Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Bourbon County Brand Coffee StoutBourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
7,341 Ratings
Bourbon County Brand Coffee StoutBourbon County Brand Coffee Stout

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BEERchitect on 04-22-2010

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,341 |  Reviews: 1,224
Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -26.1%
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 kylehay2004
4.66/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

No head on a jet black body. Very simple appearance, not much to it. Aroma is dominated by coffee but like the base beer its a bit mild for what I want. Aroma has coffee, dark fruits, Smoked malts and little else. This basically smells like a freshly opened bag of dark roast. Flavor is much better and much more dynamic than the aroma. I am getting vanilla, lots of dark roast coffee of course, some milk chocolate, little booze for ABV and peat/roasted malts. The coffee competes with the bourbon making it slightly less apparent than the base beer which is too bad. The body seems lighter than the base beer to me having had them back to back but still full with light to moderate carbonation. Still though the feel can't get better. excellent combo of stout, coffee and bourbon. Doesn't get much better.

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Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

been waiting to crack this for awhile now and finally the time was right. the pour was lacking much carbonation, but thats to be expected from the barrel aging process. dark dark brown murky liquid, not as thick or syrupy as i was anticipating, and just a thin rim of moca lacing. the nose is wonderful, this beers best feature i thought. lots and lots of fresh coffee flavors, like just used espresso grounds, minus the acid. i really dont smell too much alcohol either surprisingly, just a lot of roasty malt with the coffee. the flavor isnt as coffee heavy as it smells, and i thought that was a bit of a let down, i was kind of hoping for a coffee bomb, and this is a lot more refined than that, well done. no acid at all, and plenty of vanilla and charcoal rubbed off from the barrel, it all really comes together. again, the alcohol is amazingly well hidden for such a big beer, even when its warm i dont feel too bad a burn for 14% abv. the coffee has no acidity at all, which is a delight as well. mouthfeel is a little thick without much carbonation at all. i dont remember the regular bourbon county being so flat, but that was from a tap and this was bottles, so who knows. still velvet mousse texture, really lovely and artfully done. this was a gem, equally delicious as the standard edition, but in a lot of ways i liked this better. worth every bit of the hype in my opinion!

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Photo of jaydoc
4.46/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.31/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting.

2011 vintage. Bottled 1/11/12.

Pours an opaque black/brown with a dark khaki head that fades to nothing. No lacing on this one. Smell is of dark roasted malt, coffee beans, cocoa, roasted peanuts, and bourbon. Taste is the same with an alcohol kick on the finish with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barrel aged stout but I think regular BCBS is better.

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Photo of Texasfan549
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Knapp85
4.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing this one again, It's fantastic. Having this in 2010 at a festival didn't go it the justice it needed. This is damn near flawless for an imperial coffee stout. It's awesome!

Got to try this beer at the ACBF 2010 and all I could say is holy crap! This beer is wonderful, it was just overly flavorful. The color was black with a pretty good head for something so strong. The beer was thick and complex as hell. The bourbon screams out in this brew, there are flavors of coffee, vanilla, and lots of booze. This beer reminded me a little bit of Sam Adams Triple Bock but much better. This beer deserves another try, if I ever see it again I'll surely pick up some.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of metter98
4.49/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin mocha head that instantly faded away and left a thin ring of bubbles around the collar of the glass. As the beer warms up, it pours with a much larger head that also dissipates.
S: There is an intense aroma of bourbon and alcohol in the nose along with some hints of espresso beans.
T: Like the smell, the bourbon flavors really stand out in the overall taste, although unlike the regular Bourbon County Brand Stout these are balanced to some degree by the coffee and roasted malts. There are also some hints of oak.
M: It feels full-bodied and very viscous on the palate with a low amount of carbonation. There is warming from the alcohol in the finish.
D: This beer is definitely one that needs to be sipped given its strength; the intensity of the aromas and flavors will definitely wake you up. The addition of the coffee flavors makes the beer slightly more drinkable than Bourbon County Brand Stout.

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Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.75/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of oline73
4.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours jet black with a dark tan head that goes away completely almost as soon as it is poured.

Smell: Sweet and roasty with some coffee and hot bourbon.

Taste: Starts with a very mild sweetness which yields to coffee and smooth bourbon. The beer is a bit hot in the nose at the end from the bourbon and the coffee is a bit nutty.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and on the thicker side. The carbonation is very mild, which seems appropriate.

Drinkability: This one is very well balanced. The bourbon dominates, but the other flavors come out well. Love it!

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Photo of kojevergas
4.01/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Currently #2 in the Top 250 beer list. Expectations are accordant. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with classy red label and branded black pry-off pressure cap purchased at an Austin, TX bottle shop and side-poured into an Adelbert's stem-tulip at low altitude. Reviewed live alongside a 2013 BCBS. Reviewed as a "Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels with Coffee Added." "13.4%" ABV - lower than 2013 BCBS, strangely. "Bottled 15BOV13."

Served at fridge temp and allowed to warm over the course of the review.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Half winger wide. Tan colour. Complexion isn't as shiny as regular BCBS. Recedes fully inside 15 seconds, leaving no lacing. Pretty disappointing, but excusable at this high an ABV.

BODY: Predictable opaque solid black. Not quite a jet black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears aptly carbonated. I've seen far better appearances in beers of this style and this isn't unique or special looking, but I'm optimistic. There are no egregious flaws.

AROMA: The dominant rich coffee/java stands out - subtle roast, rich grounds, just a full lovely character with a kiss of bitter espresso.

The dark & chocolate malts are obscured by the bourbon tones; I get vanilla and oak, but unfortunately the oak isn't really toasty like in Backwoods Bastard. Not a wood-y beer either, which I like.

I crave roasted barley, but it's nowhere to be found. I'm also not getting much in the way of cream or caramel. The coconut featured so well in regular 2013 BCBS is also absent.

Molasses. Light faint char and burnt barrel. A hint of marshmallow.

It's a pleasant inviting aroma suggestive of a sticky and sweet flavour profile. Merely moderate in strength, it's not the overbearing booze-bomb you might expect at this high an ABV.

TEXTURE: Smooth and wet. I'd prefer more coarseness and dryness, which would be best accomplished with more roasted barley. It's a biteen syrupy and sticky, but is less so than regular 2013 BCBS. It has a kiss of harshness on the back end, which actually works well with the burnt roast of the coffee beans. Aptly carbonated for a cellar-worthy stout. Plenty of heft and weight here, which backs the diverse flavour profile well. Full-bodied and understandably thick. Fairly soft, actually. Approachable for a high-ABV sipper. Overall presence on the palate is very good. This texture complements the taste well.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, biting, or astringent.

TASTE: The coffee notes stand out at the expense of the coconut featured in regular 2013 BCBS. Not as roasty (in terms of both coffee and barley) as I'd hoped for, but the coffee does bring a nice full java character to the mix, with a kiss of bitter espresso in there too. Far from the best coffee character I've experienced in an imperial stout, but it's pretty well executed.

The core is what you'd expect if you've had 2013 BCBS - molasses, dark malts, chocolate malts, maybe some caramel. There's also a slight hint of anise/fennel, which works surprisingly well here, if only because it's reticent. Marshmallow, sure.

I can see where some might pick up on a narrow fruit profile - perhaps cherry or even grape - particularly in the late second act and on the finish, but it's pretty tame.

The coconut, char, and burnt character get buried here.

Then there's the bourbon barrel. Seamlessly integrated vanilla and oak tones really set off the notes of the base beer. It never veers into the spicy territory of regular whisky, and never comes off boozy or hot.

I've had richer imperial stouts, but ultimately the balance and subtlety here is damned impressive. It's not the most complex or intricate stout on the market, but boy does it layer its notes well. I'd almost say it's a gestalt flavour profile, but then I remember that it could use more roasted barley.

Flavour depth could definitely be better. This is a nitpick, but I feel like the 2013 vintages just don't have the depth or complexity of past vintages. Above average flavour duration and intensity.

Overall, I really like it.

FINAL THOUGHTS: It's not the best coffee imperial stout out there, nor is it the best barrel aged imperial stout out there, and I doubt the base is all that great. But all of the minor notes and little touches combine to create an incredibly satisfying beer that every discerning drinker should try. I'd absolutely pick it up again, and I can see why it has its #2 ranking, but it's far from amongst the best 10 beers I've ever had. Certainly better than regular 2013 BCBS, but not impeccable. This gets me extremely excited to try the other variants. This is the best work I've seen from Goose Island aside from 2009 and 2012 BCBS, and I'm glad I got my paws on 2 bottles this year. Not real drinkable; she's a sipper alright.


03.12.15: Brief notes for a bottle with a few months of age:

Heavy on coffee and roastiness. Dark malts. Chocolate malts. Great balance.

Highly drinkable and tasty even aged.


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Photo of BEERchitect
4.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2011 Release - Intelligentsia Anjilanaka Beans

In comparison to last year's version, the Anjilanaka provides a sweeter and nuttier component that takes off the more aggressive elements of roast and dryness. Succulent as ever and still with impressions of chocolate covered espresso beans, this world class beer follows up on the inaugural beer very well. Although I prefer the heightened sense of espresso roast and restrained sweetness of last year, this young follow-up represents the brand in regal fashion!

2010 Release - Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso Beans

With so much anticipation, and with the success of the standard Bourbon County Brand Stout, there is no let down from the hype. This coffee infused BCS reminds me of chocolate covered espresso beans and the bourbon ball candies that we love so much here in the Bluegrass. Imagine my favorite espresso and my favorite stout hooked up at a great beery coffee shop and conceived an angelic brew.

The beer opens with a dead-on motor oil viscosity and color. A delicate crème forms with a roast-stained hue. Where the retention eventually succumbes to the alcohol and weight, the legging became more apparent. The low carbonation and visual weight of the beer adds to the mystique of its appearance.

Extremely seductive aromas of decedent cocoa, deeply roasted espresso, and bourbon all stand out in obvious stature. Lighter notes of cherry esters, licorice, and actual molasses help to round out the background attributes. The beer's aroma isn't overly complex but they show so much power, boldness, and harmony- this is the chick in the bar that you will intently make a fool of yourself just to catch her eye.

Flavors build even more, springboarding off of the powerful cocoa, espresso, and bourbon. But the thickness of the beer along with the creamy maltytness give even greater smoothness and melded taste making this beer way more drinkable than it should be; kinda malty-sweet-chocolatey like Whoppers malted milk candies. As the beer warms and deep in the finish, the molasses, licorice, and cherry flavors become much more apparant. Where hops are restrained, bitterness is achieved with the smooth bitterness of the carefully brewed espresso beans.

As expected, the beer is as thick, chewy, heavy, full, and as round as any beer that has crept into my mouth. And with the ultimate velvety textures, it drank much like a thick chocolate milkshake. The beer remains so very deep, lasting well into the finish and aftertaste.

It's crazy to talk that the coffee bean aging could possibly improve the Bourbon County Stout. I'm not sure that the Coffee Release is better but it's certainly not any worse.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2100th review! 12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/15/2013. Pours dense pitch black color with a small fairly dense dark tan head with decent retention, that reduces to a ring of lace that lingers. Minimal lacing on the glass. Aromas of huge dark chocolate, roasted coffee, cocoa, roasted malt, caramel, toast, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, oak, clove, light char, and roast/oak earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, coffee, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, roasted coffee, cocoa, toast, roasted malt, caramel, vanilla, toffee, oak, clove, bourbon, light char, and roast/oak earthiness. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, coffee, cocoa, toast, roasted malt, caramel, vanilla, toffee, oak, clove, bourbon, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity of dark/roasted malt, coffee, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great malt/barrel flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic BA imperial coffee stout. All around awesome complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, coffee, and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of emerge077
4.74/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sipping this magical concoction tonight... Black Cat espresso is probably my all time favorite coffee, and BCS is one of my all-time favorite stouts. I approve of this marriage of two intense and fantastic beverages.

Initial pour into a couple Duvel tulips yields a finger of sturdy mocha foam, leaving random spotty lacing around the edges. Black with a mahogany ring at the edge when held up to the light. Foam breaks, leaving a bare skim, then a thin ring at the edge. Considering the high abv, this is expected.

Huge dark chocolate and espresso nose, with brown sugar and cinnamon trailing in the finish. Smoothed out with no sharpness from the bourbon, the oak and vanilla are there though.

Sticky on the lips, rich with deep flavors. Bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, coffee, coconut, smooth and sweet, luscious. Amazingly silky and rich. Again, the rough edges of fresh BCS have been sanded down, leaving a streamlined, supple, coffee-infused incarnation. Somewhat more approachable for that reason.

Overall a surprise hit variation of BCS, tailored for lovers of coffee, bourbon, and stouts....

2011: Anjilanaka... wow, they topped the subtlety of the first batch with a straight up toasted marshmallow/melted dark chocolate/deep roasty coffee BOMB. Rich as all hell, sticky and decadent. Awe inspiring...

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Photo of Boone757
4.5/5  rDev -3.6%

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Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.67 out of 5 with 7,341 ratings