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Sixteen - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

76 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 76
Hads: 948
Avg: 4.48
pDev: 25.22%
Wants: 262
Gots: 225 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout | 11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 11-17-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

An imperial stout aged in 21 year old bourbon barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 76 | Hads: 948
Photo of corby112
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger frothy dark mocha head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting cap. The head of this beer surprisingly dark with great retention, taking a while to settle and leaving large streaks of soapy lacing behind.

Wow, the nose on this beer is really special. Very inviting with a really strong barrel presence that's almost perfectly integrated into the base beer. Subtle charred oak with vanilla bean, prominent toasted coconut and sweet, spicy bourbon. This is countered by a balance of deeply roasted dark malt and rich dessert-like chocolate malt sweetness. Almost like a bourbon chocolate shake. Robust coffee, oatmeal, dark cacao followed by fudge, bakers chocolate caramel and toffee sweetness. Incredible!

Slightly viscous full body but the flavor profile doesn't quite live up to the aroma. The barrel is pretty strong but not as complex as in the nose, slightly dominating the complex malt bill that's lying underneath. Decent bourbon flavor without being too sweet or boozy. Strong charred oak and toasted coconut presence but the silky vanilla notes are missing. Really strong malt backbone that stands up against the huge barrel flavors. Prominent roast with nice robust coffee/espresso bean, burnt toast, oatmeal and bittersweet dark chocolate. The silky, sweeter dessert-like chocolate notes are there but not as strong as I expected or hoped for. Some milk chocolate, flourless chocolate cake and toffee but could use a touch more sweetness to counter the oak and heavy roast. Still, this is a great beer that's very complex and deceptively drinkable considering the high alcohol content. The 11% ABV IS nearly invisible with only subtle heat/warmth in the finish. This is a damn good beer!

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Inky black with a brown head that settles quickly. Thin and wispy lacing.

S: Fudge sauce, dark chocolate truffles, roast, char, dark caramel. Quick and faint whiff of black licorice. The barrel brings a lot of oak, some woody vanilla, and peppery bourbon.

T: Heavy roast and char up front. French roast coffee. Chocolate fudge sauce. Bitter dark chocolate. Acrid and smokey. The barrel comes on strong with a lot of oaky barrel char, woody vanilla, and peppery mature bourbon. Toasted coconut. Peanut brittle. Bourbon balls and chewy caramels too. Fleeting fig and berry flavors are drenched in bourbon. Brash finish with a good dose of char, smoke, wood, and bourbon.

M: Big and thick in body. Hefty and chewy with a slick coating feel. Wood tannins are apparent. Big warmth. Low tingling carbonation.

O: The base beer seems bold and roasty enough on its own, but the lengthy time in the barrel (21 months!) added a lot of aggressive barrel character too. The end result is a big, brash beer that challenges the palate and takes no prisoners. And that's after almost an additional two years of cellar time. It's over the top, but I happen to like 'em like that sometimes.

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Photo of Zaximus
4.51/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours nice and dark with minimal head and lacing.

Smells like bourbon.

Tastes like bourbon. And chocolate. Not overly complex but still quite tasty. Lots of oak and bourbon. Hot. Can only imagine what a face burn this was fresh.

Feel is great. Creamy and rich. Don't get the thinness others have described.

Overall very nice. Not complex or mind blowing but still quite nice.

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Photo of fondyball20
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Flavor is mostly chocolate, very similar to the 2014 kbs I just tried. Thinner feel then I would like with my stouts.

Revisited again on 2/4/16. Pretty much the same beer that I remember from the first time. Lots of chocolate, a little thin... but a very nice stout.

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Photo of jjdc
4.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge barrel character on this one. Motor oil in the glass. The nose is toffee, vanilla, whiskey, plums and dates. The taste follows with additional notes of dark chocolate and oak. This is very well integrated and the flavor leans a bit toward a barleywine. The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than world beaters like BCBS, but this is very good.

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Photo of AnalogErik
4.83/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Yeah had this up against SR-71. That was like being in beer heaven.

Perfect mouthfeel - creamy. Dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee.
Nose reflects that as well.

So glad I got one of these!

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Photo of kbwalters
4.89/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look = 4.0 Pours a perfect black with no light coming through and a thin cap of brown bubbles that slowly fades to a ring. Good lacing for a aged stout.
Aroma = 5.0 Wonderfully complex. Bourbon hits first, accented with oak and vanilla. But the center piece is the dark chocolate that comes out more and more as it warms accompanied by coffee notes.
Taste = 5.0 Chocolate dominates the entire mouth through the middle of the taste, it kind of rolls from front to back. Highlights of vanilla and oak. Some bourbon and boozy coffee flavor comes out in the backend which leaves you with a little burn in the aftertaste.
Feel = 5.0 Full bodied, thick and creamy. Low to moderate carbonation fits as expected with an aged stout. Goes down so smooth.
Drinkability = 4.0 With a perfect aroma, taste and feel this stout is incredibly drinkable for how big it is. Creamy and smooth from start to finish with nothing overbearing.
Overall = 4.75 This stout is wonderfully complex and interesting. Tons of aroma and flavor, perfect mouthfeel, can’t ask for much more.

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Photo of bound4er
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Black appearance with a thin, tan head. Smells fantastic - vanilla, fudge, hazelnut, bourbon, oak and warming alcohol. Big and rich on the palate with bourbon, chocolate and creme brulee notes. Finishes with a slightly burnt, alcohol-infused brownie flavor that lingers for nearly a minute. Just a fantastic barrel aged stout.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.89/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours not quite black with a fair amount of light showing through. Initial thoughts are it could be a little thin. Aroma has a ton going on: vanilla, dark chocolate, oak, bourbon. Very complex nose that seems to peel off another layer with each niff. Flavor has a bunch of bourbon character show up. Comes off a little hot, surprisingly. Mostly what the nose picked up with some light dark fruits and tobacco. The comparisons to BCBS are fair. It seems to have a lot of those qualities without quite as much caramelized malt character.

Overall, pretty dang good. Came off a little messy for me at times, so maybe just a touch below my expectations.

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Photo of richj1970
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz bomber into snifter.

A: Pitch black with smallish one finger mocha colored head that settles to a thin ring around the edge, and leaves little to no lacing.

S: Sweet bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and coconut. Charred oak and molasses. Aroma reminds me a little of BCBS which is a good thing.

T: Rich dark chocolate and vanilla. Tons of bourbon influence. Faint notes of oak, cherry, and coconut.

M: Full bodied but not thick and nicely carbonated for a big stout. Some noticeable alcohol heat.

O: Another winner from CW. This is one of my favorite BA stouts for sure!

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cocoa, bitter chocolate, oak and coconut. Big dark chocolate, vanilla and oaky booze in the taste. Very well balanced. Perfect amount of sweetness. Super solid.

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Photo of Schmitfaced414
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am biased because this is brewed just outside of my home town. That said, this one stacks up well against the other BAs out there. CW really knows what it is doing with its BA.

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Photo of doublevision
4.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black into a snifter. Huge amounts of bourbon on the nose which back off to a more moderate level as you start to sip. Bourbon and carmel notes dominate the intial taste that fade to a very intense chocolate almost fudge like finish. Body is not quite as thick and syrup like as say BCBS but it's no lightweight. Overall my favorite BA stout. I would drive the 3hrs each way to Central Waters in a heart beat if more suddenly became availible

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Photo of KillerJigger
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Impressed with this one and how it is smooth with compex tastes from the aging process. Not boozy or to oaky as well. If you can find one it is worth a sip or two.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bomber poured into tulip 30/12/14. big thanks kumatmebrew for the bottle

A black liquid with a deep cola edge, just short lived noisy finger of dark foam that leaves no lace

S hard to miss the barrel on the nose, heaps of bourbon and wood, a little smoke, caramel and vanilla, molasses, booze, more bourbon and a little chocolate, I smell a winner

T much like the nose thankfully, all barrel, charred wood, smokey bourbon, intense stuff, a little boozy but it works with the barrel intensity, a little chocolate, and vanilla in the mix but the bourbon barrel is king

M not overly thick, just enough bubbles to give it some life, tannin grit in the mouth but a little sticky on the stash, some heat on the way down, and charred barrel linger for ages

O its a big ass barrel monster and that suits me fine, intense bourbon notes at every turn, terrific stuff going on here

21 months? I'm struggling to think of a beer I've had that spent more time in a barrel, I also can't recall using the word "barrel" this many times in a review, coincidence? I think not.

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Photo of M_J_Z
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Shared this with a few friends last night. It didn't disappoint and definitely lived up to its reputation.

Sixteen is very smooth and chocolaty with an appropriate bourbon flavor. There wasn't much head or lacing due to the length of time the beer was aged in the barrels.

I originally rated this a 5 on Untappd and still feel that the beer merits that rating or is very close. 4.75, at the very least.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.58/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

BOTTLE: 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass. Classy understated label design. Unbranded pry-off pressure cap.

Acquired in a trade with the ever-so-generous Duff27.

Expectations couldn't be higher; Central Waters does some of the best barrel aging in the business as far as I'm concerned. Served chilled into a snifter.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Dark khaki-tan head recedes quickly to a floater ring within 5 seconds, leaving no lacing.

BODY: Opaque ink-black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears aptly carbonated. It's not unique or special, but it's good for the style. A fuller creamier longer lasting head would be an improvement, and the body could have more of a mirror sheen.

AROMA: Bourbon barrel character is obvious - authentic vanilla, toasted white oak, wood char, some burnt barrel sugars. The barrel doesn't seem to melt into the base; Central Waters usually manages a more seamless integration of the barrel, but this aroma suggests a less well balanced brew. A hint of marshmallow emerges as it comes to temp.

No yeast character, off-notes, or alcohol is detectable.

In terms of the base beer, I pick up on dark malt sweetness, chocolate malt, caramel, cream, lactose sugar, a hint of roasted barley, and some burnt character.

Overall, it's much more reticent than anticipated. I expected more evocative bourbon barrel and a more intricate base. A pleasant aroma of moderate strength.

TASTE: Marshmallow, bourbon, authentic vanilla notes, toasted white oak, slight char, and burnt barrel sugars. The bourbon barrel character doesn't melt into the base seamlessly like I expected (and like in some of Central Waters' other beers), but the bourbon character is lovely as always.

Speaking of the base, there isn't much there - no coffee, little roasted barley, no rich chocolate...I get dark malts, chocolate malts, and some syrupy character. Caramel. It's just not real complex, subtle, or intricate, and this is a style which requires all three. I'm a bit disappointed, to be honest, but only because I hoped for a great beer - and this is merely very good.

The balance is nice, but the barrel notes eclipse the base (which itself brings relatively little to the table, such that there's nothing for the bourbon to accent). It's nicely built, but isn't unique or special, and doesn't quite feel like a gestalt whole.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, soft, comforting, full-bodied, syrupy, viscous, and unrefreshing. This texture is well-executed and complements the taste well, but it doesn't elevate the beer. It does have some slight alcohol warmth, and is overcarbonated.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: Very drinkable and enjoyable. It's good but not great work for Central Waters, and I'm let down only because I hoped for excellence. Absolutely worth trying if you're a fan of the style, and a very good imperial stout, but not a world-class one. I really wish the base boasted more complexity.

Huge thanks to Duff27 for the bottle!


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Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: An obsidian pour, capped by a thin film of mocha bubbles that fade to a ringlet; dots of lace linger

Smell: Chocolate fudge, Bourbon, vanilla, coconut and a hint of dried cherry

Taste: Dark chocolate fudge, up front, with the Bourbon and vanilla building; after the swallow, hints of coconut and dried cherry emerge, but the dominant tone remains the Bourbon and chocolate fudge

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation

Overall: Had this just after the 2014 BCBS and I am afraid it doesn't quite compare; still quite a good Bourbon barrel stout that I was glad to have tasted

Thanks, WI-Beer-Man, for the opportunity

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Photo of Jeffo
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this long time want from Masterski this past summer. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
16th Anniversary
21 months on bourbon barrels

APPEARANCE: A clear black pour yields a one finger, medium looking, foamy and fizzy, light brown head with good retention. Black body with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a half wisp and ring, though only the ring remains until the end leaving no lacing down the glass. Average at best; the black color saves it a little.

SMELL: Lots of bourbon, oak, milk chocolate, sweet cream, alcohol and notes of fudge brownies on the nose. Big and boozy with plenty of barrel. Coconut and cotton candy sweetness as well. Really forthcoming and enticing for sure.

TASTE: Follows the nose, and doesn’t disappoint. Bourbon, alcohol, and toffee sweetness up front, before moving into a big finish of oak, vanilla and milk chocolate. Bold and lingering aftertaste of bourbon, coconut, vanilla, lightly burnt malts and lots of pure dark chocolate sweetness is wonderful and decadent. Notes of tobacco as well with just a touch of bitterness offering the right amount of balance to the brew. Plenty of bourbon barrel up front with plenty of fudge and sweetness to finish it off. Big, bold, and lots going on. Fudge and tobacco with some burnt notes linger and linger. Really good.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Slightly lighter on the palate than I’d hoped, a touch prickly perhaps, goes down fine with a bit of a scratch and finishes very sticky. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: This was excellent. The feel is a bit lighter for the style, which perhaps kept it from being the show stopper it wants to be, but the nose and flavor are just decadent. One of the rare occasions when a beer held so highly actually deserves its reputation. The barrel character of wood, vanilla and toffee seem to mesh seamlessly with the base stout qualities of roast and chocolate fudge to create a wonderfully balanced and complex imperial stout. One of the better examples of the style out there. Thanks again Masterski! Would love to drink this in mass quantities.

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Photo of jbwimer
4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Amazing barrel influence, particularly on the nose. Caramel, vanilla, oak. More chocolate on the flavor. A touch hot, but that doesn't do much to detract from the overall drinking experience. Really well done beer.

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Photo of valdieu2
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Blacker than a landladies heart with Dunkin Donuts coffee floated on top.
The nose will get you hauled out of your car at noon for a sobriety test.
The taste is more of the same, I want to call my lawyer, I have not had a bourbon, officer.
Thick, sticky and hot. I am guilty, officer. Please call my lawyer and my wife.
Did I really drink the whole thing? Am I gonna pass out? Somebody get me home.

Thanks, Etan

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Photo of Trifecta1
4.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best BBA stouts I've had to date. Incredible balance and progression; starts with a medium roast, leads into oak and sweetness, and finishes with vanilla and milk chocolate. Bourbon throughout. Tame alcohol presence. World class by any standard.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%

Bottle courtesy of a generous trader. Thanks! Poured to my Catador Teku black with a very small bit of mocha colored head. Beautiful aroma of bourbon, dark fruits, anise, vanilla, roast, chocolate, molasses. Flavor is a nice shot of bourbon vanilla and roast, some dark fruit and anise, chocolate richness with some molasses, finishes oaky and slightly dry with a long vanilla chocolate bourbon finish. A bit of metallic and cardboard notes. Rich and thick bodied with medium carbonation. Overall this is very nice, but the cardboard/metallic influence takes away from what seems like it could be a super awesome brew. But this really improved at is warmed, got a little sweeter, and masked these flavors. Ultimately really nice.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.
(A)- Pours thick and pitch black with some minimal tan froth.
(S)- A huge fudge soaked raisin profile with caramel and faint coconut. Great barrel notes.
(T)- Big notes of cocoa and caramel meets a deep oak centered profile. Boozy and rich.
(M)- A mellow carbonation level that works well with some VERY rich and big bodied barrel characters.
(O)- One of the most barrel forward stouts I have had in awhile. Some time might improve the huge richness. Totally fantastic

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a buddy of mine had one of these in the fridge for an eternity, but the right crew was never assembled to drink it, or occasion was never found, or the intrigue of having one to open as we watched it climb the ranks may have been too enticing to let go and actually drink it, i dont really know, but i was overjoyed to find the opportunity to drink another one, who knows what became of that original bottle, maybe it still sits there waiting, maybe i will never know. the beer is worth the wait, although i have to admit, its really more bourbon than beer that this point. even the enormous base stout with all the body and grain character in the world is washed out just a bit by heavy vanilla, musty oak, and sweet liquor in both aroma and flavor. not a bad thing though, its evident that the quality of both the beer and the bourbon that was in these barrels are first rate. sticky toffee body on it, minimal bitterness from the roast, but there is an ashy char element from the inside of the barrel. lots of vanilla, lots of detectable alcohol, but it seems intentional and not out of place. a beer to share for certain, this had me buzzing pretty quickly. long long flavor too, its full of hills and valleys, sometimes chocolate shows, other times licorice and black tea, its so soft in feel though, alluring and distinct. im not sure its the 63rd best beer in the world, or whatever it now ranks here on BA, but its certainly in the conversation of most compelling stouts, definitely one of the more barrel heavy beers i can remember...

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Sixteen from Central Waters Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.