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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel StoutBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout
2,662 Ratings
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: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Skidz on 05-28-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 2,662 |  Reviews: 732
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark with abundant initial head, bourbon malt and alcohol aroma, and some stout. Very smooth and refreshing with a regular meal. Some coffee, well malted, vanilla, chocolate, prominent and not overbearing bourbon. A lovely beer, courtesy of Captain Couger in Atlanta.

 267 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jaydoc
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

these guys are always delivering greatness, and its nice to try a few of their beers together. they always impress me, and this is a really fairly priced four pack for what it is, this would do really well here in colorado. tons of bourbon on the nose of this black beauty. i wonder what barrels they use. it smells somewhat macro on the bourbon end, which is the only really valid critique of this otherwise amazing beer. like jim beam or something less boutique than other brewers often seek out. that said, its full of oak and vanilla, and plenty of booze too. the dark malts add very little sweetness, which i like, nice roasted bitterness to balance the sweet liquor, that seems wet and almost blended in its so potent. chocolate and raisin notes are there too, and the vanilla brings them both out. its not quite as intense and thick as some stouts can be, you could borderline drink the whole four pack, which i could not say for bourbon county or something like that. less alcohol sting on the palate too than i got on the nose. smooth drawn out finish, a little licorice hit with the temperate alcohol. impressive depth to this, awesome price point, great product overall. warms up really nice as well. a lot of these fall apart with temperature, but this just keeps developing. big fan.

 1,296 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Jan. 2010; dated 2010; Brewers Reserve Series;

Pours black with a tan head that appears firm and then quickly fades.

Nose is pure sweet dark chocolate with hints of whiskied raisins.

Mouthfeel is lovely and very creamy rich. This one almost tastes like a coffee/mocha/dark chocolate milkshake. Delicious mouthfeel and texture, one of the nicest I've tried.

Flavors are all full, rich and creamy wonderful malted chocolate and sweet coffee with undertones of bourbon and red plums. This a very pleasant and most drinkable bourbon stout. Excellent.

Finish is all creamy sweet dark chocolate, whiskey and sweet espresso. Good! Note: Still good but fades in the glass a bit with only a little bit of time. Still, a very drinkable stout that's full of complexities and character.

 792 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Knapp85
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This poured out as a very deep red color turning black once it's in the glass. The head is tan, settles quickly leaves just a ring around the glass. The retention is minimal, and there really isn't much lacing. The smell of the beer is sweet with bourbon aromas, wood and vanilla, there is some roasted chocolate on the nose also. The taste of the beer is boozy, some strong vanilla and sweet malt with a dry roasted finish. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, gentle carbonation with some heat in the finish. Overall it's a very good beer, the flavors blend really well making this really enjoyable. The beer gets better as it warms. Definitely worth trying.

 659 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of metter98
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short off white head that quickly died down, leaving wispy lacing on the surface and a collar of bubbles around the edge of the glass. The lacing dies down and eventually leaves only a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of charred oak and bourbon are present in the nose. The smell becomes srronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has tons of vanilla flavors from the barrel aging. There is more vanilla then there is bourbon.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a really well blanched beer as you can get both the oak and the bourbon.

 701 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A caramel-rich and roasty that shares a ton in common with oatmeal stouts, milk stouts; and even with the imperial power of this beer, it keeps the delicate nature of it's gentler cousins.

Opaque and charred-embers brown, the beer is dark, luscious, and masculine to the eye. A creamy-rich look has medium carbonation which releases a lightly tanned frothy head that retains and laces well, and also leaves light legs trailing on the glass.

Firm caramel sweetness surprisingly leads the way while the roasty, toasty, chocolaty counterparts follow closely behind. The espresso and cocoa display in assertive fashion, but as milk and oatmeal go, so does this imperial assertion by allowing the sweeter base malts to govern the pace of the beer instead of the intense roast. Nutty, toffee, fudge and faint butterscotch flavors only add to the rich complexity of the flavorful mix. Only a moderate licorice flavor gives a fruity impression, otherwise the beer focuses on malt flavor and seeping bourbon punch.

Full and rich throughout, the texture is velvety, silky and with modest brownie-batter slickness and with a long linger of dark-roast coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and heavy whipping cream. Alcohol warmth is evident throughout and even rises more as the beer warms.

All the talk about heavy roast and burnt flavors can yield a strongly flavored stout, but this delicate balance of dark beer characteristics show that a careful design and deliberate restraint results in a beer worthy of world class stature. Interestingly enough, I find the bee a little too "clean" to garner higher scores.

 1,601 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this goodie from the very gracious Duff27 in a trade. Thanks again, buddy! This is my first real beer from Central Waters; I had Shine On before but that's it. 2012 vintage. I wish I had a snifter to serve this in, but the best I can do while away from my glass collection in Colorado is to serve it in a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass. Reviewed live. "Malt Beverage Aged in Used Oak Bourbon Barrels." Expectations are through the roof, current ratings are great, it sounds great, and it's got quite a reputation. I don't see an ABV listed on the label. Label art is simple and appealing. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard gold pressure cap.

Served cold and allowed to warm considerably over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a lovely two finger khaki-tan colour head of very good creamy character, great thickness, and great (8+) minute retention for the high ABV. Soft, frothy, creamy, and appealing. Body colour is a very dark solid black - not quite a jet black - but certainly black. Nontransparent and opaque; no yeast particles are visible. No bbuble show. Light attractive lacing as the head slowly recedes. Looks exactly as it should, with an impressive head. I'm excited to try it. I imagine it'd look even better in a snifter.

Sm: Pungent bourbon - complete with subtle vanilla and oak notes - exactly what I want from a bourbon barrel aged stout. There'd be no mistaking the bourbon if I handed this to you blind. The execution seems good, if strong. Wow. Dark malts, cream, maybe chocolate. It's all buried beneath the bourbon. I wouldn't call it a woody aroma, but the oak is certainly there with depth and subtlety. I get a hint of alcohol off the aroma, but I wouldn't call it a hot or boozy aroma. Just a touch of appealing warmth. Love the bourbon notes here, but constructively I could use a bit more toasty character. A pretty strong aroma. So far, so good. Can't wait to try it.

T: Wow. Extravagant bourbon notes are right up front here, with subtle vanilla and rich oak really ringing distinct. Little alcohol presence if any; it's got the great flavour of a good bourbon but none of the alcohol burden. Body is a touch roasty - though not quite as much as I'd like. Milk chocolate hits on the climax, blending well with the already luscious vanilla for a fantastic flavour. Creamy throughout, complementing the smooth chocolate. There's no bothersome caramel malt here, and no bitterness from the chocolate. A hint of coconut - it took me awhile to place that note; I'm not sure it's doing the beer a service, but it's interesting. Any hop character is unnoticeable. No yeast character comes through. I fancy the foundation is comprised of dark malts, but they don't intrude. Oak is the guiding body of this beer, and really lends it a cohesive, whole feel. I will say the flavour falls off in the third act; it just fades. This isn't a bad thing per se. Impressively well balanced and built. A very successful marriage of a good stout with bourbon notes. I quite like it. Now that it's warming up a bit more, I do get some buried roast in the third act.

The more and more I drank, the more a tiny nagging feeling came on that it was a touch too sweet. This is a nitpicking criticism, but - I think - a valid one.

Mf: Nicely creamy. Smooth and wet. Great body - not too thick or overbearing. Complements the flavour profile really well. Carbonation is just a biteen overdone. Silky. Good presence on the palate, enabling full delivery of the complex depth of flavour. Chewy.

Dr: Quite drinkable considering the high ABV, which is itself noticeable but not unpleasant. It's best enjoyed as a sipper; this one deserves to be savoured. A lovely bourbon barrel aged stout all around. A smashing success for the style. I'd definitely get this again if I was so lucky. I'd love to try this one aged. I'll enjoy finishing the bottle alone, but I'd recommend ideally that you share it with a friend. Thanks again for the chance to try this one, Duff27!

Low B+

 4,105 characters

Photo of oline73
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on-tap at Capone's during the Black Friday event. Served in a tasting snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours a very dark brown color with a layer of light tan head. The head fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: Smooth roasted malt up front with a slight sweetness. I'm getting some dark chocolate and a mild caramel note.

Taste: This is an incredibly smooth beer. I'm getting some mild bourbon and carmel along with a stronger dark chocolate note. The sweet flavors come together and star in the finish. There is also a nice roast component in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium to thick with smooth carbonation and a finish that is a bit dry.

Overall: This is an incredibly easy to drink beer. I love the sweet desert like flavors. I would definitely have more in the future.

 799 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of emerge077
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 edition: Much more overt bourbon flavors, vanilla and chocolate, also more well rounded though still somewhat boozy. Really enjoyed it and will definitely seek out again.

3.93/5 rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thefatkid13...

Pours an inky black, primordial soup of a stout. Two fingers of tan foam, spotty irregular lacing on the side of the snifter.

Smell has a sour lactic twinge, banana or coconut with vanilla, most likely from the barrel. A sort of malted milkshake chocolate as well. Finally, a minor whiff of alcohol sharpness keeps it from getting a good score for this particular attribute.

Luckily it doesn't taste like 9.5%...again the lactic quality is there, with big roast chocolate malt, slght hop bitterness and astringency. Bourbon cameos in the back behind the chocolate and roast character. It lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel has a mild astringency, but is otherwise smooth and velvety, almost like chocolate milk. Drinkability is good for this big beer, pretty balanced overall.

I had high hopes for this, and it's a solid offering. Mud Puppy Porter is still my CW favorite...

 1,162 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Old Fashioned. Poured a jet-black color with a small, light brown head of foam. It smelled of bourbon, vanilla, oak and dark chocolate. Sweet and boozy with bourbon, toffee, chocolate and some vanilla.

 215 characters

Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled in fall 2015. Pours nearly opaque dark brown/black color with a small dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, toffee, raisin, fig, date, bourbon, vanilla, toasted oak, coconut, light coffee/leather/tobacco, and oak/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. A bit of booziness as it warms, but nothing significant. Taste of big milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, toffee, raisin, fig, date, bourbon, vanilla, toasted oak, coconut, light coffee/leather, and oak/roasted earthiness. Light-moderate roasted bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, molasses, toffee, raisin, fig, date, bourbon, vanilla, toasted oak, coconut, light coffee/leather/tobacco, and oak/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet and oak spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from roasted bitterness/oak spice as well. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/silky, and slightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warmth lingering after the finish; with minimal booziness. Overall this is an outstanding BBA stout. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. This was very unique for a stout; as it seemed to have a lot of characteristics related to barleywines, but still remained roasty enough to feel like a stout. A highly enjoyable offering.

 2,090 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large medium brown faomy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of vanilla and bourbon is dominating with some black chocolate notes. Taste is also a nice mix between some vanilla and bourbon with some black chocolate but without any alcohol ester. Full body with some oily texture and good carbonation. Very well done and well balance overall.

 401 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 2,662 ratings