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Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon County Brand Coffee StoutBourbon County Brand Coffee Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,110 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,110
Hads: 6,601
Avg: 4.59
pDev: 19.17%
Wants: 4,139
Gots: 2,896 | FT: 228
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout | 13.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BEERchitect on 04-22-2010

2014 Release - Intelligentsia Zirikana Coffee Beans
2013 Release - Intelligentsia ‘Los Inmortales’
2012 Release - Intelligentsia La Tortuga Beans
2011 Release - Intelligentsia Anjilanaka Beans
2010 Release - Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso Beans
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,110 | Hads: 6,601
Photo of Hopislovehopislife
1.25/5  rDev -72.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

This was infected as hell. It had a strong smell of yogurt and coffee. This beer was definitely one of the ones that was infected, first the bottle volcanoed when opened. The appearance wasn't off on this on but taste had some coffee but super super tart and sour. Definitely had some lacto contamination in it.

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Photo of KillerJigger
1.58/5  rDev -65.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1

Poured into a glass taster. Thick dark liquid with roasty brown head. Clearly spoiled from the outset. So sour and rotten couldnt even drink anyway. Looked so good i was bummed out. Better luck next year! 2015 version!

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Photo of Hazelchips
1.84/5  rDev -59.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

I have had this the past two years and still don't understand the rave about it. It's to maltie! Maybe I need to let it sit longer. Don't know but for the price I can name two dozen beers I would rather have.

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Photo of mrandypandy
1.86/5  rDev -59.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.5

500ml bottle purchased at Hop City in Atlanta, 2015 vintage.

A - Pours a dark black, mocha head dissipates quickly. No lacing.
S - Green coffee, not much else.
T - Bitter coffee, booze. Tart cherries? Salty? Something's off.
M - Medium body, almost thin. Wish it was more on the slick/viscous side.
O - Disappointing. For all the accolades and lofty rating, this not only did not live up, it was flat-out bad, pure and simple. There's an odd salinity to it, which clashes with the slight tart cherry finish, and tastes nothing like the base BCBS I had a few weeks ago. I can't imagine any of these undesirable characteristics were intended, but it doesn't change the fact that this was a terrible beer. It gets worse as the beer warms...

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Photo of KennyDorsch
1.9/5  rDev -58.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2015 review...I LOVE bcbcs.....my favorite beer of all time.....until 2015.....was very excited when i found many bottles of my favorite target....until i started opening them.. gusher after gusher......sour drain pours...this after being properly cellared....so disappointed to have hunted this down how i did to only realize all my scores are infected.....1748 time stamp.....hoping for better next year....

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Photo of Soneast
2.19/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Re-reviewing this to reflect inconsistencies with the 2015 batch. 2015 bottle poured into tulip glass. Nice dark coloration, with a thin head that dissipates immediately. Doesn't appear to coat the glass like the regular BCBS does, though it does leave some legs. Massive green pepper on the nose, so much so that it covers up most anything else, there is a bit of roasted malt or coffee aroma. The flavor starts out with a burnt coffee flavor, with a very sour finish, almost like sour cherries, and a uncharacteristically thin body. It would appear this beer is infected with some sort of wild yeast or bacteria judging by the sourness and loss of body and mouthfeel. Which sucks as the bcbcs was always my fav variant. This beer is a shadow of it's former self. I see other people mentioning the green pepper and sourness, yet still rating the beer over a 4.0...what's up with that?

*****
Pours a dark black color, with just a touch of amber on the edges when held to a light. Not much head to speak of, more of a brown colored sudsy layer, that forms a small, bubbly ring.

The aroma definitely has a coffee, vanilla and bourbon quality. However it's much more than just that, there are deep caramel notes, brown sugar and espresso. Just rich and creamy, I can tell there is some definite complexity to this beer.

The flavor is intensely complex. You're hit initially with a well developed espresso flavor combines with bouzy bourbon notes and a rich creamy quality. It finishes with a well developed a burn that doesn't overpower the roasted, bitter coffee flavors that round this beer out.

Full bodied and creamy mouthfeel. BCBCS really is impressive. So complexly flavored and I love that the coffee character can stand out amongst all the bourbony goodness. It is quite rich so I certainly can't drink much of it, but really who cares?

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Photo of TrueRates
2.37/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I truly was excited to try this beer. Anything that reaches the top 10 on BA is a must try. But this really is a massive disappointment. Choke the hype. This beer is almost more overly hyped than Patrick Rue's 18% bourbon RIS. The pour was expected. Gorgeous dark stout with tight mocha carbonation that disspated quickly. Best part about this beer for sure, however everything on was total crap. Aroma is straight bourbon. Nothing complex what so ever. At least bring some complexity into this. I thought this beer was brewed with top notch Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso. Taste is of more bourbon with slight creme'd sugar and lactose. Can I get some toasty malt or some hops in this, please? Taking another whiff of this, I get cheap vanilla extract with more milk chocolate (hence the lactoce again). The body is rich and full without any stickyness. Finish is one dimensional with bourbon straight through. I hardly want another sip. Luckily I'm splitting this beer with a friend or else I'd drain pour at least half the bottle. I'd say if one is looking for a coffee infused RIS done the right way, search out the Mikkeller Beer Geek Weasel (BA'ed one if you can find it).

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Photo of jacksippinstout
2.54/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I experienced this brew back in the winter of 2012. I was at a nice restaurant at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. This beer has very high ABV and I don't mind that, but my thoughts they didn't do a very good job hiding the alcohol. Much too strong for my liking as the alcohol takes away the flavors of the beer.

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Photo of beerindex
2.63/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chuck D once told us not to believe the hype. I ought to have listened. This is a good beer, but it isn't the world class brew various members here would seem to suggest it is.

Appearance - Pitch black, with an adequate oatmeal head that dissipates a bit too quickly, leaving a relatively thick lacing.

Smell - Ground coffee dominates here, with mild hints of chocolate and bourbon.

Taste - Strongly alcoholic, in fact dominantly so. That it is bourbon-related is less than fully apparent, especially as compared to regular BCS. Coffee is noticeable, but weaker than it ought to be. A bit of molasses I think. Unspecifically sweet, in a cloying sort of way.

Mouthfeel - Thick, sticky, and extremely hot. Quite unpleasant in its extremity.

Drinkability - This is a one and done. And I don't just mean on a session basis. It was interesting to try, not something that I'd re-buy. It is just hard to drink something this hot, thick, and and sweet.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
2.87/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22oz bomber poured into my snifter

The appearance was opaque black with no light able to penetrate through this black beast of a stout. The pour produced a mere half inch head that was of a slightly light brown color. Poor head retention that was below average with no lacing either.

The aroma was strong in the bourbon department which almost overpowered the other aromas to shine through. Besides the bourbon being the dominate smell I got a decent amount of oak, molasses, tobacco, roasted malts on the charred side, black leather, and surprisingly the espresso is hardly noticeable.

The taste upfront was that of bourbon which pretty much hits your palette with a bang. Coming in is a sweetness with hints of black licorice, sugar, and dark chocolate. In the finish is where the espresso finally comes into play with a pretty intense alcohol heat and slight burn in the back.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with average carbonation. Alcohol burn lingers way beyond you have taken your sip.

Overall I was HUGELY disappointed with this beer. This beer is basically a Bourbon County Stout with added sweetness to it. The espresso in this beer hardly came through and needed to play a more dominate role, instead what you got was another bourbon bomb. If you truly want to try a good espresso based beer, I would rather recommend Great Divide-Espresso Oak Aged Yeti.

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Photo of urwithdave
2.94/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into my Cigar City Snifter.

A- Pours solid black. No light passes through at all. A fingers worth of a tannish head. Excellent retention and a solid amount of lacing.

S- Str8 up, in your grill, BOURBON. The charred malts and dark chocolate are present, but are supressed mainly by booze. I didn't pick up on any coffee at all.

T- Wow....I hate to say it, but I'm really disapointed. The bourbon is way to overpowering for me. Once again though the bourbon is just to hot. Weird because if I'm drinking liquor, I'm drinking Makers Mark, Gentleman Jack, or crown. Perhaps I should have chilled this brew a little longer before cracking it. I typicaly enjoy my stouts close to room temperature, so I had this just around room temp. The booze were just to much and it killed the other flavors in the beer. The only other thing I picked up on was the charred malts. No vanilla, no coffee, no chocolate. I really prefer regular BCS over this. I have one more bottle that I'm gonna let mellow out and I'll see what happens after some time has been put on this. I enjoy most BA stouts....I think this one just needs a little time.

M- Nice and creamy, but the heat from the booze killed it for me once again.

D- If you have read my review up to this point, you probably are going to guess what I'm going to say here...Yup u guessed it, just to boozey and hot. I'm anxious to revisit this brew in a year or so.

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Photo of mulder1010
2.99/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bomber poured into a snifter
Thanks to the following...Readbaron for the bottle, Spicelab for bring it back and supplying the bottle.

A-- Poured dark cola and settled black. A few gurgles of head here and there but otherwise just some ordinary bubbles that made up a thin collar.

S-- Oak, vanilla, bourbon and soft coffee. Not as big as CBS had. Very sweet nose. Alcohol very present.

T-- Devoured by sweetness and barrel. Waves of sugar just eat this up. More like diabetes on a barrel.

M-- Full, rich and low carbonation. Where is my insulin shot?? Just way above the top in sugar. Coffee is secondary as the sugar just attacks this beer and makes it overly sweet. Alcohol is quite obvious.

O-- Tough to drink and enjoy unless have had several beers already. Just a task to drink and overly massive for the sake of being massive. Will avoid the base beer when possible as too sweet for me.

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Photo of Jonoesh5
3/5  rDev -34.6%

A dark brown/black body, 1 finger Carmel head that left half way through

S dark roast coffee, bourbon heat

T sweet bourbon, dark chocolate, coffee syrup

M creamy, lots of alcoholic warmth, syrupy

O A kick in the pants for tastebuds. So much happening in this beer that impresses at first, but then becomes gimmicky. Bourbon, coffee, and chocolate were all present but without any balance.

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Photo of Jakey2005
3.14/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this anticipating another great one like the bcbs but it was a disappointment. Very little coffee aroma or taste. I'm getting some raisin and molasses flavor. Great dark black color and tight carbonation formation that dissipated quickly. Not bad, but for $20 I just cant see it being worth the price. I liked Big John better. Smaller beer but for the price I thought it was a better value and had more coffee flavor, aroma, and not as hot. Too much hype over this beer.

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Photo of craytonic
3.16/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark black mahogany with a very small head

Smell: Bitter coffee dominates with a touch of chocolate, vanilla and bourbon

Taste: Bitter roasted coffee up front with touches of vanilla, oak, bourbon and chocolate. Not particularly impressive

Mouthfeel: Full and think, low carbonation

Overall: I didn't particularly enjoy this one, rare is great and vanilla is decent. This one fell flat.

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Photo of BWood
3.22/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Honestly I was very excited for this beer. I feel the coffee and bourbon was a huge clash. I poured out half the glass I drank. I love the original bcbs but this one I will pass on

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Photo of WreckedPalate
3.25/5  rDev -29.2%

Don't understand the hype. Good coffee flavor, pleasesant mouthfeel, aroma is very nice, but I don't get anything else other than coffee. No bourbon anywhere. By far my least favorite variant.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.27/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a very oily dark black with a very fine dark brown rim of head. Nose is booze, booze, booze - it smells like it came out of the barrel with a ton of bourbon still in it, there is some coffee but you've got to look for it - it's not upfront.

Taste is very hot, it's 13% and it lets you know right off the bat. Like the nose it's a bit hard to find the coffee, but it does come through. Mouthfeel is light and sharp, there isn't much carbonation but that's ok because it's so hot you don't want much.

Honestly, I haven't been very impressed with any of the BCB series, too much alcohol and not enough flavor to mask it. This may be better with a few years on it, but by then the coffee will have dropped out.

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Photo of SlothB77
3.27/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Update for 2015:

The barrel overwhelms the coffee here and the coffee is pretty weak. This one was a major blow to the Bourbon County brand. Not velvety smooth like in past years. I've had a lot of bourbon county and I love the booziness of it usually. This way too boozy compared to 50+ bottles i've had in the past, too bitter, not smooth at all with a lot of charring on the finish. The coffee is supposed to be super smooth on the finish. Not at all. No lactose, no vanilla, no creaminess, no sweetness. Just bitter barrel. Infected bottle.

You know how Nelson and Hoppy Birthday and Duet etc had a significant dropoff when Green Flash starting brewing them? This was like that for me.

(All the 2015 regular and Barleywine BCBS I've had have tasted just fine to me so far.)

As an FYI, my bottle was in batch 1841. I know at least three other people with bottles from that batch that report their bottles were infected.

17/SEP/15 1841
12.42 ALC/VOL

I have pictures to prove it.

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Photo of harrymel
3.28/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010

pours ink black, some mocha foam and no lace. typical BCBS styling. Smells like BCBS and coffee, maybe some dark prunes and vanilla. It's nice. Flavor follows suit with a good bourbon and vanilla kick followed through with a solid mocha tone. Thick bodied with subdued carb as the beer warmed. I like this one, I like it quite a bit, but not on the seek out level in comparison to the regular BCBS. 3/4.5/4.5/4/4 - 4.28

2011
Same look as before. Smells strongly of coffee, too much for me. Below, when I seek it out, the bourbon and stout characters come through, but it's too much work. Flavor is richly coffee'd and with a solid sweet stout accented with bourbon. Full bodied and fleeting carb similar to the '10. I'm not a big fan of this one, although my drinking buddies dig it quite a bit. 3/2.5/3.5/4/3.5 - 3.33 (this is the grade that is recorded)

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Photo of FosterJM
3.33/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

490th review on BA
Bottle to taster
@Lost Abbey

Jason, my tattooed beer friend. Thank you so very much for all the beer love.

App- Into the glass was a good stout colored beer with a nice 1/2 in head and some cling down the sides. Was a pretty standard looking stout.

Smell- Im not sure if the coffee faded so much to only leave a small bitter smell with some malt and a little chocolate.

Taste- I had such high hopes for this one after the Vanilla being my favorite beer of all time. The fade on this amazing so much flavor I fear was lost on this beer. It wasn't anything like I hoped, thin, small, no coffee, no dark roast. Like a small foreign export stout

Mouth- Medium bodied and low carbed, just left a pretty bland stout after taste.

Drink- Its still a pretty tasty stout but some flavors just left me a bit put off with the fade. Glad I got to try it though. Wouldnt mind a fresh bottle at next release.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.34/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Reviewing 2014 vintage in early 2015. Tasted alongside 2010-2013 for a full vertical.

Appearance: pours a deep walnut color. small tan head with weak retention and no lacing. small brown viscosity as it swirls around the glass. dark and completely opaque.

Smell: coffee, slightly towards the stale end of the spectrum. chocolate, dark fruits and bourbon.

Taste: opens up with coffee, has a hint of fresh coffee to it before become stale and old. bourbon and a bit of booze come in. the back end is weak but has notes of dark fruits and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: heavy and viscous. some alcohol warmth. some coffee bitterness.

Overall: the freshest one is easily the best of the bunch as I expected. that said I'm not to impressed with it. the coffee already tastes slightly stale and only gets worse with ages. the coffee takes away the complexity of dark fruits and sweet malts that stand out in the standard version.

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Photo of n2185
3.36/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours thick black with only a centimeter or so of chocolate-colored head even with a rough pour. Within a minute, the head has completely vanished leaving no lacing or even a thin ring to indicate the beer is even carbonated. Even with a vigorous swirl, the beer stays as flat-looking as coffee.

S: Some semi-sweet chocolate followed by lots of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. The bourbon almost burns the nose it's so strong.

T: A little roasted malt with light chocolate flavors at first followed by the overwhelming bourbon flavors with vanilla and oak. The finish has a strong alcohol burn along with some toffee flavors and just a faint hint of coffee.

M: Very thick body with almost no carbonation, this beer is very sweet and coats my mouth.

O: Overall, the best of the Bourbon County series that I've had (better than regular or vanilla versions). The coffee is unfortunately undetectable and I probably would not have even picked up on it at all had I not expected to find it somewhere. Really the only way I can tell that this beer has coffee in it is the fact that it's not quite as sweet as its non-coffee counterparts. I know the coffee may have faded some, but I've had other bbal coffee stouts with a year of age and could still detect the coffee. The bourbon again dominates the flavor and the nose like it does in the other Bourbon County series. Not a bad beer, but I would need much more balance in it to call it good.

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Photo of MisterClean
3.38/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Abel, great share brother.

A - Pours jet black, with a half finger of mocha colored head. Dissipates fast and leaves no lacing.

S - Wow, I can smell the alcohol right off. Other flavors coming out are espresso, some oak, and vanilla. The coffee and heat has obliterated the hops that were once present in the regular bourbon county stout.

T - Bourbon, espresso, vanilla, and oak. There is a bit of alcohol warmth, would suggest aging. Hops are minimal or not present.

M - Medium bodied and malt/bourbon dominated. Creamy with no carbonation, but moderate amount of lingering warmth. Surprising that the coffee does not lend astringency to this beer.

D - I actually think the BCS is a better beer. Not saying I wouldn't try this again, but it really needs to age in order to reduce the warmt.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.43/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours semi-thick with light foam only. Dark brown color, you can almost see through it as it is mostly clear, it also has a bit of reddish hue along the edges. Aroma has a moderate intensity, only faint coffee smell with bourbon dominating.

Taste is again heavy on the bourbon with a good deal of sweetness. Where is the coffee accent? It's quite one dimensional with only a slightly bitter balance at the back. The nice thing here is that the alcohol seems pretty mellow for 13%. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for stout, but with barrel aging and high ABV it's appropriate. Carbonation was average.

Overall I was not impressed. I was expecting more of a coffee flavor like an Abyss or Breakfast Stout but it was just not there. This thing is pure bourbon, and the only saving grace was that the alcohol was kept in check and didn't also affect the drinkability. It was just too sweet without enough complexity. I believe aging would help this beer some, but overall I don't think it will ever live up to the hype.

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Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,110 ratings.