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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Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Barleywine - English
4.3 | pDev: 5.35%
Feb 20, 2022
Aug 09, 2018
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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by Dharmelink:
Photo of Dharmelink
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Dharmelink from Wisconsin

Nov 10, 2019
More User Ratings:
4.68 by WCKDVBZ from South Carolina on Feb 20, 2022
Photo of DIM
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by DIM from Pennsylvania

After 3½ years the coffee is still noticeable. Reminiscent of taking a bite of dessert a few minutes after a sip of coffee. Figs, molasses, and toffee plus gentle booze and light coffee. The carbonation is light and the body sticky. I am thoroughly enjoying this. Thanks FBarber!

Feb 08, 2022
Photo of NiceTaps
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by NiceTaps from New Jersey

16.9 ounce bottle, dated September 27, 2018, poured into my Tuckahoe Brewing snifter.

An aggressive pour generates a bit of creamy tan cap which drops quickly and leaves no lacing as barleywines go. The body color is a dark tawny brown with reddish tint.

Strong distinct aromas: roasted malt, oak, alcohol, coffee, bourbon, and vanilla.

Aromas carry right on to the taste, soaking the malt with flavor. The coffee holds up after 3 and 1/2 years of aging.

Full body, booze soaked sponge cake. Sweet and creamy coffee. Wooden.

It aged nicely. A smooth sipping strong brew.

Jan 22, 2022
4.27 by crobinso from Colorado on Dec 05, 2021
4.21 by TMoney2591 from Illinois on Dec 04, 2021
4.25 by broadway848 from New York on Nov 21, 2021
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by JohnnyHopps from Indiana

Appearance - The beer was dark brown with red hues swirled into the mix.

Smell - The nose was much more of an Earthy coffee than a sweet coffee with hints of booze.

Taste - At the front, dark and slightly bitter coffee led the way. The barleywine backbone gave a modest amount of sweetness. Perhaps it was age, but the profile seemed more like an American barleywine than the English version. The overall profile seemed dry.

Mouthfeel - The body, or perhaps lack there of, did not seem interested in coating or lingering.

Overall - Even as a barleywine lover, I found it hard to fully appreciate this one.

Jan 31, 2021
Photo of Zythophile
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Zythophile from District of Columbia

Bottle Date: 2018
Palate Contaminants: other beer

Dark brown (even shading slightly toward red) and minimal head. It is somewhat clear, though.

Smell has lots of coffee up front. There is also molasses, along with a little mahogany and Brazil nut. It could stand to be richer.

And once more, I'm totally okay if what would be the scent stays in the liquid. The coffee is all the richer, and I'd even go as far as to call it espresso with cream and something sweet, like honey. The sweetness also has a grain syrup element. Can't get away from the tree nuts either, with hazelnut and toasted almonds. Mix all that in with some toffee, and you'd have a good candy bar.

Slightly prickly carbonation. Medium-heavy weight. Aftertaste is the taste, although the coffee abates. Alcohol certainly detectable, although not overbearing for a fifteener.

Jan 31, 2021
4.18 by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania on Dec 27, 2020
Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by mothman from Minnesota

Bottle. Little head. Caramel brown color.

Very odd bourbon county variant. I like the coffee and I like the BW, but mixed is odd. It’s not bad, just odd. Lots of coffee, caramel, toffee, oak, whiskey, and dark dried fruits. Some vanilla. Kind of dry and roasted. Interesting.

Dec 19, 2020
4.4 by BAsbill from California on Nov 18, 2020
Photo of zac16125
3.61/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by zac16125 from South Carolina

500mL bottle into a snifter

Pours a dark mahogany with some ruby hues when held to light. Small tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is very interesting, it’s almost spicey like a capsaicin peppery heat. There’s a strong fusel ethanol character as well, maybe that boozy heat is masquerading as some spice. Coffee is noticeable, and some subtle sweet malts are there, but overall this is quite a strange aroma and not particularly great. Taste is a bit odd too, although at least it is more barleywine-esque and I don’t get any of those peppery notes I got in the aroma. I do get tons of booze, and tons of bitterness. A bit of black coffee adds to said bitterness. The base beer characters are some burnt sugar and caramel. Subtle barrel characters but admittedly you have to work for them. Although there are some interesting notes here for the most part they are overpowered by this bitter, almost astringent note. Mouthfeel is fine, it’s very warming, ABV is high and it’s certianly a prominent component of this beer. I have a very high tolerance (and if we’re being honest, love) for high ABV beers but the boozy prominence here is just too much. I think this is the first time I’ve ever said this about a BCB beer (and I believe I’ve had every single variant to date except a couple of the 2019s I’m waiting on), but this beer is kind of a mess. I try not to overreact to things, but Goose Island, WHAT IN THE NAME OF ALL THINGS HOLY WERE YOU THINKING! (*all caps for overly dramatic effect*). But in all seriousness, I just don’t get this. You have BCB Barleywine which is just a fantastic beer, and you have BCB Coffee Stout which is an elite beer bordering on perfection. Scrap them both and in exchange put out this? Big fail. Looking forward to the return of the OGs, whenever that may be. Easily my least favorite BCB variant to date.


Nov 04, 2020
Photo of garymuchow
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by garymuchow from Minnesota

In the middle of a move and trying to purge the cellar, so now is the time. 1.5+ years in the cellar.
A bit of a gassy appearance Head is small and fizzles out altogether. Mostly clear, brown with hints of red. A little coffee in a rich malt with hints of candy sweetness.
Full rich flavors, much bigger than in the aroma. And an immediate awareness of the alcohol. Not in a bad way, but a quick shot of warmth in the gut, a ding in the prefrontal cortex and a perfumey and alcohol flavor. Not really hot, but certainly warm. This is a coffee barleywine and that is what it tastes like. Well balance. Get an essence of both and it is nice.
Full rich feel. Feels soft and slick and fluffy. Great feel. Carbonation shines here.
I like this. This is fine. There in time there is a fatigue from such a rich and big beer. The enjoyment starts to wane in time.

Jul 17, 2020
4.1 by 22Blue from Kansas on Jun 21, 2020
4.64 by BryanB from Illinois on Apr 21, 2020
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

Tasted in a Rastal Teku from a 500 mL bottle on April 6, 2020.

Apr 14, 2020
4.1 by Eziel from Ohio on Mar 26, 2020
4 by mattmarka1 from Minnesota on Mar 15, 2020
Photo of stortore
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by stortore from Illinois

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.

Feb 18, 2020
4.03 by BEERdedCharmer from New York on Feb 18, 2020
4.21 by Nunya from Ohio on Feb 02, 2020
4.35 by MDDMD from Pennsylvania on Jan 11, 2020
4.28 by TomFoolery_x from Illinois on Jan 08, 2020
4.5 by SiepJones from Pennsylvania on Jan 02, 2020
4.37 by wisegreensoul from Idaho on Dec 31, 2019
4.31 by Kegger37 from Iowa on Dec 30, 2019
Photo of Gajo74
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Gajo74 from New York

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.

Dec 30, 2019
Photo of mschrei
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by mschrei from Illinois

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.

Dec 30, 2019
Photo of EMH73
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by EMH73 from New York

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.

Dec 29, 2019
Photo of Saylor
4.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
by Saylor from Pennsylvania

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+

Dec 26, 2019
Photo of Fordcoyote15
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

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.

Dec 08, 2019
4.21 by Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania on Dec 06, 2019
4.29 by csmrx7 from Canada (AB) on Dec 06, 2019
Photo of CHickman
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by CHickman from New York

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.

Nov 30, 2019
Photo of ovaltine
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by ovaltine from Indiana

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.

Nov 28, 2019
4.5 by Old_Dead_Oak from Wisconsin on Nov 27, 2019
4.25 by uncleotis from Illinois on Nov 26, 2019
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
by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

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.

Nov 20, 2019
4.16 by Bunuelian from Minnesota on Nov 09, 2019
Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 218 ratings