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Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

2,852 Reviews
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
60 IBU

Added by drewbage on 06-26-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,852 | Ratings: 11,745
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Surly Darkness goblet on 4/13/11.

Pours a motor oil black with one finger on mocha brown head that dissipates leaving no lacing. With agitation it leaves small bubble lacing that has no retention and disappears quickly. Love the look of this brew but I wish there was more head retention and lacing.

Smells of bourbon and some coffee. Roasted barley, and vanilla as well. A great smelling brew. Well balanced, smell is aggressive but not overpowering. This smells damn good.

Tastes is of bourbon up front and then sweet malt, and then some chocolate to finish. This beer is a perfect balance and damn is it tasty. Can't wait until next winter on a cold evening. Wow!

Mouthfeel is medium weight even though the taste is so heavy, well done. Almost no bite at all. The resin and after taste is great, sticking to the entire pallet with chocolate, and roasted malt.

Overall this is a grand slam. This beer is what craft is all about, craftsmanship. One hell of a job GI you have won me over. Lets just keep this going after the InBev takeover.

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Photo of MaineBrewing
4.76/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at RSVP in Portland Maine $22.29 for a 4 pack, bottled on 11/07/12 enjoyed on 11/16/12, will let the other three sit for a few years. Per the staff this was the first shipment, first time I've seen this in Maine...Thanks AB-InBev distribution channels!

A- I poured vigorously but only resulted in one finger head that was gone within seconds and resulted in a beer that was flat looking. Not sure of how much I can blame the high ABV on or how much is just poor quality causing head retention issues...either way it detracts from the appearance and is the only negative with this beer. Beyond the head I see small bubbles trying to find their way out of the murky deep, the color is pitch black, velvet in texture.

S- the nose was dominated by whiskey, vanilla, alcohol, chocolate and candied fruits-- very complex and intense. No hop character.

T- deep roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, slight fruit essence, alcohol.. Finish is bitter, lingering, and warming. Very intense taste that begs to be slowly sipped. No flavoring hops present that I can detect.

M- thick and warm with light carbonation.

D- this needs to be sipped and slowly enjoyed with conversation or deep thought. The 15% is there but is so much in balance with the amazing taste that you only really notice it in the a warming aftertaste. Overall this is a huge beer with an amazing unique flavor.

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Photo of badgustav
4.81/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This has become the bar by which I measure all bourbon stouts. There is a strong and distinct bourbon smell and flavour to this beer, though it is mellowed and sweetened on the tongue. Very hard to find (especially the further from Black Friday you get) but worth picking up and stashing a few away. Ages very well.

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Photo of DMXLOX22
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Picked up a 12 oz. single of this brew at my local establishment, Civera's Deli in Drexel Hill. Very excited to get a hold of this one before it sold out.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, almost complete black body, no visible carbonation at all. Leaves a copper tan head on top that dissipates to only a lingering foam in about 4 minutes. Lacing is pretty decent, could be better, but that may just be my glass.

Smell: Aromas are somewhat complex. First couple of checks of this beer reveals a boozy and strong odors of burnt wood. I go in again about halfway down, and caramel malts are definitely noticeable. Also a very slight hint of maybe vanilla and coconut. Toffee is also on the way down and gets strong as the brew reaches room temperature.

Taste: Again, first few sips off the top reveal a somewhat overwhelming taste of booze, sweet, burnt wood-like flavors. another few sips, the burnt flavor gets milder and toffee-like flavors take hold and a semi-sweet chocolate and coconut also take shape as the brew reaches the bottom. Once at room temperature, I notice the bourbon that the entire label brags about. Delicious flavors complementing each other.

Mouthfeel: Below average carbonation. Thick body, rich flavor and dry finish. Semi-alcohol burn on the way down. Not bad. Goes well with this pumpkin pie I'm enjoying with it.

Overall: Excited to grab this brew while supplies still lasted. Delicious and strong. Good to enjoy with food that's light, but flavorful to really compliment this brew. I would totally have again, maybe with a group of friends. Would totally recommend to a friend. Cheers!

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Photo of mudbug
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured like a used motor oil into a standard pint glass.
No head to speak of, just a thin cap of sticky foam.
Smells like coffee and whiskey, beignets and jazz with a lot of powdered sugar.
Can i just sit here and inhale? The aroma is outstanding.
New Orleans, dank musty and mysterious, sweet cloying yet dangerously easy, the big easy....
Taste is a straight up bourbon on the rocks. with a chocolate candy on the side, the lady making eyes over the pool table is just a shill, ignore her, we have work to do.
Deeper down the sugar daddy makes his play.. pay up!
This one is smooth, should you fold? No, call till the last draw.
Sticks to the tongue like a bad karma debt. No use holdin out, I'm singing like a bird.
Probably one of the best Stouts on Earth.

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Photo of backfat
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

one of my favorite styles. bourbon aged stouts. 100 days aged. thank you goose island. either you love em or you hate em...or you think they are just ok. A-ok in my book. their IPA is safe, and so is their harvest. the Belgium styles are hit or miss. i guess i just need to go to the brewery. i live only a couple of hours from chicago, and there are a ton of beers they have on their profile page that im not familiar with. ok, back to the behemoth. i drank this one at a local watering hole called the 'black sparrow'. hipster bar close to my house. as tina fey says 'it's hard to tell the difference between hipsters and homeless. they all have beards, wear plaid, and ride bikes.' they also all drink PBR... not that there is anything wrong with that. 'NO CRAP ON TAP!' is the motto down at the sparrow and they ain't kidding. this is why i am constantly finding myself there. I heard rumors of dogfish head world wide stout kegged there and i was very excited. the bartender informed me that i just missed the worldwide but they just tapped the bourbon county so i didn't burn the place down. a little too smokey in there to fully enjoy it but it was BIG. alcohol was present but you almost always get that with the bourbon. dark dark dark.dominated by chocolate and booze. the mouthfeel is perfect. more please

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Photo of NickTheGreat
4.93/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was busy on Black Friday and didn’t think I’d be able to get this stuff. But a local shop had a few 4 packs left on Monday, and I got the last one. Happy day!

L (4.75) – This pours DARK. Really dark. Almost like Pepsi. Not a lot of lacing or such, but so far so good.

S (4.75) – Smells enticing. Not a lot of bourbon smell, but a little bourbon and roast smells..

T (5) – Well the bar had been set high for this and it cleared it. At the front you immediately get the bourbon. Followed soon by coffee tastes, and finishes with this deep rich chocolatey taste. But not overly bitter, and not an overly alcoholic taste. Balanced perfectly.

F (5) – This beer is a little thicker than average but it works. But it’s smooth at the same time. Low carb, but it should be and feels right.

O (5) – Normally for me these beers that are so hyped fall short. I tried to temper my excitement, but I was really anxious to try it. And it delivered. I’m a little sad that I only have 3 left. It’s weird, it is almost in a class on its own, more than just “beer.”

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Photo of KBomb
4.14/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bourbon County Stout poured into a snifter-- it comes out thick and nearly syrupy. Close to the blackest stout I've ever seen, with just a tiny ring of dark brown on the edge. Nearly zero head, not unexpected for the style.

Aroma is a brilliant bursting bouquet of vanilla, cherry, bourbon, and roasty-toasty malt. I can't pull my nose out of the snifter, we're getting some chocolate notes now as it warms up, sweet molasses too!

Taste is very sweet, a little bit of that chocolate and fruit persists. Bourbon flavor compliments well, does not overpower the rest of the beer. Sadly, these nice flavors are getting crowded by a little charred taste and alcohol astringency. We've just barely crossed the line of roasted sweet flavors to burnt flavors.

Feel the heat, my friends, all the way down your esophagus. On this damp, spring night it doesn't feel bad at all. Super slick mouthfeel thanks to minimal carbonation.

Not overly heavy with the style in mind, we're talking about Double Stouts here.

This certainly is a good beer, but I know other brewers have managed to make big sweet bourbony beers without the defect of burnt wood flavor. Of course, that is an elite bunch. I'm not unhappy with GI-BCS, but I can think of a few who have pulled this off a little better.

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Photo of Foxtrot
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ringing in another Lakers victory with a Bourbon County Stout.

Poured a darker than night black body with a nice dark caramel colored head, with very light retention, and minimal lacing. I thought there would have been more head, but that doesn't detract from the fact that this is going a be a very good and very big beer.

Intense aromas. Massive roasted malts, with extreme doses of dark caramel, sugars, vanilla bean, and of course Bourbon. It is such a powerful and potent sniffer for sure.

Taste was a massive hit! Off the wall amounts of roasted malts and showcasing Bourbon in immense glory! Bittersweet chocolate is evident, along with flavors of brown sugar, burnt caramel, and pleasant vanilla bean. The bourbon plays really well with the other flavors, and accentuates the sugars and malts.

Top notch mouthfeel. Smooth, thick, velvety, chewy, etc. The list goes on and on about the mouthfeel. Fantastic!

Drinkability is good. The alcohol presence is nice, but is still really potent. I really enjoyed this beer, but can't see myself having more than one. Cheers!

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Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark as the darkest of stouts with a mocha colored head. Little lacing.

S - Sweet malts, booze and oak.

T - Mostly the sweet malts that leave a predominate flavor of raisins and other dark fruits. Some cocoa with a touch of chocolate round this brew out. Very complex; I would rank this among BSDAs for complexity.

M - Lighter than expected, but rich and smooth. No presence of alcohol burn.

D - Wow, this brew lives up to its hype; not many can say that. The range of flavors in this beer put it ahead of any other bourbon barrel aged stout.

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Photo of oatsodas
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark, with a thin, light tan head.

S: Bourbon, a little toasty, malty. And bourbon.

T: More bourbon, some toffee, chocolate, oak. Some booziness. Lots of layers, a lot going on, but comes together very well.

M: Lightly carbonated. Smooth, full-bodied.

O: An excellent barrell aged stout. Lots of flavors that all come together well with a nice bourbon, oaky flavor. Don't sleep on this one - if you see it, buy it.

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Photo of DraughtJunkie82
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pours a thick dark black with a dark brown head that dissipates almost immediately.

S: Smells of bourbon, dark chocolate and vanilla.

T: The taste is decadent, rich dark chocolate and vanilla with bourbon rounding it all out.

F: Thick, exactly how a stout should feel.

O: This is one of my top 3 beers. It is everything you could hope for in a stout.

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Photo of koutkid41
4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark black, tan head, nice alcohol legs.

S: Strong bourbon, coconut, vanilla, molasses, toffee, caramel, roasted coffee, and dark chocolate. Absolutely love this aroma more and more the more I smell it.

T: In the beginning the flavor strongly resembles the aroma - dark chocolate, molasses, dark coffee roast, vanilla, coconut, toffee, caramel. Then it goes more into the roasted malts special roast, roasted barley and get hints of the alcohol. The aftertaste is sweet with some residual sweetness with a mild aftertaste.

M: Full-bodied and thick, with calm alcohol burn for how much is in it.

O: Im not really into Bourbon aged beer but this one is just amazing. Saw a liquor store that still has a few cases left, might have to stock up a bit.

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Photo of YoudownwithABV
4.96/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

My first review:

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter at about 45 - 50 degrees

A: A very dark brown color with a tight head and very little carbonation.

S: Bourbon, Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee, and a slight char.

T: First and foremost if you told me this was almost 15% abv I would call you a liar. It's literally a party in your mouth and you've invited all things I mention with Smell. I'm in love, that's why I bought 2 cases.

M: Coats your mouth with a thin maple syrup feel.

O: This is the real deal Holyfield, borderline one of the best beers ever. I hand this beer out to my friends trying to get them to experience perfection. I can't wait to age this and enjoy for years to come.

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Photo of DavidEddie
4.87/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 10 12 07

Poured pitch black. No head. Minimal lacing lingers around the sides of my Goose Island reserve glass. What a tuff looking barrel aged brew. The first initial smell is bourbon. Followed by dark chocolate, black coffee, sweet malts, and a hint of smoke. Tastes like it smells but more powerful. Rich bourbon, mix of dark and milk chocolates, coconut, burnt toast, sweet malt, vanilla, oak, smokey campfire and tons of warming booze. Very complex, a lot going on in flavor. Mouth feel is thick, but creamy and some stickiness as well. Some carbonation, but not much. Overall drinkability is exceptional. Deliciously bold and extreme. A real sipper, perfect for cold Chicagoland winter nights. Truly Outstanding. A must try for all you barrel aged fans. Cheers!

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Photo of 0110x011
4.23/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2007 poured into a snifter.

Pours pitch black with a thin, dark brown head that fades quickly. Huge bourbon nose, with oak, vanilla, and cocoa. Serious bourbon on the palate. Nearly overwhelms the vanilla & chocolate in the back. A bit woody. More vanilla & oak as it warms. Slick & full bodied, with very low carbonation. A bit of alcohol burn. Incredibly long finish. Too much bourbon & booze for more than one, but the one is quite tasty.

Great if you like bourbon, but might be a bit much for those who don't. Fortunately, I do.

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Photo of tarheels86
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The full vertical thanks to ygtbsm94! Thanks Brad! 2003, 2005 (2004 was not bottled), 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.

2003: rich barleywine notes, thick toffee, raisins

2005: very sweet, oxidized notes, still hot and boozy somehow

2006: thin bodied, lots of vanilla, raisins, dark fruits

2007: sherry, peaty, light-bodied comparatively, pretty spicy

2008: hot, lots of dark chocolate, spicy

2009: boozy, raisins, tobacco very sweet.

Overall this beer always pours the same- relatively flat with no retention and lace. And more often than not this impy is so hot! I mean really insane and a little over the top. Not my style. We took the best batches (03, 06, 07) and blended them to create something that was truly outstanding. Unfortunately, this is a very special occurrence and few will be able to try that blend unless they release BCS Grand Cru at some point.

22oz 2009 aged for a little bit. Holy $&@$ this is unf***ing real. Still pours an inky black with a small temporary head and no lace. Little boozy almost vodka aroma, that eventually moves to bourbon and coconut. Huge maple syrup in the body, lots of toasted coconut, perfectly balance between sweet caramel and coconut with spicy bitterness. Unreal slick, oily, perfect soft palate. No booziness, no warming alcohol. Has more maple than Canadian Breakfast Stout. Really one of the best beers I’ve ever had. Unbelievable. 8/17/2010 8/4/9/5/17=4.3

355mL 2008 ed. Consumed with 3+ years of age. Pours with a thick, red head unlike other BCS batches. Small lace. Nose is spectacular: superlative chocolate ganache, walnuts, amaretto, butter pecan, loads of cinnamon, fatty flank steak, banana bread, savory mild soy sauce. Taste is wildly rich and silky with the superlative imperial stout palate: ultra silk, butter reduction, thick and full. In the body, hot chili peppers linger in the finish with mild warming alcohol like a good bourbon or Scotch. Tastes like someone took a really good imperial stout and put it in a red wine reduction to up the intensity and body. Feels like this was made without strike water...as if Bells Expedition was a watered down version of this. Insanely good. 7/11/2011 9/4/9/5/18=4.5

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Photo of mendonjoebeer
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter- is this pancake syrup or beer? thick,no head,coats side of glass. It is not too cold, but maybe needs to be warmer? Zero carbonation

Smell of bourbon,sugar,burned something

Taste of yuck- bourbon,burned wood, yuck- and I love good bourbon

Great mouth feel for maple syrup

Tasted by six people- 4 stout lovers, 2 bourbon lovers. Sill have some left to cook with, surely not to drink.

I can only imagine this is a bad bottle- bottled on 11/12/09.
I will have to try again in the future- I can't believe this is a true representation of this highly rated beer from a great brewery

Edited 12/08/13

Forget everything I said earlier. This is a great beer- believe the hype!

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Photo of DrewskiWhit
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A deep viscous brownish black as i poured with some hints of deep wine red around the rim. Huge legs deep khaki brown head dissipates almost instantly.

S bourbon soaked sweetness. Pungent. Could prob get buzzed just smelling this thing

T more of that bourbon sweetness. Its not as hot as I thought it would be based on other reviews but the alcohol is present and you absolutely feel it going down. Clearly a sipper its perfectly sweet.

M chewy. excellent. just a touch of carbonation. Its a bit sticky which I'm not a fan of thus the slight deduction.

O I'm of the mindset that most beers are best fresh but I could see how this would age really well. A really well crafted beer.

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Photo of pinyin
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

The head, body and lacing on this stout is damn near perfect.

Smell was typical for a heavier, creamier, higher abv stout, not too overpowering, and slight aromas of vanilla, maybe some coffee and even chocolate.

The first sip is truly amazing. Like knock your socks off good. But then the alcohol hits your brain and you are reminded to slow it down and enjoy.

Go easy with any of these Goose Island Bourbon Counties, not only are they expensive but they will intoxicate you quick, and you will miss out on all that savory stout flavoring.

Drank in a snifter.

I did notice that these tend to taste better at a slight chill, barely above room temperature. I might even pick up a few more 4 packs and wax coat them for aging. These seem like the perfect candidate for aging.

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Photo of tbern007
3.61/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 bottle that was cellared by my friend Matt. Drank March 2011.
A - very little to no head, very little lacing. Pours black with dark walnut brown around the edges when held up to light.
S - you know there's bourbon here. You can smell the stout and bourbon, wood.
T - I can't believe this was cellared. It's very very powerful. Not only the coffee, chocolate stout but you can taste the bourbon, oak, tobacco, and smoke. This is pretty in your face.
M & D - not that drinkable compared with many. This is like drinking a cigar. 6 hours later the aftertaste is there. The alcohol was noticeable and you could taste it.

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Photo of JCaweinstein
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black with tan colored head, dissipates very quickly. Pours very thick, like milk..very inviting.
Damn this smells so good. The aromas just fly out of my snifter. I don't have to work to it at all, it's just there in all it's greatness. I'm picking up wood, bourbon, chocolate, and a bit of alcohol.
The malt flavors are very rich and very tasty. I'm getting chocolate, coffee, also the wood and bourbon. With this guy coming it at 15% I'm also tasting the alcohol.
Full bodied, thick, rich all these adjectives are what come to mind. The flavors are so rich and deep on my palette I can tell its going to stick with more for awhile.
This is an amazing beer, probably the best barrel aged beer I've ever had. This is complex, with lots of different flavors and aromas. Wow!

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Photo of fitrock2112
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured Bourbon County into a Belgian Tulip.

A - The black brew is black as midnight with a skim of dark mocha head.

S - Vanilla, butterscotch, light whiskey, maybe a hint of char. Looking forward to this baby.

T - Heavy bakers chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, sugar sweetness. It has even more vanilla mid palate. Milk chocolate with more vanilla and a touch of char on the aftertaste. This flavor finishes long and smooth. It does have alcohol in this one because you can feel the warming in your chest, but you can't taste it.

M- Thick and smooth, light to medium carbonation. No complaints here.

O - A very nice beer to sip and enjoy for the evening. At 15 percent its a one and done.

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Photo of CJfromPhilly
4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Beer is black as night with a brown chocolate milk colored head that dissipates almost instantly. Aroma is boozy. Faint but distinct aroma of bourbon. 1st sip, brings a smooth taste of chocolate, coffee, bourbon and a touch of honey! OMFG this is one smooth stout! Leaves a lingering aftertaste of sweetened dark chocolate on the tongue. 14.3% abv, but youd never know it by how smoothly and gently it boes down...nothing harsh about this baby at all! Has a nice, full bodied mouthfeel that's not too heavy. Overall, as close to perfection as humans can come!

Thank You Cos for gifting this to me!

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

2006 bottle. St. Bernardus goblet.

Rough pour yields no head. It's black as pitch, and looks viscous. There's a thin tan ring around the edge.

Smooth but strong scent. Spicy oak. Leather. Vanilla, tobacco. Bourbon -- but it's not overwhelmingly boozy.

Very difficult to divorce taste from mouthfeel because this is so viscous. But gods, it's delicious. Leather, vanilla and oak dominate up front, with the alcohol providing a warmth much like that of a bourbon, but never dominating the taste. It's spicy at the middle and finishes with a deep, burnt chocolate/coffee flavor. I can't do this justice in description. It is simply delicious. I desperately wish I lived in a place where this beer was available. It may soon taste of salt, for I know it will be my last for a long, long time.

Motor oil thick on the palate, but with just a smidge of carbonation, even after 3 years. It's thick as hell and sticky, but manages to finish surprisingly clean, coating the palate just enough to make me reach for the glass again. The alcohol gives it a nice whiskey warmth that rushes through the sinus cavities after it's swallowed. Invigorating.

I dunno, is a beer like this *ever* "drinkable"? It's a sipper for sure, but a damn good one.

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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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