Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,860 Reviews
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,860
Ratings:
11,791
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
9.78%
 
 
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2,692
Gots:
7,185
For Trade:
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,860 | Ratings: 11,791
Photo of oakbluff
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours ebony black with some ruby coloured clarity. No head whatsoever. Little bit of lacing around edge of glass. Nose- powerful stuff- dark chocolate, espresso roast and bourbon heat rises up. Taste- thick oily monster. Beautiful roasted malts with big bourbon flavour. All nicely rounded though. Oak and hops show up in full force on the finish along with a wave of boozy heat. The vanilla also helps smooth out this powerhouse. The scary part is that drinkability is through the roof with this beer. I wish I had more...

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chocolate and bourbon in brew form. A remarkable barrel-aged stout made to enjoy as a sipper.

Presentation: 12 oz screw cap bottle. Simple black label design with white and gold font trying to have a sober and exclusive look. Front text barely notes the type of brew inside. Shows bottling date, (10/02/09 1639) and dedicated glassware. Notes Alc. by Vol. (13.0%) Served into a snifter.

A - Black body, small dark brown-ruby edges with a small brown frothy head. Average to small retention with very brief touches of lacing.

S - Boozy bourbon notes, chocolate, and a boozy malt whiff. Very rich on the nose.

T - Tremendous chocolate coated bourbon flavors, rich roasted notes capped by a hefty and well integrated alcoholic note.

M - Full body, creamy and thick, lingering texture with little but adequate carbonation.

D - Nice slow sipper, with a growing and assertive flavor worth every sip.

Notes: Quite the remarkable bourbon barrel stout (Jim Beam barrels?), maybe it does not deserve the hype, and hunting frenzy I saw in some quarters last time it arrived to DC, but it is a great brew nevertheless, nice to share and/or cellar for a while.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Extremely dark brown but allowing some light through showing deep garnet highlights and good clarity. The head doesn't last too long probably from the high ABV but what is there is a dark brown, creamy bubbles with a lasting ring around the glass.

S: Strong aromas of bourbon and roast. The moderately-strong oak smelling more like toasted coconut than anything probably from the cinnamon combining with the roast and sweet malt notes. There isn't much in the way of hops coming through. There is a moderately-strong alcohol aroma that is kind of flowery. A moderately-low chocolate character with a faint molasses aroma as well.

T: The flavor matches the nose with a bourbon, chocolate and a cinnamon oak flavor, fairly strong roast medium hops bitterness. Nothing much for hops flavor coming through the other strong flavors. There is a some moderate malt sweetness which is more than balanced by the hops bitterness and alcohol. The finish is off-dry with an aftertaste of chocolate and hops bitterness.

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation and a big smooth alcohol warmth.

O: An outstanding oak aged with a lot of bourbon character. The overall smells and flavor is like that of coconut covered burbon chocolates. This one should develop in the bottle for years, I had a three year old one a couple months back and it was oh so nice.

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Photo of SkiBum22
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2011 bottle poured into dogfish head snifter.

A: Rich, opaque pitch black, with a smallish brown head that leaves a long-lasting lace.

S: Very good bourbon, with chocolate in the background.

T: Surprisingly mellow for a beer this strong and this new. Chocolate, bourbon, coffee, dark fruits, light molasses. Some sweetness but not too much.

M: Surprisingly thin for a beer with such a high ABV. Very smooth and silky. Bourbon county stouts always have amazing mouthfeel.

O: This is beer is close to perfection. Goose Island really knows how to use barrels. Every beer from this series is absolutely amazing.

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Photo of AdamF625
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- pours like spent motor oil, dark brown head

S-bourbon, cocoa, booze, oak, cherries

T- roasted malts, chocolate, melded with delicious bourbon, some vanilla

M- surprisingly smooth with about 6 months on it, thick, chewy, and minimal carbonation

O- Amazing beer, a lot of nice flavors, it is a bit boozy fresh off the press but it is to be expected. Smooth after 6 months, no burn, just bliss.

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Photo of Kunstman
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Found 24 bottles (1/2 of them 2009 & 1/2 2010) for sale at a liquor store Friday before last. I nearly died of excitement! Certainly my greatest find yet. $156 later, I was a very happy man. Enjoying a 2010 (bottled 10/15/2010) served from bottle to pint glass.

A: Pours like oil from bottle with formation of a thin tan head with less retention than I would have expected. Let's say 74 degrees SRM. Almost no lacing.

S: Bourbon, alcohol and slight roastiness that is not overwhelming. The three play together very well.

T: Again, an EXCELLENT balance of bourbon and roasted malt with an alcohol bite that gives way to just a bit of that 'post shot' salivation. I had one of the 2009's I bought last week, but besides that, I have never had the pleasure of this beer before. However, I imagine that the 2 1/2 years of aging beyond the initial barrel aging helped to achieve the level of smoothness that I am currently experiencing. The sweetness of the malt and bourbon start it off and continue throughout while the tanginess of the alcohol and bourbon play the sides and back end of the palate. The aftertaste is slight bourbon. Taste is exactly what I was hoping for.

M: Solid, thick body that I would expect with from an Imperial Stout with just enough carbonation. Wonderful.

O: The best bourbon barrel aged Stout I have ever had.

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Photo of Oscar_The_Rauch
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tis the season! I snagged a 4-pack of 2013 Bourbon County on Black Friday, which was the only thing I purchased on that terrible day of the year. I've been building a vertical, but I always like to try one within the first month of the release to see what the current vintage is like.

A: Jet black "motor oil" as expected! Very thin head that has a coffee tan color and doesn't hang around for long. But, this beer has been aging in bourbon barrels for some time now.

N: Ohhhh man! FULL of bready roasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla bean, brown spice... I guess you could say "bourbon influences" too.

T: The beer delivers on the palate exactly what you were hoping for from the nose... PURE OPULENCE. It is rich and full-bodied with all the flavors listed above coating your tongue and sticking to the roof of your mouth. Smoooth mouthfeel. The finish is long and enjoyable with a bit of that heat present in the back, but not disjointed at all.

O: A pretty balanced beer for how high-gravity it is this year (14.9%). This will definitely age with the best of them. Now, the question is... how patient are you??

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Update from 12/25/2015.

I first had BCBS two or three years ago, on tap, and as I remember it was listed as 16% ABV. I'd never had a beer that blew me away like that, and last year when I first rated BCBS, I gave it a 4.9 (at the time when you only gave one overall rating), partly I think on memories of that very first time.

Now, in late 2015, I've had a lot of Imperial Stouts, a lot of BBA beers, and a lot of high ABV beers. So I'm updating my rating, with a bit more perspective.

Look: dark as night, a small head, a little lacing.

Smell: terrific aroma, roasty and bourbon, lots of punch.

Taste: the bourbon is super prominent here, but the roasty stout flavors are really good also. Moderately sweet. Nicely balanced.

Feel: super smooth.

Overall: I'm in the anti-AB/InBev camp, and I avoid their beers about 98% of the time. But there's a place in my heart for BCBS. It's so intensely flavorful, so smooth, and such good bourbon. It may not be a 4.9, as I previously thought, but it's definitely in the top tier of beers I've had.

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Photo of turnblom79
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 from a bomber bottle.

A- Motor oil black with a dark brown head that lasts longer then I would expect for a beer this stout.

S- Woodsy bourbon smell with butterscotch and a hint of coffee. Smells very sweet.

T- Like the smell indicated, there a strong bourbon taste mixed in with the milder chocolate, molasses and coffee flavors.

M- Thick and full, very pleasant.

D- Definitely a sipper. sit back and enjoy this one for a while.

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Photo of gigaknight
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Opaque black pour in a tulip glass, 1/2 finger khaki head doesn't stick around long, but leaves a beautifully sparse halo of creamy foam around the edges.

S- Less bourbon than I expected, plenty of chocolate and toasted malt. It seems to need a little more warming to open up with more fragrant coffee notes. Black forest cake dominates the nose, almost no alcohol interference.

T- A flare of alcohol opens up the palate before rich chocolate and silky malt flavirs rush in. Vanilla and caramelly bourbon round out the finish. There's really more oak flavour here than bourbon, which is welcome for people like myself who aren't too keen on the sharpness and burn of bourbon. As it warms, more dried fruit flavors come through, namely dates and a little bit of dried prune.

M- Silky smooth through and through. Shockingly drinkable, but the finish is so long that it almost forces one to take a little extra time between sips. This is no problem, however, as I want these 12 ounces to last as long as possible.

O- All around happy drinking from Goose Island. This is a disarmingly accessible offering for even the meekest of stout lovers, pending a reasonable tolerance for alcohol and some oaky resonance.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Jet black with a nice tan head. Almost no lacing. Bourbon, chocolate, molasses and a wee bit of coffee. The taste is the same but with a licorice note. Nice medium body. Superb beer.

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Photo of Danny1217
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 - 14.2% ABV

Pours black. Pitch black with a bit of brown foam if poured hard enough. The head quickly fizzles out, but what can you expect from such a high ABV beer?
Huge aroma of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, a touch of smoke, dark rich sugars, licorice, and dark fruits. Intense and complex, the huge roasted malts and oak character manage to hide the alcohol quite well in the aroma.
Taste follows similarly. Chocolate, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits. Very sweet. A slight burn on the end from being a young beer with a high abv. Incredibly thick and rich, low carbonation.

One huge stout. Love it.

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Photo of champ103
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: This beer pours a viscous and opaque black. No light gets through. A tiny tan head forms, but recedes fast and leaves no lace.
S: The nose is huge. The first thing I pick up on is vanilla and chocolate. Big bourbon and woody/oaky notes come through next. Sweet malt with dark fruits come in towards the end. A very complex and wonderful smelling beer.
T: Follows the nose. All the complexities work together to make one hell of a tastey beer. The bourbon comes through stong, but it does not overpower. A wonderful smokey oak flavor with vanilla, chocolate and dark fruits again. Plenty of warming alcohol as well.
M/D: Extremley rich and creamy. This just feels great in the mouth. There is lots of alcohol and bourbon flavor, so that might detract from the drinkability for some. Though, I love it. A sipping beer through and through.

I shared a bottle with a friend one night. We both loved it. I shared some with other friends, and they hated it. This is very complex that might not be for everyone, but I think it is a great beer. In my opinion, this is superlitive.

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Photo of Sam-VW
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Half bottle poured into small Belgian goblet

A - Thick, syrupy black with small tan head, leaving a ring of lacing

S - Bourbon, Oaky malt

T - Chocolate followed by malty caramel/popcorn

M - Very smooth with medium carbonation

All in all a fantastic stout and would work well in the winter as a warmer.

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Photo of embass
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Jet black color. Pours with a dark khaki head and nice lacing. A very beautiful looking beer.

S: Sweet stout smell with roasted chocolate and bourbon (think I get some vanilla as well).

T: Roasted chocolate, molasses and charred fruit (maybe). Everything blends perfectly with the oak and bourbon. Very smooth, bourbon taste lingers at the end.

M: Light carbonation. Very, very thick (really coates your mouth).

O: One of the best beers I've had. I love the thickness.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Have had the 2013 and 2014 several times. This is a 2014 bottle, almost a year old. Pours almost pitch black, finger brown head faded quickly into a thin ring and a diamond shape pattern in the middle, cool looking. Wow this brew has some nose, chocolate and vanilla, bourbon, a little red wine. The taste is bold but soft, if that's possible. The chocolate flavor is sweet and bitter, some fruit notes of cherry and raisin, vanilla is there also. Alcohol comes out in the end but is not intense or burning. Mouthfeel is medium and slippery. Overall this brew is just filled with flavor, one of my favorites.

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Photo of roger617
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been fortunate enough to enjoy this bottled and on tap. This review is based on the 2 times I enjoyed the 2013 on draft.

Pours as dark as you'd expect with very little khaki head. Aroma is undoubtedly the most pungent combo of chocolate, bourbon, and roast I've ever smelled. Flavor is huge on bourbon and chocolate. Moderately low level of carb, as expected. Overall this will always remain one of my favorite beers. A harmonious blend of aroma and flavor that leaves me baffled how a near 15% beer has no alcohol taste. Smells amazing, tastes amazing, and clearly there has been a lot of love put into such a unique brew.

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Photo of turamarth
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served into my Tremens glass :)
2009

Appearance: Motor Oil black, topped with a lovely rust colored centimeter thick head. This looks like a stout. It even looks a little evil.

Smell: First thing that hits my nose is a burst of toffee. Which I think is something I get often from things aged in bourbon barrels. Then deeper there are soft notes of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, and a nice under lying spicyness. Delicious.

Taste: Holy balls....this beer is more complex than an escher painting. Where some beers taste mimics the smell, this beer has all those subtle notes that the nose has...but in the taste...amp those notes up ten fold, then add about twenty layers of complexity (all that after one sip)! Notes of milk chocolate, vanilla, rich toffee, and spicyness. This beer is super sweet. There might even be some sweet fruit notes. I could go on and on, but there is more that i need to analyze.

Mouth: Thick, chewy, juicy. This is thick and chewy, but it still maintains a smooth silkiness. It has a nice tingle from the light carbonation. Coats the mouth with its yumminess.

Drink: If this beer wasn't 13% abv, I would session it like a mad man until it rotted my tummy with all its glorious sweetness.

This beer is a sultry ebony princess that will tug on your heart strings.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2012 bottled 11/07/12.

A: Pours a dark mahogany with a 1/2 finger dark tan head that is quick to disappear.

S: Such an amazing smell. Get the strong bourbon right up front. Also great vanilla and oak notes. Get a dark fruitiness in the background.

T: Great things going on here. Loads of maltiness, chocolate and oak. Obviously a supremely strong bourbon backing but its wonderful. Oakiness comes through as vanilla. Very complex, actually quite easy drinking.

M: Smooth as velvet, full body with low carbonation. Booze is hidden well in regards to burn but still very warming.

Overall I have always loved this beer and was very happy to get this years batch. Going to try to hold one for a year then I think it will get 5/5 on taste and mouthfeel.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Opened a 2012 this weekend and poured into a tulip glass.
Appears jet black with a silky smooth look to it that is appealing to the eye.
Smells give a nice big, but not too sharp, bourbon and dark fruits.
In your mouth it feels just like it looks, smooth. Covers and warms the mouth like a soft blanket.
The taste has mellowed since the orignal release. Less booze, more dark fruits.

Glad I still have 2 bottles left.

Just opened a 2013
A- Still jet black with thin brown head
S- Vanilla, dark fruit, chocolate, bouron
T- All the smells come though in the taste. I am finding it almost too sweet (and I love sweet stuff). I think holding it for another year or so will help.
M- Thick as a milk shake!
O- Still an outstanding beer, but the level of sweetness is killing me tonight. 12 oz by myself is almost too much. I am going to hold the rest of mine for at least a year or 3.

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Photo of dertyd
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing!!!!!!! The pour was as black as dirty motor oil. The smell was of chocolate,raisins,dark fruit and smoke
smoke. The taste was smooth with chocolate,raisins,raisinets,brownies and a slight soy sauce flavor what an amazing brew

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Photo of KYGunner
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I'll preface this review by saying I don't like bourbon casked stouts.

I poured this thick black stout into a snifter, with limited carbonation and no head. The appearance is unlike any ale I've seen, as it looks like motor oil and has the same consistency. The scent is of a Sherry or a port with notes of vanilla, cocoanut and a touch of alcohol. Very nice, sweet and fragrant. The taste is exceptional and I don't like bourbon. Tons of complexities, I taste raisin or prune, sweet vanilla, very little bourbonlike harshness but hints of Kentuckys finest. As one with limited palate skills I noted several other tastes that I simply can't define and makes me anxious to try another. Also, I am not one for mouthfeel but this holds prominence over anything I know. Smooth, thick but zero alcohol harshness it's warm going down and perfect for a winter night.

This is the first bourbon casked stout that I've enjoyed and ill probably start to seek others out, my experience with this one is that good.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I got a bottle of Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Stout last week, thanks to a good friend for letting go of a bottle for me to review, thanks Ben. It looks like this is beer 1000 that I've Kept track of on Beeradvocate, i still have a little ways to go till a a thousand reviews, but i thought that I would get some something special for this milestone and I've been want to try this beer ever since I got into barrel aged Stouts, so lets see how it goes. 2013 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A= The label looks nice, it's pretty simple and straight to the point, only thing that makes it eye catching is that is says Bourbon County in big white letters. It poured a nice dark black color that didn't let any light come through with a half a fingers worth of slightly darker tan head that quickly died down to a very thin ring that eventually faded away and it left some pretty nice spotty lacing, with a little bit of noticeable alcohol legs. This was a very good looking beer, it's just what I want my strong barrel aged stouts to look like.

S- Wow, I can smell this beer from a foot away. The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness that has a light brown sugar and molasses like aroma with the malts being the first to show and they impart a great roasted malt and very chocolate forward aroma that has a light cocoa aspect to it and there's a somewhat lighter coffee aroma in the background. Up next comes the barrel which imparts lots of nice oak, vanilla, and bourbon aromas with a nice toasted coconut aroma that was really nice and there's also a pretty noticeable boozy aroma, no hiding that but it comes with the territory. This beer had an awesome aroma, the base shows up nicely and the barrel is really showcased.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly lower amount of high sweetness that had a light molasses like taste to and it's followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart all those nice roasty aspects that I got in the aroma with chocolate still sticking out the most and it has a flavor that reminds me of some pretty good fudge and there's just a little bit of coffee in the background. Up next comes the barrel which impart some great oaky, bourbon, and vanilla like flavors with the vanilla sticking out nicely and there's still a nice toasted coconut aspect floating around the background. On the finish there's some noticeable alcohol that's a little boozy, but not bad for 14.2% and it's a little warming with a fairly low amount of bitterness with a little more sweetness and it had a bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate like aftertaste. This is an awesome tasting beer, the base was great and very chocolate like with tons of great barrel flavors, I have no complaints at all.

M- Fairly smooth for a 14.2% Stout, rich, a little creamy, not too sticky, full bodied with a fairly low amount of carbonation. This beer had a very good mouthfeel that is pretty much just what I want from the style and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I loved this beer and I thought that it is a very good example of the style and I think it lives up to it's reputation, everything I want in a strong barrel aged stout was there and the combination of the aromas, taste, and mouthfeel just made it feel luxurious. This beer had nice drinkability, yeah it's on the sweet side and yeah it's boozy, but to me both aspects never get too out of hand, it was fairly smooth, warming, rich, fairly filling, and the taste did a great job at holding my attention, I would be perfectly fine sipping on a bottle of it and I think one is pretty much the perfect amount for me, I think it makes a great winter time beer, especially on a cold and snowy day in mid Michigan like today. What I liked most about this beer was the taste and aroma, they were both awesome and very memorable, that toasted coconut aspect set it apart. What I liked the least about this beer was nothing, there wasn't anything that I would change, but do wish I could actually buy this locally, but my part of Michigan always gets way less then it should and I don't think I've heard of any shop within a 50 mile radius that has got any. I would for sure buy this beer if I ever saw it, I would get as much as I could and I would recommend it to anyone who likes barrel aged Stouts, it's about as good as it gets. All in all I was very impressed with this beer, I really like Barrel aged Stouts and to me this one embodies the spirit of what a great sipping beer should be. KBS and Blacknote were my favorite barrel aged Stouts, but after trying this beer it's pretty clear that this is now my #1. Awesome job guys, keep up the world class work.

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Photo of yeroc40
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

OK I have the 06 an 07 in the cellar and was tempted to pull them out for direct back to back tasting until I realized I'm a little too tipsy for a vertical. Will plan for this in the near future.

WOW>>WOW...WOW

Quite possibly the best beer I've had to date.

2008 vintage From bottle to Sam Adams glass

Aroma is bourbon, warm alcohol with the roast taking backseat to booze.

No head, no lace, black, black, black coat the glass. I'm almost expecting wine-like legs but pure thick coating when swirled.

Taste is so complex. Obviously I need to touch on the warming alcohol at 13% is expected but all of the subtleties that you don't get in other big beer are here. It's like all my favorate flavors from BW's, DB's, and IS's are all present with none of the "hot,turn me off" nastiness. I've had big strong beers that start good and finish just hot and unsatisfying, but this beer leaves you wanting another sip, every time.

Had this one w/my wifes homemade raspberry swirl cheesecake and IMHO a rich sweet treat to balance this beer is heaven.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

700th BA Review
2008 bottling

The cellar-temperature twist-off topped twelve-ounce bottle, cracked open with a threatening hiss and poured into a large tulip glass reveals an inky jet-black body with a tingle of bronze at the event horizon, trimmed with a thin ring of oily light brown foam. No real cap of bubbles dares show itself atop the drink, and the distinct gooey ring on the glass and a few freckles of lacing scattered about fail to keep the brew from looking pretty damned ominous. At its tar-hearted heart, the evil-dark stout sucks even direct sunlight into the black hole seething in my glass.

The smell is dark and chocolatey-sweet with plenty of savory, oaky, Bourbony booze. The aroma is warm, tangy and familiar, and reminds me of dark molasses cakes and fresh-baked pecan brownies drizzled with Wild Turkey and Godiva chocolate liqueur.

The taste is rich and chocolatey-sweet with the drying aromatic burn of smoky, oaky, charred-barrel aged bourbon. Powdered cocoa-style bitter dryness and a bright sweet-apple fruitiness clash headlong in a delectable melee, but upon meeting up with a bombproof juggernaut of thick dark caramel syrup, alkaline-bitter and fruity-sweet are forced to bury the hatchet and join the dark side, resulting in a tag-team tour-de-force in succulence, an undeniable dark malty richness, all wrought in the utter oaky, boozy decadence that is the hallmark of this magnificent elixir we know and love as "Bourbon County Stout".

The drink is silky and full-bodied with light carbonation, and is, without a shadow of a doubt, one savory little sipper. I'd heard and read so much hype about this brew I was just dying to try it, and I'm happy to report that BCS is "all that"-- no foolin'. Many thanks to Buckeye-lovin' Dr. Brad for this magnificent bottle of brew!

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.5 out of 5 based on 11,791 ratings.
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