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Rare Bourbon County Stout (2010) - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Rare Bourbon County Stout (2010)Rare Bourbon County Stout (2010)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

354 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 354
Hads: 1,341
Avg: 4.7
pDev: 6.81%
Wants: 1,878
Gots: 487 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States | website

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

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: alcstradamus on 10-07-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Aged 2 years in 23-year old Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 354 | Hads: 1,341
Photo of thegoon55
4.74/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

been wait too try this for a while, split two ways into a lost abbey teku

A- pitch black motor oil, tan head. Standard.

S- amazing, sweet bourbon at first followed by lots of chocolate with hints of vanilla.

T- following the nose.

M- sticky bourbon, full bodied.

O- a wonderful beer. so glad i got to try it, defiantly a step up from the original bcbs.

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Photo of cnbrown313
4.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A friend of mine was nice enough to share a bottle of this with me and 2 other friends. Served at cellar temperature into a snifter.

A - Pours jet black with about 1 finger of rich, khaki colored head

S - Smells of bourbon and creamy chocolate. However, I was really hoping for a little bit more bourbon aroma.

T - Subtle bourbon up front, followed by a wave of chocolate, molasses, and vanilla. Very easy to drink, but I have to slow myself down because I know that I probably won't be tasting this again. Given the opportunity though, I could drink much more of this than regular BCS.

M - Full bodied. The mouthfeel was almost spot on. My favorite aspect of this beer. It's thick and chewy, but also creamy at the same time.

O - I was the only one of my friends tasting this that had not had it earlier. Everyone else said that it was much more "hot" a year ago with more bourbon barrel flavor. However, I still think this is drinking really nicely right now and most people will actually appreciate the fact that it is a bit toned down now and the flavors really melt together nicely. I wouldn't pay an arm and a leg to try one... but I'm glad that I did.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.41/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, almost black. Low to no head, no lace.

S - Soy sauce, malt, wood, booze, complex combination of smells. HOT.

T - Nice blend of all the smell variables.

M - Good carbo, medium to heavy body, fair balance.

D - Very tasty. Been waiting a long time to try this one.

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Photo of peabody
4.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out really black like a malty motor oil. 1/2 finger of brown suds that leave lacing all around the tulip glass.
Aroma is charred malt and dark chocolate with raisin bread and sugar creme bourbon.
Taste is coffee and dark chocolate malt with raisin bread. The alcohol is well hiden but the aftertaste yeilds a strong phenol quality.
Mouthfeel is very oily and sticky and the burbon lingers in the palate for quite some time.
Overall this is badass and is one of the better bourbon stouts I have had. Mellow and warm.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Opened by CurtisMcArthur at TN whales tasting 3/16/2013. Somehow I've never tried this before despite owning multiple bottles so I really appreciate the chance to finally drink it.

Pours essentially black, maybe just a hint of brown, some coffee colored head floating around.

Smell is huge vanilla, oaky bourbon, chocolate fudge, caramel and all the other good stuff you want to smell in big BA stouts. Smells awesome.

Taste is huge but soft bourbon, lots of fudge and vanilla. Huge flavors and very sweet, but subtle and even delicate. Heavenly.

Mouthfeel is nice, you can still notice the alcohol but it's plenty drinkable regardless, and feels great, full and rich and creamy.

Anyone who says this is "over the hill" or oxidized is full of shit. Can't speak to whether it is better or worse than it was a year ago or whatever, but it's still damn good. Not the very best stout I've had, but somewhere up there close.


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Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.74/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Opaque and black as death. A small tan head quickly fades to the perimeter.

Smell: The richest of rich chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, noticeable oak barrel, caramel. There's an overwhelming fudge brownie sweetness to it, and I'm even getting some cherry and dark fruit. Potent and aromatic as all hell; outstanding.

Taste: Intense, complex, deep, rich chocolate, with some caramel and vanilla up front. After the chocolate fades, distinct and powerful bourbon creeps from underneath and peaks with a punch. The bourbon carries a bit of heat at the pinnacle of the bourbon burst, but it's nowhere near overwhelming; it just makes sure to let you know it's there. As the bourbon subsides a bit and fades into the finish, the chocolate and oak barrel notes are made apparent again. It all ends with such a nice aftertaste, that's chocolate, vanilla, bourbon; all just perfectly blended. Must say, the bourbon is very distinctive and really provides an intense backbone for such a smooth drinking brew. I'm amazed at how prominent the bourbon is, despite this being over 2 years since the bottling date.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation definitely feels more lively than regular, coffee and cherry BCBS. Viscous as hell; I wouldn't expect anything less.

Overall: A bourbon behemoth, no doubt. The bourbon is so prominent compared to regular BCBS, yet this drinks very smooth. This is most likely a compounded result of the 2 year aging period and the PVW barrels. Happy Birthday to me, indeed.

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Photo of emyers
4.8/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter. Bottle #5,059.

Appearance. Pours an opaque black color with a quarter inch brown head, receding into a thin lacing after about 20 seconds.

Smell: Bourbon up front, with oak, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and vanilla bean. A slight bit of alcohol heat. Quite nice, but honestly doesn't seem a lot different from regular bourbon county (not that that's a bad thing, because that's one damn good beer).

Taste: Damn. First sip pretty much blew my mind instantaneously. Strong bourbon melds perfectly with rich caramel and dark chocolate. It's bourbon forward like regular BCBS, but the bourbon just seems...better? More integrated? Probably a bit of both. The bourbon flavor is just extraordinarily smooth. Perfectly smooth. Yet exceptionally rich and delicious. The dark chocolate and caramel malt provide a perfect complement to the bourbon. Alcohol is almost completely hidden.

Mouthfeel: Rich bourbon/dark chocolate velvet in a glass. Thick and ridiculously smooth.

Overall: I'll be honest, I didn't think this beer would live up to my expectations. I love both BCBS and BCBCS, but not quite as much the average beer advocate it seems - both come off as very unbalanced to me. Not true here - this beer has the best pure bourbon flavor of any I've ever had, and it's phenomenally balanced on top of it. I'd pay $50 for another bomber in a heartbeat.

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Photo of corby112
4.46/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Frank for sending this my way! Bottle #1448

Pours viscous, pitch black and completely opaque with a half finger mocha head that immediately disappears.  No lacing left behind but it does have lasting legs that coat the glass in a muddy film.  

Barrel character is really strong in the nose but it seems nicely integrated into aroma.  Lots of spicy bourbon but it's not overpowering with dry oak, toasted coconut and vanilla bean notes.  Sweet, slightly roasted malt backbone with sweet and dark chocolate, molasses, coffee bean, baker's chocolate and subtle roast/burnt malt.

On the fuller end of medium bodied with subtle viscosity and an excellent barrel character that's perfectly integrated into the base beer.  Spicy bourbon barrel with toasted coconut, marshmallow, vanilla and a wonderful spicy PVW flavor.  Subtle boozy heat but not fiery, harsh or overpowering.  Tastes just like the spirit without obliterating the base beer.  Sure, there's some sweet booze and heat lingering throughout but the other barrel notes and malt backbone counter things nicely.  Fudge-y chocolate goodness with fudge, caramel, molasses and toffee give it a sweet and dessert like quality but it's not one-note.  There's some roast with hints of dark chocolate, roasted gourmet coffee bean, burnt toast and oatmeal.  The high ABV is extremely well masked making this delicious, complex beer dangerously drinkable.   The flavor of this beer is close to perfect.  

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Photo of founder26
4.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thank you so much to jbck109 for sharing this at our tasting. Each poured about 5oz into snifters.

A- looks like bcbs, not much head at all

S- WTF!!! Some say this beer is going down hill, if thats the case I cant imagine how good this was in its prime. Having this next to regular bcbs you can appreciate rare so much more. It dwarfs bcbs in the aroma, huge bourbon and barrel up front, with some vanilla, coconut, chocolate, and some slight coffee in the finish. I think heaven must smell like this.

T- now to me the only thing that I noticed to be different then regular bcbs is it had less of the chocalate in rare. Still, lots of bourbon, vanilla, wood.

M- again, this is where rare surpasses regular bcbs, its so damn smooth. The only burn you get is going down your body and it aint much. Not much carb but thats ok.

O- great beer, but cost doesnt justify it. I think I would rather buy 8 bottles of bcbs and age them for a few years. Still glad I got to try this.

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Photo of ediaz
4.62/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

bottle #9722 - thanks to Donttazemebro. Shared at Redlight Redlight Orlando

A: Pitch black, sticks to sides, no head and min lace

S: Bourbon, chocolate, malt - not as big a smell as I'd expect, but inviting

Ton of bourbon, huge. Malts, dark chocolate, nondescript dark fruit, smooth sweet finish. Everything expected and more

M: a little lighter than expected but smooth as can be. Nice alcohol burn that is welcomed, matches the beer.

O: fantastic. There is something to be said about the PvW23 barrels used; they definitely left their mark. If there were ever a bourbon bomb, this is it. Would have enjoyed a thicker body but this beer is completely magnificent.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.35/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared with a friend. Poured into two snifters. Thanks to aasher for this special treat!

A: Pitch black with a small tan head that faded almost instantly.
S: Bourbon, oak, chocolate, roastiness.
T: Vanilla, coffee, chocolate, bourbon, oak spiciness. Very smooth, the bourbon finish lingers in the mouth.
M: Full body, low carbonation. Sticky, thick mouthfeel. Smooth and very creamy.
O: Excellent beer but not as mind-blowing as expected. Would trade for it again if I had the chance however.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.77/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared a bomber with my brother. Had had smaller amounts a couple of times. I reckon the base beer was the 08 if this sat in barrels for 2 years and was sold in 2010?

Black, some action, and tiny amount of mocha foam that fades immediately and no lacing at all.

Bourbon, oak, caramel and a bit of roast blend and balance delightfully.

Tastes like the nose, with caramel and related sweetness, bourbon, oak and roast. Wicked smooth, complex, and exquisitely balanced. Not quite as sweet as the standard version. Damned near perfect. Or maybe it is?

Mellow carbonation but plenty, rich and creamy full body and viscosity, only gentle warming.

Wow. Yum. The fancy barrels seem to add some complexity. The balance is perfect, and it is ridiculously smooth. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #950. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours like motor oil with a half finger cola head. Ring of lacing rom the surface of the beer.

S- very nice blend of bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, leather. Slight spice and brown sugar.

T- dark chocolate, roasted malts, bourbon, vanilla and some sweet brown sugar and spicy bite comes in at the finish.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Starts out very creamy and smooth and has a slight warming alcohol finish.

O- I would define Rare as a more defined BCBS. Everything seems to he more accentuated and richer. If I could choose 7 bcbcs or 1 Rare I would go with the regular bcbs, but if you have never had Rare you need to!

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Photo of EdwardFortyHands
3.51/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

This is an ok brew but I expected more.

I get that it was mellowed for a long time in some swank barrels, but at this point it is over the hill. It must be pretty old in beer years because it tasted tired, and left for dead. There was just no life left in this beer and I think it really killed bottle "aging".

I really like the barrel aging aspect of stouts but once they come out of the barrel, that is it, that is as good as they are ever going to get.

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Photo of iadler
4.62/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to bspringer for sharing this during our summer tasting. From notes:

A- Pours a pitch black with a thin mocha head that leaves a few lines of lacing behind.

S- Smooth bourbon with oak, vanilla and coconut followed by toast, caramelized raisins and black cherry.

T- The PvW barrels are the star of the show with smooth bourbon, coconut, brownies, oak and vanilla followed by toffee, dark fruit, roasted malt and some peppery spice.

M- Low to medium carbonation and with a fully body.

O- The PvW barrels add another dimension to an already great BA beer. Extremely smooth and one of the best BA beers I've had. Very glad I had the chance to try this and something I hope to try again in the future.

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Photo of tut2528
4.81/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: pour is a black as night, with almost no head formation. the head that was created was from forced carbonation and was mocha colored in appearance. big alcohol legs are noticed as well.

S:huge, huge huge beer. immense bourbon, chocolate fudge, with a huge vanilla sweetness, slight alcohol bourbon. the balance here is absolutely amazing and it really makes this beer worthy of all the hype.

T: not all that complex, but this one is so amazing balanced. huge bourbon, chocolate, sweet caramel, cream/vanilla sweetness in the finish.

M: full bodied, leaves a nice bourbon and caramel sweetness with a nice touch of vanilla.

O: amazing brew, and lives up the the hype, but doesn't live up to the price.and i feel that you'd be hard pressed comparing this to a regular BCBS that is aged. the balance is terrific,

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Photo of ryanfolty
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Date: September 5, 2011 Mode: Bottle Source: Trade with FullObs, Plainfield, IL Appearance: Opaque jet black, slight amount of tan head and good lacing. Aroma: Chocolate, bourbon, woody and vanilla. Flavor: Consistent with aroma but also some sweet brown sugar or molasses, thick bodied, and a long lasting delicious finish. Other: This was amazing! Had to put my whole beer rating experience under analysis after trying and could not say this was not at the top or near top of its class in every category. Bottled 11/19/2010, bottle 7,324. Shared with BVery which made the experience even better.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to beerray for sharing this long-time want. Pours one shade shy of black with a tight band around the shoulders. Nose expresses dark malts, whiskey notes, ethanol and burnt brown sugar. Taste follows nose; however, flavor profile is so bold - milk chocolate, toffee, cotton candy and a pleasant booziness towards the back. Mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied with an oily consistency and a pleasant, light carbonation. Overall, this is an amazing stout. There are perhaps some solvent-like qualities, but it is tasting great. Now I wish I dropped the $45 when I had the chance.

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Photo of jsanford
4.86/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1,000th review. Poured into a Goose Island wine goblet-style glass. Bottle 2994.

Pours a dark, inky, viscous black with little spots of khaki-colored bubbles. Insane aromas of highest-quality Bourbon, caramel, oak, chocolate, vanilla, oak, molasses, and so much more. Deep, rich, decadent, and amazing. Wow, what a beer. Like a liquid (well, fairly liquid - this stuff is thick) Bourbon brownie batter, filled with flavors of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, roasted malt, and luscious Bourbon. So incredibly smooth, and, despite the 13% ABV, zero alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is syrupy but smooth, with a full mouthfeel, and very low carbonation. Well, it was definitely worth the hype AND the wait. Glad I eventually pulled the trigger on a trade for this bad boy, it doesn't disappoint in any way.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.92/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a GI tulip

A - Dark and black as gets. Oily and viscous as it coats the glass. Small off white head that sits on top.

S - Still has a great nose after all this time. A subdued bourbon nose that definitely has that butterscotch S-W nose you'd expect from Pappy. There is vanilla, oak spiciness, and caramel that you'd expect from an aged BCBS. Reminds me of a subdued 08 BCBS but a bit sweeter.

T - Sweeter than BCBS and oh so good. It has butterscotch and vanilla up front that give it a nice sweetness. There is a coffee and chocolate in the middle along with alchohol soaked dates and plums. There is a bourbon, oaky finish that lingers on. Great and well-integrated flavors through it all.

MF - Sticky, thick mouthfeel that goes well with the sweeter flavors. Really velvety smooth. Leaves a nice thick coating that remains on the tongue in the finish.

O - Great beer where you can really tell the presence of the S-W barrel as a sweet butterscotch presence makes itself known. This is sweeter and more subdued than regular BCBS. Definitely a top tier beer that is worth seeking out if you never had it.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Robbie for sharing this "rare" bottle. 2010 and only vintage.

A - Dark black with a ring of medium brown head around the edtge of the glass. Not quite as thick and viscous as I expected.

S - Sweet vanilla up front with cocoa nibs, oak, and plenty of dark roasted malts adding to the nose. An extremely inviting nose.

T - Sweet cocoa and vanilla up front that gives way to oak and a big roast presence with some sweet molasses. The finish is very unique and interesting for the style with a massive hit of creamy, sweet dark caramel. The flavours are very well integrated and the AB is extremely well hidden. Truly unique.

M - Full body. Thick and viscous. Light carbonation.

O - This was exceptional and definitely lived up to the hype. Thanks again Robbie!

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Photo of evilc
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served from Bottle 10,274 sent to me by a generous BA, can't name him =) Brought it to Toronado SD and shared it with the awesome bartender Nate aka "Islander".

A: Jet black. Pitch black. Absolute black. Initial head that settled quickly.

S: BCBS, but bigger. The smell on this was everything I love about BCBS Straight but amplified - molasses, chocolate, vanilla.

T: Again - comparing to BCBS, mostly 11' since that what I have had the most of. It has all of the qualities of BCBS but is smoother, perfectly balanced, with not a hint of alcohol. Roast, chocolate, slight edge of vanilla.

M: Pure silk. It's BCBS with the mouthfeel of KBS if that makes any sense. Smoother.

O: Flawless. Best beer I have had. I am no whale hunter or anything so I have had far less beers than others - but this one tops it for me.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Brandon for busting out this sexy bottle...
(rare #3554, 2010 bottle)

The beer pours jet black with a dense tan foamy residue left around the inside of thr glass. There is no head and very little carbonation. The nose is big on vanilla, caramel, with a touch of wood on the back end. It drinks exceptionally smooth with bourbony vanilla/caramel, trace alcohol, and oak. The mouthfeel is smooth, velvety with no alcohol...an impressive feat. It almost drinks like chocolate dessert, but isn't cloying; it definitely would better served at room temp.
Overall the beer is excellent, worth the price/hype, and obviously worth trying again.

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Photo of Damian
4.97/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank from a 650ml - 1 pint 6 fl oz bottle
Served in a snifter
Bottle number 1479
Acquired in a trade with Douglasjamjak

Review #700

The beer poured thick and oily and appeared near black in the glass. Like many high ABV barrel aged beers, this one displayed no head. A thin, spotty cap of frothy, mocha colored bubbles did however coat some of the liquid. The bubbles quickly dissipated to a thin, clingy collar. Small droplets of lacing trickled down glass.

The aroma ranks up there as one of the best ever. Upon cracking the cap, I could literally smell this from a few feet away. In the glass, things got even better. Chocolate fudge was the first thing that came to mind. Uber malty and rich. Within a few minutes the nose turned immensely more complex. Tons of dark fruits and molasses. Some licorice. Raisins and plums were quite apparent. Ridiculous amounts of bourbon. The sweet, fragrant vanilla notes were a thing to behold. Lots of brown sugar sweetness and powdered cocoa as well.

Like the nose, the flavor profile was ridiculously rich, full and loaded with complexity. The malt overload was intense. Deep, dark, roasted (but not at all bitter) malts. Super chocolate-y and fudge-y. Tons of caramel and brown sugar. Super strong plum and raisin notes. Loads of of vanilla. The finish was incredibly oaky and bourbon-like. It seemed quite hot initially. However, the heat seemed to dissipate with time.

The mouthfeel was huge. Super thick and viscous with an almost milk shake-like chewiness. Velvety smooth. After each sip, the liquid left a bit of a sticky film on my lips.

Despite the outrageously high price tag, Rare Bourbon County Stout is worth the price of admission. As others have noted, the two years in oak really rounded this beer out. My friend was generous enough to share some of his Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 23yr with us before we cracked open our bottles. This beer is one of the few I have tasted that is capable of doing justice to the barrels in which that legendary spirit aged. All in all, this was truly a night to remember.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.97/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

650ml bottle 13,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
Bottled: 19/11/2010
Bottle Number: 461

Well, here I am, about to taste the famous Bourbon County Rare! I remember reading the reviews of this when it was released and being pretty sure it would be something that I would never get the chance to try. I have to give a massive thanks to Futura123 for making this one happen!

Appearance: My word, Rare pours like motor oil! Pitch black ,thick and oily. A rough pour yields a thin layer of mocha coloured foam that dissipates almost instantly. A swirl coats the glass in a sticky yellow residue and heavy alcohol legs.

Smell: Oh man, now this is what a beer should smell like! I finally understand the hype behind this beer! This nose is absolutely insane - not only can you smell it from a mile away, but each sniff delivers something different and seems unique. The bourbon character and underlying imperial stout notes are perfectly balanced and impeccably integrated!
I have absolutely no idea where to begin, so I will simply list a few of the notes that were noted over the course of the bottle: Sweet dark chocolate, heavy, sweet dark fruits (cherries, plums, raisins and dates). dark salted caramel, molasses, dark toffee, butterscotch, quality mellow bourbon, oak, vanilla, toasted coconut, a touch of coffee and a hint of liquorice.
Unlike most bourbon barrel aged beers, the bourbon character doesn't overpower that base imperial stout notes and just adds a wonderful complexity and depth to an already amazing beer.

Taste: Okay, now I am lost for words... The nose demanded full marks, but the flavour just seems to be better in every way! I don't think I have ever had a beer that comes close to this in terms of complexity and flavour strength. While I haven't had the 23 year old Pappy, the quality and age are certainly evident in the barrel character present in the flavour. Notes include: Sweet dark chocolate, tons of sweet dark fruits, molasses, liquorice, dark salted caramel, toffee, dark treacle, bourbon, oak, vanilla, a touch of cocoa, toasted notes, chocolate fudge, and a hint of roasted malt. Overall the flavour is pretty sweet (just what I like), but the finish is lightly dry and has a distinct bourbon character. The alcohol character is very mellow and just gives a nice warming.

Mouthfeel: Hmmm, after the appearance I was expecting this one to be pretty much flat, but there is actually a surprising amount of carbonation. The carbonation is smooth, but not quiet as velvety as I would like; that said the body more than makes up for it! Full, thick and sticky, just the way a big imperial stout should be!

Overall: Not only does Rare live up to all the hype behind it, but in fact far surpasses what I have heard about it. It is easily the best beer I have had to date and will likely keep top spot for a very long time to come! The scores of 5/5 almost seem inadequate to describe just how good this beer is! If I could only drink one beer for the rest of my life, this would be it!

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Rare Bourbon County Stout (2010) from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 354 ratings.