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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.
very good

531 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 531
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 133
Gots: 141 | 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: 531 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

zeledonia, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of BYOFB
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

BYOFB, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of 3146Tony
3/5  rDev -21.3%

3146Tony, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of dcloeren
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to nflmvp for this extra

Pours a dark brown with hints of mahogany on the edges. Produced a finger of khaki colored head that sunk down into the depths of this beer almost instantly.

The aroma is tart cherry forward with roasted malt and some astringency in the background.

Opens up with roasted malt and chocolate but is quickly overtaken by tart cherry notes and a lot of heat.

Medium body with an almost overabundance of carbonation. As soon as it hits my mouth it is carbonation city. Not the worst thing though, gives it a good frothy mouth feel.

Over all this was a pleasant beer. I wish that it would have been more full bodied but it wasn't a deal breaker by any means. Very glad I got to try this.

dcloeren, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of Wiscivore
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Wiscivore, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of DustyDust79
4/5  rDev +5%

DustyDust79, Oct 31, 2012
Photo of Dactrius
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Dactrius, Oct 25, 2012
Photo of FosterJM
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1583rd Review on BA
Bottle to CW Snifter

2011 Vintage
Thanks to ErikKoppin for this one.

App- When you pour it, it really did look a bit black in the glass but then changed to more of a mahogany/brown/caramel color. Only a small bit of head was there maybe 1/4"-1/2" and then faded quickly and didnt leave and cling or lace.

Smell- Well this opened up nice enough with a bit of a thin bourbon note and then moved itself into a malty cola like aroma and finished with a artificial candied cherry note and even a little bit of syrup.

Taste- I liked it well enough to be what it was. Its cherries in a bourbon stout. Problem was the stout didnt lift itself up enough with the treatment to take on the addition of the cherries. It was a bit thin. Artificial and lacking in a bit of balance and nuance. Was more of an afterthought it seemed vs being part of the original recipe. Seemed as it warmed more from cellar temp to take on a flat Cherry Dr. Pepper flavor.

Mouth- This was way to thin for me. It lacked a certain lush and pinace of a normal barrel aged beer and I think the cherries just made the body come down and with the treatment it didnt pick up enough of the layers to tame the prickly thinness.

Drink- Really wasnt feeling this one. A bit let down. I had enjoyed the BBBW and wanted this to be a homerun for me. Oh well. Have a couple more 12ozers from CW to enjoy.

FosterJM, Oct 24, 2012
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

Alieniloquium, Oct 05, 2012
Photo of hilgart1
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

hilgart1, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of Schlais
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Schlais, Sep 20, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

t0rin0, Sep 10, 2012
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.

kevanb, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of denimdemon
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

denimdemon, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of jaasen64
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to chase2634. Bottled February 2012. Poured into Founders snifter.

A- Pours a mostly opaque dark reddish brown pretty much black with a thin layer of light bubbly mocha head that has decent retention and slowly recedes. A lot more carbonation then I was expecting, definitely a lot more then your typical BB beer. Some spotty lacing that slowly recedes down the glass.

S- Bourbon, light cherries that mix well with the bourbon, some vanilla/oak. A little bit less bourbon then the CW BB Stout but an added cherry flavor. Smells pleasant without the booze or sweet cherry flavors dominating too much. Above average aroma strength.

T- Light bourbon balanced with sweet cherries, a little bit of molasses, vanilla oak, finishes with a smooth sweet cherry flavor that is a little bit tart but doesn't dominate the flavor too much.

M- Smooth, very drinkable for a 10 abv beer, slightly over-carbonated but not by much, not much alcohol burn. Except for toning down the carbonation a tiny bit, the feel is very good.

O- This was a very good cherry stout. I was worried it was going to be too sweet, but the flavors were very well balanced without the cherry or bourbon dominating the beer too much. I liked the regular BB Stout better, but I definitely enjoyed drinking this one and I would definitely drink it again. My only problem was that it was slightly over-carbonated which wasn't a big deal, otherwise it was very smooth and tasted great. If you like cherry and bourbon I'd definitely recommend checking this beer out. Thanks again chase2634 for the hook up!

jaasen64, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of IdrinkGas
4/5  rDev +5%

IdrinkGas, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of cosmicevan
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to jon for hosting a beer geek blind taste test competition and providing a bottle of this as a prize for one of the rounds. hell of a fun day!!! poured into my kentucky bourbon barrel ale snifter.
2012 vintage

a - brew poured black with a reddish tint when held to the light. there was a very thin off grey head that slowly fizzled away leaving small islands of head on the surface of the brew.

s - chocolate soaked cherry with some wood and booze.

t - sour cherries with some roasted chocolate. the barrel isn't all that prominent on the taste. pretty good, but not as strong as the regular barrel aged stout.

m - fairly light for a barrel aged brew. the cherry tingles my mouth. booze is very well integrated, but you don't get much of the barrel anyway.

o - overall, i am a big fan of central water's bourbon barrel stout. this is an interesting twist, but probably not one that needed to be done. glad i tried it, but if given the choice i'd go for the barrel aged stout every time over this one, but would never pass this up as it is a good beer.

cosmicevan, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of thecheapies
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in February of 2012. Poured into a small snifter glass.

Very dark reddish-brown to almost black. Drubbed up a half-inch of light khaki head. Seems fizzy. Coarse bubbles aren't lasting very long.

Bourbon and cherry in the nose. No surprise that it reminds me of Jim Beam Red Stag a little bit. Vinous notes are resonating. Not very burly with the roastiness, but the malts have some odorous weight. Slight lactic note is present; displaying minimal tartness. Not counting out possible infection.

Tart cherries and a very mild bourbon note. Very little wood at first, but resounds a bit in the finish. Hint of green apple tartness that might be obtrusive to the original intent. The roast bleed through with hints of breakfast coffee and light maple. Some sweetness that is quite pleasant. Tangy finish from a light souring component; possibly rogue bacteria from the spent barrels. Very mild vanilla with alcohol warmth, although the strength is sleeping under blankets. It just doesn't have enough of what I think it's supposed to be, which leads me to believe that this beer fell victim to the curse of Peruvian Morning. For a bourbon barrel-aged stout, it leaves some to be desired. As a cherry stout, it's pretty damn tasty.

More evidence in the thinner body for an Imperial Stout. A little sticky, but with ample carbonation. Not too much, mind you. The alcohol is never fully there, which makes this very drinkable.

Lacking depth for bourbon barrel-aging. I'm not looking for upfront whiskey intensity, just more wood and vanilla (or maybe coconut). The sour cherries are a delightful addition and serve this oddity nicely. It almost wants to be smoky, which I like, but the pesky flavor of infection is too near to discredit. I can still make out the framework of a quality beer that went a little awry somewhere along the way.

thecheapies, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of sukwonee
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Really really dark brown body with 2 finger head. Lots of lacing.

S: Roasted malt and cherries. It's weird that I got a lot of smell when I first opened the bottle. After a few minutes, I can't really smell much. I am rating it based on the first few sniffs of it. Not much bourbon noted though.

T: Cherry really comes through. Perhaps it offsets the bourbon taste a bit too much. Similar to the nose, not much bourbon noted. Chocolate, slight roasted malt, sour/tart cherry and very faint hops kicking in at the end. I like it. Alcohol is there, but not too boozy. I think this could have been a tad bit sweeter.

M: Kind of thin mouth feel, but not as thin as the normal BB stout from CW. Syrupy. Not much alcohol burn.

O: I enjoyed this one as well. Third straight tasty offering from CW.

sukwonee, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of nachos
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is like a good stout should be, but one can tell its a little on the thin side. smells of cherry and bourbon, a little coffee, little chocolate. I like the taste, it is not inauthentic at all, I enjoy the cherry flavor, not fake! With a good amount of bourbon too. The stout flavors are a bit in the background. A little heavy on the bourbon flavor, just like CW regular BB stout. I think this is better than what a lot of people are saying on here. Oh, and I do not get any alcohol burn at all for a beer with such high content. Pretty delicious, and at a great price.

nachos, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of xnicknj
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into snifter

Pours a deep blacked out color with a thick, frothy beige head resting on top. Nice retention with a heavy layering of lacing coating the glass.

Chocolate covered cherries in the nose with touches of tartness and fruit sweetness. Roasted malts and oak barrel character with some bourbon tones. A bit boozy and tart.

Slick and sweet up front on the tongue with a layering of soft chocolate and malty tones, followed by a slightly tart cherry splash. The bourbon barrel character is fairly mild, although the vanilla and oaky tones shine through occasionally. Roasted malts, chocolate, bread crust and nuts in the base. Finishes with tart dark cherry and oaky booze.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, slick and smooth on the tongue. This is decent, although the flavors are a bit muddled, leaving this the clear lesser of the CW barrel aged series.

xnicknj, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split this with my wife while sitting around the campfire on the last night of our Vermont vacation.

The beer is dark amber hued with a dense beige head that measures nearly two inches thick, leaving a thick sheet of lacing on the glass. 

The aroma brings oak barrels, malt, fruit, a hint of cherry juice. 

No discernible roast character in either the flavor or aroma. Lots of oak, vanilla, and a general woody character throughout. A splash of cherries and sweet cherry juice. Vanilla finish with a touch of booze. Coconuts...took me a few minutes to identify, but definitely a present coconut flavor throughout. Subtle chocolate as well, creating a taste reminiscent of an Almond Joy candy bar.

Light-medium in body, with abv hidden well. Easy to sip and savor.

While I was initially a bit disappointed in this beer for lacking the stout attributes I have grown to cherish, I must say that this was pretty tasty overall. I would definitely try this again.

Huhzubendah, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of abrand
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into pint glass. This was bottled about 6 months ago.

Pours a cola color with a quick fading dark head that leaves no retention. Not nearly as dark as most stouts. Aromas are mostly bourbon with some sweet undertones. Not overpowering. Didn't pick up an cherry on the nose. Taste is decent. Pretty easy drinking for the high ABV. Not nearly as complex as other bourbon barreled stouts. Pretty straight forward with malts, some sweetness, and a chocolate presence. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall this was just alright. Not nearly what I was expecting.

abrand, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of polishkaz
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

polishkaz, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of TheoV
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

TheoV, Jul 07, 2012
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 531 ratings.