Rare Bourbon County Stout (2010) | Goose Island Beer Co.

Rare Bourbon County Stout (2010)Rare Bourbon County Stout (2010)
Liked This Beer
4.8 w/ 1,374 Ratings
Rare Bourbon County Stout (2010)Rare Bourbon County Stout (2010)

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:
Aged 2 years in 23-year old Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrels.

Added by alcstradamus on 10-07-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,374 |  Reviews: 368
Photo of PDR84
1/5  rDev -79.2%

Photo of barkingelectron
1/5  rDev -79.2%

Photo of TrueRates
2.36/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Was lucky enough to be able to sample about a 6 oz. pour at a local tasting. Happy I didn't have to fork over the $45+ price tag! Deep opaque black pour with a cappucino color head. The aroma is just wayyy too boozy. Tons of vanilla, caramel, residual sweetness, and Bourbon out the wazoo! Flavor is quite similar to the aroma. Very full bodies beer with overwhelming notes of bourbon and tones of licorice, sweet espresso, molasses, and some more vanilla. The body is nice and full for a RIS but the finish is just too sweet and alcoholic. I can't imagine drinking more than a few ounces of this. I think Goose Island nailed what they were going for in this beer. There were no real off flavors but just completely alcoholic and over the top.

 743 characters

Photo of Jweiler7
3.04/5  rDev -36.7%

Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -27.1%

Photo of EdwardFortyHands
3.51/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

This is an ok brew but I expected more.

I get that it was mellowed for a long time in some swank barrels, but at this point it is over the hill. It must be pretty old in beer years because it tasted tired, and left for dead. There was just no life left in this beer and I think it really killed bottle "aging".

I really like the barrel aging aspect of stouts but once they come out of the barrel, that is it, that is as good as they are ever going to get.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.53/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Goose Island BCS tasting on 6/16/2012

A: Very dark brown, with dark brown bubbles rising to the top, but no head to speak of.

S: Chocolate, bourbon, and wood

T: Lots of bourbon and dark cacao.

M: Oily, with low carbonation. Finished hot and astringent.

O: Honestly, a let-down for me. Too hot to really enjoy.

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Photo of infi
3.75/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Jeffo
3.79/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

The both famous and infamous Rare Bourbon County Stout. With a $45 retail price tag, we had mixed feelings going into this one. Regardless, lots of help from Masterski and theTomG for this stuff. Thanks a lot guys!

From a bomber into a snifter
Bourbon County Brand Stout in Pappy van Winkel barrels for 2 years.
Brewed in 2008 and bottled in 2010.
Bottle: 1475

APPEARANCE: Same pour as the base beer. Comes out black and yields a small, mocha colored head that quickly fades to a ring only. Relatively lousy retention. Jet black body with no visible carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass. Same as the base beer.

SMELL: Like the base beer, this one is quite bourbon heavy. Lots of barrel, with oak, vanilla and milk chocolate accompanying the bourbon base. Light roasted and chocolate notes, but strong on the barrel and very similar to the regular Bourbon County. Perhaps a touch less boozy than the fresh 2010 base beer, and the oak and vanilla are a little more forthcoming.

TASTE: Lots of barrel here, but more base beer up front than the 2010 regular Bourbon County showed. Roasted and smoky malts with some dark chocolate as well, then a burst of bourbon, oak, vanilla and milk chocolate. Lots of barrel on the finish, but not as boozy as the regular 2010 bottle. Bold and lingering aftertaste of vanilla, oak, bourbon and dark chocolate. Very flavorful overall, with less booze and more a bit more base beer under the barrel. The extra ageing time has done this one well, as it is mellower than the 2010 and more base beer is now detectible. For a big, huge barrel aged stout, this is quite good.

PALATE: Even lighter and more prickly than the regular version. Thinner body, prickly carbonation, and finishes quite sticky on the palate. This definitely needs to be thicker and creamier for the style. Like the rest of this series, the feel is where it falls way short.

OVERALL: This is a barrel aged lovers dream, as the barrel is not only bold and flavorful, but the extra age has let it mellow enough that the base beer can show its worth a little more. Definitely more complex and enjoyable than a fresh 2010 Bourbon County, and more flavorful and in better shape than the vintage 2007 bottle we opened as well. However, the body is simply too thin and the carbonation too prickly to make this the world class brew it wants to be. Moreover, although this bottle was in better shape than the 2007 we opened, I can imagine a vintage 2009 bottle would show the same quality as this. In the end, this beer is only worth the hefty price tag for novelty’s sake; if you want to taste something similar, try a 2009 bomber. A fraction of the price and just as enjoyable. Thanks for the help with this one guys. It was a fun experience.

EDIT: We tried the entire horizontal a couple weeks back and found that the Rare was indeed better than the '09 bomber we opened. More chocolate notes and, consequently, slightly more decadent.

 2,989 characters

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.8/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rare Bourbon County comes out of the bottle with a very heavy-looking, black body. The brown head is a little weak looking, and doesn't manage any lacing. Not really a surprise or a problem with a beer this big though.

The aroma is a monster, with a ton of bourbon crushing hints of chocolate and wood.

Who put beer in my bourbon? Or isn't it normally the other way around? The bourbon domiantes this thing, with a huge amount of heat. I have to admit, the Pappy is a top notch bourbon, and it's noticeable, but this one is just too hot for me to fall in love. Some of the flavor that linger around beneath the bourbon are a good bit of roast and chocolate, some wood and vanilla,

A big, sticky body that burns my nose hairs.

This one only gets marks this high from me because the Pappy Van Winkle is excellent. I'm not, however, a fan of the bourbon strangling the beer completely. Although I am glad I got to try it, I don't think it was worth 50 bucks.

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Photo of maximum12
3.8/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Regular BCS & Vanilla last night, Rare tonight. Feeling decadent. And while I'm at it, I'm going to bitch about the price a bit. Goose Island - don't do this again. Worse, don't think you've made it OK for others to do it. Unfortunately, I just couldn't resist becoming part of the problem. But $40 for a bomber is seriously out of line.

Lovely packaging. Nice box, good micro-story, beautiful bottle. #3165 bottled on 11/19/10. Pours Testors flat matte black. Doubt you could raise a decent head on this without an old Raise Dead spell. Allow to sit for several minutes to warm from fridge temps. Smells like bourbon. Rich & good bourbon, but that's about it, really like a replay of regular BCS with more oomph.

Rare Bourbon County Stout burns all the way down. The additional bourboning has raised the base beer from overamped to carpet bombing. Although I'm actually laughing at some of the other reviews picking out "nuances" in this beer, kind of like criticizing the acting of Jenna Jameson. This is a bourbon nuclear weapon fused with malts. Any other taste is a figment of your imagination. It is, for all it's lack of subtlety, a masterful melding of the two.

Lacking any but the most cursory bits of carbonation, this is a heavy heavy monster mash in the stomach. That impacts how much I want of it, too. I could have easily had another Vanilla last night, but this creature, no way. Splitting a bomber with my wife is plenty, thank you.

Very good beer. But not $40+ good. This is a "glad I had it, don't need to have one again" kind of beer. Next time I'll buy 3 bottles of The Abyss or 12 cans of Furious & be much more entertained.

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Photo of ricoch3t
4/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of r0nyn
4/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of StoutSlut
4/5  rDev -16.7%

4/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of ChrisPro
4/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Jdotswizz
4/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of facesnorth
4/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of WYVYRN527
4/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of JellyJacket
4/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of ChaseT
4/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of BeerSociety
4/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of chadwicktorres
4/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of ElGordito
4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Rare Bourbon County Stout (2010) from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 99.5% out of 100 with 1,374 ratings
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