ChadPolenz (1630) - Lakeland, Florida, 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.
BelgBeerGeek (1308) - Antwerp, BELGIUM - JUL 31, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
At a tasting , 3 bottles brought 1 Rare by gEUS, 1 coffee and 1 Vanilla by me
Thx Ludvig for trading !
Head: thin, creamy, cappucino
Smell + Taste: more bitter and roasty than the Rare, but more Bourbon flavour than the Vanilla flavour, good beer tough, couldnít stand up to the Rare / Vanilla tough ...
JorisPPattyn (9242) - Ursel, BELGIUM - JUL 29, 2012
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2010 Vintage No head, dark brown beer with ruby reflections. Cold coffee, even stale coffee - nose is a tad disappointing. Coffee, with a good shot of Bourbon, and black chocolate. Indeed Bourbon County Coffee - with a cappucino streak? Very thick-bodied, alcoholheat, warming as none. Better than the sum of its parts - but it just canít stand up to the Rare...
cbfobes (2880) - Quad Cities, Illinois, USA - JUL 27, 2012
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle shared by drowland at BCS Vertical tasting, opened up both 2010 and 2011 bottles, pours black with a nice dark brown head, the aroma is a ton of coffee on the nose, which is to be expected. The 2011 was much sharper than the 2010. The flavor has an awesome amount of vanilla, chocolate, bourbon all mixed well with the coffee. Very nice mouthfeel, delicious.
dogfish120love (1106) - Westfield, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 26, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark brown near black, with a caramel colored lacing. Aroma is heavy in coffee and alcohol, with notes of soy and chocolate. Also, there are slightly medicinal aromas. The flavor is extremely sweet and the palate is syrupy and sticky to the touch.
radarsock (1146) - Massachusetts, USA - JUL 25, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 1, 2012 Thanks, Adam Jackson, this is your gloryhole. Itís a watery blackish darkened toned imperial stout and the head leaves almost immediately after being poured. The coffee and alcohol dominate the nose, but thereís also blackberries, roast and chocolate but itís not as dominating. Tastes of dark-roast coffee, roasted malts, beet sugar and cloves. Mmmmm.
AdamChandler (4265) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA - JUL 25, 2012
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 2, 2013 2013 Bottle consumed on Black Friday (day of release) at Goose Island Brewpub in Chicago. Sizable pour at room temp.
A - Pours dark brown into the glass. light brown on the edges. Pretty black in the glass but not pitch black. No head at all.
S - Big coffee at the start, boozy musky hot bourbon scent followed by raisins and vanilla. Love the vanilla finish in this. Iíll note that the 2013 fresh has the most remarkable coffee smell in almost any beer Iíve had. The only beer with a better coffee smell was Kentucky Brunch from TG and honestly, on the mass scale, this is remarkably huge in coffee.
T - Wow. Okay. yeah, the coffee is big in 2013. previous batches had a more muted coffee taste but this explodes with fruity sweetness and ripened tree fruit. Pears? The classic BCBS taste is here with oak, bourbon and figs. Dried dates and some banana on the end. The only annoying thing about this beer is the overpowering tobacco at the finish.
M - 20% carbonation. Heavy body. Insanely boozy delicious finish.
O - Iíve had Coffee BCS 11 and 12 but both I had after a year they were bottled. 2013 fresh is simply mind blowing. Enjoy this one ASAP if you have it. Previous rating was 3.8...Iím bumping that WAY up.
Marheb (4501) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 25, 2012
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2011/12 Bottling: Intelligentsia Anjilanaka: Aucune amertume de torrťfaction en vue, ni dans líarŰme, ni dans le goŻt. La perfection níest pas loin comme avec la classique...chocolat et cafť en harmonie, pas de chicane.
seymour (1846) - Maplewood, Missouri, USA - JUL 23, 2012
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Tasted 2010 vintage from bomber into tulip glass. HOLY...SHIT...WOW, thank you, Vince! It poured an opaque old motor oil black color with reddish tints at the edges with moderate brown foam and nice Belgian lace. Nice protein retention for such age (flaked oats?). True-to-style Russian Imperial Stout aromas and flavors, which is to say "delicious": rich, dark, malty, bready, fruity, caramelly, toasty, roasty, plus coffee plus nutty tannins, plus bourbon, hardwood, faint vanilla, very mild beneficial oxidation. Medium body and carbonation. Super-smooth, creamy and chewy mouthfeel. Long-lasting bittersweet aftertaste which eventually finished dry. Intelligentia is my all-time favorite coffee roaster and I swear I could taste it in there. Lots going on here, but held in perfect harmony. Just oh, so very, very good.
KyotoLefty (8924) - Kyoto, JAPAN - JUL 23, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2010 bottled shared at RBSG 2012 on the bus. Black and oily. Creamy coffee nose, soy and vanilla. Flavors of vanilla, bourbon, Coke, chocolate, light coffee. Rich and flavorful. Great body. Lovely stuff.