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

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
223 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe AleKosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
223
Ratings:
602
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
10.22%
 
 
Wants:
100
Gots:
146
For Trade:
12
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 223 | Ratings: 602
Photo of cervezango
3.89/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from a pint and 6 oz. bottle “catastophe” pours an opaque clay colored beer with a nice margin off white head

strong smelling sweet overripe grapes. alcohol. some breadiness too for the smell.

wow, this beer is intense. caramel apples, and some toffee flavor .very sweet but the alcohol really cuts the sweetness well. kinda has that belgium beer taste

it really reminds me of a Belgian quad.

damn this beer hits hard. I cant find the percentage on the bottle but I've not even finished my fist 12 oz. glass and I can defiantly feel this.

sticky mouth feel with a dry after taste

I did enjoy this , as my first barley wine style ale I've consumed it sparked and interest in me to buy more barely wines.

 716 characters

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is hazy brownish amber in color. It poured a short beige colored head that died down, leaving wispy lacing covering the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts and toffee are present in the nose. Hints of alcohol also become perceptible once the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of toffee and has notes of caramel malts along with slight hints of alcohol. Some vanilla also becomes apparent once the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a little sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer develops nice flavors as it warms up and the alcohol is relatively well masked from the taste.

 739 characters

Photo of 57md
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy reddish copper with golden edges and a finger of off-white head. The nose is rich and bready. This offering is full-bodied and most certainly malt forward in the grand tradition of English Barleywines. The finish is slightly dry and bitter.

At 10%, the alcohol essence is well in check. This is a superb example of the style.

 342 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.3/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe ale pours a hazyish dark amber color with a very small non lacing head. There is a bold oaky earthy sharp aroma. The taste is very sharp, big oaky flavors, and strong earthy notes. Good flavors, flat body, even for a barley wine. Overall its very strong, and earthy, with some big oak notes.

 324 characters

Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.89/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up at Woodman's in Kenosha WI and poured into a Bells Hop Slam tulip glass.

A) Dark brown, shoe leather, no light shines through, one finger head, leaves lots of lacing.

S) Dark fruits, sweet bread, milled malt, no hop smell, cherry skin

T) Figs, plum skin, raisin, dark cherry juice, toasted malts, bread, and faint very faint fusel alcohol at the back of the throat.

M) Thick medium carbonation

O) Perfect example of an American/English BW. Love the BA version and can't wait for more of this!

 510 characters

Photo of Pahn
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into a pint glass.

This beer really admits of a short summary type review, so I'll add that first:

Solid, top notch version of an American barleywine in the style Great Divide Old Ruffian, Lagunitas Gnarlywine, and Stone Old Guardian. Beautiful caramel and almost pineapple-y hops.

Appearance: Pours a tawny semitranslucent brown. 1 inch offwhite head that leaves sweeping streaks of lacing.

Smell: I recognize this kind of beer as soon as I put my nose to the glass: the right hops for a ton of good malt. The hops have a sort of sweet, chewy character to them that blends in completely with the malt, which is multifaceted caramel notes; caramel candies, caramelizing fruit in a pan, etc. Nice deep American barleywine.

Taste: Delivers on the promise of the aroma. Lots of beautiful malt flavor melding with those sweet, perfectly chosen hops. Toasted notes are buoyed by the dry finish. Alcohol heat keeps the flavor going, making this a great sipper like American barleywines are supposed to be.

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied. Low side of moderate carbonation. Dry, hot finish.

Overall: Not really much to say, besides the little blurb with which I started the review. This is an almost perfected American barleywine. Great stuff.

 1,265 characters

Photo of ksimons
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-a light ruby with not much head, just a bit of lace the swirls around the top

S-caramel and toffee, rum soaked raisins, juicy dark fruits, vanilla, and nice alcohol warming

T-taste is very similar to the smell, but not as boozey as the smell suggested. Nice caramel and toffee backbone, vanilla, dark fruits and a piney hop finish

M-medium body, light to medium carbonation

Overall I thought this was going to be way too boozey, but the taste is actually very well balanced with caramel and hops

 501 characters

Photo of dar482
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a dark brown mahogany color with an off white fluffy head.

The aroma has a light sweet caramel and toffee with lots of dried plum and fig. A bit of woody bark from the hops. Not a big aroma.

The flavor follows of a brown sugar sweetness in the front. A hint of dark fruit, then onto an aggressive oxidation. Wet cardboard and leaves. Almost a tannic quality of over brewed tea leaves. Lots of wood qualities on the back.

In the end, I generally have issues with this style, but the medium plus malt backbone helps this beer out. Definitely for those into a bigger more robust Sierra Nevada Bigfoot.

 619 characters

Photo of Fcolle2
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours murky dark brown in color with ha thin tan head that has decent retention

Smell has lots of malt forward. Aromas of toffee walnuts and raisins stick out most from the malt. Malt permeates through the entirety of the beer, more slightly sweet grainy notes near the end.

Taste follows the nose with lots of malt flavors forward. Tons of barley hits the tongue first with some flavors of nuts toffee and a bigger grain husk dryness near the finish. A fair amount of detectable alcohol is on the finish.

Mouthfeel is good. Smooth thick mildly carbonated. Perfect sipping beer.

 581 characters

Photo of morimech
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark crimson color with a dense two finger head that had good retention before eventually settling to a dense, thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left down the glass.

One of the more pure caramel dominate aromas I have smelled outside of a candy parlor. Other elements of alcohol and a slight hint of mint and pine.

Not as sweet as I was fearing. Has some bitter hop traits that balance the brew. A lot of caramel flavor up front with hints of dark fruit. Again I get some mint along with pine and earth. Alcohol comes in and cleanses the palate of the sweetness as well as adding heat and flavor.

Big body with a well paired carbonation the results in a lovely textured body that is smooth and silky.

An excellent example of an American Barleywine. I like it plenty fresh and I am sure with age, the beer will evolve, and maybe improve.

 854 characters

Photo of Benish
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle vintage 2013. Poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: Color was of dark ruby red. A small head built up but quickly dissipated to nothing but a shiny surface. No lacings around the glass.

Smell: picked up sweet malt, oak, and vanilla. As it warmed up, it became a bit medicinal.

Taste: Starts sweet but the bitterness catches up quickly and then finishes bittersweet. Picked up huge notes of cherries. It's almost like cheery cough syrup but not in an offensive way. Also maybe a hint of leather? Like any other barleywines, it has a big dose of malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: a bit syrupy and slick. A medium to full bodied mouthfeel.

Overall: I did not expect the notes of cherries. This is what IMO differentiated from other barleywines. CW sure does pull of a unique barleywine. Glad to try this.

 813 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.61/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
Bottle Vintage 2013

A - Muddy, tarnished brass in color, Kosmyk Charlie has a short-lived ivory foam that settles to a loose layer of bubbles that circle the glass with a halo below wispy fingers of lace.

S - A light hand of earthy hop pedals is sprinkled over gooey caramel cube melted and spun with toffee, filling the vacancy of pretzel rings while soft raisin bread absorbs warming alcohol heat. The result is a heavenly nose deserving of repeated deep whiffs.

T - Far hoppier than the aroma lets on, this barleywine transitions from a malty, English perception to a straight-up American version, hopped a bit heavier. Wood chips and dried pine needles display an earthiness with the slightest hint of sticky pine sap and slap the tongue around before the malt shows up to the party, but boy does it show up. With the same bready, sweet qualities found in the nose, the taste is layered and complex, finishing with lightly phenolic alcohol; a profile that's sure to develop over time.

M - Bitterness is the first perception to grace the tongue but the elevated malt body isn't far behind in this barleywine, bringing a full, smooth body and warming alcohol finish that leaves the tongue very dry.

O - A big beer to say the least, Central Waters' Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale balances a rich and complex English-style barleywine malt profile that explores bread slices and sweet confections with that of a hoppy American barleywine. The result is an absolutely lovely, high-octane brew that will, without a doubt, sustain anyone through the apocalypse. Be sure to stock up.

 1,625 characters

Photo of Beerlover
4.71/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

I love these guys! Now up from one of my top 5 to top 3 favorite breweries of all time!! The appearance on this beer is awesome, half inch creamy khaki head, and a deep brownish crimson color that is very appealing when held up to the light. Smells very sweet and malty, hints of honey and nuttiness. The flavor profile on this beer is INTENSE! perhaps I should have given this one a few months to age and tame a bit, yowser! I get an onslaught of everything I picked up in the aroma the sweet maltiness, the subtle honey-nut flavor and some pretty strong carameliness which I love, this is one RICH beast!! I think I would have given this a perfect 5 in taste had I aged it a bit. I'm definitely going to pick up a few more of these and cellar them. Mouthfeel is a little high in carbonation for my liking in this style, like medium high, not a silky on the tongue as I would like either. One of the better examples I've had of this style. awesome

 948 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, with 2013 vintage date. Another new beer to me from Central Waters, and I'm excited to have it. My expectations are pretty good; I generally enjoy what Central Waters does, and I'm sure this will be no exception.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a thick dark caramel color; dark ruby red with some orange highlights in the glass. Under a finger of frothy tan head. Some nice scattered lacing. Looks very nice.

S - Smell is more laid back than I would expect from a 10.00% abv barleywine. Light yeast must, caramel / red malts, sweetened tea leaves, some herbal / earthiness, and some light huskiness / graininess. Mild rum alcohol presence and dark raisin / fig / date fruitiness. Lightly soapy.

T - Taste resembles the nose - very earthy, malty, and dank. Tea leaves. Red malt. Caramel malt. Sticky toffee. Burnt white sugar. Lightly grainy. Moderate earthy bitterness.

M - Feel is mostly clean, with some mild caramel stickiness, and some earthy resinous hop bitterness on the palate. Medium full body with good carbonation. Very good drinkability for such a big beer.

Overall, a solid barleywine. Conventional and delicious, and it doesn't try to push the envelope. Certainly a solid warming beer for a cold winter's night. Not sure that cellaring this would achieve great results, but it is surely delicious. Recommended.

Central Waters Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale ---4/5.

 1,421 characters

Photo of NeedBeerHere
3.54/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from CW16 release.

Pours out a dark brown in color with a nice finger head that is light brown in color. Smell is dark grains in the forefront, pretty earthy, seems to be a little hops in the background but nothing fruity -- more something to balance the beer out. Taste is definitely some dark grains, burnt sugar, burnt malts, and a little bit of hops in the back to balance things out a little. It tastes really earthy like the nose. I really don't get any booze from this but I seem to need a little more booze it seems to taste it than others. Mouthfeel is medium thick/maybe a little thicker from the amount of carbonation. Overall it's a great barleywhine that is not sweet at all. There is absolutely no sweetness which is different for your typical beer of this style. I like it and would buy it again.

 819 characters

Photo of JerUrbans
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber bottle to regular pint glass.

Nice looking burnt amber color

Smell is malty and boozy.

Great taste, bready, with hints of fruit, and nice alcohol warmth. Slight bitterness, but really smooth drinking.

Silky mouth feel and a little stickiness in my mouth and definitely on my lips.

Overall another excellent beer from Central Waters. This just came out and I will be excited to pick up some more for aging. Have heard good things about this one with some age on it.

 489 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2011 bottle from Adam. thanks! Pours a deep murky amber with small khaki head.aroma of figs, plums, caramel, vanilla, and even a bit of bourbon and booze, though this isn’t the BA version. Flavor is big fruits, mostly figs, some apple, raisins, bready, toffee biscuits. A hint of some booze. Yum. Creamy and heavy body, but with plenty of carbonation keeping this drinkable. Very nice beer, and only my 2nd from CW. I can definitely see this turning out beautifully in a bourbon barrel.

 488 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.76/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a chalice at Local Option.

Well, if I ever miss the bottle release of certain harder-to-find CW offerings, I need to remember my boys at Local Option... Anyway, this stuff pours a slightly murky garnet topped by a half-finger of wan khaki foam. The nose comprises sye bread, sweet caramel, light toffee, mild rum, light fig, light raisin, light candied orange peel, and a strong boozy backdrop. The taste brings in more of the same, with the bread coming through a bit stronger, the candied fruit as well, and the booze hanging around long enough to have its presence felt with every sip. Luckily, it's somehow not overpowering. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly drying finish. Overall, a solid, strong b-wine, something I could easily see being used as a body warmer in the dead of winter.

 844 characters

Photo of Strix
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage - drinking quite nice right now.

Pours a cloudy orange-brown, decent initial head, leaves a long-lasting ring of lace, some sediment in the bottom of the glass.

Quite malty and bready in the noise, hints of raisin and vanilla.

Nice complexity. Bread, alcohol, raisin, oak, vanilla. Lingering dark chocolate hoppy note.

Silky mouthfeel.

This was stellar, and hits all the things I like in an American barleywine. Central Waters continues to impress me, particularly with their bigger and darker beers. Seek this out.

 533 characters

Photo of joe1510
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle
$3.49
Steve's Liquor, Madison

Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K pours with a ton of tiny sediment that in this case (and this case only in my expierence) add to the looks of this brew. The sediment is perfectly suspended throughout the ruby elixer and the light seems to bounce off every tiny little particle creating a snow-globe like effect. Very cool. A one finger ecru head forms on the pour that fades to a half finger but surprisingly stays put for the entirety. Leaves drink lines with each sip. This is a great looking barleywine.

The aroma has a solid amount of fruit present. Among layer after layer of malt goodness. Mild rum soaked raisins linger in the background along with prunes and a hint of dates occasionally. The malts steal the show. Caramel and toffee dominate. There's a slight peat like smokiness that only shows itself every now and then. Vanilla. cream, and a ghostly oakiness waft through the air as well. Spicy alcohol toward the backend.

This is a malt bomb of a beer with the needed alcohol backing. Caramel kicks things off and there's a surprising spicy hop kick quickly following. The hops actually linger throughout the drink and into the swallow leaving a nice moderate bitterness. I'm surprised the hops are as prominant as they are with none being detected in the nose. Heavy caramel leads througout with waves of toffee, vanilla, mild oak, and spicy alcohol on the swallow. Excellent!

First few sips gave me the impression of a syrupy sticky mouthfeel. As I drink on the mouthfeel becomes much more lush and velvety. The stickiness is there on the swallow but the body is extremely luxurious on the tongue.

This is a sipping brew with the big alcohol and complexities but it seems to open more the longer you sip. I'd be content sipping the night away with this one.

Another impressive beer from Central Waters. Excellent barleywine with layer upon layer of flavor. Continues to open more and more as it warms.

Reviewed: 9/29/07

 1,972 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage.

A - Deep amber with a thin layer of taupe coloured head.

S - Rich toffee, raisins, dark caramel and figs.

T - Rich toffee, caramel, raisins, figs and a hint of chocolate. A big hop profile cuts through the sweetness but doesn't add much aside from a touch of pine. Warming alcohol presence throughout.

M - Full body. Viscous. Light carbonation.

 364 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Central Waters Brewing Company, Inc. Brewers Reserve Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale Barley-wine Style Ale. Amherst, WI.

Y2K? Wasn't that 13 years ago? What's going on here? I thought I'd had this before, but there's no evidence of it. I must've had it when I wasn't taking notes. Or maybe I'm out of my damned mind. A resurrection of an old ale beyond it's enjoy by date? Okay.
Let's get to this bottle already…

Look of it: Deep crimson coloring, large, lush creamy-toned head, lovely stuff.

Smell of it: ridiculously rich, deep, dark and crazily delicious. Dark fruit, cherry, berry, brandy, leather, luscious and massively malty,

Tasting it: Luxurious. Expansive. Full to bursting. Malt to the max, hops a plenty. It's all going on. It's giving me all the things I want in a barley-wine. Should I age this? Isn't it already 13 years old? The bottled on says: nothing? There seems to be some marks somewhere around November, but it's not clear. (There are similar random markings around June, July, and August.) It's like there are some random scratchings in the direction of that particular square. And I don't remember when I bought it, it's been sitting around waiting for me to take these notes for months.

Let's see what the label tell us: "Originally designed for the Y2K survival kit, this beer has proven to be a staple for anyone's emergency plan. Kosmyk Charlie's is a delightful treat, aged for a year in our cellars to create brew smooth enough to overcome any disaster. So when homeland security raises the alert level, open a Kosmyk Charlie's and raise your glass."

Interesting. The Y2K threat is long gone, but one thing has appeared since then that we didn't have in 2000, or 1999, and that''s Homeland Security and alert levels. That's it, let's celebrate the latest tragedy.

All in all, a toasty, malty, high alcohol (none given on the label, I'm only guessing). treat, to be sure. Fits all the marks of a true barleywine.

 1,959 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to michigan for extraing me this long tinge want. Enjoyed from my central waters snifter. Beer pours a fairly muddy brown with a generous off white head. Beer stinks of toffee and caramel and bready malts. Still a nice hop presence too. Not bad for a 2012. Taste is great. Aggressively faded hops give a real nice buttery caramel toffee with a hint of grape. Easy drinker. Really exceeded my expectations. Great barley wine worth checking out.

 454 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Special thanks to Ri0 for this bottle.

A - Pours a hazy toffee raisin brown color with light lacing.

S - Toffee, roasted caramel malt, pine, raisins, light maple, candi sugar, and light alcohol notes.

T - Follows the nose starting with roasted caramel, toffee, and alcohol, in the middle is light candi sugar, some maple, toasted brown sugar, and ends with a lingering bittersweet resiny pine finish.

M - Medium bod with light carbonation, sticky.

O - A solid barleywine.

 476 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out as a nice amber color with a decent white head on top. The smell of the beer is malty with a hoppy aroma. The taste is also loaded with toasted caramel malt and hops. It's piney with a sweetness in the background. The mouthfeel is smooth, nicely carbonated and slick. Overall this beer is pretty damn good. Very enjoyable.

 333 characters

Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 602 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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

    Subscribe