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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.

1,851 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,851
Reviews: 534
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 661
Gots: 519 | FT: 56
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: 1,851 | Reviews: 534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mmulebarn
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

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 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 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 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 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 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 polishkaz
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of BeerBelcher
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very interesting barley-wine. It pours a murky reddish-brown with not much head. Aroma is intensely malty with some cereal-ness, which is not unexpected from the style, but didn't get me very excited (I am not a big fan of cereal-y or grainy dominated flavors). Aroma is something different altogether. Generally I find barley-wines fall into two categories - a very hoppy beer that could be called a DIPA, or a malt-monster. This was something different altogether. While this beer is more malt-monster than DIPA, it offers two other characteristics. It is both intensely fruity (much like a wine made from grapes might be) and a bit bourbon-y (no doubt due to the aging). It is really a good tasting and unique barley-wine.

I would recommend this beer. I found it different than other barley-wines and really good-tasting. I bought this 12oz bottle at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee.

Photo of SkinniePost
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Nice ruby color with solid retention but does dissapate to nothing as it settles down and warms up.

Fantastic notes of bourbon with a good backing of darker fruits and a little medicinal hop kick. Even the oak is apparent in the nose,subtle but does pop its head up.

Heavy caramel and fruit upfront. Nice vanilla following that makes way for the huge bourbon blast that takes over the ride.

Full bodied and a little too flat. A slight chew as well.

Not a bad beer, a little bit much as warms up.

Photo of shehateme
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of brother_kenneth
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Hugonaut13
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Norseman
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of ryanpj
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of bauermj
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of DCLAguy11
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of katan
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
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 jjanega08
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2012

A= Pours a nice deep brownish amber color with a soft half finger of tan head on it that falls fast to nothing and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

S= The aroma is very barrel. Tons of bourbon and vanilla with great oak notes. Compared to the BBS the barleywine is more dominate of a character. There are lots caramel malts with a nice sweetness to it as well as some dark fruit character.

T= The bourbon taste is great as well as the barrel notes. This is a fine barleywine with the perfect use of barrels. Vanilla bourbon oak all the way with great caramel and dark fruit buried in it. A great mix.

M= Great carbonation and solid mouth.

O= CW does a great job with their barrels but after trying a number of their barrel aged stouts they don't seem to be able to get the base beer right making it a barrel drink to me. This does both of them correctly. The barlywine is a fine base and the barrels are outstanding. This is the barrel aged beer I've been looking for from Central Waters.

Photo of Mdog
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Cloudy dark amber, good head.

Smell: Big caramel, lots of barrel wood, vanilla.

Taste: Sweet caramel and vanilla. Plenty of barrel influence. A decent amount of citrus hop bitterness gives it another dimension.

Overall: Very tasty, boozy barleywine. The wood and vanilla flavors are offset somewhat by the hops so it's not just a bourbon fest. Nice changeup from the bourbon stouts I've had during this long winter.

Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,851 ratings.