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

Not Rated.
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel BarleywineBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,975 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,975
Reviews: 560
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 693
Gots: 587 | FT: 67
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Atron67 on 03-02-2008

Aged for 1 year in used bourbon barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,975 | Reviews: 560
Photo of bauermj
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of katan
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz into a pint - 2009 edition - the young kind

A - Pours a dark black to mostly brown color. Almost a red tinge to it. Very very hazy - could be a yeast suspension. Head formation is off white, lightly retained. Carbonation appears light.

S - Sugarly sweet with a high amount of bourbon backdrop. The bourbon barrel comes across as mostly sweet, somewhat sour. A light oaking does come through. No hopping.

T - Starts off incredibly sweet, with an immediate backdrop of alcohol burn. Mid-stream does start to be more balanced, but it is more due to a flash of bourbon barrel char. Incredibly sweet finish, extreme sugars off toffee and caramel. Intense flavors.

M - Thick, creamy, sugary and clinging. Tongue grabbing. No carbonation is detectable. Extremely fully bodied.

D - Does get a bit filling at times. A one time only beer by far - alcohol will sneak up on you, but when it does, look out. Flavors aren't that overwhelming. If i could manage not passing out after 2, I'd be signed up for more.

I'm thrilled with the way the bourbon came through on this beer for being so young. Almost too young perhaps. I have another that I'll age for a year to compare against. It does remind me of some of the young 2008 GI BCS I had.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Finally got to try this beer after the past two that were sent to me as extras broke during shipping. Third time's a charm! 2013 vintage. Pours a ruby amber color with a small, off-white head that disappears quickly. Scent is much more citrusy and hoppy than I expected. At first I get citrus hops and bitter aromas, followed by sweet, bourbon booziness. Kinda reminds me of the BA Bigfoot I had a few weeks ago. Dark fruit aromas and a bit more bourbon. Taste is hoppy as well...very interesting. After reading reviews of this beer, I was not expecting this. Maybe I drank this one too soon or the 2013 version is more hoppy? Citric, hoppy bitterness up front...immediately followed by delicious barrel flavors. Lovely bourbon with vanilla, coconut, and toffee. Not very boozy for what the ABV is...very smooth. The combo of the hoppy bitterness, the citrus, the bourbon, and the oak make this one quite enjoyable. Drinkability very high. Mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated, smooth, and full-bodied. Overall, I don't know what it is about this beer... but, the only other "hop-forward" BA barleywine I have had was BA Bigfoot. I can't imagine the base beer for this one being as hoppy as regular Bigfoot... I'm so confused right now. This beer threw me in a direction I was not expecting, but it was very delicious.... I guess I'm somewhat disappointed because I was hoping for a BA barleywine that wasn't "familiar". Can't rate it on that though.

Photo of starrdogg
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of wisrarebeer
3.77/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Deep copper color, slight haze, nice head that dissipated.
S: deep bourbon and roasted malt, some heat
T: deep bourbon taste, bourbon dominates over roasted malt, a bit too much bourbon that makes it unbalanced for the style
M: warm, roasted, full

Photo of Mikeypnh
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of TasteTester
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Tilley4
3.17/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Boozy and hot... Potential is here but this is like barrel aged rubbing alcohol... Perhaps it's too young? Going against the grain here and giving this one a very mediocre OK...

Photo of dunix
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of vande
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Etan
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle (2012) into a brandy snifter.

A: Pours a dark brownish-red with a small off-white head.

S: Raisin, brown sugar, strawberry shortcake, vanilla, a bit of oak and perfumy alcohol. Smells like dessert.

T: Sweet wave of barleywine malt - sugary prune, raisin, cherry, a bit of dark grain, cidery hop. Vanilla and spicy dark alcohol behind. Some hot tannic oaky bitterness. Throat-warming alcohol, vanilla, and coconut in the finish.

M: Medium-bodied with a nice tingle to it.

O: I'd be happy drinking this all year. Very solid -bal barleywine.

Photo of Fargrow
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of elkinbrown
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of monitorpop
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 bottling

A: Thick, ruby caramel with a half finger off white head.

S: Candied sugar, malts, bourbon.

T: Bready malts, faint vanilla, dominant bourbon. Lingering bitter sweet finish.

M: Thick body, mild carbonation with warming alcohol.

O: A solid barely wine, but a bit overly bitter in the finish for me.

Photo of callmemickey
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear, muddy red-brown body. Egg-shell colored head. Slight retention with real spotty lacing.

S: Lots of caramel, warm, toasty malts cap a delicate bourbon notes of vanilla and oak. Only slightly boozy which is a plus. Real enticing.

T: Simply outstanding. Lots of caramel malts with the same delicate bourbon presence from the nose. More vanilla than oak. The more I tasted this the more I was getting a rich alcohol-baked cake taste. Sweet without being overbearing. A real winner.

M: Nice hearty body with a silky feel. Low-medium carbonation. Well hidden booze.

D: I am absolutely pumped that I managed to snag 8 bottles of these. Will drink one or two more this year with the rest to age a range of years. I really can't imagine a much better american barleywine... Kudos to Central Waters.

Photo of claytong
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - dark auburn with hints of mahogany. head was small on a controlled pour, lacing stayed.

smell - off first smell, things are a bit mixed. oak dominates, bourbon comes in with heat, and then a bit of vanilla extract and lots of malt.

taste - malts come in too strong with a plain wood taste. bourbon just brings heat and not much bourbon. a bit too fresh i think.

mouthfeel - medium bodied and medium carbonation, drank with lots of other barleys so i felt a sweetness overload.

Photo of Zonian1
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jimmys
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into tulip. 2013 vintage.

A: dark orange/ terra cotta hued body. slightly hazed. head pours a bit underwhelming with a light brown/orange/white hue. retention is limited, but present. spots of lacing left behind.

S: dark fruit. plums. a lot of bourbon oak. a LOT of oak. but good, the wood is welcomed and works great with all this sweetness. no hop aroma at all, not that I mind one bit, this thing is all about big beer and bourbon.

T: holy hell, the first sip is fucking rocket fuel. straight ethanol. hope a few more sips will get me better acquainted. ahh, that's a little better. bourbon warmth/flavor for sure. similar to the nose, lots of bourbon-y oak flavor. a little bit of caramel sneaks out when it can. lingering brown sugar and alcohol heat.

M: carb is mellow and works well with this big guy. full bodied to the gills.

D: this would definitely be a prime candidate for cellaring. as soon as I took my first sip I thought maybe I opened this too soon. oh well, live and learn. regardless, there are some really good aromas/flavors going on here that im sure would develop some nice complexities over time. grab a few if you can.

Photo of Boston_Steve
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of halo3one
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Drucifer
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of Roguer
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beautiful dirty nut brown brew, fairly dark in the glass, topped by a decent creamy tan head. Retention is so-so; lacing is bubbly but sparse.

Huge malty notes of caramel and toffee erupt from the glass, chased by vanilla and bourbon. The bourbon is much stronger on closer, careful sniffs, but not overpowering; there's plenty of room for pecans and walnuts, prunes, chocolate, vanilla, and a complete toasted malt bath.

Flavor follows the nose, with an added bite from earthy and herbal hops. Bourbon up front; followed by caramel, toffee, and toast; and finished with vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, oak, and some alcohol heat.

Long wet finish allows vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon to dance across your gums and tongue in waves. Brew is relatively thin up front, but with a silky wetness that coats your mouth. Lots of alcohol heat, but it's not unpleasant.

This beer tastes like they took the malt boil, poured it into a bourbon barrel, added some green hops, and called it a day. It's absolutely delicious.

Photo of vinny21bal
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Woha! Big Beer Bananza!. Thank you big time to NFLMVP for a chance to sample this huge brew.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is a toasty caramel with wild lively carbonation that reminds me of the finest big malt DIPAs. Thick and churning like a lava lamp. The Head is nice two fingers of white small lace but I don't need everything.

The smell is like WOW a pint of bourbon. So smooth deep and entrancing, I have a feeling this beer is going to be great! Notes on vanilla periodically shine through the oaken bourbon and toasted marshmallow sweetness. Man would this be great at a campfire in the fall.

The taste is just amazing, everything is working, big beer malt, mild hoppyness, great heat, this is what the Doctor ordered. I can't wait to share some oh my preciouses little stash with my closest BA Buddies. This extreme elixir will be the hit of the tasting.

The mouthfeel is very good, it could use a tad more body or maybe a little chewiness but if that is all I can say is wrong everything else is right.

The drinkability is GREAT. Big beer, big alcohol and HUGE flavor. I wish I could get more, I'd buy it by the case.

Thanks again to NVLMVP, It was a lot more then a quick beer run and some postage. Greatfull I truly am, I great freind you are.
Prosit und Zum Wohl, MK

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,975 ratings.