Bourbon County Brand Reserve Stout (2018)
Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Brand Reserve Stout (2018)Bourbon County Brand Reserve Stout (2018)
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Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
American Imperial Stout
4.55 | pDev: 7.25%
May 30, 2023
Jul 08, 2018
Bourbon County Brand Reserve Stout (2018)Bourbon County Brand Reserve Stout (2018)
Notes: Aged in 12 year old Elijah Craig bourbon barrels
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Photo of stortore
Reviewed by stortore from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
500 ml bottle into a snifter. Bottled 8/4/18, had 12/11/21.

Pours an opaque dark brown, with no real head and light specks of cling. Aromas of tobacco, roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, bourbon, oak, char. The flavor shows more bourbon than the nose, then chocolate, roasted malt, oak, some caramel, some tobacco and char, light vanilla. Smooth, a solid full body, appropriately carbonated.

Delicious. The flavor isn’t much different from the original BCS, but a little more complex and expressive. Really enjoyable.
May 30, 2023
Photo of pathman
Rated by pathman from Ohio

5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
03/19/23 bottle @ home
Mar 19, 2023
Rated: 4.93 by jcoleMA66 from Massachusetts

Jan 08, 2023
Rated: 4.65 by JakerLou from New Hampshire

Feb 13, 2022
Rated: 4.56 by loganburgh from Michigan

Jan 10, 2022
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Reviewed by M-Fox24 from New Jersey

4.31/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
A: An ecru displayed collar that bits a rustic cream, while rapidly deforming to flank the body. The initial take on adherence is piffling, but one that enhances upon the elongated strides of warm, steward folds. On the underside, a frame that’s flushed in black spinel hues with night sky transcriptions, while an ethanol fieriness cuts through. Nevertheless, a smooth violence that webs tears, from carafe to glass, in the chugalugs

S: Aroma is greeted with a barrel deftness that contours oaked pathways, as malt poises a roasted bedrock. The overtures put dozuki on malleable lumber, and set woodhouse chocolate on incited forest fruits. Admittedly, a hop presence that’s docile in bite, but perceptive to aid and recoil sweetness. The barrel constitute works hemicelluloses with middling links to caramel, which inflames malts acuity for toasted patios. On top of that, lactones distantly characterize coconut by denoting Raffaello’s, as oak staves persistently employ. There’s a foray of charring to the metered alterations, which upticks tannin with a candlelight presence on brandy. That presence puts exotic spices near sticky toffee & oaky leather, while resonating smoke on the dry timberlands

T: Navigation affixes bourbon on toasted malt and drives an oak perverseness, while esters subtlety sift near piney hops. Spicy notes hindquarter tamped espresso and dark chocolate, before infiltrating red fruit and burnt grains. The next step comes with thermal patience, which spikes sweet acuities from dark roasted malts. Chiefly, caramelized nuts and milk duds, amongst brown sugar lattes. In sequence, an openness for phenolic aldehydes to drill vanillin against an earthy boldness, where plums and prunes amend tarry grape skins. There’s a light herbal component that airs citrusy hops with bergamot tea, as ventilation & oldness address the peppery tannins. That motion denotes old tawny port casks, given the dried nutty garlands to piped tobacco, and the falling embers to licorice roots

M: A smooth, clean surface that panels a calmness to burning spirits. Carbonation is permitting to barrel depth, and does not impede malt characterizations, given the inclined passive nature that has become aged reinforced. Accordingly, warming and waxy smokescreens with a roasted bite to dried networks, as the appendix tears into coal-fired ash

O: The few years of cellared boxed dust provides a gentle hop bitterness, for more complex malts. Nonetheless, the fringes of spiced pine continually pillar and accolade the roasted inevitabilities, while the methodology acclimates barrel depth with measured oxidation
Dec 13, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Dec 09, 2021
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Reviewed by JohnG190 from New York

5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Pours black as pitch with a minimal dark brown head that dissipates quickly. On the nose, vanilla, burnt sugar, dark roast coffee with just a whiff of bourbon booziness, char and oak. On the pallet, chocolate up front followed by hints of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon. A touch sweet on the finish but not cloyingly so. Drinks much easier than a 15% monster should! Mouthfeel is slick and velvety with just a slight hint of carbonation. This might be the most perfect stout I’ve ever experienced.
Nov 16, 2021
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Reviewed by mickyge from Massachusetts

4.63/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Poured on 9/18/21
thick dark brown
1 finger oak colored head no lacing or cap
Aroma is roasted, chocolate and bourbon
Taste follows nose, all flavors and a tick of carmel are tasted
Mouthfeel is a bit astringent, low carbonation and prickly. A bit of an alcohol burn finish
Overall it tastes great 3 years in, maybe a bit boozy but the other notes are still pretty bright.
Sep 19, 2021
Rated: 4.41 by DVMin98 from North Carolina

Aug 31, 2021
Rated: 4.48 by BarrelAgedG from California

Aug 18, 2021
Rated: 4.54 by alexsergio from New York

Jun 26, 2021
Rated: 4.52 by crobinso from Colorado

May 11, 2021
Rated: 4.14 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

Apr 22, 2021
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Reviewed by GreesyFizeek from New York

4.36/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
This one pours a fairly dark black color, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like oak spice, pecan, caramel, dark fruit, char, chocolate fudge, peanut brittle, and leather.

I always love how spicy and barrel forward the Reserve Bourbon County beers are. This has a bit of chocolate and brown sugar sweetness, but more nuttiness and barrel char, with some dark spiciness, leather, tobacco, etc. It's got a bit of heat on the back end, but nothing all that intense. I wouldn't classify it as sweet, but it's definitely sweeter than '17 or '19 Reserve was.

This is medium bodied, with a lingering spicy finish, with not too much booziness, just a bit of warmth on the back end.

I think the '19 Reserve was the best one of all of these, but they're all quite nice and are great examples of unadorned barrel aged stouts.
Apr 09, 2021
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Rated by Rristow from Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Thick chewy and cloying on the mouth. Lots of dates, raisins, caramel, toffee and bourbon. Incredibly drinkable and well balanced.
Feb 07, 2021
Photo of jrc1093
Reviewed by jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Bottled on 8/4/18; consumed on 1/15/21

Pours a dense, oily black body with a briefly forming sliver of effervescent, mocha foam fizzling out almost immediately to a nonexistent cap, stalwart, frothy collar holding firmly around the surface, and no lacing whatsoever clinging to the walls of the glass.

Aroma shows a brisk oak/barrel profile upfront easing into bourbon-soaked fudge and undertones of walnut and peanut shells; waves of boggy, bourbon heat across the bouquet persist, though give enough breath to fluffy marshmallow beneath a heavy, malty roast over the middle and milder cherry liqueur and assorted dark fruits through the close.

Taste opens with a punchy barrel spice, tingling the palate with building, oaky bourbon into more detailed notes of melted marshmallow and cherry cordial; milk chocolate over the mid-palate embraces an increasingly gritty barrel as burnt dark chocolate with pangs of dull, boozy heat interspersed between distant espresso and nutty fudge define the back end; the finish showcases vividly fresh toasted cacao lingering long past the swallow.

Mouthfeel brings a slick, almost oily, medium-full body with expectedly minimal carbonation; paradoxically, a uniquely pillowy char scrapes across the palate, remaining oily and smooth in texture though steadily building aggression, imposing a warmth and now outright char (bordering on bitterness) colliding through the dry, barrel-laden finish; synchronized, assertive, and entirely composed despite its hold on the palate.

The massive, beautifully integrated barrel presence is poised yet relentless in its influence across this BCBS, over time opening to a patient malt profile quietly thriving beneath the waves of bourbon saturation; a wholly rewarding sipper with a distinctive evolution in malt/barrel complexion resulting in a weighty and elaborate barrel-aged beer.
Jan 16, 2021
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Reviewed by smcolw from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Near black in color. No light passes through the edge of the glass. Very little head even with a vigorous pour. What shows up fades quickly and produces absolutely no lace.

Dark chocolate with cinnamon is the initial impression of the smell. Rich like a pudding to the nose with some light brandy-like alcohol.

A bit sweeter than the 2017 version, this still features mostly darker roasted chocolate. There's no bitterness nor any hint of coffee. Quite boozy on the pallet with a long whiskey-like aftertaste. Very low carbonation enhances the strong silkiness feel to this beer.
Dec 25, 2020
Photo of zac16125
Reviewed by zac16125 from South Carolina

4.54/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75
Pours opaque black with 1plus fingers width of tan colored head. Aroma is absolutely huge bourbon characters, some chocolate and roasted malt but this is a bourbon bomb on the nose. Taste is very sweet, very chocolatey, and very bourbony, all at once. It’s just remarkably good, so much going on yet nothing is overpowering. Much more balanced than the aroma. It’s super rich, the sweetness is balanced by roastiness, the roastiness by bourbon barrel characters, and the bourbon notes by a fairly prominent yet appropriate bitterness. Notes of chocolate and rich bourbon linger for days. Mouthfeel is actually a touch thin, which i don’t usually get in BCBS or the variants. Drinkability is very good for the ABV. Overall, this is a fantastic beer. I do think I slightly preferred the ‘17 Reserve I had a few weeks ago, but I would drink this literally every day if I could.
Aug 31, 2020
Rated: 3.62 by vfgccp from New York

Jun 14, 2020
Rated: 5 by 1971bernat from Virginia

May 19, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by YeastEnthusiast from New Jersey

Feb 08, 2020
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Reviewed by bbtkd from South Dakota

4.67/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
Goose Island BCBS Reserve 2018, 15.2% ABV. Pours black and thick with no head. Nose is primarily Strong Chocolate and Vanilla. Taste is strong chocolate, light vanilla, some coffee, light bourbon, with some sweetness, some bitterness, and light bourbon heat. Excellent mouthfeel, overall world-class.
Jan 05, 2020
Rated: 4.6 by TheBeerMaster1 from New York

Dec 29, 2019
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Reviewed by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Very good. It's less dark fruit than regular bcbs and more tobacco and smoke. It's more similar to 2014 and older regular bcbs yet still not quite as good as them. It's also was hotter than bcbs. Extreme alcohol heat here.
Dec 14, 2019
Rated: 4.59 by Zonian1 from Ohio

Nov 24, 2019
Rated: 4.66 by mattmarka1 from Minnesota

Nov 10, 2019
Rated by WOLFGANG from South Carolina

4.51/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Thanks Kev.
Sep 20, 2019
Rated: 4.6 by Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois

Sep 15, 2019
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Reviewed by Jlabs from New York

4.86/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Poured into a tulip glass via bottle (2018 edition)

color is midnight black, with dark brown foam

smell is Vanilla, Caramel, coffee upfront, the bourbon is there but shockingly more reserved than anticipated. Getting some char and wood notes in there too.

Taste is chocolate fudge dipped in vanilla and caramel. Again, bourbon presence is there but restrained compared to regular BCBS. I think this is sweeter too. the 15% ABV is barely noticeable here

carbonation is medium and the mouthfeel is perfect. thick but not syrupy. Some nice creaminess as well

as expected this is heavenly..after the Vanilla & Coffee editions of BCBS this is probably my favorite variant. I'd definitley buy again, even with the high sticker price ($33 for 16.9oz bottle).
Aug 19, 2019
Rated: 4.67 by Dactrius from Netherlands Antilles

Jul 07, 2019
Rated: 4.72 by beersgud from Kansas

Jun 24, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by Stinger80OH from Ohio

Jun 14, 2019
Photo of Phyl21ca
Reviewed by Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet chocolate notes with some nice bourbon notes with some woody notes with some vanilla notes. Taste is also a great mix of sweet chocolate notes with some woody notes, some vanilla, and residual sugar notes with some light char. Body is full with some creamy notes and oily-like texture with good carbonation and some light warming alcohol notes can also be detected. Solid version of BCBS while the nicer bourbon notes are clearly perceptible.
Jun 02, 2019
Rated: 5 by glavin76 from Virginia

May 08, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
Reviewed by GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Bottled 8/4/18; drank 4/30/19 @ the Yarchives.

Black appearance.

A violent pour yielded a small tan head; no lace.

Dark chocolate, tobacco, burnt caramel & bourbon heat notes in the nose.

Thick, creamy mouthfeel.

Burnt caramel, dark chocolate & tobacco flavors up front; mild bourbon heat on the finish.

Balanced, flavorful but with some heat for bourbon heads.

A nice treat...but I think the "regular" version is better.
May 01, 2019
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Reviewed by Stevedore from Oregon

4.57/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
500ml bottle, snifter glass. Dark black body, one half finger mocha head, short retention and no lacing. Smell is massive chocolate fudge, sugar and even a touch of caramel, big charred oak barrel presence, vanillin. It's Bourbon County at its best, with a bit more of the bourbon standing out on the nose and palate. The finish is a bit harsher in an oaky, astringent way compared to standard Bourbon County, but it's nothing really to complain about- a bit more of a differentiator from the standard version. Full bodied, sweet bourbon-forward chocolate creaminess all the way through, bit of warming char on the finish.
Apr 27, 2019
Rated: 1.85 by DannyBigs from California

Apr 26, 2019
Rated: 4.39 by TheGent from New Jersey

Apr 21, 2019
Bourbon County Brand Reserve Stout (2018) from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 127 ratings