Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout (2011)
I apologize for the Instagram photo, but as I share and drink more and more fun and exciting beers at tastings or on the fly, I’ll likely be using these photos as opposed to my traditional scheme to be able to post more frequently and with a wider variety of beer. You can also follow me and all the fun beer I drink on Instagram, my handle is @thelowtide.
This beer pours a fantastic jet black color, as opaque as can be, no hints of brown when held to the light, just a deep dark abyss. A thin tan head emerges from the beer, but disappears promptly leaving behind no real trace of its existence and no lacing. The aromas are great, huge notes of burnt coffee, roasted malt, sticky bourbon, chocolate, cane sugar, graham cracker, pitted fruit and even perhaps some toasted marshmallow. Aside from Rare, this definitely has my favorite nose from any of the BCBS variants. The flavors are incredibly complex, lots of coffee, bitter and roasted, char, chocolate and graham cracker leap out at first. The bourbon is much more subtle and layered than the other common variants, a bit of marshmallow comes out and closes with some acidity and fruit. I did a bit of reading on the beans that were used for this batch and they are Bolivian beans that are known to have some nice fruit esters and as this beer warms, you can really pick up on the those notes which really balances this beer out without going overboard into the fruit like Bramble does. The one short coming of this beer is the body. It’s a bit thinner and at times cola like than most stouts of this size and style, but it’s still nice and rich, smooth and relatively silky, just wish it had more bravado in the body.
Verdict: This is a magnificent beer and definitely my favorite of the recurring variants. The coffee adds such a nice elements of roast and char to the beer so it doesn’t get overly rich and decadent, but has a nice bitterness to it. The alcohol is almost completely hidden at 14% which is almost unheard of. This beer definitely warrants its praises and is a must try for anyone who loves a good stout, bourbon or cup of espresso. (4.43/5)