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Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

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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
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Reviews: 2,895 | Ratings: 11,909
Photo of vfgccp
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Bottled Sept 2010, drank April 2011.

A – Nice black, espresso body with brown highlights. Trace head sits low and fades into a thin halo.

S – Oatmeal raisin cookies. Huge caramel note. Smells distinctly of Makers Mark. Hints of hardwood and walnuts.

T – Walnuts, pecans, caramel, vanilla, espresso, maple, brown sugar. Scotch. Silky malt. Chocolate and a surprising merlot flavor on the backend. The flavor profile traces a slow, complex and delicious arc.

M – Fantastically smooth. Booze ramps up throughout the finish into a note just sharp enough to make you pause and ponder the sip, but soft enough to keep you coming back for more. In this young of a bottle the 13% definitely says hello, but it accents the rest of the profile nicely. Lightly dry finish.

O – Soft, slow sipping, and delicious.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just drank a bottle from 2003 - it seems that first batch didn't even have real labels! They instead used a Honker's Ale label put on inside out, and then printed Bourbon County Stout in cash register style font. Drank out of a Goose Island snifter at Sheffield's Pub in Chicago.

A: Pitch black, solid dark brown head with decent retention but little lacing. Swishing the glass results in a molasses-like oozing down the sides of the glass.

S: Bourbon and oakiness were predominant. Some vanilla and caramel hints. Delicious!

T: Was exceptionally smooth while chilled, but the bourbon really came out as the glass warmed up. Sweeter than newly bottled BCS, with more malt presence.

M: Thick, creamy, and a little bit sticky.

D: At 13%+, you can only have maybe two of these in an evening. It looks like the 2008 is only 11% which might make it a little more consumable - but this aged bottle was one and done; although I can't imagine many beers that would be a worthy follow-up.

Bottom line: Grab some bottles, drink a few, cellar the rest!

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

2013 vintage. Poured from a bottle into a goblet, the beer is jet black, with hints of chestnut highlights around the edges when held up to light. Sparse, filmy surface coat of tan colored head. Looked oily and thick when poured. Aromas of vanilla, oak, booze, cocoa nibs, and mocha coffee. Very rich, very robust, and very inviting. Flavors are very roasted and bitter on the forward tongue, but with a subsequent vanilla and cream character that provides an amazing balance. Chocolate notes, bittersweet, present mid-tongue, with more of the woody and booze characteristics coming, as well. Building warmth as you drink, as a 14.9% ABV is wont to do. The body is velvety smooth, and supports all the rich and robust character perfectly. Rich, bitter roasted aftertaste, with coffee, vanilla, and booze all lending themselves to a linger. The finish is smooth, but boy does it finish slow, which is exactly how you want this beer to leave your palate. This is a heavy beast, and a sipper to be sought after. Great beer.

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Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the thickest, richest and tastiest stouts I've ever tried. If you like em "dark and sludgy" this one will do it for you. Pours black, with minor dark tan head. Little lacing. Nose of brandy, chocolate and burnt malts. Bold char broiled flavors abound, whiskey soaked raisins, dark chocolate, a double black expresso tossed in, some vanilla, oak and more chocolate late,sheesh, can you say complexity?!? Very thick, super bad dark flavors. Meta winter sipper. Not for the faint of heart or those not into super bold dark beers. Goose Island continues to impress. The arrival of their beers in the NYC area this fall and winter has been the highlight of the local beer scene, IMHO

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Photo of drabmuh
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage poured from a bottle into a tulip. Beer is black and has no head. There are a few tiny brown bubbles that form on the edge of the glass. There is minimal lacing on the glass. Looks like a flat stout. When you swirl the beer you get legs where the alcohol separates from the beer. Wow...

Aroma is like liquor, I suppose. Really strong. There is some sweetness. Can really smell the alcohol.

Beer is thick and has a great strong liquor presence to it. There is a strong roast character that comes up after the initial sweetness and alcohol of the bourbon. There is decent connectivity between the two flavors. The roast is not an aftertaste but a really late back flavor, there is no aftertaste. Second taste, the carbonation plays on the tongue a little, if there were more it may be better. Overall drinkability is good and so is mouthfeel. I want to try the 2009 for comparison.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11/19/08- Purcahsed at Total Wine in Lincoln, CA.
$18.99 4-pack price tag.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, 2008 annual release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- About the thickest pour I have seen from a beer. Pitch black in color. About a 1/2 inch head on first pour...quickly evaporates soon after. Leaves behind some spotty watery lace markings.

Smell- Huge nose of bittersweet chocolate, mild fresh coffee, lots of bourbon, a bit of woody barrel notes and even some dark fruits...all paired nicely with super roasted malt which almost has a light salty nose to it.

Taste- Again, lots of stuff going on. It's mostly nice sweet highly roasted chocolate malt with a shot of bourbon on the side. Almost...key word is "almost" too much bourbon. Really pushes the limit, but just barely doesn't cross the line. Light coffee notes and some dates and figs mingling about. Hops are here, and mildly bitter. Intense.

Mouthfeel- Very thick, very viscous. Not quite the motor oil everone talks about...but still probably the thickest beer I have tried. Considerably creamy and smmoth with a lower end carbonation. Aftertaste of candied bourbon-chocolate and a very light bitter hops bite. Definite full mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Still haven't found my perfect 5 beer. I've seen about a handful of really strong stouts that have looked a bit better. But this is about as close as it gets. I'm glad I have a few 4-packs...I may even try to grab another couple....definitely worth $5 a bottle. A must try if seen...or be regretful the rest of your life.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.55/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle acquired in the N00B BIF Round #5 from Derek, thanks a ton for sending this one my way to try! 2009 vintage split with my girlfriend and family, poured into multiple tulip glasses.

A: Deep dark brown, okay borderline black, body with a deep crimson ring around the top edge. Virtually no head and only a thin ring around the glass after everything settles out. No lacing is present, either. For being a higher ABV this is somewhat forgivable however I've seen stouts as big as this put on more of a show.

S: Huge, rich and thick bourbon notes make a profound appearance in the aroma, as you'd expect. Saturated liquor wood, super sweet milk chocolate, coffee and runny maple syrup also play a part in the nose. Honestly, this is just way too sweet of a nose, very rich and needs some serious mellowing in my opinion -- even at almost the two year mark.

T: Warming bourbon along with some thick viscous sweet milk chocolate flavors are first on the palate. Midway, is nothing but super sweet and syrupy flavors that seem chaotic and messy. The sweetness intensifies as this beer warms and becomes increasingly unbalanced and constructed. The finish brings a saving grace of a grounded toasted caramel malt backbone but it's simply not enough throughout the beer to compete with the sugars.

M: Low carbonation gives this a thick and chewy mouth feel, really ideal for a stout this big. It's slightly bubbly and tingly on the tongue and leaves you with a bit of a burn in the throat on the way down.

For me, this beer was almost the opposite of what I was expecting. I think before this beer hits the bourbon barrels it needs a bit more of a polished and refined base beer to withstand the test of time. Hopefully these bottles will mellow out their sweetness over time, and luckily I have one left to test this theory. For me as this sits now, it's overly sweet and just a bit messy.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes from 10/28/12.

A- Pours black as night with a thin brown head that dissipates swiftly.

S- Powerful notes of bourbon and dark fruits hit the nose first. Some smoke, roasted malt and booze come through.

T- Not much surprise in the taste at first, as it follows the nose, except how well this is done. Prune, and sweet roasted malts dominate. The bourbon is more subdued than the nose would suggest, and the 15% is unnoticeable. Some vinous flavor comes near the end, and it finishes with some smokiness. As it warmed brown sugar and molasses came through in the beginning and middle, while mocha becomes evident in the finish.

M- Thick, viscous, and smooth.

O- Outstanding BBA Stout, and I can't wait to try it with some age on it!

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

A: poured black as night that looked liked oil coming out of the bottle with a half finger of head that left good sticky lacing on the glass.

S: coconut and bourbon dominate the nose with roasted malts and chocolate notes. There is also booze, oak, and dark fruit scents as well.

T: there is so much going on here that consist of bourbon like the nose coconuts, raisins, booze, chocolate, and roasted malt accents. It also has toffee and candy sugar but has so many ingredients to list; very complex.

M: full body with a moderate amount of carbonation that had a sweet, roasty, rich and booze finish.

D: this beer was something else and is on another level, both versions of this brew are great. It drank well and is exceptional all across the board. This is definitely everyone has to try at least once.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to re-reviewing this beer. My original review from 3-8-10 of the 2009 Vintage was with a very unsophisticated palate. That review has been deleted and replaced by this one.

2010 Vintage. 12 oz bottle poured in to oversized CBS snifter.
Bottled on 10/15/10 1426.

A - Dark black with almost no head. A very small amount of light brown head formed and immediately disappeared. The bubbles were also very large (odd sized) bubbles.

S - Huge barrel aging qualities up front with aromas of bourbon, vanilla and oak. Some cocoa notes in the background along with a faint roasted malt aroma.

T - A great balance of flavours from the barrel - bourbon, vanilla and oak - are evident up front. The background has a light roasted malt profile with faint hints of cocoa. The barrel aging qualities definitely dominate this one. Considering the 13% ABV, this is smooth. The alcohol is warming though and it lingers in the finish.

M - Full bodied. Thick and viscous. A beautiful sludgy body. Light carbonation.

O - An excellent barrel aged RIS. As I suspected, this is miles better than my initial review suggested. Glad to have re-reviewed.

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Photo of tempest
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2007, 13% abv.

Easily the smoothest, tastiest ~13% beer I've ever had. Yes, it's a bit thick, but no more so than weaker double or imperial stouts. The aroma is rich with the bourbon which once on the palate, doesn't dominate, but compliments the strong, dark chocolate ad espresso flavors. Throw in a dash of oak and vanilla and you've got a hell of a beer. More please.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with Buckeyenation, thanks!
Cool label, gives history of this brew.
Pours a dark brown, turns black when pooled in a glass. No head, a bit of brown foam on the edge.
Smells of vanilla oak, some chocolate and a bit of alcohol.
Taste smacks of a vanilla/chocolate swirl, oak binds them together. I think there is some caramel and raisin in it as well. Alcohol starts to burn, but quickly fades. A bit syrupy, so the drinkability was lowered. A really good Double Stout seeing as I don't like bourbon.

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Photo of Gavage
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: black in color with a thin dark brown 1/2" head that broke apart quickly.

Smell: loads of roasted tones, dark chocolate, some coffee, vanilla, and bourbon come through to the nose.

Taste: deep roasted malt flavor with dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, soft coffee tones, and a very mild bourbon flavor. Alcohol is noticeable and warming. Bitterness is nicely balancing but not too impacting on other flavors.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish with some dryness late. Aftertaste is long lasting. There is a bit of a velvety feel on the tongue too.

Overall: this one was very smooth and dangerously easy to drink. Great balanced flavor and as it warms the flavors really come through. Great beer.

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

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thin brown head that fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has an incredibly warm black malt and bourban whiskey scent that is quite potent. It boasts of burnt caramel and toffee. The taste is great. It has a very smooth imperial stout flavor with a nice bourban flavor in the finish. It's rich and powerful with loads of flavor. It reminds me of an oaked porter I once made. The wood taste really comes through. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very impressive beer with lots of character. It's loaded with malts and topped off with a solid bourban taste that really compliments the malt bill. This is a good drinker.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hooray! This beer has made itself out to Southern California! Freshly bought with a bottled on date of 10/21/08. On to the beer:

Major bourbon aroma escapes from this bottle as I open it, but lemme pour it into a snifter. There's no head to this super dark, rich bodied beer. Aroma...very complex here. Bourbon, vanilla, nuts, maple, pine, molasses, raw sugarcane. Unless you're a newbie to alcoholic drinks, how can you not like the aroma? I hesitate to taste.


Before I go on, let me warn you it's very boozy. With that in mind, this is downright fun to taste. Big bourbon barrel flavor upfront. It comes oak. Vanilla, raw sugarcane, chocolate covered cherries. The alcohol is charred and very warming down my throat. Needless to say, this beer is thick in the mouth with just a small fiz of carbonation.

Well...it was good, but some loose ends were green, otherwise the taste would get a perfect 5.0. I'll lay down the rest of my bottles in my 4-pack and compare in the future, but for now, this is a beer worthy of the hype.

(Revisited 3/4/09) - Snap, crackle, and POP! Can beer get more exciting than this? Not as much heat here, but damn, that barrel aging effect really shines. Perfect "5" for the taste.

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Photo of liamt07
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Rattle N Hum, into a snifter. 2008 vintage.

Pours pitch black, almost no head but an infintesimal collar prevails. Nose holds a retrained bourbon. Initially, nothing else is evident, but sitting on this for a bit some oak and vanilla comes through along with a mild, mild chocolate note. Taste drops a massive bourbon bomb on the palate, and hits with some alcohol right away; alcohol burns and tingles the tip of the nose. More chocolate and roast comes through, along with more oak and vanilla sweetness. Very complex integration between these flavours. Body is super full, sticky and very rich, but the flavour is so complex and layered. Outstanding.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 1/2011 notes. Three year old (2008), properly cellared bottle. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours pitch black, no carbonation, a few lazy bubbles rise at the end of the pour, then dissipate; no lacing. Sweet, dark malt and bourbon aroma. Heavy bodied, delicious bourbon, dark malts, chocolate, molasses. A hint of mint at the end? Complex and absolutely integrated. A masterpiece that has aged into a mellower, well blended beauty. I'm so glad I cellared some of these because this beer hasn't been distributed to Washington for over a year. Bummer.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to barzigkin for sharing this bottle.

Pours dark brown to black with no head. The aroma is bourbon, molasses, roasted malt and a little bit of soy sauce. The flavor is roasted malt, chocolate, oak, bourbon and some light soy sauce. Medium mouthfeel, low carbonation and a hot alcohol presence. Very good beer.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fuckn' Asshole website deleted my 2006 review.

Thanks to beerwolf77 for this brew.

2009 Vintage
Bottled On: 11/12/09

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tannish head, oil slicks and minimal sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is sweet/roasted/malts, slight alcohol, nice bourbon/oak note, toffee/chocolate/coffee. The taste is absolutely delicious, slightly sweet, roasted malts, vanilla, nice oaky taste, tons of toffee/chocolate/coffee, a slight dry finish. Alcohol gives a great warming feeling. Full/Medium body, a very nice smooth/silky brew, ABV hidden very well, for a brew this high in ABV. Very drinkable, an awesome Imperial Stout from GI, highly recommended. Thanks Todd for the new version.

Thanks to msubulldog25 for this brew.

2006 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tannish head, oil slicks and minimal sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is sweet/roasted/malts, slight alcohol, nice bourbon/oak note, toffee/chocolate/coffee. The taste is absolutely delicious, slightly sweet, roasted malts, vanilla, nice oaky taste, tons of toffee/chocolate/coffee, a slight dry finish. Alcohol gives a great warming feeling. Medium body, a very nice smooth/silky brew, ABV hidden very well. Very drinkable, an awesome ADS from GI, highly recommended.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 tasted in a Rastal Teku 1 pt .9 oz bottle dated 09NOV15 with 14.3% abv. Look is oily black with a thin tan head and spotty lacing. Smell is dark cocoa, caramel, vanilla with charred oak and smokey dark roasted malt aromas. Taste is dark chocolate, dark dried fruits, vanilla bean with bourbon barrel notes and a hint of roasted coffee beans. Feel is full in body with thick and boozy finish.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a real nice review of this tap version written out, but the comp times out on me and I lost it. This is the cliff notes version. On Tap at City Tap House.

The look on this stout is black, it is really really black. a small amount of foam while the beer was coming to me, but it left by my first sip, leaving nothing but blackness. Smell is big and always the same, every time I have this beer. Rich dark roasted malt, rich bourbon with wood and some char, smoke. The dried fruit comes out with a lot of warming. The smell of Chicago is what I always say. Wow. this beer is big, and bigger from what I can see from the last time I have had it. Bourbon is the winner, vanilla from the oak, molasses out the ass, dried fruit with warming. Traces of smoke. All in all a big ass stout. The alcohol comes out kind of a bit and is felt. Drinking this ponied up at the bar is not the place for this if in big pours, but 4oz's yes. At the house a bottle I would dig on for two three hours or so. The body is big and full and rich and hot. Take your time with this and enjoy.

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

This beer is a pitch black color, with hardly any head created by the gentle pouring of this beer into a tulip glass. The aroma is rich with notes of Bourbon, vanilla, a strong oak character, and woody tannins. The aroma is very appealing with a liquor-like alcohol note to it as well. The taste is quite thick, definitely a dessert, rich malt character that is dominated by the oak contributions; Bourbon, vanillin, and a slight tannic oakiness, and a definite buttery oak note. There are notes of coffee and roast malt here, but the rich buttery oak character dominates the palate. This beer is so rich and full, really a meal in a glass, it took me a while to chew my way through this beer, which was perfect for my last beer of the night.

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

Pours a dark brown color with an off white tan head. A few spots of lace are left behind. This beer has a sticky feel on the glass, some might say it has legs.

Powerful bourbon aroma with charcoal elements usually found in Russian Imperial Stouts. Bourbon, slightly oxidized malt showing off nutty and chocolate hints. A bit of oak but mainly bourbon. Strong but well rounded with roast and sweetness.

Full bodied, thick feel that really sends the bourbon love to the dome.

Overall, this is a bourbon barrel aged stout that hits you over the head with strong bourbon and barrel flavors. I understand why there is such a frenzy over this beer. This worthy of being a regarded beer and a fine specimen of the barrel aged stout style.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz received in my recent trade with orbitalr0x ... 2008 vintage.. huge thanks Don.. poured into a big bordeaux glass. Says Bottled on 08/01/08.

Very short lived dark brown head 1/2"... not much of a cap... the brew is of course black... very viscous on the pour.

Aroma is like a bourbon chocolate and coffee ice cream.. but man.. the bourbon punch is surprising.. thankfully I like some of Kentucky's Finest. alot of whiskey and vanilla... but quite a bit of caramel and chocolate too... but it is definitely the bourbon that is the star of the show.. if I put my face over the glass, I swear I can feel the whiskey burn my eyes (in a good way).

Wow!! I've had the BCS before.. but Christ I know I remember it as complex.. but my memory does not do it justice. Flavor starts out as a vanilla caramel sweetness but get's wiped off my palate by the bourbon.. melts slowly into chocolate with a little bit of char.. quite a bit of cherry.. almost like a kirsch.. but the cherry is fleeting as it transitions into a slick rush of bourbon that lingers forever. The body is very viscous.. accentuated by a lite little bubble carbonation.

This brew really is worth the hype... no doubt. I am keeping the drinkability down just a notch.. but it isn't a bad thing.. I want another sip immediately following the previous, but the thick mouthfeel and relative lack of carbonation hurts it for me... plus it still seems quite rough around the edges.. but still fantastic for sure.

Don is a fantastic trader and comes highly recommended... thanks again.


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Photo of biegaman
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage on tap at the Ginger Man in NYC.

Scorched soil and blackened branches, it appears like the ashy aftermath of a forest fire. It's an image appropriately conjured by a beer that spent one-hundred days in charred oak. It is discernibly opaque although its trim is accented with a burnt creme brulee crust. Its gingerbread brown head is gigantic even in an oversize brandy glass. Its lacing is spotty and various sized bubbles mark the surface like craters.

Ahhh the amazing scent of Bourbon County Stout! The confined intimacy of the barrel has married bitter dark cocoa, freshly pulled espresso, warm toasty biscuits, firewood, just lit cigars, dark caramel, and a combination of singed and smoked oak. I'd guess it's a ratio of two parts bourbon and one part heavy roast Imperial Stout. It is a seductive and soothing call to the senses. You will cascade under it. It is simply marvelous.

This sample is very, very fresh and I'm not sure all nuances have had enough time to evolve. Still, this is every bit an orgiastic feast as you'll find in a beer. Notes of creme brulee, vanilla custard, and chocolate truffle satisfy the most urged cravings of the decadent one could have. Along with the cigars and oak chips dipped in chocolate it stands to reason that those hints of dark caramel, roast malts, and bitter espresso will come forth even more with time.

Still young the bourbon is very forward. Bits of tobacco, toasted oak, vanilla bean and exotic eastern spices means this could probably appeal to whiskey fans as much as beer lovers. Not being overlooked, however, the connoisseurs will appreciate the plethora of hops that were used. It's hard to believe so much grassy, hop leaf presence can co-exist with the dark, rich characteristics of the beer and bourbon.

The mouthfeel is especially, incredibly, fabulously thick. It's like licking the inside of a tobacco barrel and then gnawing on the wood; I can still feel the splinters in my gums. The beer itself resounds like a dark, dark, and bitter, bitter unrefined cocoa. It has a burnt coffee bean like astringency. The charred wood is dry with a strong smokey presence. There is a good deal of alcohol warmth (it's young still remember) that heats the soul without burning the tongue.

There must have been claw marks on the inside of those barrels. This stout has absorbed so much of the bourbon character but astoundingly maintained its thick, heavy roast Imperial Stout qualities; it's a marriage not a balancing act. This is a drink designed for contemplation and reflection. It demands respect and drinks with grace and refinement. Given all the choices in the world there are few beers that I would rather savour.

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Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.5 out of 5 based on 11,909 ratings.
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