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

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel StoutBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout

Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
American-style stout aged for 1 year in used 12 year bourbon barrels.

Added by Skidz on 05-28-2004

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Reviews: 672 | Ratings: 2,476
Photo of beergoot
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Unique bottle info: Vintage 2016 Kudos to @LongTaco15 for the brew...

Deep, dark brown body; thick, creamy, light tan head. Rich, roasted grain aroma; cocoa with traces of vanilla; a touch of bourbon on the nose. Deep roasted and charred grain flavors blended with a heavy milk chocolate sweetness; bourbon tones noted; some nice ester notes; subtle bitterness. Heavy body; thick and lush with a velvety touch; lots of fine, residual sugar smoothness.

This is an outstanding tasting beer and the mouthfeel is exquisite. It is well-balanced and displays great depth and complexity for the style. Although far from being a lightweight beer, it doesn't bludgeon you with undue heaviness. The barrel aging is done about right to (in my opinion): not too overpowering, just the right touch to add to the depth and complexity of things. A righteous dark ale, for sure...

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Photo of avalon07
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy, tan-colored head that quickly dissipated. Fair lacing.

S: A solid aroma of the advertised bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and some malt.

T: Tasted of a fair amount of dark chocolate, a lot of the bourbon (especially in the finish), a hint of vanilla, some oak, roasted malt, and dark fruit (plums, raisins). A pretty good flavor that's heavier on the bourbon than other elements. Very tasty and somewhat aggressive.

F: A good shot of carbonation with a mostly smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This beer might have a few minor flaws, but it's generally well done. Drinkable.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours black with a tan/white head. Aroma, chocolate, cherry, raspberry, Bourbon. taste- whiskey, a creamy chocolate. In the back is a pretty clear coffee note. Very creamy and slick mouthfeel. Overall- this is a very good Barrel aged stout. It is a kind of clean tasting beer surprisingly. It invites drinking. Drink ya some!

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Photo of scotorum
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25


Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a; Very dark clear ruby. Inch thick tan head receded to thick even surface foam and some spotty lacing.

s: Alcohol and dark roasty malt mellowed by slight dark fruit notes.

t; Booze battles dark fruit notes for attention. Finish is varied with emphasis on bitterness and the other two flavors.

m: Medium, good body and carbonation tingle.

o: Seems more like a BBA porter than a stout but very good as such.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great BBA stout that depicts how several brewers are slowly but steadily closing the gap between formerly untouchable BBA stouts. At ~9% ABV this is surprisingly drinkable. Dark brown (borderline black) pour that's light at the edges. Thin film of head slips away into the liquid fairly quickly. Aroma of chocolate, malt, whiskey. Taste is fire-roasted malt, toasted grains, chocolate, whiskey heat, burnt sugar, vanilla and oak. Nice balance; alcohol heat comes through every now and again. Slick mouthfeel, perfect amount of carbonation.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.66/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5


Bottle (12/08/16) to snifter.

Look: cola looking black brown. Smallish head that is off white. Fades.
Aroma: caramel, whiskey, hazelnut. Very nice, even from the start when it was pretty cold.
Taste: light malt, brown sugar, whiskey. Some wood.
Feel: thin for a stout. Also overly flat.

Smells great and tasty enough, but not much body or complexity here.


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Photo of jeffreed61
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Winter 2016 release. If you pour this cold, please, please let it warm up. Beautiful barrel nose, tons of bourbon and caramel. Thin feel, but deep, rich flavors really step up with the warmth.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours deep brown thin tan head spotty lacing around the glass.

Aroma - Dark chocolate, oak, bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts and leather.

Taste - Roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon very well balanced.

Feel - High side of medium well carbonated, very smooth and coating little burn from the alcohol

Overall - Very good BBA stout great flavors and very well balanced.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10oz draft pour into a snifter is a dark brown opaque body floating a nice 3/4in tan head that dissipates to a fine cap. Some artistic lacing remains.
Aroma is not overpowering but there is booze, vanilla, caramel, and a slight hint a cocoa.
Flavor is similar, though the presence of each is different. There is significantly less booze in the flavor than the smell as the chocolate becomes more prominent. A very well hidden abv.
Mouthfeel wants to be thick but clears the pallette quickly, clean, and almost dry. The mouth begs for more.

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Photo of AustinWadkins
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a caramel carbonated head that soon disappears

The aroma is absolutely inviting! Roasted coconut, sweet caramel and toffee, chocolate, sweet and strong bourbon, oak, a bit of vanilla

Taste is coconut, bourbon, chocolate, stone fruits, bits of vanilla, as well as I'm picking up notes of coffee in the aftertaste

Overall this beer was fantastic and will definitely be getting another 4-pack! I do wish the bourbon would come through a bit more, a little more sting in the finish would be nice! Fantastic though!

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Photo of Masonz223
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Smell: Sweet bourbon oak big vanilla marshmallow dark chocolate milk chocolate carmel toasted coconut.

Taste: upfront milk chocolate and toasted coconut middle of the mouth big vanilla carmel dark chocolate in the finish you get sweet bourbon oak and a slight dark malt biterness.

Feel: medium body a bit thin for the style low carbonation. Sillky smooth on the tongue. Dangerously easy drinking.

Overall: smell and taste are pretty nice on this beer maybe a little more mellow then most Barrel aged Stouts but still really good. Mouthfeel is where this beer really lacks it's a bit thin a fuller mouthfeel would really benefit this beer.

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks a reddish brown and thin on the pour. In the glass its a murky dark brown with a one finger light brown head that's gone in a flash, leaving very little lacing.
Aroma of cherries, fig and some roasted malts with just a hint of bourbon.
Taste has some vanilla, androasted ashy malts. Bourbon is more pronounced as is a the fruit. Definitely warms you up...
Texture is thin for the style.
I've tried CW's, Scotch Ale, Barleywine, Quad and the Cassian stout and found them to be excellent. This was a bit disappointing. Purchased 2 4packs, I'll drink one and cellar the other.

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Photo of Prager62
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A twelve ounce bottle dated 2016 vintage poured in a 13oz. snifter.

Look- Pours a very thin root beer colored brown leaving a couple centimeters of light tan foam. It quickly settles leaving a thin ring and some lacing.

Smell- Bourbon, vanilla, dates and leather.

Taste- Slightly sweet bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, dark fruit and oak in the finish.

Feel- Very thin and watery for a stout.

Overall- A very appealing beer in the smell and taste. The negatives are the rather boring look and super thin feel. Once you get past that, it's quite enjoyable. It reminds me of a barrel aged Scotch Ale-stout blend.

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Photo of Rockjocknroll
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Vintage '15

Wow; what an excellent BBA stout. The malt isn't overly sweet or beyond roasty letting the bourbon shine through on the nose as well as the flavor. All the flavors you want from this style...cocao, vanilla, oak...just the right amount of bourbon. Very drinkable with a slightly thin mouthfeel that is somewhat welcome after so many gloppy sugar bombs. A lot of breweries could take note of the subtlety and balance of this blend. Great with 1.5 years on it and could go a bit more. More elegant than overpowering. Would definitely seek this out again.

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Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Light barrel aged stout with layers of chocolate, dark fruit and vanilla. The barrel is pronounced, but doesn't dominate the base beer like many BA beers do. The mouthfeel was a little thin, but I'm not hating it. It's a very good beer.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 vintage. Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a very dark brown with a hint of red around the edges. Thin dark mocha head quickly recedes leaving the thinnest of skims.
S: Strong and sweet bourbon note hits first. Sweet caramel, toffee, raisin, fig, vanilla, and a hint of molasses.
T: Sweet bourbon, raisin, cinnamon and bready yeast, caramel, vanilla, and molasses.
M: Medium body (actually drinks a bit lighter than you would imagine). Sweet with a coating, but not quite velvety, feel. Lingers and matures a bit on the palate too.
D: I love the bourbon note in this brew. I wish there was a bit more depth or seems like it is not quite fulfilling the potential. Still a very solid beer.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours very dark brown or black with a small tan head.
S - Aroma is bourbon and dark chocolate.
T - Flavor is vanilla, chocolate and bourbon, mixed almost perfectly.
M - Carbonation is below average. Mouth feel is silky smooth.
O - Very impressed with this beer. Another winner from Central Waters.

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Photo of Sheppard
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep brown. Tan head. Smells like whiskey soaked chocolate. There's a chocolatey, nutty character. It hides the booze well for a 10+% BBA stout. Barrel character is nice, subdued. Not abrasive. A very well made BBA stout.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L- Pours black, with a thin, beige head.
S- A huge smell! Toffee, malt, vanilla, bourbon, hazelnut, chocolate.
T- Delicious. Some good bourbon. Vanilla, with hints of coffee and chocolate.
M- Nearly full bodied. Does have some carbonation. Slick feel.
O- Very good once again with Brewer's reserve from Central Waters.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Black with beige head. Decent retention, spotty lacing.

S: Hefty dose of roasted barley. Barley-derived hints of chocolate and coffee. Bourbon works itself into the background. Very subtle hints of green hops.

T: As in the nose, the roasted barley character leads. Toffee, coffee, nutty chocolate. Spicy bourbon seeps out more as it warms. Traces of smoke and leather. The finish is all whiskey.

M: Medium-full body. Chewy. Medium weight. Ample carbonation.

O: Not quite the rib-sticking stout I was expecting, but it gets the job done. Comes across more as a big, barrel aged porter. Tasty, but don't compare it in your whale categories.

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Photo of MNAle
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Killer aroma bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, fruit, coffee, roasted malts + more. Very dark with a 1 inch tan, creamy head that recedes moderately fast to a thin cover with some irregular lacing. Moderately carbonated. Very smooth, creamy mouth feel. Taste of bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts - but not as much as in the aroma. Moderate bittering arrives in the middle and finish. After some alcohol in the initial taste, it recedes to be well controlled and hidden in the middle and finish, but returns as alcohol warmth in the aftertaste.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled December 2011; drank 11/8/14 @ the Palace.

Black hue.

Minimal dark tan head; almost no lace.

Fresh earth & mild mocha nose.

Thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Fresh earth, burnt caramel & dark chocolate flavors up front; marshmallow notes emerge as this warms. A sturdy, tasty stout.

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4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First time trying this one and as a stout drinker I was a little concerned about my conclusion.
A beer manager suggested their Scotch Ale, but I passed, however when I saw this variety I gave it a spin .

Absolutely DELICIOUS :)
Pours nicely with not a huge head and minimal lacing .
The smell and flavors though are absolutely amazing as they are full of rich flavors .. vanilla coffee malts and some I can't figure ..
The feel isn't as thick as some breakfast stouts, but it is not thin at all .
I will be going back for more after this 4 pack and hope they are still available ;)

Surely hope this one sticks around as I thoroughly enjoyed it as a regular Stout choice .


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Photo of Cfred371
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Look: A dark brown, with color around the edges easily seen. A thin off white head emerges.

Smell: Less bourbon than I remember. A chocolate milk dominates my palate, some vanilla, and some of that bourbon characteristic.

Taste: Chocolate and vanilla, almost a creme brule flavor from the barrel, and slight bourbon. Delicious.

Feel: Same as usual-thin. If the body of this could be thickened, this stout goes up a notch or two in my book.

Overall: a great tasting beer, albeit with less bourbon than I prefer, but as usual with CW, the body is too thin. Worth seeking out, but the body really lacks.

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Photo of jcMPLS
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is one I look forward to every year.

Pours a nice dark brown with decent initial head for the style. A little more carbonation and slightly thinner than I usually look for in a BA Stout, but it actually works just fine for me with the flavors going on here. The barrel is definitely there, but not overbearing in my opinion. I'm picking up some roasty-maple notes from the bourbon, and I like it.

This is one that I'm so happy comes in 12oz 4-packs! 2 for this year, 2 to save.

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 2,476 ratings.
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