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

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Proprietor's Bourbon County Brand Stout (2014)Proprietor's Bourbon County Brand Stout (2014)
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 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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 118 | Ratings: 1,157
Photo of Dayman766
2.48/5  rDev -47.2%
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.

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Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi
3.48/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Do you like coconuts? Are you sure?

Like, really sure?

Enough to drink coconut extract?


That's kind of gross... I know that was all rhetorical, but still...

If you like coconut extract and want to drink this beer immediately, feel free to hop into a time machine and make that happen (unless they've released it again), I will not be following you.

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Photo of brock125
3.5/5  rDev -25.5%

2 oz pour at FOBAB

This beer was a sweet, cinnamon bomb. It was disappointing but will hopefully get better with age. Much like the Vanilla Rye, the barrel characteristics were lost in all the cinnamon flavor.

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Photo of thegerm87
3.64/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I can see why people like might like this but it's just too much. The smell is deep and complex but unbalanced. The taste is interesting and diverse but overwhelming.

Nutty, chocolatey, spicy and sweet. Huge cinnamon, sugar, flan, cocoa, toasted and spicy rye whiskey, vanilla, root beer, licorice, cinnamon rolls, raisins, caramel, marshmallow, sweet potatoe pie.

All backed strongly by the BCBS but loses a bit of the slickness of the mouthfeel that helps make that beer.

Worth a try? Yes. Worth giving up a whole bunch of stuff? Only for big tickers and people who like overly spiced, bourbon barrel adjunct stouts.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.83/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

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Photo of Beer_Line
3.83/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Not my favorite Bourbon County. I do not know if they should label this one as Prop. 2013 was amazing and a whole different brew. Do not get me wrong, bourbon county are amazing beers, but the coconut water and the spices in this one I think just missed the perfection they have done in the past.

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Photo of tempest
3.84/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Just a smooth and dangerously drinkable as other Bourbon County brews, but the Cassia Bark (Chinese cinnamon) dominates too much of the character. I get a hit of coconut at first, and the rye is hard to pull out. It's a very good beer, but not as great as the other BCS options.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.86/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: deep walnut color. small tan head forms with low retention. little to no lacing. small brown viscous legs left behind as it swirls. completely dark and opaque.

Smell: some bourbon an alcohol. very faint coconut sweetness. strong brown sugar and chocolate.

Taste: bourbon and alcohol burn. chocolate and more coconut than the smell. brown sugar and dark fruits near the end.

Mouthfeel: thick. some viscosity. hot and lingering warmth.

Overall: a nice and slightly unique tasting bourbon barrel stout. but this one fails to completely pull itself away from the rest of the bourbon county pack.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is jet black with a tan colored head. Nose is hints of wood, a fair bit of cinnamon, almost pistachio cake like, very spicy rye notes. Taste is overpowering cinnamon, very cake like cinnamon. There is a ton of rich malt foundation, rye isn't quite as spicy as the nose was and it is less woody. I don't taste any coconut, probably not a bad thing with all the spice in this beer. This is one of the few variants that doesn't get exceedingly sweet. Its got a peppery finish, full bodied, well carbonated.

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Photo of KillerJigger
4.06/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First impression. Boozy. Just didnt like the taste. Was crazy spicy cinnamon. Couldnt really taste much past the spice. Could have used more carbonation!

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Photo of dboon
4.1/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle generously shared by Seth. Joan Jett black pour with a mocha head. Muted booze aromas. Sweet with loads of caramel, milk chocolate, molasses, vanilla, and dark roasted malt aromas. Oak, cocoanut, cinnamon, cola, and bourbon backbeats. Good body and mouthfeel.

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Photo of timc100
4.16/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Stoutfest 2015, then bottle few weeks later. Snickerdoodle Brand Stout

Very good desert beer. Looks like every other bourbon county beer. Wonderful sweet cinnamon, coconut, chocolate aroma. Do not get much of the whiskey barrel nor any dark fruits. Tastes follows suit - nice sweet balance of cinnamon and coconut, chocolate comes through and very slick and syrupy body.

Very nice beer, incredibly well crafted and the ingredients do not battle one another. However, just like all bourbon county additive-variants it just comes off too desert-like and sweet with very little whiskey or barrel, so for my tastes I still prefer the regular or different barrel treatments.

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Photo of ChicagoGuy
4.25/5  rDev -9.6%

Only had a sampling, poured from a bottle. The cinnamon was very prominent, which I really enjoyed - I liked how it jived with the stout flavor & body. While I'm sure the coconut water, unrefined sugar, and cocoa nibs contributed to the complexity quite a bit, I felt like they all stayed in the background while the stout itself and the cinnamon took center stage.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.31/5  rDev -8.3%

Rating #1,500!!! Doing it in style. Bottle on trade from George. Huge thanks buddy! Pours black like you would expect for a Bourbon County beer with a finger and a half of khaki brown head that recedes surprisingly quickly. Beautiful aroma of chocolate whiskey, brown sugar, some coconut, and something that sort of reminds me of banana. Not a lot of cassia/cinnamon on the nose. Flavor is a big punch of chocolate covered whiskey drops, beautiful subtle infusion of the cinnamon flavor, notes of coconut and banana again, brown sugar and molasses. Low carbonation, thick, but less so than 2013's version. Rich and sweet and delish. My only complaint here is that I get a strange medicinal cough syrup flavor on the finish that rrrreeeally takes away from the good here. That's unfortunate, and it didn't start settling in on my palate until a quarter of the bottle in. Nice stuff, palate might be off from dinner. Overall a really nice beer, but I think they went with too much stuff here. Just the cinnamon and cocoa nibs would have been plenty.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.31/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.34/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an inky black with a quarter inch mocha-colored head that completely dissipates; no lacing on this one. Nose expresses cocoa, bourbon, burnt vanilla, dark fruits and a hint of soy sauce. Taste consistent with nose with the addition of a light toasted coconut presence as well as cinnamon. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an even carbonation, a slightly oily texture an even carbonation and a kiss of heat at the finish. Overall, quite good; however, I think a little more age with better coalesce and mellow the flavors.

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Photo of aleigator
4.38/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bourbon County Proprietor's 14, thanks to Kevin for the bottle.

Pours a completely, pitch black color with a small mohagony head, fading to a thin lacing.

Reveals aromas of cinnamon, roasted coconut, toffee, fudge, bakers chocolate, vanilla and burning wood, with a hot, well integrated alcohol bite to it. The barrel blends wonderfully into the complex, spicy aromas, providing a hot oakiness, which works very well with the sweeter aromas of the beer. Has a lot more cinnamon than I expected it to have, adding to the coconut, leading to an outstanding, dessert like complexity.

Begins right from the very first glance with sweetened coconut flakes, which got a strong spiciness to them. Vanilla adds to this impression, as does the barrel heat, with its wooden dryness. The Bourbon is without a doubt hot, quite present, while it provides a necessary counterpart to the syrupy sweetness, without exaggerating its impact. The usual earthiness and bakers chocolate become less meaningful in this variant, due to marshmellows and cinnamon, leading to an overall sweeter version of Bourbon County. Barrel qualities do work very well with that kind of sugary coconut though, giving the beer a pleasant punch towards the finish, resulting in a dry, hot, still sweet viscous melange.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thank you, Brad!

Served alongside BCBS 2014.

Typical Bourbon County appearance. Near black with a thin beige collar. The aroma is dramatically different from the 2013 Proprietor's. Lots of cinnamon up front, followed by lighter notes of vanilla, coconut, spice. Like a red hot candy with chocolate and whiskey notes. The coconut water doesn't bring the same amazing flavor that the coconuts did in the 2013 version. Still, there's no question that this is fantastic beer.

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Photo of emyers
4.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into Great Lakes snifter.

Appearance: pours a thick jet black with a thin medium brown head which dissipates quickly into a thin lacing.

Smell: cinnamon and whiskey hit first followed by dark chocolate, nuts, and hints of coconut. The nose is, as expected, extraordinarily complex, yet also very well balanced and mellow. After it warms the aroma gets just a touch sweet between the whiskey and cinnamon.

Taste: follows in the same vein as the aroma. bourbon, cinnamon, and dark chocolate create the foundation which is supplemented by molasses, almond, and what comes off almost as subtle chile pepper heat (presumably just from the cassia bark, but I get some chile-esque flavor). Compared to standard BCBS the whiskey component is much more balanced and intertwined with the other flavors. Finish is extremely smooth with the whiskey and cassia giving it a synergistic lingering heat, which also keeps the sweetness present in the aroma in check. The cassia bark starts to take over a bit as it warms, which throws off the balance a touch.

Mouthfeel: as with all BCBS variants, rich and velvety with low carbonation.

Overall: truly world class, not that I expected anything less. The only negative comment I can make is that the cassia bark takes over a little too much as it warms, but this is another brilliant BCBS variant.

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Photo of Steffano
4.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 83proof in San Francisco. Appearance looks like any other bourbon county, dark and sticky. Aroma is similar to prop 13 but not nearly as strong. Mouthfeel is excellent and may actually surpass the '13 vintage, really thick. Taste is heavy cassia bark, sugar on the back end and very light coconut, as well as light alcohol heat from the bourbon barrel. Like a thick mexican style stout without the peppers. World-class, but really needs some age as the cassia bark overwhelms some of the other flavors at play here. Having had this and '13 on tap now I definitely feel that 2013 is the superior vintage, but you can't go wrong with either one.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.49/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try this variant. A friend was nice enough to open a bottle to celebrate his birthday and couldn't have been happier to be there and share the moment with him. Anyhow, the beer it self poured out dark black with a thin head on top. The smell of the beer is sweet but also inviting with the soft coconut aroma coming off of it. The taste of the beer still has plenty of coconut in there even after 4 years which is awesome. The feel of the beer is full bodied. Overall this one is a gem, definitely one of the best BCBS's out there.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.49/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i am going to go out an a limb here, and say that while this is one of the best beers of 2014, i dont think its as amazing as the 2013 edition, which didnt have all of the extras aside from the coconut. cassia bark and panela and all of that, it does subtle wonders for this brew, but its not really necessary i dont think. the plain coconut one was a little more tropical, a little more well integrated, and more memorable honestly, but this is pretty world class as well. the body seems heavier, sticky almost, and obviously the alcohol is high here. glowing in the glass though, it looks not all that intimidating. a wonderful aroma of rich chocolate and definitely coconut, desserty and sweet in a way i dont remember 2013 being. the flavors are layered in well, chocolate and coconut are way up there, like a whiskey soaked almond joy. the barrel character is big too, lots of vanilla pairing well with the other ingredients, and obviously the base stout here is something to behold, it always has been. thick and sticky on the palate, with a little sugar, a little roast, and plenty of the coconut and whiskey lingering after the swallow. its filling and it warms up well, so sip slowly and cherish this rarity. i bet this will cellar with the best of them.

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Photo of rmpic82
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cassia and subtle cacao on the nose. Decent depth and mouthfeel, but have had many Bourbon County that offer more here. Really opened up after a few minutes, but it seems cinnamon-type stouts are difficult to execute at a very high level

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't like coconut in food, but this beer is great! Get a strong boozy aroma with a hint of coconut. The coconut really comes through on the flavor.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of rich chocolate notes with vanilla and bourbon notes with strong notes of sweet coconut is really unique and quite interesting. Taste is a complex and multi-layer mix of black chocolate, sweet coconut notes and light spicy cinnamon with well-balanced vanilla and bourbon notes to round off any rough edges. Body is full with nice creamy texture with good carbonation and surpassingly no apparent alcohol. I know the coconut is a bit gimmicky but I must admit I really enjoyed this beer. Not sure I would drink large quantities of it but nice to be sharing with other people.

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Proprietor's Bourbon County Brand Stout (2014) from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.7 out of 5 with 1,157 ratings