Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

BA SCORE
100
world-class
12,178 Ratings
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
gooseisland.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
12,178
Reviews:
2,951
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
9.78%
 
 
Wants:
2,751
Gots:
7,479
For Trade:
734
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 12,178 |  Reviews: 2,951
Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of mendvicdog
5/5  rDev +11.1%

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

Review of the 2014 vintage. You can tell from the pour that this is a very viscous beer. Just a small dark colored head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is big on bourbon without having any offensive alcohol burn. Taste is awesome: chocolate, caramel, toffee, vanilla and the specific coconut from the bourbon barrels. Long caramely aftertaste. Dense and silky body with very well hidden alcohol. I enjoyed it more than the 2013 vintage. This might be a "Top 10" beer for me.

 473 characters

Photo of billab914
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another beer I've had so much of but never sat down to do a review of. It's one of the coldest nights of the year so far here and I just had a craving for some bourbon flavors this evening so I thought it was time to finally do one.

2009 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my Portsmouth glass. It poured pitch black in color with a very modest tan head to it. The head retreated to the edges of the glass where it left a little lacing as I drank it.

The aroma is full of bourbon barrel flavors. Oak and vanilla really add a smoothness to the beer overall. The bourbon alcohol flavors provide some nice depth and complexity. The stout comes through and adds some sweetness as well as a bit of some roasty flavors. Everything comes together so well in it. Fantastic aroma overall, and not really anything more that I can ask for in the style.

The taste starts out by showing more of the woody, oak and vanilla flavors to it. the sweetness and bitterness of the base beer come through as well. As you get midway through the bourbon really starts to come through and adds some alcohol heat. The finish has a perfect balance of all the flavors coming together. Sweeter vanilla and oak mix with bourbon alcohol, along with some roasty and bitter stout flavors. Perfect example of how barrel aging can enhance flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Pretty much perfect again for the style, the low carbonation really fits the bourbon flavors nicely. The thick and almost silky mouthfeel is pretty much all I can ask for in a big stout as well.

Drinkability is very good overall. I love how all the flavors mix and everything compliments each other nicely. This is the perfect example of a barrel aged beer in my opinion and one I hold all others to as a benchmark. One of the best beers I've had period. Perfect drink for this cold evening.

 1,878 characters

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

Appearance: Pours an opaque black body with a large, lush dark tan head.

Smell: Intense aroma of chocolate-covered coffee beans and bourbon, with all the companion hints of vanilla, wood, and dark brown sugar. Light whiff of smoke.

Taste: Dark maltiness with chocolate, sweetened coffee, and dark caramel. Plenty of complimentary sweetness to go around. A bourbon flavor so exquisite, it's hard not to get excited about it. At this level, you get astoundingly distinct, robust flavors of vanilla beans, brown sugar, and charred oak. Anymore bourbon would turn this beer into an abomination of beerkind. The beer gets very chocolatey near the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium carbonation. Creamy, delectable mouthfeel. Warming alcohol presence.

Drinkability: Very good! The first sip was a joy, as was the last.

 820 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.91/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This 2006 bottle is courtesy of BARLEYWINEO

Pours (into a snifter) pitch black with one finger of mocha colored head that rapidly drops away. Some lacing & zero head retention

S: Bourbon, raisins vanilla & dark chocolate

T: Rich chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, raisins & a little booze up front. Dryness, molasses & charred oak show themselves as this warms up. Finishes oaky, with loads of chocolate, a whisper of booze, vanilla, raisins & molasses

MF: Rich, sticky, oily, chewy & slick with almost no carbonation

Drinks great for the abv, but more than 2 & I think I'd need a nap. One of the better double stouts out there IMO

 641 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Charred oak barrel black with a wee glimmer of burnt umber at the bottom edge of the glass. Light simply has no chance. The small, dark caramel colored cap isn't as creamy as expected, nor as sticky. I'm sure the 11.0% ABV has a lot to do with it, but I like a bit more eye candy. This is one serious looking stout, though.

The aroma is outstanding. This is exactly what a stout aged in bourbon barrels ought to smell like. An insane amount of heavily roasted barley greets my nose with every sniff. In addition, there's plenty of dark caramel, dark brown sugar, vanilla and glorious bourbon whiskey. With a bit more power and a bit more aggressiveness, it'd be perfect.

The flavor *is* perfect. Absofreakinlutely perfect! It doesn't hurt that I love bourbon because those 100 days in the barrel were 100 days well and efficiently spent. If bourbon whiskey isn't your thing, then I'd suggest drinking another beer. This one positively oozes that glorious spirit. Unlike some beer of this sub-style, the proportion of stout to whiskey is juuust right.

The flavor profile consists of bittersweet chocolate, brown sugar, dark butterscotch, crushed vanilla beans, charred oak, a splash of ouzo and a tendril or two of smoke. The whiskey adds a certain wee heavy character, although there's no peatiness since bourbon is the whiskey of choice rather than Scotch. It's amazing how each sip is better than the last. Where will it end?

I'm a bit surprised at the sweetness, but probably shouldn't be given the gargantuan amount of malt. The mouthfeel is full (without being ponderous), heavily silky, polished gemstone-like and nicely chewy on the back end. Carbonation must be present, though you'd never know it. Perfect score. Again.

I expected one whole helluva lot from Bourbon County Stout. All the more amazing, then, that it blew right past those expectations as if they were sitting still. This remarkable beer is easily the best that I've ever had from Goose Island. It's a true American original and is the perfect marriage of double stout and bourbon. The next time I see BCS, I plan to clear out the store.

 2,116 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4.44/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Review from notes. Review is from 2009 vintage.

A: Pours a deep black color with a very small mocha colored head, little retention and lacing.

S: Lots of bourbon, some vanilla, a little bit chocolate, and a very faint maple aroma actually. The chocolate and vanilla mix slightly to give off a little bit of a mocha aroma.

T: Extremely smooth, again with a good bit of bourbon, vanilla, a little bit of chocolate, and caramel.

M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Nice and thick/chewy. The alcohol is there, but doesn't do anything to make the beer hard to drink. Just warms a little.

O: Fantastic beer, for the abv it is surprisingly easy to drink. Great flavor profile.

 683 characters

Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm unimpressed with this beer's look: Even with a violent pour, there is nearly no head. And what's there, dies to a single layer of minute bubbles on the edge. Nearly black in color, no light shines through (even on the edges).

Strong alcohol smells of sherry and port. Sweet and rich to the nose, almost as if there's an apertif added to this beer.

It tastes like a port-induced dark beer. It doesn't have the typical stout flavors of coffee and chocolate. Lots of sweet plum (like Japanese plum wine) and no bitterness. The swallow and aftertaste shows off the high alcohol content--very warming to the tongue and stomach. Rich like cream in the body, almost oily. Very low carbonation.

This is an after-dinner sipping beer. I believe it is closer to taste and feel to an overpowered barley wine. It's like no other stout I've ever had. All this said, it's very tasty but not for the faint of heart. Worth seeking out for the unusual flavors present.

 958 characters

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of smithj4
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured thick, black as night oil like liquid which had a huge tan head that really very slowly faded leaving behind lots of gooey sticky brown lace. Very frothy and pillow like head, lots of waves in it.

S - Smell was strong, main hints were of caramel, with some chocolate mixed in and a strong alcohol presence. Lots of sweet vanilla and almost a mocha smell as well, very sweet overall.

M & T - First impression was wow, and very very strong. It was smooth, with not alot of carbonation. Huge bourbon whiskey type taste hit me right away as did the alcohol, this was not something to be messed with for sure. Very creamy thick feel and very strong alcohol presentation. Hints at french vanilla and a touch of chocolate rounded out the back side and added a bit of sweetness.

D - Overall this is probably the strongest tasting, in the sense of the upfront alcohol taste, I have had in a stout. I felt it was almost overdone a tad and could have been played back a bit. A definate sipper and probably could use to sit down in the cellar for a while. I would be intrested in trying some older years.

 1,113 characters

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

This was an '07 acquired in a trade w/ bgramer -thanks man! -shared at the stout tasting '10. poured chilled into a 1/2 pint.

The stout looks like black coffee with translucent clarity and has a mild brown ring of beads after the pour. The lace is spotty. The smell of this aged stout is a thing of beauty with the wood and malt producing some beautiful blended aroma of coffee and slight sherry/custard notes with a mild element of alcohol and subtle oak w/ mild bourbon. the feel is strong, lots of wood and alcohol with a subtle sweet element and strong wood presence, mild resinous texture with semi-dry finish.

The flavor has lively blend of vanilla, bourbon from the barrel aging and it pops! The taste lives up to the name as the cocoa and bourbon taste is sweet woody and gently toasted with vanilla from the oak playing off the intense dark malt flavors with a slight coffee in a mild degree, but the bourbon is pretty high in the flavor as expected even after three years in the cellar. I consider this a world class beer, wonderful use of barrels and still with all the alcohol in the flavor it has a high drinkability quotient for me - a crazy good bourbon barrel stout -I would love to have it in one of its other incarnations.

 1,244 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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.

 815 characters

Photo of millerbuffoon
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of atrocity
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mdfb79
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Thanks to Lunch for throwing this in as an extra in our trade!

a - Pours a very dark black, not letting in any light. Little carbonation and a little bit of a brown colored head that lasts for about a minute.

s - Wow, smells amazing. Lots of bourbon here, also a wood smell. A hint of chocolate as well.

t - Tastes just like it smells; delicious. A great bourbon taste, with caramel and a little bit of chocolate as well. Also taste the oak a bit.

m - Smooth and creamy, thick body, small amount of carbonation.

d - I really enjoyed this beer. It's one of the better bourbon stouts I've had and if you are a fan of whiskey like me, this is a definite must-try. Because of the 13% ABV I wouldn't drink too many at once but it sure tastes great.

 797 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.52/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A 2008 bottle poured into a snifter. The pour is dark as night with some thin mocha colored foam.

S: The smell is full of bourbon, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, and a slight bit of alcohol.

T: This is one smooth beverage. Great bourbon, chocolate, oak, and molasses flavors. There are still some alcohol presence, but it's nowhere near as hot as when fresh.

M: The carbonation is very light, but it works well with a 13% Impy Stout. The body is full, smooth, and creamy.

D: Even though the alcohol has died down quite a bit in a year+, it's still a big, big beer. I need to go out and buy more of this, because I see this only getting better.

 653 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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

I generally eschew chasing after limited releases and such, but when a buddy gifted me a 2016 bottle recently, I was not going to turn him down. I was in Chicago around Thanksgiving 2014 & I stopped in at Binney's (Clybourn) to try & score some CANs, et al, but the place was such an absolute zoo that I walked out, empty handed & disgusted. It is just one example among many of why I started The CANQuest (tm) in the first place.

From the bottle: "The original bourbon barrel aged Stout"; "Since 1992"; "Stout aged in bourbon barrels"; "Chicago Made Imperial Stout"; "Intense aromas of charred oak, vanilla, caramel & smoke"; Brewed, barrel aged & bottled by Goose Island Beer Co. Chicago, Illinois"; "Develops in the bottle up to 5 years"; "[signed] Brewmaster, Jared Jankowski".

I Pop!ped the cap on the relatively big bottle and commenced a gentle pour simply because I have never had a bottle of BCBS. Usually, I go to PHL during Thanksgiving weekend & have some on tap. This was a new experience for me. I am becoming proficient at doing an in-glass swirl, this time raising a finger of foamy, deep-brown head that seemed rather anxious to fall back to wisps. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44) allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose had the coconut smell that I always seem to get from bourbon, accompanied by dark chocolate, light smoke and caramel. It was a liquefied Girl Scout Samoa cookie! Oh, I am a sucker for them & Thin Mints. This was gonna send me, especially at 13.8% ABV. Mouthfeel was thick, viscous, oily, like BP had dumped a load off of a rig into my mouth. Mmmm. The taste was much like a Samoa with the chocolate leading the way, followed closely by coconut and caramel as well as light smoke. OMFG! This was quite tasty and dangerously easy to drink. I can only imagine how much easier it would become with age. No wonder I just satisfy myself with draft offerings. I have plenty of beer at home without adding to the backlog.

 1,954 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.44/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap on three separate occasions this year, the last of which being this one at the brewhouse restaurant.

A - Pours pitch black with a small half finger tall tan head leaving very tiny trails of lace down the top part of the glass.

S - Smells of melted milk chocolate, dark roast, fresh vanilla beans, sweet molasses and plenty of warm bourbon booze. This is simply intoxicating.

T - Starts off with a big dose of milk chocolate sweetness slowly giving way to hints of warm vanilla, dark fruit, molasses and dark roast. The bourbon heat is ever present, never really fading away. Finish is sweet with a bit of warm booze, lingering on the palate long after the finish.

M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Smooth feel with lots of residual sweetness and mild booze burn. The alcohol only grows as it sits in the glass.

O - Definitely one of the better stouts out there and well deserving of the attention it garners. Worth seeking out if you have the chance. I will get my fill while I can and I hope to see this more often in the future.

 1,057 characters

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.5 out of 5 based on 12,178 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More