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

Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe AleKosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale

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415 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 415
Reviews: 196
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.46%

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: 415 | Reviews: 196 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ohmybock


4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just picked up a 12oz bottle of this one at Riley's in Madison, WI last week. My bottle had an extra sticker which indicated it was an '07. Riley's also had some '06 which I didn't buy.

It pours a very clear deep amber color with very little head. My first impression was that this barleywine leans more toward the sweet side than the hoppy side, but there is some bitterness in there, and it's not extremely malty like a Thomas Hardy or JW Lees Harvest. Hmmm, maybe this BW is in the middle? I often prefer hoppy BW's, but I thoroughly enjoy an expertly-brewed malty version as well. Whatever the case, hats off to Central Waters with the Y2K! This is a superb brew. The aroma of caramelized tropical fruits is incredible! The taste further supports the aroma. I'm not getting a big hop aroma, flavor, or a strong bitterness. Instead, the wonderful, clean, sweet, fruity, aroma/flavor is king here with just enough bitterness to balance things out. This is certainly a "sipper" that just gets better and better as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2008 00:23:49 | More by ohmybock
Photo of Wasatch


4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to brdc for this brew.

Poured into a tulip a cool looking golden cherry amber color, very nice carbonation, nice creamy one-finger off-white head, some nice little islands and sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, cherry, plums, figs, and some caramel. The taste is slighlty sweet, malty, very nice tones of cherries/plums/figs, with some nice caramel. Medium body, a complex brew. This one goes down pretty smooth/easy. The alcohol is hidden very well, be careful, lol Very drinkable, another tasty brew from CW. Thanks Daniel.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 02:58:33 | More by Wasatch
Photo of WeisGuy

New York

4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to nflmvp for this bottle.

a - pours a deep brown color with ruby highlights, modest ivory head with retention around the edges, not much by way of lacing, a bit hazy

s - very balanced nose with a substantial caramel malt backbone being complimented by a strong citrusy hop component, orange is noticeable, alcohol is present

t - just like the nose, a great balance of intense flavors of carmel malt and citrusy, orangey hops, with a significant alcohol component, finish is nice mix of citrusy bitterness and alcoholic heat, just about spot on for an American Barleywine

m - moderate carbonation, full-to-medium bodied, dry on the finish

d - this is definitely a sipper of a barleywine, par for the style, alcohol and intense bitterness would wear on the palate after awhile

Excellent beer overall...everything I like about American Barleywines. Reminds me a whole lot of a 2006 Double Bastard I had about a month ago. I'm really looking forward to trying the bourbon barrel aged version now.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 03:01:49 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of dancinwillie


3.15/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2008 05:46:55 | More by dancinwillie
Photo of DrJay


4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from EliteDigger in a recent trade. Thanks Scott!
Pretty clear, deep reddish amber colour. A hard pour produced a thin skim of fine beige bubbles plus a solid collar - it looked fairly viscous too. Bubbles were a bit sticky, producing some spotty lacing. Fruity citrus hops and caramel meld well in the aroma. Notes of toffee and cotton candy, maybe a bit buttery. Solid bitterness that turns a bit resinous and lingers in the finish. As it warmed, this became more of a light herbal hop bitterness. Heavy malt body and flavour, plenty of caramel, some toffee sweetness, a bit of burnt character in the background. Dried fruits and raisins add complexity, brown sugar, fruity hops. Carbonation was on the light side, texture was good, just short of sticky with very mild warmth. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2008 02:31:43 | More by DrJay
Photo of Vancer


4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Classic BW sent by joe1510 in a great trade, Salud!

Pure BW style in every sense - caramel pour with tan head, even with the alcohol it lays a lace ring down the snifter.

Great bw aroma, full of caramel and sweet malts, perfect to a tee. Sweet malt start in the quaff finishes with a healthy kick of hops, aged, it seems, with oak added to the mix.

One tries to sip this tasty treat, but you'll find yourself picking up the glass at a quick pace.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2008 21:37:45 | More by Vancer
Photo of steveh


4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown longneck from the Central Waters Brewery, Amherst, WI, a gift from Klemrock, a big fan of the brewery.

Clear, red-walnut color with a good, if thinning, tan head.

Earthy, toffee, biscuit nose -- some mild citrus hop and some fruit esters back.

Same characters in the flavor with the citrusy hops a bit more prominent, but not overpowering the rich maltiness in any way. Some bourbon vanilla/oakiness back*. Finish is bitter hops mixed with a dry spiciness from alcohol.

Medium-heavy body with a slick mouth-feel - very warming.

*This was not the oak-aged version of this beer.

This beer really reminds me of Big Foot in its character and flavor -- at least the Big Foot from years past.

Very smooth and easy to drink -- a dangerous combination at this strength!

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2008 13:35:28 | More by steveh
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to nflmvp for the chance to try this brew!

A - Rich dark amber color, nice long lasting tan
S - Rich sweet malts and dark ripe fruits.
T - this struck me as a jw lees harvest ale handcuffed to keep it out of the candy store! Rich fig / ripe fruit / caramel notes without crossing over to sweet with a background hop note to keep it honest.
M - Full bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth.
D - really nice drinking brew! Not overpowering given the ABV.

I could see Y2k being a better place with a case or 2 of this in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2008 21:32:15 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of cdkrenz


4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(August 2010)

I just cracked a 2008 Y2K. It smells like a dream and looks like a temptress.

It's the perfect color of sexy amber with a slightly blonde top. The aroma is that of pungent candy, deep cherries and aged dates.

The flavor is pungent with smooth and rich bubble gum accented by fermented cherries. The malt is robust and the hops are slightly tame, yet evident.

The beer is amazing. I have half a doven more waiting in my cellar. The longest I plan to keep one is 2028. We'll see if it lasts that long.

(Review below was posted on 1/14/2008)

Picked up 4 bottles from cellar 70 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Appearance - Dark amber and ruby in color. The head is light and pouty with a medium brown color. The head fades quick to leave a surface speckled in whisps of tan.

Smell - It has the scent of a sweet red wine. There is plum and the aroma of what seems to be cherry tootsie-pop. Yummy.

Taste - The flavor is smooth hoppy bitterness with a hint (and I mean a hint) of sweet. The after taste is subtle and that of strawberry licorice.

Mouthfeel - The brew sticks to the entire interior of my mouth like sweet taffy. Smooth and yet, pushy.

~ This is a sipping beer, for sure. I'm glad I bought four of these so that I can store them for future indulgence. I will recommend my friends give Kosmyk Charlie a try but I won't be sharing mine. Sorry guys.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2008 00:28:52 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of brewcrew76


4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Ruby, auburn with a thin off white head.

S - Fruity, rich caramel and toffee, dark fruits, raisins, figs and prunes.

T - Malty with the same rich caramel and toffee that is in the aroma. Dark fruits and a lingering bitterness.

M - Medium to full mouthfeel, slightly syrupy and sticky.

D - Very drinkable and the 10% abv is well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 22:07:45 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of Atron67


4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this at the old fashioned in madison tongiht

A- came a redish dark brown with a light head that faded down to a film quickly

S- pungent malts throughout some fruitiness but heavy malts, with a decent backing of malts, but doesnt really smell like a hop driven barleywine

T- Spicey malts throughout, deliciousness all over, reminds me of old guardian barleywine, hops throughout but is a malt driven monster

M- pretty thick but i wouldnt have guessed it was carrying a 10 % abv in it

D- awesome

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2007 04:31:59 | More by Atron67
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.48/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 20:56:32 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of SkinnyElvis


4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to czoch for this bottle in a trade. Cheers to Clint!
Pours dark amber with a slight head. Smells very sweet and the taste is also dominated by sweetness and fruitiness. The mouthfeel is very smooth with an appropriate amount of carbonation. The alcohol content is pretty well hidden but this is a sipper for sure. Solid barleywine but not spectacular.


Serving type: bottle

08-09-2007 19:12:45 | More by SkinnyElvis
Photo of emerge077


4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2007 04:00:27 | More by emerge077
Photo of Flyer


3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very good barley wine. It lacks some of the overpowering meatiness of some, which is not always a good thing, but in this case it makes the beer a good alternative when you're not in the mood to be overpowered. The color is an attractive cherry-ish red, and the aroma has some nice orange peel to it, over a layer of maltiness. The first impression is of fruity, yeasty flavors, but a good solid one-two punch of malt and hops quickly follows. At the very end there's a faint but unmistakable reprise of the orange peel. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2007 00:22:44 | More by Flyer
Photo of Crosling


4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Perfect dark ruby color, the ideal color for BW. Intricate nose of pancake batter and butterscotch, icing covered fruit cake and notes of caramel, raisins and fig. Flavor is a bit raw and grainy in the backround, mildly unrefined, but there are some seriously impressive and delicious characteristics to this barley wine. It’s actually very complex. Hints of vanilla, graham, caramel, toffee, malt induced fruits, along with a very subtle, but present hop character of pine and fruits. Pure, natural body, with excellent creamy/heaviness. Wow, what a beer! Much better than the bourbon barrel aged version, this is a beer worthy of collecting

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2007 05:33:50 | More by Crosling
Photo of tempest


3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2007 05:46:06 | More by tempest
Photo of brdc


4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somewhat hazy ruby color, with a sticky tan head with good retention.
Very nice aroma, mostly sweet/sugary, with waves of alcohol and dark fruits. Hops create a small additional frutiness on the nose.
Powerful, full-bodied, this brew is strongly malted, sweet initially, with a big warming alcohol that permeates and then takes over. Dry, alcoholic finish.
Very nice, but powerful brew that is perhaps slightly overcharged on the alcohol taste, but still very worthwhile.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2007 19:48:58 | More by brdc
Photo of hoppymeal


4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium to dark copper with a good sized cream head that slowly recedes. Big malted milk sweetness m ixes with some nice raisin and prune aromas. There is also a little salt and leathery aroma, alcohol is also evident in the aroma. Taste is big and sweet maltedness, pruniness comes thru mid taste with some berry flavor mixing with the sweet malts before giving into an alcohol warmth in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, very rich and sugary, the finish balances with a nice dryness. A malt-bomb for sure, doppelbock-like qualities in the strength of the maltiness are well balanced by the slight dryness and alcohol warmth. Thanks Daniel for the opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2007 02:11:57 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of

4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle courtesy of nflmvp

Dark, tea colored liquid. Large, creamy, light tan head. Not much lacing, but very leggy.

Figs & toffee. Sharp herbal scent peeps through. Alcohol and sherry. Intriguing smell....

Bitter most of the way, and lingering well into aftertaste. Herbal in character. Hops much stronger than in barrel aged version. This mellowed somewhat as temperature increased. Very strong malt backbone, wheat bread & crackery. Raisin flavors, but not sweet. Caramel pops up, but quickly overcome by hops. Dark cherries.

Medium in body, thinner than barrel aged version. Medium carbonation. Dry. ABV does a slow burn.

A very hoppy barleywine - or is it a DIPA? I've had sweeter DIPAs. A debate for another day. I really enjoyed it and am starting to wait for Central Waters to open in MD.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2007 17:41:40 | More by
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has an auburn red clear body but it is a bit dense. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles that are still visible. The thin little tan head last a good while and leaves a set of sticky rings on the glass after each sip.

S- This beer has a slight medicinal cough syrup smell with an alcohol smell with some toasted malt notes in the background.

T- The spicy alcohol taste blends with some toasted malt flavors and some slightly sweet caramel malt hints. This flavor is quickly cut off by the big alcohol finish.

M- There is a medium-full mouthfeel with an alcohol heat that really increases as this beer warms.

D- I'm surprised this beer is this old, the alcohol dominates the malt flavors. The alcohol is not really fusel but it is pretty bitey.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2007 22:33:26 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Erdinger2003


4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a giant head, I didn't ever think a barleywine would give such a giant head, it almost overflowed! There's a good strong lacing to it as well. The color is a deep dark brown with a slightly reddish hue. The smell is very barleywine-like if you understand this at all. It's a bit sweet, it has a hop presence, and some dark fruit smells. The taste is very hoppy and has a dark fruit taste. It is a full bodied barleywine with a hoppy dark fruit taste, it's pretty good. The mouthfeel is nice, nothing bad to say there. Overall I think I would enjoy this once in a while and cellared for a bit too.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2007 09:15:31 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of IntriqKen


4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a pretty clear dark reddish amber this elixer is in the glass. Soft amber half finger head that melts quickly to only a faint ring of white-amber.
Aroma is light brown sugar and dark raisins with faint assorted dark candied fruits.
Flavors are rich with burnt malts, dark brown sugar, dark almost burnt fruits.
Nice alcohol warmth afterwards warms all the way down to the belly.
Aftertaste is actually clean but distinctly burnt malts and dark burnt fruits giving a slight bitterness.
4.5's are given not only because it is good, but because it is very interesting for a barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2007 06:05:16 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of DaPeculierDane


4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank some of this down at a LL over at Old Fashioned in Madison and I gotta say it was pretty darn tasty. Being fresh, this had some distracting alcohol notes, and some unwanted overly fruity yeasty qualities, but I would gamble that over time, this beer would really become something.

As is stands, just days after its release, this Barley Wine is surprisingly drinkable and enjoyable. The aroma is deeply malty and loaded with caramel and toffee. It’s buttery, boozy, and mildly citric, a quality that comes through more in the taste then anything.

Flavorwise, this is one beer where temperature really matters. The entire profile changes as the beer warms from biting citric and pine with a solid caramel base to more creamy and tropical fruit notes. Pineapple comes through and mingles with the piney hops and caramel to make this one a real treat.

Medium bodied, creamy yet with a healthy bitterness, smooth, boozy and quite drinkable.

I’d like to try this one again after a few years in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2007 15:13:32 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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 ;)

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2007 03:59:20 | More by NeroFiddled
Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 415 ratings.