1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

824 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 824
Reviews: 168
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 735
Gots: 327 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 824 | Reviews: 168 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Treebs, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of black13
4/5  rDev -7.6%

black13, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of funkyaudio
5/5  rDev +15.5%

funkyaudio, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of davesway10
4/5  rDev -7.6%

davesway10, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of jhighlandbrewing
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

jhighlandbrewing, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by sbricker. Consumed side-by-side with '09 BCS, '12 BCBCS, BCBVS and Big John.

A - Looks like the other BCS variants, but slightly thinner, with a smaller, and not quite as rich looking, head on it. Still looks nice though.

S - Berries, chocolate, some bourbon. The berrys seem to be mostly raspberries but you pick up some blackberry undertones on the end. Little bit of oak.

T - Heavy on the berries. Lots of fruit with some chocolate thrown in there. It walks a fine line between syrupy berry flavor and cough syrup, so I can see how sometimes people bring that into it. The rye whiskey gives it a interesting twist on the end. As far as taste goes this is not what I was expecting with berries in BCS, quite different beer.

M - Mouthfeel was a bit thin on this one. It wasn't that it was bad, more that you do notice it compared to the other BCS variants.

O - Interesting beer, it's the least like the rest out of the BCS series, and you shouldn't really go into it thinking it's another flavored BCS. I can see why this one is quite polarizing. A bottle to be shared, for certain, good stuff.

AgentZero, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of SIEVS
1/5  rDev -76.9%

SIEVS, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of dbol
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

dbol, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of FullObs
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

FullObs, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of WillCarrera
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, bottle number 1116, bottled on 12/10/11, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours black and oily with some hues of brown and ruby. Produces no head at all, black mirror surface with a few little wisps.

S- Very whiskey forward with a thick berry juiciness behind it, some oak from the barrel.

T- Whiskey up front, followed quickly by syrupy, gooey sweet berries, the raspberry is super powerful, like others have said the blackberry is pretty subtle. Has a chocolatey roasted center. Finishes with a lot of sweetness from the chocolate and berry flavors and a lingering rye whiskey flavor and burn. Some oak from the barrel. Flavors stick around for a pretty long time, I can pick up on some raspberry jam flavor several minutes after taking my most recent sip. It's an extremely sweet beer, the overall effect is a piece of bourbon-soaked chocolate mousse covered in tons of sweet jam.

M- Full-bodied, maybe slightly on the thinner side, moderate alcohol burn.

O- This is a really tasty, fun beer. It didn't blow me out of the water like the BCBCS did, but it's a great beer nonetheless. I would recommend splitting it with a friend, the sweetness and booze are both pretty powerful, I'd be interested to see how this beer shapes up with some age on it.

WillCarrera, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of TTAmod
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber born on 12/10/11. Bottle #1128.

A: Pours inky black with brown and ruby hues. Brown one finger head recedes into brown islands. A little bit of lacing remains.

S: Nose picks up some oak, vanilla, bourbon, strawberry and blackberry jam, and a little bit of coffee, chocolate, and ash. Not quite as fragrant as the BCBCS, but close.

T: Got the sweet bourbon and alcohol sting up front. There are undertones of burnt brown sugar, vanilla, and roasted malts. Taste shifts into nice, ripe fruit jams after that. I taste blackberries and raspberries primarily, but there are hints of other juicy berries. Ends with slight bourbon, a bit of numbing alcohol, and a hint of spicy rye.

When the beer goes down, there are ghosts of bramble-y strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries lingering in the mouth for quite a few minutes....it's really damn pleasant.

M: Damn smooth. No fuss at all going down. The smooth, medium-heavy mouthfeel complements the juicy fruits very well.

O: A definite interesting twist in the BCBS saga. As with the BCBCS, I think this one is probably best now. The fruits are present, but not overpowering. They team up with the smooth sweet bourbon flavor very nicely. Aging would probably deteriorate the originality of this brew.

I'll be the first to admit, though, that this beer is an oddball. Don't go into it expecting your typical BCBS and you will be pleasantly surprised. Not as good as the coffee variant, but still top notch.

I'd high suggest sharing, also. It was a struggle finishing this one by myself. I could drink the BCBCS all day, but this one gets a little too cloying near the end.

TTAmod, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of Spamsammich
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Spamsammich, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of AleWatcher
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Bottle bought and shared at Bavarian Lodge so I could sample it without opening one of the two I managed to grab...

Smells like chocolate covered dark fruit, some booze soaked cherries, and an earthy oak. The flavor is about the same- dark fruit like black raspberries and blackberries, even some dark cherry notes with an earthy oakiness.

The body is way too thin, but still feels velvety smooth.

Overall-- pretty impressed by the flavor and how well the ABV is hidden under the flavor... But the body hurts the overall slightly.

AleWatcher, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of pirmannt1
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

pirmannt1, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of WeisGuy
4/5  rDev -7.6%

WeisGuy, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of homebrew311
3.35/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle served in over sized CBS snifter.

A: appearance is pretty much right on par with the rest of the BCBS family, a bit less in the way of head, and tints of red around the edges

S: the first thing that comes to the nose is ripe blueberries, beneath the blueberries is some vanilla and oak and a hint of chocolate, raspberry comes through as well. Right now these components aren't coming together, the blueberry character is dominating the show and hiding some of the BCBS deliciousness.

T: this is incredibly fruit foward on the palate, much like on the nose, blueberry starts things off with a bit of raspberry to make for a compote like flavor. The middle is syrupy and sweet, the bourbon plays a secondary role here and I think I lost the stout base somewhere in the mix.

MF: this feels a bit stickier than the rest of the BCBS flavor with a hearty body and mild carbonation

O: well this is certainly the bastard child of the family so far. I mean its not terrible by any means, but when the realm of comparison includes the likes of Rare, BCBCS, and so on... this one falls quite short. I will give it another chance with a year or two on it to see if the fruit components mellow and allow the barrel character to make more of an appearance.

homebrew311, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Etan
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Half inch mocha head of fine bubbles, which quickly recedes to some carbonation around the edges of the glass. No lacing. Midnight black body with very noticeable dark ruby highlights around the edges.

S: Pungently sweet aroma of syrupy fruit, some traces of roastiness, coffee, and distilled liquor, along with sweet alcohol from the 12.7%. Mostly sweet, with the stout elements taking the backseat to the fruit and alcohol.

T: Following the smell, fruit dominates, melding seamlessly with the usual imperial alcohol sweetness and the subtler rye barrel notes. Fruitiness is mainly raspberry, but the blackberries' juicy bitterness is certainly there. Subtle roast and chocolate give some depth to the sweetness, balancing the acidic fruit somewhat. Rye whiskey flavors from the barrel become more noticeable as the beer warms, yet always stay very, very subtle.

M: Thinner than I was expecting, but still silky smooth, with a bit of fine carbonation giving a nice creaminess to the body. Alcohol is noticeable but not prevalent at all for its size.

O: Don't expect to experience regular BCBS with some fruitiness - this beer is all about the fruit, with the stout and barrel playing an important yet subtle supporting role.

Etan, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of sbricker
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

sbricker, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of bauermj
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

bauermj, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev -7.6%

THECPJ, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of alampear
4/5  rDev -7.6%

alampear, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Scott (sbricker) for sharing this one. Served in a GI Black Friday glass.

A - Thin, and extremely dark mocha foam settles to a thick collar, with a few wisps on top, and minimal lacework. Pitch black body.

S - Massive pancake syrup flavor - berries galore. Light vanilla as well, with the Bourbon County dark fruit and chocolate malt bill shining through as this warms up. The rye influence is fairly light in the aroma - I'm not sure I would have identified that specific whiskey type.

T - Extremely jammy, with lots of syrupy berries, and only mild chocolate and roast presence. Rye whiskey shows up in the finish and lingers for quite a while. Alcohol is quite well hidden by the fruit.

M - Definitely lighter in body than the other BCS variants we tried, and the thinness is aggravated by the near-absence of carbonation. Some mild alcohol warmth, but nothing unexpected.

D - I really enjoyed this, although at this stage the fruit dominates the flavor profile. If you dig pancakes with fruit and chocolate syrups this will be a home run for you. A bit to osaccharine for mass quantities, but I'd happily share a bomber of this with a friend in the future.

MasterSki, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of Skyline312
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Bottle Date: 10DEC2011.

A - Pours a very dark ink color with purple lacing. Minimal head rentention. Leaves an oily coat on the glass.

S - Dark chocolate covered blackberries/raspberries with a little bourbon burn to your nose. Smells absolutely amazing! Immediately made my mouth water.

T - Initial burst of tart berry with a heavy jam/syrup swallow, bourbon burn in the throat, aftertaste was like I just took a bite of dark chocolate and let it melt in my mouth.

M - Oily, thick almost syrup/jam like. Coats extremely well. Even after swallowing there is a secondary coating left across the tongue. Mouth continued to water well after I swallowed, very interesting.

O - An amzing take on the BCS, I plan on cellaring a bottle to see how this beer ages over a couple of years. Berries and dark chocolate were the predominant flavors of this rich full-palate stout. In the war between the berries and bourbon, the berries have won the batttle. After some aging, however, the bourbon will win the war.

Skyline312, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of Listers
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Listers, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of rudzud
4.78/5  rDev +10.4%
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!!

rudzud, Feb 09, 2012
Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
96 out of 100 based on 824 ratings.