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Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - Vanilla Bourbon Barrel

Serve in Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 500   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.18/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 390   ABV: 13%
Bourbon County Brand Stout spiced with fresh vanilla beans.

This entry is for original FoBAB and festival entries, 2010 Bottling, and some special events. For the NEW Vanilla entry please see "Vanilla Rye"

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
madsberg (11170) - Søborg, DENMARK - FEB 16, 2011
Bottled. Pitch black coloured. Dense dark brown head. Lastning. Aroma is full of impressions like, liqourice, roast, sweetness, caramel, brown sugar, wood, vanilla, marzipan, slight alcohol, some coffee and I could actually go on an on. Flavour is not as immense as the aroma in my book. Liqourice, roast, vanilla, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, molasses, cocanut, alcohol, vague soy sauce. Quite full bodied. Ends on a roasty smooth bitterness with a chocolaty alcohol bite. This is a treat, which is delightful to enjoy while watching Barcelone vs. Arsenal.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
ksurkin (1021) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - FEB 15, 2011
22oz bomber, bottled 11/5/10, courtesy of tim and thomas on BA! thanks, guys! pours a gorgous, oily, slicky black with a thin, one-finger, dark mocha head with nice retention and smooth, oily lacing. aroma is absolutely fantastic, like no beer i’ve ever smelled before, with massive notes of authentic vanilla, i’m talking nougat, icing, cake, and beans layered beautifully atop the smooth, base bourbon county notes of oak, bourbon, dark chocolate cake, and subtle roast with hints of toasted coconut, brown sugar, maple wood, and brandied figs. flavor is amazing as well with the sweet, woody, vanilla and coconut notes beautifully complementing the charred oak, dark roasted malts, and bitter chocolate notes of bourbon county with the spicy bourbon provinding great balance at midpalate with dark fruit notes of fig, raisin, and date emerging on the finish. palate is full bodied, perfectly carbonated, and has a superb balance of sweetness, roast, and woody, bourbon spice that can get lost in many over-the-top barrel aged imperial stouts. overall, this treatment of bourbon county trumps the coffee and leaves me salivating for the rare sitting in my cellar.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BMan1113VR (7914) - Los Angeles, California, USA - FEB 13, 2011
Bottle thanks to Marissa (marked 11/05/10). Pours with a black body with a small tan head. Aromas of brown sugar, chocolate, tons of vanilla, some salinity, chocolate, maple and barrel. Flavors of raisins, vinous, port (in the finish). Big and sweet, hot and syrupy. Burnt cotton candy. Viscous and hot with medium bubbles. Very sweet. Very tasty, but I prefer the regular version to this.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
TheEpeeist (3683) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 13, 2011
22 oz bottle. Dark brown with a tan haze. Nose is dark chocolate, coconut, bourbon, oak and vanilla. Silky medium body with a tang. Taste is woody bittersweet chocolate, French roast and bourbon. The vanilla adds earthy and smoky touches but not much sweetness. A bit hot right now.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
douglas88 (7800) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 13, 2011
Rating 2,700. 22 ounce bottle. After having the rare, this was a nice test. Pours a totally black color with a medium beige head. The aroma is massive bourbon, roast, vanilla and smoke. The flavor is heavy and intense; heat, roasted malts, rich bourbon, woody. As it warmed later it had much more vanilla. Sweet and very damn good. I’m convinced, these BCS versions are amazing. The rare was on another level though.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Sledutah (6398) - Utah, USA - FEB 13, 2011
22oz bottle shared by Doug, thank
Appearance: Black with a medium sized tan head and some light lacing with good legs left on the sides of the glass
Aroma: Dark malts, dark fruits, vanilla and some hot alcohols
Taste: Smooth and silky mouthfeel of roasted malts, dark fruits, vanilla and bourbon
This was a very good beer, smooth and easy to drink.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
jesperhammer (3790) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - FEB 12, 2011
11-FEB-2011, Bottle @home with Ulkløbben, from "Fish & Beer". I am entering this rating the day after with the remains of the bottle in my glass. Still a perfect stout after being open a day. Right now sipping this bourbon monster - wauw this is good beer. I loved the "ordinary" version and this is at least equally good. Black, black, with that yellow’ish rim. Low brown head. Bourbon... ...Vanilla? Well today it is evident, but yesterday I was not so sure. That is an accomplishment. No in-your-face vanilla, but just an addition to a fantastic brew. Sweet, but not too sweet - at least for me. Morten thinks it is too sweet. Very bourbon-centered. Extremely complex. New roasted elements keeps appearing. And the bourbon just continues with that ever present alcoholic twist. My mouth loves this pucking sensation. Loooooooooong finish. What can I say, Very close to a 5. Look is a bit too dull for 5, but almost there. In my top 5, mayby top 3?

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
arminjewell (9169) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - FEB 11, 2011
Big, thick, oily black pour, thin tan head that dissipated completely after a minute. Aroma is not too different from regular bourbon county, but has a touch of extra vanilla, surprise! This means notes of big bourbon, cocoa, coffee, roast, touch of dark fruit, and vanilla. Taste is delicious mix of bourbon and chocolate, some coffee and roast, finishing sweet from the bourbon, and finally the vanilla comes in at the end and draws out the finish. Excellent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
theSlipperyPen (248) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 11, 2011
Undoubtedly a black and viscous pour, however it seems a touch lighter in pitch than the original and the coffee edition - certainly there’s more colour edging round the glass. Also, there’s less head, just a quick fizzle. But the nose is unmistakably Bourbon County with severe tones of vanilla, whisky and wood - and, it must be said, alcohol. But this is a big beer and the heat suits it well. In the mouth there’s a strong liqourice profile, which sits on top of the cask-wood and coffee/chocolate; though the vanilla is downplayed. It’s there, sure, but not so much more than the original. What it does offer is a more lactic taste and a sweeter one, almost like a mocha. And this extra sugariness is felt in the mouth, making this the stickiest of the three editions. The alcohol of the nose is softer in the mouth but you can easily feel the warmth it gives. On the finish a twist of bitterness arrives and almost a yeast or cellared dankness too. But mainly it’s a slow progression of the bourbon vanilla sweetness. This really reminded me of Lost Abbey’s Angel’s Share. So, a rock solid stout, one that will be superb after three years.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
tastybeer (1853) - Indiana, USA - FEB 9, 2011
Bottle, thanks for sharing wavers1! Pours like ink pitch black with no head but great legs. Aroma of chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, bourbon, coconut, oak, and yes, vanilla. Flavor is that of regular bourbon county, lots of chocolate/coffee/bourbon, dark fruit flavor with you guessed it, vanilla. Was a bit hot. I think I prefer the original, but I’m holding out for rare.

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