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
English Barleywine
4.3 | pDev: 5.35%
Jan 24, 2024
Aug 09, 2018
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.
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Ratings by garymuchow:
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Reviewed by garymuchow from Minnesota

4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
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
More User Ratings:
Rated: 4.43 by hopley from Massachusetts

Jan 24, 2024
Rated: 4.22 by Can_if_you_can from Minnesota

Dec 27, 2023
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Reviewed by drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Look - Really dark brown with slight rimming
Smell - Coffee prune boozy barrel
Taste - basically like the smell but with a toffee as well
Feel - medium full body with a lighter carb
OVerall - complex different, loved it
Aug 09, 2023
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Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Bottled 9/27/18

Well it’s been a while, and it’s time to get back to the vintage BCBS bottles I picked up from GI when I was in Chicago before getting into this year’s variants. The OG Barleywine I had from 2017 was quite good, so I have high hopes for this one. Coffee in a Barleywine is a flavor profile I’ve been chasing lately too, so let’s get into it

Pours a cloudy dark brown with a finger of creamy tan that slowly fades to a ring and leaves minimal lacing

The coffee has certainly faded in this one over the years but it still has a nice nose to it. I’m picking up on aromas of sweet caramel, raisin, brown sugar, fruitcake, chocolate fudge, light roast coffee, and vanilla

It hasn’t aged quite as gracefully in taste, nearly bordering the green pepper vibe old coffee beers can have but it’s buried by the other notes. On the front end of the sip I’m tasting sweet toffee, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, light raisin, brown bread, bourbon, and light coffee. The swallow brings notes of sweet caramel, toasted oak, oxidized sherry, lightly bitter coffee, raisin, molasses, and light cocoa powder

A full body pairs with gentle carbonation, resulting in a smooth and slick beer. Finishes neutral with a warming alcohol presence yet drinks well below its abv

This one is certainly past its prime, but far from undrinkable. The OG Barleywine from a year before was much better
Nov 29, 2022
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Reviewed by trevormajor from Ohio

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
500 ML bottle, 2017 vintage, poured into a snifter at 55 degrees F:
L - caramel colored with a tan head that lingered
S - caramel, toffee, bourbon
T - follows the nose, a bit more bourbon in the taste
F - thick mouthfeel with minimal carbonation despite the bubbling head
O - excellent beer at 5 years, very impressive; just what you want out of a BBA English Barleywine
Sep 03, 2022
Rated: 4.18 by EdFed from Illinois

Aug 27, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by EMV from Pennsylvania

Aug 21, 2022
Rated: 4.68 by BMBCLT from South Carolina

Feb 20, 2022
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Reviewed by DIM from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
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
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Reviewed by NiceTaps from New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
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
Rated: 4.27 by crobinso from Colorado

Dec 05, 2021
Rated: 4.21 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Dec 04, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by broadway848 from New York

Nov 21, 2021
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Reviewed by JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
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
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Reviewed by Zythophile from Washington

4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
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
Rated: 4.18 by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

Dec 27, 2020
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Reviewed by mothman from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
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
Rated: 4.4 by BAsbill from California

Nov 18, 2020
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Reviewed by zac16125 from South Carolina

3.61/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
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
Bourbon County Brand Coffee Barleywine Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 224 ratings