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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American Imperial Stout
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: 48 | Ratings: 311 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stortore
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.

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Photo of Dactrius
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.

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Photo of mngermanshepherd
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.

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Photo of Arjen
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.

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Photo of michaelsmith11
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.

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Photo of PDXAmbassador
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.

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Photo of Harrison8
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.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
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.

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Photo of bigbillyt
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
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.

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Photo of Treyliff
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

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Photo of mempath
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!

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Photo of bbtkd
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.

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Photo of oberon
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.

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Photo of mschrei
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.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
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.

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Photo of Beersnake1
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.

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.81/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

appearance: Very dark, with some faint ruby highlights when held to light. Scant mocha head on the pour that mostly dissipates.
smell: Rich, decadent vanilla, molasses, some coconut. Familiar BCBS but maybe a notch richer than an already rich beer.
taste: Ditto on the taste. Rich chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits...freakin killer. Add in the bourbon spice of the Knob creek treatment and holy shit.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brown body, thick and black in the glass. Aromas are boozy as it warms, chocolate liquor and lightly metallic. Taste is bakers chocolate, bittersweet with tobacco and caramel, potent, bitter charred malt aftertaste.

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Photo of RAlmeida77
4.58/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a BC tulip. Dark in color but not opaque. Minimal tan head. Aromas of barrel, dark fruit and chocolate. Taste is fudgy with dark fruits, oak and bourbon. Delicious. Feel is slick and viscous. Overall, a fantastic BC variant.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.73/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Goose Brewhouse Philadelphia right before it kicked. It reminded me of Rare and I loved it.

Smooth and beautiful and barrel-y and delicious and insanely drinkable.

I hope to have another chance at it!

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Photo of rolltide8425
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Super smooth with a nice bourbon kiss amongst the chocolate, vanilla, raisin, and toffee notes. Less barrel forward than regular Bourbon County to me. Had on tap

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Photo of stakem
4.16/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a snifter appears black in color with minimal khaki head that fades leaving spotty lace.

Aroma of coconut, chocolate, raison and quite boozy with a vanilla backing.

It tastes raisony with booze, chocolate, oak and cocoa batter sweetness before finishing earthy.

This is medium in body with modest carbonation. Hobestly, this is pretty nice stuff. I think the barrel character is a little more forward in this than most any other iteration of bourbon county that ive been able to try.

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Photo of gibgink
4.52/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this side by sided with regular 2017 Bourbon County, to really see if there is a huge difference between the two beers. The consensus of 3 drinkers was that there really wasn't enough of a difference to warrant the extra cost. In essence, Reserve is not as sweet, giving the barrel itself a little more expression.

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Photo of aleigator
4.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours totally black with a small head, collapsing to an even smaller ring of lacing immediately.

Smells of melting milk chocolate, red peppers and a flowery note, which adds to a prominent, oaken barrel on the nose. Lots of toasty coconut blends into salty caramel, resulting in a boozy praline impression.

Has a very smooth, silk, fuller mouthfeel, with a vivid boozy peak, never loosing its great balance.

Tastes of a multi layered chocolate complexity, which multiplies once the barrel comes up, adding a sweet vanilla quality. Lots of oak unfolds slowly onto the tongue, revealing brownie dough and a note of bitter chocolate with spicy licorice atop. Finishes a little sweeter, heavier on the caramel with a prominent, wooden booziness, which gets soothed by the prevailing whipped cream silkness.

Pretty similar to regular bcbs, while it is a little more pronounced on the barrel, with an interesting flowery hint to it. Comes together very well, decadent and challenging, heavy on the chocolate with a prominent booziness as a well working antagonist.

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Bourbon County Reserve Brand Stout (2017) from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 311 ratings