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The Beer Circle » Beer, Goose Island Brewing Co., Heaven Hill, Imperial Stout » Goose Island Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout

Goose Island Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout

I was pretty excited when I found out Goose Island was releasing a Bourbon County Brand Stout variant that contained raspberries and blackberries, but was also not exactly convinced I would actually be able to ever taste it. Luckily, I was able to trade a Founders CBS and some other things for one a few months back. I forced myself to hold onto it so more people could share this opportunity…but it wasn’t easy! I pulled this bottle out at the same tasting Greg provided Sam Adams Triple Bock and Paige got out King Henry.

Bramble Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout
Nice active pour with less than a finger of brown head atop a black colored liquid. Pretty viscous overall, the beer looks like one you don't want to mess with. The retention of the head is only okay, with not much more than a thin ring remaining after a few minutes.
The aroma is much more assertive than I would've expected. The blackberry and raspberry arome is huge, big enough to be noticed over the chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon of BCBS. I'm still getting a good amount of bourbon here.
The taste is a real mixup from what I'm used to with this beer. The fruit, again, is huge; blackberries mostly, but some raspberries come into play as well. It reminds me a lot of Black and Red by Dogfish Head, but much more delicious. The fruit comes first, followed by the chocolate and bourbon. I will say that the chocolate and roast is really toned down from typical BCBS, but the characteristics are still noted on this beer. The bourbon comes at the end, tied with vanilla, and provides a very nice balance to the fruit. The complexity of this beer is really a force to be reckoned with. Each sip provides a nuance that is difficult to capture.
Thick and heavy body, but the carbonation is right there which adds a level of complexity to the beer. The booze I expected from this BCBS variant is curbed nicely by heavy fruit and the balance makes it very drinkable. However, if I had to drink the whole bottle, the sweetness would absolutely get to me. I split the bottle three ways and it walked the line with being too sweet already.
As I said up top, I traded a Founders CBS for this beer. After we were done drinking our portions, we all decided it was a good trade. CBS was outstanding don't get me wrong, but I'm a person who likes to try a lot of different beers and this was a trade I'd do again.
This is a great beer, but I can see how people would think this tastes like fruit juice. The rye isn't really assertive, but the overall barrel treatments are. Really a complex beer that hints towards too fruits at points, but at the least is ridiculously delicious. Glad I got the chance to try it.

Beer Stats
Style: Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
Serving: Bottle
Size: 22oz
ABV: 12.7%
BA Score: 91
RB Score: 99

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Written by Russ Beck

Russ can trace his beginnings in craft beer to sitting in Zeno’s Pub in State College drinking various craft beer options from across Pennsylvania. Since then, he has never faltered in finding new brews, whether they’re rare, delicious, or hopefully both. Russ will be writing on a large variety of subjects, including but not limited to: reviews, homebrewing, and how to take labels off of beer bottles. He’ll drink just about anything, but prefers a nice Stout, IPA, or Weizenbock. Find Russ Beck on Google Plus

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