Bourbon County Brand Regal Rye Stout
Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Brand Regal Rye StoutBourbon County Brand Regal Rye Stout
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Stout - American Imperial
4.42 | pDev: 7.92%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Bourbon County Brand Regal Rye StoutBourbon County Brand Regal Rye Stout
Notes: Bourbon County Brand Stout aged in rye whiskey barrels with blackberries, Luxardo candied cherries, fresh sour cherries and sea salt.
Reviews: 170 | Ratings: 827 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by cavedave:
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cavedave from New York

4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thick black with a half inch of light brown head that relaxes to a nice ring and skim island. Stupid droopy oily lace legs leisurely slither.

Whiskey, berries, dark caramel, vanilla, and chocolate cherry with a roasty undernote make a wonderful aroma that activates my saliva glands.

Berries and alcohol lead whiskey, roasty bitter, chocolate and overripe cherries along the path of taste that is full, deep, and ends just right with hints of sweet carried atop broad shoulders of roast.

Not as thick as its cousin, regular, but plenty viscous, full bodied, and a wonderful finish that never gets that cherry cough medicine thing some cherry stouts get.

So glad this isn't a victim of L. Acetotolerans, as others in the most recent Bourbon County line up have been. Really outstanding variant that manages to taste blended but yet display all the individual flavors well. Howitdodat? Highly recommended.

Jun 19, 2016
More User Reviews:
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elliott1184 from Minnesota

4.78/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Nice rye spiciness. Boozy. Tart and sweet berries. Lush. Produces a pleasant warming sensation. This beer will make you put on a nice shawl collar cardigan. Then unbutton it. Music pairing: Ratatat

Nov 28, 2015
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CHickman from New York

4.54/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

On tap at One Mile House in NYC, served in a half sized Goose Island nonic pint glass, it pours pitch black with a small tan head that faded and left basically zero lacing - as expected from all BCBS brews.

Smells of dark roasted malt, molasses, brown sugar, oak/barrels, blackberry, peat moss, syrup, dark fruit, candied sugar and light bourbon. Light herbs or floral hops add to the nose, but it's all dark fruit and sweet candied sugars. Very nice to inhale as the blackberries made this variation of this stout different and very enjoyable.

Tastes sweet with the berries hitting first, followed by raisin, date, prunes, cherries and other dark fruits, then the assault by dark roasted malt, molasses, brown sugar, oak/barrels, more blackberry, peat moss, syrup, Belgian candied sugar and light bourbon. Light herbs or floral hops add to the mix like the nose, but it's all dark fruit and sweet, oaky tannins that come through and add wonderful complexities. I like this combo of fruity, sweet, lightly bitter and malty. It's one sided and really malt focused and robust, but it works really well.

Some bitterness but no trace of rye, which is fine by me, however I suspect the spicy/herbal notes may stem from the rye. The ABV is well hidden and this slides down very smooth. Naturally as it sat and warmed up it got more complex. There was something different about the flavor which I could not figure out, so I guess that was the sea salt added which the Goose Island rep told me about. Another impressive Bourbon County Brand Stout.

12/03/2016: Shared a year aged 2015 (bottled 27OCT15, 1128-13.2% ABV) and it had a lot more fruit that shows off the blackberry and touches of rye. Feels light and thin with a great level of sweetness and a lovely mix of complexities that hides the ABV completely. This aged beautifully, excellent again so I upped the overall score from 4.5 to 4.75.

Nov 26, 2015
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MLDucky from Texas

4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I guess I'm in the minority here, but I wasn't very impressed with this offering, in fact, I was a bit disappointed. Pour was typical bourbon county deep black but a bit more head that seemed to fiz a bit. Soft aroma of fruit. Taste was straight sweet. Loads of lingering sweetness, blackberry, raspberry even blueberry. I got 0 candied cherry (I guess overall sweetness counts?), but the part I didn't like was the lingering saltiness. It almost coated my tongue and I just couldn't get past that. As it warmed the sweetness died down a bit, but the beer seemed thin. I much preferred Backyard Rye to this. To each their own.

Dec 14, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is amazing stout, one of the best variants I have had of this beer to date, and brilliant on the extra ingredients this time! For one, the rye whiskey is appreciable is not being bourbon, much less sweet, a little of that rye malt rawness, and in general just an absolute ton of barrel character, charred oak, bitter, fire, roast. Lots of chocolate to this, a staple of bourbon county, but I feel like I appreciate it more now with these other ingredients. The cherries are genius, a mix of tangy fresh ones, accentuated by the chocolate, and the luxardo, which is to me the most obvious flavor in here, just like the cherry itself, feels like a cocktail! The salt is inconsequential here really, and the blackberries are pretty tame too, generic berry sweetness alongside the cherry is all. This is a perfect base beer for these ingredients though, they bring a lot out of one another, and the unity is divine. So smooth and complex, tons of barrel, not boozy at all, not too sugary, lots more luxardo Cherry than expected, I love it! After a few lackluster editions, the infection trouble, bourbon county appears here to be back in all of its glory. This is world class!

Oct 15, 2016
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NickyDee21 from Pennsylvania

3.69/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: Black with almost non-existent head. Appears thin.

S: Fruit right away. Very pleasant aroma with hints of chocolate-covered fruits. Subtle hints of rye.

T: Experiencing the blackberries first. This beer has promise. More fruit with the barrel profile starting to shine through. Also picking up some hints of dark chocolate. About half way through, this beer does a complete 180. The finish is rather unpleasant with a full-on car wreck of flavors trying to come through. Getting some roasty stout characteristics trying to compete with more barrel and more fruit flavors, which have now taken an almost-tart flavor that doesn't meld well with everything else going on,

F: Thin for an imperial stout, super-thin for any BCBS. does not have that creaminess one comes to expect with series.

O: I had high hopes for this one. the flavors sounded right up my alley and with Backyard Rye being my favorite all-time variant of BCBS (other than Rare) I was hoping for something on par. What I got was a good beer, but something that ultimately falls short of the BCBS standard. Seems to be the theme of the 2015 releases.

Apr 14, 2016
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Beer4B from Florida

4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really impressively balanced beer. Bourbon, berries, a little punch of salt, and then smooth berries in the finish. It didn't seem overly sweet to me and that was after I had drank a bitter BA stout. Really well blended and balanced with waves of flavors.

Nov 30, 2015
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bowzer4birdie from Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into 2015 BCS snifter. Clearly come across the base beer's influence in all aspects on this one (which is fantastic)...problem is the cherries and sea salt influence are subtle at best even as I let this beer warm over the course of an hour or so. Some sips reveal a bit more cherry and with others I couldn't distinguish much beyond the base beer quite honestly.

Jan 06, 2016
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maximum12 from Minnesota

3.3/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Drowning my sorrows after watching the Vikings boot away a playoff win; perhaps headed towards blackout drunk. Awful. Thanks to Dre for sharing this one.

Pour is dark black, scarcely any head, just like Norv Turner & his horrifying play-calling. The nose is bourbon and…blackberries? Oh, crap, I never even read the description, now I get it.

Regal Rye is perhaps a Duke from a far-off county, maybe even a noble’s youngest son – nothing more. Fruit dominates – huge blackberries, sweet cherries, backed with a Harrison Smith blitz of bourbon that saves the beer from complete mediocrity. Rye? My finely tuned, rye-loving radar barely beeps. Finish drowns in the orchard, along with a long, drawn-out sweetness. Nice & thick per the BCS handbook, but the drinkability suffers from having the kitchen sink of produce thrown at it.

Perhaps this will turn into Backyard someday, but for now, it’s barely a Backsidewalk. Too much fruit, not enough rye, only the whiskey saves it from embarrassing anonymity. Not impressed with the 2015 variants; pretty good, but nothing to seek out.

Jan 10, 2016
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

A fleeting mocha to espresso brown like head, has barely a pencil thin height but a creamy appearance before dissolving to a simple lighter collar. Body color is dark classic walnut brown, nearly black, with a good deep ever so slightly noticeable red edge like a dark red mahogany.

Aroma is intensely satisfying. Smells like blueberries fresh and neatly picked, with a sense of dark cocoa but also a sweeter milk chocolate sensation. Does seem to hint at a little bit of salt too which makes an excellent combination on the chocolate like angles. Hints of coconut also come out as well which really nice. Mouth watering stuff.

Palate is very enjoyable. Lots of washing fruit all over the palate. Lingering berried fruits of blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, you name it coming out with a black forest cake angle. Velvety not quite rich or silky mouthfeel, playful unexpected slightly prickly in carbonation, but easier bodied drinking that lets the palate coat and warm. Round oaky flavors a bit as well coating everywhere in the palate as well.

This actually reminds me a bit of some of the Rye Eclipse variants and as no surprise it comes out as a solid winner. Bourbon County just keeps on rolling.

Dec 13, 2015
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Kevinpitts from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cherry flavor overpowers this beer. Barely any barrel aging notes to detect as sweetness overpowers. Taste lingers. Don't notice sea salt whatsoever. Disappointing.

Nov 29, 2015
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Sparty1224 from Michigan

4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Serving: 16.9 fl. oz. bottle poured into a 2015 GI Bourbon County snifter. Bottled on 10/27/15, making this exactly 2 months old.

A: Pours a viscous black body and gets a little bit more of a dark brown head than regular BCBS.

S: Getting the usual BCBS staples here with vanilla, oak, char, whiskey, chocolate. As far as the fruit presence, it's very muted. I get more candied cherry than I do fresh blackberries, but it's buried beneath a layer of S'mores and marshmallows.

T: Huge oak, vanilla, cocoa. Subtle whiskey notes in the middle. In the finish comes a sweet glaze of candied cherries, and just a touch of blackberry juice. The fruit flavors here don't stand out by any means, and they come across almost buried. You'd thinking warming the beer to room temp would help, but no dice. The fruit aspect of this variant shines most in the distant aftertaste or when you lick your lips. It's there, but you really have to look for it.

M: Classic BCBS mouthfeel here, nothing lost with the fruit additions. Very rich, full. Alcohol hidden just right. Oh, and no sea salt to be found, sorry.

O: I probably get more excited about the fruited BCBS variants than most, but I just like fruit in general. When done right, fruited stouts can be amazing. As far as BCBS variants go, I tend to always say they can never beat the original BCBS because they always turn their one flavor up to 10, when BCBS is just so balanced. The problem with Regal here is that it's turned down to about 3 or 4. And that bums me out, because if it were somewhere in the middle, it could be one of the greatest BCBS variants. But this guy is just so, so muted. You have to fight with your palate to bring out the cherry and blackberry flavors. If you were to hand this to me and say it was one of the 2015 BCBS beers, I'd say it was regular 9 out of 10 times. Now, does that mean this is a bad beer? Heck no! This is a brilliant beer. Right up there with Regular. Very rich, decadent, drinkable. But when rating this or reviewing it as a variant and judging it against what it's supposed to be, I guess it fails because I hardly get that cherry or blackberry presence.

O: While it may not live up to it's initial design, this is still an outstanding final product. Consider keeping an extra to age, but I'd say this is ready to go now if you just have one.

Dec 28, 2015
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mrn1ceguy from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at Rare Day. Dark black color with minimal head. The nose was fruity but non-distinct. The taste had a good blend of cherry and other berries to go with the standard bourbon stoutness of BCBS. But unlike past fruited BCBS, the fruit was more juice like then fresh fruit like. The finish was a little thin and missed the creaminess of Cherry Rye & Backyard. Overall a fantastic beer but probably a clear step below Cherry Rye, Bramble, and Backyard.

Nov 14, 2015
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Chris912 from Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

During FoBAB 2015. Fantastic event. Appearance is just as you expect from GI BC, black as the devil's night. Smell the sweetness, from the blackberries perhaps, on the nose. Very rich, but not cloying, as some would say. Taste is a blessing. This is when you can taste the cherries and berries it was aged with, but not overpowering to the poing where the barrel doesn't shine through. Mouthfeel is thick, similar to the rest in the lineup and in year's past. Overall, I'd seek this out. I'd really like to try this by its lonesome on a cold winter's night in front of the fire, while the dog stares at me wondering why the hell I'm staring at a glass of beer for an hour straight.

Nov 24, 2015
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- The beer was black with a mocha head.

Smell - The berries come to the front with a slight boozy presence.

Taste - I detect blackberries way more than sea salt or cherries. The booze is sticky and sweet. There is a certain cough syrup quality from the berries. The aftertaste might be the sweetest part, with notes of diabetes.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is sticky sweet.

Overall - I think I like regular bourbon county better.

Aug 28, 2016
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whatruDOINdragic from Illinois

1.59/5  rDev -64%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

Appearance -- it's a berry BCBS variant: looks very dark with some purple/red tinge at the edges.

Nose -- 90/10 sour/cherry, no barrel whatsoever and no hint this is a stout: complete absence of chocolate or roast.

Taste -- Call it what you want--"infected," "off," "shifted flavor profile"--this beer is bad. The taste offers a bit more than the nose but not much. Sourness predominates and I struggled to identify the slightest hint of chocolate, with sour cherry and maybe some salt on the finish. Roast, vanilla, caramel, oak and/or rye spice are all completely absent. The sour lingers.

Feel -- Not as thin as the bad bottled '15 BCBBW but significantly thinner than the usual BCBS mouthfeel. Not at all chewy or sticky.

Overall -- 2011 BCBS, my first ever, was the beer that got me hooked on craft. I started laughing to myself like a lunatic based on that first whiff. Since then BCBS and its variants have been by far my favorite line of beers. I feel compelled to give this, my first BA review, because of how disappointed I am in the 2015 lineup of BCBS bottles. Some have argued that Regal bottles are unaffected by whatever was wrong with the Barleywine and Coffee bottles--that the Regal bottles aren't off, this is just how the beer tastes. I'm not sure which is worse.

May 13, 2016
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gcamparone from Rhode Island

4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz bottle into a Goose Island tulip glass. Purchased in Sturbridge, MA yesterday. 13.2%. Bottled 27Oct15.

Pours a thick black oily body with a rather fizzy milk chocolate colored head that reduces pretty quickly to leave light lacing and a ring of retention.

After an hour of sitting and warming up, the aromas potent and inviting. Lots of chocolate, coconut, and vanilla-bourbon-caramel notes, with light berries in the background.

On the tongue is that lovely, rich chocolately bourbon county stout flavor, lots of dark roasty malt here, followed by light berry notes, dark chocolate, vanilla and bourbon, char and delicious toasty malts on the finish that stick around for a while. Rich and creamy on the mouthfeel with low carbonation.

I really enjoyed this variant, the berries weren't overpowering or cloying and the distinct bourbon county flavors were there. Very well balanced and complex.

Nov 28, 2015
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John_M from Oregon

4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a blackish brown color with, and has the consistency of motor oil (almost). The beer has pretty decent head retention and lacing as well, for all that it has the look of a beer that has seen some serious barrel aging (which I guess it has). On the nose, this just smells great, as I pick up considerable black cherry, dark chocolate, and then vanilla and light coffee. Maybe there's a hint of rye as well (more on the palate than the nose), but it's really drowned out by the cherry and chocolate in this beer. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, in a rich, smooth, soft and fairly sweet package. Alcohol is noticeable, but not nearly as much as it is in the regular BCBS. So drinkability is actually pretty decent (considering).

Impressive beer, and probably my favorite of the BCBS variants currently available.

Apr 04, 2016
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breadwinner from California

4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Regal Rye on tap locally. Not too bad. I'm pretty leery of fruited stouts and didn't much like Cherry Rye (never had Bramble or Backyard), but this worked well enough. Could definitely notice the salt, though I wouldn't call it overdone, while the fruit was surprisingly subtle, particularly at colder temps. As it warmed, the flavors came out a little more, giving more of a fruity tartness than anything (unlike, for example, Cherry Rye, which I thought was off-the-charts cherry-forward and not to its benefit). A little smoky/ashy in the finish. Honestly, the first sip or two, admittedly a touch cold, didn't show a TON of difference from regular BCBS, IMO, though again its character started to show up as it warmed. Overall, I think it's something a lot of folks will like, and it'll probably cellar fairly well, but it's not really something I'd personally pay $20+ for a pint of, but then I'm also generally a miserly son of a...

Nov 26, 2015
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dar482 from New York

4.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a pitch black color, familiar BCBS color.

The aroma offers sweet berry, blackberry, melds with the dark fruit of the base beer, slightly tart to cut into the richness of BCBS.

The flavor hits of blackberry jam, some cherry flavor with the BCBS dark fruit flavor, some sweet maraschino cherry, rich chocolate. Roast is slightly hidden by the tart berries and dark fruit with a wonderful hint of salinity drying out the beer along with the oak.

Jan 02, 2017
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twelveinches from Washington

4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dec 05, 2015
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buzzed from Texas

4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 20, 2016
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Aaron_Kerkvliet from Wisconsin

4.83/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Aug 16, 2016
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Kwright from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jul 03, 2018
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pkalix from California

4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

oh yeah.... i get the sea salt in the aroma.... not something i really like, but when it's in the smell you know it's a strong component. i get a strong 'candied' presence, like an old fruit cake passed around from family to family for generations of Christmases.... feels a little thinner than the regular 2015 BC stout with a berry-like flavor coming through. and i may just be prone to the 'salty' flavor due to the overload of salt in the food the last few days but i'm definitely getting it with the berry flavor. overall, a very decent brew. unlike others who are not getting the salt, i'm certainly getting it and with a strong dose of the candied berries. i get the "children's cough syrup" someone else commented but i think it's a bit twisted of a description. it probably is NOT the most "authentic" type of variant, but i get why they tried it. surprised they discontinued the Vanilla Rye as that is, by far, the very best variant i have ever had, but alas! definitely syrup-y!

Dec 26, 2015
Bourbon County Brand Regal Rye Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 827 ratings