A few years ago, the non-Inbev-tainted Goose Island took their already spectacular Bourbon County Brand Stout and started making some one-off variants. There was a vanilla one, a raspberry one, not to mention the infamous Bourbon County Rare, which was like the original, except it was aged in 23 year old Pappy Van Winkle barrels. It retailed for $40-$50, but has become one of them .rar wales that drives beer nerds completely bonkers (so yeah, it’s living up to that “Rare” designation). Alas, I will probably never see a bottle of that stuff. I will just have to settle for this most recent batch of Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout.
Yet another top 100 tick for me (actually, this is currently slotted in at #8 in the world right now, the highest of the BCBS series), it’s like the original BCBS, but with Intelligentsia La Tortuga coffee beans added (I’m no expert, but Intelligentsia is arguably the best coffee in the world, with the possible exception of that weasel poop coffee). As recently discussed, coffee beers are not really in my wheelhouse, but sweet merciful crap, if they were all like this, I’d have no problem at all. Heck, with beers like this, I could really get with the program and crack this sucker open at breakfast.
Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout (2012) – Pours a deep black color with just a cap of light brown head that quickly fades into a ring around the edge of the glass. Smells of equal measures bourbon, oak, caramel, vanilla, and coffee, a winning combo if ever there was one. Taste is sweet and sugary, filled with rich caramel, chocolate, and bourbon, a little sting from the booze, and a smattering of coffee. Mouthfeel is big, thick, and chewy, though perhaps not quite as much as I remember the regular BCBS so the flavors don’t stick around as long. It’s got reasonable carbonation for such a gigantic beer, and plenty of warming from the alcohol. Compared to the normal BCBS, this is a little smoother, a little more palatable, a little more approachable (none of which is to say that this is better or worse than BCBS, just that it’s a little different). Overall, yeah, it’s spectacular, just like its unmodified brother. A
Beer Nerd Details: 14.3% ABV bottled (22 oz. bomber). Drank out of a snifter on 1/12/13. Bottled on 11/12/12. Label also has cryptic number on it: 0240.
To be honest, I think I might still prefer the original BCBS, but hot damn, this stuff was fantastic too. There’s another 2012 variant making the rounds too, called Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout. My local beermonger has mentioned that it’s on its way, so fingers crossed. In the meantime, I’ve got that bottle of Dark Lord, also made with Intelligentsia coffee, burning a hole in my cellar. Of course, that one’s been sitting around for a while and coffee flavor is supposed to fade with time, so who knows what that will be like.
4 thoughts on “Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout”
I’m pretty jealous. I was too lazy to look for bottles and they went super quick here in Philly. I know of a place that has a keg of it so hopefully I’ll get some of that when it gets tapped.
As far as Rare, eh, I had it and didn’t think it was that much better than regular bcbs. It’s tasty, don’t get me wrong, but not worth what you need to get it now.
Yeah, my beer guy had it tucked away behind the counter. Got my fingers crossed that he’s saving me a Cherry Rye too.
As for Rare, I don’t really care about it. If it was a few years ago and I saw a bottle, I’d probably pick it up, but I don’t see any reason to go nutso trying to get a bottle like folks on BA. I’m sure it tastes oh so much rarerer than regular BCBS, but I doubt it’s worth the stretch.
I’d slap my momma for that BCBS Cherry Rye. Unfortunately, my only store that carried BCBS closed (totally selfish). My favorite store actually doesn’t carry ANY Goose Island. I may have to venture into a DC bar to get get my mitts on some.
Alas, I don’t think the Cherry Rye is going to happen – my beer guy sez the distributer screwed him. I know one place around here got some (a single case), but it’s all gone. Poopy. I’m keeping my eyes open, but prospects do not look good.