1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Barleywine AleBourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,875 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,875
Reviews: 541
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 667
Gots: 522 | FT: 54
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,875 | Reviews: 541 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pisano
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of rawfish
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Thanks to pmarlowe for this.

Dark copper body with a hint of settlement. Smooth pour yields a very small half finger of tight yellowish head. Fades to nothing rather quickly with some stick on the glass.

Caramel, toast and some dark fruits notable cherries. Oak, bourbon and alcohol waft up from the glass with incredible fortitude.

Initial blast of caramel and brown sugar complimented by dark fruit and bourbon. Some medicinal hops and a slight acidic zest on the back end. Finishes with a oaky and bourbon flavor and alcohol provides a slight warming.

A touch flat and chewy but very smooth and a good body that doesn't get weighed down by the malt despite the carbonation. Only slightly sticky.

Flavorful barleywine, tasty stuff. A little bit of carbonation could help stir up more complexities but no complaints here. Nice way to cap off a night.

Photo of Norseman
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Oxymoron
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Central Waters was relatively new to me...until now. Pours a semi-hazy brown color with a definite red hue through out. A good pour but some sediment. A soft off white head with good retention and lacing, mostly hiding to the side of the glass through the tasting.

The nose is complex with malt and noticeable bourbon notes. To start the malt has some very nice malt complexity and a very nice melanodian caramel aroma. Some minor bready notes. There is a yeasty character but some very nice plum, raisin and fig notes come out. A noticeable woody aroma that leave more of a hint of bourbon but doesn't over power. Some minor alcohol notes but mostly clean.

The taste is very similar. A good malt base that really lends a complexity to it. Very nice kettle caramel notes that linger into the finish. Noticeable alcohol with some boarder line fusel notes in there as well. There are some yeasty notes but lighter than what the nose indicates. Some spicy, almost peppery aromas with a big sweet plum taste. Some minor raisin and pineapple notes as well. Very clean. The hops are limited but some minor citrus and earthy flavors.

The body is closer to big than moderate. A big plus is that the beer is so easy to drink. Overall a great barleywine. Thanks to flyingbison for the trade. A hidden gem for sure.

Photo of jwinship83
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%
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 nrs207
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Bartos
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mctizzz
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of klipper
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of shehateme
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of brdc
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Small capped bottle. This is an alias for the Kosmyk Charlie, bourbon barrel aged.

Poured into a snifter, it is a deep burgundy color, opaque with dcrimson highlights and a thin tan head, good lacing.
Powerful malty aroma, caramel, dark fruits, oak, vanilla, and lost of bourbon and a little bit of alcohol.
Full bodied, this one is a slow nightcap. The same heavy caramel maltiness comes accompanied by dark fruits, bourbon-like alcoholic warmth and a nice dry finish. A little bit less noticeable alcohol and this one would be perfect.
Very well done.

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.88/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle split into a snifter

A: Pours a medium amber color with a finger of dense white foam. Average retention and lacing.

S: Spicy bourbon starts off with a nice sweet caramel backbone with a touch of butterscotch. The complexity is in the bourbon here - moderate amounts of oak with quite a bit of spices that help balance the caramel sweetness.

T: Brown sugar is quite strong in this beer. Caramel sweetness comes in after that to pair with a fairly strong spicy bourbon character.

M: A bit thin with moderate carbonation.

O: A bit two dimensional caramel and bourbon, but some brown sugar sweetness comes in to add a bit to the complexity. Stays fairly dry. Solid.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of fthegiants
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Urbancaver
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- murky orange goodness with minimal head

Amora- smells like barlwywine with vanilla and oak hints

Taste- dark fruit flavors with subtle hints of vanilla oakiness. Tastes like the best barley wine I've had in a while but with added wonderfulness of bourbon :)

Mouthfeel- smooth, strong, potent, amazing

Drinkability- very drinkable for the strength

Photo of DCon
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my 100th review!

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Dark caramel, with 1 finger light tan head with lacing that resides quickly.

S- Bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel, and dark fruits. Great blend of aromas.

T- Strong bourbon upfront along with vanilla, oak, charred caramel. Has a nice hop bitterness to round out this beer.

M- Full bodied. Abv is noticeable and makes this beer a sipper, and a little dry on the finish.

O- This beer did not disappoint. Would love to try a 09' or 10' vintage to see how this beer ages and smooths out. Will be looking for the 12' when it comes out early next year!

Photo of BarrytheBear
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 from cellar to snifter

Caramel colored with reddish highlights, minimal white froth puddles and recedes to the edges

Really nice on the snoot: sweet bourbon, dark fruits, and coconut shavings that hints at german chocolate cake...nice

It seems that my recommending this to a recent poster in search of a rich, malty, non hoppy barleywine may have been misguided. Bitter hop grip from the get-go, followed by a massive dose of hot bourbon in the form of vanilla, and rich maltiness. Hot damn, this beer is a load. The oak barrel is very present, as the woodiness and booziness of the bourbon barrel really make their appearance. This is an 11.5% monster that makes herself known.

Carbonation level is low but appropriate. The drinkability suffers a bit due to the heat. For me, CWBBW is difficult to figure. Last summer we had a two year old bottle that had aged horribly. Not sure if there is a bottle to bottle variance, but this beer could use some aging, but for how long before a decline is unknown.

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of Auror
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Big_Dave
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of polishkaz
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Kramerbarthomer
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Editing for the 2014 vintage

A - Dark brown orange hue, very nice

S - Massive bourbon notes on the nose for me, very boozy...

T - Once again, massive bourbon notes.. but the 2014 vintage is not nearly as boozy as the 2013 was. I'm enjoying this alot more.

M - Smooth and a little sticky, this one sits on the palate nicely

Overall, the bourbon is really up front on this one. . but the 2014 vintage crushed the 2013 vintage that I had about 3 months ago... maybe this beer is truly better fresh. An excellent BBBW

Photo of Hugonaut13
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,875 ratings.