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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,668 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,668
Reviews: 548
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 342
Gots: 507 | FT: 58
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: 1,668 | Reviews: 548 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of millelacsmark


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-29-2011 02:54:17 | More by millelacsmark
Photo of therobot


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-28-2011 21:18:42 | More by therobot
Photo of Chriscrundwell12


4.3/5  rDev +1.7%

12 oz bottle poured into a Darkness snifter.

2011 Bottle

A- Pours a very dark brown color, almost black, opaque, poured a ½ finger to 1 finger tan head that dissipated quickly to a thin bubbly ring around the glass, splotchy lacing.
S- Bourbon is present but not too overpowering, slight oak aroma as well, slight roasted notes, coffee, vanilla, bitter sweetness.
T- Bourbon upfront again, I don’t get any heat as it goes down which is surprising for the amount of bourbon I’m getting, vanilla, chocolate, slight roasted malt comes out, slight coffee, some bitterness on the finish.
M- Medium/Big mouth feel, smooth drinking, coats the palate, decent carbonation, dry finish.
O- This is a solid BA beer, the bourbon is present but balanced with the roasted notes, very enjoyable beer from Central Waters, has to be one of if not the best Bourbon Barrel Aged beer that is easy to get off the shelves and cheap.

12-28-2011 00:44:09 | More by Chriscrundwell12
Photo of jklema


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-27-2011 02:59:19 | More by jklema
Photo of plumcrazyfx


4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-26-2011 20:41:15 | More by plumcrazyfx
Photo of thanmad


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-26-2011 08:36:38 | More by thanmad
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


4.53/5  rDev +7.1%

Thanks to my Marquette brethren curtisloew for including this in our trade. Black beer, decent sized 1/2" brown head on it. Smooth, rich bourbon and chocolate aroma, not boozy, not a big waft of alcohol, just dark chocolate, coconut and bourbon in a small way.

Taste, even more decadent, rich, smooth, mild notes of oak, a little more coconut again. Faint smoke noticeable, a little bit more vanilla. Not sweet, just rich and sturdy, avoiding becoming overly thick or roasty, almost zero bitterness. One of the easiest bourbon barrel beers I've ever come across.

Would probably be rated so much higher if it wasn't so easy to get and so relatively cheap. Can't wait for jegross2 to hook me up with some more of these. Very good. Its really become one of my favorites in the world. If you have some of this beer, and you want something from the west coast, hit me up, I trade Black Tuesday, White Chocolate, Pliny, Eclipse etc. . . for this stuff all the time.

12-26-2011 03:29:23 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

2011 vintage. 12oz to wine glass.

A: Pours essentially black--copper around the edges--with quickly receding, light stone colored head. Decent retention and minimal lacing.

S: Loads of bourbon, vanilla, oak barrel characteristics (incl. spice), with some roasted malt and chocolate undertone. Really bourbon and oak forward.

T: Vanilla and toasted oak, bourbon, followed by some dark chocolate and a touch of malt washing over the palate. Kind of an abbreviated finish which has a bit of sweetness. Alcohol is noticeable, especially on the finish.

M: Medium-light body and medium carbonation. Perhaps a tad thin given how big the flavor is. A little hot.

O: A bourbon bomb of a stout, big on flavor but not so much on balance. Damn tasty nonetheless.

I had last year's vintage on tap about 6mo after its release, and it was better. So this may need a little age on it to mellow out some. At $11/4pk and easy to find off the shelf, this is an excellent value.

12-26-2011 02:20:18 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of Chaz


4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

Pours a dark brown in color -impenetrable to the naked eye- with a one-fingered darker tan-brown head. Exhibits excellent lacing and a good overall duration.

Amazing nose: a semi-sweet cocoa underneath some pleasant vanilla, all of which is buoyed by the hint of a bourbon. Restrained rather than "hot", at 9.5%

Right off the bat this one's a little easier going than I'd expected, with almost a lighter body and certainly a more warming effect considering its strength and its style. Of course, with the barrel aging this is also a big, aromatic drink throughout. Lightly vinuous at times (though not astringent) and coats and nearly soothes the palate with the gently-warming alcohol.

With a barrel aged D/IS I often expect some dryness, and there's enough of that here, but there's also just the right amount of sweetness (at least for me).

It might seem heretical, but this strikes me as the perfect stout with which to try a 'Stout Float', though a premium brand of vanilla would be necessary I'd think ; )

I'd say that this is worth seeking out -only- if you're a fan of the style, as it's a bit more Bourbon-forward (of course, a little age wouldn't hurt it and would mellow the barrel aging aspect as well). As for myself, I really like this style and treatment and -thankfully- it's easy enough for me to come by; At $10 / 4-pack (at a local Muni) it was my biggest surprise this Holiday season : )

Notch on label indicates December bottling; 2011 batch.
Served in a tumbler..

12-25-2011 20:00:55 | More by Chaz
Photo of jegross2


3.93/5  rDev -7.1%

Reviewing the Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Company.
Score: 88

2011 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Body is an opaque dark caramel-black color with brown highlight around the perimeter. Pours a thin layer of tan head that settles into a lace atop the brew. Average lacing for a 9.5% ABV stout. 3.5/5

Smell: Vanilla extract and tiramisu. Vanilla cookies, maple syrup and bourbon. Faint hints of chocolate, a and a touch of booziness. 4/5

Taste: Bourbon-forward. Smooth vanilla upfront mixed with a little black coffee. Touch of red grape on the mid-palate and in the finish. Some maple throughout, and a lot of caramel towards the finish. Finish is sweet, malty caramel and bourbon with a solid linger. A little alcohol warmth, especially as it approaches room temperature, but not in an overwhelming sense. This one probably has the kind of profile that ages well. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with the perfect amount of light carbonation. Finishes sweet and a little sticky. 4/5

Overall: An absolutely delicious barrel aged imperial stout that does not require you to stalk a distribution truck to enjoy. I highly recommend this one.

Recommendation: Beer geeks should love this relatively easy to find barrel aged beer, while casual beer drinkers who enjoy bourbon should enjoy this one too. Casual beer drinkers who are not fans of drinking the brown liquors should probably avoid this one, however.

Pairings: Chocolate brownies with caramel fudge (and nuts!).

Cost: $12.99 for a four pack.

12-24-2011 19:02:00 | More by jegross2
Photo of bitterbeerguy


4.83/5  rDev +14.2%

It's been a pretty good day so far...Pliny and some fresh BBS from Central Waters

Beer pours black as night, with off-white head that subsides very quickly. Small stream of bubbles does come up throughout the entire time I drink this beer. Slightest rim of foam still present

Smell hits the bourbon highlights: nut, whiskey, and vanilla. Not the heaviest aroma, but definitely present once you get your nose into it.

Flavor is top notch. You might expect a very thick feel to it, but very well balanced that way. Bourbon flavor throughout, but turns into a creamy toffee flavor on the end. Honestly, one of the best finishes I have ever had in a stout. The vanilla linger is beautiful.

This brew makes it on my list of favorites without any effort. The real question is: how can I get a hold of a case?

Cheers and Merry Christmas!

12-24-2011 03:19:20 | More by bitterbeerguy
Photo of morimech


3.98/5  rDev -5.9%

Not particularly viscous for a big stout. Black color with one finger of head that quickly settled to a thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Pleasant barrel-aged aroma. Hints of bourbon, vanilla, with a little stout charactor of cocoa. Not enough of the stout comes out in the aroma. Although there is a large bourbon aroma, it does not come off as being boozy.

Fantastic bourbon flavor. But the bourbon dominates the flavor. Not nearly enough stout comes through for this to be an elite beer. The 9.5% ABV is very much a part of the flavor and is very warming.

Feels a little overcarbonated. Just a touch prickly. Otherwise a solid, big body.

Although a good beer that bourbon lovers should definately try, it simply is not one of the best barrel-aged beers.

12-23-2011 22:36:59 | More by morimech
Photo of bertram


4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

2011, poured into a snifter, CW BBS pours a nice and dark - nearly black - with a decent amount of tan head that never quite dissipated entirely but left little lacing behind.

The smell has very little booze to it, instead dominated by notes of chocolate and some vanilla.

The taste follows the smell - chocolate dominates, with the booziness coming in the aftertaste. The booziness is light with little heat to it.

The mouthfeel is a bit of a letdown here - while the carbonation is solid, the beer is a little thinner than I prefer in a stout.

Overall this is a very good barrel-aged stout that I look forward to trying again with a bit of age on it.

12-23-2011 00:38:32 | More by bertram
Photo of kawilliams81


4.2/5  rDev -0.7%

Served in a 16 oz. Snifter.

A- black with 1 finger tan head and little lacing.

S- wow! Smells like a mudslide. Lots of chocolate and vanilla, bourbon, oak and some alcohol.

T- chocolate, vanilla, little bit of coffee and big bourbon taste.

M- medium body, semi-dry feel, abv is there but not too hot.

O- very good beer. Love the aroma and the bourbon comes through nicely in the taste.

12-21-2011 04:14:32 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of tonycommodore


4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-20-2011 21:03:27 | More by tonycommodore
Photo of StayWhatYouAre2


5/5  rDev +18.2%

12-20-2011 13:09:14 | More by StayWhatYouAre2
Photo of sjstraub


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-19-2011 06:38:47 | More by sjstraub
Photo of JMBSH


3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

12-19-2011 05:03:17 | More by JMBSH
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%

a slew of thanks to 321jeff for this gem! vintage 2010

a - opened the bottle and filled my ccb snifter. poured a somewhat watery looking black which settled into the glass with a nice shine. there was a thin almost grey head that vanished quick leaving a ring around the surface.

s - oh boy...decadence...chocolate goodness. roasted malts...wonderfully balanced with a bourbon woody shine. really tasteful and not in your face. very well balanced. full monty...FIVE.

t - just as awesome as the smell. again, thick rich milk chocolate. the barrels are there, but seem less present than even the mellowness of the smell. i am a fan of a big blast of bourbon and this one leads with the chocolate, i'd prefer the booze to be on top of the chocolate, that said, still fantastic.

m - a bit fizzy. medium to full bodied. not as big and bold as i would've expected, but a wonderful brew. not as silky as some of the other big ones out in this style.

o - overall, when i first whaffed this brew, i was both excited to have a full 12oz's of this ahead of me and disappointed that i hadn't saved this for a more special occasion, but in all honesty what could be more special than the now? glad i got to try this!

--- edit --- 2012-02-26
2011 vintage - picked up in chi-town a few days ago.

very similar experience to last year. to comment on the flavor a bit. the barrel is so present in the nose, but the flavor really is velvety chocolate. super smooth and dangerously drinkable. i feel the same if not slightly better about last year's vintage. what a great beer.

12-18-2011 05:43:03 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of ncketchum


4.65/5  rDev +9.9%

2011 Vintage served in a Duvel tulip

A - An aggressive pour results in a 4 finger head, dissipates over a couple minutes, leaving a good amount of lacing. The beer itself is dark brown, opaque in the glass

S - Aroma is strong bourbon, vanilla, malt, but mostly bourbon

T - Taste is heavy bourbon up front, followed by roasted malt, hints of vanilla, notes of coffee and chocolate, and then you're reminded of the bourbon again

M - Thinner than expected, not too much carbonation, and a bit of alcohol at the end.

O - I look forward to this release every year. I was a bit nervous given the state of limited releases lately, but was able to snag a bunch - some to enjoy now and some to cellar. While there are bigger barrel aged stouts out there, this remains one of my favorites, and this year's vintage did not disappoint.

12-18-2011 03:18:30 | More by ncketchum
Photo of TasteTester


4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-17-2011 02:31:17 | More by TasteTester
Photo of Mscarpen


5/5  rDev +18.2%

12-17-2011 02:21:14 | More by Mscarpen
Photo of HopStoopid120


5/5  rDev +18.2%

12-16-2011 22:37:31 | More by HopStoopid120
Photo of Kaydogg


4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-15-2011 02:33:24 | More by Kaydogg
Photo of smurfbeer


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-14-2011 03:42:37 | More by smurfbeer
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,668 ratings.