Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Bourbon County Brand StoutBourbon County Brand Stout
BA SCORE
4.6/5
World-Class
12,381 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): 14.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
60 IBU

Added by DrewBeechum on 06-26-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#31
Reviews:
2,990
Ratings:
12,381
pDev:
9.35%
Bros Score:
4.25
 
 
Wants:
2,758
Gots:
7,590
Trade:
733
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 12,381 |  Reviews: 2,990
Photo of smithj4
4.61/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

First had: bottle from John's Marketplace, Portland, OR
'08 vintage, consumed at Beermongers in Dec. '11

Strolling into John's with my wife on our Portland beercation, I gravitated in an almost zen-like fashion directly to a shelf that had 4 bottles of this beer front and center for all the world to see, and I quickly snatched up two of them...then promptly returned to get the other two.

Being sure to share a bit with our bartender at Beermongers, we poured this one into a snifter. Color looked black, but was in fact the darkest of browns, with ruby tints, and a bubbly ringlet for a head. Big time bourbon in the aroma, along with scents of roasted malts and semi-sweet chocolate. Huge complexity in the taste, with obvious notes of bourbon-drenched oak up front, accompanied by some alcohol warmth. Mid-palate brought in notes of chocolate-covered cherries, dark malts, vegetal vanilla bean. A huge coffee profile in the finish. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel, full-bodied and robustly chewy. Highly drinkable, and highly recommended...if you can find it.

 1,062 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.96/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2014 vintage (14.4%). Wow, this vintage is fantastic right out of the box!

75 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.45/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a snifter. 2007 release.

Pours black as an oil slick with a 1/2 finger of burnt mocha colored head. This eventually fizzles out into a still, dead looking black surface that reminds of the lifeless eyes of a Great White shark. Lacing is relegated to a spotty smattering at first and then eventually a fantastic looking oily brown residue that coats the side of the glass. The aroma is OMG! huge bourbon notes straight up my nose and other places.. Aaaaargh! I've never had a beer burn my eyeballs before! In all seriousness, the bourbon notes do absolutely dominate the nose but somehow I can still pick up some of the Stout notes, including chocolate, smoke, roast, and char.

The taste is just as boozy with bourbon notes as the aroma and it's no wonder that I put it in a snifter. Overpowering notes of oak and vanilla mingle with the molassass, roasted malts, chocolate, espresso, smoke, and soy sauce character of the Stout. There's a ton in there but it's all just a bit unbalanced towards the bourbon side right now. The mouthfeel is right up there with the deepest for me (Dark Lord & Expedition)and is just absolutely thick and chewy as can be. That 13% is present but gives off more warmth than it does heat and combines with the bourbon notes to finish things with a bit of a hot punch.

Wow! This is just a beast of a beer in every capacity. Huge bourbon? Huge Stout flavors? Huge alcohol? Check! Check! and Check! My only gripe with this beer is that right now, the bourbon overrides some of those wonderful Stout characteristics a little too much. I'm most definitley looking forward to aging a bottle of this for a year and revistiing it again.

 1,681 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.53/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of atrocity
4.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of paulish
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.48/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of smcolw
3.58/5  rDev -22.2%
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 nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of ZEB89
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of russpowell
4.91/5  rDev +6.7%
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 mendvicdog
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of woodychandler
4.86/5  rDev +5.7%
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 ChainGangGuy
4.65/5  rDev +1.1%
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 mdaschaf
4.44/5  rDev -3.5%
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 duceswild
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
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 drewone
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of mdfb79
4.64/5  rDev +0.9%
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 Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet. Thanks to MarcatGSB for sending me a few of these!

Appearance - Pitch black with some transparency at the edges. No head, a slight wisp of lace, otherwise lifeless. Not a pretty looking beer, but it is 13%.

Smell - Bourbon like no other. A lot of booze, tooThe bourbon makes the rest of the beer smell fruity, almost like a quad would smell. It's intriguing, but it really does mask the aroma of the base beer.

Taste - Bourbon up front, with a strong chocolate malt midrange flavor. Really exceptional taste. Not really complex, I suppose, but the stout flavor is there and the bourbon complements it really well. It finishes chocolatey and boozy as hell.

Mouthfeel - Tastes every bit of 13% and possibly more. Tingly in the mouth, so much so that it's tough to tell the carbonation levels. Definitely a sipper, but clearly I'm not looking for a session of this beer. It's definitely hot and I'm wondering how my 07 is tasting about now.

Overall - This is one of those beers where the taste is so good that it outweighs the flaws of the rest of the beer. It's boozy and it looks the lower side of mediocre, but it tastes amazing.

 1,170 characters

Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 12,381 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.
  • Our Events

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

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