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

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel StoutBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout
2,573 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.

Added by Skidz on 05-28-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,573 |  Reviews: 699
Photo of Mikey2333
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Into a snifter. The appearance was dark brown close to black colored body with a quickly dieing slim white somewhat foamy head, barely any lacing was shown at all. The smell is the best part of the beer as it starts out bourbon up front, however, once it warms a bit, there’s a good amount of oakiness and even after more warming - wow, the vanilla comes out along with some light licorice and close to the end of the drink I even got some light chocolate; throughout the entire drink its fairly roasty as well. The taste is bourbon sweet throughout with the vanilla complimenting it pretty well in a somewhat roasty sort of way; bourbon slightly vanilla aftertaste, dry bourbon-like finish. On the palate, its fairly hot in the feel, still I say it sits about a medium to heavy in body. Not really sessionable - more of a sipper and I expected that so I sipped the whole thing in about 2 and a half hours; carbonation is pretty smooth for the most part. Overall, what a nice night cap to end my day.

 1,002 characters

Photo of stanale
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Shade1951
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

THIS is a damn good stout! Sure, it has the typical stout/porter look, with very little head. It smells delicious - earthy and chocolatey.

But the flavor is outstanding. First sip covers the tongue with creamy goodness, like a slightly bitter chocolate milkshake. Carbonation is mild, but still pleasing - doesn't taste flat the way Guinness often does. While I detect some hops, it is definitely not a hop-forward stout, unlike others I've tasted that I didn't like nearly as much as this.

There is very little alcohol burn. Drinking this is a pleasure, even on a warm early summer day like today. I would gladly buy a 12-pack or a case of these.

 650 characters

Photo of Chris7482
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

(2016 vintage, 12 oz bottle... poured into a teku)

L: very dark brown liquid, just about opaque... medium-tan foam, variety of bubble size - tall stand, almost immediately deflating into some chunky, bubbly islands... not lacing much

S: devil's food donut, chocolate syrup, bit of dark-roast coffee syrup on the back end - altogether quite potent and just lovely... faint whiff of medicinal alcohol around the edge, later centering and coming forward, but hardly strong, hot, or boozy

T: kind of equal parts coffee and dark cocoa, moderate roastiness, a little roasty caramelization to balance, with a very subtle spicy-citrusy zip on the back end... the malt has a fantastic, meaty density/flavor... coffee and toasted nut lingers in the aftertaste, a little black pepper perhaps as well... marginal bitterness still intact, but it might be all from the roast by this point

F: medium bodied, approaching full... some of depth on the heat in the finish, back of palate down through the chest... kinda like an extra-creamy, slightly silty white russian maybe, just with a weak gassy tingle... ghostly viscosity through the finish - fades out as it falls back

O: dense and richly flavored... though arguably having a somewhat dull, lugubrious flow, the vanish in the finish with its accompanying restrained heat is what saves it... dessert seems to be the best pairing for this (but maybe a gamy steak?!), and I'm thinking something nutty and aggressively-crunchy and of course decadently chocolaty to compliment the flavors here (dreaming of a dense chocolate mousse pie with a peanut brittle crust - oooh baby)

 1,615 characters

Photo of agrinnell
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tbryan5
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Isarnan
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jerk_Store
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of nwhittin
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Rammed96
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of biggoon16
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of smcolw
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Small beige head which dissipates to thin rim bubbles. Only a couple of spots for lace. The liquid is dark brown but very bright light can pass through the center of the glass.

Lightly sweet to the nose with an alcohol backbone. I smell the bourbon which reminds me a little bit like brandy. Strong, semisweet chocolate but it doesn't dominate.

The beer starts smooth and spritzy. The taste doesn't really start until the swallow. Prior to that, the taste is dry with cocoa notes. The finish is very chocolatey with a lot of alcohol warmth. Less brandy-like in the taste. Long aftertaste with more warmth. Toward the final fade, I pick up some bitterness which I think is from the hopping of the beer. Overall, I like the complexity without overdoing any particular element.

 787 characters

Photo of buzzy
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2016 vintage served at cellar temps.

Appearance: classy and informative label. Beer was very dark brown with a coffee colored head and a ton of lacing.

Nose: chocolate, coffee, bourbon, slight alcohol, raisins, vanilla, oaky, roasted malts and char

Taste: follows the nose well but adds a strong warming sensation. A bit sweet but it isn't distracting. Very nice barrel character

Overall: I would like to see a more full body and mouthfeel. Nice beer

 454 characters

Photo of tvenne
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of KensWorld
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Narthax
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MikeWard
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a tulip. 2016 vintage.

black/brown body with small tan head. decent lacing initially, but eventually the head dissipates to a faint ring and covering.

Now the aroma here is very inviting. Some bourbon, to be sure, but not overpowering. getting a lot of dried fruit, also a touch of cherries and a little caramel.

From the first mouthful, I know I'm going to enjoy this. The mouth exactly follows the nose, with a hint here and there of the oak. Roastiness is very mild, which this palate appreciates, along with the bourbon not being a heavy touch.

Mouth is between medium and full, finish is slightly sweet with a little warmth on the back end.

Overall, one of the more enjoyable balanced BB stouts I've had. At 9.5, this is also dangerously drinkable. Happy to have another 3 in reserve.

 815 characters

Photo of Dankacheese
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Mouthfeel and body would put this over the top. The malt, vanilla and cocoa blend with the oak, char and heat of the barrel for a delightful finish.

148 characters

Photo of EMH73
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown, almost black with a thin head that dissipated quickly and left very little lacing. Smells of bourbon, molasses, chocolate, vanilla and malts. Taste follows the nose, with additional notes of dark fruits and a hint of char. Medium bodied, minimal carbonation, rather thin mouth feel based on my expectations for the style.

 341 characters

Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L - Brown on the pour and sits black in the glass with less than half a finger of khaki head

S - Sublime, Bourbon, coffee, char, oak, tobacco, cherries, smoke.

T - Doesn't quite match the aroma, but still complex. An impressive lineup of bourbon, oak, char, dark chocolate, and tobacco. Not as in-your-face as the aroma, but still all present and accounted for.

F - Not as thick as I'd hoped, but gets the job done. A minor alcohol flavor, but it doesn't stick around. Carbonation moves it along

O - Really good, but not great. Wish the taste matched the aroma, but complex and drinkable.

 593 characters

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 2,573 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.