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- Brewery: Goose Island Beer Company
- Website: gooseisland.com
- Country: United States
- State: Illinois
- Style: Coffee Beers Russian Imperial Stout Spirit-Aged Beers
- Malts: 2-Row, Munich, Chocolate, Caramel, Roast Barley, Debittered Black
- Hops: Willamette
- ABV: 13.0%
- IBUs: 60
- Tasting Notes: Coffee, chocolate
- Preferred Glass: Snifter
- Food Pairing: Chocolate, coffee cake, Capriole Bourbon Chocolate Torte
- PHM Grade: A
Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
Written by Tom
If you have not read our review of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout by John and Michael (The Stout Boys) I would suggest doing so before you embark on this entry. I say this because the beers are identical as far as the malts, hops, IBUs, ABV of 13%, and color go. The only difference is the addition of coffee. GI utilizes a fresh coffee supply from Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea located here in Chicago. My experience with the original BCS a couple years ago left something to be improved upon. It was not and continues to be on the lower end of my Bourbon barrel aged stout spectrum. Contrary to the Stout Boys high grades, I’d give the original a C to B-.
However, the Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout made a believer out of this skeptic. It was a limited release in the month of April so my suggestion would be to buy a bottle if you come across one, since the 2010 vintage will be a rare product and worth cellaring for a couple years.
From the moment I opened the bottle I felt as though I was standing in a coffee roasting facility. There was a smooth coffee aroma of medium-heavy roasted beans. It was not completely overpowering, and reminded me of the lingering smell your clothes have after leaving a coffee shop. Along with the coffee what the deep burnt and bitter grains, a punch of alcohol, and intoxicating Bourbon notes. Simply put: fresh coffee, vanilla, chocolate, plums, licorice, dark malts, and hard liquor were present in one waft. To be honest aside from the roasted grains everything else smelled a lot like Utopias or a Cognac.
The appearance was a garnet/mahogany hue that had a fizzy, low head that faded quickly. It was not as thick as I expected which made for easier sipping. Glorious! A smooth warming, very nice coffee flavor rolled over my tongue. Almost like drinking a cup while sitting next to a campfire. The coffee compliments the bourbon aspect and actually adds a sweet touch to a somewhat harsh finish. I did get a sense of alcoholic strength from the beer itself, but also from the Bourbon. A little shocking at first, but your taste buds and throat get use to all the flavors and ABV. I was left with a rich coffee bean aftertaste that actually helped to cleanse the palate a little. There was a slight metallic taste to it, but overall this is a much better offering than the original BCS in my opinion. Definitely lay down a bottle for a couple years. Given my grade of the original above I would put this one at an A.
Grade: AGoose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout,