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Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

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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:
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Reviews: 2,866 | Ratings: 11,813
Photo of rapidsequence
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle. 12/2009 bottling. Thanks Luke.

Appearance: As expected, completely opaque and pours with the consistency of used motor oil. The head is short lived, but a beautiful dark brown for a minute or so. Almost no lacing, but some nice legs.

Smell: This is a beast. Its 13%, and it shows. Very strong bourbon aroma. Alcohol stings the nose a little. Espresso, chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. Boozy, roasty, and sweet.

Taste: Extremely bourbony. Almost like a stout with a shot of bourbon dumped in. Strong bitter coffee and chocolate. Roasted marshmallow and vanilla in the finish which is long and sweet.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and slick in the way that liquor can be, but not as thick and chewy as a big stout can be. It is by no means thin or light in the mouth, it just has a combination of beer and liquor mouthfeel. Different, and good.

Drinkability: I hate sharing, but this is so big and intense, that it should be shared. The bourbon is not just a note you detect, it really dominates the beer, but in a good way. Complex and delicious. I can't wait to try other bottle in a year or so.

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

Big thanks to Monsone for this one!

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a jet black with a dark brown colored head of two fingers that quickly dies down to a thin lacing. Stickiness is hardly there, but shows up a bit here and there. Smell is of big sweet molasses with some swet caramel notes. I sense a bit of kahlua in the nose as well, yummy. Taste is rich! Starts of with the sweet molasses mixed with a gooey chocolate brownie. Bourbon taste definitely comes through midway and warms as it goes down. The taste gets more and more complex as it warms. More of a dark chocolate flavor emerges with hints of espresso. Mouthfeel is full bodied with minimal carbonation. Silky smooth, wow. I'll definitely look for this one again. Pick it up, trade for it, give up one of your kidneys for it...do what you have to, pick it up.

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

a spectacular imperial stout. one of the biggest ive ever encountered. on tap at j. ryans in syracuse, and served in a pint glass for 8 bucks! was sure id never get to try this after the recent sale, but got one from the beer gods. the pour is really black and sticky looking, with only a film of dark dark brown head. the nose is insane, tons of charcoal and wood, this spent some time in a serious barrel. theres also some dried fruit, raisins or something, and fresh tobacco, dark chocolate, vanilla, and loads of booze. the flavor is just as complex and intimidating as the nose, with alcohol and cocoa being key notes. old well used oak is in play as well, as is some pungent vanilla beans, lots of redisual sugars and black licorice. this is really one of the most potent and memorable beers ive had, worth all the hype. the feel is pretty darn heavy, massive body, decent but light carbonation, and a really sticky sludgy feel, like pine pitch or taffy. the whole outside of my glass was like super glue from the little bit that spilled over during the pout. overall an impressive beer, this couldnt be anyones daily drink, but it sure makes a special occasion, i am grateful to have gotten to try this, and i certainly got my fill from that pint. a luxurious and daring brew, a must try if you can get ahold of it.

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Photo of MSchae1017
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into a Kentucky Bourbon Ale snifter. The beer produced a jet black color and dark brown head. The head did not linger however, as the 13% ABV left only a few wisps across the top, and a broken ring around the edge. The aroma is full of dark roasted barley giving off chocolate and coffee flavors, vanilla and hints of coconut from the bourbon are present along with the light presence of the charred oak. Sipping the beer, and the massive amount of darkly roasted barley hits your first and then the bourbon comes in to take care of the rest. The first flavors to pound your tongue are chocolate and coffee and massive sweetness, but the bourbon balances this out with vanilla and enough charred oak to keep the sweetness in check. The beer is a full explosion of flavor, but everything has been put into balance incredibly well. The mouthfeel is as full bodied as they come, with enough carbonation present to bring the beers wonderful flavors to the forefront. A sipping beer for sure, but and idea digestif during colder months.

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

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured ink-black and syrupy with a thin, creamy brown head into a chalice. The initial whiff was of Bourbon, oak, and vanilla, with the Bourbon aroma dominating. A big Bourbon flavor, with fainter oak and vanilla components and alcoholic esters - surprisingly smooth given the high ABV. The mouthfeel was pretty thick and oily, with low carbonation and nice lacing down the glass. A really potent stout, obviously, but surprisingly drinkable.

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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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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.5 out of 5 based on 11,813 ratings.
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