Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout (1-Year Aged) | Central Waters Brewing Co.

55 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout (1-Year Aged)Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout (1-Year Aged)

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-09-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of TheDTrain
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Who needs to spend $50 on a bottle of Bourbon County Stout rare...give the D Train a Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout! After being disappointed by cherry version, Andy from BeerFM recommended this one. From the thick midnight black pour to the punch you in the effen face bourbon blended with strong malts, coco, vanilla, and molasses, this brew is epic. The price tag makes it even better. One of the best stouts out there. Choo Choo!

 438 characters

Photo of wolfinthemirror
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown, a little bit of light can be seen through it around the edges when held to the light. a very small head that goes away easily.

I get scents of peppermint in the smell, and a boozy characteristic with a hint of vanilla.

Very sweet, malty flavors, I can taste some alcohol and a little bit of coffee.

mouthfeel is medium, feels a little thin but definitely has some body to it. lower carbonation.

It's a pretty tasty brew, but the fact that it's retired now means you probably won't be drinking a lot of it. Also, i imagine the alcohol percentage is on the higher side. A pretty tasty stout.

 616 characters

Photo of xpimptastikx
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 Bottle received in the WW3 BIF

A - Pours a slightly thin black with dark brown highlights. Small head rises, leaves no lacing.

S - Vanilla, alcohol, oak, chocolate.

T - Bailey's irish cream chocolate shake. Oak backs it up, with a tinge of alcohol and little to no vanilla left.

M/D - A medium body with decent carbonation makes this glide over your tongue and leaves you going back for another taste.

I will seeking this out in the future.

 450 characters

Photo of beertooth
3.62/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been burning through my cellar like crazy lately and decided to pop one of these open for the hell of it.

This beer pours an almost opaque dark brown. There's a fat, bubble two fingers of head that fades into a thin collar of khaki bubbles in no time flat.

The nose has a ton of dusty oak, oaky tannins, and old bourbon in it. I'm also getting some vanilla as well as baker's chocolate. There's also a weird metallic element that I can't put my finger on.

The taste is more pleasing than the smell. Vanilla, oak, roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, dark cherries. It still has that odd metallic note, but it isn't as strong as it is in the nose. There's also some oxidization going on.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a low level of carbonation. It really could've used some more body.

Not a bad beer, but I think this one is past it's prime.

 851 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to grub for this sample, followed the Cherry RIS with this one. Reviewed 4/20/07.

Pours opaque black/brown, thick tannish head, settles to a thin ring, lace spots. Smell is sweet, vanilla/bourbon, oak, chocolate, toffee, nice roast, nice aroma. Taste is similar, sweet and malty, nice vanilla bourbon flavour through the middle, lots of vanilla and chocolate roast in the finish, very nice finish on this one. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Nice beer indeed, enjoyed much more than the cherry version. Thanks Russ!

 548 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to eyncognito for an in-person trade before the Great Taste of the Midwest. Never thought I'd have one of these since it's been retired a while, so very happy to snag two bottles. Salut!

It's black. Some head even after lying dormant for all this time. The smell is...good. Vanilla, barrel, dark fruits. Something indefinite too, that might be barrel funk, or something beginning to change in the bottle. Very good, & unique. Another point for that.

And the taste of this monster comes hard home through the same alleyways. The vanilla is ascendant, & not in a vanilla-additive kind of way. The bourbon is second-fiddle, toned down, I presume, by age. Smushed up cherries & raspberries are in the mix too, giving it that unique tint I noted in the nose. The malts of course make up the base, offering all this up on a sweet pillow.

It's smooth & silky after whatever aging it's gone through. This has to be high ABV - it feels like it's eating its way through my internal organs (in a good way). 6 oz. is enough for the moment, although if someone handed me another bottle I think I could choke it down.

My wife would like me to note that "she loves this shit" & would give it an A+.

Excellent beer. Another in a line of impressive brews from Central Waters.

 1,273 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A--Pours near black that reveals red highlights when held up to the light. Head was about one finger tall using a standard pour into a pint glass, and it settles down to a persistent covering that doesn't leave much lacing

S--Bourbon, vanilla, and oak are all huge on the nose. Smells a little too boozy for me though, I guess I'll find out...

T--I thought this one was going to be a little too hot based on the nose but luckily the bourbon was toned down a little bit on the tongue. I would probably let this one sit for another year before I had it again just to calm it down even more. Either way, its fantastic. Caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon, malts...all very well balanced.

M--Wonderfully creamy but not too thick. Glides down your throat on a soft blanket of carbonation. Perfect.

D--6 oz. is more than enough for me, I would definitely share this next time.

 870 characters

Photo of madtowndmb1
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a deep brown, if not black with a very small tan swirl at the end of the pour.

S: Sweet malt with vanilla, caramel, and a very nice bourbon burn scent.

T: A great beer! It's a 5 for me for sure. It has all you'd want in a stout of this style! The creaminess is fantastic! It also has hints of chocolate, caramel, vanilla and the bourbon burn is there but a very appropriate level.

M: Smooth creamy tongue coating!

D: These could catch up to you, but worth it for a cold winter day!

 494 characters

Photo of brdc
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks nflmvp for this one. Small capped bottle, aged many (?) years.

Poured into a snifter, it shows very little carbonation/little to no head atop the nearly pitch black brew - some rare highlight can be seen. Minimal lacing.
Aroma is bourbon, but not hot or heavily alcoholic, just the pleasant bourbon notes. Oakiness, vanilla in abundance, chocolate, minimal coffee.
The absolute lack of carbonation on this one, certainly not the brewers faults limits the enjoyment, but it still shows nice notes of vanilla, oakiness, bourbon, chocolate, alternating a vanilla sweetness with a bourbon bite. Some oxydation is starting to be noticeable.
A note of caution: if you still have this one (the original, with the sticker), time to put it down. It is well past its peak.

 772 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Thirstybird for sharing this rare treat from his trip to WI. Served in my DT tulip. Poured black with zero light penetration with a quarter inch dense, coffee-colored head that dissipates into a swirl that coalesced in the middle and around the edges. Head was refreshed with each swirl - some lacing, but no legs. Intense nose consisted of bourbon, vanilla and butter. Taste entirely consistent with nose with a mild hops bittering detectable at the finish. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied and lightly carbonated. This brew is a great sipper and 6 Oz. serving was extremely decadent and satisfying. Definitely plan on seeking more out from this brewery.

 660 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An amazing beer. I've had numerous CW beers and been to the BP but this takes it all!

A: good, jet black color
S: phenomenal, treacle, burnt caramel, vanilla, amazing
T: the alcohol is there but the same nose sensations are in the taste, WOW
M: chewy, chocolaty, very nice
D: best all-around beer I've had in quite some time

 325 characters

Photo of pwoods
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Tayner for added this in the already stellar box she sent in the Roll out of the Barrel II BIF.

12oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter at just below cellar temp.

A: Pours a very deep bourbon-y brown, opaque. Very large light toffee head forms and is held up very well by Belgian-esque carbonation. Great lacing throughout.

S: Rich bourbon melds great with a robust and alcoholic heavy stout roasted and burnt malt bill. The bourbon is very potent but not raw or obnoxious, it compliments and helps intensify the entire aroma. The roasted malts are great. A bit acrid, a bit dry, and deeply, darkly sweet. Good dose of molasses. Some boozy fruit tries to creep up with some cooked black cherries and black currants. There's so much going on that I feel like I can't register it all and that I'll end up missing something.

T/M: The bourbon takes more of a forefront in the taste. A little more raw though not as strong as a burn as I would expect with as raw as it gets. Likewise, the malts are nearly as robust as the nose suggests. The malts deal out more of the acrid chalkiness and maybe even a bit of sourness from the charred oak. The cherries don't take on the cooked taste and remain fresh and juicy and even have some tart or sour character to them. The body is actually thinned out some from the bourbon and is really a disappointment. The great carbonation that kept the head up fails to bring any real texture. It actually finishes a bit on the wet side.

D: This is definitely a slow sipper as I'd guess the ABV is easily above 10% though the heat and sting is really well hidden in the drink. After a great appearance and perfect nose, the taste and definitely the mouthfeel let me down some. However, it was still very tasty and would definitely recommend it to anyone that likes bourbon or barrel aged brews. Thanks a ton, Dana!

 1,862 characters

Photo of kickapoodude
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This amazing and smooth stout is aged in a burbon barrel for a year. It is amazingly smooth, warming you up instantly. The tastes of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and burbon roll over your tongue. This stuff is under great demand in Wisconsin, so grab it if you see it.

 267 characters

Photo of CaptainIPA
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

P: On-tap @ Central Waters' Tap Room on 5-25-08. Presented in an 8 oz. glass snifter.

A: Pours an opaque, inky black with a thin rimming of khaki-colored head.

S: Aromas of bourbon, oak, oatmeal, maple and licorice.

T: Bourbon and vanilla upfront with a strong, black licorice finish. Roasted malt overtones. Subtle notes of toffee and chocolate. Warms very gradually.

M: Beyond full-bodied: thick and sticky.

D: One and you're done. Pull up a barrel and commence a sippin'.

 480 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Inky black appearance. Thin brown head. The lace that is left behind struggles to maintain itself. Appropriate given the strength of this. This smells perfect. Like chocolate mousse aged in a bourbon barrel. The pefect blend of chocolate and bourbon and vanilla and nougat. The flavor is damn near perfect as well. Somewhere between exceptional and perfect, so still a 5 in my mind. All those great things I spoke of on the nose (chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, nougat) with an added sense of char, some caramel and some spicy alcohol. This is like a milkshake...Big Daddy style. Another marvel from the likes of Central Waters.

Gotta give some props to nflmvp for throwing me this Super Bowl Winning Touchdown!!

 710 characters

Photo of akorsak
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle from a trade with nflmvp.

A: The bottle opened with dead calm. Even a somewhat vigorous pour was unable to shake up any signs of carbonation. As I look at the glass, a pool of bubbles in the center is the only sign that CO2 once inhabited the bottle. The stout is a dark coffee brown, nearly black.

S: The year of aging in the barrel has done wonders for the beer. The bourbon aromas remain strong, with vanilla and corn sweetness. The stout has softened up, taking on a chocolatey aroma that really mixes nicely with the bourbon.

T: The lack of carbonation has a negative impact on the body, removing the scrubbing, cleansing quality that the beer needs. The result is a fairly static taste. The good news is that that static taste is a heavenly blend of stout and bourbon. The bourbon flavor continues to impart a vanilla flavor but the alcoholic, boozy element has really faded away. That allows more of the stout to shine through, adding chocolate and coffee flavors to the mix. Black cherries and dark alefruits round out the flavors. The more I sip the beer, the more I don't miss the nonexistent carbonation.

M: Except for the carbonation issue, this beer is near perfect. I really hope that the one in my basement has held on a little better.

D: The abv is unknown but the beer is pretty heady. The booze is hidden but it can jump at you quickly. Even in its uncarbonated state, it is superior to most all bourbon barrel offerings in the market.

 1,473 characters

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to nflmvp for this one.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Would have liked to have this in a snifter but I only brought my travel pinty with me. Very dark with some black cherry highlights. Tan head. A little bit of the yeast and sediment in the bottom of the bottle came out and landed on top of the foamy head and looks like a cinnamon topping on a cup of hot chocolate.

The aroma was a bit disappointing. I was hoping for that in your face bourbon barrel aroma but I did not get that. Slight metallic aromas. Bourbon and vanilla. Sweet toffee butterscotch.

Great broubon flavor. Plenty of vanilla and chocolate as well. Kind of a sweet, caramel, milk chocolate flavor. Almost like a Milk Dud or Caramello candy bar. Those are my favorite, by the way.

Medium to full bodied with a sweet, sticky finish. Slightly dry as well, if that is possible. As far as bourbon barrel aged beers go, this was an easy sipper. Warming to the cheeks and ears.

I was a newbie to the bourbon stuff about three months ago but every bottle grows on me and I am beginning to really dig these beers. Thanks again nflmvp.

 1,130 characters

Photo of ncvbc
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A mixed bag, for sure. Pours virtually black with little to no light coming through. Very thin tan head that is gone quickly, leaving a ring around the glass and no lacing. Smell is very big and bold. Reminds me of Bourbon County in some ways. Huge aromas including bourbon (of course), vanilla, molasses, coffee, chocolate, and a light caramel/toffee. Taste couldn't quite live up to this but still pretty good. Strong bourbon flavor comes through but it's complimented well. Definitely molasses with the vanilla less up front. Light coffee and chocolate presence. Small amount of heat but well done. Mouthfeel is a tad thin, lacking carbonation but still pushes full. Almost wine like. A great night cap after a long beer drinking session. It was a favorite of my buddy's for the night, more middle of the pack for me.

BIG thanks to MuenchenerKindl for the bottle!

 867 characters

Photo of grub
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this one as a bonus in a trade with nflmvp. thanks steve!

12oz bottle. sampled may 20/07.

pours deep brown, nearly black, with a big dense tan head. the head drops fairly fast but leaves a sheet of lace behind.

aroma is great. lots of vanilla and bourbon. bit of roast. dark chocolate. espresso. bit of caramel.

taste is great. lots of vanilla. bourbon. light roast. dark chocolate. low bitterness. big biscuit malt. bit of licorice. caramel and toffee. bit of cherry and date.

mouthfeel is good. med-low carbonation. nice big body.

drinkability is great. hides its alcohol quite well. very well balanced and enjoyable. thanks steve!

 643 characters

Photo of Overlord
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Grynder33 for the generosity.

This is my first experience with this brewery. Some big, bold bourbon flavors here. I have to disagree with the reviewers who claim they blend well or are attenuated with other tastes; this is a bourbon tasting beer, period. Not that there is anything wrong with that, mind you.

Pours a solid stout looking black. No real head, just some minimal bubbling and a dark tan crust. Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin.

Smells like bourbon. The taste is (wait for it) ... mostly bourbon. There's some coffee and chocolate notes ... maybe a hint of molasses/roasted sweetness. But not much.

A good beer, but a sipper for when you're in the mood. Just a bit too one-note and boozy for me.

 721 characters

Photo of DavidEddie
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from a trade awhile back with EliteDigger. Thanks Scott!

Black in appearance. Tan head falls quick to some small lacing. Strong roasted chocolate malts, molasses, and some bourbon aromas. Tastes as it smells but with coffee and oak. The bourbon is not overpowering, it blends in just right. Finishes dry. Mouth feel is creamy and oily. Drinkability is damn good! Alcohol is only slightly warming. Recommended!

 419 characters

Photo of Derek
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a hint of deep mohogany, tan head, some retention, nice lace.

S: The aroma is light, but very pleasant, like a freshly baked cake (brown sugar, vanilla), sherry, with underlying mocha, molases and wood.

T: Vanilla, coffee, demerara sugar, dark chocolate, slight dark fruit and roasted nut. Good bitterness; alcohol is dry and slightly warming.

M: The well-attenuated, moderate to full body is smooth, with some roasted acidity and a dry finish. Carbonation is on the lighter side of moderate.

D: Very enticing.

 536 characters

Photo of mcallister
3.84/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

What a stout looks like and not much more. Missing black by a few points, a very dark chocolate color. Hard pour results in nay a head and what is there doesn't want to stick around and get to know you.

The nose on the other hand is very nice if not different. A very sweet toasted vanilla oak aroma leads into hints of bourbon. Milk chocolate and thick caramel with hints of toffee. Bits of cassis and other black fruits. Lacks a roasty stout like aroma you would expect but it's made up for with the sweet barrel aging aromas.

Quite the tasty beer here. Does lack some depth and complexity, but definitely not lacking in big alcohol explosiveness. Alcohol evaporates quickly on the palate and follows through too a good long burn in the throat and chest. Slightly thin, lacking viscosity. Cassis and black cherry with a black currant laced mid palate. Very toasty and full of vanilla with a hint of what seems to be a peat type smoke. Milk chocolate with honey comb and toffee and bits of marshmallow are lead into a bourbony finish.

I enjoy this beer, except for the watery thin mouthfeel and the prolonged alcohol burning in the chest. The regular BBS I think is head and shoulders above this one.

 1,211 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted alongside the regular BBS.

Pours black, but without the creamy foam of it's younger counterpart. Thin skim of larger bubbles that quickly dissipates.

Oaky woodiness, with a tartness in the aroma. More subdued than the BBS, but nice for an oak-aged stout. Very vague bourbon at the edges that amplifies as it warms.

Taste is bigger, roasty and boozy with bourbon notes, and rich molasses. However, the ABV is well-masked. Bourbon comes out more as it warms, with layered notes of vanilla, oak, and char. Bittersweet bakers chocolate with a dry, oaky aftertaste. This stout is worthy of the imperial distinction, solely by it's volume and bold character. Velvety mouthfeel that envelops the palate. Approaching BCS in density, but falls short by 20% or so. A sublime sipper of a bourbon stout...

Huge thanks to thefatkid13 who provided this in a trade...

 873 characters

Photo of nflmvp
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 24 ounce snifter, leaving a small head of smooth and creamy kahki foam, just covering the surface and fading to faint bubbles on the outside edge of the glass. Nearly pitch black in it's appearance, it just barely lets light through the edges.

Smell is very subtle and inviting. Molasses, caramel, chocolate, coffee and bourbon are all very tantilizing to the nose.

Taste follows similarly with molasses in the forefront. The bourbon is definitely there. Not as upfront as their regular BBS. It's more subdued but easily as dignified. Caramel and coffee make their appearance here, too. Alcohol is there too but very well hidden which I think makes this a dangerous beer to drink (in a good way ;-).

Mouth feel is smooth and moderate. Alcohol is hard to detect. Carbonation is light.

Drinkability is very high for such a big beer. I wish I could get some more of this one but sadly, only 6 cases were bottled for the grand opening. Luckily, I got about 1/4 of that myself :-p

 1,001 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout (1-Year Aged) from Central Waters Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 55 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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