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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

562 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 562
Reviews: 219
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 136
Gots: 138 | FT: 17
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: dirtylou on 03-22-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 562 | Reviews: 219 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sendsilk
1.5/5  rDev -60.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Very excited to try this beer! I love. Stouts and love cherries. Upon opening this beer, the excitement comes to a screeching halt! This beer smells horrible, something is terribly wrong here. It smells very much like nail polish remover. I opened this at a tasting with 4 other friends and we concluded that the taste was almost as bad as the smell. Between the 5 of us we poured out over half of the bottle even after going back and giving it a 2nd and 3rd chance as it warmed to room temperature. I'm hoping this was just an infected bottle, nevertheless I won't be seeking this beer out again.

Photo of AleWatcher
1.53/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

So I'll preface this review by saying:
I gave Satin Solstice a B rating... And while I haven't reviewed Bourbon Barrel Stout, I would have given it a far lower grade than B. The Brewhouse Coffee Stout didn't impress me either. Needless to say, the CW stouts I've had just haven't done it for me... I'm going into this one with low expectations.

Served in a Founders snifter.

Dark brown with rusty red hues in the legs and on the edges. Small soda-like-in-color head fizzes away pretty quickly and leaves no lacing. The head becomes a collar of loose lazy bubbles.
The nose has some sweet malts and black cherries. Some booze, but where's the bourbon character? The flavor has a decent amount chocolate malt that compliments the black cherry notes well enough-- too bad neither of those notes are enough on their own (or in conjunction) to save this beer for me. Some charred oak comes through, but still no bourbon. No vanilla either. The beer has a slick oily feel with a bit too much carbonation. It is thin and watery.

This was a $6 single from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee... Wow is that $6 I wish I could have back.

As this warms, to nearly room temp, I finally get the bourbon notes I was searching for... For some reason I keep depleting that scene from Empire;
Han- You said you wanted to be around when I made a mistake, well this might be it sweetheart!"
Leia- I take it back!

The bourbon is cheap and boozy... It doesn't add to flavor any aspect tgat improves it... To the contrary, it makes the finish unpleasant. It tastes like a chocolate covered cherry cordial-- you know, the ones with cheap bourbon liquor inside.

Overall-- I'll just flat out say it: my step-dad used to drink "diet cherry chocolate soda" from a brand I can't remember. That shit was terrible. This isn't much better, in terms of feel or taste-- but at least the soda didn't hit with an unstoppable boozy note. Way too fizzy.
I'd hope aging this helps to tone down the booze, but I doubt it would help.

Photo of krl2112
1.75/5  rDev -54.1%

Photo of hopsbreath
1.9/5  rDev -50.1%
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 cope0021
1.9/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Minimal legs - medium carbonation. Light red tint to beer.

Mix of bourbon and cherry aroma. No noticeable body

Strong bourbon taste with some tart cherry notes. Bourbon is a little overpowering. A little too tart for me.

Thin. A little too much carbonation on the tongue.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.23/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. Generously shared by the late chswimmer (RIP, Ted).

A: Pours a clear, mahogany body with short-lived head. No lace, no collar.

S: Very tart cherries, bordering on lactic. It's roasty and chocolatey; not a particularly great combination unless the chocolate is very rich and fudge-like (think Cherry Chocolate Rain), and this beer doesn't work well with it. Bourbon is mild at best; it's very subtly integrated.

T: Sweet, tart, and lightly sour cherries make the first impression. Their skins produce a small tannic effect that pairs nicely with the chocolate. Some metallicity. Not awful, but nothing that blows me away.

M: Slightly thin feel. Carbonation is low. Sticky cherry presence.

D: Pretty disappointing. Between two people we weren't interested in finishing it, and threw out over half the bottle.

Photo of Erdinger2003
2.38/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a beautiful head that leaves nothing but a huge lacing behind that sticks oh so well. The head is tan and the color is dark black motor oil, hell yeah! The smell is a big hit of vanilla with a cherry flavor acompanied by what seems to be bourbon (I haven't had a lot, but it smells like good hard liquor). The taste was light and the harsh liquor flavors along with a kick of cherries wasn't a pleasant experience the first try. It's better the second try, the tart cherries leaves you weak (when mixed with roasted grains) while the strong bourbon hits the back of your throat leaving you nausious. The mouthfeel was ok, very dry and not so smooth. Overall I don't think I would have another one of these, something must be wrong.

Photo of kevanb
2.38/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Local Option stemmed glass. 2012 vintage, reviewed live.

The beer pours a cola brown color, close to black, but still definitely brown, especially when held to the light. Lots of tiny bubbles race around the glass, a thin fizzy caramel head makes a brief appearance, but recedes quickly. There is no lacing to speak of, poor head retention, and just looking at the glass, I can tell there is going to be a lot of carbonation. My first real thought was that I had just opened a can of cola. The aroma is relatively off putting, tart artificial cherry aromas, almost like a maraschino cherry, unfortunate as the bottle claims to use real cherries in the barrel. Some chocolate comes out, richness from the barrel, lacking in oak, char, roast and really anything complex or interesting, overly sweet and artificial. The flavors are poor to say the best, strong, almost overbearing artificial cherry, tootsie-roll like chocolate sweetness, again, more sugary than anything. Some bourbon does come through with some caramel, but again, it plays up the sweetness. There is no real complexity, lacking barrel character, however, the alcohol, despite the overwhelming sweetness of the beer, never really makes an appearance, for which I am grateful. The body is way too carbonated for a beer this sweet and rich, really adds no redeeming qualities to the beer. However, it does coat the mouth well, and adds a nice subtle warming as it goes down.

Verdict: This beer is a mess, artificial sweetness, overly carbonated, zero interesting barrel characteristics, really just a total fail. I had high hopes for this after sampling Peruvian Morning and a few other barrel treated beers, but this one is definitely one to avoid.

Photo of metalgdog
2.5/5  rDev -34.4%

Photo of bmony26
2.5/5  rDev -34.4%

Photo of kscaldef
2.5/5  rDev -34.4%

Photo of draheim
2.58/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle (2011; bottled December 2010) poured into a snifter. Dark brown/mahogany with a reddish tint. Plenty of light gets through around the edges. Minimal head diminishes quickly. Looks like a Cherry Coke.

Aroma is faint cherry syrup and a little oak as it warms.

Taste is a bit medicinal with a slightly sour, almost vinegary quality. Cherry is at the forefront, but this is a pretty thin stout. I think I'd like this better if the cherry played more of a supporting role rather than lead. I continue to find myself wincing with every sip, which is never a good sign.

The ABV is the only thing indicating that this is an imperial stout. Where's the deep, dark roasty malt? Where's the richness? If I didn't know any better I would have thought this was a cherry brown ale. Disappointing.

Photo of craytonic
2.63/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours pitch black. No head. Fizzy like a cola for a minute or two.

Smell: Roasted malts, some chocolate, maybe a little cherry? No bourbon.

Taste: The cherry is so subtle... I didn't notice it. Same goes for the bourbon barrel aging.

Mouthfeel: Something weird about the carbonation.

Drinkability: Interesting to try once, but will not return. Usually I can pick up on bourbon and cherry very easily, but not in this beer. It tasted a little off, maybe my bottle went bad.

Photo of zeledonia
2.73/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2012 vintage. Tasted 5 December 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours nearly black, but comes through medium brown with a bit of red at the edges. Half-finger of medium-light tan head, disappears quickly, leaving a ring and almost no lacing.

Smell is smooth bourbon, backed by cherry sweetness. It's a delicate, soft-edged bourbon, without any sharpness. The cherry is faint, maybe 25%, but presents more as it warms up.

Taste is unbalanced and two-toned - a rough bourbon-cherry blend, followed by a lull, then an unpleasant bitter punch. The first wave is decent, but it's short-lived, and the second wave brings removes all of that. It's like all the badness, the harshness, and the ugly bitterness all got rolled into that one part of the taste. There's more of it than I'd want in the entire beer, and concentrated as it is, it's pretty unpleasant.

Mouthfeel is fine. Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation. No issues (and considering the way-too-light body of many CW stouts, that's good). Lasting.

I've generally been disappointed with Central Waters stouts. This one doesn't have the same problem (thinness), but the flavor is problematic. Not terrible, but not what I'd call good, and not something I'll plan on buying again.

Photo of rudzud
2.73/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received as an extra in a trade, poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep brown nearly black with a nice one finger mocha head that fades to leave a dense creamy blanket with some light side lacing. Nice for the ABV.

S - Hrm, fair chocolate notes with a very very light earthy bourbon. The cherry thats there smells almost fake.

T - Another hrm. The bourbon is there subtly along with the slight toasted coconut that can sometime come with barrel aging a stout. Chocolate isnt bad but this fake cherry cough syrup taste is really killing this for me. Just tastes very artificial.

M - Mouthfeel is nice for a stout of this ABV once you get past that sticky cough syrup cherry.

O - Overall yah, the cherry kills this for me big time. This is a huge let down but I kind of knew it realistically going in that the cherry would ruin this beer.

Photo of SpdKilz
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%

Photo of BradleyR
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%

Photo of OUJayhawk1799
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%

Photo of Knapp85
2.89/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured out as a cola like black color with a tan head that has no retention or lacing was basically nowhere. The smell of beer is a bit medicinal, cherry and some additional sweetness. The taste of the beer isn't really the greatest, artificial cherry flavors some vanilla and roasted malts. Just didn't really feel the flavors I was hoping for. The mouthfeel is soda-like, light bodied with a sharp carbonation. Overall I had much higher hopes for this beer. Wasn't impressed.

Photo of ChadQuest
2.9/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Man this is one unique beer, and i was about to score it around a D+, but it is unique and still somehow interesting enough that i'll give it an average.

Honestly i was expecting a very faint cherry presence like most stouts have when it comes to added items since the malts cover alot up well, but man this thing packs a punch with dark and sour/tart cherries! It's like tart cherries covered in dark chocolate as the malts are about the only thing else that can be noticed in such an up front beer.

Interesting, and i may not mind having another bottle someday, just to explore it more, but its not thing i would buy alot of.

Chad

Photo of 3146Tony
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of Flabbyjandro
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of Brown120
3/5  rDev -21.3%

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 562 ratings.