Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Bourbon County Stout vs. Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout.

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by WYVYRN527, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Now that I have had both of the recent releases, Central Waters blows Goose Island out of the water. More body, more balance, and much more affordable. I'm curious to see what others think. Haters are welcome to comment.
  2. stayclean

    stayclean Savant (370) Wisconsin Mar 17, 2012

    I like Central Waters BBS a fair bit (halfway through my third 4pk already), but it doesn't compare to BCBS at all. It's cheaper, I'll give you that.
  3. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Savant (485) Illinois May 10, 2012

    Hm. I've had lots of both this year, and while I love the CW, I can't say that it beats out BCBS yet. Let AB put some corn in it first, then I'll agree with you.
    BuffaloBill12 likes this.
  4. yamar68

    yamar68 Champion (910) Minnesota Apr 1, 2011

    My buddy mnphish made the same observation a few weeks ago. Honestly... I think you guys are spot on. In the past I found Central Waters BA Stout to be just too hot out of the gate but this recent release was sublime. If we are strictly comparing fresh batches, I think CW takes the cake.

    We'll see how it stacks up in the long run though. BCBS vintages ('09 specifically) provide a semi-religious experience. I'd love to see Central Waters' latest take on the style age as gracefully as BCBS.
    lucas1801, 2beerdogs and dsal89 like this.
  5. stayclean

    stayclean Savant (370) Wisconsin Mar 17, 2012

    I think the extra six months really did the trick, though I thought the BCBS I drank fresh (this year's) was AMAZING ('hotter' than the '11 I drank beforehand, but well, that's to be expected, heh). I drank a '11 BBS the day before the new one, and I thought they were pretty comparable actually.
    yamar68 likes this.
  6. Very good point. I agree. 2008 and 2009 BCBS were immaculate. I still find the most recent release of the BBS much better. Also, with the way GI treated the Twin Cities market this year with BCBS I'm tempted to drop them entirely from my store.
    yamar68 likes this.
  7. Daemose

    Daemose Advocate (525) Texas Oct 3, 2011 Beer Trader

    Saint Arnolds Bishops Barrel 1 outclasses both.
    Ford likes this.
  8. Steasy66

    Steasy66 Savant (425) Minnesota Feb 23, 2012 Beer Trader

    I haven't had this year's version of CW BBS, but unless it is considerably better than all previous iterations, the two aren't in the same league.
    Bung, bozodogbreath, pschul4 and 2 others like this.
  9. ChugginOil

    ChugginOil Initiate (0) Illinois Sep 23, 2010

    More like CW BBS vs KBS. BCBS destroys both. But on another note, CW BBS is a bit better this year than it's been in the past and has a flavor profile very similar to KBS. Central Waters has a slightly thinner mouthfeel with a transparent color profile.
    Redrover and IMSPEAKNOENGLISH like this.
  10. UnderJoath

    UnderJoath Savant (280) Illinois Jul 29, 2010 Beer Trader

    You are OUT OF YOUR MIND. This is coming from a huge Central Waters BBS fan, too. BUT sorry sir, I think you are out. of. your. mind.
    Bung, TorsHammer, CityofBals and 11 others like this.
  11. stayclean

    stayclean Savant (370) Wisconsin Mar 17, 2012

    I think it would hold up against it better if it were thicker.
    jRocco2021, randjuke, pschul4 and 3 others like this.
  12. yamar68

    yamar68 Champion (910) Minnesota Apr 1, 2011

    This year's CW BBS is head and shoulders above the previous vintages. They beefed up the barrel treatment, resulting in an entirely different and superior beer (in my opinion).

    I think OP is making a very reasonable comparison.
    nickapalooza86 likes this.
  13. yamar68

    yamar68 Champion (910) Minnesota Apr 1, 2011

    pschul4, MarkIntihar, funhog and 2 others like this.
  14. travMI13

    travMI13 Savant (410) Michigan Jan 7, 2012 Beer Trader

    I'll have to track down some of this year's batch, I guess. While they are excellent flavor-wise, and great for the price, the entire line of CW barrel aged beers has always provided an extremely thin mouthfeel. For that reason alone, any comparison to most other world class barrel aged barleywines and stouts (i.e. KBS, BCBS, MOAS, Kuhnhenn BBBW, etc.) has been way off base. I like to chew my barrel-aged beers.

    CORKSCREWFISH Savant (325) Illinois Apr 22, 2011

    Heavyweight vs. Welterweight? This one would never be sanctioned!
  16. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Advocate (670) Michigan Jan 8, 2011

    Beefed up barrel program doesn't equal a thicker body... OP, did you do a side by side? And what was your BAC when you posted?
    MarkIntihar and seeswo like this.
  17. mychalg9

    mychalg9 Champion (770) Illinois Apr 8, 2010 Beer Trader

    Both are really good, I prefer to buy the CW due to cost and I think I actually like it better overall, not trying to say one is "better" than the other though because I haven't had enough of either to really say for sure.
  18. legend8706

    legend8706 Savant (335) Virginia Oct 31, 2012

    Would definitely love to try some Central Waters BBL Stout! Anyone have any up for trade? Can't get it in VA, but I do have some Cafe Royale by Williamsburg Alewerks up for trade! BM me!
    brother_kenneth and TATURBO like this.
  19. siege06nd

    siege06nd Advocate (685) Virginia Dec 29, 2009 Beer Trader


    You serious, Clark??!?
    MammothBrew likes this.
  20. bound4er

    bound4er Advocate (540) Wisconsin Jul 4, 2007 Verified

    More body no. Less booze, more balance and way more drinkable yes.
    sacrelicio likes this.
  21. Dactrius

    Dactrius Advocate (675) Wisconsin Apr 23, 2012 Beer Trader

    If you're going to compare a Central Waters beer to KBS wouldn't peruvian morning be more appropriate? My attempt to do a side by side last year failed because by the time KBS came out the PM infection was already in full force.

    Is there any indication if Central Waters is aging PM or their BBBW longer as well? That'd be awesome.

    I gotta agree that while CW BB Stout is a great beer BCBS is still better. For the price though it's a toss up.
    funhog likes this.
  22. nc41

    nc41 Champion (855) North Carolina Sep 25, 2008 Beer Trader

    CW is very good, but BCBS is superior IMO. Now that's it's achieved shelf status brew it will take the hits for being easy to get. But it is expensive.
    juliusseizure likes this.
  23. jaheussner

    jaheussner Aficionado (245) District of Columbia Dec 25, 2008 Beer Trader

    Absolutely. CWBBS is not anywhere close to the tongue-coating wonder that BCBS is.
    randjuke likes this.
  24. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio Advocate (635) Minnesota Feb 15, 2005

    Yep. They are two different animals, I like 'em both for different reasons. Surprised people are saying CW is too hot, I've never had that come across.
    stevegoz and ncaudle like this.
  25. huskermike12

    huskermike12 Savant (495) Vermont Nov 14, 2011

    Saint Arnolds Bishops Barrel 1 outclasses both. I'm from Texas though, so keep that in mind.​
    Based on reviews, not even the homers from Texas think so.
    yamar68 likes this.
  26. n2185

    n2185 Advocate (715) North Carolina Apr 14, 2008 Beer Trader

    These two beers represent the two very different problems with many bbal beers for me.

    BCBS is overwhelmingly boozy and sweet. Toffee and bourbon dominate with no depth or balance.

    Central Waters's BBal Stout, on the other hand, is too timid. The beer is completely overwhelmed by the barrel, resulting in a beer that is only distinguishable as a stout by its label and color. Not difficult to drink like BCBS, but also lacking complexity.

    I like my bbal beers to have balance and complexity. KBS, CBS, Black Note, Abyss, Schlafly BBal Stout, Parabola, Ivan, Lindley Park, Heresy, ORF, etc. are all good examples of bbal stouts that use the barrels to support and compliment the flavors of the base beers rather than to mask or dominate.
    IamMe90 and ChiTownPackFan like this.
  27. Ford

    Ford Advocate (570) Texas Sep 8, 2012 Beer Trader

    I'm from Texas... and I've had previous BCBS and I think BB1 from Saint ARnold is better. Sadly, they don't have the capacity to make it year round or in huge batches.

    I have not had the other... and is often the case I disagree with reviews on here all the time... and I'm sure others disagree with my reviews... way of the world.
  28. This comparison is a bit silly as one is under 10% and other is 15%, obviously one is gonna have a bigger mouthfeel and more flavor. But I would give CW the edge just because it is so much more drinkable, it is a beer I could see having any day of the week and any time of the year. It is also one I do not buy to age, I buy about a case and a half so I have some to drink untill it comes out the next year, I have saved a couple each year for comparison. BCBS on the other hand I have a case of and I assume when it comes out next year I will still have the better part of the case.
  29. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Advocate (670) Michigan Jan 8, 2011

    I'm a bit surprised by these responses, but then again most of you are Wisconsin fan boys, and since Central Waters only sends beer to Chicago (outside of Wisco), it makes sense.
    *Edit: not meant to offend, just an observation.
    MarkIntihar likes this.
  30. nc41

    nc41 Champion (855) North Carolina Sep 25, 2008 Beer Trader

    Whatever possessed them to put BCBS into Bombers? When you pop one of those babies you just made a commitment. Nice to see sanity and 12 oz bottles.
  31. jtg5678

    jtg5678 Savant (330) Illinois Nov 27, 2012 Beer Trader

    I had the 2012 version of CW's and thought it had way too much bourbon flavor. It masked the entire beer. Sometimes I think there is an idea that the more bourbon, the better the beer, but a lot of these barrel aged guys have no balance whatsoever.

    I think BCBS is well balanced but I've recently come to the conclusion that I vastly prefer non-BA stouts.
    ChiTownPackFan likes this.
  32. Keyportnick

    Keyportnick Aficionado (230) Wisconsin Sep 29, 2012 Beer Trader

    Mn gets cw too
    yamar68 and MarcatGSB like this.
  33. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poobah (1,065) Wisconsin Nov 16, 2012 Beer Trader

    CW BBS is a lot easier and cheaper to get than BCBS in WI where some of us are from. For most, rarity and cost make the experience of drinking a beer better; for me, if its a good beer then I appreciate being able to get it more easily.
  34. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Advocate (625) Georgia Nov 13, 2008 Beer Trader

    The CW BB Stout doesn't have the dark chocolate, roast, and body I want in an Imperial Stout, let alone one that can hold up to a bourbon barrel. BCBS is really on the opposite end of the spectrum - a bit too extreme for my tastes.
  35. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Advocate (700) Michigan Mar 17, 2010

    FTFY. Almost blurted out loud laughing when I read the OP that the Central Waters BBS had "more body".
  36. So they beefed up the barrel treatment. Did they beef up the thin, watery, brown almost non existent base beer? This to me is the more important question to be asked.
    CORKSCREWFISH likes this.
  37. n2185

    n2185 Advocate (715) North Carolina Apr 14, 2008 Beer Trader

    Since when does higher abv = more flavor? I agree that comparing beers with such a drastic difference is abv is a bit silly since they will certainly have different flavors, but abv and depth of flavor are by no means directly proportional. Every Cantillon beer I've had at 5-6% has had much more depth than the majority of bbal stouts I've had. Hell, I've had a 2.5% Berliner weisse with more flavor than DFH WWS.
  38. krl2112

    krl2112 Advocate (680) Illinois Nov 10, 2012 Beer Trader

    I have had quite a bit of both and "fresh" I absolutely like CW much more. With age, BCBS is amazing.
  39. Right.... Also NG fruit beers are 4% with loads of flavor... I was using it in context to the beers and style being discussed, so Cantillon has nothing to do with it.
  40. Daemose

    Daemose Advocate (525) Texas Oct 3, 2011 Beer Trader

    BCBS tasted like straight up booze when I had it.