Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout
Central Waters Brewing Co.

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry StoutBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #2,055
Ranked #15,917
3.87 | pDev: 11.37%
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States
Very Good
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry StoutBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout
Notes: We throw 75 pounds of tart Door County cherries into each oak barrel with a rich imperial stout, then age it 6 months.
Reviews: 281 | Ratings: 857 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Gobearswalter34
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours jet black with a thin, off white head that collects on outside ring of glass.
Smell of chocolate covered cherries. Plenty of sweet malt.
Sweet, tart cherries right away. Bakers chocolate and a little maple syrup. Some sweet bourbon.
Not a huge mouthfeel.

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Photo of YonderBrew
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Consumed bottle in May, 2019 with 2018 vintage notched on label. Beer was acceptable overall. Cherry flavor was faint. Considering Bell's 30th anniversary Cherry Stout as my mental baseline for cherry taste, which may be unfair comparison.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a very dark brown/nearly black color, with a small white head, and not much lacing.

This one smells like chocolate covered cherries that are mostly chocolate, sharp oak, bourbon, and coffee.

There's not a ton of cherry here, but that's fine with me - I wouldn't want too much sweet tartness here. There's lots of barrel, mostly oak, but with some leathery and boozy bourbon too. There's some vanilla and caramel notes, and a big roasty coffee flavor as well, along with light strands of chocolate.

This is medium bodied, and pretty thin - but that's easily par for the course for Central Waters. It's drinkable despite a hint of booziness on the finish.

I almost always love stuff that comes out of Central Waters' barrel program. This is mid level for them, but still a nice little treat.

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Photo of The_Mancannon_of_Slothrop
1.9/5  rDev -50.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This really is not that good. Pours in this oddly unattractive limbo between dark brown and black with a faint head, little retention and less lacing. Aroma of NyQuil. Taste of way too much baker’s chocolate with a hint of strange sourness that was supposed to be, I presume, sweet? Feel is thin with little carbonation.

Don’t get me wrong: overall, this brewery is masterful when it comes to barrel-aged dark beers. This however was a total swing and a miss.

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Photo of wl2bill
4.54/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I prefer the tart cherry in this beer to the sweet cherry I have had in other beers. It does not have that cherry coolade finish. It is one of the best fruit flavored stouts I have had.

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Photo of EMV
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 edition. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Dark, dark pour... nearly black with thin fizzy off-white head.

S: Tart cherry, vanilla, and roast.

T/F: Follows the nose. Roast up front... burned sugars and toasted grains. Mildly tart cherry mingles with the roast. Vanilla, oak, and bourbon in the background. A bit of espresso and cocoa, but the tart cherry stays in the foreground. Medium bodied... oily on the tongue. Warming.

O: A solid cherry bourbon stout. Possibly past its best at 6 years old, but still formidable.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a deep black with a small, dissipating head. The aroma features rich notes of dried fig and cherry, cinnamon, and date bread. The flavor combined rich, chocolate malts with slightly sour dried cherry in a very balanced and delicate way. The mouthfeel is medium to full with patient carbonation. Overall a really excellent beer - the cherry is very present, but never dominated the stout.

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Photo of morimech
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nice cherry notes in both aroma and flavor. Central Waters is not trying to overdo it with the fruit. Not usually a fan of dark, tart beers. But with the low acidity involved here, it works for me. I would of liked more of the barrel character to come out though. With CW's issues with infections, I probably will not let a couple sit for awhile.

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Photo of timmy2b
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown with an off white head when poured. Tart Cherry in the nose and on the tongue with a small amount of chocolate. Very thin compared to what I expect from a BBA Stout with a very minor amount of Bourbon on the end of some sips.

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Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark brownish black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that rapidly dissipated, leaving just a minuscule collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bourbon are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of cherries and bourbon along with faint hints of the underlying stout.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with some hints of warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer is exceptionally drinkable considering its strength because it masks all of the alcohol from the taste and the mouthfeel isn't that heavy compared to other stouts.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of -hr
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The cherries give a nice lightness to the beer that makes it fairly drinkable for a heavy/imperial stout. They also add to the smell. The total blend of flavors works well, some coffee, chocolate, cream, and prominent cherries; the balance works all the way until the end - the cherries linger just a little bit too long, shifting what otherwise feels like a genuine (not syrup-like) cherry flavor to a more bitter fake cherry. Overall, no complaints though.

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Photo of bl00
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, almost black shade of brown. Half finger of head dissipates quickly. Aromas of cherry and chocolate are up front, bourbon comes in after moderately. Taste is cherry, natural and tart, not artificial. Cola flavor eventually yields to notes of bourbon. Carbonation is moderate, medium mouthfeel with lingering notes of bourbon, some sour cherry. I've been turned off by artificial cherry flavors in beer before, though this one delivers with organic flavors which are balanced nicely.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. 2017 vintage.
Ruby brown colored body. Light tan head settles to interrupted cap and ring. Scattered spots of lacing.
Aroma is bourbon barrel/oak, dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla, and dark cherries.
Taste is quite a bit more with the tart, unsweetened cherries, dark chocolate and malt, vanilla, and bourbon barrel.
Thin to medium mouth feel, tart.
A rather rich cherry stout with barrel notes. I expected more sweetness but this one is more tart and dry. Subtle, along with the barrel notes.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured near room temperature into a 16 oz Magnify Snulip, vintage 2017. Poured aggressive and got a 2 plus khaki head that settles very quickly into a thin ring of bubbles leaving little to know lace.

Smell is the highlight, char, oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, Bourbon, and black cherries.

Taste follows a little more Cherry than the nose would have you expect, vanilla, cocoa, oak, Bourbon, and roasty coffee.

Mouthfeel is a little bigger than medium, plenty of life, maybe a tad dry, and goes down rather easy at 10% ABV.

Overall this is very nice, not a huge syrupy malt bomb, but a very nuanced and complex Stout, that actually surprises me how much I enjoyed it. Thanks GreenbayBA for this one.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark, opaque brown with a minimal tan head.
Aroma is chocolate, roasted grain, fresh cherries and a touch of vanilla.
Tastes amazing. Cherry tartness with dark chocolate, hints of roast coffee, booze and vanilla.
Mouthfeel is medium, smooth and perhaps, a touch thin.

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Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cherry is subtle and comes through on the finish. As always the bourbon barrel notes with oak and vanilla are bold and up front. Another solid addition to the Brewers Reserve line-up.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pouring very dark red, but filling to almost black, this has a thick khaki foam that dies to a bubbly collar.

Smell is is slightly spiced bing and dark cherry with roasted coffee and nutty chocolate with a light, wet woodiness. There's only a hint of bourbon here.

Taste is woody and slightly sour of cherry, which, in a way, seems to make it finish thinner. In the middle there's a light smoke that brings to mind roast beef, with juicy dark cherry in the background.

Medium bodied, this has a bubbly carbonation with a semi-wet tingle. It's easy drinking, but it also kind of muddled and savory. Blah.

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Photo of MNAle
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2017 Strong bourbon aroma with just the faintest hints of fruit. Almost completely opaque with a deep, dark red tone. Tan head recedes quickly to a bubbly ring with a center circle cap. Smokey taste. Lots of bourbon there as well. The cherry starts to come through as the beer warms a bit. Boozy alcohol warming the throat in the aftertaste. Smooth tasting with some tartness / bittering in the middle and aftertaste.

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Photo of Vidblain
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I drank this side by side with the recent New Glarus Cherry Stout release - and while I'm typically a critic of how thin the Central Waters beers are, the NG release just doesn't even compare. The depth and complexity of the Central Waters Cherry is just leaps and bounds ahead of the New Glarus beer, which tastes far more like a cherry ale than a stout.

I'm not generally a fan of fruited stouts - but I do very much like this one. The nose is fantastic, and it tastes like a chocolate-covered cherry (note: the chocolate is subtle). What a delicious beer.

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Photo of Blackop555
3.27/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This is pretty far from a stout in my opinion. The bourbon charecteristics are nice, but that's it. Think of frootwood this is that but more tart

Pours dark reddish-brown. Foamy, medium, tan head that is short lived.

Smells bourbon and cherry with hints of caramel malt.

Tastes tart cherry and light bourbon. Malts and other flavors fight to show up. Hints of caramel. Finish is dry with a tart cherry and oaky linger. Lighter medium body and fizzy medium carbonation.

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Photo of OompaMentor
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into glass. Dark color with modest head. Cherry notes rise from the glass! Well balanced with the malts; not to tart on the palate. 6/3/17

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 5/5/16; drank 5/13/17 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque brown/purple appearance.

A rough pour yielded a small tan head; minimal lace.

Montmorency cherry, brown sugar & faint autumn leaf notes in the nose.

Medium thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Mildly tart cherry & brown sugar flavors up front; a prickly bite settled on my lips on the finish.

As this warmed, a very faint booze heat emerged. Easy to enjoy & not overly challenging, this is a nice summer sipper of an barrel aged, imperial stout.

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Photo of gibgink
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 version tasted on 4-23-17. Pours a nice black with small head. Inviting smell of bourbon, but CW has that on point, so nothing outstanding when comparing the brand. A hit of cherry. I didn't care for the flavor mixture. The cherries used were either tart, or the flavor didn't play well with the barrel.

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Photo of Steffano
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

First time having this beer from central waters, very light barrel and thin body, interesting flavor, very cherry prominent. Something different, better as it warms as more of the stout flavors (coffee, chocolate) begin to emerge.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L: pours very thin for a Ba stout, looks like a red ale pouring.
S: slight tart fruit, tobacco, barrel
T: omg....very tart cherries, and no barrel. This does not taste like a stout.
F: thin and puckering
O: bad

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 857 ratings