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: Rotating

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

Added by Atron67 on 03-02-2008

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Ratings: 2,337 |  Reviews: 634
Photo of BillHilly
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Auztan
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Wiscivore
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of GeezLynn
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of JJWIGHT
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of cbeer88
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blindly in the Blind BIF. Poured into Duvel tulip.

Apperance: Dark orange, bordering on brown. Decent finger and a half head on an aggressive pour, lots of carbonation bubbles. Light spotted lacing.

Smell: Caramel malt, oak, and a bit of a hop profile. Also a good amount of alcohol presence on the nose. Bourbon I do believe.

Taste: Really hot, the alcohol dominates the palate on this one. Bourbon barrel for sure. Underneath I get some caramel, some sweet bread-y flavor, and a good amount of pine flavored hop punch.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, moderately carbed.

Drinkability: Very low - this beer is really hot and needs some time to mellow.

Overall: I do think there is a very good beer in here, but it is so masked by the alcohol that I'm having a hard time tasting what lies underneath. I'll get through it alright without a struggle, but I would lay this down for a bit before attempting it again.

 917 characters

Photo of Jules11788
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of jlindros
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to jstilwell for this, one of my fav styles by far. I love barleywines, and adding bourbon barrel to it... oh man! Been holding it for a little while, but it was already about a year old when I got it. 2011 vintage, I believe it has a notch in the January bottled date.

Pours a light creamy looking head covering that fades at a med pace to just a touch of head eventually, but typical for an 11.5% beer, it also leaves nice lacing on the sides as long lengs drip from the top of the lacing in a neat effect. The beer is a hazy murky sediment filled yeast chunked drunken haze looking thing, with a chestnut mahogany almost purple color.

Nose is awesome, malt city! Big malts, sweet malts, loaded caramel, toffee, brown sugar, a bit of molasses, candy syrup, even a touch of maple. That's quickly brought on with the fruits, tons of fig and plum, raisins soaked in brandy, light nutty quality with that. Next on the list is the bourbon, it's not dominant but it's definitely there. A light vanilla oaky barrel aroma as well, but more of the bourbon with a light sweetness and vanilla of it's own. As it warms I also get a hint of an earthy spicy chewy hop like profile. A slight tingly booze is in there but doesn't seem as high as it is.

Taste comes on sweet, candy sweet, a bit syrupy at first, but then the bourbon kicks in nicely. A nice big bourbon flavor that doesn't overpower but adds quite a bit. Nice sweet candy bourbon with some oak barrel, and lots of vanilla, as the vanilla really comes through nicely. Malts are a plenty with the sweetness, reddish candy malts, plenty of caramel sweeteners, toffee galore, brown sugar and molasses come in just a bit. Later on the back end there is a light coffee syrup flavor too which is unique. Then of course the fruits of the labor, some fig and date, and lots of brandy soaked raisins again. As the nose did, it also brings some spicy earthy chewy hops, with quite a bit of bitterness. I'm surprised the hops come through as well as they do for it being almost 2 years old now. Just a touch of warming booze comes in, but not nearly 11.5% except for a light booze taste in the background, but no tingle or heavy alcohol. Finish is long lingering, a smooth creamy coffee syrup taste, with lots more vanilla, some bourbon, a bit of booze fruits again, little more caramel and toffee, and a big blanket of spicy earthy hops bringing a big bitterness. Not too dry on the finish but compared to the initial sweetness it's fairly dry.

Mouth is fuller bodied, somewhat rich, decent carb for what it is, some warming booze.

Overall very nice, delicious, great bourbon that brings lots of flavor without overpowering, delicious vanilla, sweeteners, fruits, malts, and even a long spicy earthy hop that brings nice bitterness and has held up for almost 2 years. I wish I could get a lot of this beer. I wouldn't call it my fav bourbon barrel aged barleywine, but it's up there. Again right in with my top 3 styles.

 2,976 characters

Photo of cfrances33
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to yamar68, poured into HF stem.

Pour: Ugly, muddy copper, with barely a finger of head that diminishes to a rim. Nice sticky legs, alcohol definitely there.

Smell: Toffee and bourbon up front, with some chewy raisins and vanilla. A hefty oak presence lends an almost smokey character.

Taste: A lot of barrel here, both with bourbon characteristics and a significant oak presence. Nice toffee and very chewy dates and figs. Some vanilla. Ends extremely woody, almost smokey, and any lingering taste is gone.

Mouthfeel: I can't decide if this is too sweet, or has too much of an alcohol presence. As it warms, these concerns are alleviated as it all blends together.

Overall: A very nice barrel aged barleywine, but not in the same league as KH, Sucaba, and Leon.

 781 characters

Photo of wibeerman
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of bbadger
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of cestlavie
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of elcrawl
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Gatch
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Cougar990
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of StoneTSR
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

APPEARANCE: Typical mahogany color for a Barleywine with a surprisingly nice head of about a full finger. Unlike some others who have reviewed this beer here, the head hung in there for a while. The lacing was also quite nice.

SMELL: Very complex and delicious smeller with cherry, vanilla and wood leading the way. Some caramel and a touch of bread were also present.

TASTE: Everything from the nose is here in the taste as well. The cherry is dominant along with vanilla and wood. Adding to the caramel and bread is a little chocolate. The one thing missing from a typical Barleywine here is banana. It may be that the bourbon barrels overwhelm it, and either way, it doesn't need it, just a note that it isn't there as I expected it to be. The beer is delicious.

MOUTHFEEL: Like the smell and taste, the mouthfeel is very complex as well. While it starts out sweet, the hops in the middle create a small pucker of bitterness and the beer dries throughout each sip.

OVERALL: With all the flavors here it would have been easy to allow one to take over and tip the balance, but at no point does this delicious masterpiece go too far in any direction. Beer Advocate encourages reviewers only to use 5s when a beer is truly exceptional - and this is one of those cases.

EDIT: Not changing the above review at all, but adding notes for the 18 month-old bottle I cracked:

Appearance is pretty much the same. There is a ton more chocolate on the nose to me now (or I missed it last time), either way, this would be a 5 on smell now as opposed to the original 4.5 I gave it. Taste is still a five, the chocolate is more pronounced and that banana that seemed to be missing is lingering in the background now. There isn't much hop bitterness and ZERO pucker now, mouthfeel would probably remain the same. Overall, though, after 18 months, this is a better beer. I wouldn't wait much longer on this one, it's close to perfect beer.

 1,936 characters

Photo of hilgart1
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Chokobo
2/5  rDev -53.3%

Photo of JRod1969
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of bsuedekum
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of aasher
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of parris
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Central Waters Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 2,337 ratings.
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