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: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dirtylou on 03-22-2007

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Reviews: 258 | Ratings: 788
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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Photo of pat61
4.55/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From taste notes. Appearance: dense cherry tinted brown under a thin film of of-white foam. It does produce some lace and has good legs. Smell: Definite cherry aromas coupled with dark malt with bourbon in the background. Not a lot of hop or roast in the aroma. Taste: Has a very creamy palate featuring a dance of sweet and sour with cherry interacting with chocolate, caramel, vanilla and bourbon. A pinch of hops for a balancing accent. Mouthfeel: Has a satiating, full body with medium to medium low carbonation. Overall: the cherry, bourbon and dark malts play very well together to produce a good after dinner or dessert beer. Goes well with chocolate or runny cheese.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this one as an extra. Thanks man! I generally do not like cherries, but I have been fooled a few times, especially with sours. Some work others do not. This one I am going to say is middle of the road, I wasn't expecting to enjoy it that much, because of the cherries and stout combo, but enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

Appearance: Dark not totally light withholding and very little head, just some lingering bubbles around the edge.

Aroma: First you get sweet notes like you would expect from then the bourbon and then the cherries hit you. Interesting combination. This combo smells pretty decent actually.

Taste: Kind of sweet, sour cherries are in there, bourbon is noted but not pronounced as much as you would expect. Blend is not shabby.

Overall: As I said before it exceeded expectations. Its not one I would search for but it certainly was not a bad beer at all.

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Photo of amsguitarist
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Interesting beer. The scent of the beer tells me that this should taste like a sour like supplication, but when it hits your tongue, you get an usual meld of sour cherries and some sort of oak funk. Mouth feel doesnt remind me of a barrel aged stout. It's almost like a sour that didn't fully sour.

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Photo of MartzMimic
2.46/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours from the bottle almost black with no head to speak of. The aroma is faint, but chocolate and cherries are most notable. There's nothing faint about the taste. Sour cherries and a touch of chocolate. I think there's supposed to be a bit of bourbon, but if so, it's barely noticeable. The cherries overpower everything. Medium mouth, but the carbonation probably makes it seem thinner than it actually is. The dark cherries are so unbalanced that this is barely drinkable.

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Photo of McUbermensch
2.39/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

I must say I was not impressed with this beer in the least. It was thin and overly carbonated. There were no signs of barrel aging and the cherry flavor was sour and over powering. Maybe I had a bad bottle?

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Photo of RyBrew54
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark opaque amber with light head. Very little lacing. Smell is light black cherry with east chocolate malt. Taste is definitely a nice black cherry, light chocolate notes, with somewhat jammy cherry aftertaste. Not a lot of Bourbon notes but a very nice stout nonetheless.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice. 2014 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a dark blackish brown with a moderate amount of bubbles. Slight layer of tan head that quickly fades away.

Smell: A sweet, roasty, and fruity dark malt driven aroma with big hints of cherries, dark chocolate, and bourbon. Dark roasted barley malt with hints of dark chocolate, coffee, toast, biscuit, toffee, caramel, smoke, and yeast. Big scent of sweet and tart smelling cherries. Solid barrel presence with hints of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Also some hints of molasses, tobacco, and leather. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like the nose hints at, a nicely sweet, roasty, and fruity dark malt forward taste with lots of cherries, chocolate, and barrel notes. Dark roasted barley malt with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, biscuit, burnt toast, caramel, toffee, smoke, and yeast. Big juicy taste of tart and sweet cherries throughout. Barrel notes of bourbon whiskey, oak, vanilla, and wood. Sweet notes of burnt molasses. Also picking up some leather and tobacco like notes. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich, creamy, juicy, and somewhat syrupy. Alcohol heat is hidden pretty well.

Overall: A very good twist on a barrel aged stout. Good combination of dark malt, cherry, and bourbon notes. On the sweeter side but not sickly sweet.

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Photo of CelticBelly1
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Decent carbonation, small head and very little lacing. Lots of cherry and bourbon on the nose, mild bourbon. Very sweet, lots of cherry, with strong bourbon notes. A little cloying, and that boozy cherry cough syrup taste and feel. Sticky finish, which is understandable given the beer. Overall, I enjoyed this but for me personally, not a beer I'll seek out

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Photo of jwc215
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 vintage:

Pours very dark brown with a dark red hue. A wispy head leaves minimal lacing.

The smell is of bourbon - oak/vanilla - with cherry and dark roast.

The taste of bourbon and cherry blend with a solid chocolate/roasted coffee stout. While there is balancing roast and some tart from the cherry, it finishes on the sweet side with lingering bourbon.

It just hits full-bodied - a bit sharp, but there is a certain smoothness to it. The alcohol is noticeable, but not too hot or overwhelming.

This is another well-made fruit beer from a Wisconsin brewery. Bourbon certainly noticeable but doesn't overshadow the sweettart cherry and solid stout. Nicely balanced, this is an enjoyable bourbon-barreled cherry stout!

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Photo of portia99
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 2011 vintage poured into a snifter.

A - Pours near still from the bottle and forms a dirty brown color, well hazed when held to the light, no head whatsoever.

S - Sour cherry up front, molasses, toffee, burnt sugar, chocolate, dirty/earthy, bourbon.

T - Boozy chocolate covered cherries...milk chocolate layered with tart, juicy cherries. Mild bourbon booziness kicks in against the fruit. Some smokey char on the finish.

M - Medium/full bodied, hardly any carbonation, warm and mildly boozy, lingering smokey finish.

O - Overall, very good, but I had higher expectations. Definitely would have this again, but this falls a notch behind most of the other Central Waters BA offerings in my book.

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
3.76 out of 5 based on 788 ratings.
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