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

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel BarleywineBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Winter

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

Added by Atron67 on 03-02-2008

For Trade:
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Reviews: 615 | Ratings: 2,265
Photo of seedyone
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC.

Boom! There it is!

Hazy deep cooper tone with sligt head & descernable lacing portends a full flavored, intense pint.

Taste is charred oak, vanilla & toasted barley leading the way.

Texture is superlative.

If it wasn't for the overcharring, This would be way up there on m barleywine list.

But, since I'm super fussy barleywine -wise, give this a try. It's pretty damn good.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, 2016 vintage poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep amber-ruby color with a small foamy off-white head that reduces to a ring around the edge of the glass

S- aroma is quite bourbon-forward up front with plenty of spicy bourbon, as well as wet oak, vanilla, toffee & caramel. Undertones of black cherry, fig & amaretto

T- spicy bourbon immediately hits up front with plenty of barrel character adding flavors of caramel, butterscotch, toasted coconut & vanilla. The finish brings sweetness of fig & date, with a linger of more bourbon and caramel

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns into a creamy finish with some alcohol heat on the linger

O- plenty of barrel character compliments the base beer well, this should only get better with age, as the bourbon heat dies down a bit

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a flute glass.

Appearance: Deep mahogany color with med bubbles, head is off-white settling quick after one sip.

Smell: Nice butterscotch scent with notes of whiskey and toffee.

Taste: Complex brew, Malta are evident but offset withSweet caramel and heavy whiskey notes.

Mouth: Truly f'n sticky. Beer is all over the place with its medium bubbles.

Overall: First time I had this and little pricey but consider how much you spend for some 22oz bombers this is actually a steal. In New York roughly 20 bucks a four pack.

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Photo of BSiegs
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish, amber in color with excellent clarity. The head is light tan with great retention and lacing. The nose is delightful - bourbon, dark fruit, oak, molasses. And the flavors follow exactly, with caramel and toffee on the aftertaste as well. Really complex and enjoyable. The body is full with low-moderate carbonation. A slightly bitter finish, well balanced. This is a superb BA barleywine!

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a amber-brown color with moderate haze. Some reddish highlights. 1+ finger head is a creamy tan color. Moderate amount of spiderweb lacing which doesn't last.

Bourbon, caramel, and toffee on the nose. Oak, vanilla, and doughy malt. Some dates/fig notes.

Very big caramel, brown sugar, and toffee flavors. Bourbon next. Dark fruits and booze. Oakiness on the back end.

Rich, sticky mouth feel. Sweet but not syrupy. Moderate carbonation. A bit boozy. Strong barrel notes linger.

Really nice bourbon barrel aged barleywine. Not getting much hops, seems more of an English Barleywine than an American one.

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Photo of Rawwie
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really strong barrel notes. Caramel, vanilla, coconut, smokey flavors. Tastes like a smokey almond joy candy bar soaked in bourbon. I like this a lot, definitely a sipper. Cheers!

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Photo of Chaz
3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red-amber in color, partly turbid. A frothy, two-fingered meringue-like darker tan head tops this one and leaves a moderate amount of lace as it falls.

HUGE barrel on the nose, along with sherry-like notes and a touch of oxidation. Rich and boozy... pretty much what I was expecting (average) of the barrel treatment. Notes of coconut and rum, raisin...

Lightly sweet, tangy, bitter, and boozy on the first sip. High ferment and a tingling from the oozy heat. Mouthfeel is light ("thin") but this one really coats the mouth, tongue, and palate. Dried dark skinned fruit notes make a nice counterpart to the residual tannins from the barrel.

Finish is not dry, but the higher alcohol content renders it as a lighter finish, at least (it is very much like a spirit in the way that it finishes on the palate).

Rich malt and barrel character, and a lively interplay all around. Dried cherry and (very light) anise are the two fruit/vegetable/her notes that I pick out the most, along with some very light mint.

A very good "BA" (barrel aged) ale, and for what it is I'm sure it's hitting all of the right note. Likewise, for such a potent brew it is amazingly, dangerously drinkable!

It's definitely worth trying this one fresh, and I'd also recommend laying down a bottle (or three) to enjoy in years to come. This was the 2015 batch -- already a year old!

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Photo of dwagner003
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer is wonderful, but would be amazing with 2+ years of aging to settle down the hot alcohol. Smell is toffee and amaretto. Taste is vanilla ice cream, malt, toffee and burnt sugar. Blows Sucaba out of the water.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 Vintage

Appearance - Ruby red/brown color with tan head

Smell - Caramel, toasted coconut, maple, oak

Taste - Caramel, rum, coconut, oak, a bit of maple in there as well

Mouthfeel - Full bodied, medium carbonation, slight sweetness upfront, barrel and booze in the back end

Overall - not quite as complex as Bourbon Counry Barrel Aged Barleywine, a bit harsh on the aftertaste, but a good tasting beer.

Price Point - $17.99/4 pack 12 oz bottles

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Photo of MNAle
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Moderately dark brown/ruby color. Lightly carbonated. 1/2 inch tan bubbly creamy head that recedes slowly leaving thick lacing. Sweet whiskey aroma with hints of chocolate. Initial taste matches the aroma: sweet and bourbon. Thick and creamy mouth feel. The alcohol is detectable but not overbearing. Smooth taste with whiskey dominating, transitioning to some bittering in the finish. The aftertaste is moderately bitter bourbon that hangs around just the right amount of time. Excellent. Well done, CW.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a clear reddish brown with a small head.
S - Aroma is sweet and boozy.
T - Flavor is a sweet caramel quickly overtaken by bourbon.
M - Medium mouth feel and low carbonation.
O - I would say this is a bit hot and will likely benefit from some time in the cellar.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caramel in color, fading head, minimal lacing. Smell is delicious caramel treats, real smooth and subtle with some vanilla mixed in. Taste is lots of oak and booze, very hot. Sticky mouthfeel. Not bad but I bet some time would do this beer wonders

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Photo of fondyball20
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2010 and 2011 vintage served at Palm Tavern on 2/4/16

2010 was unlike any other barleywine I have had. The flavors were muted, a touch of heat, very smooth, and tasted almost like sipping on a bourbon. 2011 had a bigger flavor punch but again was very smooth. The aging really mellowed out both beers.

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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.

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Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazy, orange-brown, with 1/3 inch head. Taste is pine, toffee, alcohol, tangerine, wood, and light vanilla. The wood adds a dryness to the beer that plays well off of the sweetness of the base beer. Really tasty beer that I will look to get again.

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Photo of 98green
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I tend to avoid barleywines. Just not a style I favor. Ordered by a friend on tap, he hated the barrel additives. For me, that is what turned this into a winner. Lots of bourbon flavor throughout, and of course the warming abv burn. All kinds of sweet of course, but the barrel has mellowed that harsh barleywine twang for me. Loved this one

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Photo of ryanhooks81
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured from bottle into tulip. pours a cloudy reddish brown. small light khaki colored head. dissipates into a thin ring. smells boozy, with vanilla and toffee. big vanilla flavor, along with dates and toffee and vanilla. perfect carbonation. very good. i wish i had more.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big Thanks to UncleJazz for the bottle!

Pours a deep, rich amber color with a short khaki head with minimal retention but with a few spots of lacing. The nose and taste are similar and feature massive sweet toasted grain, caramel, toffee and warm boozy bourbon and finishes with pleasant hoppy notes. It is big, round and creamy on the palate. Overall, thuis was a very well balanced BBA barlywine!

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, 2014 version. Pours deep caramel brown, off white head fades to thin layer that coats the glass. Roma is full of bourbon, vanilla, wood, raisins. Big sweet malty flavor up front. Followed by vanilla and bourbon, lots if it, ends with lingering oak. Nice soft mouthfeel. Overall really tasty Barleywine, maybe a little heavy on the bourbon, but quite good.

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Photo of WoostaBia
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great tasting barleywine, bitter hops, bourbon heat, vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, toasted coconut come through balanced to provide unending enjoyment, gets even better at room temp.

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Photo of TastyIsBeer
3.71/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the Great Taste of the Midwest (2015) - pretty hot, pretty thin... not my favorite BA Barleywine by a long shot, but maybe a year or two of aging would at least mellow it enough to be pretty good.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my all time favorite Barleywines! I have had it on draft quite a few times and have a bottle from 2014 aging in my cellar for a special occasion. This BW is so damn smooth you wouldnt know the ABV is so high....HUGE Caramel notes that round out the finish and make it oh so memorable!

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into sniffer
Look - hazy auburn color with slight head and of course floaters since it's 3.5 years old
Smell - complex! Booze, sweet bourbonized wood, vanilla, spices
Taste - bourbon oak barrel taste with some sweet vanilla and a lot of booze.
Feel - medium body with a warming feel and very lite carbonation that actually works for the beer
Overall - super complex, boozy and very tasteful with a great aroma!

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2014 Vintage. I got this in a trade from atone315. Thanks man!

Pours from the 12oz bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Emerges a ruddy brown color with minimal head, sporadic lacing, and little carbonation present. Slight amber hues through the light.

Aroma is nice. Perhaps a little heavy on the bourbon for some, but I like the in your face aromas of borbon. Vanilla, oak, pineapple, raisins also join the olfactory party.

I am a little lost in the last half. The flavor is decent. In this case, the bourbon IS too powerful. I like bourbonn beer as much as the next guy but the bourbon here needs to take a chill pill. Bourbon, alcohol, and tobacco are about all I get.

This one finishes super hot. The alcohol is certainly tangible and is in no way perfunctory. I like the chewiness but the hot finish and bourbon sucker punch kind of make this a one hit wonder.

Not bad overall but I think another year on this would do wonders.

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Photo of dmgeng
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one as a bonus on trade and I was letting it age a little before I tried it. Bottled: 2015.

A - Dark amber color that is somewhat cloudy from the journey this beer has taken. Has a bone colored head that subsides quickly and leaves only a few spots of lacing.

S - Big sweet malt character and then sweet bourbon mixed with caramel and some vanilla. The booze is still very strong but it doesn't burn the nose. It's a sweet and pleasant bourbon barrel barleywine.

T - As you would expect the robust, sweet malt character is first and then a wash of big flavors takes the tongue. Toward the middle is the full bourbon flavor rich with oak, caramel, and vanilla. The finish has the dark fruits associated with a barleywine and some warmth from the alcohol.

M - High mouth-feel with low carbonation. This is how a bourbon barrel barleywine should be; soft on the palate, full flavored, and not too cloying.

Overall, this is a supreme example of the bourbon barrel barleywine. It isn't as complex, as boozy, or as easy to drink as some out there but being in the middle of it all give this beer perfect stature for the style. This is a sweet barleywine with plenty of bourbon and goes down nicely. If you haven't tried this style this is a great one to start with since it will be the baseline on what to taste for when sampling more offerings of the style.

Glass- Snifter

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Central Waters Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 2,265 ratings.
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