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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: 1,509
Gots: 424 | 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 billshmeinke
4.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black as a moonless night. Half a finger of light brown head. Retention isn't great, but given the abv I'll let that one slide.

Smells of bakers chocolate and marshmallow and a touch of coconut and... Shit I was smelling it too hard and some went up my nose... Fail! But that's how good it smells.

Tastes of graham crackers, rice crispy treats, a touch of oak, chocolate, well integrated bourbon. Some coffee notes help to balance the sweetness.

Heavy, huge, thick, viscous.

Not a HUGE improvement over the regular version, but the vanilla and graham cracker notes are pretty awesome.

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 brewcrew76
4.32/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Solid black with a small mocha creamy mocha head that didn't stick around long.

S - Very strong vanilla with oak, bourbon and some chocolate notes.

T - Strong vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate and brown sugar. The vanilla makes this one seem a little sweeter than the original.

M - Thick, smooth and oily with a bit of alcohol warmth.

D - Like dessert in a glass.

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

Pours midnight-in-the-fields black with a fingernail ring of head and small wisps resting as an island in the middle of the glass. The third pour finally yields a one-finger tan head, but it settles into the same ring about the glass as the first pour did.

Rich, caramelized sugar, bourbon-soaked vanilla beans, dark chocolate, and dark roast. Everything you've come to expect from BCBS, with an added alcohol heat on the tail end, some subtle oxidation, and, unsurprisingly, rich vanilla. It actually reminds me a bit of Chocolate Rain in this regard.

Fudge, chocolate cake, and soft oakiness. A sweet vanillin character runs through this. As it warms, the vanilla transforms from Madagascar vanilla bean to vanilla extract. So rich.

Chewy, viscous, and smooth. Fittingly low carbonation.

Very dessert-like, this doesn't seem too far off of the CR flavor profile at much less the cost. It's very rich, but I prefer it just under room temperature - as it nears 60 degrees, there's evidence of additional heat, spicy woodiness, and the vanilla begins to taste like extract. Overall, an excellent beer and likely an improvement on the base beer.

Photo of jlindros
4.4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Super dark black colored beer with a light fizzy darker colored head.

Nose has some vanilla, lots of dark roasty malts, light coffee, plenty of roast, a little syrupy caramel, light chocolate, toffee, light oak, creamy chocolate.

Taste: Vanilla! Wow vanilla, very rich, some creamy chocolate, roast, a bit of molasses and caramel, bourbon, oak, chewy dark malts, bit of oats, some warming tingly booze, slight bitterness from roast and touch of earthy fluffy hops, and some sweetness.

Mouth is medium to heavier bodied, fairly smooth and rich, warming tingly booze, decent carbonation.

Drink is not the best, but not too bad, some warming and tingly booze, sweet, fairly thick and almost syrupy.

Photo of lackenhauser
4.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Jet black-like liquid coal in a glass. Nice sized head considering the abv. Big bourbon aroma. Mild oak and vanilla but the bourbon certainly dominates. Huge bourbon flavors right upfront. A slight oakiness. Burnt, roasted characteristics. The vanilla tends to come thru in the end as it warms-I was expecting more. India ink "ish" flavors. Somewhat of a cinnamon spice. Somewhat alcoholic and boozey. Great, great mouthfeel. Slight burn body wise but considering the abv not a detractor. The whole package here is really well done. As huge and flavor full as this is a bit of aging would really tone this down and improve it's overall qualitites. Share a bottle for sure-a lot of beer for 1 sitting.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.87/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout 2010, bottled version, purchased at Community Beverage in Elmhurst, NY. Bottled November 05 2010, and enjoyed in February 10 2011.

Appearance: Served in a Sierra snifter, it pours slowly, somewhat laboriously, as if it the pricey liquid preferred to stay in the womb of its bottle rather than come to me. Well, sorry, Pricey Liquid, but I paid $23.99+tax to enjoy you! No glug or gurgle as in other Imperial Stouts. Smooth... Produces barely a finger-high head, of a classic tan color, which dissipates quickly, leaving only a faint rim around the glass. No retention, barely any carbonation, no lacing. This is pure yummy booze!

Smell: Everything you expect in a beer like this appears in the nose. Vanilla all over, some fancy wood and barrel, also the bourbon. But everything smooth, under control, enticing but never overbearing. Hazelnut too, reminds me of the amaretto reduction sauce I make to go with seared duck breast. Gorgeous. I want to have sex with this beer.

Taste: More of the same, and just as outrageously delicious. Vanilla, bourbon, wood. Sugar, sweetness, bliss. Some chocolate and yummy bitterness. Warm booze at the end. I'm in love.

Mouthfeel: Impressive, just like Goose Rare's. Extremely creamy, smooth, appetizing, enticing. It is pure liquid porn.

Drinkability: Pretty amazing for a beer this huge. So tasty and delicious I crave more, regardless of the price.

I can't get enough of all these Goose Island Bourbon things. They are true works of art.

Photo of ChrisPro
4.08/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cliffs notes review:

A - motor oil black, a few mocha bubbles formed but disappeared in seconds. Huge legs on the brew

S - A bit disappointing. Really, just smells like regular bourbon county: chocolate, coffee, bourbon, oak, and a touch of smoke. There was a hint of vanilla, but I guess I was hoping for a little more

T - A slight improvement over regular bourbon county as you do pick up a bit more of the vanilla, but still solid.

M - Boozy...needs some more age. But then I worry that whatever vanilla is left will fade even more. However, for the ABV, still not too hot. Just enough carb and a huge viscous buttery coating left all over.

D - This is what I expect from fresh bourbon county and it's on par with that. Amazing drinkability for the ABV, but it's still a sipper no matter what you do.

Overall, I'm not sure the vanilla did enough for me. I may like regular BCBS even better. I'll have to give another bottle another shot.

Photo of Swimsum
4.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade with largadeer. Thanks again Chris. I brought this to a good bye party for a BA who is leaving the country. Slip with 4 other BAs. 2010 vintage that was bottled 11/05/2010.

Pours out a nice black with a little head. No light is getting through the body of this. What head was there settles into a thin ring around the glass. Head is a dark tan/mocha color. No lacing is left on the glass.

This one lives up to its name in the nose that's for sure. Lots of vanilla followed up with some oak and bourbon. The bourbon is the next leading smell behind the vanilla. It smells a lot like fresh Bourbon County just without the pungent alcohol. The vanilla makes this very sweet smelling.

As expected, lots of vanilla here as well. Oak and bourbon notes come through in the finish of this. The vanilla really makes this very smooth and goes down very well. The alcohol burn that I found in fresh Bourbon County is no where present here and I think that is thanks to the vanilla. This is for sure the best vanilla forward beer that I've ever had.

The mouthfeel isn't as thick as I would have liked. As stated in the taste, it is a very smooth beer and goes down incredibly easy. Slightly mouth coating with a sweetness that lingers after each swallow. Alcohol is well hidden.

This was a fantastic beer and one I'm very grateful I got to try. Like I said for the taste, this is the best vanilla forward beer I've had. If I traded more, I would seek this out again.

Photo of infi
4.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, courtesy of BA r0nyn.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Dark black viscosity with a thin, tan head emerging but quickly dissipates. No lacing. Very idle-looking when completely settled. On close inspection, a thick layer of the 13% ABV presents itself. Smell is exactly like an 08 BCS, with tons of this similar sweet and buttery toffee/caramel essence that permeates beautifully from the liquid. Lots of milk chocolate and a decent amount of the bourbon shines through, especially when let warm. Slim amount of oak from the barrels as well.

Taste is nicely bold and big. Straight forward with its flavors as they're pretty distinct on the palate. Begins with a lot of melted milk chocolate into a distinctive vanilla and caramel sweetness. Great finish too, sort of like a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. For as fresh as it was and at its high count, the bourbon wasn't as pronounced as I thought it was going to be. Incredibly smooth.

Mouthfeel was amazing: full-bodied, really silky and actually considerably oily too. Drinkability is way too good on this. It definitely tastes better with company than drinking this bottle alone, which is possible. Definitely one of my favorite all-time stouts.

Photo of soulgrowl
4.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blackish brown with a blood red halo, ringed with a noisette foam. The nose is a surprisingly pleasant commingling of soy sauce and vanilla, butterscotch and sugar cookies with caramel, chocolate, prunes, tobacco, cola, and a touch of latex paint. Hot yet smooth on the palate, with a surge of alcohol at the outset that quickly defers to a delicious, lushly chocolatey flavor with no small amount of vanilla, caramel, benzalde

Photo of Dhren1979
4.23/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage: 2010 (Thanks to my girl Avni for surprising me with a 3rd bottle! She kept hidden for 2 months.)

Serving type: 22oz Bomber poured into a wine glass.

A: Pours a lightless black. "The Black Hole" of stouts!! All Bourbon County Brands are like this, so no surpise but it is expected (and welcomed). A very thick, foamy head.

S: Much more vanilla in this than it was 2 months ago in November. Boozy bourbon (the signature of this line of stouts by Goose Island).

T: Sweet, vanilla plays well with the sweet boozy bourbon. Charred oak. Slight coffee notes.

M: Full body stout. A true sipper..I will be here all night!! HA! Nice alcohol burn at the end of a sip. Will age nicely though I would expect the Vanilla to fade in time.

D: Not for the weak of heart. Give yourself about 2+ hours. But oh so good!!! I have 2 more in the cellar....

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

Review from notes

Pours black with minimal head.  Smells are bourbon, vanilla, sweet malts and oak.  Tastes are bourbon, mild vanilla, oak, sweet malts, delicious, very hot and boozy but still really good.    Mouthfeel is sticky and thick.  Drinkability is high. Another great BCBS variation, such a good beer.

Photo of Brez07
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer twice so far. Took notes about 2 months ago. 22oz bottle poured into a Ten FIDY glass

A: Very dark, dark brown colored beer. There is a limited amount of mocha head which disappears quickly (not surprised). No lacing but a swirl of the beer leaves an oily presence on the glass

S: There is some nice chocolate malt and coffee notes. Some vanilla bean mixed in. Tinge of bourbon/alcohol

T: Well, one plus is the vanilla really helps to hide the alcohol. Seemed to have more roasted malt flavor then the other versions. There is lots of bourbon and some oak. Toffee flavors come out in the finish. Not hot, but warm

M: Definitely full bodied. Thick, smooth. Chocolately alcohol finish

D: A pleasure to drink this. My expectations weren't quite fulfilled, but certainly a wonderful beer. A notch below the coffee and regular versions

Photo of r0nyn
4.4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my DFH snifter. Split with fellow BA infi. Bottled 11/5/10.

Pours a dark, inky black that totally obscures any light. Thin, tannish head that recedes slowly into a small cap, leaving spotty lacing sliding lazily down the insides of the glass. Nose is... geez, where do I start? Chocolate, caramel, toffee, buttermilk (?!), they all make an appearance and fill my nostrils with their intermingled complexity. The titular vanilla is also there, but not as prevalent as I was expecting. There's also a ton of booze in the smell, like someone just dropped a shot of bourbon in it. Very enticing. I expected nothing less from a Bourbon County.

Taste is full of chocolate and caramel to start, with a subtle, but definite malty presence. Little bit of toastiness follows, along with nuances of brown sugar and coffee. Slight buttermilk presence too. Vanilla shows up, but is quite subtle, not as prevalent as I was expecting. Bourbon appears on the back end and takes over with its overriding booziness. Finish has notes of sweet sugary caramel and vanilla, mingling with chocolate and bourbon to round off a very pleasant tasting experience. Mouthfeel is thick and weighty, with a viscous, slick and creamy feel. It's big and full, meaning you'll definitely be sipping this one.

Drinkability is tempered by the rather present booziness, but it definitely goes down easy. Goose Island has never disappointed me with their Bourbon County line and this brew is no different. Rich, thick, flavorful and decadent, Vanilla is every bit as good as the regular BCBS line. Just wish I had more of it around me because I'd most assuredly buy more of it.

Photo of aficionado
4.05/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A trade from BEERchitect - Approx. $14 value.
Bottled in Fall 2010, served in an Orval Chalice.

For what it's worth, this review was based on the old scoring system... where "Drinkability" actually meant "Ease of Drinking", and not your Overall impression of the beer. Duh... that's what the collective total of each category aka the final letter grade represents.

Motor oil black body with a dark tan head. Smells of very potent quality vanilla bean, sexy bourbon, and a good amount of roasted malts.

A much sweeter KBS with strong vanilla bean, dark brown sugar and molasses flavors. There is a secondary note of dark roasted mocha coffee in there as well and some prunes on the mid palate. One of my biggest complaints would be the level of sweetness since it's enough to give you a headache. For that reason, I suggest sharing the bottle.

Full, syrupy body. A bit boozy; not as fulfilling as KBS. The drinkability is a bit low and the balance is not entirely perfect, but BCBVS is still a quality beer that I would rate no less than an A-. Would benefit from age to mellow out the harshness of the alcohol.

Photo of ffejherb
3.62/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing this bomber on 2/1/11.

A - Poured an extremely dark brown liquid with garnet hues around the bottom edges and half an inch of frothy burnt tan foam on top.

S - Huge vanilla presence akin to creme brulee dessert... almost too much, actually. There is also a strong whiff of boozy bourbon notes.

T - Vanilla just dominates the flavor, much like David Lee Roth sucks up the spotlight on stage. Alcohol warmth is quite burly as well and delivers a swift punch in the face with plenty of bourbon power. A hint of coffee emerges in the middle, followed by a huge wash of beefy alcohol warmth in the finish with residual vanilla sweetness.

M - Full-bodied, thick and creamy but with bristly carbonation. Mouthfeel is warm, sticky and sweet. Finishes with a moderate alcohol burn and lots of residual sweetness on the palate.

D - I'm kind of on the fence about this one. I think it's a little too much in terms of the vanilla just dominating everything. Also, this definitely drinks like a huge 13% ABV stout, as there is plenty of boozy heat present throughout. This is definitely the lesser Bourbon County Stout, in my opinion.

Brewslut's Quote of the Day:
"Oooh... this is like hard caramels... or like cowtails!"

Photo of wschmit
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Perfect Pint.

A: Just a bit of quickly-gone mocha head atop a black body. It's not even amber at the edges...just dark. Motor oil.

S: Chocolate cake with vanilla icing, not too boozy. Sweet, almost too sweet nose, with molasses, brown sugar, the usual. Awesome.

T: The bourbon isn't as dominant as regular--vanilla and chocolate dominate here. Still, it's smooth, not as sweet as the nose would have you believe, and a nice variation on the usual. Big, bold, and with very well-hidden alcohol.

M: Thick and syrupy, but still with some carbonation to ease it down. Smooth and velvety, it sticks in every corner of your mouth for a very, very long tasting experience.

D: Having just come in from my third round of shoveling on Snowpocalypse here in Chicago, nothing could possibly be more satisfying. That said, in normal circumstances, it might go best as a dessert beer, an aperitif if you're not keen on sweet stuff.

Photo of WeisGuy
3.85/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber bottled 11/6/10

Pours a deep, dark black with a one-finger mocha head. Head retention around the edges and minimal lacing. The aroma is dominated by bourbon and toasty oak with the vanilla creeping through more as the beer warms. The aroma's a bit too overwhelmed by the booziness for me, but it's not bad overall. The taste is led by strong burnt malt, toasted oak and bourbon flavors with a light sweetness from vanilla developing on the midpalate and finish. The vanilla definitely adds a positive dimension to the base beer without overwhelming the other flavors. The bourbon barrel still reigns supreme in this beer. The finish is a bit hot, but hints of vanilla still come through. Medium-bodied on the palate - perhaps a little lighter-bodied than I would have expected. The carbonation is moderate and the finish is on the sweet side with only a mild vanilla note and substantial alcohol warming. Definitely a sipper - the drinkability is very limited from the booziness and strong barrel taste. The depth of flavors, though, keeps it interesting. Overall, I like this better than the regular BCS I've had lately, but not as much as the Coffee BCS.

Photo of jwinship83
4.07/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle that was filled in november of 2010. i drank this one out of my stone IRS snifter/tulip. very excited about this one after the coffee version, and of course the regular one.

A- this one pours a completely black and thick looking body with a half finger of beige colored head. the head is quick to fizzle away and leaves behind little to no lacing.

S- dark roasted malts and an overwhelming sweetness are the first things that hit me here. there is lots of dark chocolate also. i can detect the bourbon as well. the level of vanilla coming from this is far too much to be just from an oak barrel. of course, i can pick up some alcohol. this is a 13% beer after all.

T- the dark roasted malts i could smell come to the front here. immediately after that i get a massive amount of sweetness from vanilla and chocolate. once again, the vanilla is way too strong to just be from oak. bourbon shows up and can take the blame for some of the alcohol i can taste.

M- very thick. very hot. very in your face. low level of carbonation. strong warming from the booze.

D- overall, i think i like the coffee version more than this. i must say, i was almost let down. this bottle was pretty hard for me to come by, even though its brewed in my own backyard. much too strong to drink by yourself, and the though of having more than one is laughable.

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 aasher
4.11/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one into my Founders snifter on my birthday. This beer poured an oily, midnight black with no head at all. Light cannot penetrate this black hole of a beer. It's a little sweet on the nose but the bourbon is well subdued. It's rich, roasty, and full of vanilla/bourbon sweetness. The sweetness keeps this from being invincible. The flavor too is a little too full of vanilla as well. It's kind of syrupy sweet. It's still a bourbon county but the vanilla is a little strong, even for a beer with vanilla in the name. The bourbon is nice, and very present, but the alcohol isn't overly noticeable. You get more "barrel" than alcohol in this one. It drinks exceptionally smooth. It's full bodied yet drinks like velvet. This beer is very good, but not as good as the coffee. I'm interested in seeing how this one ages.

Photo of tewaris
3.99/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz, bottled on 11.05.2010, sampled in December 2010.

Noticeably low on head, head retention, and lacing than most stouts, it looks pitch black and oily. The usual suspects are present but the coffee-chocolate notes are clearly shadowed by sweet alcohol and warm Vanilla.

The chocolate doesn't shine at all in the taste; the taste according to me was very acidic and astringent, even unlike the regular BCS. Odd. I expected Vanilla to add to the complexity of BCS but this seemed like a very different beer, considering that we had BCS next to us for comparison. The roast is stronger too, that I don't mind, but the overwhelming acidity is a minus. On top of that, the mouthfeel seemed thinner too.

Overall a good beer but nothing worth going crazy over.

Photo of Daniellobo
4.54/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chocolate and bourbon in brew form with a beautifully integrated vanilla sense.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. Simple light cream label design with black and gold font trying to have a somewhat sober and exclusive look (In essence a variation from the regular BCS) . Side narrative notes general brew intent, and history. Shows bottling date, (11/205/10) and dedicated glassware. Notes Alc. by Vol. (13.0%) Served in a snifter.

A - Black body, small dark brown-ruby edges with a small brown frothy head. Average to small retention with almost non-existent lacing.

S - Boozy bourbon notes, chocolate, vanilla range, and a boozy malt whiff. Sweet roastness with nicely integrated complexity.

T - Same outstanding stout roasted bourbon profile with pretty rich chocolate but paired this time with great dexterity around a current of vanilla.

M - Full body, creamy and thick, lingering texture with little but adequate carbonation.

D - Nice slow sipper.

Notes: Another nice variation from the BCS. There is nothing not to like but the hype. Yep, I think it is slightly over hyped, due in part to the apparently limited quantity, shortage in distribution, and final pricing, which is significantly higher than their regular offering or the Coffee Brand previously. That hinders its level somewhat because it is really not such a distant brew from the original BGS. In fact, happy as I am to have had a bottle of this, and all things considered, one can stick to the BCS without loosing much next to this one.

Photo of COBeerBuff
4.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received the bottle in trade from theminutemen.

Appearance: Poured into a Spiegelau tulip and yields a rich, deep opaque black liquid that seems almost as if would squelch any light that made it through. This is a very viscous beer. BCS is a solid beer, but this beer almost seems thicker. The top is crowned by a half finger of mocha tan colored head, and this beer's nucleation and lackluster resiliency is kind of surprising.

Smell: This is a very complex beer, and its nose doesn't fail in that regard. Upon opening the bottle, my first whiff struck me as the cliché "boozy mess." The first smell out of the tulip yielded vanilla, toffee, caramel, and bready malts that I would expect from a GI IS. My next inhale yielded more of the booziness that I was expecting. It continued to yo-yo back and forth as the beer warmed, before ending with a ton of vanilla, sweet sugars, and little bit of roastiness to cap it off.

Taste: This beer definitely lives up to its billing and hype. The first thing I taste is vanilla, but it's balanced so well with the toasted grains and the residual flavors from the barrel-aging that it's not too astringent or sweet for my tastes. There's also a little bit of the toffee that I picked up in the nose, and a hint of candied sugar, but the finish is all bourbon barrel goodness, and that's why I like this beer.

Mouthfeel: As the appearance suggested, this is a very viscous and hardy brew. Not for the faint of heart, this is definitely a sipper, as the heaviness (not to mention the alcohol) would quickly overwhelm all but the most patient drinker. The initial mouthfeel is not super heaving, but the -bal flavors help create a very full mouthfeel on the finish.

Drinkability: I would most definitely seek this beer out again. It's times like these I'm thankful for friends like theminutemen, who give me the opportunity to try beers that aren't distributed to Kansas. BCBVS is a very solid beer, and I'm super excited that I have a couple in the cellar as I see great things for this beer in the future.

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