Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

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.

100 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 100
Hads: 602
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 18.93%
Wants: 73
Gots: 153 | FT: 21
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  9.50% 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 100 | Hads: 602
Reviews by offthelevel_bytheplumb:
Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Poured as dark a brown as brown can get with the thinnest tan head that leaves no lacing. There was a small but noticeable amount of sediment. Oak and toffee dominate the nose, with the caramel from the bourbon coming on strong as well. Vanilla and butterscotch in the background, with light mocha detected. Big sweetness all the way down, light heat in the middle. Drinks like molasses, which leaves behind a long aftertaste of toffee. Feels like drinking a melted butterscotch candy. This drinks exactly like what I hope for in a BA wee heavy.

Overall: The beer is perfectly aged, not overbearing with bourbon smell and taste, yet always lingering around. Perfect palate is a great finish to a very well done beer. I loved it.

 752 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of tourdot
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 review
A- Pours dark brown with a thin tan head, leaving slight lacing

S- Bourbon jumps out followed by peaty malts, vanilla, caramel

T- Bourbon up front. Dark fruits, caramel and peaty malts are present in the middle of the taste. Long lasting bourbon/malt finish

M- A wee bit thin but low carbonation leads to a smooth mouthfeel

O- Another great brew from Central Waters barrel program. This is a very good BA scotch ale that with a little more body would be terrific. I will gladly pick up a case this year and seek it out again next year.

2015 vintage review:
The viscosity of this beer has increased over the past couple of vintages and has made this beer become a real contender for a top 5 BA Wee Heavy. The nose on this beer is amazing, great barrel notes. CW just keeps getting better and remains humble doing so. Small amount of 2015 hit the shelves as of 8/4; look for widespread distro starting 8/1/15. $12.99/4 pk!

 943 characters

Photo of scootny
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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 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 don1481
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12o bottle bought at Discount Liquor. Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark caramel color with some carbonation that sticks to the side of the glass. Off-white head that retains decently.

Smell: Toffee, caramel, vanilla all come right on through. And the bourbon. Who can forget that? Some peatiness. Pretty complex.

Taste: Very much an in your face beer. The bourbon and peat smack you right away, followed with the sweetness of carmel and vanilla. This is a beer that means business.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick, somewhat syrupy. Little boozy aftertaste.

Overall: $3.49 for a bottle well spent.

 613 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of fenlop54
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of ryancl
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of JC333
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of MattyG85
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very deep and dark blackish brown with a slight hint of ruby. Moderate amount of bubbles and one finger of tan head that recedes into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A dark and toasty malt driven aroma with a big bourbon barrel presence. Upfront and strong bourbon whiskey with hints of oak, vanilla, and wood. Bready and toasted malts with big hints of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, grain, and yeast. Also some subtle hints of roast chocolate, coffee, and peat. Dark fruit hints of fig and dates. Earthy hop hints in the background. Slight scent of alcohol as expected. A very good aroma.

Taste: Lives up to the good aroma, a bourbon whiskey soaked dark and toasty caramel malt taste.Big barrel presence upfront with notes of bourbon whiskey, oak, vanilla, and wood. Toasted malts with notes of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, toast, grains, smoke, and yeast. Also some undertones of dark chocolate, coffee, and peat. Dried dark fruit undertones of fig and dates. Subtle background of earthy hops and some alcohol taste. Very big with the bourbon barrel presence. Pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the heavier side of medium. Carbonation is moderate. Creamy, silky, and somewhat syrupy. A little alcohol heat is felt but things are pretty smooth.

Overall: A very good barrel aged Scotch ale. Bold barrel presence and some good toasty caramel malt flavor.

 1,487 characters

Photo of Mantooth
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
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

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this on August 4, 2013 as an after steak and 4wheelin' (quad) excursion in Imlay, NV.

Looked like a sturdy brown ale, kind of dirty looking, but far from unappealing or unprofessional. Thin brown head on it, of a lighter variety color.

Aroma was impressive, minimal peat, a nice mellow bourbon and wood barrel existence, mild. Very mild, but very appropriate and inviting. Taste, wow, its damn good too. I don't know why, but I thought this would be all "scotchy" but its actually a very malty, mellow existence. Equal parts everything kind of beer. Except hops. Almost none of those, as per style. Stays away from too much dark fruit and subsequent bitterness those entail. The non sweet caramel and toffee is a nice touch too.

Subtlety is strong in this one (oxymoron).

 783 characters

Photo of NickyT
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Bristol5
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of cmwilliq
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - very dark with a caramel colored head that recedes quickly leaving no lacing

Smell - lots of Oaky deliciousness. Hints of vanilla come to mind as well. Just a great smelling beer. Lots of bourbon as well!

Taste - musky, wooden, oak flavor with a bourbon finish. Wow this little bottle packs a punch! Nicely done

Mouthfeel - leaves a bit of bourbon on the tongue with some bitterness.

Overall - job well done. Nice balance to this complex beer

 459 characters

Photo of tappangordo
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a globe glass)
2013 vintage
A- This beer pours a dense opaque brown body with a fizzy tan film that sticks to the glass before quickly sliding back in.

S- The toffee and bourbon barrel aroma is soft and turns to more of a wooden pencil aroma as it opens.

T- The sweet caramel oak flavor has some nice hints of paper straws with a soft alcohol finish. There are some sweet malt flavors that linger and dry cola, green raisins and more pencil flavors come through as it opens.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a hint of alcohol heat but more would actually cut the sweetness nicely.

O- This beer had some very nice flavors of barrel and malt sugars but the odd flavors of pencils really got in the way of enjoying the rest of the beer.

 746 characters

Photo of striker2160
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.