Bourbon County Brand Reserve Rye Stout
Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Brand Reserve Rye StoutBourbon County Brand Reserve Rye Stout
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Stout - American Imperial
4.44 | pDev: 5.86%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Bourbon County Brand Reserve Rye StoutBourbon County Brand Reserve Rye Stout
Notes: For the first year since the brewery started doing the Reserve variant, Goose Island is releasing a second Reserve in the same year. For this variant, the beer spent time in Rittenhouse Rye barrels giving the beer a spicier taste that you would expect from a rye whiskey.
Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 110 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by emyers:
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emyers from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2019 vintage.

Black with a thin light brown lacing.

Nose: Rye barrel is front and center with a backdrop of dark fruit.

Taste: Really captures the rye whiskey flavor profile. Tons of spice, oak, chocolate. Moderate heat on the finish. I personally think bourbon complements the BCBS base flavor profile a bit better than rye but this is a fantastic take all the same.

Feel: Classic BCBS mouthfeel - full-bodied and rich - with an added touch of spice from the rye.

Dec 25, 2019
More User Reviews:
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rcjennings from Ohio

4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dec 20, 2019
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RollDamnTide from North Carolina

4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nov 30, 2019
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M_chav from New Mexico

4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Feb 16, 2020
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dwilrigs from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dec 07, 2019
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing opaque black in the glass with a thin khaki head that dissipates to a patch with light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, molasses, dry caramel, cocoa, whiskey, oaky vanilla. Flavor follows with dark toasted malt with slight char, dry caramel, rye whiskey, light cocoa and coffee, barrel vanilla and oak. Finish is rye whiskey and dark malt. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess and sharp, active carbonation. It was time to drink my last 2019 BCBS and it was this Reserve one, the first Reserve I've ever been able to find for sale. Having had the many iterations of BCBS for over a decade, I knew what to expect. The rye whiskey is a clear and authentic note in the classic deep base malt of this stout. The thin head was a big fizzy and the mouth feel also had a sharp carbonation to it. Although everything seems fine, I'm glad I didn't age this one much. The one year seems to have tamed the booziness I expected and blended the flavors a little. This is still rye forward, but the base stout holds up to the barrelling beautifully. This is a fine series of barreled stouts. Many are kind of gimmicky, but I will certainly pursue the straightforward whiskey/bourbon barreled ones. As I expected, I'm not sure I detect a huge difference between this hard to find Reserve version, but the rye is welcome and well done.

Dec 25, 2020
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pop the top, there’s a booze howitzer on the nose from the rye, but hints of chocolate and stone fruit, too.

On the taste, this is a beer miasma of excellence. it’s a little creamy, rich, and boozy with some incredible milk chocolate and stone fruit notes. The rye is a 2 x 4 between the eyes. Love it.

Dec 22, 2019
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Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

4.46/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tasted in a snifter from draft at Timothy O'Toole's on December 12, 2019. The 2019 Reserve Rye is aged in 100% Rittenhouse Rye barrels, lovingly referred to as "the bartender's favorite" rye. Rittenhouse's Barrels had a unique effect on the original imperial stout, imparting flavors of fruit and spice. Reserve Rye accentuates all that makes Rittenhouse and Bourbon County unique.

Mar 07, 2020
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2019 batch of Bourbon County Reserve.

This one pours a fairly dark black, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells like charred oak, cedar, cinnamon, dark chocolate fudge, peppery rye, roast, coffee, etc.

The Rittenhouse barrels add a complex and distinguishable dimension to the base Bourbon Count, as there's a whole lot of spice here. It almost feels like cedar or balsam, with some cinnamon. There's a hint of mint, too, but not a lot. There's chocolate and dark roast coffee, with a hint of dried fruit as well.

This is medium bodied, very creamy, with a hint of spicy bitterness on the back end.

My favorite Bourbon County variants lately have been the non-adjunct single barrel variants. This is really tasty, with a fantastic spicy flavor from the barrel.

Dec 06, 2020
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MeLoynes from Missouri

4.52/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 12, 2020
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GrumpyGas from Illinois

4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

As compared to regular:
the tan head lasts longer and has more leggy lacing;

the aroma has that distinct rye bite and a stronger barrel presence;

the flavor retains its complexity with an added peppery bite;

the mouthfeel remains full and creamy;

overall a great variation that somehow looks, smells, and tastes better than the regular.

Oct 04, 2020
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AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

4.79/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours midnight black with a thin tan cap that falls away quickly. Nice leggings when swirled. Aroma is dark roasted malt, rye, and dark chocolate. Flavor follows the nose, with dark stone fruit added. Sweet but not cloyingly so. Feel is thick and syrupy, with minimal carbonation. Overall a fantastic beer.

Nov 30, 2019
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BarryMFBurton from Indiana

4.14/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dec 05, 2019
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CraftFan5 from New Jersey

4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

26 September 2020 - Beer #188

Price: $19.99 at Food Emporium on 8th Ave in Manhattan

Appearance: 4 - you know, it's not completely black.

Nose: 4 - all barrel, but it's not terribly strong on the nose.

Taste: 5 - yeah, alright. Massive barrel up front, but not too sweet. That's the rye. The sweetness hits you as a slight tingle on the very back end.

Mouth: 5 - just a sip fills your whole mouth and almost chokes you. Well played.

Overall: 5 - I love bourbon county with no adjuncts. Fantastic.


Oct 02, 2020
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bluegrassbrewer from Kentucky

4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bone dry with a peppery finish. Wildly different than the base Bourbon County and other Reserve series bottles. Worth seeking out and trying. Could see this being some folks favorite BCBS in recent memory.

Jan 02, 2021
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MTKATL from Georgia

4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Jun 21, 2020
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zac16125 from South Carolina

4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2019 BCB Rye Stout (Rittenhouse)
500mL bottle into a snifter

Pours an opaque black with less than 1/2 fingers width of tan colored head. Head dissipates quickly and leaves pretty much no lacing. Aroma is huge rye whiskey barrel notes, oaky, a pete like character. Base beer notes not very prominent at all in the aroma and are mostly roasty notes. Taste is MUCH bigger and bolder than the aroma. Some sweet notes up front, huge roastiness and some bitterness on the finish. Like the nose, barrel notes are huge. Just huge rye whiskey notes, almost to the point of being unbalanced but the sweetness helps keep things in check. Mouthfeel is full bodied, approaching syrupy, ABV present but not in a bad way, drinkability average for the ABV. Overall, this is very good as is every BCB stout, but it’s far from my favorite variant. It’s also probably the variant that is the least different from the regular BCBS. Don’t get me wrong, I’d drink this everyday if I had an unlimited supply, but i’m terms of BCB variants it’s one I would be unlikely to seek out multiples to cellar.


Oct 23, 2020
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grover37 from District of Columbia

4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

8oz at WFH shortly after release

Dec 02, 2019
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JamesLeung from Florida

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 01, 2020
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Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: A dark auburn-black with a finger of espresso cream head fading down to a partial frothy cap. Average head retention, little to no lacing.

S: No vanilla barrel character on the nose, instead a boozy and tart cherry presence with dark roasted malts and a dusty earthy almond-butter note in there.

T: A tolerable boozy heat on the tongue, the cherry aspect is more of a candy liqueur now and coco powder creeps in on the palate as it warms. Less rye spicy notes than hoped for - they are barely present.

F: Medium heavy body with a little appropriate carbonation. Not overly sweet or syrupy.

O: Overall this is a solid beer and a well executed stout, but overall it didn't shine, stand out, or very much taste like anything that could warrant the larger price tag and cardboard box.

Jan 23, 2020
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer was thick and black in color with a small mocha colored head crowning the glass.

Smell - The nose was that of a sweet boozy stout.

Taste - Like regular BCBS, the beer was like sweet chocolate. However, this one had a better sense of balance. It was not overly sweet with very detectable rye. The profile was not hot, but the ABV definitely left its mark. The profile was consistent through the taste.

Mouthfeel - The body was really smooth on this one. There was little carbonation or burn to get in the way of the boozy chocolate.

Overall - Without all of the adjuncts, this was nice.

May 30, 2020
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NolaHopHead from Louisiana

4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dec 10, 2020
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mattmarka1 from Minnesota

4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Jan 05, 2020
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Jps715 from New Jersey

4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dec 31, 2019
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Gambyt20 from Illinois

4.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nov 18, 2019
Bourbon County Brand Reserve Rye Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 110 ratings