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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.

491 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 491
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: 491 | Reviews: 206 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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
Photo of brewmudgeon
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%

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.

brewmudgeon, Oct 23, 2009
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.

portia99, Oct 19, 2009
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.

KarlHungus, Oct 09, 2009
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.

BigMcLargeHuge, Oct 07, 2009
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

boomer31, Sep 24, 2009
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.

barleywinefiend, Sep 23, 2009
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.

natasharai, Sep 21, 2009
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.

CrellMoset, Sep 15, 2009
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.

dukedevil0, Aug 25, 2009
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!

tavernjef, Aug 19, 2009
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!

alcstradamus, Jul 27, 2009
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.

FtownThrowDown, Jul 26, 2009
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.

rye726, Jul 13, 2009
Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 491 ratings.