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Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

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2,895 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
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Reviews: 2,895 | Ratings: 11,909
Photo of stouts4me
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 variety served in a New Belgium snifter.
pours liquid black, slight light brown ring of foam around edge of glass.
very good nose, lots of bourbon, smells smooth if that makes any sense; aroma is just awesome! Body swirls smoothly around the glass, and just makes inhaling more awesome.
taste is very boozy, taste oak, and a little chocolate; as I let it warm the alcohol seens to lighten a bit.
The mouthfeel is smooth, coating and , again with the bourbon taste
overall it was a very nice sipper.

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

2008 version.

A - Night black with a high viscosity on the pour. Not quite motor oil thick, but definately sticking to itself. Can barely see any light through the edges. Small tan head, maybe 1/2 finger at the most, bubbled up from the bottom and quickly receded.

S - Nice mild bourbon. I always worry that the bourbon smell on these is going to be overpowering. Definately present, but it's got a nice balance. Touch of sweet vanilla and toffee.

T - Outstanding, the mild smell of the bourbon is just about what you get in the taste. It's definately there, and it's good, but it doesn't kill the flavor of the stout. Slight fruity sweet taste makes this a fantastic drink.

M - Solid, not quite heavy like you would expect, but definatly full bodied. Carbonation seems almost non-existant.

D - So ridiculously drinkable for a 13%. You could easily just chug a bottle of this, although that would be a waste. Awesome beer.

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

Now this is a beer. Thick as crude and just as black. Minimal head of chocolatey brown. Just a hunk of good drinking. The nose just reaks of roasted malty chocolate. Nice bourbonesque undertones. Smells kind of like barbecue from the blackened graininess. The nose is just saturated with richness. As I raise the glass to my lips alcohol stingers whip my oropharynx. The taste is of most delicious chocolate and boozey fumes. Definite dark fruitiness. This thing is just ripe with flavour. It would probably light on fire. It has a nice bitterness that is completely an afterthought and is almost lost in the cascade of flavour. Just utterly delicious and such a pleasure to consume. This one makes me feel classy as I drink it and the power of it casts a pleasant warmth over my being. The mouthfeel is thick and oily. Very substantial and heavy bodied. I'd love to see the nutrition facts for this sucker. The drinkability is great considering what I have here. The flavour definitely rewards me for taking it slow and experiencing the subtleties as the temperature warms. This is a great beer. Worth the price of admission with all things considered. This is what Midwest winter drinking is all about. Nice work! Chicago!

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Photo of cfrances33
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled from Otts Bottleshop in Medford, NJ on 7/12/12 and enjoyed the same night. Poured into a GI tulip.

Pour: Pitch black with a half finger brown head that recedes to nothing.

Smell: Vanilla bourbon bursts out of the glass. Little booze and lots of mocha and chocolate

Taste: Incredible vanilla/bourbon. The nose does not lie. Chocolate and coffee notes continue. Really sweet, but not overpowering. Booze incredibly hidden.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and smooth.

Overall: Finally got to have BCBS and it did not disappoint. A stellar BB stout.

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

Received in trade from brdc, thanks for the opportunity.
2007 bottling enjoyed late 2008

A vigorous pour could barely produce any head in this solid black brew. I can smell the bourbon from the bottle soon after I pop the cap. The aroma is bourbon, vanilla, oak, hard to tell if there's a beer under there. The taste is very complex! First you get hit with the bourbon and oak then some roast, then some alcohol, then a bit of hop bitterness finish with a smooth bourbon roast. Its really tasty, but I like bourbon too. Thick body, oily turning to creamy mouthfeel. Light carbonation. Great Bourbon that someone spilled some beer into :)

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

12oz bottle, 2008 vintage. Drank from big Founders snifter. The beer poured black as sin, with a faint sliver of a cola-colored head. There were deep, dark ruby highlights near the outer edge/surface after the head faded. The aroma was unmistakable, noticeable from across the table (confirmed by my wife). Upon getting my nose in the glass, I was greeted with an orgy of scents. Bourbon and oak of course, but vanilla, roasted malt, sweet sugars, dark fruits and booze.

The flavor didn't disappoint. Two years in the bottle hasn't diminished the chocolate, dark fruits, coffee, vanilla and general roasty flavor in this beer. The bourbon flavor isn't at all overwhelming, and the age has mellowed the burn from the alcohol quite a bit. This beer really coats the inside of your mouth as you drink it, in a very pleasant way. The carbonation is noticeable, but well balanced; it renders it creamy-feeling.

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

Poured into my DFH snifter. Bottled on 12/18.09.

A: Pours a nice jet black color with a finger thick dark brown/tan head that quickly dissipates.

S: Smells of alcohol and has a bit of a bourbon scent to it, not surprising. Has some dark chocolate scents and a bit of roasted malts with some smokiness as well.

T: Strong flavor of alcohol/bourbon is apparent up front. Following is a strong taste of chocolate sweetness. The finish has a bit of smoke flavor with a hint of oak.

M: Medium bodied with slight carbonation.

D: I've had much stronger beers, but this beer is pretty strong for being 13%, seems to drink like a higher ABV, which is not bad at all. I enjoyed this beer very much, but I also love high ABV beers. It's not for everyone but if you like strong beers, you will love this beer.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this is a big beer. Pours a dark black with little foam in the glass. You can smell the bourbon and dark roasted chocolate from the glass. The taste is a punch in the face of flavour, with bourbon and roasted chocolate taking the front. Its very smooth and drinkable considering the 13% alc. Drinking an '08 followed by a '09. The older has mellowed just a bit compared to the newer batch. But both are fucking excelelnt. This is just a crazy awesome impertial stout.

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

Poured from 355mL bottle into 330mL St. Bernardus Chalice. Bottled on date of 10/15/2010

Appearance: Pours black with a minimal brown head that dissipates quickly yet leaves behind a ring of lace around the top of the beer.

Smell: Dark chocolate smell is the most prevalent, backed up by a certain degree of roastiness, dark fruits, and a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Begins sweet, primarily tasting of chocolate, plum and maybe even some grape. Finishes with a lot more bittersweet chocolate and a roasted character, along with alcohol. As it warms, bourbon can be noticed throughout the beer.

Mouthfeel: Thick body with light carbonation and a sticky finish. The alcohol in this brerw is definitely noticeable- I felt a slight burn on my lips on the first sip, and chills run down my spine as soon as the beer touches my lips and there is a slight burn as it goes down. Despite this, the alcohol is not overpowering or unpleasant. Also, I am guessing this feeling has something to do with the bourbon barrels, as something similar happens to me when I drink whiskey.

Drinkability: A superb and very complex beer. The alcohol, though is such that this is a definite sipper. I could see this one being absolutely outstanding after some cellar time.

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

Pours very dark, with a brown tinge at the top when held to the light, otherwise pretty much black. Head is not very existent, with a ring of ochre foam around the edge. Lacing is not very prominent but good and sticky. Looks pretty nice, for all its faults.

Nose is actually very sweet, with a toasted coconut aroma being dominant, aspects of dark, syrupy grain infusion underneath, a marshmallow hint and of course a rich chocolatey character. Really, that smells like a Bounty® Bar - chocolate and coconut. Slightly tart as well as very sweet and toasted. I don't know if I like it that sweet, but otherwise immaculate.

Taste is also sweet, with again a toasted coconut flavour and some more nutty hints of pecan and walnut. Sweet chocolate comes through with a milky cocoa goodness, kind of threatens to turn tart with some prune character on the mid and a good hit of oak as well. Still just sweet. Finish is a little bit toasty, maybe very slight roasty bitterness but none of that gritty espresso I'm used to. Just sweet, roasty and yummy.

Mouthfeel is syrupy and velvety with just a little alcohol warmth on the back. This is perhaps a little sweet to be drunk all the time, but it's so outrageously tasty otherwise.

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Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is the first time I've seen a truly great beer with no head at all. This surprised me. On the other hand, this stout is so dark brown as to be almost black and completely opaque. The aroma is rich with coffee and roasted malt and the tongue follows with similar flavors and others all blended together to make a unified whole that is unfathomably deep. It's viscous velvet on the tongue with no alcohol burn at all, just a gentle warming. Low carbonation. Full bodied is an understatement. One of the most remarkable stouts I've ever tasted. As long as AB/Inbev doesn't mess with this, Goose Island will remain in its lofty position.

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

Tasted On: 10-17-2011
Freshness: Bottled on 10-15-2010
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Single from Chuck's, Bowling Green, KY

Drinking this 2010 vintage with about 1 year on it.

Pours a thick black color, akin to a motor oil, with no light penetrating the darkness. The head is a dark tan, but is not even a finger high, which isn't a surprise given the high alcohol. Retention is low and lacing is almost non-existent.

A strong cornucopia of aromas are pulled from my snifter - alcohol in the form of bourbon, oak woodiness, roasted malts, chocolate, molasses and brown sugars, and over-ripened fruits that come more to the forefront as this beer warms to room temperature.

Taste is equally as complex and rich as the nose, with a strong roasted coffee bitterness and heavy bourbon flavors. Very boozy as well at 13% ABV. A sweetness is present with flavors of licorice and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is creamy, thick and chewy, with low carbonation. The aftertastes are of whiskey and blackened malts.

This is a major player of a beer that demands a slow sipping to fully appreciate and not be overwhelmed by its strength! Definitely an exceptional beer, although was a bit too much for me. I want to try a fresh version and see how it compares to this 1-year old sample.

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

Deep black beer with very little head.

Bourbon aroma does not dominate but it's clearly there. There are also chocolate and some black licorice scents.

Tastes rich but not overly so. Deep, dark malt flavors glazed over with the bourbon. The bourbon accents the stout and does not overwhelm the rich, dark chocolate flavors.

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

Served on tap at Blind Tiger.

Wow, is this an intense, in your face beer. I'm not sure I ever used that phrase to describe a beer before, but that's what comes to mind. There is nothing subtle about it, from the nose, to the taste, to the boozy heat it leaves behind. If you like wood aged stouts, you're going to like it. If you don't, you won't.

It pours (oozes?) jet black and thick as old motor oil, little in the way of foam. The nose is all bourbon, wood, vanilla, coffee and chocolate. And, alcohol. Taste is exactly what it smells like and punches you in the tastebuds the second it hits em. All the bourbon, vanilla and coffee hit fast, and then the boozy heat finishes it off. This is a sipper for sure. Probably shouldn't have had it first...Very smooth in the mouth, as you'd expect from something like this with such little carbonation.

Its definitely an "experience" beer. Would I drink it again? Its only a matter of time...it just wouldn't be tomorrow. Still, first rate and worth trying if you can find it. To me, the only thing it could use is some subtlety.

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Photo of eclipse54
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*First time combining multiple vintages of a brew for review, so hopefully this isn't too far off center format-wise.

(Current review from 03/10/2012)

A 12 ounce bottle of the 2011 batch, generously sent by FluffyMcTingle; thanks again man! Bottled 11/2011, and consumed tonight via DFH signature glass.

A - 4.0 - Pours a dark brown, nearly black, with a thin veil of dark chocolate colored head. The head fades almost immediately to a ring around the edge of the glass and bubbly legs scattered across the surface.

S - 4.5 - The aroma is of bourbon, vanilla, caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, oak, toasted marshmallow, and brown sugar.

T - 4.5 - It tastes of caramel, vanilla, oak, toffee, dark chocolate/cacao, bourbon, and burnt sugar. There is an alcohol presence near the end.

M - 4.0 - Mouthfeel is thick, and this once coats every inch of the palate. Syrupy texture, resinous finish, and warming alcohol sensation throughout.

O - 4.5 - Overall, a delicious stout that brings out the best of the barrel treatment.

Final Weighted Score: 4.43


(Review from 11/20/2011)

A 12 ounce bottle of the 2009 vintage sent to me by inlimbo77; thank you very much for this one! Bottled on 11/12/2009, so this is very nearly two years old at this point. Poured into a Deschutes tulip glass...

A - 3.5 - It pours a richly black body with dark caramel hues near the surface; this transitions into a similarly colored head. Head development was minimal, not surprising given the high alcohol content (and a strange bottle-opening occurance). Regardless, a ring of coffee-colored bubbles and similar patches dot the surface of the liquid. Lacing is nonexistent.

S - 4.5 - The aroma is of toffee, bourbon, oak, hazelnut, vanilla, caramel, milk chocolate, and alcohol. Really a phenomenal nose here, and very inviting to those who seek the bourbon-aged effect.

T - 4.5 - The taste is similar with toffee, caramel, bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, almond, and alcohol all blending together beautifully. It is quite reminiscent of a stout blended with an English barleywine, which is fine by me!

M - 4.0 - The mouthfeel is very good as the carbonation lifts the rich texture off the tongue and accentuates some of the finer flavors. The finish is great, but the alcohol really comes through in the end with a bit of a burning sensation. No doubt that this is 13% here.

O - 4.5 - Overall, a well crafted, delicious offering that I will certainly need to acquire more of.

Final Weighted Score: 4.40

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

Bottle poured into a large snifter. This is pitch black with only a small amount of head that quickly subsides. Smells intensely sweet with a mix of bourbon, raisins, cherries, and caramel. Alcohol is very noticeable in the smell.

Taste is extremely sweet. Bourbon is the dominant flavor, with some other hints of vanilla, raisin, and cherry. Alcohol blends into the flavor very well.

This is delicious and very drinkable. Met and exceeded my expectations.

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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.

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

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

A - pitch black with a small dark tan head that fell to a ring and then vanished altogether.

S - bourbon smell with some roasted malt and vanilla aromas as well.

T - rich roasted flavor of dark chocolate, coffee beans and vanilla extract with the tatse of bourbon kicking up the back end. Extremely complex and mind blowing flavor for a stout. 45-50 degrees is where best flavor is achieved.

M - full bodied with a silky smooth feel.

D - sip and enjoy.

Final Note: I like Bourbon (Makers Mark) and I like this Stout. I'm laying 1 down for a few months, or at least until I see the first robin of Spring!

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Photo of Rinkor16
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade and shared it with some buddies. Thank you azdback!

A: Pitch black with little to no head. Wasn't expecting any with the high alcohol content anyway.

S: Dark chocolate and of course the sweet smell of bourbon.

T: Wow this beer is amazing. Very complex and rich. Lots of malt, dark chocolate and vanilla. A little bit of caramel maybe? Then the perfect finish with the sweet taste of the bourbon.

M: Full bodied with very light carbonation. Very smooth and velvety. Definitely one to sip.

O: This beer is definitely worth seeking out! It is amazing! I've never had a bourbon aged stout before... This was a treat! I definitely want to get my hands on BCBCS now.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very dark black color with a touch of brown visible around the edges and a thin finger of tan head. The head fades fairly quickly leaving behind a few spots of lace.

S - Aroma is full of bourbon, smoke, and sweet oak. Some coffee and chocolate. A bit of the roasted malt also comes through. Really pungent.

T - Starts off with a lot of smoke and bourbon flavor. Some chocolate flavor alongside. There is some roasted malt and a hint of vanilla. Through the middle some brown sugar sweetness and oak flavors that come out. The finish is warm bourbon and chocolate malt blend, with only a touch of alcohol flavor that lingers really nicely.

M - Full bodied with moderate-low carbonation. Creamy and even a bit oily. Flavor really fills the mouth. The finish has a nice warming feeling.

D - Pretty drinkable, especially given the strong flavors and the 13% abv. The bourbon flavor is strong and flavorful, but still well balanced.

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Photo of Brez07
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 version poured into a Portsmouth snifter

A: Very dark pour with hints of brown along the edges. A thin mocha head which leads to a similar colored ring around the glass. No lacing

S: Holy boozey bourbon! I love it, but it's pretty strong. This is a subtle hint of chocolate/vanilla, but it's being serious depressed by the bourbon. This is one I can tell will be "hot"

T: Yup, sure is. But damn tasty, lots of flavors. The bourbon starts everything off, with the chocolate/vanilla coming out nicely from behind the alcohol

M: Very full bodied beer. Tingly with carbonation at first, then thickness/creaminess. It warms my throat with just the first sip

D: Sipped this one slooowly. Very "hot" right now. Great beer, but definitely needs some age to mellow the alcohol out.

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Photo of CO-Bloom
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strong Bourbon, vanilla oak, raisins, semi sharp booze that is cut by sweetness. I do love this stout but the bourbon booziness does overshadow most of the flavor profile and I am left missing some of my favorite coffee and dark chocolate notes that are more present in the style. For those of you new to the style, try letting it warm so more of the complexity comes through. Great beer to share with my wife on Christmas Day (her gift to me!). Lives up to its hype but I would prefer more dark roasted malt to shine to balance out the sweet vanilla caramel of the bourbon.

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

Poured into a sniffer at Chumley’s in Lafayette, IN. I finally got the chance to try this one and now I wonder why I waited so long.

Appearance: It pours a pitch black and in this dark bar there is no chance of seeing through it. There was a nice tan head, but that died rather quickly, due to the bottle being too cold.

Aroma: Big bourbon aromas, alcohol, subtle hints of vanilla, and roasty goodness. I could smell this beer all day. Luckily I needed to let it warm up, so I was able to just sit there and enjoy the aroma as I cradle it with my hands.

Taste: The taste is exactly how it smells. It’s big, it’s boozy, and it’s great! Sweet malty goodness with an undertone of chocolate all complemented by blanket of bourbon warming. The alcohol is not well hidden; however, it is not a bad thing in this beer.

Mouthfeel: This is a sipper for sure and if it was the only beer I have the entire night I will be happy. It’s not as thick as I was expecting and a little more carbonated then I was expecting, but I think that just wakes up the taste buds.

Overall: This is a great beer, one of my new favorites and I can’t wait to try the other versions. I look forward to see how it develops over the next few years. Highly recommend.

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

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From 12-oz bottle bottled on 10/12/07 to my Grimbergen chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours motor oil black thickness with a little bit of head that disappears pretty quickly.

Smell: Smells of bourbon whisky, chocolate, a hint of coffee and I think cherries. There is a lot going on here.

Taste: Real nice and sweet at the beginning, with chocolate tones, caramel and sweet malts. Spicy alcohol and bitterness ends the tasting just right.

Mouthfeel: Buttery-smooth and coats your throat on the way down.

Drinkability: The high alcohol content keeps this from being a beer I could drink many of in one sitting, but would make for an excellent after dinner drink. I wasn't able to confirm the 13% as listed by Wetpaperbag, but the alcohol is definitely up there. Would definitely recommend.

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Photo of WesM63
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large snifter. 2012

A: Pours a pitch black with no head. No retention to speak of and minor amounts of lacing.

S: Oak, Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and some roasted malts.

T: Close to the nose. Bourbon, Oak, vanilla, roasted malts and some bittersweet chocolate.

M: Full body and low carbonation. Very thick and viscous. Has quite the burn but not overpowering.

O: Delicious! Lives up to the hype. Just enough burn to remind you you're drinking a big BA stout.

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.5 out of 5 based on 11,909 ratings.
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