Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout - Central Waters Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,667 | Reviews: 548 | Display Reviews Only:
4.41/5 rDev +4.3%
Vintage 2012, aged 14 months in my beer cellar, presented and decanted from a 12oz bottle and poured into a snifter glass.
Appearance: Ruby brown with a little head that dissipates quickly to a ring. Very little head retention.
Smell: vanilla, smoke, toffee, dried cherries.
Taste: Sweet alcohol and roasted malt combine into chocolate covered cherries, transitioning to a slight oaken tartness that lingers along with the malt spice. No hop presence.
Mouth feel: rich and smooth, little carbonation, warming alcohol.
Overall: This is a well rounded Specialty Imperial Stout. A great beer on its own, it retains a more complex balance with subtle sweet and sour bourbon barrel flavors. I don't think I've had a more balanced and drinkable beer of this style. Impressive and enjoyable.
01-25-2014 03:12:56 | More by YoDude
4.55/5 rDev +7.6%
One finger of head that quickly fades away, clear, almost cola-like pour. When held up to the light it is clearly more red/brown than black, really looks more like a porter than a bourbon barrel stout. Good amount of fine lacing. It looks nice in its own right, but for the style, it's certainly odd.
Once you get to smelling it, you know they mean business. A huge vanilla overload, with slight booze, milk chocolate and a hint of coffee. Bourbon of course. Not a lot of oak barrel smell. A little bit of roasted nuts in there, but vanilla is the main feature here.
On the actual sip, I was left wondering how I got away with paying $13 for a four pack of this. Again, massive vanilla up front. Bourbon second, not sure what kind of barrels they used for it but I'm a fan. After that comes chocolate and roasted malts, with some hints of pecan pie and "dark fruits". There was booze in the nose, but none in the taste. Just sweet, bourbon-y vanilla all day, with enough chocolate and roast to keep it from being cloying. Awesome!! Lots of bourbon barrel things have that boozy taste, but you don't get so much bourbon. This one is the opposite. It almost tastes like a shot of very good bourbon has been added to the beer.
Mouth feel is where I think most opinions diverge. It's light, some would say thin, but knowing they've been making it for at least 5 years I think it's intentional. It does feel more like a porter so I have to mark it down a tad, but it's nice to get a bourbon barrel stout that has full flavor with a less aggressive mouth feel. Light, thin, higher carbonation, but still sticky enough that you can tell they made it this way on purpose, if that makes sense. Carbonation is fairly sharp for the style but not too much by any means. Again, goes well with the light feel.
Overall, I'm really glad that I picked up a couple packs on my recent trip to Madison. I came back with various BCBS as well, and I will fully admit that those are better, but Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout is a very close competitor, while being a totally different beer. Sometimes you want a massive, booze-laden behemoth, and sometimes you want something that isn't so big, but still packs the full flavor. This is that beer. With something like BCBS I feel like I have to set aside an evening to drink one. With this, I can just break one out any time.
01-23-2014 03:10:26 | More by krustster
4.7/5 rDev +11.1%
Great bourbon barrel stout! It doesn't beat bourbon county but to be honest, I don't think anything will. My number two behind the bourbon county it has a great bourbon taste that doesn't overshadow the delicious stout flavor. Great mesh of the two. Definitely recommend it! One of my top 5 favorites!
01-21-2014 00:18:44 | More by Zatch90
4.25/5 rDev +0.5%
Poured into snifter glass.
Appearance: Presented a brown head and the beer insanely dark. Upon looking closer at the glass, you can see small bits of sediment dispersed throughout the beer.
Smell: The smell is so strong - intense vanilla, bourbon and some white chocolate. Also picked up some oak. Nothing is subtle, it's aggressive!
Taste: A bit boozy with warmth in the mouth; even at the beginning when the beer is chilled. Instantly picked up a sharp taste of bourbon with a touch of sweetness at the beginning. Yet the bourbon doesn't fade away, it finishes with more bourbon. Also tasted some oak and malt. Chocolates and coffee didn't really shine through but still the flavor was excellent. If you like bourbon, you'll love this.
Mouthfeel: It's a bit thin. Not as creamy and thick as their Satin Solitude.
Overall: Despite it has a ton of bourbon flavor that takes over the stout, it's still very delicious and enjoyable to drink.
01-20-2014 02:26:10 | More by Benish
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,667 ratings.