Black Gold
Central Waters Brewing Co.

Black GoldBlack Gold
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Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #35
Ranked #116
4.54 | pDev: 6.61%
Oct 20, 2022
Oct 13, 2013
Black GoldBlack Gold
Notes: In 2012 we entered '1414' in The Great American Beer Festival's Wood and Barrel Aged Strong Stout Category. Awarded the GABF's Gold Medal, we saved some, aged it for 35 months in 25 year-old oak bourbon barrels. Truly one of a kind.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of IMFletcher
Reviewed by IMFletcher from Kentucky

4.6/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2022 bottle; pours jet black with a thin head. Lots of barrel character on the nose. Cold, the flavors are chocolate on the front, barrel on the back. Warmer, the flavors integrate to barrel, chocolate and bourbon. Wonderful.
Oct 20, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by jera1350 from Minnesota

Aug 29, 2022
Rated: 4.31 by Horse_ospc from Wisconsin

Aug 15, 2022
Rated: 4.29 by MaximumYuks from Oregon

Jun 14, 2022
Photo of micada
Reviewed by micada from New York

4.53/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Not getting much bourbon, but the barrel wood is really coming through. At first it seemed a tad bitter or tannic, but ten minutes or so of breathing mellowed that.
Very easy to drink. Solid all around. Thirty minutes out, there’s more sweetness and a bit more bourbon vibe. The base stout is,
for lack of better description and palate, a savory type, not sweet or chocolatey. Buy it if you see it.
Jun 13, 2022
Rated: 3.68 by Affinity from Missouri

Jun 02, 2022
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Rated by DucksFan16 from Tennessee

3.82/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
I don’t get any bourbon barrel character whatsoever. Extremely roasty character.
May 06, 2022
Rated: 4.18 by einman from Minnesota

Mar 12, 2022
Rated: 4.67 by TD1 from Illinois

Feb 27, 2022
Rated: 4.49 by jhavs from New York

Feb 26, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by notchucknorris from California

Feb 05, 2022
Rated: 4.55 by Resistance88 from California

Jan 24, 2022
Rated: 4.42 by not2quick from Missouri

Jan 19, 2022
Rated: 4.42 by Jkolls from Ohio

Jan 09, 2022
Rated: 4.5 by EMH73 from New York

Dec 05, 2021
Rated: 4.27 by kash2112 from Arizona

Nov 18, 2021
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Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4.49/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Very excited about this one. Poured from fridge temp. Pours motor oil black with almost no head. It looks thick!

Nose: Beautiful. Roasted malts and dark fruit jump out immediately. The bourbon is definitely there, adding nice vanilla and caramel notes. Chocolate notes come through nicely. The nose is generally sweet, with no detectable bitterness. Molasses starts to get noticeable as it warms.

Taste: Wow. What a nice marriage of roasted malts and sweet bourbon notes. Dark chocolate, charred oak, toffee, vanilla, dark berries, raisins, dates, a touch of leather, earth, and brown sugar. This is just a fantastic barrel-aged stout. Each sip makes me want more.

Mouthfeel: Not the thickest stout in the world, but definitely creamy and silky. Just amazing. Overall, a huge winner in my books. I hope you track another down at some point.
Oct 03, 2021
Photo of jrc1093
Reviewed by jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2020 vintage; consumed on 9/18/21

Pours an inky black body topped with over two fingers of fluffy, khaki-colored foam; decent head retention leaves paper-thin islands of cap, large, frothy collar, minimal-no lacing holding to the walls of the glass.

Aroma brings a soft touch of molasses upfront, carrying soft caramel creams into a steadily building oaky vanilla and eventually culminating with robust waves of raw cacao meeting oaky bourbon.

Taste opens with bittersweet cocoa tinged with toasted oak barrel and residual bourbon characteristics, though the malt is central, peaking over the mid-palate with the purest, flaky roast sensations cooly revealing layer upon layer of oily, raw cacao, burnt almond, and evocative dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel shows a medium-light body, silkily textured and, in tune with a soft, prickly carbonation, sporting mild gritty accents into the mid-palate; suggestions of distant char and balanced booziness enhance over the back end, eventually leveling out to a dry roast along the palate's finish.

Chocolate, malted chocolate, dragged from the most evocative expanses of its malt profile and kissed with a softly integrated bourbon implicating a doting heat to further accentuate the already resonant roast; a classic sipper, its quintessence on full display.
Sep 20, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by BeerRay from Rhode Island

Sep 14, 2021
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Reviewed by CraftFan5 from New Jersey

4.76/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
11 August 2021 - Beer #247 - BA Top 250 Alert!

Acquired via trade
Current Rank: #98 on Beer Advocate

Appearance: 5 - blacky black but a bit thin at the edges. The head remains as a thin halo.

Nose: 4 - I'm not getting much barrel here. Smells like a straight up imperial stout. Good thing I like those.

Taste: 5 - yeah, definitely more barrel here. This tastes like Bourbon County's little cousin who's a bit rough around the edges. Just a tad bitter.

Mouth: 5 - silky smooth. Slightly thick, but like velvet going down.

Overall: 5 - really world class. My only gripe is the slight bitterness

Aug 12, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by von_kaiser from Connecticut

Jul 11, 2021
Rated: 4.83 by JLK7299 from North Carolina

Jul 10, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by Rkitchen from Michigan

Jun 19, 2021
Rated: 4.49 by CarpeDiem33 from Minnesota

Jun 16, 2021
Rated: 4.75 by phizzle from Illinois

May 18, 2021
Photo of GreesyFizeek
Reviewed by GreesyFizeek from New York

4.11/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
This one pours a fairly dark black color, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells like roasted malt, spicy oak, dark chocolate, coffee, tobacco, and vanilla.

This is definitely old school in execution - there's lots of roast and spice here. There's a big barrel character - oak char, vanilla, spicy bourbon - it feels like something that was in barrels a decently long time. There's some dark fruit and lots of dark chocolate, along with a cigar-like bitterness.

This is medium bodied, not quite as thin as most Central Waters, with a *slightly* prickly carbonation to it. If the carbonation was dropped a smidgen, the mouthfeel would be much better.

There's a lot to love about this one - it's a good idea to revisit what barrel aged stouts used to be.
Apr 30, 2021
Rated: 4.77 by mmoore9363 from Arizona

Apr 05, 2021
Rated: 4.52 by cmukid87 from Michigan

Mar 17, 2021
Rated: 4.08 by Bugsmcl from Ohio

Feb 12, 2021
Rated: 4.5 by mrmsmith from District of Columbia

Feb 02, 2021
Rated: 4.54 by WormGod from New York

Jan 25, 2021
Rated: 4.98 by sentrynate from Wisconsin

Jan 22, 2021
Rated: 4.96 by Yungcoolship from Wisconsin

Jan 21, 2021
Rated: 4.73 by matt-evans2 from Wisconsin

Jan 12, 2021
Photo of JohnnyHopps
Reviewed by JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Appearance - The beer poured a fuzzy black color with a mocha colored head crowning the glass.

Smell - The nose was malty bourbon. The booze does not dominate. There was a nice malty presence.

Taste - this was like barrel aged chocolate malt. The profile was well balanced. It was like chocolate malt, but it was not too boozy. Darker chocolate emerged at the finish.

Mouthfeel - The lower carbonation allowed chocolate to linger.

Overall - The chocolatey goodness lingered nicely.
Jan 01, 2021
Photo of BEERchitect
Reviewed by BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Striking gold isn't easy. Once you find it once, you gotta keep going back time after time. And that's what Central Waters Brewing does with their bourbon barrel aged American Double Stout. Except, its black gold.

And the beer of that exact namesake pours with the consistency of used motor oil, black and inky upon the pour, a patient froth begins to release. The draw of caramelized char, coffee, chocolate, nuttiness and wonderfully burnt cream is too much for the nose to resist. In similar form the initial taste is lush with molasses, brown sugar and cream in suggestive of roasted marshmallows.

As the flavors roll along the middle palate, a strong sense of coffee, cocoa and roasted walnut overcomes the sweetness and begins to usher in the bourbon complexities with charred oak, vanilla, coconut, cherry and caramelized whisky spice. Trending moderately bitter, the late palate highlights a walnut character with coffee-like bitterness although all are probably hop-derived.

Full bodied and quite decadent overall, the rich and chewy ale never promotes cloying textures, but finishes long and fat with malt flavor and mouthfeel. An extended warmth of peppery whisky and a simmering bourbon heat resonates slightly past the char and the beer's nearly port-like fruitiness.
Dec 28, 2020
Photo of bl00
Reviewed by bl00 from Pennsylvania

4.52/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours a deep black with more than head than expected, thicker than I remember last year Lots of nice barrel on both nose and taste. Very smooth and no heat. Love this one and will seek it out every year.
Dec 26, 2020
Rated: 4.81 by npendres from Wisconsin

Dec 19, 2020
Rated: 4.48 by JBowenGeorgia from Georgia

Dec 01, 2020
Rated: 4.52 by JeffSK from Wisconsin

Nov 28, 2020
Black Gold from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 866 ratings