Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
2,895 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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,895 | Ratings: 11,911
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.

 362 characters

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!

 634 characters

Photo of Jaypeajus
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on Oct 9 2015 1134. After all the concern I wanted to try one of mine near 6 months. It's as it should be, a bit of the bourbon has settled into the dark smoothness. NOT AFFECTED. Otherwise the same expected world class offering. 3 down 3 to go.

 253 characters

Photo of ChilliHeights
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Love the blackness in the pour and creamy head. This is a great sipping brew our of a glass. Shared with family and we all enjoyed the bourbon flavors. Have had this twice now and look forward to another next winter.

 218 characters

Photo of MermaidOnTap
1.47/5  rDev -67.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottled: Nov 4th, 2015

Mermaid Notes:
Look: Black as night. Melted dark chocolate in my tulip glass. Coats the side with a motor oil type film. Barely any head.

Smell: O no! Not a good start. Bourbon smell is completely absent. Smells like rotten sour fruit mixed with an athlete's foot soaked sock.

Taste: I cannot lie and say I took more than just one sip of this beer because I physically could not drink it. That one sip made me want to haul. Tastes like a wine gone extremely bad.

Feel: Body is still nice and thick but the flavor ruins any chance of me enjoying the consistency.

Overall: Considering the fact that we've had such bad luck with the 2015 Bourbon County line-up, I was very optimistic that our BCBS's would not be bad as well. We cracked this opened because of all the news floating around that some batches were infected. Unfortunately the rumors are true. The fact that we got all our variants at the same store makes me wonder if all our bottles are drain pours (Please not the rare! Please!!!!!). Just put the remaining regulars in the fridge. Hopefully one out of the bunch is good! Open your bottles now! You have been warned :(
Cheers and stay crafty my friends.
[email protected]

 1,209 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Been drinking these since 2008. Nice used motor oil black, giving off that cherry cola head in a 1/2" depth. Really looks perfect. Aroma hit those big bourbon notes first and foremost without being hot or abrasive. Oak behind it.

Taste bourbon, rich, tad of sweet, lots of chocolate, even wood charred. Easy to drink, thicker consistency mouthfeel wise.

In many ways it is the archtype of bourbon barrel stouts. Price keeps going up per oz, but hey what can you do? Infections don't help scores either, but thus far, the 2 I've drank in '15 were just fine.

Good price per oz, liked the 4 pack format better than 500ml bottles.

 640 characters

Photo of Calh42
1.62/5  rDev -64%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This is over rated, over hyped, and way over priced. I cannot understand the huuuuuge following. I read/skimmed a thousand ratings of this and only found a few that made sense to me. Looks great. Ink black. Poured into a tulip with no head at all. Smelled musty. Taste was overly sweet and I wondered if it was attempting to be a sour gone bad. Compared it to Brer Rabbitt molasses and that wasn't it. Compared it to Sorghum and it was spot on except BCBS is much darker. Felt oily and syrupy. Looked for the strong bourbon flavor and alcohol that are mentioned in so many reviews, but don't find it. I like a good bourbon and this shows none of it. Lingering medicinal taste on the tongue. I'll never recommend this to anyone and I'll never purchase it again. Unfortunately I got caught up in the hype and have two more large bottles. Guess I'll need to "share" them with our beer club or give them away.

 906 characters

Photo of Nightmare1972
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black with brown head and lacing, charred smell different notes of bourbon throughout aging, I had fresh and six months later, this is a beer you want to just sit and relax and sip by the fire. Looking forward to trying another bottle after aging for a year.

 264 characters

Photo of dbl_delta
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage bottle into snifter. Pours an oily black with minimal tan head that dissipates quickly. Initial impression is OMG - dark chocolate, coffee, booze, caramel, vanilla...and bourbon. Good stuff. Nice cozy alcohol burn (maybe I shoulda cellared it but frankly I couldn't wait to try it.) Medium-thick mouthfeel. Definitely a sipping beer - at 14.3% ABV this will drop a rhinocerous in its tracks. But it would drop with a smile on its face.
Too bad this is so hard to find. I scored one of the two remaining bottles from the "back room" of my local bottle shop, and that was pure luck.
I've had the "Rare" and prefer it ever so slightly, but it's a close call.

 676 characters

Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Revised 5/29/16, aged for 6 months.

Look : Pitch black body, very small brown head.

Smell : Vanilla and bourbon mainly. but also some chocolate and coconut.

Taste : Caramel, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon. Aged for a year (10/28/16), there is some molasses.

Feel : Full bodied, very low carbonation, silky smooth, really warming in the stomach.

 345 characters

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

This is the beer I think we drink the most of in my house. It's actually just a perfect relaxer that isn't Too hard to get, but is also just very good. I think it should be higher on this list.

 193 characters

Photo of UncleRemo1985
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Looks thick, very dark, nearly pure black.

Smell: Smells delicious. Rich with that underlying tone of bourbon.

Taste: As good as it smells. Tastes like a rich stout with that subtle bourbon flavor without being overly strong.

Feel: Smooth with only slight carbonation. The feel you expect.

Overall: It's a great beer I can't wait to drink again. Not a beer you could sit and drink many of since it is almost 14% haha.

 429 characters

Photo of GeeL
2.86/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Revising this for a new 2016, drank the day I got it. My review for a 2012 that I drank in May 2016 is below.

I found this new 2016 to be so boozy and unbalanced that it was undrinkable and I question the people giving this beer (when fresh) a high score because I wonder if we're tasting the same thing. It needs time to balance out and grow complexity. Hopefully some time will help it develop.

2012 drank in 5/16: About as good a bourbon stout as I've ever had. Bottled 11/7/12, drank in May, 2016 (3.5 yrs).

Look: thick, opaque, looks like melted dark chocolate. Pours like... I don't know. It looks thicker than it is. It sticks to the glass when I swirled it around. Could have a little more head in addition to the thin lace around the edge.

Smell: incredible. As it warmed it opened a little more, and rich mocha, dark stone fruit, and bourbon came forward. But not over bourbonized.

Taste: spot on for this style.

Feel: smooth, slight carbonation. About what you'd expect.

Overall: The only reason it isn't a 100 for me is the head. I want another bottle.

 1,075 characters

Photo of Roelleke1986123inkijk
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally got this bad boy.
What an amazing beer this is, holy moly!
Very much bourbon on this one.
One of the best stouts i've had so far.
Def a world class beer!

 161 characters

Photo of pezhead_79
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was definitely not infected. I've had it stored in my cellar since they day I got it from the store.
The smell and appearance we typical for barrel stouts, but the flavor and mouthfeel were exceptional. This was a really smooth beer with great vanilla, and smoke flavors.
I wish I aged it longer but didn't want to risk it.

 328 characters

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.

 556 characters

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..


 395 characters

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.

 723 characters

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.

 405 characters

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.

 207 characters

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.

 590 characters

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!

 175 characters

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.

 206 characters

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.


 920 characters

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.

 477 characters

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.5 out of 5 based on 11,911 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
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!