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Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - Rare (2010)

Serve in Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 420   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.41/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 390   ABV: 13%
From Greg Hall:
"BCS rare, Im excited. Brewed in 2008, aged for 24 months in 23 year old Pappy Van Winkle Barrels. These are the very best smelling barrels Ive come across in 18 years of barrel aging beer. Barrels were originally filled with spirit in 1985. We have 50 bourbon barrels aging, it will be a one time bottling, it will not be repeated."

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
cbfobes (2881) - Quad Cities, Illinois, USA - JAN 6, 2011
UPDATED: AUG 4, 2013 Rating #500! Bottle #2533 shared with family over the holidays. Pours jet black with a thin brown head that lingered in the glass the entire I was drinking it, aroma smacks you in the face with bourbon, vanilla, molasses and oak, the flavor is so smooth with touches of chocolate, toffee and vanilla. The bourbon is very noticeable but is so much smoother than BCS. The wood notes really come through in the finish. This is by far the best beer drinking experience I have ever had.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
phaleslu (9380) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 5, 2011
22 oz. bottle from Wine and Cheese Place. Bottled 11/19/10, and I didnt pay attention to the number on the bottle (but it was high enough to indicate this isnt completely rare). Pours a dark, oily, opaque brown color- basically black- with a tiny tan head. Aroma of bourbon and vanilla immediately emerges from the glass, then backed up with notes of chocolate, caramel, molasses, oak, and coconut. The flavor delivers the same vanilla and bourbon immediately, along with caramel, roasted malts, chocolate, oak, molasses, and just a hint of earth and dark fruits. Full-bodied, with minimal carbonation and an oily-smooth mouthfeel. Im surprised at how full and rich this was after spending so long in the barrels. The alcohol is present, but more muted than in new BCS, which can be hot in fresh bottles or on tap. Everything here is so balanced and so smooth. My feeling is that this beer is not going to get any better with age, and that you should open it sooner than later if you have one; Id be surprised to see it still drinking this well beyond a year from now. I promised myself Id be honest in my assessment after spending so much on a single beer, and I feel that I am: this is absolutely amazing, and exactly what I want in a barrel-aged imperial stout (which is pretty much my favorite style to drink as it is). It was fun to watch the reactions of everyone I tried it with last night- the consensus was that this is a special beer that lives up to its billing and is clearly better than the regular BCS. Is it worth $38-$50? Probably not, and its hard to say that any beer is. But this is certainly great enough to seek out any way you can.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
GreggK25 (26) - Carbondale, Illinois, USA - JAN 4, 2011
Pours jet black with minimal tan head that disappears almost immediately. Amazing nose of bourbon barrel, chocolate, caramel, dried dark fruit, vanilla, coffee, coconut and sweet, hot, boozy 23 year old Pappy. Boozy edge quickly mellows as the beer opens up. Tastes like perfection in a bottle with tons of lovely whiskey and wood with a great balance of chocolate, vanilla, roasted nuts, coffee, coconut and dark roasted malt with the slightest hint of banana bread. Palate is absolutely awesome with a nice amount of heat up front settling into a wonderful smooth tongue coat and silky finish that is elegant without losing the bourbon barrel edge. I drank this beer with a glass of 23 year old Pappy from the same barrel vintage and it was nearly life changing. Bourbon barrel stout does not get any better than this, sadly the cost and availability is a bit prohibitive to regular consumption. Cant wait to try this over the next several year as it will most definitely get better with time. Cheers to you Goose Island you have outdone yourselves with this one!!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
dionysus (1485) - Arizona, USA - JAN 3, 2011
Did this in a vertical along with BCS03-10, Vanilla & Coffee. Bottle pours deep brown/black with a tan head. Aroma is jam packed full of bourbon, toasted coconut, chocolate, roasted malt,light smoke, and touch of soy. Flavor holds steady with the same underlying vanilla, molasses, and toffee as the regular bc. Hmm whatdya know, this seems a lot like the 06. Overall body is full, viscous, and has that same warming alc I know and love.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
RedWingsRool (4) - USA - JAN 3, 2011 does not count
Good, i didnt expect such a bourbon kick but I guess the label says it all. Very good if you like a super strong, almost hard liquor style beer. It was too much for me although I did appreciate the quality and flavor. It was very black and oily with a strong caramel taste that is followed by the bourbon kick.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
drewbeerme (3916) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 2, 2011
bottle, generously shared by holdenn. Pours black with tan head around the rim. the aroma is loaded with bourbon, coconut, vanilla, some soy and alc comes in as it warms. Flavors are extremely chocolatey, coconut, vanilla, raisin, smooth and not hot at all. Touch aged with soy, Thick mouth feel. Im not sure what else you want in a barrel aged impy as this is easily the best one ive had. this was fantastic.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
blutt59 (6504) - Dallas, Texas, USA - DEC 31, 2010
bottle, thanks to mora2000 and thirdeye11, black pour with thin tan ring, choclatey vanilla and oak aroma, flavor of smooth vanilla, oaky oily coffee, thick syrupy body with smooth finish

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mreusch (851) - Olathe, Kansas, USA - DEC 30, 2010
22oz. bomber, #3,760, with thanks to dgugliuzza from over on BA, and selfishly shared with no one on my own little New Years Eve Eve party by myself. Pours a nice dark black with a minimal brown head that quickly disappears leaving a still surface. Aroma is lovely, with lots of barrel notes, oak, vanilla, molasses, bourbon, chocolate, and ripe dark fruits. There is a definite initial note of alcohol that dissipates as it has a chance to breathe, and other than needing a little time found this quickly went away. Flavor is equally up to the task, with more rich vanilla, oak, molasses, chocolate and a blend of ripe dark fruits. The carbonation is just a touch higher than Id hope, with some prickliness, but retains a smooth and coating finish. A fine beer, but not quite at the level of something like FiftyFiftys PVW Eclipse. Embarrassed at how much this costs, but for a one bottle, one time kind of thing there are no regrets. Thanks again Danny!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - DEC 30, 2010
22oz bottle. #3163. Absolutely pitch black pour with a thin ring of dark khaki around the edge of the glass. Plenty of wet wood in the aroma. A touch of smoke, coffee, bitter chocolate, isovaleric acid (sweaty sock) and fusel alchol. The iso tones down and the fusel comes up as the beer opens. Molasses, vanilla and maple syrup appear as well. Massively sweet and oaked flavor profile. Grain alcohol soaked plums and raisins. Bitter coffee, bitter chocolate. Spicy vanilla. Lots of oak. Lots of fusel burn. Tastes every bit of 13.5%. Thick, chewy and syrupy texture leading to a hot, sweet and slightly burning finish. I can taste the rarity for sure.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
craftycarl21 (2338) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 30, 2010
Monster thanks to oteyj for this one. Pours a motor oil black with a decent sized brown head. This beer actually has legs. Aroma is absolutely loaded with vanilla, bourbon, chocolate covered cherry, roast, sweet wood, almond, and chestnut; divine. Flavor is completely insane! Tons of bourbon, wood, nut, dark fruit, boozy heat, and a touch of dark chocolate bitterness. The oak character starts, then moves to the alcohol presence (which some people knock but I think is awesome), and the chocolate and dark fruit hit at the finish for me. The palate is out of control; perfect amount of carbonation that supply massage the tongue. Rich and massive, but so smooth. World class.

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