BOLTZ7555 (3027) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - SEP 19, 2010
UPDATED: NOV 13, 2011 Sampled at GABF! Had this back in the day with Sparky27 but didn’t remember enough to rate it. Now I have no idea how I could have forgotten this one! Black hole pour with a creamy dark latte head that left lacing. Aroma is very assertive with deep rich espresso, vanilla, bourbon, Nestle Quik, and caramel. Flavor has the sweet BCS bourbon qualities with an amazing bitter Starbucks coffee punch. Truly reminiscent of a chocolate covered coffee bean soaked in bourbon. Doesn’t that sound awesome? Nice coat left on the palate and memory etched into my mind. World class!!! BUMP!!! KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 23, 2012
From notes. First reviewed 5/2/2010. 2011 bottle update 2/6/2012. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter. 2011 update: The 2011 version of this beer maintains everything that I loved about the first time I had it, and somehow is even better. I opened a 2011 bottle at cellar temperature and another was opened at fridge temperature at Kelly’s Pub.
Like every other bourbon county (and variant) I have opened, this viscous black imperial stout oozes out of the bottle like some kind of black tar. Pitch black with just the slightest mahogany brown edges. The bottle I opened up at cellar temperature manufactured a robust mocha brown head on the initial pour into my snifter. With the ABV, the cap was not destined to last long, but it still provided a nice thin film over the beer and a frothy ring around the edge of the glass. When opened at colder temperatures, it is much more difficult to get much of any head to form, even with an aggressive pour.
The biggest difference in my mind between the two vintages is the aroma. The Anjilanaka coffee beans used in this year’s batch simply explode out of the bottle when opened and waft up from the glass throughout the glass. As a coffee drinker, this is simply heaven. This coffee smells thoroughly roasted, with notes of hazelnut and burnt caramel in addition to a distant fruit note. Dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate, molasses, vanilla, oak, and bourbon all fade to the back behind a dominant coffee presence. There is no alcohol anywhere in the nose.
The flavor is still very coffee-forward, but much more balanced than the aroma. Fresh Bolivian coffee roasted to perfection comes through first, with a strong showing from the dark, bitter chocolate, and roasted malt. Each of these blend and interact so well with the others flavors, creating an ever-changing wall of roasted and bitter flavors. Vanilla, molasses, and bourbon step in next, adding some sweetness and further depth to the flavor. The bourbon presence grows as the sip progresses and my tongue accustoms itself to the bitter coffee and roasted malt flavors. By the end, I get a bit more vanilla and some light oak as well. It has varying degrees of bitterness all the way through, with a clear emphasis on the coffee.
The mouthfeel is exactly what I want in an imperial stout, and even though I have tried quite a few since I first had the Bourbon County Coffee, I have yet to find its equal. Each sip coats my entire mouth and tongue with a chewy, grainy, and smooth liquid. The flavors seem to permeate into every part of my mouth, and it is more of an experience that just ’drinking’ the beer. The carbonation is perfectly tuned to the ultra thick and viscous nature of the beer, giving it a milky creaminess and never getting in the way.
This is as close to a perfect beer as I can think of; it is just absolutely incredible.
Original review: 9/4/10/5/19
Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter. Bottled 3/26/10. #2133.
This almost oozes out of the bottle, it is that thick. The color is completely pitch black, with thin brown head, which quickly erodes to a ring. It communicates the message - "Be ready, this is intense."
A charismatic aroma; a smooth blend of robust roasted malt, roast coffee, with a nice bourbon presence, some bitter chocolate, and a few lingering alcohol phenols.
Wow. If Bourbon County Stout is a smokey dragon, this is the well-refined dragon you can take out to a fancy dinner. It is wonderfully put together, with a smooth flavor all the way through. Roasted malt with hints of chocolate and vanilla start the sip, with roast coffee and bourbon balancing each other out. There is a slightly bitter aftertaste, and the alcohol warms the stomach. There is no real alcohol bite, though, which is quite surprising. The espresso flavor prevents this from being as overtly smokey and boozy like the regular BCS. Substantially better in my opinion.
Could this be any smoother? Creamy, with perky carbonation contained in a very full body.
I could sip this all day and all night. There is enough complexity to keep the whole glass interesting, but the smooth construction makes each sip wonderfully simple. I just had a revelation.
pw313 (3) - Macomb, MI, - JAN 11, 2013 does not count
idk what to say.....this beer lives up to the hype. definitely drink at room temp to get the full complexity and taste of this beer. HeadyDE (868) - Delaware, USA - MAY 27, 2013
UPDATED: JUN 4, 2013 Bomber..from 2SP Newark..surprised by recent price drop on this..20 bucks..wow..couldn’t pass up chance to try this..served a bit cold but warmed up nicely..jet black pour..very little head as expected..aroma is like an amazing coffee infused bourbon treat with a shot of vanilla creaminess..quite memorable nose..mouthfeel is quite complex and full bodied with a richness..dominated by decadent coffee..chocolate..vanilla imperial stout goodness..just the right proportion of everything in play here..the bourbon and coffee play off each other nicely and I thoroughly enjoyed this and found it more complex and better than the regular BCS...awesome beer..upped the score after comparing this with draft kbs..this edged it out..deserving of higher score.. BOSSbrewer (2705) - Arkansas, USA - SEP 5, 2013
Great. Has the regular version. The coffee is nice. Had this at the Beer Geeks of Northwest Arkansas thanks to Ryan.
sjohnny (662) - - JAN 5, 2014
2013 Los Inmortales. Coffee, booze, toffee aroma. Pours black with almost no dark tan head that rapidly fizzles away. Candy toffee mocha sweetness balanced with a coffee/espresso bitterness and a nice boozy warm finish. So amazing. liam1020 (1) - - JAN 12, 2014 does not count
I can’t imagine a tastier beer. Great aroma with hints of bourbon and toffee. Top 5 I’ve ever had. brureview (6) - Maine, USA - JAN 17, 2014 does not count
Poured a dark chocolate color in a balloon glass with little head.
Immediate Bourbon and chocolate in the aroma. As the beer warmed up, more layers of chocolate, coffee,and vanilla.
Mouth feel is moderate.
The taste is highly complex. Layers of chocolate, vanilla, coffee. The finish has a strong Bourbon presence.
The chocolate and Bourbon seem more pronounced in this beer than the Bourbon County stout. The Bourbon whiskey finish is wonderful.
The beer should be served no colder than 50F. As I warmed up the beer from 48F, i noticed a big difference in a few degrees F. At 50F, the coffee kicks in, and the Bourbon becomes stronger. The peak temp should be about 55F. Higher than this, the beer loses some of its intense flavor. Fantastic beer!
jaybes (17) - Hastings, Michigan, USA - JAN 25, 2014
The perfect beer? Quite possibly. Tasted along side KBS and blew it out of the water. Huge coffee wave on the front, almost mocha. Velvety, chocolately, the perfect amount of char/smokiness. Bourbon comes through nicely for a 2012, and last the whole time. Great throat burn, soothed by the intense vanilla and buttery sweetness. Thick 1/4 tan head, held for a couple sips before the glass turned to that beautiful used motor oil look. Highly recommended beer. AHSlowhand (46) - - JAN 25, 2014
So dark, and velvety... Tastes and smells like coffee with cream in it. So amazing. It’s going to be hard to keep one of these for five years.