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Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Barleywine AleBourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,666 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,666
Reviews: 528
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 636
Gots: 514 | FT: 45
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: 1,666 | Reviews: 528 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Verecund
Verecund

Texas

3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage, consumed on 11.21.2010. Thanks go out to madtowndmb1 for this surprise.

Pours a reddish-brown, earthy color [sinopia]. Somewhat opaque, with almost no visible head, though the beer leaves tiny, tiny bubbles as lacing. (Second pour yields a darker, richer red body and, more importantly, a nice nearly one finger, mostly dissipating head. Bumped from 3.5 to 4.0.)

Truly appetizing nose. Sweet, sticky toffee and caramel, dark brown sugar, vanilla custard, and a soft bourbon wood.
Toasted oak comes through most in the taste, with some combination of nuttiness, caramel, and vanilla rounding out the flavor profile. There's a citrusy/resinous hop bitterness on the finish which is swallowed by a wave of strong bourbon alcohol heat.

The nose is strangely soft and finessed, like that of a younger English barleywine, but CW BBBW packs a punch in the mouth.

All of 11.5%. Appropriately sticky, with low-medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2010 03:24:43 | More by Verecund
Photo of GregSVT
GregSVT

Texas

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

12oz bottle into a snifter 2010 vintage, traded courtesy of Exiled.

A: Pours a murky reddish brown with a small off-white head that fades to a ring pretty quickly and leaves the tiniest bit of lacing.

S: The nose is the best I've ever smelled from a barleywine. You're immediately hit with aromas of burnt sugar, caramel, toffee, and charred oak. As soon as I took a big whiff I thought "wow this is the GIBCS of Barleywines." The aromas the bourbon lend to the beer are almost exactly the same.

T: Initially the first thing you taste is bitter hops which took me by surprise. I smelled the beer again after my first taste to see if I could detect the hops but they are no where to be found until you take a sip. After that vanilla, toffee, and carmalized sugar take over with the hops showing up again on the finish.

M: The feel is creamy and thick with just the right amount of carbonation.

D: The bourbon barrel takes this from being a good American Barleywine to an exceptional one. I would probably drink this again if I could track it down. 11.5% is pretty high but the 12oz bottle size means you aren't drinking a lot of it in one sitting.

This is like Bigfoot in a Barrel. First time I've had a hoppy barleywine aged in bourbon barrels and it was an experience! I'd love to try a later vintage to see if the hops fade enough for more barrel and malt flavors come out.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 02:05:35 | More by GregSVT
Photo of yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Jeff for cracking this one at a recent tasting.

Appearance -- Pours a deep brown, nearly purple hue, with ruby highlights and finger of tan head. Some spotty lacing.

Smell -- Very aromatic. Rum raisin, bourbon, prune, dark brown sugar, and brandy. Overall, quite sweet.

Taste -- Sweet up front with rum raisin, brandy, ripe dark fruits, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla oak sugars. Verging on cloyingly sweet, if not there. Where did the bourbon go?

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full in body with moderate carb. Slight alcohol bite in the finish.

Drinkability -- Frankly, a letdown. Incredibly sweet with none of the bourbon alcohol character to cut through it. It would be easy to confuse this with, say, a J. W. Lee's Harvest Ale homebrew clone if one didn't know what it was. Certainly not terrible, but does not have the iota of balance needed for a barleywine to be great.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 03:57:31 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of callmescraps
callmescraps

Massachusetts

3.05/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2010 23:16:16 | More by callmescraps
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: A rising pour managed to bring out the head on this one, albeit only a finger deep, though it did leaves some strands; the liquid itself was a tawny brown color

Smell: Pure wort, with a grainy raisin character

Taste: Grainy fruit cake, up front, with a bourbon accented bitter character that develops by mid-palate; rum-soaked raisins appear as well; after the swallow, the the flavor grows increasingly resinous and boozy; a minty apsect appears in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full body with low carbonation and considerable warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: This beer didn't resonate with me as well as it did for other reviewers; I thought it was too boozy and had an astringent character that cut through both the sweet malts and the hops; I like a bourbon barrel beer where the bourbon adds a subtle element; in this beer it was neither subtle nor dominant and, in an odd way, I forgot that there was a bourbon element to the beer in the midst of the tasting

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2010 01:36:04 | More by brentk56
Photo of johnkale
johnkale

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - 3 Deep amber, minimal head that quickly dissipates

S - 5 plums, raisins, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, hint of spicier hops and alcohol

T - 4 very woody with dark fruits, caramel, and some winey characteristics. The alcohol is apparent in the finish, along with a hint of bittering hops. Booze taste is nice and warming, does not overpower other flavors. The barleywine seems to be complimented more by the barrel aging than the stout, though not as much as the Peruvian Morning, which is hands down my favorite Central Waters beer.

M - 5 Luxurious, dense but not too sticky and with a very clean finish.

D - 4 I feel like an old man, but I think this beer could have been helped if they dialed back to maybe 9.5% or so. Still an excellent beer, especially to share after a meal when it's getting colder out. Drink while wearing a sweater.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 01:14:16 | More by johnkale
Photo of ncmussell
ncmussell

Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First actual beer rating so don't have the lexicon down but this was very tasty. Poured a nice dark amber color. Not much head but the server may have poured some off. Great nose with the bourbon integrated well on the nose. Taste was outstanding. Definitely could taste the bourbon barrel aging on this but thought the malt and barrel aging had really integrated well. Had this a couple times from the bottle a couple months ago and I thought it was somewhat disjointed. On tap it was so much better. The bourbon added some nice sweetness to it. To me this almost tasted and smelled like the Goose Island Bourbon County Stout but in a barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 01:16:18 | More by ncmussell
Photo of Pencible
Pencible

Virginia

4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: This poured a clear reddish copper with a bit of tan head.
S: It smelled like cherry and toffee and caramel, with some citrus and alcohol.
T: It tasted like sharp citrus and rich caramel, with some toffee and biscuit and toasted oak. It had a bitter aftertaste with strong alcohol.
M: It was slick and oily with moderate carbonation.
D: This had a great scent and taste, somewhat similar to Gratitude, but rough around the edges. Definitely too hot and fresh, with dominant alcohol presence that made this a bit tough to sip. The bourbon barrel didn't come through very much either, with only subtle toasted oak notes. With some age, this could develop into a fantastic brew that contends with the top barleywines. But I don't recommend even trying it fresh.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 20:23:42 | More by Pencible
Photo of brewmudgeon
brewmudgeon

Wisconsin

4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

3/2011 (2011 vintage): very similar to the 2010 after a few months, except the figs and dates are even more buried by the booze--can't wait to try the 2010 later. On a side note, mixing a few ounces of this about 50/50 with red's rye p.a. turned out amazingly well.

9/2010 (2010 vintage):
a 4 slightly haz coppery amber. film lasts a modest while.

s 4.5 at first the deep fig and date aromas i remember from regular charlie, then the bourbon hits me bigtime.

t 4 the bourbon is big on the palate as well. this beer is slick, hot, and boozy. wow, this might really benefit from some age, whereas i like the y2k just the way it is.

m 4.5 thick, slick, enough carbonation of fine quality.

d 4 will have to crack another open in a year or so and see if the bourbon settles down at all. right now this is huge and impressive, but i don't like it as much as the regular charlie.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2010 23:50:50 | More by brewmudgeon
Photo of Axic10
Axic10

New Jersey

4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Barrythebear and notCreative for bottles. I'm not sure which one this came from, so I'll thank them both. 2010 vintage poured from 12oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a nice copper/amberish with no head on it at all.

Smell: Bourbon, oak, sweet malt, molasses, brown sugar and vanilla.

Taste: Bourbon upfront, vanilla, molasses and very sweet caramel malt.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy.

Drinkability: Have one more bottle of this. I loved this beer and I'm curious as to what some age will do to this.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 23:42:30 | More by Axic10
Photo of jnn4v
jnn4v

Virginia

4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber hue with no sediment or haze. No head.

S: Caramel, molasses, and some citrus. Alcohol burn.

T: Caramel, toasted oak, vanilla and alcohol. Moderate hop bitterness. Some sourness on the tail end. Sort of hot.

M: Good body for the style. Very nice texture. Not very carbonated and medium overall body.

D: The 11.5% ABV is evident. I think the drinkability is relatively good with all factors considered, but others at the same tasting thought it was too hot.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 01:33:18 | More by jnn4v
Photo of MbpBugeye
MbpBugeye

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The amazing extras from AleWatcher just kept coming and coming. This is another off of my most wanted list that I was floored to see as I pulled bottle after bottle out of a heavy box.

2009 vintage, shared with my girlfriend who has a new found love for bourbon barreled stuff.
A- Not much head, but I wasnt expecting that at all. The beer is a semi murky brownish color. A little bit of purple, a little bit of red. Really nothing out of the ordinary.

S- Right off I can tell that this probably should be an English Barleywine or that the time this beer spent in the bottle made it mellow out A LOT. Either way, the bourbon here is pretty laid back. It doesnt fuss too much with the smooth caramel and raisiny stuff going on. Im getting nice amounts of wood and vanilla as well.

T- Yeah, really mellow. Not much in the way of hops. Its tasting like one of the best American takes on an English barleywine, only with a nice subtle bourbon aging. Nice vanilla and bourbon tones. The bourbon is very much incorporated.

M- Low carbonation, full body and an ABV that is a secret to anyone tasting it.

This beer in one word: Venerable

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2010 05:35:22 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Once again I find myself in the awkward position of not being able to remember the BA who sent me this beer. I need to write these things down. Whoever you are, let me know so I can acknowledge you!

2010 vintage. This brew pours a mostly clear garnet amber topped by a short wisp of white bubbles. The nose comprises whiskey, oak, caramel, biting citrus, and a touch o' booze. The taste is a richer version of the smell, though the alcohol really busts its way through, Kool-Aid Man-style. I'm not so sure I'd say "Oh yeah!" to this with as much enthusiasm as that glass bastard. The body is a hefty medium, with a light carbonation and rather thick feel. Overall, a decent BBBW, but decidedly too boozy right now. Perhaps this guy will be calmer with some years on him, but he's too damn hot today.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 02:11:46 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

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

February 2010 vintage. Received in a trade from jmp485, this has been sitting in my fridge for a while. 12 oz to a snifter.

Pours a purple/red color, very much like the color on the label. Small off-white head turns to a swirly cap and leaves pretty nice lacing.

Very malty smell. Rich caramel, dark plums, sweet cherries and vanilla bourbon goodness. Dessert-like. Not much hops, but excellent.

Taste follows the scent to a T, very sweet and malty. Huge notes of maple join what's listed above along with a tiny bit of hops. Reminiscent of an English Barleywine and high-quality liquor flavors (bourbon and rum) without any burn. Super caramel aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, carbonation on the low side. Alcohol is insanely hidden, truly a great example how to make a barrel-aged beer without letting the bourbon take over, it is only a compliment to the beer here 100%.

Obscenely drinkable for what it is, finished it faster than I should have. So glad I have 3 more bottles, I imagine this aging excellently. Probably the best Barleywine I have had so far.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 00:07:45 | More by Chico1985
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 edition, 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to everyone who sent me this.

Pours a clear crimson mahogany color with a moderate light beige head with average retention and lacing for the style and ABV. Aroma is the highlight, a potent complex blend of bourbon, caramel malt, mild citrus hops, oak, maple, berries, etc with surprisingly little booziness. Unfortunately the flavor isn't quite as complex and balanced at the nose; I guess this could use some more age on it. Flavor starts with an intense vanilla and bourbon booziness before the base of a more English style barleywine with complex caramel malts and dark fruity esters. Finish is exceptionally boozy and drying with light citric hops. Body is medium thick with light carbonation and overall has a smooth, soft texture that covers the palate with a lingering dry bourbon finish. I really enjoyed this and look forward to aging some, but was a little let down by the hype on this as I enjoy Weyerbacher's Insanity almost as much and can buy that off the shelf.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2010 01:34:43 | More by yourefragile
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 vintage courtesy of Beertracker, cheers Jeff!

Pours a chestnut tinged ebony with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Nice viscosity to it! Average head retention & lacing

S: Plums, bourbon, vanilla, fusel alcohol. All drop of the table when warm, except for the booze & figs... Finishes dry, fruity, with praline sweetness, cherry juice & a kiss of booze soaked dark chocolate

T: Raisins, figs, brandy, leafy hops dryness & oakyness up front. Plummy dryness, more booze, raisins & woody hops when warm with a kiss of carob

MF: Chewy, near zero carbonation, warming with nice balance

Drinks great, skews English BW to me, but that could be age. I'm results-oriented & this kicks ass!

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2010 03:21:43 | More by russpowell
Photo of billshmeinke
billshmeinke

California

4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Stone Old Guardian glass.

Ruby body that is quite clear. half a finger of off white head. Dies down quick to a ring of foam with wisps of foam on top.

Smells of caramel, toffee, dark cherries, vanilla, oak and bourbon. A hint of spicy/resinous hops as well.

Tastes of caramel, toffee, apples, some dark cherries, and some raisins. Followed by oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Then resinous tobacco, leafy and spicy hops. Quite complex and interesting.

Creamy, medium carbonation, low end of full bodied, but not really syrupy or thick. A bitter/resiny finish that is hot and a tad spicy going down.

Pretty palate wrecking. Would not be able to knock back more than one 12 oz. and still be able to taste much afterwards.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2010 21:09:08 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of SykDoc
SykDoc

Wisconsin

4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle '09 into a tulip. It pours a very nice clear ruby. A minimal tan head forms and quickly reduces to almost nothing. Carbonation is visible and no sediment.

The aroma is a good blend of caramel malt sweetness balanced by a bourbon/vanilla mixture.

The taste is similar to the nose with a upfront sweetness balanced by a boubon-booziness that seems to be followed by oak. Definitely, some alcohol.

The mouthfeel has a medium body with a crispy carbonation. Syrupy with a potent alcohol burn at the end. Quite good.

Overall, this beer is easy to drink but the potency in flavor and ABV makes it limited as the palate and brain head south quickly.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 00:08:55 | More by SykDoc
Photo of glazeman
glazeman

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Big thanks goes out to CaseyK for hooking me up with this one in a recent trade. Split with airohead2001.

A: Murky brown with a hint of red. A vigorous pour yields a 1/3 finger off-white head. As far as retention goes, this one has a bit a swirl of bubbles that lasts the duration of the drink and a nice crown.

S: Rich bourbon notes on the nose. Reminds me greatly of bourbon barrel angel's share. Some maple syrup in there as well, which overall gives this a very nice smell.

T: Wow, there is no shortage of bourbon in the flavor here. Besides the dominance of the bourbon I get some butterscotch, syrup, caramel, and a little alcohol heat. All in all, this is a great tasting, interesting brew.

M: Very nice mouthfeel. I would say this has a nice medium-bodied feel and a great aftertaste. It sits on the palate well.

D: For me, bourbon aged beers are either hit or miss, and this one was without a doubt a hit. The bourbon was pronounced, but not overwhelming as it was in angle's share. This was a delicious, interesting, fun drink. If you haven't tried it, you should.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 15:38:45 | More by glazeman
Photo of airohead2001
airohead2001

Illinois

4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

glazeman, thanks.

A - Typical barleywine. Thick looking dirty red/copper/brown with a thin film for a head that resolves to a few bubbles that line the walls of my glass. Looks good, but nothing special.

S - Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon, buttery toffee, roasted cashews, malted vanilla milkshake, tiny amount of hops, pecan pie, and harsh booze. This is the best smelling barleywine this nose has ever smelled. Perfect.

T - Harsh and boozy, but delicious. Caramelized sugar up front with tons of bourbon. Some bitter hops in the middle and some dark roastiness as well. Just a hint of dark fruits and a ton of bourbon in the finish. Best barleywine I've ever tasted.

M - A bit too bubbly for such a rich bourbon bomb.

D - This is an incredible beer, but it has a ton of booze and a ton of heat. But honestly, despite the heat, it is good enough that I could seriously drink it all night long.

This beer blew me away. By far the best barleywine I've ever had and also one of the best beers in general that I've had as well. I've wanted this one for a while and it surely did not disappoint

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2010 21:24:48 | More by airohead2001
Photo of boothbeer
boothbeer

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Bottled February 2010

A: Pours a copper brown with some redish hues. 1 finger of foamy cream colored head. Reduces slowly to a thin film and ring of bubbles around the edge.

S: Rich caramel malts and sugary syrup. Lots of nice bourbon and oaky aroma.

T: Better than I expected. Great blend of malts and bourbon up front. Maybe a little more hops than I care for in the finish. Alcohol heat is present but doesnt overpower this beer. Good American barleywine, but I prefer the less hoppy English version.

M: Medium body, but a little thin with medium carbonation.

D: Good drinkability but definitely a sipper. Glad I picked this beer up. A little age on this might mellow out the hops and make this really special.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2010 03:19:26 | More by boothbeer
Photo of Inflames
Inflames

California

4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aquired in a trade with overlord, (thanks again)
Pours a deep red-brownish color with a very dark center. Minimal head.
Aroma is nice almond,oaky,roastiness that has a tinge of sweetness.
Taste is malt forward with the bourbon and oaky nutiness leading into a slightly bitter roast, then a lingering of bourbon on the palate.
Mouthfeel of this beer reminds me of a bock, so heavy yet so light.
I could definately find my self drinking a couple of these in a night, so enjoyable all the way through.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2010 04:31:11 | More by Inflames
Photo of garbercury
garbercury

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to Beerwolf77 for this guy, Thanks Todd!!

A--Reddish, burnt orange color, a little lighter than I expected, not any head or retention of note.

S--Definitely a mix of bourbon and barleywine notes. Strong aromas.

T--HOT. This sucker has some burn to it. The alcohol burn just really overtakes this one. The bourbon flavor is a little off/odd.

M--Nice silky mouthfeel, this has a nice feel.

D--This one was a bit of a letdown for me, something just was missing for me on this one. Really glad I got to try it though!

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2010 00:08:30 | More by garbercury
Photo of rhodeska
rhodeska

Indiana

3.73/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A nice red/ dark amber tint to the beer, very nice head and lacing on the glass as i drink.

This one has a very strong smell, was able to catch a whiff of it as i poured it a couple feet below my nose. Really strong bourbon smell, and the taste is the same. Has some earthy and woody tones to it as well. It doesn't really have that hot or burning feeling as the alcohol goes down, which was slightly surprising, but that's it.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2010 03:11:47 | More by rhodeska
Photo of klikger
klikger

Wisconsin

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

100th review
12 oz. bottle served in a Duvel tulip

A - Dark amber in color and slightly cloudy. A modest amount of off white head leaves behind quality lacing as the beer is consumed.

S - Caramel, bourbon, brown sugar, and some floral hops.

T - From 0 to 60 more quickly than a Ferrari, this is in all-out flavor assault from the onset. Bourbon and caramel are apparent from the moment the first drop hits the tongue, with honey and raisins quickly following. The intense and varied malt presence continues throughout and is joined by citrus bitterness in the latter stages. (Note: this is the first bottle that I've had in several months, and, not surprisingly, the hops have died down significantly. Some heat remains.) The finish is simultaneously richly sweet and pleasantly bitter.

M - Heavy-bodied and chewy, but not overly syrupy. The variety of tastes makes this a joy to swish back and forth over the tongue.

D - A sipper without a doubt, but this barleywine is enjoyable from first sip to last. My recommendation - take it slow, savor the complexity it as it warms, and pair with a quality Maytag or Danish blue cheese if you're hungry. Trust me on this.

One of my two favorite beers from one of my two favorite Wisconsin breweries, this is a perennial favorite and a blessing to those fortunate enough to live here. If you're into barleywines and haven't tried this, you should really seek it out. Don't take my word for it, continue reading below.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2010 00:59:48 | More by klikger
Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,666 ratings.