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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: 11,740
Photo of Zythophile
4.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: 10/12/15
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Appearance is brown-black that doesn't let any light past 1/4 inch. Not much carbonation, either.

Smell is coffee and dark chocolate. Some sweet barley. It's a bit metallic, too.

Taste is coffee, molasses, and floralness. Rum raisin cake, too. Sweetness doesn't hit right away, but it's more of a feeling after a few seconds. I don't get a bunch of different flavors, but what's there is pretty strong.

Feel is moderately carbonated with a swish around the mouth. It's moderately thick for a stout.

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Photo of MusicBeer_1961
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer is fantastic for many reasons..

At the forefront is how smooth and drinkable it is..and at 14.3 ABV, that is dangerous. It might be the smoothest bourbon barrel aged stout I've ever had- and that includes KBS, SMS etc etc (and I love those beers too)..

The beer I'm sipping on is wonderfully not infected- 11/04/14, 0927, 14.3 ABV..

This beer is silky smooth perfection..


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Photo of Flickerdart
3.59/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review is of Oct 2015 bottle (8 months old). Poured into a wine glass, shamefully lacking a snifter.

Pour is black and opaque, with a small amount of espresso-coloured head that quickly dissipates. It looks like black coffee. Smells very different, though - raisins and rum dominate, with a backdrop of sweet malt.

Taste is incredibly sweet! You can definitely feel the heat of the alcohol in the aftertaste. The recommendation to age this beer for 5 years should have been worded like a requirement - but unless you age it, the sugars are far too predominant.

Carbonation is low, and the body is almost chewy and syrup-like.

Overall, I really wish I had aged this more. It has the beginnings of wonderful complexity.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
4.96/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black pour absolutely no head on an aggressive pour. Smells beautiful. Milk chocolate, bourbon, cherries, strong alcohol. Taste is milk chocolate up front with a mix of dark chocolate and hop bitterness and coffee next. Softer presence of the bourbon until the finish. Finish is bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is smooth, and not under carbonated, yet slick. Warming as you sip. This is a fav.

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Photo of d3brewing
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rating 2016. A very good beer, love the taste, burbon and base beer is evenly balanced even when drank frwsh. My biggest issue was the mouthfeel. After the bcbs we busted out a BASS and it wasn't even close.

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Photo of anteatr23
3.81/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2015 Bourbon Country Bran Stout. Opened six months after release. Pours jet black, with little-to-no head. Aroma is strong of bourbon and booze... apple. Taste is initially a blast of dark chocolate, semi-sweet with plenty of bourbon and caramel following up. Some burn from the bourbon and general booziness of the beer itself. It's not overpowering, but it's certainly there. Overall, nice to finally try one of these guys. Didn't quite live up to the hype, but I've got a few more to try after aging. I'd still snag some on Black Friday as long as I didn't have to try too hard.

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Photo of PerfecTool
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Absolutely love this beer! I like last year's batch more but it's still an outstanding beer. Great nose and excellent finish. If you like bourbon aged stouts this is the ONE!

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

Love this beer. Didn't get any infected bottles. Great flavor, has a slight vanilla taste which I loved. Goes for $15 a bottle in Michigan, which I thought was pricey. But I guess, you pay for what you get.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage Got on trade! Served at 12deg C in a tulip.

A- Tough time getting the cap off. Pours a tiny 1/4" high brown head that is gone within a minute. Extemely dark brown colour almost black which keeps the score up with this aspect of appearance

S- Lots of bourbon here

T- That bourbon is back in spades!! Extremely complex brew. Coffee. chocolate, malt then the hops kick in. Just one flavor after the other until it ends off with heat. Slight licorice. Like I said, complex. Heat is there in spades.

M- Thick and creamy rich. This is a glass coater. Lots of heat

O- Fantastic brew. Just hits you on all levels. Got to have brew. Price point only brings this brew down a notch on the overall.

Food Pairing

Bourbon barrel aged stouts are very difficult to pair however as always with high bourbon and chocolate with coffee you can never go wrong with........... Chocolate cake with chocolate icing.


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Photo of DaltonCastle
4.98/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2015 Vintage cellared for 5 months.

Look- Poured like used motor oil. No head retention. Alcohol feet for days.

Smell- Chocolate, Vanilla, Bourbon, Coconut and Coffee

Taste- Huge chocolate and hot fudge. Tastes like I just poured Hershey's syrup right into my mouth

Feel- This beer is still pretty hot even after cellaring for 5 months. Very nice mouthfeel regardless.

Overall- A world class beer. It's such a shame that there is a quality control issue with this vintage.

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Photo of JordanlikesAles
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pure opaque black moto oil pour with virtually no head. Bourbon and port wine like aroma with strong vanilla and light chocolate notes in the aroma & flavor. Almost no roast or bitterness, just sweet and smooth. Very big beer that hides its alcohol well.

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Photo of nawpnawp
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours thick like motor oil with very little carbonation. The smell is of sweet molasses and the taste is similar. There's not much more that I can say that hasn't already been said. The only complaint I really have is the smell on the glass near the end of the sipping session. For me, the smell is a bit off and over powering. When it gets to this stage, I usually just try to finish it off.

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Photo of moundbz
4.81/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Solid black, mine didn't have much foam on it, the smell has some hidden coconut mixed in with the bourbon. Taste is so smooth with not much bite for being 13 ABV. Feel perfect in my mouth. Terrific beer!

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Photo of bbtkd
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I am drinking cellared bottle 2 of 3, ensuring no infection, and no problem here. Pours thick and black, no head, not much lacing. Nose is bourbon forward plus coffee. Taste follows, with hints of chocolate, quite boozy. Not much bitterness. Mouthfeel is excellent, and overall an excellent example of a BBS. While I do really like it, I would appreciate it more with a lower ABV. As it is, drinking one bottle of 14.3% BCBS is the alcohol equivalent of almost five "regular" 4.2% ABV beers, quite a lot for us mere mortals.

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Photo of Bassbrew
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 keg, growler pour. The keg was from 2013, the growler was filled and drank within the day.

Pours almost black with hardly any head, but the growler had lots of foam pouring out. I'm sure it would've been much better right into the glass.

Smell is very boozy. Swirling the glass helps to diffuse the evaporated alcohol and let you smell the beer itself, which is delightful.

The taste is fantastic. Really well balanced, which is not easy in a 14% beer. The first few sips are dominated somewhat by the alcohol burn, but then all of a sudden it starts to open up and you can taste the roast and chocolate flavors.

Nice and full mouthfeel. It's very full bodied, but it doesn't hang on in your mouth too long.

This is a great beer, but it definitely tests the definition of beer. Sipping a few ounces of this feels great, and if I wasn't afraid of ruining it, I would try just pouring a little and saving the rest in the fridge to see if it keeps well. I can't imagine drinking 12 ounces of this at once.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage
~6 months since bottling date

Appearance- Pours a black color, opaque, viscous. Fine layer of mocha colored head. Tons of alcohol legs, coats glass like a sticky film.

Aroma- Charred spicy oak, bourbon. Milk chocolates, caramel, vanilla, smoky roasted malt. Some almond / macadamian nuttiness, coconut, and some alcohol heat.

Taste- Chocolates, caramel sweetness, toffees, vanilla cream, coconut. Dark fruits, chocolate covered cherries, almond nuttiness. Charred oak and bourbon, rich roasted malt, smoky earthiness, slight alcohol notes.

Feel- Full bodied feel, creamy and thick, smooth and silky. Lower carbonation.

Overall- Barrel characteristics and bourbon flavor really highlight this beer, and accentuate the beer by adding such complex and nuanced flavors underneath a wonderful rich creaminess and roastiness. Truly one of the best.

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Photo of nyoung
4.98/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2015 BCBS with about 6 months of age.

Look: This beer pours well and looks fantastic! I've always been a fan of BCBS and this year did not disappoint. Dark brown, almost black in color. Minimal head.

Smell: Bourbon, with sweet notes, possibly caramel or chocolate or vanilla even, it was hard to pinpoint.

Taste: For a beer that has a 14.4% ABV according to the bottle, this drinks extremely smooth and easy. Bourbon is most certainly in the front, with subtle chocolate and other sweet flavors. It plays extremely well, not one aspect overpowering the other.

Feel: On the thicker side of things, could be just a tad thicker in my opinion, but maybe I'm just being picky. Gives you a full mouth feeling and minimal heat from the alcohol.

Overall, highly recommend picking this up if you have the chance. I wouldn't venture to say it's hard to obtain, but you have to put in the work to get it. As always, drink responsibly!

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2811 people reviewed this beer before I did and we all know that it looks, smell, tastes, feels, and iBudweiserrific. It's one of the best beer I've ever had, but I think bourbon barrel aged beers are gimmick beers and I buy everyone I see, and I always try to find the base beer that they start with.. I have yet to see a Goose Island Stout. So much for my $.02 worth.
One final thought, IMHO, last year's was better, maybe the aging helped.

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Photo of Masonz223
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smell: vanilla raisin coconut slight booziness.
Taste:upfront vanilla brown sugar coconut middle of the mouth dark fruits start to sneak in rasin molasses licorice a sugary sweetness finishes with more coconut vanilla milk chocolate a slight woodiness and a Mellow boozy taste.
Feel: big body almost completely dry in the finish but leaves a slick velvety felling in the mouth.
Overall: perfection in a glass 5/5!

Note: 2015 bottle not infected!!

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Photo of Ikeithbot
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Dark black with almost no head. Very boubony aroma, with a roasted malt sweetness. An almost chocolate milk texture but in a good way. Slight carbonation. You can really taste the alcohol and the bourbon after the initial rich roasted flavor and creaminess and syrupiness. Very good beer

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

beautiful viscous pour
rich black brown color with no head
aroma contains heavy malts, alcohol, slight fruity notes
taste is dark dark malts and grains up front, trailing into cocoa and candy cherry vibes, with hot bourbon sweetness on the swallow, and lighter malts again on the finish
Incredible beer, probably the best stout I've had

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Photo of IlCraftWjgman
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had a bottle of 2015 last night. Poured jet black with a slight head. Smelled bourbon and chocolate notes immediately. Booziness has subsided slightly with age. Let warm as I drank. Best flavor, taste, and mouth feel present once warm

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Black as black can be. Diminutive head forms and fades away real quick. Appearance ends up looking like Coca Cola. Eh.

The aroma is intoxicating, and I mean that literally. Smells like a straight shot of Jack Daniels. Trailing behind are syrupy sap straight from the tree, melted sticky plum, and french pressed coffee aromas.

Wow. If this isn't complex, I don't know what is. Quite possibly the most complex beer I've ever laid lips to, and out of 800 some odd trials, that's quite a feat. Oddly enough it's still easily drinkable, and by that I mean sippable. Bourbon County manages to do away with lingering bitterness or off-flavors. A total array of chocolate, cream, milk, caramels, sugared plum, coffee, dried figs - all swirling at once taking turns like the Knights of the Round Summon in Final Fantasy VII. This is a beer that if you simply take a shot glass sized sample, you get the full gammut and you know right off the bat what this beer has to offer. If you don't like this you either hate stouts or you've got a bad batch (known to happen). The fading flavors are perfectly done morning coffee, a touch of acidity, and bourbon-soaked plums.

The feel is nothing short of substantial. It just destroys the palate with syrup and a stickiness rivaling caramel apples. This is a palate wrecker in the sense that it doesn't scrub your tongue, it invades it.

Overall Bourbon County seemed to be not worth the hype until I laid lips to it. I paid $13.99 for this bottle and I feel it was a bit stiff, but on the flipside you could spend that on a 12 pack of Budweiser and not get 1/4 of the experience presented here. I'll be having this again next year.

(P.S. : 1/3 of the bottle is gone, and so am I)

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Photo of LeRose
4.26/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It pours black, thick, oily. In the snifter there is no head, just a very light ring of coffee colored bubbles that vanish.

Aroma - I can smell the bourbon from the counter top. Closer sniff...massive dark fruit, a molasses like sweetness, vanilla, alcohol.

Taste - initially very sweet, heavy on the figs and dates, that brown sugar or molasses flavor, vanilla, bourbon. As it warms, more notes show. Cherry, oak, some bitterness and a coffee aroma. As it warms, the sweetness subsides some and it becomes less boozy. The bitter helps clean things up as the malts come out of hiding with warmth. A little charred taste - almost but not quite smoky. More coffee on the nose than the taste, and a pleasing hint of pipe tobacco. There is a small amount of licorice - not my favorite flavor in a beer, but it is not very strong.

Feel - There isn't much coating on the tongue, but there is a stickiness on the lips like.

There is a lot going on, and it all seems to play nicely together. It certainly evolves. There is no doubt that this is a well made beer. Subjectively, I dont find myself loving this beer. Objectively, this is just that damned good...no doubt, end of story. Subjectively, I am enjoying the flavors as they morph and emerge, but it doesn't make my "gotta have it" list. Great beer, just not my cup of tea.

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Photo of DJChaseTheBase
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had this in a snifter on draft at a local bar/restaurant. The body on this is so full you feel like you're drinking a bourbon shake. On top of that their is plenty of bourbon tastes w/ caramel & chocolate tastes lingering around. What an amazing stout, I never knew stouts could have this much pow to it. This beer is so solid and everyone has to try it!! Perfection of a bourbon aged stout.

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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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