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

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel BarleywineBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine
BA SCORE
95.2%
Liked This Beer
4.31 w/ 2,374 ratings
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
Ranking:
#493
Reviews:
645
Ratings:
2,374
Liked:
2,261
Avg:
4.31/5
pDev:
8.82%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
713
Gots:
737
Trade:
90
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,374 |  Reviews: 645
Photo of ale_addin
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of nwhittin
4.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of thebeers
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reddish-brown with a centimeter of dense, light-tan cappuccino foam head that eventually settles into a thin cap.

Earthy hops stand out in the nose, followed by a mix of malt and bourbon with strong vanilla and toffee notes.

This continues to the taste, where the hops take on a somewhat piney quality, and the vanilla and toffee meet a hint of raisin and a distinct woody character. There's strong bitterness and a lingering alcohol bite in the aftertaste.

Big, creamy mouthfeel with strong carbonation.

As American barleywines go, this is right up there. Big and bitter all the way through.

 598 characters

Photo of freewill35
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Wizzle32
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jimmyd3
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured beer into snifter with slight incline. Coloration is a golden caramel. As I poured the smell of sweet dark fruit and vanilla caressed my nose with just a hint of bourbon. Had a quick taste at 40 degrees. Very pleasant, slightly warming feel to the mouth. First flavor was of slightly burnt caramel along with vanilla and a hint of raisin with the bourbon rolling across the tongue at the end. I let it warm into the fifty degree range before drinking further. As suspected the warmth brought the flavor of the beer into full blossom. Definitely a beer that will be added to my list of top choices.

 606 characters

Photo of hozersr
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Wheels2532
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BEER88
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Different malt taste than Bcbw but on par with taste and feel.

62 characters

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Daniellobo
4.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dragginballs76
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a beautiful ruby/caramel color with a thin tan head that dissipates to a thick ring around the glass.

Aroma - Nice aroma of dark fruit, vanilla, oak and bourbon. There is also a good amount of sweet caramel/toffee.

Taste - The flavors are much stronger than the nose let's on. Plum, raisin, toffee, vanilla and a nice amount of bourbon and oak. The taste is not as sweet as the nose let's on either which is a good thing in my opinion.

Feel - Creamy soft carbonation, the bourbon gives a warming feel very smooth.

Overall - An excellent tasting very smooth barleywine, very balanced.

 606 characters

Photo of bplabernie
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Galaneia
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful deep color like buckwheat honey. Sweet, kind of burnt caramel notes. Something I can't quite describe hitting the very back of my tongue, but not in an unpleasant way. It does have a little bit of a bite to it, but it's cumulative. It doesn't feel or taste thin. I can't smell much aroma, but that might be due to my allergies.

I do wish I had noticed the ABV before I started; it's not on the bottle and I had to look it up.

 436 characters

Photo of hermit990
3.8/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of darktronica
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My synopsis is that the Central Waters BBA barleywine is an excellent annual release with superior value on price per ounce and good enough distribution to be able to find it. I'm happy to buy a couple of four-packs each year and slowly work my way through them, holding a couple back for future verticals. That said, I experience a fair amount of inter-bottle variation even within the same year, in terms of both the degree of hop character evident on the palate and the heat from sharp fusel notes.

 501 characters

Photo of bshiban
3.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of DMarlinJ
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cryptichead
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chrismattlin
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

(12 oz bottle, 2016 vintage... poured into a Chouffe tulip)

L: crystal-clear, burgundy liquid with a half-inch high loose, silky foam atop, several mid-size bubbles... the minimal dregs add a slight haze along with some random sediment specks... no lace to mention

S: first immediate impression - one of the most ridiculously rich, dense displays of caramel aroma in memory; medium-toasted wood and vanilla aromas potent as well... perhaps hints of dates and raw almond... delicate spicy highlights around the edge, low presence of booze... overall intensity is excellent, with deep, very American malt/liquor aromas

T: dark caramel prevalent, mild coffee-chocolate roast note and a hint of sultana in the aftertaste... rather dry finish, little residual sweetness... after a couple sips, a subtle, almost tequila-like note emerges in the finish... lovely humming bitterness builds, as if having repeatedly flick-licked a 2x4... minimal hoppy notes - maybe some faint pine

F: rich, almost creamy-silky texture up front with a smooth shift to a hot, dry finish... bit of a tannic, woody bite in the aftertaste, mildly numbing... the delectable dichotomy of its luscious fore and elegant afterburner aft is remarkable - something to strive to emulate (ain't it the barrel?)

O: notably bold and pervasive in its flavor attack, but arguably indistinct in nuance due to the dominance of barrel character... its sensual execution is fantastic, and though I'd probably buy this again, I'm more interested to sample the base beer

 1,526 characters

Photo of mjc3151
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of OldRickSputin
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Donco
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As a big fan of Barleywines, I had the pleasure of trying this version on a trip to Michigan. After my first bottle, I bought a 4 pack to take back to Philly.
Look: Darker than many BA barleywines.
Smell: Bourbon, toffee, dark fruits
Taste: Bourbon, dark fruits, vanilla, caramel. Delightfully bitter finish.
Feel: Full mouth coating.
Overall: This has quickly moved to my select few best BA barleywines/scotch ales, along with Wulver, Backwoods Bastard and Insanity.

 467 characters

Photo of jakecattleco
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Draught pour at Pounders into a tulip glass. Gorgeous mahogany with thin ring of white head. Nose had nice balance of both the beer and barrel, really enjoyed especially as it warmed. Taste followed nose very well, plenty of caramel, molasses, vanilla and butterscotch, finishes a bit dry. Nice medium bodied mouthfeel, lower carbonation, some tongue tingling from the ABV.

Loved it, if it made distro in CA I'd be all over it every year.

 448 characters

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 95.2% out of 100 with 2,374 ratings
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