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

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Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand StoutCherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout

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185 Reviews
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Reviews: 185
Hads: 1,320
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 3.14%
Wants: 966
Gots: 436 | FT: 29
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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 185 | Hads: 1,320
Photo of Finatic
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
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. (641 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.16/5  rDev -29.1%
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'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. (929 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
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+ (1,785 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
4.05/5  rDev -9.2%
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. (480 characters)

Photo of Florida9
3.92/5  rDev -12.1%
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. (487 characters)

Photo of bgramer
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (807 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This newest addition to the Bourbon County Family pours a thick black color with a very little head. There is a strong, sweet cherry and rye aroma. The taste is rich and strong with great rye flavor but not as much cherry as you would expect from the scent. It finishes with a dry alcohol taste. At 13.9% a.b.v. this beer is a heavy hitter! (340 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Super deep brown with absolutely no opacity. Super thin lace of brown head even with a vigorous pour.

Wow! This baby smells like dark chocolate covered black cherries with all the essence of bourbon county as well. Smells absolutely decadent. Touches of bourbon and oak.

Wow again. Turn bourbon county into a sweet dessert and you have this. Really tastes like sweet, chocolate lava cake covered in sweet cherries. A touch of tart cherry flavor, chocolate, creamy vanilla, light oak. The cherries really take control of the beer but in a good way. The giant malt base is cooled a bit by the big fruity cherry flavors. Not a touch of detectable alcohol unlike BCBS. Little bit of a tootsie roll like finish. I'm not getting any of the rye though. Despite that, this beer is delicious, it turns BCBS into a totally new monster, a delicious dessert one. I love it. (864 characters)

Photo of Holland
3.11/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Huge thanks to Ryan for sharing this at a recent get together.

A: dark black with brown highlights, very thick looking but not as thick or dark as regular bcbs. Small head with some retention.

S: not as much bourbon as the regular, but some vanilla, cherry, and roasted notes.

T: good balance with the cherry right up front. I was worried, but it blends well with the taste, easing my palate into the more tart notes along with the malt sweetness, and of course the roasted malt and bourbon flavors.

M: thick as it should be, but not as thick as regular BCBS this year. Excellent carbonation for the thickness.

O: Like a chocolate covered cherry but way better, because I don't even like chocolate covered cherries. Fantastic beer, would love to have more some time.

Editing for the second time I had this. Wasn't so good that time. Tasted very medicinal. Taking the average of these two review scores. (913 characters)

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Kuhnhenn tulip...Bottled on 11/12/12 1747.

A: Pours a straight black color with very little color variation around the rim, but a slightly lighter/brownish color. A nice half finger beige head, that sticks around for about 3 minutes, leaving nothing but a ring around the edge of the glass and a single quarter sized island in the center of the glass.

N: In your face cherry. Big cherry nose, with a bit of rye spice coming through. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, and a bit of the vanilla bourbon notes coming through.

T: More of that cherry up front. It's not overpowering, just enough to let the base beer show. Awesome notes of what you would expect. Chocolate, dried fruits, lots of roast and coffee, only to be accentuated by the tart cherry goodness. The alcohol isn't overwhelming.

M: The tart cherry really cuts back on the creamy and coating mouthfeel that is special about the base beer. It's more lively, and it's not a bad or good thing. Just different. It's a really nice mouthfeel to be honest.

D and O: This beer really impressed me out of the bottle. I wasn't sold on my 3 ounce sample that was poured at FoBAB. Maybe I fell into the hype train, knowing it had won best of show...but it really comes thru here. This is a nice expression, better than Bramble, maybe on the same level as Coffee. Really nice treat. (1,369 characters)

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.97/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 Bottle

Appearance: Pours black as expected with little to no head.

Smell: Sour cherries, chocolate, vanilla, whiskey, pear, apples, figs, brown sugar, delicious.

Taste: Chocolate covered cherries with whiskey. This is nothing short of amazing! Cherries punch you in the face, followed by a chocolate/slight vanilla middle with a Rye Whiskey aftertaste. The booze at the end is very subdued, and is very impressively masked, considering the abv. The ending is cherry sweet with some slight bitterness from the booze. I'm getting warm inside quite quickly...

Mouthfeel: Thick, but not too thick, which is making me realize that this fact is aiding my fast pace of drinking this. It's not quite as thick as regular BCBS, but nowhere near as thin as World Wide Stout. Pretty similar mouthfeel to KBS.

Overall: Dessert in a bottle. This is definitely one of the best beers I've ever drank. It's insanely drinkable fresh at 13.7 abv. I can only see age doing this well as it will surely get smoother with time, and be even more drinkable, if that's possible. Without a doubt, I'd have to put this personally in front of regular BCBS and BCBCS. (1,147 characters)

Photo of joefuzz
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz split with a friend.

Pours used motor oil black with pretty much no head

Smells of cherries, choclate and booze

Taste is big on the cherry upfront with a huge amount of chocolate and a litte bit of coffee, fades to a great whiskey aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pure velvet super thick with low carbonation

Overall very good beer and I'm not usually a fan of the fruit stout but this is very nice (400 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - black as night with a small tan head that thinned to a ring.

S - cherries, chocolate and whiskey, yummy!

T - this beer tastes like a chocolate covered cherry soaked in whiskey, double yummy!

F - medium/full bodied - smooth as silk.

O - very good indeed. (295 characters)

Photo of kscaldef
3.55/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with no head. Dark cherry aromas mix with chocolate malt notes. The taste starts out sweet and chocolatey, but finishes with a strong dose of cherry pie filling. Low carbonation and a long sticky finish. Something of a disappointment, particularly that it tastes like they just dumped in a can of pie filling rather than fresh cherry. (351 characters)

Photo of hooliganlife
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pour was dark black, but there was a light cola and reddish tint. little to no head.

light cherry, but rich port and sherry like scents.

what struck me was the ripe juicy flavor that was so well integrated into the base of this. it was like i was eating a real cherry while drinking BCS. perfect after dinner sipper. great complexity and perfect mix of flavors.

thick, oily, port wine, mild carbonation.

i fucking loved this. never thought it was fake or syrupy cherry. just real awesome cherries. get some. i was pissed this was my last bottle, i would love to horde one to myself. but it was shared with great people, we all win. (637 characters)

Photo of aasher
3.73/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oh Cherry Rye.

This one pours like all of the other Bourbon Counties, black and viscous with only a slight dark khaki lacing that quickly disappeared. The nose doesn't really smell too different than the original. There is a slight additional sweetness, kind of like a cherry hard candy, but I wouldn't say it's necessarily fresh cherry. Regardless, this featured fruit is more subtle than the other variants. The flavors are sweet and chocolaty. It has loads of sweet dark chocolate, sweet cherry juice (but not in an overpowering manner), roast and cream. It's sweet but not cloyingly so and isn't as sweet as Bramble. It's not the most complex beer in the world and this is probably my least favorite bariant. It drinks full bodied and has plenty of residual sugar, coating your glass. Overall this beer was just ok and a disappointment for the series. It wasn't as sweet as the Cherry variant that I had a couple years ago at Goose Island, which was an improvement, but the cherry aspect didn't really add too much to the base beer. For the money I would rather drink the regular. This wasn't worth $20+. (1,109 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darker than the darkest night ever with a thin brown head into my glass. Yep, even Bob and Doug agree.

Bourbon, cocoa, roasted coffee and a bit of tart cherry in the nose. Very nice smorgasbord of flavors here.

The taste is where the cherry really shines. Tart with just a hint of spicy rye, roasted coffee and cream.

It sounds like sacrilege but the aftertaste is highly reminiscent of cherry cola with cocoa undertones.

With a few years of age, this will be more than enjoyable. It didn't disappoint here. (514 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber bottle poured into my Kate the Great tulip glass. Chilled before opening. Bottled on date of 11/12/12.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. Pours a dark brown head that recedes almost immediately. Very similar to the other Bourbon County variants in appearance.

Aroma: The alcohol is definitely there as are the cherries. Bourbon, cherries and chocolate cake. The cherry notes are not hidden at all. Very sweet, with some coffee and dark fruit notes in the background.

Taste: Chocolate cake and fudge notes really provide a great backdrop for the bourbon and cherries. Caramel, dark fruits, and vanilla are coming through as well. The cherries really lend even more sweetness to the already sweet stout, but also provide a great fruit flavor and a really nice tartness on the end. Incredibly sweet, bold and boozy but it all works well together.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and nicely carbonated. Really smooth throughout.

Overall, a really big, sweet stout with huge barrel and fruit notes. I think the fruit really works a lot better than it did in the Bramble Rye variation as the cherries really feel at home with the chocolate tones of the stout. Really nice, and although it is hot right now, the bourbon, cherries and base beers all find a really great harmony. I would like to see if this ages as well as Goose Island suspects though as the fruit tones could lose their kick over time. Either way, this is really well done. (1,465 characters)

Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.52/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A black body with a small brown head that fades fast leaving no lacing.

S: Smells amazing! No real noticeable cherry aroma, but I do get a lot of bourbon (duh!), chocolate, sweet vanilla, and dark fruits. A very rich and sweet aroma.

T: Taste better than it smells. A very subtle tart cherry flavor that enhances the vanilla sweetness, lots of chocolate, and whiskey. Very complex but extremely complementary. GI outdid themselves. Delicious! Amazing! Exploding taste buds!

M: Smooth, creamy, yet heavy on the palate. Almost Perfect.

Overall: Too bad this isn't a yearly release. Absolutely, positively amazing! Love everything about it! If you can find it, buy it. (672 characters)

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.85/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my brother for hooking me up with a bottle of BCB Cherry Rye. Looks, smells and initially tastes like regular BCB stout, but as soon as you let some air into the sip you get the pleasant warming, sweet taste of cherries. Very nice, and as with all of the BCB Stouts, another really great job by Goose Island. Regular BCB has recently established itself as one of my favorite beers and this ranks up there. Very drinkable...the bourbon is not as powerful as in regular BCB, and for those that have been complaining about BCB being to "boozy" (which I think is bullshit), this should fit the bill as it is a bit smoother than regular BCB. Really nice! (659 characters)

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.92/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

X-Mas Eve 2012

A- Pours jet black into my Bruery tulip! A kahki head that seems to grow to almost two fingers fades rather quickly and leaves just tiny traces of foam clutching the glass. A little more grabs on with each sniff and sip.

S- Smells like BCBS with a touch less vanilla, and alot more dark fruit. Not necessarily cherry dominant, but figs, prunes, black raisins, dried cherries (of course), and dates. Sweet dark chocolate, mild coffee and licorice. Really gets intense as it comes up to room temp! Fresh cherries shine thru as it warms.

T- WOW! Tart cherries, deep, dark chocolate, hints of freshly pressed coffee, vanilla beans, marshmallow, licorice whips, heavy cream sweetness, dried figs dipped in balsemic glaze, dates... and more CHERRY!!! I'm really not picking up the alcohol at all. Feeling the warming sensation, but no alcohol burn at all! Brilliant!

M- Not as thick as BCBS or RARE or Vanilla, but it really coats the tongue and palate nicely. Has a nice syrupy coating that reminds me of cough medicine, but only in the way that it grabs your throat going down, not the taste. Nice tartness that blends with the cocoa, coffee and vanilla.

O- Such a wonderful blend of dark dried fruit, BBA, dark chocolate, coffee, and love! This is absolutely brilliant! About to pour a second glass and pondering how this could get any better? It's almost like a blend of the perfect BBA RIS and a brilliant Quad! It's crazy! I can't wait to see if this gets better over time. I can't imagine that it could! (1,527 characters)

Photo of dogfishandi
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bottle a little above fridge temp, poured into a snifter. Bottled on 11/12/12.

Pours the usual super thick opaque black color that is bourbon county. A brown colored head off the pour is very quick to fade to nothing. Some thick, viscous legs are noticeable from a swirl of the glass.

Boozey whiskey and some cherry aromas blend together, although the cherry isn't super noticeable at first. some molasses, Oaky barrel, caramel, charred roasted malt. Some tartness from the cherries. Becomes a bit solvent as it warms.

Cherries, caramel, gingerbread, cinnamon, charred roasted malts, whiskey barrel and whiskey booziness. Really nice. Some tartness from the cherries makes it seem a bit lighter. I'm not sure where this gingerbread/ cinnamon flavor is coming from, but it comes in just before the finish and really makes the beer, and then is followed by a nice cherry flavor.

Thick, viscous, heavy bodies with minimal carbonation.

A very nice take on the already amazing bcbs. Some very interesting flavors are a result. A must try. (1,049 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a characteristic bcs jet black with a creamy tan head that fades to a thin halo around the perimeter without lacing. The nose is very slightly boozy, with notes of caramel, chocolate followed by booming notes of bright cherries (once warm) and vanilla-whiskey FTW. It's a beer I poured cold initially and let warm gradually and boy does it open up nicely. The taste is spot on. The popping, bright Michigan cherries are the perfect fruit for this beer and they cut right through this dense, malty, stout as if it were a pilsner. It adds a very interesting layer of complexity to one of my favorite all time beers, and adds a touch of dryness to the beer's finish. I never thought I could chug a stout as heavy as this, but there is a first for everything. I'm completely satisfied with this beer, it's damn good and worth the money. (847 characters)

Photo of EdwardFortyHands
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Loved this beer, tried it out of the bottle and let it mellow to room temp for a little bit.

The cherries were prominent and were a sweet and welcome addition to a great vintage BCBS.

Aging did this beer well.

Felt like a perfectly balanced BCBS, not overly boozy.

Would love this beer anytime. (299 characters)

Photo of CaptDavyJones
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber, with ABV and date of bottling clearly marked on the label.

Absolutely pitch black in color with a thin tan colored head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Aroma is lush and alluring; lots of chocolate and cherries upfront, more like chocolate covered cherries soaked in alcohol. I have to be honest, I am not a big fan of cherries, but this smells very good.

Wowzers...this is one lush, rich, thick, creamy, full-bodied stout. The smooth, silky mouthfeel is perhaps a tad more than the regular BCBS. Bittersweet goodness upfront, the cherries are evident from the middle all the way to the finish. Hints of rye compliment and cut the cherry sourness in the finish. The finish is almost sharp and dry, wow. The alcohol is masked really well making this beer very, very easy to drink.

This version of the BCBS is perhaps the best in my opinion. The balance throughout is just hard to describe in words, suffice to say it is near perfect (IMHO). I don't want to sound too dramatic, but this is a phenomenal brew. One of the best beers I have ever had....period!.

Absolutely worth a try and worth every dollar. I would recommend this version highly and if you happen to come across a bottle, don't hesitate to get it. Cheers !!! (1,259 characters)

Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
98 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.