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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry StoutBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

651 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 651
Reviews: 242
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 139
Gots: 184 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dirtylou on 03-22-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 651 | Reviews: 242
Reviews by guityler83:
Photo of guityler83
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Moderately aggressive pour produced a modest head just under a finger tall that quickly fell. The foam was a khaki color with mixed bubbles. Very little lacing when swirled, but alcohol legs are noticeable. Pitch black in color

S: mild aroma impression of dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and an underlying cherry note. The woody oak character melds it all together. A little bit of roast, no hop aroma and no ethenol detected. Some middle malts peak through as it warms up with a caramel and toffee impression

T: Tart cherries are very pronounced. The oakey, vanilla character from the barrel is the next flavor coming through that blends into a dark chocolate and toasty malt flavor. Some caramel and toffee notes in the background. Bitterness is low and the balance is on the sweeter malt and cherry side.

M: The carbonation comes off moderate but the tartness of the cherries gives and interesting sharpness. Moderate body and there is some astringancy from the tannins in the wood. Alcohol warming is moderate.

O: Very cherry forward beer that covers up a lot of the chocolate and roasty flavors you expect from a stout. The oak and bourbon come through slightly, but are but a side note to the cherries. I think the normal CW BS is a great beer and even rivals BCBS if you consider its availability in the state, but the cherries in this version is too intense for my pallet.

More User Reviews:
Photo of WiscoTerr
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Released and picked up today, been wanting to try this for a long time. Poured into a tulip.
Look-Murky brown/reddish tint to this beer. With 75 lbs of cherries per barrel, no doubt that's the color. Not the best looking, but no matter.
Smell-Slightly tart and bourbon. Not a huge nose on this beer, pretty subtle.
Taste-Was not expecting this. For the longest time in my head I was thinking this would be a sweeter stout, but leans very much to the tart side. Bourbon up front, and as the beer warms a cherry flavor mid-palate. Beer finishes with a tart and even sour cherry flavor.
Feel-Not an overly heavy beer like some other big stouts like this. A bit more carbonation which lends well to the overall flavor. Beer doesn't sit on the tongue to long, which is nice in a beer like this. Makes it an easy drinker.
Overall-I really like this. Better as it warms, and was on the fence at first. When I got over the fact that it was sour instead of sweet, I kept wanting more. Will be trying to track down another 4-pack today.

Photo of don1481
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into pint glass. I swear, if this gets infected like the Peruvian Morning, I'm so unbelievably done with CW. Aw, who am I kidding? I'LL NEVER QUIT YOU, CENTRAL WATERS!

2014 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark ruby with a small reddish tan head that rapidly dissipates with zero lacing.

Smell: Bourbon. And cherries. And oh so inviting!

Taste: This is.... different. It's definitely got the bourbon kick to it, but that's quite a bit of cherry goodness there as well. You'd think that one would overpower the other, but if anything, the bourbon's a little stronger than the cherry here. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: I was frankly expecting sticky, but this is surprisingly clean and pretty crisp for a stout. Impressive.

Overall: I'm gonna age the remaining three bottles a few more months and then have another. And hopefully another. And hopefully... I can keep this around a bit longer...

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out of the 12oz bottle a dark brown with ruby red highlights and a nice light tan head on top. Aromas of tart cherries right off the bat mixed with nicely roasted malts and a woody bourbon aroma as well. Some caramel and maybe even a touch of coffee. I really enjoy the tart cherry integration.

First sip brings a light roasted malt profile upfront. Tart cherry flavors follow with woody bourbon accents. There's a nice mix of caramel and chocolate flavors hiding in there as well as a touch of coffee. The brew finishes with a lingering cherry flavor and a touch of bitterness. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth. Good carbonation throughout, this flows across the palate nicely without becoming too heavy. A tasty brew that I'm glad to have had the opportunity to sample. Cheers to Cental Waters for another tasty bourbon brew.

Photo of badbeer
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out black-ish, but more of a dark brown with some red when held to light. Head was a very light tan color and retained pretty well, leaving some lacing. Soft smell of cherries, roasty, some oak, a hint of vanilla. Nice smell, but not very strong. Taste starts out with some slightly tart cherries paired with some oakiness. It becomes slightly sour before bringing on more oak, and eventually some vanilla and bourbon with some roastiness in the finish. About medium carbonation with medium body, slightly dry in the finish. A good beer, no doubt, and a very well made version of a cherry stout, but I have to say I enjoy the masterpiece that is their Bourbon Barrel Stout, sans cherry, a whole lot more.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

2010 vintage. The beer pours a dark brownish-red with a cream-colored head. The aroma is cherries and oak with some bourbon. The flavor is heavy on the cherries and chocolate malt. There are some light bourbon, oak and vanilla notes, but not near as much as in some of the other Central Waters bourbon-aged beers I have tried. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of pat61
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From taste notes. Appearance: dense cherry tinted brown under a thin film of of-white foam. It does produce some lace and has good legs. Smell: Definite cherry aromas coupled with dark malt with bourbon in the background. Not a lot of hop or roast in the aroma. Taste: Has a very creamy palate featuring a dance of sweet and sour with cherry interacting with chocolate, caramel, vanilla and bourbon. A pinch of hops for a balancing accent. Mouthfeel: Has a satiating, full body with medium to medium low carbonation. Overall: the cherry, bourbon and dark malts play very well together to produce a good after dinner or dessert beer. Goes well with chocolate or runny cheese.

Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice. 2014 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a dark blackish brown with a moderate amount of bubbles. Slight layer of tan head that quickly fades away.

Smell: A sweet, roasty, and fruity dark malt driven aroma with big hints of cherries, dark chocolate, and bourbon. Dark roasted barley malt with hints of dark chocolate, coffee, toast, biscuit, toffee, caramel, smoke, and yeast. Big scent of sweet and tart smelling cherries. Solid barrel presence with hints of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Also some hints of molasses, tobacco, and leather. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like the nose hints at, a nicely sweet, roasty, and fruity dark malt forward taste with lots of cherries, chocolate, and barrel notes. Dark roasted barley malt with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, biscuit, burnt toast, caramel, toffee, smoke, and yeast. Big juicy taste of tart and sweet cherries throughout. Barrel notes of bourbon whiskey, oak, vanilla, and wood. Sweet notes of burnt molasses. Also picking up some leather and tobacco like notes. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich, creamy, juicy, and somewhat syrupy. Alcohol heat is hidden pretty well.

Overall: A very good twist on a barrel aged stout. Good combination of dark malt, cherry, and bourbon notes. On the sweeter side but not sickly sweet.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown and black appearance, less in the way of head than the regular bourbon barrel stout had, so less lace, retention as well. Aroma, nice bitter cherries, its in there, milder bourbon aromas in the regular bourbon version are, well, even more mild here now that it is competing with the ample amount of cherries. Chocolate, wood round out the aroma department, vanilla, conspicuously missing, but thankfully comes back around in the mouthfeel.

Taste, wow, the bitter cherry really stands at the forefront here. The stout component is actually still pretty smooth, not a big bitterness from heavy roasting or whatnot, it seems solely derived from the cherry aspect. Some sweetness, not diabetic coma inducing by any means. The mouthfeel is a little thinner than what the imperial stout fanboys tend to prefer, and also probably contributes to the metallic bitter aspect that one can get from the beer.

You can't beat the price on such a barrel aged beer though. That counts.

Photo of jeonseh
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle shared by nasty31 in a snifter

A - Dark chocolate brown with no head. There is a slight red tint to it from the cherries

S - Cherry nose with light chocolate and bourbon to it; It is slightly medicinal as it sometimes can have a slight cough syrup presence

T - Cherry tartness is upfront before there is light bourbon, chocolate and vanilla that comes through. The finish is slight roasted malt and bitterness that lingers on

M - Medium body with slight syrupiness to it; lightly astringent in the finish

O - The cherry adds a tartness to the base stout. However, the problem is that the cherry doesn't blend well with the other flavors in the stout. It sort of tries to stand out too much and ends up throwing this off a bit. Additionally, there is a good amount of bitterness in this one that seems out of place overall.

Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - jet black with a thin brown lacing. Wish it has a little more head retention.

Smell - Get some strong oaky smells with some slight fruity smells that linger

Taste - Nice strong malty and oaky flavor for sure. I didn't get as much cherry as I would have expected.

Mouthfeel - wish this one was a little richer

Overall - fun beer and I am glad I got to try it. Will admit the infected Peruvian Morning might have dropped this a few points

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a jet black body with a faint brown glow at the base and a thin creamy tan film on top. The head fades to a ring but sticks to the glass with each sip. This beer is a bit too dense to see any carbonation.

S- The smell of earthy cherries and wet wood gives way to a sour almost funky yeast note. There is a hint of black malt that comes through only when the beer is pretty warm.

T- This beer has a tart cherry note that taste like real fruit followed by a roasted black malt note. There is a sweet smokey note in the finish that leads to a nice smooth roasted finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with no real alcohol heat and no real astringency from the roasted notes.

D- It has some nice nuances but not a lot of depth to the flavor. Nice flavors and a good beer overall.

Photo of weonfire
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Black, no head, no lacing, thin?

S - Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, toffee and just a hint of cherry

T - initially: tart cherry, bourbon, chocolate. finish: vanilla, tart (5/10) cherry that lingers

M - one of the thinner stouts i've tasted, low body

O - Really like the tart cherry. Bourbon, chocolate and vanilla mix well. Nose is moderate. do wish the tartness came out more. But the real downfall is the thin body. Stouts must be thick and creamy and this rather low.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours beautifullly black with a very nice half finger of tan colored bubbles that seems to last and last, leaving a nice lacing in it's wake as you drink.

Aromas are surprisingly devoid of cherries....lots of oak, boubon, and some dark sweet fruits.

Taste is where the sour cherries come in....oak barrels, bourbon notes, sour black cherries, finishing to a nice tartness.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy.

Aftertaste is oak and sour cherries.

Good stuff.

Photo of joeseppy
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

At first it pours a bitch black with a foamy head that dissipates soon clinging to the edge. Then as I see sit up against my brown leather chair, the snifter turns to a dark brown with ruby hues, pretty cool. 2013

My first impression of the smell is of chocolate covered cherries in nougat. As I relax collecting it all in, I'm getting sweet malt, oak and ever so bourbon now...wait...red cherry tartness.

Picking up on bourbon right away in welcoming fashion. The tartness (sour if you will, maybe) follows behind. Sweet malt not very strong lends marginally with the tart.

Relatively a thin stout, but I can appreciate this. Moderate carbonation with a brightness to it. The tongue almost feels numb from the tartness. Easy to drink and pleasant.

A lingering flavor of red cherry that brings me back to my youth when I used to sneak into my neighbors yard to climb their cherry tree and indulge. Well, nothing artificial for me here. I'm a bit surprised at marginal reviews for this but I love it and look forward to letting a few sit and see how they evolve. I'm trying this based on the recent BBBW and Peruvian from Central Waters. Man, everything has been solid. I say great job and glad you guys distribute here. Nice to have you as a neighbor.

Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More or less black with some russet coloring around the edges. The head is meager and beige and endure only as a ring around the outmost edges of the goblet, with a couple surface swirls.
The cherries are foremost in the nose. Sweet, tart, and loud. Bourbon is dialed back a bit, at least comparatively to most barreled-aged beer, but spicy oak, vanilla and hazelnut do present themselves. The stout is the least of them all, with small scents of roast and fudge.
Its progression through the mouth mirrors its aromas. Load of cherries, lending sweet and tart characteristics. The tartness tends to linger more. Bourbon barrels adds the requisite toasted oak and hazelnut and vanilla and burnt butter. The stout finally asserts itself late, bringing roast, mild coffee, and chocolate, and there are the things that linger into the finish, with a small amount of residual cherry sourness.
If I had my way, the ratios of flavors would have been different, but this works too.
Flatish in feel, but without a overly huge body.
It's not something I'd go for all the time, but when the mood for a Flanders Red Ale, a stout, and some traces of Bourbon all hit at the same time. Here it is.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The cherry added to Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout adds an added dimension to it, but it's not a make or break alteration. All of the original bourbon character remains, especially in the nose, and the vanilla woodiness is the same. However, that interplay between the cherry and the vanilla can be nice (it occassionally rings of coconut); and to a certain extent, the slight tart-sweetness of the cherry helps to cut through the implied sweetness of the bourbon. It's a little more "flowing" and drinkable. I liked it then, and I like it now. But I do have to give them credit for pushing the envelope a bit! It's a very worthy beer for many occassions: relaxing in front of the fire with a good book, settling down on the back porch on a warm spring night, snuggling with your lover on the beach or boat at sunset, or paired with a juicy steak just off the grill, and so on. Very well done!!! And, dare I say, worth seeking out? I'd better grab some more first ;)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.54/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Blue Point snifter.

A: Vigorous pour yields a slowly upward cascading .5 finger coarse, beise head that dissipates quickly into a patch of bubbles atop a near opaque, black cherry colored brew. Lacing is sparse and spotty with little cling.

S: Super enticing aroma here. Notes of vanilla, wood, bourbon, cream, candied cherries, and chocolate milk. Also some roasted malt and rich cocoa in the background. Sweet and robust.

T: One sip and I can already tell this is a "sour stout". And I don't like sour stouts... until now I guess. Big roasted malt, chocolate and cherry upfront. The fruit simultaneously sweetens and sours just a touch towards the middle. Perfect complement to the upfront bourbon that develops. Chocolate and booze in the back. Finish is sweet but not overly so. Very good balance. Aftertaste is of wood and liquorice.

M: Medium to full bodied, lightly carbonated, oily in the mouth and smooth going down with just a little bit of heat. Just the tiniest bit rough around the edges. Finishes messy with an aftertaste that lingers just a bit.

D: Probably the surprise of the year so far for me. I fell in love with CW Satin Solstice the first time I had it and this just blows that beer away. An awesome, awesome brew, I wish I had easier access to this. Still, well worth the trouble of acquiring!

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, snagged 3 at Riley's on the way home from work

appearance: muddy mahogany body, garnet tinting thoughout...creamy/bubbly dark beige head with decent lacing left along the rim. pretty nice

smell: tart cherry aromas compliment a funky oak presence...bourbon becomes more evident in the aftertaste...vanilla and creamy chocolate collide. Nice

taste: Well, I had super high expectations of this beer based on the name alone. I certainly commend the style and effort but it wasnt exactly what I was thinking. Sour funky oak-black cherry plays a major role in the flavour which works out pretty well...chocolate flavours are very light and the tartness/oak/vanilla dominate throughout

mouthfeel: a little on the light side...I'm calling this a double stout but it doesnt feel too high in the abv side to me...creamy and tart, light roastyness in the followthrough

drinkability: pretty nice

Photo of tempest
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer epitomizes the power and character of bourbon barrels aging. Overall, the beer drinks fairly mellow. It starts with a vanilla, oak, and bourbon flavors. This is followed tart, slight cherry flavor that blends. I'm surprised how smooth this drinks, talk about a great sipper. The aroma is rich with the whiskey and while there's only a hint of cocoa or coffee, but it's still a great beer.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.29/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter. 2011 bottle.

Appearance - Remarkably light body. Like pouring a cola with a flash of a head. Pretty transparent at the edges with no real bubbles save a thin collar.

Smell - Oak, cherries, and some bourbon. If I think about it, I can smell a bit of roasted malt. It's not that the other aromas dominate, because they're not terribly strong, it's more than the stout smells weak. Thankfully the cherries and barrel give it an interesting nose.

Taste - Immediate roast. Some chocolate sweetness and then the cherries hit. They dominate. Woody and a light bourbon. Not a lot of bourbon or barrel character save the oak astringency and some woodiness. The cherry finishes with a tannic bite and a dryness that leaves me wondering where the stout is.

Mouthfeel - Way too light for a stout, especially if it's 10%. Not a ton of booze, but astringent and the cherries give it a slight bite in the end.

Overall - Well it's ok. Not something I'd go after again. Probably wouldn't even buy it off the shelf. I'd drink it at a party, how's that? Unfortunately, if someone had this at a party, there would probably be better beer also.

Photo of mobius387
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage

appearance: dark brown with a small sudsy brown head

aroma: hints of chocolate, bourbon, and cherry, but i cant help but think it smells a bit like socks? maybe im making that up, but either way, very light nose for a BA beer

palate: very light and smooth, nice finish

taste: strong cherries hit the tongue first, but not overly sweet. some mild chocolate/stouty flavors, then at the end you get the bourbon flavors. nice robust flavor profile

overall: a very good beer, but not the best of CW bourbon barrel line. still, definitely worth a pick up. very smooth, pretty tasty, and not the big bodied beer its brothers (BBS and BBBW) are. thanks again CW for another great offering!

Photo of hopsbreath
1.92/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

My main man Zimmerbloke coming through in the clutch again with a local specialty. Thanks a lot Matt! Vintage 2011.

A: Dark purple-brown, a couple fingers of tightly formed espresso head, moderate patchy lacing, looks good. 4/5

S: What the?... Bourbon barrel stout nothing. Blind-folded, I'd be hard pressed to identify this as anything other than a young kriek. Not a typical stout at all. 2/5

T: Bitter, murky, and rancid cherries are on the front of the palate and not at all pleasant. Some sour bourbon assures me that this came from a barrel but its not a good reminder. Classic impy stout tastes don't really come to mind. 2/5

M: Thin, low carbonation, and dry. Not good for what I want from a big stout. 2/5

O: Flat out one of the least enjoyable stouts I've ever had. If I ever felt like a beer deserved the lowest score here, this is the beer for it. I've had Cherry Adam so I know that cherries added to a big boozy beer in a barrel can be a wonderful thing. Made it through two ounces for the review and drain poured the rest. 1/5

Photo of marcobrau
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well, what can you say it's got cherry, it's got bourbon and it's got stout. It's quite a combination and it works alright. Although I think the bourbon barrel beer thing is getting a little overdone, this beer is alright, but then again I'm a fan of Central Waters.

Big cherry, oak and bourbon flavors in the nose. Pours pitch black of course with just enough carbonation to keep a a nice collar of foam going. The cherry bourbon combination is interesting. I think some more tart as opposed to sweet cherry flavor could made it even more interesting. The stout that is the base of the beer seems balanced between the chocolate and roasted coffee flavors. There is a hop bitterness that is perhaps a bit too much and a bit of tannin (maybe from the oak?), but I suspect that would maybe mellow with time. That said, I think this is a beer is a bold creation that could become rather sublime and amazing with some age. It's too bad I only bought one bottle.

Photo of brewbucker
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this cellared for quite some time now. Was purchased at Steve's on Mineral Point Rd. Never wanted to drink it because... well then.. I wouldn't have any more. Pours black with a medium quickly fading head. Aroma is bourbon and I also thought I noticed some brandy notes, Oak, tart, and peat. Flavor is tart boozy fruits and cocoa. Mouthfeel is dryish and a little chalky (which I happen to like).

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 651 ratings.