Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale - Central Waters Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 387 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
4.01/5 rDev -4.1%
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
08-02-2014 20:46:06 | More by metter98
4.1/5 rDev -1.9%
On-tap at Local Option. Served in a chalice.
A - A big tan foam settles to a thick cap and glass-coating lacework. Very dark brown, opaque body.
S - Massive bourbon aroma, large doses of vanilla and coconut, light wood, some sweet toffee and treacle; definite Scotch Ale character that punches through the barrel flavors. Nice balance, not overly cloying, and not overly boozy either.
T - The taste is quite nice, but doesn't match the aroma. A bit more milk chocolate, caramel, and nougat and less of the vanilla and coconut flavors. There's a touch of astringent wood in the finish, but the alcohol is well-hidden on the whole.
M - Definitely medium-bodied, and perhaps a bit thin although without an ABV it's hard to tell. A tad watery, but with lots of residual stickiness after a moderately tannic, oaky finish. Perhaps a touch of light alcohol warming here.
D - Smells great, although I think a 12oz bottle would be a pretty hefty serving; it took me awhile to work through my chalice. Still, it's pretty nice stuff and a definite return to form for Central Waters after some middling and 'off' beers.
08-10-2013 22:00:57 | More by MasterSki
3.64/5 rDev -12.9%
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!
02-02-2014 05:28:49 | More by kojevergas
3.58/5 rDev -14.4%
(Served in a globe glass)
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.
11-25-2013 21:49:18 | More by rhoadsrage
4.21/5 rDev +0.7%
The beer pour a fairly dark brown color with fairly good head retention and light lacing. The nose is impressive in this beer, with considerable caramel, vanilla, light chocolate and noticeable bourbon. The flavor profile is every bit as good, if not better, with the bourbon, vanilla and chocolate dominating. The beer is pretty rich and sweet, but not overly so (though it's a near thing), and this beer is pretty much dessert in a glass. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a long, sweet, bourbon infused finish. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can certainly tell that it's up there. My guess is that it's up in the 9% or 10% range, though the beer is so rich, it's hard to tell (it could be even higher than this, though I don't think it is).
Really a well made, delicious beer.... it's a bit sweet, but there's so much going on with the flavor profile, I really didn't mind. Can't imagine drinking more than a single bottle, but regardless, this is an impressive beer.
11-28-2013 21:39:24 | More by John_M
4.04/5 rDev -3.3%
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).
08-08-2013 21:10:21 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.36/5 rDev +4.3%
Bottle opened on 4.23.14
A - Pours a very dark brown-amber with a fluffy dark tan head that bubbles away slowly.
S - Bourbon, caramel-toffee, vanilla.
T - Caramel, then some bourbon heat, malty finish.
D - Good carbonation with a medium body.
O - Lots of bourbon presence, a touch of heat as well.
07-03-2014 05:12:35 | More by HuskyinPDX
4.1/5 rDev -1.9%
12oz bottle, split in Charlotte
Served in a NODA snifter - kind of a muddy brown body and not much carbonation. This will instantly draw comparisons to Backwoods Bastard, which I tend to favor. This will also draw comparisons to the other barrel aged beers in the CW arsenal, which I also tend to favor. The body is a little thin and the barrel flavors are spot on, but could be turned up a notch in my opinion. Nice toffee notes throughout.
12-29-2013 19:01:41 | More by dirtylou
3.8/5 rDev -9.1%
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.
08-17-2014 01:22:56 | More by Alieniloquium
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 387 ratings.