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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel BarleywineBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.

571 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 571
Hads: 2,101
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 17.52%
Wants: 706
Gots: 640 | FT: 75
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 571 | Hads: 2,101
Photo of Mississipping
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottled in January of 2011. Huge thanks to StayWhatYouAre2 for sending this, along with 11 other Wisconsin brews to me. You're the man!

A: Pours a very hazy burnt orange/amber color with a small off-white head that seeps slowly back into the liquid from whence it came. Beautiful sticky lacing is left behind, creating a webby/stained-glass appearance on the sides as it descends towards the stem of the glass.

S: Huge bourbon smell is undeniable. However, it's not overwhelming because it's accompanied by sweet caramel and vanilla, dark fruits (fig and raisin), and a touch of oak to round out the complexity.

T: The taste is continually transitioning throughout each sip. It's hard to map the transitions, but here's what I've got: starts off with bourbon and wood and then quickly subsides to allow the sweeter characteristics of caramel and vanilla become prominent. The dark fruits almost simultaneously show up, then everything melds together for a finish comprised of each of the complex subtleties. The bourbon and booze are not so subtle at the finish and create a bit of heat. For 11.50%, though, the booze is masked pretty darn well. This is ridiculously tasty!

M: Mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium, with carbonation that is more evident in the glass than it is on the tongue. Slightly heavy and slightly sticky with just enough carbonation to keep it lively. The finish is quite drying and makes your tongue beckon for the next sip, which creates the whirlwind of tastes and transitions all over again. Pretty exceptional.

D: This is a sipper for sure, however, the smell and flavors make it difficult to just sip. I keep going back for more quicker than I should, and it can catch up with you if you're not careful.

This is a really nice barleywine. I wish this was available to me where I live as it'd be one that I'd go back to as often as I could. Thanks again Alex!

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Photo of Shumista
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received two bottles in a recent trade at DLD. The only thing better than a barleywine is one that has spent some time in a barrel. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a thick, syrupy dark golden amber with a small rising off white head. Smell is bourbon and oak, dried dark fruits, alcohol. I think the barrel really takes the smell over. Taste is a wonderful intermingling between the natural flavors of the beer and the flavors imparted by the barrel. Charred oak, bourbon, sweet caramel malt, cherries, caramelized brown sugar, then dried dark fruits and a hoppy bitterness. The finish is sticky, warming a slight bitterness. Mouthfeel is soft (that's the only thing I can think to call it), sticky, warming and comforting (an adjective that I think should be more widely used when describing beers like this). Drinkable enough, you're not really supposed to want another. I'd love sit back and relax with this after a great meal then slip into a buzzed food coma and sleep like a baby.

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Photo of amphion1065
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. from 2011, served in a Duvel tulip. Thanks Chris! Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark ruby, garnet shad with a 1.5-finger tan head that has phenomenal retention. The lacing is wonderful, thick and clingy throughout. Beautiful beer.

The smell is a pleasant combination of malt and barrel. There is a deep, dark fruit aroma, reminiscent of prunes, but also a stone fruit note that reminds me of apricots. Very nice oak, vanilla quality complements this well. Some alcohol phenols, but they're not overpowering.

"Well-integrated" is the best way I can describe the taste. This is fruity and sweet up front - I taste strawberries in abundance, and they're delicious. Brown sugar, caramel. The bourbon really comes through in the finish, and there is an astringent alcohol note, but it's not overwhelming in the slightest. Some leather and oak in the mix, too. There is almost no alcohol, only a little warmth going down.

CW nailed the mouthfeel, and the low-to-medium level of carbonation befits the thick, lush body perfectly. It might sound odd, but in spite of the many big flavors at work this is an incredibly easy-drinking barleywine.

I cannot believe that this bottle was so young, as the flavors have settled so nicely already. An excellent barrel-aged barleywine, one I will absolutely seek out again.

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Photo of matttttYCE
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage. Huge thanks to Timmyj21 for sending me a few of these in our last trade! You're awesome man!

Pours into a large snifter with a murky, amber-brown, slightly purple hue. The head, light tan in color, reaches it's crest at about a finger high and dies out near as quick as it arose. All I'm left with is a small ring around the glass.

My initial thought is that it's very barrel forward and a touch hot with alcohol. Lots of bourbon barrel juice, hearty oak wood, vanilla, toasted coconut, and even some hints of char like charcoal filtering of the bourbon. Behind that is a nice presence of toffee, burnt brown sugar, plum and dark fruits hinting at chocolate covered cherries, caramel and "heavy" smelling malts. Very pleasing aroma, albeit a tad bit strong.

Starts off with a bit of peppery spice and twinge of alcohol, but it never reaches a hot or boozy level. Part of that may be hints of hops as well. Bourbon, dark charred notes, lots of oak barrel, hints at vanilla and coconut comes through a tad from the nose. Behind that are pleasant notes of toffee, caramelized and burnt brown sugar, candied sugars, dark fruits, plums and raisins, hints of light chocolate and chocolate covered cherries, and plenty of strong malt characteristic. Bourbon and spicey charred oak are on a whole other level in this one. Not that they are insanely intense, just a different side of barrel aging I had yet to taste. That is, I've never really experienced a beer that's had as much charcoal, strong oak, and peppery/spicy bourbon influence as this one. Truth be told, I find myself thoroughly enjoying it.

Carbonation is medium, while consistency is viscous and a bit filmy but not in a bad way. The body is nice and medium to medium-heavy. And the finish is a bit dry and leaves you with more of that peppery bourbon spice. Actually, I'm quite enjoying the finish...it's close to sipping on a nice spicy bourbon.

One word - Outstanding! This beer is wholly enjoyable and actually showed me another side of bourbon barrel aging that I hadn't experienced previously. I love it. Do I love it as much as I love, say, King Henry or Mother of All Storms? Well, I'm hard pressed to give an answer on that. I might have to have the three side by side to determine a favorite. In any case, very well done bourbon barrel aged barleywine. Also, I suppose you could call this one "hot" or "boozy" at this stage. Personally, I enjoyed it like that, but I'm thinking it should start to mellow after little while (say 8-12months). Might even hit a sweet spot. Can't wait to try them down the road a bit.

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Photo of schwaeh
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from January 2011. An extra from readbaron, thanks man.

A: Pours dark mahogany with a little ring of lace, no head. Decent carbonation flowing and an overall murky look.

S: Smells a touch boozy. This rivals Firestone in the barrel aging, it really comes through loud and clear. Soft sweet malt and dark fruits blend with a lofty dose of bourbon. Toffee, dark fruity esters, sweet bourbon, plum, and fig are all showcased here.

T: Toffee, caramel, fig, vanilla, sweet & smoky bourbon, and a good alcohol burn are what I get. I like that the bourbon seems a little more complex than most in this. Stinging sweetness and some hop bitterness on the finish.

M: Full mouthfeel, low carbonation, sticky, and bitter.

O: This was a long-time want of mine in what is becoming one of my favorite styles. I wanted to have this mellowed out a touch more, the bourbon was unmistakable. If you really take your time with this there are lots of complexities that come out. Well done Central Waters

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Photo of Jparker37
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter glass. Bottled in 2013 is all that is described. Excited to judge this versus the y2k barleywine.

A - Hazy brown in color with some amber highlights. Smaller vanilla colored head from a gentle pour. Left some bits of lacing.

S - That barrel smell is beautiful. Toasty malt holds up well to those smells though. I get some cigar tobacco mellow tones.

T - Has a short bit of caramel and toasty malts early on but the barrel flavors begin to take over. Midway through some hops try to peek in but are overwhelmed by the huge whiskey barrel flavors. A lot of the toasty oak and spicy booze warmth last well into the aftertaste.

M - Full bodied, medium carbonation, a touch of sweetness early that dried up at the finish.

O - This beer seems a little young and could use a bit of time to really tame down and let some maltiness come through better. The booziness is getting a little too much for me. All in all, the beer has complexity and I would love to age one of these bottles to see what it can morph into.

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Photo of maedhros09
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Pours deep ruby amber mahogany with a couple fingers if head that settle to a film spicy caramel and dried fruit
Smell: Spicy caramel and acidic dark fruit with a hint of vanilla and char.
Taste: Sweetness dominates with moderate hops presence. Complex and spicy. Feel: Thick, tingly and warm, smooth
Overall: I was a little wary of the barrel aging, uncertain of how strong the bourbon flavors would be, but actually it came out as a traditional, nicely balanced and complex barleywine. The alcohol is definitely a big player here and is stronger than I prefer. Especially considering the price I would rather get a pack of SN Bigfoot, but this is a nice sipper.

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Photo of MPLS
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awaiting the Central waters limited releases (to hopefully come soon!) I cracked this 12 oz bottle open and poured into a snifter.

A: Dark raisin skined body that doesn't give way to much light. Tan 1.5 cm head fades with a thin layer that silkily stays atop to the mud sliding lace.

S: I am a sucker for bourbon: big caramel, vanilla, wood, cream soda, could blind smell the barrel aging in this one. Just fantastic.

T: The nose of the beer is great, the caramel and bourbon make a pleasant introduction. Midway these flavors peak and the finish the beer comes...it's pretty hop 'n' spicy, leather meets leaves and wood chips? ABV has to be above 12, maybe 13%. This bourbon version of their barleywine would mellow more with age, as the y2k suffers from a similar though not as intense hotness.

M: Medium-Thick bodied, creamy head.

D: Awesome looking and smelling beer, just have problems with the hotness and rather spicy leather alcohol finish. I look forward to purchased some more of these and letting them get a little age on them.

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Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Update, May 12, 2014. Opened another bottle....absolutely awesome!

Another awesome Central Waters beer! So nice and smooth, this is one of the better barleywines I have enjoyed lately. Pours a reddish brown with a small head. Big notes of bourbon and mash! I soo wish that CW was distributed in my area! Overall....awesome!!

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Photo of AJacob81
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage served in a snifter. This amber-ruby beauty pours w a half-finger of khaki head that recedes quickly and is retained w decent legs and spotty lacing. The aroma is of burnt brown sugar, figs, and rum-soaked raisins w a hint of vanilla. The flavor is caramel, smoky bourbon, and a lot more hops than other reviews would have led me to believe. I'm sure this ages well, but this is pretty hot fresh. Still very very good, and worth the acclaim.

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Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 release, poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my favorite tulip glass.

A dark amber pour, like grade A maple syrup, with half a finger of antique ivory head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring around the edge that leaves some spotty lacing on my glass as I sip it. I swirl the liquid in my glass and smell traces of bourbon, caramelized sugar and faint alcohol. Complex flavors wash over my tongue as I sip it: bourbon and caramelized sugar, vanilla, maraschino cherries, and just a touch of bitterness at the end with a long, protracted finish. Warm, almost hot on my tongue, creamy and strongly alcoholic, reminiscent of amaretto and rich bourbon mixed together.

Overall, I would put this up against any Belgian quad or dark strong for the beauty of its complexity, and overall taste. I've read that it gets even better with age. Well, I've got three more bottles and I may pick up more in the next week or so. This is heading for the cellar.

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Photo of ncketchum
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Duvel tulip, 2012 vintage

A - pours a murky reddish brown with minimal head

S - bourbon, vanilla, caramel, not too boozy, not too sweet.

T - wow, lots of the bourbon up front, however, very well-balanced with vanilla and caramel as in the nose.

M - thick, good amount of carbonation, definitely some alcohol burn but not too much like in some barleywines I've had.

O - Awesome. The time of the year when this and its stout counterpart come out make me happy I live in Wisconsin. Definitely world class in my book.

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Photo of Gfunk720
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. Out of my Maudite tulip

A- A glowing reddish amber color. Nice 1 finger off white head. The beer is pretty clear.

S- Smells of caramel and bourbon, dark fruit and vanilla. Smells sweet, with a bit of oakiness. I smell some light hoppiness, but nothing crazy.

T- Coats the mouth with a wondeful smooth caramel flavor, which quickly transitions to a prominent piney hop flavor. The bourbon is there, but melds well with the other flavors. A little booze and vanilla too.

M- It's really pretty nice. Could have used some more time to mellow, but it is very drinkable. The hoppiness is a little strong.

D- More of a sipper, but plenty drinkable. A nice and complex barleywine, with a near perfect bourbon blend. Would love to try some of these with a couple years of age on them

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Photo of Verecund
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage, consumed on 11.21.2010. Thanks go out to madtowndmb1 for this surprise.

Pours a reddish-brown, earthy color [sinopia]. Somewhat opaque, with almost no visible head, though the beer leaves tiny, tiny bubbles as lacing. (Second pour yields a darker, richer red body and, more importantly, a nice nearly one finger, mostly dissipating head. Bumped from 3.5 to 4.0.)

Truly appetizing nose. Sweet, sticky toffee and caramel, dark brown sugar, vanilla custard, and a soft bourbon wood.
Toasted oak comes through most in the taste, with some combination of nuttiness, caramel, and vanilla rounding out the flavor profile. There's a citrusy/resinous hop bitterness on the finish which is swallowed by a wave of strong bourbon alcohol heat.

The nose is strangely soft and finessed, like that of a younger English barleywine, but CW BBBW packs a punch in the mouth.

All of 11.5%. Appropriately sticky, with low-medium carbonation.

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Photo of SummitVA
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Crystal clear deep auburn with ruby highlights on sides of glass. Light pop when opened, quarter inch white rocky head when poured. Steady carbonation.

S - Booze foremost. Licorice, then vanilla (and vanilla, then licorice after the glass warms to room temp), and wet oak. Lovely caramel and burnt sugar. I'm getting very little alcohol in the nose, strangely enough.

T - Bourbon and huge malt. Some dark caramel flavors, but little crystal sweetness. A little plum and date in the finish, along with a firm herbal bitterness. Alcohol far more apparent here; it is the last, lingering note, and it warms throat.

M - Medium bodied, but a good deal thinner than I was anticipating. Without bigger body, the alcohol in the finish tends to overwhelm.

O - Really happy to have had this at long last. A lovely, complex sipper. That being said, very glad to have another bottle that I can sit on for a year to see if the alcohol heat lessens.

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Photo of bret27
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle courtesy of Diomede

S: vanilla, bourbon, malt, booze

A: medium ruby brown. minimal head

D: Vanilla, wafers, biscuit, oak, maybe a little tannins

M: medium, syrupy

D: Sweet w/medium body. Alcohol presence is warming but not overwhelming or burning.

Overall: Really impressive. In the top 5 bourbon barrel BW's I've had... I think.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, 2014 version. Pours deep caramel brown, off white head fades to thin layer that coats the glass. Roma is full of bourbon, vanilla, wood, raisins. Big sweet malty flavor up front. Followed by vanilla and bourbon, lots if it, ends with lingering oak. Nice soft mouthfeel. Overall really tasty Barleywine, maybe a little heavy on the bourbon, but quite good.

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Photo of garbercury
3.57/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to Beerwolf77 for this guy, Thanks Todd!!

A--Reddish, burnt orange color, a little lighter than I expected, not any head or retention of note.

S--Definitely a mix of bourbon and barleywine notes. Strong aromas.

T--HOT. This sucker has some burn to it. The alcohol burn just really overtakes this one. The bourbon flavor is a little off/odd.

M--Nice silky mouthfeel, this has a nice feel.

D--This one was a bit of a letdown for me, something just was missing for me on this one. Really glad I got to try it though!

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Photo of boomer31
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle reviewed 9/09

A - Darker orangeish woody
S - Bourobn all over the place with sweet malt in the background. This bad boy was sitting in a barrel for quite some time. Great smell if you love bourbon, if you're not a fan of it though, steer clear.
T - Again, bourbon everywhere. My first BB B-wine and what a treat. The malt does come forward as you get past the initial bourbon flavor. Wonderfull. This needs to be a top 50 beer.
M - Thick and smooth, low carbonation
D - Bourbon makes this one a sipper especially at the ABV (I'd assume is close to 9%)

Overall a favorite beer no doubt. I love this thing time and time again

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Photo of gkatsoris
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very nice brown, with an ambery red int. The head was very thin, and lasted for a minute or so.

S: Raisins, vanilla, wood, sweet. Malts. Oak. And the bourbon finishes.

T: Alcohol up front, with malts. Then bourbon. And finishes sweet, w/ the raisins.

M: Very nice. Good carbonation. Nice and chewy. Very nice.

D: I wish I had more than one.

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Photo of afausser
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of nflmvp--an amazing trader. Thanks so much for giving me another chance to try this one!

A: Pours an amber-tinged mahogany with one and a half fingers of fluffy, bubbly, creamy tan head. Nearly opaque where the glass is thickest, and hazy where it is thinnest. The head dissipates into fluffy mocha bubbles, the consistency of which you might find in a mug of hot cocoa, and soon thereafter, a fine ring around the edge of the glass, where a few of the larger bubbles are still persistent. Very little lacing, but the lacing that is there is the same foam consistency as the head at first. As it calms down, this changes to very nice, fine, fluffy lacing.

S: Delicious. Very sweet, with HEAVY candy, brown sugar, caramels, and molasses, as well as--no surprise--plenty of bourbon. Heavy raisins, rum, and prunes in the nose do not drown out the more subtle scents of chocolate, juicy raspberries and a very slight hint of strawberries. There's also a nice vanilla scent which is easy to miss since it blends with the rest of the beer so well, but is a huge element in the smell.
As it warms, slightly metallic notes come out as well as hints of licorice and cherry. Though these hints come out more and more, so do the raisins, prunes, bourbon, and caramel, which end up smelling wonderful after sitting for a bit. Mmmm.

T: Immediately noticeable are earthy, oaky and metallic tastes that were not predominant in the smell, as well as some heat from the alcohol. This aside, the bourbon is even bigger in the taste than in the smell, but I'm also tasting brandy and a slight hint of rum. The large amount of vanilla in the taste blends well with the alcohol, somewhat tempering it and providing a very smooth and creamy element to the taste. Heavy raisins, prunes, caramel and molasses are still present, as are yeasty, light breads, dessert coffee, chocolate, and raspberries. A bit syrupy (though only in taste--not at all in texture) but in a good way. The bourbon balances nicely with the sugar so that it is not at all cloying despite being so sweet. Even the aftertaste is complex and delicious here--there is still some sweet caramel and vanilla but also a bourbon-like warmth, metal, and slight anise. As it warms, this develops into brown sugar and vanilla. Throughout the life of the beer, the hops make themselves present in the aftertaste, adding in grapefruit as one additional element of the complex yet easily drinkable beer. This one gets so much more complex in flavor as it warms that the heat from the alcohol is actually far less obvious in the taste as it sits due to the other flavors warming up a bit (and blending VERY nicely!). 4.5

M: When I cracked open this beer, I thought that the mouthfeel was going to get ranked much lower than it ended up--it improved SO much as it warmed! A little warm at first, which usually bothers me, but for some reason I don't mind. In a way, it's almost the warmth you get from drinking liquor--particularly whisky, though not nearly as strong--and the heavy bourbon taste in this one blends nicely with the warmth of the mouthfeel. Also, as noted above, the alcohol heat actually disappears a little bit as it warms, and it ends up creamy and easy to drink, though it leaves your mouth tingling a bit. Medium bodied with tons of extremely small carbonation bubbles--I'd say the carbonation is near perfect on this one, which impresses me quite a bit. Delicious.

D: I'm very partial to this beer--it was one of my introductions to craft beer through a friend, which I didn't feel comfortable reviewing at the time. I have been wanting to try this one again and get a review out of it for quite a while now to see if it was really as good as I had remembered (as opposed to good in comparison to, well, pretty terrible beer). Central Waters did not fail me on this one--I can now say that I absolutely love it. It's one to sip, but for the style (and what I'd guess the ABV to be) it's incredibly refreshing and drinkable. I enjoyed this one over a couple hours, but only through the sheer willpower of wanting to get a good review out of it and the selfishness of wanting to save it for as long as possible. I often wish that we could easily get Central Waters stuff in Virginia, but really, really wish we could get this one specifically--I would definitely love to have this one over and over again.

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Photo of drewba
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Murky, dirty rusty-brown colored with a thin cream colored head.

S - Huge nose - plenty of rum raisin which seems to add a lot of sweetness and a hint of yeast. This smells remarkably similar to a brandy angels share.

T - Sweet rum, rum raisin, toasty malt, a slight citrusy hop character and some alcohol presence. Unrefined flavors compared to the huge, outspoken aroma. Where is the bourbon? This is coming off much more like rum or brandy.

M - Sticky, sweet, slightly cloying with a medicinal finish.

D - Though this does taste good, the overwhelming sweetness without anything counterbalance and the lingering cloying sweetness brings this way down for me.

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Photo of kdb150
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured cool from a 2012 bottle into a snifter.

A - Nice brown color with ruby highlights, small ivory head subsides to a persistent ring. A bit of lacing. Looks pretty good.

S - Bourbon, toffee, and a hint of ethanol. Smells good.

T - Bourbon up front and toffee in the back. The middle shows a more complex base beer, with hints of dark fruit and caramel. It is a bit hot, but appropriate for the ABV. This could definitely use some age, but it's a delicious beer right now.

M - Nice and syrupy, though not to thick or cloying. Leaves a great toffee aftertaste that is really quite pleasant. Carb is moderate, works well with the beer.

O - This is quite good right now, but will no doubt get even better with age. The flavors are all there, and great, and the alcohol, though noticeable, doesn't need much calming. Bourbon barrel-aged barleywine is one of my very favorite styles, and this one is good enough to stash many away for future cold and rainy days. A very well-done brew.

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Photo of SerialHiker
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a lovely deep, dense mahogany…little head to speak of, but when I swirl it around, it livens a bit and the thinnest light khaki layer forms…but doesn’t last…the color and look are fantastic, but there could be a bit more head…(3.5/5)

Smell: Definitely bourbon barrel aged, that’s the first thing that hits me…there’s a dark cherry candy sweetness that follows close behind, diluting a bit of that alcohol punch…oak, vanilla, caramel, cola, creamy sweetness round it off…it’s bourbon barrel alcohol heavy, but delicate enough to allow other flavors to come through…(4.25/5)

Taste: Yum, tons of flavor…oak and bourbon alcohol heat right off the bat, though quickly sweetened bringing in the traditional barley wine flavors…candy sweet and tons of caramel malts, mild earthy tones…it’s flushed with a boozy quality that comes in and out, not overly done, but certainly not letting me forget that it’s bourbon barrel aged…it’s easy to say that it’s too boozy, because it is strong, but for me it’s just right…intentionally powerful, one sip lasts three minutes…(4.5/5)

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, medium carbonation…fluffs up beautifully, bring tons of candy sweetness to the palate…when it fades, bourbon alcohol takes over and tingles the outside of my tongue and heats the back of my throat…rich, smooth, chewy, lively, boozy, sweet…fades sweet with tons of boozy heat…fantastic…(4.5/5)

Overall: This is a fantastic brew…a pure sipper, I’m sitting here watching the Oscars and it’s perfect…it makes me want to start a fire in the fireplace…the straight barley wine flavor playing the support role here would outshine most other brews by itself, but the addition of the bourbon barrel aging gives it a sophistication deserving of a snifter glass…boozy, straight forward, intoxicating, this brew is deserving of its allusiveness…I was lucky to snatch it up when I did and thankful I have a couple more to share, it’s no surprise this is one of Central Waters highest rated beers…a top shelf brew that’s well worth the price, if you get the chance to taste this, take it…I’d love to see this on tap somewhere just to see what a little more carbonation and head would do to the overall package…fantastic! (4.5/5)

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Photo of ThirstyHerf
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From Blind Bif 6
Bottle #1, 12 oz bottle shared with ilikebrew & chaseabeer. Poured into three Boulevard tulips.

between the appearance and the smell as i pour i know i have some sort of barleywine.

A - a nice amber, orange almost red hue, nice dregs, a little thin for a barleywine but all three of us are guessing CW BA BW 4

S - Bourbon barrel, raisin, carmel, burnt sugars, molasses, honey 4.5

T- This is quite hoppy and could really fare well with a little age. The rest of the flavors, carmel, coconut, vanilla, burnt sugar, molasses all play well together but the hops are a bit a of bully here and push this beer to the bitter side 3.5

M nice and sticky, coats the entire mouth but is a little thin for the style. 3.5

O - This is definitely a BA BW but an american style, definitely not english. Sticking with CW BABW 4

and we have... Nailed it! Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barley wine! I love this beer and it is always a want! Thanks Alwatcher. Its amazing how I have never picked up on the hops as much until now. bottles 2,3&4 to come.

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Central Waters Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 571 ratings.