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

Not Rated.
Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand StoutBramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

885 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 885
Reviews: 178
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 781
Gots: 337 | FT: 8
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: Khazadum on 02-03-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Imperial Stout aged in Heaven Hill rye whiskey barrels with raspberries & blackberries.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 885 | Reviews: 178
Photo of Axnjxn
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

very jammy now in 2015. has improved quite a bit. love this stuff!

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a deep walnut color. some light purplish hues around the edges. almost no head and a weak retention. opaque and dark. some brown viscosity as it swirls around the glass.

Smell: raspberries covered in chocolate. strong whisky smell. brown sugar and dark fruit. lots of booze.

Taste: opens with raspberry and blackberry jam. big notes of chocolate and whisky. light brown sugar and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: thick and syrupy. jammy sweetness and an alcohol burn.

Overall: another solid bourbon county one off. the sweetness can be a bit much at time and ruins the mouthfeel a bit. all in all one of the better bc beers.

Photo of aleigator
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to Greg for the bottle, enjoyed in 022015.

Pours a viscous, coal black color, with super fizzy head, leaving behind a thin, white lacing.

Has pungent aromas of slightly sour, fermented fruits, with matured raspberries being the most present for me. The prominent fruitiness gets joined by wooden bakers chocolate, fudge and toffee, topped off by sticky fruit syrup. The syrupy aspect invites a decent barrel oakiness to the palate, together with slightly sweetened cocoa and a rich Bourbon note, revealing dried blackberries.

Begins with earthy malts, slightly bitter coffee, chocolate and dried fruits, which got a fermented acidity to them, creating an unusual sour note, which blends perfectly into the coffee. This gets coated up by syrup and toffee, highlighting noble, ripe wild berries, while blackberries turn out more present then they did on the nose. On this sweet fruit impression settles a pungent, wooden, hot Bourbon bite, highlighting the berries even more, by creating a liqueur impression. While bakers chocolate and wooden malts still provide a convincing balance, the beer is certainly on the sweeter side, with warming marmelade and syrupy molasses among a wooden vanilla dryness. The prominent berries prevail till the end, with sugared lemon peel being added to the mix, while the bourbon leaves a sharp bite on the tongue, which turns out to be slightly tooth numbing, with chocolate malts and a whiff of syrup adding a recognizable sweetness to the slightly wooden dry finish.

Photo of TubaManJack
4.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle pour from a share.

I do love me some berries. It goes without saying that I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. While the beer has been aged I still found that the flavors have held up extremely well and the expected fruit juice flavors had evolved into the pulp/seed flavors without the corresponding tartness that you might get while enjoying the real fruit. While I understand that this beer might not have the same sexiness as the other varieties. I certainly enjoyed it and wouldn't wait to acquire/consume it.

Photo of Petcha
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer. My favorite of all BC varieties to date. Great jammy berry flavor that is surprisingly strong for how old this beer is. Compliments the rich chocolate and vanilla flavors from the base beer. Smooth as can be. Age has treated this one well. Drank side by side with a Backyard, which had a more potent berry profile, but Bramble was more balanced.

Photo of barczar
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Blackberry and raspberry dominate, which is not a bad thing, for me! I would like to see those characters meld a bit better with the base beer, though, to provide continuity.

Photo of arlingtonjoe
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! After 3 years the fruits have mellowed nicely giving the beer a nice tartness that goes well with the base stout and the signature smoothness of the Goose Island Barrel aging.

Photo of cultclassic89
4.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The best BA stout brewed with berries that I've ever had.

Photo of thebigredone
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Having this side by side by side with Backyard and Cherry Rye, Bramble was my second favorite of the variants. Would have loved to try this one a year or so ago.

Photo of Raimalise
4/5  rDev -7.8%

It pours black with a little brown. No lacing.

The nose, boose heavy, dried fruit, bit of sweetness, and a little stout.

Tastes... Balanced with barrel characteristics. Light fruity notes delightful smell and taste. Fruits have fallen off a bit. Past its prime for the fruits. Very boose forward and over powering. Still very drinkable.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Adam last night.

Pours like an oil slick, black as can be, with no head, lacing, or visual carbonation.

Smells like fresh raspberry puree and juice, even after 3 years, amazingly, with the typical big bourbon, chocolate and marshmallows of the many variants of the series.

This one doesn't quite taste as thick as some of the other Bourbon County variants, but it's still like drinking bourbon fudge- this time, covered heavily in raspberry jam. The raspberry and blackberry flavor is still incredibly strong, and verges on cloying territory- the aftertaste of this one is entirely raspberry juice, with a twinge of cough syrup. The aftertaste is what keeps this from being a perfect variant. There is clearly an inordinate amount of berries added to this beer. Chocolate covered raspberries all the way.

The mouthfeel on this one is great- thick, syrupy, and fudgey, with a lower amount of carbonation, and a huge body.

Not the best variant, in the same way that George is not one of the best Beatles. Still amazing, no matter what.

Photo of TboneRN
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

I was lucky enough to attend a Bourbon County bottle share last night where we had every variant present.

Holy Raspberries...still so strong and fresh smelling...this beer is basically a chocolate raspberry flavored desert! I definitely preferred this to backyard which was more of a mixed berry taste. (again nit picking here) Both are amazing but if you have a chance to try bramble I definitely recommend it!
Chocolate
Raspberry
Bomb!

Photo of WTKeene
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%

#8 in our BCBS tasting. Poured into a Trillium Tulip tasting glass.

Appearance: It looks like Bourbon County. I'm shocked. It's thick black motor oil, has a thin eggshell crown and no lacing. Just like all the other Bourbon County beers.

Smell: Lots of fruit in the nose. Lots of raspberry specifically. Somewhat boozy, none of the chocolate I typically get in the nose of BCBS beers.

Taste: Wow, that's a lot of raspberry. I love raspberry. Chocolate comes through beneath it, but the raspberries are strong in this one. This is delicious. Because I love raspberry. Did I mention this is my eighth 4oz pour tonight? This is my eighth 4oz pour tonight. Raspberries are awesome.

Smell: Oh wait, I already rated smell. Moving on. Eighth 4oz pour tonight.

Mouthfeel: Significantly thinner than the other Bourbon County beers. No worries though, it's still delicious. I love raspberries. Carbonation is somewhat higher than most of the others.

Overall: "This is more memorable than my wedding" said one of the tasters. For the protection of his marriage, not going to mention who said that. This is really nice. A real highlight of a night full of highlight-worthy beers.

Photo of roger617
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to finally crack this one open and enjoy. My first Father's Day / Birthday weekend beer, 30th birthday. Bomber poured into snifter. Bottled 12/10/11, #1050, consumed Friday the 13th, June 2014.

A: Pours pitch black with slightly under 1 finger of thin tan colored head that reduces slowly and leaves no lacing. True to all BCBS beers that I've ever had.
S: I expected some berries, but I can not believe how dominant the fruits held up after 2.5 years bottled. Berry aroma up front, and dominant all around. I get a little bit of chocolate buried deep under the depths of fruit.
T: Follows suit with aroma - the berry flavor is dominant. It's similar to eating a chocolate covered raspberry. So much fruitiness followed by a lingering sweet dark chocolate flavor.
M: Thick, smooth, carbed fairly low as expected. It had a rich feeling for after taste, very unique.
O: The most impressive part of this beer for me is just how strong the adjuncts held up. Comparing it to Backyard, I think this is more balanced, even considering it's very fruity. Enjoyed Bramble all the way through, it's up there with the top BCBS variants in my book.

Photo of mdfb79
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 05/19/14 notes. Had as part of our mega-BCS tasting, side by side with Backyard Rye 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, just like Backyard.

s - Smells of blackberries, roasted malts, chocolate, bourbon, toasted malts, darker chocolate, burnt malts, leather, and earthy malts. Berries are much much lighter than the fresher Backyard, closer to the normal version.

t - Tastes of blackberries, dark fruits, roasted malts, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, cream, caramel, and otasted malts. Taste has more berry than the nose, but still nowhere near Backyard's amount.

m - Full body and low carbonation. Thick and chewy and not too hot. Great mouthfeel.

o - Overall I did not think this was as good as Backyard Rye, but it is still good. Much less fruit at this point which makes it closer to the normal BCS version, but that isn't a bad thing. A good beer but wouldn't give up the house to get it.

Photo of dar482
4.86/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

At a Bourbon County tasting, clearly the best of the fruit bunch.

This beer simply has a perfect combination of fruit berry qualities, of both sweet and tart, along with the Bourbon County sweet bourbon and chocolate characteristics.

What this beer does is that it melds the two very well without too much sweetness from the fruit.

Photo of JackieTH
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thick oily pour was burnt black with a trace of deep brown foam that was quickly subsumed by the evil looking viscous liquid. Smells of raspberries and dark chocolate with a trace of molasses and vanilla. Skipping the taste for a moment, the first sip.. This is a cement mixer thick liquid. Wow it's creamy and just the bare minimum of carbonation. Can I have a gallon of water on the side? Excellent excellent. But an excellent mouthfeel is a standard for BCBS. Now the taste. It's fantastic and something completely different..I get the BCBS underpinnings of malt chocolate, figs, molasses and bourbon but wow even 3+ years of aging.. Hello the raspberries! Blackberries! They are lightly sweet and tart and add a really nice complexity to the chocolate, vanilla, figs and molasses. Finish is dark chocolate and light tartness of the berries. Although there's nary a burn from the stated 12.7% ABV, this whale is a sipper.

Photo of Stevedore
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle shared at a whale tasting yesterday, 7/13/2013. Poured into a BCBS snifter.

This one was rather interesting. It was basically BCBS with a dark fruity flavour, mostly blackberries, that came in the heaviest at the end, leaving a subtle sweet aftertaste that complemented the malt chocolate sweetness that is a BCBS hallmark. There was a very subtle spiciness throughout as well. Mouthfeel was excellent, obviously as this is a BCBS brew, but while it was very creamy and smooth, it fell just a bit short of Coffee and Rare. At this point, I think Bramble may get a little bit better with a few more months on it. Very interesting and certainly delicious BCBS variant.

Re-review today, 2/22/2014. #4 in the BCBS Variant lineup. Poured into an original Bourbon County Brand Stout snifter. I cannot get over how fruit-forward Bramble is drinking right now despite being almost two and a half years old by today. Incredible notes of sweet raspberry and tart blackberries dominating the beer. Unfortunately it does cover up what makes Bourbon County Brand Stout what it is- while there is a nice dark chocolate, spicy rye whiskey and barrel flavours- the fruit is still so forward that while it makes for an unique Bourbon County experience, it's just not as complex as the other variants. I really really enjoyed the fruit forwardness of this beer, but I'm a guy who loves fruit lambics so take that for what its worth. A recommendation is try to drink it more as it warms up but not completely- the beer kind of falls off at room temperature compared to Backyard Rye, which we had side-by-side. Backyard retains its fruity jamminess at all temperatures and is ready to drink right now. Bramble is also damn well ready to drink, but I promise you, it will be a significantly different experience than drinking Backyard Rye.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a nice dark brown foamy head with good retention. Aroma of raspberry jam with light roasted malt with quite a bit more residual sugar than I was expecting. Taste is a wonderful mix between a sweet imperial stout based with light roasted malt notes and some raspberry and blackberry jam. All the flavours mix in very well and nothing was off-balance. Body is full with light creamy texture and medium carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Very enjoyable with barrel notes not as discernible as in the regular version.

Photo of smitty4657
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The most drinkable of the BCBS I had in 2013, this has a wonderful fruit nose and tastes like a blend of BCBS and maraschino cherries. I'll admit it came toward the end of a marathon night of stouts so the fruit is the part that stands out the most, but I preferred it to the 2012 Cherry Rye (but would still take BCBS Coffee or the regular).

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Classic BCBS, with a slight khaki head that collars quickly.

Smell: Strong raspberry and blackberry, for sure. Underneath lies dark fruit, bitter chocolate, slight coconut, caramel, bitter roast and a whiskey presence that is noticeable. Smells like a rich liqueur/Cognac.

Taste: Chocolate and raspberry roll into blackberries up front. After the berries and chocolate roll off, out come bitter roast and a whiskey punch. The ending brings bitter chocolate, slight caramel and the slightest lingering raspberry sweetness that plays nicely with the chocolate once again. There is noticeable booze, but nothing overpowering, as you would hope to gain after about two years of age.

Mouthfeel: Definitely thinner than Standard BCBS with not much carbonation, as expected.

Overall: This has been a long time coming for me and although it's not my favorite variant, I'm really glad I got to try it. I think I might've enjoyed this better fresh, as I believe a bit more sweetness would allow it to better mesh with the base beer. I've heard people complain about this being medicinal, and I can see why they'd say that, but this is still a good beer.

Photo of spinrsx
3.82/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle at the Ottawa tasting

Appearance - Dark brown colour with a large size frothy head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, vanilla, berries

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and vanilla. There is also quite a bit of a tart berry flavour.. currants/cranberries/raspberries.

Overall - A little like a black forest cake. It became a little cloying at times. I expected more since it's part of the Bourbon County line up - a decent beer but not something I'd go out of my way for.

Photo of jvillefan
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Jet black body with a nearly non-existent head.

S: Not a lot of berry in the nose but there is plenty of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. In the background there is heavily roasted malts.

T: Very good. Unlike the nose there is plenty of berry in the body of this beer. It goes well with the sweet dark malts, chocolate, coffee, and sweet bourbon. There is a subtle oak and vanilla flavor on the finish.

M: Thick mouthfeel with very minimal carbonation.

O: A very good beer. Glad I got to try this one. Not in my top 20 stouts but very good.

Photo of PHBoiler
4.96/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Deep black body with violet hues along the surface. The purple is highlighted when swirled in the glass. Very inviting.

Blackberry, raspberry jam notes on the nose with a hint of bourbon and light chocolate notes.

This is so well balanced. You definitely get all the fruit with some sweetness but not cloying. It isn't as jammy as some fruited stouts. There is enough roast and body to give a chocolate covered raspberry flavor with some vanilla accents and slight bourbon. The heat is gone. This is drinking beautifully. I would have probably been able to drink a bomber myself over a span of a few hours. This beer was that good, and the alcohol is well hidden. Worth seeking out right now. This has to be at or near the peak.

Photo of mhksuccess
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

pour from a bottle into bruery snifter
was dark and little to no head and not much if any lacing
smell is like BCBS with berries and had slight boozy smell but not as much as BCBS
could tell that this bottle is much better than when it first came out just needed to have some age put on it and let it develop
cause now it is awesome
not hott very little heat if any lot of berry (raspberry come thru but not tart)
very smooth drinking amazingly now

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Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
96 out of 100 based on 885 ratings.