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 BeerBelcher
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Surlysober and I split a bottle of this beer. It was much more kriek and much less bourbon-barrel stout than I expected. I thought this beer was quite good, but I felt unbalanced. It is black and stout-looking but tastes like a kriek; I felt the beer would have been improved with some additional roastiness to balance the cherry flavor. Nonetheless, I felt this beer was quite good, but good because it had a great deal of cherry sourness, not because it was a great stout. Make sense? It pours a dark color with lots of head. Aroma is very kriek-like in its smell, with some bourbon aroma once the sourness wafts past your nose. Flavor was of sour cherries up front, and was quite sour, with some roastiness and bourbon notes on the back end. Mouthfeel was smooth, but tart.

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Photo of tempest
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer epitomizes the power and character of bourbon barrels aging. Overall, the beer drinks fairly mellow. It starts with a vanilla, oak, and bourbon flavors. This is followed tart, slight cherry flavor that blends. I'm surprised how smooth this drinks, talk about a great sipper. The aroma is rich with the whiskey and while there's only a hint of cocoa or coffee, but it's still a great beer.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
2.51/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a beautiful head that leaves nothing but a huge lacing behind that sticks oh so well. The head is tan and the color is dark black motor oil, hell yeah! The smell is a big hit of vanilla with a cherry flavor acompanied by what seems to be bourbon (I haven't had a lot, but it smells like good hard liquor). The taste was light and the harsh liquor flavors along with a kick of cherries wasn't a pleasant experience the first try. It's better the second try, the tart cherries leaves you weak (when mixed with roasted grains) while the strong bourbon hits the back of your throat leaving you nausious. The mouthfeel was ok, very dry and not so smooth. Overall I don't think I would have another one of these, something must be wrong.

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Photo of Beertron
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got the bottle from Star in Madison about two weeks ago. Poured into an imperial pint.

A - Poured a thick 3/4" of dark, cream-colored head that stuck around for a bit. Thick lacing. Very dark in color, with just an outline of reddish caramel color around the edges when held to a bright light. If I poured this into a glass of ice, I might not be able to tell it apart from Cherry Coke. Looks forboding...

S - Both the cherry and the bourbon are readily apparent to the nose. The combination creates the relatively off-putting scent of cough syrup but a strong coffee note behind that rescues it a bit.

T - A strong, tannic sour cherry taste hits right off the bat -- both good and bad (cherry=good, sour=bad). Following the sour is the expected burnt sugar flavors of nut brittle or toffee and then a backdrop of dark coffee. I'm really surprised at the balance of both the acidity and alcohol here -- the nose led me to believe that both would be heavier. There is still a Cherry Coke comparison to be made of the flavor and, maybe this analogy makes me a bad person, but if this stuff wasn't so expensive, I'd probably try making a whiskey coke with this substituted for the coke bit. I bet it'd be good.

M - Holy tannis!! (Hello barrels.) This puckers me up like nobody's business. It's still relatively syrupy at first but then goes to dry and tannic at Mach 5. Interestingly enough, that same dryness causes my bitter buds to start salivating about 10 seconds later.

D - Not a chance!! At least not in your typical regard. However, it's a bourbon barrel-aged cherry double stout fer christsakes -- you're not supposed to pound a few bottles in a sitting!! You're supposed to sip on this like a digestif over (and after) the dessert course of an incredible meal. (I hate to say this as a recent non-smoker, but this would friggin' rock with a good cigar!!) In that regard, it's just fine for its drinkability.

While I find this incredibly interesting, I don't think I like it as much on its own as I would with some food to balance it out. In the wine biz, this would be called an "Old-world" style, it's not as friendly by itself as it is with other things. Additionally, the cherries seem like they might be taking away slightly from something more fascinating. I'd really like to try the non-cherry version.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The cherry added to Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout adds an added dimension to it, but it's not a make or break alteration. All of the original bourbon character remains, especially in the nose, and the vanilla woodiness is the same. However, that interplay between the cherry and the vanilla can be nice (it occassionally rings of coconut); and to a certain extent, the slight tart-sweetness of the cherry helps to cut through the implied sweetness of the bourbon. It's a little more "flowing" and drinkable. I liked it then, and I like it now. But I do have to give them credit for pushing the envelope a bit! It's a very worthy beer for many occassions: relaxing in front of the fire with a good book, settling down on the back porch on a warm spring night, snuggling with your lover on the beach or boat at sunset, or paired with a juicy steak just off the grill, and so on. Very well done!!! And, dare I say, worth seeking out? I'd better grab some more first ;)

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Photo of badbeer
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out black-ish, but more of a dark brown with some red when held to light. Head was a very light tan color and retained pretty well, leaving some lacing. Soft smell of cherries, roasty, some oak, a hint of vanilla. Nice smell, but not very strong. Taste starts out with some slightly tart cherries paired with some oakiness. It becomes slightly sour before bringing on more oak, and eventually some vanilla and bourbon with some roastiness in the finish. About medium carbonation with medium body, slightly dry in the finish. A good beer, no doubt, and a very well made version of a cherry stout, but I have to say I enjoy the masterpiece that is their Bourbon Barrel Stout, sans cherry, a whole lot more.

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Photo of nflmvp
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, snagged from my cellar ;)

Served at 55 degrees, poured into a 20 oz tulip stout glass leaving an inch of foamy head that fades to a light coating. Not much lacing left on the glass.

Appearance is a hazy dark chocolate with slight rusty tint. Some light gets through but not much.

Smell is sweet, with cherries in the forefront. Notes of vanilla, bourbon, oak and maybe even a little chocolate follow.

Taste is almost an even balance of bourbon and cherries (I'm getting hungry for dessert and I haven't even had dinner yet). with vanilla and alcohol following closely, quietly behind.

Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety. Not as full bodied as I expected but this is certainly not a detraction. The alcohol is well masked.

Drinkability is very good. This beer slides easily, happily down the throat.

This beer makes for a perfect sipper and now I'm wishing I HAD eaten dinner first because I'm feeling like a double dose of dessert.

It's no wonder this is a GABF GOLD MEDAL winner. Another top notch offering from the top notch guys at Central Waters.

Keep 'em coming!

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Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, snagged 3 at Riley's on the way home from work

appearance: muddy mahogany body, garnet tinting thoughout...creamy/bubbly dark beige head with decent lacing left along the rim. pretty nice

smell: tart cherry aromas compliment a funky oak presence...bourbon becomes more evident in the aftertaste...vanilla and creamy chocolate collide. Nice

taste: Well, I had super high expectations of this beer based on the name alone. I certainly commend the style and effort but it wasnt exactly what I was thinking. Sour funky oak-black cherry plays a major role in the flavour which works out pretty well...chocolate flavours are very light and the tartness/oak/vanilla dominate throughout

mouthfeel: a little on the light side...I'm calling this a double stout but it doesnt feel too high in the abv side to me...creamy and tart, light roastyness in the followthrough

drinkability: pretty nice

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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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