Fifteen - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
FifteenFifteen

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

340 Ratings
THE BROS
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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
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 RandomBattle
2.95/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz. Poured into a snifter, like a boss!

Appearance - Dark, dark brown, with about 1 fingers worth of beige head. At this point I was pretty amped...

Smell - Heavy whiskey/bourbon in the nose, very in your face and it severely overpowered any other aromas wafting forth. At this point I was still mildly amped...

Taste - Heavy whiskey/bourbon notes with a decent chocolate, toasty stout flavor in the background. Slightly one dimensional. At this point I was a little disappointed...

Mouthfeel - Very thin and fleeting. Many reviews claim this is thicker than the 1414...which makes me glad I never had it. This is definitely the weakest component of this beer. At this point I was very disappointed...

Overall - not for nothing...but I'm pretty mad at myself for buying into the hype of this one. This beer completely fell through my expectations of it, based on the hype. I've had countless barrel aged stouts that were far and away better than this. At this point I was extremely pissed I traded for this...

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 Sean9689
3.52/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to thetomg for sharing. 22oz bottle into tulip.

Pours black, light mocha head, thin ring around the glass, and some legs & spotty lacing. The nose is lots of booze, some chocolate, burnt sugars, and a good amount of barrel influence. Taste is all barrel and hot booze, pretty messy. The chocolate and burnt sugars are hidden by the overpowering oak & booze...the extra time in the barrel is to blame, I'm sure. Body is medium, light carbonation, sweet creamy finish.

After being let down by 1414 last year and reading all the stellar reviews here on BA, I was expecting this one to be amongst my top beers of 2013 so far. After trying this, I can easily say this is overhyped beyond belief and is just a hot boozy & oaky mess. Perhaps some additional time in the bottle will improve this one, but right now, it's the most overhyped beer on BA.

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 CityofBals
3.94/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Central Waters into a plastic taster cup.

A: Black with brown edges, small cascading mocha bubbles rise as the beer nestles into the plastic cup.

N: Huge notes of molasses, vanilla, bourbon, fudge, dark chocolate, and a slit hint of coconut. As it warms, the flavors start to open up, chocolate liqueur poured on to raisins, marshmallows, light oak notes, this thing keeps changing every time I put my nose to the cup! World class.

T: This beer is about as complex as I can imagine. I was worried that it would be thin, but hell no. My first sip was like a bourbon soaked snickers bar, molasses comes to mind immediately, followed by beautiful vanilla and nut accents. There really is no way to explain how smooth this beer goes down, the beer changes so much as it warms, it's really great stuff. I'm happy this is lower ABV, it'd be way to dangerous at 15%>. This is like BBPT5 to the Nth degree. Cheers Paul and Anello!

M: Can you say chocolate milk? This is smooth, creamy, complex, and it leaves you wanting more. (just lick your teeth for a second taste!) The carbonation is enough to allow the beer to open up, and coat your mouth in delicious bourbon and fudge.

O: Well, this is a game changer. Supremely balanced, smooth, and worthy of sharing CW's 15th birthday. The complexity of the flavors meld so perfectly, it is a testament to the talent of the brewers at CW's. Cheers again guys! Move over BBPT5, BCBS, BN, and say hello to BA DL and Rare. This is a real treat, share this with the best of friends.

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 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 ThePorterSorter
4.04/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

the beer pours a dark brown with a razor thin tan head. the nose lacks the same potent toasty coconut that he regular has, more on par with the 1414. definitely more boozy in the nose than the regular. the taste is caramel boozy with a lingering vanilla bourbon. tasty beer. it's not nearly as full bodied as I'd hoped, but packs a big boozy sweetness with the best of them. tasty beer, but not my favorite.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.06/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to scribe594 for sharing this one during the Churchill's weekend festivities.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, bourbon, and wood. Taste is much the same with a cocoa flavor and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that tastes much better than it smells in my opinion.

Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

So apparently this is the same recipe as Fourteen Fourteen, but aged in barrels longer. Served in a snifter at Sarah's birthday bash - don't remember who brought this.

A - Tan foam settles to a collar, wisps, and minimal lacing. Dark brown body with hints of amber-brown transparency at the fringes of the glass.

S - A lot like Fourteen Fourteen, but perhaps even more whiskey and booze heavy. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and a really nice coconut note. I had a similar complaint about last year's version and the additional time in the barrel hasn't mellowed things one bit.

T - The taste has a bit more roasty malt presence, dark chocolate, caramel and a touch of char. The base stands up a bit better relative to the intense and oak and whiskey flavors, but this loses some of the great coconut and marshmallow I dug from last year's edition.

M - Moderately tannic and oaky medium-full body. Surprising alcohol warmth that makes this seem stronger than last year - guess it picked up more bourbon? Pleasant moderate carbonation, and a bit rough around the edges.

D - The flavors are nice, but this a bit hot out of the gate. I like last year's release better, but given some time this may eventually equal it. I'd like to give it another shot in six months or so as I think there's a great beer waiting to get out.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.1/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of PHBoiler
4.13/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Photo of mothman
4.15/5  rDev -8%
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.

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

Pours dark brown. Looks pretty transparent. Dissipating light brown head. Aroma is a bit boozy but still has lots of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, roast and a bit of wood. A bit better than fourteen. Taste adds some soy and a bit more roast. Low carbonation. Good beer, a bit boozy but good flavors. I preferred Fourteen Fourteen slightly, but it's awfully close.

Photo of jaasen64
4.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into HF stemmed glass. Thanks Josh (thebigredone) for this one! First beer in our CW stout tasting that consisted of 15, '11 BB Stout, '12 BB Stout, '12 Cherry BB Stout, '12 Peruvian Morning, and '13 Peruvian Morning.

A- Pours a dark brown that appears an opaque almost jet black in the glass. Decent carbonation (definitely a bit more then I was expecting) with great consistency. A thin mocha head that has decent retention but recedes to pretty much a flat top leaving some spotty lacing.

S- Definitely strong notes of bourbon and oak (can definitely tell this has been sitting in a barrel for awhile) with some underlying notes of chocolate. Fairly aromatic, only complaint is the bourbon/oak is a tiny bit overpowering and overshadows the chocolate notes a tiny bit too much.

T- Similar to aroma with strong bourbon notes, some woody oak, creamy chocolate under the bourbon, and some light vanilla. Like the aroma though I thought the bourbon was a little bit too overpowering and got stronger as the beer warmed up. Overall though nice tasting with a flavorful base beer that still shined through despite 26 months of barrel-aging.

M- Medium bodied, fairly carbonated with a nice consistent feel, some heat on the finish which could have maybe been hidden a little bit better.

O- This was a very nice beer and one of my favorites of the night. The base beer was very nice and still had some chocolate notes hidden under the bourbon. For a BA beer I thought the bourbon flavors could have been balanced a little bit more and finished a little bit smoother. Overall though I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend checking it out, however I wouldn't say it's the best BB stout out there. I do think the extra aging improved it a little bit from 1414.

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 Florida9
4.2/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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 Treebs
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle served in a BCBS snifter. Thanks to BA supercolter for this bottle. Thanks Jeff!

A: Pours a dark black color with ruby edges. A light tan ring forms on the pour and recedes to a thin ring. Splotchy lace is left on the glass.

S: Bourbon, dark fruit and caramel sweetness. Nice notes of chocolate with some vanilla and oak barrel.

T: More of the same, heavy on the barrel with out being hot which is a nice surprise. Really smooth actually. Roasted malts with a marshmallow sweetness. Bourbon, oak and some caramel.

M: Medium thin bodied with out the heat. Smooth and sweet finish.

O: Thin, but it was pretty drinkable. Very barrel heavy, but it was still a nice beer that I'd definitely have again.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.26/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured jet black with a moderate but appealing tannish cap which resedes after a few moments leaving spotty lacing and a ring of bubbles

S: As you woould expect. Big bourbon nose with wood, vanilla, chocolate and a whiff of drak fruit to boot

T: Damn good. Initial bourbon upfront greets the tastebuds in a good way. I could immediately tell this was a good barrel with great tretament. Chocolate, hints of coffee, light wood and vanilla are found. This beer is just good. The finish is nice, loads of flavor and a nice warming burn.

M: Full bodied, well carbonated, a nice heat presence on this, a creamy mouthfeel with a truckload of barrel character

O: Very nice beer. Balanced. I was more pleased at how well the barrel complimented the beer versus burying it!

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 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 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.

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