Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale - Central Waters Brewing Co.

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Bourbon Barrel Barleywine AleBourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale

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1,856 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,856
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 661
Gots: 520 | FT: 57
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Aged for 1 year in used bourbon barrels.

(Beer added by: Atron67 on 03-02-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,856 | Reviews: 535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stpaulsipper07
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of ncketchum
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Duvel tulip, 2012 vintage

A - pours a murky reddish brown with minimal head

S - bourbon, vanilla, caramel, not too boozy, not too sweet.

T - wow, lots of the bourbon up front, however, very well-balanced with vanilla and caramel as in the nose.

M - thick, good amount of carbonation, definitely some alcohol burn but not too much like in some barleywines I've had.

O - Awesome. The time of the year when this and its stout counterpart come out make me happy I live in Wisconsin. Definitely world class in my book.

Photo of bierbrauer
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle purchased locally, ($9.99/4). Bottle dated early January 2012. Poured into tulip glass.

A: Very cloudy copper, with ruby tones; 1-1/2" off-white head that settles pretty quickly and leaves very sparse, thin lacing with a thin ring around the inside of the glass; a few tiny bubbles rising at top; remains cloudy as it warms.

S: Caramel malt, bourbon, vanilla, black cherry; prominent alcohol heat.

T: Pronounced sweet caramel and black cherry; bourbon; slight oak; gentle bitterness.

M: Full bodied & mouth-coating/chewy, low carbonation; rich and smooth texture; persistent alcohol warming; neutral finish.

O: Warming helps release the qualities of this American barleywine, as cellaring likely will, as well. One of the highest ranked WI brews on BA, it is balanced and has real substance and depth, making it one to seek out and sample.

Photo of accordselux
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

A beautiful dark ruby red with fading head due to the alcohol content. I think that the color may be a little too dark for a barleywine, but I know American style barleywines can be much darker.

Smells wonderful. Bourbon (and vanilla notes), caramel, and pitted fruit.

Taste- wow. I would give it a five except for the burn. A wonderfully aged bourbon barrel beer- full on, does not hold back. Caramel and cherry from the malt, but the alcohol does not hide here. I enjoy it- a bit more raw.

Mouthfeel- a good consistency for a barrel aged stout- again, that alcohol burn is persistent. Carbonation is good and keeps it lighter on the tongue.

Overall, a great example of a bourbon barrel aged barleywine in my backyard.

Liftbridge Commander is great for similar reasons. I sense a blind tasting coming up...

Photo of wrycon
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of mobius387
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage, poured into a snifter glass

appearance: pours a ruby-purple color. actually you know what, its almost the exact color as the bottle label. uncanny, great looking brew for a barleywine

aroma: some fantastic smells of cherry and bourbon as well as a light malty nose. hints of vanilla round it out

palate: 11.5% and representing. its a little hot in the mouth, not one for sitting and letting flavor seep in. big body too

taste: just fantastic cherry and malt flavors with a light bourbon flavor to it. their BBS was bourbon strong, and this is bourbon light. all tied together with some chocolate smoothness, with some vanilla to it as well. amazingly robust for a barleywine

overall: flat out fantastic. i thought BBS was going to steal the show this year, but this one is better. another beer by CW that will fail to get the hype that other breweries like goose island or founders gets, but they make a beer that is easily as good as these breweries make. im excited to see how this one ages

Photo of smurfbeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mcc1654
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of atone315
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of Crass3000
3.55/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a nice reddish-brown with a finger, white head with retention of about half of a minute.

Smell is is definately roasted malts, dark fruits are pretty dominant as well. Really a nice mix of roast and dark fruits that interact really well. Taste is not as nice as the nose. There is definately some strong hops that take over the taste. The hops aren't bitter at all and actually balance things nice. However I think there is just too much hops for me. The hops seem to be too strong. No doubt this would be better with some age. Gonna age the rest.

Photo of will1256
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of Doodler
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of millelacsmark
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of brydeen
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage into a snifter

A: Pours a really dark amberish ruby color. A very thin, and quickly vanishing white bubbly head.

S: Loads of vanilla, caramel, bourbony goodness. Some dark fruit sweetness too, raisins and plums perhaps?

T: Vanilla, molasses, caramel, and a little burnt sugar flavor. A warming booze presence with a generous bitter hop dosage as well. Good, but age will do this one well.

M: Very nice creamy texture. Really nice

O: Really good, but I think a year or 2 will do some good. Alcohol warming is pretty strong, and will likely mellow over time. Still very good now though.

Photo of adrock7309
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 2012 into a three Floyd's Pilsner glass.

Minimal head with very minimal lacing and very little retention. Body is a dark reddish brown.

Huge vanilla and Caramel on the nose. A very malt forward barley wine.

So glad I finally got to try this one and so stoked it's finally come to Minnesota.

Photo of psychotia
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of wibrewer
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of therobot
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of derkfromwi
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 Bottled in JAN

A: Darker amber, finger of nice, light tan head, a bit hazy and structured, carbonation is there, good looks

S: Bourbon and malts, bit of hops

T: " and " first, brown sugar, vanilla

M: Good for style, almost very good

O: I like it a lot! Can't complain much, thank you lots Central Waters, and your team!

Photo of nickapalooza86
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured 2012 Vintage into a New Belgium snifter. It is a very amber colored cloud.

smell is sweet dark fruit... plum, dates, and a small alcohol burn. maybe some bourbon and sugar in it to.

Taste is where it all gets awesome, first vanilla, brown sugar, bourbon, nice dark fruit, alcohol is strong at end.

mouthfeel is perfect fot the style.

Wow this beer is another one that makes me happy to live in Wisconsin. I would put this up against pretty much any other barlywine that is out. The bourbon really works nice. If you are a Bourbon aged fan this is just about perfect

Photo of ystazi
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of tubbnik
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of spunk509
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Almost a dark amber with just a ring of head post-pour
S - Magical. Light Bourbon aroma with a bit of heat / alcohol mixed in. I bet with a little time this would get even better.
T - Surprisingly sweet with good hints of caramel and brown sugar. As with the smell, the alcohol might mellow a bit with time and make this even better.
M - It's a bit light in the mouth but otherwise just fine.

Overall a great beer. As with any barleywine I think it needs a good year to really be at its peak. The alcohol just overpowers the bourbon at this point, but I have no doubt this will improve with time. I will get more of these if I can.

Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,856 ratings.