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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.

1,064 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,064
Hads: 6,362
Avg: 4.6
pDev: 18.48%
Wants: 4,066
Gots: 2,699 | FT: 213
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: 1,064 | Hads: 6,362
Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing on my 2nd go-around with this beer. First was shared with brewerDan23...thanks again! This bottle was sent to me as an extra in a great trade with tytoanderso...so thank you too man!! Also have one more bottle at the moment from mikesgrove...so after I age it a bit...a big thanks to you as well!

Poured from a 22oz bottle with red label into my brandy snifter. Pours a dark black with a medium to dark brown creamy head that dissipates pretty quickly. Lacing is spotty, but creamy, sticky, and inviting!

Aroma is right where I expected it to be...lots of bourbon, like the orriginal. You can surprisingly get past the bourbon though and pick out the coffee. Heavy and dark roasted coffee beans, toasted malts...and because the bourbon is so strong, booze is a big factor!

Flavor is delicious! Thick and heavy mouthfeel, very low carbonation, and huge booze factor. Compared to the original, coffee added to this beer makes a great characteristic! Lots of bourbon, thick sugars...molasses, coffee, and even a slight vanilla present(I think). This is indeed a great beer, fortunate to try...and can't wait to try this aged!

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Photo of MisterClean
3.38/5  rDev -26.5%
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 TheSevenDuffs
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured in to Duvel tulip
B/O date: 3/26/10

A - Poured dark black with a half finger of espresso coloured head.

S - Heavy bourbon nose with some vanilla. No real roasted malt at all. Some coffee in the background but not as much as I expected.

T - Bourbon is predokminant up front but not overwhelming at all. Very smooth. A nice vanilla taste and some coffee, but again the coffee is not as predominant as expected. As I continued to drink this better it got better and better. It became so smooth and the bourbon lightened up some more allowing the roasted malt and coffee flavours to come through. Incredibly smooth for 13% ABV.

M - Medium to heavy body. Thick, silky, chewy. amazing mouth feel.

D - A truly amazing beer that lived up to its hype. I will hunt this down annually.

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Photo of Freethyhops
4.32/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle sent my way from RCL in a recent trade, thanks for the opportunity to try this one. A very nice 4th of July nightcap drank beside an 09 BCS

a- black as black gets. produced a nice mocha colored head, but it didn't stay around for long. to be fair, it did seem to be slowly eaten by the black 13% abyss more than your standard head dissipating.

s- I have to say, I was hesitant to like this one when it first hit my nose. I guess it's been a while since I've had a Bourbon County and it is no doubt, an in your face beer. the more I smell it though, the more it grows on me. it reveals some surprisingly well melded aromas. the biggest thing to get around is the massive booze soaked dark fruit esters mixing with heavy oak and bourbon. the roast has more of a true coffee taste, rather than a mass amount of roasted malt seeming like coffee. the heavy oak is also pleasantly reminiscent of vanilla.

t- I hate to be so lazy with this review, but honestly, re-read the smell. the only difference is a bit more chocolate notes coming into play mid-palate and an even heavier bourbon influence. it is more impressive of the nose, if I have to can take anything away from the taste. it's awesome stuff.

m- chewy, chewy, chewy. seriously thick stuff. if I wasn't a stout fiend it would most certainly be to much...but since I just said I was, you know it's what I dream about. a welcomed low amount of carbonation. the alcohol warming is a bit strong for my liking.

d- good stuff that you love to sip on, but anything more than sipping is a bit of a stretch. big beers like this one are not to be messed with. luckily it's super tasty stuff or it would just be too much.

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Photo of KeefD
4.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes:

Standard BCS pour, thick, viscous, black in the glass, small dark head. My buddy said he spooged a little bit when he saw it. Haha!!

Aroma is full of chocolaty goodness, huge wafts of bourbon and vanilla, oak, fudge, roast, and only the slightest bit of coffee. Was expecting much more coffee.

Taste is right on with the nose. Creamy dark chocolate mixed with bourbon and vanilla. Lots of vanilla, surprisingly. Think bourbon balls. Coffee is also there, but like the nose, it's in small amounts and was really hoping for more. I realize the bottle is almost 4 months old, but I thought it would have more. Still delicious.

Mouthfeel is deep, full, sticky, sweet and chewy. Yum!!

I could have easily finished a bomber of this myself considering the high ABV was barely noticed and so damn delicious. Good thing I split this one up with 3 others and was glad to share. This great stuff but wish I had it fresh so as to distinguish it more from the regular offering.

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Photo of BF1977
4.85/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unlike the regular BCS, Coffee Stout has a less alcoholic taste to it. I love BCS, but this is much more drinkable. Pours a dark black with little to no head. A touch of alochol bite up front, with a nice chocolately finish, real smooth. I really didn't taste the coffee as much as I thought I would, but it didn't take away from the quality. Overall a great beer.

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Photo of trygger87
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to HoppyMcgee for the bottle!!
Poured from a 750ml bottle in to a chimay chalice.
Produced no head and poured a pitch black color, seriously dark beer.Smell on this one is serious bourbon followed by coffee and vanilla. This beer smells awesome.The taste is intense, big alcohol bite at first followed by coffee and chocolate and malt. The mouth-feel is bubbly and rich. drinkability is quite high for a beer at 13 percent. Over all i would definitely get this beer if i saw it in stores, its Awesome!

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Photo of kfsv034
4.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this via trade from hayesez

A - pour pitch black with a tan head that disapates quickly leaving a thin ring around the edge

S - bourban and coffee very nice

T - strong espresso, bourban, vanilla and chocolate the flavors mesh very well

M - medium - full bodied

D - very drinkable for 13% this one could get you into trouble

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.67/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 650mL bottle into Goose Island flute.

A - Poured a silky smooth jet black with a thin mocha head with lacing that vanished pretty quickly.

S - The odor jumped from the glass during pour. The mix of black cat espreso with the bourbon is awesome. Smells sweet and inviting. Roasted dark chocolate comes to mind. Really smells nothing like a beer to me. A beautiful medly of odors that's really inviting.

T - Like BCS with coffee (duh)...but REALLY well balanced. Roasted malts and nuts are upfront and the bourbon flavor is more in the background, but the alcohol is very in your face IMHO. There is no doubt upon first sip that this one will knock you down before you polish it off.

M - Smooth, but with a bourbon bite. Has nice lively carbonation, but very well balanced. Leaves a bourbony tingle in my mouth. Very rich and filling.

D - Really tasty beer and a nice marriage of a few of my favorite things. Great for a special treat, but certainly not a session beer by any means. This one is strong and you can feel it. If that doesn't bother you, the flavor is killer, just a bit too boozy (but what would one expect for a bourbon stout?).

--update, round 2 2011-02-08...
5's across the board this time. had an abyss last night and didn't think that a beer could possibly be better.

*** ** * ** ***
2011 Vintage (2012-02-10)
bottled on 1/11/12 # 1546

4.5 - 5 - 5 - 5 - 5

a - opened the bottle and filled my oversized SH IRS snifter. poured a lush oil black with a thin tan head that fizzed away in an instant leaving a ring around the glass. swirling the glass brings things back to life, but leaves really spotty lacing.

s - OH YEAH. that's it. the coffee is very present and compliments the BCBS perfectly.

t - YUM. such a great beer. the beans may be different from last year, but the taste is just as amazing as i remember it.

m - smooth and easy to drink...as all the BCBS varieties.

o - overall a winner. i wanted to try this fresh to death and with the bottle date just shy of a month, mission accomplished. i've heard some say that the coffee is a bit intense and it gets better as it fades a bit...i can definitely see this and look forward to revising in a short while.

*** ** * ** ***
2012 Vintage (2012-12-03)
bottled on 11/12/12 # 0236

4.5 - 5 - 5 - 5 - 5

a - filled my intelligentsia mini snifter, the brew was dark as a bad trader's soul, but has the barrel aged glisten of a LIF'er. no real head to speak of aside from some dark brown bubbling on the surface that is gone quick.

s - zippity doo dah! FRESH BCBCS...gotta love it. the coffee is really nice and fresh and dank smelling. super roasty and really rich and gourmet. smells like the coffee isle in fairway. SOOO GOOD. some great sweetness from the barrel.

t - wow, really nice. definitely an improvement from 2011 fresh, and about as solid as i remember 2010 being fresh. the coffee really shines through and it is a great flavor of coffee. strong and gourmet and rich. the BCBS is underneath, but the coffee is the star of this beer.

m - smooth and easy to drink. great coffee roast not roasted malts. the barrels are there and the booze is really well integrated.

o - overall, ANOTHER winner in this series. you just can't go wrong with BCBCS and this year is as good if not better than any other vintage fresh. cheers to GI for keeping it real. i just LOVE this beer.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber courtesy of a74gent and shared at woodshop 5.1

Poured a dark as night black that look like motor oil with a thin tan head that left good sticky lacing on the glass. The aroma was really nice with coffee notes that weren't over powering the nose. There was roasted malts, vanilla, dark fruits, oak and hints of bourbon and chocolate. It also had faint booze presence in the background. The flavors on this beer were amazing and complex consisting of chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malts with a good amount of bourbon that was well balanced in the mixture. Dark fruits, booze, and coffee were faint but still added accents to the overall taste. Very delicious beer. The brew was full bodied with a fair amount of carbonation that had a sweet creamy rich and roasty finish. This beer really knocked my socks off. Goose islands regular bourbon county is very good but this one is off the hook its amazing all around I hope I can get my hands on more.

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Photo of drpimento
4.67/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whew! Sarious baar. These guys don't mess around. The coffee is muted but there. Masterfully blended characteristics. Poured with a small, fine, light tan head and no lace. Aroma is heavy malt, licorice, light on the coffee, vanilla, bourbon, Flavor's like aroma with the coffee coming out more, super rich complex blend of the vanilla, bourbon, oak, roast, dark, ripe fruits, and on and on and on. Body is luxurious and velvety. Finish is like flavor and surprising not as boozy as you'd think. Unbelievable beer.

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Photo of zeff80
4.79/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of hippityhops85
4.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best beer I've ever had. Done. There's really not that much more to say. I had this the same night I got to try Westy 12 for the first time and this blew me away more. An absolutely mindblowingly good beer if you like your bourbon barrel ages but not exceedinly bourbon-y. Liquid gold. I would make love to this beer if it was feasible.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 3/26/10

Poured right down the center into a Portsmouth tulip glass. Forms a thin, tan head on top of a black body. Patches of lacing left behind. Good for a beer of this strength.

Lots of coffee and bourbon up front. Wood barrels and vanilla add to the complexity of the nose. Sweet, roasted dark malts linger in the background. A well rounded mix of espresso, vanilla and bourbon.

Much like the nose. Dark espresso notes with a slow bourbon burn on the tongue. Vanilla, oak and chocolate malts. Sweet, yet roasty bitterness. Hops still come through a bit from the base beer. Warming alcohol mixes with chocolate, espresso and bourbon.

Mouthfeel is slick, smooth and creamy with a good amount of warming alcohol. Lingering bitterness, yet sweet at the same time. Bittersweet. Chewy, but not too viscous. Excellent.

This is a huge beer and definitely a sipper. Drinkability is actually quite good for what this is. The flavor and mouthfeel make this a treat to drink. The 13% ABV slows things down a bit, but is perfect for a cold night by the fire. Splitting a bomber is perfect.

Overall, this is an excellent bourbon stout. Goose Island does great things with their barrels. Having this fresh, I'm not sure if it's much better than the regular Bourbon County, but the coffee does add another dimension that is quite good and could possibly aid in the aging of this beer. I'll probably crack my other bottle about 3 years down the road from now. Good stuff.

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

Poured up like you'd expect from the BCS. Scents of raisins, licorice, coffee and bourbon (in order of ascending presence). The coffee does wonders for adding a little complexity to the beer, BCS is real heavy on the bourbon flavor while the coffee flavor cuts it a little bit. There's some brown sugar and vanilla that come out as the bourbon is subdued. I thought this was delicious and it was nice to have a beer that more or less met expectations, I've had a lot of misses lately. This was great, split 3 ways I wish I had a little more. Overall really nice.

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

Bottle purchased at GI Wrigley on 6/12/2010.

Pours oily thick jet black with some dark mocha bubbly head. Big legs down the side of the glass.

Aroma was, as expected, dominated by coffee giving off hints of deep dark chocolate and cherry, with some big vanilla notes as well. As it warmed, the molasses became more prevalent and offered a great balance to the roastiness.

While I love BCS with a couple years of age, the BCBCS was absolutely perfect fresh out of the bottle. The nutty roasted notes really cut into the sometimes overpowering bourbon of regular BCS, but this brew is perfectly balanced. As it warmed, the vanilla really came forward as the coffee took a back seat for the finish.

While this didn't drink like 13%, it is no doubt a sipper. The big buttery mouthfeel was fantastic, and I only got slight burn from the alcohol.

Overall, this was one of the best beers I have ever had. i'm glad I didn't have to share the bottle and had no problem putting it away during the US. vs. England game. Well done, GI!

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Photo of bhalter8
4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Dan/ATLbeerDog for grabbing me a bottle while he was in Chicago recently. Pours an ink black color into my snifter, with a thin dark tan head. Excellent lacing, and dense looking body, no surprise given BCS well deserved reputation. I'm a bit disappointed by the aroma, it's good, don't get me wrong, but I love a powerful (and delicious) coffee aroma in my coffee stouts, and while its there, this beer is just so big, it doesn't come through the same way some of a big favorites do. A heated alcohol somewhat masks the coffee... not to mention bourbon. The taste certainly falls in line with the aroma.There is sweet molasses and chocolate sweetness up front with bourbon and coffee (nicely paired with with some heavily roasted malts) coming out more as it warms up and primarily in the finish. Much like BCS, the mouthfeel is thick and creamy, wonderful. Excellent beer, I wish I had more than one, as I'd love to age it, but I fear further loss of coffee in aging, so I had to drink it reasonably soon. I would love for the intense heat to subside, so that some of the other characteristics could come through further. Just not sure if that is going to happen, since in my experiences, coffee fades, much like, but maybe to not the same degree, as hops.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.26/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bruery tulip glass at roughly 51 degrees Fahrenheit.

A: Poured with some carbonation and head, but eventually died down into a dark and still liquid. One of those beers that exhibits no lacing, but is still able to stain the glass.

S: Strong bourbon sweetness and acidity along with molasses, caramel, toffee, roasted nut, vanilla, anise and a mild coffee/espresso character that helps kill some of that alcohol burn.

T: Holds true to the original BCS flavors, but the added coffee ingredients help tone down and accentuate the underlying flavors. I know that may sound like an oxymoron, but it does. Lots of molasses, brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, and wood encompass most of the flavor profile.

M: Thick, sticky, low carbonation, and clingy.

D: The flavor is so intense that I could only enjoy roughly 12 oz. of this beer at a time.

Overall: Better than BCS, but not by much. A must try. Cheers!

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.93/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
2.87/5  rDev -37.6%
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 KAP1356
4.54/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Finally broke down and decided to try this one for the first time. Poured from a 750ml bottle into several snifter installments.

A - As black as night. A gorgeous looking espresso/hazlenut color lacing around the edges. After a slight swirl, a small yet enticing head forms enhancing the espresso color.

S - Wow. Just wow. Smells of bourbon and vanilla, coffee and dark sugars. Getting an almost dark fruit smell as well. Obviously the dark roasted malts are present as well. A slight alcohol scent lets you know that it is a hefty beer.

T - Everything is so well integrated. Molasses, dark fruit, bourbon, vanilla, coffee. For a non coffee lover, the espresso comes through in the perfect way. It is not overpowering and not subtle. It is so well mixed into everything else that is going on. The bourbon flavors are the same story. Nothing overwhelms, instead everything complements the other ingredients working together in the best way possible.

M - Velvety, smooth, silky, yet thick at the same time. Not syrupy in a "I want to pour this over pancakes way," but in a way that would make me want to curl up in front of a fire during the winter and drink this one.

D - The high ABV makes it a tougher one to try to get through, but to be honest, the taste and smell kept me coming back for each sip. I got through the entire 750ml bottle without noticing the alcohol hitting me the way a 13% beer normally would.

If you can get your hands on it, do so. It is one of the best tasting barrel aged beers I have ever tasted, and hopefully you feel the same.

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Photo of Soneast
4.05/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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 Manoftyr
4.92/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance-Pours an oily dark almost-black brown into the glass, a small bubbling brown head rises but quickly bubbles away with a carbony hiss until all that remains is a foamy ring, no real lacing along the sides to speak of but given that it's a 13% beer that's to be expected. Looks pretty solid.

Aroma-I smell the espresso beans upfront followed by strong bourbon notes which mingle to form a very pleasant scent; on the outskirts I can detect cocoa and dark toffee but by in large the aroma is dominated by espresso and bourbon.

Taste-Oooh, so smooth. I get coffee soaked toffee notes upfront followed by cocoa with the bourbon taking something of a backseat forming a kind of 'flavor bowl' that everything else sits in so to speak. It's as though the bourbon rather than standing out and dominating on its own shows its presence through its influence upon all the other flavors if that makes any sense. As I swallow I get a pleasant acidic coffee-like flavor that sits itself on the back of my tongue and lingers that serves as a kind of final note at the end of each sip. This beer is complex, and tasty to say the least.

Mouthfeel-Not quite as plush as it could be, but still very nice.

Drinkability-I have to keep constantly reminding myself to drink this one slowly, this can go down dangerously fast for 13%.

Notes-I got this bottle at the insistence of my local distributor, according to him they barely managed to get a case of this and due to their limited supply and the beer's popularity were only selling one per customer. I was wary of getting it as to be honest I'm not really a fan of the regular bourbon county stout, I find the bourbon notes of it too overpowering but he insisted I grab a bottle of this while I had the chance. Thankfully I took his advice and now I'm glad I got the chance to try this excellent beer; should you ever see it around I say grab it.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle courtesy of steve8robin - many thanks! Poured in to a 22 oz. snifter.

Appearance: Pours a seal brown, a thick void of a body, viscous and oily as it chugs out of the neck of the attractively labeled 22 oz. bottle (note: I do really like the new GIBCS labels, despite being really resistant to label changes generally - their understated simplicity fits this beer very well). A mildly aggressive pour coaxes nearly two full fingers of non-uniformly hued head out of the depths, flecked by mottled patches of various shades of cocoa and dark tan. The head disappears as quickly as it came though, fizzing and popping and dropping down to only the thinnest wisp of surface lace - a drop in the sea, really - and a pencil-thin necklace of foam around the edges of the glass. As you can imagine, successive sips leave no hint of lacing clinging to the side of the glass, but on the whole - as far as 13% abv barrel aged beers go - this one's solid.

Aroma: Pungent as hell, and with all the elements of regular GIBCS, but with an extra toasty, earthy kick. Understandably, this one's malty as all get out - huge cocoa powder, baker's chocolate, toast, and dark toffee intermingle with french roast coffee, slightly charred, a little dirty, but it does a great job of complimenting the existing malt bill. There's tons of vanilla in the nose, too, which - along with slight coconut and a nice dose of wood - do as much as they possibly can to cover up what will always be GIBCSs biggest downside in my opinion: the overwhelmingly strong bourbon note, spicy and dominant, though smoother and less hot here than in the original.

Taste: Beautiful and luxurious. Velvety malts - slick and smooth because of the espresso oils - ranging from dark caramel (probably mostly wood sugars) to toffee to bittersweet chocolate to toast to, yes, surprise, espresso roast coffee. Dark fruits - raisins mainly - intermingle well with the fruity notes leeched from the wood. The coffee really does fill in a few blanks in the malt profile here, adding some nice, pungent, strongly flavored deep coffee notes, slightly creamy (courtesy of the sweetness and wood sugars - lactose sugars?), slightly sweet (courtesy of the lighter and unattenuated malts), but also very dark, slightly dirty, pretty earthy, and very well toasted. It almost takes on a coffee liqueur-esque tone as it warms, with the sweetness mingling well with the earthiness of the coffee and the slight warmth of the bourbon. Speaking of, the bourbon itself is - as always, of course - strong, spicy, and warming but not hot, with a lot of the heat being absorbed or perhaps masked well by the coffee notes. The barrel contributes a few spare sugar notes (discussed above) as well as the aforementioned coconut and plenty of warm vanilla sugar. A very well-rounded tasting brew.

Mouthfeel: Not nearly as thick as you would imagine it could be - what with the amount of malts you'd have to throw in to the fermentation vessel to get 13% out of this one - and I assume that's largely a result of the spirit addition as well as the coffee infusion, which also lends a nice amount of slick oilyness (as if one needs help making GIBCS go down any quicker, right?). The amount of carbonation in here - in conjunction with the thinness - makes it a little uneven initially (feels sort of erratic, fizzy, which was suggested by the head, discussed above), but after the carbonation dies down a little, it becomes nicer, a little smoother, still slick, but in an even, creamy way. Half-point bump.

Drinkability: A step up over the classic GIBCS? Perhaps. A different take? Certainly. It's a little cleaner, fresher, more rounded, and more "full" than the original GIBCS, if that makes sense, with the coffee addition doing a lot of good - smoothing out the body, filling in the malt base, cutting down on the alcohol heat in places - but also necessarily having its downsides (the increased slickness and thinning out of the body foremost, in my opinion). Definitely worth seeking out, though I wish they offered it in the 12 oz. bottles like the original - 22 oz. is tough for this one, especially if you're doing it on your own! A sipper, or one to share with friends or pair with a rich (and large) dessert. One of the best beers I've had in a while.

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

Appearance: The bottle is very simplistic and nice, great presentation. Pours a thick, almost oily pitch black with about a finger of dark chocolate head, which fizzes almost like soda. Within a minute it has almost all disappeared, leaving a tiny ring around the edge of the glass, and by the second minute after the pour it looks entirely still with just the faintest wisps of dark chocolate left floating around on the top. Getting closer to the brew, I literally saw one minuscule carbonation bubble moving to the top of the glass. Looks to be a very solid color, and for some reason, in some way, looks cold. No lacing to be seen.

Smell: Smells extremely strongly of bourbon, even from a couple of feet away. Extremely strong smelling overall and clears out your sinuses--I can only imagine what's in store once I take a sip. Hints of mint, anise and coffee, as well as a smooth vanilla scent. I don't get as much coffee out of this as I would have expected--to me it smells predominantly of cocoa powder and bourbon. Some nice roasted malts are there as well as some fairly strong oak notes, which balance out the bourbon heat and mintiness nicely. As it warms, some espresso and stronger dark roast notes.

Taste: Though not the dominant taste, the first thing I get from this beer is dark fruit notes--bourbon drenched raisins and cherries. There's some nice dark chocolate and dark roast bitterness in the taste as well. These two are nicely balanced by the dark fruits as well as a hint of vanilla and roasted malts. As it warms the coffee and chocolate get a lot stronger, but the raisins are really particularly standing out as well. 80% dark chocolate in the aftertaste and then a hint of whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Slightest amount of bourbon heat in the background--it definitely takes the back seat here to other flavors, but is still present enough to make an impression and blend nicely. Slight oak, leather, licorice, and coconut. A little hotter and slightly peppery as it warms. 4.5

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is decent. The carbonation isn't in your face, and is made up of fine crisp bubbles that make themselves present at the beginning of the sip but die down by the end. They are just enough to lift the flavors of the brew up. For a thick-bodied and heavy brew, they do a great job of providing just enough carbonation and lift and keeping the brew otherwise smooth and creamy. Slight alcohol warmth in the aftertaste but not overly abrasive. Not really sure what else could be done--it would be interesting to try this one with more carbonation but I'm not sure that it would be a huge improvement. As it is, pretty excellent. I will edit this later on in the drinking process as it's sat a bit--it's gone slightly flat, so I'd say that my earlier comment about perhaps having more carbonation stands. I'd say though that the level of carbonation is probably good, and that it mostly just needs to be more sustained throughout the drinking process.

Drinkability is pretty great. The high ABV doesn't stop this one from going down smoothly, and it manages to be creamy and not very hot. Pretty surprisingly good in this category and would probably be delicious aged. It drinks more like a 6% than a 13%. Nicely done.

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Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,064 ratings.