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: 452
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Huhzubendah
4.74/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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 HopHead84
4.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4/6/2013

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.

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 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 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 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 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 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 maximum12
4.64/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Finally popped a bottle open with my wife after drinking a few glasses of this at the Anniversary Party...with the creeping beginnings of a cold. Glad to enjoy it properly now. 22 oz. bottle split in half...almost.

Pour is black & fairly still, even with a harder pour. The nose is much more impressive, & mimics almost exactly a bourbon-soaked, double-chocolate Ghiradelli fudge brownie. That's a pretty nice smell. Actually, that's a damn marvelous smell. Nice start.

Fifteen isn't going to get you a supermodel GF, make you popular, or thicken that hairline, but hey, only dumb beer geeks expect things like that of a brew. What it is, is much like the smell. Bloody big bourbon jars the palate right out of the gate: no subtle touch, & that's fine by me, I hate searching for the booze in my barrel-aged beers. That lovely fudginess comes up right behind, almost batter-like. Big vanilla & nice roast add to the mayhem. Drying, toasted wood rides up at the end. Thick & chewy. Ridiculously drinkable, I'm sipping this like ice tea in the Sahara.

Is Fifteen the end of beer evolution? No. Haters are hatering, though, the backlash being so obvious as to be amusing. Anyways, I love this beer less than my daughters, which by geek standards means this beer is a miserable failure. Wait, no, actually, it's excellent. A beautifully constructed brew.

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 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 woosterbill
4.45/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Cheers!

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 BMMillsy
4.56/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

Photo of Stevedore
4.4/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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 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 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.

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