Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

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2,855 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

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Reviews: 2,855 | Ratings: 11,769
Photo of caskstrength
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They must have left some bourbon in those barrels, because, holy sh*t, the smell. Who would have thought a few weeks in that wood and this is what happens. I'm a casual bourbon drinker, but if I were hard core I would be all over this beer, buying up everything I could find.

chocolate and figs and licorice and tobacco and molasses, but with a wallop of oaky, smoky, bourbon. And it's thick. And some alcohol, a lot of it. I think I'd like it even more if it were a tad less thick/sweet. (and the 2009 was a little less thick/sweet to my palate, improving what had little room to improve)

If you like strong, thick, motor oil stouts, and you like bourbon barrel aged beer, you have found the promised land. Is there something more intense and representative of the style than this?

(I actually like it fresh and hot. Gets a little thick/sweet/gooey the longer it sits. Needs that boozy bite to balance the thick sweetness.)

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Photo of wmtxbb
3.39/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: a deep black with a light layer of lacing at the top. Syrup like in movement.

Smell: Sweet chocolate malt and bourbon. No hop scent detectable.

Taste: Almost too many flavors to decipher. Chocolate malts, light coffee flavor, alcohol, vanilla, and coconut. I'm not even sure what I'm tasting half the time.

Drinkability: This is a nice beer, don't get me wrong, but it isn't very drinkable. The syrup like consistency and the scary high alcohol content make this brew a bit too much.

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Photo of Wolfpack2005
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks LambAndTunaPhish for hooking me up with this one.

A-Poured pitch black into my Bells tulip glass. Very thick and heavy looking. Minimal head that disappears.

S-SWEET caramel malts and toasted grain with hints of oak and whiskey.

T-Follows the nose with the sweet malty flavor upfront with notes of chocolate, vanilla, licorice, and molasses. A little bit of the roasted malts creep in before the oak and whiskey round everything out.

M-Heavy body with little carbonation. Silky smooth on the tongue.

O-Great beer. I was ready to be let down, but this beer lived up to the hype. My only knock would be that it's a little on the sweet side.

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Photo of ELS
4.44/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up some BCBS in 2012 and at the time was not really into BB Stouts so I didn't review it then. I also aged a couple of bottles a year later but again held up on a review because I felt I didn't appreciate the style enough to do the beer justice. Well, now it's the end of 2014 and I recently had BCBS on tap, and I'm here to say with the rest of the BA's that this beer is outstanding! The depth and subtleties of the bourbon flavor make it a complete stand out. I only wish I had saved the 2012 coffee bomber I had because now I could have enjoyed it properly!

Update- Looking back I realize that I overrated this beer. I think the hype got to me. I'm bringing it down a few pegs.

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Photo of warrenout330
4.99/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Props props props to jbecke2!

28oz snifter poured from a 12oz

A- pours a pitch black, thick pitch black.... small head of khaki colored head.... minimal lacing

S- bozzy Bourbon, I get butterscotch in the front as well... milky sweet chocolate, sweet vanilla wood undertones .... fumes of burn

T- smooth milk chocolate, bitter chocolate, sweet sugar. Big presence of Bourbon and oaked vanilla ....

M- a solid fully body stout! Smooth and creamy feel... slick and oily down the throat... sweet feeling in the mouth... Bourbon numbness on the tongue ... well hidden alcohol for 15%

O- I'm addicted, seriously bad. This may be my top 5... damn you Ohio abv laws

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Photo of hillvt4me
4.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours midnight black with a minute brown accompaniment. Almost no head and which disappeared quickly to a few bubbles.

S - Rich. Smoked chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and dates. Moderate etoh on the nose.

T - Dense chocolate, coffee, bourbon and malt.

M - Thick, creamy, etoh is present; though balanced for 14.9%!!

O - Excellent bourbon stout to slow time down by oneself or with a friend.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of blankenhoney
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 bottle enjoyed from a wine glass

A: the body is nearly pitch black, and the head is a saucy mess of khaki brown that recedes immediately. a sticky brown film coats the glass.

S: dominant aromas are of chocolate fudge, oak, and vanilla. Also picked up some syrupy dark fruit aromas

T: bourbon-soaked chocolate fudge; dark cherries, dates, and figs; the barrel flavor is quite strong and holds evrything together. It's worth noting that this BCS has mellowed out quite a bit in the last few months.

M: perfection: incredibly thick, chewy, viscous, and syrupy. Intense, in a word, and I think that the ideal serving size (for one person) would be 8 or 9 ounces. But it's no problem sipping this one over an hour or two.

O: what a beer!

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

12oz bottle from 2006 batch.

A: Black, thick and viscous. This is the way any good imperial stout should look, in my opinion.

S: Slight coffee like aroma, with hints of bourbon and oak. Hops have really subsided over the years.

T: Exceptional flavor. Taste is slight bourbon, chocolat, toffee, and the dark malts are really standing out. Everything is nice and balanced. I have tried this when it was fresh, but it was much harsher.

M: Silky smooth, thick, creamy, and just perfect.

D: This was surprisingly easy to drink. Now that it has some age, the flavors are balanced out and it is a wonderful beer.

Thanks to John at Goebel Liquor for selling me this. I want more!!!:)

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Photo of johnd513
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours thick and black like motor oil with a small thin brown head that quickly disappears. Huge bourbon smell, with chocolate and coffee. Tastes of huge bourbon, chocolate vanilla and The mouthfeel is extremely thick and syrupy with a full body and relatively low carbonation. Drinkability is high considering the high abv. One of my new favorite Imperial Stouts.

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Photo of jtrockchalk
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First BC of the year...13% this year and WOW!!! can you ever taste the bourbon...

12 oz bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

A - Deep, deep caramel brown with a small rich brown head that dissipated quickly to nothing.

S - The easy answer here is bourbon, but believe it or not my first reaction was German Chocolate Cake...The combo of bourbon, caramel and chocolate gave off that aroma including the coconut.

T - Strong stuff. Definitley a strong that at first I wasn't sure if this was the beer for me tonight, but after 10 or 15 min the rich, thick bourbony taste won me over. Not much in the hop areana, but there are just enough to balance out the malt and molasses taste and keep it from being 2oz. and done.

M - Almost no carbonation, which makes it all that much richer on the tounge with nothing to cut it.

D - I was going to rate it lower because you really can't drink more than one, but that's not what this beer is about. You know what your getting into with this (or at least you should now) and I 'd rather sip on one of these than any cognac or whiskey of comparable price.

Next one is waiting for a cigar and I'll be ready.

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Photo of templar316
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one for the ages. Of all the beers I've gone to length's to track down, this has been the finest. Hand's down! I've been drinking bourbon for longer then I've been drinking beer so this is right in my wheelhouse but it suceeds on every level! The bourbon, oak, and vanilla nose. Black as night pour with lingering mocha head. Layers of flavors folding into each other; oaky, vanilla, dark chocalate coating the mouth. Worth All the Effort!

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Photo of schellsbeer
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

There are not words to describe this beer. Exceptional....As close to perfect as a RIS has ever been made. Incredible!!! 2008 bottle and very incredible batch it is.

I love Surly Darkness....and Dark Lord....but please....

This RIS is pure enjoyment in a bottle. Creamy. Vanilla. Malt. Black as sin. Little carbonation. High alcohol content is the only drawback which leads to a 2.5 on drinkability but come on...

I have put 3 away for later....much later. Next year, I will purchase another 4 pack, drink one and put the others away...and on and on the cycle will continue.

This is the art of craft brewing at its best....PERIOD. Take note Macros....After this beer, you have nothing to offer.

There is so much flavor and taste one bottle that it puts a case of the crap beer (or for that matter average craft beer) to shame. Well worth the money for just sitting back and enjoying life.

Enjoy...s..l..o..w..l..y. Life isn't meant to be rushed all the time!

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

Had this on tap at Ginger Man at NYC, a 13oz pour in a large snifter.

I've had it in the bottle before and really liked it, but it was even better on tap. Incredibly dark, pitch black nearly, with some brown highlights. Minimal head. Smell is huge chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, with a lot of darker fruit and, of course, oak. Some earthy hops in there but pretty overwhelmed by the malt. Alcohol present. The taste is lots and lots of caramel, vanilla, oak; thick, syrupy malt, with just the right amount of carbonation. As I continued through the snifter it really opened up to raspberries, cherries, lactose, bourbon, boozey spice. Finishes with a nice layer of just slightly bitter hops. The alcohol is there, but it's nicely hidden especially considering the abv.

Will be going back to Ginger Man for this one.

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Photo of nomomentwasted
4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Whew. Had this beer out of a bottle, poured into a snifter-style glass and served just below room temperature.

Appearance: Dark and vicious on the pour with a slight, tan head. Laces well, much like a stout should, but nothing about the pour or appearance screams anything more than your average imperial stout.

Smell: Whew. Big bourbon notes (although next to Black Tuesday, I would suppose they're a little more tame, but then again, what isn't?) and then a roasty, toasted malt filled second layer and finishing with a slight chocolate and vanilla, but mostly the bourbon and slight booziness.

Taste: Very complex, and a little sweeter than I was expecting. Bourbon is big and thick, with the booziness being quite strong. Chocolate and barley are here too, but on a secondary tier from the bourbon start. Although this wasn't the newest batch of BCS, it'd probably be just a tad better with another 6 months to a year on it. There are 6 more in the cellar though, and maybe I'll come back and update upon further review. I mean, I love a good bourbon beer, and when in the mood, this certainly delivers, but I think its strong suit is also what keeps it from being a 5: it's a little too much bourbon. Hopefully the mellowed sweetness will push that up a bit too, I really don't doubt it.

Mouthfeel: Ooh, so velvety and smooth. Powerful-good thickness and finishes warm. That 13% is definitely here, no doubt about it. Carbonation is spot-on too.

Drinkability: I feel bad knocking it, but it's not the most drinkable of beers. The boozy character catches up over the course of the bottle, but the rest of the experience is excellent. Drinks like a 13%, which hey, it is, making it feel pretty average in that department. But for a special occasion, and maybe some chocolate cake, this beer is happiness in a bottle.

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Photo of JulioH
4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a great beer. I had it when it when nobody knew what Goose Island was all about, and in excess.

This beer pours a dark liquid. It doesn't necessarily have coffee, but it looks like coffee. Aroma reveals the bourbon barrels, a sweet scent lingers, some molasses. Taste reveals a nice syrupy beer, sweet but not overly sweet, and a certain boozy bourbon flavor that is not offensive but pleasing. Carbonation is normal.

This beer turns sweet and heavy as you drink. Very good stuff.

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Photo of dutesanch
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer at the Cannery Row Brewing Company in Monterey,CA this week. Served to me in a tulip glass this beer had a bunch of foam probably poured too quickly from the tap. Still was an excellent drink. Tastes of wood, earth, coffee, dark chocolate fill the mouth. Taste is full but I didnt feel that the beer was a thick viscosity.Be ready for the alcohol content which is very apparent on the finish. I sipped on this for about 45 min and even though it went from cold to about room temp in that time it was enjoyable to the last drop. Enjoyed with a cup of clam chowder that paired well IMO.

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Photo of jahred
4.1/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful dark black color with almost no head. Can make out a slight whiskey scent.

Immediately notice the syrupy, thick taste, with strong toffee and coffee flavors. The bourbon flavor isn't as strong as expected, especially not when compared to other beers aged in bourbon/whiskey barrels. An odd, dry aftertaste lingered, and after a few sips I noticed a pear taste in the beer.

Though this style of beer isn't to be consumed in large quantities, the subtlety of the bourbon flavoring would allow me to drink more than I would expect.

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Photo of pershan
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured ink-black and syrupy with a thin, creamy brown head into a chalice. The initial whiff was of Bourbon, oak, and vanilla, with the Bourbon aroma dominating. A big Bourbon flavor, with fainter oak and vanilla components and alcoholic esters - surprisingly smooth given the high ABV. The mouthfeel was pretty thick and oily, with low carbonation and nice lacing down the glass. A really potent stout, obviously, but surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of seanbhudson
3.62/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a obsidian black color with a medium brown head that dissipates a slowly. Not much lacing.
Bourbon, oak, chocolate, molasses. Hints of leather.
Wow, that is an intense beer! Bourbon, molasses, caramel. Definitely on the sweet side but has a slight alcohol burn.
Finishes with a slight smoky flavor
FULL body beer with a syrupy texture. Light fizzy carbonation.
This is a sipping beer. I split a 12 ounce beer with a friend and that was plenty. I would probably give this beer a C based on drinkability but you have to give it an A for complexity and uniqueness.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black as black pour with virtually no head. A little head and some lacing and it could have had a 5.

S: Vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Very big nose of bourbon, very enjoyable for me!

T: Bourbon and vanilla up front with the oakiness riding on the back end.

M: Full bodied, creamy and lightly carbonated.

D: Wish I could drink more, but the ABV will catch up to me soon I think. I would definitely love to get through two in a sitting though!

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Photo of bowersdm
4.87/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz 2008 vintage bottle poured into a nonic

A - a oily, thick dark liquid, as black and majestic as the nightsky. No head to speak of despite an aggressive pour with nearly 16 inches of space between bottle and glass.

S - distilled oak aged corn beverages, commonly known as bourbon, with a predominant nose of oak, smoke, tobacco, cocoa and the ever present barrel aged beer favorite, vanilla.

T - cocoa, chocolate and malt followed by a chorus of oaky bourbon goodness complete with smoke, tobacco and vanilla solos. The 13% ABV is only noticed as a burn on the back of the palate at the end and a burn down the throat as the beer oozes to the stomach.

M - amazing considering this brew's lack of head. It was creamy, thick, chewy, viscous, but at the same time smooth and velvety.

D - this beer is amazing. The alcohol really slows down the enjoyment of it (for me at least, but it's an amazing beer.)

If this beer had a head, even a 1cm head, this would be the greatest beer I've ever had and would be deserving of a perfect 5.0 rating. I am glad I bought a four pack.

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Photo of Hokies
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to discovolante65 for this gift. 12oz bottle bottle poured into a SA perfect pint glass. Pours a jet black colour with a decent rich tan head and a light lace left on the glass.

Whew, the aroma is filled with bourbon and followed up with some chocolate, coffee and vanilla.

The bourbon has really mellowed out the roasted malts and even though the bourbon is quite strong it allows for the chocolate and coffee to come through. Very rich and creamy almost like melted chocolate ice cream. As it warms the bourbon slowly dissipates and the flavor begins to unveil some raisin, vanilla and caramel.

Rich, creamy and tasty and even though at times the bourbon is a little strong this is one great beer thanks Andrew.

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Photo of Thecherryman
4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage from a properly cellared bottle

A: black and thick like motor oil

S: bourbon and vanilla!!!

Taste: this beer tasted like heaven, it has a creamy vanilla flavor to it and the bourbon kicks you in the forehead. Absolutely delicious and to me it's drinkable.

Mouthfeel : this beer had a thick body with a creamy mouth feel which is exactly what I'm looking for in a 15% BBA stout.

Overall: I think this lives up to its hype. I bought an entire case to enjoy over the next few years. I really hope to get my hands on the other variants if I can.


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Photo of beantown_hopster
4.86/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Let me paint the picture. New Year's Eve... girlfriend runs into 7/11 for dip for her veggie plate. Hm. An innocuous liquor store next door, might as well pop in. Right as I walk into this not at all craft beer liquor store there is a open case of BCBS, heard it's pretty good, was $10 a bottle so I picked up 1 to drink and 1 to cellar.

Needless to say both were drank as I made everyone there try and everyone was as impressed as I was. I went back and got 4 to cellar...unless I feel like drinking heaven in a glass before then.

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

2007 bottle compliments of lightindarkness, poured into a an oversized goblet.

A: Pours like thin motor oil, the darkest of browns -- just a shade away from black -- with a millimeter of light chocolate color head that disappears before you can take the first sip, leaving only a ring, and a faint swirl in the center, of the glass.

S: Boy, can I recognize the aroma of this brew any day. Bourbon, vanilla, oak, and bittersweet chocolate all rolled into one voluptuous scent

T: Oh man, sweet malted chocolates up front, followed by a rush of vanilla and then an oaky bourbon alcoholic finish. This isn't your grandmas traditional stout, that's for sure. But it's f**&ing fantastic!!

M: Smooth, but oily. It's thick, but not DL or Ten Fidy thick. Full bodied, nonetheless. Real mild but tinglingly carbonation, especially on the finish.

D: This is up there in my top 5 brews. Has been since I first tried it, and don't see it dropping out anytime soon. Due to its rarity in my area, I've never put back more than one in a sitting, and don't recommend anyone else take up the challenge at 13%ABV.

I must admit, however, that I recently tasted a one-year aged 2006 (when it was still 11%ABV) and i found that one to be even more desirable. A good one to roll one up w/ imho =P

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 2,855 ratings.
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