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Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Bourbon Barrel Barleywine AleBourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale

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

1,470 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1470
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.28%


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: 1,470 | Reviews: 515 | Show All Ratings:
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 Reason2B
Reason2B

Wisconsin

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

A: A beautiful dark copper in color. 1/4” or so of light yellow / white head. Great lacing, which appears if may last my entire drinking experience.

S: Caramel malt, bourbon, alcohol, fill the nostros.

T: This is what bourbon aged is meant to be; I just love it. The bourbon taste just stay with you your whole time enjoying this beer. However, it is by no means unbalanced. Next in line adding to the complexity is vanilla, followed by great caramel, with good oak flavor.

M: Heavy in body, with just the right about of carbonation.

O: This is a WINNER. It builds on an already great Y2K base with bourbon, caramel, vanilla and oak…who doesn’t like that. This is perhaps only second up to Fourteen Fourteen as the greatest of Central Waters offering.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 04:34:53 | More by Reason2B
Photo of znichols
znichols

Wisconsin

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

A- Nutty, dark auburn color. Very faint little head that is gone in seconds. Not a ton of lacing but this beer has a mystique look to it. Slightly hazy, i'm expecting this to pack a punch.

S- Wow, big, sweet maltyness with a heavy bourbon backing. Ripe cherries, vanilla, oak, and citrus hops round out the aroma. The smell on this thing is real nice.

T- Holy cow! This is a great Barleywine. Be warned, this is a sipper! Tastes like Bourbon, vanilla, toffee, subtle coffee, brown sugar butter, Booze, and earthy wood. The finish is soft, grassy hops and alcohol. There is a ton of flavor here and its just about as good as you're gunna get with a Barleywine. Moderately bitter.

M- Heavy mouthfeel with a sticky texture. Little carbonation with a slight cloying finish. Very nice, though.

O- This is a really good Barleywine. All the big, sweet, malty, biscuity, hoppy flavors are present in mass quantities. The touch of oak and bourbon finishes it our really nicely. For how hefty and boozy this beer is, its pretty drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 05:28:52 | More by znichols
Photo of Steasy66
Steasy66

Minnesota

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

A Garnet with light head, good retention
S Malt, booze, big bourbon character
T Malt, very boozy, coconut, huge bourbon barrel flavor, really spectacular
M Thick, low carbonation
O Really great beer, especially given its price and availability. I was blown away by the quality of this beer. Drank it next to the base beer, Y2K and, while both great, you can really see the advantages of barrel aging.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2012 06:04:33 | More by Steasy66
Photo of B33R501
B33R501

Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 21:09:14 | More by B33R501
Photo of King_KongDCO93
King_KongDCO93

Minnesota

4.66/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: small carbonation, reddish/brown color. Dark enough that you can't see through the glass. Has almost no head.

S: caramel and vanilla aroma are opulent, mixed in with some cherries and toffee

T: Notes of caramel and vanilla just like the smell. some notes of butterscotch and sweet fruits. Really not noticing too much of the oak barrels its very light but you do taste it more as you drink.

M: palate feels balanced, has a large body but really creamy and has some tangginess

O: slightly boozy for 11.2% abv very very nice. the caramel and vanilla flavor is amazing

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2013 01:07:36 | More by King_KongDCO93
Photo of sponberg
sponberg

New York

4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish amber, slightly cloudy, with a thin offwhite head that is gonna do some lacing, you knows it.

Yeah, this one's hit the barrel - big, butter/smoke/vanilla/bourbon aroma with slight pepperiness; almost more of an anejo tequila note than bourbon in here. Diggin' it.

Starts out with this vast bourbon malt attack - huge flavor going on. Really get the bourbon barrel in this one - almost but not quite too much. Woody, spicy (pepperiness again) with big dark carameliness but dry as can be. Not cloying in the slightest. Finish is almost dominated by the combination of that smoky bourbon maltiness and the growing alcoholic presence. I like vanilla, but this one's got the bean well under control and all for the better of it. Big, warm, round, smooth, with a warming surge o' in the finish that almost numbs the tongue. A beer made for sipping, Two of these would be plenty - but I'd enjoy every sip.

Thanks to theFatKid13 for the bottle - :thumbup: F'n Furley!!!

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2007 01:17:30 | More by sponberg
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
AdmiralDiaz

Minnesota

4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle to pint glass.

A: Pours a very unique color for the style. Dark brown with strong red edges surrounding and almost black center. Very interesting. Small off-white head with okay retention but no lacing.

S: Strong caramel and brown sugar, dark fruit (plum/raisin) and...oh, that's right lots of bourbon. Smells very good, but not that bold.

T&M: Sweet malts with caramelized brown sugar and a bit of vanilla hit upfront grabbing your attention right away. The plum flavor then kicks in with a faint note of bourbon that only grows stronger as the beer flows across the palate. The finish is fairly strong with hops, but still taste bud poppingly sweet. The hops give off just a small amount of bitterness which intertwines with the alcohol finish perfectly making it very pleasing. Mouthfeel is perfect for the style IMO, thick, full bodied, but still tiny bubbles of carbonation dance on the tongue.

Overall: Fantastic barleywine, can't think of any better I've had. Would be much more drinkable if the sweetness was down a notch. One bottle is perfect. Pick this one up if you can find it, I'm sure it will soon be on the top 10 of the style.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 00:48:54 | More by AdmiralDiaz
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Unclejedi for sharing this with me! I will try to review quickly, before the memory fades from my mind.

Pours a ruddy brown, some slow bubbling carbonation.

Smell is excellent, with some nice, not overpowering bourbon notes, caramel, and some balancing dark fruits and grapefruit/pine hops.

Taste delivers on the aroma. The citrus profile rounds out to include sweet orange along with the grapefruit and pine, some indescribable dark fruit and tropical notes, and a heavy bourbon and caramel malt base. Mmm... I hadn't heard of this beer before, and it was pretty stunning to try. Quite delicious, and very drinkable. Could have easily had a growler or two of this.

If this was a one-time, brewery only release of about 1000 bottles in a 750 ml bottle, the hype would be insane.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 02:32:06 | More by Overlord
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A heavy murk of the deepest of darkest scarlet brown but mostly black in duller light. Tall and fluffy capping of sandy browned foam bubbles its way to a medium height before finding a skimming and collar replacement slowly after. Elongated portions of sheeted lace angle the glass with a few icicles dangling along the bottom.

Aroma is plummy, rummy, dark orange, and deep with some over ripe date fruityness. Burnt brown sugar, vanilla pod paste, and huge earthen tobacco oak tinged heat perks the nose up with quite a beefy array. The heated esters do grab the impressions of the bourbon barrel aging very well. Nice!

Taste is heavenly lush, creamy, and thick with a huge loft of chewyish malts that drips lots of dark caramel all across a marmalade of dark fruity mushyness that has date, plum, fig, raisin, orange, mixing with tingey oaken warmth that adds a lovely vanilla aspect well within each sip. Partial warming chocolate thickness and burntish butter creep into its warming finish as it cinders with earthy vanilla oakyness. Damn nice taster!

Super creamy, silken medium/fullish body that has exceptional balance and tone the whole way thru as its length in taste is superseded by its well handled wamrth. Finsishes clean, earthy, warm, and like a warm chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough thats been slightly warmed in the oven just before the are comepletely ready to be a cookie; somewhere between cookie dough and its toasty/burnt edges if left unattended. Much like the Kosmyk Charlie Y2K Catastrophe this has alot of dimensions that scream Old Ale while keeping its Barleywine presence maintained.

This was gone in no time flat as its balance was outstandingly nice between its malty chewyness and bourbony hinted, earthy vanilla warming. Remarkable stuff by Central Waters!

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2009 02:17:42 | More by tavernjef
Photo of CrellMoset
CrellMoset

Virginia

4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle courtesy of czoch75 - a huge thanks to a great trader! 2009 vintage, poured in to an 18 oz. cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a transparent mahogany wood, a deep ruddy brown capped by a finger and a half of uniformly tan head of remarkable consistency. The retention is surprisingly solid for a beer of ... what's the abv% on this? I'm not sure, but it's high, and it's barrel aged, so it's probably even higher from the spirit addition. The lacing leaves a little more to be desired, but still does an admirable job at times of clinging to the sides of the glass, forming small freckle-like patterns in places and thicker, avant garde-esque sheets in others. Upon holding this one up to the light, a few incredibly fine streams of slow carbonation are visible.

Aroma: Barrel notes are very obvious in this one and meld wonderfully with a heavy, thick hop profile. Smooth waves of tobacco, leather, and oak provide nice window dressing for a slew of heavier malty notes - dark toffee, caramel, toast, bread crusts - and bourbon-soaked fruits, mostly lighter ones. It's a little fainter than I'd like and requires severe agitation to get a really good grasp on, unfortunately.

Taste: Sweet malts and dark fruits - caramel, doughy bread, moderately-roasted toffee, faint chocolate, as well as raisins, sweet cherries, dates - are in perfect equilibrium with a slew of hop notes, ranging from leather to tobacco to grapefruit to pine (the latter of which melds seamlessly with the hop bitterness, the alcohol burn, and the bourbon presence, for the record). The burn is actually predominantly hop bitterness (a fact that becomes evident in the "afterfeel," i.e., the belch), and I would love to set this one down for a few years to see what develops. Strong woodiness, faint vanillin, plus the bourbon adds an earthy, slightly spicy presence, with definite kisses of char and a few astringencies, but is by no means the dominant note here: perhaps it is the sheer intensity of the other flavors - the sweetness of the malt backbone and the complexity of the hop profile - that keeps it in check, but regardless, this beer presents a marvelously complex and well-balanced array of flavors.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth, thick without being syrupy or cloying, with quite possibly the perfect amount of embedded carbonation, fine and well-dispersed that rises and lifts the wonderful aforementioned flavors to the perfect elevation. Marvelous.

Drinkability: An unbelievable beer. A remarkable array and assortment of flavors in near perfect balance provides for a true treat, whether alone or with dessert. No burn at all, and, well, since I don't know what the abv% is, I can't really knock any points off for drinkability there ... right? I'm going to guess between 9.5% and 10.5%, though at this level, my margin of error gets a little screwy. Regardless, this is a well-crafted beer with a good - albeit mild - nose, a fantastic mouthfeel and flavor profile, exceptional drinkability for the style, and one I would insist anyone who sees buys up instantly. And then mail it to me.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2009 20:54:14 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Loterbol tulip.

2009 vintage

A: Pours a dark caramel-brown that shows off some deep ruby hues when held to the light. Topping this is a dark khaki colored, one-finger layer of creamy foam that takes forever to recede, but as it does it leaves some gorgeous looking sheets of lace behind.

S:Absolutely heavenly aromas of (of course) bourbon, vanilla, coconut, rum raisin bread pudding, dark chocolate drizzled cherries, buttery caramel, cinnamon sugar, and at the very end a bit of solvent alcohol.

T: Well, what can I say about this that I didn't just say above? As it warms, a myriad of spicy dark fruit flavors emerge. Mainly spiced figs and plums. Chocolate covered cherry becomes quite prominant in the finish, as well. Molassas, brown sugar, roasted nuts, and bourbon sodden oak.

M: So rich and creamy and smooth. Bordering on syrupy but the subtly spicy hops and slight sliver of peppery hot alcohol keep that from happening. What I imagine it would feel like to drink half and half fortified with a shot of bourbon or rum. I truly can't believe how thick and rich this is.

D: This has got to be one of the very best BBBW's being produced right now. Hands down. Smooth, complex, and best of all, not overly hot, ragged, or skull crushingly strong. Sure, it's meant to be sipped but those sips were coming pretty quickly for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2009 01:32:43 | More by GbVDave
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Bobby8405 for the hook-up. As always, you are the man.

2010 vintage.

A - Beautiful ruby-amber, perfect translucence, nice off-white head that reduces to a thin cap but leaves good lace for a BA brew.

S - Phenomenal barrel, cinnamon-raisin, a pickled cherry aroma, and a vague earthiness.

T - Huge raisin-malty-dark bread flavor, finishing with a big and lingering maple impression. Big cherry and Bourbon flavors creep up, as well. Also a bit of chocolate. Just a great tasting brew all-around. I imagine this will age very well.

M - Very nice balance of booze, viscosity, and effervescence.

D - This is one of the nicest examples of a Bourbon barrel treatment I've come across.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2010 18:07:55 | More by ktrillionaire
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 andrewinski1
andrewinski1

New Hampshire

4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Sonic Alligator for this nice extra! The neck says 2010; the label says bottled in February. Poured into a tasting glass. The color is very red; I would say pomegranate. There is just a slight bit of haziness. There is no head to speak of.

The aroma is full of sweet toffee, caramel, with a bit of raisins. There is a bit of a doughy aroma as well, emphasizing the malt.

The taste is full of sweet caramel, some cocoa, and lots of dark fruit. To keep from being too sweet, there is a hefty dose of bitterness in the finish that leaves a slightly citrusy hop aftertaste. Awesome awesome awesome!

This is full bodied, and the carbonation is smooth.

This is one of the best bourbon barreled barley wines I have had. I will definitely be tracking down more!

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 03:53:35 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of afausser
afausser

Montana

4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of nflmvp--an amazing trader. Thanks so much for giving me another chance to try this one!

A: Pours an amber-tinged mahogany with one and a half fingers of fluffy, bubbly, creamy tan head. Nearly opaque where the glass is thickest, and hazy where it is thinnest. The head dissipates into fluffy mocha bubbles, the consistency of which you might find in a mug of hot cocoa, and soon thereafter, a fine ring around the edge of the glass, where a few of the larger bubbles are still persistent. Very little lacing, but the lacing that is there is the same foam consistency as the head at first. As it calms down, this changes to very nice, fine, fluffy lacing.

S: Delicious. Very sweet, with HEAVY candy, brown sugar, caramels, and molasses, as well as--no surprise--plenty of bourbon. Heavy raisins, rum, and prunes in the nose do not drown out the more subtle scents of chocolate, juicy raspberries and a very slight hint of strawberries. There's also a nice vanilla scent which is easy to miss since it blends with the rest of the beer so well, but is a huge element in the smell.
As it warms, slightly metallic notes come out as well as hints of licorice and cherry. Though these hints come out more and more, so do the raisins, prunes, bourbon, and caramel, which end up smelling wonderful after sitting for a bit. Mmmm.

T: Immediately noticeable are earthy, oaky and metallic tastes that were not predominant in the smell, as well as some heat from the alcohol. This aside, the bourbon is even bigger in the taste than in the smell, but I'm also tasting brandy and a slight hint of rum. The large amount of vanilla in the taste blends well with the alcohol, somewhat tempering it and providing a very smooth and creamy element to the taste. Heavy raisins, prunes, caramel and molasses are still present, as are yeasty, light breads, dessert coffee, chocolate, and raspberries. A bit syrupy (though only in taste--not at all in texture) but in a good way. The bourbon balances nicely with the sugar so that it is not at all cloying despite being so sweet. Even the aftertaste is complex and delicious here--there is still some sweet caramel and vanilla but also a bourbon-like warmth, metal, and slight anise. As it warms, this develops into brown sugar and vanilla. Throughout the life of the beer, the hops make themselves present in the aftertaste, adding in grapefruit as one additional element of the complex yet easily drinkable beer. This one gets so much more complex in flavor as it warms that the heat from the alcohol is actually far less obvious in the taste as it sits due to the other flavors warming up a bit (and blending VERY nicely!). 4.5

M: When I cracked open this beer, I thought that the mouthfeel was going to get ranked much lower than it ended up--it improved SO much as it warmed! A little warm at first, which usually bothers me, but for some reason I don't mind. In a way, it's almost the warmth you get from drinking liquor--particularly whisky, though not nearly as strong--and the heavy bourbon taste in this one blends nicely with the warmth of the mouthfeel. Also, as noted above, the alcohol heat actually disappears a little bit as it warms, and it ends up creamy and easy to drink, though it leaves your mouth tingling a bit. Medium bodied with tons of extremely small carbonation bubbles--I'd say the carbonation is near perfect on this one, which impresses me quite a bit. Delicious.

D: I'm very partial to this beer--it was one of my introductions to craft beer through a friend, which I didn't feel comfortable reviewing at the time. I have been wanting to try this one again and get a review out of it for quite a while now to see if it was really as good as I had remembered (as opposed to good in comparison to, well, pretty terrible beer). Central Waters did not fail me on this one--I can now say that I absolutely love it. It's one to sip, but for the style (and what I'd guess the ABV to be) it's incredibly refreshing and drinkable. I enjoyed this one over a couple hours, but only through the sheer willpower of wanting to get a good review out of it and the selfishness of wanting to save it for as long as possible. I often wish that we could easily get Central Waters stuff in Virginia, but really, really wish we could get this one specifically--I would definitely love to have this one over and over again.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2010 02:25:16 | More by afausser
Photo of e11a627
e11a627

Wisconsin

4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pumpkin orange, brown color, translucent

S: Aged fruit, aroma of cherry twizzlers

T: Fruity, but not overwhelming at all.
Chocolate, bourbon, cherry.

M: Great flavor, tingle post-swallow, feel
warm while drinking it - yummmm.

D: Tastes amazing. Don't taste the ABV at all -goes down surprisingly smooth. I could drink more than one of these easily. I've had some bad barleywine experiences in the past and this changed my mind about barleywine completely. SO GOOD!

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2010 20:23:51 | More by e11a627
Photo of bitterbeerguy
bitterbeerguy

Minnesota

4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Starting the weekend with this 2009 gem thanks to JohnGalt1!

Pours a beautiful red color that has some orange and brown hidden throughout. Very light on the bubbles but I think that's how these bourbon barrel brews are meant to be.

Aroma has hints of whiskey, toffee, caramel, and raspberries. Absolutely no idea where the berries are coming from but I like it.

Taste is very complex: smooth malt barleywine characters such as toffee and fig show up first, then brew begins to turn the corner to bourbon, but in a very subtle way. I am truly impressed by how the lingering bourbon flavor sticks.

Overall a gem, as mentioned above. The light, yet complex, favors have developed over the past couple years very nicely. The best part is a subtle bourbon flavor that does not over power and instead let's the notes of the barleywine come through while providing complimentary favors.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2012 21:21:01 | More by bitterbeerguy
Photo of ChimRichels
ChimRichels

Wisconsin

4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep ruby body with essentially no head at all. A thin whit film lingers atop the murky body.

S - Smell really blew me away on this one. Very rich, rich sweet dark fruits and some mild citrus hop aromas tying together nicely. Very bold aroma that hints at a thick, doughy body.

T - Bold indeed it is. So many flavors at once I don't know where to begin. Sharp bite from the hops begins the roller coaster of flavors. Bitter dark roasted coffee follows. Sweet fruits follows along with a doughy mouth feel. Bourbon shows itself on the finish. A little boozy.

M- Thick and viscous. Can;t find anything to complain about there.

O - reall impressed by this offering from CW

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2012 23:56:44 | More by ChimRichels
Photo of herman77
herman77

Minnesota

4.61/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 23:07:13 | More by herman77
Photo of Timmah11
Timmah11

Minnesota

4.61/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Reddish brown. A bit murky. Carbonation bubbles along glass and a few bigger khaki bubbles on top. Carbonation and head recede fairly quickly.

Smell: The bourbon is dominate for sure. Sweetness-caramel, toffee and vanilla.

Taste: Strong bourbon flavor to start. The Sweet malt follows with flavors consistent with the aroma - toffee and caramel. Light vanilla. All the flavors are melded together. Really smooth.

Mouthfeel: Not as full bodied as many other barleywines. Creamy and smooth. A tad thin as I have found CWs other barrel aged styles.

Overall: I look forward to this release every year. A wonderful boozy but balanced sweet take on a barrel-aged barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 18:44:38 | More by Timmah11
Photo of quicksilver96
quicksilver96

Wisconsin

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

A: Ruddy brown, 1 finger creamy tan head formed on pour, very little lacing, very little retention however.

S: Oak, dried apricots, caramel, malt. Very smooth and sweet smell with very little citrus. There is so much going on here that it is hard to describe it all. Phenomenal.

T: Vanilla, raisin/dried fruit fading to a warm alcohol and slightly dry citrus note.

M: Low carbonation, slightly heavy. Very much what you should expect from a barleywine.

D: Very smooth, slight dry finish begs another sip. Overall quite exceptional.

Served in a very large red wine glass at roughly cellar temperature. Purchased 06/08 consumed 10/08. Will definitely try to pick up a bottle for longer term storage.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2008 04:09:55 | More by quicksilver96
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

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

Bottle shared by Grant - thanks!

Pours a bright copper color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head slowly recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of sticky caramel malts with good amounts of butterscotch, toffee, bourbon, and vanilla, in that order. Also present are hints of deeper chocolate malt aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Rich caramel malt flavors with loads of bourbon flavors joining in shortly thereafter. Butterscotch and toffee flavors lead the pack with amounts of vanilla that are larger than that in the aroma. The sweetness subsides just a bit midway through the sip but other than that there is really no influence from hops. The ending is sticky and mildly sweet, leaving bourbon flavors lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's thickness is on the more viscous side with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass very quickly and could drink a whole lot of these.

Overall I was very impressed with this beer and even more so when I discovered the low price. This beer is a steal and well worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2010 20:29:55 | More by glid02
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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
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Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

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

An excellent beer, thanks to starrdogg for sharing.

A: Reddish orange hue with some golden lacing on the sides of the glass. Ok ring of head.

S: A nice bourbon vanilla oak infused prune/vegetable barley base. Raisin sugar also dominate nicely.

T: Awesome taste. Elegant mix of oak/bourbon with huge dark fruit spicy barleywine. Confectionary levels of sweetness and some nice bitters at the back.

M: Smooth and very nice, bitter back. Great.

D: A little heavy but nice!

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 02:12:27 | More by Dreadnaught33
Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,470 ratings.