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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.

2,056 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,056
Reviews: 602
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 394
Gots: 673 | FT: 79
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,056 | Reviews: 602
Photo of facundoCNB
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a jet black pour from a 2011 bottle (no head) into a pint glass. smells of alcohol, vanilla beans, caramel, coffee, nuts, honey. holy crap this tastes like a glass of bourbon.. kind of dangerous since it's 7am! hints of coffee, vanilla, roasted grains, a tad nutty... basically the same as all the smells i got.. and very boozey! it's a very heavy beer, very filling, and a little rough going down from the burning sensation! this stout has balls, big ones. i've never had a bourbon barrel beer that tasted this much like the inside of a bourbon barrel (does that make sense?), so great job on that. a little bit too much for my taste, i prefer subtle booziness and more robust flavors - however the flavors ARE robust on this one, so i have to give it a high score for that.

Photo of jimelee108
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of DeaconBluez
3.36/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage received in a trade. poured into surly darkness tulip.

appearance: head quickly dissipates once basically as soon as the beer is fully poured. i didn't expect there to be much head considering the style. pours a very dark brown. not as dark as other stouts, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

smell: lots of hints of vanilla, dark, dark choco, and bourbon. there is something different in the smell that i can't put my finger and i don't necessarily like it. oh well.

taste: vanilla is in the forefront for me. also, some hints of bready malts? dark chocolate also stands out. bourbon from the time in the barrel is on the tail-end.

mouthfeel: very carbonated and light for the style. i typical like my stouts with little more thickness to them, so this wasn't a standout for the beer.

overall: a nice, not great, beer for me. perhaps i should have sat on this for a while and developed as i seem to remember having this before. the mouthfeel was probably the biggest disappoint for me, but the taste makes up for that some.

Photo of hannydawg
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of TonyTalon
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of theholdsteady
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Gosox8787
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into my new Kate the Great tulip. Served at cellar temperature. 2011 vintage with the label stating it was brewed in December.

Appearance: Dark cola brown in color with some fizzy carbonation. Recedes rather quickly into nothing.

Aroma: Cocoa powder notes hit first, with some light bourbon backing. A lot of dark fruit and caramel notes in the background. The bourbon is not too heavy but blends nicely with the base.

Taste: Dark fruit, caramel, and bourbon notes in the foreground. A touch of chocolate in there as well. The base beer is not that strong at all, but it integrates well with the light bourbon. Subtle, but well done.

Mouthfeel: Full to medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Works well.

Overall, a really nice, sublte and balanced bourbon barrel stout. The base beer is a bit light for my liking and doesn't carry all the flavor and body I prefer to be put into a barrel. That said, its tasty and easy to drink. I would definitely get again.

Photo of challenja
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served On Tap at Church Key DC

A: A bit light with a redish glow. Crimson blood spilt and kept in commemorative jar.
S: Candied Cherries, brown sugar, warm maple sap. Grape Concord? French vanilla is swetting through the cherried oak barrels. Sweet syrupy molassesed malts. Definitely a different profile from most imperial stouts which tend to be coffee and dark chocolate.
T: This is one complex brew that teeters on fruity saison territory. I am at a loss at why this is considered an imperial stout. The bourbon flourish comes after the candied fruit intro which is loaded with candied cherries, strawberry jam, and concord grape juice! The coffee profile is minimal at best it comes racing in after the fruit bourbon and sweet lacing in Fourth place. Not even Medaling! Boo!
But definitely a tasty brew.
M: Very cask in feel. Light to medium carbonation, smooth and creamy with a nice white pepper backbite that travels down the throat cavity.
O: A very tasty brew. Impressive in character and taste profile. Definitely a sneak attack beer to offer your beer geek friends. Highly recommended for the adventurous beer snob

Photo of SalukiAlum
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of engberg88
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of krause316
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Arborescence
3.38/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Almost pitch black, hints of a tiny but creamy head.

Aroma: Almost offensive bourbon. No smoke here, think maker's mark.

Taste: Not as strong as expected; the bourbon is there, but also roasted coffee and chocolate. I'd prefer peat though!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, but not easy drinking.

Overall: I've had some excellent barrel aged stouts, but all the best ones have certainly been of the peaty or smoky sort. The bourbon sweetness here doesn't appeal to me. Although it's not a bad beer by any means.

Photo of otrejo
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of bbadger
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of HoistinBrews
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of WrathoftheNorsemen
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After a long time of drinking, this is my first review

A - A deep, jet black, settling brown. This beer could be poured from a roof and it would struggle to get more than a 2 in head. After being poured aggressively, it races down to just a light paper-thin cream

S - What a fantastic, wonderful aroma. The bourbon is light (however increases at room temperature). Vanilla, chocolate, dark fruits. Pure loveliness, like the foyer of a mansion welcoming you.

T - Creamy, bourbony, chocolatey goodness. It is more sweet than most stouts I've had, but not enough to throw you off. Outrageously well balanced, seemingly like it was made specifically for my palate. A creamy vanilla and chocolate swirl, followed by a coffee/chocolate aftertaste.

M - The only thing that's stopping me from writing poems about this beer is the mouthfeel. It is VERY thin, little to no body to it whatsoever. It streamlines down your tongue, where most stouts I've had seem to envelop your mouth like a milkshake. It has more the consistency of heavy cream

O - A terrific stout that ranks #1 in stouts for me. After having KBS, I think CWBBS knocks it on it's ass to be quite frank. If it had the same mouthfeel as KBS, it would be the absolute perfect beer in my eyes. I haven't had CBS or GICBS yet, and I seriously hope they can knock this beer down a peg, but IMO it will be quite a task.

Photo of harrymel
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011
Pours dark brown with a little surface foam and no lace. Pretty simple appearance. Smells of bourbon, boozy bourbon, vanilla, some graham and more bourbon. Nice and malty with a good chocolate, coffee, vanilla, bourbon, alcohol and again graham cracker flavor to it. Medium on heavy with aggressive carbonation and a wet finish. A nice beer, and one I am certainly happy to have. Wish Central Waters was closer to me and distro'd here as their offerings are somewhat off the beaten path IMO.

Vintage 2010, Reviewed 20MAY11
A: Pours a black ale with excellent clarity - when available. Single finger head of light latte head falls over a couple minutes to leave a medium sheet of the same. Sheeting lacing.
S: First response reminds me of an old friend - Chex. I can't get past this for a moment, then it's bourbon, alcohol, vanilla, oak (light). Very nice nose. Wait, pancakes, this is one of the most edible noses I've ever experienced.
T: See above - this is complex. Only adversity in this beer so far is the high level of alcohol on the back end. Man, I would bet this beer is fucking sexual at the 18-24 month mark.
M: Medium to thick with lo-med carb. Thin, yet resonant slick on the palate. Man, this beer hits. the. spot.
O: Very well crafted and executed beer. Outstanding! 4/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5 - 4.47

Photo of christophmathis
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Grohnke
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Paper thin head comes and goes quite quickly. Deep dark brown with soft amber hues

Pronounced bourbon, strong vanilla and oak, slight roast.

Brilliantly clear  bourbon flavor, rich caramel, sharp vanilla, and some standout oak flavors. The vanilla and oak are so vibrant that they are almost reminiscent of cream soda. The roast has a hard time coming out. It's predominantly just bourbon and it's counterparts.

Medium bodied. There is overwhelming residual malty stickiness, with a decent amount alcohol warmth. The medium carbonation and bittering hops do all they can to cut this one up (my tongue feels the bittering finish), but lose in the fight - this one is massively sweet, sticky and has a spicy warmth that isn't quite 'hot'.

Wonderful display of the power bourbon barrels have when it comes to beer. Standout aroma, one dimensional taste (bourbon and it's counterparts), and the mouthfeel is a bit messy. Nonetheless it's a tasty, enjoyable beer and one that I would likely get again. 

Photo of Hylen42
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of hinemk76
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Tenchi221
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of laymansbeerfan
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of rmaste6282
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Number45forever
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to StPaulSuds for this in a trade!!

Gentle pour gives very little head that quickly fades and leaves a nice ring. It appears a tad bit uber-dark red at the edges of the glass. Very nice looking.

Smell is BOURBON. And then, more bourbon! Some dark chocolate too. No hop presence, no real coffee aroma. This smells fantastic!

Taste is a tad bit hotter than I imagined, and there's no doubt this is bourbon aged. Finishes dry with a nice bit of chocolate. Toffee and vanilla notes. I'm not picking up much dark, roasted coffee-like notes (which I like). I could drink this all day, and I could also see this get better and better with age as the bourbon fades a touch and everything rounds together.

Mouthfeel is very good. Not too much carbonation, very smooth. You get some burn, the ABV is not too hidden in this beer. Nice.

Overall this is a solid A- in my book. I'd drink this all the time if it was available in my area. Thanks again to StPaulSuds for the trade; if you see this beer, drink it!!

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 2,056 ratings.