Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout (2017)
Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout (2017)Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout (2017)
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Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
American Imperial Stout
4.58 | pDev: 5.68%
Apr 12, 2023
Jun 13, 2017
Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout (2017)Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout (2017)
Notes: Aged in 11 year old freshly emptied Knob Creek bourbon barrels.
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Photo of NiceTaps
Reviewed by NiceTaps from New Jersey

4.76/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
16.9 ounce bottle dated July 18, 2017, poured into a snifter glass.

Crude oil darkened brown, near black, color. Caramel tan colored cap that drops to a light but lasting film. No lacing.

Aromas: smooth mellowed bourbon, vanilla, caramel, chocolate, char.

Oak laced bourbon flavor joined by vanilla, caramel, and smoked variants of each. Dry dark chocolate.

Feel, in a word, TEN! Extremely smooth and yes, the bourbon is there but not boozy. The dry dark chocolate culminates the finish.

Outstanding. Five years and nine months of aging worked perfectly. Aromas, flavors, and feel are well rounded.
Apr 12, 2023
Rated: 4.75 by DBosco from Massachusetts

Jan 20, 2023
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Reviewed by SHODriver from North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer which is topped by a dense and slightly rocky finger of light tan head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of molasses, dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and oak. Fantastic nose
T: Taste is dark chocolate, charred wood, slight woodspice, caramel, and vanilla along with some molasses and coffee. On the swallow there's more fudgy dark chocolate, oak, caramel, and vanilla with more coffee and hints of burnt sugar.
M: This beer has a fairly thick and full mouthfeel with a slightly silky slightly chewy feel. Carbonation is on the low end but it's adequate for the style while the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this beer rocks the house. Huge flavors, huge complexity, great balance between flavors, and well hidden alcohol. This beer was well worth the price of admission as it's definitely near the top of the heap.
Jul 13, 2022
Rated: 4 by zbooks from Texas

Jun 02, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Jan 27, 2022
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Reviewed by DoctorZombies from Florida

4.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Bottled 24Jul17. Poured at 58° and second pour at 56°. Black with ruby edges; fleeting dark tan head with a few rocks; poor cap retention; a solid ring initially disappears as does the few spots of lace; thick legs on swirl. Bourbon and some oak; boozy retro nasal. Bourbon entry followed by bittersweet dark chocolate, oak and vanilla. Lots of heat in mouth; silky smooth feel; full body, not at all adjuncty; tingle on tip of tongue; face flushing warmth from 14.8%; light carbonation. Overall, delicious!; great balance between barrel and base; a simple barrel aged beer embracing the bourbon notes, and I love the boozy heat. World class, and almost as good as last night’s Rare BCBS (2015).
Nov 15, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by brittanylicious from Indiana

Aug 29, 2021
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Reviewed by heysuz from Indiana

4.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Brew: Goose Island Beer Co. – Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout (2017)

Intro: 16.9 oz. poured into a tulip glass. Shared with a friend

Appearance: Dark virtually black color. Ample head, maybe 2 inches. Moderate lacing as we drank

Smell: Barrell up front and center. Vanilla, roasted malts, and charred oak round out.

Taste: Followed along with the smell. Barrel is good but somewhat muted.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

Drink: Classic Bourbon County. Very enjoyable.

Conclusion: Bourbon County Base stout is a big reason it stands out through time. It’s a classic and one of a kind. Knob Creek barrels was ok but not one of my favorites. For the price, I’m glad to have tried it but one and done. Move on.
Aug 29, 2021
Rated: 4.73 by Chilmer from Iowa

Jun 27, 2021
Rated: 4.36 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

May 02, 2021
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Reviewed by WoodBrew from Ohio

4.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
I am trying this beer at my friend's house in Naples, FL. It poured an opaque dark with no head and no lace. The scent had bourbon with hints of vanilla and smoke. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with smoke and bourbon with chocolate and vanilla highlights. The mouthfeel was medium in body and had good carbonation. Overall it was a solid beer and very happy to try it.
Mar 30, 2021
Rated: 4.53 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

Mar 19, 2021
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Reviewed by Rristow from Ohio

5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Tasted a few times but this review is after 3 plus years of aging. Flavors of caramel, cured meats, dark fruits. Thick chewy on the mouthfeel. Just seems to hang on the tongue forever. Flavor with tons of dates and raisins, caramel, bourbon, toffee, chocolate. Super smooth and dangerously drinkable for its ABV. Excellent.
Feb 07, 2021
Rated: 4.96 by sentrynate from Wisconsin

Jan 21, 2021
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Reviewed by smcolw from Massachusetts

4.31/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Small tan head which settle to rim bubbles. No lacing. The liquid is deep dark brown where light barely passes along the edges.

Deep sweet, chocolate covered cherry aroma. Light mocha in the background. There's an element of a cognac-like boozy nose.

Very rich flavor and body. It's almost like a liquid brownie. The carbonation is on the lighter side, making the mouthfeel silky. The cocoa/chocolate flavor is semisweet. The alcohol is both warming and notable. The aftertaste is reminiscent of a thick hot chocolate laced with whiskey.
Dec 24, 2020
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Reviewed by FBarber from Illinois

4.26/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Pours a dark, completely opaque black color. Almost no head whatsoever on this one when its poured - seems worryingly under-carbonated upon pouring. Aroma has notes of oak, charred wood, hot bourbon, roasted malts, marshmallow, caramel and chocolate. Even several years aged the barrel on this dominates the nose.

Taste follows the nose with notes of oak, bourbon, dark fruits, a slight cherry note, vanilla, oak, charred malts, and bakers chocolate. The charred malts and baker chocolate produce this bitterness on the finish that is really nice. The bourbon is pretty prominent in this one even several years on. As the beer warms those dark fruits really start to shine through. The flavor profile on this one is outstanding. Feel is a thin to medium bodied. The carbonation is really fizzy, and prickly. I would hazard a guess that age has not been kind to this beer in this department.

Overall its an incredibly tasty beer and a great showcase of the barrels used for this one.
Nov 30, 2020
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Reviewed by Olesjm from Kansas

5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Slightly boozey, nice vanilla and chocolate notes initially with a wonderful Caramel finish that transitions back to chocolate as time passes. This might be my favorite of the bourbon counties. I missed it in 2017 but was able to get it in 2020 and it aged very well.
Nov 28, 2020
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Reviewed by zonker17 from Texas

4.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Pours black and thick with no head, minimal lacing. Nose stronger at open, great bourbon, wood, and roasted malt. Taste is bourbon forward but not overly boozy, somewhat hot, slight anise, cocoa, wood, mild bitterness. Heavy body and light carbonation.
Nov 09, 2020
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Reviewed by zac16125 from South Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Pour is jet black, barely a sliver of mocha colored head which dissipates immediately and leaves no lacing. Aroma is huge, massive massive bourbon notes. Some base beer characters including nice roasty notes, chocolate, subtle vanilla. But man, just a bourbon bomb. Taste is incredibly rich, huge chocolate with both sweet fudge and semi-sweet bakers cocoa. Hugely sweet, a syrup like sweetness, balanced by nearly equally huge roasty notes. And I haven’t even mentioned the barrel characters, which are also huge with rich bourbony notes of charred oak and vanilla. This is a near perfect tasting beer. Mouthfeel is full bodied, ABV is noticeable and is bordering on having some heat from the fusel alcohol, but keeps it restrained just enough that it remains quite drinkable all things considered. Overall, this is an absolutely elite beer. Not sure how it was fresh, but hard to imagine it being much better than it is now. Even if I am late to the party, I’m glad I finally decided to seek out a couple of bottles of this.

Jul 24, 2020
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Reviewed by 5toutman75 from Illinois

4.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Bottled 7/24/17
Consumed 6/26/20

BCS has always been one of my favorite barrel aged stouts and beers. I’ve always been drawn to the thick sludgy feel, high barrel character, and perfect balance between sweetness and bitterness. Sometimes I feel they can get a bit too sweet, but it’s a beer that’s has influenced my pallet almost more than any other. The Reserve bottles I was always anxious to have to save for a few years and see how they hold up as regular BCS ages so well. Opening this one almost 3 years to the bottling date, I think I’ve found a great aging timeframe.
It could be a bit thicker for me I think. It doesn’t look or feel absolutely perfect, but it’s still super oily and full bodied. On the nose I get so much bourbon and booze which I adore. I’ll take a straight up booze bomb over a crazy adjunct any day. There’s lots of vanilla sub flavors on the nose and on the pallet too. This may be my favorite BCS right now. I’d have to drink it back to back vs the newer Reserves and ‘15 Rare to be sure, but this is phenomenal. Worth the hype and I for one am glad ABInBev bought them as they could really invest in their BC lineup as a result.
Jun 27, 2020
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Reviewed by stortore from Illinois

4.57/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
500 ml bottle into a snifter. Bottled 7/24/17, had 10/12/19.

Pours near black and opaque, thick looking, with no head and light spotty cling. Aromas of bourbon, roasted malt, oak, char, chocolate, cocoa, caramel, some tobacco, light licorice, light leather. Heavenly flavors- bourbon, chocolate, oak, vanilla, roasted malt, caramel, tobacco, molasses, light licorice, some alcohol warming. Smooth, a solid full body, well carbonated.

Just excellent. Great barrels, lots of well developed aromas and flavors. Lucky I was able to grab a bottle of this.
Mar 30, 2020
Rated: 4.66 by Ian_Alexander from Pennsylvania

Mar 28, 2020
Rated: 4.59 by DuncanBishop24 from Vermont

Dec 28, 2019
Rated: 4.49 by Blogjackets from Ohio

Dec 15, 2019
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Reviewed by Dactrius from Netherlands Antilles

3.39/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3
Purchased at Fulton. Look is typical bourbon county, black as can be and almost no head. Smell is pure cardboard oxidization. Flavor is marginally better with some nice bourbon and oak undertones but the cardboard overpowers everything. Great mouthfeel like usual for BCBS. Worst $65 I've ever spent on beer; it shouldn't taste like that until it's well over 5 years old, not just a couple.
Dec 15, 2019
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Reviewed by mngermanshepherd from Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
Pours a dark cola colour with an oak/vanilla smell, almost reminds me of a Chinese food sauce. Taste is oak/vanilla and figs with a smooth finish of oak. Isn't bad but wouldn't buy it again.
Dec 10, 2019
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Reviewed by Arjen from Netherlands

4.42/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Bottle from a trade at home, preparing for Black Friday. Pours a black color and a brown head, quickly receding. Aroma's are sweetish, vanilla, boozy, whiskey/bourbon. Retronasal it's sweet, boozy, roasted, barrel, vanilla, wood. Flavor is heavy sweet, light fruity, boozy. Alcohol is rather hot. Almost full bodied. Long finish, sweet, alcoholic. Pretty damn delicious.
Dec 01, 2019
Photo of michaelsmith11
Reviewed by michaelsmith11 from Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
As usual this poured a beautiful deep dark black. The aroma is bourbon, chocolate, vanilla and roasted malt. Dark chocolate fudge, toffee, and bourbon in the taste. Great full bodied mouthfeel.
Nov 19, 2019
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Reviewed by PDXAmbassador from Florida

4.16/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Blind tasting of 9 BA stouts. This Reserve was my #4 / 9. Aroma had notes of dog food, but great dense cocoa flavor, smooth considering the ABV. Overall I gave it a 4.25 / 5.
Nov 06, 2019
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Reviewed by Harrison8 from Missouri

4.39/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Pours black. No head from a bottle pour. Aroma is boozy, with bourbon sweeping across the nose first. Roasty, toasty, nutty, caramely malts add depth and contrast. Flavor profile carries a notable level of booze, hitting the back of the palate with a firm kiss of heat. Roasty, toasty malts add a base and depth, with chocolatey, toffee notes adding a bit of sweetness. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a velvety, fizzing texture. Overall, thick and heavy with notable booze, but it's a straightforward, robust stout regardless.

Bottle pour from the brewery.
Oct 13, 2019
Photo of GrumpyGas
Reviewed by GrumpyGas from Illinois

5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Oh, boy Oh, boy Oh, boy!
I so wanted to like this beer and, at the same time, I wanted to find something in it that detracted from my enjoying it.
I do (did) enjoy it, thoroughly, and the only feature that gave me pause was that which I believe all barrel aged beers suffer from: poor head retention.

The oak, char, leather, and spice aromas wafted into the room immediately on opening and I knew I was going to have a few slow sips.

I envied the dispersal of the cinnamon- cocoa colored whispy bubbles as they were re-absorbed by the ebony vastness. "If only there was a way I could join them."

Peace, and bourbon, enveloped my very being after 1 luxurious sip and it lasted until I erupted in rage when the bottle refused to release more.

Overall, a great experience.
Oct 05, 2019
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Reviewed by bigbillyt from Florida

3.38/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
Like everything in life, my experience with this beer is colored by my expectations. Unfortunately, the young man who suggested this at a local eatery hadn't tasted it and didn't know how to describe it accurately. My friend and I split it and we both enjoyed it but just. The bottom line is this is a very sweet, chocolate forward desert beer. Had I known that I wouldn't have ordered it. After two glasses of Gulden Draak 9000 and some fantastic baby back ribs something that heavy and sweet wasn't what I wanted. All that being said, it is a good beer, just very sweet and chocolatey. The look is very dark, opaque and just a bit of a light, cloudy head. The aroma is very much chocolate and coffee with some note of malt and vanilla. The mouthfeel is very lush and the taste pretty much directly mirrors the nose with no big suprises. There are some subtle notes of dark fruit and spice that come through on the front end but the overwhelming flavor is unrepentant sweet chocolate. Apparently, this version and the 2018 fetch a pretty good price. We paid twenty five bucks and for us it was a bit much for what it is.
Aug 06, 2019
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Reviewed by Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.75/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of smooth bourbon notes with some woody notes, vanilla and huge amount of black chocolate notes. Taste is also an exceptional mix between some huge sweet chocolate notes with some well-balanced notes of smooth bourbon notes, some woody notes and vanilla with a sweet finish. Body is full with nice creamy texture and good carbonation. The better bourbon barrel really showed in this version.
Aug 02, 2019
Rated: 4.79 by Eric_T_07 from Illinois

Jul 17, 2019
Rated: 4.87 by SayBoom from Ukraine

Jun 19, 2019
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Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
550ml poured into a snifter

A- pours deep black in color with a one-finger foamy khaki colored head that has decent retention

S- the barrel dominate the nose up front, with big oaky bourbon that also adds prominent coconut, as well as some vanilla and caramel. Undertones of fudge brownies, leather, tobacco, molasses & sassafras root.

T- barrel pops from the beginning, big barrel juice notes taste like it came from a wet barrel. Mid-palate brings sweet and malty notes of dark chocolate fudge, nutty brownies, caramel, toffee, vanilla cream, mocha & tobacco. The finish brings subtle notes of spicy char, anise, more oak barrel with some booze on the linger

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a warming finish

O- an outstanding BCBS variant, the barrel seems to put everything in check and brings out some nice subtleties
Jun 08, 2019
Rated: 4.61 by Argento from Rhode Island

May 18, 2019
Rated: 4.62 by Eddiehop from Texas

May 04, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by Skellbop from New York

Apr 07, 2019
Rated: 4.6 by Futbolmanby from Michigan

Mar 23, 2019
Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout (2017) from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 331 ratings