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

very good
258 Reviews
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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry StoutBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dirtylou on 03-22-2007

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Reviews: 258 | Ratings: 789
Photo of Steffano
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
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 -20.2%
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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Photo of eifster82
3.49/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2016. Deep amber with minimal to no foam head upon pour. Not much on the nose other than faint Cherry. Very little to no bourbon noticed at all, on smell or in the taste. There is Cherry in the taste but nothing pronounced. This tasted more like a quad than a stout and the mouthfeel was very thin.

Overall, disappointing considering what some of the other CW Brewer's Reserve series, but it's still not a terrible tasting beer. Just not what you would expect.

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Photo of Brewding_n_deep
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A nice beer, but not what I was hoping it would be. Bought a 4-pack and have spaced them out over the last 8 months.

Look: Dark with some redness to it, looks a bit like a flat cherry coke.
Smell: Booze (big surprise) a malt extract kind of smell, roasted but nothing special.
Taste: it's a Bourbon Stout, you figure it out... Now, having made a milk stout with the same strain of cherries (former Wisconsinite) I know their flavor, and I felt like they went overboard, but they're the pro's. It brings a nice non-hop (but hop adjacent) flavor, which is what makes stouts so fun.
Feel: Think flat soda... found myself wishing it had thickness, would've really helped the beer.

Nice beer, but I won't be chasing after it again.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this is a cool concept, a huge barrel aged stout with cherries in it. as expected, being central waters and all, its outstanding. the cherry is pretty powerful in here, i was surprised to see the sweet and tart dark ripe cherry juice element show through such a robust base beer, the stout beneath it is obviously enormous. especially with the bourbon barrel, which adds a ton of char to an already bitter dark full bodied base, and a hint of vanilla that really brings the cherry to life, the balance and depth of flavor here is pretty astounding. its not too much bourbon, some of their other big beers lose their identities a little bit to the barrel, but not here. the cherry keeps up with the other big flavors without adding hardly any sweetness, almost more of a tang from it really, cuts the richness at just the right instance. tons of body and nice and smooth, but it needs more bubbles to keep it moving, this one stagnates a little on the feel for me, gets too heavy and the booze comes out when it warms up even a little bit. overall though an incredibly complex beer, great use of fruit in a dark brew, and very much as good as any of the other huge barrel aged beers these guys put out. enjoyed on draft, but i would love to try it from the bottle as well.

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Photo of bbtkd
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout (2014), 10% ABV. Pours dark brown/light black, medium viscosity with decent head. Nose is cherry, no bourbon. Taste follows - the prevalent flavor is tart cherry, no bourbon detected. Mouthfeel is excellent, but overall I was disappointed. I had hoped for a full spectrum of cherry flavor, more than just tartness, and would expect to taste bourbon in a BB beer. I had gone in wanting a growler (would have been my first) without even trying it, but they weren't offering this in a growler, so I settled for a 9oz pour. Glad I wasn't able to get the growler. Still liked this better than their BB Barleywine, but disappointing compared to their other BB offerings.

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Photo of deebo
3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This year's version poured into an oversized snifter, the inch of tan head quickly recedes to a ringing of head atop a dark brown brew.
Aroma of bourbon soaked cherries with roasted malt. Pretty subdued for a BB beer from CW.
Taste is like the aroma but you get more of the barrel character-oaky. Has a fair amount of tartness in the finish.
Mouthfeel is a lighter than expected with a warming finish.
Overall not nearly as rich in body or flavors as compared to the BB stout or barleywine. A bit of a letdown but still drinkable.

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Photo of Bunnytron
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a 4-pack at Woodmans. Smells slightly cherryish. Not at all reddish like one might expect. Medium mouthfeel. Taste has a little cherry and vanilla flavor but the tartness overwhelms. I'm not a fan of whatever bourbon their beers are aged in, could be bottom shelf stuff for all I know, but the cherries do a good job of masking most of that. Very interesting, though the tartness is a bit of a turnoff for me.

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Photo of scream
2/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First off I will say that I am not a fan of adding fruit to beers, wild yeasts etc. That being said I am a big fan of Central Waters Barrel Aged beers. I picked this up last week and was holding off on trying it. Tonight was the night. I poured about 1/2 the bottle into a CW tulip glass. A light mahogany old ale type color and one could smell the fruit. Upon drinking it I was confused-some tartness and very little stout quality to it in my opinion. Holding the glass up to the light and looking from underneath there is a patch of darker material floating in it which is like the must one finds in wines but it is strange. It does not taste off in any way, just not much going for it. Certainly the weakest of the CW barrel aged beers I have had and would not seek it out again.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.21/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not the darkest stout in the world, but its got some black, but mostly dark brown throughout it. Aroma had some nice cherry running the gauntlet from bright to dark. The bourbon is more understated here than in the regular version. There's still some mild oak, some chocolate, vanilla.

Taste reveals you better be a cherry guy if you're gonna get down here, they did not skimp at all, it is a driving force just as much as the stout roast malt and the barrel itself. Sweet, thick.

Awesome format, awesome price.

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Photo of stakem
3.29/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 12oz bottle poured into a tulip appears black in color with brown clarity around the edges. A tan cap barely forms and holds with just a ring around the perimeter.

Aroma comtains milk chocolate, licorice, faint cherry, leather, earth and a hint of oxidation.

The taste has fruity cherry upfront but almost an underripe cherry/pitted/earthen flavor. Some leathery notes with really no barrel character to speak of. The roastiness of the grain fills the flavor void.

This is medium to lighter in body with moderate to low carbonation. Its not terrible but its also not what I expected. cherry - yup. stout - ok. barrel - where?

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Photo of mschantz
3.29/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pour from a 12 oz bottle of the 2014 vintage. Pours a deep mahogany brown color with medium body and just a slight head. Nose is almost entirely booze and brown sugar. Taste can be summarized as a boozy cherry cola. Body thinner than I would expect, even given the age. While I generally dig CW stouts this one was either a sub par effort from the start of hasn't held up well at all.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2014 vintage, 12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass

A- pours nearly opaque black in color with a small fizzy off-white head that reduces to leave nothing behind

S- aroma is very bourbon forward with plenty of barrel juice, along with tart cherry. There's a bi of chocolate and dark fruit malty aroma underlying, but mostly bourbon and cherries

T- slightly puckering tart cherry hits up front, quickly followed by some bourbon juice and notes of oak, caramel & toffee. Some chocolaty malt kicks in as it nears the finish and brings some notes of fig and prune, more bourbon and cherry on the linger

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a fairly flat finish

O- this one is kind of all over the place, in a way that every flavor can be separated throughout the mouthfeel. I did enjoy it however, and the ABV is hidden very well

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours dark brown with a mahogany red tint, finger off white head fades quickly, not much lace. Aroma is mild bourbon and vanilla notes with some faint tartness. The taste of this one is a controversy of flavor. The tart cherries dominate, with the bourbon and vanilla trying to come through, but they just don't get there. The tartness lasts well into into the dry finish. Mouthfeel is thin. Overall enjoyed this because I like cherries, but the combo with the bourbon was off a bit.

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Photo of Kramerwtmf
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not really sure what they were going for here, but I feel they whiffed. It's not terrible but it is very jumbled for what I thought was a ba stout. Cherries come through and make it somewhat tart. Also like others have said it's very carbonated and thin on the mouthfeel.

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Photo of Scooter1027
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As many others have said, the cherry really comes through, and it's more tart than sweet. A little bit unbalanced, but I like cherries, so it all works for me. Bourbon flavor is a bit less pronounced. Overall I enjoy it quite a bit, but you gotta like those tart cherries.

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Photo of Chaz
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an inky-black in color, topped with a darker tan head. The head falls rapidly, but leaves a nice bit of lace behind on the side of the beer-clean glass.
Just an island of filmy head and a touch of lace left after a couple of minutes.

Nose is just a big , sweet, malty bourbon barrel mess.* No cherries as such... until it begins to warm. I pulled this one directly from the DBF and poured whereas often I will let the bottle warm a little. Instead, I let the beer warm in the glass (and it is a warm summer day, so this is easily accomplished).
Cherry notes are very, very subtle, and are basically buried under the barrel (vanilla, booze) notes.

It is in the drink that we truly judge these beasties and so BOOM! Tart, lactic cherry plus barrel bite and smooth, round malty notes from the get-go. Tingling-then-scrubbing carbonation. And then more cherry... playing hell with the bourbon barrel dominance. Bittersweet/bitter chocolate notes, tropical fruit notes (although very light), vanilla... ah, this is a good 'un.

The tartness lingers in the manner which hop bitterness typically does, and that being said there are no overt hop characters (aromatic or bittering) and that is probably a good thing as in that respect there would be quite a bit of competition for the attention of the drinker: Cherry or Hops?

Mouthfeel is lighter, and almost thin, but this is not a problem as such, although it once again adds a dangerous drinkability to this beer. That being said, this beer is strong enough and fully-featured, so it is most certainly a sipper.

Lingering alongside the cherry there are dark malt notes, and bitter chocolate/cocoa in particular. Impressive and noteworthy. There are even very faint espresso notes coming through -- not uncommon in a standard Strong/Export of "American" Stout, but again, worthy of mention.

Altogether this one is very, very good and worth seeking out if this sort of thing is in your wheelhouse. My day-do-day drink it might not be, but it definitely would be worth having a couple of bottles on hand to crack for a special occasion or two.

* I type that out and it "sounds bad" reading it, but it is actually the opposite of that. ;)

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Photo of KellyScottMad
4.77/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a very good beer for the winter months and you want to change your palate. Not too fruity at all which was a good thing because that would take away from the actual stout. I liked the beer, but not as much as I would have liked too.

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Photo of natethamac
2.42/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Smells a bit metallic and sour. Very thin for a stout and quite high on carbonation. Taste has a slight bourbon hint with a tart/bitter/dry cherry finish. Not what I would look for in a stout and certainly not up to par with the rest of the brewer's reserve series.

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Photo of kbwalters
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a Spiegelau stout glass. Bottled on 357 of 2014 and consumed on 2/11/15.
Look = 3.75 Pours a deep dark brown with faint red highlights and 1 finger of light brown head that fades to a ring of big bubbles; lace is light.
Aroma = 4.25 Light bourbon with some sweet cherry notes. A pronounced sourness is present in the nose.
Taste = 4.5 Sweet cherry notes through the middle of the taste and a very mild sourness on the finish. Light bourbon comes in on the backend, all comes together nicely.
Feel = 3.75 Medium-bodied with light to medium carbonation, a bit thin.
Drinkability = 3.75 Bourbon and sourness together take a little away here.
Overall = 4.05 A very well rounded taste when fresh, much better than when there was a year on it. The nose wasn’t as strong this time around.

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Photo of gcamparone
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Tree House tulip glass. Acquired as an extra in a trade with Kevin - thanks!

Pours a muddy brown, translucent body with a fizzy light brown head that reduces quickly to a tiny ring.. doesnt leave any lacing.

Aromas of whiskey, caramel, toffee, slight cherries in the background. On the tongue it's weak with subtle tart cherries mixed with caramel, bourbon, brown sugar.. the finish is slightly roasty. thin body, a little over carbonated.

Overall I wasn't impressed all around. Was like a brown ale with a hint of cherry. I love cherries and I love stouts, but this doesn't really do justice to either.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a 12oz bottle as an extra in a trade with kestrel. Poured into a stemmed tulip glass.

Pours deep mahogany with a 2 inch tan head, good retention, with some lacing in its tracks. Aroma is mellow overall - mostly tart cherries, some dark chocolate, plumb, barrel and faint vanilla notes. Flavor is thankfully much more bold than the aroma - sweet chocolate and toasted malt up front, followed by fresh sour cherries - tanic and bold, vanilla notes from the barrel, and dried fig and plumb on the finish - some heat on the finish as well but not over the top - great balance. Mouthfeel leaves something to be desired - on the lighter side of medium-bodied, thin for the style actually, carbonation is on point and the finish is dry.

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Photo of uvachief
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter with minimal head and a reddish brown opaque color. Not dark or thick. Thin. Watery. Hints of bourbon, cherry and malts. Tastes tart. Cherries, malts and bourbon. Boozy. Burns. Thin in the mouth. Finished with tart cherries and bourbon. Big abv isn't hidden. Not bad but not good either.

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Photo of barczar
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cocoa, cherry tartness, and toasted malt form the aroma.

Flavor is cherry pie-like, moderately tart, with a light cocoa backbone. Bourbon was relatively subtle.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - The beer was a murky black color with brownish hues.

Smell - The aroma was dominated by booze notes. Little of the smell is characteristic of a beer.

Taste - On the initial taste, notes of bourbon amd tart cherries come to the front. By way of comparison, there is not enough cherries. Sweet malts become more evident in the aftertaste as the bourbon and cherries wane.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is thick enough for a stout, but lacks both stickiness and warmth.

Overall - I chased this one for a while. In actuality, it was a little but of a letdown. I wanted more cherry.

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
3.76 out of 5 based on 789 ratings.
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