Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout
Central Waters Brewing Co.

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel StoutBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout
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Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #732
Ranked #1,792
4.26 | pDev: 8.45%
Nov 23, 2022
May 29, 2004
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel StoutBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout
Notes: American-style stout aged for 1 year in used 12 year bourbon barrels.

The brewery's most highly sought after beer, this imperial stout is aged to perfection in oak bourbon barrels. Look for this tasty teat to contain hints of bourbon and vanilla with roasted overtones that is [sic] sure to please any connoisseur's palate. Serve at cellar temperature from a snifter glass and enjoy this expression of out passion for brewing.
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Rated: 4.16 by not2quick from Missouri

Nov 23, 2022
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Reviewed by Viaduck from California

4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
A nice tan head sits atop a dark body. Very pleasant aroma: bourbon, the sweet scent of fermented malt, vanilla, brown sugar & implied happiness. Only the slightest bit sweet with a touch of saltiness. Flavor is everything promised by the aroma with some complex barrel flavors. As thick as expected but a bit thin on carbonation. An excellent stout.
Nov 05, 2022
Rated: 4.29 by jakecattleco from California

Nov 03, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by DBosco from Massachusetts

Aug 31, 2022
Rated: 3.96 by beefbucket from Missouri

Jul 14, 2022
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Reviewed by lwillitz from Wisconsin

4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
12-oz bottle into Samuel Smith pint glass
Vintage 2019

A - 3 fingers of deep tan over a pitch black body with orange/ruby highlights

S - sweet malts, a little milky, a touch of metallic, some chocolate, wood and other delightful complexities of bourbon; marvelous!

T - sweet malt and chocolate, alcohol warmth in the back, wood/bourbon/vanilla in the finish; complex and delightful!

M - smooth oily medium/full body, low carbonation

O - just excellent
Jul 11, 2022
Rated: 4 by Fettpopps from Massachusetts

Jun 05, 2022
Rated: 4.1 by Hawkfish from Washington

Jun 05, 2022
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Reviewed by BuxMontBeerLover from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Purchased at Bound Beverage, Warrington, PA. $18/4pk

Pours a jet black, totally opaque color. A very light skim of a head on the initial pour.

Aromas of sweet malts, chocolate and bourbon. Smells delicious.

The first sip follows the aroma with a sweet, malty chocolate taste with a distinct bourbon background. Slightly acidic aftertaste. The bourbon aging is done perfectly as it never overpowers the beer. The ABV is lurking there but isn’t dominate.

A rich, smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Leaves a nice coating in the mouth. Medium carbonation.

Overall, a delicious stout that ranks up there with the best. A beer that truly highlights what a stout can be with the proper barrel aging and care that Central Waters has given this brew…highly recommended. Cheers!
Jun 04, 2022
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Reviewed by ChainGangGuy from Georgia

4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Appearance: Pours a very dark brown body with a medium-small-sized, light khaki-colored head.

Smell: A sliver of char with woodsy, bourbon-moist barrel tones leading to bittersweet chocolate morsels, smooth roast and brown sugar with a slight fruitiness of blueberry, blackberry.

Taste: Sweetish, chocolaty with plenty of warming oaken, spiced, woodsy, bourbon tones, a bit charry and ashen. More brown sugar and again the softly tangy fruitiness, but it's fairly well-integrated, as in its not ganky-level sweet or housing a jolt of fruitiness. Final zip of fruitiness, sweetness and heat, though it wraps up reasonably dry for a big stout.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-light carbonation. Just a bit chewy, though far from being gummy or gloopy.

Overall: It houses a sound richness yet the beer is surprisingly well-attenuated, tasty and tight in its overall execution.
Apr 18, 2022
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Reviewed by Franziskaner from Missouri

4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Black in color with minimal light penetration. There's a fingernail of brown around the rim and covering half of the top. The aroma is packed with dark malt and oak. I'm tasting cola and oak. The mouth is smooth and thick.
Jan 24, 2022
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Reviewed by drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Look - nice looking super dark with a great tan head and lacing
Smell- woody bourbon with a slight dark chocolate
Taste - woody bourbon dark chocolate like the smell, fairly standard bba stout. Slight bitterness and boozy
Feel - medium full body with a light carb
Overall - pretty standard bba imperial stout
Dec 24, 2021
Rated: 4.27 by shelby415 from Oregon

Dec 21, 2021
Rated: 4.21 by Mxsluis from Michigan

Dec 18, 2021
Rated: 4.4 by Unclevince from West Virginia

Dec 18, 2021
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Reviewed by StoutStoutlover

4.91/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
I am an enjoyer of delicious stouts, and this is one of my absolute favorites.

It's f###ing delicious. This beer reminds me of Hoppin' Frog Torris, beautiful rich chocolate and warmth. The Barrel here is a perfect complement to the flavor profile of the beer. Some great berry notes as well.

For lack of going on for too long, if you like chocolate and bourbon, this is going to be a great beer for you. I am a simple man but this beer hit my benchmarks of those two. Not very smokey, with heavy fruit and chocolate, plus this beer does what many BA stouts fail to to: get the barrel right. Somehow the flavor of barrel is very prominent while letting the underlying flavors shine through. Hard to do!
Dec 10, 2021
Rated: 5 by doctorgary from New York

Nov 28, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by 1971bernat from Virginia

Nov 22, 2021
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Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2014 bottle opened in 2021. From fridge temp. Pours black with some head. Quickly dissipates. Dark fruit dominates the nose. Not totally sure if this is a good thing or not. Cherries, blackberries, and strawberries. Chocolate and roasted malts are there as well. The taste is really good. Not getting much barrel, but this starts to come through as the temp goes up. Mostly dark fruit – like raspberry dipped chocolate. Roasted malts, oak, black licorice, molasses, fudge, and bourbon. Gets better as it warms. Mouthfeel is nice and thick.
Sep 18, 2021
Rated: 5 by KrissyKat6 from New York

Jul 02, 2021
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Reviewed by Thankin_Hank from Texas

4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Black and beautiful. Had about a finger head and smells of semisweet chocolate, molasses and dates, prunes or raisins. Taste follows the nose and I get some marshmallow creaminess with the semisweet chocolate, the dark fruit and a hint of alcohol. Taste is leaning a bit sweet too. Mouthfeel is thin but leaves interesting flavors on the tongue. Overall a fine Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout. A nice change from the IPAs. SPECIAL THANKS to @jzeilinger for sharing this excellent stout. A 2020 Vintage.
May 23, 2021
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Reviewed by 5toutman75 from Illinois

4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
A 2012 release.
Consumed 5/19/21

I didn’t mean to age this guy this long, but I’m excited to see how this will go. I think like a lot of Midwesterners, this was my first barrel aged stout. It’s a classic beer! I remember buying it years ago thinking I was being fancy spending so much money on a 4 pack of beer for my Mexican BYOB dinner. I paid no attention to the abv, and promptly got drunk at dinner. Unlike Goose’s BCS, this is the perfect introduction to a barrel aged stout. It’s a strong beer, but not overwhelming for a newbie like BCS. After drinking these for a few years though, BCS and higher ABV stouts usually take the win for me. Still, I can enjoy this on a weeknight at least. Onto the beer...
I smell the bourbon which for me is hugely positive. I’ve grown to LOVE the motor oil double barrel 15% and above barrel aged stouts. On the nose, it’s clear this isn’t that but it’s going to be tasty. It’s a bit thin for my favorites. Black Gold is thicker. This is like BG’s baby brother. Drinking it I feel I’m drinking a nice barrel aged Porter rather than a stout. There’s wonderful vanilla notes. It’s super smooth which I contribute to the age of the beer. I like the bourbon notes too. I wish I had opened up this versus a fresh one to see how the aging has affected it.
Overall this is a classic beer and would always recommend it. Central Waters knows what they’re doing. Black Gold beats this guy, but I’ll it them again and always recommend them for newbies and experienced barrel aged stout drinkers.
May 20, 2021
Rated: 4.13 by Jcarriglio from Florida

May 05, 2021
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Reviewed by StoneTSR from Colorado

4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Served in a snifter glass at cellar temp just like the description told me to do.

APPEARANCE: Super dark, black hole-like black. A decent head foams up and sticks around longer than expected, but as with any barrel-aged stout that's close to 11%, it doesn't last long aside from a few splotchy patches on the surface and a thin ring around the edges.

SMELL: Not sure how long this was aged, but the wood comes through strong in the nose, along with a dark, roasted coffee aroma. A little dark chocolate is detectable too, but it is far outweighed by the oak and roast.

TASTE: That oak is still quite strong and really provides a pleasant, woody backbone for a complex array of flavors - bitter dark chocolate, vanilla, deep roasty flavors, a little cherry, orange, fig, and mild booziness. This is really a rich and delicious beer.

MOUTHFEEL: At no point does this beer stray too far into sweet or too dry. The beer starts out with a bitter-sweet, orange-cherry-chocolate and finishes with a warming alcohol burn and roastiness. The sparkle is light, but more present than it is for some other Imperial Stouts I've had.

OVERALL: Just a treat. Every time I can get my hands on some Central Waters I'm happy, and this one did not disappoint. Not sure if following the directions to put it in the snifter at room temp made a difference, but it certainly didn't hurt! Great beer from a great brewery.
Apr 27, 2021
Rated: 4.08 by MacStinson from Michigan

Apr 01, 2021
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Reviewed by DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pick this up at the village estate in Ohio 2020 edition into a stein. Great looking beer deep dark blackness mild Brown at the base with a nice half inch of mocha froth. Smell is pretty mild chocolate notes some mild oak a good amount of bourbon some coffee roasts but it seems pretty well blended. Taste is unexpectedly smooth as well very nice rich oak flavor smooth leading to some mild bourbon notes and a nice mend of bittersweet chocolates and coffee roasts. I could see why this rating is so high it's very balanced and easy drinking leading to the mouth feel of medium to heavy and smooth despite the almost 11% ABV. overall I am kind of floored that I only got one of these if it's still around I'll probably pick up a couple more a very smooth and balanced Bourbon barrel aged beer!
Apr 01, 2021
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Reviewed by jeffoert from Minnesota

4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
This has become one of my favorite beers which I can still find. Although a little pricey it is less than other top of the line and similar type of beer I have had. There are various flavors that others point out but none too strong or dominating. I could drink this all night but I need to hold back given the alcohol content.
Mar 27, 2021
Rated: 4.07 by kodt from Illinois

Mar 25, 2021
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Rated by micada from New York

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
No frills BA stout. Barrel, check. Bourbon, check. Stout malts, check. Back end hops, check.
Mar 25, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by BeerRay from Rhode Island

Mar 19, 2021
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Reviewed by woosterbill from Kentucky

4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25
12 oz bottle of the 2020 vintage, poured into Gandhi-Bot tulip. Thanks to Sam for sending this one my way!

L: Black body with clear chestnut highlights. One-inch head of tight tan foam that recedes at a moderate pace and leaves spotty lace. A little thin-looking on the pour, but that's to be expected from CW. Just fine.

S: Rich, bourbon-soaked brownie. A bit nutty, a bit roasty, and nicely restrained. Excellent.

T: Cola, vanilla, bourbon, dark chocolate, coconut, and booze. The finish is a little astringent and bitter, but everything leading up to that point is excellent.

F: Thin and soft, with ample velvety carbonation. Definitely out of step with the way the style is usually presented, but pleasant enough in its own right.

O: Such a solid beer, deliver a big straightforward dose of what makes Bourbon-barrel stouts so enjoyable. If it had the heft to stand up to its robust barrel character it would be truly outstanding.

Beers of Fame tick 206/250. Cheers!
Feb 19, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by Patches826 from Massachusetts

Feb 17, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by mrmsmith from District of Columbia

Feb 10, 2021
Rated: 4.45 by bschmidt_37 from Illinois

Jan 26, 2021
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Rated by matt-evans2 from Wisconsin

4.94/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
quintessential BA stout
Jan 25, 2021
Rated: 3.79 by CruzinCooler from New Jersey

Jan 23, 2021
Rated: 4 by ejimhof from Pennsylvania

Jan 04, 2021
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Reviewed by jdubbs13 from Minnesota

4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
2016 vintage - barrel has faded on this a bit, however, there is a fair amount of complexity still in this one - caramel malt, roasty coffee and bakers chocolate. Still hanging on as a worthy cellared stout.
Jan 01, 2021
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Reviewed by jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12 oz bottle, notched 2020

Overall its excellent. Pours black with tan head. Somebow both has the fairly bold roasty malt and bourbon flavors, yet is soft and well integrated. Oak, vanilla, mild caramel, cocoa is all in there. Full bodied, smooth feel.
Dec 31, 2020
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Reviewed by Hereforbeer92 from Illinois

4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
This is a great BA imperial stout. Comparable to hopping frog barrel aged TORRIS the tyrant, which is a compliment from me. Big chocolate - bourbon and chocolate will delight you if those are your thing. Less coffee than others, and not extremely complex. If you like bourbon and chocolate, stop reading and buy the beer.

I've been drinking this when I come across it for a number of years now – you really can't go wrong with it. Very decadent and extremely consistent quality, and there isn't anything I don't like about it.
If you buy this to get a great barrel aged stout, you'll be making a good decision.

I have had this beer for a number of years now, and the consistency is strong. As opposed to some other yearly brewery's BA stout releases, I have essentially never noticed a difference between years, which frankly I love in a beer sometimes. Surely it changes with age, but if you are reading these reviews in the future, it's safe to say that new versions will be consistent with these reviews even years on. Source: have bought it for 4-5 years now and it's consistently the same quality/flavor profile. Whoever is on QA over there is on it
Dec 30, 2020
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 2802 ratings