background with a bit of booze. Fairly full body with a great vanilla presence and not all that boozy. Really nice and smooth. I will certainly be having this again.

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.62/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Following on the heels of Bourbon County Brand Stout and the Coffee'ed version, the wholesome goodness keeps on comming with the Vanilla. Amplified sweetness, richness, and smoothness all come to the forefront for the most succulent of stout.

The monsterous stout pours an oily-inky and truly viscous pour of blackness with brownish legging. Formitable early head formation falters underneath the enormous gravity and alcohol of the beer. Completely opaque, the beer draws you in with most seductive of intent.

Mouthwatering aromas of bitter cocoa, espresso, burnt toffee, maple syrup/brown sugar, and unmistakable bourbon (boozy woods with vanillans and caramels). The warming beer emits scents reminescent of cherries, red licorice, raisons, dates, and figs.

Sultury flavors of chocolate waifers, creamy vanilla, molasass, and sweet bourbon blend together for a flavor that reminds me of the Kentucky popular Bourbon Ball candies. Walnuts, robust coffees, and port-like fruitiness continue to contribute new layers of flavors with each and every sip- all wrapped in the vanilla envelope. Increadibly strong in flavor, the sweetness of malt is seemingly amplified by the vanilla and reduces the roast flavor to that of strong coffee and less like true espresso; helping with the harsh roast but causing heavy sweetness.

Ultimate fullness, richness, and oily- stouts just don't get bigger. The beer coats the mouth similarly to heavy sweetened fortified liquors like cognac, port, or honey liquors. Sweetness masks the alcohols, allowing for a high level of drinkability despite its alcohol content. Very warm, but never harsh, the beer is a true desert with each sip and gives a long bourbon/chocolate linger time after time.

Without a doubt, these Bourbon County Brands are my preferred stouts as they give all the complexities needed for world class Stouts and in varying intensities for a seamless procession from the decant 'til finish.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size dark brown foamy head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma of bourbon is dominated by more vanilla then in the regular version. Taste is a nice mix between loads of vanilla with some bourbon and light nutty flavour. Body is full with nice creamy texture and medium carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very complex with nice vanilla undertones. It is also well balanced and vanilla doesn’t’ overpower the while thing.

Photo of jaydoc
4.3/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Knapp85
4.4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a nice black color, as it should. The head retention is thin and lacing is thin. The smell is actually of cardboard right now. It's not bad, but it reminded me of boxes with a subtle vanilla aroma. The taste is still awesome, plenty of vanilla left in this bad boy! Very nice flavors in here. The mouthfeel is smooth and silky. Overall it's awesome and so glad to try it! Despite the smell, the flavors do the justice! Very good!

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -23.7%

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

I am thrilled to finally be able to try this one. Long, long time I have waited to be able to type up this review, but alas, the beer has finally been enjoyed!

The pour was black as night with a deep, dark color that no light could penetrate. Nice chocolate head of about an inch came up initially but then settled down to a bare top that just looked like an evil pit of doom The aroma was rich with blackstrap molasses,vanilla beans,hints of alcohol and a ton of roasted malts, interesting, I must go in fora closer look. The flavor was equally as rich, dare I say wonderful Super sweet notes here of vanilla, molasses, hints of oak and a touch of almost bourbon as it warms. This was an amazingly complex beer. Super full bodied with that huge feel that you really only find in the best of the RIS's, you know what I mean. A huge beer that you know is every bit as strong as you thought it would be, but for some reason is just soo damn smooth, you just cannot stop drinking it. Wonderful, simply wonderful.

Overall all I can say is I am glad I could finally try this beer. I have been waiting forever to tackle this one, it has been a good day.

Photo of womencantsail
4.37/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to Steve for sending me this one. I will certainly be returning this generosity.

A: The pour is almost black with a smallish tan head.

S: Certainly a lot of vanilla notes, as you would expect, but there's an incredible maple syrup character to it. Tons of bourbon and chocolate, and booze.

T: Very sweet, mostly chocolate and vanilla. There's an undertone of oak flavor that provides a touch of spice. Lots of bourbon and alcohol that is warming on the palate. Again, some maple flavor, but not quite as intense as on the nose.

M: The body is full with a low, smooth carbonation.

D: As boozy as it is, this is dangerous stuff. A really great flavor and very, very enjoyable.

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

04-05-2012: This beer has aged fantastically. It's great stuff at this point. Increasing my score from 4.2 to 4.5.

Bottle opened by dabecassis at a recent tasting. Thanks, Dobby.

Syrupy dark brown with a black center, typical of the Bourbon County series. Low carbonation, very viscous, with oily legs clinging to the glass after each sip.

Smells like french toast covered in booze. There's a huge vanilla character that reminds me of custard or creme brulee. Plenty of bourbon too, along with caramel and cocoa. This is ridiculously decadent and sweet.

Tastes like dessert. Bourbon and caramel candies, vanilla beans, pot de creme. Syrupy on the tongue, incredibly sweet; where the coffee in BCBCS added balance, the vanilla in BCBVS only serves to highlight the sweetness. It's very enjoyable in small quantities, but the richness and alcohol wear on the palate after a single pour. The finish makes me think of vanilla bean french toast drowned in maple syrup.

This is very good in small quantities. 12 oz bottles would have been a better idea for this beer.

Photo of emerge077
4.62/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lucky pour into a Matilda glass at Smallbar Fullerton, available for one night during Chicago Craft Beer Week, for the Beermapping/HopCast Rare Beer Night.

Black body, dark tobacco stained foam rings the edge, and forms a yin yang swirl when agitated. Not much lace, only random spots here and there. Glassy black obsidian surface. It's not as sticky as regular Bourbon County.

Heavenly aroma of vanilla bean ice cream, some sweet whiskey far in the back. It's mellow and confectionary. Very smooth with no harsh edges. The vanilla is prominent, yet integrated. Woody oak, brown sugar, and related bourbon elements.

Rich, decadent flavors of vanilla fudge brownies soaked in bourbon. Mellow barrel character manifests greatest at the end with traces of dry oak. In the middle it's all charred malts and bakers chocolate, wrapped in a vanilla blanket. Finish lingers forever.

By now BCS is a welcome household name, you know it's going to be smooth and rich no matter what. Additional aging takes the edge off the original, much like the recent coffee incarnation. Could have had more, but the 1/6 barrel blew before I could have another...

Photo of zeff80
4.37/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one-finger, light brown head of bubbly, fluffy foam. It had some nice retention and left soapy trails of lace on the snifter.

S - It smelled strongly of vanilla! Wow, so much vanilla with hints of cola and roasty malt.

T - Of course, it tasted of vanilla. Good chocolate, roasted malt, toffee, caramel and booze.

M - It was crisp, sharp and very, very smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a potent alcohol punch.

D - This is a really great tasting beer and a nice spin on the BCS brand.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.12/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

Big ups to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle with his destitute homeboy!

I'll be honest: both the normal BCBS and the BCBCS were kinda both letdowns for me. My fingers are crossed for this iteration. It pours a nice obsidian with just a bit less than a finger of dark-ish ecru foam. The nose reminds me a lot of the other Bourbon Counties, with a helluva lot o' bourbon, oak, molasses, roasted malts, chocolate syrup, blackened pretzels, and caramelized caramel. This time, though, a very nice sacred vanilla river runs straight to a sunless sea (I mean, it is pretty damn dark, folks). The taste is very similar, with the oak really pushing its agenda across the table. The vanilla is definitely there, but I was hoping for something to really cut the bourbon down a bit more. Its inclusion, though, is a big boost, pushing this guy above his normal and coffee cousins. A strong ridge of burning alcohol, though, rings my tongue, precluding full enjoyment. The body is pretty hefty, with a tinglingly light moderate carbonation and decidedly chewy feel. Overall, as can be easily gleaned from above, I found this to be rather better than the other two iterations I've had thus far. It still falls a bit short of epicness, but it is indeed a fine bit o' stout.

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Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,150 ratings.