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

204 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand StoutCherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ChugginOil on 11-22-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 204 | Ratings: 1,397
Photo of TwelveOunces
4.84/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bomber poured into a tulip
Review #400
2012 Vintage

A- Pours as black as the come. Almost no head, but there was some brown lacing. Intense alcohol legs.

S- Whiskey and massive, massive cherry notes. Tart and sweetness from the cherries. Rye, sour mash and some roasted malt. A slight bit of chocolate as well.

T- A huge tart sweetness at first. The massive cherry flavors are very strong and sweet. It really opens up the beer in a strong way. Followed up by the rye whiskey notes. There is a lot of whiskey mash and some of the oak barrel comes through. Alcohol is well hidden but gives the beer a lot of kick in the taste. This is an intense drinking beer. Follows up by a huge roasted malt profile and a great bit of chocolate as well. The cherry really compliments all aspects of the palate and goes the whole way though.

M- This is a thick sipping beer. The intense flavors profile of this beer makes it a slow drinking but keep calling you back for a another sip. The flavor is constantly changing. It is a sweet beer. A very warming feel.

O- This is an epic beer. The cherries in this beer were far from what I expected. They really turned this beer into something both strange and incredible. This is a totally different animal from the standard bourbon county. This is a sweet beer but its absolutely fantastic. Please brew again GI.

 1,350 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour for New Brew Thursday's 3rd Anniversary event held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Bottled 11/12/12.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, cherries, and rye. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great smell and tasty barrel aged flavors.

 672 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1695th Review on BA
Bottle Bourbon County Snifter

Thanks for sharing Todd
Side by side with Bramble Rye

App- What a big, black dark pour with a nice finger head that was a dark brown and very bubbly. No lacing on this one. More reds on the edges from the cherries and barrel

Smell- I take a big whiff and get a smell of aged bourbon which has integrated well with the whole cherries and the rye as well. I get three main smells in this, the boozy bourbon, chocolate and cherry. Ballin

Taste- Wow so smooth and complex. Its a big drinking stout and it lets you know it but doesnt go for the throat. The front you get some or most of the main flavors but when you swallow you come away with the bourbon flavors and the whole cherries. Not cloying, but refreshing.

Mouth- Full bodied with a well balanced profile. No carbonation so the thickness of the beer and the flavors really allow you to savor it. Med- full carbonation. Residual cherry for days.

Drink- So damn good! Balanced, not overdone and one hell of a variant.

 1,031 characters

Photo of rodkin
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like BCBS. Pitch black, almost no head/lacing, nice legs.

Smell is great. Milk chocolate, vanilla, tart-sweet cherries, coffee.

This is a super complex beer. Big chocolate-covered cherry, vanilla, roasty bitterness providing balance, butterscotch, toffee, licorice, oak. Tiny hint of tobacco. Bit of spice from the whisky. Just great. It's very sweet, but with cherry tartness, roasty bitterness, and a light bit of bourbon bite providing balance. This is dangerously smooth at 13.7%.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Big, thick and chewy, light carbonation. Like oil, it coats the mouth.

After vanilla, this is the best bourbon county variant I've had. Even tops (an admittedly 2 years old) rare. Really, really exceptional. Very lucky to have found a bottle of this.

 769 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tuesday, 1/15/13, my lovely, talented wife calls.
Me: "Hey."
Wife. "Hey. I'm standing here looking at a Cherry Rye. Interested?"
Me. "Pickituppickituppickitup! Is it in your hand yet?"
Wife, condescending. "Yes, dear."
Me: "We're drinking that on Friday."

And here we are, Friday. 22 oz. bottle...I suppose I should split this with my wife, so I do.

Pour is keyboard black. As close to no visible carbonation as possible; barely alive. Nose isn't as fine as I remember my sample tasting: cherry, barrel, touch smoke.

Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout just blew out a circuit in my head. The cherry is sweet, not sour, which I hugely appreciate it, & it blends with the bourbon like Heidi Klum & Jenna Jameson (in my head, at least). Subtle sweet cherry, middle weight bourbon, strong vanilla, & a lovely spike of rye that adds a spice to my up-burps. Base BCS comes on stronger as the beer warms & reduces the charm...a tiny bit. Big, sticky, black, full, like it's namesake. Lovely to drink. I could probably stop at four or five bombers.

Well, this does not suck. This combination could have been an Amtrak wreck (see: Bell's BA Cherry Stout), but went in the opposite direction. This is a fantastic of the best BCS treatments yet, & a distinct improvement on the base.

 1,294 characters

Photo of kawilliams81
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes 12/23/12. Poured from a 22 oz glass into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours black with a 1 finger dark tan head. Some bubbles and blotches of lacing remain on the glass.

S- typical bcbs characteristics; big bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, with a nice cherry note.

T- chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, good amount of tart cherries at the finish with some booze and bitterness.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Nice thick feel with, smooth at start with slight effervescence at the finish.

O- great bcbs variant. Cherry works very well and adds a nice layer to the beer. Not sure if cherry will fade or accentuate with time?

 638 characters

Photo of siege06nd
4.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter

A. Pours a dark tobacco brown with a mild red hue. A few bubbles of head rapidly dissipate to nothing. Lacing is virtually non-existent, though some oily legs do adorn the glass.

S. Wow. Near perfect. The notes of regular BCBS are supplemented by the barrel and fruit. Molasses, rich chocolate, vanilla, and oak are augmented by tart cherry, mild earthiness, and spicy rye. Again, very similar to straight BCBS but the spiciness and sweetness from the barrels and cherries, respectively, add a nice twist.

T. Follows the nose with molasses and vanilla that rapidly give way to cherries that are perfectly balanced between sweet and tart. The barrel gives a mellow zest to the whole affair, a wet, spicy, sweetness that provides a great finish. The cherries are a fantastic countermelody to the base beer. Perfectly integrated.

M. Thick, coating. Carbonation is low and tannins and booze are just slightly overstated. The vegetal qualities of the beer come out a bit too strongly in the finish. But flavors are well integrated overall and, considering how loaded this is, it is remarkably balanced.

O. An excellent beer from GI, every bit what we come to expect from their peerless barrel aging program. The real question, though, is how do you improve upon perfection? BCBS is a perfect beer, and while Cherry Rye augments it some respects, I am not sure it improves it as a whole. In the end, it comes off as novelty, albeit top notch, expertly-crafted novelty. A beautiful beer and a worthy spin-off, but it doesnt eclipse the original, and perhaps that is how it should be. Perfection can't be "improved" per se, but it can be viewed through different lenses and perhaps that is exactly what Gi's intent is with these one-off experiments: savoring the perfection that is BCBS. Seek and enjoy, but act like you've been there before.

 1,865 characters

Photo of phishphorce
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A- Black with a red tint on the edges and in the head. Beautiful

Smell-Bourbon, Cherries, Chocolate, Vanilla, Goodness.

Taste- Wow, I was actually expecting to hate this. I don't normally like cherry flavored anything in beer. This is amazing though. Way less boozy than bcbs and coffee. I love those also but this one is extremely smooth. Taste is chocolate covered cherries with a bourbon backbone and nose. Vanilla accents. Its awesome. I drank mine way too fast it was so good. Lucky to have a couple more.

Feel- Just about perfect.

Overall- This is by far my favorite variation of Bourbon County. I love BCBS and Coffee but this is the best of the 3 for me. I have not had rare and maybe will someday so I had to leave one point on the board just in case but this is about as good as it gets for me and possibly my favorite Stout ever.

 845 characters

Photo of mynie
4.54/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The cold isn't that bad this year. The darkness is. It makes the nights all bend together, into each other. The warmth almost makes it worse, somehow. There were near record highs last Friday and Saturday—58 degrees in mid January!—and the affect wasn't, as you might expect, relief or joy. It was a disorientation, a daze, a feeling similar to when it's been five seconds since you accidentally bonked your head real hard. The shock has worn off, the bright flash seems like forever ago, but you sit there reeling not so much from pain but from Fear, like maybe this is going to last a while, the throbbing's not that bad but good god what if it lasts, how will we cope?

Blackness is distortive but also reflective. Toss something towards it and a more grotesque version will be bounced back at you. All you have to do is ponder it and then, bam, you start wearing turtlenecks and pretending to read Sartre. Wallow in it, live in it, make it what you have to deal with all the time, and little gothic speckles start cropping up all over your skin.

I start thinking dumb, dark thoughts. I'll realize insane-seeming connections that make far more sense that I ever want to admit. For example: there's got to be link between America's violence and our shitty taste in music and TV. There's no way that a person who genuinely enjoys listening to Taylor Swift isn't doing so because of hateful, violent reasons. And it's not too far of a step from enjoying the Big Bang Theory to thinking it's justified to drop fire on random Muslims.

These thoughts circle and overheat. I'll toss and turn and sweat. Keep my girlfriend up. Scare the cats. Maybe get up to pace. But eventually the darkness overcomes me and I get pulled into it's light, fitful sleep. This is the kind where the dreams linger for a bit once you wake up. So even though it's light out, it's still dark.

For a few hours. Things are muddled for a few hours, then dark again. Then begins again the daze, the panic, the fits.

Gradually we all begin to cope. Some of us die or go mad, but most of us develop some kind of method. We pour additives into the black: Christmas lights, snow angels, rye and cherry. These become what we contemplate. The darkness recedes into the background and the dirt fades away, and what's left is a gorgeous stark relief for something we don't mind contemplating, because even if it's boring its less terrifying than our thoughts.


 2,454 characters

Photo of acceptmj
4.84/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Pours a very dark black with a little red in color. Very thick syrup appearance with very little head.

S - Slight smell of brandy or whiskey. Alcohol smell a little strong but not overwhelming. Cherry, caramel, and maybe slight tobacco smell.

T - Cherry and rye and a little oak all present but very subtle in a good way. Chocolate, coffee, caramel, maybe dates or figs.

M - Very thick and full bodied. Coats your mouth but doesn't linger too long

O - This is a great beer to sip on. Very complex and makes you enjoy all of it. Each bottle should last an hour

 568 characters

Photo of oline73
4.34/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours a thick almost black color with some red coming through right at the edge. There is a quarter finger of tan head that leaves a ring around the pour.

S: Sweet dark fruit and tart cherry notes. I'm also picking up bourbon, mild rye spice, caramel, and a touch of vanilla.

T: More interesting than the smell. Lots of rye here. Sweet dark fruit with tart cherries. The bourbon is there with a sweet vanilla note. The finish is sweet and a bit fruity.

M: Te body is thick with tingly, fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

O: I really liked the rye. Everything was well put together and interesting.

 646 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

From 01/13/13 notes. Picked up a few bottles of this last week, tried it side by side with a 12 oz. bottle of fresh 2012 BCS. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Goose Island glass and a taster glass.

a - Pours a pitch black color with two inches of dark tan head that dissipates quickly, and moderate carbonation evident. Looks great, and basically exactly light the normal version.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, sweet chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, sweet cherries, dark fruits, coconut, toasted malts, and some vanilla. Very awesome nose; trying it next to the normal version, there are obviously a lot of similarities. This is basically the same with some nice sweet cherry and dark fruit added to it. The Cherries aren't overpowering, but a nice addition to the nose.

t - Tastes of chocolate cherries, bourbon, roasted malts, milk chocolate, vanilla, dark fruity malts, oak, toasted malts, burnt malts, coconut, some coffee. Taste has a lot more cherries than nose did, and is even better. Amazing taste; pretty perfect for me and exactly what I was hoping for.

m - Thick, full bodied stout and moderate carbonation. The body is chewy and thick, and pretty perfect for a stout. As expected, pretty much the same body and mouthfeel as the normal version.

o - Overall I thought this was a fantastic stout, and a slight improvement on an already amazing BA stout, and one of my favorite beers. The appearance and mouthfeel match the original BCS, and the nose is very similar with a little extra cherry (which I loved), but the taste is even better in my opinion. Cherry is prevalent in the taste and great; if you like cherries I'd highly recommend seeking this one out. I think I may like this slightly better than the original BCS, and a little bit less than fresh Coffee BCS, but it is splitting hairs.

 1,812 characters

Photo of ShanePB
4.69/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle, served into a tapered tulip. Shared with my good friend Nick.

A: Dense, deep black colored body, no light visibility through it. A dark tan/caramel colored head formed but dissipated quickly into a thin cap. Truly, it's the classic BCBS appearance.

S: Rich and sweet bourbon notes. Touches of spicy rye and plenty of fresh oak wood. Chocolate, slight roast and then a dash of sweet cherries on the back end. Must less prominent than I would have expected.

T: Huge fudge, chocolate and bourbon soaked oak comes through. Sweet cherries with just a hint of a fruity tartness come in mid-palate through the finish. Much more prevalent on the taste than the aroma would lead you to believe. Rye bourbon notes round out the finish, too.

M: Full-bodied, luscious and smooth on the palate. This particular variant drinks incredibly well. Absolutely no way you'd guess 13.7% if doing this blind. I don't get the brash alcohol notes that I do with regular BCBS.

Simply put, this beer is stunning. I'm a huge fan of their fruited BCBS variants.

 1,053 characters

Photo of Gmann
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color with little to no head. Not much else to say.

Typical Bourbon County aroma but not as boozy. The rye whiskey is more subtle. Nice caramel and vanilla notes and overall roast aroma. Not much in the cherry.

Cherry sure does come through in the flavor. It is not an overwhelming cherry flavor. Mainly a booze soaked cherry that you would find on desserts. Provides a very nice sour cherry flavor. The next wave is the caramel, vanilla, oak and smooth roast notes. The whiskey blends in nicely not too strong. I really like what this variation brings to the table.

Well bodied with enough carbonation to break it up. Takes away from the smoothness but helps in the drinkability. Quite sweet on the palate and the roast bitterness doesn't do enough to balance but its not cloying. Sticky in the finish and the ABV seems to pop out here and there.

I really like that the cherry comes through in this stout. Most cherry stouts don't quite deliver on the cherry.

 978 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured into snifter glass

Appearance: pitch black bodied beer thats as dark as night. 1 finger of medium brown head that drops quickly to a small ring around the glass.

Smell: Rye and oak barrel with a touch of cherry translates really well in the nose, it is very distinct. Bakers cocoa and tootsie rolls. Alot of the normal bourbon county flavors are muted a little with the rye and cherries just smell a bit bigger than the base beer. Still getting lots of chocolate, vanilla, leather, and tobacco notes.

Taste: Big and complex flavors in this beer. Whew. Mildly sweet and tart cherries mix with dark chocolates and a dense fudge cake. Then the rye cuts into all those flavors and really adds a fantastic balance. The bourbon notes are pretty mellow and the rye seems to overpower the bourbon slightly. Light coconut, caramel, molasses, leather, and tobacco. The finish is charred wood notes, mellow bourbon, bitter chocolate, vanilla, and then that distinct hint of rye and cherries. Just awesome!

Mouthfeel: full bodied beer with low carbonation. Not even a hint of this beer that clocks in at almost 14%. ABV is very will hidden. Silky, sludgy, chewy... its a beer milkshake. Perfect, just stunning mouthfeel.

Overall: Another wonderful BCBS varient. Does Goose Island know of any boundry's? I am not so sure that they do...because they keep breaking the boundries of amazing barrel aged beers with these wonderful varients of BCBS! Get your hands on a bottle its worth your time!

 1,494 characters

Photo of starrdogg
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer looks like your average Bourbon County - thick and black with a thin tan head. The smell also is not that dissimilar from the regular BCS, which is to say that it's awesome. It's got bourbon, oak, vanilla and chocolate all coming together wonderfully. The cherry isn't prominent in the nose but it's certainly lurking there and makes a wonderful addition to the usual BCS aroma. After the cherry was so subtle in the aroma, I wasn't quite sure what to expect with the flavor, but the cherry is much more present here than it was in the smell. It melds nicely with the usual BCS flavors, doesn't overwhelm, and adds a little bit of sweetness, a bit like a cherry cola flavor. Mouthfeel is full-bodied but not too thick. Overall, this is SO much better than the Bramble, which seemed very disjointed. It's an awesome little twist on one of my all-time favorite beers, though I'm not sure it actually improves upon the original. Still, this is a great beer in its own right.

 976 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Let's be honest: the Bourbon County Brand Stout is such a formidable base beer that it really doesn't matter what they put into the beer or put the beer into- the results are nothing short of stellar. Enter Bourbon County Cherry-Rye Stout!

As always, the every-classy inky black beer crawls around in the glass with an oily viscous appearance that evokes notions of weight and thickness. The scant head clings to the sides of the glass with a light tan color. Even with a spirited swirl of the glass, the stout hardly releases any froth at all; what does quickly collapses back into the beer. The color says stout, but its viscosity says port.

Sultry aromas of chocolate, espresso, and fruit rise to the nose in a rich and mesmerizing way. Sherry, port, and chocolaty fudge match the espresso roast for a very complex aroma spread nearly overwhelming to the nose. Bourbon aromas wrap around more grounded scents of walnut, burnt toffee, and unmistakably tart cherries.

Every sip delivers a new flavor sip- first the espresso roast, then the tart cherry flavor seems jammy; then bittersweet chocolate, warm bourbon, and and then back to tawny port and sherries vinousness exudes. Finishing with slight coffeeish bitterness, the alternating tastes never relinquishes but folds back in on itself and delights the palate more and more as the beer warms and the taste buds become accustomed to the power of the beer. All this robust and rich flavor seems too much for the glass and the palate- there's a lot going on with this beer and it seems to be pulling in so many directions, but beautifully so.

With absolute fullness, the beer seems invites the twangy tartness and acidity from the cherry to balance its sheer sweetness and malty weight. Fruity and malty begins to waiver ever so slightly as the light creaminess subsides and peppery alcohols and cherry tartness offers a mild reprieve to signal closure. The after palate extends indefinitely with chocolate, coffee, and fruit.

The beer becomes more than just a sout- its an exhibition of what's possible with the ingredients and techniques that start with stout-like inspiration. The results are incredible and are really too big for mere mortals. I have fallen completely under the spell of these Boubon County Brand Stout variants.

 2,292 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.69/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Huge, huge thanks to raveskdr for sharing a bottle of this last night during some Big Ten basketball. Served in a Goose Island tulip.

The pour is nearly black with a thin tan head, fading into a halo at the edges of the glass. The nose is overwhelming. This is nothing like the disaster that was Bramble. The combination of cherry and whiskey is exquisite, especially with the light coconut, vanilla, and oak in the background. Heavy chocolate and a bit of sweetness follow things up, as well as just a touch of light rye spice.

The flavor takes things even higher. I feel like I'm docking the nose slightly only because the flavor is nearing perfection. The combination of the aforementioned characteristics with the heavy, chewy base beer and just a touch of booze makes for quite the experience. Body is completely full and heavy. It's rich without being too syrupy. The cherry and barrel flavors meld marvelously with the base.

One of the best imperial stouts I've ever had. Wow.

 986 characters

Photo of wyatt13
4.91/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I split this with my dad at home in Wisconsin a few days before I had to drive back down to college. This was the first Bourbon County variant that I had tried, and I was really stoked.

A - Looks pretty similar to the regular Bourbon County, but with a slight reddish-brown tinge to the few bubbles that form upon the initial pour. The body has an unambiguously jet-black opacity.

S - Plenty of bourbon and chocolate roasted malts, with some vanilla on the nose as well. Cherry and fruity sweetness is detectable, but I found it playing second fiddle to the traditional nose of the BCS.

T - Wow, exceeded my already high expectations. When I was little, I used to get a small box of chocolate covered cherries from a local chocolate shop from my parents on holidays like Easter or Valentine's Day. In my mind, this is like a grown-up version of those candies. Cherry was very prominent, intensely sweet even. The bourbon and chocolate flavors provide a much-needed balance.

M - Coats the mouth with a silky mouthfeel and leaves a light stickiness on the lips. Thick, thick, thick. Definitely a sipper. It took me over an hour to finish my half of the bomber.

O - Remarkable. I was admittedly expecting a lot with this being my first Bourbon County variant, but I was blown away.

I'm excited to see how this one ages. I thought it was tremendous fresh, but I think it will be interesting to see how the taste changes once the cherry mellows a bit. This was the perfect beer for some father / son bonding.

 1,510 characters

Photo of Finatic
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle chilled poured into a CCB miniature snifter. This beer sat out at room temperature for 45 minutes before pouring.

A: Pours a mocha like viscous substance with a dark brown mocha head. Little to no lacing on the glass.

S: Initial smell is of dark chocolate, coffee, bourbon, cherries. Smells sweeter as the beer warms.

T: An absolute smorgasboard of flavors smash the palate. Chocolate, cherries, vanilla, and some caramel all integrated into one huge chocolate cherry bombshell.

M: Very creamy with little carbonation. Very easy drinking for a 14% beer.

O: Didn't think GI could outdo BCBS but this one definitely does it.

 641 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.16/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a Sweetwater mini-snifter.

Trepidation... Anyway, this stuff pours a deep black-brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises cherry (partially artificial, but partially's hard to explain) syrup, light sourdough, oak, and a surprisingly light contingent of roasted malts and light dark chocolate powder. The taste reminds me of normal Bourbon County, with the roast, the bourbon, the oak, and the molasses. Then there's a powerful force of cherry juice, which doesn't really meld with the underlying stout, nor does it really completely clash. Things just aren't comfortable, if that makes sense. The body is a solid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, it's been my experience that BCS wasn't meant to be mixed with fruit of any kind, and this this stuff kinda confirms that. Though this ain't nearly as bad as Bramble Rye, it's still far from good.

 929 characters

Photo of gcamparone
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into an oversize wine glass. Purchased in Wakefield, RI.

A- Pours a jet-black, opaque body with a modest but beautiful 1" mocha brown head that sticks around for a few minutes then reduces to a brown ring. Leaves very little lacing which is understandable given the high ABV.

S- A very intricate balance of vanilla, bourbon, milk chocolate, and caramel. Like smelling the best milkshake you've ever had. No cherry detected yet (-.5 on the smell rating for this), but I can confidently state that this beer's aroma tops bcbs and even bcbcs. Extremely inviting.

T- This beer is so complex and flavorful that it's hard to put it into words. Starts off with a combination of whiskey, milk chocolate, vanilla, fresh coffee beans, and a subtle acidic cherry note which really balances these flavors. It then develops into a more robust dark chocolate, roasted coffee flavor. The finish is semisweet chocolate, toasted malt, and caramel. What a ride.

M- Thick and robust, but slightly less than bcbs. Low carbonation. Perfectly creamy and smooth, extremely sip demanding. I'd give it a 5.5 in this category if I could.

I was thinking about cellaring this beer but opened it as a late Christmas gift to myself, and I'm extremely pleased that I did. This brew is a notch above bcbs and bcbcs, due to the added level of balance and complexity. The subtle cherry tartness works perfectly with the other notes present to keep the sweetness in check.

Goose Island has taken all the high points of a world class stout, a delicious bourbon, and then added an additional level of complexity (cherries) to really create a masterpiece.

Age if it you want to, but in my opinion this beer is near perfect when drank fresh. Try it if you can get your hands on it. A+

 1,785 characters

Photo of homebrew311
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is slightly thinner than the rest of the variants. No head and heavy visual weight. Nose is heavy with cherry, vanilla and tons of oak. Booze is quite prevalent on the nose with heavy cherry syrup character. Taste is very sweet with deep dark cherry character, vanilla, and a touch of caramel and fudge on the end. The cherry doesn't elevate this brew like others have suggested. Still good, but the fruit doesn't make it better. I would prefer the base beer over this.

 480 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.92/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: very dark brown. Almost black. Forms a small tan head that fades away very quickly. No lacing.

S: very strong dark malts. Then strong sweet, syrupy cherry aroma. Raisin and molasses.

T: sweet. Very sweet. Syrupy. Not necessarily cough syrup, but not necessarily an overly pleasant cherry pleasant flavor either. Lots of sweet dark malts. Raisin, molasses, slight oaky bourbon on the backe end.

M: thick, viscous, lower carbonation.

O: a good beer, but too sweet for my tastes.

 487 characters

Photo of bgramer
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cherry Rye lives up to the so-called hype.

My first immediate impression is that it tasted like BCBS but a bit dryer which I attribute to the rye whiskey, not as sweet. I didn't get as much cherry as I thought I would get, mainly in the finish, then realized the beer was a bit cold. It kept getting better as it warmed when it was like drinking liquid chocolate cherry pie as it reached ambient temp, but not in a cloying kind of way, just really good. Nothing artificial or syrupy about the cherries like sometimes breweries use syrup which ends up tasting like cough medicine.

You definitely get some rye whiskey notes up front when its colder. I'd recommend serving it chilled to experience the different layers of flavor as it warms. Makes you appreciate the full on flavor at ambient temp even more.

 807 characters

Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.47 out of 5 based on 1,397 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.