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Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,045 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,045
Reviews: 391
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 8.71%
Wants: 1,435
Gots: 379 | FT: 13
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bourbon County Brand Stout spiced with fresh vanilla beans.

(Beer added by: rudylaw on 11-08-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,045 | Reviews: 391 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Khazadum
4.6/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally popped one of the many bottles I was able to snag throughout the city of Chicago. Decided a trip to Fort Wayne was worthy of popping this bad boy open. Poured into that same brandy snifter that has seen all the other variants of Bourbon County Brand Stout.

A- Solid inky body with an easy generation of dark brown chocolate head. Creamy, emulsive. Reminds me of a pharmaceutical in terms of how well these bubbles turned uniform out of the bottle. Lacing is perfect on each and every sip. Carbonated well and lasts for long periods of enjoyment.

S- Just like it says. This is bourbon county brand stout with vanilla. That heaven hill bourbon adding brown sugar sweetness with the sharp edges of ethanol. Never overwhelms, always stopping before I've had too much of that particular note. The vanilla is opening on the front. Nothing fake, or concentrated. It smells like vanilla bean, can't be confused with the vanilla oak notes or any other method people try to fake vanilla. This is well done in terms of complexity.

T- Opens with that sweet bourbon notation, the boozy nature comes out right afterwards. Slight alcoholic burn, but nothing that can be called distracting. As this fades out we have the rise of chocolate notes leading into a finish where the vanilla truly shines. It is a mixture of hot cocoa and vanilla edges. Nice rendition of a solid beer.

M- Smooth. Amazingly smooth. Creamy. Velvety. Carbonated just as I would like it to be. The nature is a bit above syrupy, making me realize how wrong I was on the best mouthfeel.

D- In terms of drinkability this shines. It never turns rancid in sweetness, never burns off my tastebuds or turns me away. I love this beer. It is sweet, sippable, gulpable, tasteable, and loveable.

Khazadum, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of SFLpunk
3.9/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to John B. and wedgie 9 for this one! 22oz brown glass pry-top.

Quick review:
Pours a thick inky oily black with cappuccino-colored head that drops down low but never quite goes away. Nose is all about big roasted grains, coffee, dark chocolate, bourbon and of course vanilla beans. Palate is fat and wide, silky smooth with a nice warming alcohol, and a good amount of residual sugar. Flavors of coffee with heavy cream, vanilla beans, straight-up bourbon, toasted oak, and molasses/black-strap rum. Long, somewhat cloying finish.

This is a HUGE beer. I love BCBS. I love BCBCS. BCBVS is decent, but not unique from the original and not necessarily an "improvement." I would be just as happy drinking the original recipe. I'd say this one suffers from being somewhat sweeter and a little thicker than the BCBS. Still damn fine, just not worth the effort to get it.

SFLpunk, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of hopsbreath
3.55/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A big thanks goes out to zimmerbloke and GraniteSkunk for each hooking me up with one of these. Tonight I'm cracking the top on one to try fresh and the other is gonna get stashed away for a few years. Thanks guys. I'm really looking forward to this one.

A: Split into a pair of Goose Island goblets, I shared this bomber with my wife TulipSnifter. The pour yields about a finger of dark sand head that quickly recedes to just a ring inside the glass. About a dime size island of froth lives on top of an almost black dark brown body with ruby brown edges. No lacing but who cares. Its a 13% bourbon barrel aged stout. Whad'ya think was gonna grace the inside of this glass. 3.5/5

S: The aroma of this beer might just be the single best thing it has going for it. The over-powering (in a good way) Bourbon essence singes the nose hairs oh-so-short while the caramel from the same Bourbon lends a nice sweetness. I just had a regular Bourbon County Stout last week but I kind of wish I had opened another along side this because while I smell some vanilla here, I can't remember if its more so than the base beer. Either way its quite a fantastic smell that is a great showcase for the Bourbon. Its truly memorable. 4.5/5

T: Whoa! There's the big booze again! I'm a sucker for some big boozy barrel aged beers though so I like it! The alcohol on this bad boy is definitely "tongue numbing". Reaching past the numbness, a sweet dark chocolate is a big part of the flavor profile that shares the big Bourbon yoke with a definite vanilla that is not there in the base beer. Its almost off-putting sweet and IMO was much better when coffee was added in the BCBCS. Its not bad though. 3.5/5

M: A little too sticky on the finish. Its nice and thick on the palate but just not as clean as I would prefer. If I think of this more as a dessert beer I'm more okay with this aspect of the beer. I should mention again here that this is literally tongue numbing. 3/5

D: I wanted to love this beer but just couldn't. It took me a few hours to work through an eleven ounce pour of this. I am more than curious what this will turn into in a few years, but for now the intense heat and almost cloying sweetness are fighting too hard to let the vanilla shine as brightly as I think it should be. Hopefully it hangs in there while this mellows so my future review will be more favorable. Right now, its kind of meh. 3/5

hopsbreath, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.2/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from a very generous jale. Opened with my wife to celebrate her graduation tonight!

Dark beer, to the point of black, nearly obvious since it's base is Bourbon County. A finger of tan foam with a short life, most of its time spent as a ring around the glass. Vanilla comes through as a leading component in the aroma, behind which is your typical Bourbon County aromas, bourbon + roast + chocolate, especially bourbon. Rich as shit, just about as expected.

It tastes flat out delicious, tons of roasted malty richness. The vanilla is more strong in the smell than the taste, but still slightly apparent. The bourbon character is smoother with less heat than the original.

Nice medium-heavy body, about the same as standard Bourbon County. Overall an excellent beer, not too far from what I expected it would taste like but that still means it's good.

TurdFurgison, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of in780
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bomber with my wife. Served in a tulip. Here we go:

A - Pours a shiny, glimmering black with a small brown head that dissipates almost immediately.

S - Vanilla comes through as the dominant aroma, with some chocolate and a little bourbon (not as strong as the other variations - the vanilla seems to be masking it well)

T - Sweetness dominates, but not just vanilla (though that's what stands out the most)...complex, with chocolate and oatmeal, some roastiness, and of course bourbon on the finish. Gotta say - the bourbon is not nearly as noticeable as in the standard BCBS, or even the coffee. Wouldn't say it's balanced, as the sweetness really stands out - drinks like a dessert. But wouldn't want it any other way - it's called vanilla for a reason, if you like vanilla (and I do) - it's spot on.

M - Thick and creamy, just enough carbonation to give it some life, but not distracting

D - It warms well, no problem finishing a pint, and against my better judgement would continue with another if given a chance. Sadly, I was not.

Standard BCBS is one of my favorites, I thought the coffee version was even better, and this variation is just as good as that one, only sweeter.

in780, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of jpmclaug
4.63/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. Sharing this one with my girlfriend. I got this as an early Christmas present from my girlfriend's brother. Awesome!

A - Black body with a big tan head at first that quickly runs away.

S - Sweet, bourbony, sweet, soy sauce, a light roast and vanilla. Really sweet smelling and a really nice aroma typical of other RIS's but with a bourbony bite. Really this thing smells top notch.

T - I really like this. The base beer is still present in the flavor giving a nice roasty almost coffee like flavor in the finish. Big smooth bourbon notes up front. Sweeter than normal BCBS. The vanilla is present and prominent but I always thought regular BCBS had a nice vanilla flavor to it as well.

M - pretty heavy, sticky on the lips. Basically what a big stout should be. The barrel aging doesn't thin this one out like other big stouts.

D - Really not too difficult to drink for the ABV. I mean it is a bourbon barrel aged beer so you wouldn't catch me chugging it but it has disappeared from my glass surprisingly fast. I'm really enjoying this one and would pick it up again in a second if I had the chance. I'm glad I have some more to age to see how this develops.

jpmclaug, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of jt31914
4.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful black with light vanilla colored head. Not a lot of retention, color is typical of style.

S: Light vanilla, oatmeal, bourbon and dark chocolate. The vanilla is present but not overdone. very nice.

T: So smooth! Great flavors melded together with a wonderful vanilla finish. The palate is met with a grainy oat flavor as well as some chocolate; the bourbon hits in the middle and the vanilla evens out the finish. Goose Island once again hits the mark!

M: Super smooth and rich. A little flat perhaps, but otherwise perfect.

D: Drinkable for the style, good stuff.

jt31914, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of Jayli
3.8/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz Bottled 11/05/2010
Consumed 12/2 poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a deep, dark, opaque brown with a one finger of dark brown head. Head recedes quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: Nose is bourbon, vanilla, and roasted malts. Did I mention bourbon?

T: Taste is extremely boozy at the forefront. Hellooo bourbon! Once that booziness sudsides a bit a big healthy dose of vanilla comes rolling in. Roasted, charred malts and then a thick, rich bitter bakers chocolate or maybe dark chocolate finishes this out, with some extra vanilla creeping on in.

M: Full body, low carbonation, silky, creamy body.

D: Goes down ok, filling, big kick, nice representation of style. I think this beer will do a bit better with some age on it.

Jayli, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of OlieIPA
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my good trading partner paco for this beer! Poured into a Stone IRS tulip glass from a 22 oz. bottle.

A: A big black body that supported a brief deep mocha colored head and lacing. I'll take into account the ample amount of alcohol present in this beer and it's affect on it's appearance, but it's retention in both the lacing and head have to be accounted for somewhat.

S: Just like the original, the bourbon and alcohol take center stage in the aroma profile. The vanilla kicks in immediately after, lending a gentle/masking agent to the oak, molasses and residual sugar qualities. Both complex and robust at the same time...very impressive!

T: The vanilla bean has an immediate impact on the flavor profile. It adds a graham cracker flavor that wasn't present in the original and perhaps adds a softness to the overall flavor profile. Lots of a oak, bourbon, chocolate malt, molasses and brown sugar...but again, the vanilla adds more complexity and helps round out the beer.

M: Creamy, carbonated, and helps highlight the best qualities of the beer! Absolutely perfect!

D: The only problem I've had with BCS in the past is the ability to polish off a full pint...but with this added ingredient, there's no problem. Again, perfect!!!!

Overall: Can't say this for all modified versions...but VBCS is a definite upgrade from the original. A must try! Cheers!

OlieIPA, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of trbergman
4.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a cervoise from a 22oz bottle.

A - Pitch black with a thin crema of mocha-colored foam that recedes to a ring around the glass.

S - Much like Bourbon County Coffee, Vanilla has a toned-down bourbon presence in the nose. It's there, but not overwhelming. There's plenty of creamy sweet vanilla aroma, as well as chocolate, raisin, and a hint of smoke. Fantastic!

T - Roast barley, smoke, chocolate, raisin, vanilla, dulce de leche, bourbon. Sweeter and more mellow than your standard issue BCS. There's a lingering hop and roast bitterness that lingers into the finish, along with a prickle of alcohol. Really well executed by Goose Island.

M - Chewy, full body; velvet smooth.

D - A hefty beer to be sure, but a rather easy sipper despite its strength. Highly recommended.

trbergman, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of teamizm
4.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Wadsey for extreme generosity for this beer.

A - Poors a dark black, almost motor oil like, with very little head and a tad bit of lacing.

S - Holy crap. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, booze, and more bourbon.

T - sweet vanilla and bourbon. I really loved the taste of this beer. For one, I love the more vanilla noted bourbons (e.g., Four Roses), so this really up my alley. Although, the sweetness can get a little strong as you keep sipping.

M - Velvety, sticky, creamy. Just awesome.

D - boozy, but awesome with a piece of chocolate. Definitely not a sports watching beer, but still very drinkable for the amount of octane in the beer.

teamizm, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of Spica66
3.43/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed at romm temperature from tulips on Black Friday with gwuilliums right after we had split of bottle of Rare BCBS with my mother-in-law.

A: Extremely dark and somewhat viscous pour. Medium head formation and minimal retention. Some lacing as you drink.

S: This smells much sweeter than the Rare. The vanilla is definitely in the forefront of the nose on this one. There is still a good malt base and some booziness to it, but vanilla is the main player here.

T: Too sweet. Flat out, just too damn sweet for me. The usual BCBS maltiness and booziness are there, but the vanilla is overpowering to me.

M: Beautiful, full-body with enough carbonation to be lively on your tongue. Very, very nice.

D: If you like your RIS towards the sweeter end of things, you will give a higher score than I did.

Spica66, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of gford217
4.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to a generous BA for this bottle.

Pours extremely dark brown out of the bottle but settles in pitch black in the glass. There's a small bubbly mocha head that recedes quickly to small collar.

The aroma is fantastic and very similar to the regular BCS. There is a ton of dark roasted malts, cocoa powder and dark fruits. The bourbon is definitely more subdued than in a fresh BCS bottle with the vanilla mellowing it out a bit.

The taste is a notch better than the aroma for me and the vanilla comes out more, especially up front. The backbone is heavily roasted chocolate malts with some tobacco. The bourbon is heavy in the finish with oak, vanilla and alcohol.

The mouthfeel is completely decadent, like dessert in a bottle. Thick, creamy and full bodied with soft carbonation with a pleasant burn going down.

As with the coffee version, it's pretty tough to top the original BCS for me but it's still a fantastic beer. The vanilla mellows the bourbon and might make it a little more drinkable than the original.

gford217, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of cosmicevan
3.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a glossy deep and dark black into my oversized snifter with a relatively thin mocha colored head which almost immediately got eaten up by the booze presence. like the other BCBSs this one is an oilfield of a stout with a bourbon-like shine.

s - the odor is definitely chilled by the vanilla. with the other BCBSs i noticed the smell fill the room during my pour...not so much with the vanilla. the vanilla seems to chill back all of the flavor of the beer...but in a good way. it blends really nice and works so well with the bourbon and the night stalker base that i find myself just smelling this beer taking big whaffs over & over again.

t - wow, as the other BCBSs...pretty intense. the vanilla is VERY in your face. reading through other reviews it seems that 1/2 don't notice the vanilla and the other half finds it a little in your face. i fall on the side of a bit in your face. note, i like to drink my beers at room temperature since i find that the flavor is more present than when cold. that may be the reason i'm getting such a strong vanilla taste? i drank the regular BCBS a few times recently and this one is a different animal (imo). very much like a vanilla shake or when you bake and go heavy on the vanilla. in fact, at first that was all i tasted. drinking a bit more and my thoughts haven't changed. i had really expected the vanilla to be more subtle in the mix...i'm sure with some time this one would be fantastic but fresh a bit heavy on the vanilla. none-the-less, a dynamite beer and worth the taste. notes of chocolate in there, even the bourbon sweetness is pretty dominated by the vanilla sweetness and flavor. the ABV is well hidden in the taste but the affects of the ABV hit hard with a BA beer this fresh. i find that the regular BCBS better than this one fresh and the ones i've had with some age have always exhibited a more mellow vibe with the alc. i think that this beer was made to put some time on it. glad i was lucky enough to get a few to hang onto.

m/d - the hype, the chase, and eventual finding of this beer was a really fun quest. as a big fan of the other BCBs this one was by far the hardest to get ahold of when it came out. having tried it fresh, i do feel a bit disappointed after all that hype...but i bet with some time this one will be fantastic. even fresh, it's still smooth and creamy. in fact one of the easiest drinking BA beers i've ever had...if you don't like vanilla you won't like this though, it is a vanilla BOMB (imo). the vanilla just chills everything else out. not as good as the coffee and i've been drinking more of the regular BCS and think that one trumps this one as well. i was lucky enough to get a few of these, so let's see what some time does.

cosmicevan, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of FanofHefe
3.68/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip. Dark black color with a very slight dark tan head that dissipates promptly.

Nice aroma of bourbon, roasted malt, caramel. Slight notice of the alcohol.

VERY sweet flavors. The bourbon is noticeable, along with a very strong chocolate flavor. Dark fruit, as well, but the vanilla is in the background. A little hot on the alcohol side.

Very little carbonation. The sweetness masks some of the alcohol, but not all of it.

High abv makes this one to enjoy over time. Overall, the sweet flavors did not appeal to me, but it is very well put together for this style.

FanofHefe, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.5/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A hard one to track down. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Portsmouth snifter. Shared with schen9303.

A: Pours like all the other versions of GI BCBS. .5 finger dark mocha head with moderate retention. Beer is an opaque black. Lacing is spotty and with no stick. Appropriate but still, not much to look at.

S: Nose is heavy on the bourbon and heat. Notes of chocolate, dark fruit, sweet soy sauce, creamy hops, and booze. Vanilla is detectable but very very muted. Pushed way in the back. Not nearly what I expected.

T: Opens chocolate, creamy hops, sweet soy sauce, and a hint of prunes and raisins. Booze creeps up little by little and crescendos right at the finish before fading out gradually. No bitterness whatsoever. Incredibly sweet. Heat is prominent throughout. Vanilla sweetness finally detectable right at the finish. Aftertaste is oily and sweet bourbon.

M: Full bodied and lightly carbonated. Slightly prickly in the mouth. Oily and heavy on the palate and really coats the entire inside of the mouth. Very hot throughout even for the 13% ABV. Finish is accented and aftertaste is sticky and lingers.

D: The coffee version this is not... nor is it the aged regular version. Vanilla is very muted here and only serves to make a sweet beer even sweeter. Hot throughout. This is on par with a fresh GI BCS but not much more. Worth a try if you get the chance but if you don't, you're not missing out on much.

SpeedwayJim, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of yourefragile
3.85/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle shared by a friend. Bottled 11/05/10

Well, this beer is who we thought it was. Aroma and flavor obviously have the strong, undeniably distinct GI BCS bourbon characteristics (same as the coffee had). Unlike the coffee, the vanilla extract has a stronger presence and its not as cloyingly repulsive as I find beers like...oh I don't know... Victory at Sea. I wouldn't say the vanilla treatment is in balance with the base beer as each sip and whiff is perceived to go in a different direction (first bourbon, then roast malt, then vanilla, then back) without ever settling on a cohesive whole. Oddly, I enjoy this effect and find the body to be very smooth, thick and chewy. Only other real ding I have for this is the appearance which seems a little thin and has a short lasting head. Some age on this will be interesting, but I'm not convinced if it can get any better. A fun treatment, but I'd rather drink the regular or coffee over this.

yourefragile, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of cbutova
4.13/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a snifter pitch black with a small dark tan head that falls as quickly as it rises. No laces to speak of at all from a small ring.

S- A big mix of Bourbon, tons of wood/oak, huge chocolate notes and vanilla. Vanilla is there but is certainly not huge. Alcohol and old caramel as well. Very appetizing.

T- Huge notes of bourbon, oak, roast dark cocoa and caramel malt (probably from the age). The vanilla helps to round out the flavor but is certainly not dominant here, it is still alcoholic and very hot.

MF- Silky and creamy thick body with a huge hot finish. Carbonation is right where it should be.

DB- This beer is still scorching hot, that being said it is also delicious. I had no problem splitting the bomber two ways at all. Expected much more vanilla.

cbutova, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of zeff80
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

zeff80, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
4.43/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jdiddy for cracking this one open. Pours one shade shy of black with no head. Nose reveals vanilla, roasted malt, bourbon and molasses. Taste consistent with nose - wow, this really comes together nicely and the vanilla imparts a very smooth character to the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a lively carbonation and some alcohol heat. This is a really great beer and perhaps my favorite of the three (standard, coffee and vanilla). I can only imagine how much this beer with improve with age, although I have to say that it's very smooth right now.

Jwale73, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally. Thanks to a good trading partner for hooking me up with this.
Pours a viscous dark brown with a shortly lived beige head. Very similar to what you'd expect from this.
Smell is wonderful bourbon, some coffee, little bit of vanilla and just a hint of chocolate.
Taste is exactly what I was expecting and wanted. Regular Bourbon County with a kiss of vanilla. Absolutely wonderful. Got a little bit of char and sweetness that play wonderfully together. Unlike the Coffee version of Bourbon County, this offering brings the heat. The coffee version actually shocked me in how mellow and incredible easy drinking it was. This one you can feel and taste the burn from the high abv. That being said, I had no problem finishing the entire bomber by myself and enjoying every last drop of it.
Very happy to have tried this and would be curious to see how this ages.

FtownThrowDown, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
4/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into my Darkness glass...Pours a dark oily and thick black. Hardly any head is discouraging...The aroma is lighter than the original version, a lot of the "hotness" of the bourbon is numbed which is actually pretty nice. I guess the vanilla adds some age to the beer. Ironically, I don't get really get any vanilla. As it warms a light vanilla notes come, just wish it was more prevalent...The taste is hotter than the aroma and is basically like the original. Not much vanilla comes through at all, again slightly deadens the heat of the bourbon. The finish is really harsh and biter coffee, killing the drinkability for me. On a positive not, this is a little bit more creamy than bcs.

A good beer, but not an improvement over the original. Vanilla needs to be much stronger.

jrallen34, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of crossovert
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle.

This one pours a dense, dark black with a huge foamy dark-tan head. The head sticks for a bout a minute then quickly recedes with no lacing.

The smell is like your typical BCS with lots of bourbon, some raostiness and also some chocolate, BUT with a nice underlying of vanilla. The oak and vanilla smooth it out very nicely.

The vanilla is immediately identifiable in this beer. Although unlike the BCBCS this one doesn't cut down on the sweetness, it does smooth out the alcohol. I'm glad that they used 08 vintage BCS as the beer itself is rather harsh when fresh. All in all it is a lot smoother than its big brother.

Goose Island with another great BCS variation here.

crossovert, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of jsh420
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottled 11/05/10 0855

pours motor oil black with maybe a 1/8 fizzy finger tan head that fades to a film and left no lacing

smell is not as strong as the regular bcbs but is much sweeter -burnt molasses bourbon oak and vanilla

taste is exceptional - the vanilla really does stand out (i dont know what the others are talking about) - i do not think i would want anymore vanilla flavor - it blends perfectly with the bourbon and chocolate flavors - i also did not think that this beer was hot yes booze is present but not overpowering or distracting to any of the flavors in fact it adds

mouthfeel is a little thinner then the other bcbs brews but is still that leaves that slick coat of bourbony goodness over the roof of your mouth

drinkability - i drank all but 4oz of this bomber - sure it took me almost 2 hours but sipping on this and watching a great basketball game was a perfect night

jsh420, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of champ103
4.43/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This unexpectedly fell into my lap as I was on a beer run this Thanksgiving weekend with my parents in Illinois.

A: Pours an opaque black color. Typical of the BCS beers, just an impenetrable black. A two finger tan head forms at first pour, then recedes to a collar that sticks throughout.
S: Big chocolate and vanilla in the nose. Some warming alcohol, but not at all burning. Toasted malt and wood.
T: Everything that is in the nose, but better. Huge milk chocolate, coco, and vanilla beans. Toasted malt. A great oak/wood flavor as well that really counters the big sweetness out perfectly. Some warming alcohol. Just huge, and lingers on forever.
M/D: A full body that is so decadent and smooth. Velvety and creamy. Not heavy, viscous, or syrupy at all. So easy to sip on. Some warming alcohol of coarse, but a real treat to sip on.

This is incredible, like the other BCS beers. I think this works a lot better than the coffee version though. I feel the vanilla melds better with the other nuances of the beer. The original is still the best (with a couple of years on it), but this gives it a run for its money. Highly recommend.

champ103, Dec 01, 2010
Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,045 ratings.