1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel StoutBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,441 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1441
Reviews: 523
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.46%

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 1,441 | Reviews: 523 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage - 12oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - black with a foamy beige head that hung around for quite a while.

S - the bourbon is the star with some roasted malt sitting in the background.

T - a little more roastiness and chocolate comes out in the taste but the bourbon still lets itself be known finishing dry and warming.

F - medium/full bodied with a silky smooth feel. It goes down easy, so take it easy.

O - a most enjoyable sipper.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2013 23:36:24 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of HuskyinPDX


4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 5.25.13
2012 Vintage

A - Pours a dark brown with a fizzy dark tan head that is gone quickly.

S - Lots of bourbon and some chocolate, smooth and nice.

T - Malty, bourbon, chocolate, very lively.

D - Good carbonation and a medium body.

O - Good bourbon and chocolate. A lively body and very active on the tongue. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2013 04:39:12 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Central Waters tulip.
9.5% ABV, Vintage: 2012 notched.

A - Pouring out almost black, this barrel-aged stout appears the same in the glass. Very small highlights of dark brown around the edges underscore a quickly dissipating tan head that leaves wisps of thin lace here and there.

S - Bourbon barrel-aging is strong and robust with oaky wood notes and vanilla pouring out around the mellow bourbon which is neither hot nor solvent-like. Light notes of semi-sweet chocolate chunk and a drizzle of molasses develop around this stout's roasted malt base.

T - The roasted malts really pull through the barrel-aging and come out in a big way, offering milk chocolate and mocha with very smooth and finely roasted coffee beans. Right away the profile shifts gears to a relaxed vanilla cream and deliciously smooth bourbon barrel flavor with minor hints at the barrel's wood. The inherent alcohol adds warmth but little in the way of solvent flavor or bite.

M - This is one of the smoothest barrel-aged stouts around, as if plush velvet meets baby's butt meets James Brown smooth. It just glides down the throat with finesse despite it's full, robust body. Soothing, warming alcohol finishes with a touch of roasted malt bitterness for an expertly balanced beer.

O - All too often I find bourbon barrel-aged stouts high in alcohol and overshadow their actual beer base with an outlandish punch of booze. Central Waters has expertly balanced this Bourbon Barrel Stout to be both drinkable fresh (sans that typical heat) and worthy of further aging. It's incredibly smooth body and robust flavor profile combine for an unrivaled, easy-to-obtain barrel-aged stout experience.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 22:51:15 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of Teleweizen2

New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - pours a deep dark chocolatey brown. Completely opaque from the sides but from the top it becomes clearer. Roughly a fingers worth of tightly packed tan foam which quickly evaporates. Some spotty lacing is left with each sip.

S - the most vanilla centric beer i have ever smelled. Hints of caramel and toasty wood lay underneath. Sweet molasses and burnt sugar. Hints of mocha and char in the background. Soft notes of dried fruit come out as it warms mostly prunes and dates.

T - toasty gooey caramel. Hints of smoke char and wood followed by sweet doughiness. Strong vanilla flavor in the center along with hints of spicy pepper/alcohol and hints of dried cherries. Strong notes of mocha on the backend followed by sweet caramel. Finish is long, with lingering sweetness.

M - full bodied with a super silky smooth texture. Medium carbonation with a prickly texture.

O - excellent barrel aged stout. The vanilla character is so intense. And i love that its bottled in a 12 oz. the perfect size to sip on a such a beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 21:25:58 | More by Teleweizen2
Photo of micromaniac129


4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured this baby into my yeti sniffer and what I got was a deep brown brew with a mocha head thats short and stout. Looks to be nicely attenuated judging around the edges.
Smells good and balanced. No one aroma seems to dominate and each compliment.
Aromas of roasted malts, oak, and bourbon. Plus, I sense modest amounts of vinilla, which is quite creamy and alcohol warmth.

Like in the nose, all flavors are complimentory. There is a sutle roasted malt flavor to begin with. Bourbon and oak are aggressive on the palate but not too the point where they are overwelming. Gentle alcohol warming around the edges is nice on this cold spring day.
Other tastes of interest include espresso and vinilla.
On the palatte it's dry and semi bitter. Flows smooth and velvett across my tongue and finishes with a warm hint of alcohol.
This was a good one. Maybe one of the best. What I liked was the harmony. Everything was nicely balanced, plus it wasn't sickening sweet like some can be.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 10:43:30 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of Andrew61923


4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. Poured from bottle out of my beer fridge into my Duvel tulip. Normally I'd say that it is entirely too hot out to have a stout, and especially a BA one, but I need to get through my cellar before the big move.

A: Pours a dark, dark brown that borders on black with a finger's worth of cream colored head after a fairly aggressive pour. I noticed a good amount of light coming through on the pour, so I was pleasantly surprised to see a darker end product than I expected. The head fades slower than I would expect with light lacing along the glass. A good start.

S: This beer smells so strongly of oak and delightful bourbon that I could smell it from across the kitchen after I poured it. A healthy dose of chocolate and raisin. I'm really excited to get into this one.

T: Wow. Picking up on a lot of chocolate covered raisin with a good amount of the oakiness coming through on the finish. Though a different style, I would compare this to Tyranena's Dirty Old Man...and that's good company to be in.

M: As I mentioned, this is similar in a lot of ways to a specific barrel-aged porter, not a stout as advertised. It is a bit thin, but there are no other complaints here. Carb is spot-on and the taste lingers plenty long enough to make me want to dive right back in.

O: I really enjoyed Peruvian Morning, so I'm not surprised that I had a similar great experience with this beer. Certainly different beers, but definitely cousins at the very least. If you see this, pick it up and drink it...weather be damned.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2013 02:22:45 | More by Andrew61923
Photo of bum732


4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S: Very rich breadiness, almost a yeastiness, sweet bourbon with some dark chocolate, medium high bourbon on the nose.

L: Very dark brown bordering on black. Light tan head that dissipates. Good lacing.

T: Rich breadiness up front with the bourbon sweetness following. Medium low bitterness with chocolate sweetness complementing the sweet bourbon. A big wave of breadiness hits before finishing.

M: Medium thin body, medium carbonation.

Pretty tasty, body was definitely on the thinner side. Not necessarily a bad thing. Nice balance of the bready malt with the bourbon.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2013 02:11:48 | More by bum732
Photo of gueuzedreg


4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage poured into a Crooked Stave snifter on 7/4/13

Appearance: Pours -1 jet black. Thin lacing around the edge. Can't see through the glass. Carbonation sticks to upper part of glass; not able to fall down.

Smell: Roasted dates and fig, with malt following. Not too much bourbon smell coming from this one. If I was blind into this one, I would think I was drinking a Belgian Quad. Though a little more roasty and maltier on the nose than a Belgian Quad.

Taste: Prettay prettay good. I like it; but I don't love it. Taste follows the nose with a slight charred marshmallow in the back. I am used to heavy bourbon forward midwest RIS; so this is probably giving me back my average reference point. I could drink this all day; but not like Black Note.

Mouthfeel: 2012 version has many small bubbles follow into your mouth for first contact throwing off the experience. Then those bubbles go away to return to a thin BA RIS.

Overall: I could drink this everyday. BCBS is a weekend one-nighter beer for me, where this one is mellowed down a bit. I appreciate that; but it is not my first pick. If "sessionable bourbon barrel stout" exists; this may be it.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2013 02:03:13 | More by gueuzedreg
Photo of NoLeafClover44


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Cigar city snifter. Vintage 2012.

A - Pours nearly black with about a finger of tan head. The foam dies to nothing in the middle but remains steady at a finger around the edge. Sticky lacing.

S - Blackstrap molasses and figs hit immediately. Sweet notes of vanilla and bitter charred barley come to mind as well. Slight oak and bourbon character with the large alcohol presence making itself known.

T - Big chocolate roasted malts on the forefront. Fig, dates, and cherry contribute some fruity esters. Vanilla sweetness is balanced by oak and burnt malts. Sweetens considerably as it warms. The finish is full of molasses and bourbon.

M - Just a touch thin for the style, but goes down smooth. Adequate carbonation.

O - Central Waters seems to know their way around a barrel. This was a fantastic representation of the style. Big aromas and flavors of vanilla, bourbon, molasses, and dark fruits. I enjoyed it more and more as it warmed. Smooth and easy drinking for a big BA stout. I highly recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2013 01:05:14 | More by NoLeafClover44
Photo of unclejazz

New York

4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage

A-brown/black body with a short live tan head.

S-pit fruit/dates and bourbon, a touch of smoke and cola.

T-nics sweet cola start with date and then a smooth vanilla bourbon backbone. A little bit of bread malt presence with a nice roasted flavor in the back of the mouth.

M-there is a nice dance of carbonation that really allows the date and bourbon flavors to pop. This a just a bit reminiscent of Kuhnhenn BB4D.

O-I like this better than last year's release, bravo CW!

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 00:43:21 | More by unclejazz
Photo of ThickNStout


3.56/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from Powderhornphil (thanks man!). Bottled in 2012. Served in a Three Floyds teku.

Pours dark cola brown with a half finger of tan head. No lace to speak of.

Smells of vanilla, coffee, cocoa, boubon, coconut and oak.

Taste is much more bitter and roasty than I expect from a bourbon barreled stout. The bitter, roasty dark chocolate battles with hot bourbon for top billing. Occasionally other flavors get through including cola, coffee, vanilla, oak, earthy char, nutty and of course a bit of alcohol. Some grassy bitter hops keep the sweetness in check.

Medium bodied, fairly creamy and smooth, with moderate carbonation. Long bitter char and bourbon finish.

Not quite what I expected given the high praise I've seen for this. Not particularly balanced and a tad thin. But still quite tasty overall. I think this is one that I would enjoy more after a year or two when the prominent bourbon hopefully settles down a bit to let more of the orher flavors to be noticed.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 05:04:33 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Many thanks to Garret L. for the opportunity to try this one.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and plenty of creamy foam and lacing. The nose is likewise attractive in this one, as I pick up considerale milk dud, milk chocolate, vanilla and light coffee. There's a hint of bourbon as well, but the milk chocolate and milk dud aroma really dominates in this one. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this well crafted stout. It's a bit on the sweet side from all the milk chocolate and vanilla flavor, but there's enough hoppy bitterness at the very end to keep that sweetness in check, and to keep it from coming across as cloying. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a fairly long, slightly creamy finish. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile, and I had no trouble at all downing my 12 ounce bottle.

A very nice effort from the folks at Central Waters.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 11:29:42 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of Pecan


4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with minimal tan head.

Smells of extreme bourbon. Subtle hints of vanilla, but very overpowered by bourbon.

Taste begins with serious (and expected) upfront bourbon, but transitions into a creamy, sweet dark malt flavor. There is a nut flavor that begins subtly and grows into a dominant position in the finish, balancing extremely well with the still present but fading bourbon and chocolate. The finish is crisp.

The mouthfeel is slightly oily. Very nice for the flavor profile.

Overall, I think this is a very well-done bourbon stout. Again with CW, I am impressed with the quality in general and especially considering the price point.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 07:34:36 | More by Pecan
Photo of joeseppy


4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on-tap @ Beer Bistro, Chi-town. Thanks Bob and Chris for scoring a barrel.

Kinda dark in the bar but a black pour with a one inch creamy head. At any time, putting this down, you could rouse up a thin vanilla cream topping by agitating the pint.

Aroma of sweet cream, vanilla and trace bourbon.

First sip is CHOCOLATE decadence. Not too sweet to hurt your teeth. Picking up on dried coconut flakes, vanilla and just the right amount of bourbon. The malt bill is spectacular. Simple saying-this is a Coke float with vanilla ice cream and a shot of choice bourbon. Medium density but this doesn't need to be thick, IMO.

This is my fourth BA from Central Waters and they have their barrel program nailed this past year. This brew right here is the pie'ce de resistance : )

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2013 15:10:15 | More by joeseppy
Photo of BlackElixir


4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage, poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.

Appearance- Dark brown, not quite black. Half finger, khaki head; dissipates quickly.

Aroma- Oak, bourbon, chocolate, toasted coconut, vanilla, mix of sugary dark fruit & a hint of maraschino cherries. I swear I got a few whiffs of cinnamon as well.

Taste- Oak, bourbon, vanilla, coffee, roasted malt, mix of dark & milk chocolate...a bit pudding-like, a bit of sugary dark fruit. Seemed to be nicely balanced with sweet flavors coming first, but finishing nicely roasted and slightly bitter. The barrel did not seem to be overpowering either.

Mouthfeel- Medium-light carbonation. Medium body. Alcohol warmth in back of throat.

Overall- Very nice in flavor and aroma, with some nice complexities. Very tasty! Not the most inky-black stout out there, and a bit thin...but these factors don't drag this beer down too much. While this may not be the stout to end all stouts, it is definitely well above average and well worth your time if you can find it. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2013 03:17:35 | More by BlackElixir
Photo of kojevergas


3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this goodie from the very gracious Duff27 in a trade. Thanks again, buddy! This is my first real beer from Central Waters; I had Shine On before but that's it. 2012 vintage. I wish I had a snifter to serve this in, but the best I can do while away from my glass collection in Colorado is to serve it in a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass. Reviewed live. "Malt Beverage Aged in Used Oak Bourbon Barrels." Expectations are through the roof, current ratings are great, it sounds great, and it's got quite a reputation. I don't see an ABV listed on the label. Label art is simple and appealing. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard gold pressure cap.

Served cold and allowed to warm considerably over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a lovely two finger khaki-tan colour head of very good creamy character, great thickness, and great (8+) minute retention for the high ABV. Soft, frothy, creamy, and appealing. Body colour is a very dark solid black - not quite a jet black - but certainly black. Nontransparent and opaque; no yeast particles are visible. No bbuble show. Light attractive lacing as the head slowly recedes. Looks exactly as it should, with an impressive head. I'm excited to try it. I imagine it'd look even better in a snifter.

Sm: Pungent bourbon - complete with subtle vanilla and oak notes - exactly what I want from a bourbon barrel aged stout. There'd be no mistaking the bourbon if I handed this to you blind. The execution seems good, if strong. Wow. Dark malts, cream, maybe chocolate. It's all buried beneath the bourbon. I wouldn't call it a woody aroma, but the oak is certainly there with depth and subtlety. I get a hint of alcohol off the aroma, but I wouldn't call it a hot or boozy aroma. Just a touch of appealing warmth. Love the bourbon notes here, but constructively I could use a bit more toasty character. A pretty strong aroma. So far, so good. Can't wait to try it.

T: Wow. Extravagant bourbon notes are right up front here, with subtle vanilla and rich oak really ringing distinct. Little alcohol presence if any; it's got the great flavour of a good bourbon but none of the alcohol burden. Body is a touch roasty - though not quite as much as I'd like. Milk chocolate hits on the climax, blending well with the already luscious vanilla for a fantastic flavour. Creamy throughout, complementing the smooth chocolate. There's no bothersome caramel malt here, and no bitterness from the chocolate. A hint of coconut - it took me awhile to place that note; I'm not sure it's doing the beer a service, but it's interesting. Any hop character is unnoticeable. No yeast character comes through. I fancy the foundation is comprised of dark malts, but they don't intrude. Oak is the guiding body of this beer, and really lends it a cohesive, whole feel. I will say the flavour falls off in the third act; it just fades. This isn't a bad thing per se. Impressively well balanced and built. A very successful marriage of a good stout with bourbon notes. I quite like it. Now that it's warming up a bit more, I do get some buried roast in the third act.

The more and more I drank, the more a tiny nagging feeling came on that it was a touch too sweet. This is a nitpicking criticism, but - I think - a valid one.

Mf: Nicely creamy. Smooth and wet. Great body - not too thick or overbearing. Complements the flavour profile really well. Carbonation is just a biteen overdone. Silky. Good presence on the palate, enabling full delivery of the complex depth of flavour. Chewy.

Dr: Quite drinkable considering the high ABV, which is itself noticeable but not unpleasant. It's best enjoyed as a sipper; this one deserves to be savoured. A lovely bourbon barrel aged stout all around. A smashing success for the style. I'd definitely get this again if I was so lucky. I'd love to try this one aged. I'll enjoy finishing the bottle alone, but I'd recommend ideally that you share it with a friend. Thanks again for the chance to try this one, Duff27!

Low B+

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2013 04:58:27 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Knapp85


4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 19:36:04 | More by Knapp85
Photo of popery


3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, like weak coffee. Looks transparent. Beige head. Lots of fine bubbles. Pretty good retention. Aroma is brown sugar, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, a little booze and mild booze. Taste is fairly sweet. Lots of chocolate. Dries out some towards the end. A bit prickly in the mouthfeel. Pretty good barrel presence. Solid imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 02:29:13 | More by popery
Photo of Jimmys


4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. 2012 vintage.

A: pitch black body. head is a medium shade of brown. head is dense and tightly bubbled. frothy retention remains. very pleasant looking. thick chunks of lacing as each sip goes down. spots too.

S: super rich. bourbon and raisins. dark chocolate. lots of vanilla. a little bit of clay. warming.

T: a lot of oak tannins on the body. lingering flavor of sweet raisins. there is a bit of smoke to this thing as well. the more I get used to the bourbon and oak, the more I find this thing full of chocolate and even a minor coffee.

M: smooth and subtle. full bodied for sure.

D: very drinkable big bourbon stout here. smooth, complex, rich, and fulfilling. surprised at how good this is so close the bottling date. drinking now seems to be fine, but im sure one I the cellar wouldn't hurt either!

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 13:34:19 | More by Jimmys
Photo of Belgianbeerbunny


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Mahogany with 1/2 inch cream-colored head.

S - I just smell Bourbon. Not like that's a bad thing, but that's what I get.

T - Bourbon in the front of the mouth and chocolate in the back. Not as complex as Central Water's Peruvian Morning, in which the flavors were more blended.

M - Medium-bodied, expecting thicker. Smooth going down, but sticky on the lips.

O - A fine Bourbon Barrel Stout, but I'd reach for a Peruvian Morning first.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 21:47:08 | More by Belgianbeerbunny
Photo of thegoon55

South Carolina

4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

vintage 2012

A- pours a black maybe dark brown light tan nice head.

S- amazing. bourbon forward, than chocolate followed by carmel and vanilla. Smells absolutely fantastic.

T- following the nose, lots of bourbon up front followed by a heavy dose of chocolate with hints of caramel and vanilla.

M- medium carbonation, full body.

O- absolutely fantastic. i love this beer. Im glad a have another, can't wait too taste fifteen since this beer is so fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 19:38:48 | More by thegoon55
Photo of corby112


4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black in the glass with a one finger beige head that quickly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Wow, the aroma of this beer is incredible with a complex barrel presence that's perfectly integrated into the characteristics of the base beer. Very nice bourbon presence with dry oak, vanilla, toasted coconut and marshmallow followed by roasted malt, silky chocolate and a dessert-like fudge cake quality. Very complex and although the bourbon barrel is the strongest component, the dark malts and stout notes aren't overpowered at all. Smells incredible! I could see some folks wanting more bourbon in the nose but to me the aroma is nearly perfect.

Full bodied with a blast of bourbon heat that lingers over the other barrel notes and roasted malt into a slightly spicy, dry finish. A bit boozier and heavier on the bourbon flavors th an the nose suggests, but the barrel character remains complex and is nicely integrated into the base beer. Some dry, charred oak followed by a strong sweet and spicy bourbon presence that's followed by a smooth vanilla bean flavor before the roasted and sweet malt notes come in. Not as sweet or dessert like as the nose hinted at but there's still some subtle silky chocolate flavor countering the intense roast. The rost compliments the dry oak and spicy spirit with hints of dark chocolate, burnt toast, oatmeal and espresso bean. Slightly hot with some warmth in the finish but after the palate adjusts, the high ABV is relatively well masked. Definitely a sipper but the complexity and intense flavors make it a very enjoyable drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 06:54:08 | More by corby112
Photo of Jimmeekrek


4.91/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Truly an epic Bourbon Barrel aged imperial stout, at a price point that defies the industry standard. Basically the same componentry as 1414, which won gold at the GABF, this spends a year in heaven hill bourbon barrels, and the result is nearly perfect. Chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and a hint of coconut make for an outstanding beer. Do yourself a favor, get a bottle or two if you can.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2013 03:00:15 | More by Jimmeekrek
Photo of jzeilinger


4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First off, many thanks to Ri0 for sending this bottle.

A - Pours a very dark caramel brown color that comes off looking like black, this tan lacing ring and very thick looking. Eventually what little ring is left dies off and leaves a tulip full of black liquid.

S - Bourbon, roasted caramel/toffee, cocoa, oak, light char, and vanilla. The nose is really good and everything blends nicely with the bourbon being a little more forward than the rest.

T - The bourbon and oak definitely rule here and everything else falls in behind it. Bourbon and oak up front followed by warm roasted toffee, with light notes of vanilla and cocoa. The alcohol does create some warming on the way down and avoids being too hot. There's also a light smoke sensation from the barrel aging.

M - Heavy medium body, rich texture, silky carbonation, slippery, viscous, and lip smacking sticky.

O - Definitely worth a try if barrel aged beers are your thing.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2013 00:24:52 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of DovaliHops


4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage. Pours black...but appears dark brown when held up to light. Small, light-tan head that disappears quickly. Scent is is bourbon up front with some nice chocolatey notes. Pretty heavy caramel malt aroma with some very subtle oak. As the beer warms up.. a little bit of chocolate cocoa comes through with just a hint of coffee. Taste is sweet bourbon at first. Lovely notes of vanilla and toffee. Somewhat of an interesting soda-like flavor...can't tell if I like this aspect or not. Nice chocolate flavors with just a hint of black licorice. Mouthfeel could use a little more body. Drinkability is pretty high, as the ABV is WELL-hidden. Overall, I wouldn't consider this among the top bourbon barrel stouts out there (Parabola, BCBS, KBS, etc), but it's pretty damn tasty. Needs more body though.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 09:06:26 | More by DovaliHops
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.