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: Rotating

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:
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Reviews: 689 | Ratings: 2,526
Photo of GrumpyGas
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
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 +5.3%
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 -3.3%
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. The beer would really benefit from a fuller mouthfeel.

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
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 -1.7%
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 +6.7%
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 +4.8%
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 -2.9%
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 +6.2%
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 +2.2%
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 +3.8%
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 -4.3%
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 +0.7%
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 +5.7%
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 +7.2%
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 -1.9%
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 +4.5%
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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Photo of Webzombie
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Being from the State love to see Central Waters making good beers. I am more of a hop head, but this is a great sipping beer. Smell is almost pure booze. Flavor is as expected...stout mixed with bourbon/whiskey. Got a little chocolatey stout type flavor with strong bourbon booze finish. Tons of boozy flavor and considering the price compared to others an excellent value. Great beer to sip on, large swigs are very difficult due to the booziness. A nice change of pace but nothing i could drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2016 bottle

Excellent bourbon barrel stout, with all the right wood and bourbon flavors. The vanilla dominates the nose and taste, but rather light roasty flavors. My only complaint is that its carbed up and the feel is a little off for this style, but its still excellent.

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Photo of Bartleby91
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage poured into a snifter.

Appearance is black with a mahogany hue around the edges of the glass. Still has a good amount of carbonation. Nice lacing along with alcohol legs lingering.

The aroma is bourbon, dark fruits, chocolate, vanilla, oak, coffee and roast malts.

The taste is dark fruit, bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, roast malt and a bit of coffee.

The palate is medium plus with lingering bourbon spice and chocolate malt sweetness. Nice and smooth from aging.

Overall this is an excellent barrel aged stout from one of the best breweries in Wisconsin.

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Photo of ukwildcat1995
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The look is dark with minimal head upon pouring. Minimal lacing as well.

The smell is the faintest of bourbons. Almost not there.

The taste follows the smell. I'm not getting any bourbon flavor and there is a substantial alcohol burn on the end.

Not much there in the feel. Almost like water.

Overall, I just am not a fan. And bourbon barrel aged stouts are my go to. I see all the other reviews, so maybe this is a bad bottle? I don't know. This just is a big miss for me.

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Photo of woemad
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle of the 2015 vintage, received courtesy of the generosity of @Ri0. With this one down, his boxed beer tour of the upper Midwest is down to three.

Poured into an Iron Goat snifter, this looks a coal-black color until held up to light, when the faintest mahoganyish edges can be seen. There was a modest, tan colored head that quickly receded to a bubbly foam collar.

Rich, woodsy, vanilla aroma from the barrel aging dominate the nose, initially. As it warms, there are notes of chocolate, toffee, coffee, leather, and a tiny bit of dark fruit aroma.

When this hits the taste buds, I’m reminded of the nickname of Mel Tormé. It’s rich, velvety and decadent tasting. The bourbon barrel aspects are better balanced with the other elements I noted above in the aroma. In particular, a chocolaty flavor jumps up about midway through. It doesn’t drown out the other aspects I noted there, but it’s “large and in charge.” The finish is slightly dry.

Big, full body to this, to no one’s surprise. The mouthfeel is rich, velvety and creamy.

1PM was perhaps not the greatest time to have this. It would have been better after a rich meal, as it’s practically a dessert all on it’s own, yet it’s not cloyingly sweet. This is a great beer. I’d love to have access to this regularly, and be able to set some down and see what a little aging does to it. Thanks, Ri0!

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Photo of dohm179
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Black with relatively frothy head for the style
A: Bourbon, similar to BCBS but less intense
T: Really nice, full Bourbon flavor, especially for lower abv (compared to BCBS)
F: Love how light and drinkable this is. Medium bodied
O: Great taste and great value. Extremely drinkable relative to others in the style.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Central Waters Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout, one of my favorites. An excellent beer at a great price, paid about a fourth of the cost of BCBS for a beer that is 93% as good (by BA rating). Bourbon taste is not overpowering.

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Photo of Peepskp
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

4 of us had this beer at a cigar/ poker night. We were all blown away. Great coffee and chocolate flavors with notes of vanilla and roasted malt. I wont hesitate to pick this up again given the chance. I do wish I picked up more bourbon flavor since I am a whiskey lover but that is being a bit too critical. We all enjoyed it fresh, overall excellent beer.

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
4.18 out of 5 based on 2,526 ratings.
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