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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.

1,069 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,069
Hads: 6,388
Avg: 4.6
pDev: 7.61%
Wants: 4,071
Gots: 2,740 | FT: 219
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: 1,069 | Hads: 6,388
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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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to stonequarrywest for this one.

3.5 A: Black color. One finger of frothy brown head with poor retention and not really any lacing.

4.5 S: Bourbon is the dominant aroma, but there's plenty else going on. Coffee is dark roasted and quite complementary. Good balance of roasted barley with sweet, viscous toffee notes from caramel malts.

5.0 T: Pretty much as good as it gets. This is easily my favorite bourbon barrel aged brew. Bourbon level is perfect as it neither dominates nor lays in the background. Alcohol is warming throughout and especially on finish. Bourbon does its job in that regard as well. Sweet toffee, blackstrap molasses, raisin, plum, and a touch of currants is balanced by a slightly stronger coffee and roasted barley roastiness.

5.0 M: Thick, viscous body, but is relatively light on the tongue. Good moderate carbonation. Very creamy and silky with a smooth, though warming, finish.

5.0 D: As far as bourbon beers go, this is the king of the hill. Awesome taste and mouthfeel contribute for a great drinkability. No signs of off flavors, just smooth drinking throughout.

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

Poured from 22oz bottle. Another one of Lukafer's bottles....geeze Luke...that's all I have.

A- Pours a inky black color. Half finger mocha colored head that dies as soon as it peaks. No lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice coffee upfront with a light bourbon backing. Roasted malts with a hint of vanilla. Some light oaky notes with a little bittersweet chocolate backing once it warms. It reminds me of Bourbon County (duh) with more oaky notes and light coffee notes.

T- Light coffee upfront that I think is more roasted malts than actual coffee. Vanilla flavors come in with a light chocolate flavor giving a creamy feel. Bourbon is not as in your face like normal Bourbon County. Oaky flavors toward the middle with a coffee ground taste toward the end. Alcohol is not very aggresive but still there in the end.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts and some light bourbon notes left on the palate with warming alcohol in the aftertaste. Flavors are bold and aggresive but still blend very well. Heavy drying on the palate. Clean tasting with no off flavors.

D- This is a good drinking beer. Overall I must admit that I prefer Bourbon County more. Interested to see what becomes of this beer when it gets a year or two on it. Goose Island has been making some standout beers lately and this is no exception. Good job guys! The only downfall is the higher ABV doesn't make this a big drinker.

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Photo of boatshoes
4.42/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was very excited to get a bottle of this in trade after responding to a thread from Emott. Love the regular version and couldn't wait to try this. Did it in a side by side with KBS.

Appearance- Pours the standard opaque black with a small half finger or so of brown head that dies almost immediately back to a ring. No real lacing.

Smell- Huge nose. I get bitter espresso up front followed closely thereafter by the bourbon smells I expect from BCBS. Vanilla and wood make a particular impression, along with bitter chocolate and lots of rich roast.

Taste- Very big and very complex. Again, I get the bitter espresso and coffee grounds up front, followed again by the vanilla and wood. However, here I also get some tobacco, leather, lots more bitter chocolate, and the big roast. Finishes on a note of warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is adequately thick and carbonated and drinkability is respectable for such a sipper of a big beer. Got a little tough towards the end of my glass but I certainly didn't mind.

Overall, a first rate beer. Performed well against KBS, though I will say it didn't blow it out of the water as much as I was expecting. That being said, very much enjoyed and try it if you get the chance.

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Photo of chalsk
4.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black vicious liquid with a thin caramel colored head. Has an aroma of bourbon, coffee and subtle hints of chocolate. Starts sweet with a chocolaty coffee flavor. Alcohol comes through. Very boozy. The coffee spice adds to the bite. Notes of licorice mixed in. No. 3 on BA (at the time of tasting) is a bit high. KBS and Old Raspy XII are better IMO.

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

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing this 22oz. bomber on 6/11/10.

A - Poured an oily black liquid with a hint of hazelnut coloration around the edges and a sparse burnt mocha head that quickly dispersed, diminishing to a slender ring around the rim of the glass.

S - While the bourbon presence is obvious right off the bat, there is also a dominant roasted malt and coffee character as well as some caramel sweetness in the mix. A hint of bitter chocolate also emerges as the liquid reached room temperature.

T - Overall, the bourbon isn't as potent compared to the original Bourbon County Stout, due to the presence of the coffee and chocolate notes, which quell the alcohol warmth. An underlying caramel malt sweetness is present throughout. Finishes with an earthy hop tinge and bitter chocolate notes.

M - Very lively, prickly carbonated mouthfeel with a sticky but smooth and creamy texture and moderate alcohol warmth on the palate.

D - Very, very good Imperial Stout and definitely on par with the standard version. Definitely a contender for one of the top coffee stouts out there. Yum!

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.32/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a dark black with creamy caramal foam. Smells very bourbony up front. The taste follow suits with intensity of bourbon and coffee flavours lingering. I find this more hot then regular Bourbon County. Pretty good stout overall though and glad I got to try this. A bigger fan of the regular Bourbon County and Night Stalker from goose island, though.

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Photo of portia99
4.37/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle received in trade with hoppymcgee. Thanks again Greg for another great bottle. Poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours a pitch black color with a thin finger of fizzy cappuccino foam that dies quickly to a thin collar and some swirling islands of bubbles on the surface of the beer. No lacing left behind on the glass.

S - Rich aromas - filled with dark roasted coffee up front, as expected. Noticeable alcohol enters the aroma too blending with milk and dark chocolates. Hints of vanilla and caramel too. The aromas all blend together really well here.

T - Sweet milk chocolate up front with the bitter espresso and coffee flavors backing it up. Big hit of alcohol although tame when compared to fresh BCBS bottles. Caramel is bigger than the aroma. Vanilla is found throughout. Oak and bourbon are subtley in the background. Some light citrusy fruit appears after the swallow and lingers around until the next sip.

M - Full bodied...feels rich and creamy with a medium level, fine bubbled carbonation. Lightish alcohol warmth...definitely not a burn though. Very smooth for a high alcohol, bourbon barrel aged stout that is shy of 3 months in the bottle. A little time should really smooth this one out...too bad they are so hard to get.

D - Having this 22 with dinner...holds up well throughout, but not sure I could have much more in a sitting. Flavors are intense and really good. Alcohol level is high, definitely noticeable too. This doesn't detract from the experience, even enhances it, but makes it hard to drink a lot of. Probably a good idea not to push the limits with this one.

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

22oz, split w/ my new roommate who's a sucker for bourbon. I think I set my hooks...

11oz in a Newport Storm pint glass, thanks to the incredibly-generous Rempo.

A- Dark dark brown, minimal 1cm head that quickly dissapates, and this is with an aggressive pour. Still, wasn't expecting a ton here. Seems to be low-carbed.

S- Bourbon, vanilla, creamed coffee.

T- Bourbon is so smooth. Caramel, vanilla, and of course, coffee. Sweet, semi-sweet chocolate. Coffee is mellow and smooth, almost like coffee ice cream.

M- This is where the beer shines- impossibly smooth and so delicious. Lots of mellow, smooth, rich flavors that work very well. Low carbonation makes this like velvet. Can't believe it- 5 of 5.

D- Moderately high. Worth seeking out, a great beer. Here's hoping it comes back again.

I've had better, but not many. Good stuff.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.87/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This was my 2nd time having this, I split the bomber two ways this time around.

Pours black, brown head is pinky-size. Not that it really matters, but this somehow retained better and had nicer lacing than regular BCS.

Smell is incredible, best part of the beer IMO. One of the best-smelling stouts I have had. Bourbon, vanilla and roasted malt mix excellently with dark espresso.

Taste is very good, close to the scent. Bourbon, vanilla, burnt chocolate, smoke and coffee. Coffee isn't as up-front as I thought it would be, the strength of the beer is definitely the nice mixture of flavors. Booze is still a bit hot but not as hot as regular BCS. Espresso flavor really starts to show through more as it warms.

Mouthfeel is great, smooth and creamy. Carbonation is nice and low. A bit thinner than I remember regular BCS being, it could be my imagination. Excellent taste makes this more drinkable than a 13% stout should be.

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Photo of sidetracked
4.42/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a medium brown head that doesn't last long but lingers around the edges.

Smells of roasted malts, coffee, wood, and vanilla with a heavy bourbon presence. The coffee is there, but not nearly as dominate as I expected.

Taste is slightly sweet roasted malts, molasses, and brown sugar up front. The finish is a mix of bourbon, coffee, and chocolate with a moderate bitterness. Whereas some coffee stouts have a watered down, burnt coffee flavor, this is much richer and provides an excellent, unique flavor. The bitter coffee, chocolate and bourbon linger past the finish. Bourbon flavor is nicely balanced.

Full bodied, syrupy, and sticky with no chewiness. Dry finish with a light alcohol heat.

Overall an excellent beer, but I wasn't blown away.


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Photo of hardy008
4.37/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark black with a small dark tan head with poor retention and no lacing. The aroma is chocolate, coffee, bourbon, raisins, and vanilla. Not overly complex, but nice.

The taste is chocolate, coffee, bourbon, vanilla, and raisins. It has a lot of sweetness and also bitterness from the coffee for some balance, but is still mostly sweet. The chocolate and coffee flavors together is what makes this beer work for me. The chocolate flavor is similar to Hershey's syrup, and reminds me of Black Tuesday.

The beer clings to the glass much like Ten FIDY, is full bodied, chewy, smooth, and has decent carbonation. The alcohol is not well hidden, but I did not expect it to be. This is a very nice Imperial Stout,and keeps getting better as it warms in the glass.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.34/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The label on this bottle says "develops up to 5 years in the bottle". As this will probably be my 1 and only, no chance of me waiting.

Youza, another hefty 13% abv brew. What was I thinking??

First off, gotta give some love to Goose Island before even tasting this; the bottle is filled nearly to the brim.

It looks pitch black to me, has a small half inch of tannish foam, and does a good job re the lacing. A great looker.

The smell, as expected from the name, has a nice long lasting aroma of coffee followed closely by a steady but not over the top nose of bourbon. Nice, and I get some sweetish notes ala milk chocolate that intensify and almost match the bourbon and coffee as I take more whiffs. This has the smell department down to a T. Love it!

The taste starts off very much with the bourbon, maybe a tad too much. Cellaring would probably calm that down over time but I can't ignore the the lovely sweet chocolate and fresh coffee notes that come along for the ride. Ok, maybe it is also a tad too sweet for my liking as well. I'm being a real hard nose right now, I guess, but I'm thinking about the "regular" Bourbon Co Stout and thinking how wonderful it is, especially with a year on it. This *could* turn out equally as impressive in a year or so but....for me, fresh is tasty and all but it doesn't have that certain harmony of flavours going on that I hoped for. No disrespect to Goose Island intended. See my reviews of many of their other beers for proof of my love for the brewery.

Medium bodied, lowish carbonation, the mouthfeel is fantastic.

Drinkability? Despite my perceived short comings of BCS Coffee edition, it is *still* any easy drinking 13%ABV monster.
Give it a go.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.82/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in honor of the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup.

A hugely deep dark menace of a beer. Creamy, thick, full, tan, mocha brown head rose 2 fingers and had great retention and thick sticky lacing to boot.

Wow. This is huuuugely flavorful. The aromas are intense, but the flavors are even more so. Coffee and bourbon smack you in the face with subtle bluntness (yeah, that's right). Some chocolate hides in there as well, as well as a faint hint of black licorice. The smell is big. It is fitting. A big old sip reveals a sweet boozy bourbon over chocolate flavor that just seems to coalesce with the coffee. Like every choco-bourbon molecule is wrapped around a nucleus of coffee and oak. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy-- the way a good oak-aged stout should be. It actually has a bit of dryness towards the finish that really takes the edge off the bourbon--- like putting out the fire but leaving the warmth. There is a great Vanilla bean vibe here too. It mixes with the oakiness and the two really add quite a bit of taste and complexity.

There is a good amount of carbonation in this one. It is a little less than I like, but, this is a coffee beer that is aged in bourbon barrels, so I can deal with it. Other than that, there isn't really a valid complaint that I can make about this beer... And believe me, I wanted to make a valid complaint. I kind of wanted to be that homestate guy that gives this a less than an A review. Sorry, this beer deserves its great rating. It is fantastic. That coffee and chocolate note is just rocking my world.
Congrats to Goose. You knocked it out of the park on this one! And congrats to the Hawks. Now I just need my Cubs to pull it off...

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

From review notes 5/29/10.

Bottle dated 3/26/10.

Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours an oily jet black darkness with one finger of brownish caramel head. Very thick with no chance for light to get through. No real lacing, only a thin brown ring around the tulip.

S: Sweet chocolate, roasted espresso, and vanilla. One of if not the best smelling stouts I've every smelled. Very little bourbon - especially in comparison to the regular BCBS. It smells like a freshly baked brownie amongst some roasted malts and coffee. Before I even taste this beer, I realized this one is not just hype.

T: Tastes like a fudge brownie dipped in some coffee and espresso. Rich and chocolaty. Some heat here, but very good. Vanilla notes smooth out this beer. Almost everything in the smell is represented in the taste. World class and definitely lives up to its recent following.

M: Full body and low carbonation - ideal for the style. Bourbon and espresso lingers on the palette.

D: Wonderful stout. The espresso and bourbon play wonderfully into this beer. The heat is the only limit to this beer's drinkability.

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Photo of thirsty4beer
5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cold 22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a deeper black than I was expecting and it had a short-lived light brown head. If I wasn't holding the cold bottle, it would have seemed more like a deep black espresso being poured straight from the espresso maker.

Wow! Definitely some freshly roasted espresso, rich chocolate, and quality bourbon aromas up front. Powerful nose just from the pour, didn't even need to shove my face into my glass.

Amazing taste of chocolate maltiness, roasted espresso (with a smooth bitterness), and very balanced amount of bourbon. Slightly sweet and surprisingly creamy. As the beer warms to room temp, some licorice becomes apparent. Bourbon heat on the finish but alcohol is extremely masked overall.

Mouthfeel was heavenly and beyond velvety. Like drinking a slightly thicker choc milk but not quite a milkshake. The best mouthfeel I've ever had from a stout. Drinks like an 8%

I should have bought a whole case!

Practically perfect as a young beer. Can't wait to see how it ages in my cellar!

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

Chilled bottle into a glass. Received from lurchingbeast. Thanks, Frank.

EDIT: This beer seems to have faded exceptionally quickly. I tried 4 or 5 bottles over a couple of months and each was hotter / more bourbony / less coffee than the last. I still like it a lot, but this is one beer that should be consumed fresh, IMO. Scores adjusted slightly to reflect how a bottle is drinking today.

A: Pours a pitch black color with a dark mocha colored head. Great retention for the ABV and style. It leaves some fringes of lace down the glass at first, but none in the latter half of the glass.

S: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, and THEN bourbon. That's how it should be (IMO). Unlike BCBS, the barrel character has receded a bit and the base beer shines through more. Vanilla, oak, and a twinge -- just a bit -- of booze. Nonetheless, one of the best barrel-aged impy stouts I've smelled.

T: I wouldn't call this 'balanced' in the grand scheme of beers, but as far as barrel-aged imperial stouts go, it has a number of flavors, and each one has its place. Unlike BCBS, it has much more restraint on the bourbon barrel -- or rather, the bourbon is appropriately balanced by coffee here. Plenty of dark chocolate. Restrained vanilla, oak, and a touch of molasses. I really enjoy the full flavor of this. I honestly like this more than KBS.

M: Medium-full bodied. This is not a particularly thick stout (which is a good thing; it enhances its drinkability greatly). The cabonation is velvety and lovely. The only ding is that it is still quite hot; I don't know why anyone would say it has no heat at all. At least it's not a 13% blazing heat. I think this beer will hit my personal sweet spot in 6 months. I look forward to it.

D: It's a testament to how much I love this beer that I have traded for it twice. I estimate each bomber cost me $16 including shipping. That's fine. It's that. damn. good. And I had no trouble finishing it on my own.

Overall: well done. I don't feel that I'm lenient towards barrel-aged imperial stouts. This one really earned its score.

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Photo of drink1121
3.88/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Celebrating the Blackhawks Stanley Cup game 5 win an what better beer than to have this, brewed in Chicago.

A- pour a tick, black with a nice frothy head, which dissipates, but a very little lingers all the way.

S- I get bourbon up from with some vanilla, carmel and coffee. the alcohol is pretty prevelant on the nose.

T- quite a bit of heat from this. nice bourbon, vanilla and coffee again. not as much coffee as i would have liked, especially since its Intelligentsia, who brews the best espresso I have ever had

M- pretty hot, but nice and thick and creamy, which is the way I like my stouts.

D- at 13%, the drinkability goes down quite a bit. for the alcohol I would say its pretty good, although pretty hot at the same time. again, wish there was more coffee. slightly disappointing given the hype for this beer. i would like to do a side by side with same year the regular bourbon county stout to see the difference.

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Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -25%
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.

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Photo of Shumista
4.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After missing the release of this one because I was out of the state for a couple weeks I was fortunate enough to find a BA who had plenty and was willing to trade.

Poured from a bomber and split 3 ways. Dark black, not the thickest imperial stout ever but its pretty viscous stuff. Medium brown head. The aroma is lots and lots of bourbon, oak, coffee, raisin and bitter chocolate. I was worried after the nose that the bourbon barrel would overpower the other flavors but it did not. The main progression of flavors was fairly linear to me with a few subtleties that are harder to place. The main progression goes bourbon, dark chocolate syrup, bitterness from the hops, then coffee followed by a lingering coffee aftertaste that's nearly indistinguishable from the aftertaste of a good cup of coffee. Subtleties throughout of anise, oak, and some dark fruitiness that is raisin-like as in the nose. Feel is creamy, thick, and warming but just not quite thick enough for a 5. While probably not a good idea I would have no problem polishing off an entire bomber of this stuff, something I don't say too often about big beers like this. The past few weeks I've had a handful of highly hyped beers that turned out to be letdowns so it was really nice to be blown away again by a great beer.

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Photo of spoons
4.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle to a snifter

Color is black as it gets with a super fizzy coffee color head that isnt there long.

Smell is pretty crazy. I get some raspberries at first. Not present in regular bourbon county stout. a bourbon barrel twang to it. Dark red wine smells as well. Some vanilla syrup, and ohh yeah coffee.

Taste has way more coffee than the nose would leave you to believe. Almost light on the front of the tongue with carbonation, but is medium to heavy bodied overall especially when it warms up. Getting some bourbon flavor as well vanilla. Has a nice coffee bitterness to it. A great beer no doubt.

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Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
100 out of 100 based on 1,069 ratings.