Proprietor's Bourbon County Brand Stout (2014) | Goose Island Beer Co.

107 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Proprietor's Bourbon County Brand Stout (2014)Proprietor's Bourbon County Brand Stout (2014)

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout is meant to show our immense gratitude to our neighbors here in Chicago – the loyal and adventurous fans whose support helped bring Bourbon County Brand Stout to towering new heights. Each year this release will differ from the previous year; a special variant created for Chicago and unique to the year it was released. Whether your first sip is today or was from that first batch in 1992, thank you for lifting us up on your big shoulders and joining us every year to celebrate the original bourbon barrel aged stout.

2014 variant - Made in Rye barrels with Cassia Bark, Cocoa Nibs, Panela and Coconut Water

Added by Danimal25 on 11-11-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 1,106
Photo of BEERchitect
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Incredible complexity, maturity and a sense of regal taste that defies both style and expectations, the Proprietor's sub-series of Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Stout line of beers becomes one of the most anticipated and coveted releases of the year. Regardless of its availability or demand, the 2014 vintage version has held up impeccably over two years.

Pouring with a dark tawny-like brandy appearance, the stout is shy on froth but seductive with those fortified wine legs. A pass of the nose relaxes the senses and lures that first sip with the seductive perfume of espresso and fudge, coconut and sherry wine, peppery bourbon and smooth caramel candy. Its taste is just as lush as the scent suggests- Toffee, caramel, black-strap molasses, vanilla, cream and pulled candy only start the series of complex flavors that seem unyielding.

And as the decadent elixir washes the middle palate, its flavors simply blossom. Molasses and chocolate covered espresso beans resonate the most soundly with nuances of brownie batter and fudge lurking just behind. Strong coconut, cream, vanilla and caramel suggests something of kaluha and milkshake. A late palate of red wine shows a playful vinous tartness with the savory oxidation of madeira and sherry for a dry and toasty finish wrapped in a cocoon of bourbon spice.

Full and lavish on the palate, the immensity in taste is met with an inky texture that clings to the soft tissues of the mouth like savory dessert. But remarkably dry in finish, the beer's peppery spice from the oaken barrel and softer vanilla trend remarkably drinkable and malty-dry with a long savory aftertaste of sherry and coconut.

 1,662 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours deep black color with a thin foamy khaki colored head that eventually disappears completely

S- opens with a blend of woody and earthy cinnamon, followed by chocolate, coffee & a peppery blend. Spicy rye barrel undertones with a hint of coconut sweetness. Very reminiscent of a Mexican coffee stout

T- plenty of earthy cinnamon up front is complimented by dark cocoa notes, along with some peppery notes, perhaps from the rye. Whiskey barrel adds some caramel and earthy wood. The finish gives more earthy cinnamon with a longer if black licorice and barrel

M- medium body and low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a slightly warming finish

O- absolutely delicious use of cinnamon that blends well with the barrel

 773 characters

Photo of Gambyt20
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This literally is in a league of it own in my opinion. After 2.5 hours at FoBAB my buddy got a pour and shared it, pallet fatigue and all this still absolutely blew my mind, nose was rye and coconut and full body was rich complex and creamy perfect balance of barrel, starting coconut sweet and chocolaty finishing smooth rye singe not a burn, just perfection.

 360 characters

Photo of VetsPackage
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

wave after wave of cinnamon, coconut, chocolate, honey and bourbon. unquestionably the best barrel aged beer I've ever had, just a truely perfect beer

 150 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: pours black with a film of dark tan head. Poured thick and lifeless.
S: sweetness upfront with cinnamon and coconut. Some barrel notes mixed in, a complex smelling beer
T: oh wow, this is delicious! Like the nose, nice sweetness with cinnamon and coconut. The barrel shines through in the finish to bring more complexity. Truly fantastic!
F: very thick and coating. So smooth and easy drinking.
O: what a treat! I wish they would just do the 2014 variants every year. Amazing

 480 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.83/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Proprietor's '14 on tap at Hawthorne's in Philadelphia for Goose Island Migration Week in Philly.

Look: Dead still, oily, not as menacing as regular BCBCS. No bubbles, no head, no retention.

Smell: Super sweet, almost cloying. Chocolate cake, cheap Hershey’s chocolate syrup.

Taste: A little sharpness from the rye, lotsa chocolate and sugar. Again, too sweet. Nice boozy-barrel feel at the end of sip. Liquorice around the edges and a lingering cocoa feel.

Mouthfeel: A lil’ thin, but adequate enough. Could use more carbonation.

Overall: Not bad, not great. This is one of those “glad I tried it but wouldn’t revisit” rare brews.

 651 characters

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Marshmallow, vanilla, coconut, cocoa and cinnamon. Upon first opening, it just tasted like marshmallow coconut, but as it warmed the cocoa and cassia bark made themselves more prominently known. The aroma was godly and it was like drinking silk...can't think of much I would change about this, other than having another bottle.

 327 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.31/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black, thick! body with a brown head that completely vanishes. Nose has semi-sweet chocolate, cinnamon, burnt crust, a bit of an alcohol bite. Flavor is just like cinnamon sugar bread that was toasted a bit too long- sweet and yet bitter, roasty, even coming across as acidic at points. Chocolate and burnt raisin make their appearances throughout. Finish has a good amount of molasses and even a bit of heated spice like red pepper, with a warmth from the alcohol. Feel is thick and rich, viscous, sticky, and syrupy, with a bit of astringent tannins and dull carbonation fighting through the solid body.
Solid beer, but either this did not age well (despite being kept in pristine conditions) or it was just a flawed beer. The potency was appreciated, but the astringency and burnt bread/raisin notes were quite a turnoff. I miss the classic BCBS.

 849 characters

Photo of gatornation
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a semi thick black color with a tan head that dissapered quickly, First smell was coconut and cinnamon followed by cocoa and rye whiskey, Taste is perfection, everything is in balance nothing dominates Coconut mixes with cocoa/cinnamon then the Barrel warms these flavors with malt and sugar at the end , mouth feel is sweet and woody with a mellow BA, Most likely the best ive had from GI

 397 characters

Photo of Zoomslowik
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L- Not all that interesting. Black, very thin brown head that fades.

S- Mostly cinnamon. Some chocolate and bourbon in the background.

T- The cinnamon is pretty aggressive on the first few sips. Once it mellows, you get more of the usual BCBS flavors with a bit of cinnamon.

F- Thick and rich, smooth.

O- The base stout is very good, but it's a bit too much cinnamon for me. I would have liked more coconut flavor as it seems some other people get.

 455 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Cinnamon, pepper skin, vanilla, toasted coconut, bittersweet dark chocolate and oak. Thick, viscous and mouth coating. Slight bitterness. Rich and sweet, but balanced. So f'n good.

 180 characters

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally getting the opportunity to try this beer thanks to a trade with BA ramielsh. Very excited, as I am a cinnamon freak and from what I've heard, this is one of the best you can get in that "category". Poured out of a 22 oz brown bomber with the 2014 vintage displayed prominently on the label. Poured into an oversized brandy snifter.

Appearance (4.25) - Really not much to look at--not particularly spectacular but not ugly either. Pours a viscous, oil-like shade of black, letting no light through even the cascade of liquid from the bottle into the glass. I've had blacker and more viscous beers, but not many. Even with a moderately aggressive pour, I'm unable to coax even a half finger of head, instead generating some thin brown sugar colored froth atop the surface of the liquid and a semi-permanent ringlet around the edge of the glass. No lacing, but plenty of legs when I tip the glass.

Smell (4.5) - Coming out of the glass, the aroma is a fantastic melange of cinnamon spiciness, dark chocolate and roasted malt, and some hints of caramel and vanilla from the bourbon barrels. It's wonderful to smell, with the sweeter elements overpowering any astringency from the booze or char from the malts. I wish it was a little more full in my nose--it's a little bit fleeting, but that could very well be the result of the fact that this bottle is going on a year and a half of aging. Still, i'm splitting hairs, as it smells delicious.

Taste (5.0) - Unbelievably, while the aroma may have tapered off, the taste has blended into a decadent mish mash of the ingredients, it tastes like a chocolate-covered sinckerdoodle, with each of the elements having their moment, but none really drowning out any of the others. The initial taste is cinnamon-sugar sweetness and milk chocolate, while it evolves into something a little more bitter, like baker's chocolate and finishes with a kiss of heat from the alcohol. Time has allowed the booze to mellow out and while it's a little sweeter than I expected, there is just enough bittersweet on the finish to prevent it from becoming cloying.

Mouthfeel (4.75) - As hinted at by the pour, the body is nice and thick--full-bodied with a viscous quality to it. Carbonation is very low, but enough to provide some depth of texture.

Overall (4.75), this is one of the best imperial stouts I've ever had, barrel-aged or not. I don't know that I'd classify it as the "cinnamon bomb" I'd heard it described as, but it's just an perfectly executed blend of the involved ingredients and easily my favorite Bourbon County stout of all time.

 2,585 characters

Photo of KYGunner
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chocolate, coconut, Mounds bar with a bit of Almond Joy candy goodness. Throw in a dash of cinnamon, a little coffee, oak barrel and cocoa nibs to round out an exceptional beer.

 177 characters

Photo of eifster82
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank out of a snifter at Rare Day. Dark, black in appearance and thin oil in texture. Smell is of Gingerbread(cinnamon) and bourbon, the taste follows with a full depth of flavors. Smooth, fully body at back end. One of my top 3, if not the top, beer I've ever had a chance to enjoy.

 287 characters

Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Perfect balance of cinnamon, coconut, milk chocolate, bourbon, brown sugar, sweet, light vanilla, dark chocolate

Overall likely my favorite version of Proprietor's

 164 characters

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just as good as it gets. The coconut is still somehow kicking up such a fuss. A healthy dose of cinnamon, some chocolate, smooth barrel qualities, and impeccable body as always with Bourbon County. Damn this is good!

 218 characters

Photo of rodmanfor3
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours black.

The nose is heavy on the coconut with sweet molasses and chocolate pulling through.

On the palate, the waves of flavor transition from coconut upfront to a chunky chocolate cake batter, then to a lingering hint of base BCBS. Drink this one quickly once it is poured; within the first couple of minutes inside a snifter, this ranks as one of my top two stouts of all time.

The mouthfeel is not as thick as VR but in line with BCBS and certainly hides the heat from the alcohol well.

Overall, just an awesome beer.

I will likely never have a chance to repeat with Prop '14, but I am certainly glad I got a chance to try it.

 653 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Prop 2013 is an all-time Top 3 beer for me. I kinda figured it was just one of those stars-aligning beers -- that you can't change recipes and still hit grand slams like that every year. Well, at least one year later, they've darn near done it again. And, to be sure, this is a different beast than '13. While the former was, much to my delight, an absolute coconut bomb, this takes a turn from the path and goes bounding into pecan pie territory, with streaks of cocoa and just the lightest hint of coconut. Like Vanilla Rye, the nose is like a pastry shop. Unlike Vanilla Rye, there's a depth/complexity of flavors (even if VR's one note vanilla is pretty darn nice), again featuring pecan pie, brown sugar, bits of cocoa, and slight hints of coconut. The body is perfect, neither too thin, nor too syrupy, neither too flat, nor too prickly with the carb. Overall, GI does it again here. All I can do is stand and give a long, slow clap.

 939 characters

Photo of boilermakerbrew
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Decided to open one of the better beers I have been able to trade for. It hits the glass in a thick, syrup-like pour. Very little carbonation or action as far as a head goes, even with a somewhat vigorous pour. The black body of the beer retains just a ring of bubbles on the top, in turn leading to no lacing. When you go to take a sniff of the beer, you are first greeted with the familiar notes of regular bourbon county. Some good bourbon notes mix with some sweet malt scents and give the beginning of the beer the classic scent the brand is famous for. In the middle of the smell the coconut really kicks up and moves the scent in a sweeter direction. Right at the back end of the smell there is just a touch of cinnamon-like spiciness that I will attribute to whatever the hell cassis bark is and the rye barrel itself. As a buddy of mine described it to me, "it smells like a Girl Scout Samoa cookie."

Time to take a drink of this baby. When the beer hits the tongue, it greets me first with a blast of sweet chocolate and whiskey. The rye is noticed right away mixing in with the chocolate flavor, giving the first impression of an alcoholic chocolate milk. In the middle of the drink, the flavor moves more toward the spice that was displayed in the scent, with the same, cinnamon-like flavor from the cassis bark. The rye also adds a bit of spice or snap in the middle right before the coconut bursts onto the scene. The coconut really pops in the latter half of the drink and brightens up the overall flavor of the beer from its dark beginnings of chocolate and spice. As the coconut subsides a bit from its initial introduction, the barrel flavors kick back up again along with the dark malts that make Bourbon County famous. The very end of the drink has just a touch of barrel char bitterness mixing in with all of the previous flavors and leaving the coconut and cassis spice lingering on the tongue.

One thing is for certain with this beer, I am glad I traded for it. This beer is among the few beers with incredible hype that can really live up to it. The unmatched complexity of barrel flavors, spice, coconut, and base beer is truly phenomenal. There isn't a damn thing that I would change about this beer and I will for sure be seeking another.

 2,267 characters

Photo of MIbeerGeek84
4.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Will Goose Island you've done it again. A great stout. This had everything I was hoping for. It smelled like coconut, chocolate, vanilla and brown sugar. The taste followed the same. It lived to the hype for me. Overall a great stout and deserves an A rating.

 259 characters

Photo of MartyIU13
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

By far the best beer I have ever had. Perfect blend of coconut, cinnamon and chocolate. A bucket list beer for me and I was lucky to try some and get another bottle. Smell is intoxicating and the spice is perfect.

 213 characters

Photo of Dayman766
2.48/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

L: Deep brown/black. Head dissipates quickly.
S: Sweet caramel/vanilla
T: Cloying sweet, vanilla. Definitely can taste the coconut water contribution. It felt like I was drinking a bottle of vanilla extract.
F: Too light for a stout.
Overall: I'm not a beer novice - I enjoy beers of all styles and quirks, but I cannot figure out how people can legitimately love this beer. The epitome of a cloying beer.

 410 characters

Photo of RMelyon
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 5

Had at the GI 312 block party 2015. This is the best tasting Bourbon County variant I've had. But, BCBS is more than just taste. The feel is way lighter than regular Bourbon County, likely due to the addition of coconut water. That detracts from this brew, but that's admittedly nitpicking. If given the opportunity, don't pass this up

 335 characters

Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On draft during migration week
L: Jet black with no head
S: Bourbon, fudge, and coconut
T: Follows the nose tons of fudge, brownie, coconut, and bourbon vanilla upfront followed by toffee and some alcohol warmth.
F: Full bodied brownie texture
Overall a world class BA stout, glad I had the chance to try it.

 308 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured on tap into a plastic 6 oz cup at Whole Foods P St. Twice for good measure (grin!)

Dark walnut brown body, slightly filmy on top with no head presented. Fine almost non existent collar, but manages a faint espresso brown ring all while drinking.

Aroma just punches of perfect coconut and stout pleasure. Creamy coconut aromas, husky, large amounts of vanilla and almost Mounds candy bar like action. Mild hints of coffee like roast, nearly piping. Surprisingly toned down woody barrel notes, as the coconut seems to explosive and just one of the most impressive coconut stout combinations to date.

Flavors come with no surprises. Coconut angle goes from cream, to sweet vanilla, to a wonderful toasty and chewy feel right in the aftertaste. Sticky molasses and thick dark chocolate compliment nicely, just a touch light making it even easier to drink, sacrificing thick body in contrast surprisingly. Good hinting booze quality that only hits in the pit of the stomach too. Coconut just dominates though almost nearly as a one dimensional note, but it's probably the best note I've heard so far.

Just another great classic from the Bourbon County line. Has a bit big emphasis on coconut sweetness, but if there was a little more barrel character coming out on this and dialing down the sugars and coconut bomb action then it could just be perfection. Certainly no complaints here.

 1,402 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Proprietor's Bourbon County Brand Stout (2014) from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.66 out of 5 based on 1,106 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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