Bourbon Barrel Coffee Mint Stout
South Shore Brewery

Bourbon Barrel Coffee Mint StoutBourbon Barrel Coffee Mint Stout
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American Stout
Ranked #894
Ranked #41,433
3.59 | pDev: 22.56%
South Shore Brewery
Wisconsin, United States
Bourbon Barrel Coffee Mint StoutBourbon Barrel Coffee Mint Stout
Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 80 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
4.26/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pours black, with a brownish head. The head wasn't very thick. The nose is amazing. There's a slight barrel hint to it, but the standout is the mint. It's very strong, but pleasing to the nose. The taste of this beer is interesting. I get minimal hint of the barrel. The mint is strong, but like the nose, pleasing. The coffee is also muted. Slightly watery feeling, but overall this beer works well.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
3.44/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours from the bottle an opaque black with a tan head.
Aroma is roast coffee, mint, nutty and vanilla.
Taste is coffee and chocolate up front with mint at the end. A bit of char and a little dark fruit.
Mouthfeel is very thin.
Flavor is OK but that thin and watery feel kills it for me.

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Photo of joe1510
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz Bottle
Hayward Co-op

The pour is silky black, even velvety, with a touch of viscosity. Without the chestnut highlights at the very edges of the glass, and only when backlit, this beer is black. An immensely creamy mocha head forms easily on the pour, rising to a respectable finger in height. The foam subsides to a skimming and thick ring while leaving sheet lacing down the glass that eventually slides back into the body. A very handsome beer indeed.

Straight from the bottle comes peppermint and chocolate. After the pour and some warming the peppermint falls back to a component of the stout instead of the dominant aspect. Oh, the peppermint is still there, vivid actually, and playscnicely with the roasty dark chocolate from the base stout. Coffee is mild but what's there is softly sweet and reminiscent of a cup o' joe with a splash of cream. THe barrel shows up deep in the back, vanilla, damp oak, and caramel take some work to pull out. Very nicely done!

The taste naturally follows the nose. First thing that comes to mind is mint chocolate chip ice cream but that quickly fades into dark chocolate and moderately roasted barley. Coffee comes hrough mid-palate with another infusion of roast, softer this time. The barrel adds a touch of sweetness. Vanilla acts as the cream to the coffee. Caramel is rich toward the finish and mild oak, bourbon soaked, finishes things off. The characteristics change greatly on this beer as it warms from the aforementioned ice cream to a coffee stout with subtle barrel notes. I'm a fan.

The body runs along the lines of moderate, which makes sense for a stout around 5%. Carbonation is soft which translates over to the body and leaves a velvety feel. A touch of alcoholic heat and barrel dries out the finish nicely making me want another drink pretty quickly after the last. This is a highly drinkable stout, especially when taking the adjuncts and barrel into consideration.

The first couple times I've tried this beer was at fests and I was a big fan. Then South Shore started bottling. I was excited, picked up bottles a few years in a row. There was always a problem; infection, crazy in-your-face artificial mint, whatever. This bottling is different, it's how the draft version tastes. It's well rounded and delicious, unique. Give this beverine a shot when you get a chance.

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Photo of d5001986
2.84/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber poured into Spiegelau tulip.

I haven't had a lot of success with S.S.B. in the past, but giving this a shot nonetheless.

Pours near black with a decent amount of tan colored head, which dissipates rather quickly. Chocolate mint on the nose (very Peppermint Patty-esque) with maybe a hint of bourbon, not bad here.

The taste on the other hand leaves much to be desired. Whatever stout lies at it's base is completely smothered by Crest. Honestly, I feel like I should be brushing my teeth with it rather than consuming. Equally disappointing is the feel. It's quite thin. Like thinner than CW thin.

In conclusion, life is full of disappointments and this was one of those occasions.

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Photo of pjkelley82
1.46/5  rDev -59.3%

Infected.... my god such a good mint chocolate smell.. sout taste, slight mint and chocolate but clearly soured from infection. Thin. A few sips and down it went.

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Photo of Ri0
1.29/5  rDev -64.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

Free bottle. poured into snifter.

A - Coffee brown to black with a thin 1 finger head. I could tell it has a very thin body.

S - Ugh, Listerine and medicinal. Where the hell is the rest of the beer? No coffee or stout present in the aroma.

T - Goodbye, this stuff is a drainpour. May as well be Listerine with ground up peppermint candies (the circular red and white ones). No other flavors in this beer.

M - Thin, very thin and over carbonated.

O - What a mess of a beer. At least I didn't pay for it. No clue how this has a "good" rating on here.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.16/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Thanks, Jeff! The body is extremely black, pretty much no hint of color to be found anywhere along the way. A dark beige head, not quite dark enough to be tan, piles up good and then quickly shells away where it sits still at about three or four millimeters nearly the rest of the way. No lacing, really, though I can't say I'm surprised by that.

The heaviest aroma right out of the gate is definitely mint. Mint freshness, all up in this bitch. Mixed with a significant amount of cocoa malt, the nose brings about nice reminders of a York Peppermint Patty. There's a touch of coffee grounds buried in the background with an even milder hint of bourbon and oak. Is this 100% barrel-aged? Because it sure doesn't smell like it.

Just like the aroma, mint is the first thing to come piling onto my senses with the first sip, like licking the backside of a mint leaf with some wintergreen gum in my mouth. There's a moderate tobacco flavor backing up the mint that I'm not so sure I love just yet. Bourbon hits quick up front, slightly more potent than in the aroma, but fades quickly into an abyss before it even has time to be appreciated.

A touch of roasted malt here, a dash of coffee grounds there, and a mild plum sweetness that carries into the finish. A little warmth brings out heavier coffee grind flavors, as well as a raw whiskey tone that kind of makes this harder to drink. Thin bodied for what it is, though it's probably more like medium-heavy overall. Low-moderate carbonation with a wet, silky mouth feel.

Eh, this is one that sounds okay on paper, but was executed poorly. Not a good integration of bourbon or oak, really - too light at first, then when it comes alive, it's far too unabashed and not well meshed. Flavors present are alright, but this probably isn't something I'd consider purchasing again. With some adjustments, it could be alright, but it's a little too messy to be enjoyable now.

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Photo of warmstorage
1.85/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

22 ounce bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee (separate review hopefully on its way), around $6.

I love stout. And bourbon barrel aging is my favorite thing you can do to beer. And I love coffee, including in beer. And I love mint, though I rarely have had it in beer. I grow both peppermint and spearmint, cook with mint, eat mint straight, make mojitos with mint. So the stars looked aligned here.

Unfortunately, this beer is like a cross between a dark ale mouthwash and a menthol cigarette.

Appearance: this is fine. Deep, opaque brown to black. Light, middle brown head, leaves a little lacing. Everything goes downhill from here.

Smell: sharp, harsh medicinal. That's the mint. Little to nothing else. No coffee evident.

Taste: phew, this stuff is almost a drainpour. Like I said, it's like drinking a menthol cigarette. Ummm, sharp, strong, astrigent.

Mouthfeel: the astringent, sharp, biting mint is so strong that it overwhelms the mouthfeel. Leaves a slightly slick coating in my mouth -- not sure what that's about.

Overall: I don't even know if I would cook with this stuff. I'm struggling right now with drainpouring it. And I hate drainpouring stuff.

I love experimental beers, and brewers that are willing to take a chance. Unfortunately this one just didn't pan out. I dunno: less mint? more coffee? A little more residual sweetness to balance the sharp astringency of the mint?

BTW, South Shore Brewery's website lists this beer as 6.1% ABV. I'll try to submit an update.

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Photo of BeerNutz324
2.43/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Let me preface by saying I have been pleased with South Shore so far. Been on 2 brewery tours and all the beers I tasted were good if not on to the review of this beer. Bought in Duluth in the bomber format.

Ap- Looks yummy. Typical stout, deep brown color with a nice tan head that lingers for awhile. I can't wait to taste this baby.

Ar- Peppermint, chocolate, dark fruit and a hint of bourbon...looking forward to tasting this one.

T- Whoa, something is up here? I have never had an infected beer but this tastes wrong. Pretty sure this is my first experience with an infected batch. REALLY sour up front and not in a good way. I have had sours before and this just doesn't taste right. Pretty sure this beer got infected and I can't believe how bad this tastes. My wife and I split a bomber and she took 1 sip and left the rest. Just a bad initial taste. The finish was good though with chocolate, dark fruit and some mint, but the overall taste is just bad.

M- medium to thick with good carbonation

O- something went wrong with this one. Looked great, smelled great but the taste was terrible. I am chalking this up to an infection. This won't keep me from getting other South Shore offerings but I am left wondering WTF???? I would honestly rather drink a Bud Light Chelada than this thing...

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is very unique, never had a mint infused stout...

The look is blackish with a bubbly tan head, ok lacing. The aroma is crazy,cut literally smells like a grasshopper pie or a candy cane covered in milk chocolate. Some very herbal notes in the nose as well.

The taste is sort of sour, what? An infection? Some more herbal mint with a little sweet too in the taste, bizarre. Tart candy cane, with a bit of mint m and m. Very strange. The feel is very weird for a stout, it's like a wild ale in the feel, not stout like in feel.

Overall this is quite unique, interesting.

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Photo of jera1350
3.57/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed this in Duluth as it was a mere $5 for a bomber. Sure sounded good.

Pours a thinner black body with a huge over-carbonated cap of cocoa colored foam. Leaves gobs of lace clinging to the glass though.

Mint and chocolate dominate the nose. Like an Andes mint or the brownies made with a layer of green mint in them.

Greeted by a slight sour taste up front. Slight infection maybe? Chocolate, coffee and huge mint extract flavor. Not all that sweet and no signs of bourbon anywhere. Warm mint lingers into the aftertaste. Really different and I can't decide if it's good or bad. Maybe somewhere in between.

Very thin and watery mouthfeel. This would benefit from a rich thick body so much.

An interesting beer for sure, but I can't decide if I really like it. Tantalizing mint, but the rest is not up to standard. If it had more sweetness and body with less mint, I think it could be a really strong beer. As it sits, it's definitely worth trying, but don't get hopes up too high.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber - maybe a year or so old

appearance:served in an unbranded chalice... nice looking brew, rich dark chocolatey body, sticky mocha lace

smell: mint chocolate, dry roast, cocoa powder

taste: an old festival favorite...the bottled version is unfortunately overcarbonated which kind of fouls up the flavor profile...dry, mint-chocolate notes permeate throughout, the bourbon barrel notes are quite minimal, cocoa and dry espresso roast are abundant. I happen to think the mint is pretty brilliant, but this is obviously pretty rough around the edges

mouthfeel: dry, light bitterness, roasty

overall: obviously interesting, and worth a go

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.84/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Thanks for sharing Jay, never heard of it before, but definitely intrigued.

A: Pours a deep black color with a small mocha colored head on top, decent retention and lacing.

S: Lots of mint right away. Underneath the mint there is a little bit of chocolate and to a much lesser extent some coffee. It smells just like an Andes Mint, and I like it.

T: I was hoping for a copy of the aroma in flavor profile, but it was a bit muddled. I think there was a little too much going on in this beer between the mint, coffee, and bourbon. There is mint and chocolate, and then some dark fruit and a bit of oak and vanilla.

M: Thin to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth with a slightly dry finish.

O: The best part about this beer was the aroma with a slight let down when I tasted it. Its a pretty interesting beer though that I am glad to have tried out.

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Photo of Chaz
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear (brilliant?) brown/black ("Burnt Sienna" for you Crayola fans) in color and topped with a medium-tan head. Head drops fairly quickly and there's minimal lacing throughout.

Edit: Due to the "unique" combination of distinct flavors, this one is a little difficult to pin on a scale of Poor to Excellent as far as the nose is concerned, so I'll pencil it in as "Average".

There's definitely mint on the nose (mint and bourbon to be more exact), but this is no Cool Colt! There's also a light note of espresso here, but it blends-in so well with the base, malty aspect of this stout that I almost can't notice it, especially with the other aromas going all over the place. Worth noting here is the fact that mint isn't something I actually -like- in beer, so I'm not expecting too much from this one...

On first sip it's lightly-sweet, with a rather gentle underlying bitterness, just to the point where I want to call it 'bittersweet' overall. The bourbon/barrel aspect kicks in mid-palate and holds on a bit, but mint is what carries through to the finish. Lighter bodied (medium body, but for a stout it seems thin) and really covers the palate in a sweetish, bitterish base stout profile -- or perhaps more of a brown ale? Come to think of it, I do get a little of the same basic malt profile that I do from South Shore's Nut Brown, but there's more booze-y heat here as well as good amount of bitterness, and some roast. Worth noting that there's a roasted malt aspect that's distinct from the lighter, coffee (espresso) character lingering just in the background, which disappoints me a little (as I love coffee).

More than anything I'm enjoying the effect of the bourbon barrel treatment here, and the subtle alcoholic kick with which it imbues this beer. It's both potent and present enough that the mint really doesn't bother me in the slightest. Still, I can see how this attempt at merging some very distinct flavors simply won't work for everyone.

While drinking (and particularly as it warms) I got to thinking of an "Andy's" or perhaps a "York's Peppermint Patty", and how they might pair with a stronger American stout. Mint and chocolate work together, and while there's hardly any chocolate notes in this beer, in this case the beer "works". The contribution of coffee is minimal at best, so I hope nobody goes to recommend it to friends who enjoy 'Coffee Stout' as a variation on the style.

Overall, there's an excellent balance of the individual flavors, and the bourbon is what ends up going the extra mile (for me) and brings this brand into the realm of repeat purchase.

[Edit: reviewed from notes -- sampled June, 2011]

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Photo of maximum12
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a bomber across the river in Wisconsin because, well, it said barrel on the label. And it sounds ginormously weird. Who could resist? Not I. Split with my wifey.

Pour is dark brown I suppose, there is light shining through, barely. Smell is certainly minty fresh, with a healthy shot of coffee. No hint of barrel or malts. Or beer.

South Shore's Bourbon Barrel Coffee Mint Stout, tired just from typing that out. Thousands of mint leaves crushed up & slipped into an indistinct base beer. Cheap coffee that leads into sharp bitterness. Bitterness & mint stick around like the drunk on the bar stool next to you. Barrel? None in evidence. Really limited in the drinkability category, not sure I'm willing to even finish half the bomber.

Points for originality, but the execution just isn't there. Subtlety & the presence of the barrel might have gone a long way to making this a winner. It certainly took the long way around to being mediocre, though.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Been sitting on this one for a while and finally cracked. Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head. The mint is very noticeable as soon as I poured the beer. Dark roast, chocolate, and mint all in the nose. Slight minty start that stays the whole time. Light chocolate and roast notes. Easy drinking and somewhat refreshing. The only let down is that the bourbon notes are pretty minimal. Medium bodied. Ever so slight lace. Overall, decent.

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Photo of Ungertaker
4.27/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

A- jet black with a one and one-half finger tan head that dissipates to 1/16" and leaves very little lacing in its path.

S- just like an Andes mint with a hint of coffee and bourbon

T- just like the name of the beer!

M- a little thinner than expected, but good carbonation level. It did thicken as it warmed.

O- For the price ($5 or so), I don't think a better bbs is out there. Granted, the drinker has to like mint. This is the first beer I have had that actually contained mint and I really liked it. I hope there is more of this around the next time I make it to Wisconsin.

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Photo of nsmartell
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 22oz bottle to my SNC imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours very black with a thick, billowy, light chocolate brown head that sticks around for a little bit.

Smell: Mint smacks you in the nose, from the first sniff after the bottle is opened and then again after the first pour. However, after it’s in the glass, the coffee comes through followed by a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Not much of the mint comes through at all, as now chocolate malts dominate along with the coffee. Interesting taste.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium-bodied. This was thinner than I anticipated. Smooth and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability: I seemed to like the idea of a mint stout more than I actually liked drinking a mint stout. However, I will certainly try again.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.84/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to the Central PA crew for this one. This is one of the most intriguing combination of flavors I have taken on with craft beer. Here it goes..

A: pours a dark brown with some light passage, coffee colored head, some retention. Somewhat light colored for a stout.

S: the first thing that comes to mind on the nose is Thin Mint cookies, and that is a good thing. Notes of mint and chocolate are immediately present followed by a nice firm coffee roast in the middle and some vanilla at the end.

T: well the nose pulled off the chocolate mint thing pretty well, but unfortunately, this beer loses momentum on first sip. I get chocolate and mint along with oak and coffee, but the mint seems to be clashing with the bourbon and the result is a muddled flavor. I'm wishing the base beer had a bigger specialty grain bill as I think this beer would benefit from more body and more malt backbone.

MF: light body, somewhat thin, a little high on the carbonation

O: an interesting and unique brew for sure. The nose promises good things, but the taste falls just short of this being something amazing.

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Photo of afksports
3.49/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have a problem. These kids in Brooklyn in my neighborhood have established a style of wearing their pants so low that you see their boxers. Gym shorts, track pants, jeans, I've even seen it with khakis.

I do not want to see your dirty boxers.

This beef doesn't relate to this beer, but South Shore Coffee Mint Stout made me think about it. Maybe this beer is showing its boxers.

If so, they're weird looking black boxers with green polkadots, tan elastic, and they smell like burnt coffee, mint chocolate and cheap bourbon. The boxers have lace, too, and the mint overwhelms the smell, but not in a bad way.

Let's not extend that metaphor to the taste. South Shore's coffee mint stout is medicinal, unfortunately. An offputting minty start leads to a tart and bitter finish, and it's too much for the chocolate middle to overcome.

Medicine with mint, no barrel traces, a thinner body than ideal... This beer is a beer that's close to doing something amazing, but in truth far from it.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.86/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This... Is weird!

Good but just... Odd

Pours a fairly clear but dark brown. A nice bit of light tan head. The beer has a nice golden halo around it. Really pretty. Smells a bit minty. Sme nice coffee. A bit odd. Tastes sweet and malty. Coffee is subtle but definitely present. Not much bourbon. The mint is nice just floating on top. Not strong. Just present enough to be noticeable. The mouthfeel is decent but nothing special. Overall mad props to shoreline for pulling this weird weird beer off

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter.

A- Pours a dark black watery color, tan one finger frothy head dissipates slowly to nice frothy ring around the glass, really nice lacing and retention.
S- The bourbon is hidden, big chocolaty mint aroma, interesting makes me want to eat mint chocolate chip ice cream.
T- Interesting taste, oak is present; the bourbon is very hidden, mint, chocolate, the mint kind of takes over the beer, some roasted malt.
M- Medium mouth feel, under carbonated, smooth drinking, slight sour taste but I think that comes from the mint.
O- Decent beer, not my favorite, I enjoyed my 8 oz pour but would not drink this one again.

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Photo of mothman
2.3/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this one.

Pours 1/2 finger of tan head. Fades to a thin layer. Color is a deep brown, basically black.

Aroma: Chocolate chip mint ice cream flavored. Some chocolate syrup flavors. I don't pick up the bourbon or barrel flavors.

Taste: Has a sour flavor to it, but that might just be the mint. The taste follows the nose nearly identically. Chocolate chip mint ice cream. Some roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and sour. Very odd. Medium bodied with a bit higher amount of carbonation. Ends with a very roasted aftertaste.

Overall, I wasn't a big fan of this one. It was just roasted and tasted a bit sour (maybe it was the mint). No barrel aging flavors to it. I couldn't drink too much of this one.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Schmittymack for sharing this one at a recent tasting. Poured a clear dark reddish brown with a lasting brown head. Aromas of bourbon, mint, milk chocolate, light roastiness and a hint of coffee. On the palate this one was light bodied and smooth, with flavors of mint, milk chocolate and coffee.

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Photo of Mdog
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, good head.

Smell: Peppermint, woody, vanilla, hint of coffee.

Taste: The coffee comes through a lot more in the taste. Still quite a bit of vanilla and bourbon flavor. On the sweet side, which I like.

Drinkability: The bomber went down pretty easy, I don't think this is too high of ABV.

Picked this one up over in Wiscoland. A very interesting smell for a beer, I've never gotten peppermint from a beer before. Nice bourbon taste without being too strong. Definitely worth a try.

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Bourbon Barrel Coffee Mint Stout from South Shore Brewery
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 80 ratings