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

Not Rated.
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch AleBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

83 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 83
Hads: 544
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 2.82%
Wants: 73
Gots: 116 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  ABV ?

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tourdot on 07-15-2013

Cherrywood smoked Scotch ale aged in used 12 year old bourbon barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 83 | Hads: 544
Photo of andrenaline
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark cola colour with a thumb of head with some retention and lacing. Sweet bourbon, caramel, toffee, burnt toast and leather. Boozy bourbon and caramel notes dominate, hints of peat, chocolate, molasses and burnt cocoa. This stuff is awesome. So much flavour. Definitely a memorable brew. (294 characters)

Photo of kkleu357
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Brewery. Seems more thick and rich this year. Poured medium dark with a small head. Aroma of sweet caramel and bourbon. Rich malty caramel taste. Good touch of oak and bourbon. Never really enjoyed this one until this glass. (238 characters)

Photo of AppaZappa
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first go at one of Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Beers. Poured 12 oz 2015 into a tulip glass; poured brown with bit of amber--nearly opaque body with slim white foam. Nose is bourbon, caramel, oak, vanilla--really inviting and sweet. Taste follows suit--bourbon is present but not overbearing. Very little alcohol, but not sure of the ABV. Mouth is smooth and sweet. An excellent beer that is scary good. Glad I have more of this! (433 characters)

Photo of bound4er
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My 300th review. Vintage 2015. Pours murky brown with some crimson highlights. Thin tan head. Smells of bourbon, caramel, vanilla and peat - very intoxicating. Taste is pure bourbon barrel goodness with caramel malt, vanilla and bourbon. Alcohol is well hidden. Finishes with a lingering spritz of vanilla on the mid-palate. Mouthfeel is on the medium side with low carbonation. Overall this is a damn tasty BB Scotch Ale. Another winner from Central Waters. (458 characters)

Photo of TBonez477
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a ruby brown hue. Little head to speak of but what does form is a light cream color, generating solid lacing.

S: Nose is rich vanilla, caramel and a touch of dark pitted fruit.

T: Taste follows nose, big sweetness starting with vanilla, caramel and toffee. These shift slightly to brown sugar right before finishing with a bit of dark fig or date.

M: Medium to heavy body, lingers on the palate. Moderate to low carbonation as expected.

O: Really impressed with this one. Lands right up there with best in class BBA scotch ales. (541 characters)

Photo of kbwalters
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured cold into a Libby stout glass. Bottled on 6/17/14; consumed on 10/8/14.
Look = 4.5 Pours a deep brown with vibrant red highlights, pretty cool looking. 1/4 finger of medium brown head composed of tiny dense bubbles fades to a ring; light to medium lace.
Aroma = 5.0 Light bourbon with notes of oak and vanilla hit me first. Underneath is a really sweet caramel malt smell - a perfect balance between the scotch ale and bourbon aging, really great aroma.
Taste = 4.25 Sweet caramel and toffee malt forms the backbone but it’s littered with notes of bourbon, alcohol and vanilla especially on the finish.
Feel = 4.75 Silky smooth, velvety and creamy all at once. Full bodied with medium carbonation.
Drinkability = 4.25 Really smooth and easy drinking BA scotch ale, booziness hurts it a touch.
Overall = 4.55 Easily the best scotch ale I’ve had. Once again central waters nails the bourbon barrel aging. Great balance in aroma and taste between the scotch ale style and the barrel age flavors. High drinkability and incredible feel round out a terrific beer. (1,075 characters)

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Wicked Weed tulip. The pour is very dark brown with ruby red highlights and sports about a finger of tan head. The nose has lots of rich toasted malt, fresh brown bread, toffee, toasted oak, and a hint of bourbon.

Full body, creamy feel, and a big rich, sweet flavor. Toffee, coffee cake, and toasted nuts up front. Oak, bourbon, vanilla at mid-palate, then a hint of black cherries on the finish. A slight warming alcohol presence, but certainly nothing even remotely hot or boozy.

A terrific bourbon-barrel-aged wee heavy. Right up there with Backwoods Bastard and Wulver. Yet another reason to envy our fellow BAs who live in Wisconsin. (669 characters)

Photo of scootny
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A super dark opaque brown with a light brown head. spots and streaks on the glass. Nose has so much to offer and delight in. The bourbon is well represented without being too big. It sets a platform that allows the malt of the ale to offer toffee and caramel against the notes of smoked cherry and dark fruit sweetness. A hint of oak. Some toasted coconut and vanilla flows throughout. Taste is superb. Balanced and complex. Lots of Scotch ale in the front with its typical burnished maltiness. Cherries and vanilla follow with the oak dryness leading to a mild hop presence. Lots of subtle complexities, caramel and dark fruits, toffee and roasted grains. Feel is full and creamy with just a few points off for a bit of thinness that seems to affect the bottle I'm having. Last one seemed a bit better carbonated. Still a good feeling glass this time around with a mild smooth feel and satisfying swallow. A stupendous beer al the way around. The seemingly perfect melding of Scotch ale and bourbon barrels has me wondering about the prominence of stout instead of a good wee heavy. This is just outstanding. (1,110 characters)

Photo of Jlabs
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Never had a scotch ale before..kinda reminds me of a barleywine. .but maybe because this is barrel aged?..I dunno but it's good and I'll seek out more of this type (163 characters)

Photo of guityler83
4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A: Deep woody brown, almost leather looking appearance - very dark beer. Small cream colored head that subsided quickly but left spotty lacing on the edge of the glass.

S: Vanilla, wood, toasted coconut, and big barrel character. Dates, prunes and sweet toffee malt character with deep melenoidin and caramelized brown sugar . Very well blended and delicious nose. wow.

T: Very similar to the aroma and thats a good thing. Vanilla, toffee, caramelized sugar and prunes - all in moderate levels and well developed. Prunes and raisins with deep caramel flavors that don’t come of overly sweet - just perfect. Bitterness is mild with no hop flavor. Bourbon is mellow and natural tasting with the other flavors.

M: Mild carbonation with a big body. Alcohol warmth is moderate with a sticky mouthfeel. A slight bit of tingly bourbon in the cheeks.

O: Fantastic, fantastic beer. Deep malt complexity with a natural bourbon barrel flavor blended in and vanilla character taking center stage. CW again and again blows me away. (1,028 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jeff for this one. 12oz bottle into a Cigar City snifter.

Pours just a light cream colored ring. Beer is dark mahogany. Lacing is patchy and stringy with good stick. Average.

Nose is very bourbon forward. Hints of molasses, caramel, booze, raisin, prunes, and other dried dark fruit. Deep and very aromatic.

Opens raisin, prunes, bourbon and molasses. Sweet and syrupy on the palate with a sparkle of booze. Some oak, tobacco, and the slightest bit of char towards the back end. More dark fruit at the finish with a brown sugar and molasses aftertaste. Delicious!

Medium to full bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Smooth and slick in the mouth and goes down warm and rich. Messy finish with a lingering but subtle aftertaste. Really spot on.

Central Waters continues to impress on every level. This is easily one of the best beers in the style. (867 characters)

Photo of pagriley
4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 vintage
A - Pours so dark it almost looks like a stout - just a hint of deep mahogany when held up to the light. No head or lacing but thick syrupy legs
S - Bourbon and sweet malt dominate. Hints of toasted nuts and maple syrup from the roasted malts
T - bourbon and malt again. getting more complex flavors as it warms, but this is a malt bourbon bomb
M - thick and creamy, almost syrupy in mouth feel.

Absolutely perfect - my favorite beer... ever. (461 characters)

Photo of TX-Badger
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown with off-white head. Lots of bourbon upfront, some caramel, toffee, and malt on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with more bourbon. (161 characters)

Photo of DavidHume
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A 2014 bottle which had been forgotten in the back of my fridge poured into an Adroit Theory teku.

Pours very dark, nearly black. Almost as dark as the imperial stout my SO is drinking. A khaki head dissipates to a sticky lacing around the edges and a Milky Way of bubbles scattered over the surface.

Aromas of caramel, toffee, and vanilla, with slight hints of dark fruit and bourbon.

The flavor starts with sweet caramel, followed by plums, figs, vanilla, bourbon, and a little cinnamon spiciness, finishing with toffee sweetness balanced by a nutty/coconut dryness.

It's more like a barrel aged barleywine than a wee heavy, but that doesn't matter to me, as the two styles aren't all that different. What does matter is that it's a delicious barrel aged strong ale which has only gotten better after a year in the back of the fridge. (843 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%

2013 bottle as a trade extra. Pours murky brown amber color with a small off white head that recedes quickly. Beautiful bourbon aroma with plenty of vanilla, oak, toffee, caramel, brown sugar. Flavor is lots of brown sugar, raisins, vanilla and marshmallow finish, bourbon, toffee, oak, a tad of metallic oxidization. Big body, some booziness, medium plus carbonation, smooth long finish. Nice brew and deserved love in the style. (430 characters)

Photo of TWStandley
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured from the bottle into my large snifter.

Appeared a dark brown, nearly black color with a half finger light brown head. Left some nice syrupy looking lacing on my glass.

Smells of vanilla, brown sugar, and a bit of dark fruits.

Taste is heavy on the vanilla (which I love). Also a bit buttery. The barrel aging on this is superb.

Mouthfeel was velvety and smooth. Alcohol was hidden pretty well.

Overall an awesome BA Scotch ale. I love what CW does in their barrels. (482 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

The beer comes in a copper reddish rust color.

The aroma has caramel sweetness, sweet dark fruit, slight bourbon, and woodiness.

The flavor follows with the sweetness of bourbon, caramel, and dark fruit in the front. The woodiness of the beer attacks on the middle. A good amount of woody bitterness and drying.

An incredible brew that has lots of similarities to Backwoods Bastards with a hint more mouthfeel and sweetness. (429 characters)

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

12 oz bottle at Top Hops from frigde into snifter at bar

Warmed with hands for a while

A- Deep, dark brown
S- Bourbon, Carmel, sweet notes typical of a scotch ale.. amost butter scotch. Smells so good as it warms.
M- Great balance of the bourbon barrel with the base beer. You still get the scotch malts and sweetness, but amplified in the perfect way by the bourbon
M- Creamy and just on the prefect side of heavy

O- This is a great beer. So glad I had it and would always try it again. (494 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown body. Medium off-white head. Settles to a thin collar.

Smell - Bourbon, but it's kinda light. Oak and vanilla are stronger. Toffee malt. Light butterscotch.

Taste - Bourbon permeates throughout and comes off stronger. Oak also persistent. Sweet toffee flavor. Butterscotch is pretty strong here. A little overwhelming. Finishes woody with a bourbon aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. A little sweet. Slick and creamy. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - It's very slick and the butterscotch flavor almost takes over. The bourbon keeps it pretty interesting, though. (646 characters)

Photo of fischgaard
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic beer. The bourbon barrels worked overtime on this majestic offering. The nose is as expected with rich toffee and a classic bourbon scent. The smooth, almost creamy beverage is a comfortable on the tongue. The flavor is sweet, with a sense of higher abv than the beer offers. The nice tingle in the back of the mouth is reminiscent of a well aged bourbon. This one is a case purchase and store. (414 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar, but upon closer inspection the edges are dark reddish brown when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a a thin tan head that died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bourbon and vanilla are present in the nose.
T: The initial taste has some flavors of caramelized malts, but most of the taste and the entire finish us dominated by the bourbon.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Slight bits of warming are present in the finish.
O: This beer is really pleasant to drink, but there seems to be a bit too much bourbon and you can't taste much of the scotch ale. It isn't clear how much alcohol is in this beer from the label, but it doesn't get in the way of the taste.

Note: 2014 vintage (877 characters)

Photo of ksimons
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-very dark mahogany color with a fingers worth of tan head that leaves a layer of lace around the top

S-lots of bourbon, vanilla sweetness, and caramel malt

T-not as much bourbon in the taste as the smell, very sweet tasting with vanilla and caramel and maybe even a bit of milk chocolate. Not sure what the ABV is on this, but alcohol is well hidden, no alcohol burn.

M-medium to full body, light carbonation

Overall really nice smell, nice body, and a good blend of flavors. Would happily drink again. (508 characters)

Photo of robear
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into 4oz Stone inverted triangle taster

Appearance: Dark ruby brown.Thin layer of foam quickly dissipates completely. No particularly impressive in the glass. You can tell it's a Scotch Ale, but I was expecting a bit more foam.

Smell: Caramel, leather, cherries, but all muted really nicely by a punch of bourbon. Something vaguely metallic, possibly driven by the malts.

Taste: Same level of bourbon as BBA Stout. A ton of sweetness. Sweet cherries, figs, maybe even roasted plantains hiding in there. I gotta say, the bourbon is a little bit strong right now, but the toffee and caramel flavors remind us that this is a Scotch Ale.

Mouthfeel: I swear this is thicker than last year. It has more body than BBA Stout for sure. Remains thick without getting chewy.

Overall: So glad I picked this up again. I didn't fall in love with it last year, but this fresh bottle is fantastic. If it's in your market, it is well worth the $13-ish 4-pack price. I'd rank it ahead of this year's BBA Stout but just behind BBA BW. Would be awesome if this were aged in some Highland barrels. (1,103 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at AJ's Beer Warehouse in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a medium dark brown, slightly hazy, with a small quarter inch or so head, and no real lacing.

Smells absolutely incredible, very sweet bourbon forward, lots of vanilla, some chocolate, root beer, coconut. Just awesome.

The taste is similar, but not quite as good. Still tasty, though. An over-riding bourbony rootbeer flavor. There is the aforementioned vanilla, chocolate, and coconut, a tiny bit of oak. Very sweet and silky flavor- doesn't taste much like a traditional scotch ale, but still tastes good..

Medium bodied, a bit thicker than some of CW's other main line of BA beers. There is a low level of carbonation. This is one is really drinkable.

CW brings it again, it seems like they can't miss on their barrel program. (798 characters)

Photo of Mantooth
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up in trade from @FlandersNed

Drank this at nearly room temp and was fairly well blown away. This viscous concoction pours a dark amber, with minimal head and oily lacing. The nose and taste are an explosion of vanilla and caramel and just the right amount of booze. This brew was good enough that I actually had regret after drinking it - I should have shared it with a buddy. One hell of a good scotch ale. (417 characters)

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.