Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

2,937 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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,937 | Ratings: 12,073
Photo of Isoruku
2.17/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1.25

Just bought two bottles Bourbon County Stout at the extortionate price of $13 each. And after sampling one of the bottles, I am quite sure that I can swear off Bourbon County forever. Unlike the rest of humanity, I found it unbearably sweet and syrupy tasting (that's the bourbon barrel kicking in I suppose) - way over the top. Undrinkable, in fact. Did I get a bad batch? There is nothing on the Goose Island web site to indicate that I did. Let's assume that it wasn't a "bad" bottle, in which case the bottom line from my perspective is that it's simply awful.

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Photo of Kdouble
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a chance to try the 2015 and 2016 on tap so I did. Wow!

Nice brownish head that didn't last long at all. Rather dark. The 2016 had slightly less head

The smell is seriously bourbon barrel with a clean stout underneath. It made me want to rush for the taste. Both had a similar smell.

The taste didn't disappoint. The bourbon was not as dominant as I thought. There is an awesome sweetness in there that makes this super drinkable. The 16 was slightly less sweet, maybe the aging.

Both were super smooth for the ABV with a little afterburn.

Overall both were fantastic. I'm not a stout guy but this one could easily change my mind.

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Photo of gregy55902
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 Vintage version.

Going with the flow on this rating. It is a great beer when not infected, but it also suffers a bit from being too sweet and syrupy (FG of 1.030 is really a bit high - would like it more around 1.020). That said, it is a unique offering that is a heavy-hitter in the BBA department. Great barrel and dark fruit characteristics - chocolate, caramel, toffee, toasted coconut, plums cherries and prunes, roasty char with a hint of tobacco smoke. Utterly decadent; it is the most complex-tasting yet mass-produced stout out there. However if they keep increasing the price (major hikes 2 years straight, even with the QC issues of last year), I might not bother anymore. It's only beer. Nonetheless, it's a classic brew that everyone should try at least once.

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Photo of wanderingwheelz
4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Who could possible age this stuff? If I had 12 bottles, they'd be gone in 12 nights. Honestly, beer gets no better than this- it has company, but I cannot see how one could be better crafted. Only different. Buy all you can get your hands on! (Even the "sour" batch of 2015 bests 95% of craft beer, in my opinion).

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Photo of aquabears
4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2016, pours black with very thin - almost nonexistant - bubbles. Smells strongly of bourbon and molasses, taste is sweet and almost mellow, with a liquor burn and kick on the back. Very low carbonation, oily, chewy, thick.

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Photo of Bartleby91
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 vintage on draft! Nice to have it so close to my house. Always a treat to have especially when I don't have to wait in line.

The appearance is the typical pitch black with a tan head that dissipated quickly.

The aroma is a bit less nuanced than I remember with chocolate, bourbon, dark fruit, oak and some alcohol spiciness. Not really getting much vanilla though.

The taste is huge bourbon and alcohol spice along with chocolate, dark fruit and some vanilla. Not getting a lot of the barrel though.

The palate is full with a lingering alcohol spice that warms the throat going down. It doesn't linger as much as you would expect from a 14.5% beer.

Overall this is still a very good BBS but I feel like it's lacking some of the complexity that it had last year.

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Photo of yungseuss
4.93/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

2016 from the bottle. Chilled to about 50º until the thirst became too great. Poured into 12oz JP snifter, remaining 4.9 oz returned to fridge for later.

A: An inkling of head. Literally an iota. One head. Lasted for about 5 seconds until lost to the deep space known to most as BCS. Now I see why it's released on Black Friday. No room for hues here. I could drain a pen in this thing and serve it as a brown ale.

S: I think this might've been aged in Bourbon Barrels with a capital B. Jesus. With some bonfire mixed in, we've got ourselves a good night.

T: Vanilla up front. Chocolate and razed village in the middle. Finishing with more semi-sweet and the unmistakeable Kentucky twang. Feel the burn.

F: The last sip is still slowly making its way down my throat as I type this. I'm hearing things now.

O: Black gold. A+, would wake up at 6 in the freaking morning and drive aimlessly around the city with $100 and a hankering for excellent barrel-aged beers again.

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

2016 batch on tap. Absolutely delicious! I've been hearing about this stuff for a while and it is truly amazing. Amount of flavor and aroma from Bourbon is unbelievable. Hopefully I'll see it on tap our local bar again next year!

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

Bottle poured into stout glass

One finger brown foam finger quickly dissolves over jet black liquid

Aroma of bourbon , vanilla , toffee

Taste of bourbon , vanilla, toffee

Velvety smooth, slight sudsing

Great beer

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

Had a one-year old 2015 on tap at a restaurant in Chicago in a tulip glass. By the time it got to the table there barely any foam to speak off--just a ring of white lace around the edge. Nose was vanilla with bourbon sweetness. Mouthfeel was full and rich, though dissipated quicker than anticipated. Flavor was full-bodied caramel with less noticeable cocoa and coffee notes, almost a little toffee-ness to it. Taste lingered delightfully long.

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Photo of fireazzi
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the 2015 version. Was very boozy but a good taste. Very thick, not bad, but the hype to chase this one down didn't live up to my expectations. Had the older ones and tasted better if aged.

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Photo of Hagenmccombs
3.74/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: thick black with very little tan head
Smell: Chocolate, Coffee, bourbon, roasted grain.
Taste: a tad too sweet and roasty for me, but still very tasty and a benchmark BA stout
Feel: Somewhat thin while still being too sweet somehow. Perhaps it's the carbonation
Overall: an enjoyable and delicious BA stout nonetheless, but not my favorite.

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

16.9oz bottled on 10/26/15 14.3abv
Duvel Tulip

A - Darkness!

S - Vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit, smoky

T - Tastes like it smells with a little added spice kick and roasted malt

F - Full coating with a bit of sweetness

O - Amazing. Not infected. Probably the best beer I've ever had.

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Photo of Nhens0016
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like everyone says... this is the grandfather of BBA stouts. I really love this beer. It is fantastic for the price and it is a fantastic beer. The one area I have found though is I wish it had a little bit more character. The barrel is there. The alcohol is there, but beyond that I just wish there was a little more. I love it regardless, but it is still behind KBS to me. It is a fantastic beer, and can't wait to try this years batch! I know its a budweiser company... but this beer I will always come back too! Cheers!

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

Yeah, I gave it a perfect score, so if you don't like that, stop reading.

This is THE Bourbon Stout. It does define the genre, it is the ruler by which I rate any other Bourbon Stout.

I'm not going down the list of why I have it 5's, just read:

It's as black as cartoon sludge, tastes like heaven, smells like an Elijah Craig truck crashed into an organic vanilla distributors Prius and both cars obliterated the front window of a boutique coffee and chocolate shop, all while Brahms is playing in the background... and it's more of a waltz than a crash. Mouthfeel? Remember when you were a kid, and you'd wait if the ice cream to melt then drink it (still do that?)? That...

Drink this beer... then hug your significant other, tell them you still love them, but you may sell them if it means more Bourbon County.*

*-Don't do this, this is not ok... have one bottle around as much as possible, but only having it once or twice per year is what makes it so special, don't ruin that.

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

2013 12 oz. bottle (14.9%) opened for stout day. Pours thick, but not as much as I remember. Dark and fully opaque. Strong bourbon aroma. Coats mouth and tongue. Not particularly sticky or sugary but quite sweet. Bourbon no longer hot but still warms nicely. Was my last 2013 - wish I had more.

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Photo of 98green
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage on tap. Pours black and opaque, crazy booze legs in the glass. Smell is stone fruit and raisins. The taste is wonderful. Slick and oily, tons of barrel notes, vanilla. Carb is low, and the the booze is present. Overall phenomenal and worth seeking out

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Photo of EMH73
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap. Poured pitch black with an eighth inch, poorly retained head that left minimal lacing. Smells predominately of bourbon with notes of coffee, chocolate, vanilla and dark fruits. Tastes just as it smells with additional notes of oak, molasses, malts and a hint of nuts. Thick and creamy mouth feel, very lightly carbonated. This is a beer to be sipped and savored. The best bourbon barrel aged stout I have ever tasted.

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Photo of Parmesan
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pitch black color with no head and no lacing.

S: Lots of Bourbon, dark stone fruit and cherry, big note of vanilla and Roasted malt, some chocolate.

T: Lots of Bourbon, some vanilla and dark stone fruit, little bit of tartness, Roasted malt and notes of chocolate.

F: Heavy oily body with low carbonation.

O: Wonderful Bourbon Barrel Aged stout.

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Photo of BarrelyLegal
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 5

A- Black as shit, 1mm of coffee towards edge of glass. Dark tan head, quickly dissipated. 4

S- boozey, sweet, anticipate a sticky sweet brew. 4

T- syrupy and boozy warmth, strong black coffee aftertaste, lingering caramel. Bourbon flavors come strong on the second sip, with the first being dominated by the boozy warmth. 5

M- booze and evaporation, apparent thinning possibly resulting from booziness. Less sticky than anticipated, less full than expected. 3.75

O- Fucking bomb, a great beer. "Smells like secks, tastes like secks. Makes you feel like having secks." 5

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Photo of jamphanatic
1/5  rDev -77.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Tart, alcoholic, not good at all. A bad batch - there *was* a limited mail in refund program. Sampled with some friends and ended up pouring most of it out. Goose Island is no longer worth the premium or the hype.

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Photo of brewmeister1984
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Smoothest beer I've had at that ABV yet. Amazing bourbon chocolate notes with a touch of coffee. Had it on draft in western mass at a place called public eat and drink.

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

Appearance: thick, luxurious, silky in appearance. Head is a dark tan that fades almost instantly resembling a still beer.

Aroma: yum! Dark chocolate and bourbon. Very similar to a flourless chocolate cake.

Flavor: there are so many layers! Initially this beer is a bit sweet, but then comes the vanilla, bourbon and oak. As the flavors fade, coconut flavors appear. There is some alcohol flavor but far less expected given the 14.9% abv.

Mouthfeel: thick, like chocolate milk, but not too thick. Damn near perfect.

Overall: the hype is deserved. Very impressive. It seems like a lot of booze bombs earn high ratings simply due to their alcohol content. Bourbon County deserves its high ratings. So many layers and great flavors. Well balanced. Easily one of the best Imperial Stouts I’ve tried.

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Photo of RichardRankin
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have these often and use them for trade balancing.

Look is extremely dark, no light gets through. Pours very thick, small head, what there is exhibits tons of lacing.
Smell is intense coffee, bourbon, chocolate.
Taste is warm but very nicely balanced. Just enough hops to balance, but still a ton of malty goodness, residual sweetness, and bourbon warmth.
Mouthfeel is smooth, full, and very complex.

Watch out for 2015 infections, and here's hoping that pasteurization doesn't kill this legendary brew!

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Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.81/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 version. Wasn't one of the bad dates, but I was still worried opening it - but was more than just pleasantly surprised!
L - Pours dark, with a very thin head line
S - nutty chocolate and some barrel.
T - more nutty chocolate awesomeness! The that this beer is 14+ percent is shocking if you don't know going into it. It's awesome.
F - not too thin, not too thick either
O - the balance on this is incredible.

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.5 out of 5 based on 12,073 ratings.
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