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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.

1,067 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,067
Hads: 6,381
Avg: 4.6
pDev: 18.48%
Wants: 4,070
Gots: 2,733 | FT: 218
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,067 | Hads: 6,381
Photo of ChadQuest
4.62/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

thick oil, you can tell from the pour how viscous this is. along with being as black as they come. there isnt alot of head, but you can see some bubbles slowly rising to the surface. the swirl creates some coffee colored bubbles.

The smell after 6 months has faded in the coffee dept, and more bourbon is coming through, but this one is still a sweeter smelling beer then BCS, you can tell that easily.

The coffee is still there on the tongue, along with that melded bourbon flavor that is warm but not hot, Bella. There is definently some bitterness going on, weither it's from the coffee or other roasted malts or maybe some of both. There is a fruity flavor so dark in here, the closest thing i can think of is pomegranite or currants, but just dark and covered in chocolate.

Mouthfeel has quite a bit of carbination, more then i expected, which goes well with the viscosity which is massive.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottle just came out of nowhere. Split with Oglmcdgl and Darin.

Black in the glass, BCBCS is black. A small amount of dark tan that does not make a cap quickly fades to nothing. Looks very similiar to the regular as in it's pretty still beer. Not even swirls could bring anything back, no lace.

Smells pretty spectacular, a large amount of roasted malt and coffee with the bourbon taking the backseat but not hiding. This smells less boozy than the original, it's quite hidden. Chocolate nibs and no vanilla in sight.

Im blown away by the mix of chocolate, coffee and bourbon with out all the heat or alcohol. I gotta say the alcohol is pretty much gone, it's there but so so small. The bourbon tastes are sharp and the coffee is roasty and dark, these two are practically neck and neck, but I think the bourbon is hidden by the mix of chocolate and coffee. Small amounts of wood, big amount of taste.

Mouthfeel is thick and coating and somewhat sryupy but not really. Quite viscous but smooth as hell thanks to small amounts of heat. Carbonation is on the low side and im quite alright with that. Able to be swished around the mouth without getting overburdened with burnt coffee, a nice roast.

No way I could I polish off a bomber of this and why would I people need to try this beer, it's really good but not my favorite coffee stout. It's a sipper for sure, BCBCS demands respect.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.87/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A miracle bottle pulled out from the back thanks to the coolest bartender ever darin.

A- pour almost pitch black and thick as hell hints of dark brown at the edges. Very viscous stuff as only a small coffee colored cap rises from the brew.

S- oh snap! This has a hell of a nose. Baclava like layers of chocolate, coffee, molasses, dates, plums. Dark roasted malts and sweetness out the ass. Hint of chared wood and the bourbon in the back.

T- well I'm struck down by this one. Bitter sweet chocolate and brownie batter. Loads of coffee and cream with blackstrap molasses and brown sugar. Vanilla, bourbon, smokey wood. Cocoa powder covered dark berries.

M- full bodied, chewy and thick but the carb is at that perfect level let's the brew sit on the palate but never feel dead. I just want more.

D- for a beer of this stature and flavor to be this drinkable is a crime. Its way less hot the an 08 bcs I had a few days ago. One of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of jdense
3.53/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted at Bailey's Taproom compliments of the awesome John Michaelson, bottling date 3.26.2010.

Dark brown/nearly black opaque body, no visible carbonation due to hue. Minimal tan head, medium dissipation with minimal lacing. The nose is very, very boozy, coffee buried by the alcohol, does get a bit sweeter as the beer warmed. Taste is too boozy, alcohol subsumes the coffee, bourbon barrel notes come through, a bit sweet, not picking up too much hops. Mouthfeel is pretty hot, a bit astringent and filling. If you can cut through the booziness this taste pretty good, but too young and hot, needs another six months to smooth out the alcohol heat, I'm sure this will be better down the road, but it was too boozy right now. Needs some time, check bottling date before consuming.

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Photo of Axic10
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with some mocha head that quickly rests to a thin layer.

Smell: WOW. Bourbon with coffee, roasted malt, hints of chocolate and vanilla. Such a great aroma on this.

Taste: Bourbon up front, while not too over powering, you know it's there and the focus on it. Roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla with a nice hint of the of coffee in the aftertaste. As it warms up more of the complexity shines through.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and ridiculously smooth. Coats your mouth with its goodness.

Drinkability: I will be seeking out more of this, as the couple of bottles I have left, might not last too much longer. An absolute joy to drink this amazing beer. Can't wait for the Vanilla version.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
4.22/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into Sprecher snifter. Split with beerwolf77.

A- Pours a very deep brown with little light showing through. A decent mocha head that doesn't leave much for lacing.

S- Nice smooth coffee, big roasted malts and some nice smooth bourbon. The oak makes itself present later on and the alcohol comes out just a bit.

T- Very nice coffee and bourbon. Oak and nice roasted malts. The booze is barely even present. Pretty well balanced, more so that the regular.

M- Full bodied but incredibly smooth. Just a little carbonation that tickles the side of the tongue. Just a little bit of heat on the back of the throat.

D- A sipper for sure. The coffee adds a nice layer. I would have to say I will prefer the original. I am wondering what some age will do to the coffee flavor.

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Photo of Lerxst
4.22/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottled on 03/26/10 poured into a tulip

A-Pours black with a vigorous pour producing a thin mocha colored head that faded very quickly and left no lacing

S-Bourbon, bourbon and bourbon. There are also hints of coffee (given the name of this beer, the lack of coffee in the nose is disappointing), a whiff of chocolate and vanilla, also a bit of malt.

T-Bourbon leads followed up by a coffee flavor that is more pronounced than in the nose. Lingering in the middle and back are notes of coffee, vanilla, toffee and roasted malt.

M-Full bodied and rich. Very creamy and silky. Coats the palate well.

D-For such a humongous beer, this is very drinkable.

Glad I was able to finally get hold of this one but I would love to have one fresh and have another to age for a year. If you like the style, you probably will love this one.

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Photo of garbercury
4.92/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired via trade from Wedgie9...Thanks Andy!

A--Deep mahogany. Lacing on the glass that sticks.

S--Wow, so much going on here, bourbon notes and some damn good coffee. Could smell this beer for hours.

T--Holy mary mother of god, this beer tastes so good. I love the regular brew, but this is just ridiculous. The mix of coffee and bourbon is incredible, vanilla sweetness adds to the flavor on the back end.

M--Silky smooth

D--I really feel this beer is pretty much a 5 all the way around. I think this is certainly in my top 5 beers for sure. Seek it out, its a must try.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chocolate and bourbon in brew form with a beautifully integrated coffee sense.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. Simple red label design with white and gold font trying to have a sober and exclusive look (In essence a variation in red from the regular BCS) . Side narrative notes general brew intent, origin of the coffee, and inspiration to use the beans from their brewery neighbor "Intelligentsia" . Shows bottling date, (03/26/10 1639) and dedicated glassware. Notes Alc. by Vol. (13.0%) Served in a snifter.

A - Black body, small dark brown-ruby edges with a small brown frothy head. Average to small retention with almost non-existent lacing.

S - Boozy bourbon notes, chocolate, coffee, and a boozy malt whiff. Sweet roastness with nicely integrated complexity.

T - Same outstanding stout roasted bourbon profile with the chocolate still rich but paired by a very assertive but nicely integrated coffee current. Light touches of vanilla, and licorice also punctuate the background.

M - Full body, creamy and thick, lingering texture with little but adequate carbonation.

D - Nice slow sipper, with a growing and assertive flavor worth every sip.

Notes: Nice variation on the BCS flagship... But while it is rather nicely done, drinkability feels a touch shorter next to the original version. I´ve enjoyed this version tremendously, and I really liked the coffee edge, but felt a bit too long towards the end. Really recommendable in any case.

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Photo of crashlimo
4.9/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 22oz bottle equally into four tasting glasses

A- Pours pitch black with slight caramel head. Stains the side of the glass a dark brown almost immediately.

S- Smells strongly of bourbon and coffee with notes of roasted malt. It smells sweeter than the original BCS with a stronger caramel element.

T- Heavinly combo of coffee and bourbon. Much smoother than I expected. Sweet caramel flavors overpower the inherent alcohol taste.

Mf: Silky smooth feeling, minor carbonation.

D- Surprisingly drinkable and smooth. Leaves a pleasant warm feeling that can only be achieved through the magic of bourbon

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Photo of dbossman
4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a small brown head; lacing is mimimal but typical for the style

S: Bourbon oakiness is the strongest but the coffee and roasted malty quality pervades as well

T: Bourbon dominates the coffee and the alcohol is pleasantly pungent; a bit of an oakiness adds to the other qualities

F: Very creamy with great overall mouth feel

D: For what it is, it's pretty sippable; a damn good beer

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.27/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to yourefragile for sending me this. Poured into a snifter.

I get a half a finger dark beige head that fairly quickly sizzles away to a ring of foam clinging to the edge of the glass. Oily legs pull any lace back into the glass. The body is incredibly black with hints of bourbon like color at the extremities when held to light.

The nose is big and bold with caramel, toffee, molasses, some raisins, bourbon, charred oak, vanilla, and a hint of smokey coffee.

The flavor starts off with sweet molasses, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, dark chocolate then roasty espresso, peat, smoke, and ending on a alcoholic bourbon note. Smoke and peat hang around between sips.

The mouthfeel is full bodied, rich, and thick. Low carbonation, but there is something about the texture of the carbonation that I don't like that kind of reminds me of the fizzy/sizzling sound the head made as it died down (I guess the best way to describe it would be fizzy?).

The alcohol is fairly well masked, but still makes sure you don't forget about it. Good drinkability overall. Not a huge improvement over Bourbon County Brand Stout, but the coffee adds some bitterness and balance to the mix.

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Photo of aesopsgato
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From the bottle to my dt tulip, this pours a miniscule head that sticks around in a ring throughout the experience. My dad and I actually tried to see if we could get a light through this, yeah right... Whisps of head dissapate quickly as I sip this sipper.

This beer smells like bourbon county stout and KBS made love. Malty sweetness, slight alcohol hotness, big bourbon, less-big coffee, this beer is HUGE.

Coffee comes through in the taste and it is amazing. I can't imagine how this would have tasted fresh, hopefully next year I can try it within a month or two of its release. Coffee and chocolate bitterness aftertaste is not unpleasant at all, very reminiscent of how actual coffee or actual chocolate would taste (bitter, but in the best way). Taste is similar to aroma: malty, very clean (not so roasty) alcohol, bourbon, plus that amazing coffee/chocolate aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is the definition of velvety. WOW

Drinkability is high for a stout of this size.

I will say that one thing my dad and I agreed on is that there really isn't anything wrong with this beer. Try as we might, we just could not fault it for anything, except maybe lack of lacing. We both thought it wasn't like, shed-a-tear good; but fresh, I could well imagine this beer would have been like, top 3 or 5 ever. ISO:2011 bcbcs

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Photo of 7ways
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

*Started drinking a regular 2008 BCS halfway through this review as a baseline.

Looks rich. Darker than dark brown with a muddy head, big bubbles. No retention, no surprise. Settles to a still black pond in my glass.
Smells like Kahlua aged bourbon! I mean, Bourbon aged Kahlua! Um... wait, what? Whatever, it's Awesome! Also very old wood, chocolate and vanilla, espresso; but really, it just smells like sweet, sweet, coffee booze.

I think it's best to start by comparing the taste to the original BCS: Sweeter, less wood, more coffee (A DUH!), more tobacco, slightly more bitter. More heat, though still very reasonable for 13%. I don't know if it is alcohol burn or acidity from the coffee, but the slight harshness is the only reason I didn't give it a 5. The coffee is very prominent on the finish; it's like I swallow beer and there's gourmet coffee left in my mouth. I like coffee, but I don't love it, and this translates well. I know they're different, but KBS, Wake n Bake, etc. just can't match the smooth balance exhibited here.
Feel is luscious, creamy, chewy, and a little "pinchy", just like the original.
Drinkability? If I had 2 more bombers, I'd kill them with my girlfriend over the next 4 hours. Then I'd pass out happy.

I think I like the original better, but that isn't saying much since 2 yr old BCS is my favorite stout, maybe my favorite beer ever besides Brute.

Suggested pairing: Fresh baked (I mean like 15 minutes fresh) chocolate chip cookies. Oh yeah.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split into 2 Brooklyn snifters. Not much of a head, which is to be expected. Mocha brown to an extent.
Aroma of big freshly roasted espresso beans, cocoa, dried pasilla pepper, marshmellow creme and subtle bourbon to tied it all together. Crazy complex taste. Hoppy note first then crazy robust roasted java. Subtle cinnamon, spiced dark chocolate, vanilla. Irish coffee. Bitter deep coffee prick on the tongue. Yet all velvet at the same time. Vanilla, creamy marshmellow velvet smooth mouthfeel. Dry bitter cocoa finish. Touch of peppery bourbon at the end. And oddly enough, a dollop of whip cream on the roof of the mouth. Exceptional drinkability...even more so than the regular BCS.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes to wisconsinality for splitting this bomber with me. Poured into my pint glass the beer is pitch black with a full three fingers of mocha hued head. No lace left behind.

The aroma is pretty much right where I expected. Roast black coffee, bourbon and light chocolate. Hint of campfire.

The flavor is basically a mirror of the nose. Smooth rich coffee and bourbon. Light touches of chocolate and fire roasted malt. No surprises here.

Fully thick body. Chewy and mouth coating. No carbonation.

Overall chalk up another bad ass American Imperial Stout. Boozy and full of flavor. Perfect sipper for cold midwest winters.

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Photo of Jayli
4.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 7/1 poured in to my Portsmouth tulip

A: This beer pours a somewhat thick, opaque black with a 1/2 inch of coffee colored head. Head recedes quickly leaving minimal to no lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of bourbon,touch of vanilla, molasses, and dark chocolate. I'm not picking up much in the way of coffee on this one.

T: Taste starts with some dark fruit notes, raisins is what is most present. Dark bitter chocolate then comes through to fill out the middle. Finish is hint of oak, vanilla and bourbon... lots and lots of bourbon. Coffee is a minor undertone flavoring through out.

M: Full body, low carbonation, rich and creamy body.

D: Massive alcohol kick on this one, somewhat filling, aging for a while may have worked better to take some of the heat off this one.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.77/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From 7/11/10 notes. Thanks to jslot38 from breaking open a bottle of this stuff, been wanting to try it a lot.

a - Pours a dark black color with one finger of tan head and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of coffee, roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon. Amazing and well balanced.

t - Tastes of coffee, bourbon, roasted and toasted malts, alcohol, vanilla, and a tiny touch of heat.

m - Medium to full body and low carbonation, it's very smooth and easy to drink for such a high ABV.

d - I thought this was an amazing beer, one of the best stouts I've had. The normal Bourbon County Stout is one of my favorites and I would put this slightly above that. Can't wait to drink the bottle I have of this and would love to get more.

Edit: I've had this one about 6-7 times now, fresh and aged, and I think when fresh BCS Coffee is the best of the variations. Aged it fades to the same as the normal BCS, but if you can get this fresh it is the best of the BCS beers.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.45/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours thick jet black with syrupy properties. thin cocoa head with light retention.

tons of sweetness mixed with coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. these all blend together to bring out a desert type scent or sweet dark candied fruits. hints of chocolate.

sweet up front with an emerging coffee and chocolate combination. the heat from the booze really starts to come out and just sit you down. light roasted malts are actually hidden in the back. this is a coffee and booze bomb.

one of the thickest stouts i've ever had. very chewy with syrup and motor oil like properties.

pretty amazing over all however the ABV is what brings this down. way too much booze in this and it REALLY heats up. it would be a great candidate to age but then the coffee would potentially fade. bummer.

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Photo of crossovert
4.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decided to crack this one after hearing the coffee flavor is fading fast, I think a couple months of aging will be good for this brew. IIRC it has already been pre-aged for quite a while then the coffee added.

Pours a thick, dark black and try as it might, the light can't shine through this beastly opaque liquid with only a hint of ruby/brown at the very top edge. The head is huge and dark tan, though it dissipated quickly with no lacing, no biggie with this type of alcohol content.

The coffee is still there in the smell and it blends wonderfully with the Bourbon County Stout. This one is also significantly oakier than the regular it seems. The nose is a cornucopia of dark malt scents including, chocolate, roasted malts, caramel, and a hint of fruitiness. The coffee is in there with a nice fresh coffee smell that isn't the same as the roasty malt scents. On top of it all is the aforementioned oak, very nice woodiness and vanilla smooth out the smell. And of course you can't forget the bourbon and the alcohol, both add a sweet alcoholic bite just to prick your nostrils.

The taste is pretty damn good, I'm not a fan of BCS, and I've only had it fresh so having it mellowed out and with coffee added, it is a whole other beast. It is still on the cloying side with a big alcoholic punch, but it is infinitely smoother with the coffee addition and extra aging. The bourbon is still key here but when it melds with the coffee it smooths out and becomes delightful. Of course the chocolate, roasty malts, caramel, and dark fruit all make an appearance here as well as the oak.

The mouthfeel is rich and thick liek BCS with a subtle carbonation. The alcohol is once again a bit burning but dramatically reduced form BCS. The drinkability issue and cloying mouthfeel were somewhat fixed but not completely, nevertheless, the hardly get in the way of the decadent flavor.

I did not want to believe the hype, but this is so much better than BCS and one of my favorites now.

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Photo of Florida9
4.17/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with just the slightest hint of dark brown around the edges. Pours with a skimpy, fizzy brown head that reduces quickly to nothing giving this beer an eerily similar appearance to a Coke.

S: Loads of vanilla and oak, with some coffee and sweet roasted malt.

T: A good dose of coffee on the front end followed by dark roasted malts and sweet dark fruits. Vanilla. Oak. Bourbon. Brightens up on the end with the heat and lightness of the high alcohol content.

M: Heavy with a lower carbonation. Somewhat viscous. A bit of fusel spice.

D: A good beer. Would have liked to seen this one be a bit more aggressive on the coffee flavor and the sweetness toned done. However, there is an interesting complex of flavors going on, resulting in a quality drink that I have slightly mixed feelings about.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.72/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a jet black color with a brownish colored head. No real lacing, only a thin brown ring around the glass.

S- Probably one of the best smelling beers I've ever had. Sweet chocolate, roasted malts, and vanilla. A nice touch of bourbon in here too, nothing over the top.

T- Taste of coffee, bourbon, vanilla and just a touch of alcohol. Very awesome. Quite a bit going on here.

M- Full in body and low carbonation.

D- Very awesome brew for sure. I think this one lives up to the hype.

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Photo of John_M
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The beer looks attractive, but is hardly anything mind blowing. However, then I took my first sniff.

The aroma is hugely attractive, consisting of a very fine, very strong aroma of coffee (naturally), vanilla, caramel, milk chocolate and milk duds. Flavors replicate the nose, but the famous GI bourbon really comes on strong on the palate, adding another attractive dimension. It helps to keep the sweetness in check, and gives some additional backbone to the flavor profile. There's also a hint of licorise, which plays well with the rest of the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is very rich and long, though I think it would be even more attractive if the carbonation was dialed down a bit. That would lend a creaminess to this beer that it doesn't have at present. Neverthless, I'm impressed by the richness and long finish in this very fine beer. As for drinkability, the abv. is 13% and you can tell this isn't exactly a session beer. Still, considering the alcohol and sweetness, this is a pretty easy to appreciate and enjoy beer.

Not sure how much better this is than the regular GIBCS, but there's no denying that it's pretty damn good. I think I like this version, as the coffee tends to tone down the booze just a bit, while retaining most of the excellent bourbon flavor one gets in the regular version. Regardless. This is a very fine RIS from GI.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.62/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber into The Bruery tulip, with a humble thank you to the always-too-generous Jeff (Alewatcher). Rated at room-temp or just a bit below. I started the glass a bit cooler, and rated a bit lower, but this one is a must-serve at close to room-temp. Improved at least .5 points even from cellar temp.

Pours none more black, with a thinnish brown head that dissipates fairly quickly into a thin bubbly ring. The ring, however, lasts almost the length of the glass, which is nice.

Nose is classic Bourbon County - massive wave of bourbon to start things off, boozey, oaky, and spicy, which slowly fades back after a few inhales to allow room for rich espresso, lush, fudgy chocolate and light vanilla. I get a bit of currant in the background.

Taste follows suit; the alcohol in this one is not what I would call well hidden, but it certainly isn't overwhelming for a beer of this size. This is another BA beer that almost feels like Bourbon has actually been added to the beer; I say that not as a quality judgment, but as an observation. Regardless, the initial taste is big stout that's actually smoothed out and almost muted by the even bigger bourbon. Oak, the drying bite of the alcohol, and a noticeable dose of tannins brace up the bourbon, with muted - though muted isn't quite the right word, perhaps enveloped - notes of huge, fudgy chocolate, a bit of light roasted malt and a firm (and delicious) roasted espresso presence. Finish is long, boozy, with the rich, fudgy notes trailing off and leaving behind the dry oak, bourbon, loads of coffee, and a bit of a lingering dark fruit character accented by the bourbon and, like the nose, reminiscent of currants. Exhales evoke the fantastic coffee character long after your last sip, and almost more clearly then the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is good; the big alcohol and strong tannins from the oak cut the weight of the beer and dry it out a bit, but even so there's no way this is anything but full-bodied. It coats the mouth, the throat, and pretty much everything it touches on the way down. Almost oily, with a light burn on the swallow that follows to the stomach. Maybe just a bit too close to actual bourbon, but still a fine complement to the flavor profile.

Drinkability, for what it is, is very good. The alcohol is prominent but not overwhelming, the flavors rich and decadent and alluring, though just a bit big for me to call inviting. This is truly reminiscent, though, of an excellent, even epic, coffee stout, with a bit of high-quality straight bourbon added. I would love - LOVE - to try the base stout with coffee and no bourbon, a la Nightstalker, only with the big hops replaced with espresso. I believe that might be close to a perfect 5 to me.

A friend of mind has said before that whenever he's drinking Bourbon County, it's his favorite beer, and I can't help but agree. While this one falls just short of those heights, it's still a truly great beer.

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Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,067 ratings.