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.
Chad9976 (1203) - 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.
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.
RasmusOtt (1199) - Aalborg, DENMARK - NOV 30, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 31, 2014 Bottle from trade with arminjewell. Aroma has ofc the base of bourbon county. Some sweet vanilla, rich dark chocolate, figs prunes, dates, dark caramel coconut bourbon quality, well balanced with some roasted (light fruity) coffee and a hint of some earthy notes. Taste is smooth with dark rich chocolate, bitter roasted coffee, dry mouthfeel, sweet dark fruits, vanilla, coconut, some warming alcohol and a woody feel aswell. Love this stuff. Not as guilty a pleasure as the vanilla version.
wchesser (1197) - 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.
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
gEUS (1171) - Linden, BELGIUM - OCT 3, 2012
3.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
660 ml bottle - shared by BelgBeerGeek. The lesser one compared to GI Rare and the Vanilla one. Coffee bomb and nothing more than that.
kkearn (1165) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 11, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bottle. Pours very deep brown, nearly opaque, topped with a thin khaki head. Intense roasted coffee aroma, with strong background notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, oak and bourbon. Palate is super intense, thereís a ton of bourbon and a little more than a ton of coffee. Background notes of cocoa, dark fruit, oak, vanilla, and pepper add complexity. Dark fruit, oak and coffee linger. Alcohol becomes more pronounced as it warms, and becomes a bit too intense. Thick, oily, viscous mouthfeel. I wish this came in a smaller bottle.
sherm1016 (1160) - 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.
charule (1158) - 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.