Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
2,860 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,860 | Ratings: 11,791
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!

 206 characters

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.

 531 characters

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.

 1,017 characters

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 / macadamia 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, leather, tobacco, smoky earthiness.

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.

 857 characters

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!

 928 characters

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.

 443 characters

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!!

 448 characters

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

 287 characters

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

 337 characters

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

 241 characters

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)

 1,729 characters

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 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.

 1,330 characters

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.

 391 characters

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

The first liberating gasp of the beer (that moment where the cap barely releases a modicum of pressure), revealed a massive coconut with some roasted malts perfume, reassuring me that my hype was not to be let down.

Served in a snifter, it pours a black ink, thick, seemingly oily.
The pour induced the formation of a small dark brown foam, not enough to cover the whole surface area, and evidently not enough to form a head. Such foam had low retention.
This beer leaves no lacing. Instead, after a swirl this beer coats the glass with a transparent, oily layer, exactly like tears of wine.
After some more time of gentle swirling, you can actually see that the beer paints the glass with a tender and subtle brown hue, akin to the effect of a red wine of an intensely pigmented varietal on its glass.
Bourbon County Brand Stout is beautiful to the eye.

This bouquet is superlative.
Massive coconut, assertive alcohol reminiscent of bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, caramel, cherry and raisins, charred wood, slight hint of tobacco, slight hint of coffee.
These particular set of elements present in the bouquet set the tone for a clearly sophisticated beer.

Magnificent flavor.
It overruns your palate with a complex sweetness and a hot spirit-like component.
Notes of caramel, coconut, vanilla, molasses, subtle chocolate and coffee, slight hint of raisins and cherry.
Moments before reaching the finish, you sense the vestigial bitterness coming from the roasted malts, and the tobacco/smokiness becomes present too, giving this beer a subtle twist right before fading.
The aftertaste is bourbon-like, and it has a strong vanilla component, which lingers pleasantly. Despite the assertiveness, almost aggressiveness of all the flavors in this beer, the aftertaste doesn't last that long.
The mouthfeel is also delicious. Oily, silky but mostly chewy, this liquid caresses your palate while delivering all of its notes. Warm.
No carbonation present, which, needless to say, it fits perfectly in the equation.

After emptying the snifter, you corroborate what could be seen when the glass was full with some gentle swirling: this beer treats the glass as a canvas, and paints its walls with a light, translucent, brown hue.

Great depth and complexity.

Bourbon County Brand Stout, epitome of a world class beer.

 2,333 characters

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

Black with a small tan head. looks like black motor oil. The smell is chocolate, burnt sugar, dark fruits, coffee, bourbon, and roast malts. The taste is amazing! chocolate, vanilla, burnt sugar, coffee and bourbon. The bourbon is definitely present. Feel is thick, clings to mouth and heat from bourbon. This is my favorite stout! I have three of the 2015's aging in my cellar.... Yay!!

 388 characters

Photo of Bleer
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Yum. Shocking I know.... I do love this beer and will always go out of my way to find it. However, I do find it a little on the harsh side when compared to the bourbon county coffee or say a KBS. Jet black, boozy nose, little to no head, again a little more harsh than I prefer on the alcohol taste, and very warm/warming. I would love to try again after it ages a year or two!

 381 characters

Photo of Spinaltapped
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: So dark. Probably a 9.5/10 in darkness with a tight medium khaki head. A bit shiny like obsidian. Almost no visible carbonation, but a a bit of lacing.

Smell: Roast malt, bourbon, vanilla, coconut, coffee, tobacco, a bit of bourbon soaked ripe cherry and raspberry. It's all great, but a bit muddled by the pervasiveness of the borbon as tends to be the case with fresher vintages of BCBS.

Taste: Tons of dark fruit in the front palate, prickly non-bitter roast coffee, vanilla, bourbon. Lacking the strong chocolate that I've had in past vintages. I'm really surprised about the vanilla, bourbon soaked cherry flavors. TONS.

Feel: Thick mouthfeel. 8.5/9 out of 10. Viscous. Slick and tongue coating.

 709 characters

Photo of HockeyBrewmeister
4.36/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed Oct 1st, 2015 - 13.7% ABV

Look - if 10 is motor oil, I have this at a 9. TINY bit of light around the edges.
Smell - lots of sweet/dark fruits… good amount of chocolate and bourbon coming in as well.
Taste - taste is on point with the smell. Definitely strong sweet/dark fruits at first followed by milky chocolate and bourbon with a hint of toasted coconut/vanilla. I personally can't find a ton of vanilla on the backend like some people say, but I can tell its there.
Feel - very slick mouthfeel but not too thick.
Overall - Awesome beer. Very sweet with a slight alcohol burn, balanced quite nicely. I'd say its worth the hype.

 641 characters

Photo of diddy4l
4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours like motor oil,smells like high ABV. ,tastes like carmel,and bourbon,little bit of a burn, but a soothing burn,that keeps you going back to it over and over again

 168 characters

Photo of tmm313
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 11/08/13
Drank 04/01/16

A - Pitch black in the glass. 1/2 finger head with aggressive pour, which disappeared immediately. No lacing, just legs. 5

S - Bourbon, barrel, chocolate covered cherries, raisins, and notes of vanilla. 4.5

T - Each sip is a little different, but basically: super sweet intro of caramelized sugar and a sweeter bourbon character. Mid way the alcohol kicks in with notes of dark chocolate, cherries, dark fruits, wood, and hints of vanilla. Every other sip or so I get a whisper of coconut, right before the roasted coffee settles in as the aftertaste. Maybe just a touch of earthy hop. Became much more balanced as it warmed. Flavors mingled and mixed together perfectly. Hard to put down. 5

M - Thick. Viscous. Sticky. Heaven. 5

O - Fantastic. My best advice is sip it while it's cold so you can enjoy it when it warms. It's a masterpiece. I waited 2 years to drink this and it did. not. disappoint. Cheers! 4.75

 950 characters

Photo of iliketurtlesthx
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is for the 2015 bottle release. Had immediate after release and just cracked open another bottle.

I've tried all sorts of barrel aged stouts, porters, etc, but I keep coming back to this being one of my favorites. I love boozy, high ABV beers and this pleases me like no other. Pours super dark with a caramel head. The taste is rich with chocolate, vanilla, and some barrel.

Some of my favorite barrel aged beers are best in moderation (KBS, No Rules), but I could drink this any day of the week and never grow tired of it.

 537 characters

Photo of Dusten2015
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had recently acquired this from a friend, and this was super hyped for me, i was worried, but mostly excited for it.

L: Black, small head that faded moderately quick

S: Bourbon, raisins, vanilla, and slight booze.

T: The hype was real. This beer was one of my favorites ever. It was such a sticky, sweet but tiny bit bitter beer.

F: oily, super smooth. velvet on the tongue

O: I will definetly try to have this beer more. This was fantastic. Can't wait to try the others.

 478 characters

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thick and black color with a thick foamy brown head. Lovely aroma of bourbon, oak, molasses, figs, cocoa, and ashy charred barley malt. Sip by sip the layers of chocolate, dark cherries, char, and sweet fermented goodness unfolds with flavors similar to aroma with the bourbon notes nicely in balance and cradling all the rich malty goodness. Luscious full body this beer is almost a meal in itself and almost perfect.
I shared it with a buddy before a concert last night and all we had to drink it out of were red solo cups. It did not detract from this beer at all and it was by far the best beer I have ever had out of a solo cup!!

 635 characters

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

2014 version on tap at the Mule Bar in Winooski. this beer is amazing in every aspect, and I thought it was even better on tap. the intended flavors are coming through just perfectly, working together. big notes of sweet chocolate, toasted oak, subtle dark fruits, roasty malts, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, slight booze. mouthfeel is near perfection, this stuff is as good as it gets!!

 385 characters

Photo of bin31z
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark and oily with no almost no head. Tons of toffee, caramely bitter chocolate on the nose. My bottle was fresh and had alot of banana bread/sticky sweet on the nose, might get better with age. Very sweet and a little bitter on the palate, almost cloyingly sweet, again, may get better with age. Oily and coats mouth. A very interesting drink but the banana notes and cloying sweetness is a little much for me but still a must try.

 438 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!