Bourbon County Brand Stout
Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #10
ABV:
14.7%
Score:
100
Ranked #24
Avg:
4.66 | pDev: 9.01%
Reviews:
3,185
Ratings:
13,112
From:
Goose Island Beer Co.
 
Illinois, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  2,866
Gots
  7,991
SCORE
100
World-Class
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout
Notes: 60 IBU
Reviews: 3,185 | Ratings: 13,112 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of vi11am
vi11am from Pennsylvania

4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: really dark, lovely S: almost a chocolate, alcohol, and definitely bourbon, nutty to a degree, like roasted chestnuts T: Strong malty and bourbon right away, creamy with smooth finish F: Creamy O: worth the wait and the money.

Sep 30, 2020
Photo of ChrisMon02
ChrisMon02 from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What more is there to say about this legend? Have I had better? Maybe but this is definitely a world class beer that deserves its praise. Very well integrated flavors of coffee, chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. Find it and enjoy.

Sep 29, 2020
Photo of KRug
KRug from Massachusetts

4.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2019 vintage, best by 6/29/24

Here we are. A beer that sits amongst the best of the best, currently at number 24 on this site. I've actually sampled this before. It was my friends birthday and I wanted to get him something nice, so I grabbed him a bottle of this, but that left me without enough money to get a bottle for myself. Needless to say, my generous friend poured me a bit and I loved it, though I did not review it

This beer pours a velvety black with just a finger of brown head that quickly fades to a ring, leaving legs behind instead of lacing

The aroma really is something to marvel at. Intensely complex and constantly toeing the line between sweet and roasty. For starters, I get sweet bourbon, vanilla, chewy caramel, and oak. Some less obvious notes include medium roast coffee, raisin, maple syrup, dark breads, and a surprisingly small trace of alcohol

I don't think this beer ever really settles down on one set of flavors, rather it redefines itself throughout the entire bottle. Starting off with smoky malt, sweet bourbon and a touch of alcohol heat, this lets you know its' strength. However, this mellows out nicely on the swallow. After that, notes of caramel, raisin, cinnamon, dark chocolate, and coffee are wrapped up in a smooth, buttery oak. Again, every sip here seems to be unique, and I picked up on additional flavors of walnut, banana, plum, and nutmeg

Obviously this is a full bodied beer, borderline decadent dessert. When you pair this with an almost complete lack of carbonation (other than the tingle from the alcohol) you end up with a beer meant to be savored. Rich and chewy in the finish, coating the mouth completely after every sip

Absolutely indulgent stout right here. It's crazy that one of the highest rated beers in the world is so readily available (and reasonably priced at $10/0.5 L). I intend to pick up more bottles when I see it around and need something solid to fall back on. I plan on keeping this review going with every new vintage I have. Cheers!!

Sep 29, 2020
Photo of imnodoctorbut
imnodoctorbut from Texas

4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

irrationally good.
take your time, watch it change from sip to sip, blossoming beautifully.
looks as a stout ought to. the smell has the shades of bourbon layered nicely - toffee, bready malt, molasses, burnt caramel. chocolate malt and dark fruit. mmmm
tastes like, no hyperbole here, *heaven*
follows that nose; a delectable amount of umami here. banana slips in. i'm giddy.
the brew is full-body, moderate carbonation, sticky and boozy with a sublime dry finish.

this one is a no-brainer. the most accessible world class stout you can get your hands on. grab what you can, cellar and save and break open as you wish.

Sep 09, 2020
Photo of vince_77
vince_77 from Pennsylvania

4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that turned me into a true beer lover. I’m embarrassed to admit that I spent too many of my formative beer drinking years drinking light beers and run of the mill pilsners and lagers.

Came upon this beer last winter and the bottle captured my eye. It had to be something special right? I brought the bottle home and ceremoniously poured it into a snifter.

It poured a dark velvety almost obsidian color with almost no head and very little chestnut colored lacing.

On the nose you get hints of banana bread, chocolate and bourbon.

As another reviewer wrote, the taste is sublime and ever-changing. This beer will taste different with every sip as the beer begins to acclimate to room temperature. You’ll taste bananas foster, cacao, vanilla and coffee, all in various tones. The ABV is almost undetectable and makes this world class beer a true champion belly warmer.

Do yourself a favor, buy a case and cellar a few and enjoy year round.

Bravo, Goose Island. Bravo!

Sep 08, 2020
Photo of Cherokeelion
Cherokeelion from North Dakota

4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Where do I even begin?
2019 14.7 ABV Bourbon County Stout
Ive lost all ability to rationally translate the party my senses are experiencing with this one.
Look: Not much darker is possible, the pour alerts you, makes you aware something special just arrived.
Smell: intoxicating... this could be a Cologne. Immediate bourbon if you have your nose close, chocolate... toffee? Sugar? Some sort of perhaps vanilla? Eye opener.
Taste: Oh my. Can I buy InBev stock now? Ruined most other beers with first sip. Do not rush this one... sip. Your tastebuds will be busy breaking down everything... till your next sip. Surprising how well the bourbon is wrapped in this craft beer.
Mouthfeel: This one sticks around long after the last drop, pleasantly.
Overall: A delicious velvet wrapped hammer with lingering pleasure long after the bottle is empty. Dangerously drinkable, the high ABV is well hidden. Interesting to note the taste expands as it warms. This is not a chuggable brew, nor should you want it to be. Simply sublime from start to finish and will quickly make you a proper Stout fan. It bends reality, happily.

Easily worth trying. If you see it anywhere in any form or vintage, get it... then get more. Enjoy. I am happy.

Sep 07, 2020
Photo of LunchMoney
LunchMoney from Minnesota

4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

If you are looking for a good bourbon barrel aged stout, this one is hard to beat. I know some don’t like it because of the brewery ownership and higher production rates than when it was a craft beer, but that just makes it easier to find, which I appreciate.
Great appearance, great smell, great flavor.

Aug 20, 2020
Photo of trevormajor
trevormajor from Ohio

4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

500 ML Bottle poured into a snifter. Dark head that dissipates over a few minutes. The taste is mind blowing, the perfect blend of stout and bourbon with notes of licorice, ash, caramel. This beer is one for the ages and a great deal for the price compared to other highly rated BBA beers.

Jul 31, 2020
Photo of just1cho
just1cho from California

4.28/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

*Bourbon County Brand Stout 2019*

*Poured into a Teku glass from a 16.9oz bottle*

This beer poured pitch black into my glass and had a khaki colored lacing. Unfortunately, the beer had no head. I'm not sure what contributed to the lack of head, but my guess would be the high ABV.

The aroma on this was a lot more balanced than what I initially expected; a very barrel-forward beer. Upfront, I got notes of bourbon, molasses, burnt brown sugar, and a sharp soy sauce aroma. The soy sauce was a bit off-putting, but I tried to ignore this obvious oxidation off-aroma while trying to pick out all of the nuanced aromas from this beer. Unfortunately, I didn't get a whole lot of complexity from the aroma since the soy sauce was a bit too strong in the front end. But, I was able to get some nice and mellow milk chocolate and dark fruit notes in the back-end.

The taste followed the nose, but w/o the soy sauce. Notes from the barrel were a lot more prominent here in the taste than on the nose upfront. Supported by a strong oak, bourbon, and espresso-like roasty backbone throughout, the beer definitely showed a lot more complexity in the taste than the aroma. The strong bourbon taste upfront eventually evolved to prominent notes of burnt brown sugar, dark fruits, dark chocolate and earthy espresso in the middle and finish.

The feel on this was satisfyingly full bodied, almost sticky-like, with a moderate amount of carbonation. This beer was smooth to drink but definitely was very boozy and bitter, with a long bitter aftertaste. The notable alcoholic taste will constantly remind you to sip and enjoy this beer over-time.

Overall, I really enjoyed drinking this beer. But, the constant soy sauce aroma that wafted into my nose every time I went to take a sip really knocked the experience down a little bit for me. I would definitely drink and buy this again, but hopefully one w/o the off-aromas.

Jul 25, 2020
Photo of NCSapiens
NCSapiens from Indiana

4.01/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I’ve had this many times over the course of years, and while I like it I don’t understand why others like it as much as they do. It doesn’t look all that great, kind of like a flat Dr Pepper. Very dark brown (if you hold it up to the light it is clearly not jet black, which other reviewers have stated). Very little foam that almost completely disappears and leaves no lacing. Smells ok, like a smooth but mediocre bourbon. Taste follows the nose. It’s almost identical to a decent bourbon. Feel is sticky syrup, with lots of alcohol warming and flavor. Improves as it warms, so make sure not to drink it too cold. Overall it is good, but there are equally good and better bourbon stouts, and typically at a lower price.

Jun 22, 2020
Photo of Limazulu
Limazulu from Idaho

4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-Not much different from most stouts of similar variety.
S-Aroma of sorghum molasses, instead of the usual generic molasses I get in many stouts of similar variety. "Sorghum syrup is made from the green juice of the sorghum plant, which is extracted from the crushed stalks and then heated to steam off the excess water leaving the syrup behind. Conversely, molasses is the by-product of processing sugar cane into sugar." Food and Wine Magazine.
T-same as the nose. It is amazing how complimentary the bourbon is, not overwhelming the other palate notes
M-Perfect weight, at first it doesn't seem that smooth, then when you swirl it around a little you realize it's silky texture.
O-Deserving of it's reputation.

May 24, 2020
Photo of opieo
opieo from Virginia

4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I buy these every time I find them in the store. Rich and full. Complex flavors that are backed by strong bourbon flavor. The complex flavors are well balanced. Great for sipping after work. Let it warm up for a smoother experience.

May 20, 2020
Photo of adab123
adab123 from Ohio

4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the most complex beers I've had. Somewhat acidic/whiskey-like on the bite, but mellows down quickly and opens up into series of complex flavors (chocolate, coffee, toffee, dried fruit, grape, caramel). Nice finish.

May 05, 2020
Photo of BadBob18
BadBob18 from Michigan

4.98/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Summary: The best and most exciting beer I've ever had. A friend originally brought a 2017 vintage to a poker game. It was well-taken, for sure.
A: Dark as a cloudy night in Michigan, in the dead of winter. 0% transluscence.
S: Smells excellent. Chocolate, raisin, plum?, nuts, vanilla, and bourbon. The kind of smell that makes you want to smell it again and again.
T: Wow, just wow. It's like a flavor-explosion on your tongue. "It’s so good, once it hits your lips, it’s so good." - Frank, the Tank.
M: Creamy, rich, and heavy. Trust me, you won't want to spit it out. FYI, my wife detests stouts, but she swallowed it with ease.
O: The best beer I have ever had. Since imbibing my first Goose Island BCBS, I have had many of the variants. They all have something else that is interesting, but this is the best. We can't find this in Michigan, except for Black Friday, but it sales out within minutes. If you find it, buy it, then enjoy it with your friends. If they know and appreciate craft-brewed beer, they will thank you.

Apr 22, 2020
Photo of Trailboss76
Trailboss76 from Virginia

4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Malty, bourbon heaven! Rich, dark brown. Thin tan head. Serious bourbon aroma. This thing has depth and complexity of flavor like you wouldn't believe.

Mar 24, 2020
Photo of Peach63
Peach63 from New York

4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark brown to near black. 1/4 inch tan head, which dissipates. Minimal lacing.

Aroma of coffee, chocolate, roast malts, vanilla.

Taste is coffee, chocolate, roast malt, molasses, currants, bourbon, oak, smokiness.

Full bodied, little to no carbonation. Warming, sweet, thick, rich finish.

2018 version. Lack of carbonation is a bit of a bummer. Other than that, I thought I died and went to heaven. Outstanding!

Mar 03, 2020
Photo of Brutaltruth
Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From the 22 oz bottle in a snifter. A tried and true one for certain.
This award winner pours a rich obsidian with a nice head of brown
foam that settles to a thick ring, thin light film, and displays some
very nice lacing. Nose of Brown sugar dashed bourbon, oak, vanilla,
dark cocoa, dark coffee, and moderate char and brulee. Flavors follow
the nose with a nice dark cocoa and coffee flavor layered over char
and roast with deep brown sugar, oak, and warming bourbon with
touches of vanilla. Excellent mouth feel; full body, smooth, rich, coating,
light carbonation that is just enough to give this beast some rise, and a
rich full faintly dry finish.

What can one say---there is a reason it is an award winner, that said it
ranks amongst the greats from Clown Shoes and others (Hoofhearted
comes to mind) who have taken the idea and made a go of it themselves.
That said it is still and always will be a winner as well as a great choice
for a rich and full stout experience.

Cheers

Feb 23, 2020
Photo of Cramshawbar
Cramshawbar from Canada

4.43/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is clearly a great beer, but I would say that it isn't as good of a bourbon barrel aged stout as Solstice from Great Lakes. Which is also half the price. But hey, this is still a remarkable beer and a must try at least once.
The pour is very dark as expected, but the head dissipates a bit too quickly. The nose is a slight disappointment with an overwhelming dark chocolate, but not so the taste. With a bit of vanilla, this would have been even better. The booze is a tongue burner. The 2019 edition has a 15.2% ABV. Tones of chocolate, hint of coffee and a tad bit of caramel. Maybe even a bit of cherry.
Buy it if you can afford it, try it and enjoy.

Feb 23, 2020
Photo of NYNorseman
NYNorseman from New York

4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This remains a world class beer despite Goose being bought out by Anheuser. Although it is easier to find than other world class beers, this 15.2 ABV is still a gem. It's boozy and chocolatey with vanilla, caramel and coffee notes permeating throughout. This 2019 edition is very good and the high price for a bottle is well worth it. Sip it by the fire and enjoy its deep dark blackness and intoxicating smell. This is the grand daddy of bourbon barrel stouts and it retains its allure. Three cheers for Goose beer!

Feb 22, 2020
Photo of Mister_Faucher
Mister_Faucher from Washington

4.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A couple of pint bottles purchased at Total Wine in Lynnwood, Washington.
Drink by date is 25JUN24. Served in a Samuel Smith nonic pint glass.

Look- Pitch black. modest rich mocha colored head that recedes fairly quickly, spotty lacing. No carbonation streams visible.

Smell- Caramel/toffee type malts, chocolate, fresh ground coffee, bourbon and oak, roasted nuts, licorice, toasted dark bread and dark fruits (raisins and dates), a bit of vanilla, light spice notes.

Taste- Rich caramel malt, bourbon and oak, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and dried dark fruits, licorice, roasted nuts, burnt sugar, light spicy hops and a bit of cherry.

Feel- Medium/heavy bodied with an incredibly smooth, creamy texture. Moderately bitter finish, soft carbonation on the tongue.

O- Worth trying once but at the price not something I'd go to with any regularity.

Feb 20, 2020
Photo of entheos
entheos from California

4.17/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Opened a 2019 bottle of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout and it tastes like dark chocolate coffee filled with Carmel and bourbon. A lot of flavors make this beer an exceptional brew, but one bottle a year is enough.

Feb 20, 2020
Photo of PathofChaos
PathofChaos from Maryland

5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance:
A jet black so impenetrable it repels the light. Nimbus foam rises from it's secretive depths and looms like a mocha thunderhead over total darkness. Then, much like an ominous storm, those thick clouds vanish as quickly as they arrived, leaving a sparse, drizzled lacing in their wake.

Bouquet:
Dark fruits and powdery baker's chocolate dominate, followed by a dreamy aroma of vanilla latte, caramel macchiato, and newly sanded oak.

Feel:
A lush, full body of heavenly satin. Imperceptible carbonation. Finishes with a dry, bourbon heat that warms your chest after each swallow. Absolutely decadent.

Taste:
Cocoa-dusted figs, Arabic black coffee, and an assortment of dried stone fruits like plums and sugar dates. Spiced rum and plump raisins present themselves at the mid-point, then the indulgent ensemble is paraded into greater complexity by creamy vanilla cappuccino, sticky toffee, and a warming, bourbon-kissed oak that glides on by like a hazy summer breeze.

Overall:
Divinity in a glass. Blatantly worthy of its World Class score on Beer Advocate. Its character matures gracefully when aged, but its a staggering temptation to keep the bottle capped for more than a handful of days.

Feb 11, 2020
Photo of jwp777
jwp777 from Oklahoma

4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap:

Jet black color with a tiny head. Doesn’t leave any lacing to speak of.

Aroma is very boozy. Some vanilla, oak, maybe a bit of caramel but I am not sure.

Taste follows the smell. Very sweet and quite boozy. Chocolate is more present in the taste than the smell. The booze doesn’t hit as hard as I expected, but it is still strong and maybe just a little overpowering. That said, this is easily in my top 10 favorite beers as of right now.

Feel: a bit syrupy overall, but it is quite smooth. Carbonation is low. It’s not an easy drinker at almost 15%, but it’s not ridiculously heavy either.

Overall, my goodness this is an amazing stout. Be prepared for the booze, but enjoy the balance of the vanilla especially. This brew is expensive (I paid $11 for a 10oz serving) but it is worth a try for sure.

Feb 08, 2020
Photo of ericstin
ericstin from Rhode Island

4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Creamy, syrupy, not overly sweet. Has a rum raisin thing going on which if you told me that's what this stout tasted like, I wouldn't have gone for it. Amazing job. One of the best stouts ever.

Feb 06, 2020
Photo of PNW
PNW from Washington

4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Look: Jet black and opaque. Thin head.

Smell: Rich and boozy, with vanilla, caramel and faint oak.

Taste: Complex and rich. Low bitterness. Pretty sweet but not cloying. The barrel and whiskey is very present, but the alcohol hides well.

Feel: Thick and chewy. Slightly syrupy with very low carbonation.

Dangerously easy to drink. This is the beer that opened the door to barrel aged beers for me. Happy I can find it in Seattle, but every happier I no longer have to stand in line all night in freezing Chicago rains to get it.

Jan 29, 2020
Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 13112 ratings