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

2,548 Ratings
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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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,548 |  Reviews: 694
Photo of tylerstravis
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of GABrew
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of grub
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pretty sure i got this one in a trade with tangfoot at the kuhnhenn '07 winter solstice party and it's been hidden deep in my cellar since. thanks fred!

12oz bottle. sampled jan 17/2010.

pours deep dark brown, nearly black and pretty much opaque. a small very fine dark tan head forms, quickly dropping to a wide ring around the glass and leaving plenty of spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. bourbon and vanilla. bit of raw oak. lightly warming alcohol. touch of caramel and toffee. dark and milk chocolate. bit of coffee. lightly toasted whole wheat bread. bit of biscuit and cracker. faint roast.

taste is good. bourbon and vanilla. milk and dark chocolate. bit of coffee. caramel and a bit of toffee. hint of butterscotch. lightly toasted whole wheat bread. touch of sweetness. medium-low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is great. silky smooth medium-low carbonation level. nice big body.

drinkability is good. great balance. pretty nice depth to it. seems like it might be just past its peak and has mellowed out a little too much. still, it's damn tasty stuff that i'm quite enjoying.

 1,092 characters

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

Jan 2010 12oz bottle into a Ranger Creek tulip. Thanks to crossovert for the killer extra!

Bourbon Barrel Stout pours with a Nutella-colored body, but with the thinness of a soda. A small head forms and dissipates just as quickly, and a ring of tan foam builds as the carbonation seeps up from the murky beer below. Soy sauce greets the nose with a backdrop of bourbon-flavored chocolate and English toffee. A little roast in the mix as well.

The flavor does well to present boozy, spicy notes of dark fruit, rum, and sherry sweetness, but the alcohol is really a bit too hot for my liking (even after a year of age). This is slightly unfortunate, really, because after tasting how well Central Waters does with their big-ABV'd Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine, I had high hopes for this stout. It does improve as it warms, however, and the supporting cast of roasted malts and chocolate is tasty. Mouthfeel is heavy on the palate with a tightly-packed carbonation level and lingering, almost sticky finish. Overall, I found this beer to be a little rough around the edges, but still worth seeking out and giving it a try.

 1,118 characters

Photo of funkel81
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of Thedrizzle
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of bsp77
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Extremely dark brown with nice tan head and some lacing tendrils.

Smell: The Bourbon barrel aging is apparent in the aroma, with vanilla and oak dominating, as well as some milk chocolate and molasses. Sweet and boozy aroma.

Taste: Strong Bourbon taste upfront with major notes of sweet vanilla and sharp oak. The Stout characteristics are secondary with light chocolate, molasses and licorice. Not much coffee or hop bitterness; the only drying notes appear to be from the oak.

Feel: Very smooth and creamy with a full body and low carbonation. Somewhat boozy.

Overall: Very nice Bourbon Barrel-aged Stout. While not one of the absolute best, I was very happy with the price ($10 for a 4-pack). I will age the other three and see what happens.

 809 characters

Photo of nickd717
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Had previously tried this on tap at GABF 2009.

Darkest brown in color with a small but lasting beige head.

Aroma is bourbon, roast, vanilla, and oak. A little heavy on the bourbon maybe if you ask me.

Flavor is loads and loads of bourbon. It is no secret that this beer has been in touch with the -bals. Substantial oak presence as well. Also roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, and vanilla.

Palate is smooth and fairly full with soft carbonation. A little boozy, but not terribly much so.

Drinkability is pretty high. A very good bourbon stout overall, but come on, everyone's doing a beer of this style nowadays. I found it a little better on tap than out of the bottle

 687 characters

Photo of KensWorld
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Beerlover
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Beejay
3.54/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Levifunk!!

A: Pours a tan brown, in the glass it is a very dark color of brown.. you can barely see through it. Little to no head, unless you give it a real vigorous pour.

S: Oak, bourbon, and a lot of vanilla are present right away. Very malty with a cloying syrup like scent in the back masking the alcohol.

T: lots of bourbon and oak, followed by the vanilla. In the finish is a nice dry roasted malt flavor. Though it does seem a bit watery after the initial burst of bourbon. The alcohol is fairly well hidden. It only gets better as it warms.. but still does not achieve the awesomeness of others.

M: It has a bit less body than I would like, and I feel this gives the illusion of being watery. Carbonation seems a little high for the style.. this probably also leads to the watery sensation.

D: Decent all around, but does not shine in a market filled with this style.. Good. But not great.

 910 characters

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of thampel09
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of curlybird
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of brez8791
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Greywulfken
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: looked translucent dark brown during the pour, but provided an obsidian glass color in the glass. Finger of mocha foam slipped away quickly. Oily/glassy sheen down the glass.

S: dark roasted malts and woodsy bourbon barrels - you know what I mean

T: the chocolaty malts were there, sure, as were the rich bourbon fumes, but there was something mineral-esque, clean and tight, about the flavor, that I at first pulled back from, but then embraced. The perceived heat faded fast and provided a very refined drinking experience.

M: I was worried about mouthfeel, as it is sometimes too light/thin for my tastes (in a double stout I want body) - and this beer felt at first too thin, but it also had a character and flavor that was immediately welcoming.

O: this was an upset pick of a beer - what at first felt like a "thinner-than-I'd normally-like" feel quickly evolved into an elegant drinking experience. The bourbon barrels used readily impart their woodsy, vanilla, and caramel-esque flavors to the nose and tongue, but the dark roasted malt base beneath maintains an integrity of form that is quite impressive. Neither shooting to be "big" in the mouth nor trying to appear too sophisticated/elite, this beer nonetheless manages to do both at the same time. Pick some up, you won't regret it.

 1,303 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark Brown.

Nose of damp wood, waffle batter, deep chocolate, brownies, roasted malts. dark fruits and well, bourbon.

Quite elegant, yet subtle and not all that flavorful considering its style. Rich, deep chocolate and coffee along with deep roasted malts and a lingering finish of dryness of damp wood, expresso and bourbon. Well hidden alcohol. Quite the treat. Thanks Ernest.

 385 characters

Photo of T_Hass
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of mdillon86
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of herman77
3.97/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Near black with a small light tan head. Kind of surprised that the head was so light in color. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and some oak. The oak notes really come through strong. Smells awesome.

T: Sweet bourbon and roasted dark malts up front. Some vanilla, a bit of chocolate as well. More bourbon flavors than anything else, this is too fresh. Finishes boozy and hot.

M: Just below a full body. Seems a bit thin for a big impy stout, but still feels smooth with soft carbonation.

D: This is still pretty fresh, bottled in December 10' so some age will do this well. Right now its pretty low drink because of the hotness. Will have to come back and review this one with aged, hopefully it will round out nicely and other flavors will be more noticeable.

 794 characters

Photo of Devman171
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours black with low tan head. Aroma is sweet booze and roasted chocolate. Taste is similar with a sweet booze finish, could use more roast

 150 characters

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PicoPapa
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

64oz growler from Whole Foods in Manhattan. Pours a pitch black color with a small amount of head that disappears quickly. Minimal lacing. Smells great. The aroma is Bourbon with some coffee, vanilla, caramel, cocoa, and espresso. The taste is bourbon, cocoa, coffee and earth. Lots of woody bourbon flavor. Earthy notes. Finished with some more Bourbon and alcohol warmth. I'm surprised that the ABV isn't higher. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style. Pretty drinkable. Overall, really good Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout I'd grab again.

 534 characters

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

Photo of woemad
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
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!

 1,391 characters

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 2,548 ratings.
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