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Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Barleywine AleBourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale

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

1,808 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,808
Reviews: 533
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 655
Gots: 524 | FT: 53
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: 1,808 | Reviews: 533 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mikeypnh
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Mikeypnh, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of sahd-1
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

sahd-1, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of charlesjwinkler
4/5  rDev -7.2%

charlesjwinkler, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of BrewClint
4/5  rDev -7.2%

BrewClint, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of douginromeo
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

douginromeo, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.84/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Great Lakes snifter. The pour is reddish, coppery-amber color with a fair amount of clarity and a very thin layer of foam that doesn't stick around for long (common for barrel-aged beers). The nose is quite sweet and boozy. I get notes of vanilla and bourbon, but the hops and some fusel alcohol notes assert themselves over the subtler toffee notes.

The beer has a full body and a nice slick feel. There's a brief bready sweetness up front that is quickly overpowered with hops and a sharp boozy heat, lending the beer a slightly metallic, medicinal tang. The heat intensifies towards the back of the palate and drowns out the caramel-like sweetness of the malt, which is fighting like hell to break through but doesn't quite make it all the way to the fore.

Beers like this are difficult for me to rate. It's clearly a well-crafted product with an abundance of intense flavors and marvelous aromas. Unfortunately, even though I enjoy American Barleywines, I'm just not a huge fan of aging these in bourbon barrels. I find that the bitter hop flavors clash a bit on my palate with the sweet, boozy notes and the malt is not allowed to work its magic. (Now English Barleywines - good gracious! Those are custom-made for bourbon-barrel-aging!) Nevertheless, I continue to try these as I come across them (or as wonderful traders - like Ri0 - bless me with their generosity) in hopes that my palate will eventually accept them.

deadonhisfeet, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of RKing44
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

RKing44, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of s_wit
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

s_wit, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of LIVEfreak2
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

LIVEfreak2, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of nucmedmario
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

nucmedmario, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of RyanSchwam
4/5  rDev -7.2%

RyanSchwam, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of ToadiesForCody
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

ToadiesForCody, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of kguard
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

kguard, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of shawlaqua
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

shawlaqua, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of ford0626
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

ford0626, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of beast464
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

beast464, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of socalbrewlvr
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

socalbrewlvr, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of ATK
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

ATK, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of Mugenlude
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Mugenlude, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of PatB1987
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

PatB1987, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of delaced21
4/5  rDev -7.2%

delaced21, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of John_M
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Last of my central water beers from my trade with Garrett. This is the 2012 version of this beer.

The beer pours a fairly dark brownish amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The beer is quite attractive on the nose, as I pick up light milk chocolate, noticeable vanilla, toffee and butterscotch. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this sweet, excellent beer. Also, maybe it's from the extended aging in my cellar/closet, but there's a soft creaminess on the palate this is very, very nice. The finish is long as well, and there is a hint of heat from the alcohol on the finish. Otherwise, the alcohol is pretty well integrated into the flavor profile.

Very nice beer from Central Waters (which is what I've come to expect from them). My only complaint is that I really didn't pick up a whole lot of bourbon, etiher on the nose or the palate. Otherwise, this is a very fine beer from CW.

John_M, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of PhatAtUT
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

PhatAtUT, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of Damian
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 12 fluid oz bottle acquired in a trade with surge1311
Vintage: 2013
Served in a snifter

The nearly crystal clear, copper-mahogany liquid was topped by small, light tan crown that quickly faded to a ring of bubbles. Droplets of lacing clung to the glass.

The aroma was really intense and complex. Candied fruits came through strong. Quite sweet and boozy overall with a robust caramel malt presence. Lots of toffee and brown sugar. Good dose of vanilla. As the beer warmed, the bourbon and vanilla notes really intensified.

A stiff, caramel malt backbone led things off in the flavor profile. Toffee, brown sugar and candied fruits were apparent. Bourbon notes hit hard mid-palate. Loads of vanilla as well. The bitter, boozy finish was super hoppy and contained strong notes of pine sap and orange peel. A bit sharp for my liking.

The mouthfeel was somewhat lighter than I anticipated, but the super fine and zippy effervescence lent the beer an exceedingly creamy and smooth frothiness. After every sip, the liquid left a slightly sticky film on my lips.

Central Waters's Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale is an interesting and complex beer that makes for a perfect sipper on a cold winter night. I aged my bottle for a year, but I feel that even more time might help mellow out some of the booziness and the bitterness on the finish.

Damian, Mar 03, 2014
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

so there does exist a barley wine that lives up to its hype, and it is this central waters offering. hazy and rich caramel colored beer with an awesome white head over an inch tall and lasting all the whole time. it smells like caramelized grain sugar, raw sugar, toffee dessert, and booze, but only just enough. the nose and taste both suggest ridiculous barrel influence, i mean, tons of vanilla, tons of char, tons of everything, sugars too but its not too sweet. i get good bourbon all the way through, with that oaky earthen character and all the vanilla in the world, while the booze remains way back, but persistent enough for me to want to let this warm and drink it slowly, although neither the body nor the sugar makes this hard to drink. smooth down, long vanilla finish, like creme brûlée in many ways, to rich for a ton of it, but highly appreciated in reasonable doses. a good twelve ounce to share, and finally a central waters beer worthy of its high praise, this is wonderful barleywine, as good as american made english style gets.

StonedTrippin, Mar 03, 2014
Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,808 ratings.