Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Bourbon County Brand Vanilla StoutBourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout
1,268 Ratings
Bourbon County Brand Vanilla StoutBourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bourbon County Brand Stout spiced with fresh vanilla beans.

Added by rudylaw on 11-08-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,268 |  Reviews: 418
Photo of WillCarrera
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of seangibbs60
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of BeersAndBears
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of sludgegnome
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Chaney
4.06/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally popping this while….. all by my lonesome……. in my basement.

Served in a Schlafy tulip.

A: Poured a vicious, inky black color, without much head, but BA brews aren't about head anyway. Dangerous!

S: Goddam this was awesome. Definitely got the signature BCBS profile along with something else….. not sure if I would have tagged it as vanilla in a crowd.

T: The finish had much more of a nutty, candy-like flair compared to the other permutations of this one. Perhaps time made the in-your-face vanilla subside? Still, I got coconuty bourbon in spades.

M: Thick, but not into Dark Lord territory. The prickle was only ever so slight and there was no lacing.

O: This was my least favorite of the BCBS permutations, but it was still pretty good.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2010, first bottling.

Appearance: Pours out looking oil thick and dark black and without much head, but what head there is is deep, dark khaki. Not much head retention or lacing, but plenty to know that the carbonation has held up nicely. Really impressive legs on this one on another note.

Smell: Really nice. Both bitter and sweet dark chocolate notes, light roast and char, heavy vanilla, some oakiness, and both bourbon and light oxidation in the background. At this point the bourbon has been mostly converted over to sweet vanilla notes.

Taste: Very similar to the smell. Sweet dark chocolate, present but light roast and charred notes. A large helping of sweet vanilla which has clearly been accentuated with the years of aging. A bit of barrel character remains, and the oxidation is slightly more prevalent on the palate than on the nose.

Mouthfeel: Extremely full body with a perfect level of carbonation. One of the heavier bodied stouts I have had. In truth I probably should have had this opened and consumed 1-2 years ago, but alas for the big backlog of beers I had around to drink. The light amount of oxidation did not hurt it much, if any. In fact I would probably prefer this small level of oxidation to the intense heat of a fresh Bourbon County Stout. And the years of aging has really helped the drinkability of the beer. Drinks to, if not a touch under 13% ABV. Overall, one of the better stouts I can remember having.

 1,453 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Stevedore
4.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared a 22oz bottle at a whale tasting yesterday, 7/13/2013. Thanks Rob. Poured into a Bourbon County snifter.

Mostly it tasted like Rare did- creamy, decadent, but there wasn't as much vanilla. Basically it displayed the age on the beer as it would be getting close to 3 years old at this point; it had a fantastic, creamy mouthfeel and tasted like Bourbon County. I didn't get much raw vanilla, however which was a bit disappointing as Rare seemed to have more of the vanilla flavour (probably from the barrel). Makes me wonder if most of the natural vanilla flavours had already faded away. Despite this, this is still a great beer.

Updated review: had this again courtesy of Doug. Poured into a Central Waters snifter today, 10/4/2013.

Pours an opaque, black body with fairly minimal, tan head that drops fairly quickly, leaving a simple black liquid in the glass. Smells decadent, chocolatey with a lot of sweet bourbon and oak. It smells like I remember it from the previous time I reviewed this beer. Not much vanilla in the nose. Now this is where the money is at. Tastes so chocolatey, decadent and sweet at the beginning with a nice but not overwhelming dash of bourbon.. and this time, I definitely get a nice raw vanilla flavour on the back-end. It is really fantastic. Mouthfeel is so full bodied, creamy and slick. Just the same as Rare and Vanilla tasted back in July. I don't really have to expand on this- BCBS variants just have the best mouthfeel you can ask for in stouts.

Overall- I'm glad I got to try this again. So sweet and full of real vanilla flavours. I suspect that the other bottle of Vanilla just wasn't cellared as well as this one; either that or having just had Rare right before Vanilla was a bit of an unfair situation. Either way, this beer is drinking delicious right now. Thanks for bringing this one Doug!

Another re-review today, 2/22/2014. #2 in the lineup of BCBS Variant night, behind Rare. Poured into an original Bourbon County Brand Stout glass. Thanks Chad! So basically, this is an incredibly delicious beer where the vanilla has integrated extremely well into the base Bourbon County Stout. Perfect mouthfeel and incredibly complex and flavourful- vanilla, chocolate fudge, milk chocolate, a bit of espresso, cane sugar, subtle toasted coconut, some oak barrel flavours- this is probably the best Bourbon County Stout variant ever made in my opinion.

 2,406 characters

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of mrebeka
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Niners49
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Rogorama
4.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of SkiBum22
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of BullBearHawk
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of JVB
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of mmcnaughton
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of JulianC
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of ralerwen
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of DangleBerries
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of kinmundy77
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of smartassboiler
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of beerdrifter
4.81/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Picked this up from a great trade with Evan! An aggressive pour of this pitch black beauty yields only a half finger of caramel colored head that fades quickly with decent lacing. The nose is huge with tons of chocolate fudge and bourbon up front, along with hints of cocoa, oak, brown sugar, caramel, leather, and espresso. Sadly, most of the vanilla has faded, but it's still there. With that said, it's definitely not gone from the taste! Huge vanilla, oak, and chocolate fudge. All of that is nicely complemented with hints of espresso, cocoa, tobacco, black cherry, walnuts, and molasses. The mouthfeel is unbelievably smooth and creamy. It coats the mouth with pure decadence and is incredibly drinkable for a 13% ABV beer. There is a great subtle warming on the finish, but the booziness that's sometimes present with Bourbon County beers is non-existent. Overall, this was pretty darn close to perfection. Rich and flavorful like all the Bourbon County beers, but without the heat and booze. Thanks again to Evan for making this possible!!!

 1,048 characters

Photo of jacwomyn
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 1,268 ratings