Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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.

194 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 194
Hads: 1,347
Avg: 4.46
pDev: 25.56%
Wants: 988
Gots: 433 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 194 | Hads: 1,347
Photo of zac16125
4.52/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a snifter
bottled: 11/12/12

Thanks to jsteel2 for sending this long time want over via trade!

A: Pours an opaque black with less than 1 fingers width of mocha colored head which dissipates down quickly and leaves effectively zero lacing.

S: Luscious cherries, dark chocolate, and booze. Barrel notes arent as strong as some of the other variants, but are definitely present with oaky vanilla and whiskey booziness. I also get cinnamon and roasty aromas. Wonderful.

T: Wow, there is a surprising degree of cherry flavor right up front, which is then followed beautifully by the big chocolate, roasty, and coffee BCB stout base flavors on the finish. Pretty big bourbon characters, as is to be expected with any BCB offering, with lots of charred oaky goodness. Some boozy ethanol on the finish, especially as it warms, which works well to balance out the sweetness.

M/D: Full bodied but not necessarily thick or chewy, nice smoothness with appropriate carbonation. Drinkability is good, but is somewhat limited by the huge sweetness.

O: This beer does not suck. Awesome variant and certainly worth seeking out.

 1,136 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Inky black. Small mocha head. Stains the glass. Thin collar and some wisps.

Smell - Doesn't smell as much like cherry as I would have expected. Slight cherry. Strong rye whiskey presence. Rich chocolate. Boozy.

Taste - Cherry is much more pronounced here. The rye barrel really isn't an improvement over a bourbon barrel, but it's still better than no barrel. Fudgy dark chocolate. Spicy oak. Fruity and boozy finish.

Mouthfeel - Less boozy than other variants, it seems. Thick and sweet. Low carbonation.

Overall - It's hard to get Bourbon County wrong, so even a less impressive barrel yields an excellent beer.

 689 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 11/12/12, spit with rudzud, thanks to dfclav for this one a while back.

Pours a nice creamy dark smaller thick head, super pitch black thick syrupy beer with long legs.

aroma is pure bourbon county stout, little extra whisky, bourbon barrel notes, dark malts, dark choc, heavy syrupy, very faint cherry notes. Basically a BCBS with a touch extra barrel and little cherry note.

Taste brings tons of dark choc, cherry cough syrup, big bourbon and whisky barrel, big sweet note, interesting cherry flavor, chewy cherry. Some dark almost acrid roasty malt, dark chewy choc, and kettle fudge, nice bourbon and whisky notes, not sure if rye whisky but definite non bourbon whisky. Finish semi sweet sticky thick fudgey dark choc and little candied cherry note lingering for a while, like the choc covered cherries, cherry cordial, I used to get as a kid.

Mouth is full heavy bod, syrupy, decent carb, little warning booze.

Overall interesting, not as much cherry or rye as I expected, but a nice twist on the base Bcbs.

 1,030 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JLindros for sharing this beer.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown hue with a thin head that leaves a thin halo.

S - Aromas of straight up bourbon county. Not much cherry, not much rye, slightly more aromatic than regular bourbon county.

T - Taste is very nice cherry, rye whiskey, chocolate, vanilla, barrel, light coconut, truffle. On the sweeter side, mostly rich barrel and chocolate with nice cherry undertones. The beer is very rich and truffle like, alcohol hidden well, however, it is noticeable.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, not that heavy, rich, creamy, thick.

O - Overall this beer was very tasty, the cherry had mellowed out nicely. Quite drinkable.

 706 characters

Photo of gueuzedreg
3.68/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this at BUCKSPUR RANCH. Review from notes. I have had this 4 times over the past year, finally got to reviewing it.

A- There is a thin red ring around the glass. Thinnest of lacing. The beer actually looks lighter than BCBS. Dark brown to almost black liquid.

S- Medicinal cherry like in cough syrup. The rye whiskey is definitely present, and there is some dark fudge notes as well.

T- Medicinal cherry very pronounced in every sip for my palate. There is some bakers chocolate here too to make it a bit bitter (which doesn't bother me)

M- Kinda harsh on carb. Not really a smooth drinking BA stout.

O- This is my least favorite variant of BCBS. It all has to do with the medicinal cherry. I know some people love this beer, and I can't fault them for that. My palate just gets the medicinal and gets turned off. New Glarus does a fantastic job of getting true cherry taste out of Belgian Red; I just wish that Cherry Rye had what ever NG did with that beer.

 972 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.31/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark black with a small tan head which fades to a small disc, and leaves some lacing. The aroma has chocolate, bourbon, cherries, vanilla, and oak.

Tastes sweet without being overly sweet. Has chocolate, cherries, bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark roasted malt, and rye. There is not enough dark roasted malt to add any bitterness for balance, but this beer does not seem to need it.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden for a 13.70 % abv beer. There is no alcohol burn. A very well made beer. I can see why this was so highly sought after.

 568 characters

Photo of champ103
3.7/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at the Flying Saucer in Houston.

A: Like all Bourbon County variants, pours an impenetrable black color. A small tan head tries to form, and recedes in a second. Just a dense black liquid. Which is just fine for this beer.
S: Vanilla, wood, chocolate, medicinal cherries. Big barrel aromas along with a bit of fruit.
T: Follows the nose with the typical big barrel character for the brand. Vanilla, wood, and chocolate. Followed by the medicinal cherries. Maybe this is a bit past its prime, while the fruits are there just not as much umpth as I would like.
M/D: Obviously a big full body that has low to moderate carbonation. Viscous and oily. Like all versions, enjoyable to sip on. Maybe not may favorite of the brand, but still very enjoyable.

I do like this, but I am thinking any good cherry fruit flavor has faded. Not having this fresh I am just guessing. Though as is, I think the local Karbach Cherries of Fire is much better.

 953 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12/7/13, from williamjbauer's baller tasting, poured into a snifter

A- pours black with nearly no head but some alcohol legs sticking upon swirling, some ruby hues poking through on the edges of the beer

S- pure dark cherry in the purest form, the most authentic cherry aroma that I had smelled in a beer. Bourbon and vanilla notes underlie the cherry aroma with a touch of toasted oak, also picking up a subtle, peppery spiciness as well from the rye

T- pure cherry bliss, like the juice of a dark cherry. A subtle rye spiciness underlies, complementing the rye quite nicely. Oaky notes come through mid-palate and eventually continue to the classic Bourbon County bourbon/chocolate flavor on the finish with some barrel flavors on the finish

M- low carbonation and a medium body lead to a somewhat slick mouthfeel that coats the mouth, leaving just a hint of alcohol warmth

O- this is a very unique BA stout, the cherry is unlike anything I've tasted in a beer and works well with the rye, worth seeking out

 1,015 characters

Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bomber into a snifter. Bottle #1607 bottled on 11/12/12. Thanks to Stumpy29er for the trade!

A - Pitch black for the most part and ruby red on the edges

S - Bourbon, oak, chocolate and the cherries are present as well

T - Everything on the smell is here on the taste. The cherries were not overpowering in any way. Instead, they blended with the BCBS that we all know and love and are a nice sweet, tart finish on the tongue. Just great.

M - Thick and coats your whole mouth. Some decent carbonation helps move the high abv along.

O - Another home run from Goose Island. I have yet to have a Bourbon County variant let me down. I was afraid the cherries would give off a cough syrup smell/taste, but the tartness blends very well with the bourbon, oak, chocolate, and coffee flavors. Trade for this if you can. You won't be disappointed.

 842 characters

Photo of MDDMD
4.51/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown black cooler itch a small tan head and little lacing

S-chocolate, bourbon, cherry, hint of coffee, cinnamon

T-dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, cherry, rye, coffee, hint of cinnamon

F-medium to full body with light carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-great stout, loved the cherry, tastes like a chocolate covered cherry, really enjoyed this a lot and look forward to drinking it again

 400 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

excellent beer, lets get that right out, but i was a bit let down by it and here is why. i dont think bourbon county really needs the fruit. the rye yes, a great addition to an already splendid brew, a little coarseness and some oomph, but the fruit doesnt do anything for me. the cherries come through a little medicinal, a little fake like pie filling from the can, and it puts some sweetness in the finish that it just doesnt need. the base stout is amazing obviously, but its covered up a little by the cherries in smell and taste. the rye brings out some of the richer dark malt, without pulling up any real bitterness. that great bourbon county density is robust. palate coating and syrupy, which normally i love, but the cherries in this one make it feel too thick, or make the viscosity unflattering because of the sugar and the medicinal notes from the cherry. i love the beer, i mean, one of the best stouts in the world hands down, but being critical. i dont think the cherries do any favors to it. i have heard wonderful things about the backyard rye version, and would love to try that. maybe less sweetness and darker berry profile would work better than the cherries. the trademark big finish of this is compromised a little by the cherries, i miss that oaked vanilla kick. rye yes, cherries no. thanks to drlovemd87 as always for sharing a rare bottle. that dude is so generous with his cellar, i am a lucky man.

 1,428 characters

Photo of Mikeypnh
4.51/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, with no head, a little tan film around the edge of the glass. Smells bourbony, with lots of chocolate notes and faint cherry smell. Taste follows the nose with a nice cherry tart on the end. Nice mouthfeel. Feels a bit chewy, alcohol burn isn't hidden, but I wasn't expecting it to be. Very good beer, very flavorful. A great sipper and even with the age on it the cherry is there.

 394 characters

Photo of chugalug06
4.73/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

No lacing. Thick fluid brew. bad legs. Dark dense black brew. OK appearance. Nothing remarkable. Head builds when agitated.

Lots of mild melded Cheery and oak. Vanilla, milky, robust, Pronounced rye. Awesome.

Medium-high viscosity. Nice smooth sweetness. Nothing over the top. Simply great. Heat grows gently and creeps nicely. Zero bitterness. Wet. Carbonation is light and perfect. Cherry flavors are faded and very nice. There's some kinda of amazing coconut.

A delicacy. To be savored. Can't recommend, because it's not around, but it still is recommended. Not a Gimmick

 580 characters

Photo of RhyminBelmont
4.01/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter at Whirlyball Chicago.

A- Looks like BCBS.

S- Much more buttery whiskey tones and sweeter than the regular brand. A little bit of fruitiness but its not quite cherry.

T- surprisingly sour, reminds me a touch of the Bcbs Napa from the block party last summer. Much more scintillating to the tastebuds because of this. I like the bourbon character in the other variants better than the rye.

M- Mostly just bcbs, but a little more mouthwatering from Thr acidity.

O- Not my favorite variant, but very tasty. I dont quiiiite get the hype on this one other than the rareity. Grateful for the chance to have tried this.

 654 characters

Photo of SadMachine
4.54/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes from 12/28/13

A- Pours a thick black with some brown/ruby hues as it pours. A finger and a half of head that slowly recedes to a thick film. Leaves some lacing on the glass.

S- The aroma is fantastic! The rye whiskey, cherry, and oak are exploding out of the glass! Roasted coffee and malt, prunes, and figs all play secondary roles. Molasses, and hints of booze round out this complex aroma. Wow this is awesome!

T- Opens sweet, chocolaty, with maraschino cherries. It's like a rye whiskey soaked chocolate covered cherry! There's some caramel and a decent amount of charred oak as well. There's a little bit of roasted malt. This is dominated by the chocolate covered cherry, but surprisingly it works well! It's a bit medicinal, but not overly so.

M- The mouth feel is somewhat thick, but not quite as thick as I want in a barrel aged stout. Only a bit of carbonation.

O- Overall I really love this beer! It has its minor flaws, but I'd drink this just about any time!

 996 characters

Photo of maxcoinage
4.84/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

(from last night at bottle share) Bomber dated 11/12/12 split 5 ways, poured about 4 oz into pint glass

Appearance - dark black, not much head

Smell - Got a decent amount of cherry, some oak, vanilla

Taste - amazing, taste followed the flavor. almost reminded me of red velvet cake, cherry, chocolate goodness. an ever so slight hint of whiskey. the cherry flavor lingers on the finish and is very pleasant.

Mouthfeel - it was thick but didn't seem as much as regular BCBS, lower carb, very smooth

Overall - wow, what a beer. I'd love to have had a bit larger pour but was grateful to have been part of the bottle share. How smooth this beer was makes me want to age my only backyard Rye for a year before cracking it open. This was so drinkable I could probably easily have put down the whole bomber myself

 814 characters

Photo of gatornation
4.09/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle bottled on 111212
A-pours black with a brown thin head
S- fresh cherry pie with mellow bourbon ,vanilla and wood
T-sweet baked pie cherries up front with mellow bourbon notes thru out
M- smooth and velvet with semi-tart sweet cherries ABV very well hidden
O- a great stout but i thought the cherries took front seat here i prefer regular and coffee to this one

 374 characters

Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4.86/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottled 11/12/12. Poured into a snifter. Vigorous pour raised a small amount of tan head. Black with a hint of red.

Smells of bourbon, vanilla, smoke. Smell is very similar to BCBS.

My god this tastes so good. Very similar to base BCBS but with a sweeter palate. Has a bit of sweet cherry on the back. Absolutely brilliant balance of flavor.

Just the right amount of carbonation, creamy mouthfeel. What you expect from Bourbon County.

Happy to have had the chance to share this bad boy. My dad, brother, and I all ,felt like this was an unbelievable variant. Perfect addition to Bourbon County line. World class brew!

 621 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bomber poured into tulip, big thanks OakedCanuck for the bottle

A black body with a deeper then expected cola edge, noisy thumbs width of mocha foam fizzes out quickly leaving no lace but that's almost expected in these booze monsters, legs on the side ofter a swirl also expected in a booze monster

S lots of rye barrel, some booze but nowhere near 13.7%, some cherry, dark chocolate, molasses, more woody rye, a hint of smoke, some cola, smells pretty good

T more cherry in the mouth, dried, candied and chocolate covered that is, still plenty of barrel with some added char, cherry cola opposed to cola, some cinnamon, a little chewing tobacco, cold coffee, and again I get some booze but I'd guess 9-10%, think cherry chocolate fudge mixed with burnt rye barrel and some licorice, just beautiful

M shes a thick one, low carbonation, some heat and a little numbing, quite slick, lots of charred barrel lingering and my lips are stuck together, seriously though this is some sticky liquid

O this ones up there no doubt, I like the spicy rye barrel choice, the cherry plays its part quite well, the booze is well hidden all things considered, and it just plain and simply tastes brilliant

One of the better beers I've had in a while and I've been exposed to some great ones as of late. I doubt I'll get to try this one again and in might have benefited from some age but I really can't complain about whats in my glass at the moment

 1,449 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, split


Clocks in at 13.7%, which actually seems low for a BCBS varietal. The cherry is evident throughout - sweet and juicy, cherries seem more akin to pie cherry than some of the bolder and darker varietals. The rye was not overly apparent to me but the cherry definitely cut through some of the abrasive bourbon, which is a plus or minus depending on your purogative.

A nice treat - I perhaps prefer the original though

 446 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a light brown halo. Cherry pie aroma, heavy on cinnamon, spicy booze but not too hot. Flavor has a lot of cherry and when mixed with the spirit heat it takes a slightly medicinal character, which isn’t too bad since the stout character takes over with heavy dark chocolate and caramel. Comes together really nicely as it warms.

 346 characters

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

Goose Island Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand is a delicious stout with some nice cherry accent. I had this at the Goose Island event at Meridian Pint in DC a few months ago.

A: Black with a nice head, especially around the edges. 4

S: Malty with dark fruit flavour. Cherry? 4

T: Malty with lovely black cherry flavour. The finish is clean with some cherry tang in there. The cherry is super string but very well integrated. 4.5

M: Chewy with low carbonation. 4.5

O: 4.5

 474 characters

Photo of WVUbrew
4.76/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had this one on tap at the Goose Island brewpub on B(CBS)lack Friday. 5oz pour served in a snifter.

A: Pitch black, minimal head.

S: Smells like walking into grandma's kitchen as she pulls that famous cherry pie out of the oven to cool while taking another hefty swig of grandpa's finest whiskey...

T: Follows up the smell with the perfect amount of cherry. No tartness at all really, and just sweet enough to blend in perfectly with the rest of the flavors... No need to elaborate further here so use your imagination.

M: feels like any world class stout should and does so very well.

O: This was a treat. I actually got to talk with brewmaster Brett Porter about this beer amongst other things and one of the questions I asked was when he thought this beer would/had reached it's peak (since it took a couple of years for Bramble to peak) and his answer was "right GD now"... His answer was right on point, just like this amazing brew. So if you're reading this and have a bottle of Cherry Rye that you've been saving, now is the time. Definitely glad I managed to grab a bottle to enjoy again here soon and compare with the draft version. Cheers!

 1,157 characters

Photo of brewtus
4.87/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-pours oil black with a single finger tan head
S- bourbon, chocolate, cherry, chocolate, sweet sugar cookie,
T- woah, starts with nice semi tart cherry, that leads into bourbon and rye flavors, plenty of cocoa and cinnamon flavors, abv is completely hidden
M- amazing velvety texture
O- such an amazing beer. You get lots of cherry that isn't too tart but it's still sweet, bourbon is perfectly balanced, they rye adds a distinctive flavor, and it goes down so smooth. I am so glad I got to try this and I'm glad I'm essentially drinking it alone because I can't get enough. This combines my favorite things of cherry, bourbon, and beer and it's one of the best I've ever had

 677 characters

Photo of JRdaSconnie
4.96/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2012 bottle from a trade split with a buddy. Got the Cherry Rye + lots of super extras for some New Glarus Very Sour Blackberry. Sampled at a cabin during one of our personal beer tests.

From bomber to Spiegelau tulip. Was out in the cool temp so probably 55-60 degrees.

A: Jet black, opaque, tan head that falls to a ring. No sediment.

S: Here's where the magic starts. Huge bourbon, cherry, grainy smell. Cocoa too. Like a cherry chocolate granola bar.

T: More of the same greatness. Smooth bourbon, barrel char, coffee from the roast, and of course cherries! Words do it no justice.

M: Thick, rich, heavy, but clean.

O: I've had BCBS, BCBS Coffee, KBS, Angel's Share, and now this. This one just might be my favorite of the (fantastic) heap. Goose Island knows how to make a huge, rich beer that is velvety smooth. Seek it out. Glad I have another one from the trade to hide away.

 890 characters

Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
98 out of 100 based on 194 ratings.