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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

508 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 508
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 51
Gots: 114 | FT: 13
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 508 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kraticus41
1.75/5  rDev -58.4%

Photo of Soneast
3/5  rDev -28.7%

Photo of ksbuell
3/5  rDev -28.7%

Photo of Taycro
3.08/5  rDev -26.8%

Photo of groovy24
3.15/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

2013 Fresh
Serving Type: 12 oz bottle poured into a Central Waters snifter

Appearance: Opaque with ruby color on the edge

Smell: Straight up bourbon...masks any other potential aromas

Taste: Again, a lot of bourbon with hint of burnt caramel/toffee

Mouthfeel: A little thin with good carbonation

Overall: The bourbon is overpowering the base beer here. I'll sit on a few of these and see if that will fade over time

Photo of Benish
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%

Photo of chippo33
3.25/5  rDev -22.8%

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3.25/5  rDev -22.8%

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3.25/5  rDev -22.8%

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3.25/5  rDev -22.8%

Photo of BoozerBrad
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of wyckydsceptre
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -15%
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.

Photo of atrocity
3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kojevergas
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I received this well-needed treat in the mail today as part of a trade with Duff27. Thanks, buddy! 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with classy navy blue label and unbranded pry-off pressure cap served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery, whose work I've been impressed with in the past. Reviewed as a bourbon barrel aged scotch ale because the label identifies it as such. 2013 vintage.

Served chilled and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of plump khaki colour. Nice thickness and creaminess without going overboard for a scotch ale. It's got an even consistency. Complexion could be shinier and sleeker. Head retention is average - about two minutes on the dot. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes, and what does is inconsistent.

Body colour is a predictable opaque dark black - not quite a jet black. No floating yeast particles or sediment is visible. Appears adequately carbonated.

I notice no overt flaws. While not unique or special for a scotch ale, it's certainly an appealing one and I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Bourbon seizes me from the get-go. It's overt. Warm booziness, lightly toasty oak, and vanilla are all here in spades. Of the bourbon notes, the vanilla dominates, which compliments the beer's malty sweetness well. Dark malts are abundant, with some toasted malt in there too. I also pick up a bit of sugarcane, maybe even some fleeting wisps of rum-soaked dark fruits. Cream. Raisin. A kiss of vinous character. There're plenty of residual sugars here suggesting a low attenuation yeast.

No yeast character itself comes through, through, and I don't find any evident hop profile either.

Overall, the bourbon notes seem to overwhelm the base beer. But the bourbon character is so en pointe I'm reticent to criticize. Let's hope the taste delivers.

I'd call it a pleasant if somewhat intimidating aroma of above average strength.

T: There's much more fruit in the flavour profile than the aroma suggested - light plum and prunes are most prominent. I also get some marshmallow hidden amongst the toasted malt notes. Dark malts. A kiss of sticky raisin. Unbecoming hints of vinous character are thankfully quite buried. Cream. Coconut. Ample residual sugars. Of course, bourbon is dominant here, but it's also well-integrated - moreso than the aroma suggested, anyway. There's plenty of bourbony vanilla as well as a bit of oak wood and some alcohol-induced warmth. I'm not finding as much of the typical scotch ale toffee as I expected to.

There's no obvious hop character here, which is apt given the style. The booziness found on the aroma is quite checked in the flavour profile. No yeast character is noticeable.

Overall, it's a balanced if somewhat timid bourbon barrel scotch ale, and while I do like it I don't think it's among the the best in its style. It's got a very cohesive almost gestalt build with lots of interesting elements, but they don't quite come together to form an exemplary brew. It's complex and subtle enough, with some nuance from the fruit and bourbon. Not the most intricate scotch ale I've had. Hard to dislike.

Mf: Lightly creamy. A bit supple. Smooth and wet. Has a nice body and presence on the palate. Good thickness. The texture doesn't seem to be a perfect match for the taste, but it does complement it nicely. Well carbonated. A bit sticky.

Not too rough. Not astringent, oily, gushed, or hot - though it does have some pleasing warmth.

Dr: It isn't the sipper I expected it to be, and I won't have any trouble putting the bottle down inside 20-30 minutes at a natural pace. This is another brew from Central Waters that strains against the upper limits of "good" without ever quite moving on to "great." Any fan of the style should give this a try, but I don't think it's quite on par with something like Founders' Backwoods Bastard. Really glad I got to try it.

The highlight for me was the unexpected marshmallow, which is seamlessly integrated and fits perfectly into the build. Constructively, more toasted oak would really make it better.

Thanks again, Duff27!

B

Photo of morimech
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark color, almost stout like darkness, with two fingers of dense head that had excellent retention. The head settles to a creamy cap. Thick coating of lacing is left down the glass.

Very pleasing aroma. A lot of barrel comes through with heavy doses of bourbon and vanilla. Other things that come out is caramel, wood, and earth. Pick up some alcohol as well.

This beer is a little harsh in flavor. Booze upfront with a somewhat unpleasant wood flavor. Bourbon is represented but it does not meld into the beer very well. The finish is a particular disappointment as it ends with a bitter, harsh astringency.

Feels full with a carbonation that seems to change character. Feels smooth and creamy at the front of the mouth, but as it works its way back, it livens up.

Has some great qualities, but fails where it matters most. Still a worthwhile drinking experience but it is no Backwoods Bastard.

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 508 ratings.