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

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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.

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Reviews: 366 | Ratings: 1,372
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.57/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at Woodshop 7 held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Bottle # 7,245.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki that slowly settles to oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is incredible with dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and wood. Taste is much the same with a mild alcohol kick and a pleasant woody finish after each sip. There is a fairly mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a great beer with an amazing aroma and a fantastic taste. I am glad I finally was able to try this beer after hearing about it for so long.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.71/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

a very special beer right here, with plenty of age on it now, and only good fortune allowed me to drink this. apparently aged in pappy 23 barrels, the bourbon character of this beer is like no other, but lets start with the look. packaging is gorgeous, velvety green box, regal looking, anticipation is high. the beer is extremely thick, viscosity to the max, shiny black liquid dances in the glass, producing a short espresso crema head on top. the nose is insane, and i stop and just smell this for several minutes before i taste. the bourbon is everywhere, char and oak and sweet vanilla marry beautifully with dense fire roasted malts, almost has a grilled property with what i perceive to be a touch of smoke, and then a raw brown sugar type sweetness, very little booze in the smell at all, i assume this has calmed down over time. the flavor is gorgeous too, with bourbon leading the way. im also finding all sorts of interesting accent flavors in the dense grain waves, from raisin to fresh cut tobacco and even coffee with a nice earthy body. speaking of body, this is a teeth coater, extremely thick and sticky lingering beer. it has some residual sugar, no doubt, but its never unflattering, and in fact beings out the bourbon even better i think. i havent consumed much pappy, been out of the budget for sure, but i can see why it has a place at the top just from its impact on this beer. ive loved all of the bourbon county stuff, but nothing has come close to this one in my mind. a perfect combination of flavors, stout at its finest. this is in some ways the final word on bourbon barrel imperial stout, i mean, where could it go from here?

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.96/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

With no doubt, this is the best Stout that I have ever had- 100% worth the hype and acclaim!

With even more anticipation than the Coffee and Vanilla infused Bourbon County Brand Stouts, no hype is lost on this beast. This Pappy Van Winkle infused BCBS is much more bourbony than any beer I have tried to date. Imagine my favorite bourbon and my favorite stout hooked up at a great beery distillery and conceived another angelic brew.

The beer opens with a dead-on motor oil viscosity and color. A delicate crème forms with a roast-stained hue. Where the retention eventually succumbes to the alcohol and weight, the legging became more apparent. The low carbonation and visual weight of the beer adds to the mystique of its appearance.

Extremely seductive aromas of decedent cocoa, espresso, and lucious bourbon all stand out in obvious stature. Lighter notes of cherry esters, licorice, and actual molasses help to round out the background attributes. The beer's aroma is complex nearly to the point of becomming overwhelmed with so much power, boldness, and harmony.

Flavors build even more, springboarding off of the powerful cocoa and espresso. But the thickness of the beer along with the creamy maltytness give even greater smoothness and melded taste making this beer way more drinkable than it should be; kinda malty-sweet-chocolatey like Whoppers malted milk candies. As the beer warms and deep in the finish, the molasses, licorice, and cherry flavors become much more apparant. Where hops are restrained, bitterness is achieved with the smooth bitterness of the carefully brewed espresso beans.

Distinct Bourbon notes from the famed Pappy 23 barrels give a sweet vanillan, caramel, oaky flavor and a texture that is smoothly boozy, powdery dry and with an almost marshmallowy feel. Signature Pappy contributes the dry-tannic feel to accompany the oak flavor in a very savory and handsome manner.

As expected, the beer is as thick, chewy, heavy, full, and as round as any beer that has crept into my mouth. And with the ultimate velvety textures, it drank much like a thick chocolate milkshake. The beer remains so very deep, lasting well into the finish and aftertaste.

It's crazy to talk that these unique barrels could make such a difference with the original Bourbon County Brand Stout. I'm not sure that the Pappy 23 release is that much more superior to the BCBS, but does improve upon them somewhat.

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Photo of brentk56
4.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with nary a head that leaves a few leggy dots behind

Smell: Fudgy and oaky, with waves of caramel, bourbon and vanilla; a subtle waft of heat from the alcohol

Taste: Opens with dried plum and chocolate fudge, with developing caramel and vanilla elements; by mid-palate, the Pappy barrel bourbon, with its rich warm flavors, envelops the tongue and leaves a rich legacy that lasts well into the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and velvety, with low carbonation; gentle warmth in the gullet

Overall: Deserving of the accolades; the best Bourbon-barrel stout I have come across by a country mile

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Photo of largadeer
4.8/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to cpferris for sharing this invaluable tick.

Appearance: Black and viscous. The brown head recedes to a lasting crust.

Smell: Molasses, oatmeal cookie, bittersweet chocolate bar. Plenty of oak, too. Subtleties of vanilla, toffee, a little tootsie roll sweetness. This has more depth than regular BCS, though it's very similar.

Taste & texture: Molasses up front, boozy bourbon, still a surprising heat present despite 2 years in barrels. A lot of oak mid-palate, drying and tannic until some sweetness reappears toward the finish. Full, rich body. Chocolate-covered espresso bean finish, lingering licorice, light tannins.

Quality stuff for sure, and a clear step up from regular Bourbon County Stout.

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Photo of emerge077
4.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black Friday insanity... wait in a line, pay for bottles, get in another line, drink! Five ounce pours were $10, but some were luckier than others with a couple extra ounces. Thanks to GbvDave and Acme for hooking me up with a little extra.

Dark chocolate mocha foam that had a dark tobacco stained tan hue. Once it parted, the surface was glassy obsidian black. There was little to no lace, and eventually the head faded to nothing, leaving just the oily black liquid.

Sweet bourbon aroma, vanilla, toasted coconut, fudgy dark chocolate, rich toffee. Seems a bit sweeter than standard-issue BCS. Dark syrupy chocolate and sweet vanilla flavors, though not as sweet as the nose lets on. Toasted coconut and tobacco smudges from the barrel, with noticeable oak traces lingering long into the aftertaste. Roasted black malt at it's core lends some bitterness. Very clean, not overly boozy compared to fresh BCS right out of the gate.

Mellow feel, the extra barrel time smoothed out any rough edges. Aged to perfection. Super drinkable, though the price and rarity limit it to a strictly "special occasion" sipper.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.97/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with small foamy head with average retention and not much lacing. Aroma consists of bourbon and vanilla with light dry roasted malt with nice lingering sweet notes and is almost perfect. Taste is a perfectly balanced mix between some bourbon with balanced vanilla notes and some light dry roasted malt that is offset by light lactose notes. Body is quite full with a very nice creamy texture and medium carbonation with no apparent alcohol notes. I must admit that even though my expectations were quite high for this beer, this has exceeded my expectations. The notes of vanilla, bourbon and roasted malt are well integrated and creamy texture is perfect. Now I wish I could find another bottle.

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Photo of oline73
4.97/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this on-tap at Dark Lord Day, reviewed from notes I made then.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with hardly any head. Black as night and thick light motor oil.

Smell: Sweet roasty malt with a hint of smooth bourbon, I'm also picking up some cocoa.

Taste: Wow! Super smooth, very sweet and roasty. The bourbon is very gentle and smooth, just wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Thick and smooth like butter. Coats your tongue completely. Very little carbonation and a mildly dry finish.

Overall: I can't really think of anything to complain about with this beer. I feel very lucky that I was able to score a poor of this. As smooth as anything I've had before. Love it.

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Photo of zeff80
4.82/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

A - Poured an opaque, jet black color with a small, tan head of wispy foam. It left sudsy trails of foam on the glass.

S - Licorice, whiskey, vanilla, roasty malt with some oaky notes.

T - Fantastic taste! The perfect blend of whiskey and beer flavors. Vanilla up front with some woody/oaky flavors. Licorice, burnt molasses and chocolate come with some booziness, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A full bodied ale with a warm alcohol presence. Drinks like a brandy or aperitif.

O - This is really, really outstanding. It delivered on the hype in a big way. Thanks Jarret for sharing!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Huhzubendah for providing this at his recent tasting. Served in a snifter.

Pour brings the typical Bourbon County look--motor-oil black with a thin mocha head, a bit of a collar, and some legs on the side of the glass. The nose brought some really great Pappy character. At this point, I am beyond convinced that using Pappy barrels will certainly make a better-tasting beer than using most other barrels. Good chocolate notes and a hint of vanilla and oak in the background. The taste brings lots of Pappy character plus some roasted malt, vanilla, chocolate, and a bit of booze. Really smooth and lovely. Quite drinkable. Love it.

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Photo of mothman
4.69/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 3580

Pours very little head. Color is a deep caramel brown, near black, but not as dark as I expected.

Aroma: Awesome bourbon flavors with a vanilla sweetness. Oak, caramel, chocolate, and a light roast with some coffee flavors. So sweet and inviting.

Taste: Bourbon, oak, vanilla, and some caramel sweetness. Chocolate and coffee with a light roast. Dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: Warming, smooth, and creamy. Not hot, but the bourbon shows nicely. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends with bourbon flavors.

Overall, this was a really solid beer. More smooth than regular bcs. The bourbon was spot on providing a warming layer that wasn’t hot and distracting from the beer.

Thanks Joe for sharing this treat!

Edit: 12-2015 bottle #4541
After having the near full line up of BCBS, you can tell the difference clearly. The bourbon flavors are so much more complex here. So smooth and complex. Extremely easy to drink. Rich, roasted, coffee, and bourbon.

Edit: 10-2016 bottle #3296
Most of what I have loved about this beer in the past has been lost. It is a shell of it's former self and tastes more like regular BCBS than rare. Very sad, but I knew the day would eventually come.

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Photo of jlindros
4.72/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had at SMBDC growler/bottle tasting thanks to BlessedBeBeer.

A: Super dark creamy head, pitch black beer with long legs, nice and thick.

N: Awesome, nice dark malts, chewy oats and malts, chocolate malts, dark chocolate, roast, caramel, roasty molasses, light oak and vanilla, bit of bourbon.

T: Wow! Awesome bourbon dominates, aged bourbon, cocoa, tobacco, oak and some vanilla, light smoke, chewy malts, light oats, dark choc, baker's choc, light spicy booze, some warmth from the booze, Finishes a bit dry, some booze, lots of great bourbon and dark malts.

M: Heavier bodied, some warming booze, decent carb.

O: Amazing, great malts, light booze, whisky, bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate flavors, great beer, aging would do well but I'd be afraid the bourbon will fade a bit.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.82/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to ShanePB for bringing this bottle down to share with me. Been wanting to try this beer for a long time.

A: Poured this and oily, very dark black in color with a small mocha colored head on top. Not much retention, reducing to a thin ring on the top. No lacing.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, some dark fruit, there is a slight fusel alcohol aroma, not strong and in your face, but just enough to let you know that it is there. Very inviting.

T: Nice combination of chocolate, vanilla, a little bit of dark fruit, but not as much as the aroma indicated. The bourbon and oak comes through, some caramel and a little toffee. The finish has a fantastic cocoa flavor.

M: Amazingly smooth. Full-bodied and creamy, great level of carbonation. No sign of the alcohol in the flavor profile at all.

O: I can see why this beer is so highly regarded. Great flavor profile, but the smoothness of it is what really made it for me. It was so easy to drink, my glasses was empty way too fast.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What can I say about this beer other then I could taste the rare through the bottle. After a long afternoon I used this as my night cap, and it certainly did its job as I passed out shortly thereafter. Served in a snifter and consumed on 02/17/11.

Black as night it sludged into the glass and popped up a sticky brown head of nearly two inches before settling down but retaining a wonderful balance of about a half an inch. Lacing coats the whole glass wonderfully. Lots of bourbon in the aroma, hot with vanilla and wood streaming through the air and dominating an otherwise chocolate and roasted masterpiece. Each sip tastes like you are coming straight off the barrel. Wonderful notes of vanilla and butterscotch, warm chocolate and light smoke all come together. Lots of heat, this definitely will benefit from a year or two but such a smooth, creamy finish it was literally as smooth as one could imagine given the strength.

Overall it matched my expectations really a fine example of what a really good beer and a really good barrel could do. Not disappointed in the slightest.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ryan for sharing this one.

A: The pour is thick and black with a finger of tan head.

S: Wonderful bourbon and vanilla aromas with lots of rich, dark chocolate. Solid amounts of roasted malts with more chocolate and bourbon. A bit of molasses, caramel, and maple syrup, and oak.

T: Decadent is a good way to describe this beer. Fantastic bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate flavors throughout. Wood and roasted malts with a bit of caramel and molasses. Nowhere near as boozy as regular Bourbon County, which is a big plus.

M: Full in body with a smooth, silky feel on the tongue.

O: I had put off looking to try this beer due to the cost (still don't think it's worth $45), but it is a really great one.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.55/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 01/22/11 notes. Shared by Huhzubendah at a local tasting; thanks Matthew, huge want! We tried this as well as BCBCS, BCBVS, and a BCS vertical.

a - Pours a jet black color with one to two inches of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Little bit of lacing.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, roasted malts, coffee, light vanilla and chocolate. The smell is great and not super hot, but I don't know if the PVW barrels add a lot more to it than the normal bourbon barrels they use.

t - Tastes of bourbon, oak, chocolate, roasted malts, toasted malts, vanilla, and light dark fruits. Again, an awesome taste, but not substantially better than the normal BCS.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation, thick and chewy body. Perfect for a big stout.

d - The normal BCS is one of my favorite stouts, and this is right up there with it; this is a great beer. That being said, I didn't think it was 5x as great and I don't know if it's really worth the money. Very glad I got to try it and glad I have a bottle myself, but next time I might buy a 5 normal bottles, or the normal and BCBCS.

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Photo of orangesol
4.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to Ben aka Hojaminbag for busting this one out at 3:30am the other night to compare to the '07 DL. Bottle poured into a taster glass.

A - Pours opaque black with a nice half finger tall deep tan head leaving light wisps of lacing down the glass. The pour was just ok.

S - Smells of rich bourbon heat, sweet chocolate, vanilla, espresso, and wood offer some contrast to all the dark roast hidden within this beers core. The bourbon heat was a little overpowering toward the end. Based on the smell this one could use a bit more time to mellow out. It actually kinda smells like the DL at this point.

T - This one tastes just like you think it would. Tons of dark roast blends in well with the chocolate sweetness, vanilla, wood, and warming bourbon heat. This one is a bit more earthy than the DL. The finish is mostly roasted heat lingering for some time. I like how this one isn't overly sweet like the DL is, more of a well rounded barrel aged stout. The pappy barrels really did their magic on this one. Glad I finally go to try this one.

M - Very heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. This is one heavy beer on the pallet with a mix of deep roast and bourbon heat in the finish.

O - I thought this one was pretty good. I think it is still kinda rough around the edges but it should mature beautifully over the next few years. I look forward to having it again in the future.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.49/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter.

What a way to start off an evening (especially with the knowledge of what is to come)! Shared this bad boy with VDubb86, TheStretch, taiyed, and our boy Matt. Good times. It pours a sleek obsidian topped by a minor bit of tan foam. The nose comprises smooth bourbon (yes, I can smell texture...can't you?), chocolate syrup, vanilla, oak, roasted malts, and molasses. Tasty. The taste goes heavy on the roast, though everything else makes a shiny, triumphant return. Imagine a good bourbon-barrel stout. Then make it at least fifteen times better. Seriously. It seems the couple years of aging did wonders for this bad boy (I'm not the biggest fan of the usual BCBS). The body is fairly hefty, with a light carbonation and a delightfully chewy feel. Overall, the ABV may be a tad high to allow the drinkability to really soar, but the tastiness makes me want to sip this over and over again. Call me a homer or tell me I bought into the hype, but this thing is pretty damn tasty, I do declare!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared at a tasting I recently hosted. Served alongside a vertical of Bourbon County Brand Stout 2003, 2005-10, BCBS Vanilla, BCBS Coffee, and Night Stalker.

Bottle #1,430

A: The beer has a pitch black appearance. The stout is completely opaque with a thin beige head atop the beer. The head recedes after a few short moments, leaving only faint traces of lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is huge, with the obvious scents of bourbon, roast, and oak.

T: The flavor is fantastic. It was very interesting to taste the evolution of Bourbon County Brand Stout and all of the variants. The Rare version is recognizably smoother and softer on the palate than the regular offering. The bourbon aspect is up front, as one would expect, and melds beautifully with the roast and barrel notes. It seems as though the Pappy Van Winkle barrels make a substantial difference after all.

M: This beer excels in mouthfeel. Thick, rich, and viscous - this beer coats the palate with chocolate and warming alcohol. A very smooth ride, especially given the 13% ABV.

D: A delicious beer, but the $50 price tag is too steep. Great for sharing with your favorite drinking buddies.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.43/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

650 mL bottle poured into a CBS snifter. Bottle #679.

Appearance - Inky black and viscous looking. A vigorous pour yields only a slight chocolate head. No retention to speak of.

Smell - It's wonderful. Bourbon, but so well integrated. It's not a bourbon bomb like regular BCBS. Vanilla and oak blend seamlessly with the chocolate stout flavors. Far less boozy than regular BCBS. Even less boozy than Big John.

Taste - Initial tingly bourbon flavor followed by vanilla and caramel malts. The flavor fades to a darker malt roast of chocolate and coffee. Very sweet, but almost forgivable given the flavors at play. The sweetness gives it a slightly fruity flavor that complements the roast nicely. Like chocolate covered cherries.

Mouthfeel - Regular BCBS tastes like it's 20% alcohol. This tastes nowhere near 13%. It's amazing how dramatically it changes the beer. Still immensely sweet and a slow drink. Thick, viscous, and low in carbonation.

Overall - It's a really good stout. Much better than BCBS. Worth the money? Probably not. I'm still going to keep my other bottle, though.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Opened by CurtisMcArthur at TN whales tasting 3/16/2013. Somehow I've never tried this before despite owning multiple bottles so I really appreciate the chance to finally drink it.

Pours essentially black, maybe just a hint of brown, some coffee colored head floating around.

Smell is huge vanilla, oaky bourbon, chocolate fudge, caramel and all the other good stuff you want to smell in big BA stouts. Smells awesome.

Taste is huge but soft bourbon, lots of fudge and vanilla. Huge flavors and very sweet, but subtle and even delicate. Heavenly.

Mouthfeel is nice, you can still notice the alcohol but it's plenty drinkable regardless, and feels great, full and rich and creamy.

Anyone who says this is "over the hill" or oxidized is full of shit. Can't speak to whether it is better or worse than it was a year ago or whatever, but it's still damn good. Not the very best stout I've had, but somewhere up there close.


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Photo of smakawhat
4.54/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a small snifter with many people at Churchkey for the Goose Island event.

Not a good ideal pour or light enough to judge the beers quality, but based on other BCBS brews it's about the same, perhaps even lighter with a very dark walnut brown and a faint light tan collar presented.

The bouquet is exquisite, diverse with many characters, and ones that blur the line for beer and whiskey aging. Molasses, black licorice thickness. Some praline like candy and there is a huge amount of tobacco warmth and incredible barrel notes of oak and wood on this. It smells like a barrel room literally, with the wood angle going from oak, cedar and cigar box. Stunning nose.

The palate comes though as a bit of a shock, mostly because of the mouthfeel. Strangely light bodied, and not that coating, but luckily plenty of backbone and classic roasty characters and the flavors still come through. Felt strangely flat in a way, but the flavors really carry. Large tasting cigar smoke and tinderbox wood. Molasses and sweetness come with a good balance, and barrel charring to match.

Overall it's classic bourbon county, and amped up with incredible tobacco and barrel whiskey char, but it feels like the beer is not at it's pinnacle. I feel after having this while it is incredibly impressive that I missed this beer at its prime. Either way, it is still truly wonderful.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.31/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Goose Island Brewing Company Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout, stout aged in bourbon barrels (aged for 2 years in 23-year old Pappy Van Winkle barrels)

, bottle number 3116. I forgot when I bought this, but very few arrived locally, and I never saw one for sale. Luckily, I saw Tyler from Zipp's when he had one left. I hadn't planned on spending $40 or more on a single bottle, but he offered, and I couldn't decline. I'm a sucker that way…sigh…

So, I've been sitting on it, for a landmark beer. Maybe review #1000 on this blog would work? So, I calculated how many of my post weren't beer reviews and came up with the number 31, which may or may not be accurate. And I waited for post #1031, until I got on a tear with those birthday beers, and quickly surpassed that number. At my birthday celebration, Matthew J. suggested that it's prime is coming, since the base beer was brewed in 2008. So, we're at or past 5 years for this.
But it says on the label: "Develops for up to 5 years in the bottle." Well, when was it bottled? I bought it 3 years ago, when it was new. It doesn't say: "develops for 5 years from the brewing date." Bottled on 11/19/2010. We're at just over 2 1/2 years. Let's drink it.

Thick black coloring, slim toasted brown head, starts big, settles quickly. Vast expanse of empty void, a null set.

Aroma: sweet, rich bourbon, with vanilla overtones. cherry and whiskey notes over-ride, dominate, stand tall above. It's all bourbon, baby. Don't need any ice.

Taste: Mmmm. Thick, rich, delicious, plenty of bourbon flavors still on top of the tongue. Ridiculously delicious. So many layers of caramel and dark rum, a little anise, whoa…boom, pow! yeah….huge, slick, sick, and yummy.

Let's see watt the label tells us: "This stout was aged for over two years in the finest barrels Goose Island has used in it's 18 years of bourbon-barrel aging beers. A true rarity, savor and share with only those you hold dear, as it will never be made again. Cheers!"

So, I held on to this to drink on my own, so I can write these notes, but I've got Rollie the Cat, and his pal (and mine) Sonny Boy the Cat. They don't drink beer, though, which is best for me.

I'm barely halfway done with the bottle, and it's richness and deliciousness hasn't even faded or gotten close to dying down. Dense, this, and delectable. Deep and amazing.

Got this one in under the radar, apparently. So good, so incredible.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.62/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed a couple 5oz pours of this at Goose Island Clybourn after braving the frigid cold to score some bottles. Served in a stange-like taster glass.

A - Served with a quarter-finger of dark tan foam that quickly settles to a thin ring, leaving behind attractive splotchy lacing. The body is pitch black. Looks a lot like regular BCS.

S - This is very oak heavy, with notes of vanilla, smoke, dark chocolate, prunes and other dark fruits, and the signature Pappy Van Winkle caramel character. As it warms it gets more tannic and boozy.

T - The taste is super mellow, with big vanilla, dark fruits, dark chocolate, and caramel notes. When it gets to room temperature more overt bourbon and spicy wood character emerges. Finish is superb, with a surprisingly light kiss of barrel tannins for two-plus years in wood.

M - The time in the barrel has thinned this out more than the regular version, and it seems a touch undersized for the listed ABV. On the positive side, there's little alcohol warmth. Otherwise very smooth, with only mild dry oak and tannic character.

D - The use of Pappy Van Winkle barrels, and the extended aging has left this ready to drink right out of the gate. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be significantly more complex than regular BCS, or at least not enough to warrant the 3x price increase. Still, it's an extremely enjoyable barrel-aged stout that all BCS lovers should try at least once.

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Photo of Duff27
4.64/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Initial small medium mocha head on a black body. No lacing and little collarage.

S- Intoxicating smell. Bourbon booze.

T- Roastiness is present but somewhat hidden behind the bourbon. Alcohol is present but lack the burn one would assume with !3%abv. Love love love it.

M- Silky smooth, its almost ridiculous. Retains just enough carbonation.

D/O- What a treat! Shared with mi amigos. Congrats on the wedding PTMcB!

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Rare Bourbon County Stout (2010) from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.7 out of 5 based on 1,372 ratings.
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