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Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,852 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:
2,852
Ratings:
11,745
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
9.78%
 
 
Wants:
2,684
Gots:
7,169
For Trade:
735
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,852 | Ratings: 11,745
Photo of Sammy
4.23/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big beer. Very thick, full of chocolate, some wood, slight smoke, the bourbon and booziness. Knock yourself out. Rich and deep intensity of flavours, I got the caramel, coconut,. A very fine effort, a top stout. I had the 2006 bottle again in 2012 and it was too coconut. I had the 2007 in 2012 and it was rich and smooth, 4.25 territory.

I had the regular on tap 5 years later and it was pretty good and well integrated bourbon. Black colour, and scored that for this review.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to mjtiernan for sending me this one!

2009 vintage. Bottled on 10/9/09.

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch khaki head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random spots and streaks of lace slide back down into the remaining beer. Smell is of wood, vanilla, toasted coconut, and milk chocolate. Taste is of toasted coconut, vanilla, wood, and semi-sweet cocoa powder. There is a slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a thick and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a most excellent beer and I can see why this one is held in such high regard. A rare treat for me that I am glad I got to try.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottling - Original notes from 2008 state: Heavy, dark coffee, carmel and chocolate flavors with a long pleasant finish. 12/08;

Re-tasted 2/11; notes/review follows:

Black; almost no head but a short tan head with some serious swirl.

Nose is bitter black chocolate and roasted coffee; nose has undertones of rich red fruit.

Mouthfeel is thick, rich and viscous. Well balanced and heavy on the palate.

Flavors are bitter espresso, burnt toast; charcoal; burnt chocolate, bitter molasses; assertive bourbon, vanilla and have soy sauce tones. A nice sipper; a good example of an aged stout but will not get better with more age. Pleasant initial "sweet character" is already gone and replaced with the more refined bitter character. Not bad or good - just different.

My personal preferance is drinking this one a bit more fresh. Perhaps an example of the fact that a wood aged stout may not need additional aging. Finish is soy, bitter espresso and light salt.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Single finger tan head with excellent lacing on a jet black motor oil like body.

S: if I have one knock on this to keep it from a near perfect beer its the aroma. The aroma is excellent with coffee, dark chocolate, brown sugar and vanilla but is a bit more mild than I want to make it a top rated stout in this category.

T: perfect amount of sweetness from the milk and dark chocolate are the highlights of this beer. Notes of coffee, bourbon, vanilla on a roasted malt base which is all very well balanced and very complex. I really liked trying this one really cold then also warm. Interesting differences.

M: first drank this one fairly cold so it would be more the thickness of egg nog then let it warm up until it was still a thick and full body with light to moderate carbonation.

Overall: really happy we finally get this beer down in here in Jacksonville FL. I have missed its release the many times I have been up north this time of year. It is exactly what you expect and lives up to the expectations. Its scary how well the ABV is hidden and how drinkable this beer is.

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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 Knapp85
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a deep looking black color with a thin tan head on top that quickly disappears. There is no lacing on this brew either. The smell of the beer has a really nice roasted malt profile with an intense about of barrel aged bourbon-like aromas. The taste is sweet upfront that then switches over to a slightly smoked flavor with a chocolatey bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel of the beer is really smooth, lightly carbonated and goes down really easy. There is a bit of booze heat in there as well. Overall this beer is really nice, glad I finally got to try it.

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Photo of metter98
4.34/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured absolutely jet black (like motor oil) with a mocha-colored head that quickly dissipated and left diminutive lacy patterns of bubbles.
S: The smell is intense and very complex with aromas of bourbon, oak and vanilla.
T: Like the aroma, the taste is also complex and well balanced between bourbon flavors and notes of alcohol, chocolate, oak and vanilla.
M: It feels full-bodied, very smooth and coats the palate. There is some warming from the alcohol.
D: Given the high alcohol content, this is definitely a beer that is imperative to sip very, very slowly.

Note: 2008 vintage

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite stout,...period. Just finished my second 4-pack (not all today) but, for the year.

Aromas: Awsome. It has it all, malts, coffee, chocolate, cherries, raspberries, raisons, vanilla, caramel. It's basically a desert for the olfactory senses.

Appearance: Thicker, heavier, darker, and better colored than about any stout that I have ever had. It even sounds nicer when poured into a tulip glass.

Taste: Holds up to the aromas and more. One sip tells you that this is going to be a slow and steady drink. High barley and roasted grains without tasting harsh or "gainy". All of the fruits and sweetnesses in the aroma are compounded in the flavor. The sweet malt is quickly followed by fruity tartness and nice bittering from the dark malts and the well disguised hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, thick, and creamy. Coats the mouth incredibly well. Polishes off well without the stickyness associated with most high gravity brews.

Aftertaste: There's the bourbon. Until now, it hides in the background of all the other complexities. The bourbon flavors increase the caramel and vanilla flavors...and the alcohol. warming and lingering. Each sip makes you want to reflect before the next one.

Impression: overwhelming to the modest beer drinker. This one is definately for grown-ups (if not conissours). She's definately a sipper. Should only be enjoyed with good friend, a cozy fire, and hour to spare.

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Photo of largadeer
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Pitch black, even when thinned it's still opaque. A quater-inch of head appears for a moment and then disappears.

Smell - Over-the-top bourbon with traces of dark fruit, molasses and chocolate. Alcohol is plainly noticeable but entirely appropriate and even enjoyable.

Taste - Bourbon makes itself known immediately, though it's nicely blended with flavors of vanilla, raisins, dark chocolate and molasses. Intensely rich and flavorful. Bourbon lingers on in the finish, with a hot, warming quality in the swallow.

Mouthfeel - Thick, syrupy and coating. Moderate carbonation; more than I was expecting from a barrel-aged beer.

Notes - Exceptional stuff; one of the better bourbon barrel beers I've had.

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Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an espresso brown color with a brief coffee milk head that fades after a few seconds but sticks to the sides of the chalice

Smell: Bourbon, charred oak, dark chocolate, molasses, vanilla and a hint of dried cherries

Taste: The bourbon is apparent from the start, and blends with the charred oak, molasses, syrupy dark chocolate and vanilla flavors; a little later on the fruit arrives, with dried cherries, prunes and molasses; after the swallow, the dark chocolate and bourbon return to dominate the finish, with a boozy aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and syrupy, with relatively low carbonation (the carbonation level is higher at first); plenty of warmth in the gullet after the swallow

Drinkability: Extraordinarily well-balanced between the bourbon and stout elements

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.36/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (courtesy of Dalaamar): Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown color foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of bourbon is quite powering as well as some chocolate and vanilla. Taste is a mix between some chocolate malt with hints of vanilla, coffee and oak. Bourbon presence is interesting but a bit too powerful for my liking since it brings too much alcohol, which is not something that I necessarily enjoy. Body is full and has a creamy texture, which I quite enjoy. Overall, this is a very interesting creation, which I’m glad, got a chance to try but I feel I would probably prefer the non-barrel aged version more. Also, this is more of a sipper then anything else and half a bottle would probably be enough for one session.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.19/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, 2014 version, thanks to rogerdandy for the share.

This beer pours a solid black, but with prominent red and mahogany tints when pressed to the light, and a thin cap of wispy and ephemeral brown head, which leaves a bit of paramecia lace around the glass as it quickly abates.

It smells of musty treacle, bittersweet cocoa powder, sozzled dark orchard fruit (plums, prunes, and bitter bing cherries), an under the stairs dankness, cafe-au-lait, and faint earthy, weedy, and leafy hops. The taste is big, rich milk chocolate, a muddled black fruitiness, anise root, caramel/toffee malt, brown sugar, well-creamed coffee, some warming vanilla from the wood, and some very laid-back booze acridity.

The carbonation is quite low in its sedate frothiness, the body a solid-punching heavyweight, and rather smooth, with an attendant creaminess. It finishes fairly sweet, the cocoa, sugary caramel, and sauced fruit all entertaining us while they wait for their ride home.

Well, few products stand up to such high expectations, and I gotta say that this is one of them - large, but restrained in its massive stout fury. Maybe a little hot on the nose, but s'all good after that, nice and warming, and more or less worth the lengthy wait in my own small corner of the beer world.

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Photo of emerge077
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Year old bottle.

Drizzles into a wide chalice, poured very slowly, intentionally trying to create some foam. It works, some irregular bubbles stretch over the surface, that slowly succumb to the strength of the stout. A ring of milk chocolate froth clings to the rim of the glass. Served at a cool cellar temp.

Whiff of mild vanilla, and a hint of bourbon. Mysteriously, the aroma hides the onslaught of flavor that will roll out soon after. First sip is a slow burst of chocolate, vanilla, oak, and of course, bourbon. The barrel aging and cellaring has melded this stout symbiotically with bourbon in an unbelievable way. Alcohol has mellowed with time, which furthers the drinkability aspect. Bittersweet chocolate and coffee hang on the palate in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is silky, infinitely smooth and rich.
This is a rare treat.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on October 8, 2008.

G: Poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Motor-oil dark with a thin, quarter-finger head with minimal amounts of carbonation. The beer is completely opaque and near black.

S: Roasted malt and a lot of sweet chocolate scent. Minimal hints of dried fruits. Definite bourbon scent and hints of aged oak as well.

T: The taste is absolutely exquisite. Hints of the aforementioned oak, along with plenty of bourbon. Some chocolate and espresso hiding in the mix. The perfect balance and extremely complex--I would give this a 5.5 if I could.

M: Quite thick and extremely chewy. It really almost feels as if there's food in my mouth. A true "motor oil" beer. Moderate amounts of carbonation. Strong alcohol presence.

D: Very, very drinkable. This is high in ABV, but I could drink these until I couldn't drink any longer.

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Photo of kojevergas
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz 2012 vintage brown glass bottle with standard crown cap served into a Guinness goblet in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Expectations are through the roof.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a tan floater of nice cream and thickness. Retention is bad, but hey, it's 15%. Body colour is a solid jet black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Roast, bourbon, oak, dark malts, caramel, and cream. An above average strength aroma.

T: Heavy bourbon and oak, caramel, vanilla, dark malts, coffee/java, and hints of vanilla. Impeccably balanced. Really well executed. Subtle and very complex. The alcohol doesn't come through at all. Really an incredible brew. Built near perfectly. Rich and delightful.

Mf: Perfect thickness and coarseness. Smooth and wet, aiding the flavours. Great palate presence.

Dr: Obscenely drinkable for the ABV. I'd definitely have this again. Would be good with some age on it. I'd buy this by the case. Lives up to the hype.

A

-
2013 vintage on 03.14.14:

The coffee notes I remember are absent, and this vintage comes across much less complex than I remember. I love the bourbon.

B+

-

2013 vintage on 04.18.14:

A: Pours a predictable head of average retention. Body colour is a perfect opaque jet black.

Sm: Lovely bourbon notes with just enough char. Burnt dark malts. Chocolate. Sweetness. Nice oak and vanilla presence. A pleasant aroma of mild to moderate strength. Quite appealing.

T/Mf: The barrel is very well integrated into the base beer. The bourbon notes are powerful and evocative, and it has just enough of a faint fusel burn. Dark malts and chocolate malts lend it a dark sticky sweet base. Molasses.

Complex and intricate. Very well balanced. An incredibly deep and tasty beer. High flavour duration and intensity.

Perfect carbonation. Smooth, silky, creamy, and wet. Unrefreshing.

Dr: She's a sipper, alright. Definitely worth buying. A treat of a bourbon barrel aged beer. This one has earned its reputation. I'll continue to revisit this beer in future years; it's worth it.

High B+

-

2013 vintage.

HEAD: Gorgeous rich tan colour with a shiny complexion. Half a finger in width initially, but it recedes completely within 30 seconds. I’ve seen better retention.

BODY: Opaque solid dark black in colour.

Appears aptly carbonated. Overall, it isn’t unique or special by today's standards.

AROMA: Bourbon through and through. Subtle hints of vanilla and oak abound. Not the toasty oak I love. Not very wood-y, which I personally like.

The bourbon notes are definitely dominant, but they don’t overwhelm the base beer. There’s ample malty sweetness – probably from dark malts and chocolate malts – but what I’m really missing is a roasted barley presence, which would really bring this together nicely. Don’t look for hops or yeast here – it’s all about the malts. As it warms, it comes into focus more: molasses, caramel, and kisses of faint burnt sugars and barrel char. Additionally, I’m finding coconut – which is a difficult note to pull off (even Avery Brewing can’t seem to manage it).

This aroma suggests a sticky sweet brew with a definitive bourbon barrel presence. The highlight for me is definitely the coconut presence, which is what I think sets this beer apart.

It’s a pleasant, inviting, rich aroma of moderate strength, and never seems boozy or overbearing. If I had it blind I’d probably guess it was 11% ABV.

Mf: Sticky and slightly syrupy. Full-bodied. Thick. Not too filling. Smooth. Wet. Even with the subtle char and burnt notes, the texture never feels harsh. Near perfect carbonation. Plenty of heft and weight on the palate. Soft. Palate presence is good.

Unrefreshing.

More of a roasted barley presence would lend it needed dryness/coarseness.

T: Simpler and more shallow than the 2009 and 2012 vintages

Roasted barley is sorely absent.

The coconut is a highlight, blending well with the dark/chocolate malt core. Molasses and faint char set off the barrel.

Not a very wood-y brew, which I like. It does have a bourbon-soaked oak presence, but I prefer a more toasted oak character. The bourbon is lovely, evoking genuine vanilla but no whisky spice. ABV isn't noticeable.

It’s a well-balanced beer but isn’t as masterfully and carefully constructed as I remember. Build is cohesive, but not gestalt; I could change/add individual notes and it wouldn’t disrupt the flavour profile. Not as deep as it could be.

Remarkable subtlety and complexity. Coconut lends it nuance. I’ve had far more intricate imperial stouts, but this is hard not to like.

O: The best Goose Island beer I’ve had. This is the definitive bourbon barrel aged stout, but I can’t help but think that other breweries have taken what Goose Island pioneered and used it in more effective ways.

B+

*
2015 vintage: Low B+

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Photo of zeff80
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured out a jet black color with a small, creamy brown head. No lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate, caramel and vanilla.

T - It tasted of butter, chocolate and roasted malt. It also had a smoky/alcohol flavor.

M - Mouthfeel was very creamy and soft. Also, quite warm because of the alcohol content.

D - Outstanding beer. The range of flavors was awesome.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.9/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Was surprised to see this on tap at a local dive-bar in downtown Baltimore... only $6 and they gave you at least a 12 oz. pour at least (this is compared to a pint of Yuengling going for $5)... quite a steal. Maybe not the best beer to start the night... this one is a doozy and one of the stronger beers I've tried. Yes I know it's 14.5% ABV, but DFH's offerings of this alcohol seem to go down a lot smoother. Anyways... a thick beer reeking of bourbon taste, with a strong alcohol bite. Packs a punch and had some good taste, but just too boozy for my own opinion.

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Photo of oline73
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into goblet. This bottle is the 2009 version.

Appearance: Almost black with a little light coming through at the edges. A finger of dark tan head goes away completely.

Smell: Sweet smooth bourbon with hints of roast, dark fruit, vanilla, and dark chocolate.

Taste: This is a very smooth beer. Lots of bourbon up front with a nice warm alcohol burn. Hints of oak, dark fruit, and vanilla. The finish is warm and a bit bitter.

Mouthfeel: Thick and smooth with mild carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: The age has smoothed this beer out even more. The balance is fantastic and I will definitely have more in the future.

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Photo of oberon
4.07/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 11/13/09.Finally a chance to try this,it has escaped my grasp a few times.Poured deep as an oil slick,no light showing through this puppy,a thinner dark mocha colored head atop.Powerful oaky bourbon notes in the nose,notes of vanilla and some alcohol dipped dark fruit became stronger as the beer warmed.Bourbon is the big flavor component on the palate,vanilla tinged and oaky,there is a slight buttery-rum flavor in the fisnish as well.This will warm the insides thats for sure,its a young bottle and its powerful,a great beer to sip on,who its warm in here right now.

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Photo of jlindros
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had the 08 and 07 and loved both. Now I get to try the 09 and finally review it. Got this one in a very quick and great trade by Lunch.

A: Screw top, really guys?! Pours with almost no head, a few bubbles here and there, but so goes the style. But the head that does come rings around the sides of the glass and leaves a lacing. The pitch black color gives midnight a bad name. I think I feel the souls of mortals all around being sucked into this pit of darkness and light void. Even at the very bottom where it thins, no light escapes and I think it was born from Nazgul!

N: Well it starts off with a very light NOTHING. It actually starts with heavy bourbon and oak. A sweet oaky bourbon aroma just dances out of the glass and gently bashes the heck out of your nose! This is followed by some rich dark stout malts, some roasted, some chocolate, then some sweet caramel. A touch of vanilla rounds it off to an overall awesomeness that smells better than, ummm, something that smells great. A touch of alcohol comes out as the glass warms.

T: Super rich thickness that makes crude oil blush. It's thicker than my boss (just kidding), and richer than Bill Gates. A luscious sweet malt flavor starts to grow, but is battled back by more heavy oak and bourbon flavors. A touch of dark fruit comes through, but barely. Then comes some more sweet caramel and perhaps molasses. Another wave of chocolate hits with a slight creamy flavor accompanied by vanilla and more caramel. Think everything sweet that tastes awesome and throw it together in one glass. A touch of alcohol flavor, but barely. This this is dangerous being 13% and drinks like 8-9%.

M: Very little carbonation, but so thick I think it's absorbing my mouth into it to become one entity. Very velvety smooth and heavy. Still rich and smooth. A little bit of alcohol burn and warmth but barely.

F: Still pretty sweet and super thick. It never really leaves as it leaves a huge thick coat on the mouth. It leaves a new layer like my body created a new layer of skin, but only super thick beer. A slight lingering bourbon flavor, but it's mostly the chocolate, vanilla, and caramel. The crazy dark heavy richness of this makes Ozzy look like a church. OK, enough with the bad reference, but this beer is ridiculously thick and luscious, as well as delicious! Thanks again Paul.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Charred oak barrel black with a wee glimmer of burnt umber at the bottom edge of the glass. Light simply has no chance. The small, dark caramel colored cap isn't as creamy as expected, nor as sticky. I'm sure the 11.0% ABV has a lot to do with it, but I like a bit more eye candy. This is one serious looking stout, though.

The aroma is outstanding. This is exactly what a stout aged in bourbon barrels ought to smell like. An insane amount of heavily roasted barley greets my nose with every sniff. In addition, there's plenty of dark caramel, dark brown sugar, vanilla and glorious bourbon whiskey. With a bit more power and a bit more aggressiveness, it'd be perfect.

The flavor *is* perfect. Absofreakinlutely perfect! It doesn't hurt that I love bourbon because those 100 days in the barrel were 100 days well and efficiently spent. If bourbon whiskey isn't your thing, then I'd suggest drinking another beer. This one positively oozes that glorious spirit. Unlike some beer of this sub-style, the proportion of stout to whiskey is juuust right.

The flavor profile consists of bittersweet chocolate, brown sugar, dark butterscotch, crushed vanilla beans, charred oak, a splash of ouzo and a tendril or two of smoke. The whiskey adds a certain wee heavy character, although there's no peatiness since bourbon is the whiskey of choice rather than Scotch. It's amazing how each sip is better than the last. Where will it end?

I'm a bit surprised at the sweetness, but probably shouldn't be given the gargantuan amount of malt. The mouthfeel is full (without being ponderous), heavily silky, polished gemstone-like and nicely chewy on the back end. Carbonation must be present, though you'd never know it. Perfect score. Again.

I expected one whole helluva lot from Bourbon County Stout. All the more amazing, then, that it blew right past those expectations as if they were sitting still. This remarkable beer is easily the best that I've ever had from Goose Island. It's a true American original and is the perfect marriage of double stout and bourbon. The next time I see BCS, I plan to clear out the store.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a snifter. 2007 release.

Pours black as an oil slick with a 1/2 finger of burnt mocha colored head. This eventually fizzles out into a still, dead looking black surface that reminds of the lifeless eyes of a Great White shark. Lacing is relegated to a spotty smattering at first and then eventually a fantastic looking oily brown residue that coats the side of the glass. The aroma is OMG! huge bourbon notes straight up my nose and other places.. Aaaaargh! I've never had a beer burn my eyeballs before! In all seriousness, the bourbon notes do absolutely dominate the nose but somehow I can still pick up some of the Stout notes, including chocolate, smoke, roast, and char.

The taste is just as boozy with bourbon notes as the aroma and it's no wonder that I put it in a snifter. Overpowering notes of oak and vanilla mingle with the molassass, roasted malts, chocolate, espresso, smoke, and soy sauce character of the Stout. There's a ton in there but it's all just a bit unbalanced towards the bourbon side right now. The mouthfeel is right up there with the deepest for me (Dark Lord & Expedition)and is just absolutely thick and chewy as can be. That 13% is present but gives off more warmth than it does heat and combines with the bourbon notes to finish things with a bit of a hot punch.

Wow! This is just a beast of a beer in every capacity. Huge bourbon? Huge Stout flavors? Huge alcohol? Check! Check! and Check! My only gripe with this beer is that right now, the bourbon overrides some of those wonderful Stout characteristics a little too much. I'm most definitley looking forward to aging a bottle of this for a year and revistiing it again.

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Photo of mactrail
3.13/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

From the 500 ml bottle which cost fifteen bucks. Simply no foam at all. I poured into a couple different glasses. Mouthfeel is syrup. Aroma of, I swear, Manischewitz blackberry wine topped off with vodka.

Molasses is the predominate taste with a serious overdose of licorice. I don't taste the alleged Bourbon much. I keep thinking of Sugar Daddy suckers. The caramel taste just lingers. Seems like kind of a sugary alcoholic mess to me, and it doesn't get any better as it warms. I always look for Bourbon barrel flavored brews since my wife always likes to try them, and I think most of them are both tastier and more drinkable than this.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours an opaque black body with a large, lush dark tan head.

Smell: Intense aroma of chocolate-covered coffee beans and bourbon, with all the companion hints of vanilla, wood, and dark brown sugar. Light whiff of smoke.

Taste: Dark maltiness with chocolate, sweetened coffee, and dark caramel. Plenty of complimentary sweetness to go around. A bourbon flavor so exquisite, it's hard not to get excited about it. At this level, you get astoundingly distinct, robust flavors of vanilla beans, brown sugar, and charred oak. Anymore bourbon would turn this beer into an abomination of beerkind. The beer gets very chocolatey near the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium carbonation. Creamy, delectable mouthfeel. Warming alcohol presence.

Drinkability: Very good! The first sip was a joy, as was the last.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

There's no doubt that Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout was aged in bourbon barrels. It's intense! The nose reeks of bourbon, wood, sweetened coconut, vanilla, chocolate, and caramel. WOW!

The appearance is beautiful as well, although the head retention could be better, But alcohol (11%!) will do that, and it does leave a very nice, initial ring of lace!

In the mouth it's full and creamy, particularly once it's initially bristling carbonation warms to become airy... and the burn of alcohol at the swallow is nice as well.

The flavor is too full to absorb in one or two sips, and only reveals itself fully about 1/4 way into the glass. There's almost too much to mention, and its flavors don't seem to appear in any order. So here's the list: whiskey (not necessarily bourbon, but there's definitely some! And I think also notes of something more salty, like an Islay Scotch), delicate fruit (apple, light red berries), coconut, hot alcohol, chocolate (as in German chocolate cake or raw, melted milk chocolate), molasses, coffee, spice (from the alcohol), dark fruit/the skins of dark fruit, dark red wine, pineapple/mango, dark caramel, smoke, wood, char. Stunning! But it is a sipper... there's way too much alcohol to take this in, apart from savoring it very slowly. It's so good, in fact, that the smell alone sholud keep you busy for quite some time. Overall, this is one full-throttle beer that's exceptionally satisfying, rich and drenched in alcohol! And although you CAN'T really drink more than one, it scores big because you will want to go and grab another bottle for another night!

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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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