Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale - Central Waters Brewing Co.

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Bourbon Barrel Barleywine AleBourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,856 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,856
Reviews: 536
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 660
Gots: 520 | FT: 57
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: 1,856 | Reviews: 536 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jlary
5/5  rDev +16%

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5/5  rDev +16%

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5/5  rDev +16%

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5/5  rDev +16%

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5/5  rDev +16%

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5/5  rDev +16%

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5/5  rDev +16%

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5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of RedDon
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of LoulaBrewing
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of NewGlarusFan
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of gio540
5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of robear
4.99/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of CraftFan5
4.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of ubenumber2
4.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass , deep mahogany color to this beer , thin head with little lacing , might have been some residue in the glass or just might be on par for this brew.

The aroma is outstanding , the heavy malty sweetness hits you at the start , then you pick up on the hints of vanilla , oak and the bourbon with a whiff of alcohol at the end. Just makes your mouth water

The mouth on this beer is the best I've had in a Barleywine , it is not to heavy and not too thin with just the right amount of carbonation

The taste is just flat out spectacular , the malty sweetness hits you at the start and rides all the way through this brew , you can taste the flavors of the malt , the bourbon barrels and the hops really working together to make wonderful taste.

Overall this was my first ba barleywine , and I'm hooked , I will for sure be on the hunt for more of this great brew , just an outstanding beer

Photo of beerwolf77
4.93/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. Poured into my duvel tulip the beer is a muddy brown orange. The cream hued head hits about one finger berfore receding to leave a thick lace ring around the glass.

The aroma is spot on perfection. Sweet and sour playing tug of war with my olfactory senses. Apples and pears along with plums, dates, raisins and cherries. A nice burst of bourbon shines through along with a heavy dose of malt. Then just when you think it can't get any better the hops come in and tickle your nostrils.

The flavor is heavy on the malt up front. A nice hoppy fruity blast follows the malt. Warm bourbon mellows everything out in the finish. I have a feeling with some age the flavor will be epic.

Medium to full creamy body. Light carbonation.

Overall a great beer that I assume will become legend with time. I have a bottle of 09 and 08 that I will have to crack soon and see what the years have done. Stay tuned.

2009 vintage.

After having a bottle of 09 I will bump my scores slightly seeing as with one year this beer is now of mind blowing status.

Photo of CharlatanSin
4.93/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a few of these on my Wisconsin trip, and it certainly wins best in show. Wonderful beer.

A: Pours a rusty reddish brown color. Clear. It's got a small white head that dissolves into a splotchy cap that never quite goes away and leaves light lacing.

S: Killer. Terrific deep caramel malt is the backdrop for oak, vanilla, and the other hallmarks of bourbon aging. All of the smells blend together wonderfully -- this is a big point for me. I love bourbon beers, but often the booze overwhelms the nose.

T: World-class. Again, the big caramel malt holds it all together. The vanilla is very strong, as is the booze from the bourbon. A little less oaky than the nose. There's a significant hop presence in the finish, but it doesn't stray into DIPA territory like so many of its American Barleywine comrades. And again, it's all balanced beautifully, as if an engineer had spent years calibrating it perfectly.

M: Thick and smooth, with low carbonation. A total mouth-coater. A decent amount of alcohol burn, but that doesn't bother me at all with this style.

D: Brilliant. I weep that I can't walk a quarter mile and pick up a four pack of this anymore. Truly, Madison, WI was forged by the gods themselves.

Photo of jmarsh123
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 vintage into a Flying Mouflan tulip.

Pours light brown with some caramel hue. Big foamy head with excellent retention and lacing. One of the best looking beers I've ever seen.

A lot of the barrel shows through in the aroma. Sweet bourbon, oak and vanilla with some toffee. Barrel character comes through, but doesn't smell incredibly boozy.

I could sum up the flavor in one word: fantastic. Very similar to the nose. Notes of oak, vanilla and coconut along with a little bit of sweet toffee. Bourbon flavor is presently but not overpowering.

Rich and chewy. Integrates the bourbon well masking almost all alcohol heat and despite the components comes no where near to being cloying.

Absolutely one of the best -bal barley wines I've ever had. Despite it's rich character, it never gets overpowering sweet and the bourbon is integrated perfectly.

Photo of nathanmiller
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%

Photo of hawks10
4.88/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage - 12oz. bottle poured into my Central Waters pint glass, enjoyed at cellar temp...

Pours a thick glowing burnt orange with some ruby highlights. Slightly hazy with a thin one finger of soft white head that leaves a cap of haze on top of the beer for the whole drink...

Caramel, toffee and a nice boozy bourbon aroma with hints of vanilla and some wood scents as well. Sweet and complex, smells absolutely fantastic...

This beer sure is green! Heavy bourbon flavor with a distinct alcohol burn up front, undesirable to some, for me however, it is smooth and delicious. Lots of vanilla and small hints of all those smells; oak, caramel, toffee, bready, just overall thick and malty. Having a hard time picking out any hop bitterness at all...So complex, so smooth, feel like I am sipping on some liquor...

Thick and creamy, very slick from the low carbonation. Coats the entire palette and leaves behind a nice sting from the booze...

This beer is very fresh and ready to drink now, it will mellow out and change with age, but it is fantastic as is and if you're patient, it will also be fantastic down the road. Had a 2009 vintage about a month ago and it had calmed down a bit but was still quite boozy and nice...the 2010 picks up right where the 2009 left off, great beer from Central Waters, gonna drink one of these every few months for the next 2 years or so...

Photo of Lothore
4.88/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours an orangey brown hue with very little head.

S- Smell consists of very dark fruits, raisins, figs, plum and a hint of bourbon.

T- Taste is excellent. A couple nights ago I had a Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barleywine and was worried this wouldn't hold a candle to it but it is pretty great. Lighter fruity notes to begin with followed by strong raisin and fig and a sweetness mixed with alcohol warming toward the end. Absolutely delicious.

M- Thick with ample carbonation.

D- This is an excellent bourbon barleywine. Great to sip on anytime. I will certainly seek this out again in the future.

Photo of joe1510
4.86/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2009

I got this one a few months back from the man, d0b, thanks bitch! I have to pour this puppy with some height to conjure up a slow growing khaki head. When the bottle is empty the head sits at one finger in height atop a deep brown body with heavy tones of mahogany. When lifted to the light the body shows surprising clarity and a bright ruby glow. Carbonation bubbles creep from the bottom of the glass and pick up speed as they rise, eventually keeping the head in place throughout the drink. Sheet lacing splashes down the sides of the glass and shows great staying power.

Damn, this is a fine smelling barleywine! It's sweet right off the bat with loads of toffee and brandy soaked raisins. The nose is so sweet and rich it nearly puts me in a diabetic coma of pure bliss. Mild but noticeable candied citric notes come through the middle and the bourbon barrel adds notes of vanilla and spicy oak. Rich brown sugar, caramel, and a soft sweet note of bourbon make for a deeply complex nose on this English barleywine.

The flavors complexities are on par with those of the nose and may even surpass them. This barleywine starts off already in its prime. Deep, rich caramel and toffee wash of the tongue and stick around through the entirety while a lasting flash of the sweet candied citrus come through mid-palate. The bourbon barrel characteristics and dark brown sugar bring up the rear. Spicy oak and soft vanilla combine with rich brown sugar and mild but sweet bourbon. There's a touch of alcohol heat on the swallow that adds complexity instead of detracting from the overall flavor. This beer is a gem.

The weight is on the heavier side of the spectrum with a tongue and cheek coating viscosity that leaves me tasting this beer a minute or two after each drink. The carbonation seems soft on the front and middle of the tongue but the back has a surprising frothiness, well as close to frothiness as a beer this heavy could have. The aftertaste is highly enjoyable and seemingly everlasting.

A bottle of this is easy to kill by myself but it is without a doubt a sipper. The sheer complexity, depth, and viscosity keep me drinking this slowly and would limit me to one with each sitting. With all that said I will slowly and greedily drink this bottle all to myself and love every last drop.

Central Waters can do no wrong with their special releases. This is a gem from a lineup full of gems. Next time I'm up north a few more of these bottles will be picked up without a doubt. I can't recommend this enough if you're a fan of English barleywines. Thanks again for the bottle, Dave!

Photo of lackenhauser
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep,deep mahogany color with a nice tight head-bordering on black but not quite so. Huge sweet malt aroma with a heavy hand of bourbon to boot. Very sweet, almost spirit sweet like one of the trendy "schnapps"...Big and heavy malt flavors-raisens, figs, caramel, dried fruit. Huge caramel and toffee like flavors. Enough hops to be there but this is certainly all about the malt here. Still holds a touch of grain flavor. Lingering spice-almost cookie like. Huge body and lick the lips sweetness going on. A big sticky, sweet mess that I simply love. Body goes on for miles. Just a great, great beer all around. A true sipper in every sense of the word. Just great. 2009 vintage. Don't know if this is done each year but oh what a cellarable beer...

Photo of darklordlager
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 Bottle

A: Pours a very dark ruby, with a small, light tan head.

S: Oak, sweet vanilla, layers of delicious caramel and bourbon.

T: Layered caramel, candied dark fruit, big vanilla, bourbon. Not one dominating characteristic--very complex. Very nice warming and toasty malt flavour in the finish.

M: Smooth and velvetty. It may be the slightest bit sticky/syrupy, but it remains exceptionally smooth and pleasant.

D: So smooth, with a complexity that keeps it very interesting and enjoyable throughout. I look forward to "more of the same" from Central Waters. Fantastic.

Photo of wiscokid920
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into Snifter. Vintage 2013

A- Deep rich copper/amber color. Small 1/2 finger tan head which fades fast....most likely due to the high alcohol content! Not a lot of retention or lacing.

S- HUGE bourbon booziness! Vanilla and sweet rich malt, caramel and toffee notes.

T- Big time malt flavors with bourbon booze without being dominant. Notes of vanilla, oak, and smooth bourbon finish.

M- Velvety smooth. This bourbon barrel barleywine has a huge malt sweetness with excellent boozy balance. The alcohol is nice and warming but not overwhelming. Extremely well balanced.

O - A FANTASTIC barleywine! A FANTASTIC BEER! One of the best beer's I have had. Extremely well balanced! Great fresh, but can't wait to put a few years of age on the bottle.

Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,856 ratings.