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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

2,044 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,044
Reviews: 577
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 9.03%
Wants: 700
Gots: 629 | FT: 73
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: 2,044 | Reviews: 577
Photo of nickd717
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.

Pours a mostly clear dark brown color with reddish hues and a small off-white head.

Great aroma with bourbon, oak, vanilla, and caramel.

Flavor is similarly awesome, very bourbony but not too much som with caramel and toffee, raisin and prune, brown sugar, vanilla, and oak.

Medium-bodied and smooth on the palate, not too boozy.

Drinkability is pretty high. This one really kicks ass overall. Phenomenal BBBW, up there with Perfect Storm. A damn fine beer.

Photo of crossovert
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 Vintage, have a few of these, gonna age the others for awhile.

Pours a dark, dark brown, pretty much black with hues of ruby and magenta when held to the light, a pretty divine looking brew. The head his large and tightly foamed, it is an off white and takes some time to recede leaving some nice lacing.

Smell is ultra sweet and carmally, there is a hint of rasin and of course a nice large hit from the bourbon barrels lending it some vanilla, alcoholic, and oaky notes.

THe mouthfeel is incrediably creamy, thick, and smooth. The carbonation is low but it works very well. This beer is pretty sweet, but not cloying. The bitterness is up there as well, though it mellows out as you go. The alcohol is noticeable but not overbearing. Most of the flavors include bittersweet, tons and tons of caramel, dark fruits, alcohol, oak, vanilla, bourbon, and a small reminder of the hops that once were.

This is an extremely complex brew, and it was suprising to me at how good it was, I wasn't expecting this monster of a beer but I guess I should have. Despite the largeness I find it pretty drinkable, though it is a slow sipper. An amazing brew.

Photo of afausser
4.64/5  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.

Photo of MPLS
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awaiting the Central waters limited releases (to hopefully come soon!) I cracked this 12 oz bottle open and poured into a snifter.

A: Dark raisin skined body that doesn't give way to much light. Tan 1.5 cm head fades with a thin layer that silkily stays atop to the mud sliding lace.

S: I am a sucker for bourbon: big caramel, vanilla, wood, cream soda, could blind smell the barrel aging in this one. Just fantastic.

T: The nose of the beer is great, the caramel and bourbon make a pleasant introduction. Midway these flavors peak and the finish the beer comes...it's pretty hop 'n' spicy, leather meets leaves and wood chips? ABV has to be above 12, maybe 13%. This bourbon version of their barleywine would mellow more with age, as the y2k suffers from a similar though not as intense hotness.

M: Medium-Thick bodied, creamy head.

D: Awesome looking and smelling beer, just have problems with the hotness and rather spicy leather alcohol finish. I look forward to purchased some more of these and letting them get a little age on them.

Photo of mandoskippy
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I passed on this beer last year when it came out as I my first impression of the barley wine (non-bourbon barrel) was a little strong for me. That being said, I found a 2009 bottle of this and was blown away. The time and the bourbon barrel really mellowed the original barley wine in to something very special.

A: Nice Dark Amber color with a little bit of head. A nice lacing that disappears pretty quickly

S: Wonderful bourbon smell. What's neat about this smell is it evokes lots of bourbon aromas without coming across as "alcoholly" if that's a word.

T: Wow. Carmel, bourbon, toffee all in perfect balance. This doesn't taste like a high alcohol drink. Wonderful flavor.

M: Crisp as many high alcohol drinks feel to my palette. This one is clean and crisp rather than heavy and sharp. Very nice.

D: While this beer went down easy, I wouldn't call it "sessionable" to high of alcohol. Still, a very drinkable beer. One to share with "those you like" :)

Photo of portia99
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip, 2009 release. Bottle courtesy of nonstick - thanks again, Chris!

A - Pours a deep, dark brown with reddish highlights...almost opaque, but not quite. Short, cream colored head that recedes quickly and leaves a good, thick collar around the edge of the glass. Good looking barleywine.

S - Aromas are little on the light side, but I'm getting a combination of bourbon, molasses and caramel.

T - First impression...very nice. Plenty of bourbon character and flavor, but no hotness from it...a pleasant surprise. Tons of caramel and sugary sweetness. This blends really well with the bourbon flavor...this is very smooth. The bourbon cuts the sweetness and gives a bit of balance. Not much hop character - defninitely malt centered.

M - Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Thick enough to be satisfyin but not so much to be syrupy. No real heat from the bourbon, but I get a tingle on the lips and the roof of the mouth that I typically get with bourbon, scotch, etc. - just a reminder of its time in the barrel.

D - Quite a good barleywine...but no idea of ABV. I'm feeling it about 2/3 through the bottle so I'm guessing it is fairly high. Don't think I could have more than one of these at a time, but it is rather drinkable for what it is. The lack of bourbon heat is a plus and helps make this more drinkable than it could be. Good bourbony flavor without the heat...this is a good thing.

Overall, really enjoyed this beer. Definitely would not mind getting another one of these.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.77/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Alcstradamus.

Pours a dark ruby brown in color. No head on the pour. Smell is bourbon, some very dark fruits and a little bit of alcohol as well.
Taste is more of the bourbon, but whatever the dark fruit flavor is coming through more in the flavor. It has the bite of cranberries, but could be dates as well. Really dominant in the flavor.
The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, and just a tad thin. Tastes more like a brandy barrel aged beer than a bourbon barrel aged beer.
Tasty.

Photo of jwinship83
3.49/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from 2009 drank out of a tulip glass.

A- this one comes out of the bottle a very dark brown colored body with ruby highlights when held up to the light. an almost non existent khaki colored head forms and lasts a long time, leaving solid rings of lacing on the sides of my glass after every sip.

S- sweet fruity malts upfront. lots of cherries, plums, figs, and raisins/tobacco. lots of alcohol in the nose also. citrus hops at the end. i can detect the barrel with notes of vanilla and oak, but not so much the bourbon. odd and slightly disappointing.

T- woah, the alcohol burn comes through loud and clear. very sweet also. lots of the above mentioned ripe dark fruity malts. cherries, figs, plums, and raisins. a small dose of citrus hops at the end.

M- full bodied and creamy with a low level of carbonation. intense warming from the alcohol as it makes its way down my throat.

D- the strong alcohol presence makes this a slow sipping one and done type of beer. id like to revisit this vintage again in the future, but not for a while.

Photo of boatshoes
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this as an extra from alcstradamus in a recent trade. A serious want of mine, thanks for the hookup!

Appearance- Pours a very dark amber brown that borders on opaque. A minimal cap of tan head off of a very aggressive pour. However, some carbonation present beading up the side of the glass throughout the drink and head remains throughout. Lots of sticking lacing left as well.

Smell- Huge notes of bourbon and vanilla coming through in a big way on the nose. Lots and lots of malt with a touch of fruitiness. Some sharp alcohol astringency with perhaps just a very subtle touch of underlying hop bitterness.

Taste- Pretty unlike any barleywine I've had thus far. Very prominent bourbon and vanilla with a touch of tobacco. Lots of underlying sweet malt that comes across like candied fruit. Some warming alcohol on the way down and maybe just the slightest bit of hoppy resin on the backside.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Very nice levels of carbonation with a thick and slick mouthfeel. Drinkability suffers just a bit because of the overwhelming sweetness of this one. Quite nice on the whole though.

Overall, very interesting and quite nice. An excellent barleywine worth picking up if you get the chance.

Photo of morimech
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009

Pours a dark brown with minimal head. What head that did form, disappeared in a few seconds. Very little lacing is left on the glass. Aroma is very complex. I detect bourbon, vanilla, coconut, and some dark fruit. Alcohol is noticed. A nice flavor as well. Surprisingly the bourbon is not the prominent flavor. It is vanilla with dark fruit mostly until the bourbon comes into focus. The finish is very warm with alcohol but not harsh. Unfortunately there is not much flavor that actually comes from the base beer. It is all barrel. Full bodied with low carbonation that lends a nice texture. A good example, not great. I wonder how an older example would taste?

Photo of GbVDave
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage received from abents a long while back.. Thanks Adam. Trying to only drink from the cellar for a bit ... and I realized I hadn't reviewed this one.

Poured into MNFG.. 2 finger light khaki head.. great lace atop a crystal clear perfectly amber brew.

Nose is very rich ABW... tons of maltiness with still quite a bit of citric hoppiness. the barrel really comes across more as a fairly thick vanilla essence as opposed to bourbon..

Flavor begins the same as the nose.. thick .. rich .. and blankets the palate .. less vanilla and more oak than the aroma.. bunches of caramel.. and still a definite citric hoppiness.. medium body and a lighter than expected carbonation tilt toward a silky mouthfeel... the alcohol is there, but not bad at all..

This is pretty damn nice right now.... I don't know if any more age is gonna help it though.. I think with another year, the malts may become a bit cloying and leave the hops behind and not be as balanced.

Photo of oakbluff
3.85/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle- 2009 vintage. Pours a ruby chestnut with good clarity and a one finger light brown head. Nose- ripe dark fruit, fig, big toasty malts, vanilla and sweet bourbon. Taste- very sweet blast of bourbon and caramel malts followed by raisins and spruce. Pretty boozy. Mouthfeel- low carbonation, thick and chewy from the huge malt bill. Drying finish from alcohol heat and reasonably high hopping. An interesting brew.

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yep, that guy Gillard is up to his old tricks by sharing amazing WI brew offerings. Thanks buddy.

Pours deep copper with light tan head. Nice aroma with tasty wood and bourbon notes that don't really over shadow the fruity esters and faint maltiness. The alcohol heat does build up and singe the nose a bit. The taste starts with mildly sweet maltiness and roasty malts that then becomes wood and barrel like flavors before a formidable vanilla flavor takes hold. There's also dark fruity esters of grapes, cherries and prunes before the alcohol hotness builds to a distracting level. It could use more age. Darn tasty now though

Photo of katan
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz into a pint - 2009 edition - the young kind

A - Pours a dark black to mostly brown color. Almost a red tinge to it. Very very hazy - could be a yeast suspension. Head formation is off white, lightly retained. Carbonation appears light.

S - Sugarly sweet with a high amount of bourbon backdrop. The bourbon barrel comes across as mostly sweet, somewhat sour. A light oaking does come through. No hopping.

T - Starts off incredibly sweet, with an immediate backdrop of alcohol burn. Mid-stream does start to be more balanced, but it is more due to a flash of bourbon barrel char. Incredibly sweet finish, extreme sugars off toffee and caramel. Intense flavors.

M - Thick, creamy, sugary and clinging. Tongue grabbing. No carbonation is detectable. Extremely fully bodied.

D - Does get a bit filling at times. A one time only beer by far - alcohol will sneak up on you, but when it does, look out. Flavors aren't that overwhelming. If i could manage not passing out after 2, I'd be signed up for more.

I'm thrilled with the way the bourbon came through on this beer for being so young. Almost too young perhaps. I have another that I'll age for a year to compare against. It does remind me of some of the young 2008 GI BCS I had.

Photo of KeefD
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber brown color with a small off-white head that had a lasting cap but no lacing. Aroma is lightly oxidized, plenty of sticky sweet malt, a bit of hoppiness, rounded out by a touch of oak. Taste is mucho oak, vailla, caramel, and dark fruits galore. I can definitely pick out some raisins and over-ripe fruits in this one, a nice kick of piney hops, loads of caramel. Very sweet and becomes even more so as it starts to warm. Bourbon wasn't very present, but the musty, wet oak barrel was. Carbonation is nearly absent, smooth, sippable, delicious. This one tastes pretty good but there's just a touch of oxidation in the nose and in the flavor. Not sure if the bottle was starting to go bad, but it had just a hint of that oxidized cardboard taste. Still pretty darn good and I hope the other bottle I picked will age gracefully.

Photo of boomer31
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle reviewed 9/09

A - Darker orangeish woody
S - Bourobn all over the place with sweet malt in the background. This bad boy was sitting in a barrel for quite some time. Great smell if you love bourbon, if you're not a fan of it though, steer clear.
T - Again, bourbon everywhere. My first BB B-wine and what a treat. The malt does come forward as you get past the initial bourbon flavor. Wonderfull. This needs to be a top 50 beer.
M - Thick and smooth, low carbonation
D - Bourbon makes this one a sipper especially at the ABV (I'd assume is close to 9%)

Overall a favorite beer no doubt. I love this thing time and time again

Photo of CrellMoset
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of infestaxion
3.65/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From my notes

A - Murky dark red with a thin white head that fades quickly into a ring around the glass.

S - Big bourbon and sweet dark fruit. Nice malt presence.

T - Bourbon is much less in the taste. Huge malt and dark fruit. Apple. Alcohol. Very sweet aftertaste with a bit of burn.

M - Medium body and low carbonation.

D - Going to be slow drinking this thing.

Photo of emerge077
4.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark crimson with two fingers of tan foam. Creamy consistency and long lasting retention. The deep crimson color is nice. Stewed prunes in the nose, not as nice. 2009 bottle, but it smells aged. Cotton candy, brown sugar, sweet and syrupy.

Some heat at first that's soon eclipsed by a gargantuan battle cruiser of bourbon and malt flavors. If you like those two things, you can't go wrong. Sweet vanilla aftertaste, plenty of rich malt and some residual hop bitterness. Drying finish, somewhat concealed in the booze department. Rich and syrupy feel, thankfully dry on the end like Y2K and not a sickly sweet aftertaste like so many barleywines. The barrel is integrated here, and it's not too hot, but you know deep down this is a booze bomb. Plenty of warmth, but not in the taste. Very well done overall, one to look forward to every year.

Photo of bulletrain76
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to CaptainCougar. Hazy brown with a small beige head. Sweet bourbon, lightly tart wood, plenty of malt, and fruit in the aroma. The flavor is mellow and malty with a nice bourbon and caramel touch. The balance of the beer and the barrel is great, with just a light wood flavor and not much alcohol. Full bodied with medium-light carbonation. Very nice barrel integration, with a good spread of flavors.

Photo of carps12
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my st sebastiaan tulip. Picked up in a trade with Brian23456. thanks. Dark brown with a reddish brown tint with some light passing through. Thin frothy head with white lacing that sticks, nice. Slight bourbon, molasses, brown sugar, berry compote, fantastic! Taste of bourbon covered chocolate with a oak bitterness on the finish. The dry oakiness/bitterness starts to wear on me. Mouthfeel had a little to much carbonation, but was still enjoyable. I'd like to see how this ages to mellow out the finish. Hard to have more than one.

Photo of tavernjef
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
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!

Photo of Casey10
4.45/5  rDev +3%
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 !!!

Photo of Deuane
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Multiple pours from the CW booth at GToM 2009.

A-Deep, ruby tinted burnt siena color with a small light tan head that vanished into a thin ring and left spotty lace.

S-Rich bourbon notes swirl with sweet caramel, toffee, citrus and dark fruits. A very complex and interesting aroma.

T-Luscious bourbon tantilizes the palate with sweet caramel, grapefruit citrus, prunes and burnt toffee in the finish. Wonderful complexity with no one single flavour dominating the others.

M-Medium bodied, smooth and creamy. Long lasting flavours with an astringent finish.

D-About as good as a BBA barleywine can get. The folks at CW sure know how to barrel aged beers. I am surprised they remain under the radar, but in a way I am glad they do! A well kept Wisconsin secret! Keep up the great work CW!

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 2,044 ratings.