Review of Goose Island Bourbon County Bramble Rye Stout

10 Dec
Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Bourbon County Bramble Rye Stout produced by the Goose Island Beer Company located in Chicago, Illinois.

I’ve had the regular Bourbon County Stout a number of times and really like it, so when I was giving the opportunity to purchase the Bramble Rye I couldn’t pass it up.

From the website,, I found this description.

At Goose Island our brewers take every opportunity to experiment with new ingredients and aging techniques. For this edition of Bourbon County Brand Stout, they aged the classic recipe in rye whiskey barrels with raspberries and blackberries from Michigan. The result is a powerfully rich beer with notes of tart fruit and jam that fade into the warm spice of a fine rye whiskey.

I’m pumped about trying this brew. 

This beer has an ABV of 12.7% and it comes in a 22 oz. bottle.

It poured pitch black with a very dark, small, tan head.  Its texture was smooth, but it dissipated very quickly.  No lacing whatsoever was left behind.  A lot of clear alcohol was easily noticed on the sides of the snifter when tilted from side to side.

The nose brought forth a fairly robust aroma of whiskey.  A lot of wood and vanilla shown through while sturdy wafts of raspberries and blackberries added a fruity/tart redolence.  I honestly didn’t detect any rye bread or spiciness.  The alcohol and the fruits were the primary factors to tell the truth.  Overall, it was pretty robust and strong.

The taste let loose with some serious raspberry and blackberry savors.  Not so much tart, but very sweet.  A confident dose of whiskey did nothing to hide itself and it fully accentuated an undertone of oaky/woody earthiness.  A subtle dollop of vanilla was found as well.  Again, the rye was nearly undetectable.  

The mouthfeel was medium to mostly full bodied.  Very smooth, thick, dry and chewy with an extremely low amount of carbonation.  A great deal of warmth and burn was felt at the back of the throat and on into the belly with each swallow.  A tremendous amount of flavor drenched the palate and it hung around for a very long time after the sips.

Well, this is a nice beer.  There is no doubt about that.  However, it is very sweet and very boisterous when taken fresh.  At this point the drinkability is quite low.  I would love to obtain another bottle and let it sit for a few years.  The time should tame the heavy alcohol and sweetness and it may let that rye come through a touch more also. It’s definitely worth a try if you can obtain a bottle, although one should plan on taking some extended time with it when you hunker down for the tasting.  In my opinion it would be best to try on a cold Winters night.  Did you guys get the opportunity to sample the Goose Island Bourbon County Bramble Rye Stout?  What was your opinion?  Feel free to leave a comment at anytime.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I’m most grateful for the support.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.05 out of 5
Grade:  A-    

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Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Country: USA, Goose Island


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