Rye Barrel-Aged Imperial Chocolate Oatmeal Porter - Central Waters Brewing Co.

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Rye Barrel-Aged Imperial Chocolate Oatmeal PorterRye Barrel-Aged Imperial Chocolate Oatmeal Porter

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147 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 147
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 6.9%
Wants: 43
Gots: 24 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  ABV ?

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TonyTalon on 04-30-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 147 | Reviews: 17
Reviews by Stevedore:
Photo of Stevedore
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

10oz served in a goblet at Alchemy Cafe, 5/5/2014.

A- Dark cola brown body, one finger white head with good retention, a little bit of lacing. Looks the part of an imperial porter.

S- Lots and lots of rye whiskey as I would expect from a Central Waters barrel-aged beer. Seriously, they must leave a quarter of the barrel filled with whiskey. However, this is not off-putting at all because it melds in well with the base beer as it warms up. Smooth milk chocolate sweetness, a bit of coffee to temper that sweetness. The rye definitely shows up in this one, which I appreciate.

F- Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, milk chocolate, a bit of roast, bitter dark malt, a little bit of espresso and that damp oak barrel flavour. Very interesting, starts out one-note when its served cold but opens up a good bit as it warms. Still not superbly complex, but its definitely hitting the notes it advertises in the name.

M- Quite smooth, medium bodied and just right for a porter. Good carbonation. Served too cold, so definitely let this warm up. The finish is clean and just about right between dry and slick.

O- This is very good, very interesting and drinkable. I enjoyed this one a lot, and I'm glad I came out to this one Madison Craft Beer Week event as this is apparently the only event they're bringing this one to for the week.

More User Reviews:
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is as good as it gets, a genius use of rye barrels, where the grain harshness of the booze comes through, penetrating a silky smooth rich viscous semisweet chocolate porter thats simply stunning to begin with. the booze can be picked up a little in the nose, but it marries right in to a big oaty base beer that has a ton of body and rich chocolate notes that must come from come cocoa addition, along with the chocolate malt. a mild roasty bitterness is there, but the mood is mellow and sweet, not rough and bitter. its syrupy in texture, the imperial part of it becoming obvious too, warming alcohol is present now. rye spice comes in robustly, with a light vanilla hit from the barrel that goes with the dark chocolate really well. less lingering sugar than expected on the swallow, plenty of malt leftovers though on the tongue and teeth, and a pleasant buzz comes right on from this too. it has to be near 12% abv. beautiful harmony between the spirit barrel and the chocolate oat complex of the beer, flawlessly rich body and texture, and one of those special beers that probably deserves more attention that its getting. remarkable product, perfect for the chilly nights that are here.

Photo of Ri0
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured 22oz bottle into chalice. Bought at the brewery on Oct 11.

A - Black silk with a 1.5 cocoa head. Fades to a thick collar with nice swaths of lacing.

S - Dark Chocolate and cocoa followed by notes of bourbon, vanilla, and wood. Hints of sweet caramel and a touch of bitter chocolate.

T - Big dark chocolate and cocoa flavor with some sweet caramel. Bourbon and wood are subdued along with vanilla and marshmallow notes. This is very chocolaty and delicious.

M - Velvety and smooth, medium bodied. Good amount of carbonation with a rich and smooth finish.

O - A very nice chocolate porter with a tame barrel presence. So easy to drink and so rich and creamy. I'm so happy that I made the 2 hour drive to acquire some.

Photo of kojevergas
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with fun label art and an art-bearing black pry-off pressure cap acquired in a trade with the very generous Duff27 and served cold into a snifter.

Allowed to come to room temp over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Label: No ABV is listed. "Vintage 2014." "Rye Barrel Chocolate Porter." "Malt beverage aged in used oak rye barrels."

Expectations: High. I hold Central Waters in high regard.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide. Khaki colour head. Good creaminess. Supple soft complexion. Even smooth consistency. Retention is average - about 2 minutes. Leaves uneven light lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

A richer, fuller, darker head would be ideal.

BODY: Opaque solid black. Not an ink or jet black, but quite dark. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears aptly carbonated.

Overall, it's a good looking barrel aged porter, but there's room for improvement. While this is well above average, there's nothing particularly unique or special about it. The supple look of the head is a highlight.

AROMA: A barrel character is definitely noticeable, but it screams bourbon - not rye. There's none of the subtle spiciness or heat of rye, and plenty of the rich toasty oak and vanilla of bourbon. I forgot how good Central Waters is at integrating barrel notes into their base beers. Evokes a perfect level of sweetness, with decadent notes of cream, milk chocolate, chocolate malts, dark malts, and oats. Luxurious toasted coconut has my mouth watering. A dab of marshmallow in there too.

Overall, this is an impressive aroma which suggests a perfect harmony of barrel and base, without any alcohol heat. The delicate aromatics are indicative of perfect balance. No pesky hop notes or out of place yeast notes intrude. A mouthwatering aroma of mild strength. Wow.

TASTE: Gorgeous barrel character steals the show, providing a unifying substratum of charred oak, impeccably subtle toasted coconut, vanilla, bourbon, toasty oak, rich barrel sugars - and yes, contrary to the aroma - a kiss of rye's signature spiciness (but no pesky whiskey heat).

And the best part? The barrel notes don't clobber the base; they're in perfect harmony with it, coaxing out the nuances of the base beer's enjoyable notes of milk chocolate, chocolate malt, marshmallow, oatmeal, cream, and deeply buried roasted barley.

The toasted coconut is just perfectly done here. Avery Brewing, take note - this is how it's done.

Perfect flavour amplitude. Great cohesion. This beer is a gestalt whole; no constituent note could be removed without compromising the painstakingly careful balance. The barrel notes just melt into the base (and vice versa), and each note has its place, teasing the palate. Definitely a high quality brew, and one I'm loving each sip of.

Constructively, while it boasts plenty of nuance (the toasted coconut in particular is a great paradigm) and is fairly complex, it's not as intricate as the world's best beers in the style - but in order to criticize this beer, you have to compare it to the very best, which is testament to its quality. It's got good depth of flavour where it could have great depth of flavour, and the flavour duration could be longer if we're nitpicking. Flavour intensity is perfect; I'll take this mellow easy to drink flavour profile over some of the whiskey booze-bombs on the market with more intense ashy and burnt flavours.

As it warms, I pick up on faint kisses of dark fruit - light enough to make me question if they're really there. And a bit more of the subtle burnt barrel character creeps in - but make no mistake, it's well balanced in this flavour profile.

TEXTURE: Damn near perfect. It's a delicate mouthfeel which comforts the palate with a pleasing silkiness and creaminess while maintaining a nice softness, but never does the texture feel inadequate to support the taste; it's full-bodied and thick enough without feeling overbearing, syrupy, or overly heavy on the palate. This teasing feel elevates the beer beyond the limits of the flavour profile, adding an almost refreshing element to the brew that keeps me coming back for more and more.

There's no whiskey heat to make this a sipper; in fact I find it dangerously drinkable. Overall presence on the palate is excellent. Incredible execution. Perfect carbonation.

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

Constructively, I would like it a bit fuller.

OVERALL: Effortlessly drinkable. A real treat of a barrel aged porter, this is up there with the best in the style, but never quite reaches world-class level due to its relative lack of intricacy. Central Waters is easily one of the most competent breweries in the biz when it comes to barrel aging. I'll greedily kill this bottle alone and will love every sip. Thanks, Duff27!


Pair with nougat or chocolate truffle.

Photo of Duff27
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%

A- Short mid-mocha head that recedes after a minute to a collar. The beer itself is a dark brown. Above average lacing from a barrel aged porter.

S- Smell is all rich, decadent chocolate, undertones of rye barrel.

T- Chocolate dominates the front end of each sip, then barrel notes. I get some of that toasted coconut that I get in 16, which is always welcome to this guy. Oak comes out as it warms. Would guy this at about 10.5%abv.

M- Mouthfeel is smooth and silky. Low carbonation point works well here.

D/O- Overall, a solid BA porter/stout from Central Waters, which is the norm. With so many exceptional BA stouts in their portfolio this one may get looked over...still, a solid beer.

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, dark brown that shows flashes of ruby in the light. A thin, tan head leaves spotty lacing down the glass.
Amazing aroma. Chocolate, roast coffee, spicy rye, hints of dark fruit and a slight wash of vanilla.
What a great-tasting beer! Big chocolate flavor, spicy rye with a hint of pepper, a slight boozy warmth on the tongue and a hint of dark fruit. As it warms, a bit of sweet vanilla and oak.
The mouthfeel is awesome, thick and luscious.
Just a great beer. I really hope they make this again!!

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.79/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A big thanks to Jeff for this one. 2014 vintage 22oz. capped bomber into OEC stemware.

Pours a luscious 1 finger light mocha colored head with good retention. Beer is thin but pitch black. Lacing is layered and thick with great stick and oily, clingy legs. A really fantastic looking beer.

Nose has hints of booze, roasted malt, raisin, sweet soy sauce and chocolate. Alcohol is very prominent and aroma is exceedingly sweet. Just what I like!

Opens sweet soy sauce, booze, chocolate and coca cola sweetness. A bit of roast and smoke in the middle but this balances a perfect combination of rich cocoa powder, fudge and chocolate. Finishes cocoa powder, booze, raisin and other dried dark fruit. Same sweet aftertaste. Just fantastic.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and silky on the palate and goes down rich, boozy and caressing. Finishes clean with a lightly lingering aftertaste. Perfect.

This beer is really a home run and I've never had a porter, barrel aged or not, that even comes close to the flavor and feel of this beer. Just incredible!

Photo of richj1970
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22 oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours black tending towards deep brown with one finger mocha colored creamy head. Fairly long retention and some light spotty lacing.

S: Aroma screams dark chocolate and bourbon. Light oak and vanilla with a touch of caramel.

T: Again, rich chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla. Barrel presence is evident but subtle. Kind of reminds me of a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows on top.

M: Full bodied and well carbonated for BA beer. Finish is slightly sweet and creamy.

O: Wonderful beer. Amazing flavor and aroma. I look forward to trying other beers from Central Waters.

Photo of Treyliff
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a sifter

A-pours a pitch black color with a smalll creamy khaki colored head that retains for a while, eventually reducing to a film on top

S- lots of barrel juice aroma with some sweet dark chocolate aromas, spicy and peppery rye, dried fig & prune, hint of vanilla and caramel

T- sweet chocolate malt base with some barrel juice quickly kicking in up front, spicy rye notes followed up by prune & fig, more barrel juice on the linger

M-heavy body with medium carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into the slightly warming finish

O- the chocolate plays well with he spicy rya character, with plenty of barrel flavors to compliment

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.76/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This might be the best BA porter I've had and that includes HF stuff.

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.31/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A strange fruitiness that...hmmm...

Photo of JayCheG
4.91/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Solid black with expresso colored head. Very beautiful looking only notch down is a minor cosmetic one with lacing not being the best,
S: Amazing fruits then morph into a hint of vanilla and finish in a magnificently blended sweet rye whiskey smell.
T: Follows along with the smell: dark fruits, hints of vanilla/chocolate, rye whiskey
M: Nice carbonation and just slightly thinner than I would expect with a beer with oatmeal in the name.
O: Wow! This beer blew me away. I'm not the hugest porter fan as I generally dislike the predominant fruity aspect of it but this beer gives a serenade of flavors throughout.

Photo of mjpolzin
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Another great barrel aged beer from Central Waters. As I have said in other reviews, they have nailed the barrel aging process and seem to be able to recreate it over a large variety of beers. (Peruvian Morning being the unfortunate exception)

The bourbon and chocolate flavor melded together quite well to create a beer that could almost be drank for dessert. My only complaint (and something that is common as well in CW barrel aged beers) is that the mouth feel is a little thin.

Photo of maximum12
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber picked up at the Central Waters 17th Anniversary Party, which is always a top-notch affair. I had a bit of this at Darkness Day from a generous BA, but I have no recollection of what it tasted like. I have no idea why. Vintage 2014, split with my wife.

The pour is close to pure black with a minor subset of carbonation. The nose brings a high chocolate quotient – it’s right there on the label, see? – with only quiet barrel notes that I have to search out. I’ll bet they’ll find my tongue though. Let’s find out.

Imperial Chocolate Oatmeal Porter – Rye Barrel Aged is in the top 10% of beers when it comes to name length. Mayhap top 5%. Top-heavy on the barrel, which doesn’t assault the senses so much as it suffuses them, spreading numbing warmth from the mouth & into my upper torso quickly. This would be a good beer for clearing a chest-cold. The rye is apparent only as an understated spiciness. The chocolate, which I expected more of given the name & nose, gets the silver medal here, & leans into bitter cocoa powder. Roast arrives mid-palate as the beer warms further, moist brownie sweetness, & the alcohol begins to crown. Shot of oak right at the end adds another layer. Beautifully integrated, with a smooth, lacquered mouthfeel that I’ll attribute to the oatmeal (as long as it’s not hot & mushy reconstituted vomit, I like it). Slugging.

A beer that needs to warm, I was underwhelmed initially, & my lust grew as this neared room temperature. Then, suddenly, the beer was almost gone. Those about to Central Waters, we salute you! Excellent brew.

Photo of PHBoiler
4.37/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Full, rich porter that gives loads of chocolate flavor and just touches on the notes of the barrel. That hint of rye adds some complexity. Really stunning porter.

Photo of BigBadBeerSnob
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Mud puppy porter in a barrel, mmmmmmm

Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rye whiskey, milk chocolate, oak, oats, light roast

Rye Barrel-Aged Imperial Chocolate Oatmeal Porter from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.