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Rare Bourbon County Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Rare Bourbon County StoutRare Bourbon County Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,127 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,127
Reviews: 334
rAvg: 4.8
pDev: 6.46%
Wants: 1,683
Gots: 468 | FT: 14
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.

Aged 2 years in 23-year old Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrels.

(Beer added by: alcstradamus on 10-07-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,127 | Reviews: 334 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kzoobrew
kzoobrew

Michigan

4.97/5  rDev +3.5%

Bottle 5927

Pitch black absolutely opaque body. Very limited dark brown sugar head, retention is some what minimal though that is expected. The beer looks thick and viscous even in the glass.

I was eagerly anticipating opening this beer, but in a line up of so many other quality Barrel Aged Stout I did not expect to be blown away. As this was poured and I took my first smell I was absolutely floored. The first scent to catch my attention was the bourbon. I have never smelled a bourbon this smooth. Soft and mellowed aromas blend perfectly with the rich dark chocolate. Hints of brown sugar, vanilla and oak meld seamlessly with the more dominant characteristics.

My expectations continue to be blown away as I take my first sip. I may sound like a broken record but this bourbon characteristics are so unexplainably smooth. Dark chocolate laden caramel flavors flow carrying bits of coffee and a soft vanilla flavor on its back. Slight roasted malt is noted beneath giving a little bit more depth to the flavor.

Full bodied viscous stout. Carbonation is low and the texture creamy. Dry cocoa flavor lays on the tongue leaving a long finish.

I have yet to have a perfect beer but this one is close. Even with the appearance being knocked down ever so slightly I cannot imagine changing a thing about this beer. The price may deter some from making this purchase but just a taste would convince many. Very drinkable, flavors are well integrated and balanced. The booziness many are accustomed to with the BCS line up is non existent. A masterpiece of a beer.

02-23-2011 00:37:19 | More by kzoobrew
Photo of Spartan517
Spartan517

Michigan

5/5  rDev +4.2%

I was lucky enough to find this at a shop about a month ago and decided to crack it open. I was a little reluctant to buy it, given the price tag, but was so happy I did. In the glass, the beer is dark as night, with only faint glimmers of brown at the edges. There was a small tan head that slowly faded into a ring of bubbles. The smell was intense and pleasant, dominated by chocolate, bourbon, and some vanilla. The flavor was rich and delicious with the bourbon perfectly integrated into the overall flavor profile. I thought that this was a definite upgrade over the regular version. There were still some chocolate flavors with a little subtle syrup mixed in with the bourbon. Overall a phenomenal taste! The viscosity was pretty high and this beer sat on the tongue well. I thought it had an appropriately low level of carbonation. This isn't something I could afford to have on a regular basis, obviously, but I'll definitely be searching for more to save for special occasions.

02-21-2011 22:15:40 | More by Spartan517
Photo of Gosox8787
Gosox8787

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +4.2%

Presentation: Bottle # 1761, split with a friend. Poured into a pair of Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary tulips. 650 mL bottle served at room temperature. The original Bourbon County is one of my favorites, so I'm hoping that this is even better.

Appearance: Midnight black and thick as can be. I actually get a rather substantial mocha brown head that recedes pretty quickly into a nice lacing. Definitely one of the thicker stouts I've seen.

Aroma: Baker's fudge, vanilla bean, and really smooth bourbon. The bourbon is perfectly integrated into the beer. Everything in the aroma is perfectly balanced actually. None of the components overpower. Definitely impressive.

Taste: The bourbon character here is outrageously smooth, but still manages to keep the qualities that are so great about Bourbon County fresh. The higher quality barrels are definitely noticable as is the extra time in the barrel. These factors manage to combine the smoothness of aged Bourbon County with the bourbon bite of it fresh. Also, the vanilla and fudge aspects are here in full force as well. All the flavors have great balance and complement each other as well as can be.The bourbon is definitely the highlight though.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and heavy, but there is just enough carbonation from keeping this becoming overly heavy. Really works perfect for a beer of this ABV.

Drinkability: Exceptionally smooth for 13% ABV. The extra time in the barrels really imparted an unbelievable smoothness to this. Obviously the price tag is a major impediment to drinking a lot of this, but I don't think I would have trouble finishing a bottle by myself if given the opportunity.

Overall, the best beer I've had to date, hands down. This is the first perfect score I've given to a beer. The fact that Goose Island managed to capture the best aspects of aged and fresh Bourbon County, and then managed to increase the quality of the bourbon flavors themselves is amazing. I had ridiculously high expectations going in and I was not disappointed in the slightest. Somehow, this manages to justify the price tag and that's not an easy feat.

02-21-2011 13:26:31 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of decadance
decadance

Texas

4.88/5  rDev +1.7%

Thanks for sharing this kzoobrew.

A - The darkest beer of the night. Has a viscosity that is even above Black Tuesday. Minimal head on my pour.

S - There is a significant amount of bourbon on the nose, but is not a burning that I associate with it normally. There are hints of coffee from the malts used and a tinge of chocolate in the nose as well.

T - Best stout I have had. The bourbon imparts flavor, but is not boozy. It melds so good with the base. Other flavors that are rising in the palate are caramel and chocolate, but the beer is not too sweet.

M - Smoothest Bal-aged beer I have had. The pappy barrels did their job. Still the full coating you expect from the stout, but zero burn. Outstanding.

D - Dangerously drinkable. I know the ABV, but if this was a regular offering, I would not be able to shy away. I dock it a half point because, well, I would know better.

02-20-2011 17:54:44 | More by decadance
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev -6.3%

What can I say about this beer other then I could taste the rare through the bottle. After a long afternoon I used this as my night cap, and it certainly did its job as I passed out shortly thereafter. Served in a snifter and consumed on 02/17/11.

Black as night it sludged into the glass and popped up a sticky brown head of nearly two inches before settling down but retaining a wonderful balance of about a half an inch. Lacing coats the whole glass wonderfully. Lots of bourbon in the aroma, hot with vanilla and wood streaming through the air and dominating an otherwise chocolate and roasted masterpiece. Each sip tastes like you are coming straight off the barrel. Wonderful notes of vanilla and butterscotch, warm chocolate and light smoke all come together. Lots of heat, this definitely will benefit from a year or two but such a smooth, creamy finish it was literally as smooth as one could imagine given the strength.

Overall it matched my expectations really a fine example of what a really good beer and a really good barrel could do. Not disappointed in the slightest.

02-19-2011 02:09:56 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brewcrew76
brewcrew76

Wisconsin

4.65/5  rDev -3.1%

A - Solid black with a thin mocha head that quickly disappeared leaving black oil slick in the glass.

S - Bourbon, slightly on the sweet side, vanilla, oak, chocolate, spices and tobacco.

T - Bourbon, vanilla, oak, tobacco, leather, several spices I couldn't place, maybe some cinnamon and licorice, hints of toasted coconut.

M - The alcohol was strong and created a tingling of the tongue. Thick and oily but smooth at the same time.

D - Tasted like bourbon in beer form if that makes any sense. Over the top. I enjoyed it but am glad I got to try a sample without having to pay $45+ for a bottle.

02-19-2011 01:00:01 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of unclejimbay
unclejimbay

Florida

4.88/5  rDev +1.7%

appearance?
dark black almost opaque, short tan head/cap.

smell?
Roasted malts, a dash of vanilla, much more balanced than the normal BCS.

taste?
Roasted malts, some coffee and bourbon flavors sneak in. Maybe a dash of vanilla, much more balanced than the normal BCS.

mouthfeel?
full body as expected.

I enjoyed this brew at a Rare Stout night tasting, thanks to CampusCrew and the other generous BAs. This was a true standout out of 20+ bombers of highly rated imperial stouts.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2011 18:12:09 | More by unclejimbay
Photo of CampusCrew
CampusCrew

Florida

4.98/5  rDev +3.8%

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony, loaded head

smell: loaded coffee, and sublte chocolate aromas

taste: smooth and less dominated vanilla as the regualr.

mouthfeel: full bodied stout

drinkability: we had a rare sout party is this was one of the selectons. This was one of the best and a rare treat.

02-14-2011 23:16:26 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

4.88/5  rDev +1.7%

Poured from 22oz bottle. Lets see if this one really is worth the hype it has been getting.

A- Pours a jet black color. One finger deep brown/tan head that shows actually good retention considering how high the ABV is. Spotty lacing is really all that sticks to the sides of the glass.

S- The first thing I noticed with this beer just like regular BCS is the alcohol from the barrels. The thing that really stands out with this beer is the alcohol is more subdue than the regular offering. It comes in with more of a velvety like smoothness on the nose. Also, on the front end there is a nice smooth roasted malt. This turns into a hardcore chocolate fudge aroma. Vanilla tones also shine from the barrel aging. Hints of the barrel itself also shine toward the ending with notes of coffee and alcohol making a upfront presence once again.

T- Deep roasted malts in the front of the beer mix with a velvety bourbon goodness. The bourbon itself is more mellow making this beer more relaxed in the front unlike regular BCS which tends to be more hot and has that alcohol punch to it. The fudge like notes in the nose comes through ten fold in the flavor. Vanilla notes from the barrel mix together with the fudge notes making a nice well balanced beer. The alcohol rises back up again toward the backing of the beer. The wood flavor from the barrel does come through in the backing giving this beer another dimension flavor wise. Fudge flavor kick in the very ending with light notes of coffee and a warming alcohol finish.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the beer but seems a little light at times. Nice barrel age notes of alcohol and vanilla pairs with light fudge and roasted malts left on the palate. Aftertaste is warming alcohol, roasted malts, and light oak notes. Flavors in this beer are well balanced and the aging in the barrel really did a lot to mellow this beer out. Off flavors are nowhere to be found which I didn't expect to find any anyways. Medium heavy alcohol drying on the palate. Overall the beer is big and chewy which I enjoyed greatly.

D- This beer is drinkable. The ABV is high which limits this beer in terms of drinking a ton of it. Well that and along with the $45 price tag. This has to be one of the best if not the best barrel aged beer I have ever had to date. Goose does some amazing work with barrel aging and this one really shows that.

02-14-2011 06:46:27 | More by alleykatking
Photo of jwinship83
jwinship83

Illinois

4.65/5  rDev -3.1%

650ml capped bottle that was number #4025. this was a birthday gift, i dont think i can justify spending $45 on a bottle of beer. drank from my stone IRS snifter.

A- this one pours out a dark as night black colored body with a surprisingly large coffee colored head on top. the head lasts for a minute before falling and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- initially, i get massive amounts of bourbon coming from my glass. it seems a little different than the regular bourbon county, but im not into the spirit enough to decipher what type. after that i get dark roasted malts and a ton of fudge. the fudge scent mixing with the vanilla from the oak is heavenly. rich espresso and alcohol mix at the end. you cant ask for anything more out of a barrel aged stout. amazing.

T- the taste also starts out with sweet caramel and fine bourbon notes before moving onto the familiar dark roasted malts. the fudge i could smell comes back in spades. as does the vanilla from the oak barrel. once again, they mix fantastically together on my tongue. the alcohol taste is pretty strong, but the other flavors in here either are so great its forgivable, or are potent enough to mask it. regardless, its not an issue at all. lots of rich espresso and coffee notes at the end.

M- full bodied. massive and chewy even. palate coating and syrupy. the carbonation level is low, but its perfect for this beer. moderate to strong warming from the alcohol.

D- fantastic beer. maybe one of the reasons i love it so much is that i didnt also have to swallow the price? regardless, i tried to drain every drop from my bottle. i wish they brew something like this again. the extra time in the barrel combined with the higher grade bourbon seemed to really take the edge off that i have come to expect with fresh bourbon county stout. if i didnt have to pay for it, and if it wouldnt land me in a hospital with liver failure, i could drink this all day.

02-14-2011 03:54:02 | More by jwinship83
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

4.97/5  rDev +3.5%

Bottle # 3138 bottled on 11/19/10 (both hand written)

A strange review to write. This special version of Bourbon County Brand Stout isn't dramatically different than the original, but it's certainly special.

Shiny and black as ever. One of the beers where you can see the body in the beer.

The aroma, is just wonderful and a great combination of bourbon, vanilla and sweet thick chocolate.

The flavor can only be described as delicious. The bourbon and vanilla flavors are so deep and smooth. I got moments of coconut, moments of chocolate and perhaps even some brown sugar. It was certainly sweet, but never crossed the line to cloying. The depth of flavor was fantastic. Of course, I am not surprised since the standard BCS is one of my favorite beers. This is basically a smoother, more rounded version of that beer.

The body is glorious, deep, velvet like and so smooth, it's not even funny. While it's a thick bodied beer, it still so easy to drink.

It's basically enjoyed like a glass of bourbon. Just a classic. Absolutely love it.

02-11-2011 11:14:36 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of cpmichael
cpmichael

Indiana

4.83/5  rDev +0.6%

Poured into a snifter bottle #913, beside 08 BCS complements to Khumbard

A: Pours a dark black, just like the regular.

S: A lot of bourbon right off the bat, and hints of oak, malts and chocolate.

T: Very complex, the bourbon presences is huge, but smooth. A malty, chocolate taste is noticeable. A major difference from the regular, and it's exceptional

D: This is a fantastic bottle of beer. It's very drinkable, and as khumbard said, it really did put the regular 08 BCS to shame, which is saying a lot. I won't be paying $45 again for it, but it was worth it this once.

02-10-2011 02:53:26 | More by cpmichael
Photo of khumbard
khumbard

Indiana

4.83/5  rDev +0.6%

Poured into a snifter, side by side with a bottle of 08 BCS.

Rare looks the same as any other BCS variation, not surprising. The nose is exceptional. Huge bourbon, oak, vanilla, followed by the BCS roasty chocolate. Taste is very complex, lots of smooth bourbon flavor, chocolate, vanilla. Mouthfeel and drinkability are in line with the regular varieties of BCS, very solid. Smell and Taste is where this one shines. Overall, is this worth the high price tag?... I'm not sure. But I will say Goose Island managed to take all of the great aspects of BCS and improve them, while making any negative aspects of the regular BCS go away. I felt bad for the 08 BCS we had along with this, as it tasted muted and simple in compairson. That really says a lot about how good Rare is, because 2 year old BCS is a great beer.

02-09-2011 20:01:35 | More by khumbard
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown

Ohio

4.97/5  rDev +3.5%

"Holy sweet Baby Jeebus in a tuxedo t-shirt!"

I'm a bourbon county fiend, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this iteration of their offering. Even poured myself a dram of Pappy 20 year to drink before this to get an idea of the barrel flavors I'd be enjoying.
Again this beer lived up to all my expectations and exceeded them. Pours a viscous, thick for being barrel aged, dark brown in color. Obviously not much head, but still looked good in the glass. I could smell this luxurious beast while I was pouring it. Wonderful spice, oak, vanilla, heaven.
Taste and mouthfeel could not have been better. This is the best bourbon barrel aged stout that I have ever had. This is as complex and wonderful as you'd expect. Wish this was cheaper and more readily available because this is a world class beer that I would like to enjoy more often.
Bravo Goose Island. You have improved an already incredible beer!

02-07-2011 21:16:12 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of koopa
koopa

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev -4.2%

Bottle number #3071 poured into two Sam Adam's Laser Etched glasses and shared with grassblue!

Appearance: Pours a very dark mahogany to black with an attractivy 1 finger khaki crown that shows much better retention than I was expecting. Dare I say it looks like Guiness Foreign Extra Stout?

Smell: Wow this is so refined that it comes off mellow at first. But upon deeper evaluation I find so much character in the bourbon. Some really nice slightly dry wood notes, coconut, and hints of chocolate, vanilla, fig, and earth.

Taste: Wow same as the nose with a positive prune soaked in mild hersheys syrup note addition. Incredible.

Mouthfeel: Thick yet satisfying and not cloying in any way.

Drinkability: Extremely good for a beer of this viscosity and overall bigness.

The label says it conditions up to 5 years so I got 6 bottles. This is my fresh bottle sampling and I'll be trying 1 bottle per year for the next 5 years.

02-06-2011 20:08:17 | More by koopa
Photo of seeswo
seeswo

Ohio

4.63/5  rDev -3.5%

Pours an evil black oil with very little head. This was enjoyed side-by-side with a BCBS 08 and they were basically indistinguishable. Smells of earthy bourbon with the slightest twinge of booze. Really enjoyable nose that just consumed the room as the bottle was being distributed. The taste is fantastic. Super smooth, creamy, dark, dark chocolate (the creaminess pairs amazingly with the bitterness of the chocolate). This flavor melds very well with a deep, rich, earthy bourbon flavor. This all combines into a rich flavor experience, yet not altogether very sweet. Just deep flavor. The mouthfeel is such a winner. Amazingly smooth and creamy. While I had a quarter of a bottle, I am certain that I could drink a bomber of this rapidly. For a huge barrel-aged stout, that's big drinkability.

This is one of the best beers I've ever had. I have to say I am a bit surprised that this beer was is good. Lots of these type of beers don't live up to the hype but this one did. It also totally ruined the '08 BCBS, which I decided not to rate because I knew it wouldn't get a fair shake. It was like varsity playing the freshmen team.

EDIT: Had this beer a few times and, once again, BA Beers that are bottled smooth are really, really good fresh and lose a bit of that punch over time. I imagine this will pick back up as a somewhat different beer, but boy, if you didn't get this fresh, you lost out. Dropped taste -.5 to reflect an averaging of sorts.

02-05-2011 20:00:40 | More by seeswo
Photo of CaseyK
CaseyK

New York

4.75/5  rDev -1%

A: Black as night, almost non-existent caramel colored head disappears very quickly. Not a bad looking beer, but really no different in appearance compared to regular BCS.
S: Strong bourbon smell. The ABV of this beer is well hidden in the nose due to how smooth and complex the scent of bourbon is.
T: Creamy with a ton of bourbon upfront. The bourbon flavor is great, incredibly smooth and complex with hints of vanilla and dark chocolate. The chocolate flavor avoids being bitter though due to the creaminess of the beer.
M: Incredibly smooth and creamy beer, it doesn't really get any better than this.
D: Incredibly drinkable for this big of a beer. All that time i the barrel was definitely worth it.
O: Really an excellent beer and worth the hype. So smooth and the bourbon component of the beer is just phenomenal.

02-05-2011 17:08:29 | More by CaseyK
Photo of levifunk
levifunk

Wisconsin

4.85/5  rDev +1%

bottle split 4 ways. tasted side by side with an '08 BCS.

a - very dark pour....jet black. low carbonation, but i guess thats expected. i can't say this looks any better than most beers

s - bakers chocolate, milk chocolate, and smooth bourbon.

t - bourbon flavor is so mellow and deep. lots of chocolate creamy goodness. vanilla from the bourbon.

m - very smooth and creamy. very thick and chewy. amazing.

d - having the '08 BCS next to it, which is probably a 4 in drinkability, feels harsh compared to this.

02-05-2011 01:18:50 | More by levifunk
Photo of Lukafer
Lukafer

Michigan

5/5  rDev +4.2%

Pours black as night with no head.  Smells like bourbon and barrel with a lot of booze, smells fantastic.  I taste a lot of bourbon, wood, some vanilla and chocolate, with a boozy drying finish.  I'm surprised at how much chocolate I taste, especially at the end.   Very good beer.  There is pretty much no carbonation in this beer, and I don't mind it at all.  It's extremely sticky and very chewy.  Drinkability is pretty high if you're into barrel aged beers or bourbon, and I really enjoy both so this beer is fantastic to me.  One of the best beers I've ever had, A++, and no, I don't have any in my cellar to hype.

02-04-2011 18:43:50 | More by Lukafer
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

4.43/5  rDev -7.7%

First of all - a big thanks to Blake for steering this toward my wife as the suggested birthday beer. Excellent choice!

Dense. If I had to sum up this beer in a single word, that comes closest. I'm not a bourbon fan, but I do appreciate the flavors when well integrated in a beer. Complex, well-rounded bourbon notes, with a touch of fusel alcohol. Molasses and brown sugar sweetness in the nose, as well as in the flavor, with some oaky vanilla, as well. Incredible legs on this beer, coating the side of the glass in an almost syrupy manner.

Is my appreciation for this beer colored by the rather high price tag or the general acclaim and hype? Probably.

02-02-2011 14:58:49 | More by Brent
Photo of kels
kels

Virginia

4.72/5  rDev -1.7%

Found this little surprise at the Crown in downtown Indy. Thanks, pwoods, for agreeing to split the cost with me:)

Pours absolutely, completely opaque. It is as black-brown as night, and the alcohol seems to float in layers with the beer. There's no head whatsoever, and no lace is left behind. The only hint of lace shows in a few spots atop the dark liquid. Long legs run down the walls of the glass with every wash.

Rich and delicious aroma rises from the beer. The vanilla of the oak is more forward than in any other I've had of this style. The oak is there, and the overall presence is simply smooth. The malts present a mild chocolately sweetness. Tons of bourbon cut through it with rich warmth. Divine.

Impressively high carbonation in this brew. It helps lighten the overall hugeness of the flavors and alcohol. The flavor of the bourbon is nicely layered over the stout giving it a unique balance of both flavors - neither dominates. There's a great coffee/bittersweet chocolate roast that's offset by the vanilla sweetness and earthy oakiness from the barrel aging. Tart cherry and a molasses sweet-stickiness finishes it off.

Drinkability is only as high as the warming alcohol allows it to go. In my case, that means starts fast and slows even faster. This is a deliciously complex beer with very distinguishable flavors and complementary body. From start to finish the alcohol provides a nice, radiating warmth that makes it hard to put down. Not a beer I'd buy regularly (as if), but one I'm definitely glad I had the opportunity to try.

02-01-2011 02:50:56 | More by kels
Photo of TheDTrain
TheDTrain

Wisconsin

4.65/5  rDev -3.1%

Christmas come early...errr late for the D Train. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for his generosity & sharing this epic, not to mention expensive beer. Pours a lovely brownish black with nice bourbon-esque legs. Great smooth aroma...the bourbon whiskey dominants but doesn't overpower the tones of chocolate, molasses, caramel, and malts. The taste so pleasantly follows I nearly had to change my pants....smooth blend of warm bourbon, malts, and sweet coco. A trip straight to B-ville.

Definitely a brew that needs to be split amongst friends. This is not just a beer, it's an experience. Choo Choo!

01-30-2011 19:53:01 | More by TheDTrain
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev -6.3%

Thanks to Kels for splitting the cost with me.

22oz. Brown bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with good viscosity. Minimal head on the pour with no retention. Big oily legs but not lace.

S: I could smell it as soon as I popped the cap. Good God. Amazing meld of smooth bourbon, dank woody oak, and perfectly placed vanilla. There's a great stout under everything but it's nearly overtaken... But I can't complain.

T/M: Jesus. All from the above. This is a huge beer with huge flavors but none of them step on each others foot. Sweetness is perfectly balanced, too. Love the pleasant vanilla. Bourbon. Barrel. Crack. Love the alcohol warmth as it warms further. Body is thick, not quite dark lord or black Tuesday, but fits this which is what's important. Smooth carbonation.

D: I could drink my weight in this. Fucking $45, though!

01-30-2011 03:47:17 | More by pwoods
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

4.55/5  rDev -5.2%

Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously shared by Nick3.

A: Pours a pitch black body with a mocha head. Decent retention for the style, leaving a nice crust in its wake.

S: Whoooo. Great aroma. Molasses, caramel, bourbon, toasted coconut, vanilla, baker's chocolate, oak. It has a small heat; it's not solventy, but you can sense some of the alcohol.

T: This is deeper and more complex than the flagship beer of the brand. Aged BCBS takes on a delicious fudge flavor; this has a similar base, but it's colored by molasses, caramel, toasted coconut. The Pappy bourbon flavors are immense (and definitely dominant); they also impart a tasty pepper flavor in the finish. Small char, oak, and vanilla in the finish, as well. Some heat.

M: Chewy, viscous. It's very flavorful and sticky; great lingering flavors of chocolate, caramel, and pepper. As mentioned above, it still has some heat to it. I like my beers silky smooth, so that's probably the one flaw I can really find in this beer. That being said, it's smoother even than the 2007 and 2008 BCBS I've had recently. The extra time in the barrels (or just the nature of the barrels themselves) has made an appreciable improvement. With age, I see this becoming a delicious beast.

D: Here's my quandary. I feel that value (not simply price) factors into drinkability; as a graduate student on a budget, I just can't decouple price from the experience.

I have enough common sense to realize that GI can and should price the beer to what the market can bear. But I still resent it, as a consumer. I'm sure the margin on this is a lot higher than their other BCBS brands.

BUT... this is an awesome beer. So much so that I went home and contacted a trading partner for a second bottle (I already had one). I strongly recommend this one, and I'm eagerly anticipating the followup, Extremely Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout.

01-29-2011 21:09:35 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

4.8/5  rDev 0%

Had this on tap and never typed up the review... Here we go;

Served in a snifter.

Pour is exactly what I expected-- a deep, dark, viscous looking black. The head is minimal, and after a minute it is gone-- leaving a collar of bubbles around the edge. A swirl shows thick and syrupy legs.

Smells amazing. Oak, Pappy, vanilla, chocolate, raisins, figs, and black licorice. This bouquet is gorgeous. I stick my nose in and take a whiff-- I swear I could just live inside this glass.

The taste is fantastic. The chocolate malts kill me. So damn good. The oak, vanilla, black licorice, and slight dark fruit all hit too. The finish is dryer than I expected-- but it is great. The booze is so damn smooth. Just incredible.

This is a thick cream monster. Amazing.

I could drink this all day. I've never had a BCS this fresh that I thought was THIS good! Wow. The PvW barrels really male a difference.

01-29-2011 20:18:12 | More by AleWatcher
Rare Bourbon County Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,127 ratings.