Online Tasting: Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout! (November 27-29, 2020)

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by ChicagoJ, Nov 26, 2020.

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  1. micada

    micada Meyvn (1,317) Jul 13, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    Second edit to Kentucky Fog...The honey! Yes, it brings out a sweeter base very reminiscent of how Eclipse 50/50 stouts taste.
     
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  2. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
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    Love the glass. GI might be under an umbrella but you cant hold that against the beer, they still have free reign and control over the product. Imo the only thing that’s changed is availability to most of us. Remember when it was a Chicago only release, what good did it do me? You had to surrender a new born to get a bottle. If there’s any difference in the beers now vs say 10 years ago is availability and versatility. With more backing they get get more and better barrels so more great beers for everyone. No more one bottle regular limits, hell even that was an improvement.
     
  3. micada

    micada Meyvn (1,317) Jul 13, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    Hey, if the devil lets them keep cranking out OG craft brews...the devil must have a good side? These are no mass produced swill in bottles.
     
  4. adrock314

    adrock314 Savant (949) Apr 14, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    2019 Wheatwine
    [​IMG]
    This is really well done. Wheat wines often come off as cloyingly sweet to me, but that’s not the case here.

    Head retention is much better than expected. Nose is subdued, with a little fresh bread and maybe some honey or brown sugar syrup. Flavor is sweet malt and diluted bourbon. Brown bread with honey. Some waves of vanilla and slight hints of spice. No indication whatsoever of 15.3% abv. This is drinking so good right now I’m tempted to trade for more. Hope everyone is enjoying their BCBS this weekend. Cheers!
     
  5. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    This beer is .... well mentally relaxing, if it was colder I’d have the fireplace going, and I’d be reading a book. One is relaxing, almost like it’s brewed with a Xanax in it, and well two would be too much and rough tomorrow. I always enjoy sipping on one, but I do it so rarely I almost forget how enjoyable they are, regardless of variant or for that matter a terrific base. There’s not an ipa or whatever beer that gives me a warm fuzzy like a great stout.
     
  6. jackflaps

    jackflaps Initiate (120) Jul 26, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    I managed to pick up a couple of BCBS originals today. No variants, but I didn't go to the distributors where they'd be more likely to have them. Here in deep central PA, at least last year, Cafe de Olla and Mon Cheri didn't show up until December...

    Anyway, here's the 2019 BCBS I opened instead

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    Poured with a vanishingly small head that disappeared quickly -- probably operator error. I got a very boozy nose, but with a fruity sweetness to it as well. Drinks smooth and rich; the flavor for me is chocolate bookends, with dried fruit (and maybe a little bit of vanilla?) in the middle, and with that pleasant bourbon warmth throughout. I didn't drink any of these fresh last year so I can't compare it to when it was right off the shelf. It gets a little more dessert-like as it warms up; the vanilla, and to some extent the toffee notes, come more to the fore.

    '19 Cafe de Olla tomorrow.
     
  7. snaotheus

    snaotheus Poo-Bah (6,113) Oct 6, 2008 Washington
    Society Trader

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    I got 4 of the regulars and two each of three of the variants today. I'm sure I'll get more 2020 regular, as it's usually on the shelf at at least one local grocery store for weeks or months after the release.

    This 2018 is what I had in my fridge. I'm pretty happy with that, because for the most part, 2-3 years to be about the right age for many beers of many styles.

    I don't think I need to describe the look, but it's a thick, slightly carbonated black syrup. Booze, chocolate, coffee, vanilla + oak (or just plain bourbon) on the nose. Taste is sweet, more bourbon, tons of coffee and anise and some chocolate, too. Almost a burnt grain flavor. Mouthfeel is thick but not heavy. It's just a great BA stout.
     
    #127 snaotheus, Nov 28, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
  8. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (6,263) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Well after mentioning how I don't care much for the old vintages of coffee from BCBS, I found one in the box of vintages that was meant to be shared earlier this year at our usual BCBS tasting. Alas COVID and other life events conspired to ensure that share never occurred. So, instead, I am drinking it tonight.

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    2014 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout

    Pours a dark shiny black color. Almost no head whatsoever, although there was a momentary appearance of foam on top of the beer when it was initially poured, but that disappeared quickly. As other have mentioned in this thread - this one is visibly thinner that what I usually expect from BCBS stouts.

    The aroma on this is frankly shocking ... 6 years on and the coffee is still here and honestly really nice - its got notes of chocolate, bourbon, and coffee grinds on the nose. It is not fresh coffee for sure, but that coffee note is still there.

    Taste has notes of roasted malts, old coffee grinds, bakers chocolate, with some oaky bourbon and dark fruit on the back end. The fruitiness is from the coffee beans - I can tell this had to be a fruity acidic coffee when it was fresh and that tracks with my prior experiences with these coffee variants. There is really no alcohol discernible here, its so well hidden.

    Feel is thin - not quite Central Waters thin, but it is quite thin. Moderate carbonation, very smooth and balanced.

    Overall I stand impressed by this beer - 6 years old, and still a great coffee stout. That being said, I wouldn't buy this from GI for the premium pricing.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. StoutElk_92

    StoutElk_92 Poo-Bah (3,264) Oct 30, 2015 Massachusetts
    Society

    Drinking a 2016 Bourbon County Brand Stout tonight. As soon as the cap was lifted I was getting heaps of intense chocolatey bourbon barrel notes. Once the cap was taken off this thing exudes dark amber maple syrup notes, oaky barrel, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, bourbon galore, hints of vanilla, lightly smoked meat, sweet char, dark chocolate, coffee roast, some dark fruits, hint of black cherry and plum, slight raisin, dried fig, with a touch of mild hops to balance. Tastes like dark brandied fruits, mapley molasses, dark toffee, cooked brown sugar, caramel, smooth bourbon oak barrel, a touch of vanilla, rich luscious chocolate, coffee roast, lightly smoked meat, sweet char, dried fruits, hints of tobacco and leather, with mild hops balancing. Really great and this might be better than the last bottle of '16 BCBS I had. Cheers everybody!
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  10. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,381) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
    Society

    I decided to go ahead and finish off the bottle, and as I'm doing so, I went back and re-read your comments from yesterday.

    We agree on several points: it was better fresh; the orange has all but disappeared; the coffee has faded; the alcohol is very present.

    I didn't get as much chocolate after a year, either. I note that my notes from last year say "dark chocolate bar" in both the aroma and taste. It's not prominent enough to have that description now.

    Where we differ a bit is I do perceive the cassia/cinnamon, but not so strongly as you seemed to have.

    I am picking up more of the barrel in this second half bottle, though. Perhaps the first half was still a bit too cool (although it did stand for nearly 30 minutes before I opened the bottle).
     
  11. StoutElk_92

    StoutElk_92 Poo-Bah (3,264) Oct 30, 2015 Massachusetts
    Society

    Oaky
     
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  12. cmiller4642

    cmiller4642 Disciple (333) Aug 17, 2013 West Virginia

    I'm getting quite a bit of the dark fruits on this one this year with a really nice alcohol feeling. It's not harsh but it's very warming and heavy. Perfect stout to kick off the 2020 Christmas season with IMO

    [​IMG]
     
  13. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (6,263) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Maybe I'm more sensitive to the cassia/cinnamon?

    I did drink mine at room temperature ... so perhaps thats also part of it.
     
  14. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Poo-Bah (1,892) Apr 21, 2014 Canada (ON)
    Society Trader

    I can’t decide if this, or the ‘14 is the best Barleywine I’ve ever enjoyed. It is one of the two though. Jealous. Cheers!
     
  15. micada

    micada Meyvn (1,317) Jul 13, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    Just let us know what time to show up...
     
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  16. micada

    micada Meyvn (1,317) Jul 13, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    That head looks lighter than what I had...interesting.
     
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  17. cmiller4642

    cmiller4642 Disciple (333) Aug 17, 2013 West Virginia

    Could be the lighting in the room or reflection on my teku which is kind of spotty and probably needs to be washed a bit more.
     
  18. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Poo-Bah (1,892) Apr 21, 2014 Canada (ON)
    Society Trader

    Sadly, most of my BCBS is across the border in Buffalo in a friend’s basement gathering dust. I have a few bottles to pick through though. I grabbed the following:

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    The crown came off this bottle with no pop and no hiss. It came off very easily too. The beer poured near still with no head at all. I don’t know if there was an issue with the crown seal or not, but it didn’t feel quite right.

    The nose is bourbon prominently. I get a sweet coffee desert note in the background, but the bourbon really dominates.

    A sweet melted coffee ice cream note jumps up on the sip, enveloped in a boozy bourbon-y warmth. The orange peel is present and more noticeable as the beer warms. I don’t really notice the cassia until after the swallow, and it is muted at that.

    Because of the lack of carbonation, it comes across as somewhat syrupy, but not in a bad way at all.

    I like it. I never had it fresh and only received this bottle a couple months back. I’d like to try another (I have at least one more stuck over the border) to see what a little carbonation does.

    Cheers. I’ll be back tomorrow with a ‘19 or ‘18 Reserve... I think. I think that is all I have left.

    As an aside, I managed to get a couple bottles of original from the release here which was fully online. It was 2/person at C$23 ( or about US17-18). Too expensive, but with the border closed, i figured why not. It will be a week or so before I can pick it up at my local outlet. Lucky for me, a regular trade partner got me a couple of everything minus Prop and Birthday. Hopefully I’ll have that, and all the bottles languishing in Buffalo for this share next year.

    Cheers.
     
  19. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,381) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
    Society

    So, that's a vote for making this an annual thing? :beers:
     
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  20. bret27

    bret27 Poo-Bah (1,991) Mar 10, 2009 California
    Society Trader

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    this was the oldest bcbs I have currently. Drinking beautifully, like a decadent dessert. Part of a vertical I was traded a few months back.
    to date my favorite bcbs was a coffee version from 2016 I had recently. That was my favorite coffee stout and bcbs of all time. Haven’t cracked my mornin’ delight yet, so can’t compare.
    (A local liquor store had a package for $120 that had 1 2020 bcbs, 4 2019 bcbs, and 1 weller 2020 anniversary version). I’m on a budget for my kids Christmas so chose not to go for that.
     
  21. bret27

    bret27 Poo-Bah (1,991) Mar 10, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    Oooff! After drinking a full bcbs, you then remember what the ~15% abv means.
     
  22. snaotheus

    snaotheus Poo-Bah (6,113) Oct 6, 2008 Washington
    Society Trader

    ...that it's hard to have three?
     
  23. FlaviusG

    FlaviusG Initiate (155) Aug 15, 2009 Illinois
    Trader

    I had Regular 2020 (with the BT on label) and thought it was very good

    I also enjoyed Carmela nice to have something different

    Reminded me of a spicier Calvados Cask JW Lees
     
  24. highdesertdrinker

    highdesertdrinker Defender (687) Nov 5, 2012 Arizona
    Trader

    A mini bottle share tonight with the son. First is regular BCBS with Kentucky Fog to follow.
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    The regular was glorious as always; big, brawny, boozy, cherry, lots of barrel and vanilla with some anise. The Kentucky Fog is doing just that to my brain as I sip it and it’s different but in a good way, not a bad combo. You can certainly smell the black tea and sure enough it’s there in the taste and then some sweetness kicks in from the honey with the ubiquitous bourbon-barrel influence. It’s an interesting twist but a decent beer overall though it’s not quite Cafe Olla for me. Thanks to our irrepressible hosts FBarber and Chicagoj for making this happen and good night everybody!
     
  25. Hoppedelic

    Hoppedelic Initiate (191) Dec 6, 2010 California
    Trader

    Someone pointed out in another thread that there are 4 different variations of regular this year. Buffalo Trace barrels, Heaven Hill barrels, Wild Turkey barrels and a blend of all 3. Hopefully we can get some reviews of the single distillery barrels. They’re labeled on the back of the bottle next to the date either BT, HH, WT and no code means blended.
     
  26. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I always like their coffee, it’s never ever been KBS kinda harsh but even fresh was much more mellow and smooth. I love both, but depends on my mood. Kbs has always been more coffee, more bourbon, a bit less viscous, BC has always been far more subtle, I find it a bit easier to get into trouble with BC because it can be a fooler.
     
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  27. SMH_NWI

    SMH_NWI Zealot (500) Jan 8, 2015 Texas
    Trader

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    Just now saw this thread! But I had this ‘17 BC Barleywine 2 nights ago bc a buddy told me it was drinking great 3+ years aged. And it was, he was not lying
     
  28. Reef

    Reef Meyvn (1,133) Dec 2, 2016 South Carolina
    Society

    Joining in this rainy morning with a 2017 BCBS
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    I usually buy three or four regulars, drink one and keep the rest in a dark closet for a few years. 2017 has a wonderful bourbon and fruity aroma, with lots of alcohol. More tan head than I was expecting. Pruney, bourbon, light tobacco and coffee flavors. Chewy feel. No alcohol heat yet. I'll be sipping on this all day.
     
  29. micada

    micada Meyvn (1,317) Jul 13, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    That is very helpful info.

    The one I had yesterday was a blended, then. The complexities in bourbon were evident IMO.
     
  30. micada

    micada Meyvn (1,317) Jul 13, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    I have two of those, so maybe that and a carmella tonight...so many options!
     
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  31. VABA

    VABA Poo-Bah (5,978) Aug 8, 2015 Virginia
    Society

    [​IMG]
    Kentucky Fog
    Pours a very dark color with a slight tan head and lacing
    Aroma has nice bourbon, vanilla, cocoa, honey and earl grey tea hints
    The taste follows the nose with a silky bourbon, vanilla, cocoa, honey and earl grey flavors
    A medium bodieddecently carbonated beer
    A very nice well balanced bourbon stout
     
  32. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (6,263) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Ive always found Intelligensia's beans used in the BCBCS to be very acidic varieties - and I do not like acidity in my coffee stouts. But with someone on them, the acidity tends to die down.
     
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  33. Bishop

    Bishop Initiate (12) May 18, 2013 Wisconsin

    Caramella is fantastic this year. I was fortunate enough that it was still available without limit after trying it that I got another 7 bottles (they still had cases left). Wasn't impressed with the oatmeal stout (#4 I believe), it was just meh. Haven't tried Fog yet or the original.
     
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  34. Peach63

    Peach63 Meyvn (1,206) Jul 17, 2019 New York
    Society Trader

    2020 version.

    [​IMG]

    Notes of vanilla, coffee, dark chocolate, plums, raisins, toffee, molasses, bourbon, oak.
    Holy shee-it! Going to grab another one of these for the cellar.

    And yes, I'm quaffing the whole bottle in one sitting. :grin:
     
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  35. Roy_Hobbs

    Roy_Hobbs Meyvn (1,096) Jan 21, 2017 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    Yesterday I drank a bottle of the 2018 Vanilla variant. Today I'll move over to "Midnight Orange". Yesterday I needed a nap after drinking the bottle. Today I preemptively took one. Even sipping these they can still kick your #$%.
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    Both 2018 bottles I've poured have been extremely low on carbonation. I got about a finger of very short-lived head on this one even with an aggressive pour. Otherwise a nice looking beer, although I find it hard for heavy stouts to stand out in their appearance sometimes, especially if there's no head to speak of.

    The aroma on this is nice and boozy with some orange notes. Taste on this is really nice. Again notes of orange, but subtle (certainly more so than the vanilla variant). Nicely boozy, and very smooth. I'll have to be careful not to drink this one too quickly.
     
  36. VABA

    VABA Poo-Bah (5,978) Aug 8, 2015 Virginia
    Society

    [​IMG]

    Caramella Ale
    Pours a nice clear reddish amber color with a slight head and lacing
    Aroma has bourbon, apple, cinnamon and caramel hints
    The taste follows the nose with a pleasant bourbon, apple, cinnamon and caramel flavors
    A medium bodied well carbonated beer
    A nice bourbon wheatwine
     
  37. SMH_NWI

    SMH_NWI Zealot (500) Jan 8, 2015 Texas
    Trader

    haha I guess you’ve already decided to get drunk
     
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  38. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I’m not familiar with this beer, is it it’s own creation? It doesn’t look a bit like the base beer was involved.
     
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  39. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,758) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    It's not a stout. A few of the Bourbon County beers are strong ales instead.
     
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  40. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Poo-Bah (1,826) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois
    Society

    Loving all the reviews and experiences so far. Hopefully everyone is able to pick up what they want for this year's release. Also, for those posting 2020, please indicate the barrel(s) used, which can be found in the bottled on section of your bottle.
    • July Bottle with no initials = a blended barrel (consistent with prior years)
    • September BT = Buffalo Trace barrels
    • September WT = Wild Turkey barrels
    • September HH = Heaven Hill barrels
    • Any other initials (those are the only four OG "variants" I am aware of).
    Moving on to the next bottle, it is my second from 2017 and my second coffee for this tasting. Hence, 2017 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout.

    [​IMG]

    I don't have a review of this specific vintage, the final untarnished coffee stout Goose Island has produced, I'm really hoping it comes back.

    Facts: Bottled July 25, 2017 at 11:08, 12.9% ABV, GI noted "develops in the bottle up to 5 years". Made with Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso Coffee Beans.

    Appearance: As expected, pitch black, head quickly recedes living no trace.

    Aroma: Unlike my 2014 coffee poured yesterday, this one holds a pleasant roast coffee aroma, and a little pepper backing. Negligible bourbon or roast malt, even after sitting for over 20 minutes.

    Taste: Excellent. Coffee taste wonderful, pepper noticable but weaker than the aroma. Tastes like creamy vanilla and maple which was totally unexpected, very sweet. Bourbon smooth and pleasant, potent but very mellow. ABV felt though managable. I came in capping the bottle after pouring half, but this is so good I am going to finish this savoring for as long as possible. This is an incredible bottle.

    Mouthfeel: This is the fullest, richest and creamiest mouthfeel of the three I've tasted. Sweet maple syrup runs the tongue, barely there carbonation indicates it is still alive though leaving the creamy full body run the show. Slightly bitter, pepper bringing spice and negligible heat. Slight creamy sweet syrup aftertaste.

    Overall: I couldn't expect anything better with this bottle. The slight developing pepper ok, not overwhelming. The creamy reach and unexpected maple and vanilla was a pleasant surprise. ABV easier to handle than the higher regular bottle from the same vintage poured yesterday. Overall outstanding, glad I saved this one and really glad I poured it today.

    Going to finish it off, take a nap, and see how the thread has progressed and whether I am up for another 1/2 or full bottle today, or whether I will hold off until tomorrow.

    Cheers!
     
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