Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

2,943 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: 2,943 | Ratings: 12,113
Photo of TMoney2591
3.92/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at ChurchKey.

Whoa, now, this is on tap here? Right on, CK, right on. Greg, you sure know how to make us DC-area BAs happy. This bad boy pours a dead black topped by a short-lived finger of foam that straddles the delicate line between dark tan and straight brown. The nose comprises some strong bourbon, oak, vanilla, coffee, anise, rich chocolate, and roasted malts. The taste is dominated by the bourbon and oak, not unlike the totalitarian government in "We" (look it up, Philistines!). The rest of the tongue finds itself inundated with chocolate syrup, molasses, maple syrup, and roasted malts. If it weren't for the o'erwhelming bourbon nonsense, this would be fantastic; instead, it's merely better than many. The body is rather hefty, with a light carbonation and a chewy feel. Overall, a nice offering, but way too heavy on the bourbon. Without this lack of balance, it would be great. Almost...

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

08 bottle pour into my trusty duvel tulip.

A- a finger of mocha color head from a very head pour that settles to a near mirror finish. Pitch black in color with just the slights shine at the edges when held to the light.

S- huge amount of bourbon and dark roasted malts. Molasses and bitter chocolate. Blackberries and figs. Some char and smoke as well.

T- opens up with chocolate, fudge, browies, and bourbon. Espresso and super dark roasted malts. Wood and char with black strap molasses and a hint of vanilla. Fig preserves, dates, brown sugar. More of the booze comes through as the brew warms.

M- thick and chewy with a syrupy smack to it. Some of the nicer carb I've seen from a stout of the stature. Even after two years this still has some heat but it works well with the beer as a whole.

D- this is a laviathan of a beer in strength and flavor but its so enjoyable you keep coming back for more.

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Photo of northaustin
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

pours a pitch black with little head. there is carbonation, the beer is just so thick it has trouble escaping. the head is deep dark brown and disappears quickly and runs off the side of the glass leaving no lacing.

smell is mega alcohol of the bourbon variety. mixed in with a background of smooth caramel and cream.

taste has so many amazing flavors mixing perfectly. dark toffee, mellow caramel, vanilla and bourbon. a hint of the roasted malts can even be noticed.

mouthfeel: although the beer looks like oil, and
feels like oil in the beginning, it somehow leaves behind a smooth film that is pleasant during the entire session.

drinkability: god damn hail satan drink one for baby jesus

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Photo of neorunner
4.22/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sixth beer from the Blind Beers BIF thanks to SHolland119.

Jet black into Ommegang chalice. Thin oily head after a moderately violent pour. Traces of head linger with little to no carbonation visible. Aroma is fusel alcohol and dark fruits with a burbon note in the background. First taste is a massive mouthful of bourbon and it is oh so good. Creamy chocolate compliments the bourbon character nicely. If any of the other blind beers are a gauge this beer has some substantial alcohol content. Chocolate malt abounds and any chance of bitterness is masked by the bourbon profile. A bit of kreik note comming through from somewhere, could just be an aspect of the dark fruit I smelled earlier.

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Photo of thetomG
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage...

Super dark brown pour with virtually NO head. Intense aromas of malts and bourbon. Flavor is more of the same but magnified immensely and with a nice bit of vanilla coming through in the finish. The bourbon in this 2008 version has mellowed out a bit making it more drinkable (IMO) and very delicious. A bit sweet, very syrupy (but not overly so) this is a sipper for sure, but an excellent beer no matter how you look at it. I am admittedly not a huge fan of bourbon so when you factor that into the equation this stuff is fantastic.

Will definitely drink this again.

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

Bourbon County a bottle at Resto...2008 version

Appearance - dark brown to black into a snifter, gentle thin layer of foam that stays, creamy viscosity.

Smell -obvious bourbon background, chocolate malt, alcohol, slight smokiness.

Taste/Mouthfeel-creamy with immediate dual hits of vanilla milk and sweet alcohol, somehow it works, the bourbon flavor stays in the background but adds notes, caramel and chocolate malt, two flavors balance very well, exceptionally smooth.

Drinkability-flavorful and balanced for the style, no discernable issues.

Overall-a wonderful beer, no doubt age has helped too, a triumph with unique flavors and good character, I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of Erish
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I shared this 2009 vintage 22 oz bottle with friends, and we poured into what was available, wheat glasses... I don't think it suffered for it.

A: dark reddish umber, the reddish-cream head was thick, creamy, and long lasting.

S: ripe cherries, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, plenty of rich bourbon notes, with alcoholic sweetness and toasted oak.

T: all that was in the smell, and more, there was wonderful harmonious quality to the flavors, they played together nicely; in addition to what I nosed, there were boysenberries, currants, molasses, raisin bread, the finish featured lingering espresso notes, as well as a nice gentle bitterness from the hops. I can't imagine how they could have improved upon this beer.

M: thick, silky, the carbonation was subtle but omnipresent.

D: if you love stouts, heck, even if you casually enjoy stouts, you will almost definitely love this beer. I am going to get more of this beer, and look forward to cellaring it.

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Photo of tronester
4.08/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Pours a inky pitch black with a very small dark brown head, wow. Smells strongly of darkly caramelized sugar and ethyl alcohol. Very pungent. Taste is an onslaught of flavor. It starts with charred wood, then a rich maltose middle and a vanilla, coffee and chocolate finish. Strong aftertaste of alcohol. Mouthfeel is like syrup, super chewy and decadent. Very little carbonation which is perfect for this beer. Drinkability though is pretty low though. The sheer amounts of alchol affects how much you can drink. That said, this is an excellent beer that I would certainly get again!

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Photo of ridglens
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, third or fourth time i have had it so 'bout time to review it! i started it cold and sipped it to warm

a- super dark brown to black, dark brown 1 finger foam, goes to thin layer but thick ring around the light comes through anywhere i would like a little more head/lacing

S- sweet caramely bourbon everywhere, and it smells damn good.

t- just great! right away a smokey sweet kind of wood-ish flavor, collowed by a hint of bitter burnt coffee/chocolate. then the bourbon and caramel take over, and wash the whole mouth over. as the beer warms, a more developed malt profile comes through, not overly sweet but enough to balance the hotness of the alcohol and dark bitterness.. just a friggin' great beer. a little hot though...

M- really good for the style. thick and savory, but not the over-sugared way too sticky feeling. very nice. the lasting and warming burn down the throat is an especially nice touch, like taking a sip of super smooth bourbon. a little more carbonation would be nice, but definitely still very good.

D- pretty hot beer, definitely a sipper. it is so smooth, however, that it begs to be drank!

overall, not perfect, but one hell of a damn great beer!

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Photo of velosuds
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 edition bottled on 10/16/08. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a clear pint glass. Single purchased at Whole Foods San Rafael, CA (first place I have seen this) for $4.99.

A-Pours a midnight black. Very dark. No light gets through this beauty. A one finger, creamy tan head quickly recedes into a scant lace.

S-Alcohol from the bourbon barrels is the predominant aroma. Very fragrant. Vanilla and raisin notes are also present.

T-This is definitely a bourbon stout, and probably deserves its own style classification, as it is very different from non-bourbon barreled double stouts. I admit it is not my thing. Bourbon whiskey from 100 days aging in bourbon barrels is the most dominant flavor profile. However, there are some very nice stout beer flavors in the background like brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate, and dried fruits, especially raisins. Taste definitely improves as it warms, and becomes very sweet. The alcohol adds to the flavor rather than detracts from it. Well done. Label indicates this ages well up to 5 years, and perhaps the bourbon profile will mellow.

M-Deliciously smooth with medium to full body. Warming due to the alcohol.

D-This is a fine beer. Best enjoyed by sipping. A good value for such a big beer at 13% ABV.

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Photo of violanojblues
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - very dark. no light coming thru my glass, even on the sides. little head - small toasty ring around the edge.

S - boozy and sweet with a vanilla and raisiny profile. the chocolate-roasted malt character really comes thru nicely.

T - very complex but not overdone. the dried fruitiness is a nice aftertaste and works well with the booziness.

M - a bit chewy, possibly from the vanilla character. very full.

D - a really nice evening sipper.

a boozy-sweet, roasty treat!

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Photo of Backer2004
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found in Louisville for $5.95 a twelve ounce beer. Great for those pairing with chocolate - nice for bourbon lovers. Very thick, little head, nice complexity. Chocolate and raisin notes. Not too much lacing. This was bottled only 6 months ago so could age a bit. Worth trying-but not as good as the KBS .

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Photo of lovindahops
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2009 bottle. This is gonna be good

A- a dark as night look. There is a toasty foam look on the top. Really a hearty look to it.

S- big time smoked malt flavor that is combined with chocolate and some coconut. Dark fruit is present as well. Toasty, toasty, toasty malt flavor with the alcohol present

T- a flavor fest of chocolate toasted themes. There is some butterscotch and coconut meshed together. An easy way to describe this is a "decked out stout" that has smooth flavor and tastes RIDICULOUS

M- creamy and thick. Tastes great

D- you have to sip this. It is one heck of a desert beer. Arguably one of the top stouts out there. The alcohol is actually hidden as you go. Still, the syrupy thickness makes you want to take it slow and steady

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

Stouts for summer. Why not? While lots of folks are reaching for a pilsner or pale ale, I figured I'd go the opposite direction, drinking some stouts, which I usually prefer to have in the dead of winter.

2007 vintage. Oh baby. Syrupy pour with very little head that bubbles a bit but otherwise is unimpressive. Color is coal, pitch black. Smell is bourbon, wood, chocolate syrup, roasted malt. Promises to be a hefty beer. Tastes amazing, with caramel, toffee, butterscotch, and roasted flavors. Hefty mouthfeel, with the ABV really apparant in the body of the beer, along with the barrel aging. This is a sipping beer. There's really no comparing this to anything else on the market. It's simply incredible.

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Photo of Chello
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle

Pours thick and black with a thin tan head.

Smells of bourbon, oak, and a bit of alcohol.

Upfront taste of bourbon, a sweet roasted malt, with a heavy lingering toffee and caramel taste.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth, which complements the taste perfectly.

Does have some alcohol heat, but less than you would expect from a beer of this caliber.


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Photo of Luk13
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 2008 vintage. Opaque black pour with no head although some head rises when stirred. Aroma is bourbon, oak barrel, butter, roasted malt, and a hint of alcohol vapors. Taste is ... a loss for words. Vanilla, oak and cocoa but joined with a mouthfeel that is so extraordinary, in it's creaminess and fullness. It only loses a few points to its not quite entirely hidden alcohol that makes it kind of prickly. The best imperial stout I've had so far.

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

A: poured black as night that looked liked oil coming out of the bottle with a half finger of head that left good sticky lacing on the glass.

S: coconut and bourbon dominate the nose with roasted malts and chocolate notes. There is also booze, oak, and dark fruit scents as well.

T: there is so much going on here that consist of bourbon like the nose coconuts, raisins, booze, chocolate, and roasted malt accents. It also has toffee and candy sugar but has so many ingredients to list; very complex.

M: full body with a moderate amount of carbonation that had a sweet, roasty, rich and booze finish.

D: this beer was something else and is on another level, both versions of this brew are great. It drank well and is exceptional all across the board. This is definitely everyone has to try at least once.

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Photo of gregalobeer
3.2/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

This beer is a challenge. A stanky bourbon-bogged challenge. I don't like peeking at the review average before I write, but I did this time, and I'm somewhat taken aback. The color and texture are gorgeous, but the taste is all but offensive. Most of the elements of a nasty sub-par bourbon are present, none of the charming woodsy flavors or alcohol kicks, and all of the foul composty, earthy tones. Something is rotten in this brew. I don't plan on finishing the bottle, and those who are sharing feel the same.

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Photo of aubuc1
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottled on 12/19/09.

Pours pitch black with a tan head.

Smell is smooth bourbon with a nice roasty match.

Taste is a sweet, bourbon, with a thick rich alcohol warmth. Perfect.

Mouthfeel is a really creamy delight.

For the sheer size, it is pretty drinkable.

A sheer pleasure.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.62/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

A big thanks to Fostah is in order for this one. Poured this into a tulip. Pours black with a thin tan head that vanishes quickly. Not much lacing. Not surprising due to the high abv. I don't even need to lean into the glass to smell the bourbon. In fact, when I cracked the bottle cap halfway off I got a big hit of bourbon. It's a little tough to pick up on anything else in this but there are faint aromas of cocoa and roasted malts. Rich toffee lingers in the shadows of bourbon. This really smells nice, but it is predominantly bourbon. Wow! I figured I'd get a lot of bourbon from the smell but this is outrageous! Rich bourbon hits the tongue with notes of toffee, cocoa and coffee. Bourbon really shines through in this one though. The only thing it loses on for me is that I can taste alcohol just a bit, but a 13% bourbon bomb like this I can't be surprised. Wonderfully silky mouth feel. Just enough carbonation and the body is nice and heavy. This beer is tough to drink. It took me three hours to tank through the behemoth! I've had big barrel aged beers, but he bourbon flavor got so heavy at the end it really drank more like a whiskey than a beer.

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Photo of DukeKensington
4.11/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Don't make the mistake I did at first with this beer, and which I'm certain is the result of many of the negative reviews. Make sure to drink it at cellar temperature. Too cold and all you will smell and taste is bourbon, but let it warm up a bit and you will find a lot to enjoy.

A - Deep black, with a small amount of caramel head

S - Plenty of bourbon, but also strong caramel, and occasional hints of chocolate and coffee

T - Drink this too cold and it's all bourbon, to the point of non-drinkability. But let it warm up and you will pull out a lot of complexity. Caramel and chocolate detected above definitely present, as well as strong roasted malt. The bourbon is the flavor that kicks in strongest at first, even at cellar temperature, so give it a little time. But be careful about letting it wash around too long. The bourbon will come back to kick you in the ass.

M - Fairly light body for what I've experienced with other imperial stouts, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Smooth, but with a bit of a bite.

D - A bit more bourbon than I would have liked, but overall pretty good. I would definitely buy it again (assuming of course, there weren't other new beers available).

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

Had this on-tap at American Craft in Brookline today. Review from notes.

4.0 A: Pitch black. One finger of medium brown head. Average retention given the ABV, but not much lacing.

4.5 S: Bourbon is strongest, but there's a nice roasted barley component. Coffee and dark chocolate as well.

5.0 T: Bourbon is strongest again, but the other flavors have enough strength to create a great balance. Vanilla beans, coffee, sweet chocolate, some leather. Super complex and everything exists in harmony.

4.5 M: Lighter heavy body. Good carbonation. Creamy, but is missing that second layer of creaminess that would have made this brew perfect.

4.5 D: Excellent beer - even better on tap.

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

Pulled this out of the fridge when I got home from work and poured it into a Glencairn Glass a couple minutes after I got showered and changed.

A: Black with creamy mocha head that fades to a thin lid. Nice rim around the top of the glass. I held this against a light and nothing got through. This is black hole black. Giving it a little swirl, leaves some short legs. That's 13% for you.
S: Bourbon up front with some nice chocolate notes. Few hints of nuts; maybe almonds or hazelnuts, dried fruit; figs and cherries. Molasses, tings of vanilla and brown sugar. Of course some oak too with a bit of coffee bean. A nice dark, mahogany roast.

T/M: Chocolate right off the bat. I expected it to be a bit heavier on the tongue, but it's fairly light to medium for its percentage. The chocolate taste fades slowly into bourbon casks with a couple bits of charcoal from the toast. Taking a second sip, the toast comes through a bit more that fades to sweet vanillin and a couple other sugary notations. The finish is quite long that hangs around, dancing with notes of smoke, vanilla, molasses, bourbon and chocolate. The chocolate is a tad overwhelming for a bourbon stout; but then again it is a stout.

D: The high ABV isn't a bad thing; it's a sipper, for sure. One of these could last me an evening. You won't be able to slam this down in a bar and ask for another pint of it anytime soon; it's not a social beer unless you're down for a deep conversation and can only get sips in between making points.

This will definitely be in my line of beers I'd try again; keep a couple in the back of a chiller and visit every now and then. I would think to use this in a dessert too or at least pair it with it.


- Dan

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Photo of BostonBrewins
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Jet black with a tan head which dissipates within about 5 seconds of the pour. A bit disappointing as I enjoy a head which sticks around for a bit. The disappointment ends here however.

S - Powerfully fragrant. The bourbon smell almost knocks me off my feet. There's some nice accompanying notes of brown sugar, molasses, and maple syrup.

T - There's alot going on here. Roasty and charred, bordering on burnt tones transition to sweeter, sugary flavors. Vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, and caramelized sugar add some nice complexity. Finishes with a smoky, bourbon alcoholic finish.

M - Medium bodied and very smooth. Thinner mouthfeel than I expected, but I don't think this is a negative.

D - Complex and flavorful, but the strong alcoholic taste makes this less drinkable than other imperial stouts. Still a world class beer though, no question.

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Photo of rwf08
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a NB tulip. Thank you Dr. Jim for this tasty brew.

A: What's darker than black? Minimal head that disappears quickly and leaves nothing behind. Looks like used motor oil.

S: I think there might be some bourbon in this. Yeah, that's bourbon. Vanilla, almonds, prunes, figs, dried cherries and dark chocolate reminds me of port. Ooops almost forgot, oak.

T: Dark chocolate, cream, nuts, earth, dried dark fruit. BOURBON and oak. There is this very distinct sweet cream flavor that I do not remember from the first time I had this.

M: Medium body but till creamy and tongue coating.

D: Just freakin' great. You aren't going to have more than a bombers worth but that isn't the point. This is just a really good beer. I had it before and I don't think I truly understood it until now. I'm really glad I have a nice stash of this stuff now.

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.5 out of 5 based on 12,113 ratings.
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