Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine Ale
Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine AleBourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine Ale
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Style:
English Barleywine
ABV:
15.1%
Score:
94
Avg:
4.3 | pDev: 5.35%
Reviews:
64
Ratings:
204
From:
Goose Island Beer Co.
 
Illinois, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  6
Gots
  31
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine AleBourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine Ale
Notes: Working with our friends at Intelligentsia, we flew down to Guatemala to source some of the world's best coffee to use as we release the first-ever Coffee Barleywine. The beer is an English-style Barleywine, meaning malt forward, and aged in 4+ year old Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels before adding La Soledad coffee beans right before packaging to retain a bold coffee aroma and flavor.
Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 204 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tasted in a Rastal Teku from a 500 mL bottle on April 6, 2020. Working with Intelligentsia, the brewers flew down to Guatemala to source some of the world's best coffee to use as they release their first-ever coffee barleywine. An English-style barleywine that is malt forward. Aged in 4+ year old Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels. La Soledad coffee beans addedright before packaging to retain a bold coffee aroma and flavor.

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Photo of stortore
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into a snifter. Bottled 9/27/18, had 12/15/18.

Pours a dark ruby, semi- opaque, with a quick flash of a head and light, spotty cling. Aromas of bourbon, coffee, caramel, dates, figs, malt, plums, some molasses and brown sugar, light tobacco and char, some oak, light raisins. A bit of a sweet aroma. The flavor aligns with the aroma- bourbon, caramel, coffee, figs, raisins, dates, some oak and brown sugar, light vanilla and molasses. A little sweet, but not cloying. Smooth, a very good medium to full body, well carbonated.

This has a great balance between the coffee and the barleywine. Terrific aromas and great flavors. Actually a little hard to describe, but it’s a pretty complex beer. They make it again, I’ll buy it again. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at DiveBar, NYC; a 7oz pour is just the right amount for a drink of this magnitude.

Pours a dark brown that displays an elegant and clear ruby color against the light. Although there is no head, a thin ring of lacing is evident at the beginning of the pour.

Aroma opens with notes of coffee and cocoa powder; the coffee in particular, dominating throughout and blending well with the bourbon spice. Additional aromatics of vanilla, wood, caramel, biscuity malts and minty hops.

The taste is sweet and boozy with a strong alcohol spice well supported by sticky and doughy biscuity malt. Full bodied, very smooth, mouth coating and moderately carbonated. The coffee flavors impart a unique taste to the bourbon spices and rich chewy sweet malts. Additional notes of chocolate, vanilla, oak, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, raisins and earthy hops bitterness. The finish is long and alcohol warming.

I really liked this variant; the coffee Barleywine combination is a real winner. Powerful like a top shelf spirit and a pleasure to sip on.

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Photo of mschrei
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

One of the weakest BCBS offerings I’ve had. Looks nice-great ruby colors, minimal head/lacing. Plenty of coffee on the nose with some rich barrel aged Barleywine characteristics. Problem is the taste-coffee and barleywine just don’t mix, in my opinion. The barrel and malt clash with the coffee and while both flavors are excellent if you separate them, together, it’s not a pleasant mix. Medium bodied, boozy, mouth watering. Brave attempt, big miss.

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Photo of EMH73
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a medium-dark brown with red hues, a quarter inch tan head that dissipated almost immediately and left no lacing. Smells of coffee, bourbon, caramel, dark chocolate and a mild earthy quality. Tastes of coffee, bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, toffee, raisins, figs, oak, rye and roasted malts. Awesome complexity. Medium to full bodied, minimal carbonation, full mouth feel.

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Photo of Saylor
4.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2018- bottle. Was eager to try this combination but also hesitant because of past both barleywines and coffee beers. This stout is awesome. Easily one of the best I’ve ever had. The coffee flavor wasn’t strongly present but the mix of flavors and smoothness made this beer an instant satisfaction. Hope to see it in the future 2020+

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Photo of rypkr
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks pretty crappy. Murky brown, very little head.

Smells pretty muted. Theres coffee but not a whole lot else going on.

Tastes much more complex. Starts with pure coffee and reminds me of founders underground mountain. It quickly rolls into much more depth however. There are loads of toffee, and oak, and caramel, bourbon and cream.

Feel is pretty full and thick.

Overall very nice despite the lack of aroma.

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Photo of CHickman
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 27SEP18, 15.1% ABV, it pours reddish dark brown color with 1 finger foamy beige colored head that made a crackling sound and faded on the quick side and left basically no lacing. Not unusual for a barrel aged barleywine, but I wish the head lasted longer. The smell of coffee hits first with fresh ground coffee, beans, light espresso and then cocoa, bourbon, toffee, dark chocolate, spicy notes like rye or tea leaf, faint vanilla and earthy notes. A lot going on in the nose, but it's all good with plenty of malt complexities that allows the barrel aging to show through and the spicy/herbal notes to add accents. Not your typical barleywine, this is an amped up version for sure.

Tastes like it smells with the fresh ground coffee, toffee, burnt coffee grinds, caramel, espresso beans, vanilla, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, bourbon, smoked malts, rye, spices notes, tea leaf, piney hops, syrup, brownie batter, tree bark, black licorice and some heat even a year later from that 15% ABV. The barleywine aspects get covered up by the malty sweetness, booze from the bourbon and whiskey barrels, the bitter roasted coffee and the toffee that helps mask the alcohol while making for a dynamic, complex slow sipper. This was really freakin good and the coffee components really were pleasing and enjoyable.

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Photo of ovaltine
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a mahogany brown with a tan head that dissipates immediately - literally before you can put down the bottle after the pour. The rich coffee aromas are welcome, and there’s a lotta boozy notes on the nose, and some chocolate as well.

The coffee leads the flavor parade, and there’s also cocoa notes and a significant boozy component. The mouthfeel is rich, appropriate to the style. Truly a pleasure to drink, this is exceptionally well done, IMHO.

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Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Black Friday 2018 - Enjoyed in a Teku glass 11/13/2019

L: Black with reddish brown fringes where the light can penetrate. Any head quickly dissipates to nothing.

S: Oak, raisins, caramel, toffee. This is a barleywine no doubt. The coffee is in there - just barely.

T: Dates and raisins. Sugars galore. The coffee sneaks in on the aftertaste which almost disappoints, but it does provide some bitter backbone and contrast to the beer.

F: No heat - just a touch of booze. Full body. Reasonably thick and coating for a barleywine.

O: This was good. I want to start with that. Would drink it many times. But the reason I was exited for it, it did not live up to. Little coffee presence. The coffee did soooo much more for the stout. Oh well. Better than Northwoods and nearly tied with the standard BCBW.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured ruby brown at 57 degrees; excellent clarity; fizzy fast grayish tan head; no cap retention or ring; thin legs. Nose is caramel, bourbon and mild coffee. Caramel entry, bourbon, sweet dark fruit notes; not finding any coffee. Medium full body, smooth feel, light carbonation. Overall, body looks thin, yet liquid sits hefty on the tongue; no hint of alcohol; very little coffee, but who cares - a delightful drinking barrel aged barley wine.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark burgundy with ruby-transparency showing against the light. Head foamed to less than half a finger in height, poured moderately from a cold bottle. Aroma is very light fleshy, earthy coffee with caramely, toasty, nutty, earthy malts. Toffee, raisins, plum, fig and molasses add sweetness and a touch of richness. Bourbon is present throughout, adding a little zest and heat throughout the nose. Flavor profile is more stone and dark fruits - plum and raisins, along with fig, toffee and molasses. Coffee comes on modest, more like an after thought than a headliner. Malts are caramely, toasty, earthy, nutty and bready. Bourbon comes through as a complimentary addition to the initial sugary notes at the start, adding balance, but not raw heat. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a rather straightforward texture that doesn't yield a notable level of creaminess, velvetiness or decadency. Overall, despite being high in ABV, it doesn't drink like a huge beer, instead layering out modestly rich notes with a boozy kiss from someone with coffee breath.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 500mL bottle.

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Photo of Herbertly
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2018 Bottled on 9/27/18. Enjoyed on 8/22/19.
L: Dark golden with no retained head. Quickly dispersing carbonation.
S: Sweet classic barleywine aromas. sugar, sweetcorn, and caramelized smoke.
T: Smooth sweetness, syrup, and the essence of coffee lingers at the end.
F: Sticky, thick, and residual. No heat, but noticeably strong and numbing.
O: I am not too experienced with the style, but I think it's smooth and drinkable for a barleywine. Extreme sweetness, but this balances the strength. Almost too sweet for my liking. I thought this was an excellent beer and should have tried it fresh.

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Photo of Rristow
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasted from bottle. Pours dark brown with minimal head that fades quickly. Aroma of coffee, peppers, bourbon. Moderate to heavily sweet. Flavors of coffee, green peppers, caramel, molasses, bourbon. Very nice barleywine.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2018 vintage. this is an awesome beer, a super cool variant, and a wodnerful use of the coffee. as much as the coffee stout was awesome, i think i like the way the coffee works in this a little bit better, even if the stout might be better than the barleywine overall (at least for me). without the dark roasty and chocolate heavy malts to compete with, the coffee really stands out quite a lot more, in a purer form, but its not without its synergies, which i guess is what makes this, and the whole series really, so special. the obvious one here is the whiskey and the coffee, something i like outside of the beer world, but sure works well in a beer too. the unifying element here is sweetness of the malts, which are super prominent from beginning to end, brown sugar and toffee and even spice cake, decadent and huge, chewy even, but somehow mellow too, even with all the alcohol thats on this, a sipper but not a burner. another cool synergy is the coffee and the wood, both earthy and charred, enhancing one another, and seemingly extending them too, making them pop at different times than they might on their own. i like the bitterness here balancing some of the grain sweetness, its much needed. toasted marshmallow notes i recall from the original barleywine, lots of vanilla from the bourbon, and a faint english yeast element, almost baked or something. delicious beer overall, the barleywine on its own is sick, and the coffee is a great add. super impressed with this, and holding up well so far too for having so much coffee in it. a fun one to share with new friends!

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Photo of michaelsmith11
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I wasn't sure about this variant or how they were going balance the coffee with the barleywine tastes but they pulled it off very well. This a very well balanced beer that is very rich and thick without being too overbearing and sweet. The coffee flavor is big upfront but then you get a nice taste toffee dark fruit and a little heat. Very well done by GI.

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Photo of DaveMaciolek21
4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Malty barleywine with the subtle addition of coffee flavors. Understated, mellow, good complexity, with a whopping 15.1% abv brilliantly disguised. Savor it!

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

Solid beer, but I prefer the original base beer. This is a solidly aged beer with malt forward. Just the right amount of sweetness and a true pleasure to drink.

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Photo of Buck89
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass. A light brown color on the pour, forming a clear chestnut color in the glass with a thin tan head. The foam receded quickly, leaving tan tracks around the rim. Big coffee aroma, followed by bourbon and vanilla. The taste was...rich. Vanilla, bourbon, caramel, plum, and fresh coffee. A dessert beer with a thick feel that was decadent but not too sweet. Warm on the finish but in a totally expected way. Well-crafted and well-done.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From Black Friday, 2018. Poured into Kane chalice and allowed to warm for an hour.

L: No head, lacing, etc. Beer is a very dark chestnut brown, you definitely can see the difference from black when held up to the light.

S: Coffee, bourbon barrel, general malty sweetness

T: Woo this is really sweet. You do get the coffee and oaky bourbon at the beginning, but the sweet malt just cuts through everything. Toffee, caramel, dark fruits, on and on. Alcohol heat comes in at the end, as you just can't hide 15%.

S: Seriously full-bodied. No carbonation. Construction very good but sweetness maybe just a tad much.

O: I'm not a barleywine guy, but this one is one of the better ones I've had.

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Photo of miniditka77
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looks just like the normal BCBW, amber colored with very little head, with more clarity than you normally get out of a barrel aged barleywine. The smell is extremely different though. You can still pick out the awesome toffee and vanilla scents, but much of it is overwhelmed by the scent of coffee. The same goes for the flavor - the toffee, vanilla, and dark fruit flavors are somewhat overwhelmed by the coffee bitterness. It works sort of well, although I think the coffee is a little more acidic than I would like. I think a more mellow, chocolatey coffee would have worked better. Overall pretty good, but I much prefer the regular barleywine, which I think is close to perfect.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2018 release. 500mL, bottled on 27SEP18, 15.1% ABV, shared with my friend, Ken. Cola colored body with a thin beige head that disappears quickly. Sweet and boozy aroma with caramel, toffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla; coffee is very faint. Sweet and boozy flavors as well: toffee, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, woody oak; coffee and toasted coconut are mildly present. Full body, sticky & sweet, boozy but alcohol is not hot. A bit of a disappointment overall - was hoping for more of a coffee presence, but the beer is still very good either way. Maybe drinking it a bit fresher might have brought out more of the coffee notes (?)

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
3.89/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours walnut brown with a rim of head. Aroma-pear, apple, coffee,alcohol, grass. Taste, brown sugar, little chocolate, toffe, coffee, vanilla. The lingering taste is the bourbon and coffee. Mouthfeel- tingly and runny. Overall- enjoyed this on prop day. Not quite as balanced out of the bottle though. Pretty heavy on the bourbon.

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Photo of Chris7482
3.77/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I usually really enjoy BCBBW but I think the coffee bitterness really takes away from the sweet caramel, toffee, and dark fruit of the normal release that I love. I hope the normal barleywine is back next year.

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

Clear dark amber color with a ring of tan foam. Aroma has brown sugar, dark fruits, toffee and bourbon. Taste is sweet, really bourbon forward with lots of toffee flavors. Not much coffee, maybe just a hint on the aftertaste. Medium body with syrupy feel. Overall it's a really good barleywine in spite of the lack of coffee.

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Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 204 ratings