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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.

1,698 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,698
Reviews: 529
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 646
Gots: 517 | FT: 50
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: 1,698 | Reviews: 529 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GonzoHomebrewer


4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

07-27-2013 03:55:27 | More by GonzoHomebrewer
Photo of rawfish


4.2/5  rDev -2.6%

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.

06-21-2012 06:20:32 | More by rawfish
Photo of chugalug06


4.28/5  rDev -0.7%

Dark brown-red with small yellow-ish head.

Tons of oaked vanilla, almonds, nutty, creamy, lactic. . . Odd, yet unique.

Lots of resinous raisin, sticky, biting, bitter, perky amount of vanilla, high bourbon heat, carbonation is a bit too much for me. A touch on the overly sweet side.

Recommended. but not overwhelming... Thanks for this one mr. parker.

04-01-2013 03:16:52 | More by chugalug06
Photo of HoistinBrews


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

03-01-2013 03:33:22 | More by HoistinBrews
Photo of PopnLoads


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

10-07-2013 01:47:54 | More by PopnLoads
Photo of russwbeck


4.1/5  rDev -4.9%

2011 Vintage, reviewed in 2012

A: It pours out of the bottle a muddy brown to deep red and rests inside my Deschutes snifter with about a finger of light brown head. The head isn't a fan of the party and checks out pretty quickly, leaving to lacing behind.

S: The smell is pretty nicely balanced. It seems to have a mellow about it normally reserved for aged beers. Deep caramel malts, some booze that hints towards being too offensive, bourbon, and vanilla.

T: The boozy aroma that only hinted towards offensive on the smell is more so on the taste. Underneath it lays a creamy, smooth maltiness that's blended nicely with bourbon and vanilla. I think I'm getting some roast at the very end as well. The taste is too much from the barrel and just not as integrated as the aroma seemed.

MF: A bit thin with lower than average carbonation. The booze hurts the drinkability, but nothing strange hangs around on the palate.

O: This was a nice little beer, but nothing special. I got it as an extra in a trade, so I'm not really in any place to complain! I'd say it falls on the side of an easy-drinking Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, but it isn't really special

2013 Vintage, reviewed in 2013

A: The body is more clear, but also more dark than Y2K. The pour is a dark brown with a thinner head, about one finger in height. The retention has gone down as well as the lacing. 3

S: The sweetness has been taken up another notch! Big notes of vanilla, toffee, and dark fruits really take over with a bit of booze thrown in. The roast, which carried the aroma of the base beer, is all but gone. I think the barrel took the nose up another notch, but I'm worried the taste will be too sweet. 4.5

T: The taste is of chewy caramel, vanilla, and hints of bourbon. It is very sweet, but the bourbon and booze actually provide some balance. The finish is delicious vanilla mixed with toffee. The roast has gone, apparently, as I don't get any with this beer any longer. 4

MF: The mouthfeel is crazy smooth with a boozy finish. It's damn drinkable, which when considering this is a very high ABV and I had it directly after normal Y2K at 10%...I'm feeling pretty good. 4

Value: This trade was definitely worth it. Both this and the base beer are tasty offerings. 4.5

O: This beer definitely improved in the bourbon barrels. The taste was more balanced, easier to drink, and overall more enjoyable. Both are good beers, this one is just better and I would seek it out again. 4

03-23-2012 02:35:50 | More by russwbeck
Photo of DoubleSimcoe

New York

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

05-12-2014 00:29:00 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of scott2269


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

05-15-2012 02:16:16 | More by scott2269
Photo of Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

4.6/5  rDev +6.7%

An excellent beer, thanks to starrdogg for sharing.

A: Reddish orange hue with some golden lacing on the sides of the glass. Ok ring of head.

S: A nice bourbon vanilla oak infused prune/vegetable barley base. Raisin sugar also dominate nicely.

T: Awesome taste. Elegant mix of oak/bourbon with huge dark fruit spicy barleywine. Confectionary levels of sweetness and some nice bitters at the back.

M: Smooth and very nice, bitter back. Great.

D: A little heavy but nice!

03-01-2011 02:12:27 | More by Dreadnaught33
Photo of Gotti311


4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

03-04-2013 15:50:17 | More by Gotti311
Photo of Scotchboy


4.1/5  rDev -4.9%

12oz 2012 vintage bottle born in January of this year, poured into a New Belgium Globe. Huge thanks to laymansbeerfan for this one.

A: Pours a prototypical murky dark copper, with minimal tan head but excellent spotty lacing and alcohol feet.

S: Intense to start off - bourbon is prominent, dark sugary caramel sweetness, raisins and dried figs...very malty, and it smooths out as it warms...bits of oak and vanilla as well.

T: Alcohol is definitely there but it isn't overwhelming...bourbon, sugary caramel, dried figs dipped in brown sugar, oak, toffee, hints of vanilla, earthy notes.

MF: Alcohol heat definitely sits in your throat...medium to full mouthfeel, with good bitterness and a creamy body.

O: Intense beer, definitely like how the alcohol plays with all of the flavors, but it makes it hard to kill this bottle. One-and-done for me tonight.

Thanks Aaron!

04-17-2012 02:18:42 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of DaftPatrick


4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

03-01-2014 02:58:41 | More by DaftPatrick
Photo of rowingbrewer


4.28/5  rDev -0.7%

This beer pours a nice reddish amber color with a one finger sticky head bthe smell is caramel bourbon and a nice boozy sweetness. The flavor follows suit and is almost like a bourbon county stout but a Barleywine. The flavors a bold and the bourbon is in your face and hot. Mouthfeel is warm medium thick and delicious. Overall a very good Barleywine can wait to have it with some age on It.

12-09-2011 23:55:20 | More by rowingbrewer
Photo of BarrytheBear


4/5  rDev -7.2%

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.

05-28-2010 01:09:49 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of pirmannt1


4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

02-13-2012 06:52:02 | More by pirmannt1
Photo of plumcrazyfx


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

11-15-2011 02:56:41 | More by plumcrazyfx
Photo of derkfromwi


4.45/5  rDev +3.2%

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!

02-01-2012 04:35:25 | More by derkfromwi
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

2009 vintage. Pulled from the cellar in celebration, with much anticipation. Many thanks to maximum12 for this one....geez, seems as if that trade was a hundred years ago..but man, was it a great one!! Cheers my friend!!!

Pours a cloudy dark iced tea color with translucent edges and a ruby hue against a white light. Visible effervescence sustains a shallow off eggshell collar briefly while a nice amount of spotty Belgian lacing adorns the glass. The smell is aggressive, and with high standard, quite classic. A vanilla character from the oak treatment adds nicely to the vibrant sweet malty caramel butterscotch toffee brown sugar molasses notes. Really nice!! The flavor is very pronounced... and sweet. The full bodied texture vividly supports the overall experience. The initial mouth feel was exceptionally well carbonated..especially for a beverage of this style. Full bodied without being syrupy, the texture REALLY adds a ton of value to this one. The flavor is quite NICE as it reflects the nose yet has a surprisingly black licorice thing going on, especially in the really enjoyable aftertaste. I REALLY ENJOYED considering this one!!! Again..many thanks to my long lost Minnesota connection!!

04-29-2011 22:36:08 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +1.6%

Big ups to Ryan011235 for sending this excellent beer my way. 12 ounce bottle poured into an oversized snifter.

Frankly, this wasn't much to look at. Even an aggressive pour into the middle of the tulip yielded just a few bubbles and the barest wisp of a head that was gone in an instant. No head, no lace.

All is forgiven with the first sniff though. Rich, decadent malty nose, full of toffee, cream and well-integrated bourbon. Tastes as advertised, which is to say, damned delicious. Medium-thick with a smooth, coating feel that works well with the general warmth of the beer. Not a lot of carbonation is delivered, but then again, not a lot is needed. The bourbon is perfectly integrated; I can't imagine that aging this would make it any smoother. Buttery toffee, caramel and sugared whipped cream provide the sweetness, while fruitiness comes from raisins and baked apples. Can't quite figure out the hops; at times they seem to impart flavors both citric and earthy. Some charred oak weaves in and out.

Overall impression: Forget what it looks like, just close your eyes and enjoy. Excellent example of barrel-aging.

01-29-2011 15:40:13 | More by PDXHops
Photo of smutty33


4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

05-26-2014 21:12:32 | More by smutty33
Photo of Big_Dave


4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

08-07-2014 06:31:07 | More by Big_Dave
Photo of sprucetip


4.15/5  rDev -3.7%

2010 vintatage. Kind of a chestnut brown color, definitely darker than amber. Backlighting reveals good activity and chunks of yeast. If I hadn't poured the the last half ounce, I think it would be pretty clear. Very little head and no lacing.

Boozy esters, oak and bourbon are strong. I also get some light vanilla and caramel malty sweetness.

The taste is a little more balanced, but the barrel and bourbon are dominant. The sweet malty backbone is more prominent, and there is some vanilla and mild hop bitterness.

Strong warming, good carbonation, full body, and some lingering bitterness. Burns a little bit. Still pretty hot I guess.

Despite the misperceptions listed above, this is a really good beer that I'd like to have again, with a little more age on it if possible. Just my second beer from Central Waters, and I look forward to more.

10-24-2011 04:20:17 | More by sprucetip
Photo of ldhughes3


4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

08-08-2013 02:53:08 | More by ldhughes3
Photo of RichH55


4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

08-19-2014 00:17:39 | More by RichH55
Photo of CityofBals


3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

01-31-2013 23:34:51 | More by CityofBals
Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,698 ratings.