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

186 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand StoutBramble 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:
Imperial Stout aged in Heaven Hill rye whiskey barrels with raspberries & blackberries.

Added by Khazadum on 02-03-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 186 | Ratings: 967
Photo of GuyFawkes
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage; drank 9/20/14 on draft @ 312 Urban Block Party.

Midnight black hue.

Dark khaki head; almost no lace.

Sweet fruit jam & rich mocha nose.

Thick mouthfeel.

Rich raspberry jam flavor with a strong chocolate Backbone. Some booze heat on the finish. A berry lover's dream!!

 291 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter
Bottled 12/10/11

A- pours deep purple in color with a small foamy khaki head that eventually disappears completely

S- smells just like raspberry and blackberry jam, tons of fruity notes. Undertones of dark chocolate and hints of earthy oak & peppery rye

T- taste follows aroma with tons of fresh raspberry jam and smashed blueberries, followed by dark chocolate and spicy rye barrel, which adds some earthy notes. Lingers of raspberry truffle

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that leads to a silky finish, just a hint of abv warmth

O- berries berries berries, with just enough to barrel character

 669 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks the similar black color of regular BCS, the fruit in this one doesn't make an appearance impact because the SRM is so dark to start with. Aroma still hits with plenty of deeply roasted malt, bourbon, oak, but this one starts to diverge from regular BCS because there is a sweetness in the nose unlike the reg.

There is a trade off with the berries, they obscure some of the bourbon character, imparting juicy sweetness that cuts through the alcohol heat and depth of the bourbon. Carbonation was up on this one, but that's better than too low, especially seeing how much of a sipper this is.

A little bit different compared to most others, definitely better than the cherry rye one.

 694 characters

Photo of CaptCleveland
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle shared with the wife, bottled 2013.

Opaque, thin tan rim, minimal lacing, legs with a gentle swirl.

Some nice combo of red fruits, berries, char, barrel and chocolate with subtle pine and earth.

The fruit hits first, mild tart berries. A nice chocolate, malt backing, some subtle barrel and smooth bitterness then a nice tart, berry lingers at the backend.

Medium to full body, tart, tangy mouthfeel at the back end, pleasant.

A fine, complex brew that stands up to a 3 year aging. Well done!

 510 characters

Photo of zac16125
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a snifter
Bottled on: 12/10/11

Thanks to SteelersX for sending this one over in a trade!

A: Opaque black, 1/2 a fingers width of dark mocha colored head dissipates fairly quickly and leaves essentially no lacing. 4

S: Tons of berry notes, lots of sweetness, cocoa; like chocolate covered raspberries; barrel notes are there with charred oak; fair amount of booze. 4.5

T: Berries up front and lots of them, almost a tart character. The berry forward flavors fade to a lingering cocoa and big roastiness on the finish. Lingering charred oak in the aftertaste. 4.25

M/D: Full bodied, not think but it is a bit syrupy, carbonation very low but acceptable, ABV is very well masked and drinkability is good. 4

O: Far from my favorite Bourbon County variant but still delicious. Only OG Vanilla ’10 and Rare ’10 (in hand) left for me to complete the entire bottled BCS horizontal. 4.25

 915 characters

Photo of MichaelNeelsen
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured in Chicago on Thanksgiving 2015 during Packers-Bears game when Brett Favre's number was retired.

L: Typical BCS look. A violet-red head is there initially but quickly dissipates.

S: Like sticking your nose in a bunch of bourbon-soaked blackberries. Like, the plumpest, juiciest blackberries imaginable. My mother smelled "straight molasses."

T: "Like it's been soaked in the wood of a charred, burnt-down house," says my dad. "Filtered through a cowboy's boot." Immediate sweet, juicy, berry fruit up front, but not obnoxious, hurt-your-teeth sugar-sweet like Dark Lord. Juicy and jammy. Roasty, toasty finish. It's tart, rather than the usual bourbon cake flavor of most BCS. At a certain point, it kind of tastes like straight grape juice. I should have paired it with a savory sausage, or "tubular meat" as my dad says. Hardly any bourbon heat at all.

F: None of the typical BCS tackiness. It's sharp, but with practically zero carbonation.

O: Better than the Backyard Rye from 2013, but I find that both of these fruity variants are not my favorite. The 2015 Regal Rye fairs better with the candied cherries - maybe because they aren't as juicy? The juiciness could've been toned down some for me. Still very good and evocative, as I always have a lot of thoughts/memories when drinking BCS variants.

 1,316 characters

Photo of timc100
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Late entry - enjoyed at 2.5 years old

Vibrant, lush fresh raspberry jam/puree, dark fudge chocolate, and the familiar bourbon county oak and whiskey flavors take a backseat to the fruity headliner. Really is a raspberry fudge cake in beer form - true desert sipper. Not sure how they managed to get so much raspberry flavor to begin with, and how the raspberry has remained so vibrant is beyond me. Preferred this to Backyard, really impressive variant.

 457 characters

Photo of deadsincebirth
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks black with a purple tinge. Smells of sour raspberry, blackberry and slight whiskey backend. Taste is HUGE raspberry and blackberry with some spiciness and chocolate in the end. Feel is of wonderful lingering raspberry that lasts. Overall wow! Very suprised by the fruit influence. Amazing.

 295 characters

Photo of chIAhawks89
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Initially the nose is a bit off putting but the taste is very different. Chocolate and raspberry are prominent. Creamy feel and the alcohol is hidden well. Would have to say I prefer backyard slightly, but both are world class.

 227 characters

Photo of KaeF
4.79/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Great fruity smell, combined with chocolate and coffe. You can really taste the fruit in this beer, which goes perfectly with the rest of the taste. Great beer!

 160 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a deep walnut color. some light purplish hues around the edges. almost no head and a weak retention. opaque and dark. some brown viscosity as it swirls around the glass.

Smell: raspberries covered in chocolate. strong whisky smell. brown sugar and dark fruit. lots of booze.

Taste: opens with raspberry and blackberry jam. big notes of chocolate and whisky. light brown sugar and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: thick and syrupy. jammy sweetness and an alcohol burn.

Overall: another solid bourbon county one off. the sweetness can be a bit much at time and ruins the mouthfeel a bit. all in all one of the better bc beers.

 639 characters

Photo of aleigator
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to Greg for the bottle, enjoyed in 022015.

Pours a viscous, coal black color, with super fizzy head, leaving behind a thin, white lacing.

Has pungent aromas of slightly sour, fermented fruits, with matured raspberries being the most present for me. The prominent fruitiness gets joined by wooden bakers chocolate, fudge and toffee, topped off by sticky fruit syrup. The syrupy aspect invites a decent barrel oakiness to the palate, together with slightly sweetened cocoa and a rich Bourbon note, revealing dried blackberries.

Begins with earthy malts, slightly bitter coffee, chocolate and dried fruits, which got a fermented acidity to them, creating an unusual sour note, which blends perfectly into the coffee. This gets coated up by syrup and toffee, highlighting noble, ripe wild berries, while blackberries turn out more present then they did on the nose. On this sweet fruit impression settles a pungent, wooden, hot Bourbon bite, highlighting the berries even more, by creating a liqueur impression. While bakers chocolate and wooden malts still provide a convincing balance, the beer is certainly on the sweeter side, with warming marmelade and syrupy molasses among a wooden vanilla dryness. The prominent berries prevail till the end, with sugared lemon peel being added to the mix, while the bourbon leaves a sharp bite on the tongue, which turns out to be slightly tooth numbing, with chocolate malts and a whiff of syrup adding a recognizable sweetness to the slightly wooden dry finish.

 1,516 characters

Photo of TubaManJack
4.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle pour from a share.

I do love me some berries. It goes without saying that I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. While the beer has been aged I still found that the flavors have held up extremely well and the expected fruit juice flavors had evolved into the pulp/seed flavors without the corresponding tartness that you might get while enjoying the real fruit. While I understand that this beer might not have the same sexiness as the other varieties. I certainly enjoyed it and wouldn't wait to acquire/consume it.

 517 characters

Photo of Petcha
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer. My favorite of all BC varieties to date. Great jammy berry flavor that is surprisingly strong for how old this beer is. Compliments the rich chocolate and vanilla flavors from the base beer. Smooth as can be. Age has treated this one well. Drank side by side with a Backyard, which had a more potent berry profile, but Bramble was more balanced.

 365 characters

Photo of barczar
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Blackberry and raspberry dominate, which is not a bad thing, for me! I would like to see those characters meld a bit better with the base beer, though, to provide continuity.

 174 characters

Photo of arlingtonjoe
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! After 3 years the fruits have mellowed nicely giving the beer a nice tartness that goes well with the base stout and the signature smoothness of the Goose Island Barrel aging.

 180 characters

Photo of thebigredone
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Having this side by side by side with Backyard and Cherry Rye, Bramble was my second favorite of the variants. Would have loved to try this one a year or so ago.

 162 characters

Photo of Raimalise
4/5  rDev -5.7%

It pours black with a little brown. No lacing.

The nose, boose heavy, dried fruit, bit of sweetness, and a little stout.

Tastes... Balanced with barrel characteristics. Light fruity notes delightful smell and taste. Fruits have fallen off a bit. Past its prime for the fruits. Very boose forward and over powering. Still very drinkable.

 341 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Adam last night.

Pours like an oil slick, black as can be, with no head, lacing, or visual carbonation.

Smells like fresh raspberry puree and juice, even after 3 years, amazingly, with the typical big bourbon, chocolate and marshmallows of the many variants of the series.

This one doesn't quite taste as thick as some of the other Bourbon County variants, but it's still like drinking bourbon fudge- this time, covered heavily in raspberry jam. The raspberry and blackberry flavor is still incredibly strong, and verges on cloying territory- the aftertaste of this one is entirely raspberry juice, with a twinge of cough syrup. The aftertaste is what keeps this from being a perfect variant. There is clearly an inordinate amount of berries added to this beer. Chocolate covered raspberries all the way.

The mouthfeel on this one is great- thick, syrupy, and fudgey, with a lower amount of carbonation, and a huge body.

Not the best variant, in the same way that George is not one of the best Beatles. Still amazing, no matter what.

 1,056 characters

Photo of TboneRN
4.75/5  rDev +12%

I was lucky enough to attend a Bourbon County bottle share last night where we had every variant present.

Holy Raspberries...still so strong and fresh smelling...this beer is basically a chocolate raspberry flavored desert! I definitely preferred this to backyard which was more of a mixed berry taste. (again nit picking here) Both are amazing but if you have a chance to try bramble I definitely recommend it!

 439 characters

Photo of WTKeene
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%

#8 in our BCBS tasting. Poured into a Trillium Tulip tasting glass.

Appearance: It looks like Bourbon County. I'm shocked. It's thick black motor oil, has a thin eggshell crown and no lacing. Just like all the other Bourbon County beers.

Smell: Lots of fruit in the nose. Lots of raspberry specifically. Somewhat boozy, none of the chocolate I typically get in the nose of BCBS beers.

Taste: Wow, that's a lot of raspberry. I love raspberry. Chocolate comes through beneath it, but the raspberries are strong in this one. This is delicious. Because I love raspberry. Did I mention this is my eighth 4oz pour tonight? This is my eighth 4oz pour tonight. Raspberries are awesome.

Smell: Oh wait, I already rated smell. Moving on. Eighth 4oz pour tonight.

Mouthfeel: Significantly thinner than the other Bourbon County beers. No worries though, it's still delicious. I love raspberries. Carbonation is somewhat higher than most of the others.

Overall: "This is more memorable than my wedding" said one of the tasters. For the protection of his marriage, not going to mention who said that. This is really nice. A real highlight of a night full of highlight-worthy beers.

 1,173 characters

Photo of roger617
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to finally crack this one open and enjoy. My first Father's Day / Birthday weekend beer, 30th birthday. Bomber poured into snifter. Bottled 12/10/11, #1050, consumed Friday the 13th, June 2014.

A: Pours pitch black with slightly under 1 finger of thin tan colored head that reduces slowly and leaves no lacing. True to all BCBS beers that I've ever had.
S: I expected some berries, but I can not believe how dominant the fruits held up after 2.5 years bottled. Berry aroma up front, and dominant all around. I get a little bit of chocolate buried deep under the depths of fruit.
T: Follows suit with aroma - the berry flavor is dominant. It's similar to eating a chocolate covered raspberry. So much fruitiness followed by a lingering sweet dark chocolate flavor.
M: Thick, smooth, carbed fairly low as expected. It had a rich feeling for after taste, very unique.
O: The most impressive part of this beer for me is just how strong the adjuncts held up. Comparing it to Backyard, I think this is more balanced, even considering it's very fruity. Enjoyed Bramble all the way through, it's up there with the top BCBS variants in my book.

 1,154 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 05/19/14 notes. Had as part of our mega-BCS tasting, side by side with Backyard Rye and some raspberries and blackberries. 22 oz. bottle into a mini-snifter glass.

a - Pours a brown, almost black color, with one inch of dark tan head and low to moderate carbonation evident. Looks like all the others, just like Backyard.

s - Smells of blackberries, roasted malts, chocolate, bourbon, toasted malts, darker chocolate, burnt malts, leather, and earthy malts. Berries are much much lighter than the fresher Backyard, closer to the normal version.

t - Tastes of blackberries, dark fruits, roasted malts, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, cream, caramel, and otasted malts. Taste has more berry than the nose, but still nowhere near Backyard's amount.

m - Full body and low carbonation. Thick and chewy and not too hot. Great mouthfeel.

o - Overall I did not think this was as good as Backyard Rye, but it is still good. Much less fruit at this point which makes it closer to the normal BCS version, but that isn't a bad thing. A good beer but wouldn't give up the house to get it.

 1,082 characters

Photo of dar482
4.86/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

At a Bourbon County tasting, clearly the best of the fruit bunch.

This beer simply has a perfect combination of fruit berry qualities, of both sweet and tart, along with the Bourbon County sweet bourbon and chocolate characteristics.

What this beer does is that it melds the two very well without too much sweetness from the fruit.

 333 characters

Photo of JackieTH
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thick oily pour was burnt black with a trace of deep brown foam that was quickly subsumed by the evil looking viscous liquid. Smells of raspberries and dark chocolate with a trace of molasses and vanilla. Skipping the taste for a moment, the first sip.. This is a cement mixer thick liquid. Wow it's creamy and just the bare minimum of carbonation. Can I have a gallon of water on the side? Excellent excellent. But an excellent mouthfeel is a standard for BCBS. Now the taste. It's fantastic and something completely different..I get the BCBS underpinnings of malt chocolate, figs, molasses and bourbon but wow even 3+ years of aging.. Hello the raspberries! Blackberries! They are lightly sweet and tart and add a really nice complexity to the chocolate, vanilla, figs and molasses. Finish is dark chocolate and light tartness of the berries. Although there's nary a burn from the stated 12.7% ABV, this whale is a sipper.

 924 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 967 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

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.