neepsntatties (1229) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 17, 2013
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle of the 2013. Colour...certainly black, with a wisp of a tan head. Nose...redolent of coffee with mocha and cocoa powder. Palate...thinner than I imagined but that doesnít prevent the flavour from coming through. Coffee is of course at the forefront but it is not "in your face" like so many coffee stouts (and Iím not a coffee drinker). Thereís dark chocolate here and chocolate fudge cake with choco-coffee ganache. The finish is smooth and velveteen and I have a feeling that the coffee helps temper the high ABV.
Chad9976 (1222) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 5, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Iíve always thought Goose Islandís world famous "Bourbon County Brand Stout" was a little overrated and I can name many imperial stouts I consider superior. Well, apparently all this beer was missing was a bunch of coffee added to the recipe because it went from a by-the-book imperial stout to a pretty amazing imperial coffee stout.
I received a 22oz bottle in a trade with a friend (thanks, Joe!). I split it with a friend. We each poured it into tulip glasses.
Appearance: Extremely dark black body, completely opaque (is an understatement). Forms a small, dark brown, fizzy head which evaporates almost as quickly as a soda and leaves no lacing on the glass.
Smell: Strong coffee aroma for sure, like a pot of coffee sitting on the burner. Certain alcohol sweetness as well like a rum or Kahlua.
Taste: Thereís two ways to look at this beer: is it an imperial coffee stout or is it an imperial stout plus coffee? It may seem to be splitting hairs but there definitely is a difference. While this beer, GIBCBCS, is indeed robust in pretty much every way, I can honestly say Iíve had other beers with more pronounced coffee flavor - imperial or otherwise. This is more accurately described as Kahlua - the beer. Thereís a strong sweetness throughout the entire palate, a simultaneous combination of vanilla extract and bakerís chocolate. Rich sweetness plus noticeable bitterness from coffee and chocolate.
Thereís not much to describe in terms of the usual beer attributes of hops and malts. Well there definitely is a prominent roasted malt flavor, especially through the middle. Then as it finishes thereís a strong burst of gentle warmth, slight dryness and additional sweetness. Whatís remarkable is how clean the beer finishes with very little aftertaste. The alcohol definitely works with the palate but upstages the genuine imperial stout quality a tad. Not that I mind because in the end youíre left with an absolutely delicious, complex and very satisfying beer. I can only see this improving with age.
Drinkability: I drank GIBCBCS on a hot summerís night and I have to admit that it was actually a little refreshing for the first moment or two. Much like how an iced coffee would be even though thereís bitterness and sticky sweetness to it. The body is much thinner than I was expecting and quite tepid as well . It goes down extremely smooth and has no cloying aftertaste (I wouldíve been okay with a coffee, chocolate or vanilla aftertaste, though).
The 14% does make itself known as there is significant heat on every swig, but it didnít overwhelm me or fill me up at all. Iíd drink this beer all the time if it were reasonably priced and readily available. As a special occasion beer it definitely does the job, though.
deekyn (1220) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAY 15, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 22, 2014 A - pours deep opaque mahogany brown with almost no head. Small ring of bubbles on the edge. S - the amazing aromas of a BCS! Bourbon, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, graham crackers, marshmallow. A smorgasbord of aromas all wrapped up in the bourbon. M - nice rich palate full bodied brew. Bitter coffee and dry on the palate, that lazily transitions to the nice long malty bourbony end. T - burned malts, molasses, brown sugar up front. Nice drier bitter espresso and toasted caramel on the palate. The end is a long brown sugar, candied sugar, toasted caramel, molasses, graham crackers, marshmallows. Fantastic brew. Complex and rich, subtle and perfectly balanced. 8
wchesser (1216) - Denver, Colorado, USA - DEC 4, 2013
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
2013 bottle had less than a week after release. Massive high end coffee nose. Deep black and viscous. Rich coffee flavor, with slight herbaceousness and soft dark fruit. Coffee bitterness really cuts through the sweetness compared to the íregularí I tried beside it...very different beers but both ultimately great in their own regards. Agree with others: smoke íem if you got íem.
markextrae (1205) - NETHERLANDS - APR 7, 2014
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 25, 2014 shared my 2012 bomber with 2 friends. poured pitch black with a non lasting beige head. strong roasted coffee bean smell, oak, wood, bourbon, smooth dark chocolate, vanilla, just one hell of a beer. smooth complex mouthfeel. well balanced beer. should be even better if there was just a bit less carbonation.. and a bit more bourbon in the taste. but again... top class!
thebaldwizard (1205) - Ohio, USA - JUL 6, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Black body with a nice brown head. The aroma is full of coffee, vanilla, and some heat. The palate is massive! Thick and oily, wonderful. The taste is much the same as the aroma, with the booze hitting first and the coffee coming through in the middle. Nice stuff, canít wait to see what it tastes like once the heat settles a bit.
polomagnifico (1202) - Saginaw, Michigan, USA - FEB 5, 2011
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Aroma has notes of espresso, oak, bourbon, molasses, roasted malts, dark dried fruits and a little hazelnut. Black in the glass with an almost fully diminishing tan head that leave almost no lace. Flavor is very sweet and medium bitter. Palate is very full bodied and oily soft. Alcohol is almost noticeable but covered well. Overall a very complex brew that integrate coffee very well with bourbon and stout. Very happy I had a chance to savor this one.
charule (1202) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 8, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 31, 2014 Bottle 2012 #2253 thanks Artmcd8. Poured black minimal light brown head. Slightly spicy aroma. Tingly coffee choco taste. Updated at Midwest Brewers Fest.
Bottle 2013 1717. Poured black brown with tan head. Aroma of nice bourbon vanilla with licorice pretzel coffee. Light carb thick bod. Bittersweet choc bourbon taste, lingering smoke char.
Rrauth (1196) - North Carolina, USA - DEC 8, 2013
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
2013 bottle. I dislike coffee so I'm glad I got to try it without opening mine so I can trade mine. This smells like more coffee than I've ever smelled. This is bleh and my score is for my future use.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
sherm1016 (1170) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 17, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
22oz bottle, received in trade from jefeld, split with dwm1034. Pours a jet black color with a thin tan head. Aroma is bourbon, coffee, chocolate, roasted malt. Heavy on the palate with soft carbonation. Flavor is bittersweet, bourbon, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, oak, a little smokey, roasted malt, with a light, bitter coffee finish. Excellent.