1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.

868 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 868
Reviews: 174
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 761
Gots: 328 | FT: 11
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.
View: Beers (211) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 868 | Reviews: 174 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ruger44
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of dudemuskie
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of mconz
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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 ryanpj
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of cosmonick
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of theminutemen
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of zep9865
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed with aasher 2/28. Poured into Aecht Schlenferla snifter. Pours jet black with a ruby-mocha foam head.

Smells like bourbon county stout. Milk chocolate, toffee, vanilla and a little bourbon. The raspberry is slightly detectable and drowns out the booze a little bit

Front palate is vanilla and toffee but raspberry jam immediately takes over with very nice, bright acidity. This is a zinfandel lover's delight.

The fruit is so pure, but well integrated with the rest of the beer. It makes you think about jim beam red stag, and how much it sucks, and how this beer is such a great representation of fruit and bourbon.

This beer is so well balanced. Borderline fruit forward, and i love it for that.

Will drink this ne time, even if i catch a good enough buzz to pay an obnoxious price

Photo of aasher
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle split with Kyle (zep9865).

This beer pours an oily and viscous black, indicative of any Bourbon County. It smells of sweet and bitter blackberry seeds witha touch of vanilla and coffee. The blackberry seeds are predominant. The beer itself is very jammy and like a dream come true. It is full of blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry is is both syrupy and complex. It's interesting nonetheless. The fruit is all over the place on the palate. The flavors are the jammy I like added with Bourbon County. This beer is tremendous. This beer was hard to find locally but this beer is a gem seek it out. This variant was delicious.

Photo of DCon
4.06/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a 650 ML-1 PINT 6 FL OZ bottle @ Hair of the Dog in St. Louis, MO w/ STLWill for $14. Poured from the Marroon/Purple Color labeled bottle into a 12oz Tulip Glass. Has BOTTLED ON: 12/10/11 1101 on the side of the label.

Aroma- This aroma is very strong with booze and power and has tons of fruit but can't specify any of them...

Appearance- Pours a .5 finger, light tan head that dies. The body is dark brown with ruby red looking highlights. Very motor oil like. Leaves suds behind.

Flavor- Has a nice bourbon and light whisky background from the beginning. Very rich and thick like oil to the lips. A berry flavor comes out towards the middle of the drink and then finishes it off. Medium Bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Light Carbonation, Smooth, Heavy, and Has a great berry finish!

Overall Impression- A very nice addition to the Bourbon County team! I enjoyed this one but wasn't crazy about the nose on it... The berries barley crept though in the drink. Enjoyed and would definitely go back for this again with a friend.

Photo of Beezee
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of Dope
4.02/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black with a small but dense chocolate brown head. Fades away quickly. Almost no lacing.

S: Wonderfully strong whiskey up front, mixed with the big roasted malt character. Lots of char, chocolate, coffee, molasses, caramel and oak. No noticeable fruit in the nose.

T: Up front, lots of spicy whiskey and roasted malt just like the nose. There is some chocolate but just a touch of coffee. There is an obvious rasp/blackberry taste that subtlety mixes in in the beginning, and then gets stronger and more tart as the roasted malt fades. Lingers nicely in the aftertaste. Berries get stronger as the beer warms.

M: Big, heavy and smooth.

O: Quite tasty, the raspberries/blackberries add an interesting complexity. A little bit of spicy rye from the whiskey adds another component. Having said that, despite the extra complexity, it just doesn't mingle as well as you would think. Overall I prefer the base beer. It's simpler but smoother and melds together perfectly. This is definitely worth trying though, just for the uniqueness alone.

Photo of ShanePB
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle
Served in a tulip glass

A: Dark black body with reddish/dark brown hues around the top edges. Medium brown bubbly head settles out quite quickly and leaves minor lacing behind (almost none). A thin layer of tiny bubbles form a ring around the wall.

S: Chocolate, ripe red berries, raspberry, blackberry, oak, whiskey and salty caramel notes towards the end. Certainly has the boozy element like the base beer does but it appears like it's going to hide it well with all the other rich flavors.

T: Lots of semi-sweet dark chocolate followed by a quick tartness from the berries that changes into a nice sweetness. The whiskey comes in right after to help smooth things over, along with plenty of wood/barrel too. It's incredibly complex and layered, very tasty.

M: A little thin but not too bad. Medium-bodied and extremely smooth on the palate. Finishes a bit sweet with a nice cut.

I was quite happy with this variety of BCBS. You still get all the great qualities the base beer has, and the added fruits make this one really a stellar drink. The boozy whiskey and tart fruits play very well off each other - a lot better than I thought they would. Quite a nice sipper.

Photo of dlello2
3.86/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 22oz bottle into a snifter. Shared with 5 others.

A - not quite as thick as other bcbs varients. Some redish hues. Thin layer of head.

S - Not much going on here. I guess I was expecting more considering how in-your-face the smell from the bourbon county coffee was. I get whiskey, some sweetness, alcohol.

T - Taste is better than the smell for sure. Chocolate berries is the most dominant flavor. Tart and then super sweet. Alcohol is well hidden. Better than I expected--not quite sickly sweet. Wish I was getting more rye.

M - Oily and thick. Not as carbonated as I'd have liked. Really coats the mouth. Definitely feel something like tannins on the swallow.

O - I had expected to be majorly let down with this beer but was overall pretty happy with it.

Photo of Travisnin
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of MordorMongo
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of pigc
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch black with one finger tan head.

S - Bourbon, toffee, caramel, raspberries.

T - Tart raspberries right up front followed by the bourbon. Some vanilla, rye and toffee in there as well.

M - Medium to heavy oily mouthfeel. Perfect for the style.

O - This version is very interesting. Tartness from the raspberry and blackberries makes your mouth almost pucker and then the sweetness of the bourbon and rye set in to transition to the sweet side. Really enjoyable and an interesting twist to the bourbon county series.

Photo of siege06nd
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. About like any other BCBS variant I've enjoyed: pitch black, cream colored head, spotty lacing. This specific variant seems to have less head than the others. Still looks good.

S. Smells much like regular BCBS, with hints of sweetness and zest that are likely related to the rye whiskey barrels. I get dark fruit, vanilla, caramel, whiskey. As it warms, the raspberries become more apparent. But not much different from the regular version. Which is to say it smells incredible.

T. Loads of brownie batter, vanilla, and rapsberry and dark fruit. The finish is a little puckering and rather boozy. The rye barrels bring a lot of spice and heat to this. Im digging this.

M. Full bodied, decadent and cloying. Barrel treatment is a little too heavy on the finish. Overall, though, a well balanced beer.

O. This was much better than expected after reading initial reviews. Essentially, this is regular BCBS with just fruity sweetness and acidity on the finish. The different barrels also lend a little more octane to this. Probably needs some age to settle down, but I think this is quite good.

Photo of largadeer
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to eorwar for the bottle.

Pours a deep dark brown with a crusty tan head that dissipates quickly. The edges of the beer have a slight ruby tint, the only visual indication that this is any different from regular BCBS.

The nose is surprisingly mild, especially considering that other BCBS variations tend to be so huge aromatically. The fruit is very forward, with a fairly even mix of raspberries and blackberries. The fruit character is largely sweet with a bit of tartness lending some balance. There's also some noticeable alcohol here, along with even more sweetness from the barrel and the chocolatey, roasty base beer.

Initially it comes off as a bit muddled on the palate, with sweet and lightly tart berry flavors at the forefront, supported by a big chocolate malt foundation. It's a rather sweet beer, moreso than the other BCBS variants. The barrel is faint, seemingly contributing more raw booziness than actual flavor. There's nothing that really screams rye whiskey here, but the barrel does come out more as the beer warms, and not necessarily in a good way. The mouthfeel is fine, perhaps on the thin side next to other versions of BCBS, but that's not a huge drawback to me. The swallow brings some astringency, from alcohol and something else lending a tannic bite, fruit seeds perhaps? This washes away in the finish, which is mildly roasty and oaky, but surprisingly mild overall.

This beer sounded great to me on paper, and while it is enjoyable, it didn't live up to my expectations or to the high standards of the Bourbon County series. Nonetheless, it's a good beer and worth trying.

Photo of bertram
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark and thick, as expected from a Bourbon County Brand Stout...but the similarities kinda end there.

The smell is dominated by the berries, which isn't a bad thing. I'd say the raspberries seem more prominent here than the blackberries, but really, it's not easy to determine.

The taste follows the smell - berries dominate, with very little appearance from the whiskey. I'm okay with this, since I'm not a huge fan of rye whiskey.

The mouthfeel seems to be a bit thinner than a typical BCBS - again, not a bad thing, just different than the other varieties.

Overall, this is an interesting twist on the brand from Goose Island. I was expecting more of the whiskey to come through, but instead berries dominate start-to-finish here. I'd love to see a version done in the standard bourbon barrels, but for now I'm glad to have tried this fresh and will revisit another bottle in a year or two to see how it ages.

Photo of jacewg
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quick riff review, drank this last night when the site was down.

Pours like the rest of the BCS family- dark dark brown bordering on black with a lovely brown sugar head that is slow to settle.

Aromatics are dynamite- the berries jump out from the second you uncap the beer. The whiskey notes are strong, too.

The beer is sweet and tart. Very jamm-y berry notes. I dig it. A big wave of dark roast comes and sweeps the tartness away, leaving a pleasing light fruity finish. The whiskey is present throughout.

A bit hot, but I knew it would be going in. The BCS series, IMO, thrives on the alcohol heat and flavor.

The tartness and sweetness seems to be throwing some people off, but it was right in my wheelhouse. A very enjoyable beer.

Photo of davey101
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/10/2011, 22 oz bomber into a snifter. #1000

A - Pitch black body with a fading dark khaki head. Looks very similar to standard BCBS and it's other variants, with maybe just a slightly thinner body.

S - Very raspberry forward leading to some slightly muted BCBS notes. Oak, vanilla, chocolate, and coffee. Its all there but rather obscured. Blueberries are hardly noticeable but the raspberry is very fresh. I've heard people describe it as raspberry jam, and that's exactly what it smells like.

T - Strong raspberries, almost bitter which stays all the way through the finish. The fruit is fresh tasting but a bit too dominant. There are some nice notes of cocoa, coffee, vanilla, and whiskey. I can't detect any rye spice at all.

M - Mouth feel is a tad lighter than the standard BCBS, but still viscous and coating. Alcohol is not noticeable.

O - A very good fruit infused stout. It doesn't do the base beer justice as some of the flavors and aromas that make that beer so great are muted and overpowered by the fruit. Another gripe is the fact that the blueberries and rye whiskey is nonexistent in aroma and taste. Oh well, its still a delicious and decadent stout. Hopefully age can mellow out the raspberries a bit.

Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
96 out of 100 based on 868 ratings.