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

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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.

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Reviews: 204 | Ratings: 1,397
Photo of aleigator
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Greg, thank you very much!

Pours a viscous black color, which turns mahogany at the edge of the glass. In an unusual manner for Bourbon County, this variant produces actually a small, dark brown head immediately after pouring.

Has Amarena like cherry aromas, which blend well into the Bourbon qualities, with vanilla, oak, more molasses than cocoa nibs and calming, earthy, toasted malts. I am not yet entirely sure, if the sherries push it a little to far, or if it just adds character to the beer. It certainly confirms the sweet, desert like character of the beer, while at the same time it distracts from the fantastic chocolate and malt qualities of the regular Bourbon County. It certainly goes well with the intriguing rye barrel, while reminding me of a fruit liqueur, which got a decent amount of heat to it, among wooden vanilla notes.

First of all, the mouthfeel of this is incredibly smooth, while it ends a bit hotter than expected. The beer leaves the palate with a warming alcohol glow on its way down to the belly.

The cherries are noteable from the very beginning, they form an elementary part of the foundation of the brew, instead of acting as a gimmick. They do come along with a ripe, slightly fermented, sticky Amarena sweetness, blending a little bumpy into the chocolate qualities of the beer, as the cherries seem to be a bit too present on the tongue, due to their slightly tart fruit sugar sweetness, which is a bit too much to handle for the malts. The barrel though comes out very well, while its appearance changes into a liqueur, sweeter direction, with vanilla and a gentle amount of wood to it. Bakers chocolate, as well as scorched, earthy malts no longer act actively on their own, but do play the counterpart to the cherries, and are bound to balance the brew. During the finish, due to the enhancing barrel character, the cherries reach their peak. An almost sour, burning hot, fermented fruitiness sets itself above all other flavors, while earthy malts tend to shine still through. This leads to a long, fruity Amarena finish, ending with slightly delayed, earthy cherry-stone hints among creamy bakers chocolate.

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Photo of Chris-1911
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bomber on 12/31/14

A&S: Pours with a very small (almost nonexistent) mocha head, as is pretty usual for these beers. Fresh cherry and rye dominate the nose, followed by some chocolate and a little vanilla.

T&M: Amazing! The cherry flavor has held up very well two years in and is still quite strong. The cherry has a very natural flavor and wasn't artificial-tasting at all. It added significant sweetness to the beer and just a little tartness. The malt taste and rye spice balance perfectly with the sweet/tart cherry flavors to mask the high ABV, but there is a small amount of alcohol taste. And of course the usual BCBS flavors are there as well. Has a lot of complexity.

O: Unbelievably good, but definitely a cherry bomb. I could easily see where someone might prefer less cherry sweetness and a little more of the regular BCBS character, but I absolutely loved it. If you like the idea of this being on the sweet side and pretty cherry-forward, pull the trigger on that trade you've been putting off while you still can.

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Photo of breadwinner
3.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Well, it (mostly) accomplishes what it sets out to do -- cherry-laced BCS. I say mostly because I'm not sure I caught a ton of rye barrel influence. It might've been there, but it's hard to distinguish confirmation bias with actual rye barrel presence. Whatever the case, I just thought the cherry a little too forward/dominant, not to mention a little too tart (a note I don't tend to like in stouts). Mouthfeel was slick, if a bit scuffed up from the acidity of the cherries/tartness. Take it all with a grain of salt -- rare do I enjoy a fruited stout. So it was with this bad boy. Cool to try, though.

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Photo of alerivers
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow!! This is good! 8 oz draft pour into sniffer.

First in the nose is cherries, then some dark chocolate with vanilla, bourbon, & oak rounding it out. Almost no lacing but did coat glass. Appearance was dark, almost allowed no light to pass. Taste; Mmm! A little bitterness from chocolate mixed well with tart and sweetness of cherries. Oak and vanilla from bourbon with slight warming from bourbon also.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My favorite fruited BA stout, this one is smooth and tasty. The cherries are perfect, making for an explosion of taste and smell. Additionally, it has continued to hold with age, making it one of the premier BCBS variants.

Had again at Rare Day and despite 3 years of age, still as tasty, smooth, creamy as original. This beer is aging beautifully.

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Photo of TboneRN
4.69/5  rDev +4.9%

I was lucky enough to attend a Bourbon County bottle share last night where we had every variant present.
I rated this beer #4 last night with the top 4 going in this order Vanilla>Rare>Bramble>Cherry
Probably my favorite cherry beer to date. This beer more than any of the other rye barrel aged bourbon county stout (bramble, backyard, etc.) had that distinct spiciness from the rye barrel and it meshed perfectly. With every sip I took I kept thinking, cherry pie. The spiciness of the rye barrel helped simulate that oh so good pie crust taste. My only knock on this variant and its a small one is it is a little thin compared to the other variants...but still very good, seek this one out, well done bourbon county!

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5/5  rDev +11.9%

One of the best of the best.
From Tap. Poured into a Pint Glass (unfortunately was all we had).
The nose is sweet. Cherries.
Pours dark, almost black, well pretty much black. Lil to no head.
The flavors of the bourbon stout mixed with cherries creates a luscious dense sweetness. Chocolate and Cherries.

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Photo of emyers
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter. Bottled on 11/12/12.

Appearance: Pours jet black with a thin light brown head. Not much lacing.

Smell: Bourbon-soaked cherries, rich dark chocolate, oak, hints of coffee. Very complex with an impressive amount of depth, but stays quite balanced. Nowhere near the bourbon onslaught of original BCBS (granted this beer is almost 2 years old at this point).

Taste: Cherry hits first, followed by bourbon and chocolate. Hints of vanilla, followed by a lot more cherry on the finish. Gets fairly sweet, although there is a nice tartness from the cherry that comes in on the finish to barely keep the sweetness in check. Not much alcohol heat on the finish. Overall not quite as balanced as the aroma - the cherry takes over a bit too much for my liking. Still incredibly good.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with medium-to-low carbonation. I'm really liking that mild tartness from the cherry.

Overall: I would be shocked if I ever had a BCBS variant that wasn't excellent and this certainly doesn't break that mold. Still, when compared to its brethren I find this to be on the lower end of the spectrum due to a bit too much cherry/sweetness.

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Photo of minterro
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served as the start to the goose island themed tasting (we did start with Fred from Hair of the Dog). Short notes from 7/27/14. Bottled 11/12/12. Served in a snifter.

I initially got this beer set aside for me as when I worked at a liquor store. I found it in the dense clutter of bottles in one of the walk-ins and asked if I could buy it off the owner. He said yes, because it was around my birthday and every since I've been waiting to crack it. Almost two years later and I'm ready to see how this thing turned out.

A&S: Black colored beer, and maybe it is strictly out of suggestion, but there is a red hue to this brew. No head and no sign of carbonation bubbles. Initially the aroma was close to the smell of black forest cake. Other tones included vanilla, bourbon tones, sweet malts.

T&M: This beer probably did one of the more interesting things I have seen beer do. Most beers when they develop there is a frame shift in taste/smell or a blending of previous presences with new ones. This brew when from primarily cocoa to a nice mix of cocoa and cherries (the black forest) to mostly cherries, then back to chocolate like tones, THAN back to cherries! It was bizarre, and I wasn't just me who experienced these changes. At times the fruitiness was a little much but you only had to wait a couple of minutes and it was a good mix again. The other tones were similar to the aroma. Very thick, creamy, and smooth. Low carbonation.

Overall: Probably in the top 5 beers I have tried this year. Didn't exceed the hype I put on it, but most certainly meet it completely. If you are thinking of cracking this one soon, it was a good time for me.

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Photo of Gameover170
4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Not my first time having this beer, but first time I'm writing a review for it.
Opening for my wife's birthday, bottled 11/12/12.

A: Typical BC mocha head, with a faint red hue when held in the right light.

S: I love this smell. If I could make this into an air freshener for my car, I would. Rye up front, still a faint smell of cherry, which is great considering this bottle is leaning towards two years old. Chocolate and rye really take over in the nose.

T: Wow, still packs a cherry punch that isn't overwhelming in most cherry-flavored beers. Not medicinal in the least bit. A perfect mix of an excellent base beer with a complementing cherry flavor. Cherry, chocolate, rye, so damn good.

M: One of my favor parts of BC and it's variants are the mouthfeel. Perfect thickness.

Overall, a great variant. I would love to see them make this again.

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Photo of zac16125
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a snifter
bottled: 11/12/12

Thanks to jsteel2 for sending this long time want over via trade!

A: Pours an opaque black with less than 1 fingers width of mocha colored head which dissipates down quickly and leaves effectively zero lacing.

S: Luscious cherries, dark chocolate, and booze. Barrel notes arent as strong as some of the other variants, but are definitely present with oaky vanilla and whiskey booziness. I also get cinnamon and roasty aromas. Wonderful.

T: Wow, there is a surprising degree of cherry flavor right up front, which is then followed beautifully by the big chocolate, roasty, and coffee BCB stout base flavors on the finish. Pretty big bourbon characters, as is to be expected with any BCB offering, with lots of charred oaky goodness. Some boozy ethanol on the finish, especially as it warms, which works well to balance out the sweetness.

M/D: Full bodied but not necessarily thick or chewy, nice smoothness with appropriate carbonation. Drinkability is good, but is somewhat limited by the huge sweetness.

O: This beer does not suck. Awesome variant and certainly worth seeking out.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.95/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Inky black. Small mocha head. Stains the glass. Thin collar and some wisps.

Smell - Doesn't smell as much like cherry as I would have expected. Slight cherry. Strong rye whiskey presence. Rich chocolate. Boozy.

Taste - Cherry is much more pronounced here. The rye barrel really isn't an improvement over a bourbon barrel, but it's still better than no barrel. Fudgy dark chocolate. Spicy oak. Fruity and boozy finish.

Mouthfeel - Less boozy than other variants, it seems. Thick and sweet. Low carbonation.

Overall - It's hard to get Bourbon County wrong, so even a less impressive barrel yields an excellent beer.

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Photo of jlindros
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 11/12/12, spit with rudzud, thanks to dfclav for this one a while back.

Pours a nice creamy dark smaller thick head, super pitch black thick syrupy beer with long legs.

aroma is pure bourbon county stout, little extra whisky, bourbon barrel notes, dark malts, dark choc, heavy syrupy, very faint cherry notes. Basically a BCBS with a touch extra barrel and little cherry note.

Taste brings tons of dark choc, cherry cough syrup, big bourbon and whisky barrel, big sweet note, interesting cherry flavor, chewy cherry. Some dark almost acrid roasty malt, dark chewy choc, and kettle fudge, nice bourbon and whisky notes, not sure if rye whisky but definite non bourbon whisky. Finish semi sweet sticky thick fudgey dark choc and little candied cherry note lingering for a while, like the choc covered cherries, cherry cordial, I used to get as a kid.

Mouth is full heavy bod, syrupy, decent carb, little warning booze.

Overall interesting, not as much cherry or rye as I expected, but a nice twist on the base Bcbs.

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Photo of rudzud
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JLindros for sharing this beer.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown hue with a thin head that leaves a thin halo.

S - Aromas of straight up bourbon county. Not much cherry, not much rye, slightly more aromatic than regular bourbon county.

T - Taste is very nice cherry, rye whiskey, chocolate, vanilla, barrel, light coconut, truffle. On the sweeter side, mostly rich barrel and chocolate with nice cherry undertones. The beer is very rich and truffle like, alcohol hidden well, however, it is noticeable.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, not that heavy, rich, creamy, thick.

O - Overall this beer was very tasty, the cherry had mellowed out nicely. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
3.68/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this at BUCKSPUR RANCH. Review from notes. I have had this 4 times over the past year, finally got to reviewing it.

A- There is a thin red ring around the glass. Thinnest of lacing. The beer actually looks lighter than BCBS. Dark brown to almost black liquid.

S- Medicinal cherry like in cough syrup. The rye whiskey is definitely present, and there is some dark fudge notes as well.

T- Medicinal cherry very pronounced in every sip for my palate. There is some bakers chocolate here too to make it a bit bitter (which doesn't bother me)

M- Kinda harsh on carb. Not really a smooth drinking BA stout.

O- This is my least favorite variant of BCBS. It all has to do with the medicinal cherry. I know some people love this beer, and I can't fault them for that. My palate just gets the medicinal and gets turned off. New Glarus does a fantastic job of getting true cherry taste out of Belgian Red; I just wish that Cherry Rye had what ever NG did with that beer.

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Photo of hardy008
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark black with a small tan head which fades to a small disc, and leaves some lacing. The aroma has chocolate, bourbon, cherries, vanilla, and oak.

Tastes sweet without being overly sweet. Has chocolate, cherries, bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark roasted malt, and rye. There is not enough dark roasted malt to add any bitterness for balance, but this beer does not seem to need it.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden for a 13.70 % abv beer. There is no alcohol burn. A very well made beer. I can see why this was so highly sought after.

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Photo of champ103
3.7/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at the Flying Saucer in Houston.

A: Like all Bourbon County variants, pours an impenetrable black color. A small tan head tries to form, and recedes in a second. Just a dense black liquid. Which is just fine for this beer.
S: Vanilla, wood, chocolate, medicinal cherries. Big barrel aromas along with a bit of fruit.
T: Follows the nose with the typical big barrel character for the brand. Vanilla, wood, and chocolate. Followed by the medicinal cherries. Maybe this is a bit past its prime, while the fruits are there just not as much umpth as I would like.
M/D: Obviously a big full body that has low to moderate carbonation. Viscous and oily. Like all versions, enjoyable to sip on. Maybe not may favorite of the brand, but still very enjoyable.

I do like this, but I am thinking any good cherry fruit flavor has faded. Not having this fresh I am just guessing. Though as is, I think the local Karbach Cherries of Fire is much better.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12/7/13, from williamjbauer's baller tasting, poured into a snifter

A- pours black with nearly no head but some alcohol legs sticking upon swirling, some ruby hues poking through on the edges of the beer

S- pure dark cherry in the purest form, the most authentic cherry aroma that I had smelled in a beer. Bourbon and vanilla notes underlie the cherry aroma with a touch of toasted oak, also picking up a subtle, peppery spiciness as well from the rye

T- pure cherry bliss, like the juice of a dark cherry. A subtle rye spiciness underlies, complementing the rye quite nicely. Oaky notes come through mid-palate and eventually continue to the classic Bourbon County bourbon/chocolate flavor on the finish with some barrel flavors on the finish

M- low carbonation and a medium body lead to a somewhat slick mouthfeel that coats the mouth, leaving just a hint of alcohol warmth

O- this is a very unique BA stout, the cherry is unlike anything I've tasted in a beer and works well with the rye, worth seeking out

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

Bomber into a snifter. Bottle #1607 bottled on 11/12/12. Thanks to Stumpy29er for the trade!

A - Pitch black for the most part and ruby red on the edges

S - Bourbon, oak, chocolate and the cherries are present as well

T - Everything on the smell is here on the taste. The cherries were not overpowering in any way. Instead, they blended with the BCBS that we all know and love and are a nice sweet, tart finish on the tongue. Just great.

M - Thick and coats your whole mouth. Some decent carbonation helps move the high abv along.

O - Another home run from Goose Island. I have yet to have a Bourbon County variant let me down. I was afraid the cherries would give off a cough syrup smell/taste, but the tartness blends very well with the bourbon, oak, chocolate, and coffee flavors. Trade for this if you can. You won't be disappointed.

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

A-dark brown black cooler itch a small tan head and little lacing

S-chocolate, bourbon, cherry, hint of coffee, cinnamon

T-dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, cherry, rye, coffee, hint of cinnamon

F-medium to full body with light carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-great stout, loved the cherry, tastes like a chocolate covered cherry, really enjoyed this a lot and look forward to drinking it again

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

excellent beer, lets get that right out, but i was a bit let down by it and here is why. i dont think bourbon county really needs the fruit. the rye yes, a great addition to an already splendid brew, a little coarseness and some oomph, but the fruit doesnt do anything for me. the cherries come through a little medicinal, a little fake like pie filling from the can, and it puts some sweetness in the finish that it just doesnt need. the base stout is amazing obviously, but its covered up a little by the cherries in smell and taste. the rye brings out some of the richer dark malt, without pulling up any real bitterness. that great bourbon county density is robust. palate coating and syrupy, which normally i love, but the cherries in this one make it feel too thick, or make the viscosity unflattering because of the sugar and the medicinal notes from the cherry. i love the beer, i mean, one of the best stouts in the world hands down, but being critical. i dont think the cherries do any favors to it. i have heard wonderful things about the backyard rye version, and would love to try that. maybe less sweetness and darker berry profile would work better than the cherries. the trademark big finish of this is compromised a little by the cherries, i miss that oaked vanilla kick. rye yes, cherries no. thanks to drlovemd87 as always for sharing a rare bottle. that dude is so generous with his cellar, i am a lucky man.

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

Pours black, with no head, a little tan film around the edge of the glass. Smells bourbony, with lots of chocolate notes and faint cherry smell. Taste follows the nose with a nice cherry tart on the end. Nice mouthfeel. Feels a bit chewy, alcohol burn isn't hidden, but I wasn't expecting it to be. Very good beer, very flavorful. A great sipper and even with the age on it the cherry is there.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

No lacing. Thick fluid brew. bad legs. Dark dense black brew. OK appearance. Nothing remarkable. Head builds when agitated.

Lots of mild melded Cheery and oak. Vanilla, milky, robust, Pronounced rye. Awesome.

Medium-high viscosity. Nice smooth sweetness. Nothing over the top. Simply great. Heat grows gently and creeps nicely. Zero bitterness. Wet. Carbonation is light and perfect. Cherry flavors are faded and very nice. There's some kinda of amazing coconut.

A delicacy. To be savored. Can't recommend, because it's not around, but it still is recommended. Not a Gimmick

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Photo of RhyminBelmont
4.01/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter at Whirlyball Chicago.

A- Looks like BCBS.

S- Much more buttery whiskey tones and sweeter than the regular brand. A little bit of fruitiness but its not quite cherry.

T- surprisingly sour, reminds me a touch of the Bcbs Napa from the block party last summer. Much more scintillating to the tastebuds because of this. I like the bourbon character in the other variants better than the rye.

M- Mostly just bcbs, but a little more mouthwatering from Thr acidity.

O- Not my favorite variant, but very tasty. I dont quiiiite get the hype on this one other than the rareity. Grateful for the chance to have tried this.

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

Reviewed from notes from 12/28/13

A- Pours a thick black with some brown/ruby hues as it pours. A finger and a half of head that slowly recedes to a thick film. Leaves some lacing on the glass.

S- The aroma is fantastic! The rye whiskey, cherry, and oak are exploding out of the glass! Roasted coffee and malt, prunes, and figs all play secondary roles. Molasses, and hints of booze round out this complex aroma. Wow this is awesome!

T- Opens sweet, chocolaty, with maraschino cherries. It's like a rye whiskey soaked chocolate covered cherry! There's some caramel and a decent amount of charred oak as well. There's a little bit of roasted malt. This is dominated by the chocolate covered cherry, but surprisingly it works well! It's a bit medicinal, but not overly so.

M- The mouth feel is somewhat thick, but not quite as thick as I want in a barrel aged stout. Only a bit of carbonation.

O- Overall I really love this beer! It has its minor flaws, but I'd drink this just about any time!

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