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

BA SCORE
95
world-class
2,322 Ratings
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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel BarleywineBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged for 1 year in used bourbon barrels.

Added by Atron67 on 03-02-2008

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,322
Reviews:
630
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
8.88%
 
 
Wants:
716
Gots:
729
For Trade:
85
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,322 |  Reviews: 630
Photo of Jeffo
3.07/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Another Central Waters' brew provided by SliverX. Cheers man!

From a bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2012

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, very loose and thin, off-white head with wretched retention. Head quickly vanishes to a slight wisp and ring and clings to the sides of the glass. Rosewood red or dark red in color with no visible carbonation. A ring remains but leaves no lacing down the glass. The head is crap, but the rest is alright.

SMELL: Bourbon barrel with oak, vanilla and lots of caramel and toffee. Candy sugars in there and lots of boozy notes.

TASTE: Bourbon, oak and vanilla up front with lots of caramel and toffee sweetness in the middle. A sweet, boozy and bourbon barrel finish; very boozy after the swallow. Bold and lingering aftertaste of sweet-spicy alcohol, lots of bourbon, oak, and caramel flavors. Quite boozy, but lots of good flavor as well.

PALATE: Very light body and medium carbonation. Airy on the palate, goes down fine with a bite at the swallow and finishes slightly sticky. Lots of heat lingers. Too light and airy here.

OVERALL: Didn't live up to expectations at all. Though quite boozy, the flavor is definitely there for the taking. It's a shame that the body is too light and abrasive to really let the flavors take center stage. Again, like other Central Waters' brews, the look and feel fail quite miserably. Still very happy to try this highly acclaimed beer though, so thanks again for the chance SliverX.

 1,464 characters

Photo of MCImes
3.1/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

I like bourbon barrel aged anything, but CW goes way too far over the top with this beer. There is literally no beer flavor, its just bourbon nose, bourbon taste, bourbon finish.

I you LOVE bourbon this is YOUR beer. The bourbon is overwhelming. Its just booze, vanilla, and bourbon through and through. Very unbalanced. (this could be a good thing if you love bourbon)

Overall, if you cant get enough bourbon in your beer, this is for you. If you like a more balanced barrel flavor, there are better choices.

 512 characters

Photo of callmescraps
3.1/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Had at a fun tasting. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance- Much lighter than anticipated. A nice copper color with a thin cap.

Smell- Vanilla and bourbon. Very nice. Caramel is very prominent.

Taste- Hot. Not as much bourbon as I'd like. A hot, stickiness that isn't balanced by anything.

Mouthfeel- Way too thin for my tastes.

Drinkability- No more than one. Probably not even one.

It's caramel. And some wood. And booze. Not a favorite.

 444 characters

Photo of rvdoorn
3.12/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2010 vintage
Look: the beer pours a ruby-brown color with almost no head, but a nice lacing.
Smell: Caramel, malts, bourbon, vanilla, oak, herbal hops and alcohol
Taste: Full of bourbon, caramel, vanilla, spicy herbs, fruity and very very alcoholic. The aftertaste is sharp alcoholic. Unbalanced
Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium-low carbonation
Overall: Overpowering sharp alcohol. Not my liking.

 394 characters

Photo of tewaris
3.12/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle of 2010 vintage poured into a wine glass after an year of aging. Poured dark amber-brown with oddly brilliant clarity for a beer of it's kind. The head was small and did not last too long, and left some lacing on the glass as it receded.

Smelled rich and sweet: dried fruits (mostly dates), residual sugars, and ample amount of oak-bourbon. Nothing too surprising but complex and more importantly, very good. The taste, however, was a a let down - slightly sweet and very bitter on a thin body with not enough malts/sugars to balance out the hops. The excellent aroma elements show up very briefly only in the aftertaste, which is a shame in my opinion.

Too much bitterness, to the point of clashing. Thin, overcarbonated, and hot with fusel alcohols. Seems like it has everything I hate about cheap liquor and very less of what I like about barleywines.

Scores: Appearance 4/5; Aroma 4.5/5; Taste 3/5; Mouthfeel 2; Drinkability 2/5

 950 characters

Photo of biglite351
3.14/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Very merky dark burnt honey color. Vanishing near white head

S - Bourbon malts, caramel, vanilla. Strong on the bourbon

T - Mostly bourbon, but not actually overpowering. Caramel, vanilla and a

bitter yeast hit in the end

M - Thick but only a medium coating. Mild tingle on tongue with an

alcohol burn in the throat

O - Not bad at all, but not really my thing

 371 characters

Photo of Tilley4
3.17/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Boozy and hot... Potential is here but this is like barrel aged rubbing alcohol... Perhaps it's too young? Going against the grain here and giving this one a very mediocre OK...

 180 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.22/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

Bourbon Barrel Barley wine pours a deep redish color, with a nice white lacing head. There is a very full sweet wine like smell, very bousey. The taste has a strong wine like grape flavors, and a strong wood like flavor, very strong alcohol flavor. Its way to booze to enjoy another one, and hard to drink. Overall a very interesting barley wine. Might need to be aged for a while.

 381 characters

Photo of WiscoBrewsco
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of james582
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of Lochnessmonster
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of Sonofalime
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of mmcnaughton
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of IndyDad
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of BradleyR
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of Dawgboned37
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of assman79
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of thegerm87
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of buffs9
3.29/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 version: 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

murky plum color, with half a finger of off white head. Dies down quick to a ring of foam with wisps of foam on top.

Smells of caramel, toffee, a little figgy, vanilla and bourbon. A hint of spicy/resinous hops as well.

Tastes of caramel, raisins, toffee. Followed by oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Then a tobacco bitterness. complex and interesting, but everything seems a bit muddled to me.

Creamy, medium carbonation, medium body. A bitter finish that is hot and not very enjoyable for me, and I don't mind hot.

Worth trying, I'll have to try another to see if I notice differences. I was expecting more w/ such great reviews.

 679 characters

Photo of mdwalsh
3.29/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2010 Vintage, should have reviewed fresh, but didn't.

A: A thin, less than one finger head sits on top of a ruby red, hazy beer. No Active carbonation. I didn't expect much in terms of head or carbonation, but this beer just isn't impressive.

S: Sweet, fruity, slightly alcoholic. Sort of a fruit candy. Mambo's? No, Now and Laters. This smells like a Now and Later. And the alcohol is fading away. No hops, no grain. It is actually rather port-like, yet distinct. I like it, but it's a bit too light.

T: This is quite the mess. There's an almost acrid sharpness and it has a soapy taste to it, but soap has never touched this glass. Bourbon and Malty are not words I would use to describe this beer. Acidic, sharp, thin, those are more what I would say. Boozy even. This has been cellared quite well, and beers which are even older have come out of the cellar just fine. I think this got oxidized and it's just yuck.

M: Good, actually. Slight carbonation, but smooth

D: No, not something I'll cellar again. I liked the fresh version much more.

 1,049 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.31/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is a 2012 version, drank on 2-21-2013

Pours a deep caramel body. White head is minimal and the lacing is thin. Small collar around the glass.

Sweet aroma. Caramel and sweetbread. Vanilla and bourbon. A bit woody. Some faint hops

Thin flavors, but they are good. Vanilla, caramel, wood, bourbon and earthy pine. Sweet baked caramel is ever present. The bourbon barrel provides smoothness. Yet it doesn't mesh well with the other flavors. The hops have faded, to be sure.

 478 characters

Photo of mke_Brewer
3.32/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Aromas of burnt sugar, molasses, with slight hints of bourbon. Has a hot alcohol smell. Initial taste is sweet and raisiny with an oak aftertaste. Very complex. Medium bodied beer that gets better as you drink it. Definitely a beer for a cold day as it will warm you up in a hurry! Hard to drink a full pint.

 308 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.36/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to AgentZero for this.

12zo bottle into my Rochefort glass, 2010 version.

Pours a murky light to medium brown, very light for a bw. Not much carbonation, light tan around the sides, poor lacing...Nice aroma, malty to start nice caramel and dark fruits with lots of wood and bourbon mellowing it out. Light cherry finish with a little more wood...The first thing on the taste is tons of wood, very bitter wood, too strong. The second is less wood but its still too much, at the end a bitter wood/grain alcohol finish. Not very sweet, not super complex. The taste is a big disappointment. Maybe needs a couple years to chill out...The feel is ok, very warming, lastin feel...Tough to drink because of the wood.

Overall, can't believe this a top 100. Not a great beer, has potential down the line maybe. This is unbalanced and totally too woody.

 852 characters

Photo of atrocity
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overly harsh and boozy. Had many bourbon barrel aged barleywines that are fantastic... recently Omega Point comes to mind. This wasn't for me though.

149 characters

Photo of Mattygross44
3.42/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4.25

Very sharp not that smooth for a barleywine in my book abv is very present carbonated after taste of cheap bourbon

114 characters

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Central Waters Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 2,322 ratings.
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