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Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

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

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,043 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,043
Hads: 6,223
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 3.27%
Wants: 3,961
Gots: 2,589 | FT: 208
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

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: 1,043 | Hads: 6,223
Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark coloured body, with a little head. Looks thick. Aromas of coffee up front, only fainter bourbon. The taste was cold coffee with tons of milk and sugar up front. Something I do not drink. As I kept drinking samples, and with food, the coconut taste (and the lactic acid) more than the bourbon accumulated.I finished 300 ml. but 750 ml. was just too much. (366 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.31/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting.

2011 vintage. Bottled 1/11/12.

Pours an opaque black/brown with a dark khaki head that fades to nothing. No lacing on this one. Smell is of dark roasted malt, coffee beans, cocoa, roasted peanuts, and bourbon. Taste is the same with an alcohol kick on the finish with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barrel aged stout but I think regular BCBS is better. (482 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.66/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

No head on a jet black body. Very simple appearance, not much to it. Aroma is dominated by coffee but like the base beer its a bit mild for what I want. Aroma has coffee, dark fruits, Smoked malts and little else. This basically smells like a freshly opened bag of dark roast. Flavor is much better and much more dynamic than the aroma. I am getting vanilla, lots of dark roast coffee of course, some milk chocolate, little booze for ABV and peat/roasted malts. The coffee competes with the bourbon making it slightly less apparent than the base beer which is too bad. The body seems lighter than the base beer to me having had them back to back but still full with light to moderate carbonation. Still though the feel can't get better. excellent combo of stout, coffee and bourbon. Doesn't get much better. (807 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.49/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin mocha head that instantly faded away and left a thin ring of bubbles around the collar of the glass. As the beer warms up, it pours with a much larger head that also dissipates.
S: There is an intense aroma of bourbon and alcohol in the nose along with some hints of espresso beans.
T: Like the smell, the bourbon flavors really stand out in the overall taste, although unlike the regular Bourbon County Brand Stout these are balanced to some degree by the coffee and roasted malts. There are also some hints of oak.
M: It feels full-bodied and very viscous on the palate with a low amount of carbonation. There is warming from the alcohol in the finish.
D: This beer is definitely one that needs to be sipped given its strength; the intensity of the aromas and flavors will definitely wake you up. The addition of the coffee flavors makes the beer slightly more drinkable than Bourbon County Brand Stout. (962 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared with bmanning, Azurelimits, amyliz4, and hhanson at a recent tasting.

A: Pours much like the regular Bourbon County Stout--rich black and quite oily with a nice, thick mocha head.

S: Intense chocolate mocha espresso with quite a bit of bourbon coming through as well. Pretty strong vanilla presence along with roasted malt, oak, and molasses.

T: The bourbon comes out a bit more, mixing with loads of dark chocolate and espresso. Some roasted malt and residual sweetness, but mostly the interplay between the bourbon, chocolate, and coffee.

M: Heavy and viscous. The initial sip is quite a bit of alcohol heat, but the other flavors begin to take over as it warms toward room temperature.

D: This is one heavy, intense brew. A bomber between 5 people was more than enough. Very tasty, although I imagine it'd be hard to finish even a 12oz. bottle alone. (866 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.53/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

been waiting to crack this for awhile now and finally the time was right. the pour was lacking much carbonation, but thats to be expected from the barrel aging process. dark dark brown murky liquid, not as thick or syrupy as i was anticipating, and just a thin rim of moca lacing. the nose is wonderful, this beers best feature i thought. lots and lots of fresh coffee flavors, like just used espresso grounds, minus the acid. i really dont smell too much alcohol either surprisingly, just a lot of roasty malt with the coffee. the flavor isnt as coffee heavy as it smells, and i thought that was a bit of a let down, i was kind of hoping for a coffee bomb, and this is a lot more refined than that, well done. no acid at all, and plenty of vanilla and charcoal rubbed off from the barrel, it all really comes together. again, the alcohol is amazingly well hidden for such a big beer, even when its warm i dont feel too bad a burn for 14% abv. the coffee has no acidity at all, which is a delight as well. mouthfeel is a little thick without much carbonation at all. i dont remember the regular bourbon county being so flat, but that was from a tap and this was bottles, so who knows. still velvet mousse texture, really lovely and artfully done. this was a gem, equally delicious as the standard edition, but in a lot of ways i liked this better. worth every bit of the hype in my opinion! (1,390 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: I'm going to cut this some slack for the high ANV as it fails to produce much head atop the fudge brown liquid; what head is produced quickly fades to a ringlet and archipelago; legs but not much lace

Smell: More roasty chocolate than coffee, but the oaky bourbon and vanilla aromas dominate

Taste: Chocolate, bourbon, oak and vanilla dominate the tastebuds, up front and after the swallow, with only the vaguest hint of coffee in the finish; a lot of residual sugars in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and viscous, with low carbonation

Drinkability: A good, make that very good, barrel-aged stout but to my palate, this beer has been over-hyped; perhaps it had more coffee character when first released but that has faded now; I love Intelligentsia's Black Cat roast and am disappointed that it has become lost in the shuffle with this beer (859 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.76/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing this one again, It's fantastic. Having this in 2010 at a festival didn't go it the justice it needed. This is damn near flawless for an imperial coffee stout. It's awesome!

Got to try this beer at the ACBF 2010 and all I could say is holy crap! This beer is wonderful, it was just overly flavorful. The color was black with a pretty good head for something so strong. The beer was thick and complex as hell. The bourbon screams out in this brew, there are flavors of coffee, vanilla, and lots of booze. This beer reminded me a little bit of Sam Adams Triple Bock but much better. This beer deserves another try, if I ever see it again I'll surely pick up some. (671 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.82/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2011 Release - Intelligentsia Anjilanaka Beans

In comparison to last year's version, the Anjilanaka provides a sweeter and nuttier component that takes off the more aggressive elements of roast and dryness. Succulent as ever and still with impressions of chocolate covered espresso beans, this world class beer follows up on the inaugural beer very well. Although I prefer the heightened sense of espresso roast and restrained sweetness of last year, this young follow-up represents the brand in regal fashion!

2010 Release - Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso Beans

With so much anticipation, and with the success of the standard Bourbon County Brand Stout, there is no let down from the hype. This coffee infused BCS reminds me of chocolate covered espresso beans and the bourbon ball candies that we love so much here in the Bluegrass. Imagine my favorite espresso and my favorite stout hooked up at a great beery coffee shop and conceived an angelic brew.

The beer opens with a dead-on motor oil viscosity and color. A delicate crème forms with a roast-stained hue. Where the retention eventually succumbes to the alcohol and weight, the legging became more apparent. The low carbonation and visual weight of the beer adds to the mystique of its appearance.

Extremely seductive aromas of decedent cocoa, deeply roasted espresso, and bourbon all stand out in obvious stature. Lighter notes of cherry esters, licorice, and actual molasses help to round out the background attributes. The beer's aroma isn't overly complex but they show so much power, boldness, and harmony- this is the chick in the bar that you will intently make a fool of yourself just to catch her eye.

Flavors build even more, springboarding off of the powerful cocoa, espresso, and bourbon. But the thickness of the beer along with the creamy maltytness give even greater smoothness and melded taste making this beer way more drinkable than it should be; kinda malty-sweet-chocolatey like Whoppers malted milk candies. As the beer warms and deep in the finish, the molasses, licorice, and cherry flavors become much more apparant. Where hops are restrained, bitterness is achieved with the smooth bitterness of the carefully brewed espresso beans.

As expected, the beer is as thick, chewy, heavy, full, and as round as any beer that has crept into my mouth. And with the ultimate velvety textures, it drank much like a thick chocolate milkshake. The beer remains so very deep, lasting well into the finish and aftertaste.

It's crazy to talk that the coffee bean aging could possibly improve the Bourbon County Stout. I'm not sure that the Coffee Release is better but it's certainly not any worse. (2,681 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.13/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium size dark brown foamy head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma of coffee, light vanilla notes from the bourbon and some peppery notes which don’t necessarily fit the style. Taste is mix between some astringent coffee notes with some vanilla and coffee a strange peppery feeling at the end. Body is quite full with nice creamy texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Good though definitely a notch below the other GI stout treatments. (515 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.55/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, 2010 batch. Thanks for the bottles, Alex!

Viscous pitch black body, it looks almost oily when swirled, leaving caramel-colored legs clinging to the glass. It's topped by a small dark brown cap which quickly recedes to a thin collar.

The medley of coffee beans, chocolate malt and bourbon on the nose is incredible. There are undertones of vanilla, malt balls, milk chocolate and the faintest hint of teriyaki sauce.

Upon first sip the viscosity is immediately noticed, and then flavors of milk chocolate, coffee beans, and a perfectly balanced medley of vanilla, caramel and tannins from the bourbon barrel. The coffee character is restrained, plainly noticeable but at a moderate level that adds depth without overwhelming the base beer. Alcohol becomes apparent in the mid-palate, at a harmonious level with the rest of the flavors, lending a sharpness that balances the initial sweetness. Chewy, almost syrupy from front to back with a long finish of coffee, caramel and warming bourbon. This is outstanding, one of the most memorable beers I've had this year. (1,080 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sipping this magical concoction tonight... Black Cat espresso is probably my all time favorite coffee, and BCS is one of my all-time favorite stouts. I approve of this marriage of two intense and fantastic beverages.

Initial pour into a couple Duvel tulips yields a finger of sturdy mocha foam, leaving random spotty lacing around the edges. Black with a mahogany ring at the edge when held up to the light. Foam breaks, leaving a bare skim, then a thin ring at the edge. Considering the high abv, this is expected.

Huge dark chocolate and espresso nose, with brown sugar and cinnamon trailing in the finish. Smoothed out with no sharpness from the bourbon, the oak and vanilla are there though.

Sticky on the lips, rich with deep flavors. Bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, coffee, coconut, smooth and sweet, luscious. Amazingly silky and rich. Again, the rough edges of fresh BCS have been sanded down, leaving a streamlined, supple, coffee-infused incarnation. Somewhat more approachable for that reason.

Overall a surprise hit variation of BCS, tailored for lovers of coffee, bourbon, and stouts....

2011: Anjilanaka... wow, they topped the subtlety of the first batch with a straight up toasted marshmallow/melted dark chocolate/deep roasty coffee BOMB. Rich as all hell, sticky and decadent. Awe inspiring... (1,320 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a thin tan head of foam. The foam left behind intricate patches of lace down the glass.

S - It smelled of chocolate, oak, bourbon and vanilla. There are notes of rich, dark coffee but it not nearly as strong as I expected from a "coffee stout".

T - The roasty, espresso-like coffee flavor came through stronger than its aroma. Also, it had delicious chocolate and toffee flavors with a strong yet not overpowering bourbon presence.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A big beer with a medium body. The alcohol heat is present but not over the top.

D - Goose Island did a really amazing job on this one. The bourbon is not too much, nor is the coffee. It is just a really delicious imperial stout with crazy good flavors. (772 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.97/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy crap. So I have been dying to try this one and spent the day up in Asheville yesterday. While there stopped in to visit a friend who low and behold had managed to acquire a bottle of this gem. Needless to say I made him open it and split it with me, lol. Served chilled and poured into twin snifters, this one was consumed on 04/30/2010.

The pour was sublime. Dark as night, black, inky, oily just full of everything big and mean you could possibly want out of a huge stout. Nice small tan head then rises up and settles across the top leaving a little bit of lacing and a smooth and consistent coating along the inside of the glass.

The aroma was the thins that dreams are made of. Rich coffee smacks you in the face from the first sip, but then slowly melts into a seemless mix of vanilla, rich bourbon notes, delicate sweet chocolate and rich roasted malts. Perfect in every way. I could not have imagined this actually coming across any better. Then I took the first sip and the velvety smooth, sensual and completely coating nature of it took over. Incredible amounts of coffee up from but the vanilla is starting to steal the show for me over. Really just the most thick, viscous, and wonderful full bodied stout I could have had. Rich bourbon and vanilla are all over the place here and each is simply stunning in its own right, but when combined they are perfect. Huge coffee flavor without a touch of bitterness and the rich and smooth vanilla flavor sits on the tongue long after the last sip is gone.

Overall this is mindblowing. One of the best beers I have ever had by a mile. Insanely good. Please go find this one, it is worth every last second of your time. (1,682 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great to get my paws on a few bottles of this gem.Poured into a nifet jet black with a minimal mocha colored head.A mix of vanilla,dark roast coffee,dark sweet choclate,and molasses,the mixing of the boubon barrel age and coffee are great together.Full oily mouthfeel,it coats and slides down way to easy.Flavors are sweetish upfront with vanilla,dark fruit,and dark chocolate flavors,the heavy roast coffee flavors and oak really balance this beer out alot and make it great.Its a sipper but its one to savor,this is an amazing beer worthy of its high status. (560 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.58/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce capped bottle, dated November 15, 2013.

A: Pours black with faint reddish highlights in the edges of the glass. Half-inch thick dark mocha head which fades to the rim leaving spots of lace.

N: Immensely sweet creamed roasted coffee, bourbon bon bons, oaky wood, vanilla, marshmallow, dark chocolate, dark fruits, floral, molasses. Wow.

T: Complex and well balanced. Sweet roasted coffee, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate, boozy.

M: Full body and semi-moderate carbonation. Smooth, rich, creamy, thick, oily, syrupy. Finishes with a slightly astringent bitter boozy coffee. Nearly perfect.

O: Huge fan. Well done. Want more. #500. (656 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.52/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is fairly viscous and black with a finger's worth of brown head that has amazing retention.

S: An incredibly rich and robust nose. Tons of vanilla and coffee attack the sense. There is also quite a bit of chocolate, bourbon, and some more coffee for good measure.

T: The bourbon and barrel flavors come through more than I would have expected. Certainly plenty of vanilla and the coffee flavor is quite intense. A nice chocolatey and sweet finish.

M: As one might expect, this is a full bodied beer. The carbonation is low and smooth, giving the beer a very creamy mouthfeel.

D: There is a bit of heat that comes through (as there is with regular BCS), but it is covered up quite nicely by the vanilla and coffee. Still, this is one to drink with a few friends. (777 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.55/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Quietly slips out a full-on black body with an agitated, beige-colored head.

Smell: An alluring aroma, smooth and full of notes of roasty espresso beans, mellow bourbon, brown sugar, toasted marshmallows, a wizard's spiral oak staff, and dark chocolate truffles.

Taste: A ripple of sweet sugariness in the fore followed fast with a taste of top-notch coffee dosed with chocolate sauce, dark brown sugar, and a generous dusting of vanilla sugar. Clean, well-integrated bourbon accents. Dark fruitiness tucked away in the background. Notable oaken tones. Hint of roasty bitterness. A curtain call of all the various flavors preclude the positively warming, sweetish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-low carbonation. Smooth, velvety texture.

Drinkability: Damn, that's delicious. Quite strong but quite good. I recall the label mentioning something about aging it up to five years, but I dare say it's fantastic and ready now, unless you want to engage in an exercise in sheer willpower. (1,011 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.93/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Major League psyched to randomly find this one 'round my primary bar! Let's delve in, shall we? It pours a beastly pitch black topped by about a finger of fizzy, dark tan foam, which, sadly, dies away rather quickly. The nose comprises oak, bourbon, coffee, light vanilla, and nothing else. Period. For something this big, I expected more than this. The taste holds notes of dark roasted malts, a shit-ton of bourbon, oak, chocolate, light vanilla, light coffee, and a tiny bit o' bitterness. Honestly, I felt that, like the normal BCS, the bourbon was kinda overpowering, and, in this case, the coffee was strangely, haphazardly tossed into the trunk and forgotten until a few days into the vacation, by which time the sunburn is so bad that the sunscreen in the bag has been rendered pointless. You know what I mean? Simply put: too much bourbon, not enough coffee; good, but disappointing to say the least. The body is a heavy medium, with a moderate carbonation, a slight oral coating, and a very smooth feel. Overall, a tasty beast, but definitely not what I was told it would be. (1,120 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours jet black with a dark tan head that goes away completely almost as soon as it is poured.

Smell: Sweet and roasty with some coffee and hot bourbon.

Taste: Starts with a very mild sweetness which yields to coffee and smooth bourbon. The beer is a bit hot in the nose at the end from the bourbon and the coffee is a bit nutty.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and on the thicker side. The carbonation is very mild, which seems appropriate.

Drinkability: This one is very well balanced. The bourbon dominates, but the other flavors come out well. Love it! (595 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.82/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a snifter. 2010 Edition.

Pours a dense black in the glass (but looks like a much murkier brown coming out of the bottle), topped with a thick finger of foamy burnt mocha colored head, which is rocking that angry reddish hue to it that you normally find in the most bad of the bad ass Stouts out there. This retains with some robust bunching around the edges, throwing a rich cascade of spotty froth and sticky brown oils all along the sides of the glass. The aroma is large and in CHARGE but still smooth as silk in the nose for the most part. The bourbon is strong, with a warming burnt mix of molasses and char character being present, but it is cut somewhat by the surprising aggressiveness (considering this has already been aged quite a bit) of that Black Cat Espresso. Vanilla and chocolate roast is sticky and thick behind the bourbon and coffee, adding some needed ease to this, as there is some sharp warmth from both the barrel and ABV but it fortunately never becomes overbearing at any point.

The taste is dark and rich on the palate, with a thick sweet base of chocolate, toffee, and vanilla, which is then punctuated by that lush roasted coffee character and some earthy and herbal feeling hops in the rear of the profile. The bourbon comes out across the back, with a flush of sticky and burnt warmth that has a touch of wood on the edges of it. The finish is fairly intense, with a good bit of boozy heat and parching tannic dryness making sure that you aren't going to forget each sip anytime soon. The mouthfeel feels just beyond full bodied at times, with a thick and chewy presence that blows up in the mouth after each sip. Fortunately, there's a certain amount of slickness and creaminess to the body that keeps this moving surprisingly well, despite the immense size and boozy feel from the barrel that is at work here. Much like the regular BCS, the bourbon adds most of the heat to the flavor and feel. Luckily, not so much from the ABV, which is pretty impressive for a beer of this magnitude.

Could this be the ultimate dessert beer? You've got yourself some chocolate soufflé, a shot of espresso, and a little nip of bourbon all rolled into one. The only thing missing is a fine Montecristo to puff on afterwards. My only issue with this, and it's the same one I have with the regular BCS, is that the bourbon is still a little to hot right now but put a little age on this sucker and it's going to be sublime in a couple of years. This is just the definition of a decadent beer. (2,532 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got to try this at ACBF and damn was it good! I finally got the nerve to crack one of my two bottles.

A pour as dark as the crude in the gulf comes sliding out of the mouth of the bottle. A slow pour as it comes out the consistency of molasses. A light fizzy dark head forms, but seems to get drunk before it can even enjoy the beer and fades away, but not before it creates some interesting swirls in the glass, like a drunk frat boy trying to walk home. Lacing?! No lacing necessary and the beer itself forms a thick syrupy layer on the glass, so thick that legs don't even form. It just sticks there and the entire round splash slowly recedes down the sides. It's so dark that when I splash it on the side to see the non-existent leg, it stains the glass a dark brown. I can still see the splashes a minute later. I still would have liked a bit more head and it would have put the appearance to a 4.5.

Ah the aromas coming from this make my nostrils dance in a whimsical fashion. First comes the roasted malts, lots of nice roasted aromas, fresh roasted coffee, earthy roasty coffee beans blended with a medium roast fruity coffee. The chocolate speaks notes of its own, with hints of dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, light cocoa nibs even. This is the kind of chocolate you would see in a swiss chocolate store on the top shelf that makes you blush as it dissolves in your mouth. Some light vanilla and caramel add a nice little touch to it, bringing more of that creamy delicious dark aromas out. Then of course there is the bourbon and oak. It's not too predominant, perhaps a little more in the background than KBS, but definitely making it's own story well known. A nice bourbony aroma with hints of charred oak, and caramelized barrel. I get a hint of a boozy aroma too, but nothing near the 13% it actually brings.

ANd of course, the taste. The thick wave gushes over my tongue, creating a barrier of thick luscious beer over the pours of my tongue. I won't be able to taste anything else for hours now as it fills every taste bud and pour in my mouth. Very thick and rich, again loaded with malts. Initially comes the coffee and roasted malts again. Some nice dark roasted barley, with fresh roasted coffee beans, and again blended with a medium fruity brewed coffee as well. Both lighter than I expected, but plenty to go around. Behind that comes plenty of chocolate as well. Again this comes right out with rich cocoa nibs, some baker's chocolate, a little bit of a dark chocolate with a smooth rich creamy center. It has a chocolate flavor that reminds me a lot of those Lindt Chocolate balls. Some sweet syrupy flavors reach the outer flavor eventually, bringing a little caramel, some molasses and even a little vanilla. WIth all the roasted malts and dark malts I was expecting a lot more minerality and salty flavors, but there are none to be found. This is as smooth as a baby nun's butt. There is a slight bitterness, a light earthy and mild hop with some from the bitterness coming from the roast, but not much bitterness at all. It also doesn't bring a lot of boozy taste either, it definitely has some, and while I'm leaving it to fester on my tongue for a few minutes writing this review, it starts to tingle some, but nothing like the 13% it actually packs. It also has a faint herbal and grassy hop flavor I believe, which also gives it a slight fluffy feel and taste. It finishes with a long lingering sticky taste, lots more syrupy flavors that never leave since they coated my mouth, and I'm sure stained it like it did to the glass. A long lingering chocolate too, which definitely takes the front ground now over the coffee and roast and other sweet things.

The mouth is nice and thick, super rich and syrupy, luscious, with a decent carbonation for the style. It makes me realize that that song "Chocolate Rain" was actually about.

The drinkability is surprisingly well for the what the beer actually is. It drinks more like a 9% beer not 13%, and despite that it coats the mouth it goes down smooth and only leaves very nice flavors in the mouth. The other thing that helped a lot was the minerality, or lack thereof. In a beer of this darkness and caliber I would have expected the minerality and salty briny flavors to run rampant, but this drinks so smooth without even a hint of that flavor.

Ah so delicious, def one of my fav beers now. Just wish I could have gotten more of it. I'll sit on my last bottle for a while now to let it develop for "up to 5 years" as the bottle even states. I'll also be enjoying this one all night, even after it takes me an hour to drink myself (not because of poor drinkability but because I'm just enjoying it too much and want to savor it), but also because it'll be attached to my tongue all night. (4,783 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2013 release poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a very thin light brown head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains black coffee and roasted malts, which is all that’s needed for this beer.

T: The taste starts out with a huge black coffee flavor that is followed by a rich roasted malt character. There’s just enough sweetness and hops to create a very good balance for such a big stout. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, very strong kick, excellent representation of style, this is definitely one of the best coffee beers I’ve ever had. (786 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.96/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I waited a while to open this one, 2012 vintage enjoyed from the bomber in a snifter shared with KG ant tenderbranson69.

The color is pitch black with no light passing through, the head arrives in a light beige band that settles rapidly to a ring of fine beads with speckles of lace collecting. The smell is intense to say the least, the first smell brings a ton of coffee aroma with light cocoa in the malt ester with gentle bourbon/wood in the nose. There is a sweet malt ester augmenting the aroma with a moderate alcohol odor as it gets warmeer with mild vanilla from the barrel and a slight dark sugar fragrance. The feel is incredible for a 14%+ beer according to the label it is smooth, rich and thick with medium carbonation and subtle oily coffee coating the palate with a mild sweetness level and rich bourbon laced texture with mild alcohol and semi-dry finish with a lingering roasted effect on the palate.

The lovely coffee flavor envelopes and immmediately brings with it a roasted malt character -the two are intertwined in a symbiotic way with a mild sweet taste and mild molasses type flavor in the malt with rich cocoa-like body and dark chocolate alkaline accent. The roast of the coffee is subtle yet brings out the vanilla-like accents from the wood and bourbon character is easy to enjoy in the finish with alcohol adding to the coffee and deep malt base with a lovely nutty mix of roasted grain and bean. I like the way the malt has a sweet yet earthy essence and both bourbon and malt blend to promote a dark chocolate intensity w/ slight coconut earthiness as it finishes dry.

I am blown away by the finesse of this, right from the beginning the coffee is noticeable and yet subtle enough to support the incredible base with this being an unrivaled Imperial Stout with coffee and bourbon -the richness are preserved well even with over a year of age. The 14.3% does not seem realistic based on the taste, so much complexity and flavor this was certainly memorable (1,996 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.27/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First had: bottle bought from some guy
2010 vintage consumed in March 2012.

Poured into a Trappistes Rochefort chalice (just happened to be my glass of choice for the evening). Oily dark brown-black, small mocha head that dissipated mostly and settled as a thin wispy layer of bubbles; no real lacing, but it did leave an oily film on the glass. I wanted to drink this beer as soon as I got it for fear that the coffee had faded since 2010...it had mostly, but there were still some subtle remnants. Aroma was much like the regular BCBS, bourbon, rich dark malts, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee pretty much lost in the mix. Taste was bourbon heavy up front, alcohol-soaked oak, notes of vanilla, brown sugar, hazelnut, very light coffee roastiness detectable, but surely not as heavy as when the beer was first bottled, I'd imagine. I actually got more coffee in the regular BCBS. Smooth and silky mouthfeel, not quite full bodied, and actually seemed to thin out a bit when it warmed, but that might have just been me getting numb from the booze. Overall very good.

'12 vintage consumed fresh.
So now that I've had this fresh, I think the coffee is actually way too intense. If you REALLY like your coffee, then you'll like this. But for me, it's just too much. I'd like to drink it when it's at a delicate balance between fresh and 2 years old. In the end, I prefer regular BCBS: it's smoother and the bourbon is more dominant. But as this is specifically the coffee version, it obviously pulls off what it set out to accomplish.

For me, personally, I think this beer hits its sweet spot when it's about 5-7 months old (that is, after it has hit the shelves)...just enough time for the coffee to mellow out, but not fade away. (1,730 characters)

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Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,043 ratings.