Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
219 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 219 | Ratings: 593
Photo of tut2528
4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep maple brown, with solid full cream white head formation that has a nice lacing. big alcohol legs are seen as you tip the glass from one side to the other,

S: big bourbon, some oak, sweet toffee, mild hints of brown sugar. there is also a big grassy (slightly peat) aspect to this that throws off the sweetness of this brew. i do pick up on a creaminess towards the finish of this brew.

T: big caramel, slight roasted malts, s.slight oak, big creamy vanilla finish and a slight hoppy/peat aspect after taste. the alcohol is dectable, and fits extremeley well with this brew.

M: full bodied brew, that has moderate carbonation. it leaves a nice caramel and vanilla touch on tha palate with a slight dryness from some grassy dhops and a decent alcohol burn. all of this is nicely blended with one another and it integrates nicely with this brew.

O: this is my first offering by CW. and i must say that this is quite nice. i honestly wish the grassy notes were dialed back a bit, because it really starts to come out as the beer approaches room temp (further creating and imbalance). As far as $4$ goes, I think this shoud sit around $15-18 a 4 pk. (i got it for $20). So in my honest opinion, its above its calling card.

 1,239 characters

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

Central Waters Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale 2012 vintage. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a CBS snifter. This was served lightly chilled.

A) This is a nice looking bronze barley wine. There wasn't much head generated on the pour, maybe a half a finger of slightly off-white head, which quickly dissipated to just a thin dusting. Some alcohol legs noted.

S) Sweet sweet malty goodness. A nice aroma of caramel and some light brown sugar. This is intertwined very nicely with some grapefruit, making this a very savory barley wine. Very little alcohol detected on the nose, but it was there... Definitely let this warm-up for maximum enjoyment.

T) The taste on this barley wine really follows the nose very well, so I guess see my comments above. Finishes with just the slightest tingle from the alcohol and really has a wonderful aftertaste.

M) This has a full body and is mildly carbonated. Really the mouthfeel is remarkably smooth. I would say nearly silky. A very light tingle is left on the palate.

O) Really a fantastic barley wine. I found it to be well-balanced and highly enjoyable. I can't recommend this one enough.

Paired with Super Mario Bros Wii-U

 1,177 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.26/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle. Big thank you to the great trader, Steasy66!!

Appearance. Pours a deep caramel-amber with just a little haze and half a finger of off-white head.

Smell. Sweet caramel with a little cherry and light fruits and a slight earthy hop smell.

Taste. Slightly burnt caramel, nice bitter earthy hops, very woody and tannic with just a light sweetness and a hint of that cherry and light fruit that I noticed in the smell.

Mouthfeel. On the slightly lower side of full bodied with medium, velvety smooth carbonation.

Overall. An awesome barleywine. Quite dry with great bitterness, but not overwhealming in the hop flavours. Thanks again Steasy66!!

 660 characters

Photo of cquinn17
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into a square one tulip.

A- Pours a really pretty opaque lighter brown, mahogany color. 1 finger off white head with good lacing.

S- Just dank hops with a little cherry and sweet breads malts. A little caramel in their as well. Pretty complex aroma.

T- Really interesting. Some vegetal hops with a little citrus in their. Followed by sweeter caramel malts. Also tastes like its been aged, which it has been.

M- Good amount of carbonation with a smooth, creamy finish.

O- I'm not very well versed in the barleywine style, but i really enjoyed this beer. It was a really well balanced offering of some dank vegetal hops and sweet malts. Central waters is a great brewery and I will continue to seek out there beers.

 736 characters

Photo of herman77
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle

A: Murky dark amber/brown with a creamy khaki head. Decent retention and amazing lacing that coats everything.

S: Sweet carmel malt with some pine and citrus hops. A fairly light nose.

T: Rich carmel malt with lots of breadiness and depth. Some citrus and pine hop bitterness to counter all the rich camel and bready malts.

M: Fuller body. Fairly thick and really smooth and creamy.

O: A great tasting and feeling barlewine. ABV is somewhat hidden. I love the BA version of this and it was nice to try the base beer.

 533 characters

Photo of BrownAleMale
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Kasteel goblet glass

Appearance- Mahogony in color with a finer of froathy off white head that dissipates to a small layer on the surface. It leaves multi level lacing down the whole glass.

Smell- I get fresh cut grass, citrus hop and a very sweet dark fruit scent.

Taste- Super sweet brown sugar at the tip of the tounge followed by a smoky lemon grass hop and some booze.

Mouthfeel- Super thick and chunky witch is enjoyable but eventually gets hard to drink. It needed just a smidge of carbonation to have a perfect mouthfeel.

Overall- Barley wines are far from my style, but this is my favorite to date. It has a nice sweetnes but the booze, smoke and hop finish is somewhat off putting for me. I know if you are a barley wine fan you will definitly enjoy.

 792 characters

Photo of yamar68
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd like to thank myself for being so awesome and buying some of this beer. Thanks man!

Really a pretty looking barleywine... murky burnt amber with hues of reds and pink, a frothy pale khaki head retains very well, creating loads of lace.

Sort of reminds me of Bigfoot... big thick caramel malts with an appropriate level of citric hops to keep things interesting. Nice.

Much more malt centric on the palate... sweet dessert flavors, some overripe fruit, caramel malt, a boozy sting on the tail end. Good stuff, I'd still love to track down the barrel aged version.

 569 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

an opaque orange/brown.. looks like autumn. finger of head which turned into a slight bubbly ring. smells of sweet malt, vanilla, raisins... a lot like the barrel aged version, i still get a presence of bourbon.
a honey-like sweetness up front followed up immediately by the taste of pure barley.. holy crap, i've never tasted a barley wine so "barley-ish", mild bitterness of roasted flavor in the finish. a very earthy, delicious drink.
full body and moderate carbonation... a nice sipping beer. heavy warmth from the abv.

overall a damn good barleywine, but not as good as the barrel aged version.

 601 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, 2011 vintage
Tired Hands wine glass

A: Pours a cloudy amber color. Very murky. Basically a thin layer of bubbly off white head. Minimal carbonation. Some lacing bits and alcohol feet.

S: Smells of sweet malts. Caramel. Toffee. Sticky raisin notes, as well as other dark fruits (figs and slight dates).

T: Still some piney hop bitterness in the tip of the tongue. Starts the sip. Then it's dark fruit, toffee, caramel, mild vanilla, etc. It's a really nice drinking barleywine. The BA version would be much better, if that is what their barleywine is then I understand as it was delicious.

M: Full bodied. Chewy as hell.

 629 characters

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

12oz bottle (2011) shared by Oscar. Thanks!

A: Pours an amber-brown body with a small white head.

S: Old hops, mint, caramel, burnt sugar.

T: Brown sugar, multigrain bread, cidery old hops, slight bitterness, caramel, biscuits.

M: Thick-bodied with medium carbonation.

O: A pretty good American barleywine, even with some age on it.

 337 characters

Photo of Florida9
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Written from notes taken a few weeks ago

A: murky shade of medim pastel brown in color. Loads of sediment floating around. Forms a very thin off white head, not much more than a surface coating. Almost no lacing.

S: sweet and inviting. Toffee, brown sugar, stone fruits, sweet caramel all rounded out with a good dose of alcohol.

T: mild sweetness. Burnt Brown sugar, toffee, treacle, and caramel on the front end. Woodsy, earthy , and astringent on the back end. Long, woodsy finish. Slight oxidation.

M: on the heavier side of medium. Dry, with a bitter astringency. Lower carbonation.

O: A decent BW. A bit heavy on the astringency and the burnt flavor is somewhat distracting. But overall, fairly drinkable, with a good range of flavors.

 843 characters

Photo of suspect
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Central Waters Snifter. Thanks to beerwolf77 for the hookup.

A: Pours a deep reddish-brown color. Aggressive pour leads to a 1 finger creamy light brown head. Lacing is pretty consistant and plentiful.

S: Big notes of dark fruits from raisins, to dates, to plums and figs. The alcohol makes it's appearance here as well...makes a big appearance. Hoo boy this one smells hot...almost too hot.

T: Fruits listed above are also prevalent in the taste but also making a big push through are tons of caramel and crystal malts. Very sweet but balanced nicely by what I believe to be hops and alcohol.

M: Big creamy finish. Perfectly carbonated.

O: Almost used big for a third time to lead off a description. This is a big, smooth, easy drinkin' barleywine. I'm generally not a huge barleywine fan but this one is most excellent.

 859 characters

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

This was a big beer. Very roasty for a barleywine. Toffee, caramel, alcohol, almost a very burnt popcorn taste (in a good way). Overall, I really enjoyed this beer and would love to try the BA version. It is definitely a sipper, though, and it would be dificult to drink more than one in a sitting.

 298 characters

Photo of zac16125
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Written from notes taken a few weeks ago

Thanks to haveanother1 for sending over this tasty extra.

A: Pours a hazy dark amber/brown with the slightest light tan head, which dissipates almost instantly. Leaves some slight spotty lacing.

S: Huge aromas of toffee, caramel, and dark fruits including over ripe plum, fig and dates, candied pecans. Sweet and delicious. Reminds me of why I love barleywines.

T: Brown sugar, burnt toast, raisins, more hop bitterness than most in the style. Taste really reminiscent of burnt raisin bread. Too much bitterness for my liking, and doesn't live up to the nose.

M/D: Slightly over carbonated, on the fuller side of medium bodied. Drinkability is rather low, even for the style, due mostly to the bitterness and burnt flavors.

O: Tasty and certainly worth a try. I'm glad I had the chance to try this one,

 851 characters

Photo of jjanega08
4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Notch next to the DEC and bottle dated 2011

A= Pours a very very hazy amber color that looks like a deep brown in the glass. A small finger of head comes up and falls to a thin skin on top of the glass with a decent amount of lacing.

S= Smells like a barleywine. Strong caramel malts and toffee in it. A good sweetness to it that comes through. Not much in the name of hops sort of an english barleywine aroma. The deeper I dig the more it smells like a bag of sunflower seeds...

T= The taste is most excellent. It almost tastes like there is a bit of wood despite there being no wood. A nice caramel malt character and a little bitterness from hops despite there being no hop flavor. It's hard to tag this one just right but it's good.

M= Perfection in a barleywine. The carbonation allows the flavors to linger yet is able to lift any food away.

O= This is actually a really good beer. I loved the barrel aged version and this is just as good. The stouts were a bit of a disspointment but this is great. Great job CW keep it up.

 1,036 characters

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

12oz bottle into a snifter - 2011 Vintage

A: Pours a very hazy reddish brown with a nice tan head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose starts with a lot of sweet caramel and barley then it switches to bready malt an earthy aroma I can't quite place.

T: The taste is similar to the nose but there is a decent amount of bitterness on the finish from some hops that weren't noticeable in the nose. There's also sweet caramel, toffee, and malted barley.

M: The feel is right in the middle of medium with a decent creaminess.

O: While I expected a bit sweeter beer due to the reviews before me I think this is a good representation of an American Barleywine. Central Waters does not dissapoint once again...definitely one of my favorite breweries.

 781 characters

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

2011 Poured into Duvel glass

A: Thin off-white head, clear deep amber color, okay carbonation, little bit of lacing

S: Sweet dark fruits, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla

T: Rich dark fruits, sweet caramel, a touch of bitterness and alcohol

M: Smooth and slightly chewy, but maybe a touch too thin, medium-bodied, warming, could use a bit more carbonation

O: Good American Barleywine, I think I preferred this one slightly more on the fresh end

 450 characters

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

2011 vintage from bottle

A: poured into a Duvel tulip, it appears heavy, luscious, rich coppery amber. A nice creamy tan head measures about two fingers and sticks around for quite a while.

S: Estery alcohol, mild dried fruit, sweet caramel malt, brown sugar, vanilla. No hops, smells sweet and rich.

T: Starts of with sweet caramel and toffee, followed by substantial alcohol. More sweet malt and a bit of earthy dry hops after the alcohol burn subsides.

M: A nice and creamy, heavy Barleywine without being overly syrupy or viscous. Significant alcohol presence lingers, with a sticky and slightly bitter finish.

O: A very tasty Barleywine, but definitely one that could use some time to mellow. My only concern would be that out could get a little too one sided with the sweet malts. Would drink again, but the BA version is way better.

 844 characters

Photo of mobius387
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a snifter, 2011

appearance: dark amber, thin white head, fairly opaque

aroma: not much, but not bad what it is. some mustiness, but also soft caramel notes, maybe a touch of oak

palate: medium bodied, medium carbonation, stronger alcohol presence

taste: HUGE caramel notes, some oak to it as well with some vanilla, slightly smokey too, great robust flavors

overall: another awesome brew by CW. a little bit stronger in the spectrum of barley wines, but the huge caramel flavors make it unique enough to stand out. looking forward to see how it ages

 566 characters

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

Big thanks goes out to levifunk for this 12oz bottle from one of our trades. 08 vintage into a Deschutes Snifter.

A: Pours a nice deep red in color with a cream colored head that bubbles up to about half an inch and fades into a small, loose collection of bubbles in the center of the glass with a ring of slightly taller bubbles towards the outside.

S: Molasses and toffee with some notes of plums and raisins. Smells like a massive malt bomb. A touch of sherry/oxidation but I wouldn't expect any less from a 4 year old beer, it works quite well with the style. Very enjoyable.

T: Impressive, tons of caramel and toffee with a slight amount of roasted barley in there to mix things up. Surprisingly bitter on the finish, which helps to break things up. This is a massive beer, tons of sweetness, and a huge bitter back end to even things out. Very enjoyable barleywine.

M: Fairly thick with velvety carbonation. Finish is slightly warm, but feels just right. Nicely sticky on the lips.

O: One of the better aged barleywines that I've had. Lots of complexity and depth. Hard to find much wrong with it.

 1,113 characters

Photo of Steasy66
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Garnet with light head, great retention
S Very malty, a bit fruity
T Sweet, raisin, boozy, delicious
M Thick, a bit low on carbonation for my taste
O This is a great beer, thoroughly enjoyed it, but considering the barrel aged version is not hard to come by and the cost is the same, I would go with barrel aged every time.

 325 characters

Photo of gregy55902
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love my barleywines. Poured bottle to standard pint glass (bottled december 2011).

A - Deep dark amber color. Head is wacky and fizzles like soda.. Hmm. The head quickly dissipates into nothing.

S - Robust caramel notes, with tons of malt and barley. Barrel-aged notes throughout - I'm glad they aged it so I don't have to!

T - Complex malt profile. Toast, butterscotch, toffee, kilned malt and roasted barley.

M - Smooth and buttery. Barrel aging did wonders for this beer. On the lesser side of carbonation, but its flavor profile is still rich and robust. Alcohol is nearly completely hidden.

O - I will be revisiting this one. Very good.

 650 characters

Photo of xnicknj
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into snifter

Pours an opaque caramel brown color with some lighter cherry hues shining through in the light. A thick, two-finger high head retains really well, leaving some patchy lacing on the glass while drinking.

Plenty of smooth roasty malts in the nose with some hints of dark fruit. Raisin and date with a nice dash of spice and faded hops. A bite of sweetness and alcohol as well.

Slight hoppiness up front before the roasty malts roar through. Caramel and bread crust with some hints of burnt sugar. Raisins with some sweetness mixed with alcohol warmth. Very roasty and full on the tongue, finishing a little bitter and warm.

Fuller body, somewhat milder carbonation, creamy and lingering on the tongue. A nice barleywine with a definite sense of age to it...not quite great though.

 817 characters

Photo of beagle75
2.79/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a half-pint chalice.

A: Murky, medium amber color with no foam head. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Mild toasty malt is featured, but stops short of the heavyweight level expected in the style. Caramel emerges as the beer warms, but clean otherwise. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with slightly scorched caramel and strong carbonic acidity. Early astringency seems tied to herbaceous flavors, but then transitions into pure strong bitterness. Husky caramel malt seems roundly infused with English-style yeast metabolites during the second act, but they do not stick around long. A strong note of pure ethyl alcohol develops into the latter half.

M: Medium viscosity, syrupy and very acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Recognizable as a barleywine, though not particularly memorable or even appealing, this beer fails to advance beyond mediocrity. Bitterness is the single least appealing quality, bracing in its intensity yet uninteresting in its lack of associated qualities. This beer does not deliver the decadent experience that a barleywine ought to.

 1,128 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy copper, brown with a slight soapy head.

Aroma is caramel, toffee, hints of orange, and a slight medicinal quality.

Taste is caramel and burnt toffee up front. Then a mild orange peel bitterness makes an appearance. Finishes with an earthy, nutty quality and lingering alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is medium full. Quite chewy.

Overall a decent barleywine. Not fantastic, but good.

 392 characters

Kosmyk Charlie's Y2K Catastrophe Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 593 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!