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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.

504 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 504
Reviews: 208
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.46%
Wants: 102
Gots: 135 | 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: 504 | Reviews: 208 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 jlindros
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Really good beer. I think the taste was a little different than what I expected, the barleywine coming thorugh that im not really used to.

Good solid taste, can really get the barley in there. I didn't really pick up on a lot of different tastes, but a really soild full taste.

rhodeska, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of jwinship83
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle given to me at DLD. drank from a la fin du monde tulip glass. no dating on the bottle, but i assume it was from last winter.

A- this one pours out a hazy deep ruby colored body with a small eggshell colored head. the head has better than expected retention given the size and leaves behind complete rings of lacing.

S- the first thing i notice is a caramel-y sweetness. theres also some toffee and toasted bread in here. after that come the fruits. plums, cherries, figs, dates, and raisins. the hops dont seem as aggressive as i would have expected, but theres still plenty of grapefruit and pine in here. finally, theres a little bit of smellable alcohol.

T- the sweet caramel and toffee malts come to the front. the fruits i could smell follow closely behind. the grapefruit and pine hops that i could smell come through stronger in the taste and still have plenty of bitterness to them. the alcohol i could smell comes through stronger in the taste as well.

M- full bodied. syrupy and palate coating. a medium to low carbonation level.

D- easy to finish and im very glad this one found its way into my cooler. something ill try to sniff out up north this winter if i get the chance. this one seems like it would age like the best of them.

jwinship83, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of SykDoc
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2 year old cellared bottle. Poured from a bottle into a tulip. It pours a nice amber/ruby mix and forms a 1/2 inch light tan head that reduces, leaving a fairly full over-the-top lacing. Carbonation is visible and no sediment.

The aroma is very good with an up front hoppiness that is balanced by a nice caramel malt/dark fruit scent making it similar to cotton candy.

The taste has a unique blend of cherries with some caramel malts and piney hops. The alcohol is there and it almost has an acidic component to the flavor.

The mouthfeel shows an adequate level of carbonation and medium/full bodied. It has an early bite that subsides into a nice leathery texture on the tongue.

Overall, this is a solid barleywine and worth having, if you can get your hands on it. It is drinkable but the abv is well enough hidden to warrant some caution as it is well balanced and smooth to drink.

SykDoc, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of e11a627
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chimay chalice and enjoyed with hu5om and newk340.

A: translucent, the color of pepsi/coke slushy, wood colored, nice ring of foam.

S: Aged fruit, orange, cherry, plum.

T: Chocolate, plum, cherry.

M: Great texture, no harsh aftertaste - very smooth. Goes down quite nicely.

D: Delish. Easy to drink - I probably could drink a few of these which judging by the ABV may not be a good thing.... depending on how you look at it. ha.

e11a627, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of hu5om
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

split with newk340 and e11a627, mine in new belgium goblet.
a-dark murky purple brown. light ring of off white foam

s-strong deep dark fruit. plum, ginger, fig, slight citrus?

t-malty sweet, dark ripe fruit, plum, ginger, fig, toast?

m-how can it finish this clean? wtf? this delic. lingering taste starts and then it's quickly gone. incredible at this abv

d-friggin great. so happy we stumbled upon this one. i expected much harsher, but it's delic.

hu5om, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of newk340
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: a murky brown with a slight purple hue when held to the light, a light ring of foam which leaves a nice lacing.

S: faint hints of a variety of indistinguishable dark fruits. most notably figs.

T: ripeness of the dark fruits are everpresent: dates, plums, and figs with an added malty sweetness. can taste a little bourbon though without the oak/smokiness of the BBBW.

MF/D: smooth with a clean finish for the alc%. very subtle carbonation that leaves a slight warmth in the back of the throat.

newk340, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of flexabull
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle with no date courtesy of klikger, thanks again!

Pours a dark amber color, slightly hazy, with a nice off white head.

Aromas are great. Blast of tabacco, dark ripe fruits, cereal grains, oak, hard candy sweetness, booze all blended together nicely.

Taste is a little bit too bitter and astringent. Some cereal grainy flavors, mixed spice, peppery, with light malt sweetness. Nice boozy finish with some earthy hops.

Mouthfeel is good and full, and kind of prickly though.

Drinkability is nice. All and all a good barley wine that seems a little harsh at the moment, some time the cellar could really improve this one.

flexabull, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review from notes on 6/12/10. Split with Joe.

Poured lovely deep prune and mahogany amber with a nicely retaining animal cracker head. Exceptional clarity and brilliance. I get lots of dark fruits: raisins, currants, and a tiny hint of plum, with a touch of carob and caramel. Very mild earthy hops, barely noticeable. Flavor is very much like the aromas but with a little more caramel sweetness. Spiced rum finish. Nicely carbonated with a rich body. I wish I had more than 1 bottle.

DmanGTR, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of daledeee
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice dark clear brown with a foamy head. The head is quite nice and stays there.

Nose is odd. Very grainy(corn) and some malt with a blend of apricot and alcohol

Taste is also different than other barleywines. Good fruitiness at first with cherries and apricot. Not as sweet as the aged one either. Malts and hops are also very appealing at the finish.

Mouthfeel is good. Completely different than the bourbon barrel variety. Not near as syrupy.

Drinkability is good with little alcohol evidence

daledeee, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of Wisconsin
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a 2009 vintage I have had stored away for almost a year now. Chilled upright for almost a year at about fifty degrees this beer should be in its prime.

A - A big boisterous off white head forms as I pour this beer into my pint glass. The body is rather clear and has a dark reddish orange hue when held up to the light. However, out of direct light it looks nearly black. Minutes after being poured and the head is still a solid finger thick all the way across. Very nice looking barleywine.

S - The smell doesn't seem as strong as I would have expected for a barleywine, and after having the CW BBBW. The dark fruit notes of plums, figs and apricots are there but not as pronouced as I was expecting. Earthy notes and hops are also present but somewhat subdued. Booziness is noticeable but nothing too off-putting.

T - Like any barleywine, this one too gets better with warmth. Plenty of dark fruit comes to life along with caramel malts that provide a nice backbone to this beer. A nice cream aspect is present in this beer that helps keep the booziness manageable. Earthy notes and hops arrive and give the beer a nice close while keeping the booziness very low. A more fuller flavor in the caramel malts and dark fruits and this would have been outstanding.

M - Ful bodied beer with a low amount of carbonation that suffices in this beer. Entering the mouth there is plenty of caramel malts, dark fruit and slight hint of booziness. A nice cream aspect arrives midway through along with a faint amount of carbonation to give this beer a nice balance. Earthy notes and hops finish out this beer slightly bitter with a slight amount of booziness being present but nothing too overbearing.

D - Once this beer warms the drinkability is quite high for a barleywine. This isn't quite high on my list as the Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, but it's nothing to rag on either. If this had a fuller flavor it would be right there with the BBBW, but as it currently stands, it's another solid offering from Central Waters. Keep releasing barleywines I will be the first one banging down the door to try them.

Wisconsin, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of hardy008
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark burgundy color with a one finger tan head with good retention and lacing. Smells of sweet caramel, toffee, dark fruit, alcohol, and vanilla. Ditto for the taste, and how nicely it comes together. This is a malt lovers dream.

Feels smooth, creamy, and it is extremely easy to drink. Properly carbonated. Medium to full bodied. Even though the alcohol is noticeable, it does not hinder the drinkabilityl. Highly recommended.

hardy008, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this bottle.

Pours a dark red color with a tan head. The aroma is dark fruit, caramel malt, sugar and some alcohol. The flavor is caramel, toffee, brown sugar, alcohol and dark fruit. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Mora2000, Mar 17, 2010
Photo of wagenvolks
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Y2K pours an attractive, tawny amberish-copper color with a nice clarity. A tiny rim of manila bubbles remains after the first five minutes; the rest of the head dissipates quickly (not surprising given the alcohol level). Y2K epitomizes the American Barleywine style in terms of aroma, with rich layers of caramel and toffee malts backed by piny hops dripping with resin. Bits of sherry and sweet tropical fruits from the booze, which is shockingly tame given the ABV.

Big flavor to this barleywine, as aggressive, leafy bittering hops grab the front of the tongue and slap it with a syrupy pinyness. The hoppy assault doesn't end there; it merely becomes reinforced by a tangy booze presence mid-palate, as both hops and alcohol battle it out through the finish. Underneath it all, but wholly overshadowed by the pine-booze combo, are subtle, tasty notes of English toffee and caramel malts. Tropical fruit, pine sap, and cough medicine linger into the finish. The mouthfeel is sticky, thick, and on the high end of the carbonation spectrum for the style. All in all, though, this is a great version of an American Barleywine...reminds me a lot of Bigfoot, but with slightly more complexity. Not quite sure where all the "cellar-aged smoothness" described on the label is hiding, but I'll forgive Central Waters (this time). Grab a Y2K when you can and give it a try. Highly recommended.

wagenvolks, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of Parrotbeak
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Perfect amber with some frozen, cascaded sediment. Thin white head that quickly recedes, leaving some patches and a ring around the perimeter.
Smell is sweet, heavy, biscuity malts up front. Sugar and molasses follow. Perhaps some dark fruits. Faint alcohol presence.
Taste is sweet maltiness on the forefront. Sugary, dark fruit accompanied by some moderate bitterness follows, ending with some more, sweet malts. Alcohol is slightly assertive on the finish.
Mouthfeel is fairly flat and slightly sticky. Low level of carbonation and medium body. Some warmth from the alcohol at the back end.
Fairly drinkable. Alcohol definitely makes its presence known.
Good, but some age will make this one much better.

Parrotbeak, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of ibbjamin
2.3/5  rDev -44%
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.

ibbjamin, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of beertooth
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I pulled this 12oz bottle out of the cellar tonight. I'm not sure when it was brewed, but I picked it up about a year ago. I poured it into a Bell's tulip and enjoyed it while watching the movie "Control".

The beer pours a dark ruby red. There's a finger of creamy light mocha head that fades to a thick collar while leaving some webby lacing.

The nose is decadent and lush. Tons of caramel, hop spice, perfect level of oxidization, dates, figs, vanilla, brown sugar.

The taste follows the nose. More brown sugar, maple, dates, figs, spicy hops, oxidized malts. It's dangerously balanced and absolutely delicious.

The mouthfeel is full and creamy with a perfect level of carbonation.

The best straight American barleywine I've ever had. I really wish this wasn't my last bottle. It's held up so well and it's going down way too fast.

beertooth, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of prototypic
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to PaleAl for the bottle.

Kozmyk Charlie's pours a nice brown color with a distinct copper tint. It's hazy, but backlighting gives it really nice red highlights. A light tan head caps it off. It stands about a finger tall and recedes to a surface covering quickly. Not too surprising given the abv. Lacing was sticky and moderate.

The nose is good. It's very fruity throughout. Dark fruit scents of raisin and plum are most notable, but there are some light citrus grapefruit and orange notes. It smells sweet and sugary. I'm not getting a great deal in terms of hops. I don't know how old this bottle is, but I suspect they've diminished quite a bit. All that's left are some light citrus and earthy notes. Alcohol is a little noticeable, but doesn't smell too strong. It's blended pretty well for a 10% abv beer.

The flavor is damn impressive. I like it a lot. It's more impressive than I expected. It's very malty and sweet. It's loaded with sweet caramel malt flavor. Dark fruit flavors follow, but they aren't as strong as expected. Light raisin and plum complement the sweet, malty flavor nicely. Light citrus orange and grapefruit are noted, but they're subtle flavors. I suspect they're remnants of hops. A secondary earthy flavor resonates throughout. It has a slight bitter bite, but a fresh bottle may have more. I don't know. I have no idea how old this bottle is, but it's going down nicely tonight. Alcohol is noted (as expected), but it isn't overbearing or hot at all. It finishes sweet and fruity with an earthy aftertaste.

Kosmyk Charlie's has a medium body that feels more substantial with warming. It's nice and smooth, but never feels creamy. Needs more body for that. Carbonation is nevertheless light and works well. Drinkability is good. I'm tempted to award the next highest score, but it's just a tad too strong for that. I love the flavor, but am really feeling the 10% abv.

Central Waters continues to impress. I haven't had a bad beer from them yet. Honestly, I've been super-impressed with every one I've tried thus far. Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale is a damn good Barleywine. It's very solid in all respects. I'm curious as to what a fresh bottle tastes like. Perhaps the hops would be a little more prominent. This bottle, with a little time behind it, has come together nicely. I've really enjoyed it. Highly recommended if you have the opportunity. Thanks, Alex.

prototypic, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.35/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of Lothore
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep brown hue with a nice, light brown head that fades fairly quickly.

S- Lots of dark fruits, raisin, fig, brown sugar. Very similar to the BA version.

T- Same raisin, fig and huge brown sugar notes as the nose. Finish is a little hot with some hop bite. Well balanced.

M- Thick with medium carbonation.

D- This is definitely a solid, drinkable barleywine. The BA version takes it to another level but I loved this one as well.

Lothore, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of bonk0076
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy deep brown color with a very thin white head that disappears quickly, leaving no lacing behind. Aroma is filled with molasses and brown sugar with citrus notes underneath it. Taste is of toffee, molasses, brown sugar, with slight hop bitterness. Medium bodied with a thick texture and a lingering aftertaste.

bonk0076, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of KeefD
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Solid brown with no head and no lacing. Pretty standard for a barleywine. Aroma is super hoppy, a touch of caramel and chocolate, booze, and light oxidation.Taste is loaded weith bitter citric and piney hops, balanced by a huge caramel and toffee sweetness. Maple and brown sugar comes out as it warms. Sticky, viscous and sweet, but there's a light chalkiness on the finish that turns it slightly dry. This is very similar to fresh Bigfoot. Extremely warming on the way down. Wow, I'm really glad I have one more bottle of this to see how it ages. I would love to do a side by side with the NG Iced Barleywine a year or two from now for a good ol' Wisconsin taste-off!

KeefD, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of MPLS
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another beer from a Wisconsin beer haul...

A: Dark brown/amber. Beautiful 2cm Satan-like saliva head that sticks like honey.

S: sweet burnt sugary alcohol, dates (was just eating some earlier in the evening), caramel, hops.

T: Caramel/date and malt goodness up front and some alcohol to boot. A very warming beer, but I'd prefer a little more hops to give it more of a bite at the end.

M: Medium, less than what I expected from how awesome it looked when I poured it.

D: A awfully malty and sweet date like brew that I would imagine would mellow with age.

MPLS, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of pwoods
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter. Notes.

A: ruby garnet hue, opaque. Maybe a finger of almond head, decent retention and some lacing.

S: Nutty, bready, loads of rich alcohol laced toffee. rummy fruits, cherries, raisins, burnt sugars.

T/M: Alcohol soaked fruits are more dominant but there's still plenty of nutty and toffee flavors. depth from the burnt caramel. Some hops and bitterness but nicely balanced. body is medium full and not heavy or syrupy.

D: A nice, inviting, warming sipper.

pwoods, Nov 04, 2009
Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 504 ratings.