Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout (2015) | Goose Island Beer Co.

Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout (2015)Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout (2015)
Liked This Beer
4.64 w/ 940 ratings
Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout (2015)Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout (2015)

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Back in 1979 the folks at Heaven Hill Distilleries filled a handful of new freshly charred American white oak barrels with some of their finest whiskey. It is rare for Bourbon to age in barrels for more than twenty-three years. But these barrels patiently sat for thirty-five years. The extra years developed a distinct and complex character that makes them truly one-of-a-kind. We filled those barrels with Bourbon County Brand Stout, and then stored them away in our Chicago Barrel House to age for two more years.

Added by ThatsThatDude on 07-30-2015

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 940 |  Reviews: 164
Photo of Ryannotbryan
4.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.48/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of LumpkinBrews
4.77/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of fireazzi
4.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BEER88
4.86/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Such a delightful beer that really opens up when it warms! Delicious beer!

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Photo of That_Bearded_Guy
4.79/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Kuges
4.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of CraftFan5
4.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of imstimpy
5/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Near perfect!

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Photo of Jaypeajus
4.92/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Side by side of rare *a good 2015 reg*. More brown hues than reg 2015. Bit of a khaki ring. Smells less fudgy than reg. Taste is way more vanilla beans. Feel is way smoother than reg. Overall quite better than reg.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
4.75/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a black hint of brown with a dark brown thin film of a head. Aroma-Bourbon, vanilla, tootsie roll. Taste- cherry, chocolate, Bourbon, vanilla, a little semi sweet chocolate. Mouthfeel- is thick, so nice. Burning warming sensation. Overall- fantastic! Could drink this all the time!

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Photo of SlightlyGrey
4.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Prager62
4.6/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 500ml bottle dated 21 SEP 15 that I purchased at Binny's in Chicago. Pouring it in a Goose Island taster glass.

Look- Pours a thick dark black producing a thin layer of light brown foam. It quickly settles leaving no lacing. There is however an oily coating clinging to the glass.

Smell- Maple syrup, bourbon, char, vanilla, cherry and wood.

Taste- Bourbon, maple, oak, char, dark chocolate, vanilla and a hint of dark cherry.

Feel- Oily and slightly thick with a pronounced alcohol heat.

Overall- A really special beer that is quite a different animal compared to the 2010 version. The last of which I opened last fall. I'm amazed at how much maple flavor is in this beer. It tastes more maple forward than CBS in my opinion which is mind boggling. There are layers of other complex barrel notes that just add to the overall special experience. This is one that is definitely worth the cost.

 904 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.36/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Impressions are briefer than might be ideal; enjoyed in good company at a friend's stag party.

Bottle nabbed at a grocery in Harlem. Served chilled into a highball.

A: Pours a khaki floater ring, but no actual head. Body is opaque black and leaves legs on the sides of the glass when tilted.

Sm: Bourbon is forward in this one. Caramel, nougat, treacle, faint vanilla, gooey malt, charred oak barrels, shaved coconut, dark malt sweetness.

Caramelized gooey dark fruit.

Aromatic intensity is high. Suggests a malty sweet fort brew. I've experienced better bourbon aromas, and the base seems to leave something to be desired.

T&Mf: Nougat, caramel, dark malt sweetness, faint barrel char. Bourbon barrel flavour is actually a bit shallow in spite of being obvious...subdued toasted coconut, reticent vanillin, oak. Not a great bourbon presence by any stretch.

Sweet. Lacks the intricacy and depth of flavour I hoped for given this beer's reputation as one of the best imperial stouts out there.

Thick, a bit sludgy, full-bodied, well-carbonated, smooth, gooey, wet, sedimentary.

Base beer leaves a lot to be desired. I get robust gooey malt sweetness, nougat, caramel, and treacle.

Lingering flavour duration. Moderately high flavour intensity.

O: Not a noteworthy or terrific imperial stout in my view. I definitely liked the bourbon barrel character in King Henry more...this doesn't showcase the bourbon well nor is it complex or expressive enough to rival the best barrel aged imperial stouts. By no means a bad stout...just very underwhelming and disappointing given its high reputation and higher price.

The base beer offers little and the bourbon barrel doesn't harmonize with it all too well.

This emperor doesn't have the clothes it's purported to, but it ain't naked.


 1,801 characters

Photo of Jonnydrinker
4.8/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of sunsjammer
4.75/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

bottled 9/18/15

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Photo of DangerDawg
4.48/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SomethingClever
4.72/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

16.9 oz bottle poured into small tasters

A: Rich black body with no light escaping looks like motor oil. Not much of a head but what was there was mocha in color.

S: rich chocolate, toffee, leather, maple syrup, candies cherries and sweet plums.

T: Smooth Bourbon with lots of chocolate, vanilla, toffee, roasted malts.

M: Full but slick from the alcohol envelops and clings to the tongue and mouth.

O: I really didn't have super high expectations going into this, but wow was I blown away. The nose alone on this you could sit and smell for hours. We opened a bottle of regular BCBS 2016 beside it to compare and what a joke. The BCBS smelled and tasted like a third rate BA beer compared to Rare. The mouthfeel on the beer borders on perfection and the taste is so amazing you don't want it to end. Although, it is hard enough to just quit smelling it long enough to drink it. Worth $70.

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Photo of SFC21
4.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sabtos
4.77/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour is deep dark black, with an almost purple edge and a thin mocha head that fizzles out rather quickly, leaving the beer to become a solid black orb.

Smell is wood dominant, wet bourbon oak in spades, with caramel-forward bourbon and vanilla. Really rich nougat then develops into brownie and fudge. It's as if it wants to be hot, but it doesn't burn no matter how hard I sniff.

The first sip makes it clear that this is one top-tier barrel-aged stout. Dark roasted malt and nuts, plus coffee and raisin, all quickly take a back seat to levels of depth few beers can even dream of achieving. On the one hand, it tastes like a really rich, really full and complex bourbon, neat. But on the other, you get a really smooth, delectable caramel and nougat finish that actually sprouts from sweet chocolate brownie fudge. On the exhale, as it has warmed, I get a maple and coconut essence. And yet, this is not, in any way, shape or form, a sweet beer. Explain that to me, because I don't get it.

This is a glass of blood. Super viscous, thick and almost gelatinous without being gloppy or sludgy, Rare also has a thin but persistent fine carbonation that attempts to cut through the heavy body, mostly successfully. Finish is sticky yet semi-dry, with a light burn on the way down, and a tongue numbing presence of delicate heat.

As good as regular BCBS is, this is undeniably better. Despite how big a beer this is, and how much bourbon presence it exhibits, this is an exceptionally easy to drink barrel-aged stout. By the time I opened this bottle, the beer inside was about 4-5 years old...and it's still this good, with no unwanted flavors whatsoever...my only question is, how?!

 1,687 characters

Photo of winningwes91
4.79/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of MJSFS
5/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Opened my bottle today to celebrate my retirement. This is everything I hoped it would be, and the perfect compliment to my incredible day. Velvety smooth. Taste like liquid leather, with hints of cherries, chocolate, vanilla, and coconut. There's a lingering oak and bourbon flavor that I am savoring after each sip. I feel a little guilty consuming the entire bottle by myself, but I earned it. Such an amazing treat.

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Photo of Beerdudenumberone
4.75/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Vivs85
4.6/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of wellsnb
4.6/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 5/27/17. Carbonation is a little low. Strong, strong barrel considering the year and a half plus of age on this. Developing some fudgy notes. Overall a great beer.

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Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout (2015) from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 98.3% out of 100 with 940 ratings
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