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Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Barleywine AleBourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,939 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,939
Reviews: 552
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 692
Gots: 560 | FT: 62
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: 1,939 | Reviews: 552 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fiedler84
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

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

A 2012 vintage bottle into a snifter

A- CWBBBW was a dark red mixing in with hazy brown making for a dark drink in the 12oz portion. It's not the dirtiest BW i've seen but it's pretty dark and difficult to see through. A nice beige cap up above leaving small splotz.

S- This smells amazing, it's really pungent with bourbon scents seeping out the glass. Wow! After getting around that a small candy scent and a big pile of roasty/toasty malt. Even some hop scent reaching out to be sniffed. Oak, vanilla, the works.

T- This is a great barleywine, I've never had the base, but can tell the original is no slouch. Bourbon hits my palate 1st and than the vanilla and oak come a blazing. Sweet caramel middle with malts and than some alcohol and piney hops afterwards. It's boozy still but it's also delicious.

M- Feel is approaching thick and somewhat syrupy, it's also a tad hot. It's also a big ass bourbon barleywine with 11.5%, so theres that. I get a somewhat candy gloss coating my mouth over some time. It's carbed up well.

O- I was really impressed with this one. Worthy of the praise it recieves. The only problem I had was drinking it. It tastes and feels great but it is a sipper in every sense of the word. I m loving sitting down at the crib with this one on a sunday night.

Photo of JRdaSconnie
4.77/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P: 2012 edition, 12oz bottle from 4pk purchased at Trigs Cellar 70 in Eagle River, WI. From fridge to big snifter. Started cold and sampled as it warmed. First try of this one.

A: Beautiful rusty brown pour with tan 1/2 finger head. Head drops quickly to thin ring. Definately has some legs on it.

S: Little hit of eye-watering alcohol first then all delicious caramel malt. Maybe a hint of hops? But yep, lots of tasty, tasty alcohol.

T: Some dark caramel malt first. Booze. Not sure on the whole figgy/dark fruit thing, maybe. Bourbon barrel for sure.

M: Luscious, velvety but cut with alcohol too. Mild carbonation with a little prickle mid tongue. Little alcohol heat.

O: Wow, I'm a BW fan and love barrel beers. 5's are very tempting. I like the base Kosmyk Charlie's Catastrophe Ale and barrelizing it is just awesome. Might be too boozy for some, but high on my totem pole.

Photo of B33R501
4.69/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Every bit as good as Weyerbacher Insanity, which is simply the best smelling beer I've had. And so is this. Huge aromas of thick cake batter, vanilla, figs, dates, buttered popcorn.

What I've just described above in the aroma is exactly what this tastes like, plus the huge caramel sweetness and wood that moves everything along to a nice dry finish. Pucker up.

Why we drink beer.

Photo of TotallyHosed
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of Zenk
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Tamarack22
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of WreckDiver
3/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of Cyclone8
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of 2dogbrew
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of Scout11
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of russwbeck
4.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage, reviewed in 2012

A: It pours out of the bottle a muddy brown to deep red and rests inside my Deschutes snifter with about a finger of light brown head. The head isn't a fan of the party and checks out pretty quickly, leaving to lacing behind.

S: The smell is pretty nicely balanced. It seems to have a mellow about it normally reserved for aged beers. Deep caramel malts, some booze that hints towards being too offensive, bourbon, and vanilla.

T: The boozy aroma that only hinted towards offensive on the smell is more so on the taste. Underneath it lays a creamy, smooth maltiness that's blended nicely with bourbon and vanilla. I think I'm getting some roast at the very end as well. The taste is too much from the barrel and just not as integrated as the aroma seemed.

MF: A bit thin with lower than average carbonation. The booze hurts the drinkability, but nothing strange hangs around on the palate.

O: This was a nice little beer, but nothing special. I got it as an extra in a trade, so I'm not really in any place to complain! I'd say it falls on the side of an easy-drinking Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, but it isn't really special

2013 Vintage, reviewed in 2013

A: The body is more clear, but also more dark than Y2K. The pour is a dark brown with a thinner head, about one finger in height. The retention has gone down as well as the lacing. 3

S: The sweetness has been taken up another notch! Big notes of vanilla, toffee, and dark fruits really take over with a bit of booze thrown in. The roast, which carried the aroma of the base beer, is all but gone. I think the barrel took the nose up another notch, but I'm worried the taste will be too sweet. 4.5

T: The taste is of chewy caramel, vanilla, and hints of bourbon. It is very sweet, but the bourbon and booze actually provide some balance. The finish is delicious vanilla mixed with toffee. The roast has gone, apparently, as I don't get any with this beer any longer. 4

MF: The mouthfeel is crazy smooth with a boozy finish. It's damn drinkable, which when considering this is a very high ABV and I had it directly after normal Y2K at 10%...I'm feeling pretty good. 4

Value: This trade was definitely worth it. Both this and the base beer are tasty offerings. 4.5

O: This beer definitely improved in the bourbon barrels. The taste was more balanced, easier to drink, and overall more enjoyable. Both are good beers, this one is just better and I would seek it out again. 4

Photo of theholdsteady
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of stealth
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of chanokokoro
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter and served between 50-55 degrees.

Pours a ruby amber with an off-white two finger head. Aromas of oak, dark fruit and hints of bourbon and booze are clearly present. Caramel malts dominate at first and become much more pronounced as this brew warms along with black cherries, plum, and fig. The finish is slightly sweet with bourbon notes and booze. Heavy body supported by huge malt backbone, syrupy with a perfect amount of carbonation. Overall, a wonderful BA barleywine and the perfect sipping brew. I'm laying a few down in the cellar to enjoy next winter.

Photo of engberg88
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of TonyTalon
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of otrejo
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of baybassboy
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of ericjubeck
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Agold
3.97/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ber is a ruby red rusty color. Short just off white head recedes to a film and then a ring around the glass fairly quickly. Aroma is very caramel and burnt sugar forward, with some coconut and vanilla from the bourbon barrel. There is also some toffee and a bit of fruitiness. The flavor is very sweet. Bourbon and caramel forward with some nice biscuity malted milk ball character. The main attraction here however is the big sweet caramel paired with a more vanilla and coconut bourbon character. Mouthfeel is big, heavy and sticky, but a nice bit of carbonation lifts the beer up and keeps it from being cloying.

Photo of MaseFace
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of sommersb
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On: 03-12-2012
Freshness: Bottled 01-2012
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Received in a trade

Appearance is a hazy, reddish-brown color, with a small off-white head. Head retention is low, with a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Aromas are strong and pleasant; the first smell I got was the bourbon booziness, followed by sweet caramel malts and molasses. Other smells include oak, spices such as cinnamon, and dark, ripened fruits.

Taste is very rich -- heavy on the malts and packing quit a bit of alcohol heat. The whiskey is prominent and also features wooden and oak notes from the barrel-aging. Also get spicy flavors and earthy hops, but the bitterness is in the low to moderate range, maybe more like an English barleywine than an American version. I will say the hop character became more pronounced as the beer warmed up, however.

Thick mouthfeel, with medium carbonation. The finish is malty, sweet and boozy from the whiskey, but a little harsh.

Overall I was very impressed with this potent barleywine; a pleasant sipper for the end of the day!

Thanks to Duff27 for this one!

Photo of tripledbrew
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Grinnerman
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,939 ratings.