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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

1,747 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,747
Reviews: 532
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 650
Gots: 521 | FT: 51
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: 1,747 | Reviews: 532 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of schwaeh
3.93/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from January 2011. An extra from readbaron, thanks man.

A: Pours dark mahogany with a little ring of lace, no head. Decent carbonation flowing and an overall murky look.

S: Smells a touch boozy. This rivals Firestone in the barrel aging, it really comes through loud and clear. Soft sweet malt and dark fruits blend with a lofty dose of bourbon. Toffee, dark fruity esters, sweet bourbon, plum, and fig are all showcased here.

T: Toffee, caramel, fig, vanilla, sweet & smoky bourbon, and a good alcohol burn are what I get. I like that the bourbon seems a little more complex than most in this. Stinging sweetness and some hop bitterness on the finish.

M: Full mouthfeel, low carbonation, sticky, and bitter.

O: This was a long-time want of mine in what is becoming one of my favorite styles. I wanted to have this mellowed out a touch more, the bourbon was unmistakable. If you really take your time with this there are lots of complexities that come out. Well done Central Waters

schwaeh, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of cptnspeed1
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review based on a 2010 bottle, poured into a Central Waters tulip. I will say before I start, if this were based on the 2009, it would be a perfect 5.0.

A: A beautiful mahogany color with about a 3/4 inch off white head. Lacing is very present throughout the glass.

S: Lots of butterscotch and caramelized sugar. The bourbon lends some vanilla notes as well as a slight booziness.

T: This is what a bourbon barrel barleywine should taste like. Everything is there, caramelized sugar, toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, oak, a touch of bittering hops, just a flavor explosion.

M: This is where the 2009 stands out big from the 2010. The 2010 has a slight hotness that will likely fade with age, but is currently present. Otherwise, it is very smooth and fairly thick and coating.

O: Easily the best bargain in barrel aged beer (alliteration bonus points?). If it was available all year, I'd probably buy two 4-packs a month. A strong showing from the flagship beer of one of the best breweries around.

cptnspeed1, Aug 09, 2011
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.

claytong, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of rvdoorn
3.03/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2010 vintage
Look: the beer pours a ruby-brown color with almost no head, but a nice lacing.
Smell: Caramel, malts, bourbon, vanilla, oak, herbal hops and alcohol
Taste: Full of bourbon, caramel, vanilla, spicy herbs, fruity and very very alcoholic. The aftertaste is sharp alcoholic. Unbalanced
Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium-low carbonation
Overall: Overpowering sharp alcohol. Not my liking.

rvdoorn, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of Brez07
3.78/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing from notes. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Dark cherry red color. Partially opaque. Small amount of cream head that stays for a few minutes

S: Great smooth bourbon presence up front. Combined with vanilla and some oakiness. Light citrus sneaks it's way through, mostly in the form of zest/rind. Notes of cherry and caramel. Sweet malt towards the end

T: Booze soaked caramels. Vanilla and dark fruit (still going with cherry). Definite bourbon presence. Subtle hop bitterness. Wood-like dryness

M: Medium bodied. Pretty high carbonation for the style. Fairly strong hop and alcohol finish

D: Might have opened this one a little early. With a little time I could see this being great. Decent now, but I'll sit on the other one I have

Brez07, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of mulder1010
3.6/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From Notes

12 oz bottle

A-- Poured a hazy, dark golden color. Very little obvious carbonation. Short lived white head that went to film that was very spotty. Better on swirling as got half a finger. Very noticeable
legs to this.

S-- Oak, vanilla, bourbon, raisin, plumb, and toffee. Very buttery smell. Rich and thick.

T-- Prickly carbonation on the tongue. Whole lot of vanilla and toasted coconut. Lots of alcohol in the taste and quite sweet.

M-- Full and heavy Oak in the mouth. Also vanilla and coconut again. Much higher carbonated than what I thought this would be. Very sweet and very boozy. Hard to distinguish the base beer at times.

O-- Good but a bit sweet and booze driven at times. Barrel hides the base beer for a good portion of drinking. honestly thought a little too hot at times.

mulder1010, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of boralyl
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 2011 vintage poured into a snifter. The beer produces a small light tan head that quickly fades away . The beer is clear and ruby red in appearance.

S - There is a very strong bourbon presence in the aroma along with hints of oak and vanilla. As it warms slightly the dark fruit aromas become apparent.

M - Medium in body with light-medium carbonation and some creaminess.

T - A little bit of vanilla up front followed by dark fruits, plum sticks out in my mind. A huge bourbon flavor mixes in with the dark fruit and overpowers it leading to a hot alcohol heat in the finish.

Pretty good, but the bourbon flavor was a bit too strong for me. It may be that this vintage was too fresh for my tastes. I'll have to give an aged vintage a shot sometime soon.

boralyl, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of JamnesCameron
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this bottle from Zimmerbloke in my Birthday BIF box. Thanks, Matt!

Poured into a snifter. Pours a muddy, ruddy, deep copper, with a white head that does not last. Head drops to a mere wisp of foam, leaves a light lacing.

Aromas of vanilla, oak, bourbon, alcohol. Nice base of dark fruits, prunes, figs, and raisins.

Flavors of bourbon, oak, vanilla, some astringency from the wood, dark fruits flavors hide in the background, raisins and prunes. Finish is long, warm, vanilla and oak.

Mouthfeel is medium, but with a drying astringency from what you would get from raw oak.

Overall, very nice. Nice melding of the complex flavors, not one dimensional and doesn't taste layered. Very nice.

JamnesCameron, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to UMNbeerhunter for sending me this one!

2011 vintage. Bottled in January.

Pours a murky iced tea color with a huge 3 inch light orange head that fades to a chunky cap on the top of the beer. Nice distinct thin rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smells of brown sugar, toffee, biscuity malt, bourbon, along with some wood notes. Taste is of bourbon and wood up front, with brown sugar and malt coming through in the middle, and some nice citrus zest hop flavors on the finish. This beer has a low level of carbonation with a creamy yet sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barleywine with nice balanced bourbon flavors that don't overpower the traditional barleywine smells and tastes.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of wchollif
3.55/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Stone tulip, a gratis bottle, thanks ewright! This -bal barleywine pours with almost zero head. The color is a murky darkish reddish brownish?!? The smell here makes the beer. Again with a great smelling, fair tasting bb barleywine. I love the oak, vanilla, caramel on the nose. To a lesser degree I get some piney hoppiness and orange peel as well. The flavor doesn't back it up. The flavor is dominated by malts, which should be good, but I'm not getting the balance of hops I thought I smelled. It has a little caramel but not much vanilla and is intensely bitter and alcoholic on the finish. The mouthfeel is good, mild carbonation, creamy milky coating, not syrupy cloying.

wchollif, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of jpmclaug
3.88/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of BA's best bear, Barry! This is a 2010 vintage poured into a snifter.

Brownish body with a ruby hint, s mall circle of offwhite head rested on top at first but quickly gave way to just a circle around the rim of the glass. About what you'd expect for the style.

Smells real sweet, like a good bourbon but without any of the alcoholic scents found in one. Oak and vanilla are making an appearance as well.

Sweet barrel aged notes, a solid malt presence but seems to be lacking just a bit, sweet at the first swallow, Not much in the way of hop flavor showing but a little bitterness in the end, a bit of an oaky taste. Not much heat, I guess time in the cellar mellowed this one out. I dunno something is just lacking in this one, not as full flavored as I was hoping and the bourbon notes seem a bit subdued. I think I might enjoy this one more fresh.

Overall a solid take on the style but not the best I've had. I could go for some more malty notes and maybe a bit more barrel flavor. I think I would enjoy it more if it wasn't aged. Anyhow... it's still a decent beer and I see why people enjoy it. It's especially nice that it comes in 12oz bottles.

jpmclaug, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of buffs9
3.25/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 version: 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

murky plum color, with 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, a little figgy, vanilla and bourbon. A hint of spicy/resinous hops as well.

Tastes of caramel, raisins, toffee. Followed by oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Then a tobacco bitterness. complex and interesting, but everything seems a bit muddled to me.

Creamy, medium carbonation, medium body. A bitter finish that is hot and not very enjoyable for me, and I don't mind hot.

Worth trying, I'll have to try another to see if I notice differences. I was expecting more w/ such great reviews.

buffs9, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of oglmcdgl
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

09 vintage on tap at the old eagle tavern. First time, I will be back.

A- comes to me with a solid finger of light tan head that does hold for a second then settles leaving only thin ring and a few wisps on top. Murky brown orange in color with a good glow.

S- wow! What a nose. Tons of bourbon and vanilla hits with a deep roasty chocolate flourish. Bits of coffee and brown sugar and caramel with a touch of stone fruits.

T- opens up with a smooth semi sweet bourbon and brown sugar punch. The malts are nicely toasted giving a touch of nuttiness and bakers chocolate. Hints of fall spice and a great dessert bread touch. With a subtle but clean bourbon finish.

M- a few steps above medium in body with a bit of chew to it. Nicely carbed for the style and its lightens things up in the mouth just right. Great heat on the palate, I'm always looking for that right amount of heat in a bbbw.

O- amazing brew, plain and simple. One of the best bbbw I've ever had. The time down has done wonderful things to this.

oglmcdgl, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive thanks goes out to the person (BM me if it was you and I will give you proper credit) who shared this one with the group at the "Evening Wood" tasting graciously hosted by cmrillo! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a deep red-orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, wood, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, wood, and alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. However there wasn't anything really interesting going on in it to make it overly memoriable. The flavor did however mix and compliment each other quite well. Pretty smooth for an 11.5% heavy hitter. Definitely worth trying!

thagr81us, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of Jazzcrop
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tastes are unbelieveable malty sweetness, breadcrumbs, yeast, brown sugar, sherry, bourbon, wine sediment, hops, American crystal, mugwort and flowers. Smells are brown sugar, booze, straight-up booze, cornchips, malt liquor, vanilla and mango slices.

Jazzcrop, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of muttyd
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wisconsinality for this amazing extra.

Poured into a stemmed chalice with an apple-cider / hazy amber body and thin, offwhite head that settles into about a 1/8 inch thick haze. Very cloudy, decent lacing.

Aroma is all over the place. I get a caramel-dipped apple up front, some cinnamon & sugar toast, and vanilla/oak. The aroma really changes as the beer warms up and as you take a deeper whiff. Finishes with a burnt sugar, alcoholic presence. The flavor brings out the barrel a bit more than the nose with a pleasant vanilla frosting combined with wet oak flavor. Some citrusy/pineapple hops in there as well. Rich dark caramel sweetness makes this one sweet, without being too cloyingly sweet. Medium carbonation with a heavier body that finishes very sticky, coating the mouth.

Very generous extra, huge props again to Winsconsinality. Would love to get a hold of this one again.

muttyd, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at devils den during the bella vista bash - 09 vintage

Pours a deep amber color, fairly dark, thick froth of off-white head retains well with some patchy lacing on the glass.

Strong bourbon notes, vanilla and oak, slight sweetness, notes of hoppiness and dark fruit.

Big bourbon flavor right up front with wood and vanilla tones. Boozy and full flavored, residual dark fruit with raisin and dates. Hops slice through in the beginning and towards the finish, which is warm and smooth.

Full bodied, somewhat higher carbonation, a bit creamy, lasting finish on the tongue. Drinks really nice, I was psyched to try this and I'm happy I have a 2011 bottle at home to compare this to.

xnicknj, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of pmarlowe
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tulip glass. 2011 (January) bottling.

Pours a cloudy amber color, like apple cider, with a thin cap of yellowish foam and minimal lacing. Smell is a nice bourbon--the Goldilocks amount--and sweet, fruity caramel, apple, and spice. Taste is heavy on the bourbon and oak, along with some chocolate and caramel, sweetness, and a mildly bitter and hot finish. Thankfully, the hops seem to have faded considerably. A little more restraint with the bourbon barreling would make this even tastier. Nice carbonation and full body. Overall, this is a delicious, bourbon-forward barleywine. Props for putting something so delicious in 12oz format.

Postscript: Based on a fresh 2012 bottling, this beer has more hop bite and fizzy mouthfeel like carbonated beverage. Tastes more like an American barleywine. By 6mo out, the hops appear to have receded and the carbonation smoothed out considerably. I've found myself going through quite a bit of this stuff.

12/25/12: 2008 vintage. This has held up pretty well. Tasty, showing mild oxidation. More reminiscent of an old ale than barleywine, with fruity character especially evident on the nose. This beer stands up well to age, but is best fresh IMHO.

pmarlowe, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of billab914
3.85/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a lighter brown color with a little bit of an orange tint to it. A very thin, white ring clung to the edges of the glass. It actually left a decent amount of lacing for how little of a head it had.

The aroma has a lot going on in it. I get some juicy, fruity, citrus like flavors coming out, with a bit of an orange juice, pineapple flavor to it. The bourbon is there and gives it some woody, boozy bourbon flavors. I'm getting a little bit of a dark fruit soaked in vodka quality to it as well. A little boozy overall and not as smooth as some of my favorites in the style, but not bad overall.

Things come together better for me in the taste. I get more of the malty, caramel flavors mixing with the bourbon up front. Midway I start to get more of the juicy, citrus bitterness to it with some grapefruit and pine present in the finish. A little bit of the woody, oak and vanilla flavor comes through in the finish. Again, a little boozy in the finish overall but not too bad.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side for the style and carbonation is moderate. Overall it was a pretty solid beer, but didn't really wow me like some barrel aged barleywines have. It felt a little too juicy, citrusy and bitter as well as boozy at times, but then also smooth and drinkable at times when the malty flavors came out more. It had some very nice high points to it and was a very nice sipping beer this evening, but fell a little short of being a truly world class beer of the style.

billab914, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of ChugginOil
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for the hook-up Brophmonster!

This fine brew pours a dark amber and settles a ruby infused brown color. Oily legs cling to the glass after an inch of off white head dissipates. The nose smells very sweet with notes akin to caramel apples. There is a bit of a hop presence in the aroma but nothing too strong. The taste is also very sweet with a well masked alcohol level. The oak and vanilla bourbon characteristics offered by the oak barrel are shining through in this beer but not overpowering. You can still taste the caramel and light hop offerings as well. Some butter notes are also picked up in the flavor that add to the sweetness. The mouthfeel is full-bodied with a suiting low amount of carbonation. Overall, pretty damn smooth for such a brew and damn tasty as well.

ChugginOil, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of hopsbreath
2.05/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had a little barrel aged barleywine tasting at MADhombrewer and Witchsbrew's residence last night. Filet mignon's were provided by our host's for TulipSnifter and I. Thanks guys!

In the lineup were Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, Hellshire I, BA Hi-Fi Rye, BA Old Ruffian, Abacus, and Alpine Great. Our intention was to also open up Perfect Storm '09, Mother of all Storms '10, Kuhnhenn BBBW, and Arctic Devil but we agreed it best to hold off on those beers for another day due to palate fatigue. Small two ounce samples of the six beers from last night were first tasted and notes were taken before returning to the bottles for more tastes and refined notes.

Thanks to graniteskunk and zimmerbloke for providing me with 2010 and 2011 vintages of this.

A: Golden-tan, fizzy white head falls to nothing. Not particularly viscous looking and we get some spotty lacing. 3/5

S: Honey, grassy hops (slightly stronger in the '11 but very similar between the two vintages), and non-pleasant slightly putrid wood. 2/5

T: All hops and barrel. Any complexity that may be in here is currently hidden behind the more aggressive characteristics. It will need some time to develop complexity and in my opinion, the '10 batch is still very similar to the '11. Three years in the bottle might make this better but for now it's not very good. 2/5

M: Thin and spritzy compared to the other beers in the lineup. 2/5

O: Simply not up to par with the competition. 2/5

hopsbreath, May 30, 2011
Photo of Khazadum
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blind Beer #8 poured into a snifter! I wanted a beer while I played some video games tonight, and I figured I would knock out a blind review as well!

Good amount of creamy froth. Very fine bubble collection and cotton wisp nature. Good retention, great lacing. Hidden carbonation confuses me. There is very little to see and the retention is still amazing... hmmm. The body is a nice copper almost ruby hue.

Oooo is that bourbon I smell? I swear it smells like woodford reserve with the particular sweetness it imparts. There is also this interesting cherry background that makes me imagine just a few drops of maraschino cherry juice was added to create the perfect impression. There is a distinct astringency on the back end that detracts but it is paired with some minor vanilla hues that make me imagine oak barrels.

Flavors open up on the sip with fantastic bourbon sweetness. Its a syrupy type of molasses with very little earthen brown sugar characteristic. Very rich, distinct. Following this is some spiciness in the middle. Almost.. rye? Finish is alcoholic, hot, astringent, and minor bitterness to it. It has a minor upswing of vanilla on the ending. I should make it known that the ethanol characteristics are pervasive. They just peak in the finish making them known even much more. Very volatile.

Creamy. Nice and smooth. However, the ethanol at times becomes biting. Sharp. Very high. It isn't always, but when its on boy is it ON. Sticky flavors, and definitely some treasures are hidden all over my mouth and lips. There is a very very slight carbonation at the start that bursts slow. Like a rising burp, when it finally breaks it is sweet relief.

I like it. Its a pretty solid beer. I'm thinking a bourbon barrel barley wine. The alcohol may need a slight tweaking to work into the beer a bit stronger, however, I think overall it is beneficial. Its strength and heat overwhelm the palate and lead some flavors to be rushed over... lost and missed at times. Needs a bit more carbonation. At 12 ounces, I feel like I can't drink any other beers since it is just absolutely so thick.

Reveal is!!! Holy hell... I've had this. Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine! I've even had this year! It is sitting in a review notebook somewhere... I should find that and compare...

Khazadum, May 28, 2011
Photo of Bmoyer0301
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:

Tonight I decided to use my crystal whiskey snifter that came with my Sam Adams Utopias bottle. This baby is perfect for catching all the small nuances of the aroma. It even opens up the beer a lot more than a normal goblet, not to mention its really classy looking. As I pried off the cap on this twelve ounce bottle there was just a faint hiss that leaked out. That was it, nothing real loud or noticeable. Because of its very high ABV and syrupy looking nature, I decided to pour straight on to entice a thick head. When I was done I was left with a thin, creamy, off white head that stuck around till the last drop. When I hold my glass up to the light there is burst of burnt orange, reds and amber shining through my snifter. This is surprisingly crystal clear and has a lot of tiny bubbles streaming upwards from the bottom of my glass. On the viscosity check I gave a generous swirl and noticed that this baby painted the glass walls with its foamy head and left a fair amount of legs slowly sliding down.

Smell:

Right out of the gate a huge bouquet of caramel and toffee jump right out of the glass and into your sinuses. Not too far behind it is the straight heat from the bourbon. It is very present, almost like taking raisins, soaking them in whiskey and then snorting them up your nose. A tiny bit of vanilla is poking through and a decent amount of earthy, spicy hops round out the finish to offset the sweetness. Very complex and nice, this was shaping up to be a winner already.

Taste:

Woah...I'm awake now! The flavor is just drop dead amazing! Loads of rich bourbon and wood flavors coming through in the most wonderful of arrangements. Sugary, candy like notes, followed by fruit galore and a tinge of hop spice. Other malt influences of toasted, pale malt flavors, a slight nuttiness at times and a big biscuit-like malt character. Fruity esters of plumbs, figs, dates, strawberries, ripe raspberries, red grapes, anise, and vanilla all make secondary impacts in waves as my glass gets warmer. The ending is sticky and mildly sweet, leaving bourbon flavors lingering on the palate. I get some heat alcohol but not as much as you might think for having such a high ABV.

Drinkability:

Overall this was another week of barrel aged bliss from a bottle. I am super glad that I decided to break this out today since it is just a little bit on the cooler side and this made for a fantastic afternoon sipper. I am going to head outside for a nice cigar to finish this baby up and unwind for the rest of my Sunday. If you get a chance to try this or trade for it I'd say this is one of the best bourbon barrel barleywines I have ever had so don't miss out

Bmoyer0301, May 23, 2011
Photo of badboyrsl84
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick caramel, very viscous with a 1 inch head that sneaks up at the end of the pour

Smell - the smell is very light compared to the taste. Tons of sweet caramel with a kick of Bourbon.

Taste - AMAZING! Good amount of whiskey and sweet malty caramel. One of the best balanced barrel aged beers I've had. No strong alcohol presence but it's noticeable.

Overall - one of the best barrel aged brews I've had!

badboyrsl84, May 22, 2011
Photo of AleWatcher
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got this in an a BIF box from rebis1bear.

Served in a snifter.

I've had this beer a few times, but never this fresh. I am amazed at how much more I like it fresh. Recently we cracked an 09 and 10 side by side-- I was unimpressed. Had I rated those bottles, this beer would be getting a C- to D!
I like the fresh beer much more.

Anyway... Nice burnt orange color with a dark tan head formed from a surge of bubbles up the sides-- a rolling, cascading, and tumbling journey that really looks nice. The head has decent retention and leaves some hefty thick rings of lace.

Smells... well, like a bourbon barrel-aged barleywine. Big malts are sweet and doughy while bourbon encompasses all with a blanket of sweet booziness. The beer has some dark fruit/raisin note with a touch of earthy character (from the hops? Barrel?), big sweet malts and boozy bourbon. The flavor is nice-- lots going on, with a solid bourbon bite to finish me off and linger a bit.

The body is nearly full with a surprising and delightful prickly feel. Excellent carbonation level. Really, quite nice on the feel.

This is a very nice beer. Any bottles I get from here on out will be consumed fresh. I shall not age them!

AleWatcher, May 20, 2011
Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,747 ratings.