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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

848 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 848
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 752
Gots: 326 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Imperial Stout aged in Heaven Hill rye whiskey barrels with raspberries & blackberries.

(Beer added by: Khazadum on 02-03-2012)
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Ratings: 848 | Reviews: 170 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
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
4.2/5  rDev -3%
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 +9.7%

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
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
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of jjfancybeers
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of jlindros
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really wanted to try this beer, glad I got a chance to.

Pours a darker chocolate brown fizzy head that fades pretty quickly, almost as if the beer itself is consuming the head, and after a few seconds there is nothing left of the head except this sentence reminding me that there was one. The beer is a pitch jet black color with no light escaping its grasp, and some legs running down the sides of the glass as I swirl, a nice hypnotizing legging.

Nose... holy shit awesome, if that's a not a real descriptor it should be. It brings some of the normal bourbon county stout, with a big dark malty base, some roasted malts, a decent chocolate kick with baker's, dark, semi sweet, and even a bit of powdered cocoa. Then vanilla smoothness and some malty richness, and slight caramelized aromas. The big difference is the pure awesome raspberry aroma, amazingly awesome raspberry and blackberry aromas, fresh, but mostly chocolate covered, like having one of those dark chocolate fountains at a wedding but using raspberries and blackberries to dip init. The deeper I go and the more it warms some nice barrel aromas waft out, this one brings that woody and bourbon like aromas that really bring me back to sampling bourbon in the rickhouses in KY, and brings a light whisky like aroma, not really bourbon, but more of a whisky, at this point I can't tell it's rye though.

Taste is lush and creammm.... oh man its good, again a nice big Bourbon County Stout flavor with pure awesome berries. Dark chocolate malts, some roast that kicks in with a nice big roasty flavor and hints at wanting to be burnt and acrid but doesn't, it just teases my mind thinking it will get over roasty. How the hell do they do it? The chocolate brings a nice baker's chocolate, some light dark chocolate, and even hot cocoa with milk, and even a bit of caramel and some coffee syrup. It's fairly think and a bit syrupy but that's expected for how big the beer is. The berry comes out nice too, like fresh blended raspberry and blackberry, and pure berry essence, with a nice big juicy fruit flavor. It comes out more than I expected it to cut through the beer considering how big the beer already is. It adds a really nice touch to the stout. There is also the whisky, again can't really pick out the rye, but there is a nice whisky flavor, with a bit more barrel and wooden shelf, and again gives me that sampling whisky in a rickhouse sensation. A bit of warming booze kicks in as well, esp as I swirl it more and more, but nothing near 12.7%. The legs I mentioned originally that swirled around the glass also swirl around my mouth and linger for hours and make a nice bit layer around my mouth that keeps me from tasting anything else for quite a while. This lingers on the finish as expected, with a bit of bitterness from the roast and dark malts, maybe hints of hops but i can't taste them, with plenty of dark malts, chocolate, and vanilla barrel lingering, and more importantly the awesome berry flavor sticks around with all that for quite a while. The booze is long gone as well.

Mouth is big bodied, legs that fill my mouth with thick beer and coat everything, a bit syrup, and just enough warming booze to let you know it's a big beer. The carbonation is surprisingly good as well. As I keep sipping and swirling the tingly booze finally starts to hypnotize my tongue with a light tingly feel, and like it's being absorbed through it and even tickles it.

Overall I don't think I even need to say more. The only way they could have improved the BCS was with the berry flavors. This is just soooo delicious, a huge beer that hides the booze well and drinks amazingly smooth all things considered. the berry cuts through quite a bit and really gives you the great chocolate and dark malts syrupy awesome covered berry.

Photo of eorwar
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Sean9689
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours black, light mocha-colored head, wisps.

S - Very fruit-forward, huge fruity sweetness, syrup, booze-forward alcohol, light oak, and a hint of the base beer. Pretty much just fruity and boozy, with the base beer taking a back seat.

T - Again, lots of fruity and booze, and barley any BCBS in there, if at all. That said, I do enjoy this for what it is and what Goose is trying to do. The berries are pretty dominant right now, but I think this could use some age for it to settle down and smooth out a bit. Finish is fruits and booze, and that's about it.

M - Full, rich and smooth, good carbonation, creamy finish.

O - I pretty much knew how this one was going to go, so I wasn't all the surprised by how this tasted. It cannot be compared to any other BCBS variant, so I can't really let this one go up against the base beer or any variant. It's a cool beer on it's own, but it needs some time to smooth out and lose some of the fruity sweetness.

Photo of thewimperoo
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of awdturboiv
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of Siggy125
3.25/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into taster glasses at a share. Deep black in color with reddish purple highlights along the outer edges of the glass. The berry color characteristics definitely visible. Low levels of carbonation with off white foam that fell off quickly with no lacing.

Fresh berries on the nose with typical stout malts present. Traces of dried fruit and burnt sugars and roasted malts.

The taste is powerful raspberry and blackberry right up front. A little sweet but not cloying to me. My palate is searching for the typical Bourbon County whiskey presence and I can't find it. The berries are dominant. Other flavors include dried fruits, bread dough, burnt sugars, roasted malts. Low levels of hop bitterness. As it warms, the bourbon whiskey makes a weak appearance and melds strangely with the berries. Almost like a fruity soap. I'm a bit disappointed.

The mouthfeel is a bit weaker than I expected. A solid flavored stout but it left me a little short and I don't believe this one will be highly sought after over time like its big brothers. GI would've been better off marketing this as just a berry stout rather than attempting to include it in the very successful Bourbon County family of stouts. I'm glad I got to try it I recommend you do the same if you have the opportunity. But I won't be going out of my way to obtain more.

Photo of emerge077
3.58/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dan for sharing this one, happy birthday buddy.

Pours into a snifter like any other BCS variant, black body with tobacco stained edges. Scant lacing around the edges, a feeble swirl of skim on the surface.

Jammy fruit dominates the aroma, some mild stouty roast peeks through, but just barely. Its a bit more subdued and less complex than BCS and other iterations.

Indistinct sweet fruit dominates the taste, flirting with becoming artificial/medicinal. Some mild chocolate, vanilla and mellow stout flavors linger beneath. Sweet and jammy fruit lingers, creamy full bodied feel, mellow carbonation.

Not one i'd pick up considering the price and overt one dimensional sweetness and cloying fruit. It isn't as successful as other BCS treatments. Give me Bourbon County instead any day of the week.

Photo of clarkw42
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of birchstick
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jckp64 for the bottle share!

A - pours black, syrupy and viscous out of the bottle. Typical chocolaty bcbs style head on it

S - the nose is bourbon, vanilla, charred caramel, and lots of berries

T - starts off with sweet berries up front that are ushered aside by some vanilla flavors. The berries come back with an explosion of tart, vibrant black berries mixed with raspberries. Hot rye spiciness comes through on the finish. This is a really nice take on the bcbs series. The rye imparted more vanilla than the regular version; the chocolate flavors that I love in the regular version were masked by the explosive berry flavors, not that I'm complaining.

M - medium mouthfeel with good carbonation

D - Another solid bcbs variant. The berries really pop on this one - I would recommend drinking this ASAP in order to maximize the fruits in it. Really enjoyed this take on the bcbs and I look forward to meeting it again soon.

Photo of sweemzander
4.71/5  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 sgoro
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of omfgroflcopter
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of seeswo
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of atoulouk
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of DavidEddie
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of jeffoatess
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of kawilliams81
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- Pours black with a 1 finger cola head and lacing resides immediately. Slight purple/pink ring is apparent around the top of the beer.

S- BCBS with raspberries.

T- Sweet and than more tart raspberries, followed by roasted malts and coffee, bourbon and some faint vanilla.

M- Full body and the alcohol is hidden very well for a nearly 13% beer.

O- Pretty much what you would expect from the description: BCBS with raspberries. Good beer but not the best BCBS variant by any means.

Photo of Treebs
3.58/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle served in a CBS snifter. Bottle on 12/10/11 with a 1116 after the date.

A: Pours a jet black with a one finger dark mocha head forming on the pour. It subsides quickly to a thin collar and leaves some legs behind. The stick is there, but no lace.

S: Upfront there is the solid barrel smell. Rye whiskey and the booze are more present up front than the regular and Coffee of this year. The oak is very much present as well and there is an odd fruity sweetness on the backend, but it's not as pronounce as I would have imagined. There is a slight spice from rye lingering in there.

T: The bramble fruit really comes into play in the taste. There is an underlying tartness and sweetness from the fruit. I'm getting the darker fruits for sure, mainly black berries. After having a desert with raspberries last night I really can't get much of it. There is a slight cherry cough syrup flavor in the middle that lingers in the background throughout the finish, but the barrel comes through in the end to remind you it's still Bourbon County. Slight roast with a caramel and vanilla sweetness and a minimal chocolate. The rye whiskey gives a slight spice to the finish that prickles the tongue a bit.

M: A touch too thin on the body for my liking, but the body is creamy and sticky all the same. Carbonation is low as usual to allow the stick across the palate. The alcohol is noticeable more so than the other variants of this year.

O: Well....it's ok. I'm not one to like hops or fruit flavors in my darker beer and this one, at the moment, doesn't do it for me. It's still a very solid and above average BA beer, but at the moment the jammy fruit flavors are a little much for me.

Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
96 out of 100 based on 848 ratings.