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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.

1,972 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,972
Reviews: 560
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 692
Gots: 584 | 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: 1,972 | Reviews: 560
Photo of nrs207
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of nathanjohnson
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of davesway10
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle of the 2012 vintage. Poured this into my Pinocchio's (Media, PA) brandy snifter.

A: Pours a murky (initially), ruby orange kinda color. It clears out as it warms up. Not a ton of head, but there is carbonation. Wouldn't expect that much head at an ABV this high. See some bubbles off the bottom of glass. Definitely some alcohol feet. Nice lacing.

S: Lots of bourbon notes. Vanilla, toffee, caramel and booze for sure. Digging in you get some char and woodiness. Pulling some sweet malt too.

T: I get a little hop bitterness on the tip of the tongue. It's mild for sure. Then you bombarded by those sweet malt and bourbon notes in the mid palate. They actually just sit there on your tongue for a while. You get that caramel and toffee note that comes with the barrel. Sticky sweet malts. It doesn't taste boozy but you do get a nice warmth in the back of your thought that grows. I actually didn't know the ABV, but really can't believe this was 11.5%. It's there, but just in warmth not boozy flavors.

M: It's full bodied, even though looks can be deceiving. A little chewy.

O: It's a solid beer. A for me, for sure. Central Waters barrel program is killing it for me.

Photo of djmichaelk
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, courtesy of alefish (thanks!), into a 7venth Sun snifter. 2012 vintage.

A - Pours a fairly clear dark auburn, with a finger of off-white head that quickly recedes to a thin cap. Good lacing, though.

S - Toasted coconut, a bit of hazelnut, toffee and brown sugar, and vanilla. Some barrel-aged barleywines stray into suntan-lotion territory, but this does a nice job of staying away from that.

T - Caramel, toffee, and just a little bitter dark chocolate at first, then vanilla and nuttiness. The finish is more American Barleywine, with the bitterness from the hops shining through.

M - Thick and creamy, with a velvety carbonation that compliments the flavors nicely. Bitter but not too drying.

O - This one went pretty quickly, in spite of the ABV. It's not quite at the level of Abacus or MoAS, but it's pretty close, and a a third (or quarter) of the price. Amazing that they can keep the cost so low. Well worth seeking out. (And glad I have another 4-pack on the way!)

Photo of daleyke
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of daysinthewake
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

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

12oz 2012 vintage bottle born in January of this year, poured into a New Belgium Globe. Huge thanks to laymansbeerfan for this one.

A: Pours a prototypical murky dark copper, with minimal tan head but excellent spotty lacing and alcohol feet.

S: Intense to start off - bourbon is prominent, dark sugary caramel sweetness, raisins and dried figs...very malty, and it smooths out as it warms...bits of oak and vanilla as well.

T: Alcohol is definitely there but it isn't overwhelming...bourbon, sugary caramel, dried figs dipped in brown sugar, oak, toffee, hints of vanilla, earthy notes.

MF: Alcohol heat definitely sits in your throat...medium to full mouthfeel, with good bitterness and a creamy body.

O: Intense beer, definitely like how the alcohol plays with all of the flavors, but it makes it hard to kill this bottle. One-and-done for me tonight.

Thanks Aaron!

Photo of stouts4me
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of herman77
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Murky dark amber/muddy brown. Small of white head. Very minimal lacing.

S: Lots of bourbon, sweet carmel malt, toffee, vanilla, oak and raisins.

T: Big hints of bourbon up front. Vanilla and oak dominate followed by a rich carmel/toffee malt. The integration between the maltiness and the bourbon is really good. Nice warming alcohol in the finish that lingers. I'm sure it mellows with age, but the heat from the bourbon works really well with this right now.

M: Fuller body, smooth and soft carbonation. Chewy and thick, love it.

O: Very impressive. Pretty damn good drinkability too considering what it is. Bummed I only picked up a single of this and I need to try the base beer.

Photo of egrace84
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of antoines15
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Pellinore1
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Pasatron
3/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of SnatchyMcPants
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of Florida9
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


A: Mildly hazy dark red-brown in color, but still fairly translucent. Forms a small off-white head that quickly reduces to just the thinnest ring around the edges. No lacing.

S: Fairly strong aroma of bourbon, raisin, and caramel along with a bit of oak and a hint of vanilla.

T: Starts off with a bit of an alcoholic pungency, peppery and spicy. Then a good hit of bourbon with lots of oak, vanilla, and caramel mixed with a mild sweetness. Flavor falls off before becoming dry and earthy (and somewhat dirty tasting). Long, gentle finish.

M: On the heavier side of medium. Lower carbonation. Mouthfeel is a bit odd as it starts off alcoholic and pungent, then turns sweet and finishes with a good bit of heat.

O: Not quite the beer I was expecting, but I must admit, it is much more drinkable than most bourbon barreled beers.

Photo of mdillon86
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of KCM
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of ales4baldo
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of laymansbeerfan
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of justintcoons
3.49/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a reddish brown with pink/red highlights. Initially has 2 fingers of head that reveals webbed lacing. Has moderate carbonation and good clarity.

N: Sweet bourbon, candy sugar, toffee, booze, booze, booze and hints of coconut.

T: There is quite a bit of heat on this. Upfront there is a huge alcohol presence of whiskey along with dirty oak and caramelized brown sugar. Mid-palate brings in molasses, burnt sugars, tobacco, hints of blackberry and suggestions of fig. Finishes very earthy with leather, tobacco, charred wood and notes of coconut.

M: Full bodied, silky, sticky and very warming.

O: Big, sweet, burnt, sugary and boozey. The whiskey character is a little too forward which is obscuring the base Barleywine. Surely some aging is in order. Overall it's a rather tasty English Barleywine even with the booze.

Photo of MarkFy
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Rojopunk
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark brown brew almost black

S - Smells sweet with lots of caramel and smaill bits of bourbon come through

T - Soft hints of bourbon backed by caramel

M - very smooth mouth feel with slight tingling on the tongue

O - This beer starts out with a very warm and inviting aroma . The first thing I noticed was a nice alcohol warmth followed by a little bit of bourbon and lots of caramel. Very smooth for a bourbon aged brew . Loved it .

Photo of yamar68
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy burgundy with a modest off-white and lovely, thin beading. The nose is pretty massive - caramel, dark fruit, booze, toffee, some licorice, sweet grains, quite a bit going on, evolving with warmth. The taste is big on the sweeter, darker malt notes. The barrel does play a very dominant role but it definitely brings the beer in a different direction. The booze hits harder than I would expect which was also the case with their BA stout. Very good, nonetheless.

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,972 ratings.