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

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

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,876 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,876
Reviews: 568
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 365
Gots: 563 | FT: 62
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:
American-style stout aged for 1 year in used 12 year bourbon barrels.

(Beer added by: Skidz on 05-28-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,876 | Reviews: 568 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark with abundant initial head, bourbon malt and alcohol aroma, and some stout. Very smooth and refreshing with a regular meal. Some coffee, well malted, vanilla, chocolate, prominent and not overbearing bourbon. A lovely beer, courtesy of Captain Couger in Atlanta.

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Appearance is dark brown with a slight mocha head and a touch of lacing. Nose is bourbon, vanilla, oak, roasted malt, and molasses. The taste really brings the bourbon through and it is not especially hot, melding quite well with the oak and vanilla. Touch of sweetness. Good creamy feel. Another solid -bal beer from CW.

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of GRG1313
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Jan. 2010; dated 2010; Brewers Reserve Series;

Pours black with a tan head that appears firm and then quickly fades.

Nose is pure sweet dark chocolate with hints of whiskied raisins.

Mouthfeel is lovely and very creamy rich. This one almost tastes like a coffee/mocha/dark chocolate milkshake. Delicious mouthfeel and texture, one of the nicest I've tried.

Flavors are all full, rich and creamy wonderful malted chocolate and sweet coffee with undertones of bourbon and red plums. This a very pleasant and most drinkable bourbon stout. Excellent.

Finish is all creamy sweet dark chocolate, whiskey and sweet espresso. Good! Note: Still good but fades in the glass a bit with only a little bit of time. Still, a very drinkable stout that's full of complexities and character.

Photo of metter98
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short off white head that quickly died down, leaving wispy lacing on the surface and a collar of bubbles around the edge of the glass. The lacing dies down and eventually leaves only a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of charred oak and bourbon are present in the nose. The smell becomes srronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has tons of vanilla flavors from the barrel aging. There is more vanilla then there is bourbon.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a really well blanched beer as you can get both the oak and the bourbon.

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A caramel-rich and roasty that shares a ton in common with oatmeal stouts, milk stouts; and even with the imperial power of this beer, it keeps the delicate nature of it's gentler cousins.

Opaque and charred-embers brown, the beer is dark, luscious, and masculine to the eye. A creamy-rich look has medium carbonation which releases a lightly tanned frothy head that retains and laces well, and also leaves light legs trailing on the glass.

Firm caramel sweetness surprisingly leads the way while the roasty, toasty, chocolaty counterparts follow closely behind. The espresso and cocoa display in assertive fashion, but as milk and oatmeal go, so does this imperial assertion by allowing the sweeter base malts to govern the pace of the beer instead of the intense roast. Nutty, toffee, fudge and faint butterscotch flavors only add to the rich complexity of the flavorful mix. Only a moderate licorice flavor gives a fruity impression, otherwise the beer focuses on malt flavor and seeping bourbon punch.

Full and rich throughout, the texture is velvety, silky and with modest brownie-batter slickness and with a long linger of dark-roast coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and heavy whipping cream. Alcohol warmth is evident throughout and even rises more as the beer warms.

All the talk about heavy roast and burnt flavors can yield a strongly flavored stout, but this delicate balance of dark beer characteristics show that a careful design and deliberate restraint results in a beer worthy of world class stature. Interestingly enough, I find the bee a little too "clean" to garner higher scores.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large medium brown faomy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of vanilla and bourbon is dominating with some black chocolate notes. Taste is also a nice mix between some vanilla and bourbon with some black chocolate but without any alcohol ester. Full body with some oily texture and good carbonation. Very well done and well balance overall.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'Blindfolded at night' black with red and gold autumn leaves edges when a light source is at hand. The huge, initially cascading, head is the color of brown sugar and is, visually at least, just as dense. When it finally deflates to a mounded lump of cream, a virtually unbroken sheet of thick lace is seen on the upper reaches of the glass. An outstanding look.

The nose is merely good. There's a bargeload of dark chocolate and a whiff of crushed coffee beans. Also apparent, naturally, is a booziness that isn't immediately recognizable as bourbon. It has a vanilla-like character, but none of the other aromas that I usually associate with my favorite liquor. A fine point perhaps, but a crucial one in a beer with 'Bourbon Barrel' in its name.

This is outstanding beer with a massive amount of flavor that sends my taste buds happily reeling. The malt backbone is massive in size and heavily roasted in character. As in the nose, bittersweet chocolate is the focal point, with both bitter and sweet applied with equal force. Thick, black joe refuses to be slighted and is nearly the equal of chocolate on the palate.

For whatever reason, the (considerable) liquor flavor is now obviously bourbon in origin. It's a little on the raw side, but I approve of its no-holds-barred nature. I'm having trouble thinking of another bourbon barrel stout that contains this much bourbon. Those barrels must have been especially absorbent and then leaky in turn.

It's hard to say whether any hops are present given the dominance of malt and alcohol, but I think I can appreciate a citric bite in there somewhere. Warming brings about even greater flavor intensity and even greater melding. The bourbon still seems less than perfectly integrated, but I'm willing to cut it some slack since I love both stout and bourbon.

The mouthfeel strikes a perfect balance and is as silky smooth as it is viscous. It's closer to full than to medium and is perfectly matched to the larger-than-life flavor while still allowing the beer to retain drinkability. Bigger would not necessarily equal better in this case.

Central Waters Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout is as big as its name. If you like both stouts and bourbon whiskey, then you'll love this beer. I really hope this isn't a one-off (since changed to 'winter release'), because I'd hate to think this is the only bottle I'll ever have the opportunity to drink. A huge thank you to Skidz for an incredible beer.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thick dark brown liquid, essentially black with no light penetration what so ever. Rich deep, and thick chocolate colored lace then formed on the top of it to a height of around two inches

rich and sweet, the first notes to hit me were a nice sweet milk chocolate, lactose, and a nice burnt caramel aroma. Very sweet, with hints of coffee throughout. A nice mixture of roasted malts, and not overly heavy. Rich milk chocolate, molasses and vanilla hints were the first right out of the gate. Very sweet with lots of lactose sugar like flavors coming in, probably from the oatmeal. A slight warming on the back of the throat, but other then that there was literally no hint of the alcohol what so ever. Really a fine quality stout here. Nice dry touches in the finish capped it off well and left a long lingering sweet coffee like taste in the mouth. Very well done indeed. nice light bourbon on the finish and it was gone

It was a nice full-bodied stout, though nowhere near as filling as some of the others can be

Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the 2010 release courtesy of Mark. Thanks!

A: The beer pours a dark, dark brown with a thin layer of tan colored head.

S: Big time bourbon with lots of wood to it. Moderate roast character and some nice dark chocolate and hints of dark fruits. Only a mild vanilla character with perhaps even a bit of licorice.

T: Dark chocolate and bourbon dominate up front. A very strong wood flavor and some dark fruit and licorice. Molasses and toffee provide an additional sweetness. Mildly warm/alcoholic, but nothing unpleasant.

M: Medium in body with a medium but smooth carbonation.

O: Perhaps not quite as good as the bourbon barleywine, but still solid, like almost all Central Waters beers.

Photo of Knapp85
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This poured out as a very deep red color turning black once it's in the glass. The head is tan, settles quickly leaves just a ring around the glass. The retention is minimal, and there really isn't much lacing. The smell of the beer is sweet with bourbon aromas, wood and vanilla, there is some roasted chocolate on the nose also. The taste of the beer is boozy, some strong vanilla and sweet malt with a dry roasted finish. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, gentle carbonation with some heat in the finish. Overall it's a very good beer, the flavors blend really well making this really enjoyable. The beer gets better as it warms. Definitely worth trying.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of largadeer
3.35/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 bottle kindly shared by dyan.

Appearance: Clear dark brown, light in color for the style and a bit thin looking. Pours with a fairly small tan head that settles to a disc fairly quick.

Smell: Musty barrel and a hint of funkiness, as if it's starting to sour. There's a good share of molasses and roasted grain as well. Bourbon makes itself known once the beer reaches room temperature.

Taste & mouthfeel: Mildly acidic initially, followed by a strong roasted bitterness. Sweetness is present more in the form of fruit and caramel than the typical chocolate and molasses notes of this style. The body is on the light side, a touch thin for the style. The finish is oddly tannic and vinous. This one tastes like it's in the early stages of infection.

Photo of emerge077
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 edition: Much more overt bourbon flavors, vanilla and chocolate, also more well rounded though still somewhat boozy. Really enjoyed it and will definitely seek out again.

3.93/5 rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thefatkid13...

Pours an inky black, primordial soup of a stout. Two fingers of tan foam, spotty irregular lacing on the side of the snifter.

Smell has a sour lactic twinge, banana or coconut with vanilla, most likely from the barrel. A sort of malted milkshake chocolate as well. Finally, a minor whiff of alcohol sharpness keeps it from getting a good score for this particular attribute.

Luckily it doesn't taste like 9.5%...again the lactic quality is there, with big roast chocolate malt, slght hop bitterness and astringency. Bourbon cameos in the back behind the chocolate and roast character. It lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel has a mild astringency, but is otherwise smooth and velvety, almost like chocolate milk. Drinkability is good for this big beer, pretty balanced overall.

I had high hopes for this, and it's a solid offering. Mud Puppy Porter is still my CW favorite...

Photo of TMoney2591
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

Thanks to whartontallboy for this bottle!

The BBBW was quite the disappointment...hopefully this had better experiences with the barrel. It pours a ruby-tinted black-brown topped by a half-finger of light ecru foam. The nose comprises roasted caramel corn (it blasted me in the face...like opening one of those tri-popcorn tins around the holidays...), oak, vanilla, whiskey, and roasted marshmallows. Strange that the barrels o'erwhelm all else. The taste delivers the expected roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate...then another strong tsunami of bourbon-soaked wood. Still pretty good, though. The body is a strong medium, with a moderate carbonation and a slightly chewy feel. Overall, another disappointment, but nowhere near as deep as the BBBW. It's a pretty good -bal stout (as the West-Coasters would say), but the wood's a bit much for me, smothering the stout-y qualities a bit.

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle marked '05 on the cap.

A rousing pour brings up a short head of thin, frothy tan foam atop its black body. A rim of mahogany can be seen at the base of the glass when held to the light. What head is there holds pretty well, and it initially leaves some thin chips and crags of lace about the glass.

The nose offers some welcoming vanilla, oak, a touch of sweet bourbon, an edge of brown sugar, and some soft notes of milk chocolate.

In the mouth it's medium-light bodied, and smooth with a very light tingle from the soft, very fine moderate carbonation.

The flavor is rich, and decidedly oaky rather than bourbonish, but not overbearing. A beautiful yeasty fruitiness adds a smart snap to it that keeps it from going too far towards, oaky/vanilla/bourbon, or dark malts. It's very nicely drinkable in that respect, and yet it's still a sipper - not because it's full, but because there is a bit of complexity to it, and it satisfies with just a nip. Some alcohol is present, but it's just enough to represent the bourbon. It finishes dry but not bitter, due mostly to oak and alcohol; and a short-lingering note of bourbon and some chocolate and roasty maltiness leave you wanting more.

Very nicely done. Delicately balanced. Well brewed. Perfectly aged in oak. If I still ate meat I'd pair this with a slightly charred, medium-rare filet mignon, lightly buttered baked potato, and gently caramelized onions. Certainly worth trying.

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,876 ratings.