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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.

882 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 882
Reviews: 178
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 784
Gots: 333 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 882 | Reviews: 178
Reviews by beerdrifter:
Photo of beerdrifter
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up with a great trade from Evan! Blackish pour with a small caramel-colored head that fades really quickly leaving a flat looking beer with no lacing. Wow! The nose is exactly what I was hoping for. The whiskey and berries are huge! The raspberry and blackberry aromas remind me of fresh jam. Also getting hints of oak, dark fruits, and some subtle cocoa. The taste is rich and bold with the berries and booze dominating. The oak and whiskey really emerge as it comes to temp along with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruit, specifically black cherries. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with perfect carbonation, especially considering it seemed very flat visually. It's bordering on being thick and syrupy, but really smooth with a nice subtle tart finish. Overall, this is yet another awesome offering from Goose Island. Although I'm not a fan of fruit beers, and this one definitely leans to the sweeter side, it kept me entertained and really pulled off what I think it was intending. And the high ABV was not evident at all. Definitely a sipper, but a very enjoyable one.

More User Reviews:
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 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 tectactoe
4.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Preismj for this huge want that I can now cross off the list. I love raspberry stouts that are done properly, and based on past experiences, I trust that Goose Island knows what they're doing. Pours mostly black with some slight ruby tones crowding the edges. The tan head forms slowly during the pour and fades pretty quickly to a ring around the top. A quick swirl of the glass easily conjures up quite a bit of foam, however.

Wow, after one whiff, I'm already in love with this beer. Such a dense berry aroma, complete with raspberries, blackberries, and maybe even a little bit of blueberry and black cherry. Perhaps those last two fruits are just springing from my imagination, but the "fruity" essence of this beer already seems more layered and complex than just raspberry and blackberry. Lots of roasted malts lay softly behind the portrait of berries with a solid stroke of bourbon and oak that slashes through it all. The barrel qualities are much lighter in this beer as compared to many of the other BCS variants, but it works as a perfect addition to the fruit - complementing without drowning out.

Bramble Rye has a magnificent berry flavor right out of the gate - mounds of raspberry jam and raspberry puree engulf your palate immediately upon taking your first sip. It provides a mild tartness without ever becoming sour or seeming "out of place" despite it being in a bourbon barrel aged stout. The bourbon and oak flavors are definitely there - signature BCS style, although the tartness from the raspberry up front really cuts through and mellows out the already mellow barrel-aging contributions. They took something great and made it even better... How is that possible to this degree?

The initial tartness from the berry onslaught eventually ceases and turns into a savory sweetness that lasts well into the aftertaste. Halfway through, as the raspberries settle down, the barrel aging flavors become more pronounced; bourbon that is as smooth as ever, wet oak, and a reasonable dose of vanilla. Somewhere in the middle, I'm also picking up a light cola flavor that works ties the sweetness of the fruit and the robustness of the alcohol together really well. The body is smooth, creamy, and chewy; full-bodied with a slick mouth feel. It leaves the palate very sticky - even a bit more than other, heavy BCS-type beers. Lower end of the carbonation spectrum.

When all was said and done, the raspberry and blackberry dominate the flavor profile more so than the bourbon and oak flavors, but shockingly enough, that's what I love about this beer. It seems like a perfect addition of berry sweetness into a stout, with the bourbon and oak sitting just behind it, beefing it up just a bit without stealing the show. This is definitely a nice change of pace from the other BCS variants, as I believe it's the most drastically different one. But again, that very fact might partially explain my affinity to it. That, and the fact that I'm a raspberry whore. Is it wrong to say that I like this more than Rare? Because I do. And if you love raspberries like I do - you might, too.

Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Spaten454
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of delaced21
4.8/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of BrohamidAli
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of AshlandNacho
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of codysjb
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer tasting on 10/14/12
Pours motor oil, no head
The original bourbon county with sutle notes of raspberry and blackberry.
Wow. Bourbon county with raspberry and other berry notes amazing
Mouthful is all berries soooo good.
Def worth it sooo good.

Photo of Mora2000
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to jjfoodie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a black color with a brown head, exactly like all of the other members of the Bourbon County Stout family. The aroma is awesome. I get a ton of berry notes, as well as some chocolate, roasted malt and whiskey notes. All of that goes very well together. The flavor is identical, with a ton of blackberry and raspberry notes up front, which add a very unique flavor to the beer. There is also a nice rye whiskey character, as well as some chocolate, vanilla and medium to heavy roasted malt. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An excellent beer, which in my opinion, is better than all of the other variants with the exception of the coffee, which is one of my favorite beers of all time. Amazing.

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of BrandonDZ
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of 1Adam12
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of thaghost
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of bsp77
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Almost pure black with nice tan head at first but quickly settles back to a thin lace.

Smell: Chocolate, molasses, berries, whiskey and rye. A little more subtle than expected.

Taste: Wow, sweet berries galore! What was just a hint in the aroma is an onslaught on the taste buds. The raspberries and blackberries are really front and center, with some backbone of chocolate, molasses and anise. The rye whiskey barrel aging is present, but minimally so; much less apparent than the bourbon barrel aging of the other variants.

Feel: Thick, chewy, but oh-so-smooth body with low carbonation. Not nearly as boozy and warming as the other Bourbon Counties. The only downside is that the berries really coat the mouth a little too much.

Overall: While not as good as the Original or the almighty Coffee, I do enjoy this quite a bit - more so than Vanilla, which just seemed too boozy.

Seriously, why didn't I buy Rare when I had the chance? Stupid, cheap ass.

Photo of jaminjohnson
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Bottled on 12/10/11 bottle # 0955. (1 year and 3 months of age)

Pour out that super viscous, dark black color that is bourbon county. Just the slightest hint of dark brown on the edges. Minimal brown colored head that was gone after only a few minutes, but after a swirl your left with some very nice looking viscous legs on the sides of the glass.

Strong bourbon aromas, boozey, the berries are a bit lost behind the bourbon, but I remember when this was fresher it hAd a real nice raspberry aroma. A nice berry jam type aroma does come out the more it warms however.

Berries mingle harmoniously with bourbon. Nice chewy caramel, burnt caramel, charred barrel, berries add a bit of tartness, berry jam, some wood, hints of almost a cinnamon like spice, and maybe some brown sugar/ molasses.

Sticky and sweet, big chewy mouthfeel.

This was a great beer fresh as well as a great beer with some age. Similar to the cherry rye only a bit better IMO.

Photo of ehammond1
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, MrVonZipper!

(Aged for 1.5 years)

Dark black motor oil pour with a minimal dark brown, but somewhat persistent head. This doesn't leave much in the way of lace, but at this high of an ABV, that really isn't too shocking. Near perfect for the style.

Deep, rich base of chocolate and mild bourbon, but the berry fruit character is definitely present adding a mildly sweet and juicy presence.

The fruit is more present in the flavor than in the aroma, and it's a welcome addition to one of my favorite base beer's ever. Complementary, juicy blackberry and raspberry stands firmly against the layers of chocolate, oak, and mild vanilla character from the base beer. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden.

Full, creamy body. Low carbonation, but somewhat sticky and chewy as well. Grand. Decadent. Perfect. Goose Island dials it in, again.

A fantastic variant, and glad to take my time with a bottle. Granted, I still prefer the base beer; admittedly, I prefer the base beer to most everything.

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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

Drank this at the July 4th weekend, Sonnen/Silva II, disc golf & pool party extravaganza this summer.

Pours out like most BCS does, black, with a thin head. Aroma, the good blend and balance of heavy roasted malt, bourbon barrels, and a surprisingly present blackberry presence. Good job guys.

Drinks like heaven. The berries really make the beer less bourbony, thins it out just a bit to make it more drinkable. Don't let it fool you that it isn't a massive beer though, there's way more alcohol in this than you can taste. A little sweeter than just blackberries, maybe there was raspberries in this too, or boysenberries, they always have something berry wise going on in Oregon. It can be a rather bipolar beer at times, sometimes the fruityness and high sweetness hits you, other times, your teeth are gritting with burnt malt between it, others, its like you're still sipping fine bourbon. Then you can kind of get the meld of chocolate raspberry cake drizzled in BCS. That's when its best. Carbonation seemed a tad higher, which went well with this variety. A moderate amount of wood still comes through.

If you like your dark chocolate with blackberries and bourbon, you should love this beer. I did.

Photo of jtladner
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev -7.8%

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Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
96 out of 100 based on 882 ratings.