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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

363 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 363
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 8.15%
Wants: 35
Gots: 88 | 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:
Cherrywood smoked Scotch ale aged in used 12 year old bourbon barrels.

(Beer added by: tourdot on 07-15-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 363 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

10-20-2013 19:58:30 | More by djrn2
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

10-20-2013 20:12:47 | More by acurtis
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4/5  rDev -4.1%

11-09-2013 06:26:24 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

11-09-2013 06:29:19 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2013 22:00:57 | More by MasterSki
Photo of XmnwildX12
XmnwildX12

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -4.1%

11-22-2013 05:14:14 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.64/5  rDev -12.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 05:28:49 | More by kojevergas
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.1%

09-05-2013 17:06:31 | More by imperialking
Photo of MarkyMOD
MarkyMOD

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

09-17-2013 03:36:52 | More by MarkyMOD
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

4/5  rDev -4.1%

05-10-2014 07:53:58 | More by zestar
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -4.1%

06-12-2014 22:22:46 | More by orangesol
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 21:49:18 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 21:39:24 | More by John_M
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

05-25-2014 23:22:45 | More by drewone
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4/5  rDev -4.1%

01-30-2014 01:47:39 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
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).

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 21:10:21 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

4/5  rDev -4.1%

10-05-2013 20:57:58 | More by billab914
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 19:01:41 | More by dirtylou
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

4/5  rDev -4.1%

02-04-2014 15:21:14 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -4.1%

10-26-2013 14:45:18 | More by xnicknj
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -4.1%

10-12-2013 03:58:38 | More by tobelerone
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.36/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2014 05:12:35 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.81/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Central Waters tulip.
Vintage 2013

A - Despite the higher alcohol this beer is sure to contain, the creamy light khaki head sticks around for a while, dotting the tulip with specks of lace as it falls to a halo above the incredibly dark mahogany-brown colored beer.

S - The classic aroma of Central Waters' smooth-but-ever-present bourbon barrel-aging is there but mellow as always. The aging gently contributes alcohol warmth and oak to the rich caramel malt and dark fruit nose for an inviting and captivating smell.

T - This beer's rich, caramel malt profile is simple at first, opening up with deep complex notes of mocha, tobacco, and leather as it warms, bringing dark fruits like raisin and plum into the mix. Oak is subtle while bourbon is warming and a little more forwards, marrying suggestions of vanilla perfectly with the malt profile!

M - Silky smoothness crosses the palate upon first sip but this viscous, full-bodied beer's sweetness is kept in check flawlessly by faint roasted malt bitterness and warming, dry alcohol creating the perfect balance and feel.

O - Central Waters' rich, malty scotch ale is the perfect candidate for barrel aging, and who else does barrel aging as well? Ready to drink fresh, the barrel-aging is balanced perfectly and brings relaxed, soothing additions to the beer, not flagrant booze, for another stellar addition to their "Brewer's Reserve" collection and an exceptional transition from fall to winter when the big barrel-aged stouts come out.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2013 01:54:00 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of ShanePB
ShanePB

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

10-24-2013 18:31:57 | More by ShanePB
Photo of chippo33
chippo33

Vermont

3.25/5  rDev -22.1%

10-02-2013 04:58:24 | More by chippo33
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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 363 ratings.