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Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - Proprietor’s 2013

Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 214   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.3/5   IBU: 60   EST. CALORIES: 417   ABV: 13.9%
Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout is meant to show our immense gratitude to our neighbors here in Chicago – the loyal and adventurous fans whose support helped bring Bourbon County Brand Stout to towering new heights. Each year this release will differ from the previous year; a special variant created for Chicago and unique to the year it was released. Whether your first sip is today or was from that first batch in 1992, thank you for lifting us up on your big shoulders and joining us every year to celebrate the original bourbon barrel aged stout.

2013 - Bourbon County Stout aged in Templeton Rye barrels with toasted coconut.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
suprchunk (2734) - Crestview, Florida, USA - OCT 10, 2015
Black still pour. No head. A few tan bubbles. No lacing. Chocolate vand bourbon aroma. Taste is chocolate and bourbon. Some malt and vanilla. Slight bit boozy, but not overwhelming. Finishes silky and sweet. Warming.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
deekyn (1422) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 2, 2015
Pour is like the darkness itself, with no head of course. Nose is all bourbon county with a hint of coconut rum. Molasses, cacao, dark chocolate, bourbon, slight graininess. Rich, subtle complex palate. My favorite bourbon county to date. Taste is all the best parts of a mellowed bourbon county with a nice hint of coconut rum.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
umich03jm (2993) - Flat Rock, Michigan, USA - JUL 10, 2015
Bottle. Aromas are rich chocolate fudge, coconut husk, maple syrup, and some dark fruit. Tastes moderately sweet. Light booze and so smooth. Loads of melted chocolate and light coconut and oak. Slightly spicy in the finish. Awesome.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
BiiruBierBeer (738) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JUN 25, 2015
Smells like stout and toasted coconut. Taste is heavy coconut, heavy bourbon, alcohol, and a bit of bittersweet dark chocolate. Very thick oily mouthfeel with some alcohol heat.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Aniela (4195) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - JUN 3, 2015
Bottle. Black beer with an brownish head. Roasted chocolate, caramell licorice, vanilla coconut, figs and raisins aroma. Roasted chocolate, vanilla, caramell, licorice, figs, cocnuts, Woody flavour with some dark bread notes. Love this nice beer :-)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Steasy66 (1086) - Minnesota, USA - MAY 22, 2015
Black. Smooth, boozy, sweet coconut. German chocolate cake. Very nice beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
PartyFowle (732) - - MAY 20, 2015
Draft. Very, very similar to the standard BCS. I almost couldn’t tell at first -- had to double check. Appearance is the same. Nose is richer and rounder, with a certain umami-like richness. A little toasted coconut edges into metallic territory. In the flavor, coconut is most noticeable after the swallow as toasty fumes rise. As good as BCS (which is really good), but not much better. Needs to be very warm before the coconut shows up in a substantial manner.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beerconnaiseur (166) - BELGIUM - APR 28, 2015
Flakey coconut dark pour, melassis oily, roasty flavour with a subtle bourbon flavour. For me too flat and mellowed out flavours. Taste fresh, too late!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Alengrin (3670) - BELGIUM - APR 3, 2015
UPDATED: SEP 11, 2015 One of the most sought after versions of BCBS, vintage of 2013; my bottle says 14.1% ABV instead of the 13.9% ABV given above. I taste this special treat from an old port wine snifter at near room temperature. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, near to black but not entirely so; only in the last remnants of the liquid, a cloudy brown appearance reveals itself, with tiny bits of dead yeast and proteins lining the glass wall. The head is thin, beautifully deep beige and a bit coarse, but is sadly reduced to an irregular, wafer-thin rim around the glass in instants. I passionately fall in love with the aroma: what a divine bouquet rises up from the bottle... I could sniff this for hours on end: deep dark chocolate sauce, raisins, candied figs, vanilla-like oaky tannins, Islay whisky, liquorice, old sherry, soy sauce, candied orange, eucalyptus syrup, espresso, cocoa powder, cedar wood, pear syrup, Worcestershire sauce, some cooked meat or fried eggs far away but not disturbing at all, and indeed a faint hint of coconut, though I suspect this volatile aroma has faded considerably in the course of almost two years. The taste amazes me even more: a complex and baffling experience indeed, starting off with a very dense, pointy, refined, concentrated, candied sweetness, cloying a bit to the lips, candied oranges, pear, dried dates and indeed a hint of dry coconut meat; a tinge of carbonation pierces through, as well as subtle sourish and salty accents (red berries and soy sauce). Then a profound chocolate maltiness unfolds in all its glory, bitter chocolate with caramel and cashew nuts, spreading over the tongue and mouth cavity, with a fat, oily mouthfeel; a wonderful symphony of sweet versus bitter, with a lively, almost faintly clove- and cinnamon-like spiciness to it (perhaps the rye whisky already speaking?). Bitter wins in the end, as - almost unexpectedly - a tangy yet still mellow roasted coffee ’blackness’ appears, almost cappuccino-like in combination with the bittersweet chocolate, warming and filling the back of the mouth. Even before I swallow the first sip, it is clear to me that this beer increases in complexity as it makes its way through the palate; the finish beautifully recaptures the whole taste trail from beginning to end, blending the candied sweetness, the bittersweet chocolate malts and the softly roasted coffee bitterness into one concentrated ’ball’ of taste, which is finally confronted with a big wave of warming, whisky-like alcohol which also remains on the tip of the tongue after swallowing but somehow manages to remain gentle in all its force; a clear, drying, tannin-like woodiness ensues, as well as a background hint of peppery, leafy, noble hops adding a subtle, double bass-like structure to the whole. The complexity and richness of the malts, including a warm sense of high quality, aromatic coffee and again the woody tannins, linger for hours after swallowing and the alcohol warms the heart... Things just keep happening here, no matter how many sips you’ve taken. Though I have to admit I expected more coconut presence, this is still one of the most noble stouts I ever had the pleasure to enjoy. I particularly appreciate the follow-up of tastes in this one, sweet and bitter and bitter and sweet all make their appearance one by one only to lead to a resolving climax, as in a classical drama, though I did find the alcohol and the cloying sweetness perhaps a tad over the top - I had the same experience with AleSmith’s Speedway Bourbon Barrel Aged, and like in the case of the latter, this is the only thing keeping me from giving both stouts a perfect score. Obviously, in view of this beer’s complexity and greatness, this is only the slightest form of criticism, if any; both remain unforgettable and both surely belong to the best beers I ever tasted. This one, too, is a slow sipper for sure, to be treated with graciousness, dignity and respect. It is obvious that a lot of thought went into this beer; it is as if the malts were selected especially to fit in with the spirit of the barrel in which it has aged (and frankly, I would not be surprised if this is indeed deliberate). Fantastic example of the style, definitely worth the money (which was quite considerable, needless to say...). A world-class masterpiece, that is beyond doubt. I will remember this for the rest of my existence and I will keep the empty bottle in my cellar, only to look at it every now and then with a feeling of nostalgia...

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
GranvilleTim (1778) - Granville, Illinois, USA - FEB 19, 2015
Black oily pour with a fading mocha brown head. Aroma is dark fruit, coconut, and bourbon. Taste is smooth, too smooth for 14.1%. Chewy, thick, delicious. Dark fruit, coconut, rye. Easy to drink but it was one beer to drink as slow as you can since it was a beer you never wanted to finish. The beer clung to the side of the glass.

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