Backyard Rye (2013) by Goose Island

Backyard Rye by Goose Island

© 2015 popsonhops

Tasting: January 16, 2015
Style: Imperial Stout
Beer #: 691

I never win anything and I guess technically, I didn’t win this bottle of 2013 Backyard Rye. Yesterday, I was picked (as one of many) in a raffle for the right to BUY from a selection of rare beers. Nonetheless, I feel lucky to hold this bottle in my hands. Karma had to have played a role as I traded an extra bottle of Backyard Rye a few months ago only to receive a couple bottles of some really old IPA from Alpine in exchange for this gem.

This is a 2013 vintage and I notice that the alcohol by volume (ABV) is lighter than the traditional Bourbon County Brand Stout (BCBS) from 2013. Funny – as if 12.7% ABV could be considered light. Aged in Templeton Rye Whiskey barrels with the addition of three berries – marionberry, boysenberry and mulberry.

I have never heard of a marionberry and was surprised to learn that it’s a type of blackberry. It’s called the cabernet of blackberries so I guess calling it a marionberry elevates the stature. Backyard Rye also uses mulberry and boysenberries and each provides a tart sweetness. I like the backyard reference as these three berries grow in a lot of backyards and the label notes that these were favorites of the brewers.

Ruby highlights in this opaque brown stout. First sip is sequential – I get the traditional Bourbon County Brand Stout flavors of chocolate followed by a bright pop of berry and that familiar soy/teriyaki, vanilla finish. This stout is beautiful. Backyard Rye will nestle itself at the top of my list at 97 points. Really nice and really glad I have another bottle.

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