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

673 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 673 | Ratings: 2,478
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev -1%
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 GRG1313
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
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 StonedTrippin
4.23/5  rDev +1%
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 Knapp85
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
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 metter98
4.19/5  rDev 0%
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 +2.9%
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 largadeer
3.35/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 bottle kindly shared by dyan.

Appearance: Clear dark brown, light in color for the style and a bit thin looking. Pours with a fairly small tan head that settles to a disc fairly quick.

Smell: Musty barrel and a hint of funkiness, as if it's starting to sour. There's a good share of molasses and roasted grain as well. Bourbon makes itself known once the beer reaches room temperature.

Taste & mouthfeel: Mildly acidic initially, followed by a strong roasted bitterness. Sweetness is present more in the form of fruit and caramel than the typical chocolate and molasses notes of this style. The body is on the light side, a touch thin for the style. The finish is oddly tannic and vinous. This one tastes like it's in the early stages of infection.

 756 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
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 Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -4.5%
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

Photo of emerge077
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
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 oline73
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
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 Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Appearance is dark brown with a slight mocha head and a touch of lacing. Nose is bourbon, vanilla, oak, roasted malt, and molasses. The taste really brings the bourbon through and it is not especially hot, melding quite well with the oak and vanilla. Touch of sweetness. Good creamy feel. Another solid -bal beer from CW.

 364 characters

Photo of mothman
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into KBS snifter.

Pours a light layer of beige head with good retention. Color is a dark brown. A little light for an imp stout.

Aroma: Coconuts!! Wow, I didn't expect that. Amazing. Vanilla, oak, bourbon, chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts, and coffee.

Taste: Huge bourbon and oak flavors. Rich chocolate and vanilla, coffee, some light notes of dark fruit. As it warms I smell coconut.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and warm. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends roasted with some vanilla.

Overall, a very solid ba stout. I am really impressed with CW on this one. Solid BA notes. Pretty drinkable as well.

 639 characters

Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
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 jlindros
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Finally a cool day after a week long heat wave, cool drizzy day is perfect for a stout. Thanks to erric for this one a while back, 2011 vintage.

Pours a decent looking darker colored fizzy light head that is a nice surprise for the abv and age, no real lacing though, super pitch black beer with no light getting through at all, and some lacing on the sides.

Nose is heavenly! A great dark chocolate and hot cocoa mix to start, caramel, dark malts without the roast or acrid burnt aromas, a nice wafty bourbon in the background as well rounding it, sweet bourbon. Then the barrel, so much barrel, some toasted oak, some vanilla, lots of toasted coconut, very faint booze in the background, and more baker's choc coming through.

Taste is very good as well, plenty of dark chocolate and creamy cocoa, hot cocoa with a bit of creamy baker's chocolate and creamy oatmeal with dark chocolate melted in the middle. A bit of booze tingles in the middle, but a clean warming booze. Some caramel as well in there, before more barrel takes over, with more vanilla, light toasty barrel, and again some coconut but not nearly as crazy as the nose was, with faint bourbon on the background. Finish brings more dark chocolate, cocoa, creamy oatmeal and baker's choc lingering quite well, a hint of booze warmth, and more coconut and vanilla barrel, touch more bourbon and creamy oatmeal like, fairly dry.

Mouth is creamy and lush, thick, heavy, some warming tingly booze, decent carb for age and style.

Overall awesome beer, great flavors, perfect amazing aromas, good dark chocolate and caramel blended with lots of awesome barrel flavors, with just the right amount of booze. I don't know if the age really kicked it up a notch, or it is usually like this, but I really need to try one fresh.

 1,785 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle marked '05 on the cap.

A rousing pour brings up a short head of thin, frothy tan foam atop its black body. A rim of mahogany can be seen at the base of the glass when held to the light. What head is there holds pretty well, and it initially leaves some thin chips and crags of lace about the glass.

The nose offers some welcoming vanilla, oak, a touch of sweet bourbon, an edge of brown sugar, and some soft notes of milk chocolate.

In the mouth it's medium-light bodied, and smooth with a very light tingle from the soft, very fine moderate carbonation.

The flavor is rich, and decidedly oaky rather than bourbonish, but not overbearing. A beautiful yeasty fruitiness adds a smart snap to it that keeps it from going too far towards, oaky/vanilla/bourbon, or dark malts. It's very nicely drinkable in that respect, and yet it's still a sipper - not because it's full, but because there is a bit of complexity to it, and it satisfies with just a nip. Some alcohol is present, but it's just enough to represent the bourbon. It finishes dry but not bitter, due mostly to oak and alcohol; and a short-lingering note of bourbon and some chocolate and roasty maltiness leave you wanting more.

Very nicely done. Delicately balanced. Well brewed. Perfectly aged in oak. If I still ate meat I'd pair this with a slightly charred, medium-rare filet mignon, lightly buttered baked potato, and gently caramelized onions. Certainly worth trying.

 1,463 characters

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

First had: bottle share at Beermongers, Portland, OR
Thanks to writerLJberg for the share!

Appeared black, opaque, with a thin layer of tan head that laced a little bit. Oaky bourbon in the aroma, roasted chocolate malts. Taste is dark malts, dark chocolate, and yes, bourbon, with notes of oak, black cherries, Sugar Daddies; moderate alcohol warmth. Smooth and on the heavier side of medium-bodied. Not the best of its class, but still good overall.

 452 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'Blindfolded at night' black with red and gold autumn leaves edges when a light source is at hand. The huge, initially cascading, head is the color of brown sugar and is, visually at least, just as dense. When it finally deflates to a mounded lump of cream, a virtually unbroken sheet of thick lace is seen on the upper reaches of the glass. An outstanding look.

The nose is merely good. There's a bargeload of dark chocolate and a whiff of crushed coffee beans. Also apparent, naturally, is a booziness that isn't immediately recognizable as bourbon. It has a vanilla-like character, but none of the other aromas that I usually associate with my favorite liquor. A fine point perhaps, but a crucial one in a beer with 'Bourbon Barrel' in its name.

This is outstanding beer with a massive amount of flavor that sends my taste buds happily reeling. The malt backbone is massive in size and heavily roasted in character. As in the nose, bittersweet chocolate is the focal point, with both bitter and sweet applied with equal force. Thick, black joe refuses to be slighted and is nearly the equal of chocolate on the palate.

For whatever reason, the (considerable) liquor flavor is now obviously bourbon in origin. It's a little on the raw side, but I approve of its no-holds-barred nature. I'm having trouble thinking of another bourbon barrel stout that contains this much bourbon. Those barrels must have been especially absorbent and then leaky in turn.

It's hard to say whether any hops are present given the dominance of malt and alcohol, but I think I can appreciate a citric bite in there somewhere. Warming brings about even greater flavor intensity and even greater melding. The bourbon still seems less than perfectly integrated, but I'm willing to cut it some slack since I love both stout and bourbon.

The mouthfeel strikes a perfect balance and is as silky smooth as it is viscous. It's closer to full than to medium and is perfectly matched to the larger-than-life flavor while still allowing the beer to retain drinkability. Bigger would not necessarily equal better in this case.

Central Waters Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout is as big as its name. If you like both stouts and bourbon whiskey, then you'll love this beer. I really hope this isn't a one-off (since changed to 'winter release'), because I'd hate to think this is the only bottle I'll ever have the opportunity to drink. A huge thank you to Skidz for an incredible beer.

 2,473 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage. Thanks Joe!

A: Black in body with a small head that forms upon pouring but dissipates rather quickly leaving behind a very thin ring and no lacing.

S: Lots of caramel and vanilla upfront with some burnt sugar. A bit of oak comes forward as it warms.

T: A good bit of caramel and vanilla upfront with some chocolate and a little bourbon underneath. Faint oak flavors with a bit of molasses and brown sugar. As it warms there is a faint nutty flavor as well.

M: Medium to full bodied with lowish carbonation.

O: A really nice imperial stout here. Liked how present the barrel is even after 1+ years.

 618 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thick dark brown liquid, essentially black with no light penetration what so ever. Rich deep, and thick chocolate colored lace then formed on the top of it to a height of around two inches

rich and sweet, the first notes to hit me were a nice sweet milk chocolate, lactose, and a nice burnt caramel aroma. Very sweet, with hints of coffee throughout. A nice mixture of roasted malts, and not overly heavy. Rich milk chocolate, molasses and vanilla hints were the first right out of the gate. Very sweet with lots of lactose sugar like flavors coming in, probably from the oatmeal. A slight warming on the back of the throat, but other then that there was literally no hint of the alcohol what so ever. Really a fine quality stout here. Nice dry touches in the finish capped it off well and left a long lingering sweet coffee like taste in the mouth. Very well done indeed. nice light bourbon on the finish and it was gone

It was a nice full-bodied stout, though nowhere near as filling as some of the others can be

 1,017 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Central Waters Brewer's Reserve bourbon barrel aged stout
Original rating Appearance -3.75 Smell -4 Taste -4 Feel 4 Overall -4
March 3 2015

Re-review 2013 bottle enjoyed chilled in a snifter.

The color is almost black with opaque clarity and thin biege head with tiny compact beads with lace wavy w/ very good retention. The smell is excellent with bourbon domiance and woody scent with vanilla from the barrel mixed with dark toffee and mild cocoa perhaps with a smidge of coconut and light alcohol. The feel is medium high in carbonation with medium sweetness and woody texture with moderate alcohol warmth for the listed strength with relatively dry and spicy finish.

The taste is excellent with toasted malt and bourbon with some stone fruit from yeast with slight woody tannin. There is an almost blackberry or plum-type taste as it warms with chocolate covered caramel flavor and slight nutty vanilla-like influence with bourbon taste that augments the grain base with dark toast and chocolate truffle element with some sweet wood in the flavor and light smoke accent in the semi-dry finish yet still manages to retain a light alcohol flavor at almost 2 years old. This is a WOW! I had this beer about 365 days ago and it has really developed into a great example of what can happen when you age a beer of this style. I consider this one of the best barrel aged stouts I have had recently -lots of bourbon and malt with the 'green' quality all but gone it has morphed into a rich bourbon and stout dessert-like prize.

 1,529 characters

Photo of billab914
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Portsmouth tulip glass. It poured a dark brown color with a thin and spotty tan head scattered across the top.

The aroma has a very nice chocolaty, bourbon flavor to it. I get some of the oak and vanilla from the barrel, but the chocolate and bourbon are really what catch my attention. Some caramel and cocoa flavors start to come out more as it warmed. Pretty modest on the alcohol for the style, and very nice overall.

The taste shows a little more of the barrel and bourbon character to it then the aroma did. I get some woody oak right off the bat, while the bourbon kicks in soon after. The stout flavors come through as a sweeter, cocoa like chocolate flavor with a bit of caramel to it as well. The finish brings a little more bourbon, with a modest alcohol presence.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style and carbonation is a little below average. The carbonation fits my tastes for the style pretty well. Drinkability was good, I thought it was a very good barrel aged beer. I really liked the chocolate and bourbon flavors that came together in it. Very nice beer overall.

 1,144 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the 2010 release courtesy of Mark. Thanks!

A: The beer pours a dark, dark brown with a thin layer of tan colored head.

S: Big time bourbon with lots of wood to it. Moderate roast character and some nice dark chocolate and hints of dark fruits. Only a mild vanilla character with perhaps even a bit of licorice.

T: Dark chocolate and bourbon dominate up front. A very strong wood flavor and some dark fruit and licorice. Molasses and toffee provide an additional sweetness. Mildly warm/alcoholic, but nothing unpleasant.

M: Medium in body with a medium but smooth carbonation.

O: Perhaps not quite as good as the bourbon barleywine, but still solid, like almost all Central Waters beers.

 703 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

Thanks to whartontallboy for this bottle!

The BBBW was quite the disappointment...hopefully this had better experiences with the barrel. It pours a ruby-tinted black-brown topped by a half-finger of light ecru foam. The nose comprises roasted caramel corn (it blasted me in the opening one of those tri-popcorn tins around the holidays...), oak, vanilla, whiskey, and roasted marshmallows. Strange that the barrels o'erwhelm all else. The taste delivers the expected roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate...then another strong tsunami of bourbon-soaked wood. Still pretty good, though. The body is a strong medium, with a moderate carbonation and a slightly chewy feel. Overall, another disappointment, but nowhere near as deep as the BBBW. It's a pretty good -bal stout (as the West-Coasters would say), but the wood's a bit much for me, smothering the stout-y qualities a bit.

 932 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my New Belgium globe. Received in the Birthday BIF thanks to zimmerbloke; thanks Matt!

a - Pours a pretty deeo mahogany brown color with two inches of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. An inch od creamy tan head lasts throughout drinking the beer and leaves a little lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, roasted malts, toasted malts, vanilla, toffee, and caramel malts. Wow, I was surprised how complex and great this one smelled. I expected the bourbon up front, but I didn't expect so much going on. The bourbon doesn't dominate the nose at all; this one smells amazing.

t - Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, oak, coffee, roasted malts, and vanilla. While I liked the taste a lot, it seemed a tiny bit light in some flavors, almost slightly watered down. Good, but a definite step down from the great nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. The body is super smooth and creamy, and goes down very easy. Not hot at all, and a bit later than I was ecpecting for a barrel aged stout.

d - Overall I really liked this beer. I found the nose amazing and complex; everytime I took a sniff I got something different and equally good. The taste was good, but a little bit of a let down after the nose, but for 9.5%, it was very drinkable. Glad I have another bottle of this one and might have to try and get more.

 1,382 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 2,478 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.