Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout | Goose Island Beer Co.

181 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand StoutBackyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels with fresh mulberries, marionberries, and boysenberries.

Added by MasterSki on 10-18-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 181 | Ratings: 2,100
Photo of Pencible
4.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This poured an opaque black with almost no head.
S: It smelled like boysenberries and rich dark chocolate, with some coconut and oak.
T: It tasted like sweet berries and rich dark chocolate, with some oak and coconut. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was very thick and chewy with a little carbonation. Awesome huge body.
D: This was delicious! The scent and taste were complex and unique and amazing. The body was perfect, and the finish was smooth. It was too easy to drink, but should be sipped and savored. No need to cellar, although I'm sure it would last. So good.

 586 characters

Photo of N_Schleret
4.26/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a motor oil color with a one finger head that dissipipates to a light ring. Very light lacing.
S: Fruit takes away the big BCBS smell on the nose like a lot of the variants have. Dark tart fruits, dark chocolate, bourbon is faint.
T: The berries really come through, jam like. Malt, chocolate, vanilla. Alcohol is well hidden.
M: Heavy and creamy on the palate. Light alcohol burn, medium dryness.
O: The berries take away from the overall BCBS flavor but not a bad brew. Glad I had someone to share this with as it is very sweet.

 540 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
4.15/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from a recent trade with Holland, thanks bud! Appearance is identical to regular bourbon county stout, black with a tan head that doesn't last long. Aroma is very much like regular bourbon county, stout, barrel, vanilla, and then a hint of berry jam. The flavor was very heavy on the berries to the extent it almost hides the stout and the rye barrels,super fruity. Overall delicious but I liked the cherry rye better and the coffee blows this away while the regular also runs ahead of this. Glad to have tried this and a delicious beer in its own right.

 566 characters

Photo of champ103
4.57/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another bottle shared at the Flying Saucer in Houston.

A: Pours ink black. Completely opaque black in color. A one finger tan head forms in a minute, but recedes to nothing in a second.
S: A huge aroma that is incredibly well incorporated. The big barrel aroma is very apparent. Toasted malts and baked bread. Oak, vanilla, chocolate from the barrel. Then the fruit. Jammy, slightly tart chocolate covered berries. Love it.
T: Like the nose, incredibly well incorporated. Lightly roasted malts, more toasted baked bread. The big barrel character for the brand. Oak, vanilla, chocolate covered fruits. Jam like berries. The fruit is very fresh, and not medicinal like at all. Incredible.
M/D: A full viscous body with moderate carbonation. Incredibly smooth and silky. So easy to drink. A great sipper.

I have to wonder if Bourbon County Cherry Stout would be similar to this if I had it fresher. This, however, is a treat. Everything is so well balanced, and the berry additions are not medicinal at all. I really need to get more. Another reason why Goose Island makes one of the best barrel aged stouts on the market.

 1,122 characters

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.67/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours thick and black, just like a Bourbon County should. Very small head and lacing on the whole, but I wasn't expecting a huge head for the style. What little foam is there is tan to chocolate in color.

S- Starts off with a little bit of dark roast and barrel flavor before huge, sweet berry notes hit your nose. All of the berries meld together into a sweet, fruity, and boozey scent that is quite enticing. Barrel characteristics kick in midway through the smell and display some char as well as vanilla sweetness and oak flavor.

T- Starts off with a strong combination of sweet and fruity berries and dark malts. Berries are really the prominent flavor in the beginning, and most of the way through the drink, while melding with the malts and barrel. Barrel flavors are in there, just hidden a little behind the berries. Barrel flavors are primarily vanilla sweetness and just a touch of char. Lingering berry sweetness and barrel flavors are what is left on the tongue.

M- This beer is thick and smooth and just a little sticky on the tongue. Alcohol is present as a warming sensation, but not too aggressively so. Sweetness from the berries and alcohol make this beer a slower drinker.

Overall, a tremendous, unique variant for BCBS. The berries are both unique and rather strong. A great member of the BCBS family.

 1,329 characters

Photo of dar482
4.79/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The immediate note in this beer is a "jammy" berry quality. It is quite sweet and tastes like you can spread this over bread. Then onto the classic Bourbon County of vanilla, chocolate, sweet bourbon, which all really work well with sweet forward berry character in this beer.

Bramble is slightly better for its more refined berry flavors, but this beer may turn into that with a bit of age.

 392 characters

Photo of MacQ32
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - pours a deep dark (muddy when holding a high powered flashlight to it - yes I really did that, its not normal). Finger of dense rich chocolate colored head, OK retention and lacing.

S - sweet cherry like/mild tartness, rich cocoa, vanilla, Raisin/cinnamon deliciousness.

T - Initially very sweet, cocoa/raisin/cinnamon flavors followed by a Mediciny boozy flavor. Cherries and other similar berries, some decent whisky heat. Finish/aftertaste is berries/medicine burn.

M - full bodied+ thick and smooth, minimal carbonation. A sipper for sure

O - possibly my least favorite bcbs variant

 594 characters

Photo of SHerninko
4.51/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on my daughter's birthday. Thanks to Leesure for stopping by with a bottle. 3/30/14
Poured into a large red wine crystal glass (hey it looks and has lots of wine characteristics).

Appears deep red/ruby. Some light legs dribble down the sides of the glass.

Smell is interesting. Lots going on. Fruit, raison, berries (duh), the some strong alcohol and bourbon. Not a stout smell really but it's there as a base.

Taste -- first sip was a bit cloying and like a fruit juice/wine as it hit the tongue. I was like "whoahhh"- a bit sweet. After a minute and another sip, the sweetness was mellowed out. It is like drinking a wine, maybe a port. As it warmed the alcohol increased (I will age my other bottles and see how it matures), but so did the more bourbon stout like flavors. It is interesting as it changes like a chameleon as it warmed up.

Mouth was the only sort of disappointment. It was slightly on the thinner side. Not annoying or a problem, but not thick or creamy--again more wine like and silky.

Overall---got to try it at least once if you can find it. It was a bit too sweet, but for me anyway it toned down after the initial shock. It has many layers and lots of things going on (layers), especially as it goes from full glass to the last sip.

 1,269 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Bottled on November 20th, 2013.

Appearance: Pours a sludgy pitch black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of deep tan head that quickly fades away. Big alcohol legs and lacing is fairly light.

Smell: A rich, roasty, and pretty sweet dark malt forward aroma with big hints of berries and rye whiskey. Upfront dark roasted barley malts with big hints of dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, burnt toast, grains, biscuit, caramel, toffee, and yeast. Solid barrel presence with hints of rye whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Huge presence of berries with hints of mulberries, boysenberries, and marionberries. Literally smells like berry juice was mixed in. Also some sweet hints of molasses. A very good fruit infused aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a roasty, sludgy, and sweet dark malt driven taste with big notes of berry fruits and rye barrel. Dark roasted barley malts with upfront notes of dark chocolate, coffee beans, burnt toast, biscuit, grains, caramel, toffee, and yeast. Barrel notes of rye whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Big juicy taste of berries with notes of mulberries, boysenberries, and marionberries. More sweetness from some burnt molasses. Light background presence of hops. The berries really stick out. Overall a really great taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Sludgy, juicy, and fairly syrupy. Alcohol heat is surprisingly smooth.

Overall: A really great variation on BCBS. The berries add a great juicy contrast to the dark malt. The rye barrel presence is enough to add a kick without overwhelming anything else.

 1,649 characters

Photo of Jho3325
4.84/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is a fantastic beer I wish was produced every year. The deep dark pour with a bit of roseish cola type head looked great. The smell of the roasted stout with the berries was fantastic and the taste followed. The only knock on this beer was a bit of a thin mouthfeel which was a bit unexpected based upon the pour. This is about as good as it gets. I wish I had another bottle to cellar as I would love to see how the flavors blend when the berries fade a bit ... ISO?

 472 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Celebrating my own little Extreme Beerfest. 22oz. bottle served in a snifter. Pours the color and clarity of cola with a quarter inch, mocha-colored head that dissipates towards the shoulders leaving a fizzy slick across the surface. Nose expresses molasses, char, ethanol, vanilla, buttery notes and a hint of dark fruit. Taste consistent with nose; however, there are definitely distinct berry notes, as well as a toffee character - all and all, pretty amazing. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a pleasant, even carbonation, a slight oiliness and a trace of astringency attributable to the berries. Overall, a rally fantastic variant. I wish I had another bottle to cellar.

 673 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.9/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black with a dense, 1 finger rich mocha colored head with average retention. Huge, oily legs with good stick but no lace. Solid.

Nose is chocolate, lactose, fudge, raspberry sweetness, and berry jam. Just the slightest touch of booziness in the back. Deep and robust.

Opens sweet and slightly tart. Chocolate, mocha, molasses, and cocoa in the middle mixed with some booziness and jammy fruit. Ends leather, wood, booze and a berry sweet and tartness. Aftertaste of chocolate, fudge, and molasses. Pretty good.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Silky and smooth in the mouth and goes down rich and slightly hot. Messy finish with a lingering, juicy aftertaste. Very good.

Not one of my favorite variations of BCBS but this is still very solid. The fruit presence doesn't quite work here with the big body but its definitely a different take that's much appreciate. Worth trying but don't expect it to blow you away.

 997 characters

Photo of PlinyBeMiney
4.79/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle to snifter. After allowing the beer to warm and breath I obverse a stout as dark as they come. Bubbles around the glass worn like a delicate crown. The nose is of jammy luxurious berries. Sweet fruit just bursting with ripeness. At the right temp, this beer smells amazing. The taste is less bourbony than the original. A change of pace with an apparent Rye spiciness. I think this is intentional to allow the berries to shine through. Mouthfeel is on spot with the style. This beer is a great take on the original and a lot better than last years Cherry Rye IMO.

 570 characters

Photo of unclejazz
4.55/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is unlike any other Bourbon County varient, if I didn't know my guess would be its not even a Goose Island beer. It is so different, very drinkable. You just get a hint of the whiskey barrel treatment, but the berry flavor is so enjoyable. If you have a bottle of it, please drink this stuff fresh. It is really a wonderful treat. Note to Goose Island, make this every year and release it in four pack like BCBCS.

 418 characters

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

As expected, pitch black in color with a fantastic aroma. Unlike any of the Bourbon County variations I have had so far. Very berry forward on the nose, and it translates perfectly into the taste. It is almost like a perfect mixed berry jam in a bottle. Well balanced, smooth, berry tasty and easy to drink. Definitely worth trying and I was glad I got a chance to enjoy it.

 374 characters

Photo of BeerZombies1
5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

American double / Imperial stout
12.7 % ABV

APPEARANCE: Poured out a deep dark night sky black, with reddish hues around the rim. No head at all and no lacing. Very small tan halo.

AROMA: Right away I am blown away by the nose on this. Intense chocolate covered berries, jammy, sweet malts. The rye barrel hits hard, vanilla, oaky. Nice espresso in there also.

TASTE: Blown away. Intense velvety chocolate and a ripe berries. Very flamboyant. No hiding the layers of flavors. Dark, deep, roasted coffee little spice and heat on the backend I'm assuming from the Templeton barrels.

MOUTHFEEL: Thick and syrupy like I expect form Bourbon County. Very little carbonation, coats the mouth in an oily slick feel.

OVERALL: I for one loved this beer! Very balanced for being so complex. My favorite Bourbon County to date.

RATING: 5/5 Zombie Heads!

 853 characters

Photo of Chico1985
4.23/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nov. 2013 bottling, thanks to Cam for sharing this crazy beer.

Appearance - A bit lighter than regular BCBS with reddish hues. Small beige head dissipates quickly to a very thin ring and nothin' else.

Smell - Comes off as kind of a tamer BCBS, berries are noticeable, but I'd say whiskey barrel comes out more than anything else. Chocolate and vanilla cake. Sweet and bourbon-y.

Taste - Wow, so different. Straight up spoonfuls of berry jam, seeds and all. Definitely reminds me of boysenberry jam and blackberries. Throw in some whiskey, chocolate, vanilla and roast and you've got one insanely rich and tasty beer.

Mouthfeel - Smooth mouthfeel, medium-low carbonation, nice whiskey without really being boozy. Big sweet flavors but quite drinkable.

Overall - Crazy, very unique and intense berries, never encountered a beer like this for sure. A very different feel than Bourbon County Stout in the flavor and body. I kind of wish the base beer wasn't as buried, but those berries tho, thoze berries.

 1,007 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.09/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured to five wine glasses pretty much like putting new oil into my engine, thick and viscous with a small tan coating, not much of a head. No retention since no real foam happens. Small tan ring leaves a few spots of lace but not much at all.

S- Similar to BCBS here with some fruit in the back drop. Thick, decadent cocoa-forward super roast malts, vanilla Bourbon and oak barrels. Rich, thick sweetness even here, you can tell is coming big time next. Fudge bomb.

T- Whoa this opens up a ton here compared to the nose. The berries blow out here with a huge jam, syrupy, jelly feel that creates something beyond decadent with the base stout. I don't have a ton of experience with the actual berries themselves but the fruit flavor is semi-tart with a blackberry-blueberry feel for me with some cherry type hints. Extremely sweet. Base BCBS is trumped by the fruit but the rich cocoa and strong Rye barrels are solid in the backdrop. Reminds me of fudge, cake and truffles.

MF- Super thick and syrupy body with low-medium carbonation. Texture is somewhat creamy and frothy and just rich. Slight alcohol warming at the end. Slight berry tarts.

Gotta give some major credit considering the intensity and authentic flavor they capture from the berries. Somehow this is stronger than the flavor of a beastly, cocoa and whiskey laden stout. Maybe a bit too much fruit but still a beer like no other.

 1,403 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.15/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Colonial Spirits muled by Hoppasaurus Rex, thanks.
I decided to open this tonight after a bizarre bottle stacking cap denting incident in my basement.
Pours a solid black with a decent sized tan head that quickly dissipates to some fuzz on top. Aromas of molasses and brown sugar with bits of rye whiskey, oak tannin, and bits of tart fruit. The flavor follows the aroma but the tart berry is much more pronounced. Thick sugary molasses base with hints of chocolate atop a pile of tart berries. Light oak and vanilla with a touch of ethanol round thing out quite nicely. Thick body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a thick sweet syrupy mouthfeel. Great variation, I really enjoyed this beer, wish I had another.

 740 characters

Photo of richj1970
4.66/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz bomber into taster glass.

A: Pours pitch black with a smallish one finger mocha colored head that dissipated quite quickly leaving no lacing at all.

S: The nose keeps bring me back to the thought of chocolate covered cherries. Lots of nice fruity berry notes mixed with big whiskey and hints of chocolate and espresso.

T: a Thick chocolate fudge covered in berry preserve. The berries were a bit subdued at first, but really shine as it warmed up. Nice alcohol heat and chocolate undertones. A little spiciness from the rye whiskey which adds a nice touch.

M: Very full bodied and thick as you would expect. The rye whiskey influence leaves the finish a bit dry.

O: Excellent beer. The original BCBS stands as one of my all time favorite beers, but this is an excellent variant for sure.

 810 characters

Photo of JohnG190
4.91/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with a scant, slight ruby head that dissipated quickly. No lacing to speak of. Lots of berry on the nose along with dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and wood, incredible! The taste is reminiscent of chocolate dipped berries. The barrel isn't as dominant as other bourbon county releases, it adds nice vanilla, whiskey, and wood notes. Finishes sweet. Full mouthfeel with no carbonation to speak of. Overall, Backyard Rye is amazing, it's the finest example of a stout with fruit that I've had!

 512 characters

Photo of drmcleod10
4.46/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened for my bday and shared amount 5 or 6 people along with many other beers.

A - Dark as night just like every other variant. Little to no head formed. Drank about 4-5 ounces of this and that was plenty.

S - Smell was wonderful with a lot of the barrel character coming through as well as the berry smells that they used to make this beer

T - Taste was a little overpowering in terms of the fruity characteristics. I felt as though it took a lot away from the bourbon and base flavors of the beer as I wasn't getting those tastes until the after taste. Really glad that I picked this one up and wish I had one more to age to see how the flavors would meld together as I can see this one aging beautifully

M - Mouthfeel was slightly thinner than other variants but still a medium to full bodied beer that coated the mouth and was creamy and smooth

O - I was a little underwhelmed surprisingly with this one as it's my least favorite variant. Still a world-class beer but I had slightly higher expectations.
Note: Everyone else loved this beer more than I did.

 1,067 characters

Photo of RacerX5k
5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Now this is Bourbon County. I had this very fresh 2 days before the official release and didn't care for it at all. The berry was way too prominent. Luckily thanks to Matt @Capones I had a second last night, and it was superb.

Beautiful berry purpleish color hits my snifter first then morphs into the familiar black, but keeps the berry highlighting. Gorgeous. Perfect carbonation, very alive in the glass. Huge whiskey aroma, some spice from the rye treatment along with the berry notes, vanilla and coconut. I'm thinking this aroma is very similar to Cherry Rye. Taste is chocolate berry fudge cake, very thick, great mouthfeel. The berry is definitely less than 3 months ago, turning this into Bourbon County perfection.

 725 characters

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Besides the original, best variant I've had minus RARE. Hands DOWN. For the record, I've had coffee, vanilla but not the PROPRIETER's blend but I don't like coconut.

Thank GOD 4 months have past so it's not a berry bomb and there's enough of the base beer coming through, but make no mistake about it, this is all about what the berries lend to the original BCBS. Not sure if a very fresh bottle would lend the same comment.

Raspberry truffle BCBS. Not at all in a cloying or overly sweet way. Rye cuts through the overly sweetness of it all. Kept it spicy & dry when it comes to the finish. I hate fruity and sweet beers, but I killed this bomber in as much time as a favorite DIPA because it was that good. Yeah, I didn't share this bomber with anyone but my greedy self :-) Again, this was the best variant of the bunch I've had and I LOVE coffee and am skeptical of berries. This impressed me more than the Coffee variant.

 930 characters

Photo of guityler83
4.81/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Less then a half finger of tan head built in the tulip before quickly falling. Swirling produces alcohol legs that slide down the edge of the glass with very little carbonation bubbles kicking up from solution. The beer is black as a winter night, no light shines through, just like the other BCBS's.

S: The first impression I get is chocolate covered cherries. Dark chocolate, cherries, raspberries, strawberry all very distinct. Coffee and a slight roast, combined with the vanilla oaky barrel character, which is not as up front in the aroma as normal BCBS. Slight spicey rye character detected.. but it might be a mental thing because I know its there.

T: Holy schnikeys.. its fermented raspberry jam on a chocolate covered cherry. You've got dark chocolate being the base flavor throughout the beer, but up front is the same strawberry, raspberry and cherry flavors as in the aroma, really juicy/fresh tasting. The caramel/toffee flavors usually present in BCBS is very subtle. The barrel is moderately present, on the burp.. I get the rye spiceyness like I was drinking rye whiskey.. very nice.

M: Alcohol warming is the first thing I notice. Smooth thick body overall. Carbonation is very low, but it compliments the berry flavors nice.

O: Balanced very well between the berries and the barrel with the base beer coming through still. After having the normal, coffee, barley wine and now this I'm amazed at the consistency of the Bourbon County beers. I would love to try Prop to round out this years lineup. Backyard is defiantly not for everyone with the jam like flavors coming off kind of sweet, but I'm loving it.

 1,633 characters

Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.54 out of 5 based on 2,100 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.