ronaldtheriot (1597) - Laplace, Louisiana, USA - MAY 28, 2015
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout has a thin, tan head, a very dark brown, almost black, appearance, and essentially no lacing left on the glass. The aroma is as expected- a strong, overriding, vanilla/oak/Bourbon whiskey smell, with background malt. Taste is of the same, with lots of sugar, some char, dark, slightly-turned dark fruits, like prunes, and balancing bitterness. Mouthfeel is heavy and velvety, and Goose Island Bourbon County Stout finishes rich and boozy. RJT
MaBeer1972 (1558) - Taunton, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 26, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Brick Alley Pub in Newport. Served in a snifter. Deep brownish black color. No head. Very sweet on the nose and at first on the tongue. Flavor builds slowly. Notes of dark chocolate and coffee, with hints of vanilla. Good balance, very smooth. Tell me again why this isn’t a craft brew?
Beerhunter111 (12257) - Hasborn, GERMANY - MAY 24, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Fast schwarze Farbe, geringe bräunliche schaumkrone. Geruch sehr Schokoladig, Vanille, toffee. Geschmack süß, Vanille, leicht holzig, cremig, lecker,.
Alengrin (3670) - BELGIUM - MAY 22, 2015
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: MAY 29, 2015 Time for one of the great classics of American craft beer culture, the original barrel-aged imperial stout, to which many more recent examples are indebted. This one was actually made to a recipe of which the brewer thought it fitted the added bourbon taste best - let this serve as an example to all the breweries nowadays which believe putting a stout in a liquor barrel automatically leads to a world-class masterpiece... Very dark burgundy colour, blackish but revealing its colour around the edges, with the expected thick yellow ’film’ stuck to the glass as it progresses; quite some fizz for this style, visible on the edges. These tiny bubbles try to sustain a thin, loose, deep beige head, but cannot prevent it from receding quickly and even all but disappear in the end under the heavy alcohol dosage. Truly mouth-watering aroma, very strong and perfumey and reaching my nose instants after opening the bottle: cold black coffee but in a good, very aromatic way here, bitter chocolate, lots of vanilla-like tannins of extreme elegance, wet wood and obviously some bourbon, moist Cuban cigar, milk chocolate, kahlua, old dry sherry, subtle hints of bayleaf, banana liqueur, liquorice, rhum-soaked raisins, roasted meat and cinnamon, varnish and shoe polish as can be expected from such a strong beer but in an aroma this complex, I cannot see any reason to be bothered by this; if anything, it only adds further complexity. I am flabbergastered: it contains all the good things of a barrel-aged stout, looking for flaws is pointless and even insulting to a beer of this stature, and everything is in absolutely perfect balance - nothing pushes itself forward, nothing clashes with anything else. This is among the most wonderful beer aromas I ever had the honour to smell. The taste is equally amazing: a tangy candied sweetness as expected, setting up a line of communication with the finish, but still restrainedly so; a deep basic grain sourishness, a very fine and concentrated sparkle on the tongue from carbonation, a slight umami accent but remaining in the background where it belongs, a massive body but still elegant and lean in spite of the far-above-average ABV... Deep bitter chocolate malts, absolutely delicious, thick and oily mouthfeel and just the right dosis of coffee-like roasted bitterness in the end, blending in perfectly with the rest instead of manifesting itself too much. All the way in the finish, it becomes even more complex, as a noble ’woodiness’ sets in, drying tannins, a lovely peppery hop bitter accent which balances out the sweetness to the point of perfection, and a warming glow of liqueurish and very clearly bourbon-like alcohol accompanying the liquid down the throat without ever becoming burning or astringent, though its presence is hard to ignore. I had rarer examples of American barrel-aged stouts than this, with all their respective hypes surrounding them, but no matter how great they are, there is always one little detail which prevents them from being completely perfect: just a tad too much of the bourbon or alcohol, just a tad too cloying, just lacking a tad of roasted bitterness... But this one, the grandfather of them all, manages to avoid all that. This is a truly divine brew - if there is a heaven, and I think there is not so I’m drinking these beers here, I’m sure this will be served there... I am infinitely glad I got the chance to taste this work of art. A great example, not just for its style, not just for beer in general, but for gastronomy in general. Kudos to Goose Island - the fact that it has been taken over by AB InBev worries me a bit, but apparently this 2014 vintage is as good as it could have been, so I assume the InBev bankers are not interfering with production here. Completely amazing and even better than I expected.
Tonkun (1296) - New Jersey, USA - MAY 21, 2015
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured from growler. Pitch black tar-like pour with no head. Vanilla, American oak, cream, coffee, dark fruits. Need a spoon to drink. Wow. Smooth and silky but with depth and complexity. Hides the alcohol well with the big body until the liquid burns your stomach.
tourette (224) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAY 17, 2015
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This is about as good as a barrel aged stout can get. Holy crap is it good.
BBHansen (502) - Køge, DENMARK - MAY 13, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle (2012)@ DØE. Appearance: Pours clear deep brown/black with good soapy beige head and lacing. aroma/taste notes: caramel, chocolate oak, brown sugar, vanilla, bourbon and some smoke notes. palette: powerful aroma, low to medium carbonation, full body, notable caramel sweetness, average bitterness, long duration and an oily texture. Overall: Very tasteful and powerful bourbon stout.
Fungrim (60) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - MAY 10, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle, 2011. Pours black-brown with a small head, leaving fine residues on the glass. Licorice, caramel and roasted, almost smoky, tones in the nose. The taste is all bitter almonds, dried fruits, oak and vanilla. Fantastic. Oily, smooth and just a little bit of carbonation left. Not the best Bourbon County I’ve had. Still very good.
TychoJames (698) - Örebro, SWEDEN - MAY 9, 2015
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Flaska på begravningsbyrå Stockholm
Svart kulör med ljusbrunt skum. Fantastiskt fin doft av vanilj fat och choklad. Söt smak med knäck, choklad, vanilj och torkad frukt.
bodega95 (85) - - MAY 3, 2015
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Draft pitch dark black with almost no head. The aroma is amazing, vanilla chocolate very mellow. You can really taste the bourbon. Incredible how a 14.2% passes like silk through my throat. 2014 edition