Sixteen - Central Waters Brewing Co.

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917 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 917
Reviews: 75
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: 6.83%
Wants: 263
Gots: 234 | FT: 34
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 917 | Reviews: 75
Reviews by StoutItOutLoud:
Photo of StoutItOutLoud
4.53/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22-oz bottle served to snifter.

A: very dark appearance, but less opaque than expected at the edges. I am unable to draw much head, to be expected, but the viscosity is on the thinner side and there was very little cling. luckily the appearance doesn't foreshadow the mouthfeel.

S: oak, cocoa powder, fudge, vanilla, toasted coconut, treacle. lovely interplay between the roasted malts of the stout and the inside of the barrel

T: very similar to the aroma: wood char, fudge, caramel, toasted coconut, tobacco. very slight soy sauce.

M: moderately carbonated, lingering mouthfeel.

the 21 months in the barrel shine through. this is very close in overall quality to bcbs, but a little too hot, more comparable to fresh 2012 bcbs than to fresh 2013. still, a damn fine beer.

this will mellow very nicely, I anticipate.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.46/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

There's no way sixteen candles fit on the top of this beer. And its probably a rather good idea to keep the flames far away from this 11% beast. But in true birthday fashion, the taste of chocolate cake is present, along with my favorite birthday flavor- bourbon!

With an ominous creep into the glass, this highly viscous stout coats the glass like ink as it nestles into the snifter. Its black abyss sheds a short mocha-stained head that eventually collapses back into the beer under its enormous weight. A brief appearance of foam regenerates with a gentle swirl, speckling the glass with random lace.

Bold and savory aromas fill the nose with high espresso and supporting toffee. As background notes of dark chocolate, roasted nuts, toast char and cream inform the sweeter an java scents, the bourbon awakens with its own caramels, vanillans, oaken and weathered character- opening up fruit tones of sugarplums and drunken cherry.

Its decadent sweetness wraps around the tongue with bittersweet chocolate, deeply carmalized toffee, peanut brittle, brownie batter and heavy whipping cream. As the darker espresso, roasty-toasty flavors rise, the taste of chocolate covered coffee beans become apparent. But here comes the barrel- vanilla, oak, caramel and coconut give the taste a sultry and lavish taste- laced with bourbon soaked berries, pitted and dried fruit for a semi-vinous tone, similar to sherry wine.

Its boisterous texture is rich, chewy, and dense as its light carbonation allows for the full penetration of the beer's decadent sweetness to seep deeply into the taste buds. Keeping the texture velvety, its carbonation offers up a marshmallowy feel even deep as the barrel tannin, alcohol spice and vinous twang attempts to balance and lighten its taste and texture.

Central Waters sure knows how to party. And it seems that they are getting better every year. With what seems to be their apex, I can't wait to see what they have up the mash tun for next year!

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
Serving Temperature 45-50°F

A - The smooth pour generates a creamy mocha head that rests carefully on the black beer and leaves delicate fingers of lace on the glass; everything a beautiful imperial stout should be!

S - Kicked off by a healthy dose of brown sugar, this big imperial stout features a congregation of great dark malt characteristics. Molasses, milk chocolate complete with lactose sweetness, caramel, and toffee swirl around a beautiful bouquet of barrel aging; vanilla and smooth bourbon soaked oak come into play with just a hint of warming alcohol on the finish.

T - Dark malt complexity flows deeply through Sixteen and embodies everything about a decadent imperial stout from it's rich chocolate presence to the smooth espresso suggestions and it's 21 months in bourbon barrels only elevates it. Molasses-drizzled vanilla bean and cocoa-rolled moist raisins push through the soft bourbon oak undertones to it's warming alcohol finish.

M - Sixteen's rich body lends itself well to sipping from a snifter at warmer temperatures as it coats the throat with smooth dark maltiness and finishes with an ever-present warming alcohol that gently thins out the finish.

O - Once again, Central Waters' anniversary imperial stout doesn't disappoint. Sixteen is rich, decadent, and full of complexity that's worth burying your nose in as full on milk chocolate, molasses, and coffee notes swirl around the beer's incredibly smooth vanilla and bourbon oak nuances. The difference between Sixteen and some of their other barrel-aged stouts is that, despite the beer's extended aging in old barrels, this release exhibits a higher concentration of alcohol heat through both the taste and feel. That said, while it's a little warmer compared to other Central Waters' releases, Sixteen still remains pretty tame by comparison to some of craft beer's other bourbon barrel-aged stouts. It's damn good fresh but this one will age magnificently.

Photo of orangesol
4.49/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to DocJ007 for busting this one open for us at our last monthly tasting.

A - Pours pitch black with a nice one finger tall tan head, slowly dissipating down to a light film, leaving small webs of lace on the sides of the glass.

S - Smells of fresh baked fudge brownies, vanilla, oak, toasted coconut, dark fruits, warm bourbon and plenty of dark roasted malt. The fudge is off the charts with some bourbon offering to help keep it in check, awesome aroma.

T - Starts off much like the nose does with the strong brownie fudge that never really fades away. The vanilla, coconut and toffee offer some added flavors while the oaken bourbon and dark roasted malts round everything out. Finish is still sweet with some light dryness, lingering long after the finish.

M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Smooth, sweet feel from start to finish makes it very easy to consume despite how large it actually is. While the booze is present it isn't as big as I anticipated it being.

O - One of the best stouts in recent memory. The over the top fudge is balanced just enough by the remaining flavors to allow it to be both easy drinking and super flavorful. Makes me want to seek out the other anniversary beers to see how good they are. Thanks again Justin!

Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev -8.6%
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

Photo of wordemupg
4.39/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of maximum12
4.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well, after drinking two or three or something of these on tap & thinking it was mind-blowing, time to pop the cap on a bottle & see if it's as good in the glassy format. I'm putting my chips on yes. 22 oz. bottle with nice minimalist bottle art split with my (non 16 chugging, until now) wife.

Pour is dead black, with as much carbonation as hard-poured chocolate milk. The smell, oh, the smell is driven. Gorgeous brownie batter, real fresh maple syrup, vanilla picked by Virginian monks...yeah. It tastes thick even to my nose.

Sixteen is as thick in the mouth as it is in the nose hairs. Huge & thick, this is a decadent, after-dinner, eat-it-with-chocolate kind of beer. Speaking of which, big chunks of chocolate & dripping marshmallow dominate the beer: s'mores! S'mores. Now I want a s'more. Sweet. Bourbon is present only as a sweet smile of vanilla; subtle, or repressed, depending on your religion. Richness in the middle is added by sugar, brown sugar, molasses. Mouthfeel is ready for the Olympics, as is the drinkability. Slugging.

If I was rating this to the category of barrel-aged stout I'd knock it because of the reticence of the bourbon, but hey, style means as much to me as being nice to strangers, so fuck that. On a simple beer level this is thick, gorgeous, & goes down like castor oil. Excellent.

Photo of Jared14
4.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance was that of all good stouts I've had, black with a small tan head that leaves behind a little lacing.

Smell was initially roasted notes with hints of chocolate, upon warming towards room temperature chocolate notes come through greater.

Taste is like nose except when warming there's another layer in a marshmallow like note that I really enjoyed.

Mouthfeel was thick and full bodied.

This goes in the top 3 BA stouts I've had with BA Abraxas and BA Sump Kyoto.

Photo of frenchblood21
4.77/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance- Pitch black with a dark tan quarter inch head. The head fades almost immediately. Lacing is quite impressive for this aged beer.

Smell- Toffee and figs are the two scents I get right away. Secondly, I get bourbon and cherries. This smells much more like a barrel-aged barleywine. This is outrageous for a stout. Perfect in every way.

Taste- Malty and roasty right up front. Bourbon is very present, but not at all hot. In fact, the bourbon is just fantastic. Vanilla and currants also come up to party. I get just a faint taste of tobacco and maybe some raisins.

Mouthfeel- This beer is a bit thin, but that is totally expected from a beer this old. It is hard to keep this masterpiece in your mouth.

Overall- Awesome example of what a barrel-aged stout should taste like. Almost perfect in every aspect. Top 25 beers I have ever had.

Photo of timc100
4.41/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours like a beautiful big imperial stout - pitch black with a dark/burnt mocha head. Not as menacing as a CCB stout, but still awesome.

Surprisingly it is not barrel dominated given the extensive aging period. Fantastic aroma though - rich oily espresso, dark rich chocolate, some nice vanilla sweetness and faint barrel. Taste is rich - similar espresso and chocolate, some nice bourbon heat and vanilla sweetness. THe mouthfeel is not where I would want it with this beer - a little thin but not overly detracting.

Awesome. Can't wait to have it aged.

Photo of Roguer
4.12/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours a good-sized dark brown head, but retention is poor. Brew is super dark black.

Bit of aspirin in the aroma, and strong bourbon.

Remarkably dry stout base, especially for a BBA stout. Nice bourbon notes on the end: vanilla, raisin, light coconut, and molasses. As it warms, a nice, dark and bitter cacao comes through.

Pretty nice and thick for a BBA stout.

This is a nice, tasty beer, very bourbon-forward, but it falls well shy of the standard for BBA stouts. It isn't particularly sweet, which while being a nice twist, also takes away. I'd prefer a thicker, maltier body.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.01/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Jeff for this one. 22oz bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black with a thin dark mocha colored head that dissipates quickly. Lacing is spotty and stringy with little stick but nice legs. Decent for the style.

Nose is sweet soy sauce, roasted malt, cocoa powder, molasses, anise and chocolate. Robust and very deep. Really nice.

Opens sweet soy sauce, molasses, and roasted malt. Sweet dark fruit, chocolate, fudge and cocoa in the middle backed by a deep booziness. Chewy with hints of burnt oak and tobacco. Ends more dark chocolate and cocoa powder. Aftertaste is the same. Good complexity.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and silky in the mouth and goes down warm and viscous. Finishes messy with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Solid.

All the beers in this series have been above average and 16 is no exception. Nice complexity and a body that pulls the flavors together nicely. Definitely worth trying.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.1/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Nearly black. Small khaki head. Medium collar.

Smell - Really intense bourbon. Oak. Lots of vanilla. Sharp booze. Dark chocolate. Coconut.

Taste - Bourbon is the highlight and it is nice. Strong oak and vanilla. Dark chocolate. Coconut again.

Mouthfeel - Boozy. Medium bodied. As always, it could be thicker.

Overall - The barrel dominates. Intensely bourbony. I have no complaints about that, but the beer is masked.

Photo of richj1970
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
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!

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Poured a thick inky black with a thin layer of medium brown head that reduced to a ring around the edges of the glass.

S - Intense barrel aromas dominate: charred oak, bourbon and vanilla. Some chocolate fudge and roast aromas are present in the background.

T - Barrel aromas dominate as the nose suggested. Char, oak, bourbon and vanilla. Chocolate fudge, roast and a hint of espresso in the background. The 21 months of barrel aging definitely show.

M - Full body. Viscous. Light carbonation.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.27/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed over the weekend... Pours thick with a long lasting dark brown head. Nose is thick vanilla/marshmallow with good oak and plenty of dark chocolate... Flavor has something that I associate with coconut.. dark cherry essence, but again the vanilla/barrel presence is the big tie that binds with the huge roast/dark chocolate elements.. lower carbonation helps accentuate the smooth/rich body. Very well made BA RIS, no doubt CW does it well. Hype worthy... Close, for sure.


Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle pour at the bottle share at the Ithaca Luminous release.

Pours a deep, dark black, big and scary color here. Looks thick and gloopy, super viscous. Small half inch head forms, leaving lots of lacing in the cup.

Smells include vanilla, oak, espresso, and chocolate.

Very similar tastes, just one of the smoothest, deadliest BA stouts I've had. Huge barrel character, lots of vanilla and oak, a little bit of coconut, some roasted chocolate and roasted malt, no alcohol presence that I can note easily. The chocolate flavor reminds me of brownie batter, which is nice.

Thick bodied, creamy, slick mouthfeel, no alcohol presence. Starts sweet, ends sweet, without getting cloying.

Possibly the highlight of the day, this was absolutely baller.

Photo of tonyfoto08
4.84/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

In my personal option, 90% of the beer coming out of Central Waters is pure perfection. Currently, Sixteen is top dog till the brewery brings Seventeen out of its top secret hiding place next year. It's a heavy malt with enough bourbon to remind you in the morning that you made a grave mistake if you get to carried away the night before. Which is easy to do when this brew goes down so fantastically. As amazing as it is, I feel this beer will peak after 1year as it continuous to age.

Photo of rlee1390
4.69/5  rDev +3.3%

A-Black in the glass with a two finger brown head that left some lacing

S-Wow. Perfect balance. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malt. All in perfect harmony.

T-Just like the nose. The balance in impeccable. Bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate. Wow.

M-Heavy, tad creamy with nice carbonation.

O-Holy cow. One of the best beers I've ever had. Amazing to say the least

Photo of ThickNStout
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%

22oz bottle from IAmJacksHopTongue (many thanks!). No bottling date but it's safe to say that it was released late 2013 to coincide with their anniversary. Served in a Barrel and Barley teku.

Pours midnight black with a finger and a half deep tan head. The bubbles quickly recede to a minute halo and a few wisps across the surface. Zero lace

Sweet flavors overall with brown sugar, soft bourbon, soy sauce, molasses, vanilla, alot of toasted wood character and some fusel alcohol. Nicely woven blend of barrel, stout and bourbon.

Dark chocolate malts, oaken char, bourbon, a distinct natural wood, molasses, brown sugar, cola, coffee, burnt caramel, roasted malt, a tiny hint of coconut and a little alcohol.

Moderately heavy, creamy, full, almost syrupy body with subtle carbonation. Rich aftertaste of dark fudge, bourbon, oak and charred malt.

Central Waters' Sixteen has a deliciously distinct wood character that sets it apart from a huge crowd of bourbon barrel aged stouts. It may not be quite as thick, sweet and chocolatey as my favorites but delivers huge flavor in a significantly less alcoholic package. Quite glad to have had a chance to try this thanks to a great trading buddy.

Photo of Etan
3.74/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured at FOBAB.

A: Pours a glassy black with a small light beige head.

S: Aroma brings woody bourbon, some mild tannic vanilla and char, hint of roasted grain.

T: Likewise, taste is bourbon-dominated. Plenty of woody liquor, a bit of marshmallow, ghost of bitter cocoa and coffee.

M: A little less than medium-bodied, very tannic on the tongue.

O: The barrel has dominated this beer, thinning it out a bit as well. Meh.

Photo of arthuro11
4.77/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this at CWs 16th anniversary celebration last January, on tap and also picked up 4 bombers to enjoy and share. Hard to find much to criticize here - if you like big beers, and I do, really can't go wrong with this one. Pours nice and dark, smells amazing (coffee, caramel, vanilla), good lacing. Best served not super cold of course. Only knock I could make is the mouthfeel is a tiny bit thin, but really with so much else going on, hard to complain at all. I'm going to treasure the two bombers I have left.

Photo of Ri0
4.76/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

poured 22oz bottle into chalice.

A - Midnight sky black with a thin 1 finger tan hear. Quick retention and a few spots of lacing. Typical for a BA stout.

S - The aroma is as good as BCBS with bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, cocoa, marshmallow and thick caramel.

T - The taste is so much better than fifteen. Vanilla and bourbon filled dark chocolates with hints of, oak, caramel, and mild hops. The barrel blends in so nicely with the base stout to create a memorable drinking experience.

M - Medium body with creamy, smooth feel. Carbonation is spot on.

O - This is the best CW beer that I have had and is probably as good as the rare Black Gold that was a very limited release. Very happy to have a couple of bottles of this.

Photo of cbutova
4.29/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cousin Sonny = guddamn.

A- Pure black pour into a wine glass with a half finger light tan head. Decent retention of the cap falling to a small ring. Lacing is rare with just a few spots.

S- Deep roasty grains and heavily toasted brown grains atop a relaxed, aged Bourbon but still a large presence in the aroma. Chocolate, caramel, vanilla, coffee and whiskey.

T- Big stout and Bourbon. Notes of high quality whiskey, vanilla sweets, medium toast wet oak, dark semi-bitter cocoa, coffee grounds, caramel, toast, raisins and slight alcohol.

MF- Medium-thick bodied with an oily and somewhat hot feel overall. Carbonation comes in at a medium perhaps high level considering the flavors.

Not my best review but I had to write some notes down. Great balance of big stout and whiskey.

Photo of SadMachine
4.61/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours pitch black, thick, with a small tan head that leaves some lacing.

S- The aroma is full of toffee, molasse's caramel, dark chocolaty fudge, intense vanilla, oaky tannins, and a hint of booze. Wonderful!

T- The taste follows the nose pretty closely. The bourbon is is very prominent, and it's tastes like top shelf stuff! Rich vanilla and fudgy chocolate are the big players here. Some caramel notes as well as toffee. A touch of cocoa. This is fantastic.

M- The mouth feel is thick, well caebonated, and dry. Very good.

O- This is an absolutely fantastic barrel aged imperial stout!

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Sixteen from Central Waters Brewing Co.
100 out of 100 based on 917 ratings.