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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

490 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 490
Reviews: 206
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.46%
Wants: 101
Gots: 134 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-22-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 490 | Reviews: 206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%

A well-crafted barleywine, a little helpful cellaring by Derek. Good barleywine aroma. Ruby with lace. The taste is dry and woody, particularly so in the finish. A touch of bourbon, a touch of chocolate. Does not seem like 10%. Satisfying above-average barlywine.Nice balance.

Sammy, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -2.7%

t0rin0, Sep 10, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.7%

djrn2, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a snifter. Color is amber with some reddish hues throughout. Slight head and a bit of lacing. Nose is really quite nice with cherries, dark fruits, citrus, plum skin, and some sweet bread. Taste is cherries, sweet malt, hints of booze, and a thy amount of citrus zest. Good feel with excellent drinkability. It's no surprise that BBBW has such a fantastic base.

Thorpe429, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.7%

zestar, May 10, 2014
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -2.7%

nmann08, Jun 01, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

acurtis, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of metter98
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%

A: The beer is hazy brownish amber in color. It poured a short beige colored head that died down, leaving wispy lacing covering the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts and toffee are present in the nose. Hints of alcohol also become perceptible once the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of toffee and has notes of caramel malts along with slight hints of alcohol. Some vanilla also becomes apparent once the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a little sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer develops nice flavors as it warms up and the alcohol is relatively well masked from the taste.

metter98, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.78/5  rDev -8%

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.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +1%

thick brown, though you can see some light through it, no head and a nice lace top it off. Smell is hopped for sure, but with a subtle sugary undertone, and a hint of alcohol too. Taste is not very strong at all. There is the natural piney hoppness you would expect from a barley wine, but not too strong, there is also a sugary, nuttiness about it as well. The alcohol is there, and that keeps this a sipper. It is actually nicely carbonated, and not harsh going down, has the warm feeling on the way. Overall this was a good brew, I would not mind having another and certainly kept me warm this evening.

mikesgroove, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Texasfan549, Nov 10, 2012
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -2.7%

kjkinsey, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%

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.

womencantsail, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

ygtbsm94, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

spycow, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%

Appearance: Pours a clear, garnet-hued body topped by a scant, off-white head.

Smell: Sweetish, toasted caramel, oranges, and juiced plums with a few boozey hints and more than a few hints of wood.

Taste: Toasted caramel maltiness that's sweet, baby, even candyishly so. More of that wood from the aroma. Faint plum fruitiness. Hint of orange liqueur. Medium-high hop bitterness. Warming bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Not quite a medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not as graceful as some of the finer examples of the style, but overall it's not a bad lil' barleywine.

ChainGangGuy, May 04, 2008
Photo of Knapp85
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%

Poured out as a nice amber color with a decent white head on top. The smell of the beer is malty with a hoppy aroma. The taste is also loaded with toasted caramel malt and hops. It's piney with a sweetness in the background. The mouthfeel is smooth, nicely carbonated and slick. Overall this beer is pretty damn good. Very enjoyable.

Knapp85, May 05, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
3.76/5  rDev -8.5%

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.

TMoney2591, Oct 07, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +1%

Looks very nice pouring into a wide-mouthed chalice. A husky brown-amber tone, capped by a half-inch of tan foam. Dense and creamy, with an outcropping of larger bubbles from a high-altitude pour.

Sweet toffee, leafy hops, an undisclosed herb or berry. While it's still cool, there's not much indication of the booze. As it warms, it becomes more prevalent.

Inital toffee caramel sweetness, that segues into seriously bitter hops. Dryness rides out into a long finish. More herbal than pine, juicy, not too fruity though. Some peaty smoke and toasted malt comes out in the aftertaste. Mild astringency for such a huge behemoth of a Barleywine. It doesn't become cloying, but it does deserve to be sipped very slowly. One and done, a nice nightcap.

emerge077, Aug 04, 2007
Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%

A - Poured out a clear, reddish orange color with a small, white, foamy head. It left some patchy lace.

S - It smelled sweet and malty with some nice floral notes.

T - It tasted rich and sweet. Nice caramel malt flavors with a nice hoppy, bitter kick. It had some subtle dried fruit flavors with a warm alcohol taste.

M - It was soft and smooth with a fairl y sharp finish. A medium bodied beer with a warm boozy presence.

D - This is a very good barleywine. It had some nice complex flavors.

zeff80, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%

2006. Slightly hazy. Deep auburn headed towards chestnut color. Huge rocky head of light tan. Excellent retention and lacing. Aroma is malty. Very sweetly caramelish. Toffeeish... do I detect some mild buttery diacetyl under there? Nice. There's a touch of yeasty mineralish character as well. Citrusy hops come through once the head subsides a little bit. In the mouth it's full bodied with an initial zestiness on the tongue. Once warm, however, it becomes more dextrinous and creamy. The flavor is aggressive. Lots of hops and bitterness atop the sweet caramel malt base. Citrusy and piney. Sweet malt combines and softens the citrus. There's some orange, grapefruit, and pineapple. The bitterness is dense, and cuts through the sweet malt with a piney-hop chainsaw before it even gets mid-palate. Rough edges, but cooling, and refreshing. It finishes mainly dry, and piney, with a cooling, minty edge - although there is still a thin strand of sticky caramel left behind. A caramel-coated pinecone! In conclusion... some like it rough! And if that's the case this one's a rarin' ta go! - and I mean that in a good way. I can only assume that that's the way this was intended to be. Soft, sweet caramel and then BAM!!! piney-juicy PUNCH! Nice!!! But for those who like it a bit more rounded you'll need a year or two in the cellar on this one. I enjoyed it, sip by sip, with my feet propped in front of the fire... ah, err, space heater ;)

NeroFiddled, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of MasterSki
4.15/5  rDev +1%

Grabbed a few of these in Kenosha - shared with the wife in matching FOBAB pint glasses.

A - I managed to get a half-finger's worth of tan foam that actually lingered for a bit. Negligible lacing over a slightly murky raisin brown color. This is about as good as it gets for a high-gravity barleywine.

S - Maple syrup, caramel, red licorice, raisin, smoke, wood, vanilla - really complex collection of malts in here. This is fresh, so there is still a mild amount of citrusy hops (although nowhere on the level of something like 3F Behemoth). Maybe a touch of alcohol esters in there.

T - Again, lots of caramel, maple syrup, raisins, brown sugar, etc. The citrus hop notes I detected in the smell are mostly gone, with maybe the tiniest bit lingering in the aftertaste. Alcohol is well-hidden. The taste is good, but not as wonderfully complex as the smell.

M - Big and sticky - full-bodied but not overly heavy. There's some tingle on the upper lip, but I think it's from the high ABV and not the carbonation - in any case it complements the wood and smoke notes in the smell. Some nice warming sensations.

D - One of these is plenty - it's a sipper to be sure. That being said I did find myself reaching for the glass pretty frequently.

Worth seeking out - the base beer for the Bourbon Barrel Barleywine stands up quite well on its own.

MasterSki, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%

Central Waters Brewing Company, Inc. Brewers Reserve Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale Barley-wine Style Ale. Amherst, WI.

Y2K? Wasn't that 13 years ago? What's going on here? I thought I'd had this before, but there's no evidence of it. I must've had it when I wasn't taking notes. Or maybe I'm out of my damned mind. A resurrection of an old ale beyond it's enjoy by date? Okay.
Let's get to this bottle already…

Look of it: Deep crimson coloring, large, lush creamy-toned head, lovely stuff.

Smell of it: ridiculously rich, deep, dark and crazily delicious. Dark fruit, cherry, berry, brandy, leather, luscious and massively malty,

Tasting it: Luxurious. Expansive. Full to bursting. Malt to the max, hops a plenty. It's all going on. It's giving me all the things I want in a barley-wine. Should I age this? Isn't it already 13 years old? The bottled on says: nothing? There seems to be some marks somewhere around November, but it's not clear. (There are similar random markings around June, July, and August.) It's like there are some random scratchings in the direction of that particular square. And I don't remember when I bought it, it's been sitting around waiting for me to take these notes for months.

Let's see what the label tell us: "Originally designed for the Y2K survival kit, this beer has proven to be a staple for anyone's emergency plan. Kosmyk Charlie's is a delightful treat, aged for a year in our cellars to create brew smooth enough to overcome any disaster. So when homeland security raises the alert level, open a Kosmyk Charlie's and raise your glass."

Interesting. The Y2K threat is long gone, but one thing has appeared since then that we didn't have in 2000, or 1999, and that''s Homeland Security and alert levels. That's it, let's celebrate the latest tragedy.

All in all, a toasty, malty, high alcohol (none given on the label, I'm only guessing). treat, to be sure. Fits all the marks of a true barleywine.

feloniousmonk, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Got this beauty thanks to KeefB. No date on the bottle.

Pours a creamy rich head, frothy, that fades slowly, leaving an outline lacing. The beer lets just a little light through, with a very dark rosy maroon brown, almost a burnt sienna color.

Nose brings plenty of barleywine aromas, lots of malts, lots of malted barley! Seems like some sweetness too, a little maple and hints of molasses, syrupy aromas. Malts include dark heavy crystal, some light roast, and the faintest hint of smoke. Light fruits, with a little raisin and plum, and hints of booze. A light hint of earthy chewy hops in the background as well.

Taste brings more of the same, with lots of malts to start, loaded with malted barley! Slight juicy flavors, little fruit again. Malts include dark crystal, little roast, a little toffee, caramel, maple, a little molasses, and even a little creamy. It's pretty sweet too, with just a hint of warming booze, which builds as it warms. Slightly chewy malt flavor too. I even get a bit of berry flavor. A candy flavor too. Some light bitterness, some light earthy hops, but not a lot. The finish leaves a sticky mouth coating, with hints of warming booze and still pretty sweet. Some lingering malty flavors, and a little fruit as well.

Mouth is fairly heavier bodied, syrupy, and decent carbonation.

The drinkability is a little lower, although it drinks well for 10%, but with some of the sticky syrupy feels, and quite a bit of sweetness take away a bit from it.

jlindros, Oct 14, 2010
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Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 490 ratings.