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Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand StoutBackyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

159 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 159
Hads: 1,983
Avg: 4.52
pDev: 29.87%
Wants: 599
Gots: 681 | FT: 87
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 10-18-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels with fresh mulberries, marionberries, and boysenberries.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 159 | Hads: 1,983
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

wow! i might even like this one better than the coffee edition, which until now i think was my favorite bourbon county release. this is insane beer, thick and sludgy looking like the others, and retaining that slick jelly feel, as viscous as almost any beer out there. the flavors here though are so much more complex, way more layered, and frankly just more appealing than the coffee overload, although i love that beer too. the rye whiskey is different than the bourbon in a lot of ways. there is a more textured grain element to it, and deeper wood notes in this example. it gives even more weight to the grain bill of this, and lets the semi harsh rye spice linger. the wood though mellows it all down, even the booze, to really tolerable levels. the berries in this are subtle at first, but come out a whole lot more as the beer warms up. i get an almost purple grape thing, but i suppose the mulberry is the dominant of the three. the dark fruit seems tangy, and nice contrast to the inherent sweetness of the big stout, and an uplifting sensation for such a heavy beer. it doesnt sound all that different, but this is an order of magnitude better than the cherry rye edition, and feels extremely special to me as i sip on it. palate coating and huge, but impossibly well refined. this is the final evolution of bourbon county as far as i am concerned (still havent had the proprietors though...). unforgettable beer.

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Photo of StandupandStout
4.96/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Holy moly! Rarely have I came across a sweet beer that I can enjoy but this stout completely changed my mind. The pour is of a very dark brown almost black with little head. The aroma of mixed berry stings the nostrils while the taste has that of fresh boysenberry while maintaining an imperial flavor. Hands down one of the best stouts I've had in awhile!

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Bier Station as part of a Goose Island "Migration Week" event, which I guess is intended to ratchet up the attention for next month's release of Bourbon County and its variants. Unfortunately, they were only serving 4 oz pours, but the keg stuck around long enough for me to order three of them while being able to drink them at a relaxed pace. All three pours were served into a small Belgian style tulip glass.

Appearance (4.0) - The bar was a bit dim, so it was hard to make much subtlety of color in the body out, but for the most part it was the same black viscous appearance that most of the Bourbon County stouts have. The pour didn't yield much of a head at all--just a little ringlet of tan around the edge of the glass that disappeared pretty quickly. And while the beer has fantastic, sticky legs, it did not leave any lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell (4.5) - At my initial whiff, I get a good presence from the barrel, with rye whiskey, vanilla and caramel all coming through quite strong, with even some faint astringency from the booze. The berries are there, but quite muted. That said, it was pretty well chilled, so I decided to let it warm up a bit to see how it changed, and that made all the difference. After several minutes, the aroma had evolved into something more--the spicy rye and vanilla remained, but now was buoyed by a delicious jammy element and hints of roasted malt that I didn't pick up as much initially. The more it warms, the more the berries came to the forefront.

Taste (4.5) - Very much like the smell, the taste of this beer went through a great deal of change as the temperature changed. Initially, there were strong barrel notes, and hints of bittersweet chocolate, with a rather generic, syrupy sweetness that gave the impression of the berries. Vanilla and caramelized sugar came through with that great rye whiskey spice. But as before, the taste became much more berry forward as it warmed, and I have to admit that by the end of the glass, it had warmed a bit too much and passed it's metaphorical sweet spot. I'm not sure I've had a beer that changed so drastically with the temperature. For me, it was perfect about 10-15 minutes after pouring, with the aroma and flavor reminding me of a chocolate filled with caramel and raspberry. Decadent, with multiple types of sweet hitting your tastebuds.

Mouthfeel (4.5) - As with most of the BCBS offerings, the feel on this is wonderfully rich and full-bodied, with low carbonation.

Overall (4.5), this is a really well-done and unique beer. It's the first time I've been able to try any of the rye variants and I'm impressed with how they were able to work in the berries without it becoming too sweet or fruity. The fruit provides a much welcome component without taking over. You know GI is doing something right when a beer this good is my least favorite of the BCBS beers I've had. It's like saying it's my least favorite brick of pure gold.

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Photo of Sandbarunner
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Fruity and delicious.
A shot of coffee that is topped off with two shots of bourbon and then a layer of your grandma's jam.
Brings you back to simple, sunshine type of times.

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Photo of 4thpalehorsemanale
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

I should have cellared this heavy bad boy for more than 6 months. It drinks like hot fire! Heavy booze, but it does have nice heavy malt start covered almost immediately with booze haha. But it is what is suppose to be, so I should have aged it for about 3 years haha let the flavors come to the top :)

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Photo of Crimtor
5/5  rDev +10.6%

OMG this beer was so delightful. The berry taste added to the BCBS added a wonderful full flavor that is hard to find. Definitely in my top 5 beers ever list, if you see it you must get it.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.6/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beer # 1000!!

On tap for $6 for a 6 oz. pour. My lucky day

A: Pours a pitch black color with a minimal tan head. Leaves some sticky film on the way down the glass

S: Quite a bit of jammy and fruity notes up front with the classic BCBS tones underneath. Alcohol hidden very well behind the dark roasted malts and chocolate syrup-like sweetness

T: Follows the nose. The jammy notes come out leading the charge, quickly followed by the mellow and subdued BCBS notes. Very nice rye barrel character, and again, the alcohol is hidden very well

M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Slightly syrup-like but not over the top

O: The berries and rye barrel add a nice new dimension to the already well-dimensioned BCBS. Far too easy to drink given the abv and relative viscosity of the brew, but it does make a nice sipper. Definitely drinking very well right now, for those of you holding onto bottles. Glad that I very luckily stumbled onto this one on-tap when I did

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Photo of sweemzander
4.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to Chris for sharing!

(A)- Pours pitch black. Minimal tan froth.

(S)- Tons of ripe jammy berries leap out at you amidst boozy oaky chocolate. In a nutshell; its like chocolate covered berries.

(T)- Just like the smell. It oozes chocolate covered berries with the oaky boozy finish. Just sooo full of jammy fruits.

(M)- A smooth and mellow carbonation level. So rich, jammy, and sweet, yet layered and balanced pretty well. Its boozy but fittingly bourbon county.

(O)- Its really Bramble on steroids. So much jam-like flavors in this that it is actually almost too much. Looking back I might prefer Bramble to this. This is still excellent, but Bramble had a bit more layers to it than just mountains of fruit with the stout base.

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Photo of blankenhoney
4.51/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber bottled on 20NOV13 and poured into a BCBS snifter

A: dark, dark brown with a minimal head of khaki bubbles. looks like regular BCBS with a bit more carb.

S: the dominant aroma was sweet, tart fruit from the berries. after that there's a fair amount of chocolate, wood spice, and vanilla. the aromas were fantastic. the intense berry aromas were a delight…it's just like when you went to the farmer's market last weekend and picked up some fresh berries, crushed them in your mortar, and splashed 'em with your favorite rye.

T: a great combination of sweet, tart berries and rich chocolate. on the sweeter/desert-y side, but not too sweet or cloying. the finish featured some alcohol heat, lots of wood, and a bit of rye spice. as it warmed up, the beer showed a goodly amount of dark chocolate/espresso roast.

M: perfect as usual with this BCBS variant: full, viscous, and chewy, though not quite as thick and syrupy as BCBS. on the drinkability front, it wasn't a problem to crush this bomber by myself, though the berry flavors maybe became a bit repetitive and slightly less enjoyable over 2 hours or so.

O: this is an amazing beer: the mouthfeel is wonderful (to be expected as BCBS variant), but the berry aromas and flavors are out of this world. not having much positive experience with fruited stouts (cherry rye being the exception), i was a bit surprised to like this one so much. i was glad to have enjoyed backyard rye on a cool summer night: the abv kept me warmed up, and the intense berry aromas and flavors were really in keeping with summer. cheers!

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Photo of Louisville-Beer-Reviews
4.76/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Almost completely opaque, with dark caramel color around the edges. Not very bubbly, no lacing to speak of.

Aroma: Pleasant aroma of vanilla and dark fruit/berries with a touch of alcohol.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is smooth, with very little carbonation. So many good flavors are immediately apparent, including vanilla, roasted dark malts, dark chocolate, and dried, dark berries. This beer uses marionberries, boysenberries, and mulberries, and they definitely come through very well without being overly sweet or tart. Combined with the dark roasted malts, the effect is that of a chocolate covered berry or chocolate and dark jam. The sweet berries and bitter dark chocolate are perfectly balanced here, with a rich, full aftertaste of dark chocolate. The whiskey barrel aging lends mellow flavors of vanilla and oak, and adds an alcoholic warmth, but the high ABV never makes its presence known in the flavor.

Final Word: TOP TIER BEER! This is the kind of beer that you are lucky to even find, so if you do chance upon it, buy it immediately! It is perfectly balanced, unique, rich, full, and ages well for up to 5 years! One of the best beers I’ve ever tasted, and a standout in Goose Island’s excellent Bourbon County series.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.54/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Had on-tap at Datz Deli. Served in a Florida Beer Company Swamp Ape tulip glass.

A: Dark, dark brown, opaque. Has a thin tan head and low visible carbonation.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, and oak with the berries, all under a more muted bourbon (or rye, or whatever) presence than a lot of the other variants I've had. Sweet and a hint of dark spices.

T: Big sweet sticky malts, berry fruitiness that reminds me of a chocolate-covered raspberry, vanilla and oak, chocolate malts, and a nice barrel and booze presence in balance with the rest of the beer. Finishes with sweet boozy ethanol and some charred bitterness.

M: Sticky mouthfeel with a fairly full body, low carbonation sensation. Alcohol presence is fairly well-hidden, especially given the style and the other BCBS variants.

O: Wow - very enjoyable, and nicely executed. Truly world-class, and in my opinion, significantly better than the BCBCS I had preceding this one.

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Photo of scotorum
4.54/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The bomber was $20, the most I have paid for such anywhere, anytime. But there were two bottles at a local shop a few months ago when it came out, and I did not want to miss the opportunity to try it.

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Lawson's stemmed tulip glass.

a: Opaque black. No head to speak of.

s: Complex aromas of dark fruit and spice. Some toasted bread too.

t: Follows the nose, ending with a rush of dark ripe and slightly sour fruit like unsweetened blackberries, and a throat burn all the way down. Dry fruity finish.

m: Full. Smooth and wow.

o: A powerful and complex brew, not quite like anything I have had yet, and that is over five hundred different in the past year alone. Extremely interesting and sippable. Substantial and deserving of great respect. However the sourness makes it a little less than totally enjoyable for me.

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Photo of zac16125
4.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a sniftet
Bottled on: 20NOV13

Thanks to jsteel2 for sending this one over via trade!

A: Pours an opaque black, approximately 1/2 a fingers width of mocha colored head develops, then fades quickly down. Leaves zero lacing.

S: A surpringing amount of berry sweetness, huge berry notes. Once I get past that then some of the typical Bourbon County Brand aromas come out including barrel notes, booze, dark fruits, and subtle cocoa.

T: Berries are the first flavor I get, but are not as dominant as in the aroma and the base beer flavors are much more prominent including oak, cocoa, booze, and subtle coffee. There is a huge sweetness to this beer, which borders on cloying but is prevented from achieving that by the accompanying booziness and subtle coffee like bitterness.

M/D: Full bodied, a bit chewy, syrupy at times, appropriately low carbonation and pretty smooth. ABV is noticeable but in a good way in that it helps to balance out the sweetness.

O: A really good beer, but I think I prefer the regular BCBS, and I definitely prefer the BCBCS. The berries just add to the already big sweet components to bring this one to the verge of becoming cloying. Dont get me wrong, its still an excellent beer, but even if it were readily available its probably something I wouldn't frequently drink (whereas I could drink BCBS daily and be happy). Glad I got to try it though, thanks Jason!

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Photo of John_M
4.59/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Someone generously brought along a bottle of this to the recent bottle share at the Portland Growler Guys. Had heard this beer was good, but it was way better than that.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retetention and light lacing. The beer has that viscuous look that I typically associate with signficant barrel aging. On the palate, the beer smells good enough, as I pick up dark coffee, vanilla, chocolate, light bourbon and a hint of rye. On the nose, I really didn't think the rye component added a whole lot, but on the palate.... wow! This beer tastes like liquid chocolate cherry bons bons, but with some light coffee and vanilla to spice things up a bit. This beer is one of the more decadent tasting beers I can recall ever tasting. Mouthfeel is full, soft and very long, with the seemingly low carbonation working well with this beer. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile in this excellent beer.

OK, a couple of thoughts about this beer. I now understand why this beer is always the first of the BCBS brand variations to sell out each time my local store is supplied. On the other hand, as the beer only comes in bomber format (I believe), I would have to think twice before grabbing a bottle. I'm pretty certain I would be unable to stop myself from polishing off the bottle were I to crack open a bottle by myself. That's how absolutely decadently delicious this beer. Just amazing stuff.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.88/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed in June 2015, with two years of age. Seems to have hit it's stride. A beautiful fresh raspberry jam is at the forefront with chocolate and vanilla notes and a very slight tartness from the fruit. Reminiscent of a decadent black forest cake.

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Photo of Dawgboned37
4.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very very solid offering from Goose Island. Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. The aroma and flavors were dominated by the bourbon and the berries. However, when I sipped and swallowed it, I was reminded of the BCBS. The berry flavors were quite interesting, turning the stout into almost a barleywine flavor. Reading the label was almost funny to me, because it sounded like they were inventing types of berries... the snozzberry-infusion!

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Photo of scottfrie
4.14/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into snifter. Thanks again JulianC.

A: Pours a brown color a couple shades darker than cola with almost no light tan head. A few specks of spotty lace were left down the glass.
S: Super sweet and fruity smelling with dominating notes berry jam and fruit roll-ups. I get a few hints of caramel and mild chocolate as well.
T: Tastes just as described on the bottle: BCBS with a ton of sweet berries added in. I get flavors of black berries, boysenberries, blueberries, slight raspberry, caramel, and chocolate syrup. The finish is boozy and rich with flavors of mild leather, caramel, slight vanilla, spicy rye and sweet brown sugar. The aftertaste is sweet and fruits with some potent alcohol.
M: Smooth and mellow mouthfeel with a rich full body, lowish carbonation, decent amount of alcohol.
O: A fruity BCBS all the way. Rye wasn’t potent but the sweet fruit by the foot was. Good for what it is but not my favorite variant.

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Photo of Mikeypnh
4.69/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a bubbly one finger head. Head goes away quickly. Leaves a mocha ring around the edge. The smell is incredibly sweet. The rye barrels are very dominate. Theres a roastiness and sweetness coming from the berries. This tastes really good. The bourbon flavor hits you right up front, with layers of fruit right underneath. Nothing too overpowering. A little roasty, with some chocolate flavor in there, too. Incredibly smooth. Doesn't taste as sweet as the aroma would suggest. I can pick up just a slight amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, easy to drink. This is even better than I remember the first time around.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.29/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, not much carbonation or head.

S-Some fruit, good bit of rye, some oak, roasted notes and chocolate.

T-Lots of fruits. The berries are coming through big time. The finish has a slight rye/whiskey note. Roasted malt and chocolate are present as well.

M-Heavy in body, rather thick, not much carbonation.

O-A good beer the berries add a nice level of fruity flavors but it does not stand up to the other bourbon county beers out there.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.77/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bourbon County Backyard Rye

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a CBS snifter. Served at cellar temp.

A) Pours out smooth and black. A small dark tan head quickly settles to a collar. This has some legs. Looks rich and quite inviting.

S) I can't say that I'm familiar with the aroma produced by mulberries, boysenberries, and marionberries, but I smell berries, and it's delightful. The aroma is a combination of the berries and a fine dark chocolate. I feel like I've walked into the shop of a world class chocolatier. A deep pull brings out the rye whiskey barrel.

T) How do they do it? The berries are a perfect compliment to this barrel aged stout. A wonderful Jammy sweetness. The description on the bottle is no bullshit. The alcohol is so well hidden, just a little warmth on the backend. Just delicious....

M) Pretty full bodied, not quite the same thickness as regular BCBS or the BCBCS. The carbonation is on the light side. This is super smooth. Finishes so nice, with a delightful aftertaste. Coats the entire mouth in a good way.

O) This beer is so good. It falls into the category of being slightly sad when you realize you're done. Top notch stuff... Glad I have one more in the cellar, but wish I had more.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.61/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From 05/19/14 notes. Had as part of our mega-BCS tasting, side by side with Bramble and some raspberries and blackberries. 22 oz. bottle into a mini-snifter glass.

a - Pours a brown, almost black color, with one inch of dark tan head and low to moderate carbonation evident. Looks like all the others.

s - Smells of raspberry jam, smells of sweet dark fruits, sticky sweet berries, roasted malts, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, rye, toasted malts, cocoa, light vanilla, and light bourbon. Crazy amount of berries and fruit to it. Very good, and very distinct.

t - Tastes of raspberry and strawberry jams, sweet dark fruits, raspberries, blackberries, roasted malts, sweet chocolate, caramel malts, toffee, bourbon, toasted malts, and light vanilla. Tons of berries again, really nice.

m - Full bodied stout and low carbonation. No heat, great mouthfeel. Thick and chewy.

o - Overall a really great beer and one of my favs from the night...I ranked it 4/12. It is so distinct due to the fruit it is the first BCS variant I thought was very different than the others. Tons of jam and sticky sweet fruits to it, worth seeking out. Would love to have it again.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.27/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle. Pours a black viscous color with ruby hues and almost no head. No lacing. The aroma is bourbon, berries and actually kind of smells a bit like chocolate chip cookies. Hints of vanilla. The taste is booze and dark chocolate covered berries and cherries. More chocolate and berries at the finish with some warming alcohol. Mouthfeel is slick. The berry flavor works well and balances nicely with the booze and chocolate flavors. Overall, really good but not my favorite of the variants.

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Photo of peensteen
4.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Liam and Jay for sharing this.

Black/brown with some reddish points towards the top of the glass, ring of tan head, no lace. Smell is very berry forward, blackberry, blueberry and raspberry jam is the best I can describe this as I have little experience with the types of berry actually used, a slight roast, chocolate covered berries with bourbon and oak. Taste like the nose is very fruit forward, tons of jammy flavours, bourbon soaked chocolate coverd berries, a little bit of alcohol and maybe just a touch astringent. Sticky full body, light carbonation. Certainly very good, and my sample was consumed quite quickly, tasty stuff even though admittedly I don't love fruit stouts, also having this after Proprietors probably wasn't fair to this beer, still awesome and would certainly love the chance to have this again.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.39/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from bobbypaulson (thanks Michael!). Bottled 11/20/13. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours a familiar oil black with a thin cap of tan head. Against the light a faint rim of a red wine or violet hue shows. Very little retention and no lace.

Huge aromatic blast of berries followed by faint sweet whisky, chocolate, vanilla and wisps of alchohol.

Delicious blend of dark baker's chocolate, dark berry jam, rye spice, soft whisky, coffee, mild burnt caramel, a little molasses and some booze. Sticky sweet and mildly tart. A sweet sipper with alcohol mostly covered by the jammy sweetness.

Fairly heavy, viscous with light carbonation. Bittersweet dark berry jam, chocolate and rye finish.

A close cousin to the standard Bourbon County Brand Stout but with a whole new profile of berries and rye. Good stuff for sure.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.42/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a big rich burnt umber color with a finger of khaki foam. The nose is jammy chocolate with nice berry notes, deep roasted chocolate and well integrated bourbon. The palate follows with big chocolate flavors that mingle nicely with the berry jammy jam notes and a lot of bourbon character. A touch thinner than years past but the balance of flavors are there and its very enjoyable.

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Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 159 ratings.