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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.

1,641 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,641
Reviews: 548
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 341
Gots: 505 | FT: 57
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: 1,641 | Reviews: 548 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MN_Beerticker


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

05-25-2014 02:12:26 | More by MN_Beerticker
Photo of spark3148857


4.49/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage poured into a snifter:

Pours pitch black with a khaki mocha head that quickly dissipates but leaves good lacing. Aroma is bourbon up front with nice oak barrel characteristics, some vanilla, and some cocoa. This is a wonderfully balanced barrel aged stout! The barrel characteristics accentuate big chocolate and roasted notes and leave a nice sweetness on the palate, but not cloyingly sweet. Mouthfeel is a nice medium, full bodied but not sticky and chewy. Worth seeking out as this is an excellent barrel aged imperial stout. I would happily drink this one any day.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 03:16:36 | More by spark3148857
Photo of alpinebryant


3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with translucence at the edges. I was surprised for a boubon barrel stout to not see so much black in here. Also pretty happy about the fact that it appears more brown after tasting it.

Aroma is primarily bourbon, with lots of vanilla and sweetness.

Taste of bourbon whiskey barrels, oak and vanilla. Once you get through the bourbon flavors which are pretty prominent, there is not a ton of depth. I love bourbon which causes me to probably rank this a little higher than it should be . This is primarily a brown ale with whiskey in it. There is a slight whiskey burn in the taste but just a bit of brown malt flavors behind the vanilla oak and bourbon.

There is no ashiness in this at all which I prefer for a stout however It is more of an Imperial Brown ale with Bourbon barrel aging. Very similar Imperial Naughty Goose from Goose Island aged in bourbon barrels and very delicious stuff overall. Easy sipper with medium carbonation and a light mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 03:58:35 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of zrab11


4/5  rDev -5.4%

09-05-2013 18:27:33 | More by zrab11
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

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

thanks to nflmvp for sharing this fine brew with me!
A - rich dark black, some light gets through at the edges, soft tan head that quickly fades.
S - Wow, bourbon indeed. bourbon, vanilla, oak and light backing notes of chocolate and roasted malt.
T - the flavor follows the nose. this must be one heck of a solid stout, it controls the bourbon to create a strong yet still blended experience.
M - full bodied, mildy carbonated, rich soft boozy notes
D - this was a tatse treat indeed. probably 2 for a night and I'm done but a tasty two at that.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2008 21:46:27 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of elgiacomo


3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, December 2011 vintage. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours dark brown with a small one finger beige head that dissipates quickly to a foamy ring. Leaves a few spots of lacing behind.

Aroma is primarily bourbon, vanilla, coffee and brown sugar, tagging along are notes of chocolate, caramel, molasses and dark fruits. Very good strength.

Flavor is rather sweet and features plenty of bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, toffee, some coffee, chocolate, caramel, molasses and dark fruit, decent bit of alcohol. Finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied, sticky, decent carbonation.

Best way to sum this one up is a liquid coffee cake drizzled with bourbon icing. Really unique in the world of barrel aged stouts. Very good, but it’s sweeter than I generally like my beers to be.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 03:13:01 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of axeman9182

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap and served in a Weyerbacher tulip at Capone's.

Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout pours jet black, with minimal mocha foam found at the top of the glass. The aroma features lots of dark chocolate, with a bit of a vanilla undertone and just a hint of a spicy oak character. The flavor profile reveals a more nuanced barrel contribution. The same strong dark chocolate base beer note is here, and vanilla is again what comes through most from the barrel aging. Layers of toasted brown sugar and wood follow, before transitioning into a beautiful marshmallow finish. The body is sturdy, but not overbearing, and the carbonation is just a touch too lively. The end result is a mouthfeel that's just off from greatness. Between the Bourbon Barrel Barleywine and this beer, I've got to say that Central Waters is putting out some of the best barrel aged beers in the country.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2012 16:33:52 | More by axeman9182
Photo of joepais


4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to MuenchenerKindl
Bottle poured into a sniffer produced a fingers worth of coco colored head that turns to a nice thick lace that covers a jet black body

Complex aromas of roasted malts chocolate, oak, bourbon and vanilla fill your head

Fist sip is a killer. If I had a few of these I love to back this in a cake you got that sweet chocolate vanilla bourbon and a buttery flavor going on here

Full body almost no carbonation (smooth)

Great aged stout. Very drinkable, I will search this one out again. I think you must have at least one in the cellar for when the mood strikes

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2008 04:44:17 | More by joepais
Photo of Gotti311


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-04-2013 15:17:04 | More by Gotti311
Photo of cdkrenz


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

This bottle was cellared at 42.5*F since Feb of 2010. For the 2 years in my cellar this Jan 2010 released bottle was kept dark and at a consistent temperature.

A - Very dark brown body with a quarter to half inch of light tan head that fades at a moderate pace. The body does allow a hint of light through. The look has lost a bit in the cellar.

S - A sweet aroma of chocolate and a hint of alcohol. Based on my prior review I'd have to say the cellar has taken a bit away.

T - Roasted malts balance very well against the sweet cocoa flavor. The only thing taking away from this beer in the flavor category is that it has a sharp edge to it the needs to be rounded off a bit. Meaning the flavors are perfect but the transitions from one to another are not smooth enough to earn it perfection.

M - Nice and thick just like I like my imperial stouts. It is slightly abrasive but I can't imagine that's from the cellar.

~ I wish I could say the comparison from my initial review to this review are apples to apples. Unfortunately my previous review (below) was completed when I was a bit less knowledgeable in reviewing beverages. That being said, I still believe this to be a great beer and I don't think it really lost or gained anything during the two years it spent in my cellar. At this point I have at least another four pack stashed away aging for a later date. I'll try to post again when they're ready to have their tops popped.
(I originally entered the below review on January 9, 2008. This was the 30th review I had completed here on BA. The review above was my 698th. I've come along way since my 30th review.)

Cellar 70
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Appearance - Its black body fills my snifter and releases a medium tan colored head the quickly retreats. The deep black color is remarkably. I can even see my reflection in it. (4)

Smell - Dark roasted malty aroma. Chocolate and black licorice too. Serve this beauty at room temperature to really set all the scents free. (5)

Taste - The licorice and chocolate flavors really shine. The great thing about this beer is that even though those flavors are present they don't overwhelm my taste buds. It migrates over the tongue very well offering subtle flavors as it moves. There is a touch of smoke and hint of oak to really let you know where this beer is coming from. Nice work CW. (5)

Mouthfeel - This beer is smooth almost to a fault. It goes down so easy. You really have to sip this stout nice and slow to let each taste be savored. (5)

~ This is not a session brew. This is a one and done, unless your hanging out at the Art of Brewing Festival in Stevens Point and CW is pouring this tasty treat from a tapper. Then you relax with a pal and enjoy as many as the tenders will allow. If you like beer, you'll love this. Do yourself a favor and enjoy one. It might take you a couple hours but the closer the bottle gets to empty, the better the beer gets. Enjoy. (5)

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 02:32:38 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of IndyDad

New York

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

01-17-2014 01:53:01 | More by IndyDad
Photo of Evan


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

01-11-2013 00:30:04 | More by Evan
Photo of pknyc

New York

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

03-26-2014 21:21:50 | More by pknyc
Photo of sgoro


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

01-13-2012 03:14:21 | More by sgoro
Photo of Treyliff

West Virginia

4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage, poured into a snifter

A- Pours nearly pitch black with a tiny fizzy light-tan head that reduces almost immediately, leaving nothing behind even after agitation

S- Big barrel notes up front with vanilla & oak, there's some sweet caramel notes with a touch of black licorice, barrel juice with a whiff of toasted coconut, slightly smoky with some chocolate at the end. Nice and complex aromas

T- Wow, big punch of straight bourbon up front that eventually gives way to some roasted chocolaty malt, barrel notes kick in providing flavors of licorice, oak and vanilla, more bourbon on the finish with some raisin and dark fruit

M- medium body & medium-low carbonation, slightly foamy mouthfeel and finish with some lingering booze. The booze definitely lingers long after the swallow, even after nearly a year of aging

O- This is definitely a bourbon-forward beer, which plays well to my preferences. I can see how this would be overpowering to those who don't like straight bourbon. I'm looking forward to seeing how my other bottles continue to develop as it's still drinking hot after nearly a year. Overall, a great BA Stout that seems to fly under the radar.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2013 00:53:38 | More by Treyliff
Photo of Gatch


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

10-12-2012 01:50:48 | More by Gatch
Photo of DaftPatrick


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

03-05-2014 23:07:13 | More by DaftPatrick
Photo of scotv

New York

4/5  rDev -5.4%

04-16-2014 01:15:33 | More by scotv
Photo of coz


4/5  rDev -5.4%

01-19-2012 00:59:57 | More by coz
Photo of Lemke10


4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 4pk of this at Woodman's in Janesville, WI for $10.29 in Late 2011.

Pours a very dark brown/black color with only a slight head. The scent is amazing with caramel malts, robust malts, bourbon, and sweet cocoa. Taste is smooth and mellow. Full of rich flavors that can be found in the scent. This beer puts your taste buds to the test! A fantastic sipping beer on a cold night in Wisconsin.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 06:10:38 | More by Lemke10
Photo of kbuzz


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

08-05-2012 02:49:26 | More by kbuzz
Photo of bjohnson


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

No way am I following warriorsoul around. Thanks to nflmvp for this offering.

A: Pours a jet black color with a thin cocoa colored head. Head dissipates rather quickly and looks like a refreshing coca cola classic.
S: Big vanilla notes with a soft refreshing blanket like feeling in the nostrils. Bourbon notes are definitely noticeable, but not overpowering--no boozyness to them. Slight cocoa leaf notes with a sourness to them.
T/M: Vanilla flavors are dominant to start followed by a nice mild espresso and mocha flavors. Cocoa note also peak in and out. Slightly dry finish to this fine offering. Soft and coating on the palate--extra smooth like a soft satin pillow. Extremely well balanced and tame considering the high abv and bourbon notes. Speaking of bourbon notes--not big, but extremely subtle and always present. Bourbon notes give it a nice spicy characteristic.
D: A fine brew this is. I see why it's a brewer's reserve. Smooth and subtle flavors all mesh together behind vanilla and bourbon notes to give this brew a wonderful overall taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability. One hears bourbon and thinks boozy--no way on this one! Easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2007 00:38:27 | More by bjohnson
Photo of Bartos


4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

01-23-2014 01:55:00 | More by Bartos
Photo of brycevolk


4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

02-22-2013 20:01:26 | More by brycevolk
Photo of jplopez21


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

12-29-2012 03:40:12 | More by jplopez21
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,641 ratings.