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

Not Rated.
Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand StoutCherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,278 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,278
Reviews: 180
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 911
Gots: 433 | FT: 38
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  13.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ChugginOil on 11-22-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 1,278 | Reviews: 180 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.76/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Let's be honest: the Bourbon County Brand Stout is such a formidable base beer that it really doesn't matter what they put into the beer or put the beer into- the results are nothing short of stellar. Enter Bourbon County Cherry-Rye Stout!

As always, the every-classy inky black beer crawls around in the glass with an oily viscous appearance that evokes notions of weight and thickness. The scant head clings to the sides of the glass with a light tan color. Even with a spirited swirl of the glass, the stout hardly releases any froth at all; what does quickly collapses back into the beer. The color says stout, but its viscosity says port.

Sultry aromas of chocolate, espresso, and fruit rise to the nose in a rich and mesmerizing way. Sherry, port, and chocolaty fudge match the espresso roast for a very complex aroma spread nearly overwhelming to the nose. Bourbon aromas wrap around more grounded scents of walnut, burnt toffee, and unmistakably tart cherries.

Every sip delivers a new flavor sip- first the espresso roast, then the tart cherry flavor seems jammy; then bittersweet chocolate, warm bourbon, and and then back to tawny port and sherries vinousness exudes. Finishing with slight coffeeish bitterness, the alternating tastes never relinquishes but folds back in on itself and delights the palate more and more as the beer warms and the taste buds become accustomed to the power of the beer. All this robust and rich flavor seems too much for the glass and the palate- there's a lot going on with this beer and it seems to be pulling in so many directions, but beautifully so.

With absolute fullness, the beer seems invites the twangy tartness and acidity from the cherry to balance its sheer sweetness and malty weight. Fruity and malty begins to waiver ever so slightly as the light creaminess subsides and peppery alcohols and cherry tartness offers a mild reprieve to signal closure. The after palate extends indefinitely with chocolate, coffee, and fruit.

The beer becomes more than just a sout- its an exhibition of what's possible with the ingredients and techniques that start with stout-like inspiration. The results are incredible and are really too big for mere mortals. I have fallen completely under the spell of these Boubon County Brand Stout variants.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Huge, huge thanks to raveskdr for sharing a bottle of this last night during some Big Ten basketball. Served in a Goose Island tulip.

The pour is nearly black with a thin tan head, fading into a halo at the edges of the glass. The nose is overwhelming. This is nothing like the disaster that was Bramble. The combination of cherry and whiskey is exquisite, especially with the light coconut, vanilla, and oak in the background. Heavy chocolate and a bit of sweetness follow things up, as well as just a touch of light rye spice.

The flavor takes things even higher. I feel like I'm docking the nose slightly only because the flavor is nearing perfection. The combination of the aforementioned characteristics with the heavy, chewy base beer and just a touch of booze makes for quite the experience. Body is completely full and heavy. It's rich without being too syrupy. The cherry and barrel flavors meld marvelously with the base.

One of the best imperial stouts I've ever had. Wow.

Photo of duceswild
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Beerontwowheels
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of thewimperoo
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of spambum
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of hannydawg
3.25/5  rDev -27.8%

Photo of AgentZero
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of UnderJoath
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of JMRSN
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Sean9689
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of tobelerone
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of wyatt13
4.93/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I split this with my dad at home in Wisconsin a few days before I had to drive back down to college. This was the first Bourbon County variant that I had tried, and I was really stoked.

A - Looks pretty similar to the regular Bourbon County, but with a slight reddish-brown tinge to the few bubbles that form upon the initial pour. The body has an unambiguously jet-black opacity.

S - Plenty of bourbon and chocolate roasted malts, with some vanilla on the nose as well. Cherry and fruity sweetness is detectable, but I found it playing second fiddle to the traditional nose of the BCS.

T - Wow, exceeded my already high expectations. When I was little, I used to get a small box of chocolate covered cherries from a local chocolate shop from my parents on holidays like Easter or Valentine's Day. In my mind, this is like a grown-up version of those candies. Cherry was very prominent, intensely sweet even. The bourbon and chocolate flavors provide a much-needed balance.

M - Coats the mouth with a silky mouthfeel and leaves a light stickiness on the lips. Thick, thick, thick. Definitely a sipper. It took me over an hour to finish my half of the bomber.

O - Remarkable. I was admittedly expecting a lot with this being my first Bourbon County variant, but I was blown away.

I'm excited to see how this one ages. I thought it was tremendous fresh, but I think it will be interesting to see how the taste changes once the cherry mellows a bit. This was the perfect beer for some father / son bonding.

Photo of Finatic
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle chilled poured into a CCB miniature snifter. This beer sat out at room temperature for 45 minutes before pouring.

A: Pours a mocha like viscous substance with a dark brown mocha head. Little to no lacing on the glass.

S: Initial smell is of dark chocolate, coffee, bourbon, cherries. Smells sweeter as the beer warms.

T: An absolute smorgasboard of flavors smash the palate. Chocolate, cherries, vanilla, and some caramel all integrated into one huge chocolate cherry bombshell.

M: Very creamy with little carbonation. Very easy drinking for a 14% beer.

O: Didn't think GI could outdo BCBS but this one definitely does it.

Photo of TARDIS
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.15/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a Sweetwater mini-snifter.

Trepidation... Anyway, this stuff pours a deep black-brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises cherry (partially artificial, but partially natural...it's hard to explain) syrup, light sourdough, oak, and a surprisingly light contingent of roasted malts and light dark chocolate powder. The taste reminds me of normal Bourbon County, with the roast, the bourbon, the oak, and the molasses. Then there's a powerful force of cherry juice, which doesn't really meld with the underlying stout, nor does it really completely clash. Things just aren't comfortable, if that makes sense. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, it's been my experience that BCS wasn't meant to be mixed with fruit of any kind, and this this stuff kinda confirms that. Though this ain't nearly as bad as Bramble Rye, it's still far from good.

Photo of BrokenStones
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of stouts4me
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of gcamparone
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into an oversize wine glass. Purchased in Wakefield, RI.

A- Pours a jet-black, opaque body with a modest but beautiful 1" mocha brown head that sticks around for a few minutes then reduces to a brown ring. Leaves very little lacing which is understandable given the high ABV.

S- A very intricate balance of vanilla, bourbon, milk chocolate, and caramel. Like smelling the best milkshake you've ever had. No cherry detected yet (-.5 on the smell rating for this), but I can confidently state that this beer's aroma tops bcbs and even bcbcs. Extremely inviting.

T- This beer is so complex and flavorful that it's hard to put it into words. Starts off with a combination of whiskey, milk chocolate, vanilla, fresh coffee beans, and a subtle acidic cherry note which really balances these flavors. It then develops into a more robust dark chocolate, roasted coffee flavor. The finish is semisweet chocolate, toasted malt, and caramel. What a ride.

M- Thick and robust, but slightly less than bcbs. Low carbonation. Perfectly creamy and smooth, extremely sip demanding. I'd give it a 5.5 in this category if I could.

I was thinking about cellaring this beer but opened it as a late Christmas gift to myself, and I'm extremely pleased that I did. This brew is a notch above bcbs and bcbcs, due to the added level of balance and complexity. The subtle cherry tartness works perfectly with the other notes present to keep the sweetness in check.

Goose Island has taken all the high points of a world class stout, a delicious bourbon, and then added an additional level of complexity (cherries) to really create a masterpiece.

Age if it you want to, but in my opinion this beer is near perfect when drank fresh. Try it if you can get your hands on it. A+

Photo of YogiBeer
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of homebrew311
4.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is slightly thinner than the rest of the variants. No head and heavy visual weight. Nose is heavy with cherry, vanilla and tons of oak. Booze is quite prevalent on the nose with heavy cherry syrup character. Taste is very sweet with deep dark cherry character, vanilla, and a touch of caramel and fudge on the end. The cherry doesn't elevate this brew like others have suggested. Still good, but the fruit doesn't make it better. I would prefer the base beer over this.

Photo of Florida9
3.88/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: very dark brown. Almost black. Forms a small tan head that fades away very quickly. No lacing.

S: very strong dark malts. Then strong sweet, syrupy cherry aroma. Raisin and molasses.

T: sweet. Very sweet. Syrupy. Not necessarily cough syrup, but not necessarily an overly pleasant cherry pleasant flavor either. Lots of sweet dark malts. Raisin, molasses, slight oaky bourbon on the backe end.

M: thick, viscous, lower carbonation.

O: a good beer, but too sweet for my tastes.

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of bgramer
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cherry Rye lives up to the so-called hype.

My first immediate impression is that it tasted like BCBS but a bit dryer which I attribute to the rye whiskey, not as sweet. I didn't get as much cherry as I thought I would get, mainly in the finish, then realized the beer was a bit cold. It kept getting better as it warmed when it was like drinking liquid chocolate cherry pie as it reached ambient temp, but not in a cloying kind of way, just really good. Nothing artificial or syrupy about the cherries like sometimes breweries use syrup which ends up tasting like cough medicine.

You definitely get some rye whiskey notes up front when its colder. I'd recommend serving it chilled to experience the different layers of flavor as it warms. Makes you appreciate the full on flavor at ambient temp even more.

Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
99 out of 100 based on 1,278 ratings.