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Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

2,852 Reviews
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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

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:
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Reviews: 2,852 | Ratings: 11,747
Photo of backbaybrewer
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: dark as night. Little to no head. What head there is dissipates vey quickly with little to no lace.

Ar: bourbon/alcohol in the forefront. Some chocolate and roasted malt.

T: fantastic! Amazing mix of alcohol without being overkill and roasted malts. Vanilla lingers with some wood.

M: thick, thick, thick. Leaves a feeling of film on the palate for minutes after each sip. Yet somehow it seems wonderful. Very low carbonation.

O: a fantastic barrel aged imperial stout. Doesn't fit neatly into any standard style but every sip screams imperial stout. Love it. But, at 15 percent ABV, drink two or three and you'll be hard pressed to differentiate it from a Gatorade.

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Photo of Augustiner719
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a surprizing dark brown black translucent color that leaves a very small mocha head and recedes quickly. Swirls along the glass like oil almost.

Smell: Smells like cedar, bourbon, sherry along with your standard imperial stout. Chocolatly bourbon and caramel come through and sting the nostrils slightly.

Taste: Tastes very smooth. Big dose of vanilla, bourbon and woody characters come through, almost like a scotch. Very balanced for such high abv but the alcohol is comming through. Despite the alcohol bite, i believe its meant to be that way and it showcases the stout brilliantly.

Mouthfeel: low carbonated and perfect for this style. Doesnt leave the mouth overly cloying or dry. very smooth transition through all of the layers.

Drinkability: I wouldnt drink more than a bomber of this, but its easy to drink. High abv and huge complex flavors make this perfect with food and its delicious enough to have by itself.

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Photo of ChilliHeights
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Love the blackness in the pour and creamy head. This is a great sipping brew our of a glass. Shared with family and we all enjoyed the bourbon flavors. Have had this twice now and look forward to another next winter.

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Photo of papat444
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

***2012 Vintage***

Thanks to mklever42 for this one.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, bottled 9/20/12.

Appearance: Opaque, thick, deep brown 3 finger head, disappears within a minute as to be expected.

Smell: Rich, robust coffee mixs seamlessly with potent bourbon. Wafts of leather and wood shine as well.

Taste: Strong coffee; rich & full; heavy vanilla & oak; awesome blend of coffee flavors and bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Obvious low carbonation, slick & viscous; feel belies high ABV.

Overall: A most excellent and drinkable barrel-aged offering.

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Photo of kdahnke123
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage poured into a snifter.
A - Poured a very dark, thick stream with a little effervescence and no head.
S - Sweet, bourbon, malty and rich.
T - Bourbon and more bourbon with lots of roasted malt, some chocolate and oak, and a slight tang of hops on the end.
M - Very thick and mouth coating. Like a boozy chocolate shake.
O - An excellent version of an imperial stout with lots of layers. The incorporation of the bourbon is balanced without being overpowering. Outstanding.

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Photo of LaCoursiere
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle of 2011 vintage, bottled on 11/11/11. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a thick midnight black with a small tan head. The head dissipated fairly quickly and there is no lacing. A little light gets through around the edges showing dark brown tint.

S - Huge bourbon on the nose. Spicy, oaky, leathery with a good dose of alcohol warmth. I get muted notes of raisin and coffee in the background.

T - Molasses and chocolate sweetness up front that is quickly overtaken by a bourbon onslaught. After the first wave of bourbon sweetness, very prominent oak flavor comes in and slow tapers to the finish. Roasted malts peek through the oak towards the end. Hop bitterness is undecteable in the finish.

M - Heavy bodied and velvety smooth on the way in the coats well before a light carbonation tingles pleasantly. Bourbon warmth comes in and rounds it off nicely.

O/D - Amazingly drinkable for the ABV. As soon as I was done I wanted another. The beer lacks a bit in appearance, but more than makes up for it in smell, taste and feel. The bourbon in this beer is up front and in your face, but the associated flavor, smell and warmth all pleasantly accentuate the beer. Get some.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 8/23/10

2007 vintage

I wasn't far into the pour when I realized a more aggressive approach was needed if this beer was to have any tangible head. I kept the scorched dark brown beer at a slow drizzle from a high vantage point. Some patchy bubbles were manifest but quickly retreated to the inside of the rim. Swirling works up an ephemeral skim & lots of small lace spots; some of which actually hold. Half way in sediment is visible on the bottom.

I'll admit taking a whiff after popping the cap; the aroma is such that I couldn't but enjoy the bourbon. Once in the glass the magnitude of the aroma becomes undeniable. The charred oak is most notable, followed by bourbon heat & vanilla overtones. The base stout is equally impressive with a showing of semi-sweet chocolate, cocoa powder, molasses, hints of coffee dregs & subtle notions of caramel. It's hard telling where the charred ends & the roasted begins.

Upon taking a sip my lone gripe is that oxidation is apparent upfront. Thankfully the other flavors are so strong as to mask said oxidation. Solid undercurrents of chocolate, molasses & near burnt sugars. Indeed, these roasted malts offer a sweetened platform from which the barrel launches its attack. Charred, almost ashy notes of oak are paired with just-shy-of-scathing bourbon character. This is a hot beer, even after several years. The vanilla isn't as distinct compared to the aroma.

The feel is just as formidable. There's an inherent slickness that belies just how full bodied this is. Unleashed by low carbonation & underscored by a slow moving grittiness, this truly is a heavy beer. There's no attempt to quell the alcohol heat & it's warm if not outright numbing. Whiskey, charred oak & near-burnt malts linger long after the finish.

I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked this bottle. I'd heard the 2008 vintage is still boozy; I reckon an extra year hasn't done much in terms of mellowing. I certainly recommend giving this a shot, especially if bourbon barrel imperial stouts are your bag (if that's the case, though, you likely already know). This is a sipper if ever there was one.

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Photo of MarkAvery
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on a 4 Pack of this stuff. In my opinion a little pricey, but very good. Definitely one of the best stouts Ive ever had. Not as thick as a lot of other stouts, definitely a thinner mouthfeel. Smokey, nutty, chocolaty taste. Not gonna lie, I saved one bottle thinking I wouldn't get another chance to get more of this, and I picked up another 4 pack today. I know people have a thing about Goose Island and everything but, this is a phenomenal beer!!

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Photo of Stacy53
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Goose Island- Bourbon County Band Stout- Bottled on: 11/12/09

Aged under a year, only 6 months

A- Black and thick, very thin brown caramel head that down not stay around for long.

S- Strong warm boozy bourbon, with a rich dark chocolate smell. This beer's smell was hard for me to identify.

T- Sweet chocolate, smoky, and creamy. The taste is so great it is almost indescribable.

M- Thick HUGE Beer, and still it is very lightly carbonated and smooth.

D- Again, very smooth yet still a slow sipper to saver this outstanding beer.

Today is my 25th birthday and this was the perfect beer to savor and enjoy for this day. I have two more bottles of this and I am going to age them for a few more years to see what comes of these flavors!

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Photo of spidermite
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

my first experience with this beer was in a 6 oz snifter , after I had already destroyed my palate with a imperial IPA. It was delicious and very thick. I knew I liked it but I wasn't sure how altered it was from the first beer. So the next day I got two orders poured into a larger glass :). It is very bourbon forward in smell, the only other thing I could pull out aroma wise was a fruit that reminded me of plums...But not any plums , the plums I used to steal off my great grandmas tree on hot days the warm fresh plum only a kid could love.
As I remembered it had a very thick mouth-feel and the after-feel was that of clean barley-wine buried in an oak coffin. The entire drinking sensation was more of a neurological experience reconnecting me to smells and memories of picking fruit and stealing bourbon from my grandad's pantry that i had long forgotten.

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Photo of ljjpowers
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. Much more vanilla/gingerbread shining through in taste than I originally anticipated. Otherwise, it was exactly what was expected--- dark chocolate, coffee, bourbon. It's hard to say that any other bourbon barrel aged beer is better than this, the original. Pleasantly surprised by the taste despite what I previously considered to be too much "hype" surrounding the brew.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to Tiley4 for this fine beer: 2007 bottle. Pours with no head. Black as my heart after watching the Phillies lose to the Mets in 12. Smells very sweet thanks to the bourbon. The taste is a mix of chocolate & the bourbon's sweetness. Mouthfeel is smooth but you can't avoid the ABV. A truly great beer worthy of seeking. I may try to find some to ship home from DLD.


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Photo of Jagen
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter...celebrating Obama's victory with this! 2012 varient.
A - Black. The smallest head that disappated incredibly fast. Tanish head that disappated quickly. Can't see through at all
S - Bourbon! You can tell this was aged in bourbon barrels...bourbon, wood, alcohol...lots of subtle hints that are hard to get ahold...subtle sweet caramel

T - slight bourbon taste that fades into perfection. I've had this once before, but this is a damn good beer. it is powerful and strong but not too much for one person to drink. nice vanilla, sweet notes that fade into the strong bourbon presence that lingers in the aftertaste. Every taste brings out a different sublety of this beer that is hard to grasp but you know it contributes to how good it is. I am glad I have a whole case of this sitting in the closet waiting to age. Alcohol burn lingers in the background...bet it will mellow out with age. I can taste an ever so subtle note of chocolate that would be present in a chocolate stout.

M Great mouthfeel! Thick and smooth...coats the tounge while you drink it and almost cuts away from the hotness as you drink it. some people say light, some heavy carbonation...i say very light but the immediate aftertaste almost mimics carbonation. warm, but no burn...really great beer!

O worth the hype! This is my first year drinking it and I can't wait to see how it ages

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like black oil. When swirled you get a 1/4" brown head for a few seconds. No lace.

Lovely nose with rich dark fruit soaked in bourbon and rum. Very pleasant and rich overall but that kind of sums up the nose for me. 

Flavor is huge and deep. Wide range of flavor ranging from drunken dark fruit to oaky bourbon and faint vanilla. Very rich and string flavor yet with very nice balance and variation. 

Mouthfeel is full bodied, sticky with mild creamy and velvety carbonation. 

Overall, just a phenomenal beer. Huge flavor, range and depth. The only point I can knock is the lack of head. 

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Photo of fairdinkum2
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this beer. I've had the good fortune to have tasted this at the Goose Island Brewery on tap. I wanted to buy the bottled version but it was $30. Binny's across the road had 650 ml bottles at $12.

This 2009 vintage has been in my beer cellar for the last 4 months. Holy S#%T this stout is un-freakin' believably good!

Beautiful pour. Dark red, black with a thick dark tan head. Nose of vanilla, bourbon, oak and warm roasted malts. The taste doesn't let up from there. Just unbelievably, rich, silky mouthfeel. Sweet bourbon, vanilla, malt. Syrupy texture, long finish.

This stout will age well for some time to come. It's already like a fine port - totally decadent!

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Photo of reto21
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

first time i got to have this one 2012 vintage.

A- pitch black with a tan head, just like any other stout. very little head

S- dominated by bourbon and boozyness, fruit and chocolate come in the background.

T- upfront is bourbon and boozyness, a lot less than the nose suggests. a really full bodied stout just like i predicted, chocolate and fruit notes come in at the end, excellent stout.

M- love the mouth feel not too thin not to thick this is quite what i want out of a beer

O- wonderful beer one of my top five stouts so glad i got my friend to pick me up a case when in NJ. i will enjoy this beer all winter long.

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Photo of dismal
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had the 2008 and 2009 side by side for this one which I've been excited to do for quite some time. Poured into a snifter it pours jet black and thick like motor oil with a one finger dark tan head. The head quickly fades away and leaves little to no lacing down the glass. The smell is whiskey at first and upfront, it's followed by vanilla, oak, and chocolate. It seemed like the 2008 had more of a whiskey smell to it at first and as they warmed up the 2009 became more whiskey smelling and the 2008 had more chocolate when warming up. Taste was whiskey, vanilla, and chocolate. The 2009 had more of a whiskey taste while the 2008 had more of a chocolate taste making the 2008 way more drinkable and pleasant to drink. Both however had some whiskey in the taste it just wasn't as apparent with the age on the 2008. The mouthfeel differed greatly, the 2009 was kind of thin and the 2008 was very full, thick, and chewy. I thought it was pretty awesome how different these were with only one year between them. The main difference was taste and mouthfeel and with the one year it made it from a good beer to a great beer! I've also had this with about six months age on it and it was pretty good. The drinkability depends on this one. Fresh I'd give it a lower score (but still good) but with some age it become great even with the high ABV I'd love to drink a few of these. Overall fresh it's really good but I'd really recommend aging these for at least a year if not longer as it becomes more delicious. I'm going to age a few more of my 2008s for a while and I have plenty of 2009s to age and drink. Really great beer overall which coming from Goose Island I was expecting it anyways.

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Photo of EGledhill
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to JHammerly for the chance to try this.

Poured into chalice glass

A. pours like used motor oil. black with a thin brown head that disapates quickly leaving thin lacing around glass

S.the most fragrent, complex beer I've tried to date. Sweet burbon, chocolate, and vanilla lead the way with other sweet and spice tones laying in wait.

T. More complex and exciting than the smell, every sip leaves you with a diffrent variation of the last. Top is predominently coffee, chocolate, vanilla and slight alcohol, the deeper you get the more the alcohol takes over this brew. the latter third of this brings out some spices and haevy burbon. heavy yet extremely drinkable.

M. very thick and oily. exactly how I would picture a top end stout to preform. (sidenote. the burps even bring up a fantastic chocolate taste.)

D. Extremely drinkable for a 13%abv, not one that you're going to chug at the local bar. fantastic for dessert, or as a sipping beer

Pulled a trade last week for some more of these and glad i did. this is the ultimate for cold night sipping or special occassions

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Photo of AndrewD1022
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 2008 bottle that I have been storing for Christmas. The beer was poured into a regular pint glass.

The pour was like pouring out a coffee. There is no opacity when it is in the glass and even when you are at the very end of the drink it's still very dark. After the pour, the head does not stay at all. However, there is always a small ring of brown head around the glass.

Smell is very simple, think bourbon. With subtle hints of coffee and molasses. The smell is very smooth. Compared to my initial tasting of bourbon county stout it is a little smoother after a year.

The taste follows very closely with the smell. Hints of bourbon, sweet molasses, vanilla and caramel. Some smokey taste to it hits later on the back of your pallet.

The mouthfeel is very smooth at the beginning and sort of sneaks up in the end. With the hint of bourbon coming into play later in the taste, it really brings a whole new feel to the beer.

Drinkability is up to the drinker. I could probably have one of these every few days. However, for people not accustomed to this beer. It is a huge undertaking. Usually takes me about an hour to drink a full bottle.

This is one amazing beer. I have had this beer in two consecutive years and both years are very good. Aging is recommended and from the reviews it is a good choice.

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Photo of rand
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From 12 oz bottle to snifter

First off, this is one of two BA brews of this caliber (KBS being the other) available in a 12 oz bottle. I guess that becomes an option with a little financial backing. Secondly, this latest batch of BCS should quell any fears that big business necessarily means bad brew. Whether it's from some prodigy's garage, or InBev's latest club-like gastropub, a good beer is a good beer, which is all that should matter.

Appearance: Um, is this a beer, or used car oil?
No way for a head to form, the sludgy complexion keeps nary a bubble from escaping.

The nose: Chocolate and burnt sugar. Vanilla, a touch of a cherry note, and I'm picking up a hint of soy sauce at the edge of bouquet. Ample alcohol volatiles stream the nose with aroma.

The palate: Unsweetened chocolate, roasted coffee notes and wood all at once, seemingly penetrating the palate. Molasses, a touch of grassy astringency, tobacco, all blending in harmony. If there is any criticism, it's in a carob-like note toward the finish, which becomes a little too prominent as it warms. Alcohol isn't masked, but I would've guessed 10-ish%. Finishes long and sweet.

How it feels: Next time I won't forget my fork.

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Photo of ChiSox05
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Goblet. Poured 6 inches above glass coaxing a brown 1/4" inch head that held for about a half minute before being swallowed up by the beer. In the center of the glass when looking from above, a dime sized circle of miniature bubbles lurches through to the surface. Pitch, light-strangling black, the edges held to a light show bourbon brown. Swirling leaves film of alcohol. Surface is freshly-waxed car glossy.

Vanilla extract. Charred wood. Chocolate. Alcohol penetrates the nostrils, cuts the big malt.

Dark chocolate, exemplifies bittersweet. Vanilla bourbon. Super burnt malt tastes like the char on a firepit roasted marshmallow. Boozey, engulfs the tongue, attacks the throat, raises body temp 3 degrees, took off sweater after a few sips, strong and prominent. Oily mouthcoat, grooves over the palate and glides down the throat with alcohol in tow. Rich and full. Just found some hops buried in the taste ten minutes after pouring.

Label has a good description of what is in store. Intimidating, totally intense. First beer I have enjoyed where more than one would be too much. Not for everyone, great for me. Truly unique, ass-kicking, a new species. Pour this in any dessert recipe for that extra baseball-bat to the head touch.

Note to self: serve 5 degress colder than suggested, because this will take some time.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 12oz bottle poured into Sprecher snifter.

A- Pours the deepest of black with very minimal head that gathers around the edge of the glass. A good stream of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass on the side. The head is mocha and leaves ok lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Strong bourbon right away. A little vanilla and some malt happen to peek in there just a little bit. A hint of oak and some black licorice. The bourbon is strong but not overpowering and the alcohol becomes a tad more prevalent with some warming.

T- Smooth bourbon, vanilla and some charred oak. A little bit of tasted malt and some sweetness in there as well. The bourbon is really rich and smooth. Again, like the nose, it is dominant but not overpowering. The alcohol makes itself known but it can be expected at 13%.

M- Full bodied and very smooth. A good amount of carbonation for the style. I would sum it up as rich, just coats the tongue. A nice warming sensation as it goes down.

D- One and done for sure but this is almost as good as it comes. Great flavor profile and a rich smoothness make this the perfect sipper. I have two in the cellar and can't wait to see how this one turns out in a year.

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Photo of gatorhophead
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured 6oz into a 13oz snifter

1/4" head fades quickly to a nice thin lacing, appearance is dark as night just like a stout should be. Smells of bourbon, oak, vanilla and a hint of chocolate and some more bourbon. Taste follows the smell, but I have to say this the most balanced beer I've had at this ABV. Starts out with a good balance of chocolate, oak, vanilla and bourbon and fades nicely into a bourbon finish with a touch of coffee and an alcohol warmth. For the "ABV" this beer is very drinkable and I have to say it measures up with the best of the bourbon aged stouts.

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Photo of PhxHorn
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is a dark dark dark brown, almost black, with a light brown head. Smells of carmel, bourbon, licorice, coffee, and dark chocolate and the flavor is just what the aroma promises. Not a lot of roasted flavor, but that's OK. Similar to Yeti, Bell's, and Abyss, except it has a bit more of a sweeter flavor than any of those, and lacks the roasted flavor of Abyss. Overall, a great blend of flavors. The taste got better as it warmed up, and while I didn't taste a lot of alcohol, I certainly felt it. It's so thick and intense that I don't know that I'd want more than one at a time, but as stouts go, this is a very fine one.

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Photo of robbyc1
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the bomb, a perfect marriage of RIS and bourbon barrel aging. Inky, blank, oily, with a sweet maltiness, but does not finish overly sweet due to the massive hop offset. The bourbon is a flavor component that complements perfectly, giving a complexity to a solid backbone. The only ding here is for drinkability, so good yet a 7 oz serving would suffice. Well made and cellerable.

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 2,852 ratings.
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