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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel StoutBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

615 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 615
Hads: 2,224
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 417
Gots: 700 | FT: 71
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Skidz on 05-28-2004

American-style stout aged for 1 year in used 12 year bourbon barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 615 | Hads: 2,224
Reviews by Brian700:
Photo of Brian700
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to nflmvp for hooking me up with an awesome package today. I had never heard of this brewery until today. He gave me a 6 pack of this beer.

It pours dark black with a creamy mocha colored thead that leaves lacing like a hot cocoa.

The aroma is of butter rum, burbon, vanilla, chocolate, coffee. It is pretty intoxicating.

The flavor is chocolate, coffee, vanilla, burbon, with a nice alcohol warming. This is a damn good beer and I am glad I have 5 more to hang onto for a while.

The mouthfeel is not as chewy as a lot of stouts I have had but it has a nice creaminess to it. It is medium to full bodied with light carbonation. It has just enough carbonation to bring out the flavor to its fullest potential while giving it a nice creaminess.

This is a pretty drinkable beer but look out cause it'll get ya.

I highly recommend this one if you are ever in the Junction City, WI area it would be well worth it to stop and pick up some of this. I do believe it is limited from what it says on the label.

 1,025 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of CHickman
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2014: Pours pitch black opaque color with a thick foamy 2-3 finger dark tan head that faded slowly, had a ton of bubbles in it and left great spider web foamy lacing coating the sides.

Smells of bourbon up front, with deep woody oak notes, cocoa powder, burnt malt, charred wood, dark chocolate, roasted grains, molasses, some light vanilla and a boozy sweetness. The wood and barrel accents are very influential and earthy and mix well with the chocolate and booze sweetness. This is very complex but minimal in that the main characteristics are the entire aroma with variations of the nose slightly changing with each whiff.

Taste is delicious, with a lovely combo much like the nose with dark chocolate, roasted grains, molasses, deep woody oak notes, bourbon, cocoa powder, toffee, burnt malt, charred wood, vanilla, a boozy sweetness and chocolate milk or chocolate syrup which makes it smooth like a milk stout and not an imperial bourbon barrel aged bad boy. Super smooth and very similar to Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout in many ways, but not as strong with less heat and more oaky notes. The wood almost tastes like cedar chips, and the booze is evident but not hot or abrasive – damn good stuff.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, creamy or velvety depending on the sip, with a medium to heavy chewy viscous body and feel that leads to a sweet bourbon infused aftertaste that has a slight bitterness and traces of coffee grinds. As stated above it’s very similar to Goose Island BCBS, but like it’s younger brother that may not have the bad ass reputation but is better looking; this brew is not as strong as BCBS and has more oaky and earthy/peat moss notes, but it’s an outstanding imperial stout in its own right and one I will seek out as well as highly recommend.

 1,801 characters

Photo of don1481
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage. 12 oz bottle poured into my trusty pint glass.

Appearance: Pours nearly pitch-black with a khaki tan head. Based on other reviews, I expected the head to dissipate quickly, but it's lingering a bit longer than expected.

Smell: Smells of caramel, chocolate, vanilla and - obviously - bourbon flow out of this one. A little sweeter smelling than the BCBS i recently reviewed. If this tastes anywhere near as good as it smells... I'm in for a good time!

Taste: Hmm. Pretty freaking good. A little boozier than the BCBS, a little more in-your-face with the flavors. Definite vanilla and chocolate aspects poke through. Not as complex as the BCBS, but the flavors still play very well with one another.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a warming, almost hot, mouthfeel. That said, it's quite... soft and smooth at the same time. Doesn't linger too strongly in the mouth.

Overall: Very delicious. Very drinkable. I'm gonna stash at least 2 of the bottles in my cellar and see what happens as it ages. Very excited to see where this goes - got another bottle of BCBS stashed alongside this, so I can do a direct comparison.

 1,124 characters

Photo of MichaelNeelsen
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank 2013 release after aging for one year.

L: Thick, egg-white head that maintains at 1/4-finger width around the glass. Dark red tinted black. Pours like silk with a delightfully bouncy swish.

S: Sweet, sweet bourbon. Rich warmth. Subtle chocolate. Brown sugar. Cream. Almost a hint of rum or other sugary liquor.

T: Bourbon is the predominant flavor with a creamy dark chocolate finish. Roasted flavor lingers after sip. Bourbon cake, or rum cake. A definite creamy, milky lactose presence.

F: Bouncy, pillowy in the best way. Creamy. Silky, but not thin at all. Substantial.

O: One of my favorite stouts. Rivals BCS, but resembles a world-class upgrade of Dragon's Milk.

 680 characters

Photo of richj1970
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter. 2014 vintage.

A: Pours ink black but has amazingly clarity for a stout. One finger light tan head that settled to a thing ring around the edge and leaving some stringy lacing. A slight oily sheen to the surface.

S: Big bourbon mixed with slight coffee, caramel, and roasted malts.

T: Mostly bourbon up front. Some faint coffee flavors, and a dark fruity quality. A fair amount of warming alcohol at the end.

M: Full bodied tending towards a bit thin but not expected from BA stout. Finish is smooth, and very easy drinking.

O: Very nice stout especially if you enjoy bourbon forward beers. I would be very interested to get another of these to age for a while.

 719 characters

Photo of Catracho5
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a Belgian style tulip glass

A: Not very dark for a barrel aged imperial stout, lots of ruby on the edges, pretty clear when being poured into the glass, nice creamy tan head that faded, got some lacing.

A: Big bourbon upfront, very big, after this a strange drop on the aroma. Didn't' get much else. Some coffee roasted notes, not much alcohol.

T: Big bourbon, some coffee roasted bitterness, some alcohol burn on the end, but the bourbon seems unbalanced with the other flavors.

M: Medium mouthfeel, lots of carbonation, not alcohol burn.

O: Starts out really big, lots of bourbon, some stout aromas and flavors but the beer kind of drops off at the end, doesn't blend well. I think they need to bump up the ABV, maybe that will help balance the beer with the bourbon, but not bad at all, would definitely purchase, seems a little raw compared to other BA imperial stouts, but really good, definitely worth a try and I would put this in top 10 of my own personal BA stouts.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I picked this one up at the local Trig's grocery store. Taken from the fridge, allowed to stand for a while, and poured from the 12 oz bottle into a Samuel Smith pint glass. The bottled on date reads 3/17/14 (13 months ago).

L: Pours a coffee black with a substantial two inch khaki head that really stays put. After about five minutes, there's still about a half-inch of frothy head and lots of lacing.

S: Sweet caramel and vanilla, more subtle black licorice, and an undertone of whiskey oak in the bouquet. It's got a nice aroma, though it isn't particularly strong.

T: Very sweet at the front: lots of vanilla and caramel coming through with some subtle roasted malt. The black licorice is right on their heels, and this flavor runs up against some great bourbon notes into the finish. There's clean alcohol that emerges with the licorice/bourbon, and this sticks around into the aftertaste, where you really get the sense of sipping a whiskey. The individual tastes are assertive, but they all work very nicely together.

F: Creamy, though lacking much discernible carbonation. This one is a bit more watery than I was expecting, though it's far from feeling water-down on the palate. I like that it leaves the mouth fairly cleanly: there's no syrupy residue left around, though the flavors linger for a good long while.

O: This is another fine offering from the folks at Central Waters, who really seem to understand how to barrel a beer. I'd definitely like to see how this one tastes after being cellared for a while. A word of caution, though: if you're not a fan of sweeter stouts, this one is probably not for you. I find that the sweetness works very well to hide some of the clean alcohol flavor and also accentuate the bourbon notes. If you make it to Wisconsin, I would highly recommend seeking this one out.

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Photo of getatmeimevil
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely loved this BBA stout, everything I was expecting from BCBS came through in this. All the things I wanted to have a punch did and all the things I wanted to be subtle were.

 182 characters

Photo of dolomite128
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage - Poured into a Night Shift Tulip / Snifter

Decent head about 1/4" and light tan with whispy dark swirls. Disappears to a small ring of light bubbles within a few minutes.

Aromas of brown sugar and oak barrel. Some light / matured vanilla / bourbon notes.

Tastes are considerably more subdued than one would expect from the nose. Flavors of rich chocolate dominate with hints of light bourbon. Carbonation / fizz keeps this from being cloying. Nice balance of flavors but the bourbon plays a back seat to the chocolate and long oaky finish.

Mouth feel is a bit thinner than most BA stout bodies, at 9.5% this definitely could use a bigger presence.

Overall a solid and very well balanced stout. If heavy chocolate and oak barrel are your thing, this is worth the effort to locate. Would have benefited from a bit more body and less carbonation.

 870 characters

Photo of arlo19
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Local Option in Chicago. Compared this side by side with BCBBS.

Aroma is great, chocolate and bourbon. Taste is good and oaky but some fusel off flavor in aftertaste. Mouthfeel is good. Overall very solid, would like to try more from this brewery.

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Photo of aszatk01
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of tectactoe
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of DavyJones
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of cjn40277
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of weatherdog
3.52/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip

It pours a nearly pitch black with a decent sized tan head. Retention is medium with minimal lacing.

The nose is just great. It's rich, sweet with a heavy bourbon presence without a heavy alcohol aroma. On the end a nice subdued coffee roast is there.

The flavor kind of falls off from there, an alcohol presence is there the entire sip which is very distracting. The roast goes away and there is an increased vanilla flavor.

The spirits thin out the body too much for my liking in an imperial stout. The carbonation level is nice though, a bit lively in order to take away from the bourbon. Drinkability is decent but the alcohol flavor really doesn't meld well with the rest of the beer.

 727 characters

Photo of SanFranJake
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ricksrealm
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of delaced21
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of SkiBum22
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of wrycon
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 615 ratings.