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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Stout - American Imperial
4.59 | pDev: 5.66%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout (2017)Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout (2017)
Notes: Aged in 11 year old freshly emptied Knob Creek bourbon barrels.
Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 322 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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WoodBrew from Ohio

4.48/5  rDev -2.4%
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
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Rristow from Ohio

5/5  rDev +8.9%
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
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smcolw from Massachusetts

4.31/5  rDev -6.1%
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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FBarber from Illinois

4.26/5  rDev -7.2%
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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Olesjm from Kansas

5/5  rDev +8.9%
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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zonker17 from Texas

4.68/5  rDev +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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zac16125 from South Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +3.5%
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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5toutman75 from Illinois

4.81/5  rDev +4.8%
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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stortore from Illinois

4.57/5  rDev -0.4%
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
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Dactrius from Wisconsin

3.39/5  rDev -26.1%
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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mngermanshepherd from Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
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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Arjen from Netherlands

4.42/5  rDev -3.7%
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
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michaelsmith11 from Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +4.1%
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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PDXAmbassador from Florida

4.16/5  rDev -9.4%
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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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.39/5  rDev -4.4%
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
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GrumpyGas from Illinois

5/5  rDev +8.9%
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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bigbillyt from Florida

3.38/5  rDev -26.4%
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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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.75/5  rDev +3.5%
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
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.71/5  rDev +2.6%
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
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mempath from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

how can this (IMBOLC 2019) be not 'perfect'? perfection is a can flex...

the deep dark 'look' contrasts perfectly with the deep windchill and snowfall here in Media, Pa...

the smell? after warming a bit, all that chocolate roast tobacco leather (i am vegetarian now...!) toasty malt bourbon barrel spice's therein and now up my nose

the taste and the finish and mouthfeel are simply another version of...a multiplicity anomaly of...the Singularity! damn, there's all the usual characters, but to experience them on the palate, i'm fine with being blind: vanilla cocoa waves of burnt something but mellowed yes bourbon twang blunted into loving submission...another big swill swallow roll around on the palate and the writing is on the wall...

this is world class of course. silky spicy high contrast meld into perfection. i really did NOT like the Vanilla version...way too cloying and sweet sticky. glad i shared it with others. this one, tho, is my own selfish hoardfest. cheers!

Jan 31, 2019
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bbtkd from South Dakota

4.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout Reserve 2017, 14.8% ABV. Pours black with a ring of brown head. Nose is bourbon and vanilla. Taste is bourbon, roasty malt, dark fruit, slight chocolate, and oak. Bourbon and oak prevail, effectively shading most other flavors. Mouthfeel is excellent, if a bit too dry. Overall excellent, though I prefer the 2018 Vanilla, Prop, and Midnight Orange.

Jan 01, 2019
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oberon from North Carolina

4.46/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on July 18 2017.Pours jet black with no light getting thru even when held to the light,a thinner mocha colored head atop.Bourbon tinged vanilla and toasted oak stand out most in the nose,sweet alcohol and roast play a smaller role.Warming on the palate with the bourbon playing a major role,vanilla and raisin tinged bourbon soaked fruit cake with a tinge of chocolate that lingers,it is quite boozy but obviously to be expected.A great sipping decadent stout to drink on this shitty snowy winters day.

Dec 09, 2018
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mschrei from Illinois

4.76/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. All about the barrel. Roasty malty stout notes on the smell, slight barrel presence, very subtle. Taste is barrel forefront-woody, boozy, but not too overpowering, roasty and malty with mild chocolate and coffee flavors. Feel is what you'd expect from such a strong barrel aged beer-boozy, bold, warm and sharp. Can't stop sipping this one.

Dec 08, 2018
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deadonhisfeet from Kentucky

4.82/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Imperial stout aged in 11 year-old Knob Creek barrels. Poured from a bottle into a Fibonacci Brewing tulip. The beer pours out thick and black with very little carbonation. The nose is rich and roasty, with notes of molasses, roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and toasted oak fighting for supremacy.

Full body with a rich, complex flavor and an extremely creamy feel. Toffee, chocolate, and roasted coffee hit you first. At mid-palate, the flavor develops a bit and picks up notes of sarsaparilla, coconut, vanilla, creme brulee, and a tiny bit of sharp alcohol adds warmth and richness. The beer is extremely thick and viscous, coating your mouth and leaving lingering flavors of bourbon, dark chocolate, sarsaparilla, and a hint of smoke all over your mouth. I was still tasting this beer several minutes after swallowing.

Absolutely fabulous beer. When it was first released, I read the reviews of people who drank it fresh. They claimed it was a little too hot and boozy, which I took to mean that the beer was still angry and could use a bit of time in the bottle to simmer down. I just bought 2018 BCBS yesterday, so this one has been aging for exactly one year. I am very glad I waited. In fact, I think another 6-8 months would have made it even better. Just last night I had a draft pour of regular 2018 BCBS and I can definitely tell the difference. As delicious as that beer was, this one is smoother and the alcohol burn is depleted, making the various subtle flavors stand out a bit more. Make no mistake - every strain of BCBS is better with a little bit of age. Even 6-8 months makes a huge difference.

Nov 25, 2018
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Beersnake1 from California

4.76/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from fridge temp into a snifter. Pours motor oil black with quickly dissipating dark head. Nose is over the top amazing. Bourbon, chocolate, fudge, toffee, vanilla, and a bit of toasted malts. Also picking up some dark fruit. Taste is awesome. I can easily tell that this is from Goose Island. It has the typical bourbon county taste. Deeper chocolate notes, and a more creamy and thick mouthfeel. The bourbon is amazing, and brings out the vanilla notes. Mostly sweet. Toffee, black licorice, fudge, molasses, and a touch of tobacco are also present on the taste. The mouthfeel is probably the most amazing part of this beer. I can't remember a creamier and viscous beer. Overall, this is incredible. I am a HUGE fan of Bourbon County and this is exemplary.

Oct 14, 2018
Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout (2017) from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 322 ratings