Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Brand Coffee StoutBourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
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Stout - American Imperial
4.73 | pDev: 7.82%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Bourbon County Brand Coffee StoutBourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
Notes: 2017 Release - Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso Beans
2016 Release - Intelligentsia Fletcha Roja
2015 Release - Intelligentsia Los Delirios
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
Reviews: 1,250 | Ratings: 7,446 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Beer_Economicus from Ohio

4.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Goose Island – Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout (BCBCS – 2014)

12.6% ABV

The beer is listed as “Stout – American Imperial” on BA.

The beer was removed from a 40ish degree temp fridge after having been refrigerated for approximately 2 years. Beer poured into 2012 BCBS snifter.

First Impression: Pours dark, thinner than BCBS. 4.5

Appearance: Standard Bourbon County. An aggressive pour years only a small amount of khaki head that fades quickly, leaving only a small ring around the glass. 4.25

Smell: Coffee up front. Mostly this cold-brew smelling with a hint of grounds and also the dread ‘pepper’. Weak barrel on the nose. 4.25

Taste: 2014 and earlier BCBCS is what all coffee stouts should be judged on for me. As the kids say, ‘it fucks’. And after this many years, to still say that? Come on. Taste starts with the coffee, shifts to bourbon, pulls in some chocolate fudge brownies, shifts back to bourbon, finishes on coffee, and then a slow finish lasts for longer than most BA stouts, let alone BA coffee stouts. Impressive for 12.5% abv. 4.70

Mouthfeel: Coffee stouts are always thinner than their regular counterparts. They just are. While this is clearly thinner than the regular, not appreciably so. For judging this against other coffee stouts, this is still upper echelon. 4.75

Overall: This is a great beer, and I’m jamming on this. I debated about whether to have this tonight, because I have to get up in 4.5 hours to hit the BCBS release. Well, I’m glad I did, but only because I chose to drink this tonight. It’s really fantastic. It’s incredible how well this has held up. I did have this a few years back (just once), and while it was great, I don’t remember enjoying it quite this much. This is just singing tonight. It’s everything that I want. And the finish just keeps going. I’m in heaven. All this said – could it be better? Of course. I’d love to have even more barrel. I’d love to see how this shined at 15%. But for what it is, and compared to others, this is Heaven. 4.65

BA Review Score: 4.56

Nov 26, 2021
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Rug from Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 7/25/17, cracking this open just over 4 years later

Oh boy, we have quite the whale here. From what I've heard, the coffee BCBS is one of the most sought after variants, and 2017 is unfortunately the last vintage. I never really expected to see it on a shelf anywhere. However, when visiting DC this past weekend, I decided to pop in a liquor store to search for some of the Dogfish Head spirits, since we don't get those up here in Mass. Well, I found their whiskey and was happy, but decided to check out the beer selection. This one was staring at me and I immediately snatched it without looking at the price tag. Worth it? Let's find out

Pours a velvety black with a finger of dark tan head that quickly fades to a thin ring and leaves minimal lacing but very strong legs

This is wonderfully balanced between roasty and sweet in the nose, like a decadent coffee drink mixed to perfection. I'm picking up on aromas of chewy caramel, lightly acidic coffee, chocolate covered espresso beans, vanilla creme, ripe fig, smooth oak, and just the slightest hint of sweet blueberry

The fact that this has such a strong coffee presence after 4 years is very impressive. Many of these beers tend to fall off in flavor pretty quick, but it is beautifully preserved here, despite not being full force. On the front end of the sip I'm tasting creamy vanilla, lightly spicy bourbon, milk chocolate, medium acidic coffee, and light grape. The swallow brings notes of decadent milk chocolate, oily espresso beans, burnt toast, a touch of that vegetal green pepper character others have complained about in older bottles, and earthy oaked bourbon on the aftertaste

A medium full body pairs with gentle tingling carbonation, resulting in a thick and viscous beer. Finishes mostly dry from the bourbon heat

This beer is awesome! It doesn't quite crack my top 10 though I suspect it might if fresher. Regardless, I'm very happy to have tried this one, and here's to hoping they bring it back next year!

Aug 11, 2021
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OfficerKramitz from Pennsylvania

4.66/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2017 Vintage

L: Deep black with a slight twinge of brown

A: The winner in my opinion. Bakers chocolate and coffee all the way.

T: Do not drink this beer cold, severely underwhelming. Once it warms there is a strong chocolate syrupy goodness up front followed by a slight sweetened Cuban coffee. While I assume the coffee has dropped off some, still provides a strong aftertaste which makes it more enjoyable.

M: It’s bourbon county. Always proper almost syrup like.

O: While a damn good beer, I think the hype train has won with the coffee BCBS. I have not had a lot of them, but I prefer the regular. Maybe I’m in the minority here. Still great though.

Jan 23, 2021
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fountainofyouth from District of Columbia

4.56/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours impenetrable dark brown with no head at all, leaving a slight sediment behind in the bottle.

Smell: Very rich coffee and bourbon, a bit of chocolate. No green pepper.

Taste: Phenomenally smooth and deep. Starts with bourbon, shifts to dark, acidic coffee grinds, finishes with a delightful burnt bread roast. My only demerit is that I find the bourbon ever so slightly too dominant on some finishes.

Feel: Full-bodied but not too heavy, with light carbonation. Bit of alcohol on the finish, but not too much.

Overall: It's a huge beer, really well put-together. It's a bourbon-lover's coffee stout, with a very prominent bourbon character that somehow still doesn't mask the big coffee base.

Dec 20, 2020
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SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.21/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage - Los Inmortales Coffee

335ml bottle - lightly chilled, poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a coal-black hue - slightly thin, with a deep reddish-mahogany ring around the top edge. Zero head, zero foam, zero collar. Just sits like liquorice-coloured liquid in the glass. Lifeless.

Nose: Surpriseingly, the coffee is still here - and quite strong. The coffee is deep, dark, roasty and pungent, with an almost stale quality to it - like a gas station coffee maker that hasn't been emptied or cleaned in a day. It almost smells sticky and concentrated, very much like Kaluha. Zero green pepper. There's some deep roast beneath the coffee, along with a bit of an ashen/smoky note. Some tangy dark fruit peeks through, as well as some bourbon, and if you really dig deep, some vanilla, oak, and baker's chocolate emerge. Not much warmth. Coffee dominates.

Palate: This 7 year old stout greets the palate fairly sweet, with some rich chocolate fudge, brownie batter, vanilla, bourbon, and oak, before an intense coffee presence explodes and takes the lead. It's a miracle there's still so much coffee in here. The coffee is sweet, black, roasty, with some fresh whole bean notes. Saturated, almost like coffee liqueur, and then finally showing some of that stale back coffee character. A whisper of tangy dark fruit pokes out, before some coffee bean bitterness begins to show, quickly compounded by blackened malt bitterness, drying this out very quickly and fully. Some more subtle bourbon, followed by some less subtle barrel reappear, and the finish approaches, bringing sticky black coffee, roasty beans, bitter malt roast, pure cacao, charred malt, and spicy charred oak. No lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel/Body: Admittedly, I expected this to be thin, given its age, but surprisingly, it's actually packing some nice heft when chilled. It isn't luscious or chewy, but before it warms, it does have some nice viscosity, though it does thin out as it warms. Effervescence is extremely low - not still, and there is some subtle fuzz in there, but like a cup of soda the morning after you poured it. Quite sticky around the lips, but almost fully dries out in the finish with all that roast.

Overall: This is a difficult one to rate. Is it fair to formally review and rate a 7 year old coffee stout that I've never had? It may actually not be. I'll never know how this was when fresh, but even now, I'd say this is a perfectly respectable barrel-aged coffee stout. Strong coffee presence, no green pepper notes, essentially no oxidation, and maybe just a hint of staleness to the coffee. The bourbon and barrel are subdued, and the effervescence is lacking, but as-is, this is still a great coffee stout. The fact that it has held up so well is definitely a testimony to the early-mid BCBS era. Smoke 'em if you got 'em. This is the most you could ask for in a 7 year old coffee stout. I have to wonder if the 2013 was particularly coffee-forward, because apparently less ancient bottles have already lost their beans. Certainly not the case here, but I wouldn't hold onto one any longer than this. Gracefully aged.

Nov 29, 2020
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bret27 from California

4.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2016 vintage courtesy of jeffreed61. (~4 yrs old).
L: black with mocha head that fizzles off.
S: coffee, chocolate, vanilla, oak, tootsie roll.
T: resiny oaky combo of really good coffee and chocolate/vanilla. Tobacco, earth, cinnamon. Smooth af. Not boozy.
F: bcbs standard.
Overall: phenomenal. Was worried the coffee might make it “fall off” but not the case. Deserves high ratings. My favorite variant.

Sep 21, 2020
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eric5bellies from Australia

4.63/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Ok this beer is over Ten Years old and is the Black Cat Expresso version. Was bottled on 03/26/10 - 2208 and It has been cellared in a wine fridge for the whole time at 14 degrees Celcius.

A - well its damn dark Black oily colour with a dark beige head that dies quickly.
S - Very large aromas of old potted coffee and smoley dark vanilla.
T - Wow. Massive. So up fron some milky latte flavours that pretty soon get drowned out by massive expresso dark coffee. The finish is smokey rolled tobacco before a nice sweet finish ensues that is made up of vanilla and caramel. Its massive !
M - Deep deep body with light to medium carbonation
O - Huge beer that is very bold is every sense. It has aged so very well, the only dissapointment is that it didnt smoothen out more as it packs such a punch. This beer is by no means past its best and will go into my Hall of Fame

Jul 17, 2020
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5toutman75 from Illinois

4.91/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 11/7/14
Consumed 5/1/20

Purchased from Goose recently, so I assume it was stored properly. It has none of the vegetable taste I have had in some older coffee BCS. This bottle is perfect. A wonderful balance of coffee bitterness and the sweet BCS barrel notes. I love the smell. There’s a lot of coffee here. Drinking it I get a lot of coffee too. I haven’t had a newer bottle in some time, and I know this beer has lost some of its mystique, but in 2014 it was still perfect.

May 02, 2020
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jcruelty from California

5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I want to believe in perfection. You have to set the bar somewhere and it might as well be here. Based on what people say, it's perfect. My experience: pretty damn good. Not as good as a Trappistes Rochefort 10 but it's all down to taste innit. High alcohol content, goes down smooth, complex taste and aftertaste. Who doesn't like coffee and bourbon? It's not fair really. Boo to corporate brewing and it is unfortunate that buying a can of this supports that. But it is a damn fine stout. Shoot now I have to go back and retroactively give perfect 5's to Rochefort 10, because that is my perfect beer and if this is all 5's then surely that is. In conclusion, beer is a land of many contrasts.

Sep 09, 2019
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marieli from Texas

4.24/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 version on tap into snifter. Very, very nice beer, but I was expecting a little more based on its reputation. I thought the amount of coffee was spot on with well managed bitterness on the back end. I happen to prefer slightly sweeter coffee stouts but can't hold that against this beer. However, I do wish there was a more distinct aroma, and I didn't find this beer as creamy as the regular version. As a point of comparison, my favorite Bourbon County variant was the 2017 Northwoods.

Aug 30, 2019
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npolachek from New York

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had a 2014 release (in 2019) at the brewery in Chicago. This beer aged fantastically with no green pepper taste whatsoever. Very smooth and incredibly good.

Jun 19, 2019
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ktr5010 from Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage purchased from Goose in 2019. Wish they still made em like this one. Coffee is still there in abundance. Smoothness and feel is amazing. Smells great although there are tiny tiny hints of green pepper. Would like coffee BCS back.

May 12, 2019
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Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

4.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

An improvement on the base beer for sure, that bitey coffee bitterness provides a backbone to an already outstanding beer. And despite the unfortunate sell-out as well as the mouthfeel starting to thin over the years, this still remains an amazing beer!

May 06, 2019
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NoYouDidnt from Indiana

4.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2016 version. Pours jet black but a little thin. Not too sludgy. No head. Aroma- dusty, chocolate, coffee, a little fruity, like red berry, cherry. Taste- chocolate- fudge, cherry, bourbon, and yes slight coffee. Has a bit of a lingering effect. Some charred wood. Cigarette even. I really think it all melds well and nothing is really too robust. Mouthfeel- a little runny. But it is coating. Overall- as a non coffee lover I did still enjoy this. This 2016 has jived well over time I think. And was very approachable and a real nice treat. One of the more enjoyable variants.

Apr 28, 2019
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

500ml bottle. Bottling date is '21SEP16'. 12.5%ABV.
Opaque, black colored body. Dark tan head fizzed away right away. Lacing spots slide back down into body.
Aroma is dark roasted malts and oak bourbon barrel. Vanilla, chocolate, and a bit of dark fruit. The coffee is there but faint.
Taste is predicted by the smells, with dark roasted malts, oak bourbon barrel, and the flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruit. As a lot of this fades away the coffee spreads out and provides an ending note. There is no bitterness expressed.
Thicker mouth feel, and tremendously smooth in texture. Lower carbonation. The alcohol vapors rise into the nasal areas.
The coffee has predictably faded in the 2-1/2 years since bottling but there is a little expression left. Just such an easy flow through the mouth with each sip. This beer is a treat.

Apr 03, 2019
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colts9016 from Idaho

4.53/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I received this 2017 Bourbon County Stout through a BIF. It has been patiently waiting for me to consume this delicious nector within. The beer is 50 degree and served in tulip glass. The pour of the beer produced a one finger medium dark tan head. The head dissipated rather quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is SRM 35 a dark brown nearly black. The clarity of the beer is opaque. The only visible sign of the head is a tan ring around the beer.

The coffee aromas from the beer are similar to a fresh pot of coffee brewed. Next, I get dark chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, anise, bready, earthy, vanilla, and a subtle char note.

The flavors of this coffee stout are more impressive than the nose. The coffee is robust and intense and not bitter. The characteristics I get are expresso, anise, bready, dark chocolate, molasses, roasted malts, earthy, vanilla, a touch of char, and a subtle smokiness.

The mouthfeel of the beer is dry and chewy.

The body of the beer is full, low carbonation, and full finish.

I love these flavors in this coffee beer. The harmony is unparallel to other coffee beers I have had in the past. I am so glad I got to drink this beer.

Jan 24, 2019
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jheimbigner from Washington

4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured at cellar temp. 2017 vintage

L - dark midnight appearance. Poured with a tan/mocha head that dissapated into minimal lacing
S - traditional bcbs smell. Coffee is still there but not as much when fresh. Get some ethonal. Great barrel and bourbon sent. Vanilla.
T - bourbon, barrel, coffee, vanilla, marshmello. Some heat
F - think pillowing feel. As it has warmed has thinned out some.
O - great beer that captures all the fundamentals of bcbs and a great adjunct. Recommend drinking this fresher. I think I prefer regular to this

Jan 01, 2019
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q33jeff from New Jersey

4.66/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle to snifter. Side by Side Comparison of 2017 Bourbon County Stout(1), Coffee Stout(2), Northwoods(3), Barleywine(4).

LOOK: dark black, brown head fades, similar to BCBS.
AROMA: coffee drowns out other aromas found in BCBS, but the coffee is unique. Super Smokey.
TASTE: coffee , vanilla, bourbon all work well together. As I drink BCBS and BCBCS together, the coffee seems to "linger" better. BCBS is seeming overly sweet in comparison.
FEEL: thinner than BCBS, but a touch of carbonation cones through.


Nov 29, 2018
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Tony210 from New Jersey

4.56/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours extremely dark with minimal kakhi head that fizzles out quickly. Big coffee aroma, chocolate and barrel presence are there as well. Huge coffee flavor, base BCBS beer is faintly intact, lots of dark chocolate and bourbon barrel on the finish, pretty sweet but not cloying. Carbonation is perfect, the beer is pretty chewy and syrupy. Overall an excellent variant, adjunct is still intact a year later. Pretty amazing brew, especially considering it is available nationallly.

16.9 oz bottle, 2017 vintage
4.5 rating

11/12/19. Update - drank another 2017, coffee faded significantly, nose is all chocolate, coffee flavor is there but is equal with the chocolate. Enjoyed this more last year.

Nov 26, 2018
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.49/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2017 vintage
appearance: very dark brown. Ruby highlights when held to light. Sparse mocha head.
smell: Intense coffee, vanilla, rich molasses, rich and buttery.
taste: Much like the nose though the coffee is more subtle.

Oct 27, 2018
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Sandis from Minnesota

4.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016 version poured into a snifter. This is the first Bourbon County coffee I have tried and I was not disappointed. This beer's high rating is well deserved. The coffee was not overpowering which I prefer. Anxious to try the '17 version with less age on it.

Oct 18, 2018
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Oconomowocian from Wisconsin

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2017 Vintage in a snifter
Look- Pours a coffee Black with tan head. Head dissipated quickly.
Smell- classic BCBS aroma, I get sweetness and big barrel. Coffee not as prominent on the nose as I expected.
Taste- has all of the qualities of the base (roasty, warm booze, malt sweetness & bourbon) but the coffee adds a spicyness that is unique. Not green peppers but adding richness and bite to the body without overpowering. Good stuff.
Feel- warmth from the barrel, medium body not too thick or sticky.
Overall- big fan of the BCBS series, this stands out for sure. Nice that the coffee is more of a compliment to the base beer rather than overpowering.

Oct 14, 2018
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dcondon87 from Ohio

4.21/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Looked like a nice creamy latte. Very thick / dark head, dissipated somewhat quickly. The taste and aroma was everything you want from a coffee stout. Great beer, slightly overrated as there are a few others out there that are pretty comparable, but would never be turn one of these down!

Aug 02, 2018
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dafla67 from Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

pour black. Aroma of sweet and complex -- coffee, caramel, bourbon & chocolate. Taste is equally complex as the aroma and incredibly well balanced. The chocolate and caramel flavors upfront with a lingering coffee, malt and bourbon tastes. The feel is medium to chewy. Overall an incredible BA stout. Clearly, one of the best and lives up to its reputation.

Jul 26, 2018
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 7/25/17

Pours a thick, viscous black with a pillowy, sandy caramel head; it dissipates quickly and leaves little, if any, lacing.

First inhale gives off deep notes of baker's chocolate, fudge, and soft bits of oak and vanilla; some more nosing reveals subdued aromas of sweet malt, caramel, and ground dark-roast coffee.

The taste yields plenty of the now-familiar baker's chocolate, smooth oak, dark chocolate fudge, and vanilla, all in conjunction with a backbone of roasty malt; although obviously faded from the near-year in the bottle, soft coffee undertones have had an impact on the overall flavor profile, imparting an earthy bitterness and roasty ground coffee dusting to all the adjuncts.

The mouthfeel is big, almost chewy, but it never detracts from the flavor experience; its slick, oily qualities add a softness to balance out any carbonation to deliver an almost effortless feel.

While its time in the bottle clearly toned down the coffee notes, this was still an incredibly nuanced stout that showed quite a spectrum of flavor. That being said, I'd love to try this one fresh; I can see this being absolutely brilliant with the coffee more intact.

Jun 28, 2018
Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 7446 ratings