Goose Island Bourbon County

Goose Island Bourbon County

After a decent day at work followed by the normal Thursday night MBA classes, I’m sitting down to watch the Bruins and review a beer. The beer of choice is Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. I’ve been on a serious kick for beers that are aged in bourbon/whiskey barrels. Most recently I had the Founders Backwoods Bastard, which was one of the best I’ve ever had.

This past weekend we hung out with our friends Sean and Kerry. That visit included a trip to their local liquor store where a 4-pack of this Goose Island Bourbon County caught my eye. I convinced Sean he HAD to buy it. Even at $22 for the four, he didn’t think twice. Both he and Kerry really like the beer. I’m hoping I’ll like it as much!

Goose Island Bourbon County

Enough yak yak though. It’s beer time…

The 13% ABV is obvious in the aroma of the brew – totally boozy. Smells oaky also.

I’ve let the beer warm up for about 10-15 minutes before even taking a sip. Well worth the wait. Oak and vanilla are the dominant flavors. You absolutely can’t miss the alcohol flavor (or the burn as it goes down!). I’m a little shocked that this beer is so harsh…I mean, sure, it’s 13%, but I’ve had beers with similar ABV that taste way less strong. I expect that Goose Island intended the beer to be this way.

While this is a great beer, it’s not my favorite of the style. The aforementioned Backwoods Bastard is definitely more tasty. I’d rate this one very high – on par with Harviestoun Ola Dubh 18 or 30.

A must try beer for anyone who digs bourbon (and/or big boozy beers).


Goose Island Bourbon County

Author: Joshua Dion

I write about beer in an un-intimidating way, welcoming beer lovers of all experience levels.

4 thoughts on “Goose Island Bourbon County”

  1. When you say watch the Bruins… are you talking UCLA, or the NHL team?

    I also reviewed this beer on FIWK some time ago, and we had exactly the same sentiments. It tasted way more alcoholic than the 13% to me – my body reacted like I was taking a shot of bourbon every time I sipped the beer. That said I loved the super-viscous quality and the complexity of deep, dark flavors along with the oak (which lent some butter/vanilla characteristics, almost like how oak affects a Chardonnay). A fascinating beer that I couldn’t drink too often.

    How’s your business school going? Remind me what school you’re at?

    1. Question 1: Boston Bruins
      Question 2: School is going very slowly. One course at a time. Clark University is where I go. 6.5 classes left before I can graduate. That comes out to about 2-2.5 more years. *eye stab self*


  2. When I tried this beer, I did not feel like it was overly boozy. I also found the bourbon character to be just right (most are so over the top, you might as well be drinking bourbon instead of beer).

    I’ve got a 4 pack and a bomber in my cellar. They should age nicely and if you age it, that boozy character will mellow out.

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