Fifteen - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
FifteenFifteen

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

340 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 340
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 451
Gots: 71 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mobius387 on 01-28-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 340 | Reviews: 55
Reviews by otrejo:
More User Reviews:
Photo of dogfishandi
4.29/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle at cellar temp into a snifter. Gang bang tasting

Pours out pretty much black, a touch of a dark brown on the very edges in the light. Spotty dark tan head and some light alcohol legs on the glass.

Lots of booze, but it comes off fairly bourbony and nice, some sweet burnt sugars and hints of different barrel qualities.

A nice taste, but still pretty boozey. Lots of bourbon flavors. Behind the bourbon you get some sweet burnt sugar, caramel, molasses, a bit of vanilla.

Big mouthfeel, quite warming. Viscous and sticky.

Overall, a good BA stout, really showed off the bourbon, boozey, but the kind of boozey I rather enjoy. Good, but there is better out there.

Photo of jeonseh
2.8/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle.

A - Dark brown with medium body and a small foam head

S - Light chocolate and caramel to it. Really a strong and astrigent bourbon into it that ruins the nose.

T - Dark chocolate, bitter coffee, and a slight metallic kick in the finish. Too much coffee and roastedness that makes this way too bitter in my opinion. This is also really hot as the beer doesn't just have a bourbon flavor, it has a straight up taste of alcohol near the back end.

M - Thick body to it with lots of roasted bitterness that leaves an astringency that lingers on the tongue

O - In my opinion, this beer was totally overrated and a huge disappointment. Maybe this was a bad bottle but it was all out of sort. It had too much bitterness and too much straight up alcohol taste for my opinion. I was not a fan.

Photo of CLCardinal84
4.96/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Got this bottle in a trade with Mike (SixPack6)

I am not sure why the last few reviews have been so average as this was one of the best beers I have ever tasted.

A: Cola colored pour with a decent ring of carbonation in the top of the snifter

S: I could just sit and smell this beer. Bourbon, chocolate, molasses and oak hits the nose.

T: Wow, mind blown. This was the most perfectly integrated stout I have ever had. It hit every taste that I am looking for in a barrel-aged stout. Every smell I listed above, I tasted in the beer.

M: Albeit a little on the thin side (not every BA Stout is as thick as BCBS), it was very well carbonated and creamy on the tongue.

O: I would put this just below BB Vanilla Bean Dark Lord and Rare but above just about every other barrel-aged stout I've ever had. Fantastic beer, and if you have the opportunity to get a bottle I would do it in a heartbeat.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.04/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A big thank to Jeff for this one. Guess I just haven't gotten around to it. 22oz. bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a semi-course 1 finger mocha-colored head with low retention. Beer is thick, oily, and pitch black. Lacing is stringy with little stick. Big, oily legs coat the glass nicely. Great looking beer!

Nose is hot and boozy. Notes of dark fruit, molasses, milk chocolate and cocoa powder. Some fudge richness too. Pretty aromatic.

Opens bourbon, molasses, fudge, and cocoa. Notes of prunes and raisin in the middle mixed with milk chocolate and more booziness. Ends hot with sticky molasses sweetness. Finishes honey, bourbon and some leather. Sticky, dark fruit and chocolate aftertaste. Pretty good but a bit rough around the edges.

Medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Oily, thick, and slick in the mouth and goes down hot and boozy. Sweet, messy finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Moderately smooth. A very enjoyable sipper.

1414 was great because it had incredible balance with just the right amount of booze lent from the Bourbon barrels. Meanwhile, though I'm sure it will turn into an amazing beer in itself, Fifteen just isn't there yet. Good complexity but the booze presence is very strong, covering a lot of the more subtle characteristics. I'd wait on this one for a couple of more months or so.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.21/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black, but transparent at the edges. Thick collar. Not too much of a head. But some wisps.

Smell - Loads of bourbon. Almost corn. More barrel than Fourteen Fourteen, better oak and vanilla. Roasty, but almost lost behind the barrel.

Taste - Lots of bourbon up front. Raw bourbon flavor. Sweet malts. Deep roast but bright alcoholic flavors. Tasty, but mostly bourbon and barrel character.

Mouthfeel - Extremely hot. Extremely boozy. Thin, as always from Central Waters.

Overall - It's boozy as hell, but the flavors are very nice. Better than 1414, but not by much.

Photo of emerge077
4.04/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quick review from written notes, thanks Aaron for sharing!

Black body with a ruby glint in the light, wispy tan foam on the surface has little staying power, leaving behind a small amount of random spotty lace around the edges of the glass.

Alcohol is very present in the aroma, plenty of whiskey barrel heat, a little one-dimensional.

Fudgy chocolate, toasted caramel, almond, roast malt and a bit of barrel char in the back. Tobacco, woody oak. Very dry finish.

Light bodied, it could use more heft to it, like most of CW's stouts. Overall it tastes solid, just a little boozy and thin for my taste personally.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.93/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a Central Waters tulip.
Serve in a snifter. Serving temp 45-50°F

A - This imperial stout pours velvety smooth and almost creamy, filling the glass with an inky black beer. With the amount of alcohol and time in the barrel, it's hard to request a firm, long-lasting head from the beer. A ring of tan foam creates a surface halo though.

S - Fifteen's robust and powerful nose displays layers of complexity within this beer beginning with mellow, not hot, bourbon alcohol. Notes of white chocolate and vanilla follow and pair with the oak's nutty, earthy characteristics, becoming reminiscent of a white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie. Milk chocolate and notes of coffee assist with a touch of astringency on the finish.

T - The robust aroma expands ever further in flavor, developing deeper complexity and changing flavors from a white chocolate cookie to a barrista-made coffee drink. Creamy milk chocolate overlaps espresso like a chocolate-covered coffee bean while a swirl of French vanilla and hazelnut are dribbled in. Fifteen's exceptional flavor finishes with a subtle undertone of earthy, wet oak which compliments the nutty characteristics of the beer.

M - Fine carbonation gently lingers on the tongue keeping this imperial stout from feeling flat, but the voluptuous, full body is impeccably smooth and creamy with a chewy, lingering finish. Mildly dry, warming solvent alcohol finishes out with a nod to bitter black coffee.

O - Paul and Anello continue to out-do themselves. Central Waters' Fifteen anniversary beer is exceptional in every regard from it's captivating aroma to the bold, evocative flavor and smooth, creamy finish. This is what barrel aged stouts should aspire to be; ready to drink without cloying booziness but also worthy of further cellaring. I see another GABF medal in their future.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thank you to Robbie for this bottle! Consumed on my birthday, March 7th.
Poured in to CBS snifter.

A - Poured black with a thin layer of espresso brown head that reduced to a ring around the glass.

S - Sweet chocolate fudge intermingles with massive barrel aromas of charred oak, bourbon and vanilla. Some roast and sweet molasses with a hint of coconut in the background.

T - The barrel really shines in this beer, which is expected given the 26 months of barrel aging. Bourbon, charred oak and vanilla are dominant with some lighter chocolate fudge, molasses and roast flavours also present. The charred oak stands out more and more as the beer warms.

M -Medium to full body. Light carbonation.

O - This was a huge barrel bomb. A little more barrel than I would like but drank very nicely nonetheless.

Photo of jegross2
4.29/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing Fifteen from Central Waters Brewing Company out of Amherst, Wisconsin. This beer is Fourteen Fourteen aged for an additional fourteen months. Fourteen Fourteen, in turn, is Satin Solstice aged for fourteen months in select fourteen year old bourbon barrels (essentially their Bourbon Barrel Stout with extra TLC). In short, this beer is Satin Solstice aged for twenty-eight months in choice fourteen year old bourbon barrels.

Score: 93

January 2013 vintage bottle served in a Portsmouth snifter and enjoyed on 02/24/13. Review is adapted from iPhone notes. I lost my original photo, so I am using the picture I took of my tap pour at the Local Option during Chicago Craft Beer Week.

Appearance: Pour a deep brown color with a nearly black colored core and a caramel-brown halo when held up to light. Minimal bubbly tan head off the pour. Oily lacing, minimal retention. 3.5/5

Smell: Vanilla, alcohol (not quite "fusel" but the booziness is apparent in the nose), bourbon, molasses, chocolate and faint coconut. Dark fruit too, but not as much as 1414. The nose is more "barrel" and less "stout" than Fourteen Fourteen. 4.5/5

Taste: Boozy bourbon, fudge, oak and smooth vanilla primarily. Hints of raisin, licorice and fig. A little caramel too. Lots of barrel flavor here, and the bourbon qualities outweigh the chocolatiness. The marry of the chocolate and oak is noticeably choppy, and not as seamlessly integrated as Fourteen Fourteen was. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, low carbonation. A little dry, but not too dry. A little sweeter than I recall 1414 being. 4.5/5

Overall: I have had the opportunity to sample this beer off tap twice (at the release party and at Local Option during Chicago Craft Beer Week) and out of the bottle several times since the release. The bottles that I have had have been "hotter", "rougher" and less smoothly integrated in the flavor profile than the tap pours that I have had, and there has been some quality variation bottle-to-bottle as well. Fifteen is a very good beer, but Fourteen Fourteen -- both aged and fresh -- is the better beer. Fifteen needs to age a little in the bottle in my opinion.

Cost: $15 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Photo of jmarsh123
3.76/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to joshuasereese for the bottle!

Pours motor oil black with hardly any head from a vigorous pour. Slight lacing. Looks fairly flat.

Big chocolate aroma. Some vanilla and maybe oak and chocolate if I strain enough, but chocolate is overpowering, but smells delicious.

Unfortunately the flavor does not live up to the smell or hype. Big chocolate bomb of a beer. Up front the tastes are muddied and all over the place. A little booze although not nearly as integrated and present as I'd prefer. Some roasted malt, oak and vanilla. Finishes with a big bitter dark chocolate linger. Easily the best part of the flavor.

Pretty thick body with lowish carbonation.

Don't understand why the hype train is pulling out of the station for this one. Not bad by any means, but the flavors are a jumbled mess, alcohol is not very well integrated and it's just hard to drink in general despite the fact that there are some legitimately good flavors coming out of this at times. Really it's a slightly less sweet version of what ST Chokolat wants to be. Maybe it'll age better, but for now I'll pass on trying to obtain any more.

Photo of Jimmeekrek
4.96/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The only thing I can say is that this is my favorite beer of all time. Had a bottle of 2010 Ivan The Terrible in same tasting session, and that was damn near as good, but not quite at the level of this. The only thing I wish it had was a little more thickness to it, but that is splitting hairs. The flavor was beyond what I thought beer could be. Roasted Marshmallows, Coconut, Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Fudge were present in the nose, and taste as well. I couldn't possibly do a quick review of this beer, its greatness deserves more respect than that. Glad I have more of it, so I can see how it develops. Simply a phenomenal beer.

Photo of oline73
4.32/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a goblet. Served side by side with 1414.

The beer pours a mahogany color with a layer of tan head. The smell is sweet and quite rich with some nice dark fruit, vanilla, and bourbon notes. The booze level is a bit high. The heat carries over to the taste with a nice sweetness level. I'm still getting dark fruit, mild vanilla, and some bourbon. The finish is a touch more bitter than expected. The mouthfeel is thinner than expected but not so much that it's a problem. There is an aggressive amount of carbonation with a finish that's quite dry.

Overall I really enjoyed this one and would love to have it with some age on it. I liked this better than the 1414.

Photo of Etan
4.16/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into a snifter.

A. Murky black with reddish hues.

S. Huge tannic nose. Marshmallow, caramel, vanilla cream, milk chocolate, pleasant wood, bourbon.

T. More woody bourbon, fudge, vanilla and coconut, bitter cocoa, more bourbon heat.

M. Medium-bodied, silky, light carbonation, not very thick but a bit silky.

O. An enjoyable beer if you like bourbon. The base stout is still perceptible but this is all about the barrel-aging.

Photo of WI-Beer-Man
4.53/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank this as part of our Central Waters Anniversary tasting (Fourteen Fourteen, Fifteen, Black Gold '13, 16, Black Gold '14, 17)

Much thicker/creamier mouthfeel than 1414. This was definitely a highlight from the tasting. I would guess it is at its apex right now. Delicious bourbon notes, chocolate, vanilla and slight taste of dark fruits.

Photo of Ri0
4.32/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

poured about 6oz left from a growler.

A - Dark obsidian with brown highlights around the edge of the glass. Only a very thin head and no lacing. I'm sure sitting in the growler reduced the appearance.

S - Huge bourbon nose (even after a year), bitter dark chocolate, rich caramel, vanilla, marshmallow, milk chocolate, and some wood.

T - It is quite bitter with a big bourbon presence. Plenty of dark bitter chocolate, caramel, vanilla, marshmallow, milk chocolate, and some wood.

M - Medium-bodied, silky, light carbonation, not very thick but still smooth.

O - This is good, but it did not quite live up to my expectations. Excited to try 16 as a comparison.

Photo of Drucifer
4.93/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on-tap in a plastic 8 ounce cup at the CW 15th anny party.

A: Not much head on it, but it was a very dark brew

S: Lots of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate. As with appearance, very similar to 1414 here as well

T: Wow, this is a world class brew. This is where it seperates itself from 1414. Very similar all around, but the borubon/oak character is much more pronounced. Vanilla, chocolate, roasts are all very balanced. No flavors really dominate the others. No booze or hotness to it at all.

M: Not too thin, not too thick. I'd say it's just right. for the abv and style.

O: This is a beautiful barrel aged stout that hits everything you want in the style at a perfect balance. I could easily drink 40 ounces of this if it were more available and my health/wallet wasn't at stake.

Photo of rodkin
3.25/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is pretty flat, black, medium thickness. Nothing special.

Smell is humongous chocolate, followed by vanilla, caramel, oak, bourbon. Really just waves of chocolate though. Smells great, if slightly one-dimensional.

This is, well... hmm. Boozy upfront, astringent bitter coffee, oak, some chocolate in the finish, slight bit of vanilla. The flavors are jumbled together, it's kind of a mess. This is very average. As it sits it opens up slightly, becomes a bit less boozy and a bit more chocolatey. Still though, a BCBS blows this out of the water.

Mouthfeel is overcarbonated and not thick enough.

I don't get what people are on about with this beer. Smells great, but it's all downhill from there. Honestly, I don't think you should waste your time on this. Not worth what you have to trade to get it.

Photo of Rifugium
4.19/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Ray for knocking this one off my wants list!

Dark brown-black color with mahogany tints, with a small tan head that held at a collar; a few dabs of lace on the glass appeared with a swirl. Big aroma of bourbon-soaked oak, seemingly pretty mellowed out by now, caramel and burny brown sugar, notes of dark fruit and vanilla. Taste came in almost like a stout-barleywine hybrid, strong dark sugars--caramel, molasses--roasty cocoa, nice bourbon/oak/vanilla profile, with the booze heat still being fairly strong, but well-integrated. The body was actually pretty thin for a BA stout, coming in about medium, and again feeling more like a barleywine or hefty strong ale. But the mouthfeel was still pretty smooth, and the drinkability was good for an 11% brew. Very enjoyable overall.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.39/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: black bodied beer with 2 fingers of medium brown head. The head has some nice staying power, but eventually drops down to no head on top of the beer.

Smell: very strong barrel notes! Massive oak, vanilla, and sweet bourbon. Also got some smoke and a hinting of chocolate.

Taste: Similiar to the nose. Massive barrel notes mostly notable is a sweet yet nicely integrated bourbon. Complimented by big vanilla, oak, and smoke flavors. A really fudgy chocolate flavor as well. Hint of nuttiness as well just for good measure! Everything is in balance and is down right delicious!

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation. Creamy and slighty silky body. It does feel just a little bit thin, but its not a big hang up for me with this beer. Pretty smooth and the abv isnt harsh at anytime. Really nice drinking beer.

Overall: This beer is another awesome anniversary beer by Central Waters. They are ahead of the game when it comes to barrel aging stouts! I think that you are splitting hairs between 1414 and 15. They are very similiar beers, but I think that 1414 has the edge in the mouthfeel department. Taste is the biggest difference between these beers, the barrel notes are much better with 15. Much more flavorful and robust, without being over the top. Cant go wrong with either of the barrel aged anniversary stouts by Central Waters honestly I am on the fence with which beer that I like better. They are both wonderful.

Photo of sweemzander
4.69/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Major thanks to Treebs for sharing!

(A)- Pours practically pitch black in color. Subtle tan froth that dissipated rather quick, but still left a light layer for quite some time.

(S)- A lovely rich chocolate and raisin caramel bourbon oak profile. Ever so slight vanilla hint on the finish.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A lovely rich chocolate/vanilla/raisin bits. Just a superb barrel showing that surpasses its younger brother (14).

(M)- Very smooth and mellow carbonation level but fitting for what you are getting out of this. Just awesome barrel notes yet extremely smooth and drinkable for the style.

(O)- This really is just a superb showing of what a barrel aged stout can be like without having a massive cloying sweetness or thickness. At least for me, this exceeds the 14 in almost every way.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This has been a long time want of mine ever since missing the 15th anniversary party. Pours opaque black with a diminishing mocha head. Velvet chocolate, oak, figs, vanilla, and a bourbon breeze in the nose. Nutty flavors seem to underlie chocolate, graham crackers, sweet malt, and bourbon which begins hot then gradually becomes tolerant as the beer returns close to room temperature. The thin mouthfeel might be largely attributed to some age on it. Overall, a solid beer and somewhat complex for the style which is something I always look in new beers that I try. I look forward to trying the CW16 and CW17 this year for comparison in flavors.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.27/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 3.30.13

A - Pours a dark brown with a smaller dark tan head that quickly moves to the edges.

S - Tons of bourbon, some chocolate and a touch of barrel-wood.

T - Still lots of bourbon, but more chocolate and wood and more balanced than the nose.

D - Lower carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Boozy bourbon and chocolate with some of the barrelshowing. A very nice beer.

Photo of nrs207
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pretty dark, but not as dark as something like BCBS. Minimal head, not a surprise there.

S - Smells like bourbon at this point. That's actually my biggest complaint. It's dominated by dark fruits and bourbon notes. The actual base beer is minimal at this point.

T - Same as the smell. It is excellent if you want a bourbon bomb. I think the base beer just couldn't hold up to 26 months in barrels. Maybe that's what they were going for though. But It's barely a stout at this point for me. It tastes like some kind of strong ale, lacking big roasted, chocolate, and other notes an imperial stout should have.

M - Not hot, but big bourbon presence which can be mistaken for alcohol presence. It's very smooth and low to moderate carbonation.

O - It's a very interesting beer, and unlike anything I've ever had. I would never turn it down and I'd even seek it out because the flavor profile is pretty unique to me, but I think it went a little overboard in the direction of bourbon. That said, I had the opportunity to try it again, and I thought it smoothed out a bit after a few months, and it definitely was better than other BA stouts I had that night like Black Note. I think with a bit more time, it'll be even better.

Photo of dar482
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Compared to 16, 17, and Black Gold, this seems to be falling off slightly by now. Not much too much, but the least complex of the bunch. Still however with rich milk chocolate flavor, cacao, an intense ashy roasty bitterness.

Photo of Lemke10
4.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a dark brown color with a slight head. Scent is strong with delicious bourbon. The taste is smooth and mellow with lots of good oaky, bourbon flavor with hints of vanilla. Overall very malty and rich with flavor that gives a much different flavor than Bourbon County Stout or Dragon’s Milk.

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Fifteen from Central Waters Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 340 ratings.