Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale - Central Waters Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,706 | Reviews: 529 | Display Reviews Only:
2.05/5 rDev -52.4%
Had a little barrel aged barleywine tasting at MADhombrewer and Witchsbrew's residence last night. Filet mignon's were provided by our host's for TulipSnifter and I. Thanks guys!
In the lineup were Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, Hellshire I, BA Hi-Fi Rye, BA Old Ruffian, Abacus, and Alpine Great. Our intention was to also open up Perfect Storm '09, Mother of all Storms '10, Kuhnhenn BBBW, and Arctic Devil but we agreed it best to hold off on those beers for another day due to palate fatigue. Small two ounce samples of the six beers from last night were first tasted and notes were taken before returning to the bottles for more tastes and refined notes.
Thanks to graniteskunk and zimmerbloke for providing me with 2010 and 2011 vintages of this.
A: Golden-tan, fizzy white head falls to nothing. Not particularly viscous looking and we get some spotty lacing. 3/5
S: Honey, grassy hops (slightly stronger in the '11 but very similar between the two vintages), and non-pleasant slightly putrid wood. 2/5
T: All hops and barrel. Any complexity that may be in here is currently hidden behind the more aggressive characteristics. It will need some time to develop complexity and in my opinion, the '10 batch is still very similar to the '11. Three years in the bottle might make this better but for now it's not very good. 2/5
M: Thin and spritzy compared to the other beers in the lineup. 2/5
O: Simply not up to par with the competition. 2/5
05-30-2011 03:24:36 | More by hopsbreath
2.05/5 rDev -52.4%
Beautiful ruby/brown, you can just see through it. A few nice inches of head - nice small bubbles and they hang around a few minutes to leave a lasting covering lace. To make it perfect the head would need to last longer.
Smells fruity and rich like an English barleywine. Sweet prunes and whatnot.
Tastes, well. It doesn't taste English like it smells. Well, sort of. But, see, it's completely buried under an overwhelming woodiness. This is over the top. Yuck.
Other than the over-the-top wood (which really ruins this beer for me), I get English flavors only without the sweetness. Strange, to say the least. And, sure, I get bitterness but I associate that with tannins from the wood and not with hops. A most unpleasant experience. Given another 10 years in the bottle I might think about actually drinking one (as in, when it has mellowed down to something only slightly more extreme than a normal barleywine) but, as it is, neither I nor the wife even wants to smell it again.
12-24-2008 02:33:23 | More by charlesw
2.25/5 rDev -47.8%
Nothing like saying FU to snow on May in Minnesota with a big ass beer. Will go with Central Waters BB Barleywine. 2013 vintage.
A-Poured into a snifter this beer has a murky light brown color with a thin tan head that quickly recedes.
S-Aroma of bourbon is quite strong. Also notes of oak, dark ripe fruits (prune-like) jump out of the glass.
T-Also bourbon heavy. The bourbon dominates this brew. Sure there are other flavors in here (ripe fruity malt, oak and a hint of vanilla) but the bourbon is overpowering.
M-A slick mouthfeel, plenty of carbonation and an alcohol sting in the finish.
O-A barleywine for the bourbon drinker. Too bourbon forward for me. This one is too much like a shot of bourbon in every sip to be enjoyable. Big time sipper.
05-02-2013 02:53:34 | More by deebo
2.53/5 rDev -41.3%
Paid $3.99 for a 12oz bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. This is the 2009 vintage and I am tasting in JAN 2010, so it is likely about a year and a half aged (I am unsure of bottling date). I pour into a snifter to review.
A very aggressive pour yields a half inch, tan colored, dense head that leaves a nice ring of lacing after dissipating. Color when held to a light is deep mahogany ruby; certainly opaque in darkness. Some lacing has stuck around.
Aroma is pretty boozy, with bourbon and lots of oak picked up from the barrel it was aged in. Some resinous hops have stuck around, even through the aging and cellaring. Fig, plum and molasses also evident.
Too much bourbon in the taste for my liking. The other characteristics I noted in the nose become quite muted.
Medium full body. Light on the carbonation. Long boozy finish.
01-20-2011 04:06:33 | More by ibbjamin
3.03/5 rDev -29.7%
Look: the beer pours a ruby-brown color with almost no head, but a nice lacing.
Smell: Caramel, malts, bourbon, vanilla, oak, herbal hops and alcohol
Taste: Full of bourbon, caramel, vanilla, spicy herbs, fruity and very very alcoholic. The aftertaste is sharp alcoholic. Unbalanced
Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium-low carbonation
Overall: Overpowering sharp alcohol. Not my liking.
07-22-2011 10:54:08 | More by rvdoorn
3.05/5 rDev -29.2%
Had at a fun tasting. Reviewed from notes.
Appearance- Much lighter than anticipated. A nice copper color with a thin cap.
Smell- Vanilla and bourbon. Very nice. Caramel is very prominent.
Taste- Hot. Not as much bourbon as I'd like. A hot, stickiness that isn't balanced by anything.
Mouthfeel- Way too thin for my tastes.
Drinkability- No more than one. Probably not even one.
It's caramel. And some wood. And booze. Not a favorite.
11-01-2010 23:16:16 | More by callmescraps
3.05/5 rDev -29.2%
12 oz bottle of 2010 vintage poured into a wine glass after an year of aging. Poured dark amber-brown with oddly brilliant clarity for a beer of it's kind. The head was small and did not last too long, and left some lacing on the glass as it receded.
Smelled rich and sweet: dried fruits (mostly dates), residual sugars, and ample amount of oak-bourbon. Nothing too surprising but complex and more importantly, very good. The taste, however, was a a let down - slightly sweet and very bitter on a thin body with not enough malts/sugars to balance out the hops. The excellent aroma elements show up very briefly only in the aftertaste, which is a shame in my opinion.
Too much bitterness, to the point of clashing. Thin, overcarbonated, and hot with fusel alcohols. Seems like it has everything I hate about cheap liquor and very less of what I like about barleywines.
Scores: Appearance 4/5; Aroma 4.5/5; Taste 3/5; Mouthfeel 2; Drinkability 2/5
03-04-2011 22:04:38 | More by tewaris
3.08/5 rDev -28.5%
I like bourbon barrel aged anything, but CW goes way too far over the top with this beer. There is literally no beer flavor, its just bourbon nose, bourbon taste, bourbon finish.
I you LOVE bourbon this is YOUR beer. The bourbon is overwhelming. Its just booze, vanilla, and bourbon through and through. Very unbalanced. (this could be a good thing if you love bourbon)
Overall, if you cant get enough bourbon in your beer, this is for you. If you like a more balanced barrel flavor, there are better choices.
05-12-2013 18:59:19 | More by MCImes
3.1/5 rDev -28.1%
Another Central Waters' brew provided by SliverX. Cheers man!
From a bottle into a snifter
APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, very loose and thin, off-white head with wretched retention. Head quickly vanishes to a slight wisp and ring and clings to the sides of the glass. Rosewood red or dark red in color with no visible carbonation. A ring remains but leaves no lacing down the glass. The head is crap, but the rest is alright.
SMELL: Bourbon barrel with oak, vanilla and lots of caramel and toffee. Candy sugars in there and lots of boozy notes.
TASTE: Bourbon, oak and vanilla up front with lots of caramel and toffee sweetness in the middle. A sweet, boozy and bourbon barrel finish; very boozy after the swallow. Bold and lingering aftertaste of sweet-spicy alcohol, lots of bourbon, oak, and caramel flavors. Quite boozy, but lots of good flavor as well.
PALATE: Very light body and medium carbonation. Airy on the palate, goes down fine with a bite at the swallow and finishes slightly sticky. Lots of heat lingers. Too light and airy here.
OVERALL: Didn't live up to expectations at all. Though quite boozy, the flavor is definitely there for the taking. It's a shame that the body is too light and abrasive to really let the flavors take center stage. Again, like other Central Waters' brews, the look and feel fail quite miserably. Still very happy to try this highly acclaimed beer though, so thanks again for the chance SliverX.
06-01-2012 20:33:54 | More by Jeffo
3.13/5 rDev -27.4%
A - Very merky dark burnt honey color. Vanishing near white head
S - Bourbon malts, caramel, vanilla. Strong on the bourbon
T - Mostly bourbon, but not actually overpowering. Caramel, vanilla and a
bitter yeast hit in the end
M - Thick but only a medium coating. Mild tingle on tongue with an
alcohol burn in the throat
O - Not bad at all, but not really my thing
06-25-2012 13:09:58 | More by biglite351
Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,706 ratings.