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Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale | Central Waters Brewing Co.

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Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe AleKosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale

Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-22-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 219 | Ratings: 595
Photo of robbyc1
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour looks like a root beer, deep amber color, clear with a tight white head.

Nose has some barrel (bourbon?) smell, with toffee and malt, very nice.

Wow, flavors from the nose come through, very deep tasting and complex, loving it, wishing already that I had more than one bottle. The finish is satisfying and dry at the end. Lingers, a great one for this style. The alcohol warms you.

The mouthfeel is silky, smooth, and not very carbonated, but just right for the style. A sipper for sure, but not over the top overpowering, just right.

Considering the weight this is very drinkable, could have another if available. I will be seeking this out again in WI, hope more is out there.

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Photo of DIM
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to abents for this suprise brew. He said this was a little over a year old.

a: This was a hazy coppery color with mahigany highlights. It poured with a thin tan head that quickly faded to a ring around the glass.

s: I got candied dark fruits, brown sugar, and caramel. Sweet, but not obnoxiously so. Even with over a year on it this still has a fairly strong pine aroma, as well as a little heat.

t: Brown sugar and candy like cherries are the first thing that come to mind, along with some mellow, piny hops. I never tried this fresh, but I can't imagine it's any better than this.

m: Gentle carbonation and a long, sweet pine resin finish.

d: One of the best b-wines I've tried in a while, stellar stuff. My first from Central Waters.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz glass into two small snifters. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a clear, reddish-copper color, sort of like Grade B maple syrup. We got the 1/2 finger, light tan head on top to stick around and leave a little lace in the glass.

S: Caramel is the dominant aroma here. We also noticed molassas, vanilla, maple, brown sugar, and raisins. Small whiff of booze, as well.

T: See above. Caramel and maple syrup along with dark fruit, molassas, vanilla, brown sugar, tangy citrus, and some booziness in the finish.

M: Pretty sweet and slick in the beginning, but as the middle and finish progress, a subtle spicy hoppiness and finally, a dry and prickly boozy heat emerges.

D: Surprising considering the abv. Heather thought there was excellent balance between the sweet and spicy. I agree, hands down!

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Photo of abents
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle '08 vintage
Always loved this beer, finally time to review it.
Pours out a wonderful reddish brown with nice tan head that stays around for awhile. Smells of sweet caramel, alcohol, wood, and vanilla. Very nice aroma with a lot of sweet malty notes bouncing around. Taste is delicious, nice sweet caramel malts blending into a vanilla almost dessert wine quality. Some alcohol warming, but very smooth overall. A nice bitterness helps round out the sweet syrupy texture of the brew. Light carbonation anda lighter mouthfeel help to make it more drinkable. Well balanced, very drinkable barleywine I'll always like this one.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a few of these in Kenosha - shared with the wife in matching FOBAB pint glasses.

A - I managed to get a half-finger's worth of tan foam that actually lingered for a bit. Negligible lacing over a slightly murky raisin brown color. This is about as good as it gets for a high-gravity barleywine.

S - Maple syrup, caramel, red licorice, raisin, smoke, wood, vanilla - really complex collection of malts in here. This is fresh, so there is still a mild amount of citrusy hops (although nowhere on the level of something like 3F Behemoth). Maybe a touch of alcohol esters in there.

T - Again, lots of caramel, maple syrup, raisins, brown sugar, etc. The citrus hop notes I detected in the smell are mostly gone, with maybe the tiniest bit lingering in the aftertaste. Alcohol is well-hidden. The taste is good, but not as wonderfully complex as the smell.

M - Big and sticky - full-bodied but not overly heavy. There's some tingle on the upper lip, but I think it's from the high ABV and not the carbonation - in any case it complements the wood and smoke notes in the smell. Some nice warming sensations.

D - One of these is plenty - it's a sipper to be sure. That being said I did find myself reaching for the glass pretty frequently.

Worth seeking out - the base beer for the Bourbon Barrel Barleywine stands up quite well on its own.

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Photo of cmoney311
4.8/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: deep amber

S: aromas of toffee, caramel and other fruity goodness

T: up front very sweet disolving into dark caramel, brown sugar and cherries.

D: a superb barley wine! a very nice treat.

Central Waters has quickly become Wisconsin's best micro-brewery.

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Photo of ejquin
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Ruby hued with thin white head that fades to some tiny bubbles around the rim.

A: Heavy dark brown sugar, figs, plum, rasins, molassesslight oakiness

T/M:Firdt off, the mouthfeel is perfect. Rich and smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation. Taste is wonderful. I'm not sure how old this one is, but so smooth. Very nice hopiness balanced by a ton of malt fading to a spicy finish where the alcohol peaks through. It's defintely there, but well hidden for a 10%er.

Ovr: I'm not a huge Barlywine fan, but this is pobably the bet I've had. It was just perfectly in balance, nothing getting out of whack. The hops just encroaching on too much, and then fading, the malt laying down a nice backbone. Really great beer.

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Photo of brian23456
4.82/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Light orangish red color, small quickly dissapating off-white head and nice lacing

S- Very sweet, raisins, figs, maybe some sugar and wine scents

T- Lots of layers. Great balance of light/bright sweetness and citrusy hops. Also flavors of orange, cherries and just a little brown sugar and sherry. Aftertaste is fruity with a stronger hoppy taste. Some alcohol warmth but well hidden.

M- Light for a barleywine in my opinion, moderate level of carbonation

D- Easily drinkable considering style and the amount of flavor present. Alcohol sneaks up on you.

A very nicely done BW, great balance. Not too hoppy not too sweet, hoppiness is middle of the road as far as BW's go. Once in a while brew, outstanding flavors will destroy your palate, ina good way.

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Photo of Viggo
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a hazy dark orange, reddish brown, got some sludge from the bottle, thin off white head forms a thin ring around the glass, a few lace spots, good retention as the ring sticks around. Smell is neat, rich and powerful, toffee, buttery oak, raisins, sugary, toast, floral hops, light fruit, vanilla, pineapple/mango like tropical fruit, very fresh smelling. Taste is similar, toffee, raisins/fig, apples, light roast and nuttiness, floral, grapefruit, astringent woody bitterness with vanilla, pretty neat, very rich and flavourful, orange peel in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, alcohol is pretty well hidden, definitely drinkable. A nice barleywine, good character and a smooth drinker. Thanks to Russ for sharing!

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Photo of grub
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this one from OHLRangers as a thank-you for running the secret santa '08 website. thanks!

12oz bottle. sampled feb 6/09.

pours almost crystal clear deep red with a thin layer of dense off-white bubbles. the head quickly retreats to a ring around the glass that lingers clear to the bottom and leaves spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. definitely and american barleywine. rich dark caramel and toffee. hints of vanilla and butterscotch. multi-grain bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. earthy and slightly floral. light alcohol.

taste is good. rich caramel and toffee. light butterscotch. touch of vanilla. bit of fruit, more on the dark side. medium bitterness level. earthy and slightly floral hops, leaning more to english taste than american, but the malt profile on this one is clearly american. warming alcohol. good, but feels a bit muddy. i went searching the bottle for a date code (thinking it must be fairly fresh), but couldn't find one.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. pretty well balanced and tasty. feels a little rough around the edges and a bit "muddy". seems like with a little time in the cellar this one would be pretty awesome. i'm already a huge fan of their bourbon barrel barleywine, and i think with time this could approach the same level. still, it's pretty nice even now.

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Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, reddish orange color with a small, white, foamy head. It left some patchy lace.

S - It smelled sweet and malty with some nice floral notes.

T - It tasted rich and sweet. Nice caramel malt flavors with a nice hoppy, bitter kick. It had some subtle dried fruit flavors with a warm alcohol taste.

M - It was soft and smooth with a fairl y sharp finish. A medium bodied beer with a warm boozy presence.

D - This is a very good barleywine. It had some nice complex flavors.

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Photo of hopdog
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle acquired in trade with Brigadier (thanks!).

Poured a deeper and cloudy orange color with a larger sized off white head. Aromas of dark fruits (cherries, plums and raisins), toffee, and caramel. Tastes follow with citrus. Light alcohol in the finish.

Notes from: 8/20/07

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a rich mahogany color with some great ruby notes. solid yellowish tan head with a great retention rate and excellent lacing.

S: big rich roasted malt aromas, some sharp notes from the hops. This smells more like an American style BW than an English one, which I prefer. sweet caramel malts and a huge pungent citrus hop nose.

T: very sharp malts and hops balance. big citrus hop flavors with a crushing amount of alpha acids on the palate. sweet caramel malts intertwine with the orange flavors from the hops to accompany them very well. some acidic tones from the high alcohol. some serious smokey notes as well.

M: robust. full bodied and very sharp. nice twang.

D: very nice barleywine. strong, powerful, and full of flavor. not a beer for the faint-hearted at all. this could have solved any Y2K problem.

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Photo of akorsak
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Tangfoot and the I Want That BIF for this bottle.

A: The barleywine is an amber brown color with little, if any, haziness. An off-white (barely) head blankets the ale but doesn't lace.

S: The aroma is a potent mix of big grains and hops. I've had the ale for over a year but the bitterness is still remarkable.

T: The malt profile is thick, strong and unabashed. Caramel and bread, both concentrated, create a heavy flavor. Matched with the malt profile is a heavy hop mix. The grains take on a ripe fruit flavor mixed with brown sugar at times.

M: The mouthfeel is full, a delicious barleywine that has a nice sweetness.

D: The barleywine is big, so big that more than one bottle could be dangerous. I have one bottle left that I'm saving for a horizontal tasting with the barrel-aged version.

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Photo of Derek
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber-brown with a light tan head, nice leg/lace.

S: Dark caramel & nuts, wood with a light spicing.

T: Dark caramel, nuts, bread, wood. Modest bitterness for the style, with a very smooth, slightly warming alcohol. It's so refined it almost seems to lack flavour.

M: Moderate body, carbonation is pleasantly on the low-side of moderate, some residual sweetness.

D: Incredibly drinkable for it's weight.

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Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A well-crafted barleywine, a little helpful cellaring by Derek. Good barleywine aroma. Ruby with lace. The taste is dry and woody, particularly so in the finish. A touch of bourbon, a touch of chocolate. Does not seem like 10%. Satisfying above-average barlywine.Nice balance.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kkulacki for bringing this back from Wisconsin for me. Cherry puree red color, with just a thin ring around the side of the glass. Glistens in the light. Smells very fruity...cherries, raspberries, prunes, truffles, caramel, wine-like alcohol. Taste is similar to the aroma: kind of a strong pruney malt, with dry alcohol, biting bitterness, and a hint of cherries. Hops are strong, so I expect that this is not a super-old bottle. Portlike consistency, full bodied. Overall, it's a tasty barleywine, if a little one-sided on the bitterness. I think this is really one that would mellow with age and be very tasty.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz received in trade earlier this year from BRDC.. cellared until about a week ago ... then it went into the fridge and has been staring me down ever since. Poured into my New Belgium snifter... shared slightly with Brenda.

2 finger head drops leaving nice lacing and a firm cap.. brew is hazy copper... quite a bit of yeast made it into the glass despite a careful pour.

Aroma is caramel.. toffee.. and abundant dried fruits.. think cherries and lesser dried figs... maybe a little bit of prune. Not getting much by the way of hops.. maybe a little bit of citrus.

Flavor defies the nose.. not nearly as sweet as expected.. bigger bitterness also.. really helps with the overall package. Hop flavors are on the pine side but the real star of the show is the myriad of misc. debris going on with the malts and the yeasty fruitiness. I think the piney hops help tie the caramel and yeast notes together. Sorta earthy throughout.. Body is a little thin for the style at first but gains ground as it warms.. Really a pretty damned good bordering on excellent take on American BW's... drinkability is very surprising.. especially since this is my first brew of the night.

I have no idea what year this is.. but my guess would be '07... Thankful to BA's like Daniel ... even here in Boise... we get the hookup on some cool Wisconsin stuff occasionally.

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Photo of gford217
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep copper with a minimal off-white head that dissipated quickly to nothing and leaves little lacing. Smell is sweet and dominated by toffee, raisins, and figs. The alcohol burn is evident in the nose as well. The taste is very complex with the aforementioned tofee and dark fruits, but with additional vanilla and caramel sweetness along with a heavy roasted malt flavor as well. The mouthfeel is dry but super malty and alcoholic. The alcohol and malt heaviness take away from the drinkability a bit but this is a very good barleywine.

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Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love a nice barleywine in the spring.

Pours bright orange with a lively cream colored head thats sticks around like an unwanted house guest.

Smell: Brown Sugar, hint of citrus, a dash of alcohol.

Taste: Caramel, earthy, bitter citrus, a little alcohol. Pretty full bodied and filling.

Not sure how old this is, but I don't find the alcohol to be overpowering, I think it melds pretty well.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, garnet-hued body topped by a scant, off-white head.

Smell: Sweetish, toasted caramel, oranges, and juiced plums with a few boozey hints and more than a few hints of wood.

Taste: Toasted caramel maltiness that's sweet, baby, even candyishly so. More of that wood from the aroma. Faint plum fruitiness. Hint of orange liqueur. Medium-high hop bitterness. Warming bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Not quite a medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not as graceful as some of the finer examples of the style, but overall it's not a bad lil' barleywine.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours orange/amber red with a slight 1/8 inch head and below average lacing. Lightly carbonated. Fairly strong bitter malt smell. A very bold malt flavor that is smooth and balanced. This is very good and it hides the 10% ABV extremely well. This is worth buying. Very enjoyable!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.76/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Electric orange with a near equal amount of candy apple red. What a stunning color! A fine yeasty haze and few bubbles can be seen within the body of the barleywine. Something has to be sustaining the pearlescent cap of milkshake creamy foam. What a great look.

The aroma puts the brakes on the proceedings, while easily avoiding a head-on collison. It's nice and fruity, earthier than most, and betrays more than a hint of alcohol. A double digit ABV is notoriously hard to bury without a trace, although some breweries manage to do it.

My first thought was that this big brew could use more time in the cellar. Without a 'bottled on' date, it's impossible to know, but I'm thinking that it's from 2007. While there is a list of months along the side of the label, none of them are notched. Without a year, what good is the month?

The alcohol should continue to fade as Charlie loses his slight starting chill, but it probably won't disappear completely. That's okay, since barleywines need to retain some surliness or they wouldn't be barleywines. The biggest reason that more rest would be good is because the flavors need time to meld more completely.

The flavor profile includes candied orange peel soaked in white rum, cherry pipe tobacco, caramel, and a leafy woodsiness. With less heat, this would be an immensely enjoyable ale. Maybe it's the alcohol talking, but the flavor score just got bumped up.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style. The solvent-like nature of the unmasked alcohol isn't helping. Despite the 'All Quiet on the Carbonation Front' look of things, there are enough fine bubbles to keep the beer energized to the appropriate degree.

Central Waters Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale is anything but a catastrophe (much like Y2K itself). Don't let my impatience to drink it dissuade you from buying it. Just don't make the mistake of drinking it before it's ready.

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Photo of ohmybock
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just picked up a 12oz bottle of this one at Riley's in Madison, WI last week. My bottle had an extra sticker which indicated it was an '07. Riley's also had some '06 which I didn't buy.

It pours a very clear deep amber color with very little head. My first impression was that this barleywine leans more toward the sweet side than the hoppy side, but there is some bitterness in there, and it's not extremely malty like a Thomas Hardy or JW Lees Harvest. Hmmm, maybe this BW is in the middle? I often prefer hoppy BW's, but I thoroughly enjoy an expertly-brewed malty version as well. Whatever the case, hats off to Central Waters with the Y2K! This is a superb brew. The aroma of caramelized tropical fruits is incredible! The taste further supports the aroma. I'm not getting a big hop aroma, flavor, or a strong bitterness. Instead, the wonderful, clean, sweet, fruity, aroma/flavor is king here with just enough bitterness to balance things out. This is certainly a "sipper" that just gets better and better as it warms.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to brdc for this brew.

Poured into a tulip a cool looking golden cherry amber color, very nice carbonation, nice creamy one-finger off-white head, some nice little islands and sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, cherry, plums, figs, and some caramel. The taste is slighlty sweet, malty, very nice tones of cherries/plums/figs, with some nice caramel. Medium body, a complex brew. This one goes down pretty smooth/easy. The alcohol is hidden very well, be careful, lol Very drinkable, another tasty brew from CW. Thanks Daniel.

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Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 595 ratings.
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