Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe AleKosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

215 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 215
Hads: 574
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 104
Gots: 140 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-22-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 215 | Hads: 574
Photo of ibbjamin
2.34/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Paid $3.49 for a 12oz bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. Poured into a tulip glass to review.

Quarter inch, tan colored dense head that leaves a thin layer of retention. Dark brown in color with decent carbonation for a barleywine. Minimal lacing.

Aroma is a bit boozy of bourbon and quite sweet, but there are dark fruits, molasses, caramel malts, toffee and oak adding layers of complexity.

I don't want to go as far as saying this is a hot mess, but it seems to be almost there. Hard to get at the complexities I detected in the nose due to its overt sweetness and booziness.

Medium full body with a medium length finish and mild carbonation. This one is a real sipper.

Perhaps this one should not have sit so long in the bourbon barrels it was aged in. (773 characters)

Photo of beagle75
2.79/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a half-pint chalice.

A: Murky, medium amber color with no foam head. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Mild toasty malt is featured, but stops short of the heavyweight level expected in the style. Caramel emerges as the beer warms, but clean otherwise. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with slightly scorched caramel and strong carbonic acidity. Early astringency seems tied to herbaceous flavors, but then transitions into pure strong bitterness. Husky caramel malt seems roundly infused with English-style yeast metabolites during the second act, but they do not stick around long. A strong note of pure ethyl alcohol develops into the latter half.

M: Medium viscosity, syrupy and very acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Recognizable as a barleywine, though not particularly memorable or even appealing, this beer fails to advance beyond mediocrity. Bitterness is the single least appealing quality, bracing in its intensity yet uninteresting in its lack of associated qualities. This beer does not deliver the decadent experience that a barleywine ought to. (1,128 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is a hazy dark chestnut with a very tight tan head. Nose is heavy caramel malt and pungent crystal malt with a fair bit of cardboard like oxidation. Taste follows suit, heavy dry caramel, very sticky, a bit of crystal malt and a good bit of cardboard oxidation in back with a hint of green apple skin. Full bodied and chewy, prickly feel and well carbonated. (363 characters)

Photo of bashiba
3.17/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dirty light brown with just a soap ring of a head.

The smell was full of brown sugar and molasses.

The flavor is very malty and sweet with big brown sugar and caramel flavors, has a big sharp bitterness in the finish. Not much going on here other than a touch of sweet alcohol popping in.

The mouthfeel is thick and oily.

A pretty basic and a bit boring Barleywine. (378 characters)

Photo of dancinwillie
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours loudly into the glass, quite a nice light red. light tan head fizzing forms on top, about half of an inch, drops quietly though, and it a few minutes, only little islands are left, with a ring around the rim.

maple syrup sweetness in the aroma, and a good amount of malt. it smells roasty, the way a brewery smells when you take a tour. inviting.

spicy bitterness up front, and not too much else. I sense a little malt, but the first few sips seem overwhelmingly bitter. I sit back, swirl a bit, and take my time: after the initial shock, my tastebuds have recovered some, and the malt comes through a little better. Still, it seems like a lot of hops here, and I have an inkling that this would be an ideal candidate to cellar for a year or two.

mouthfeel is slightly thin, but not too much so. thin is good here, I think. effervescent, and not overly carbonated.

this is not a session beer for me. I will have it again, but probably not until I age it for a year or so. As is, I would have to say the drinkability is pretty low for me. Very raw in its present state. a bit thin for my tastes, but perhaps with time, the true flavor will shine through. (1,166 characters)

Photo of Chaz
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a very clear, ripe chestnut red in color. There's very fine yeast in suspension, and a tan tight/uniform khaki-tan head on display. Good lacing on the glass is the head falls.

Nose is *BIG*; yeast and light tannins burst forth amidst lusty scents of plum, fig and raisin, and there's a nice, rum-like booze character to this one as well. Sweet, luscious smell, with nary a trace of bitterness.

Soft and sweet on the first sip, this one has a nice bit of bitterness and bittersweet character leading off. Carbonation is very light at this point, and there's some light oxidation as well. Notes of anise/licorice and rather nice notes at that, blending with the ample dark fruit character. This one really coats the tongue and palate, gunks-up the works, and is exactly the sort of thing I need on a bitter, damp wintery evening. Candy-like sweetness and almost a mint character, too, but very faint. Some nice tannins in the aromatic portion, reminds me of the smell of fallen oak leaves.

Very drinkable... wish I had a couple of these!

This is ultimately a solid effort and definitely worth a try, especially if you live within (or near) the brewery's area of distribution. 2011 Batch ("Barleywine 2011") sampled on 3/12/2013, with much thanks to BA "grancty " (1,271 characters)

Photo of ethosx19
3.27/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is another barley wine I didn't like very much. I'm just not a fan of the style. Pours a rose amber with small head, fruity and citrus aroma. It starts out thick and malty, but has a big hop finish. I thought I'd enjoy barley wine if I found one with enough bitterness, but I still don't like the style. I'm having a hard time picking out what it is I don't like about this beer. It had good hops, the alcohol was masked fairly well, and it should have been aged enough by now. Something about the wine character of the taste doesn't agree with me. (553 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.3/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe ale pours a hazyish dark amber color with a very small non lacing head. There is a bold oaky earthy sharp aroma. The taste is very sharp, big oaky flavors, and strong earthy notes. Good flavors, flat body, even for a barley wine. Overall its very strong, and earthy, with some big oak notes. (324 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.35/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 8/21/2009. Rating #1400!!! Bottle. Pours a clear dark brown with a small ring of off-white head. Aroma of raisin, sweet caramel malt, sweet prunes. Flavor is quite similar with lots of sweet prune-y malt and raisins. Meh, I'm really not a fan. Just your basic aged barleywine here. (293 characters)

Photo of jegross2
3.38/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Kosmyk Charlie Y2K Catastrophe Ale from Central Waters Brewing Company. Full and fair disclosure upfront -- as much as I loved King Henry, barleywines are one of my lesser favorite styles of beer (especially fresh).
Score: 80

December 2011 vintage bottle served in a Great Lakes snifter glass and enjoyed in the wee hours of 01/29/12.

Appearance: Pours one finger of tan/cream colored sea-foam head that settles into a ring around the glass and splotchy, thin coating atop the beer. The color of the brew is a brown yellow/orange color that looks like a very murky non-alcoholic apple cider that you'd buy at a Farmer's Market. The murkiness is best described as a bottle-conditioned "yeastiness," and this murkiness renders the beer opaque. When held up to light, Y2K has yellow highlights at the top, while the lower half has amber/mahogany highlights. Excellent lacing. Leaves behind a foamy residue on the side of the glass with solid cling. 4/5

Smell: Malty tiramissu, creamy vanilla cupcakes/cupcake frosting, and caramel. Has a yeasty twang that you usually get with bottle conditioned homebrews, and a very noticeable booziness to it that only accentuates in presence as the beer warms. 3.5/5

Taste: Wow. This is a boozy malt bomb that is very unbalanced in my opinion. Very malty caramel-forward with a moderate tropical fruit/grassy hoppiness and light yeasty flavor. The hoppiness seemed a little out of place and took a few minutes to "pin down." Lots of booziness here, but it is not a "hot" warming booziness until the beer approaches room temperature. This has a lot of flavor similarities to the He'Brew beer Lenny's RIPA, only this is substantially more drinkable and less "hot." I could imagine this beer gets better when barrel aged because the caramel malts would make a good compliment to the bourbon flavors that barrel aging tends to impart. As an unaged, fresh barleywine, however, this one is merely "run of the mill" and drinkable, but certainly neither worth seeking out or shelling out $4 a single bottle. 3/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, light-medium carbonation. Malty-sweet, hoppy finish. Alcohol heat grows as the beer warms. 4/5

Overall: A malt bomb of a barleywine. Drinkable enough, but why drink this when there are plenty of better beers on the shelf? Maybe King Henry has left me jaded.

Recommendation: If you must drink a barleywine, this is certainly a decent one that is much more "balanced" and "ready to drink" fresh than most beers of the style are. Alas, if you are simply seeking a good beer to try, I would recommend trying something else (such as the recently released Peruvian Morning, also by Central Waters) instead.

Pairings: Pastrami sandwich on rye bread with Swiss cheese, drizzled with honey-Dijon mustard dressing.

Cost: $3.99 for a single bottle or $11.99 for a four pack. (2,855 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.49/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I thought this was a very decent barleywine and would recommend it as another fine Central Waters brew. However, I would not consider this beer the best barleywine I've ever had.

Appearance is a bright ruby red with a tightly packed head that sticks around forever. Aroma is very stick-sweet hoppiness, with some citrus notes. Taste is alcohol astringency with a lot of alcohol up-front. I could feel its warming effect with my first sip. (441 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Will last night.

Pours an amber-red, with a small quarter inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like wood, astringent booze, caramel and toffee.

I got a lot more booze out of this than everybody else, which is weird. It seemed astringently bitter, both from alcohol, and leafy hops. The caramel and toffee, slight dark fruits, in the malt backbone were nice, though. It just seemed a little messy and muddled at times.

This is medium bodied, with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel, and a lower level of carbonation. This is a pretty slow sipper and not all that drinkable.

I feel like my opinion runs against what most people think about this one- I just didn't enjoy it all that much. (710 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a caramel brown color with a thin white lacing sticking to the edges of the glass. What head was there lasted pretty well into drinking it, and left some moderate lacing as well.

The aroma has a lot of sweeter, dark fruit flavors to it. I get a lot of fig and plum with just a bit of a tropical, pineapple, fruitiness as well. Some malty, caramel and toffee flavors peek through as well. A little on the sweet side overall though.

The taste shows a lot of the sweet, dark fruit flavors that I got in the nose. I get a little more of the sweet, pineapple to it right off the bat. Some sugary coated, fig and plum flavors come out as well. Just a bit of caramel and toffee are there. The finish has a juicy, tropical fruit, orange like flavor to it. Again, definitely falls on the sweet side.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall, it was a decent beer but fell a little too far on the sweet side for me. It did had a very interesting juicy flavor to it with some orange juice like qualities, which I liked. It could have used a little more balance for me though. Interesting beer and a decent one to drink this evening, but not quite an outstanding one of the style in my opinion. (1,293 characters)

Photo of NeedBeerHere
3.54/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from CW16 release.

Pours out a dark brown in color with a nice finger head that is light brown in color. Smell is dark grains in the forefront, pretty earthy, seems to be a little hops in the background but nothing fruity -- more something to balance the beer out. Taste is definitely some dark grains, burnt sugar, burnt malts, and a little bit of hops in the back to balance things out a little. It tastes really earthy like the nose. I really don't get any booze from this but I seem to need a little more booze it seems to taste it than others. Mouthfeel is medium thick/maybe a little thicker from the amount of carbonation. Overall it's a great barleywhine that is not sweet at all. There is absolutely no sweetness which is different for your typical beer of this style. I like it and would buy it again. (819 characters)

Photo of russwbeck
3.57/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours out not unlike sludge, brown and murky in color and decently thick. About a finger or so of white head builds up, but dissipates quickly, and leaves behind only spotty lacing. 3.5

S: The aroma is decently roasty with a large representation of toffee and caramel. Dark fruits and booze also play parts here and there, but the toasted toffee is definitely the focus. 4

T: The taste is actually a bit more muted than I expected. The caramel and dark fruit sweetness is the focus, but the roast rests on the back of the throat, providing balance. I notice the alcohol here and there, but it isn't as offensive as a 10% ABV beer could be. Nothing is really wowing me with this for the style, but it is decently enjoyable. 3.5

MF: Lighter than I expected, with a nice amount of carbonation. The drinkability is only average, as the sweetness and booze got to me after a while. 3

Value: I got this in a trade mainly comprising Hardywood and Troegs beers for various Central Waters specialties. Definitely consider it a good trade after tasting these. 4.5

O: Nice barleywine that should age well, but I don't think I'll go out of my way to try it again. Let's see what putting this baby in bourbon barrels for a while did! 3.5 (1,241 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into snifter

Pours an opaque caramel brown color with some lighter cherry hues shining through in the light. A thick, two-finger high head retains really well, leaving some patchy lacing on the glass while drinking.

Plenty of smooth roasty malts in the nose with some hints of dark fruit. Raisin and date with a nice dash of spice and faded hops. A bite of sweetness and alcohol as well.

Slight hoppiness up front before the roasty malts roar through. Caramel and bread crust with some hints of burnt sugar. Raisins with some sweetness mixed with alcohol warmth. Very roasty and full on the tongue, finishing a little bitter and warm.

Fuller body, somewhat milder carbonation, creamy and lingering on the tongue. A nice barleywine with a definite sense of age to it...not quite great though. (817 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somehow I've managed to avoid this beer for the past few years, despite having a bottle (2006, I think) in the fridge. Glad it arrived fresh again, bottled December 2011.

Pours a dark, rusted red. Nose on Charlie is full of malty caramel.

Kosmyk Charlie Y2K Catastrophe Ale is a minotaur of a beer. Big, malty caramel horns form the base of this brew. Earthy hops bring a damp dankness, & a touch of pine, too. Bitterness really lingers, & terribly drying for a barleywine. This is like sipping bark. Chewy, thick, gritty. No alcohol to be seen. Dangerous.

Weirdly, I'm not sure I've had a straight-up barleywine in a while, & I don't know why. This is a good, solid barleywine, more drinkable than complex. Session barleywine? Hell yeah! (744 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm pretty sure this beer isn't retired, but anyways. It's a very mellow barleywine, more English in inspiration, but there's a American kick to the hops. The grassy, spicy hops actually are almost an aftertaste, but still standout from the hops. The malt are slight with a vanilla-oak taste, not much fruit. Worth a try. (321 characters)

Photo of Benish
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle vintage 2013. Poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: Color was of dark ruby red. A small head built up but quickly dissipated to nothing but a shiny surface. No lacings around the glass.

Smell: picked up sweet malt, oak, and vanilla. As it warmed up, it became a bit medicinal.

Taste: Starts sweet but the bitterness catches up quickly and then finishes bittersweet. Picked up huge notes of cherries. It's almost like cheery cough syrup but not in an offensive way. Also maybe a hint of leather? Like any other barleywines, it has a big dose of malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: a bit syrupy and slick. A medium to full bodied mouthfeel.

Overall: I did not expect the notes of cherries. This is what IMO differentiated from other barleywines. CW sure does pull of a unique barleywine. Glad to try this. (813 characters)

Photo of birchstick
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish caramel color with a nice creamy head on it. The nose consists of vanilla and some sticky, caramel malts. The taste is the nose in liquid form - caramel malts move to vanilla flavors. Sweet up front. Some resinous, piney hops move in to balance the sweetness and round off the barleywine profile. The mouth is a little thin, but still pretty good. This is a solid barleywine with good complexity. Recommended! (426 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a chalice at Local Option.

Well, if I ever miss the bottle release of certain harder-to-find CW offerings, I need to remember my boys at Local Option... Anyway, this stuff pours a slightly murky garnet topped by a half-finger of wan khaki foam. The nose comprises sye bread, sweet caramel, light toffee, mild rum, light fig, light raisin, light candied orange peel, and a strong boozy backdrop. The taste brings in more of the same, with the bread coming through a bit stronger, the candied fruit as well, and the booze hanging around long enough to have its presence felt with every sip. Luckily, it's somehow not overpowering. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly drying finish. Overall, a solid, strong b-wine, something I could easily see being used as a body warmer in the dead of winter. (844 characters)

Photo of cvm4
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2012 vintage

L - Pours a hazy dark brown body with hints of brown and a khaki one finger head. The head dissipates to a ring around the glass and there is not much lacing to speak of.

S - All caramel, raisins and dark plums. Hardy malt backbone to bring it all together.

T - Caramel and toffee that is intertwined with a lot of bitterness. Not really sweet or a lot of dark fruits.

F - Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Has a dry finish and a little bit of alcohol on the body.

O - Aged well with still a bit of bite on it. (542 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Electric orange with a near equal amount of candy apple red. What a stunning color! A fine yeasty haze and few bubbles can be seen within the body of the barleywine. Something has to be sustaining the pearlescent cap of milkshake creamy foam. What a great look.

The aroma puts the brakes on the proceedings, while easily avoiding a head-on collison. It's nice and fruity, earthier than most, and betrays more than a hint of alcohol. A double digit ABV is notoriously hard to bury without a trace, although some breweries manage to do it.

My first thought was that this big brew could use more time in the cellar. Without a 'bottled on' date, it's impossible to know, but I'm thinking that it's from 2007. While there is a list of months along the side of the label, none of them are notched. Without a year, what good is the month?

The alcohol should continue to fade as Charlie loses his slight starting chill, but it probably won't disappear completely. That's okay, since barleywines need to retain some surliness or they wouldn't be barleywines. The biggest reason that more rest would be good is because the flavors need time to meld more completely.

The flavor profile includes candied orange peel soaked in white rum, cherry pipe tobacco, caramel, and a leafy woodsiness. With less heat, this would be an immensely enjoyable ale. Maybe it's the alcohol talking, but the flavor score just got bumped up.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style. The solvent-like nature of the unmasked alcohol isn't helping. Despite the 'All Quiet on the Carbonation Front' look of things, there are enough fine bubbles to keep the beer energized to the appropriate degree.

Central Waters Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale is anything but a catastrophe (much like Y2K itself). Don't let my impatience to drink it dissuade you from buying it. Just don't make the mistake of drinking it before it's ready. (1,903 characters)

Photo of pmarlowe
3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

December 2011 release. Wine glass.

A: Pours clear--but slightly cloudy--amber, fizzling to a ring and some splotches of stone colored head. After a few minutes the head disappears completely and the beer looks still.

S: Fresh caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon and spice, cherry, with the latter two aromas coming to the fore once this has reached near room temperature.

T: Lots of caramel, and a moderate amount of bitter hops which dominate the red fruit (cherry), with the caramel slowly fading into a moderately bitter, pretty lengthy finish. Quite dry--too dry, I think, because this could use some sweet malt flavor to tone down the bitterness.

M: Medium-high carbonation, medium body. Pleasantly warming without the alcohol burn. Not much alcohol present.

O: A pretty simple barleywine. A good example of the style, although the taste doesn't quite live up to the smell. Even the label says this has been aged for a year, the hop bitterness is unfortunately still there. (978 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Mark.

A: The beer pours a cloudy dark amber color with a finger of off-white head.

S: Nice sweet nose with plenty of toffee and caramel, maybe a bit of brown sugar. Sweet and toasted bread with only a mild citrus hop note. Slight notes of oxidation, too.

T: As with the aroma, plenty of sweet, sugar notes. Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar are prominent. There's a bit more citrus, particularly grapefruit, with some light pine bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation.

O: Not as good as the world famous Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, but still pretty nice. (602 characters)

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Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 215 ratings.