joet (2492) - Santa Rosa, California, USA - DEC 2, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
deep black liquid opaque and low to medium effervescence the fruit comes through in the malt and bourbon clear vanilla alcohol apparent but not overwhelming in the aroma hops are present but subdued especially evident in the finish texture is slightly viscous and heavy
Ceebs25 (503) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - DEC 1, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz bottle. Aroma is strong and malt dominated for sure, heavy smoky bourbon, sweet potatoe, molasses and minor alcoholÖ tickles the nostrils with every whiff. Very dark rust colored cream head on the pour that disappears, but a small, dime sized ring of foam remained from the carbonation rising in the center (pretty sweet), highly opaque though not as motor oil-like as others with a deep dark brown-black-burgundy color. Again, very strong flavor, not overly thick (for the style), not perfectly smooth either, and there is a long lingering tingle on the tongue and palate; bourbon is a pretty major player here in the flavor, backed up by a rich mocha, subtle vanilla, tart cherry pie filling, and minor whisky alcohol. This was a big beer with big expectations and for the most part it did not let me down.
krysztofar (344) - belleville, Illinois, USA - NOV 30, 2008
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
jet black. pours like spent oil. only the faintest signs of any head or carbonation. oak, toasty wood, molasses, prunes, bourbon, and vanilla all appear. i swear you can smell this stuff from a few feet away. this is a super rich, multi layered treat. loads of prune and figs stand out. the firm assertive and powerful combination of flavor is sweet and dense, but well hopped.
teamrassas (26) - USA - NOV 29, 2008
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
The aroma was great. It poured inky black with a tiny cream head. Definately charred oak on the front of the palate, vanilla in the middle palate and smoke all the way through. For a bourbon aged stout at 150 days I would ahve expected the flavors to have mellowed a bit more than they did. It wasindeed a strong full flavored beer with very sharp flavors. Drink this one around 50 degrees.
RIXbeer (102) - USA - NOV 28, 2008
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours blacker than a moonless night. A thin creamy colored head that fades lightly into a ring along the edge. Light carbonation cloud in the middle of the glass. Cloud fades over the course of the beer leaving only the ring that lasts throughout the entire beverage. Smells of bourbon first then of sweet chocolate and molasses with a large follow up punch of bourbon. Brown sugar, vanilla and roasted oak. Faint hints of vanilla and cocoa. the smell seems to get sweeter as the beer warms and is drunken. This beer oozes sweet chocolate, molasses, bourbon. There are still hints of a light vanilla. It has an overwhelming bourbon and bitter sweet chocolate taste. Lightly carbonated and leaves a tingly molasses/bourbon aftertaste. The chocolate flavors become increasingly bitter as the beer warms. A little too much of a bitter after taste as the beer reaches room temperature. This beer feels the way it tastes. A little boozy, lightly carbonated and way way way to easy to drink. Very smooth for such a power house. Bubbles a little in the back of your throat as I drink the first glass. At 13% I should be able to down these as easy is it goes down. This beer is the best of Bourbon meets a stout champion. I can’t believe that I not only want another but, I’m sure after #2, I’ll want a third. This beer is awesome! I raise my glass to the brewer’s at Goose Island.
Beershine (5219) - The Sunshine State, Florida, USA - NOV 28, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Small sample @ Brewtopia! Viscous opaque black pour with tan top. Lovely. Slight oxidation throughout gives an extra set of balls. Smooth, creamy and clean--a delight, can’t wait to get my hands on more of this.
GJF (1465) - Mount Vernon, Iowa, USA - NOV 27, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Perfect with a slice of pumpkin pie by the fire on thanksgiving. Pours deep black with a very brown head. Head is thin and disappears but who cares. Aroma is woody, bourbon and sweet malts. The flavor is incredibly rich, lots of warming alcohol, dried fruits and vanilla with a buttery palate. Long, clean, sweetish malt finish. Certainly not for eveyrday drinking but this beer is pretty special.
SDalkoholic (2314) - Linda Vista, California, USA - NOV 27, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from South Bay Drugs and Liquor. I wasnít exactly aware of how strong this beer was until I got a whiff of it, Nose is this big robust and rich aroma of whiskey and alcohol including black roast malt and pure sugar. This stout is as black as can be and resembles used motor oil while for one quick moment there is a sizzling sound and small head that then vanishes instantly. My brief deScription on flavor is simple and to the point: strong presence of alcohol along with whiskey, wood, rye, dark chocolate, sugar cane and black licorice. Such a potent and powerful stout Iím so glad they sent some to the west coast.
Maverick34 (2850) - New York, USA - NOV 27, 2008
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: NOV 16, 2012 Re-rating, this time using 2012 bottled. Black, incredibly aromatic with...yeah bourbon vanilla etc. Chocolate, butterscotch etc, uber powerful, uber tasty uber good.
LtDan (1806) - Los Angeles County, California, USA - NOV 27, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUL 3, 2009 Goose Island Brewing - Bourbon County Brand Stout, Vintage 2008. 12 oz bottle poured into my New Belgium glass. 13% abv.
Appearance: Jet Brown with zero head or visible bubbles.
Aroma: Easy going, non harsh bourbon, vanilla, oak. The warmth of the alcohol travels up my nose and tickles my throught, as if I was sniffing a bottle of hard alcohol. After sniffing it more and more, I can smell tobacco and grahm cracker crust.
Taste: Vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, bitter chocolate covered dark fruits (dates, raisins, figs). A very small small hint of hop spice, a touch of oak and coffee in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Sticky, silky, gooey, syrupy.
Overall: I was really afraid this wouldnít meet the hype. It blew me away with how complex and layered this guy is. I donít see the need to age one of these, but would not oppose doing it and trying it. I hate to say this, but very worth the $5 + a bottle.