Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
2,866 Reviews
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
60 IBU

Added by drewbage on 06-26-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 2,866 | Ratings: 11,815
Photo of Parmesan
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pitch black color with no head and no lacing.

S: Lots of Bourbon, dark stone fruit and cherry, big note of vanilla and Roasted malt, some chocolate.

T: Lots of Bourbon, some vanilla and dark stone fruit, little bit of tartness, Roasted malt and notes of chocolate.

F: Heavy oily body with low carbonation.

O: Wonderful Bourbon Barrel Aged stout.

 352 characters

Photo of BarrelyLegal
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 5

A- Black as shit, 1mm of coffee towards edge of glass. Dark tan head, quickly dissipated. 4

S- boozey, sweet, anticipate a sticky sweet brew. 4

T- syrupy and boozy warmth, strong black coffee aftertaste, lingering caramel. Bourbon flavors come strong on the second sip, with the first being dominated by the boozy warmth. 5

M- booze and evaporation, apparent thinning possibly resulting from booziness. Less sticky than anticipated, less full than expected. 3.75

O- Fucking bomb, a great beer. "Smells like secks, tastes like secks. Makes you feel like having secks." 5

 573 characters

Photo of jamphanatic
1/5  rDev -77.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Tart, alcoholic, not good at all. A bad batch - there *was* a limited mail in refund program. Sampled with some friends and ended up pouring most of it out. Goose Island is no longer worth the premium or the hype.

 213 characters

Photo of brewmeister1984
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Smoothest beer I've had at that ABV yet. Amazing bourbon chocolate notes with a touch of coffee. Had it on draft in western mass at a place called public eat and drink.

 168 characters

Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: thick, luxurious, silky in appearance. Head is a dark tan that fades almost instantly resembling a still beer.

Aroma: yum! Dark chocolate and bourbon. Very similar to a flourless chocolate cake.

Flavor: there are so many layers! Initially this beer is a bit sweet, but then comes the vanilla, bourbon and oak. As the flavors fade, coconut flavors appear. There is some alcohol flavor but far less expected given the 14.9% abv.

Mouthfeel: thick, like chocolate milk, but not too thick. Damn near perfect.

Overall: the hype is deserved. Very impressive. It seems like a lot of booze bombs earn high ratings simply due to their alcohol content. Bourbon County deserves its high ratings. So many layers and great flavors. Well balanced. Easily one of the best Imperial Stouts I’ve tried.

 801 characters

Photo of RichardRankin
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have these often and use them for trade balancing.

Look is extremely dark, no light gets through. Pours very thick, small head, what there is exhibits tons of lacing.
Smell is intense coffee, bourbon, chocolate.
Taste is warm but very nicely balanced. Just enough hops to balance, but still a ton of malty goodness, residual sweetness, and bourbon warmth.
Mouthfeel is smooth, full, and very complex.

Watch out for 2015 infections, and here's hoping that pasteurization doesn't kill this legendary brew!

 507 characters

Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.96/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2015 version. Wasn't one of the bad dates, but I was still worried opening it - but was more than just pleasantly surprised!
L - Pours dark, with a very thin head line
S - nutty chocolate
T - nutty chocolate awesomeness! The fact that this beer is 14+ percent is shocking if you don't know going into it. It's awesome.
F - not too thin, not too thick either
O - the balance on this is incredible.

 399 characters

Photo of warlock_with_a_backpack
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5


Pours gorgeous head, great immediate bourbon and barrel smell. One of the best barrel executions out there. Deep thick chocolate notes with bitter, strong boozy taste, with dark fruits as well. Thick and delicious, always exciting to drink. Opened for the Packer-Vikings game. Yum

 286 characters

Photo of Jshbrown40
4.39/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a bandy snifter: inky, jet black pour, no head, and a minuscule khaki lacing. Aromas of vanilla, oak and bourbon, tobacco, chocolate and dark fruit. Tastes similar to the smell, fairly boozy, but add trace amounts of licorice to the flavor as well. Mouth-feel is viscous and syrupy: much thicker and "chewier" than KBS. Decadent and demands to be consumed slowly and enjoyed as each sip brings a new complexity as the beer warms.

 437 characters

Photo of Mateo2699
4.91/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 poured into a snifter. Oily pitch black pour. I use the term 'pitch black' carefully, but this is truly dark as it gets. No head or any lacing on the glass to be found. A millimeter height of khaki colored ring that quickly turns to nothing. Aroma consists of plenty of rich leather and decadent chocolate. Hints of oak and bourbon shine through, as well as dark fruit. Hints of vanilla and molasses available, especially as it warms. Taste follows the nose well, the leathery aspect certainly sticks around. Chocolate and a certain fudginess. Licorice and dark fruit is quite noticeable with a hint of vanilla is there especially as it warms. Bourbon and oak as well. Also getting a subtle cinnamon like flavor to it. Mouthfeel is thick, oily and palate coating. Low carbonation. Overall, based on only trying a non-infected 2015 BCBS and this 2014, I definitely prefer the 2014. Amazingly complex and super decadent.

 923 characters

Photo of dee4maine
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

what a decadent treat this is! inky and motor oil viscous. layers of the BA effect on nose. tasting complex, oaky, vanilla, bourbon boozy and ending with the classic RIS roasty notes.

 183 characters

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with a thin brown foamy head. Head retention is non-existant. Lacing is mild. Strong aroma of black molasses. Mild coffee and raisin. Big molasses taste. Mild coffee and dark malts. Heavy bodied. Very little carbonation.

 247 characters

Photo of TH28
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014. Appearance is jet black with no apparent head. Aroma is an intense bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, cherry, roasted malt, and molasses. Taste is amazingly complex. Starts with rich malt and dark fruit, giving way to layers of fruit, chocolate, molasses, toasted oak, and roasted malt. Mouthfeel is a rich creamy viscosity, hint of alcohol warmth, with little carbonation. Finishes with a malty finish and lingering flavors of oak, vanilla, and chocolate

 460 characters

Photo of DrinkThemAll
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this baby on Tap at Slaters 50/50 in Pasadena. Way better on tap, than from the bottles. Way less boozy and balanced.

I am a man who loves his head, with his beer lol but this one is an exception. Poured Darker than Satans Soul.

A-Darker Than space, with no head or lacing.

S-Bourbon right away, with vanilla, molasses. Charred oak. Very sweet and boozy at the same time.

T-Charred oak, vanilla, deep molasses, burnt chocolate, maybe a slight spice of raisin or plum. Boozy finish.

M- Huge bodied beer. The viscosity on this is like motor oil. Mouthful had light carbonation with a booze and molasses take over.

O- I've always loved me some bourbon county, but it has to be a certain place and time for this sipper. Solid beer, very boozy and hits hard.

 771 characters

Photo of Prince_Casual
1/5  rDev -77.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

After seeing the news of the infection refunds, I decided to check my dates. Two bottles at my apartment were both in the reported bad batches. Chilled them both, and opened one. Terrible, rotted plum notes, sour, tight prickly carbonation. Visually you can tell this is not right even before smelling or considering a sip. Blah. No one would think this is good.

Second bottle, same.

I have 2 more sealed cases in the basement at a nearby parents house which I am planning to retrieve, check dates, and start opening.

Already have my refund form started! A shame because BCBS is one of my favorite beers, and I stock up just to last me until the next release. Backfired big time, this year.

I may be wrong but I think anyone who has bad bottles should be rating this beer 1-1-1-1-1 and driving down the rAvg, no beer with thousands of infected cases distributed nationwide deserves >4.5/"world class."

 910 characters

Photo of nerdboy19
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015, non infected.
Appear : Pitch black with tan head - 4/5
Aroma : Huge bourbon barrel, soy sauce, burnt, roasted, coffee, robust and boozy but showcase of ba stout - 8/10
Mouthfeel : Low carbonation and full bodied. -4.5/5
Flavor : boozy, big bourbon, little bit sweet but finishes dry, coffee, chocolate, roasted, complex -9/10
Overall : Not my favorite style but it shows what BBA stout is. Very well balanced but robust and huge. - 18/20

 443 characters

Photo of jprince103
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Found 4 bottles randomly on the shelf with 2015 on the labels. Feared they were the spoiled ones. However, popped the top to one and it was awesome.

 150 characters

Photo of Sheppard
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black, light tan head that dissipates rather quickly. Boozey bourbon aroma with hints of vanilla and chocolate. It tastes great and the mouthfeel is velvety smooth. The booze is present, but there's a lot of chocolate covered raisins and salted nuts. In the past, I've felt that this beer has been too sweet, but I've come around on it. A rare treat from AB-Inbev.

 378 characters

Photo of MaineBeerDinner
1.64/5  rDev -63.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Infected. Can't express the disappointment at all the wait and build up to taste a beer that just tastes disgustingly off with sour taking over the stout. The beer wants so hard to delicious instead it's a drain pour of good money and time in line. AND THE COMPANY DOESN'T CARE. Ruins my love of beer, despicable, won't be drinking any more goose island not even the IPA, with this literal bad taste in my mouth

 411 characters

Photo of Samlover55
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

serving at cellar temp from 16.9 oz bottle into libbey tulip
was bottled on 10/2/15
L- pours a thick syrupy brown with quickly fizzling out tan head
S- vanilla, charred wood, black licorice, chocolate, real boozy as well
T- thick dark fudgy chocolate, bourbon, marshmallow, smoky charred finish along with vanilla
F- super thick, viscous and yet great drinkabilty especially considering 13.7% ABV
O- after hearing about this beer "possibly" going bad, at first I was thinking, maybe this is bad as well. However, after going through about 15oz of this awesomeness, I'm thinking "why oh why did I only buy one"!!!! And thank goodness for that last ounce!!!!!!! I can totally understand people lining up for this chocolate fudge bourbon Bomb! Even though i bought this in April at good old Cable Beverage!!!!
Overall one heck of a beer glad i got to try this one. This beer is full of flavor, perfectly balanced, and super drinkable. Couldn't ask for more from a Bourbon-Barrel Aged Stout.

 990 characters

Photo of woemad
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle of the 2015 vintage purchased at the Total Wine on the north side of Spokane, WA, for $9.99. I was there for other things, saw they had it for a fairly reasonable price and thought, “Oh, what the hell…” According to the stamp on the back, this was brewed on October 22, 2015. This is my first ever BCBS, by the way. Probably only my 2nd or 3rd Anheuser Busch/InBusch/whatever product of the last several years. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a problem with the way AB-I does business, specifically the crowding out of other products on shelf spaces, but this is a kind of benchmark beer, so I want to try it at least once and judge for myself the hype vs. substance argument that whirls around this beer.

Poured into a River City snifter, this was an extremely dark brown that appeared black as a moonless night. There was briefly a sudsy head that was colored somewhere between dark tan and mocha, but it fled quickly, leaving no lace behind.

Sweet and boozy nose to this, but it’s not smelling like a candy or booze bomb. I get chocolate and bourbon, in sufficient amounts to assuredly dominate but without being cloying, and not a whole lot else at first. As it warms, there’s a little bit of vanilla and something like really restrained toffee. Certainly, there’s no trace of the dark fruit aromas that frequently turn up in a RIS – barrel aged or not. Fairly subtly, restrainedly (no idea if that’s even a word, but spellcheck isn’t freaking out) complex for a big, barrel aged stout without seeming like there’s something crucial missing.

Bourbon and chocolate lead the parade past the tastebuds, wearing a cloak of vanilla and tobacco, with maybe a tiny pinch of smoke. As it warms, the boozy warmth one would expect of a 14.3% beer does begin to creep in, but, to use a word I’m beginning to identify with this beer, it’s very subtle.

Full bodied, with a velvety-smooth, coating mouthfeel. Feels like a dessert!

All the talk of this vintage being infected made me hesitate opening this numerous times, so I wound up sitting on it for something like 9 months. I wonder if that helped it to mellow out. I stumbled across it by chance when I walked into Total Wine to buy something else, so I only allowed myself a purchase of one. I wish now I’d bought two and hit the other one first thing, so I could do a comparison. As it stands now, this is a subtle beer that also manages to be HUGE at the same time. It would make a great dessert or a nightcap, and is in a small enough bottle size a person wouldn’t run the risk of. I’d say the positive notoriety is deserved for this beer. It’s subtle smoothness makes it a world class drinking experience. A lot of people say AB-I can’t brew a good beer. Personally, I stopped believing that a long time ago, their sins are more from being the McDonalds of beer than being incompetent, but this beer is proof that they can brew a beer as good as anyone.

 2,965 characters

Photo of TheRougeBastard
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 30 Oct 15. Concerns with the whole "infection" thing evaporated with the first whiff of bourbon-chocolate escaping the glass. Poured jet black with a nice coffee colored head. Smooth is the best word to describe this stout! I am on record as not being a fan of beers "enhanced" by aging in bourbon casks...to me the bourbon taste dominates, and if I wanted to drink bourbon, I've got a nice single-malt I enjoy from time-to-time! But this, this is different, the bourbon is nicely hidden with just the occasional hint appearing. Delicous notes of chocolate and coffee dominate. This is what all stouts aspire to be, but fall far short!

 643 characters

Photo of FBarber
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I've had this from bottles and on draft and every vintage since 2010, but have never actually reviewed it.
This review is of a 2015 vintage, bottle - 14.3% ABV.

Pours an oily viscous black. Thin mocha colored tan head is momentarily visible before disappearing. A thin tan slick is noted on top of the beer after the head dissipates.

Smell is a pungent musty barrel aroma with strong note sod vanilla in the aroma. Undertones of chocolate, roasted malts, char, bourbon, and generic dark fruit. Strong booze aroma at the end.

Taste is a lovely array of flavors. Lots of bourbon and barrel notes are there up front. Strong vanilla notes from the barrel are also present. Lovely smooth chocolate and roasted malts give way to a char note with some smoky tobacco like notes. This is a bit hot, as there is a slight alcoholic burn on the finish, but its not harsh by any stretch. some molasses like flavors are present and provide a nice mild sweetness.

Mild carbonation - about what you'd expect for a barrel aged beer. Lovely velvety feel on this beer. Nice weight to it - the beer that went into the barrels must have been like syrup.

Overall this is still the gold standard for BA beers. Yea this past year, GI has run into some issues but this bottle was great and its been top notch for years now. I'll continue to look forward to this one each fall.

 1,363 characters

Photo of lbloom
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Ultra black. Head was minimal, and dissipated entirely after about ten seconds. Lacing is almost non-existent.

S: Smells like a bag of freshly opened cacao nibs. Some booze and dark fruit. Rich and dark. Sweet and thick.

T:Dark dark chocolate at the start. Cacao nib taste. Bitter and sweet at the same time. Barrel notes kick in, providing vanilla and bourbon notes. Booze is well hidden under the massive layers of chocolate. Rich and wonderful.

M:Thick and viscous. Carbonation is minimal, but the beer fails to be creamy. Adequate, but nothing special.

O: A very good beer. Well balanced and flavorful. Avoids the overpowering barrel notes that many other bourbon-aged stouts have. Would buy again.

 712 characters

Photo of DraughtJunkie82
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pours a thick dark black with a dark brown head that dissipates almost immediately.

S: Smells of bourbon, dark chocolate and vanilla.

T: The taste is decadent, rich dark chocolate and vanilla with bourbon rounding it all out.

F: Thick, exactly how a stout should feel.

O: This is one of my top 3 beers. It is everything you could hope for in a stout.

 362 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.5 out of 5 based on 11,815 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!