Central Waters Brewing Co.

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Stout - American Imperial
4.56 | pDev: 6.8%
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: To celebrate our Sweet Sixteen, we made this Anniversary beer that builds itself on the shoulders of its predecessors. Using a bigger, bolder imperial stout, we aged this beer for 21 months in oak bourbon barrels. The result - rich, decadent bourbon, vanilla and toffee; complemented by the chocolate and roast of the stout. Enjoy this beer from our Gold Medal winning Anniversary series, because Sixteen is a milestone, but our life is just beginning.
Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 995 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by kbwalters:
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kbwalters from Wisconsin

4.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look = 4.0 Pours a perfect black with no light coming through and a thin cap of brown bubbles that slowly fades to a ring. Good lacing for a aged stout.
Aroma = 5.0 Wonderfully complex. Bourbon hits first, accented with oak and vanilla. But the center piece is the dark chocolate that comes out more and more as it warms accompanied by coffee notes.
Taste = 5.0 Chocolate dominates the entire mouth through the middle of the taste, it kind of rolls from front to back. Highlights of vanilla and oak. Some bourbon and boozy coffee flavor comes out in the backend which leaves you with a little burn in the aftertaste.
Feel = 5.0 Full bodied, thick and creamy. Low to moderate carbonation fits as expected with an aged stout. Goes down so smooth.
Drinkability = 4.0 With a perfect aroma, taste and feel this stout is incredibly drinkable for how big it is. Creamy and smooth from start to finish with nothing overbearing.
Overall = 4.75 This stout is wonderfully complex and interesting. Tons of aroma and flavor, perfect mouthfeel, can’t ask for much more.

Apr 22, 2015
More User Reviews:
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.46/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

There's no way sixteen candles fit on the top of this beer. And its probably a rather good idea to keep the flames far away from this 11% beast. But in true birthday fashion, the taste of chocolate cake is present, along with my favorite birthday flavor- bourbon!

With an ominous creep into the glass, this highly viscous stout coats the glass like ink as it nestles into the snifter. Its black abyss sheds a short mocha-stained head that eventually collapses back into the beer under its enormous weight. A brief appearance of foam regenerates with a gentle swirl, speckling the glass with random lace.

Bold and savory aromas fill the nose with high espresso and supporting toffee. As background notes of dark chocolate, roasted nuts, toast char and cream inform the sweeter an java scents, the bourbon awakens with its own caramels, vanillans, oaken and weathered character- opening up fruit tones of sugarplums and drunken cherry.

Its decadent sweetness wraps around the tongue with bittersweet chocolate, deeply carmalized toffee, peanut brittle, brownie batter and heavy whipping cream. As the darker espresso, roasty-toasty flavors rise, the taste of chocolate covered coffee beans become apparent. But here comes the barrel- vanilla, oak, caramel and coconut give the taste a sultry and lavish taste- laced with bourbon soaked berries, pitted and dried fruit for a semi-vinous tone, similar to sherry wine.

Its boisterous texture is rich, chewy, and dense as its light carbonation allows for the full penetration of the beer's decadent sweetness to seep deeply into the taste buds. Keeping the texture velvety, its carbonation offers up a marshmallowy feel even deep as the barrel tannin, alcohol spice and vinous twang attempts to balance and lighten its taste and texture.

Central Waters sure knows how to party. And it seems that they are getting better every year. With what seems to be their apex, I can't wait to see what they have up the mash tun for next year!

Mar 25, 2014
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BeerFMAndy from Wisconsin

4.78/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
Serving Temperature 45-50°F

A - The smooth pour generates a creamy mocha head that rests carefully on the black beer and leaves delicate fingers of lace on the glass; everything a beautiful imperial stout should be!

S - Kicked off by a healthy dose of brown sugar, this big imperial stout features a congregation of great dark malt characteristics. Molasses, milk chocolate complete with lactose sweetness, caramel, and toffee swirl around a beautiful bouquet of barrel aging; vanilla and smooth bourbon soaked oak come into play with just a hint of warming alcohol on the finish.

T - Dark malt complexity flows deeply through Sixteen and embodies everything about a decadent imperial stout from it's rich chocolate presence to the smooth espresso suggestions and it's 21 months in bourbon barrels only elevates it. Molasses-drizzled vanilla bean and cocoa-rolled moist raisins push through the soft bourbon oak undertones to it's warming alcohol finish.

M - Sixteen's rich body lends itself well to sipping from a snifter at warmer temperatures as it coats the throat with smooth dark maltiness and finishes with an ever-present warming alcohol that gently thins out the finish.

O - Once again, Central Waters' anniversary imperial stout doesn't disappoint. Sixteen is rich, decadent, and full of complexity that's worth burying your nose in as full on milk chocolate, molasses, and coffee notes swirl around the beer's incredibly smooth vanilla and bourbon oak nuances. The difference between Sixteen and some of their other barrel-aged stouts is that, despite the beer's extended aging in old barrels, this release exhibits a higher concentration of alcohol heat through both the taste and feel. That said, while it's a little warmer compared to other Central Waters' releases, Sixteen still remains pretty tame by comparison to some of craft beer's other bourbon barrel-aged stouts. It's damn good fresh but this one will age magnificently.

Jan 26, 2014
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maximum12 from Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well, after drinking two or three or something of these on tap & thinking it was mind-blowing, time to pop the cap on a bottle & see if it's as good in the glassy format. I'm putting my chips on yes. 22 oz. bottle with nice minimalist bottle art split with my (non 16 chugging, until now) wife.

Pour is dead black, with as much carbonation as hard-poured chocolate milk. The smell, oh, the smell is driven. Gorgeous brownie batter, real fresh maple syrup, vanilla picked by Virginian monks...yeah. It tastes thick even to my nose.

Sixteen is as thick in the mouth as it is in the nose hairs. Huge & thick, this is a decadent, after-dinner, eat-it-with-chocolate kind of beer. Speaking of which, big chunks of chocolate & dripping marshmallow dominate the beer: s'mores! S'mores. Now I want a s'more. Sweet. Bourbon is present only as a sweet smile of vanilla; subtle, or repressed, depending on your religion. Richness in the middle is added by sugar, brown sugar, molasses. Mouthfeel is ready for the Olympics, as is the drinkability. Slugging.

If I was rating this to the category of barrel-aged stout I'd knock it because of the reticence of the bourbon, but hey, style means as much to me as being nice to strangers, so fuck that. On a simple beer level this is thick, gorgeous, & goes down like castor oil. Excellent.

Jan 30, 2014
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wordemupg from Canada (AB)

4.39/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bomber poured into tulip 30/12/14. big thanks kumatmebrew for the bottle

A black liquid with a deep cola edge, just short lived noisy finger of dark foam that leaves no lace

S hard to miss the barrel on the nose, heaps of bourbon and wood, a little smoke, caramel and vanilla, molasses, booze, more bourbon and a little chocolate, I smell a winner

T much like the nose thankfully, all barrel, charred wood, smokey bourbon, intense stuff, a little boozy but it works with the barrel intensity, a little chocolate, and vanilla in the mix but the bourbon barrel is king

M not overly thick, just enough bubbles to give it some life, tannin grit in the mouth but a little sticky on the stash, some heat on the way down, and charred barrel linger for ages

O its a big ass barrel monster and that suits me fine, intense bourbon notes at every turn, terrific stuff going on here

21 months? I'm struggling to think of a beer I've had that spent more time in a barrel, I also can't recall using the word "barrel" this many times in a review, coincidence? I think not.

Dec 31, 2014
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orangesol from Pennsylvania

4.49/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to DocJ007 for busting this one open for us at our last monthly tasting.

A - Pours pitch black with a nice one finger tall tan head, slowly dissipating down to a light film, leaving small webs of lace on the sides of the glass.

S - Smells of fresh baked fudge brownies, vanilla, oak, toasted coconut, dark fruits, warm bourbon and plenty of dark roasted malt. The fudge is off the charts with some bourbon offering to help keep it in check, awesome aroma.

T - Starts off much like the nose does with the strong brownie fudge that never really fades away. The vanilla, coconut and toffee offer some added flavors while the oaken bourbon and dark roasted malts round everything out. Finish is still sweet with some light dryness, lingering long after the finish.

M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Smooth, sweet feel from start to finish makes it very easy to consume despite how large it actually is. While the booze is present it isn't as big as I anticipated it being.

O - One of the best stouts in recent memory. The over the top fudge is balanced just enough by the remaining flavors to allow it to be both easy drinking and super flavorful. Makes me want to seek out the other anniversary beers to see how good they are. Thanks again Justin!

Jun 15, 2014
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: An obsidian pour, capped by a thin film of mocha bubbles that fade to a ringlet; dots of lace linger

Smell: Chocolate fudge, Bourbon, vanilla, coconut and a hint of dried cherry

Taste: Dark chocolate fudge, up front, with the Bourbon and vanilla building; after the swallow, hints of coconut and dried cherry emerge, but the dominant tone remains the Bourbon and chocolate fudge

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation

Overall: Had this just after the 2014 BCBS and I am afraid it doesn't quite compare; still quite a good Bourbon barrel stout that I was glad to have tasted

Thanks, WI-Beer-Man, for the opportunity

Nov 29, 2014
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bigdaddypolite from Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Jan 27, 2014
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SadMachine from New Jersey

4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours pitch black, thick, with a small tan head that leaves some lacing.

S- The aroma is full of toffee, molasse's caramel, dark chocolaty fudge, intense vanilla, oaky tannins, and a hint of booze. Wonderful!

T- The taste follows the nose pretty closely. The bourbon is is very prominent, and it's tastes like top shelf stuff! Rich vanilla and fudgy chocolate are the big players here. Some caramel notes as well as toffee. A touch of cocoa. This is fantastic.

M- The mouth feel is thick, well caebonated, and dry. Very good.

O- This is an absolutely fantastic barrel aged imperial stout!

Apr 19, 2014
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HeadyTheElder from Louisiana

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Oct 25, 2014
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Sean66 from Illinois

4.68/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Feb 18, 2015
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dar482 from New York

4.87/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a dark black color with a mocha head.

The aroma is huge milk chocolate, cocoa, bourbon, and lots of oak.

The flavor follows up with chocolate, marshmallow, and mouth coating fudge brownie. Coffee bitterness comes in towards the middle with coconut and bourbon, and then a dry of wood and oak on the back end.

Mouthfeel is medium plus.

There are strong similarities to Parabola, based on the oak on the back. This drinks slightly bigger than it is at 11%. A truly underrated and exceptional BA stout.

Aug 11, 2014
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SaisonRichBiere from Michigan

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Dec 03, 2014
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Beerandboards from New Mexico

4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mar 17, 2015
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kansascobleigh from Wisconsin

4.72/5  rDev +3.5%

Sep 23, 2014
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mltobin from Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Feb 19, 2014
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1noa from Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Mar 18, 2014
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Spike-likes-beer from Oklahoma

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Oct 06, 2014
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Davelicious from Illinois

5/5  rDev +9.6%

Jan 27, 2014
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hooliganlife from Missouri

4/5  rDev -12.3%

Feb 01, 2014
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elliott1184 from Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Jan 26, 2014
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outoffocus from Pennsylvania

4.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apr 03, 2015
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GHphoto from Illinois

5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cracked open a bottle with my buddy right after getting our allotment.

Pour/appearance: Jet black with barley any light penetration. Nice alcohol legs clinging to the side of the glass. A nice khaki/mocha head.

Smell: Huge vanilla notes, slight oakyness, lots of dark chocolate,and a little espresso/mocha. Very intense smell.

Taste: Right up front espresso bitterness followed by huge vanilla notes. Oak from the barrel followed by huge milk and dark chocolate notes and some sweetness. It is not too sweet though because the bourbon helps cut through it. Ends with big vanilla, caramel, and toffee.

Mouth-feel: A lot thicker than their regular bourbon barrel stout. Not as thick as dark lord but a happy medium between the too that doesn't make it too cloying. It's very drinkable.

Overall: The best bourbon barrel imperial stout I have had in a long long time. Paul Graham really knocked this one out of the park. I don't know what is with the earlier reviews but my guess is that the pre-release versions were not the final blend. This beer is perfect in every way.

Jan 26, 2014
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gatornation from Minnesota

4.49/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick black color with slow forming bubbles that emerge to a beautiful 1/2 finger head. Smell is musty wood and roasted chocolate , toffee and dark fruits. Taste is superb mature oak barrel with mellow bourbon these mix with delicious chocolate/coffee taste , more char slight bitterness with some dark fruit, and vanilla, , mouth feel was rich with bourbon and chocolate roast, as this stout warms such great components mix and compliment the brew.

Oct 08, 2016
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Zuidman from Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Mar 28, 2014
Sixteen from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 995 ratings