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

896 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 896
Reviews: 180
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 793
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 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

Photo of justforrazors
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tasted blind at a horizontal including Vanilla, Rare, Cherry Rye, Bramble Rye, Coffee '12 and an '09 Bomber. Poured into a snifter at approx 55 degrees. Reviewed from blind tasting notes. Tasted 2/6, with vanilla in front.

A- Pours like most of the bourbon county variants. No head whatsoever, appears thick with some alcohol legs. No detectable carbonation.

S- You can smell a syrupy quality right as well, slightly medicinal mixed with fruit. In addition, some barrel cuts through and mixes with the syrup as well as some chocolate and bourbon.

T- Fruit, notably raspberry. Some barrel characteristics as well as some port-like quality. Syrupy with some tartness from the raspberry. Not as much barrel character as the previous variant.

M- A little bit thinner than the vanilla, but obviously still extremely thick, and some tannins from the barrel.

O- Decent, but nothing to bust your butt trying to trade for. Tons of fruit character, which is nice, although I prefer the regular old BCBS more. This was correctly identified by everyone at the tasting, and rated 5/6.

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 Philly82785
4.59/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Darkness Snifter

A: Pours a thick black color, dark tan head that recedes quickly

S: Dark chocolate notes, some oak, & relatively strong raspberry notes.

T: Chocolate raspberry (fruit), the chocolate fade rather quickly. Although it was a Bourbon County is had almost zero bourbon taste.

M: Thick & smooth on the palate, with a subtle carbonation that provides some structure. The bourbon was almost non existent.

O: Pretty good. I've heard so the raspberry was over the top and too strong. So I wanted to let it age a couple years, it wasn't disappointing. The fruit dominated this beer. It was good but it wasn't anything like a typical BCBS.

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 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.

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 Brabander
3.94/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer at the Zeebra Extreme Beerfestival in Holland on may 4th 2013. Zeebra was held for the first time with lots of very very very great beers like this one. As a matter of fact all the BCBS beers were there....

This one was poured in a Zeebra glass, a small tasting glass. To be honest this beer was quit normal, i expected way more quality when i look at the others in this family.

No head and no carbonation. The bramble notes were far away noticable and the whole was under influence of the bourbon taste. Pity cause this beer could have been made much better. Glad to have it though because i love the Goose Island beers...

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 pmarlowe
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Tulip glass.

A: Pours a dense, thick black with a little cola-like fizzy, sand-colored head which recedes quickly to a ring. Good retention for the head that there is. No lacing.

S: Dark chocolate-covered fruit, some oak, more cocoa, and a hint of spirits. Pretty subdued aroma.

T: Fruity chocolate (blackberry, raspberry), with the fruit giving some mild-moderate brightness on the palate, a little cola. Moathcoating chocolate on the quick finish. The fruit tastes like actual fruit, not at all artificial.

M: Full, thick, mouthcoating body, smooth and velvety on the palate, with a mild carbonation that provides some structure. Significantly less boozy than a comparable vintage BCBS.

O: Not half bad. I've heard so many mixed opinions on this beer that my expectations weren't especially high. The fruit dominates the usual BCBS flavors, not in a bad way necessarily. Overall, it's pretty mellow compared to fresh BCBS.

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 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 Thehuntmaster
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle 12,7% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
Bottled on: 12/10/11
Bottle number: 1113

Thanks to futura123 for this one.

Appearance: Hmmm, something doesn't seem quite right here - the bottle says Bourbon County Brand Stout, but a vigorous pour generated a good sized dark tan coloured head that did not fizz away instantly and even left some lacing! I guess I could attribute this irregularity to the brambles... The body is back to what I expect from a Bourbon County variant - thick and viscous and pitch black in the glass.

Smell: Ah man, this smells fantastic. The initial nose seems to consist of almost entirely dark jammy berries (reminiscent of youngberry jam), with a hint of tarter fresh berries and a little barrel character also evident. As the beer begins to warm, more of the barrel character becomes apparent, alongside sweet dark caramel, a little fudgy chocolate and a hint of coffee. I have not had rye whiskey before, but the barrel character reminds me of a spicier bourbon and is good enough for me to want to go out and find some rye whiskey! As the beer reaches room temperature, a little alcohol is noted along with some molasses, raisins, a touch of liquorice and a light fruity note that reminds me of the black wine gums.

Taste: Sadly the flavour doesn't quite deliver the deliciousness that the nose promised. The berries dominate the flavour, but this time the tarter fresh berry character is almost as prevalent as the sweet jammy character and this seems to clash with stout and barrel character. Flavour notes include: Sweet Jammy berries, fresh berries, caramel, vanilla, spicy rye whiskey, molasses, raisins and some liquorice.

Mouthfeel: The body is not quite as full as the regular BCBS being a medium-full, but it still retains some of the stickiness. the carbonation is initially too high for my tastes (just over a medium level), but it settles down over the course of the bottle.

Overall: I absolutely loved the nose on this, but felt the flavour needed a little more from the base beer and a little more sweetness in the berry notes in order to match the nose. That said, it is still a delicious beer and one I would have again.

Photo of yamar68
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an inky black coffee with barely a collar of chocolate brown carbonation that leaves sheets of booze oil. The second pour shows a half finger of that same brown head, fading instantaneously.

Incredibly smooth blend of fudge brownie and red berries, vanilla syrup, cocoa bean... bourbon is mellow and perfectly in line with the rest of the beer.

Wow. Sweet berries on the verge of tartness play against sweet whiskey flavors - an incredible sense of balance. Tangy blackberry has a constant presence on the back end of the palate. The sweet spot is right in the middle though where every corner of the deceivingly complex beer comes together - overripe seeded berries, fudge brownie, smooth bourbon, mild caramel presence. The spice of the rye struggles to find its footing but still provides an interesting twist with the tart fruit contribution.

I wish I could have sampled this one fresh, the fruit is gorgeous right where it is though - not too sweet, complimenting every aspect of those classic Bourbon County flavors in every way. The rye is understated but I can't see how it would provide any further improvement than it does here.

Delicious.

Photo of NorthsideFred
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm enjoying bottle #0953 dated 12/10/11. I haven't posted a review in a long time, but this beer pulled me back in.

Let me start by saying I'm biased. I have raspberry and blackberry bushes in my yard.

A: This looks great. It poured pitch-black with a perfect-looking, dark-brown head.

S: Raspberries dominate, some chocolate and vanilla follow. The rye is muted.

T: I really like this. It tastes like a warm, flourless, chocolate cake with a little vanilla ice cream, and of course... raspberry sauce drizzled over it.

M: This is full-bodied creamy goodness.

O: I wish there was more rye, but overall - I really enjoyed this.

Photo of oline73
3.54/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

A: Not as thick as I would have liked. The color is black and the bubbles are large.

S: Seems a bit off. Raspberries and a hint of vanilla. There is a dark sour note here too.

T: Better than the smell but not by much. Raspberries show up but there isn't much rye. The roast, bourbon, and fruit seem to be fighting.

M: the body is too thin with large bubbles. The finish is really dry.

O: not nearly as good as the cherry. Never really came together.

Photo of rmcnealy
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Was supposed to save this one for an upcoming tasting.... oops. Needless to say, ISO: Bramble! lol

Poured a dark, non-translucent black that with a close inspection of the ring around the glass, appears to potentially be a dark burgundy or even brown color. Produced a small, energized dark mocha color finger depth head that was quickly reduced to nothing. A year later, the dark berryness is very prevalent... extremely prevalent. The base bourbon brew is only hinted in the aromas. The tastes are great. It has a sweetness that is very fulfilling. It is quite balanced with a strong berry front that tapers to more of a charred roast, faint whiskey heat finish. Everything comes together on this one. I'm curious to see if another year would mellow out the berries to perfection as they may be just a bit too obvious, still a year later. Definitely a great variant although I believe the coffee variety may be a bit better.

Cheers!

Photo of Gobzilla
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a dark as night black in color with a half finger worth of dark brown head that left a little bit of bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: plenty of chocolate sweetness present on the first whiff with nice roastiness, definitely could spot out the raspberries and blackberries all up in the mix but not so much the rye. It did have some booze heat with molasses toffee sweetness as well.

T: the raspberries and blackberries were more pronounced on the palate alongside that chocolatey goodness, a good amount of booze heat, toffee, molasses, and vanilla sweetness and nice roasty character but with a touch of underlying rye.

M: the brew was full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a roasty, sweet, semi fruity, mild boozy, rich and chewy finish.

O: very well done variation of BCBS which had very nice berry flavors and delicious sweet character. Glad I got to try it.

Photo of kscaldef
3.97/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a noticeable red tinge and no head. Blackberry stands out sharply in the nose, dominating any barrel or malt notes. Taste is blackberry juice. It's pretty amazing how the base beer falls away under this assault of delicious fruit. Low carbonation, long linger. Drinking great.

Photo of greenmonstah
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle from 12/10/2011

A - Black as midnight with a nice brown wisp of head. Looks like any BCBS

S - Incredible aroma of berries; raspberries and blackberries both. Slightest touch of rye, plus molasses.

T - Matches the nose but with more of the BCBS flavors with some chocolate and vanilla to go with the berries and molasses. Wonderful.

M - Full body and a bit sticky. Appropriate for the style and matches the flavor profile well. Lingering.

O - Another ace. I've never had a Bourbon County that didn't amaze me. Glad to have tried this wonderful beer.

Photo of Florida9
3.97/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark. Appears black in the glass, but a bit of translucency shows it to be very dark brown. No head. No lacing.

S: Aroma is if dark roasted malts. There is a moderate sweetness and some raspberry jam. It is a very berry forward aroma.

T: Moderately sweet. Raspberry, dark malts, molasses, a hint of chocolate, more berry, and something like cherry syrup.

M: full bodied. Lower carbonation. Sweet, but not cloying.

O: I've got to say, this beer has aged very well is no longer the sweet, cloying cough-syrup of a mess it once was.

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

Poured into snifter

Appearance: Black as I remember BCBS is. Really no head to speak of and no light penetration at all.

Smell: This to me is out of this world with the BCBS backbone and then the berry aspect adds to its depth. I actually get what I can describe as the raspberry seeds. That is how in depth the berry profile is here. There is the BCBS bourbon and chocolate and then the berry comes through. Its as if I'm smelling chocolate coated raspberries. Awesome!

Taste: Just a outstanding chocolate coated berry tasting beer. Raspberry and blackberry takes center stage with the bourbon and chocolate prevalent, too. This is just a perfect mixture of flavors but one that is very sweet.

Mouthfeel: Well what can be expected from Goose Island other than the perfect feel? Full bodied beer with a slight burn of alcohol but enjoyable. Coates every corner of my mouth with it's big sweet bourbon berry goodness. This is most definitely a sipper for sure and IMO must be shared.

Overall: This is my first time enjoying this beer and I can say wow! What an indulgent dessert beer this is. I have read that some didn't enjoy this but I'm not one of them. This is simply outstanding!

Photo of Scotchboy
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dec 2011 bottling, courtesy of Will (much thanks man!)...22oz bomber poured into a Hair of the Dog snifter...

A: Dark, ominous pour yields a ton of dark chocolate-brown head but it fizzles quickly away...alcohol legs but no lace really.

S: Jammy whiskey, and a bit of booze that calms the more it warms...rye, spice, sweet alcohol, and tons of berries. Basically, BCBS with a side of homemade blackberry & raspberry jam on a slice of fresh rye.

T: Follows the nose, definitely does remind me of normal BCBS with berries...sharp fruity & spicy alcohol finish that is more vinous than beer-like. Chocolate, jammy fruit notes, maybe some earthy oak tones and coffee notes too...still a bit hot, but pretty manageable.

MF: Alcohol thins the feel a bit, it is a fuller viscous medium body with a bitter and dryish finish.

O: Pleasant, not as good as I remember the taster I had a year ago being, but a lot of fun as a sipper.

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.

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