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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.

244 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 244
Hads: 693
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 8.04%
Wants: 140
Gots: 190 | FT: 26
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 244 | Hads: 693
Photo of Overlord
3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a brownish colored light red. Big thanks to Tpatuto. Small crust of light brown foam.

Strangely pungent smell. Kind of like pulped cherry pits mixed with cherry skins and a bit of ... prunes and plums? Interesting. Almost no stout characteristics to aroma.

Taste has a slightly chocolately malt and cherry backing, along with that weird woodsy pungent cherry pit/tart cherry flavor. Frankly: strange.

Mouthfeel a bit flat and watery. Half a glass was enough. (467 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared by chswimmer. Thanks, Craig.

Dark murky blackish-brown...almost crimson hued. A small leather-colored head forms, never really rising to a decent height. It eventually settles to a thin collar.

Chocolate-caramel candy aroma with a wallop of sweet cherries, a bit of bourbon, some solventy alcohol. Meh.

Tootsie roll and cherry candy flavor is prominent. Some caramel and bourbon, oak tannins. Pretty boozy. Dries up in the mid-palate with a bit of tart cherry and chocolate flavors sticking to the tongue in the finish. This is OK, it's kind of like a mediocre Cherry Adam from the Wood. (597 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
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. (408 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage. Huge thanks to beerwolf77 for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a dark black color. Did not produce any foam except some brown bubbles.

(S)- A warm vanilla & brown sugar aroma. Bits of cherry & cocoa in the background.

(T)- A sweet yet tart cherry flavor with a warm boozy vanilla & brown sugar thing. Some bits of raisin & cocoa in the background.

(M)- A good carbonation level & a great balance. A bit warm & boozy, but the tart fruit & raisin/cocoa helps counteract some of it. Sweet, yet just enough tartness & bitterness to not make it overly so. Let it warm up; it gets better.

(D)- A good beer. Has a fitting name since the bourbon barrel, cherry, and the stout all shine through in some way or another. An enjoyable version of the above elements. This might benefit from aging, but the freshness of it tastes great now. (872 characters)

Photo of hardy008
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a one finger tan head with fair retention. Smells of bourbon, malt, and tart cherries. The flavor also has bourbon, malt, and tart cherries, but also has chocolate and vanilla which I did not pick up in the aroma. I am not sure that the flavors come together as well as I would like them to.

Overly tart, medium bodied, decent carbonation, but this beer seems a little off, even though I somewhat enjoy it. I know, that doesn't make sense, but I think the problem is having tart cherries with the other flavors. It does not seem to work properly. The drinkability is decent. I would be willing to try this again sometime, but it is not a high priority. (669 characters)

Photo of Parrotbeak
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy mahogany, with a thin white head that fades gradually.
Smell is fairly heavy bourbon accompanied by some roasty malts up front, with some chocolate and cherries. Some caramel in there as well. Slight burn in the nose from the alcohol.
Taste is bourbon intertwined with cherries, followed directly by some caramelly malts. Finish is sweet and sugary.
Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, with a touch of carbonation. Medium body.
Decent drinkability. This is the first bourbon barrel aged cherry stout I've had, and I'm still not quite sure how I feel about the blending of the bourbon flavors with the cherry flavors. It was better than I expected, but then again, I wasn't blown away by any means. The alcohol presence was fairly assertive, but definitely not overpowering.
Very interesting beer regardless. (804 characters)

Photo of bound4er
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Very dark brown with some reddish highlights visible along the edges. Nice two finger tan head.

S. Mostly barrel influences - creamy vanilla (like the filling found in Easter eggs), some chocolate and oak. Not much in the way of cherries - I guess a faint note here and there if I really swirl - but the smell is still very inviting.

T. Good but actually a letdown after how nice this beer smelled. It comes across as a dialed-down version of Bourbon Barrel Stout with vanilla, oak and bourbon the main flavors but not much in the way of cherries (the cherry flavor comes through in the alcohol).

M. Creamy and rich with low carbonation for easy drinking.

D. I've reviewed Peruvian Morning, Bourbon Barrel Stout and Bourbon Barrel Barleywine previous to Cherry Stout. I feel this beer is the weakest of the 4. It is well made but just not something I want to go out and buy more of. Overall, CW's barrel aged stout lineup remains second-to-none in my book. (967 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This & the barleywine finally arrived in Hudson, WI this week, more than a full month after it came (& went) in the rest of the state. But hey, it's finally here. This is the one of the four Central Waters BA beers I haven't had to date, so I was jazzed to finally snag a four-pack. And - big hats off to the brewery for actually dropping the price of their big, barrel aged beers in 2010! Thanks!

Split a small 12 oz. bottle with the wife. Pours black. Nose is spare, with a cherry pit or two & a tang of sweetness.

Barrel Aged Cherry Stout doesn't quite live up to its three fantastic brothers. The taste is true to the nose: cherry is holding the gavel, with vanilla coming on afterwards. The addition of sweet on sweet, plus the malt, makes this tilt towards syrup range. Chocolate adds to the mayhem, & the faint roast isn't enough to offset the parade of sweetness. Carbonation is low to the point of non-existent, lending it an authentic big-stout feel. Drinkability is low. This is a big, filling, sweeter-than-Reese-Witherspoon brew. I'm pleased with the six ounces & a whole bottle would be a ninety minute adventure.

Overall a good beer. After setting the bar ridicuslously high with their other bourbon influenced brews, this one doesn't get a ribbon, but I'm not complaining. (1,293 characters)

Photo of veachster
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very deep red almost a dark brown with a tan head that recedes quickly with no retention.

S - A scent of cherry mixed with oak. I picked up a slight alcohol scent as well.

T - Heavy on the bourbon side with a little bit of sweet cherry. You can almost taste the oak. It's very good. Boubon, oak alcoholish aftertaste.

M - It sits as a medium bodied brew. Goes down smooth with an alcohol bite.

D - It's very good and I would love to have another by itself; and I more than likely will, this could be served to family and friends during the holidays. I would not; however, be drinking one after another at a party or other event. Not only would you be trashed, you would probably gain heart burn quickly... unless you are of the bourbon type. (757 characters)

Photo of crossovert
4.34/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage. 12 oz bottle.

Pours a thick, dark black with a quicly receding, tightly-bubbled tan head.

It has a thick cherry scent, with some plastic that occurs with a lot of cherry brews, if they are using Door County cherries I know those are often stored in plastic jugs. Under that is thick bourbon flavors with vanilla and oak. There are some dark chocolatey malts in there too that give a cherry pie scent. The alcohol is mildly present. It smells delicious.

The taste is a good mix of flavors, different from other cherry stouts. It is STRONG though, the boubon flavors and alcohol POP on the palate, I wish it wasn't so limited so I could age a bottle, but next year I will age my bottle just to let is settle down a bit. It is basically a mouthful of tart cherry with some vanilla, bourbon, oak, and a huge dose of brownie. It is sweet and delicious but slightly tart. The bourbon and alcohol come in the end and burn slightly.

The mouthfeel isn't cloying and it has a biting sensation from the alcohol and carbonation. It is surprisingly drinkable though, not not really an easy drinking big beer.

This is another strong barrel aged offering form Central Waters, they have found their niche, lets see how far they take it. (1,239 characters)

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Chimay chalice.

A- Pours a very deep brown with some light peaking in around the edges. As expected with a stout, there is minimal head that gathers around the edge of the glass.

S- A big malty nose up front with just a slight hint of sweet cherry barely in the background. There is the smallest hint of alcohol but nothing else really going on.

T- Again, like the nose, a big malt present up front but this time with more cherry. Almost like a cherry coke. You can detect some of the bourbon but not overwhelming and the oak seems to round it out nicely.

M- Medium bodied with a little more carbonation than per usual for the style. Seems like a reoccurring theme among CW's stouts. A little warmth in the throat from the alcohol that makes this a good sipper.

D- Not too thick and decent flavor but this beer is still a sipper and basically a one and done. The bourbon doesn't really come out which can be considered good but then again the cherry really doesn't either. Overall not a bad offering from CW. (1,042 characters)

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Me sniffer detects a bit of the old Cherry Coke.

Me taste buds detect a beer at war with itself. Tart cherry beats down any semblance of a good bourbon barrel aging. What remains is a sweet cherry stout that fails to deliver on the promise of this being something really nice.

Really happy to have the opportunity to drink this, but not really jazzed about the payoff. (370 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a near black with just a thin layer of head. The smell is a potent blast of bourbon-y goodness on top of a subtle layer of sweet cherries. Roasted malt, oak, vanilla, cherry pie, charred leather, and lots of other complexities. The only thing really negative to say about the aroma is that there is some fusel alcohol.

The flavor is a bit of a step down from the aroma, but it is still OK. Sweet cherries sit on top of a layer of lightly roasted malts, and in the finish there is a bit of resiny hoppiness. Overall this seems to be missing something, and seems even less complex than the regular Bourbon Barrel Stout which doesn't really make any sense.

The body is medium and carbonation levels are relatively high. Drinkability isn't really that good simply because the flavor profile isn't good enough to justify the booziness. Overall this is a solid beer, though very unremarkable. (894 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to beerwolf77 for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some chocolate/toffee, nice little touch of cherries, nice touch of bourbon. The taste is very nice, malty, vanilla sweetness, very nice touch of chocolate/toffee, and some nice tartness from the cherries. Medium body, ABV is hidden very well with this brew. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, highly recommended. (527 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep dark chocolate fudge brown with miniscule highlights of cherry and orange. Despite a spirited pour, only one finger of golden ecru colored foam was generated. The crown looks good and persists reasonably well, but fails to grace the snifter with much lace. That's perfectly understandable given the ABV and the barrel aging.

The nose is a wonderful melange of bourbon, roasted malt and cherries, in order from most prominent to least. Truthfully, the cherries aren't exactly bursting out of the glass. In fact, I might not have been able to identify them without knowing the beer's name.

For the record, Brewers Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout is Brewers Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout plus 80 lbs of tart Door County cherries, the whole aged in bourbon barrels for 6 months. Sounds like a winner. Tastes like a winner too.

For some reason, this offering isn't hitting me quite the same way as the cherry-free stout. It's good, but it isn't 4.5 good. Bourbon, roasted malt and coffee go together swimmingly. Bourbon, roasted malt and cherries... not quite as well. I haven't run across many sour cherry stouts that have been out of this world.

Maybe it's the fact that too much tart tends to clash with sweet and bitter. In any case, the flavor profile includes dark chocolate, caramelized sugar, vanilla and sour cherry. A small splash of coffee and a smidgen of coconut appear with warming. Complexity is obviously not the issue.

This bottle has the new scarlet label, so it isn't that old. Probably less than one year. The mouthfeel has suffered a little, assuming the beer was bigger to begin with. It's no more than light-medium for the style and the bubbles aren't as well-incorporated as they could be.

Central Waters, by adding tart cherries to an excellent beer, turned it into a good beer. On a positive note, this might be the best and most drinkable tart cherry stout that I've ever had. Your mileage, as always, may vary. (1,948 characters)

Photo of darklordlager
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Gouden Carolus glass a solid dark brown, definitely far from see-through. Small head that recedes to nothing within a minute or two.

Smell is of sweet cherries and bourbon. Burnt caramel, and some vanilla is noticeable in there as well, with some alcohol heat noticeable throughout.

Taste-- Big caramel bourbon flavour notes are immediately evident. Seems the cherry has faded a bit since I last had this, yet the bourbon remains potent. Like the smell--burnt caramel, licorice, some vanilla . Lingering caramel tart cherry aftertaste that lingers.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, sliding smoothly over the tongue. However, the body is extremely thin for the style, leaving much to be desired.

Lots of flavour going on here--perhaps a bit too much to have all that often. (794 characters)

Photo of RustyDiamond
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased last Summer in Madison. Cherry coke looking appearance with a fluffy slow rising beige froth. Airy bubbling in the head.

Cherry, vanilla, chocolate aroma

Big cherry on the nose, with the stout just behind. A touch sour from the cherry, and possibly the bourbon barrell. A little tart, which carries through the flavor spectrum. Once the tartness subsides, a subtle oaky stout comes out. (398 characters)

Photo of marcobrau
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (959 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle courtesy of czoch74 - a huge thanks to a great trader. Poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark obsidian, not quite pitch black, with a number of less intense hues are showcased around the peripheries when you hold it up the light. The head leaves a little to be desired - the half-finger of moderately tanned head fizzes and surges and quickly fades down in to a thin collar of delicate, compact lace and an oblong swath of floating lacing.

Aroma: Most decidedly a stout, with plenty of toast, cocoa, dark, roasted, heavily-caramelized sugars, and earth tones. Olfactory earth tones, that is. Both sweet and tart cherries - I'd say about a 1:1 ratio - compliment the base beer nicely, and a fair amount of bourbon spice creeps through about mid-whiff and hangs around 'til the end.

Taste: The most pleasant aspect of this brew is that it actually IS very stout-like. There is a strong, solid stout underneath the embellishments that characterize this beer - heavy toasted malts, dark toffee, faint chocolate, and earthy tones are all highly prevalent. The next most obvious note - perhaps even more obvious than the last - is a moderately tart, juicy cherry note, authentic, reasonably well-integrated, and complimented fairly well by the chocolate overtones attributed to the base beer (who doesn't like chocolate cherries?). The bourbon is an afterthought, nearly - there's a faint spiciness in the very finish of this one, and a fair amount of wooden earthiness that belies this one's barrel origin - but, by and large, this is a cherry stout, and a fairly fine-tasting one at that.

Mouthfeel: A largely "dead" beer - that is, one with minimal carbonation in a relatively thick (but not syrupy or cloying) body - but I think it works well with the flavor profile, which I'd have to classify as tending more towards the "dessert" side of things. Also a plus - hardly any after-feel, so it's a very clean, fresh sipping beer.

Drinkability: A solid and enjoyable brew, reasonably complex, deceptively drinkable (no abv% listed, but I'd estimate it at between 8% and 9%), and an overall good effort from Central Waters. Most things worked fairly well - I'd have liked a little more of this here, and a little less of that there - but on the whole, CW has done a good job with what is in actuality a remarkably difficult combination of flavors and components to pull off expertly (cherries aren't pumpkins, but they're not exactly cocoa nibs either). Recommended, if this is your thing. (2,520 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to Masterski for this great extra.

A dark brown body with reddish hues around the edges. About one and a half fingers of brown head spring up but fade away to a thin ring pretty quickly.

The aroma has all kinds of thing going on, a lot of sweetness especially. Cherry, which is no surprise, bourbon, oak, coffee, chocolate, dark fruits. Very nice smelling beer.

Currants are the first flavor I notice, following that comes a punch of coffee and dark malt. Then the cherry kicks in. To me it tastes like natural black cherries. A quick, muted bite of tartness comes with the cherry flavors also, which I like. The cherry is immediately followed by some barrel characteristics that are there, but not extremely strong. Bourbon and vanilla especially. The finish is somewhat hot and the after taste has lots of coffee. Cherry is the most pronounced flavor here, and overall it is an interesting, rather good stout.

The body is pretty light here, probably a bit too light even.

Fairly drinkable, still a bit hot though. (1,034 characters)

Photo of Casey10
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not sure where the cherries fit in but here is my review after getting this in trade from darklordlarger.

A - Dark, no light whispy head once poured.

S - Chocolate and coffee notes.

T - Smooth sharp chocalate and cofee.

M - Light feel, some lingering cherry chocolate feel.

D- Would not drink this again as there is a lot of choices to go to vs this one. (359 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black licorice with a very cold and callous complexion. The beer is opaque although the little brown crumbs of yeast sediment that were inevitable to introduce can clearly be spotted - there are plenty of them. Its head is surprisingly substantial for a beer of this strength. It is a very tanned khaki tone and frothy, it appears just like the foam of a hot cocoa. Its presence is most complementary.

This is, as the French would say, puissant. The aroma comes at you from all angles; the funky tartness of cherries, the vanilla and charred-wood stain of the oak, the overwhelming impression of alcohol and the satiny chocolate scent of the malts all swarm at your senses and all make an equally strong impact. I'm impressed by the balance struck between all three (four, counting the alcohol) elements.

Central Waters uses eighty pounds of tart cherries in each oak barrel which, I'll trust the math of someone else because mine sucks, works out to over 2lbs per gallon of beer! That's a great deal of cherries and it shows in the taste. Extremely tart, dark, over-ripened cherries are abundant in the flavour. They don't make the beer fruity; rather, they are the crowning taste that fellows dark chocolate and vanilla-y oak.

And, as anyone whose ever had a proper dessert can tell you, fruit tends to pair pretty well with dark chocolate, intricate liqueurs and strong coffee. So if that's your idea of an after-dinner tipple, you'd love this. It drinks like a black forest cake, paired alongside a snifter of brandy and a freshly-pulled shot of espresso. I need cheese or chocolate pronto.

This beer slumbered in the oak for 6 months. As far as complexity goes, this doesn't have all the esters, phenols and volatile, long-chain alcohols that some other beers absorb; that said, it definitely has an added dimension. As far as bourbon is concerned, this isn't overwhelmingly bourbon-y like some others have been (this brewery's regular bourbon-barrel stout for instance). The bourbon character is fitting and proportionate.

BBCS is worthy of your stinkiest cheese or finest chocolate truffle. Between the tart cherry, bittersweet chocolate, fiery bourbon and nuanced oak the brewery found a complimentary cast of flavours whose brass characteristics connected well. Like all these Brewers Reserve releases, I find this a contemplative piece, something ideal for just sipping slowly and reflecting on matters of the mind or the heart. Thanks SkinnyElvis! (2,467 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle received as a very thoughtful extra from akokandy in a recent trade. Thanks, Adam!

Pours a thick deep black with a very thin tan head on top. No lacing whatsoever. Smells of oak, vanilla, big booze, coffee, and gingerbread.

The mouth is a tad thinner than I would like. Flavor is of vanilla, ridiculous amounts of bourbon, smoked wood, and finishes slightly tart and sour. This is not the most drinkable beer out there for sure. I've been sipping this one for over 45 minutes. It's a treat nonetheless. (511 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SeaBass for this one.

A: Pours a nice dark charcoal black hue with a small tan head. No real retention or lace.

S: Tons of bitter dark cherry, fudge, and oaky barrel.

T: Bitter dark cherry, and rich fudge. The barrel comes out in the finish. Fresh oak, vanilla, and a touch of booze.

M: Medium to full in body. Smooth, rich, tasty.

D: Real tasty, One to sit down with and relish. (394 characters)

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Update 06/07/2011: same vintage. This one is certainly aging interestingly. the sour notes are getting much more pronounced. A bit thinner texture, and significantly less lacing. I'd forgotten I had this bottle tucked away... and it seems that if you're liking the bold stout characteristics that the standard CW BB Stout has, it's much better fresh. That being said, the age is certainly bringing forth some interesting sour cherry notes... much more prominent than when it was fresh. I kinda like it.

pours a thick near-black with only hints of cocoa and caramel colors... not even a direct lightbulb can penetrate the darkness. A thick one-finger rich caramel brown head looks beautiful but leaves fairly quickly... only leaves sporadic lacing.

whoah. intensely rich vanilla, cherry, oak and toasted malt. dried sour cherries topped with a chocolate ganache and a hint of bourbon booziness. a hint of sourness lends a unique funkiness that really makes this one interesting.

taste is beautiful. tart cherry up front that almost borders on sour notes, then rich malt powers through with bourbon and sweet maple notes. vanilla, fresh oak, other woody, earthy, nutty notes. incredibly complex, almost overwhelmingly so at times. A cherry/cranberry tartness almost overshadows the roasted bitterness in the finish. Interesting.

Mouthfeel is exceptionally rich, smooth, and creamy without being thick or sticky. Not quite chewy, it's more of a smooth velvety concoction with a healthy dose of fine carbonation that keeps it afloat nicely and helps cut through the bourbony sweet. bitter and tart in the finish, but in a unique cherry sort of way.

This one is obviously not a session brew. That being said, I find the addition of the cherry makes this one more drinkable and enjoyable than the standard bourbon version. A rich complexity is added, as well as a bit of a refreshing tartness that keeps this one from being overwhelmingly bourbony. The oak, vanilla, and bourbon are still there, but in a more orchestrated and supportive role. (2,045 characters)

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 244 ratings.