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Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Barleywine AleBourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,858 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,858
Reviews: 536
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 660
Gots: 518 | FT: 55
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: 1,858 | Reviews: 536 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fthegiants
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of bauermj
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 gratefulbeerhead
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of MaseFace
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of starrdogg
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Soneast
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bottled February 2010.

Pours a clear, burnt copper in color, developing a small fizzy head that disappears immediately leaving just a thin, bubbly ring.

The aroma has a lot of malt character, almost (but not quite) overwhelmed by the bourbon qualities. Some brown sugars and caramel aroma are evident, with a touch of wood and marshmallows coming through but mostly dominated by a rich bourbon smell.

The flavor is intensely delicious! Brown sugar, malt characteristics stand out first, rich caramel and creamy vanilla qualities are less perceptible, the barrel aged qualities come through in an oakey, bourbony flavor that encompasses everything else. A very nice, smooth finish, without much heat nor overly bitter. I dig it!

The mouthfeel is spot on for the style, very mild carbonation with a rich, creamy texture. The flavors of this beer combined so nicely, nothing really overwhelming the other components (unlike some other barrel aged beers, that basically taste like carbonated Maker's Mark). CW's Bourbon Barrel Barleywine is well balanced and delicious. I have high expectations for this beer with some age on it.

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

Finally got to try this beer after the past two that were sent to me as extras broke during shipping. Third time's a charm! 2013 vintage. Pours a ruby amber color with a small, off-white head that disappears quickly. Scent is much more citrusy and hoppy than I expected. At first I get citrus hops and bitter aromas, followed by sweet, bourbon booziness. Kinda reminds me of the BA Bigfoot I had a few weeks ago. Dark fruit aromas and a bit more bourbon. Taste is hoppy as well...very interesting. After reading reviews of this beer, I was not expecting this. Maybe I drank this one too soon or the 2013 version is more hoppy? Citric, hoppy bitterness up front...immediately followed by delicious barrel flavors. Lovely bourbon with vanilla, coconut, and toffee. Not very boozy for what the ABV is...very smooth. The combo of the hoppy bitterness, the citrus, the bourbon, and the oak make this one quite enjoyable. Drinkability very high. Mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated, smooth, and full-bodied. Overall, I don't know what it is about this beer... but, the only other "hop-forward" BA barleywine I have had was BA Bigfoot. I can't imagine the base beer for this one being as hoppy as regular Bigfoot... I'm so confused right now. This beer threw me in a direction I was not expecting, but it was very delicious.... I guess I'm somewhat disappointed because I was hoping for a BA barleywine that wasn't "familiar". Can't rate it on that though.

Photo of derkfromwi
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of TasteTester
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of dunix
4/5  rDev -7.2%

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

Murky rusty brown body with minimal head despite the aggressive pour.

Smells extremely boozy and hot, just like bourbon. Vanilla, wood, and a toasty caramel sweetness.

Wow, this is a really big beer. I love the depth of the bourbon flavors. It's definitely a sipper and doesn't try to mellow the bourbon. Loads of vanilla and wood, astringent, caramel.

Mouthfeel is creamy body, but cut with astringency. Low carbonation adds to the creamy body.

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It's probably the most bourbon forward bw I've had, to the point it could almost be mistaken for a bourbon but for carbonation. It's a great beer to cap off a night.

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 ldhughes3
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Etan
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle (2012) into a brandy snifter.

A: Pours a dark brownish-red with a small off-white head.

S: Raisin, brown sugar, strawberry shortcake, vanilla, a bit of oak and perfumy alcohol. Smells like dessert.

T: Sweet wave of barleywine malt - sugary prune, raisin, cherry, a bit of dark grain, cidery hop. Vanilla and spicy dark alcohol behind. Some hot tannic oaky bitterness. Throat-warming alcohol, vanilla, and coconut in the finish.

M: Medium-bodied with a nice tingle to it.

O: I'd be happy drinking this all year. Very solid -bal barleywine.

Photo of monitorpop
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 bottling

A: Thick, ruby caramel with a half finger off white head.

S: Candied sugar, malts, bourbon.

T: Bready malts, faint vanilla, dominant bourbon. Lingering bitter sweet finish.

M: Thick body, mild carbonation with warming alcohol.

O: A solid barely wine, but a bit overly bitter in the finish for me.

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 callmemickey
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear, muddy red-brown body. Egg-shell colored head. Slight retention with real spotty lacing.

S: Lots of caramel, warm, toasty malts cap a delicate bourbon notes of vanilla and oak. Only slightly boozy which is a plus. Real enticing.

T: Simply outstanding. Lots of caramel malts with the same delicate bourbon presence from the nose. More vanilla than oak. The more I tasted this the more I was getting a rich alcohol-baked cake taste. Sweet without being overbearing. A real winner.

M: Nice hearty body with a silky feel. Low-medium carbonation. Well hidden booze.

D: I am absolutely pumped that I managed to snag 8 bottles of these. Will drink one or two more this year with the rest to age a range of years. I really can't imagine a much better american barleywine... Kudos to Central Waters.

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

appearance - dark auburn with hints of mahogany. head was small on a controlled pour, lacing stayed.

smell - off first smell, things are a bit mixed. oak dominates, bourbon comes in with heat, and then a bit of vanilla extract and lots of malt.

taste - malts come in too strong with a plain wood taste. bourbon just brings heat and not much bourbon. a bit too fresh i think.

mouthfeel - medium bodied and medium carbonation, drank with lots of other barleys so i felt a sweetness overload.

Photo of smutty33
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of scott2269
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of VonZipper
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of JoeMans
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Drucifer
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,858 ratings.