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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.

1,631 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,631
Reviews: 526
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 632
Gots: 511 | FT: 48
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: 1,631 | Reviews: 526 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KeefD


4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber brown color with a small off-white head that had a lasting cap but no lacing. Aroma is lightly oxidized, plenty of sticky sweet malt, a bit of hoppiness, rounded out by a touch of oak. Taste is mucho oak, vailla, caramel, and dark fruits galore. I can definitely pick out some raisins and over-ripe fruits in this one, a nice kick of piney hops, loads of caramel. Very sweet and becomes even more so as it starts to warm. Bourbon wasn't very present, but the musty, wet oak barrel was. Carbonation is nearly absent, smooth, sippable, delicious. This one tastes pretty good but there's just a touch of oxidation in the nose and in the flavor. Not sure if the bottle was starting to go bad, but it had just a hint of that oxidized cardboard taste. Still pretty darn good and I hope the other bottle I picked will age gracefully.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2009 17:22:52 | More by KeefD
Photo of alpinebryant


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

Pours a dark garnet color with a strong tan head and heavy lacing

Smell of dark fruit, healthy rich bourbon, oak , strong candy aromas and caramel mixed with toffee.

Taste is spot on for a barleywine although there is not a strong hop presence as is seen in many American Barleywines. Like I just stated, very weak hop presence which is probably all but overshadowed by the delicious bourbon and oak flavors. There is a great purple plum flavor in here mixing with cotton candy and caramel. Medium mouthfeel and a stronger carbonation than most have for the style. Finish is mostly graham cracker pie crust / slightly buttery.

Very nice, wish I had more.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2011 19:17:26 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of zrab11


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

06-07-2013 17:55:48 | More by zrab11
Photo of axeman9182

New Jersey

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

12oz bottle if the 2011 edition, allowed to warm for 20 or so minutes before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine pours a completely opaque mahogany, with a towering pile of light tan foam sitting atop the beer. Its shoots past four fingers in height, settles back down to about that, and just sits there. It legitimately took five mininutes for the foam to recede, and leaves gobs and gobs of lacing down the side of the glass. The nose is very heavy on caramelized sugar and toffee, with the only evidence of the time spent in barrels being a light touch of vanilla that stays in the background. The flavor brings the barrel aging a bit more into focus. Toffee and lightly burnt sugar are still the foundation of the flavor profile, but the vanilla secondary note from the aroma is joined by a pleasant, mild bourbon taste. The mouthfeel is solid, a full, rich body paired with carbonation that just keeps the beer from being syrupy, yet lets the malt shine. I love me a barrel aged barleywine, and this is one of the better ones I've had.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 03:52:32 | More by axeman9182
Photo of ldhughes3


4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

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


4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

11-14-2012 04:57:34 | More by TheBishopco
Photo of cdkrenz


4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Loud light brown head standing about an inch tall. The body a deep purple to reddish dark brown color with a thick haze. It appears dense.

S - Apricot, anise and alcohol soaked yeast.

T - Sweet black licorice with pungent fruity notes. There is a pungent hops here that really makes this special.

M - Smooth feel with a light bubbles texture. It goes down bitter-sweet.

~ This is a good beer. I've been a fan of the Central Waters brand and I have to say, "they haven't let me down here either." I'm thinking they may never let me down. I appreciate that. Thanks CW.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2009 02:29:42 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of cestlavie

New York

4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

10-15-2012 03:58:13 | More by cestlavie
Photo of Rand_ale_Thor


5/5  rDev +16%

03-08-2013 18:19:19 | More by Rand_ale_Thor
Photo of sgoro


4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

06-22-2012 23:22:01 | More by sgoro
Photo of PHBoiler


3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

10-07-2013 15:14:08 | More by PHBoiler
Photo of Gatch


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

10-12-2012 01:51:34 | More by Gatch
Photo of wisrarebeer


3.78/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Deep copper color, slight haze, nice head that dissipated.
S: deep bourbon and roasted malt, some heat
T: deep bourbon taste, bourbon dominates over roasted malt, a bit too much bourbon that makes it unbalanced for the style
M: warm, roasted, full

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2013 01:41:32 | More by wisrarebeer
Photo of vande


4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

03-01-2014 18:50:57 | More by vande
Photo of Gotti311


4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

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


4/5  rDev -7.2%

02-05-2014 04:24:15 | More by facesnorth
Photo of Evan


4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

08-21-2012 00:22:07 | More by Evan
Photo of jkane101

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

03-10-2012 18:38:26 | More by jkane101
Photo of Archemedies


3.75/5  rDev -13%

06-03-2012 02:06:08 | More by Archemedies
Photo of thampel09

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

03-16-2014 18:55:30 | More by thampel09
Photo of sommersb


4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On: 03-12-2012
Freshness: Bottled 01-2012
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Received in a trade

Appearance is a hazy, reddish-brown color, with a small off-white head. Head retention is low, with a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Aromas are strong and pleasant; the first smell I got was the bourbon booziness, followed by sweet caramel malts and molasses. Other smells include oak, spices such as cinnamon, and dark, ripened fruits.

Taste is very rich -- heavy on the malts and packing quit a bit of alcohol heat. The whiskey is prominent and also features wooden and oak notes from the barrel-aging. Also get spicy flavors and earthy hops, but the bitterness is in the low to moderate range, maybe more like an English barleywine than an American version. I will say the hop character became more pronounced as the beer warmed up, however.

Thick mouthfeel, with medium carbonation. The finish is malty, sweet and boozy from the whiskey, but a little harsh.

Overall I was very impressed with this potent barleywine; a pleasant sipper for the end of the day!

Thanks to Duff27 for this one!

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2012 04:33:48 | More by sommersb
Photo of ChugginOil


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

Thanks for the hook-up Brophmonster!

This fine brew pours a dark amber and settles a ruby infused brown color. Oily legs cling to the glass after an inch of off white head dissipates. The nose smells very sweet with notes akin to caramel apples. There is a bit of a hop presence in the aroma but nothing too strong. The taste is also very sweet with a well masked alcohol level. The oak and vanilla bourbon characteristics offered by the oak barrel are shining through in this beer but not overpowering. You can still taste the caramel and light hop offerings as well. Some butter notes are also picked up in the flavor that add to the sweetness. The mouthfeel is full-bodied with a suiting low amount of carbonation. Overall, pretty damn smooth for such a brew and damn tasty as well.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2011 04:22:37 | More by ChugginOil
Photo of Stigs


4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle via trade, served in a DFH signature glass

A - pour yields about half an inch of frothy yellowish colored foam. the beer is crystal clear ruby in color (very pretty). head sticks around for most of the drink, leaving the glass covered.

S - smell fills the room when poured. big biting bourbon, dark figs, plums, dark chocolate, toffee, brown sugar. very sweet but the bourbon heat balances nicely. faint earthy hops at the finish.

T - begins with some massively sweet barleywine characteristics...dark fruits, caramel, toffee. bitterness from tobacco, ash and somewhat piney hops. bourbon-heavy throughout, very hot...to a fault at the end when everything gets lost in alcohol. still yummy though.

M - medium bodied and syrupy, but carbonation cuts through (both body and flavors) nicely. goes down easy until alcohol kicks in.

D - a *very* good barleywine, no doubts about that. so glad I have another bottle as this definitely needs to sit and mellow. i will be looking forward to that.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2010 03:14:46 | More by Stigs
Photo of ChrisPro


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

Bottle shared with callmemickey

Pours dark muddy brown with decent tan carb. little lacing, but this thick beast had some legs.

Aroma was vanilla, caramel and some earthy pine notes. Just the slightest hints of actual bourbon on the nose.

Flavor was exceptional: great sweet caramel and molasses up front, but very well balanced with a big bitter finish, but leaving some rich bourbon and caramel on the tongue.

Big thick mouthfeel, but exactly what I want from a barley wine.

This must be a great base barley wine, but Central Waters showed how well you can use bourbon with a barley wine.

Re-rate 2011 Vintage:
Tasted Blind as part of Blind BIF #4

12 oz. bottle poured into my Bruery tulip.

First hiss hints of barleywine, so let's see...

Pours a burnt orange with a couple fingers of finely laced head. A little chill haze that'll hopefully clear up. Some large soap bubbles float around as the head dissipates. Both lace and legs glissade down the glass as I drink.

Aroma is dominated by pine and bourbon: vanilla, coconut and and earthiness. There's definitely some caramel there, but this beer deserves to warm up...toffee sweetness emerges with the warmth

The taste is a big shot of bourbon in my mouth. There's a subtle hint of burnt wood, like a fresh bourbon barrel or super smokey scotch. Big caramel flavor, then a an astringent finish, though I can't distinguish if this is from hops or a tannin flavor from wood. Also get some coconut aftertaste, reassuring me that this beer's been in bourbon.

The heat is in your face and this tastes relatively fresh. if not fresh, it's definitely 11%+ ABV. As sweet as this beer is, the strange dry finish is interesting. Perfectly carbonated for the style as the small bubbles work well to accentuate flavor but not kill me.

Overall, a solid barleywine. The heat is there and could use some age, but it's pretty solid. Great complexity of flavor.

I'd think this is something like central waters bourbon barrel barley wine, or maybe JW Lees Lagavulin cask, since that lagavulin smoke might be what I'm tasting.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 03:17:05 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of coz


4/5  rDev -7.2%

01-19-2013 09:27:56 | More by coz
Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,631 ratings.