Bourbon County Brand Bramble Rye Stout
Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Brand Bramble Rye StoutBourbon County Brand Bramble Rye Stout
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #105
Ranked #407
4.39 | pDev: 10.93%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Bourbon County Brand Bramble Rye StoutBourbon County Brand Bramble Rye Stout
Notes: Imperial Stout aged in Heaven Hill rye whiskey barrels with raspberries & blackberries.
Reviews: 242 | Ratings: 1,170 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of DaveMaciolek21
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice, deep brown viscous, but not heady, pour. Sensationally smooth beer with delicious dark fruit flavor. Distinct raspberry undertones that are never cloying, and blend beautifully with the rye barrel oakiness. Aged this one for two years before drinking, and that really paid off in smoothness, and depth of flavor.

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DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey, Apr 09, 2020
Photo of stortore
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle into a snifter. Bottled 8/24/18, had 3/15/19.

Pours near black and opaque, thick looking, with a quarter inch quickly dissipating head and a little soapy lacing. Aromas of raspberries, blackberries, rye whiskey, chocolate, malt, fudge, some oak and char. Flavors of rye whiskey, raspberries, chocolate, blackberries, malt, some vanilla. Smooth, a solid full body, well carbonated.

Love the berries, and while the barrels aren’t very strong, everything blends together really well. Very enjoyable.

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stortore from Illinois, Mar 17, 2020
Photo of Gajo74
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at DiveBar, NYC. Despite a mere 5oz pour, I feel there is enough complexity in this drink to rate and review.

Black color with hints of dark mahogany. A tan head quickly dissipates. An elegant looking drink.

In the nose, the raspberry adjunct is the dominant aroma. There are also notes of coffee, chocolate, caramel, rye and nutty malts.

Full bodied, sweet and mouth coating. Boozy with an almost medicinal finish. Lush and rich malt flavors of roasted malt, coffee, sticky chocolate fudge, dark caramel, toffee, dark fruit, and jammy and doughy biscuity, nutty dark malts. The rye a provides a balancing spice, as does the gentle earthy hops presence. Raspberry flavors throughout provide the signature flavor of this BCBS variant, and a light tartness as well as refreshing properties. The barrel aging yields oaky and vanilla notes of bourbon. Moderately gentle carbonation with a touch of alcohol warmth.

Boozy, rich and complex, a big beer in every way. An interesting iteration of BCBS.

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Gajo74 from New York, Dec 20, 2019
Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2018 Vintage with one year bottle aging.

L: Pitch Black, auburn at the edge of the glass, with a eighth inch espresso foam head, fading slowly to a thin ring with minimal lacing.

S: Oh wow. Big raspberry and blackberry up front and in a powerful way. Not overtly sharp, but seems more in he oaked wild ale category that sweetly jammy. Chocolate malt and a note whiskey. More bourbon than rye.

T: Not a decadent as the smell and more fruit sour than clingy sweet stout, but I really enjoy this variant overall. Drier but not too tart. Berry heaven. Any booze has left this one and any remnant is just there to remind me that this is beer. A bit of class in the execution. Wish for more bourbon, cocao stoutiness to nail the balance.

F: Full body, but appropriately lower than BCBS. Low carbonation.

O: Not at the level of The Bruery Sour/Stout blends, but it hits that same spot in my heart. I'm not a big wild ale fan but when you add that rich stout lushness in there - I'm sold.

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Oh_Dark_Star from Washington, Dec 08, 2019
Photo of mushroomcloud
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottled 24AUG18, opened 11-22-19.
1/4" beige head with short retention, falls quickly to a ring. Black stout with some dark brown at the edges and the bottom. No lace.
The jammy berries are still alive and this has almost a red wine barrel age character at first smell. Barrel character is prominent but not the typical boozy/whiskey smell. Slight roasted malt / chocolate character starts to appear with a little warmth.
Tart berry flavor over a smooth roasted, chocolatey malt flavor...barrel is here but not overwhelming by an means. The berry flavor is well integrated but definitely the show. Pie filling. Very nice depth of flavor here.
Full body, low carbonation...smooth berry and chocolate filled medium to medium long finish, not hot or boozy at all (12.7%).
Very good. By far (in my opinion) the best Goose Island Bourbon County Stout I've ever had...I hit it at just the right time maybe (15 months)?

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: very dark with ruby highlights. Nice swirly tan head with clingy lacing.
smell: strong fruit but as with all the variants i've had, the base beer decadence holds it's on.
taste: As in the nose, the fruits all very strong and there's a slight tartness in the finish, but that BCBS richness still shines through.

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Photo of michaelsmith11
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As with all the BCBS stouts this one pours a deep black color. The berries in this one really set it apart from the others. At first it was a little too sweet for me but as it warmed and the barrel started becoming more prevalent.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured at 57 degrees; black with ruby edges; fizzy fast tan head; thin ring, no cap retention, no lace; thin ring, thin legs on swirl. Jammy raspberry nose up front with a whiff of booze; strong blackberries!. Taste is blackberries,sweet raspberries, chocolate and whiskey. Medium full plus body; moderate carbonation; jammy fruity tongue coating; minimal warmth from 12.7% abv. Overall, not what I was expecting - the flavors are juicy, fruity and berrylicious and fun!; smooth and worthy for a fruited Stout; Impressive, if you like fruited stouts.

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Photo of EMH73
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a thin tan ring of head that left no lacing. Smells and tastes of rye whiskey, mixed berries, roasted malts and a hint of chocolat and vanilla. Raspberries and blackberries are both tart and sweet, overall a little more sweet than I expected. Full bodied, minimal carbonation, smooth mouth feel.

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EMH73 from New York, Oct 30, 2019
Photo of GlennBags
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tasted sweet in the little dram cup I was given to try out of the tap. However, once tasting at home, slightly more on the bitter side. Reminds me a lot of KBS, however, not quite as good, thought close, IMHO.

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GlennBags from North Carolina, Sep 24, 2019
Photo of dafla67
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black. Aroma is roasted malts and berries. Very simple but delicious smelling. Taste is as it smells (roasted malts & berries) with an added component of rye whiskey. Overall an incredible stout.

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dafla67 from Pennsylvania, Sep 14, 2019
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black, opaque in the glass with a thin light khaki head that dissipates to sparse patches with slight lacing. Aroma of mild dark toasted malt and blackberries; berry component dominates. Flavor is light dark toasted malt, blackberry and raspberry juice, hints of cocoa and rye whisky. Sweet and tart berry juice in the finish with fleeting chocolate and a some rye tartness blending with the berries. Medium bodied with light creaminess. The least BCBS tasting variant I've ever tasted. The berry character dominates everything, even the rye, which is surprising to me. On the other hand, the bright black/raspberry flavors are very nice, reminiscent of a cordial. This reminds me a lot of Dogfish Head's Fort, although there is a suggestion of darker malts here, the fresh fruit is the center stage show. This will get a higher score from me exactly because the dark malt is in the background; I'm not a big fan of tart dark roasted malt ales. Not what I expected, but very enjoyable. Glad I didn’t cellar this any longer. It's time to finish up my 2018 variants to get ready for the new batch coming in a few months.

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LiquidAmber from Washington, Sep 09, 2019
Photo of ovaltine
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with the ubiquitous dense dark tan head all BCBS pours exhibit. A truly beautiful beer, IMHO. The nose has the char and barrel notes also associated with BCBS, but the raspberry and blackberry aromas are very prominent.

Those aromas translate even better to
The taste, with the berry flavors providing a perfect counterpoint to the rich char and dark chocolate flavors, then folding nicely into the oak and vanilla flavors from the barrel.

The mouthfeel is a smidge thinner than some of the variants and the base beer, but not distractingly so. This is a really fun beer to dance with.

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ovaltine from Indiana, Jul 01, 2019
Photo of Dragginballs76
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours black with thin tan head that dissipates to a thin ring.

Aroma - Chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon. grape just a hint of rye, caramel smells hot.

Taste - The grape sort of overpowers the other flavors. Chocolate, vanilla, caramel oak and bourbon.

Feel - Slick oily feel nice warming from the alcohol.

Overall - Hit what they wanted not a huge fan of the grape in the taste it could be a little more subtle.

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Dragginballs76 from South Carolina, Jun 16, 2019
Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color. No head when poured from the bottle.
The nose has the standard BCBS aroma mixed in with some grape. These two aromas mix together well.
Taste - the grape comes in up front, but then it tastes more like BCBS.
Smooth fell, but it's also full bodied.
Interesting take on the standard BCBS. Good beer, and I am also having fun sharing it.

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Photo of Sparty1224
4.96/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Serving: 1 Pt. 0.9 Fl. oz. bottle poured into a GI BCBS snifter. Bottled on 8/23/18, making this just over 7 months old at this point.

A: Pours a pitch black color with an imaginary reddish hue. Minimal head and good lacing noted.

S: Oh yeah. Fresh raspberry puree. Blackberry jam. Deep in there is some vanilla character too. Not a ton of whiskey or bourbon, but noticeable.

T: Man oh man, this is good. Rich raspberry and blackberry flavor up front. Not too sweet at all, very flavorful. Just a hint of whiskey and vanilla on the finish, and that's fine because the fruit is the star here.

M: Maybe a touch thinner than Reg, probably because of the fruit and acid, but still overall very nice and full. The least boozy of all the BCBS variants I've had in some time.

O: Well, well, well. After Rare, this is probably the one variant I've longed for the most since it's initial release. Finally got Rare in 2015, and 2018 brings back Bramble. Both were released the same year I believe, the year before I really even got into BCBS. I'm a huge sucker for fruit beers, Backyard and Cherry being among my favorites. But this one probably takes the cake. The blackberry and raspberry are captured so well, are so rich. I can see some people knocking it for being pretty far from Reg and maybe too fruity, but this is right up my alley. Not to say it's better than Reg necessarily, it just really depends on my mood and what I want. All in all, this beer is amazing and really adds to the BCBS dynasty of truly world-class beers.

Recommendation: One of GI's finest, a must-have for all beer lovers.

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Sparty1224 from Michigan, Apr 01, 2019
Photo of Buck89
3.96/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2018 batch poured into a stout glass. Opaque dark chocolate color with a faint tan head. Aroma was blueberry, chocolate, and faint bourbon. Thick and sweet tasting with intense blueberry, chocolate, and bourbon notes. Overall slightly tart from the fruit. Sweet on the finish. All in all, a bit much for me. Too heavy on the fruit.

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Buck89 from Tennessee, Feb 23, 2019
Photo of q33jeff
3.93/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75


2018 Bottle to tulip glass.

LOOK: super thick, and dark black. Healthy beige head.
AROMA: sweet fruity aroma (a bit overly sweet, I'm sure in the summer bees would be all over this). raspberry is definitely the forefront aroma. hint of booze from the barrel conditioning.
TASTE: sweet and tart fruit. raspberry and blackberry. touch of char and whiskey.
FEEL: super thick and full bodied. astringency in the finish , but also a really nice soothing warmth from the rye. Think "that first sip of Brandy from the St. Bernard that rescues you from the avalanche."

This beer has some great peripherals and is definitely different. I think the Rye barrel keeps the sweet/sour from the berries in check a touch whereas as maybe bourbon (and definitely rum) barrels would not do so. The tartness still keeps this from being top notch in my book though.

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q33jeff from New Jersey, Feb 22, 2019
Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2018 version

Jam dominates, thinner than other variants, not much bourbon, light chocolate and roast

Least favorite variant of 2018 and likely not how balanced the original was

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Rimbimhoot from Illinois, Feb 17, 2019
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2018 vintage tasted in a snifter from draft at Whole Foods Market on December 5, 2018. Aged Bourbon County Stout in rye whiskey barrels. Brewed with raspberry and blackberry juice and puree from Michigan and Washington. The process resulted in complex jammy fruit notes that are prominent but well integrated with the caramel and chocolate flavors of the beer and spicy rye character from the barrels.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 2018 16.9 oz bottle.

Fairly viscous pour. Appears to have the same body as the restof the lineup. Moderate amount of reddish tinted froth that receeds into a sustained ring.

It smells excellent. Like raspberry jam, chocolate, whiskey, and spice.

The flavor is a punch in the face with raspberry. There is a more sourish, darker blackberry that follows it. It is a nice balance of sweet and sour. After the fruit, it transitions into rich chocolate, some roasted malts, oak and a decent amount of spicy rye whiskey on the finish Some lingering oak and whiskey with a bit of bitter char.

The body is silky smooth. Seems like it’s a touch thinner than most of the versions to me. Makes it really drinkable, but still plenty of body.

While the fruit is a nice flavor that works well overall, it could definitely be dialed back quite a bit in my opinion. Or some more kick from the rye. I feel like the aroma is better cold and the flavor better as it warms. They seem to flip to me.

This one reminds me of the Vanilla a lot as in it probably wouldn’t work nearly as well without the rye. It really helps balance out any sweetness and heavy handed added flavors.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500 mL bottle purchased during the great 2018 Black Friday Stakeout. Poured into Aslin Super Anniversary tulip goblet and allowed to warm.

L: Pours with a 1 finger light tan head but it doesn't last very long. Leaves no lacing and just a thin ring. Beer is jet black.

S: Strong wild berries up front. Minor notes from the barrel, the rye, and the roasted chocolate malts endemic to the base beer.

T: And that carries through to the taste. If you like berries, this is for you. Not too tart or sweet (I think sum is mildly tart) and it is very tasty, but it also overwhelms everything else and you really have to pick out the wood, roast, chocolate, etc. flavors. I could rate it lower, but it tastes too good to do so. Points come out of the feel. Finish is a bit alcohol warm. So much flavor though.

F: Full-bodied, not much carbonation. Construction is beautiful but the balance isn't there yet and it runs a little warm as well. This could get a lot better over time.

O: I got two bottles, so the second is in the beer fridge for what I think will be a four-year slumber. This is great, but the berry punch and heat are stopping it from being truly epic and the aging could help with tht.

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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia, Feb 08, 2019
Photo of strohme2
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

16.9 ounce bottle, dated 23/aug/18. Poured into a tulip.
Pours a rich and dark brown, reddish and purple highlights. Fingers worth of head that dissipates rather quickly leaving only a ring around the glass. Zero lacing which is a bummer.
Big raspberry and blackberry jam nose. Char/smoke, vanilla and chocolate too.
Sweet Raspberry/blackberry jam, winds it’s way through Belgian chocolate, vanilla, char, raisin, a little alcohol heat to a tart unripe berry finish. The jammy note doesn’t overpower completely. I get the base beer but mostly it’s berries which is just fine by me. Toffee, burnt caramel, wood and barrel round it out.
Slick but not chewy, lightly carbonated.
Wonderful display of how fruit can be a delicious adjunct in an already complex beer. I think the berry will mellow over time as experienced with Northwoods.
Overall, I’m loving it.

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strohme2 from Michigan, Jan 29, 2019
Photo of Roguer
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Modest head production, although retention is solid atop a deeply dark ebony brew.

Bourbon and chocolate from across the room, but up close, the blackberries and raspberries are remarkably prominent - to an extent that the chocolate and coffee tones from the roast, as well as the bourbon, are almost overwhelmed. It's a quite tart presentation on the nose, and doesn't really check with what you'd expect from a stout.

The palate is more of the same. It's surprisingly tart up front, and as the sip progresses, both the blackberries and raspberries come to even more prominence. They are wonderfully delicious and organic; it doesn't taste like syrup added to a BA stout.

However, they really are dominant, to the extent that the rye whiskey is an absolute afterthought, along with char, roasted barley, coffee, and Baker's chocolate tones.

Very big, mildly hot, and very drinkable. As full-bodied as any in the BCBS series, which really stands as an example for all other BA stouts to copy.

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Roguer from Georgia, Jan 28, 2019
Photo of NoYouDidnt
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark black ring pops. Aroma- really pops with berry. Some vanilla, alcohol, little dusty. Taste- the taste also really pops with berry. Little chocolate, dark chocolate, slight bitter hint. Very jammy. Pretty sweet but certainly not too much. Mouthfeel- smooth velvety feel. Overall- very delicious. They did well here. Middle of the pack of the 2018 variants though.

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NoYouDidnt from Indiana, Jan 12, 2019
Bourbon County Brand Bramble Rye Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 1170 ratings