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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
95
world-class

571 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 571
Hads: 2,084
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 8.69%
Wants: 706
Gots: 637 | FT: 76
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 571 | Hads: 2,084
Photo of Seanniek91
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance- Cloudy Amber/brown with little to no head. Good lacing.

Smell- Caramel and vanilla (bourbon), some mild chocolate, light booze, no hops, and light maltiness.

Taste- Ohh very smooth vanilla bourbon notes. Lots of caramel and malts. No real hop presence here. Can't taste the booze, but can feel it go down.

Mouthfeel- Full body and smooth with mild heat at the back of the throat.

Overall- This is great, very smooth and flavorful. Nice extra from a recent trade! (521 characters)

Photo of kodt
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 12oz bottle poured into New Belgium Snifter

A - pours a deep amber, thin tan head.

S - bourbon is prominent, sweetness of caramel and fruit.

T - Lots of flavor, sweetness, malty, and a good amount of bourbon heat coming through.

M - Enough flavor to compliment the alcohol. Medium carbonation.

O - Great barleywine, perfect for sipping. A bit boozy, but I like that. (378 characters)

Photo of Jparker37
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter glass. Bottled in 2013 is all that is described. Excited to judge this versus the y2k barleywine.

A - Hazy brown in color with some amber highlights. Smaller vanilla colored head from a gentle pour. Left some bits of lacing.

S - That barrel smell is beautiful. Toasty malt holds up well to those smells though. I get some cigar tobacco mellow tones.

T - Has a short bit of caramel and toasty malts early on but the barrel flavors begin to take over. Midway through some hops try to peek in but are overwhelmed by the huge whiskey barrel flavors. A lot of the toasty oak and spicy booze warmth last well into the aftertaste.

M - Full bodied, medium carbonation, a touch of sweetness early that dried up at the finish.

O - This beer seems a little young and could use a bit of time to really tame down and let some maltiness come through better. The booziness is getting a little too much for me. All in all, the beer has complexity and I would love to age one of these bottles to see what it can morph into. (1,049 characters)

Photo of wyatt13
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Half Acre snifter.

A - pours a dark toffee or burnt caramel with a half finger off-white head that dissipates quickly.

S - bourbon and oak are most noticeable, with a nice sweetness of caramel & dark fruits.

T - wow, great barrel character here. Nicely balanced with the base beer without being overpowering. Also manages to rein in the sweetness. A bit of heat on the aftertaste, but it doesn't detract too much.

M - sticky, but not too thick. Lots of carbonation here for a barrel-aged beer.

O - really liked this one. Nicely warming without impeding the drinkability. Great for a snowy winter day. (655 characters)

Photo of CaptCleveland
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from a couple of awesome MN BA traders!

Ruby red elixir poured into Hoppin' Frog snifter. Clear liquid, minimal lacing, thin, white rim hugs the edge.

Wonderful complex aromas: oak, vanilla, dried fruit, bourbon, caramel. Could sniff this all night.

The caramel and vanilla are right up front, then comes a nice bourbon bitterness that really balances the brew. The bourbon pleasantly lingers.

Medium body, smooth, sticky, like toffee.

This really hits the spot. Complex melding of flavors. Was thinking of sitting on a couple, but really drinking well right now. (581 characters)

Photo of FreshHawk
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Nice tawny ruby color. Small to medium sized, tight, creamy, smooth, off-white head. Average retention leaving a very nice layer of lace.

S - Strong toffee/caramel backbone. Interplay between vanilla and dried cherries and dates. Aroma is very fruity with touches of alcohol and bourbon. Slightly sweet with just that subtle hint of booze in the back.

T - Oaky flavors off the bat, with subtle notes of vanilla in the back. Gives way to a nice dried fruit flavor. Cherries, dates, raisins providing a definite sweetness. Strong toffee and butterscotch malt throughout. Finishes on a slightly tart and boozy note with bourbon and caramel flavors sticking on the tongue.

M - Medium body. Average carbonation. Slightly wet and slick feel.

D - Pretty drinkable, although it is more of a sipping beer. Flavors meld nicely. Bourbon is definitely present but it doesn't overpower or have too harsh of a burn. Strong malt backbone and fairly sweet but nowhere near cloying.

Notes: Much more of an English BA barleywine in my view. Nice for a sweet sipping beer that definitely presents bourbon flavors but isn't too harsh. Nor does it necessarily rely on the bourbon (although I'm not sure if it'd be anything special as a regular barleywine). It's a nice treat, but it isn't anything earth-shattering for the style. (1,317 characters)

Photo of King_KongDCO93
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: small carbonation, reddish/brown color. Dark enough that you can't see through the glass. Has almost no head.

S: caramel and vanilla aroma are opulent, mixed in with some cherries and toffee

T: Notes of caramel and vanilla just like the smell. some notes of butterscotch and sweet fruits. Really not noticing too much of the oak barrels its very light but you do taste it more as you drink.

M: palate feels balanced, has a large body but really creamy and has some tangginess

O: slightly boozy for 11.2% abv very very nice. the caramel and vanilla flavor is amazing (573 characters)

Photo of Belgianbeerbunny
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Minimal head. The color of burnt sienna. Had to go into my children's Crayolas for that description.

S - Like Bourbon.

T - Like Bourbon, with a vanilla finish. Not as hoppy as I'd expected from an American Barleywine. The sweetness of the finish negates any over-hopped flavor.

M - Medium body and carbonation

O - This is a wickedly good beer because it's essentially like drinking Bourbon. If you like Bourbon, you'll enjoy this one and because the ABV is so high, I can only enjoy one. (496 characters)

Photo of SerialHiker
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a lovely deep, dense mahogany…little head to speak of, but when I swirl it around, it livens a bit and the thinnest light khaki layer forms…but doesn’t last…the color and look are fantastic, but there could be a bit more head…(3.5/5)

Smell: Definitely bourbon barrel aged, that’s the first thing that hits me…there’s a dark cherry candy sweetness that follows close behind, diluting a bit of that alcohol punch…oak, vanilla, caramel, cola, creamy sweetness round it off…it’s bourbon barrel alcohol heavy, but delicate enough to allow other flavors to come through…(4.25/5)

Taste: Yum, tons of flavor…oak and bourbon alcohol heat right off the bat, though quickly sweetened bringing in the traditional barley wine flavors…candy sweet and tons of caramel malts, mild earthy tones…it’s flushed with a boozy quality that comes in and out, not overly done, but certainly not letting me forget that it’s bourbon barrel aged…it’s easy to say that it’s too boozy, because it is strong, but for me it’s just right…intentionally powerful, one sip lasts three minutes…(4.5/5)

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, medium carbonation…fluffs up beautifully, bring tons of candy sweetness to the palate…when it fades, bourbon alcohol takes over and tingles the outside of my tongue and heats the back of my throat…rich, smooth, chewy, lively, boozy, sweet…fades sweet with tons of boozy heat…fantastic…(4.5/5)

Overall: This is a fantastic brew…a pure sipper, I’m sitting here watching the Oscars and it’s perfect…it makes me want to start a fire in the fireplace…the straight barley wine flavor playing the support role here would outshine most other brews by itself, but the addition of the bourbon barrel aging gives it a sophistication deserving of a snifter glass…boozy, straight forward, intoxicating, this brew is deserving of its allusiveness…I was lucky to snatch it up when I did and thankful I have a couple more to share, it’s no surprise this is one of Central Waters highest rated beers…a top shelf brew that’s well worth the price, if you get the chance to taste this, take it…I’d love to see this on tap somewhere just to see what a little more carbonation and head would do to the overall package…fantastic! (4.5/5) (2,318 characters)

Photo of rodkin
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage.

Very small head, that quickly dissipates. A thick, translucent dark red. It's got some yeast sediment or something in there that's pretty gross looking.

Smell is vanilla, oak, dark fruit, caramel. Very sweet, but not cloying. The bourbon comes through with some added complexity, but it doesn't smell boozy at all.

Smell is vanilla, oak, cherry, booze, raisin. Some leather, kinda. Hint of caramel. Boozier than the nose.

Medium thickness, decent carbonation. A little more carb and a little less body than I'd like.

A fine barleywine. Probably the best thing I've had from Central Waters. (609 characters)

Photo of Mgm54
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type, 12 oz bottle, 2013 vintage, obtained in a trade with Stevedore, many thanks!

A - A deep amber, makes be think of caramel malt, maybe rum. 1cm tan head, still mostly retained after a minute or so.

S - Big notes of bourbon, caramel, and malt. Just wonderful, it smells like the candy of beer. Notes of vanilla bean as well. This smell makes be so happy, it truly deserves a 5.

T - Malty sweetness up front, with some bourbon heat coming next, then some hoppy bitterness (it is quite fresh!). Spicy notes coming from the bourbon.

M - Very smooth maltly booze, in the back end it feels a bit like bourbon

O - a wonderfully beer, I will be ageing my other bottle for a bit to see how the beer settles into itself. If you can get some, please do! This is my first Barrel Aged Barleywine, so maybe I am just a bit overzealous, but this is wonderful. (861 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.31/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is a 2012 version, drank on 2-21-2013

Pours a deep caramel body. White head is minimal and the lacing is thin. Small collar around the glass.

Sweet aroma. Caramel and sweetbread. Vanilla and bourbon. A bit woody. Some faint hops

Thin flavors, but they are good. Vanilla, caramel, wood, bourbon and earthy pine. Sweet baked caramel is ever present. The bourbon barrel provides smoothness. Yet it doesn't mesh well with the other flavors. The hops have faded, to be sure. (478 characters)

Photo of dsuedbeck
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 Vintage

A: Reddish brown, murky, really thin white head that disappears quick.

S: Big bourbon notes, sweet caramel malts, some banana.

T: Starts off with a big malt taste, caramel, toffee, dark fruity notes up front. On the back end you get the bourbon and oak. Definitely a little boozey beings it is so fresh.

M: Great bourbon flavor lingers, small amount of carbonation, perfect amount of body to hold up to the alcohol.

O: Fantastic beer right now, super excited to let a few age. Definitely one of the best barleywines I've ever had. (549 characters)

Photo of timc100
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2013 vintage

A: Gorgeous - dark ruby/mahogany, murky and dank - substantial beige head for a barrel aged beer. Great lacing and retention

S: HUGE caramel bourbon notes, vanilla and oak. Some cherry, and raisin. Delicious but very boozy and hot. Needs some time, then I'd imagine perfect

T: Big bourbon - caramel, lighter vanilla and oak. Bitter aftertaste which pairs well with the sweetness. Some dark fruit but it's hidden due to the overly boozy freshness. Could improve greatly, I'd imagine.

P: Smooth - medium to full body.

O: Fantastic barleywine and BA beer. Wish I had a few more to cellar (609 characters)

Photo of vic21234
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2013 Vintage. Was happy to get my hands on a 4 pack of this today.

A- Pours a dark red, almost brown color. A small amount of off-white colored head quickly fades.

S- Nice aromas of bourbon and dark fruits. Some sweetness and caramel is noted too.

T- Really nice stuff. Starts very smooth with tastes of dark fruits and sweet malts. Then comes the bourbon and oak notes, which takes over the back half of each sip.

M- Low carbonation, drinks hot, a great sipper.

This is a great barleywine. Drinking kind of hot right now but not a bad thing at all. I'm anxious to see how it mellows out. (633 characters)

Photo of emyers
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter. 2013 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy brown with a thin beige head, which dissipates after about 30 seconds into a thin lacing.

Smell: Bourbon up front along with oak and figs. Caramel comes through next with more bourbon. The bourbon, while being the most dominant smell, is definately not overpowering. In fact, I could use a bit more of it. Some alcohol heat. The aroma is very nice, but a little one dimensional when all is said and done (for a bourbon barrel aged barleywine that is).

Taste: Where the aroma was lacking in intensity, the taste is defintely not. Bourbon and rich caramel hit the palate hard along with vanilla, oak, and dark fruits. The finish brings bittering hops along with more caramel and bourbon. Alcohol heat is apparent in the finish, but not in a way that detracts from the experience. Very well done.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and smooth. Coats the tongue a bit as it goes down, but the bittering hops come through just enough to clear the palate.

Overall: A very well done BBA barleywine. The bourbon presence is balanced nicely with the caramel malt, dark fruit, and bittering hops. While it certainly isn't anything earth-shattering as far as BBA barleywines go, this really is a phenomenal beer given the price. (1,297 characters)

Photo of joeseppy
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Murky brown--soft caramel. Head quickly dissipates.

Wafts of banana walnut whisky bread pudding with raisins, drizzled with caramel.

Sweet, in cloying fashion, from beginning to end. Blast of bourbon alcohol numbs the tongue and the heat goes down into the chest. Grapefruit rind bitterness and overripe tropical fruit. Prunes, maybe raisin in burnt sugar aftertaste.

Medium body, sticky with low carbonation.

This is a dank brew. Reminds me of Burton Baton. The bourbon aging not melding well. For me its a 'meh' at this time.

Review December 2013

After about a year now still maintains caramel pour with the head receding to rim and some lacing is apparent.

I would say this is much more refined and delicious. After having the Goose Island BBW this ain't too bad. Alcohol has toned down considerably and the cloying is abated. Smoother and palatable. Review scores considerably higher with age. Not quite GI English BBW worthy but you know us American barleywines gotta have da high alcohol presence, damn fine nonetheless. (1,039 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (1,447 characters)

Photo of wiscokid920
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into Snifter. Vintage 2013

A- Deep rich copper/amber color. Small 1/2 finger tan head which fades fast....most likely due to the high alcohol content! Not a lot of retention or lacing.

S- HUGE bourbon booziness! Vanilla and sweet rich malt, caramel and toffee notes.

T- Big time malt flavors with bourbon booze without being dominant. Notes of vanilla, oak, and smooth bourbon finish.

M- Velvety smooth. This bourbon barrel barleywine has a huge malt sweetness with excellent boozy balance. The alcohol is nice and warming but not overwhelming. Extremely well balanced.

O - A FANTASTIC barleywine! A FANTASTIC BEER! One of the best beer's I have had. Extremely well balanced! Great fresh, but can't wait to put a few years of age on the bottle. (770 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage

A: Pours a deep, dark mahogany. Big, fluffy tan head. Head fades away very, very slowly. Great head retention. Fairly thin streaks of lacing.

S: Heavy on the bourbon and the malts. Loads of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla and coconut. Make that, LOADS of vanilla. Very sweet and strong.

T: Heavy bourbon up front, it's quite ...spicy? Interesting. It's sort of a sharp, boozy alcohol, toasted malt, plus oak, plus resinous (and maybe a bit of piney) hops giving it a unique spicy flavor up front. Heavy caramel everywhere, pure decadence. Mild raisin in there but it's mostly covered up - apparent in the middle and into the finish however. Lots of vanilla and coconut in the aftertaste with more drying oak.

M: Heavy, heavy and sweet; sticky sweet. A bit resinous and drying in the aftertaste.

O: A very interesting bourbon barrel barleywine. Very strong and sharp flavors. Quite hoppy, enough to not get drowned out by all the malt and bourbon (which are pretty substantial). Pretty hot right now, further intensifying the flavors. A sipper for sure, but definitely an enjoyable one. (1,104 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Central Waters snifter.
2013 bottle. No date or info.

A - The deeply hued rusty amber colored beer is dark but clear still and vibrant. A tall pour creates a short and short lived tan head which collapsed from the high alcohol level. Specks of lace adorn the glass and stay steadfast while legs dribble down around them.

S - This fresh bottle has quite a large bourbon nose with a strong alcohol presence seeping from it, though deep complexity continues to emerge. Vanilla and damp wood work well with the rich bread-like malts that express some caramelization and toffee as well.

T - Maltiness erupts in flavor, overtaking the large bourbon presence that dominated the aroma; dribbles of sweet caramel and a thin smear of plum jam spread over a slice of toasted whole wheat bread. Notes of vanilla, oak, and unsalted pretzel finish with the smooth bourbon alcohol.

M - Smooth as velvet, this bourbon barrel barleywine is decidedly malty with a overarching sweetness, but not without balance. Alcohol is warming and present but not overwhelming, rather, soothing and complimentary on the finish, lightly drying it out for a lingering presence that constantly requests another light sip.

O - A real treat, Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine is one of those vintage releases each year that must not go unenjoyed. It's rich presence carries from aroma to flavor though the smooth feel rounds out the alcohol nicely for a bourbon barrel beer that's quite drinkable fresh. This one will still age with the best of 'em. (1,552 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2012 Bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn tulip

A - Deep cherry wood color with a light brown accent. Had a one finger light brown head that settled down to a few rocky spots of foam on top.

S - Big malty barleywine with strong caramel, toffee, and vanilla. There is also a big bourbon accent that comes through strong. This is one of those big noses that just brings the flavor to you.

T - Really strong alcohol and slight orange peel hits you up front. As it carries on, I get slight toffee, caramel, and vanilla that comes through to give it a slight presence. Strong bourbon comes along near the finish to bring both sweetness, roasted oak, and a slight booze. The finish is astringent as the booze and its heat carries along. This is one really bourbony beer as you get a ton of barrel presence, but it may actually be a bit too much as you get more bourbon than beer sometimes.

MF - Medium, slightly syrupy body. Light carbonation in this. It has a warming alcohol presence near the finish. The finish itself is astringent, has a alcoholic kick, and light tingle from the oak

O - Solid BA Barleywine for the price with a lot of barrel presence. This is definitely a sipper and with all of the bourbon one to have on a cold night. It's main downfall is that the bourbon really shines and make the beer a bit too hot instead of blending in well with the base beer. (1,367 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.84/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to eschmitt777 for hooking me up with a mixed sixer of some Central Waters brews. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. The brew appears a hazed color of mahogany that is more ruby in coloration as it is held to the light. A rich frothy yellowish cap sits atop more than a finger strong that fades leaving a full wall of lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma includes plenty of barrel character smelling of vanilla and a mildly medicinal alcohol touch. Dark fruity alcohol suggestions are present smelling like raisins coupled with burnt sugar. A bit of toasty grain can be found underneath with a contrast of sweetness verse herbal hops.

The taste includes plenty of solvent alcohol, toasty to bready grain and a bit of medicinal to fruity alcohol. Some herbal hoppiness is present that breaks things up and keeps this well within the reigns of an american barleywine. The more I sip on this, the more some raw woodiness emerges along with some soft vanilla tones. Once the brew goes beyond ideal temperature, it has almost a solvent alcohol DIPA feel to it with plenty of hoppy bitterness leading the role of the flavor profile.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. I can tell this is a fairly young offering despite the label indication being a bit of a misfire. The alcohols is out in the open with flavor and solvent/numbing character inside the mouth. I think this would be a good one to lay down for awhile. While I enjoyed it now, I bet it would get nothing but better with some age. (1,525 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle of the 2010 vintage courtesy of FrankenBrew pours a murky crimson color with a small cap of tan head...leaves a nice lacey collar.

Nose is definitely oxidized, and sweet. Bourbon comes in a distant third, followed by peanut brittle and wood. Interesting mix or aromas and smells like a big beer for sure.

Mmmm, this is what I am talkin bout! The bourbon soaked wood, oxidized sherry flavors and sweet malt come together damn near perfectly. The mouthfeel is bigger than the 11.5% would indicate and is awesomely rich. ABV is so well integrated at this point, it is very smooth. This is awesome, one of the best beers I have had in quite some time. (662 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2009 bottle from TPatuto. Thanks! 12 oz for me.

A: Dark brown with a prune tint in the light. Thin ring of head after the pour foams to about a 1/4 inch. Sticky. Very sticky.

N: Wow. Deep breather. Bourbon, oak, toffee, caramel, and vanilla. Raisins, molasses, and more bourbon. Lots of black licorice. This is layered and it threatens to suck you in and hold you in its folds.

T: Sweet and bracing. Raisins and prunes. Toffee and caramels. There's a coffee like bitterness that mixes with the hop spiciness. Very, very oaken. Candied pecans. Trucks full of black and licorice. Some oxidation, but it adds to the beer. Both sweet and yet balanced - there's still quite a bitter element to this.

M: Like someone forced you to eat a crayon (and not in a disgusting way.) This is sticky and viscous.

O: I thought 3.5 years might have done this a disservice, but it's still going quite strong. If I lived in WI, I would stock up on this and age it to this range. This is far better than fresh Mother of all Storms. I will say, though, that despite my gushing about it, I had Arctic Devil after this and had to drop this one a few points because AD is just that much better and rounder. Still, a recommended beer. (1,218 characters)

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Central Waters Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 571 ratings.