Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

I can’t get enough of this bourbon barrel-aged stout. That being said, I wish it wasn’t so expensive, but when it comes to beer this good, it’s worth it to me.

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout is a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout that weighs in at 13% ABV and pours a deep onyx black. Its tan head doesn’t stick around for too long but with that high of an alcohol content and barrel aging, I didn’t really expect it to.

It’s aroma was one of bourbon—in fact, if I’d been blindfolded, I wouldn’t have picked this out as a beer from its scent alone. Chocolate followed the aroma of bourbon, but overall, the alcohol overwhelmed. In my first sip, I was nearly floored by how high-octane this stout is. All I could think was, chocolate covered bourbon rocket fuel. I don’t want to this thought to scare you though. If rocket fuel tasted like this, I’d drink it all the time. Its carbonation is light and the beer has a heavy mouthfeel overall, which got heavier as it warmed up. Really lovely.

After my palate got over its initial shock, and I swished sips around in my mouth a bit, I was inundated with tastes are deep, dark chocolate, bourbon (my favorite liquor) and toasty malts. There was no hop flavor to speak of, which is ok by me, because I was most definitely in the mood for a winter warmer… and if Bourbon County Stout doesn’t warm you up, I don’t know what will. Further sips and contemplation brought out flavors of caramel and molasses, and I could even taste hints of the barrel this was aged in. Complex and incredible.

I’ve bought a number of 4-packs of this with the intention of cellaring it to see how it tastes over a few years… I need to practice patience with this, as each time I pick some up, I sneak back into the basement and grab a bottle. Bad Hannah. Bad.

Next time I run into it, I’ll pick up two more 4-packs to see if I can’t convince myself to keep my hands off of 5 bottles (I’d like to age them for 5 years, but check one bottle each year to see differences from year to year). Wish me luck!



  • R Bierly March 15, 2010 @ 5:56pm

    If you like a good bourbon stout, the Dominion brewery used to make a good one. The state of Virginia made them change the name (doesn’t contain bourbon) so I think they call it oak barrel stout. I know Goose Creek is a fine brewer after my days in Chicago. I don’t know if Dominion is any more after selling out to Budhook and Ram’s Head.

  • Hannah March 16, 2010 @ 7:47am

    Thanks for the recommendation! Always looking for more aged stouts to taste.

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