I love stouts. I LOVE high alcohol stouts. I have never had a stout this high in abv. Bourbon County Brand Stouts were put together by Goose Island brewery in Chicago, IL. This is their coffee release. It has 14.3% abv and 60 IBUs. It pours out a dark black beer with a tan to brownish head that stands about a finger tall and disappears to nothing but wisps and lacing after a few minutes.
The smell is big on the bourbon followed up by coffee. I think I had an uncle whos mug always smelled that way... hmmmm...
The flavor was big. The malts were heavy up front with hints of chocolate, toffee and obviously the coffee. These flavors mixed beautifully with the vanilla oakiness from the bourbon barrel aging. There was a slight toastiness to the malts that added another nice layer to the flavor profile. I was shocked at how well the bourbon flavor covered up the flavor of such a high abv beer. The oak flavors of the barrel also helped to mellow out the sweetness from the big malts.
The flavor got bolder as it heated up in my tulip glass. Malts came through a little bit stronger and the barrel flavor fell away a little bit. The coffee flavor also became richer, moving on to an almost espresso like quality. I served this straight out of the fridge at 40 degrees. Next time, I will probably let it warm up before I start drinking it.
It had a big syrupy mouth feel that coated every edge of your tongue, but not in a bad way. It didn't linger too long or have that oily consistency that we've seen before.
A lot of people were concerned about the quality of the beers at Goose Island after they were purchased by InBev. It was unsure if they were going to be able to produce unique beers that were true to the craft movement. This beer has put my worrying to an end. It is cool to see a large company still do it right on a smaller scale.
This is one of the best beers I've had in a long long time and I still have one more bottle aging. This is a limited release so go get it if you can. The next version of this they are releasing sounds like it will be vanilla.
I give it a 5.