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: 365 | Ratings: 1,368
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 HuskyinPDX
4.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle opned on 8.23.13
Bottle # 975

A - Pours a midnight black with a nice dark brown head that gracefully fades to the edges.

S - Lovely! Whiskey - a touch of sweetness. Hints of caramel, vanilla, chocolate - Crazy!

T - Hits you in stages - whiskey, chocolate, caramel, vanilla.

D - Good carbonation with a heavy body. Sweet and booze.

O - Perfection in a glass. My 35th Birthday treat, but I couldn't drink this after the Hommage and waiting for a friday was a good thing. Loved this beer.

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Photo of BobZ
4.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22oz. bottle poured into a Bourbon County Snifter, split the bottle with Davey101. Bottled on 11/19/10 Bottle Number 3302. Huge thanks to kdmcguire10 for the bottle.

Appearance: Pitch black with a 1/2" tan head that recedes to a nice cap and leaves a whole lot of nice sticky lacing.

Smell: Vanilla,bourbon, and mocha/chocolate all balanced very well in a noticeably complex aroma.

Taste: Rich diversity of flavor starting with barrel character vanilla and bourbon all layered on top of caramel, chocolate, and coffee. You could say that the vanilla was slightly more forward than the other major flavors but not dramatically. The flavor is so deep an so balanced and although you can still taste the bourbon it was not as "Hot" as regular BCBS, in fact it was not as "hot" as the BCBVS from 2010 that I had last week, and I found the vanilla character of the Rare to be more enjoyable than the BCBVS.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and very lush, yet it did not coat the palate.

Overall: A beer that I did not honestly expect to be as good as it's widely known reputation; however, it really was exceptional and very different from any other BA Stout that I've tried. An incredible beer that I never thought I'd ever try, so thanks again to Kris.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.41/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into HF fest glass. Thanks Alex (ataraxia) for bringing this to Don's birthday tasting. Bottle #2147.

A- Pours a dark opaque black, slight mocha head that retreated at a moderate rate, some translucency around the edges.

S- Dark chocolate malts, nice bourbon balance, slight oxidation. Falling off a little bit but still great, about average aroma strength.

T- Dark chocolate malts, very nice balanced bourbon, slight coffee, a little bit of fudge, some raisins and light dark fruit. Again falling off a tiny bit, not as good as the last time I tried it about 6 months though.

M- Very smooth, nice carbonation for style, very easy to drink.

O- Rare is easily one of the best stouts out there however at this point it's falling off a bit getting a little bit oxidized and losing flavor. Still tastes great but probably not worth what it takes to get at this point.

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Photo of justforrazors
4.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted blind at a horizontal including Vanilla, Rare, Cherry Rye, Bramble Rye, Coffee '12 and an '09 Bomber. Poured into a snifter at approx 55 degrees. Reviewed from blind tasting notes. 5/6 in the lineup.

A- The lowest carbonation of the bunch, essentially no head formation whatsoever upon pouring. Thick, blackest of black, motor oil appearance.

S- Tons of barrel on the nose as well as bourbon. Some sweetness, almost like a port-like oxidation. In addition, some vanilla.

T- Tons of vanilla, barrel and bourbon. The vanilla is very rich and the most apparent note. Tastes absolutely fantastic.

M- Thick, rich, and lingering. Not much more to be said. Simply fantastic from start to finish. Minimal carb.

O- We actually misidentified this as the '09 bomber, and the '09 bomber as this. To be honest, we all enjoyed the '09 more, although this was the close second out of our ratings by just 1 or 2 total points. We should have been able to guess by the very low levels of carbonation. Either way, this is a fantastic beer, but I think it may have peaked. When I had this back in May, it definitely had a bit more oomph than this bottle.

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Photo of vic21234
4.99/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter from cellar temperature. Bottle number 618, bottled on 11/19/10. I've been saving this one for a special occasion.

A- Pours just like regular BCBS, pitch black with a small amount of brown colored head that quickly fades. No carbonation seen, sits calm and still in the glass. Tons of lacing along the sides of the glass also.

S- Great smelling beer as expected. Tons of bourbon and the sting of alcohol dominates the smell. I do notice a difference in the bourbon aroma notes in Rare with the PVW.

T- Fantastic beer. Initially the taste starts strong with the notes of bourbon. Then comes chocolate, coffee, and maybe some dark fruits as well. The bourbon gets smoother as the beer warms as well.

M- Heavy, boozy, dark, and flavorful. A great warming feeling with each sip.

Rare is a fantastic beer. Does it live up to the hype? I don't think so. I'd be just as happy sipping on a regular BCBS or BCBS Coffee that is much more obtainable than this. Still a great beer though and I'm happy I had the opportunity to have it.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Split the bottle with angrybabboon and bilco.

Appearance: Deep black. Some rich browns when held to direct light. Clear. Pours like motor oil. Small tan collar with a quickly dissipating head. Thick and still. Very similar to straight BCBS.

Smell: A solid punch of smooth alcohol. Signature Bourbon County sweetness with a bit more depth. Marshmallow and coconut. Loads of vanilla, both from the barrel and the bean. Raisins and dark macerated cherry flesh. Nice solid oakiness through the back. Slightly burnt and roasted. Blends caramel and toffee with some rich cooked sugars. Sweet, a but too much for my taste.

Taste: Roasted marshmallow with some solid vanilla and caramel. Crazy smooth blend of bourbon barrels and Bourbon County. Toasted coconut flesh and sugar. Cooked and caramelized malts. Slight alcohol heat on the back. Raw sugar. Molasses and toffee. Sweet but not too sweet. A bit more balanced than the standard. Crazy smooth. Brown sugar and some oak. Almost delicate. Super complex, but that's expected.

Mouthfeel: Crazy smooth. Creamy. Light to medium carbonation with a slick and oily medium to full body. Surprisingly clean.

Overall: I can't taste the rare. Ahab is sad.

An improvement over BCBS but not quite the legend I expected. A smoother more polished version of the base beer. Nicely complex.

This is an orca among white whales. Big and smooth but not worth what it takes to track down. I'm glad I got a bottle when it was on the shelves. Check it off and move on.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.66/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Consumed 5/4/13

Massive cheers to goblinmunkey7 for sharing this. Split among goblinmunkey7, Bilco, and me.

Appearance: Dark, dark brown - Unexpected clarity, nice amount of head, particularly considering the barrel aging - forms a nice wispy head that sticks around, and leaves a few spots of lacing that slowly trickle down the glass - very, very pretty (not just the hype)

Smell: Potent, powerful, and uniquely charming - apparently Pappy Van Winkle smells magical - very clean, woody bourbon with some clean, refined alcohol smells (definitely different than a bottle of Jim Beam, for instance) - some vanilla, and some grains - this aromas merge quite well with the stout base - chocolate malts, caramel - dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate brownies, dark chocolate cake - nicely burnt and charred

Taste: Absurdly rich and decadent with loads of depth - the bourbon is so well-balanced with the BCBS base that I don't even know where to start - burnt and charred malts, caramelized malts, burnt sugar - vanilla, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, brownies, cake, semisweet chocolate chips - roasty with some nice coffee notes - rich bourbon notes - wood, grains, and some absurdly smooth alcohol - some heat, but it should be expected - overall, maybe a little too burnt and sticky - demands to be sipped, but could be consumed a lot faster

Mouthfeel: Borderline unbelievably smooth, nice level of heaviness, full body, nice carbonation

Overall: Yes it's magical, but I wouldn't trade any valuable organs for it

This is a notably, undeniably, seriously amazing beer. But it's not the best beer I've ever had. Maybe, if I absolutely adored bourbon (and Pappy), this would have absolutely blown my mind. This may have delivered a few cracks to my cranium, but this is not life changing. If you can find this, it's definitely worth the original $50 price tag. But I wouldn't trade much more for it.

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Photo of davey101
4.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Quick notes. 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Bottle #2209, bottled on 11/19/2010. Huge thanks to Doug for slaying my number one want by sharing a pour with me!

Appearance wise it is identical to BCBS, no surprise there. Having never had the 2008 vintage which this beer is using, I can say its awfully similar to how the 2009 vintage is drinking now. There is a stronger vanilla presence and it is smoother and mellower than the standard beer. Just loads of chocolate, charred malt, and rich and decadent bourbon. It drinks far too easily, which is sad considering how elusive it is now. A marginal improvement over standard BCBS, but when that is your favorite beer it truly does matter. Such a beautiful beer that I'm glad to have finally tried.

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

Huge thanks to Mike for letting me indulge in this one with him for only the cost of a Bramble Rye. Extremely generous of him, Mike is a true BA. Never thought I'd get the chance to try this one, so let's see if it lives up to the hype. Bottle #1485. It pours a deep, sludgy black color; much like used motor oil. Barely any head forms; it's more of a deep tan skin that barely grazes the top of the brew. Even with some swirling, the head never reaches more than a few millimeters in size. Lots of wet legging left behind, but nothing in terms of lace.

As expected, the aroma is powerful and robust. Huge bouts of dark-ass fudge lead the way, sweet and lightly bitter. Not far behind is the bourbon - strong, yet with unremarkable smoothness; miles from being "hot". Hell, it's hardly even warm. Lots of vanilla hopping around, as well as a large oak presence from the barrel. Roasted malts are hidden in the background and play a back-up role, yes they still add another element to the profile. Rare provides a very complex aromatic experience indeed, although I wouldn't go so far as to say it's any more complex than the original Bourbon County, albeit maybe slightly more refined and polished.

The first sip is awesome, to say the least. My senses are first jarred by the luscious amounts of chocolate - huge waves of cocoa nibs and rich fudge, accompanied with a deep, residual sweetness. Vanilla booms in and out of a large river of melted brown sugar and molasses, a nice combination from the heavy malt and large barrel effects. Somewhere about halfway through, the sweetness amps up and starts to resemble overripe, dark fruits; bruised prunes and dates, all smothered in a bath of brown sugar. Only a few sips into this and the complexity that it's offering is already borderline mind-blowing.

I can't believe I've made it this far through the flavor description without mentioning the bourbon, because believe me - the bourbon never loses its kick and never goes unnoticed. Strong oak accompanies some of the smoothest and most mellow interruptions of bourbon that I've ever tasted. It's amazing how the bourbon can be both so strong and so mellow at once, not getting hot or harsh. More vanilla and oak show up in the aftertaste with a mild touch of coconut. The large sweetness of this brew is offset very nicely by the heavy roast and bourbon warmth - a devastating combo. After each sip, your palate is left with reminders of oak, bourbon, fudge, and brown sugar. Smooth as smooth can be on the mouth, heavy and full bodied to the max, almost no carbonation.

Well, what to say about this one? Phenomenal beer, truly. Is it really worth the acclaim, though? It's tough to say. There's no doubt this is an excellent beer and a great representation of the complexity that the style can have. But I still don't believe it's worth three or four times the price of a regular BCS. Mike and I had a '12 BCS right after this, and the biggest noticeable difference was that it was a bit "hot" compared to the Rare. There's no denying the fact that two years in PVW 23 barrels gave the beer quite some time to mellow, not to mention the 2+ years it's been since the bottling date. Compared to an '08 BCS I had not too long ago, though, I would say it isn't far off. At least, not enough to warrant the large price increase.

Nevertheless, I'm extremely stoked and very grateful for the chance to try this one. Again, huge thanks to Mike for his generosity. Definitely one of the best beers out there, although the hype train had built it up a little too much for me. I'd take a few four packs of regular BCS over a single bottle of this, but that's just one man's opinion. I may even prefer the Coffee and Bramble variants over Rare as well, just for their variety and largely discernible flavor differences. Rare is fantastic, although it comes off as a super polished version of the original BCS - something you can closely emulate by sitting on your BCS bottle for 3+ years rather than drinking them fresh.

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Photo of RacerX5k
4.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed Masters Sunday first half in the AM, the rest during the last 2 holes and ensuing playoff. Great finish. Bourbon bomb with notes of chocolate and coconut. The usual gorgeous appearance and thick mouthfeel, the best in the business. Spicy bourbon. Overall, while outstanding, my least favorite of the four bourbon counties Ive had (2012 regular, coffee, cherry) and the only one I didnt score a perfect 5. But definitely the most bourbon forward beer. Wish I could have tried it fresh in 2010.

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Photo of thegoon55
4.74/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

been wait too try this for a while, split two ways into a lost abbey teku

A- pitch black motor oil, tan head. Standard.

S- amazing, sweet bourbon at first followed by lots of chocolate with hints of vanilla.

T- following the nose.

M- sticky bourbon, full bodied.

O- a wonderful beer. so glad i got to try it, defiantly a step up from the original bcbs.

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Photo of cnbrown313
4.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A friend of mine was nice enough to share a bottle of this with me and 2 other friends. Served at cellar temperature into a snifter.

A - Pours jet black with about 1 finger of rich, khaki colored head

S - Smells of bourbon and creamy chocolate. However, I was really hoping for a little bit more bourbon aroma.

T - Subtle bourbon up front, followed by a wave of chocolate, molasses, and vanilla. Very easy to drink, but I have to slow myself down because I know that I probably won't be tasting this again. Given the opportunity though, I could drink much more of this than regular BCS.

M - Full bodied. The mouthfeel was almost spot on. My favorite aspect of this beer. It's thick and chewy, but also creamy at the same time.

O - I was the only one of my friends tasting this that had not had it earlier. Everyone else said that it was much more "hot" a year ago with more bourbon barrel flavor. However, I still think this is drinking really nicely right now and most people will actually appreciate the fact that it is a bit toned down now and the flavors really melt together nicely. I wouldn't pay an arm and a leg to try one... but I'm glad that I did.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.41/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, almost black. Low to no head, no lace.

S - Soy sauce, malt, wood, booze, complex combination of smells. HOT.

T - Nice blend of all the smell variables.

M - Good carbo, medium to heavy body, fair balance.

D - Very tasty. Been waiting a long time to try this one.

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

Pours out really black like a malty motor oil. 1/2 finger of brown suds that leave lacing all around the tulip glass.
Aroma is charred malt and dark chocolate with raisin bread and sugar creme bourbon.
Taste is coffee and dark chocolate malt with raisin bread. The alcohol is well hiden but the aftertaste yeilds a strong phenol quality.
Mouthfeel is very oily and sticky and the burbon lingers in the palate for quite some time.
Overall this is badass and is one of the better bourbon stouts I have had. Mellow and warm.

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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 PsilohsaiBiN
4.74/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Opaque and black as death. A small tan head quickly fades to the perimeter.

Smell: The richest of rich chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, noticeable oak barrel, caramel. There's an overwhelming fudge brownie sweetness to it, and I'm even getting some cherry and dark fruit. Potent and aromatic as all hell; outstanding.

Taste: Intense, complex, deep, rich chocolate, with some caramel and vanilla up front. After the chocolate fades, distinct and powerful bourbon creeps from underneath and peaks with a punch. The bourbon carries a bit of heat at the pinnacle of the bourbon burst, but it's nowhere near overwhelming; it just makes sure to let you know it's there. As the bourbon subsides a bit and fades into the finish, the chocolate and oak barrel notes are made apparent again. It all ends with such a nice aftertaste, that's chocolate, vanilla, bourbon; all just perfectly blended. Must say, the bourbon is very distinctive and really provides an intense backbone for such a smooth drinking brew. I'm amazed at how prominent the bourbon is, despite this being over 2 years since the bottling date.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation definitely feels more lively than regular, coffee and cherry BCBS. Viscous as hell; I wouldn't expect anything less.

Overall: A bourbon behemoth, no doubt. The bourbon is so prominent compared to regular BCBS, yet this drinks very smooth. This is most likely a compounded result of the 2 year aging period and the PVW barrels. Happy Birthday to me, indeed.

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Photo of emyers
4.8/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter. Bottle #5,059.

Appearance. Pours an opaque black color with a quarter inch brown head, receding into a thin lacing after about 20 seconds.

Smell: Bourbon up front, with oak, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and vanilla bean. A slight bit of alcohol heat. Quite nice, but honestly doesn't seem a lot different from regular bourbon county (not that that's a bad thing, because that's one damn good beer).

Taste: Damn. First sip pretty much blew my mind instantaneously. Strong bourbon melds perfectly with rich caramel and dark chocolate. It's bourbon forward like regular BCBS, but the bourbon just seems...better? More integrated? Probably a bit of both. The bourbon flavor is just extraordinarily smooth. Perfectly smooth. Yet exceptionally rich and delicious. The dark chocolate and caramel malt provide a perfect complement to the bourbon. Alcohol is almost completely hidden.

Mouthfeel: Rich bourbon/dark chocolate velvet in a glass. Thick and ridiculously smooth.

Overall: I'll be honest, I didn't think this beer would live up to my expectations. I love both BCBS and BCBCS, but not quite as much the average beer advocate it seems - both come off as very unbalanced to me. Not true here - this beer has the best pure bourbon flavor of any I've ever had, and it's phenomenally balanced on top of it. I'd pay $50 for another bomber in a heartbeat.

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Photo of corby112
4.46/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Frank for sending this my way! Bottle #1448

Pours viscous, pitch black and completely opaque with a half finger mocha head that immediately disappears.  No lacing left behind but it does have lasting legs that coat the glass in a muddy film.  

Barrel character is really strong in the nose but it seems nicely integrated into aroma.  Lots of spicy bourbon but it's not overpowering with dry oak, toasted coconut and vanilla bean notes.  Sweet, slightly roasted malt backbone with sweet and dark chocolate, molasses, coffee bean, baker's chocolate and subtle roast/burnt malt.

On the fuller end of medium bodied with subtle viscosity and an excellent barrel character that's perfectly integrated into the base beer.  Spicy bourbon barrel with toasted coconut, marshmallow, vanilla and a wonderful spicy PVW flavor.  Subtle boozy heat but not fiery, harsh or overpowering.  Tastes just like the spirit without obliterating the base beer.  Sure, there's some sweet booze and heat lingering throughout but the other barrel notes and malt backbone counter things nicely.  Fudge-y chocolate goodness with fudge, caramel, molasses and toffee give it a sweet and dessert like quality but it's not one-note.  There's some roast with hints of dark chocolate, roasted gourmet coffee bean, burnt toast and oatmeal.  The high ABV is extremely well masked making this delicious, complex beer dangerously drinkable.   The flavor of this beer is close to perfect.  

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Photo of founder26
4.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thank you so much to jbck109 for sharing this at our tasting. Each poured about 5oz into snifters.

A- looks like bcbs, not much head at all

S- WTF!!! Some say this beer is going down hill, if thats the case I cant imagine how good this was in its prime. Having this next to regular bcbs you can appreciate rare so much more. It dwarfs bcbs in the aroma, huge bourbon and barrel up front, with some vanilla, coconut, chocolate, and some slight coffee in the finish. I think heaven must smell like this.

T- now to me the only thing that I noticed to be different then regular bcbs is it had less of the chocalate in rare. Still, lots of bourbon, vanilla, wood.

M- again, this is where rare surpasses regular bcbs, its so damn smooth. The only burn you get is going down your body and it aint much. Not much carb but thats ok.

O- great beer, but cost doesnt justify it. I think I would rather buy 8 bottles of bcbs and age them for a few years. Still glad I got to try this.

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Photo of ediaz
4.62/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

bottle #9722 - thanks to Donttazemebro. Shared at Redlight Redlight Orlando

A: Pitch black, sticks to sides, no head and min lace

S: Bourbon, chocolate, malt - not as big a smell as I'd expect, but inviting

Ton of bourbon, huge. Malts, dark chocolate, nondescript dark fruit, smooth sweet finish. Everything expected and more

M: a little lighter than expected but smooth as can be. Nice alcohol burn that is welcomed, matches the beer.

O: fantastic. There is something to be said about the PvW23 barrels used; they definitely left their mark. If there were ever a bourbon bomb, this is it. Would have enjoyed a thicker body but this beer is completely magnificent.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.35/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared with a friend. Poured into two snifters. Thanks to aasher for this special treat!

A: Pitch black with a small tan head that faded almost instantly.
S: Bourbon, oak, chocolate, roastiness.
T: Vanilla, coffee, chocolate, bourbon, oak spiciness. Very smooth, the bourbon finish lingers in the mouth.
M: Full body, low carbonation. Sticky, thick mouthfeel. Smooth and very creamy.
O: Excellent beer but not as mind-blowing as expected. Would trade for it again if I had the chance however.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.77/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared a bomber with my brother. Had had smaller amounts a couple of times. I reckon the base beer was the 08 if this sat in barrels for 2 years and was sold in 2010?

Black, some action, and tiny amount of mocha foam that fades immediately and no lacing at all.

Bourbon, oak, caramel and a bit of roast blend and balance delightfully.

Tastes like the nose, with caramel and related sweetness, bourbon, oak and roast. Wicked smooth, complex, and exquisitely balanced. Not quite as sweet as the standard version. Damned near perfect. Or maybe it is?

Mellow carbonation but plenty, rich and creamy full body and viscosity, only gentle warming.

Wow. Yum. The fancy barrels seem to add some complexity. The balance is perfect, and it is ridiculously smooth. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #950. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours like motor oil with a half finger cola head. Ring of lacing rom the surface of the beer.

S- very nice blend of bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, leather. Slight spice and brown sugar.

T- dark chocolate, roasted malts, bourbon, vanilla and some sweet brown sugar and spicy bite comes in at the finish.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Starts out very creamy and smooth and has a slight warming alcohol finish.

O- I would define Rare as a more defined BCBS. Everything seems to he more accentuated and richer. If I could choose 7 bcbcs or 1 Rare I would go with the regular bcbs, but if you have never had Rare you need to!

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Photo of EdwardFortyHands
3.51/5  rDev -25.3%
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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Rare Bourbon County Stout (2010) from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.7 out of 5 based on 1,368 ratings.
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