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
Reviews: 118 | Ratings: 1,157
Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.71/5  rDev +0.2%
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

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.84/5  rDev +3%
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!

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Photo of rodmanfor3
4.76/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Edit: 2018

Draft versions seemed to have held up well, but bottles still out in the wild may be experiencing a bit of a falling off effect on the adjuncts. This one no longer holds its own with the big boys in the stout game.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.82/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
5/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of MIbeerGeek84
4.66/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of MartyIU13
5/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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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 RMelyon
4.8/5  rDev +2.1%
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

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Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
4.89/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of Smakawhat
4.74/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.64/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from fridge temp to tulip, and allowed to warm over an hour. Smell - french toast, vanilla ice cream, cinnamon, chocolate...amazing complexity. Taste - spice, vanilla, chocolate cake, blackberries, cherries, coconut, rye, marshmallow, and a lot of dream come true. Mouthfeel is amazing - thick, viscous, gooey. Overall, an amazing beer. Glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of winningwes91
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Never thought I'd get to try this. Poured into a sample glass like used motor oil. Wow that smell. Bourbon soaked mounds chocolate bar is the best way I can think to describe it. So much chocolate, bourbon, cinnamon and whiskey spice. The taste follows perfectly. I'm in heaven. The mouthfeel is thick and viscous and the alcohol isn't detectable. Wow, this tops both the original, barleywine and coffee, and is my second favorite varient, next to the vanilla rye.

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Photo of deadsincebirth
4.59/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks as black as the other BC offerings. Smell is full of cinnamon and panel sugar with slight coconut and rye spice. Taste is big cinnamon up front followed by sweet sugar and finishes with nice coconut. Impressive. Feel leaves me with a lot of cinnamon and barrel. Thick. Overall a very nice offering but not a big fan of cinnamon.

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Photo of bcostner1
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is quite possibly the most perfect brew I have ever experienced. It tasted like a Cinnabon dusted with coconut flakes then dipped in chocolate and drizzled with bourbon and raw cane sugar. The coconut was the most amazing addition to this brew. Ridiculously good. I believe this beer to be flawless. I would pay a large sum to have some bottles of this. Enjoyed on tap during Migration Week in Nashville, TN.

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Photo of T_Hass
4.99/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is a beast. It pours thick as thieves glug glug glugging away. The smell is intoxicating. Chocolate is the prominant smell with muddled coconut hints. The sting from the bourbon fills your nose on the end. The taste is so much chocolate but the spice that jumps out is surprising. I wasn't expecting this. It's a mix of pepper and cinnamon. Not much coconut as to be expect since its almost a year and a half on it. Everything melts together perfectly. I probably would have rated this beer a perfect 5 if I hadn't had it next to SR71. Overall one of the best and one of the best Christmas presents my wife has ever gotten me.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A big thanks to Jeff for this one. 22oz. bomber into Night Shift stemware. Shared with schen9303 on my 30th birthday!

Pours pitch black with a foaming .25 finger dark mocha colored head that dissipates quickly. Signature thickness and viscosity with oily, thick legs. Menacing.

Nose is toasted coconut, chocolate, fudge and cocoa powder. Alcohol, tobacco and wood serve to set a nice background with sweet and tropical toasted coconut notes throughout. Very unique and aroma is spot on.

Opens chocolate, cocoa and fudge. Huge coconut notes that are lightly toasted and salty in the middle complemented by more fudge, molasses, tobacco, oak, chocolate and sweet booze. More wood and coconut meat lingers in the background but is amplified towards the end. Vanilla, more coconut and cocoa powder and chocolate in the aftertaste. Phenomenal.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Rich and thick in the mouth and goes down lightly hot and viscous. Finishes messy with a lingering, sticky, filmy aftertaste. Fantastic.

I wasn't sure what the addition of coconut WATER to this beer would do but its really served to enhance the coconut aspect in the flavor as well as aroma. A really complex and at the same time well balanced beer in the flavor with a feel that is perfectly executed. Finally, a Bourbon County beer most deserving of the hype.

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Photo of Austin32
4.96/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Was able to enjoy a pour at the GTOTMW, very much lived up to the hype, tasted like years aged BCBS with very strong coconut flavor....I was instinctively trying to chew the tiny coconut pieces that my brain thought should have been floating around in it but there weren't any.

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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 Stevedore
4.51/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Normally, I wouldn't review this but for some reason, the GI folks decided to give me a large pour of this beer, perhaps 6 ounces. This poured a thick dark black body with a one finger tan head. Good retention. A little bit of lacing. Looks like a BCBS, that's for sure. Smells of cinnamon, dark chocolate, cocoa, milk chocolate, whiskey, oak. The cinnamon is very forward, without much hint of coconut. It's a different type of cinnamon here though; it's almost more earthy and less intense, and certainly does not seem to be artificial. Flavour is rye whiskey, cocoa, milk chocolate, cinnamon, a mild bit of heat, dark chocolate. A bit less chocolate than I expected, but a very nice change of pace. Mouthfeel is apropos- full bodied, smooth lower carbonation, slightly silky, very easy to drink with a mild bit of whiskey heat and cinnamon following at the end. Overall, a very tasty variant that worked better than I expected it to.

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

500th beer to date - and it was a good one. BC has never let me down and '14 Prop was no different. Rich, creamy stout that blends coconut, cinnamon, bourbon and chocolate so well. What a combo.

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Photo of floridadrift
5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cha ching. This was good down to the last drop. We tried to fake it and make it a couple nights before with toasted coconut but this was up and beyond anything we could do.

L: Beer Porn, the liquid from the bottle stained the bright blue label just right, in glass it was black as night with a perfect tan lacing until Proprietors was no more.
S: Coconut and vanilla and bourbon waffssssss
T: O beautiful for halcyon skies, For coconut waves of grain, For bourbon mountain majesties.
M: Fluffy and smooth
O: Perfect in every aspect. I remember just drinking a drop left and it packing such a punch. It was like a coconut candle with nothing left in the glass.

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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 Sosopogi
4.71/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L - Nice, dark, thick look with some legs on the swirl

S - You get the cassia bark (cinnamon smell) and faint coconut

T - I like 14' better than 13'. The cinnamon and panela combo reminds me of a filipino dessert we have that combines coconut shavings brown sugar ona rice cake. That is what it tastes like to me. For me, it was like that scene in ratatouille, where the critic tastes the basic dish that reminds him of home. That is what Prop 14 is for me.

F - Nice feel, not as thick as I would like but still good.

O - Fantastic brew.

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Photo of ChrisP802
4.84/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've always been a fan of the Bourbon County Stouts and this was no exception.
Poured out very dark and mysterious
Aromas of spice and coconut were the first to hit and not too overpowering
I wish I could taste more coconut, but the taste of vanilla and spice were well distributed throughout. I'm hoping to get my hands on some this November
Definitely needs to be consumed slowly and probably with a buddy or two

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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