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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.

1,947 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,947
Reviews: 583
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.18%
Wants: 372
Gots: 595 | FT: 64
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: 1,947 | Reviews: 583 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cmannes
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of abanton
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Axic10
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of jcsull
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep amber/mahogany color more than black. Little bit of light comes through this in my glass. Pour yields a one finger tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves behind little lacing.

S: Bourbon readily apparent with a great blend of dark fruit chocolate, coffee, vanilla, oak, licorice all hangin out in the back.

T: Much like the nose. I taste the coffee and chocolate almost immediately after the initial bourbon taste, the vanilla and dark fruit are subtle but there. Bourbon taste runs throughout the beer, and the bourbon and coffee are the flavors that stick around after each sip. Maybe a little bit of heat in there from the alcohol, but subtle. Not much hop presence.

M: Very clean for the style. Medium bodied and a medium stickiness, medium to light carbonation. Leaves a decent coating on the tongue, not chewy, but pleasant in terms of the flavors that linger (bourbon, coffee).

O: I really liked this one for the style. Hard to pull of the ratio of "bourbon/presence of alcohol" in the taste and nose that Central Waters pulls off here. I feel like I could drink 2-3 of these, which is impressive when considering some of the other barrel aged stouts that will completely fill you up after a bottle. Glad I picked up an extra 4-pack to cellar though, would definitely recommend.

4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of dasmusik
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 2011 four - pack, opened one bottled in December of 2011 with the plan to age the others over the next couple of years. Poured the 2011 bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours fast and light, almost dark amber color. Little to no head, just around where the beer meets the glass. The beer itself is very dark once it accumulates in the glass.

Smell - Bourbon! Hints of burnt malts, alcohol, and dark chocolate.

Taste - Delicious! Nutty and chocolate on the front, and finishes with strong and smooth bourbon taste, but not overwhelming. The flavor stays on the tongue, but not in a syrupy way.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and light to begin, slight fizzing in the middle, and smooth and light to finish.

Overall - Great beer - very boozy at this point, but balanced and the bourbon doesn't overwhelm the stout characteristics, I can't wait to try it with 6 months to a year on the bottle.

Photo of TheDudeRules
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my oversized Southampton snifter.

Thick khaki head that is a plus size finger thick. Dissipates by the time I turned around and back from recycling my bottle. I can hear Mother Earth whispering a thanks. A light ring remains on the perimeter of my glass. I am struggling to call this black. Darkest brown ever.

A five sided fistagon of smell is pouring from my fishbowl. Roasted toasted coconut. Cocoa nib. Sweet bourbon. Slight alcohol. Vanilla even. That's right five sided. It's quite intoxicating.

I've been letting this bad son of a bitch open up in my glass for awhile now. My wife has been telling me some boring stories during the breathing process. Sweet bourbon at the forefront. Barrel aging is shining. Cocoa nib. The toasty coconut. This a fine drink my friends.

I think the biggest knock on this for me is the thin mouthfeel. It could lift some weights and bulk up. Drinking it without much age on it, I would consider it a sipper. Bourbon is biting but I really am enjoying it.

An outstanding beer. No wonder I've bought loads of it this year.

Photo of mcc1654
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of KDawg
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a bomber bought at sheffields. Poured into a pint glass and pours a deep black with no real head

Powerful and rich aromas of black coffee, bourbon, dark chocolate, raisins and malt aromas too. Very good depth, but the tones felt like they were holding back a bit

full bodied with a really good feel. Good depth with flavors of raisins, a bit of bourbon, along with chocolate and malts. You get teh bourbon flavor, but not a boozy quality to it

A really good bourbon barrel stout. Holds the alcohol very well and has a great feel

Photo of B33R501
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

great beer. black, big head, retension, lace. aroma is huge milk chocolate, little bourbon in the background. one of the best smelling beers i have had. tastes milk chocolate, vanilla, wood, lots of bourbon creating a very smooth, creamy, boozy beer. just how i like them. did i say bourbon? and $11.50 per 4, makes this a $5.75 bomber, who needs those $25 bourbon barrel bombers? not me. another superb beer from a very overlooked (at least in my area) brewery. zoom wow.

Photo of zander4dawin
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what an amazing and underrated bourbon barrel stout. The beer has a delicate almost buttery texture and a smooth finish. The bourbon barreling is present in the taste adding oak and vanilla flavors to a solid base beer stout. Worth a try if you can get it.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 2011 vintage. Poured into a Bruery snifter tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep dark brown but not totally black.  You do see some reddish hues in the brew.  There isn't much head to speak of, but what is there forms around the edges into a ring of tan around the glass.  Some lacing bits. Some alcohol feet.

S: I definitely get the bourbon notes: vanilla and oaky woodyness.  Maybe some dark roast espresso beans.  Definitely pull some dark chocolate notes.  I also smell almost a fruitiness.  Raisin and plum maybe.

T: Really pleasant sip.  There is no bitterness on the tip of the tongue.  This beer has great flavor in the middle of the mouth.  You get that vanilla, dark chocolate, maybe a little oak, a little coffee, and then at the end I get that caramel or toffee hint that I love about BA beers.  Nice long finish that keeps going.  Alcohol is almost completely hidden, really isn't even a mild burn in the throat.

M: It's full bodied, but not as thick as others in recent memory.  This isn't a bad thing.

O: Very tasty little brew and the small price tag in comparison the others of the variety makes it even better.  Nice work Central Waters!

Photo of SpillyBeers
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of scott2269
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of deapokid
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of KarlHungus
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours an opaque black color. The head is a half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is of bourbon, oak, roasted malt, and milk chocolate. There is a lot going on in this aroma. The taste is maltier than the aroma with the bourbon remaining in the background. The mouthfeel is a bit light for the style. It is still full bodied, but not as full as I expect an imperial stout to be. Overall, this is a good beer that I would drink again, but there are much better bourbon stouts out there.

Photo of justintcoons
3.15/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a very deep brown with red highlights. Unfortunately it is not opaque. A 1/2 finger of tan head forms and dissipates quickly. Leaves a nice filmy cling along with webbed lacing.

N: A lot of vanilla wafts up right away along with some lighter bourbon notes. There's also some semi-sweet chocolate in there. The nose brings to mind chocolate/vanilla ice cream.

T: Vanilla, whipped cream, bourbon and scorched sugar are upfront. Mid-palate brings in some semi-sweet chocolate and watery toffee along with hints of booze and chocolate covered raisins. Dark fruits (raisin & plum) really come out in the finish along with hints of oak and earth.

M: Medium bodied, creamy, warming, dry and only a little sticky.

O: Although complex the flavors just are not full enough for a Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. The nose is pleasant but the appearance is extremely poor. Good vanilla and dark fruit notes. Not bad for the price but I always expect more from BA beers.

Photo of aasher
3.23/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I received this bottle in a recent in person trade with TallPaul07. Thanks again for this one Paul!

It pours a medium bodied dark, dark brown with a slight beige lacing around my glass. The nose consists of sweet bourbon, vanilla, and a lot of toffee. The flavors are of bourbon, slight aluminum, vanilla, and it finishes pretty quickly and a little watery. The metallic taste threw me off a bit. Maybe this bottle isn't up to par? The body is a little light for an imperial stout and it leaves an aftertaste as if it had too much CO2. Strange. It's drinkable all things considered but I prefer a more resonating flavor and fuller body in my stouts.

Photo of MASPuros
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of WankelEngine
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours opaque, dark brown. There is a tiny light tan head which fades to a few bubbles fairly quickly.

S: Coffee and bourbon leap out of the glass. Sweet vanilla, toffee and milk chocolate follow.

T: Sweeter than the smell. Opens with strong notes of vanilla and milk chocolate. The bourbon is subdued but delicious; it complements the sweetness perfectly. Coffee notes in the background which increase in potency as the beer warms. It finishes vanilla sweet with coffee.

M: Moderately thick with a decent amount of carbonation for a big stout. Slick and pleasant.

O: Fantastic. Vanilla, milk chocolate, bourbon and coffee all share the stage here. Well balanced and drinkable.

Photo of theCoder
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of MarkFy
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ShanePB
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Dec 2011
Poured into a snifter glass

A: Dark brown with evident mahogany hues in the light. In a dimly lit room this may appear black, but it's not. A little disappointing for a Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout. Small creamy tan head did fade quickly, and left only minor lace and retention. Okay but no where near the greatest.

S: Wow. Huge sweet bourbon notes, oak, vanilla, toffee and some chocolate. This has a massive barrel character and is quite aggressive on the nose. Truly a wonderful smelling beer for anyone who enjoys bourbon barrel stouts.

T: Bourbon is focused from the beginning, lots of semi-boozy rich bourbon and oak. Middle of the palate has touches of vanilla and an astringent bitterness. Chocolate and molasses towards the back end, with more bourbon coming full circle lingering for a while.

M: Unfortunately really thin, well carbonated - a bit too much for an Imperial Stout. It seems the barrel thinned this out more than I'd like for a beer of this style and size.

This is a quality bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout that is easy to get, inexpensive and doesn't have the hype machine behind it. More beers like this need to come out. Give this one some more body and we'd have a stand-out beer.

Photo of RohoMech
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Zachtheporter
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a 2011 poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel Sifter.

A- A Robust absolute pitch black. The head was very thin and dissipated right away leaving a remaining white ring around the edges of the glass. Absolutely no light penetration whatsoever.

S- You can smell the alcohol and the bourbon right away. The bottle itself smells just like pure bourbon. If you put it too my nose and i was blindfolded I would think you were making me smell a bottle of Bullet or wild turkey. Delicious fudgy notes also hit the nose, giving off the smell of the hot fudge that goes on top of ice cream sundaes. A few caramel notes as well.

T- Tastes very much like bourbon minus the alcoholic burn. Hints of chocolate dance along the tongue leaving a semi sweet after taste. Taste has hints of what I believe to be oak. You can definitely taste the wood from the barrel this was aged in. It isn't so strong though that it is unpleasant.

M- Very smooth with very little carbonation.

O- This beer has definitely taken on the most characteristics from the barrel, then any other beer I have tried as of yet. It is like drinking bourbon without the alcoholic burn which is absolutely amazing. For anyone who enjoys whiskey in general I would highly recommend this. All the joys of bourbon put in beer form. I was thinking about aging this but Im not exactly sure if I want to anymore. It already seems so perfect.

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,947 ratings.