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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.

482 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 482
Reviews: 206
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.46%
Wants: 98
Gots: 131 | 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: 482 | Reviews: 206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KeefD


4.13/5  rDev +0.5%

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!

11-21-2009 23:36:06 | More by KeefD
Photo of MPLS


4.08/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

11-12-2009 09:03:18 | More by MPLS
Photo of pwoods


4.43/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

11-04-2009 02:58:43 | More by pwoods
Photo of brewmudgeon


4.38/5  rDev +6.6%

kosmyk charlie's y2k catastrophe ale. the best beer i've had from central waters. been saving one for a while in the fridge after enjoying my first a little closer to its place of birth.

4 deep brownish amber. short head fades to a partial cap and a ring. the beer moves around the glass like used motor oil.

4.5 figs, dates, leather, sweet tobacco, raisins ... an enchanting blend of all things dark and sweet. hops (including chinook?) sing a backup chorus.

5 reread smell description, but add a beautiful effort at bitterness from the hops that do what they can to let you know they'd be a force to ponder--if they weren't being sung to sleep by the siren songs of a malted orchestra. and the alcohol adds its touch of levity and spice, and warmth, lots of it.

4.5 viscous and oily, modest but adequate carbonation, the body complements the beer well.

4-4.5 this is exactly the kind of brew that makes me feel impatient about finally moving into a house with a cellar.

tres anos, 2008 as of 12/2011: lots of ruby around the sides of the deeply brown liquid; deep dark dates in the nose, syrupy and mollasseslike (flavorwise) in the mouth with lots of smashed scorched raisins. herbal/grassy/metallic bitterness underneath. some tannic (?) astringency in the finish. assuming the 08 and 11 are similar fresh, i might actually prefer this fresh over 3 yrs aged. but it has not been ruined by the years and so apparently stores well, at least.

10-23-2009 00:47:57 | More by brewmudgeon
Photo of portia99


4.03/5  rDev -1.9%

12oz bottle courtesy of nonstick. As always, thanks for the chance to try this one. Poured into a Portsmouth goblet. No noticeable date on the label or bottle.

A - Pours a dark, opaque, yeasty looking brown with amber highlights when held to a light. One finger of creamy tan head rises, and lingers a minute or two, slowly fading away to a creamy layer on the surface. Surprisingly good head retention for a 10% beer. Mild lacing down the sides of the glass.

S - Smell is syrupy and full of molasses, dark and burnt caramel, dark fruits, figs and prunes. Overall a very sweet smelling, malt centric barley wine. No hops detected in the aroma at all.

T - Sweet and fruity tasting. Lots of sweet malt, heavy caramel, brown sugar/molasses notes. Lots of prune character too. Balanced heavily to the malt side. Only a hint of hop bitterness that tries to balance with only partial success.

M - Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. Malty sweetness coats the every square inch of the mouth. Carbonation is on the light side giving just a tingle on the tip of the tongue and disappearing to a nice creaminess.

D - Definitely a sipper of a beer. Strong, malty sweetness and high alcohol keep this from going down too quickly. Excellent for cold winter nights in front of the fire (or snowy October nights, as the case would be today)...good barleywine overall.

10-19-2009 01:10:05 | More by portia99
Photo of KarlHungus


4.45/5  rDev +8.3%

This beer pours a dark mahogany color. The head is an inch in height, and recedes slowly leaving sticky lacing along the side of the glass. The aroma is of burnt caramel, caramel, toffee, and hints of chocolate. Nice complexity. The taste is like the aroma. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of full bodied with moderate carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a really good beer. It is listed here as being an American Barleywine, but I think it drinks much more like an English Barleywine. Either way it drinks great.

10-09-2009 23:21:02 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge


4/5  rDev -2.7%

Yep, that guy Gillard is up to his old tricks by sharing amazing WI brew offerings. Thanks buddy.

Pours deep copper with light tan head. Nice aroma with tasty wood and bourbon notes that don't really over shadow the fruity esters and faint maltiness. The alcohol heat does build up and singe the nose a bit. The taste starts with mildly sweet maltiness and roasty malts that then becomes wood and barrel like flavors before a formidable vanilla flavor takes hold. There's also dark fruity esters of grapes, cherries and prunes before the alcohol hotness builds to a distracting level. It could use more age. Darn tasty now though.

10-07-2009 17:46:48 | More by BigMcLargeHuge
Photo of boomer31


4.13/5  rDev +0.5%

A - Deep ruby red, I mean deep. small head disapting slowly
S - Malt, not much for hops which is a nice change
T - Malty and again little hops. Tastes similar to a vintage Bigfoot (2 years or more) but more malty. Nice alcohol finish but very drinkable
M - Thick malt
D - Did I mention drinkable...mercy I can see myself drinking about 3 of these tonight

Central waters blows this one out of the water. This is amazing second only to their Bourbon barrel barleywine. Nice work

09-24-2009 01:27:48 | More by boomer31
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.18/5  rDev +1.7%

Poured a deep amber color with good carbonation and a tannish head. Nose is lighter with lots of sugar, moalsses and fruits. Taste is very syrupy and malty, chewy which is good, very good. This is a serious bwine indeed. Dried fruits, caramel, molasses, brown sugar. Mouthfeel is thick and coating, warming and hearty with lots of sweetness. Drinkability is good.

09-23-2009 23:28:29 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of natasharai


4.4/5  rDev +7.1%

Appearance: Poured with a nice creamy light tan head that dissipated leaving almost no lacing on my glass. The beer is slightly cloudy with a orangeish brown color.

Smell: Bourbon, oak, a bit of vanilla, nice caramel malt, sweet nutty smell.

Taste: Sweet oaky bourbon flavor, sweet roasted malt, slight vanilla flavor, roasted nuts, nice spice toward the end, small alcohol taste toward the end.

Mouthfeel: Thick body, somewhat syrupy, nice carbonation, sweet and stickey, and leaves mouth with a small alcohol burn.

Overall: Decent drinkability for the ABV and style. Really sweet and has a lot of oaky flavors and smell.

09-21-2009 06:28:06 | More by natasharai
Photo of CrellMoset


4.33/5  rDev +5.4%

12 oz. wax-dipped bottle, '07 vintage, courtesy of czoch75 - many thanks to a great trader. Poured in to a 22 oz. brandy snifter, to give it plenty of room to breathe.

Appearance: Pours a translucent but dark mahogany, perhaps somewhere between burnt and raw umber, capped by a fast-fading bubbly old lace-hued head. I blame the poor retention more on the glass choice than on the beer itself, because there is a substantial volume of dense, rocky dusting, a nice thick foam collar, and plenty of instances of glittery, blob-like lacing that forms in pockets and dollops along the sides of the snifter. Relatively fast and plentiful carbonation occupies the body of this one. A solid if not amazing beginning.

Aroma: Bigfoot-esque, really, though perhaps a little sweeter. Huge, sweet, dark, toasty malts are accompanied by a lot of lighter, sweet fruity esters - pineapple, cherries, pears - and slight spruce. Fairly mild, even with agitation, though pleasant.

Taste: Big, dark, toasty malts are large up front in this one, with huge amounts of dark toffee, sticky caramel, earthy toast, and wholesome bread crusts. They put up more than a fair fight (probably 'cause this is an '07 vintage) against a slew of hop notes, including spicy pine (which melds well with a well-integrated and warming alcohol note), tropical fruit (pineapple, slight kiwi), white grapefruit, lighter citrus, leather, and leafy tobacco. The bitterness - which I interpreted as moderate to high at first - is really not all that bad, providing a nice kick to accompany the mild alcohol burn and the sprucey juniper notes. A few darker fruit notes (raisins, cherries) emerge from the malt morass to blend with the lighter, sweeter fruit notes - quite a fructose menagerie, if you will.

Mouthfeel: The amount of carbonation in this one provides an amazing amount of lift, probably just about what you'd want from a beer this thick from the residual sugars. What might have been a sticky, syrupy, maybe even cloying mess is instead elevated to a fluffy, smooth, creamy masterpiece. Excellent.

Drinkability: I perhaps did the BBW and the Y2K in the wrong order. Or perhaps I should have done them side by side. Or, something. My point is that I would have enjoyed to compare these two beyond a comparison of my reviews. This beer is a solid, drinkable barleywine, with a complex, surprisingly well-balanced flavor profile, reasonably well-hidden alcohol, and a mouthfeel to die for. That one was, well, all that, plus some, I suppose. Both are amazing beers, and I'd be lucky to cellar either for a substantial period of time.

09-15-2009 05:03:20 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of dukedevil0


4.05/5  rDev -1.5%

Picked up a single 12oz bottle of this from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI.

A: Pours a dark brown with slightly reddish tint color. A very small amount, maybe half a centimeter of khaki colored head that laces the glass barely because of the small distance it went down to settle. After settling theres just a rim of bubbles at the edges.

S: Scents of molasses, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla

T: Very similar to the smell - molasses, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, only a slight bite from the malt, and a little bit of alcohol flavor

M: Lower carbonation, but smooth bubbles as it coats the palate on the way down...really good and fitting for the style

D: Not super drinkable due to the bite from the malt and slight alcohol flavor - they can be a little fatiguing over time. However, the flavor is pretty good so that keeps the score higher.

08-25-2009 00:20:17 | More by dukedevil0
Photo of tavernjef


4.85/5  rDev +18%

Deep and dark mostly mahogany with a semi-darker chestnut/cherrywood mask. That's when up to a decent light source, in low light its inky black with a sliver highlight near the bottom of it mask. Firm inch high capping of lightly tanned foam that shifts itself to a moderate skimming and collar after a bit. Lace coats and sticks well with moth holey sheeting.

Aroma is a broadened deep breath of heated dark fruity malt that seeps date, prune, plum, and raisin along with some rummy molasses and dark caramel sweetness surfing about. Liquid tobacco and smokey old world maple syrup sit in there as well. Think Old Ale meets Scotch Ale?

As far as the taste goes, that's exactly what I come to embark; Old ale meets Scotch ale with an impression of a darker English barleywine. Lots of malt caresses the palate with deep and thick, lush and lofty, soft and smooth, supple and dark fruityness with an impeccable profile within its flavor character. Semi earthy and closing in on a burntish effect is date and fig soaked in dark rum with raisin, molasses, maple, and tobacco soaked in port. Emmense but incredibly well-handled warmth takes the back end and wraps it all up with just a hint to orangey tanged hoppy bitterness. Damn nice and comletely perfect with complexity, length, and balance.

Body is tantamount to that of a chewy Doppelbock while sub-casting itself as a warming Old ale of malt laden goodness. The level of smoothness is quite sublime and very supple in its thickness as its bold deepness in flavors coexist decorously along its lengthy path to its warming heart.

This stuff sinks right in and was way more drinkable then imagined as it comsumes your mind quickly with jubilated comfort.
Central Waters has one heck of a keeper of a Barleywine that really seems more like an Ole Ale of the aged J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale kind of thing. Remarkably yummy stuff!

08-19-2009 01:29:14 | More by tavernjef
Photo of alcstradamus


4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights, about a finger of head that recedes but doesn't disappear. Smells is dark fruits, like sticking a plum up your nostril. Floral hops and sweet candy help make for a true sensory experience. The taste almost has a chocolate undertone, although it is really tough to distinguish flavors when you have as many things going on as this one does. Caramel, rock candy, hops, milk chocolate, marshmallows, pure vanilla extract, oak. This is a great beer for sure. Medium to full bodied and extremely smooth and creamy, definitely a sipper but it sure is a delightful one!

07-27-2009 20:58:43 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of FtownThrowDown


4.35/5  rDev +5.8%

Pours dark brown in color with some reddish highlights. Only a ring of froth of foam on the pour.
Smell is aged malts. You can tell that this has some time behind it just by the smell. A minor hint of dark fruit and plenty of toffee.
Taste is more sherry like aged qualities and some more dark fruit. I'm really digging this aged barleywine. Very smooth with light carbonation in the mouthfeel. I'm not a huge barleywine fine, but this is just the way I like them. Very good. I have one more in the cellar, but I don't think this one needs to much more time.

07-26-2009 01:22:15 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of rye726


4.3/5  rDev +4.6%

Pours a rusty cedar with a silky tan head and nice lacing. Nose has floral hops, figs, cherries, caramel, and toffee. Taste has vanilla, dark candy, ripe pitted fruits and rich creamy malt. Full body is well carbonated. An excellent Barleywine from Central Waters.

07-13-2009 07:06:36 | More by rye726
Photo of msubulldog25


4.15/5  rDev +1%

12 oz. bottle, poured to a snifter on a cool, overcast Sunday. Have held this bottle since a trade last winter, though I honestly don't recall who sent it. Thank you, kind BA!

From the label: A barleywine 'originally designed for the Y2K survival kit' and cellar aged for a year prior to bottling.

A: Good looking pour, deep chestnut with a ruby tint. Clear, plenty of rising carbonation. Head is small, a 1/4" of dense tan cream, fading quickly to a clingy ring and a topping swirl. Flecks of lace don't glide gradually back down the glass.

S: Aroma is terrific, rising in waves. Full of sugary pit fruit from a distance: raisins, maraschino cherry, dates. Up close (as in sticking my nose in the glass) it's loads of roasted malt and a strong dose of dry, grassy hops, scent of freshly cut pine. Toffee and mild chocolate cake, tobacco leaves, slightly woody/vanilla sweetness. Pretty interesting depth.

T: Greets me with a fairly sweet malt/grain facade, then evolves into a sharper, spicier mouthful, with ripe fruit, juicy citrus hops, and a grassy/herbal dryness. A little candy-sweet or fruit-syrup overload for brief instances at the start of each sip, but quickly melding to a more balanced zesty flavor in seconds. Woody in the end, even a hint of tartness(?).

M: Velvety smooth, elegant. Fullness in the feel, softness in carbonation, mildly coating, a little 'chewy'. Modest alcohol warmth, but not a burning heat. The type of aftertaste worth savoring.

D: Barleywines come and go with me: sometimes I think they're amazing, other times I find them a chore to finish. This one was a pleasure, with a smoothness/mellowness that I sometimes can't find in the style. Good aroma and flavor, too; I'd have it again and wouldn't mind putting one or two in the cellar either [hint, hint].

07-12-2009 15:50:18 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of ZAP


4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Just a re-review...

Great vanilla, nougat, toffee impressions...this is my kind of BW...hops are minimal but add a little bite on the finish....awesome malt monster type BW in the flavor category...body is ok but if anything could be a little bigger..one of my favorite BW's

9-12-02/rating =4.15

Deep orange in color....white lace rims my glass...great nose....mainly darkfruits and licorice on the aroma....nice tasting Barley Wine..VERY easy drinking...body is really more medium than heavy...hops fit perfectly...not super hopped up, but fit in well...taste features the dark fruits....also some sweeter nutty characteristics (almonds?)..a real nice BW..wouldn't call it an all-time great but on the upper level...this may be one of the most underrated breweries in the country...I can't remember having anything other than good beer from them..

06-11-2009 06:23:04 | More by ZAP
Photo of jwc215


4.05/5  rDev -1.5%

Thanks to Wasatch for this!

Pours orangeish amber with some rose hues and a thin off-white head that becomes wispy. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of toffee, brown sugar, tropical fruits - esp. mango - with pine/resin. There's a touch of bitter cocoa and some plum. Complex and inviting.

The taste is of caramel/toffee with a tropical fruitiness - mango, esp. and pine. There is a rum-like fruity booziness to it. A slight roast and a bitterness give the sweetness balance.

The body is silky, but on the thinner/more carbonated side of the style.

Despite abv, this drinks very well. Nice fruity/slightly piney touch, along with the caramel/toffee, that lingers. A very enjoyable, solidly American, Barleywine.

06-06-2009 23:08:08 | More by jwc215
Photo of aggiearcher13


4.22/5  rDev +2.7%

Poured into a snifter

A: A dark amber, a little hazy. Not much head on this one, just a little ring around the edges after half a minute or so.

S: Carmel, sweet, dark fruits, molasses. Piney, a little bit of a 2x4 sort of scent to it.

T: Caramel, brown sugar, maybe vanilla not really sure. Spicey on the finish.

M: Viscous, low to medium carbonation. It's pretty solid for the style.

D: Well, not too high in general, but for a barley wine it's pretty darn good.

06-05-2009 02:22:44 | More by aggiearcher13
Photo of roadhouse


4.08/5  rDev -0.7%

12 oz. bottle into a snifter

Pours a deep, glowing ruby red color with a one inch cream colored head. It falls to a skim relatively quickly but it revived instantly with a good swirl. Minor lacing left behind.

Aroma is sweet and caramelly, quite fruity with hints of cherry and perhaps raisin. A lot of hoppiness as well, citrus and pine.

Taste is initially sweet with caramel and a bit of a brown sugariness. Fruitiness in the middle, again cherry. Lots of hops come in towards the end, very citrusy with some pine. Quite bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-full in body, very smooth and creamy.

Pretty good version of an American Barleywine, since I usually don't care much for the huge hops in them. This one is a bit more complex though, with lots of deep malt flavors. If it wasn't so bitter it would be even better.

06-04-2009 01:59:22 | More by roadhouse
Photo of br3wmeister


4.13/5  rDev +0.5%

A- Nice fluffy light tan head floats on top of a brownish read bright beer. The head holds for quite some time and leaves a nice lace down the glass.

S- Great big barley nose to this beer. Caramel, roasted nuts, brown sugar and a hint of cinnamon, ginger and vanilla.

T- This is a very sweet beer, lots of caramel, brown sugar and vanilla. Roasted nuts, cinnamon and ginger also make a presence on the palate. Some nice bitter piney hops make a presence int he end but can not hold up against the syrupy sweetness of this beer. This is a great tasting beer, the one thing that holds this beer back is that it is overly sweet.

M- This is a full bodied beer, thick ans syrupy. Your mouth will be coated with syrupy sweetness, a little bit of bite in the end but again it ends with mouth coating oily sweetness.

Overall I would say this is a pretty good barley wine, lots of great flavors and an awesome aroma. Again if it was slightly less sweet I would like it a little better but still a great beer.

05-10-2009 19:54:40 | More by br3wmeister
Photo of Bitterbill


4.33/5  rDev +5.4%

Acquired in a trade with TATTORSO. Thanks Jeff!

This pours a clear reddish brown with about an inch of foam and has some good lacing.

The smell is full of caramel malty goodness along with heaping helpings of maple syrup, vanilla, and dark fruit. Very nice.

The taste follows the nose to a T so insert here: everything I said about the smell. It's quite sweet overall but there's a bit of bitterness here and that brings a nice balance to this BWSA. Yum. What a great choice for a beer on a very Wintery Spring day here in Casper! I have to say, the abv gives me some nice warming but it doesn't show itself in the taste at all.

The mouthfeel is medium, close to being full, the carbonation is light, and it finishes slightly sweet, slightly bitter.

Drinkability? For a 10% abv beer, it's pretty darned good. Must be because it is so damn tasty, eh? Well done, Central Waters!

04-04-2009 16:51:46 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of robbyc1


4.63/5  rDev +12.7%

Pour looks like a root beer, deep amber color, clear with a tight white head.

Nose has some barrel (bourbon?) smell, with toffee and malt, very nice.

Wow, flavors from the nose come through, very deep tasting and complex, loving it, wishing already that I had more than one bottle. The finish is satisfying and dry at the end. Lingers, a great one for this style. The alcohol warms you.

The mouthfeel is silky, smooth, and not very carbonated, but just right for the style. A sipper for sure, but not over the top overpowering, just right.

Considering the weight this is very drinkable, could have another if available. I will be seeking this out again in WI, hope more is out there.

03-24-2009 00:20:06 | More by robbyc1
Photo of DIM


4.38/5  rDev +6.6%

Thanks to abents for this suprise brew. He said this was a little over a year old.

a: This was a hazy coppery color with mahigany highlights. It poured with a thin tan head that quickly faded to a ring around the glass.

s: I got candied dark fruits, brown sugar, and caramel. Sweet, but not obnoxiously so. Even with over a year on it this still has a fairly strong pine aroma, as well as a little heat.

t: Brown sugar and candy like cherries are the first thing that come to mind, along with some mellow, piny hops. I never tried this fresh, but I can't imagine it's any better than this.

m: Gentle carbonation and a long, sweet pine resin finish.

d: One of the best b-wines I've tried in a while, stellar stuff. My first from Central Waters.

03-10-2009 20:01:24 | More by DIM
Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 482 ratings.