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

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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

896 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 896
Reviews: 180
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 794
Gots: 336 | FT: 13
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: 896 | Reviews: 180
Photo of 4amepiphany
4.99/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love BCS. I love dark fruits. This was my first BCS variant that I tried, and damn, this was good.

A: Typical BCS. Dark. Thin, thin head which disappears with the quicks. Love giving it a swirl or three.

S: Dark berries. BCS.

T: The berries and BCS begin to have a playdate on my palate. I let it soak into my tongue and the berries stay on it the whole way. A wonderful blend!

M: Sticky, chewy, like BCS should be.

Only Cherry Rye tops this for me, but I love cherries.

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 hopswap1
4.94/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Whoa. Had during a full bourbon county variant tasting. The fruit really shines in this beer. The berries give it a slight tart flavor that I loved. The smell was probably the best part of the beer. Super Jammy. Just a step below Rare and much better than the rest of the lineup.

Photo of dbc5
4.9/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Don't have time for full review, but this one is simply too good to rate as a 4.75 "had." The complexity of raspberry and rye whiskey slowly integrates with a dark chocolate and vanilla making for one of the best stout drinking experiences I have ever had. Amazing beer.

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 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 Damian
4.82/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 650 ml - 1 pint 6 fl oz bottle purchased at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, Cambridge, MA
Bottled on: 12/10/11
Served in a snifter

The liquid poured onyx black with dark brown highlights. Shiny and viscous like motor oil. A one-finger head of bubbly, cocoa colored froth topped the liquid. Upon closer examination, there was a slight crimson hue to the head. Within seconds, the fluffy mass faded to a thin ring.

The aroma was simply astounding. Quite similar to the standard Bourbon County Brand Stout, but with added raspberry notes. Super rich, boozy and bourbon-y. Lots of brown sugar and molasses-like sweetness. Strong raisin notes. Big roasted malt presence. French roast coffee came through as well.

The taste was similar to the nose. Strong roasted malt notes on the front end. Tons of bourbon flavor. Compared to the other Bourbon County Brand beers, however, the alcohol was surprisingly subdued. Rich, brown sugar notes. Some raisins and dark fruits. Good amount of raspberry flavor. The berries turned the beer slightly acidic and tart. Espresso notes appeared on the back end. The finish was rich, roasty and slightly bitter. Moderately boozy. The sweet/tart berry notes made a final appearance that lingered on my palate.

The mouthfeel was heavier bodied for the style, yet slightly thinner than other Bourbon County Brand variants. Dense and creamy on the palate. Silky smooth and slick with a fine, mild effervescence.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer. Although not as mind-blowingly delicious as the Rare and the Coffee Bourbon County Brand offerings, it is still an outstanding addition to the Bourbon County Brand lineup. While many reviewers noted that this beer was cloyingly sweet and far too berry forward when fresh, it seemed that the nine months of age I put on my bottle did wonders for it. With its pleasant berry flavor, slight acidity and surprisingly subdued alcohol presence, this is drinking perfectly right now.

Photo of KaeF
4.79/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Great fruity smell, combined with chocolate and coffe. You can really taste the fruit in this beer, which goes perfectly with the rest of the taste. Great beer!

Photo of YouSkeete
4.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jet black with a ruby hue. Very short mocha colored head with weak retention. Aroma of thick molasses, blackberries, fresh raspberries, rich coffee and milk chocolate. Lots of robust brown sugar and fruits. First sip is an extra sour berry-bite with smooth, rich undertones of molasses, brown sugared citrus flavors and milk chocolate. Mild tones of cherries, vanilla, smoked wood and bourbon. Creamy, rich, complex mouthfeel with light carbonation. Smooth, sour berry, boozy finish. Unbelievable brew.

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 rudzud
4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to bpk59 for sharing.

A - Poured into a standard pint glass a dark chocolate with garnet edges. There was a light purplish mocha head that faded to leave a light halo.

S - Wow. Just wow. Huge bourbon notes with chocolate with maybe some coconut and wood. Huge raspberry notes chocolate covered raspberries oh my.

T - Sweet zombie Jesus I want this in my body. Big raspberry notes and chocolate. Great smooth bourbon. Woody earth notes bright raspberry juice. Delicious.

M - Nice and thick and boozy. Very tasty and each flavorful sip makes me want more.

O - Overall I really really love this beer. Like...why can't I have this yearly?! Want to savour this but I can't its just too enjoyable. Buy this beer whenever you can!!

Photo of ngeunit1
4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black color with a thin finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades away fairly quickly leaving behind some light lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of vanilla, oak, Bourbon, rye, roasted chocolate malts, berries, dark fruits, molasses, black licorice, booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of blackberries and raspberries, roasted dark chocolate malts, vanilla, some dark fruits, and a bit of black licorice. Through the middle, the oak, Bourbon, and rye come through with some molasses, and some more sweet berries. The finish is a mix of berries, oak, vanilla, rye, Bourbon, chocolate malts, molasses, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with mild carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Big bold barrel character, but it is balanced very nicely by the body and the berries. Fantastic.

Photo of ChugginOil
4.73/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Super stoked to pop a fresh bottle of this brew.

Bottled on 12/10/11

Pours a viscous, evil, depth-filled black that chug-a-lugs out the bottle. A bit of tan head sits at first and quickly disappears, leaving oily lacing.

The nose is extremely boozy, moreso than the other variants. Underneath the heat lies some oak, tannin, some vanilla and a bit of tart berry.

The taste brings less heat to the table than the nose. Strong dark fruits, cocoa, vanilla, bourbon smack, and just enough sweet and tart berries. Once again, as with all of the Bourbon County variations, this has balance. Not one flavor supercedes the next. The berries are used so nicely here to complement those BCBS flavors we all love.

The mouthfeel is thick, viscous, and thicker than the drool that forms when thinking about this brew. Love the low carbonation levels that work so well for these beers.

Overall, great variation here. The addition of berries adds just enough sweetness with a tad of tartness. The balance of the BCBS brews also impresses me, time and time again. Love it. Hunt it down!

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

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Big thanks to Matt for sharing the bottle!

(A)- Pours a thick pitch black color. Some surprising dark brown froth formed despite the ABV.

(S)- A rich profile. The same classic bourbon county aroma but actually almost heavier in the oak department. Almost port-like with alot more fruits poking through the bourbon.

(T)- Very unique from the norm of what Bourbon County is. The rich backbone is there, but the oaky chocolate covered raspberry/blackberry jam-like body takes the driver seat in this version. Again, one of the most port-like beers I have ever experienced. Just an ever so mild spice in the far background of this that just might be the rye trying to say hello.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level. Very rich with a much much bigger fruit character to it than usual(duh). The fruits really do take on a very unique feel to the classic bourbon county base; almost sweeter with that extremely subtle spice combined with the port-like fruits really makes this different, but in a good way.

(D)- Quite the twist on a classic beer. Very fruit forward with a good oak accent behind it. I am very curious to see what time will do to this; if the fruits will balance out more with the rich chocolatey bourbon base or not, but the way it is now it is very fruit forward. Despite is uniqueness, I quite like it. Far superior to the sample taste I had at FOBAB recently.

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 jegross2
4.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing the Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Brewing Company.

Score: 97

Bottled 12/10/11. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter and enjoyed on 03/02/12. Re-reviewed 04/20/13.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown color with a faint reddish hue. A super thin layer of creamy chocolate brown head at pour is just enough to cap off the top of the beer, and quickly settles into a ring around the glass. Virtually no lacing. 4/5

Smell: Vanilla, maple, milk chocolate, fig, smooth bourbon, sweet red grape and alcohol esters. Sweet and jammy raspberries and blackberries in the nose. The berry elements adds a nice complement to the sweet barrel notes of regular Bourbon County Brand Stout. The aroma is a little boozier than the 2011 Bourbon County Brand Stout. 4.75/5

Taste: A nice blend of sweet, juicy raspberry/blackberry jam mixed with milk chocolate upfront and throughout. The berry flavors are sweet and jammy, and just a touch tart. This beer hits the right contrast balance between the rich, thick and bitterness of the chocolate and the juicy, sweet and acidic flavors of the raspberries/blackberries -- this tastes like an excellently crafted chocolate cake dessert with berry filling. Maple, brown sugar, booze and vanilla on the midpalate rounds out the flavor profile. A very light amount of dry prune/fig on the midpalate too. This is a very sweet beer and a sipper, and it's a little hotter than the 2011 vintage of the regular Bourbon County, but it's still pretty darn tasty. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, light carbonation. Syrupy mouthfeel. Dry and sweet finish. 4.75/5

Overall: Although this beer was the weakest of the Bourbon County Brand Stout variants out of the gate, the jammy berry element has release developed nicely over time and put this one on par, quality wise, with the coffee variant. The berry adds a nice twist to the bourbon-molasses of the standard brew. My big regret with this beer is that I gave up on it too soon and traded too many away without giving them the proper chance to develop in the bottle into something special. This is not a mistake I will repeat with the Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout variant.

Recommendation: Seek this beer out!

Pairings: Dark chocolate cake.

Cost: $15.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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 Grohnke
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(BA / BJCP)

Pours black in an oil-like consistency. Impenetrable to light. Dark caramel color head hangs around just enough to show its beauty.
(5 / 3)

Heavy berry aroma is up front, with supporting moderate caramel, bittersweet bakers chocolate, and roast, all of which are in near perfect harmony. Light oakiness. Light estery fruit. Traces of alcohol. No hop.
(5 / 12)

Sweet berry flavor is in balance with the heavy bakers chocolate and roast flavors. Moderate high molasses sweetness. Bourbon and barrel characteristics are present, but are in much less supporting roles. Spicy alcohol makes its only appearance on the sweet finish. Moderate hop bitterness prevents the beer from becoming cloyingly sweet. Aftertaste is dominated by berries and bakers chocolate.
(4.5 / 19)

Full, thick, chewy body. Medium light carbonation breaks it up well and prevents it from feeling syrupy. Light alcohol warmth. No astringency. High residual sticky malt on my lips.
(5 / 5)

Love the berry showcase, and perfect marriage of other key flavors. The bourbon and barrel characteristics of the base beer are somewhat muted by the berry addition, but it takes on such a new personality that it really doesnt even matter. This beer is phenomenal, and easily my favorite bcbs variation.
(4.5 / 9)

( 4.68 / 48)

Photo of samie85
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a pitch black with two fingers of dark brown head.

Smells of raspberries and blackberries with some light bourbon and vanilla notes.

This is crazy... I love how pronounced the raspberry and blackberry is, yet its balanced by the bourbon and roasted notes.

Thick and low carbonation with a mouth-coating feel and light finish.

The fruit part of this beer kind of lightens the body a little but I really enjoy the balance between the fruit and bourbon on this one.

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 gigaknight
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drunkenly reviewed on 3-27-12, notes loosely translated from the chicken scratch I left on a hotel room notepad.

A- Pours black and viscous with an oily 1/2 finger of dark khaki head which settles into a healthy ring and film rather quickly. Legs already forming.

S- Gives off a luscious nose of dark raisin, plums, oaky vanilla, and brown sugar. Whiffs of alcohol are more reminiscent of sweet rum than whiskey.

T- A rush chocolate-covered blueberry character greets the palate, followed by some juicy raspberry, caraway seed, rye, and some light bourbon musk rounding out the finish. The density and sweetness of the composite flavors are not unlike black forest cake (according to my half-brained scribblings).

M- Medium to full-bodied for the style, with good chew and oiliness. A bit of alcohol dances on the tongue, and the finish lingers just like a big bourbon stout ought to.

O- Another very well balanced entry into the Bourbon County series. I thought I would like this the least of the Vanilla, Coffee, BCBS, and Bramble, but it has turned out to be my second favorite behind the Coffee. The berry notes weren't as bright as I expected them to be, and they played a much more useful supporting role to the bourbon flavors than I would have imagined. Seek this one out if you can, but if you had to choose, I would still give Coffee the highest recommendation.

Photo of pschul4
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into snifter

A- Dark dark black straight from the bottle. Tiny dark brown head that evaporates quickly leaving no lacing. Motor Oil

S- Sweet fresh raspberries hit you right away followed by vanilla bourbon and the background BCBS scents

T- WOW!! Just like the nose, fresh raspberries smack you in the mouth and leave you begging for more. Then comes the bourbon, oh the bourbon. Dear god please let me swim in this beer if/when I get into heaven.

M- Just like every other BCBS it's thick, coating and amazing.

O- Like those dumb commercials I wish I could get paid in BCBS Bramble. I value this more than I value money and behind CBS this is the best liquid ever to grace my lips. I'm jealous for everyone who will drink this in the future

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 gueuzedreg
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 12/10/11 bottle number 1059 into a Crooked Stave snifter.

I am giving this one high regards as my fav variant of bcbs; and I have had them all.

Appearance: Typical dark black/brown but with a crazy purple hugh. Love it. Little more than minimal lacing. One of my favorite looking brews.

Smell: Tons of FRESH blackberry/raspberry (where as Cherry Rye reeked of fake cherry syrup). Berry smell overwhelms the smell of bourbon; which is fn fantastic. Dark chocolate, char fruit in background.

Taste: Again, fresh blackberry/raspberry. I don't even like to eat these in real life; but this is brilliant. Top ten beers I have had. The meld of fruit with rye ba stout is perfect. I will be searching this one out again.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good. This is the lag part of the brew, but at 4.5 it is still great. I score pretty high on beers compared to most ba's. I am getting some following carbonation into my mouth as I take this beast in.

Overall: In sequential order, I have had bcbs, rare, cherry, coffee and now bramble. I heart bramble.

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.

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Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
96 out of 100 based on 896 ratings.