Brewer's Reserve Rye Barrel Chocolate Porter
Central Waters Brewing Co.

Brewer's Reserve Rye Barrel Chocolate PorterBrewer's Reserve Rye Barrel Chocolate Porter
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American Imperial Porter
Ranked #21
Ranked #930
4.31 | pDev: 6.96%
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States
Brewer's Reserve Rye Barrel Chocolate PorterBrewer's Reserve Rye Barrel Chocolate Porter
Notes: Chocolatey beyond compare, Rye Barrel Chocolate Porter is made with our Imperial Porter brewed with cocoa nibs and aged in rye barrels.
Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 401 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jlindros
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light fizzy smaller tan colored head that fades quickly and reveals some weird floating brown sludge on top, really weird sludge, especially since it floats on top, that I will remove before continuing... very dark almost black color with a little brown light coming through

After removing the strange protein coagulate, I nose in... lots of whiskey and barrel notes, raw whiskey with some spicy rye notes, sweet candy chocolate, cocoa, some vanilla barrel and toasted oak, a little fudge, some roasted coffee, black roasted malt, a hint of toasted nuts and baking spices

Taste brings rich dark chocolate and cocoa out front, a bit fudgey as well, into toasted nuts, general nutty with mild baking spices, a hint of licorice, some whiskey and alcohol in the middle, not as much whiskey as the nose, with some mild rye whiskey spicy characters, vanilla barrel and a little toasted buttery oak, some dark fruity esters late, a bit of caramel and roasted coffee with the dark roasted malts as well, drier finish, a bit more alcohol and spicy whiskey late, with more fudge and chocolate

Mouth is med to fuller bod, rich but not quite full chewy like, fair tingly alcohol, med foamy carb

Overall pretty nice, once I got past that weird protein coagulate on the top, nice barrel notes, nice chocolate and stout characters, a bit of hot alcohol but it is almost 12%

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Apr 24, 2020
Photo of Funkowd
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on tap at local beverage center - must admit, was quite boozy and tasted mostly rye. I am a fan of rye, so not utterly disappointed; upon being halfway through my 32 oz vessel, am noticing a considerable change in presence of rye - is nicely subdued, blending well to the overall flavour - the smoothness and sure presence of cacao is more apparent - in a word, yum (dare I say, nirvana - RIP Kurt). Being as I got off tap on 3/15 and it being 3/18, could the beer have settled, accounting for straightforward rye in the first half of drinkage, then more subdued in 2nd half? If so, I think inverting beer once or twice may prove to correct this conondrum. This is not the first time I have encountered this situation, alas - my beer heart weeps (any true aficionado has 2 hearts). In parting, we shall persevere through these most troubling of times with our craft beer banner standing tall above all else - #[email protected]% Inbev!!!

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Photo of BB1313
3.99/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2019 vintage. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours almost black; khaki head that falls leaving nice retention and solid lacing. There's some odd brown spots in the head, almost like it's sediment or something. It's honestly the first time I've ever seen something like this, so it's hard to explain or figure out what it really is. It's not really a big deal, just odd. The aromas have a nice subtle blend of bourbon and chocolate. Some black cherries along with some dark fruits. Malts are there. The flavors follow the nose. More chocolate leading the way along with the bourbon. Nice balance between the two. More dark fruit in the mix. Some rye and black pepper. Subtle spiciness. Malts do their thing. Mild warmth in the finish, but the alcohol is still well hidden. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate to active carbonation. It's sharp, slick, smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is a nice barrel-aged brew. It might not be flashy, but it's simply well executed. It has everything that you'd look for in the style. Once again, this one is truly dangerously drinkable.

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BB1313 from Ohio, Mar 05, 2020
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.79/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, 2019 vintage
Snowman chalice

Deep dark brown with slight black hues and a creamy 1/2 finger of head. Recedes to a thin line leaving sparse lacing.

Aroma of milk chocolate, lactose, slight tin, and faint blackberry.

Flavor is of tin, melted chocolate, blackberries, blueberries, cacao nibs, and slight alcoholic oak.

Feel is extremely thin, nearly like a lager, with slight creaminess and a harsh carbonation with a moderate alcohol burn.

Overall it's not something I'd buy again, but it brings a fair amount of chocolate and interesting biting alcohol burn. In fact I'd say those are the two main factors - chocolate and alcohol burn. It lacks depth and body. Not going to be a repeat purchase.

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The-Adjunct-Hippie from South Dakota, Mar 05, 2020
Photo of VashonGuy
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2019 bottle. It pours a medium brown with a foamy tan head that forms quickly, and dissipates, leaving a lovely lacing. The smell is cocoa, coffee, and whisky. The taste is all of that, and some rye spiciness. There's a little oak in there as well, and vanilla. The mouthfeel is surprisingly thin. Overall, a well made barrel aged beer, just what I'd expect from Central Waters.

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VashonGuy from Washington, Feb 16, 2020
Photo of Lucular
4.04/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Lots of chocolate and spicy rye character with some vanilla and whiskey. Plenty of booze. Fairly thin mouthfeel, as is the case with many Central Waters barrel-aged beers. Somewhat disappointing.

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Lucular from Maryland, Feb 10, 2020
Photo of Brutaltruth
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 12oz bottle in a snifter. This fantastic brew pours a
rugged and oily blackish brown with a nice head of off white foam
that settles to a thick ring, thin light dusty layer, and displays some
very nice lacing. Nose of rye whiskey, dark chocolate, dark roast,
vanilla, spicy rye, and subtle oak. Flavors---WOW. Period. Finely
balanced dark chocolate and coffee mingle nicely with rye whiskey
notes of vanilla, spicy rye, and oak amid a layer of roast and faint
char with some subtle notes of dark fruits with warmth.
Very nice mouth feel; full body, smooth, rich, warming, lightly boozy,
medium light verging on light carbonation that is lightly prickly, and
a nice full rich faintly dry finish that is fantastically balanced.

Pert near a Clown Shoes brew but with their own nuances, most
excellent. Worthy of buying some to lay down.

2019 vintage.....awesome!

I have enjoyed their other brews, this one hits the spot!


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Photo of Strix
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Near black with brown edges, decent head that fades to nothing, some sediment

Chocolate, vanilla, whiskey

Roasted notes that blend into milk chocolate and oak with a subtle vanilla and whiskey finish

Smooth silky mouthfeel

Can't complain about anything in their Brewer's Reserve series!

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Strix from Wisconsin, Nov 15, 2019
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Has to be one of the best Porters that I have ever tasted - Pour it cold in a snifter and sip away slowly as it warms - then repeat - ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS :)

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BIGPOPPAS from New Jersey, Nov 07, 2019
Photo of wl2bill
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice balance of sweetness and the the whiskey spice. I am a rye whiskey fan and glad to see something different in a barrel program. I like all of their brewers rescue beers and almost always have some in hand.

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wl2bill from Wisconsin, Oct 30, 2019
Photo of MesaDan
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 'bomber' bottle: Nice chocolate nose with hint of whiskey; fine tan foamy head; smooth carbonation (oatmeal); Rye whiskey & oak taste with cocoa malt; finishes with tongue quenching rye whiskey taste and warming throat feel w/o an over bearing alcohol taste.

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MesaDan from Minnesota, Oct 25, 2019
Photo of nycbeerfreak
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love the Whiskey and chocolate mix Breakfast stout !

Rye Barrel Love here !, sweet and spicy notes of rye whiskey, chocolate.

Medium-full bodied, medium carbonation yet Bold and everything you want in a big cool whether Imperial Porter for sure!

LOVE , their entire barrel program !! Really ...I mean that good !

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nycbeerfreak from New York, Oct 24, 2019
Photo of DoctorZombies
3.18/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Murky brown pour with tons of floaties; fast fizzy tan/brown head; no ring no lace no legs; oily cap; dusty sediment coats the glass. Hot whiskey nose. Rye whiskey taste; sweet malt base; some chocolate. Medium lite body, greasy feel; some alcohol (12.65%) astringency; moderate minus carbonation; drying barrel linger. Overall, an ugly beer that tastes hot/phenolic; barely any chocolate; a rare poor showing from one of my favorite brewers.

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Photo of TrojanRB
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep dark chocolate brown

Nose is boozy, chocolate, bourbon

Taste is milk chocolate, vanilla, some oak

Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a lingering alcohol burn

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TrojanRB from California, Aug 05, 2019
Photo of REVZEB
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jet black body with tan foam crater. Breath in the rye, wood, leather, booze, and tobacco contrasting wonderfully with the bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and earthy malt. Taste is much the same, pushing what depths of flavor can be pursued in a porter. Slight accents of vanilla, char and brown sugar add to this depth. Very warm and rustic in feel, let it warm up and it will reward. The taste is chewy but the feel is a little thin. Goes great with coffee rubbed steak!

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REVZEB from Illinois, Jul 15, 2019
Photo of mynie
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Chocolately beyond compare, you say?

Maybe I'm imagining things, but I thought this was a pretty hot item back in the day. Actually, I must be imagining things, because I thought this was a pretty hot item circa 2008-ish, and the shite says it wasn't added until 2014. Is this what aging is? Just barely remembering a bunch of stuff that all clumps together?

Anyhow, this is one weird-ass pour. It looks fine from a short distance, but up close I was almost worried there was something wrong with the bottle, due to the high degree of particulate matter that rose to the top of the tulip glass. After a sniff, swirl, and taste, however, it seems like this is actual chocolate, or maybe sugar, or else it's something very sweet, and so even if it's not supposed to be there it's not poison.

The aroma is, indeed, about the most chocolately-est aroma I ever did smell outside of actual chocolate and other non-beer products. It's milk chocolate through and through along with some boozey burn.

Tastes quite good. A bit thin, not perfect, but they really knock the milk chocolate flavor out of the park unlike any other stout I've ever had. Hershey's up front, Lindt in the middle along with burnt barley, and then a UK-region Cadburry and some whiskey barrel burn on the back end. It is a firm and wonderful beer but even at 12.65% ABV it is never overwhelming or unpleasant.

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mynie from Maryland, Jul 11, 2019
Photo of cheeseheadinMinneapolis
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

very smooth. mostly whiskey at first and chocolate half way thru till the end. hints of brown sugar, smoke and maybe dark fruit and vanilla. seems a little simply but it's good

But hey i don't drink Barrel aged beer all that often, so take my review with a grain of salt. But I like this one

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Photo of beerloserLI
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slick black/off-dark brown color, on the pour, with a fast diminishing and non-existent head. Lots of floaties going on and not the best looking beer out there. Notes of chocolate malt on the nose along with oak. Strong chocolate malt hits upfront on the first few sips. Rather smooth on the flow and I get a nice hit of the rye and booze on the finish. Additional notes of cocoa, coffee, vanilla, tannin, brown sugar, toasted bread, and subtle smoke. The mouth feel kind of falls on the edge of moderate/full bodied that drinks rather dry with decent barrel presence. That barrel seems to pretty well balanced although I do get the booze and slight alcohol burn on the finish.

Overall, this is pretty tasty stuff. It just drinks like a straight up whiskey aged porter with no real adjuncts to speak of.

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beerloserLI from New York, Jun 17, 2019
Photo of larryi86
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thank you Blackop555 for this
12 oz bottle, 2019, poured into a tulip

A- Black with a fast fading mocha head.

S- Chocolate, some rye whiskey, oak, roasted malts, touch of caramel.

T- Chocolate, hints of dark fruits, roasted malts, touch of caramel, oak, rye whiskey.

M- Smooth, medium to full body, carbonation is a touch on the high side.

O- A very tasty chocolate porter, very easy to drink for being around 12% ABV. Another high quality barrel aged beer for Central Waters.

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larryi86 from Delaware, May 19, 2019
Photo of MaximalC
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut in color with faint garnet highlights, topped by a meager cap of khaki foam. Aroma smells of dark chocolate, toffee, roasted malt, a touch of rye barrel, and dark fruit, including plums and currants.

The taste is sweeter than the nose would suggest, featuring a backbone of caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, and even some vanilla courtesy of the barrel. The rye definitely makes itself known, supplementing earthy hops with its own spiciness. The body is medium-light with moderate carbonation, leaving no doubt that this is a porter and not a stout, even in light of the barrel.

Overall, this is an intriguing offering that lets the barrel shine atop a clean, complex substrate. I can't help but suspect it would have worked at least as well, if not better, on a stout base, but it's still a success as is. Barrel-aging aficionados won't be disappointed.

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MaximalC from Illinois, Apr 25, 2019
Photo of Ottoj55
3.41/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark brown/black, no foam, no lacing. Smells like chocolate and whiskey with taste to match, a tiny bit of earthy spice from rye. Clean finish with some whiskey providing heat. A nice barrel aged beer.

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Ottoj55 from Wisconsin, Mar 13, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Released January 2019; drank 3/10/19 @ the Yarchives.

Black/brown appearance.

A violent pour yielded a small tan head; decent lace.

Rye spice, whiskey heat, oak & burnt caramel notes in the nose.

Medium thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Cocoa powder, oak & burnt caramel flavors; mild whiskey heat notes on the finish.

This doesn't quite mesh into anything that appetizing; it's flavorful but just OK. Not one to seek out.

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, Mar 11, 2019
Photo of Gajo74
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Beer Shop, NYC.
Pours a black and dark mahogany color with a moderate tan head. When the head dissipates it leaves a creamy film and ring like lacing.
The aroma is strong on nutty malts, dark milk chocolate, a touch of roasted malts, and dark caramel and toffee. Furthermore, there is a rye whisky barrel alcohol essence.
The taste opens sweet and almost syrupy, with notes of chocolate, caramel and vanilla. The finish has s roasty bitterness, notes of peppermint and clean alcohol spice. As the roasty, coffee like flavors develop, a bittersweet flavor unfolds, with spicy notes of rye whisky, mint, and earthy hops.
Full bodied in its rich malt profile, smooth and velvety mouthfeel and a moderate to gentle carbonation. The complex flavors and strong alcohol content make this a sipper. Yet, to its credit, it is not at all boozy, cloying or hot.
This is a well done, big flavored beer that borders on decadent. I enjoyed it.

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Gajo74 from New York, Mar 04, 2019
Photo of Luscious_Malfoy
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a rastal tumbler. pours brown out of the bottle but collects in the glass a shiny black. smells of spicy rye, chocolate and subtle oak. taste is very chocolate forward. lovely rye and oak in the background. spiciness from the rye and vanilla from the barrel mix with the chocolate to make for a straight dessert experience. feel is exceptional for the style. it’s nkt insanely thick but it’s not thin and it’s sticky and full and smooth. overall, i am
very much into this beer. it’s got the strength, flavor and aroma all going for it. CW really is impressive with their barrel program and how much they crank out. that said, it’s still quality.

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice black color. The head is tan, 1 finger slightly frothy, and has ok retention. It dissipates to a ring around the glass.
The nose - The rye barrel is very forward in the nose. I do get slight chocolate, but the barrel is the star of the aroma.
Taste - Started consumption at 52 degrees - A nice smooth chocolate flavor is up front. Nice and rich, more than the nose let on. On the backside the barrel kicks in, but not harsh at all. It is hard to tell that this is a beer that is over 12%.
The body is fairly thick. There's very little alcohol harshness. Just a smooth feel.
Damn tasty porter. Really is put together very well.

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Brewer's Reserve Rye Barrel Chocolate Porter from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 401 ratings