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: 787
Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Body is a very uniformly murky (nearly opaque) dark reddish brown hue. Pours with a 1 finger or so foamy tan head that quickly fades to a thin collar.

S- No surprised here. A strong hot bourbon, a lot of oak, cherries, and a hint of chocolate. The balance is pretty good and nothing really stands out.

T- The initial flavor consists of a hint of sour cherry, a slight chocolate malt, and a hint of oak. Cherry really comes through for the finish as the alcohol heat and bitterness comes through more. A hint of oak and alcohol bitterness linger.

M-High carbonation and a body that is medium to heavy weight and has a slight alcohol astringency.

D- This is a different, pretty good brew. The bourbon does not overshadow here-but it is pretty hot. The cherry varies between slightly tart and dark and it does give off an impression of chocolate covered cherries at times.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.05/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5


Poured into a snifter.

A: A nondescript dark brown with a small head that fades in the blink of an eye.

S: Cherry skins, chocolate, oak, vanilla, light booze, and light bourbon. Cherry presence is moderately lactic, and is pretty strong. Smells nice with the chocolate and light bourbon. The bourbon is very faint, like it spent a day in the same room as a bourbon barrel.

T: Lightly sweet and sour, with notes of cherry skins, oak, faint bourbon, and chocolate. The finish is cherry and chocolate with some metallic notes. A bit muddled, on the whole. Drying oak finish.

M: Lower full bodied with upper low carbonation. Smooth, sticky, and slightly thin mouthfeel.

Overall: Underwhelming. The cherries started to wear on me after a bit. Not a drain pour in the traditional sense, but I had no desire to finish the bottle. Wouldn't revisit.

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Photo of ChadQuest
2.9/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Man this is one unique beer, and i was about to score it around a D+, but it is unique and still somehow interesting enough that i'll give it an average.

Honestly i was expecting a very faint cherry presence like most stouts have when it comes to added items since the malts cover alot up well, but man this thing packs a punch with dark and sour/tart cherries! It's like tart cherries covered in dark chocolate as the malts are about the only thing else that can be noticed in such an up front beer.

Interesting, and i may not mind having another bottle someday, just to explore it more, but its not thing i would buy alot of.


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Photo of cope0021
1.9/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Minimal legs - medium carbonation. Light red tint to beer.

Mix of bourbon and cherry aroma. No noticeable body

Strong bourbon taste with some tart cherry notes. Bourbon is a little overpowering. A little too tart for me.

Thin. A little too much carbonation on the tongue.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Thanks to bmanning for sharing this.

Poured into a tulip. Color is a dark brown with a single-finger head that recedes quickly without leaving any lace. Nose is cherry and roast with a bt of astringency in the background. That fades in the flavor, which has roast, cherry, and some bourbon. Feel is slightly metallic, though it does not detract too much. Not nearly as the rest if their barrel-aged stuff.

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Photo of brentk56
3.44/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color but I was unable to get much of a head and what little appeared, quickly disappeared

Smell: Intriguing blend of chocolate fudge, tart cherry and Bourbon

Taste: Although there is a bit of chocolate and Bourbon on the front end, they are quickly overwhelmed by the tart cherry flavor and the tartness persists after the swallow, as well; the chocolate (and to a lesser extent, the Bourbon) is always there, but it is just overwhelmed

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with low carbonation

Drinkability: Not a big fan of this as I think the mouthfeel is too thin and the flavor is out of balance

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Photo of chaz01
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle courtesy of thirdeye11 poured into a Belgium fishbowl glass.

A: Dark oily black. Small tan head recedes quickly

S: I pick up more of the cherry aromas than any bourbon or oak that I would expect. Do pick up some vanilla notes and a little bit of oak flavors

T: Mainly tart cherry flavors with some bourbon and oak flavors in the fiinsh. Finishes a little sweet/sour flavors with some smoky notes.

M: Medium to full bodied, low carbonation.

D: Compared to the other cherry stout I've had (Bell's), this has more cherry tart notes to it. I don't pick up much of the roasted malt flavors in the stout, but still a nice sipping beer.

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Photo of nerdrocker101
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Central Waters brew much thanks to maximum12 for the selection.

Pours a thin, oily black with a stumpy, light tan head. It certainly is on the lighter side of stouts by appearance standards.

Aromas of tart cherry and bourbon are very pronounced, with some lightly sweet notes of chocolate roaming around in it as well.

There are a lot of flavors moshing around in here. Loads of mouth puckering cherries, smoky chocolate, light coffee, roasted malts and tangy bourbon.

There is a somewhat creamy, yet sticky feel to this. It's kind of perplexing and very complex. Not thick, but full bodied. The carbonation is ample, but not overwhelming.

I love how intricate this is, but I have to admit, it's not for me. I think if you like the sour cherry stout concept, then this would certainly be an exemplary beer for you, but it's not my type of brew.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.54/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Blue Point snifter.

A: Vigorous pour yields a slowly upward cascading .5 finger coarse, beise head that dissipates quickly into a patch of bubbles atop a near opaque, black cherry colored brew. Lacing is sparse and spotty with little cling.

S: Super enticing aroma here. Notes of vanilla, wood, bourbon, cream, candied cherries, and chocolate milk. Also some roasted malt and rich cocoa in the background. Sweet and robust.

T: One sip and I can already tell this is a "sour stout". And I don't like sour stouts... until now I guess. Big roasted malt, chocolate and cherry upfront. The fruit simultaneously sweetens and sours just a touch towards the middle. Perfect complement to the upfront bourbon that develops. Chocolate and booze in the back. Finish is sweet but not overly so. Very good balance. Aftertaste is of wood and liquorice.

M: Medium to full bodied, lightly carbonated, oily in the mouth and smooth going down with just a little bit of heat. Just the tiniest bit rough around the edges. Finishes messy with an aftertaste that lingers just a bit.

D: Probably the surprise of the year so far for me. I fell in love with CW Satin Solstice the first time I had it and this just blows that beer away. An awesome, awesome brew, I wish I had easier access to this. Still, well worth the trouble of acquiring!

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 version, generously sent to me by asmokingoat. Thank you, Joel.

Pouring a dark brown with reddish brown highlights, a light brown head rises frothily before falling off to nothingness rapidly.

The nose is pretty good. Unique, there's plenty of brown sugar, vanilla and oak, and combined with the cherries, it's quite dessert-like. As it warms, the oak really grows, it is rather raw and quite lumber-like. The base stout really doesn't show much here, apart from a little cocoa that works well with the brown sugar.
Unabashed about its bourbon antecedents, this beer opens with a pronounced blend of oak, vanilla and bourbon. Moderately hot and alcoholic (as opposed to boozy, which is less vodka-like in my book). Tart, sour cherries are noticeable right away, and are present all the way into the finish. The base stout has been whelmed here, I really can't say I get much of its presence here. Just a dusting of cocoa as a segue from the bourbon heat up front to the long, tart, tannic finish indicates that this might have been a stout at one point. Not as oaky as the nose would suggest, thankfully, but that is still a rather big component here. Too thin (I had the same issue with the base BA stout as well), there's not enough sweetness to hold together the booze and the tartness, and more importantly, the tannins. Carbonation is a little high too. This beer does fall short of what it could be.

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Photo of mothman
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into CCB Snifter

Pours a copper brown, but settles near black. Pours a small amount of fizzy light beige head that fades down fast.

Aroma: The nose seems a bit muted. It has light notes of cherry , oak, chocolate. Not very much here. Not really a big bourbon flavor either.

Taste: Roasted malts with fresh tart cherries up front. The bourbon shows here actually and it is lightly warming. It follows with some oak flavors and then chocolate. Ends with some alcohol showing.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and lightly tart. Medium bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry with cherry flavors.

Overall, this is a decent ba cherry stout. The cherries used are really nice and give it a nice tartness to it, but the bourbon flavors aren't as good as I was hoping they would be. They are light in my opinion. I still like this one and think it is fairly drinkable.

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Photo of jera1350
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Muddy brown color with a tan fizzy head that reduces down to a ring around the glass.

The nose is not real strong, but notes of bourbon, cherry and vanilla are detected.

Well, yes there is plenty of sour cherry and hot boozy bourbon. Some chocolate malt as well. The problem is that the flavors do not mesh real well with each other. Not unlike cherry cough syrup.

Thin for the style. The carbonation is partially smooth. The finish is not very dry at all.

I can applaud the creativity, but I can also say that it did not work real well. I will stick with Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout. No cherries for me.

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Photo of semibaked
3.07/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a goblet.

A - Pours almost black with some dark red hues shining through, very little head and no lacing.

S - Bourbon, A little smokey, roasted malts, coffee, and the slightest hint of cherry.

T - Bourbon hits you upfront, the cherry flavor has the taste of cough syrup, smokiness, and a hint of coffee.

M - Disappointing light body, this should have a fuller mouthfeel to it for being a stout and has a good amount of carbonation.

D - Ya not a big fan of this, it is heavy on the bourbon and the cherry flavor is not pleasant. The mouthfeel is just off to me too, definitely like the regular version of this much better.

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Photo of jampics2
4.42/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Could it be true?

After struggling to even take a second sip of the Bells Cherry Stout then being totally turned off by the New Glarus Cherry Stout, have I finally found a chery stout I like?

Yes! It is true! And screw the haters, this is one awesome brew, in fact, I've been so impressed by the Central Waters stuff from this last batch that I'm going to the brewery in the next year to visit ground zero of the best up and coming BA Brews around.

Black as night with a small white head that becomes a ring. Looks nice!

Smell is weird at first, then becomes more intoxcating with every scent. Tart cherry skin, a touch of bourbon, giving impressions of vanilla and even coconut. Any stoutiness or roast is subdued.

Taste is great as well. The bourbon really kicks this up and makes it work. Tart cherry begins the ride, with chocolate and roasted malt catching the bus a block down the street. After a turn down bourbon street, some vanilla and coconut from the wood join the party bus. Lots of levels of flavor. A really fun ride.

A touch light and too carbonated. Mouthfeel could be better. More chocolate shake, less cherry cola.

Nice beer overall. I love it - finally I get why anyone would brew a cherry stout. But not just anyone should. Leave it up to the folks at Central Waters!

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Photo of Overlord
3.05/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a brownish colored light red. Big thanks to Tpatuto. Small crust of light brown foam.

Strangely pungent smell. Kind of like pulped cherry pits mixed with cherry skins and a bit of ... prunes and plums? Interesting. Almost no stout characteristics to aroma.

Taste has a slightly chocolately malt and cherry backing, along with that weird woodsy pungent cherry pit/tart cherry flavor. Frankly: strange.

Mouthfeel a bit flat and watery. Half a glass was enough.

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Photo of largadeer
3.26/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared by chswimmer. Thanks, Craig.

Dark murky blackish-brown...almost crimson hued. A small leather-colored head forms, never really rising to a decent height. It eventually settles to a thin collar.

Chocolate-caramel candy aroma with a wallop of sweet cherries, a bit of bourbon, some solventy alcohol. Meh.

Tootsie roll and cherry candy flavor is prominent. Some caramel and bourbon, oak tannins. Pretty boozy. Dries up in the mid-palate with a bit of tart cherry and chocolate flavors sticking to the tongue in the finish. This is OK, it's kind of like a mediocre Cherry Adam from the Wood.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

2010 vintage. The beer pours a dark brownish-red with a cream-colored head. The aroma is cherries and oak with some bourbon. The flavor is heavy on the cherries and chocolate malt. There are some light bourbon, oak and vanilla notes, but not near as much as in some of the other Central Waters bourbon-aged beers I have tried. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage. Huge thanks to beerwolf77 for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a dark black color. Did not produce any foam except some brown bubbles.

(S)- A warm vanilla & brown sugar aroma. Bits of cherry & cocoa in the background.

(T)- A sweet yet tart cherry flavor with a warm boozy vanilla & brown sugar thing. Some bits of raisin & cocoa in the background.

(M)- A good carbonation level & a great balance. A bit warm & boozy, but the tart fruit & raisin/cocoa helps counteract some of it. Sweet, yet just enough tartness & bitterness to not make it overly so. Let it warm up; it gets better.

(D)- A good beer. Has a fitting name since the bourbon barrel, cherry, and the stout all shine through in some way or another. An enjoyable version of the above elements. This might benefit from aging, but the freshness of it tastes great now.

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Photo of hardy008
3.42/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a one finger tan head with fair retention. Smells of bourbon, malt, and tart cherries. The flavor also has bourbon, malt, and tart cherries, but also has chocolate and vanilla which I did not pick up in the aroma. I am not sure that the flavors come together as well as I would like them to.

Overly tart, medium bodied, decent carbonation, but this beer seems a little off, even though I somewhat enjoy it. I know, that doesn't make sense, but I think the problem is having tart cherries with the other flavors. It does not seem to work properly. The drinkability is decent. I would be willing to try this again sometime, but it is not a high priority.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy mahogany, with a thin white head that fades gradually.
Smell is fairly heavy bourbon accompanied by some roasty malts up front, with some chocolate and cherries. Some caramel in there as well. Slight burn in the nose from the alcohol.
Taste is bourbon intertwined with cherries, followed directly by some caramelly malts. Finish is sweet and sugary.
Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, with a touch of carbonation. Medium body.
Decent drinkability. This is the first bourbon barrel aged cherry stout I've had, and I'm still not quite sure how I feel about the blending of the bourbon flavors with the cherry flavors. It was better than I expected, but then again, I wasn't blown away by any means. The alcohol presence was fairly assertive, but definitely not overpowering.
Very interesting beer regardless.

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Photo of bound4er
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Very dark brown with some reddish highlights visible along the edges. Nice two finger tan head.

S. Mostly barrel influences - creamy vanilla (like the filling found in Easter eggs), some chocolate and oak. Not much in the way of cherries - I guess a faint note here and there if I really swirl - but the smell is still very inviting.

T. Good but actually a letdown after how nice this beer smelled. It comes across as a dialed-down version of Bourbon Barrel Stout with vanilla, oak and bourbon the main flavors but not much in the way of cherries (the cherry flavor comes through in the alcohol).

M. Creamy and rich with low carbonation for easy drinking.

D. I've reviewed Peruvian Morning, Bourbon Barrel Stout and Bourbon Barrel Barleywine previous to Cherry Stout. I feel this beer is the weakest of the 4. It is well made but just not something I want to go out and buy more of. Overall, CW's barrel aged stout lineup remains second-to-none in my book.

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Photo of maximum12
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This & the barleywine finally arrived in Hudson, WI this week, more than a full month after it came (& went) in the rest of the state. But hey, it's finally here. This is the one of the four Central Waters BA beers I haven't had to date, so I was jazzed to finally snag a four-pack. And - big hats off to the brewery for actually dropping the price of their big, barrel aged beers in 2010! Thanks!

Split a small 12 oz. bottle with the wife. Pours black. Nose is spare, with a cherry pit or two & a tang of sweetness.

Barrel Aged Cherry Stout doesn't quite live up to its three fantastic brothers. The taste is true to the nose: cherry is holding the gavel, with vanilla coming on afterwards. The addition of sweet on sweet, plus the malt, makes this tilt towards syrup range. Chocolate adds to the mayhem, & the faint roast isn't enough to offset the parade of sweetness. Carbonation is low to the point of non-existent, lending it an authentic big-stout feel. Drinkability is low. This is a big, filling, sweeter-than-Reese-Witherspoon brew. I'm pleased with the six ounces & a whole bottle would be a ninety minute adventure.

Overall a good beer. After setting the bar ridicuslously high with their other bourbon influenced brews, this one doesn't get a ribbon, but I'm not complaining.

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Photo of veachster
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very deep red almost a dark brown with a tan head that recedes quickly with no retention.

S - A scent of cherry mixed with oak. I picked up a slight alcohol scent as well.

T - Heavy on the bourbon side with a little bit of sweet cherry. You can almost taste the oak. It's very good. Boubon, oak alcoholish aftertaste.

M - It sits as a medium bodied brew. Goes down smooth with an alcohol bite.

D - It's very good and I would love to have another by itself; and I more than likely will, this could be served to family and friends during the holidays. I would not; however, be drinking one after another at a party or other event. Not only would you be trashed, you would probably gain heart burn quickly... unless you are of the bourbon type.

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Photo of crossovert
4.34/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage. 12 oz bottle.

Pours a thick, dark black with a quicly receding, tightly-bubbled tan head.

It has a thick cherry scent, with some plastic that occurs with a lot of cherry brews, if they are using Door County cherries I know those are often stored in plastic jugs. Under that is thick bourbon flavors with vanilla and oak. There are some dark chocolatey malts in there too that give a cherry pie scent. The alcohol is mildly present. It smells delicious.

The taste is a good mix of flavors, different from other cherry stouts. It is STRONG though, the boubon flavors and alcohol POP on the palate, I wish it wasn't so limited so I could age a bottle, but next year I will age my bottle just to let is settle down a bit. It is basically a mouthful of tart cherry with some vanilla, bourbon, oak, and a huge dose of brownie. It is sweet and delicious but slightly tart. The bourbon and alcohol come in the end and burn slightly.

The mouthfeel isn't cloying and it has a biting sensation from the alcohol and carbonation. It is surprisingly drinkable though, not not really an easy drinking big beer.

This is another strong barrel aged offering form Central Waters, they have found their niche, lets see how far they take it.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Chimay chalice.

A- Pours a very deep brown with some light peaking in around the edges. As expected with a stout, there is minimal head that gathers around the edge of the glass.

S- A big malty nose up front with just a slight hint of sweet cherry barely in the background. There is the smallest hint of alcohol but nothing else really going on.

T- Again, like the nose, a big malt present up front but this time with more cherry. Almost like a cherry coke. You can detect some of the bourbon but not overwhelming and the oak seems to round it out nicely.

M- Medium bodied with a little more carbonation than per usual for the style. Seems like a reoccurring theme among CW's stouts. A little warmth in the throat from the alcohol that makes this a good sipper.

D- Not too thick and decent flavor but this beer is still a sipper and basically a one and done. The bourbon doesn't really come out which can be considered good but then again the cherry really doesn't either. Overall not a bad offering from CW.

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
3.76 out of 5 based on 787 ratings.
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