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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.

1,110 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,110
Reviews: 395
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 8.71%
Wants: 1,465
Gots: 413 | FT: 15
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)
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Ratings: 1,110 | Reviews: 395 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oglmcdgl
4.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A bottle thanks to my amazing sister lauren. Split on the late with onix1agr and sourbatchkid.

A- a small cap of dark brown creamy head from a hard pour that settles. Quickly to leave an almost mirror finish and just the faintest of rings around the glass. A good hard swirl brings it right back but disappears soon enough again. Deep tar black with just the tinny tiniest dark brown glow at the edges. Well I gota say it looks pretty good.

S- huge amounts of bourbon barrel, dark chocolate, fudge brownies, vanilla. Just a pile driver of a nose on this. The booze does put quite the impression on ya. Very sweet and roasty.

T- super dark chocolate and almost burnt malts. The bourbon is intense and cuts its way right down the middle of this beer and almost takes over before it slowly rolls into a very sweet vanilla and creamy milk chocolate finish. Booze soaked dark fruits with some raisins and dates. The booze and chocolate come together to give you a ga diva liquor fail at times.

M- super full bodied, not the thickest brew ever but I'd be lying to say it wasn't as big as it is. Light creamy carb and when given a good aeration, becomes a milk chocolate bourbon wip cream in the mouth. Now this is still a very hot beer. The heat on the palate is intense and aggressive even being the 08 base beer, but hell its a 13 abv barrel aged beer I'm sure it will cool with some more time.

D- this is a monster of a beer and one of the more complex and intense I've ever had. Its a good thing I split this with some friends because I don't know if I'd be able to handle the whole deuce deuce. I'm blown away by this stuff and can't wait to try the other I have in about a year. Thank you sis this is one of the best xmas presents ever so now you've locked that up and the best I've ever gotten.

Photo of sprucetip
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dense, thick, black liquid with thin mocha head that does not linger long, and doesn't leave any lacing.

Strong Vanilla, bourbon, very woody, malty sweet, and boozy warmth. Wow.

Bourbon lies beneath the vanilla, amazingly. But the synergistic effect amplifies each, and they blend delicately with chocolate, malty sweetness, and roasted grains. Moderate alcohol and even some dark fruit add even more depth. The dark fruit might be the vanilla, but, whatever.... It's awesome!

Low/medium carbonation, boozy warmth, thick full body and viscosity. Wicked rich.

Nothing short of amazing. I think the Rare was a tad bit better, at least different, but I didn't take notes for a review. I'll get to that in a year or two.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to a couple folks for this.

2.0 A: Hmm, didn't expect this. Like the regular and coffee varieties, this one isn't very sexy. I dare say it's worse. Pours thick with a rich black color. Just a half finger of medium brown fizzy soda pop head that falls at breakneck speed. No surprise to see no lacing.

4.5 S: Like the original, this smells delicious, but I'm a bit surprised at how mellow the vanilla is. Don't get me wrong, it's clearly present, but I am somewhat surprised that it wasn't overdone. Afterall, there are some vanilla notes in the original anyway. Anyway, the vanilla accentuates the bourbon aroma - the oak, the leather, the booze, and of course the vanilla. The underlying stout offers what the original has. A light roastiness, a fairly strong caramel and molasses sweetness, and some semisweet chocolate, and of course some booze.

4.5 T: Ahhhh, I see now. The vanilla is very strong in the taste and more along what I was expecting. Bourbon components stand out in the taste as well - booze, oak, melon, and leather. Roastier than the nose with blackstrap molasses, caramel, brown sugar, semisweet chocolate, and a touch of coffee.

4.0 M: Thick, syruppy body. Despite the lack of head formation, there's plenty of carbonation and, in fact, maybe a bit much. Silky smooth and goes down easily. A bit of warming on finish, but the booze is otherwise hidden spectacularly.

4.5 D: I like the coffee version better, but that's exactly what I expected to happen so I'm not surprised. Still, this was an awesome drink and I'm glad I have a couple more on route. All the great aspects of the regular are there, with the added burst of vanilla.

Photo of Bmoyer0301
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4


Tonight I decided to use my crystal whiskey snifter that came with my Sam Adams Utopias bottle. This baby is perfect for catching all the small nuances from the aroma and even opens up the beer a lot more than a normal goblet, and not to mention its really classy looking. As I pulled the cap off this special ale there was a generous amount of hissing and carbonation gas that came out of the sleek bomber bottle. On the pour I decided to tilt my glass gently because I didn't want to overflow this tiny glass with head. Once done I was left with a rich and heavy dark brown almost chocolate colored head that was one finger thick but it quickly faded away to nothing, I am not concerned at all. As I hold my glass up to the light this is as black an Satan's soul with absolutely no light passing through and no haze or yeast chunks to mention of. As I give a final swirl the viscosity is heavy and clings to walls of the glass and leaves a reddish coating.


Oh baby, this is what it is all about. Huge, huge huge, pungent aromas just bellowing out of my glass. Let me start with bourbon which is very noticeable but yet has such a smoothness and no sharp alcohol behind it. Vanilla is right behind it rounding out all of the roasty, toasty, chocolate malts. In the finish oak is what it is all about, leaving some nice woody tannins and earthiness to accentuate all of the bold flavors. There is some heat alcohol going on here but nothing too crazy on in the nose and no hop presence at all. Perfection.


I think I just died and went to heaven. If you love the Bourbon County Stout series like me this is a no brainer. Just copious amounts of chocolate, figs, roast hit you right out of the gate. Then to just remind you of its name one more time the bourbon sucker punches you right after it. Then after you think you couldn't take anymore vanilla follows and just smooths out everything harmoniously. There is a serious adventure in every sip here because I keep pulling out more and more flavors as my glass warms. Wood, earthiness, a slight spice from the bourbon? Bourbon soaked black cherries, leather, and even a very fine sweet pipe tobacco. There is no harsh burn from the high ABV which could make this a very dangerous beer. The finish is just as smooth as they come, long and syrupy coating my throat with excellence. Another home run for Goose Island in my opinion.


Overall this was a killer beer and one of my best ones that I have reviewed to date in my opinion. The complexity is all over the place with smooth vanilla wrapped around a very aggressive barrel aged beer. I wasn't quite sure how I would feel about this one after the coffee version because I REALLY liked that one and I think that this one beats it hands down. As far as drinkability goes, its going to be a slow sipper and not something you are going to find all the time so be sure you savor every last drop. I would highly recommend this beer to a bourbon lover and to a person who likes big stouts in general, if you come across one snag it up. I think I am going to go pair my second half of the bottle with a nice cigar that I have been saving since Santa brought me a new propane outdoor heater. TJ thanks again for this epic bottle and I couldn't have enjoyed this beer without you.

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

Huge thanks to StayWhatYouAre2 for brining this to our annual rare stout tasting. 650ml bottle shared three ways and poured into a Bruery snifter.

A: Viscous looking pour appears completely black in the glass, without letting any light penetrate. Very, very small mocha colored head that disappears quickly to leave only a thin ring behind. Minimal lacing.

S: Wow, potent! Lots of bourbon, vanilla, toffee, and chocolate. A slight roastiness and some booze and oak also come through. A lot going on here, and I like it.

T: Bourbon, vanilla and sweet milk chocolate are very dominant. Really nice balance of flavors, although they are mainly sweet at the start. Finishes with some smoke, toffee, and booze. The best way I can describe the flavor is a liquid Heath Bar, and that taste lingers and lingers and lingers. Absolutely delicious.

M: Good viscosity and low carbonation; coating, creamy, and slightly chewy. Not surprising considering the base beer, but even more pleasant than the regular BCBS. This is exceptional.

D: This is excellent, but is in no way drinkable, especially after the first five stouts we worked our way through before this one. 13% can't be ignored, and it will catch up to you. This is a sipper for sure, but by sipping you can really get a lot more out of it. Delicious!

Photo of Urbancaver
4.68/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- darker than the other bourbon county beers. A bit of light brown head that hangs on the edges of the glass.

Smell- so much vanilla! Sme oak and bourbon characteristics but the vanilla overpowers.

Taste- good bourbon profile. Seems like strong bourbon than the regular bourbon county. Lots of vanilla on the tongue. Almost enough to feel the bitterness from the beans.

Mouthfeel- not as thick as bourbon county rare but very strong and solid.

Drinkability- very drinkable for such a strong beer.

Photo of drink1121
3.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a dark black with a tan head- the sign of a big stout

S- booze hits the nose straight away. It's really overpowering booze the more I smell. I get some faint roasted malts way behind it but mostly heat which I like but it's too much

T-licorice up front and behind it I get vanilla but like oaky vanilla like vanilla bean vanilla. Pipe tobacco, caramel sweet ness and roasted malts are all there

M- good thick and chewy mouthfeel

D- struggling to finish my half of the bottle, too boozy for me. Also not very much vanilla either despise the name and thought

Photo of womencantsail
4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
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 Gobzilla
4.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a black as night black in color with very liitle brown highlights on the edges that had a thin head and left very little lacing sticking to the glass. The bourbon vanilla aroma really do pop on the nose with chocolate, mild roasty, booze, caramel, and mild coffee notes; nice nose faux show. The vanilla flavors were excellent with borubon chocolate accents but did have caramel, mild coffee, roastiness character, and boozy notes. The brew was medium to full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation that had a sweet, roasty, vanilla, and silky finish. This brew was really tasty and was not as boozy as all the other variations. I'm glad I got to try it and was definitely as sipper.

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.68/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deeper and darker than Ebony... not a hint of light shines through. It pours with just a whisp of a Mahogany head that hangs around for just a minute or so before the lacing drips away like hot caramel off of an apple.

S- Started off while cold... Malty and woody with hints of vanilla and cocoa. This beer takes some warming up before the vanilla and oak really shine thru. After sitting around for a bit, lots of licorice and cherry. Notes of leather and toffee and roasted nuts.

T- Malty, chocolatey and delicious... nice alcohol bite without being harsh. This beer really opens up and sucks you in when it warms up. The vanilla is hardly noticeable which was a bit dissapointing, but there is so much more going on with this roasty brew. Butterscotch, Hersheys, licorice and rope candy.

M- It really coats your mouth and rolls sweetly down your throat. The taste dances on your tongue long after the last swallow.

D- Though not an everyday beer... It's an amazing experience that every beer lover should try at least once. I wanted to save this one for a special occasion... then realized that the "OCCASION" was opening and drinking this beer!

Photo of david131
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- The liquid is absolutely pitch black with a splotchy orange/brown head. Overall it looks viscous and oily.

S- Bourbon, oak, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and alcohol. Very aromatic and pungent. Extremely appealing, although it does not smell that different from the original Bourbon County Stout.

T- Ah-ha, there is a difference in the flavor. All of the aspects noticed in the aroma are apparent, but a bit sweeter. The vanilla is not a huge addition, but it acts more as an ingredient and emphasizes the rest of the flavors- like a decadent chocolate cake. Absolutely delicious.

M- Oily and creamy with a notable amount of carbonation to keep it from becoming too thick. The flavors persist for quite some time.

D- Although it is 13% ABV, it is pretty drinkable. It is rich and delicious and worth splitting a bomber.

Photo of corby112
4.43/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest hint of lighter color when held to a light source and a one finger frothy mocha head that very slowly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic streaks and spots of lacing left behind.

Aroma-WOW!! An amazing combination of sweet bourbon, silky chocolate malt, oak, vanilla, toffee and hazelnut. There is a lot of bourbon in the nose but it is amazingly balanced by the other characteristics.

Chewy medium body with a huge blast of hot sweet bourbon up front that lingers throughout into a chest warming finish. Although the bourbon is prominent it is excellently balanced by the silky chocolate malt, toffee, coffee bean and vanilla notes. Complex with some oaky character that adds to the vanilla flavor. The vanilla beans really smooth things out making this beer dangerously drinkable. There is some nice heat but overall the 13% ABV is very well masked.

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

Pours a deep black with a small brown head. Quickly dissipates. Big time vanilla bean and bourbon aroma. Whiffs of coffee and chocolate as well. Beer started off with a big kick of molasses, maple syrup, coffee and chocolate notes as it was colder. Vanilla and bourbon flavors came thought a bit at the finish. However, as I worked through the beer, big time vanilla bean flavor took over. Nice rush at the start as well as a bit of cherry bourbon flavor, followed by another lingering splash of the vanilla flavor. The coffee and chocolate flavors are still a bit present as it warms, but definitely give way. A very thick mouthfeel. At 13%, the alcohol is barely present. Well crafted.

Photo of nickd717
3.8/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to alfrantzell for sharing this bomber.

Pours black and rather thick with a small tan head that fades to thick foam ring.

Big awesome aroma of vanilla, chocolate, roast, bourbon, molasses, and soy sauce.

The flavor starts good but finishes a little too sweet. Big bourbon, booze, and molasses, with vanilla bean and coffee, followed by big sugary sweetness. Some soy sauce, but not too much.

Full bodied and very slick, with a long finish.

A solid beer, and would be great if not for the insane sweetness. Not one of the best in this great series though.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.7/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thick, dense, two finger thick, richly brown colored head. The beer is opaque and almost midnight black. The aroma smells more of Bourbon than vanilla; there is vanilla aromatics, but it is not so expressive that I wouldn't attribute this to the Bourbon / oak influence. The nose gets a bit boozy as it warms up, though it doesn't quite get to point of coming off as harsh. The stout aromatics play a secondary role to the huge Bourbon aromatics.

Beer is thick, viscous and rich as it rests on the palate. The flavor of vanilla is most definitely here though; smooth, creamy and vanilla mixes with big Bourbon notes. The Bourbon character provides lots of toasted coconut and smooth spiciness up front, but gets hot, boozy and a bit harsh in the finish. The malt character is somewhat secondary, but contributes big time to the heft of this beer; rich notes of dark chocolate, sweetened coffee liquor, and an ample roast character are all present, but play more supporting roles to the dominant Bourbon and Vanilla flavors.

A 13% abv beer is just too big for this kind of treatment; a 13% beer is already going to be a bit boozy, but Bourbon barrel aging only accentuates this and that has most definitely happened here. Certainly an enjoyable beer, but it has really made me realize that I like less and less the hot, boozy, harshness that comes out in beers that are too high in strength. I also think that drinking order might have an effect on my perception of these beers; my original rating of regular Bourbon County Stout was made after a night of enjoying a couple other beers, and other times that I came back to it I always found it a bit boozy, but didn't update my rating. For this vanilla interpretation, this was my first, and only beer of the night, and the boozy, hot alcohol was a really hard thing to ignore as I drank this beer. This is certainly not a bad beer, and I would enjoy it as a night cap in small amounts.

Photo of OakedCanuck
4.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz shared with my brother, poured into oversized wine glass

A - Black as night, brown head that was slight and didn't stay around long. Minimal lacing

S - Vanilla is very strong, but with a nice underlayering of roasty chocolate. You can smell the sweetness.

T - The vanilla taste is well balanced with the typical BCBS base. It is distinct but not overpowering, it is the star, but doesn't hog the spotlight. The roasty malts and nuttiness of the base comes through nicely.

M - Heavy, super sticky and sweet. Good aftertaste though, vanilla!

D - A true sipper, you get the vanilla you are expecting. I think this might be even better after some time in the cellar, more muted vanilla might help the complexity show through. Great beer.

Photo of stbo101
4.68/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This pours as black as black can be. Light can not be seen thru the poured glass. A reddish tan thin head tops the stout and then dissipates quickly.

S: The first thing I noticed was the incredible bourbon smell with hints of vanilla and chocolate that followed. As it warmed, the vanilla really starts to come thru.

T: A perfect combination of spicy bourbon, chocolate and vanilla. As the glass warmed the vanilla begins to really find it's way to the forefront.

M: Smooth and thick with a slight bite when cold.

D: This BCBVS is very drinkable! On a cold January night it is perfect. All of the flavors are incredibly enjoyable.

Photo of jjanega08
4.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A= This beer pours a really really thick looking black color. Totally black out with no light shining through when held to the light and the head is almost nothing before falling to the thinnest ring around the glass. I have a hard time seeing bubbles be able to burst through the thickness with the way the pour looked.

S= Potent for sure. I can smell it from several feet away. I get a nice mix of booze and sweet vanilla. The barrel ageing is evident as a little wood comes through. There is a nice chocolate note coming through as well. The dominate nose is for sure booze and vanilla as I mentioned before.

T= The taste is a awesome. The vanilla comes through perfectly. The wood and vanilla makes this a really great combo. There is the great Bourbon County flavor you already love but then a vanilla blanket on it. It's almost difficult to realize this is the same base beer where the coffee version was such a light change this is much more dramatic. There is a the barrel and vanilla flavors are great compliments.

M= Smooth as velvet. I was a bit worried about carbonation with the pour but it is no problem here. There is definite carbonation and I think this was just a thick beer that makes it hard for the bubbles to form. The finish is super sticky and sweet.

D= Great beer. Vanilla and Bourbon were made for eachother so this beer is just natural. A bit sweet and I'm sure many will argue that the Vanilla is too dominate of a flavor but this is great. Drink after a meal for sure because it's a sweet one.

Photo of HosP
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a bad beer for my 100th review! Cracked this open just before mid night New Years Eve. Shared some of the bottle with the wife, great start to 2011!

A- Pours dark black just like you'd expect. Thin tan head left a ring of lace and then disappeared.

A- Bourbon and Vanilla dominate the nose. The bourbon was mellowed a bit with the vanilla while some chocolate aroma's crept in towards the end.

T- Like the nose and the what you'd expect, bourbon and vanilla are most upfront flavors. You do get some milk chocolate flavor at the end that ties everything together. The bourbon and vanilla have great balance and keep each other from stealing the show.

M- Full body with a creamy mouthfeel.

D- Very smooth and easy drink. The higher ABV would be the only thing preventing me from another bottle in the same night. However I'd love to have another one anytime soon! I think this easily lived up to all the hype and one of the best beers I've had!

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First beer of the new year. Tasted on 1-1-11.
Bottled on 11/15/10. #0833
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Dark black with a small amount of espresso coloured head.

S - Bourbon, oak, vanilla. Smells strong. Vanilla notes are not as prominent as I expected.

T - Bourbon, vanilla, oak and quite a lot of coffee (which was unexpected). The vanilla is very subtle and I may not have realized it was there if the label didn't tell me. Some good sweetness - brown sugar, molasses and caramel - round out the palate. A touch hot but not overwhelming. Very complex.

M - Thick, yet smooth. At times the mouthfeel is extremely thick and viscous. Lightly carbonated.

D - An interesting and complex beer.

Photo of pmccallum86
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a great deep dark near black color with a small head.

Smell is incredible, huge vanilla, bourbon, oak, and roasted aromas smack you in the nose, awesome.

Taste if of big bourbon with a slight alcohol burn. The sweetness from the vanilla comes through in the finish and complements everything else very nicely. So good, possibly my favorite Bourbon County beer so far.

Mouthfeel is smooth, rich, medium to low carbonation and just plain awesome.

Very drinkable, the most drinkable 13% ABV ever made

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.98/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Jim for setting me up with this!

A- Body is a nearly opaque dark brown nearly black hue. Pours with a very small dark brown head that quickly fades completely. No lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Nose is hot and packed with bourbon sweetness and astringency. Behind this is vanilla, dark chocolate-the oak is there but it is very hard to detect.

T- Flavor is much more balanced than the nose. Vanilla and bourbon sweetness upfront with a nice, rich, chocolately backbone as well as soaked oak components. The sweetness and a slight bit of alcohol astringecy kick in for the finish. Vanilla, chocolate, bourbon sweetness, and a bit of alcohol heat linger.

M- Low to medium carbonation and a thick velvety body.

D- This is a very good stout overall. Its sweet and hot in alcohol. I would think of this as more of a dessert beer than anything else. Right now-the bourbon is the highlight. I'd like to get ahold of another bottle and let this age for a bit-as regular bourbon county blossoms after about 2 yrs or so. As with most stouts-this one gets better as it warms-the complexity really shows.

Photo of bsp77
3.95/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Let's start the New Year right, shall we?

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Black, thick looking motor oil with a cappuccino head that attempts to form but mostly fails (copied this from my standard Bourbon County review since no difference).

Smell: Oak, vanilla and booze - the addition of Vanilla Beans made this even more Bourbon like, but a little less complex. Light molasses and chocolate as well.

Taste: Strong Bourbon taste from the vanilla, oak and alcohol. Some molasses and and chocolate as well, but pushed behind the wall of Bourbon.

Feel: Very thick and smooth, but seems more boozy than the original Bourbon County.

Drinkability: Great tasting Bourbon-aged beer that is a little too harsh to enjoy too much. I personally prefer the Coffee version the most, as the coffee tempered the Bourbon and actually made the beer more complex and approachable than the base beer. The Vanilla did the opposite, it accentuated the Bourbon and simplified the base beer. Glad I tried, and really did enjoy it a lot, but expected a little more after the Coffee.

Side note: Should have spent the $45 on the Rare as well. Oh well.

Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was suprised/lucky to find this bomber for $13.99 @ Peeskill Beer and soda, Peekskill, NY, a few days ago. 2101 version. Bottled 11-5-10 on the label

Pours black, no light shining through, next to no head, does leave a mocha collar and some tiny bubble film.

Super dense nose of dark chocolate, vanilla, smoke, bourbon and dark grains.

Full flavor stout. Tons of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and sludgy goodness.

Thick, chewy and viscous.

World class cellar material, sipper, night capper.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.6/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle courtesy of wedgie9. Thanks Andy!

Bottled on Nov 5, 2010, #855.

From my notes last night:

A big vanilla blast as soon as I removed the cap, it pours a pitch black with a small head of tan foam and a wee bit of lacing. The foam and lacing don't last long but that's pretty typical of the style so no worries.

The smell is an awesome mix of vanilla and bourbon with some chocolate notes thrown in for good measure.

Mmmm....the taste is exactly what I expected after oohing and ahing over the smell. Big bourbon, big vanilla, plenty of milk chocolate, light dark chocolate bitterness, and a ton of warming alcohol. The 13% abv can not be ignored. ;^) I reckon this would benefit from some cellaring, just to calm the alcohol down a bit and make it more drinkable per sip but I can't fault the tastes one bit.

Full bodied, light carbonation, so smooth of a mouth feel, this is a real treat to nurse on. Awesome brew from the gang at Goose Island!

Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,110 ratings.