Fifteen - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

55 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 55
Hads: 340
Avg: 4.37
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 444
Gots: 71 | FT: 5
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 55 | Hads: 340
Photo of WI-Beer-Man
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

 346 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

 647 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%

Bottle from a generous trader. Thanks man! Pours dark brown to pitch black on my glass with a small ring of brown head on too. Excellent aroma of bourbon and vanilla, anise, roast, wood. Really nice nose here. Flavor is bourbon and roast, vanilla, graham cracker, coconut, some dry cardboard notes. Nice chocolate sauce sweetness to go along. Long caramel vanilla marshmallow and bourbon finish. Rich silky body with low plus carbonation. This is really nice. I think better than 16 and Black a Gold.

 500 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.19/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

 789 characters

Photo of Ri0
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

 669 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I acquired this recently via trade. Very excited to try this, based on the rave reviews. typical big stout appearance. Near black with an oily beige head. Fantastic aroma. Bourbon and oak in abundance. Vanilla, chocolate, roast. Dark chocolates and bourbon. So smooth. Just silky on the palate and teeming with flavor. Beautifully balanced. Dangerously easy to drink. Mild warmth in the finish. I understand the high review average. This beer rocks.

 449 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes- had this on tap at the Great Taste '13 also, but these notes come from the first whale tasting at Rob's from July 13, 2013, so about 6 months of age at this point. Poured into a BCBS snifter. Thanks Rob.

This beer is a pretty typical BA stout- pours a viscous, black body, minimal tan head that recedes quickly into nothing. Not much lacing, not much collar, not much of anything to be honest- just thick black molasses.

Nose is full of bourbon. A bit of chocolate, roast malts and dark fruits but pretty much bourbon with a bit of oak. It's a strong nose here.

Flavour wise, it demonstrates the bourbon very well. It's not explosively overpowering like some of Central Waters' other offerings, but it's very strong. Reminds me of Parabola but the flavour profile just seems to showcase the bourbon more than does Parabola. More chocolate and some marshmallows, than in the nose.

Thick bodied, not BCBS level but definitely full bodied. Not much carbonation as expected. Smooth and creamy. Runs quite hot, but that is also expected from Central Waters.

Very good bourbon barrel stout, probably one of the best in the business really. This beer is difficult to get, but it's worth trying at least once for any bourbon barrel stout fan.

Re-reviewed last week, 11/26/2013. Thanks to Regen for bringing over a bottle to share. This bottle is at about the 11 month mark in terms of age. Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass.

Basically, everything from the previous holds here except for the taste. The flavour has gotten a bit more complex, more chocolatey and savory- perhaps umami is the right word to describe it. It could be from oxidation of being aged nearly a year, but it's a lot more complex and interesting. The bourbon and the barrel notes are still present as ever. Easy to drink with not a ton of heat. So in the end, I have to bump up the taste score to between the original 4.25 and 4.75 that it's drinking at now. It's drinking remarkably well right now and I would recommend cracking a bottle soon if you have a bunch in the cellar.

 2,078 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Evan for sharing this at my place a few weeks back; reviewed from notes.

A: Pitch black body, 1 finger of fine tan head. Decent retention and lacing for the style. Quite nice.

S: Rich, complex, and very barrel-forward. Lots of coconut, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Some sweet toffee and chocolate behind. Excellent.

T: Follows the nose, but with the addition of some interesting graham cracker and marshmallow notes. This tastes like a s'more soaked in bourbon, and I'm a fan. The finish is slightly roasty and warming, but not boozy at all. Delicious.

M: Medium-to-thick body, with a moderate amount of creamy carbonation. Good, but not quite as viscous as I was expecting for a big BA stout.

O: Terrific beer, and definitely far better than the CW BB Stout I've had in the past. I won't be trying to trade for more, but I'm extremely thankful I got to try it.


 887 characters

Photo of dar482
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

 225 characters

Photo of Lemke10
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

 303 characters

Photo of mothman
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black. Light tan head.

1414 even better. Is that possible. Very smooth bourbon flavors. Oak ad vanilla. Chocolate. Rich and smooth. Full bodied. A little heat shows.

Very good beer. A little hot which surprised me because I don't remember 14 being so hot. Still very good.

 276 characters

Photo of mjpolzin
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was the first time I had the opportunity to go to The Great Taste Of The Midwest, one of the best collections of beer in one place that you will ever find. On the top of my list of things to try was Fifteen by Central Waters. CW is probably my favorite brewery but I had previously missed out on other chances to try their 15th anniversary stout.

The beer was poured in small 2 ounce servings but with the line at Central Waters not being that crazy, I was able to get a few samples of this beer. It poured very black and thick without much head. It looked similar to Goose Island BCS but not quite as thick. The smell was of bourbon, chocolate, dark malts and some fruits. The taste was very similar to the smell but even better as all of the scents I described were amplified in the taste. This beer basically tasted to me like what a good imperial stout should (dark malts, fruits etc.) and the bourbon complimented it nicely instead of overpowering it like is sometimes the case in barrel aged beers.

This was far as away my favorite beer of the festival and it cemented Central Waters for me as my favorite brewery.

 1,127 characters

Photo of Florida9
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Brickhouse BBQ

Not quite a fully opaque black. Certainly some light coming through the edges revealing a dark brown brew. Little head, bit what is there is dark tan in color and sticks to the edges. Very little lacing. Aroma is coconut, chocolate, dark malts, and barrel. Taste is similar. Moderately sweet, slightly boozy, some barrel, some bourbon, dark malts, dark fruits, a touch of coconut, and just a bit of chocolate. Mouthfeel is thin for the style but about par for CW. Overall a very enjoyable beer, but not one that I believe warrants the hype.

 566 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is black with thin brown head. Nose has chocolate and a touch of peanut butter, light wood note and a hint of bourbon in back. Taste has a hint of that peanut butter, less wood, still some. Some cakey chocolate batter, a bit like a slightly muted Rare. Good full body, moderate carbonation and a smooth creamy feel.

 320 characters

Photo of lunarbrew
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'm happy I had a chance to try this at a tasting the other night. Thanks to Skippychop!

Beer poured with a higher viscosity than regular BBS, thank god. Actually, the body appeared quite nice, with minimal head. Dark black.

Smells fantastic. Mostly bourbon and and roast notes. Not a ton of the umami flavor which is so popular with other big BA stouts. This is especially noticeable, considering we just went through a bottle of Assassin. Smell is rich and inviting.

The bourbon is most present in this one. It is the cleanest execution of a bourbon stout aimed to simply highlight the bourbon and the base beer. The beer is void of the other (more sweet and gimmicky) big BA flavors, such as umami, maple, toffee, etc... Don't get me wrong, I love these flavors, but this beer is designed to be pure, rich, simple, and delicious. There is a decent amount of dark chocolate/fudge flavor. It reminds me of Parabola, except not as hot, much smoother, and clean.

Mouthfeel is indeed fuller than CW BBS, which I appreciate. It's low-medium carbonation. The beer is excellent in this category.

To me, this beer is the quintessential example of a classic BA stout. Not as complex as some, but that's not the point. It's awesome.

 1,229 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.04/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

 1,379 characters

Photo of jeonseh
2.8/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75


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.

 796 characters

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Central Waters Fifteen

Poured from 22 ounce bottle into CBS snifter. Served at cellar temperature....

A) Black with a slim tan head, which settles to a wispy dusting, and eventual collar. Some legs here too.

S) Wonderful.... But specifically, big vanilla notes with sweet wood and a hint of chocolate. This is so good...

T) Follows the nose very closely... The bourbon makes it's presence felt, but does so in a very smooth and balanced manner. Delicious....

M) A nice thick full body with soft carbonation. So smooth and palate coating. A light alcohol tingle with a pleasant woody finish...

O) Central Waters has clearly brought their A game with this brew. My goodness, this is just phenomenal. Reminds me of my favorite brew, BCBS. This is world class all the way.

 774 characters

Photo of Etan
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

 435 characters

Photo of ncketchum
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a chimay chalice, split with my father

A - pours a deep chocolate brown, initially lots of head, fades quickly to a ring of lacing.

S - great nose, chocolate, malt, vanilla, bourbon

T -very complex, chocolate, coffee initially, followed by intense bourbon, then lingering vanilla and hops

M - thick, smooth, little carbonation, for 11%, alcohol is well hidden

O - fantastic offering from CW, first of the anniversary series that I've been lucky enough to have, very glad to have had this one, too bad I don't have another to hold on to

 551 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Thanks! Snifter. Very dark brown with an inch of light brown foam. Slightly smoky aroma with big fudge and toffee notes. Huge bourbon component with roasted grains, vanilla, and oak. Touch of oxidation with a little coconut. The nose is amazing. The flavor exhibits a firm oak presence with lots of toffee. Notes of vanilla blend with roast and chocolate. Alcohol heat is present but not harsh. Big bourbon character throughout with lots of oak. I liked this a lot, about as much as Fourteen Fourteen, though my score of that beer doesn't accurately reflect how much I like it. Anyway, Fifteen is fantastic.

 617 characters

Photo of tut2528
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: deep jet black in apperance, with a slight film of khaki colored head (but this was created due to forced carbonation. alcohol legs are definitely evident

S: big big chocolate, nice amount of coffee, and big bourbon booze, alcohol, and it is extremely well balanced.

T: excellent balance here. big bourbon, coffee, alcohol heat, sweet ass bourbon, light graham cracker, and a nice finish of vanilla.

M: full bodied, leaves a big bourbon note on the palate with a nice sugary sweetness

O: just fk'in fantastic and so stoked to finally try this. simply amazing brew and the complexity was awesome!

 604 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.04/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

 616 characters

Photo of PHBoiler
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very interesting barrel character to this beer. There's a slight spice and booze on the nose, and that carries into the taste. The barrel character is fairly heavy and I think that's where the spice comes from. It's very interesting and a smooth/slick mouthfeel. It's a thin beer to hold up to this much time in a barrel.

 321 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

 391 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Fifteen from Central Waters Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.