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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.

579 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 579
Hads: 2,149
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 17.52%
Wants: 720
Gots: 664 | FT: 82
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 579 | Hads: 2,149
Photo of TWStandley
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into my KTG Snifter. 2012 Vintage.

Poured a semi-hazy brown/red color with an off white head that was big at first but dissipated quickly.

I will admit, the smell was a bit off-putting. Smelled somewhat like grain alcohol, with a faint smell of vanilla and oak.

Taste was phenomenal. Well balanced. Great bourbon flavors including vanilla, oak, and plums/raisins. Slight alcohol taste, combined with a bit of brown sugar and belgian candy sugars. Absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel is a bit warm, but given the 11.5% abv, not overdone. Definetely thick, with a bit more carb than most barleys I have had, but awesome none the less.

Wow, great great great barleywine. Glad I have a few more. Awesome use of the barrel.

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Photo of nataku00
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 2012 bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a hazy mahogany, with some tints of red and orange. Little to no head dissipates quickly to a thin collar. Lots alcohol legs as you swirl the beer around. Nice looking barleywine.

Even straight out of the fridge, really big aroma on this. Molasses, toffee, dark fruits, hint of cocoa, dark caramel, vanilla. A bit of bourbon heat as the beer warms a little, spicy graham cracker and orange and oak barrel notes. Really nice smelling beer.

Taking a sip, caramel and toffee, dark fruits, cocoa and milk chocolate, sweet vanilla. Middle of the tongue, more roasted malt and a hint of citrus hop flavor, finishing medium with a linger caramel, cocoa and bourbon.

Medium to full body with excellent carbonation, helps to lighten it up and brighten flavors. There is a bit of heat on the back of the throat on the swallow and in your belly, but an excellent sipping beer.

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Photo of spunk509
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Almost a dark amber with just a ring of head post-pour
S - Magical. Light Bourbon aroma with a bit of heat / alcohol mixed in. I bet with a little time this would get even better.
T - Surprisingly sweet with good hints of caramel and brown sugar. As with the smell, the alcohol might mellow a bit with time and make this even better.
M - It's a bit light in the mouth but otherwise just fine.

Overall a great beer. As with any barleywine I think it needs a good year to really be at its peak. The alcohol just overpowers the bourbon at this point, but I have no doubt this will improve with time. I will get more of these if I can.

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Photo of Casey10
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a barlywine and not a stout? Okay my bad. Oh yea this was a 12 oz trade from darklordlager

Incredible taste for a drink of this type really felt like a stout but here is my review:

A - Dark, cherry like a bit of light vs a cherry hue.

S - Chocoalate and burbon hues on the nose here.

T - Fantastic compexity, nice sour like chocoalte taste going down.

M - Warm, fuzzy definatley yummy.

D - Would love to drink these all night, a couple of reasons why not but this one is worth having !!!

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Photo of cnbrown313
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A friend of mine oured from a 2011 bottle into 3 tasting glasses and was kind enough to share!

A - Pours a deep mahogany reddish / brown with a very minimal head. Appears thick and viscous when poured.

S - Bourbon smell is definitely present and dominating. There are also some subtle floral notes too.

T - The sweetness and the bourbon flavors really go well together! I can also pick out some dark fruit flavors too. The bourbon flavors really start to come out as it warms up too. Sweet / spicy / bourbon... delicious. It tastes a little boozy, which I expected at 11.5% ABV, but the sweet flavors balance it nicely.

M - The mouth feel was thick and chewy. I liked it, but I would have preferred a little bit more carbonation. All in all, it has a nice feel though.

O - One of my favorite barrel aged barleywines to date. I wish there was more of this around, but I am glad I got to try it. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Derek
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this after the Y2K Catastrophe, and this one completely blew it away.

A: Hazy amber-brown, light tan head, good retention, slight lacing.

S: Alcohol with hints of bourbon, very woody, nice caramel.

T: The wood aging really shows, while the bourbon is pleasantly subdued. Some caramel, nut & spice with hints of fruit & dark chocolate. Good bitterness. Alcohol is slightly warming. It's between a 4.5 & a 5, so I'll be generous.

M: Moderate body, slight residual sweetness, carbonation on the low side of moderate.

D: An awesome sipper.

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Photo of dougofthefuture
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a fair amount of this on a recent WI trip - now that it has a couple month's age on it, it is time to try it again.

A - Bright red color - fairly high clarity. The head faded pretty quickly but it remains an attractive beer.

S - It smells like a vanilla-cherry kool-aide with a bit of bourbon added it. I mean that in the best possible way. It smells delicious, with very little heat present.

T&M - Very rich and full bodied, especially as it warms from cellar temps. Packed with sweet roasty barleywine flavor with quite a bit of bourbon - especially on the finish. If anything it makes it a little harsh, but age has the potential to make this world class. Other than the bourbon burn, the flavor are very well blended. I love the way the vanilla oakiness comes out.

D - A sipper for sure, but the balance makes it very difficult to stop sipping.

I cannot believe how good this is for the price. I wish I bought more!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.45/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark garnet color with a strong tan head and heavy lacing

Smell of dark fruit, healthy rich bourbon, oak , strong candy aromas and caramel mixed with toffee.

Taste is spot on for a barleywine although there is not a strong hop presence as is seen in many American Barleywines. Like I just stated, very weak hop presence which is probably all but overshadowed by the delicious bourbon and oak flavors. There is a great purple plum flavor in here mixing with cotton candy and caramel. Medium mouthfeel and a stronger carbonation than most have for the style. Finish is mostly graham cracker pie crust / slightly buttery.

Very nice, wish I had more.

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Photo of Ungertaker
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage (obtained from a random stranger in an in-person trade as we passed eachother in the street at Darkness Day) poured into a Deschutes snifter.

A- Burnt toffee color with a white one-finger head that dissipates to a thin, bubble-laden ring around the glass.

S- Caramel, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and a slight hint of chocolate.

T- Bourbon throughout with caramel and oak at the start which transitions smoothly to chocolate and a boozy alcohol burn at the finish.

M- On the thin side of medium. The carbonation is spot-on, not overdone.

O- My experience with Barleywines is limited, but this is one of the best I have tasted. I would love to try one with a little more age on it, as it seems this will only get better.

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Photo of Mississipping
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottled in January of 2011. Huge thanks to StayWhatYouAre2 for sending this, along with 11 other Wisconsin brews to me. You're the man!

A: Pours a very hazy burnt orange/amber color with a small off-white head that seeps slowly back into the liquid from whence it came. Beautiful sticky lacing is left behind, creating a webby/stained-glass appearance on the sides as it descends towards the stem of the glass.

S: Huge bourbon smell is undeniable. However, it's not overwhelming because it's accompanied by sweet caramel and vanilla, dark fruits (fig and raisin), and a touch of oak to round out the complexity.

T: The taste is continually transitioning throughout each sip. It's hard to map the transitions, but here's what I've got: starts off with bourbon and wood and then quickly subsides to allow the sweeter characteristics of caramel and vanilla become prominent. The dark fruits almost simultaneously show up, then everything melds together for a finish comprised of each of the complex subtleties. The bourbon and booze are not so subtle at the finish and create a bit of heat. For 11.50%, though, the booze is masked pretty darn well. This is ridiculously tasty!

M: Mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium, with carbonation that is more evident in the glass than it is on the tongue. Slightly heavy and slightly sticky with just enough carbonation to keep it lively. The finish is quite drying and makes your tongue beckon for the next sip, which creates the whirlwind of tastes and transitions all over again. Pretty exceptional.

D: This is a sipper for sure, however, the smell and flavors make it difficult to just sip. I keep going back for more quicker than I should, and it can catch up with you if you're not careful.

This is a really nice barleywine. I wish this was available to me where I live as it'd be one that I'd go back to as often as I could. Thanks again Alex!

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Photo of BrewerB
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

mcc1654 sent this beer my way a while back and I've been looking forward to trying it ever since. Cheers and thanks again, Mike!

Great clarity, copper in color with a thin off-white/light tan foam. Not much in the way of lacing.

Honey, vanilla, oak, molasses, fruity esters all coming through in the nose. Bourbon also prominently featured. Complex and inviting aroma hints at the strength of this brew with alcohol being detectable though not hot or solventy.

Rich malt backbone combining with bourbon barrel aging leads to flavors of vanilla, toffee, and burnt sugar. Though difficult to pick up in the aroma, some citrusy hops can be spotted here in the flavor. Pleasant lingering caramel sweetness in the finish.

Medium-full bodied with moderate/moderate-low carbonation level. Smooth with warming from alcohol.

Overall this is one delicious beer. Complex array of flavors keeps my palette intrigued in taking sip after sip. My only regret is that I didn't ask for a couple bottles to cellar as I think this will only get better over the next few years and beyond.

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Photo of 2beerdogs
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow!! Another BIG THANKS to @ASUBeer for this one.

Not going to break it all down into separate categories.

Pours a beautiful ruby meets dark honey in color with a half inch of quickly dissipating creamy head. The aroma brings pure bliss. Gives that well balanced barleywine, not sweet enough to be a truly English one, but sweeter than some of the ones out there that the hops flatten out the sweet. Smells a bit like Mother of all Storms, with some barrel thrown in. Very tantalizing. The flavor is quick to grab. A bit of Bourbon barrel, malt, hint of fruity caramel ( I know that one sounds a bit off), and...gentle heat. Mine is a young one, 2012, and this is August. But not offputting in the least-just the opposite, Nirvana. Mouthfeel is full enough with a silky, slightly oily finish. Malt and Bourbon barrel linger in the aftertaste--thankfully.

Now I need another 3-4 bottles to sit on, and see how they are in a year or two. Great Barleywine!

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Photo of Teleweizen2
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a swampy mahogany amber. 2 fingers worth of off-white bubbly foam. Quickly recedes but is quickly rescued with a brisk swirl.

S - the aroma is intense yet elegant. Bourbon is noticeable but blends well with the caramel malt creating the illusion of a pot of freshly melted caramel. Notes of oak and vanilla are very prominent as well. Deep almost vinous fruit character such as cherries, figs, raisins, and raspberries. Cereal grains and hints of spice round out the nose.

T - grainy malt flavor on the tip of the tongue followed by the sticky sweet flavors of toffee and caramel. A peppery alcohol hit comes in mid palate along with woody notes and vanilla. Dark and dried fruit notes on the backend. Finish is lengthy and complex with peppery alcohol, vanilla, caramel and fruit flavors all fighting for attention.

M - creamy texture. Fuller side of medium bodied. High carbonation. Tight full bubbles. I would assume this was bottle conditioned.

O - an excellent barrel aged beer. CW just knows what to do with beer in a barrel. Something i would love to drink again.

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Photo of derkfromwi
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 Bottled in JAN

A: Darker amber, finger of nice, light tan head, a bit hazy and structured, carbonation is there, good looks

S: Bourbon and malts, bit of hops

T: " and " first, brown sugar, vanilla

M: Good for style, almost very good

O: I like it a lot! Can't complain much, thank you lots Central Waters, and your team!

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. Thanks to mtunnell for this one. Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

Dense pour barely stirs up a light caramel head that collapses quickly. Beer is a slightly cloudy clay-amber. Lacing is very spotty and sparse with oily legs. Average.

Nose really makes my mouth water. Robust toffee, caramel, and dark fruit. Brown sugar mixed with deep booziness topped off with a slight raisin and anise note. Really nice.

Opens dark fruit, caramel, and brown sugar. Toffee appears towards the middle and end integrate some booziness here and there. Very sweet and syrupy. Honey and molasses throughout. Finish is sweet with a lingering, sugary aftertaste. Incredible.

Medium to full bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Oily and robust in the mouth and thick and syrupy going down. Abrasive, hot finish with a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Exactly what I want.

Having heard so much about this beer and finally getting to try it, I can say for sure now that this most definitely lives up to the hype. Really great fresh and I can't even imaging how this would be with a couple of years on it. An amazing beer through and through.

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Photo of vacax
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle vintage 2009.

Pours a rich dark color somewhere between copper and black but nicely translucent. The head is present but not too lively, which is expected at 11.5% ABV, but has an unexpected high level of retention and a fine layer of microubbles that carpets the glass when swirled and leaves a surprising amount of lace. The aroma is luxurious with malt, sweet oaky bourbon, brown sugar, molasses, maple, and a touch of vinous character to mellow it all out.

The flavor begins on a note of delicate balance between rich malts and assertive bitterness that carries through gracefully to the finish. The initial profile starts with maple, brown sugar, and oak the develops on the midpalate with plum and bourbon. The finish has the duality of lasting tongue prickly bitterness along with a bready cookielike lingering next to some masked flora. Feel is chewy with a feeling of full but soft carbonation that pleases the palate just right, hard to get better for a barleywine.

A few people I trust have told me that this beer is the real deal, including Overlord and Mikedashg (thanks Mike for this bottle). They were right. Deliciously complex, rich, balanced, elegant, and flat out tasty.

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Photo of BrotherDylan
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bourbon. Then some more bourbon. And why not, grab a third helping of bourbon. I swear there is a pretty dam good barley wine somewhere in this beer.

It poured flat and thick with a bursting aroma of a bourbon soaked whiskey barrel. its ruby red and carmel like. It looks like bourbon juice.

the flavor is ripe with dark fruit, vanilla, wood spice, bourbon, cream, and a little oxidative sherry flavor. No hop flavor but some stringent hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is by far the best part of this beer. Its got a wood coarseness that drys the beer out nicely and accentuates the hop bitterness.

bottom line, if you like strong beers that overwhelm you with oaky bourbon flavors, buy more than one of this guy.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thank you, pmarlowe for this outstanding extra. Pours a deep amber with a thin tan head. Good retention and lacing. Heavy bourbon on the nose along with dark fruit and biscuity malt aromas. Sweet bourbon throughout the palate, offset by faint hop bitterness. Heavy mouthfeel with lots of alcohol heat and little carbonation. Overall, this great BA barleywine is one that could lay down for a few years.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 7/19/10

Vintage 2010

Many thanks to levifunk for the Central Waters brews

Plum colored; dense with highlights of ruby. It's striking just how closely the color of the beer matches the color of the label on the bottle. Poured a one finger head that stayed for a few minutes but ultimately dissipated to a skim & bubbles, plus one string of lace. Swirling revives ephemeral retention & coats the glass with splotchy lace.

Cracking the bottle, bourbon & vanilla were well apparent. Once in the glass, it's no different. Bourbon, charred oak & vanilla are all at the front of the nose. Booze is appreciable, but doesn't seem like too much; rather befitting, actually. While the barrel notes are more notable, I'm amazed at how well they lead in to the aromatic aspects of the base beer. Notes of caramel, toffee, brown sugar & toasty sweet bread notes. Maybe a touch of butterscotch. Hints of dark fruit; raisins & prune. Faint wisps of earthy hops.

One sip tells me this will be slow going. A quick, sharp prelude of whiskey hits upfront, giving way to the sweeter aspects of the beer rather quickly. Toasty brown sugar, caramel, toffee & a touch of hops provide a steadfast platform upon which the barrel aging can shine & indeed it does. After the whiskey teaser & malts subside the barrel swoops back in during the latter half of mid-swallow. Bourbon, a hint of vanilla & lots of charred oak finishes this one out. I must say this has the most distinctive charred note I've encountered in a barrel-aged beer, which I think is great.

Full bodied, though I'm trying to decide if the heft of the beer or its intensity makes it seem so formidable. My inclination is the latter. Carbonation is at the lower end of the spectrum. Grittiness makes this a beer inclined to hang around. Some heat is apparent, though seemingly never too hot (or slick, for that matter). Quite warming, though. As mentioned above, bourbon & charred notes linger for quite some time.

Ah, what's left to say? Central Waters did an outstanding job with this one. I have to surmise this will do extremely well with various years on it. For some folks it might be too brash at this point, but I certainly enjoyed it as is. Highly recommended.

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Photo of nhindian
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a large snifter. Bottle provided by brian23456, thanks Brian!

2011 vintage.

A - Pours a murky orangish-brown color, really cloudy but not with sediment. On top sits an eggshell white, 1-fingered head with surprising retention given the high ABV of this beer. Following that is some awesome lacing as well that is spattered around the glass and actually sticks. How Central Water does it with this gravity is impressive.

S - The first smell I'm getting from this beer is a metric ton of vanilla oak that is incredibly enticing. There's bourbon as well, but it plays more of a support role. The vanilla has a sweetness that lends itself fantastically to the rest of the nose, which has lots of sweet malts. It has a nice, hoppy bite to it as well which is reminding me of Stone's Old Guardian. Think of OG in a bourbon barrel and that's this beer.

T - Given the great nose, I'm bracing myself for this beer to not live up to it as so many beers have done before. Thankfully I am redeemed after my first sip as this beer is incredibly smooth and bursting with flavor. Again, the vanilla hits hard in this beer and it actually has more of a presence here than in the nose in the sense that it has a much fuller flavor, almost with a sweetness and characteristic reminiscent of a slightly toasted marshmallow. The bourbon is again a transitional flavor between the flavor, malts, and hops, but I think it's achieved nicely. Speaking of the malts, they are here in full force, aiding in the smoothness and giving it some chew. The hops that were present in the nose are also in play at the end, bringing back the comparison to Old Guardian. In the finish, a pretty noticeable alcohol heat comes through, but it adds another layor to this beer without being a deterrent, just a warning to take it slow with this beer. Oh, and when I say sips for this beer, I literally mean it. Just a small mouthful is packed with flavor where anything more would just be overdoing it.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with low carbonation. Very creamy and the head, while it lasts, acts as a nice buffer. The finish is long and it leaves a thick coating on the mouth.

D - Drinkability is high. Although this is a sipper to a 'T', I didn't once think of finishing this beer and not regretting having more. I would love to see what this develops into, but fresh it's still a great beer.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into an Allagash glass. 2010 vintage bottled in February.

Appearance: Light to medium brown in color. Pours a two finger head with good retention considering the ABV. Recedes into a nice thin, beige lacing.

Aroma: Caramel, molasses and a touch of bitter hops. Definitely leans more toward a malty barleywine at this point.Accompanying notes of bourbon, toffee, burnt sugar and vanilla. Really nicely balanced.

Taste: The malt notes really dominate here. Caramel, molasses, toffee and burnt sugar are all tempered by the slightest hint of bitter hops. The booze is very well controlled yet the wood and bourbon notes show through perfectly. Barrel heavy, but not overpowering. Vanilla and oak round this out nicely too.

Mouthfeel: Thick and cherwy, definitely full bodied with lower than average carbonation. Big and warming, perfect for sipping.

Overall, a really outstanding barleywine and exactly what I was in the mood for when I picked it out for tonight. Plenty of barrel and bourbon throughout but without being overly boozy. I really liked the hop note that balanced the heavy malt and kept this from being cloying. Really delicious, the only barrel aged barleywine I can definitively say I enjoyed more was Abacus, but I much preferred the serving size of this at only 12 oz. I will definitely seek out more to drink fresh and for the cellar.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

February 2010 vintage. Received in a trade from jmp485, this has been sitting in my fridge for a while. 12 oz to a snifter.

Pours a purple/red color, very much like the color on the label. Small off-white head turns to a swirly cap and leaves pretty nice lacing.

Very malty smell. Rich caramel, dark plums, sweet cherries and vanilla bourbon goodness. Dessert-like. Not much hops, but excellent.

Taste follows the scent to a T, very sweet and malty. Huge notes of maple join what's listed above along with a tiny bit of hops. Reminiscent of an English Barleywine and high-quality liquor flavors (bourbon and rum) without any burn. Super caramel aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, carbonation on the low side. Alcohol is insanely hidden, truly a great example how to make a barrel-aged beer without letting the bourbon take over, it is only a compliment to the beer here 100%.

Obscenely drinkable for what it is, finished it faster than I should have. So glad I have 3 more bottles, I imagine this aging excellently. Probably the best Barleywine I have had so far.

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Photo of AwYeh
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to seeswo for sending me this in the 2011 Black Booty BIF. This early fall-feeling night seemed like the perfect occasion to crack this one open on. 2011 vintage, poured into snifter.

A: Pours a deep amber-brown color, with a finger of tan head topping off the glass. A bit of lacing remains.

S: Bourbon, caramel, vanilla, molasses, brown sugar, toffee, and just a bit of alcohol. Great barleywine aroma.

T: Taste follows smell, with a hint more of alcohol coming in alongside oak to add to what was already there. Personally, I'm loving the alcohol alongside the great flavor- the spice and warmth accent it perfectly. Fantastic.

M: Medium-thick body with light carbonation. Its sticky characteristics accent the finish perfectly, allowing the flavor to linger in my mouth for minutes after a sip. Considering the strong body on this one, I'm wondering if it would hold up to a cigar. If I ever get my hands on a few more bottles of this, it will be something to try out.

O: Amazing beer; I was concerned that I hadn't aged it long enough when I gave in to opening it tonight, but it's certainly already an amazing beer to drink. Have a glass of this if you're lucky enough to be in its distribution range; you won't go wrong. This rivals Hoppin Frog's Naked Evil for my favorite barleywine to date, and very well may have just overtaken it.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra in a trade with eyncognito. 2008 Vintage. Pours the color of rust with a 3/4 inch head. Retention is good and there's some lacing on my glass. The aroma is sweet and malty. Toffee and caramel notes are strong. Some earthy hops are present but are not prominent. The bourbon aroma is nice and strong. The bourbon is strong in the flavor and complements the sweet toffee. There's a medium level of hop bitterness, as well as some vanilla and caramel. The alcohol is quite strong. Mediumfull bodied with good carbonation.

Update: Received the 2009 vintage in a trade with eyncognito and bumped the drinkability up to 4.5

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Central Waters Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 579 ratings.