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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
2,397 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,397 |  Reviews: 654
Photo of John_M
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Last of my central water beers from my trade with Garrett. This is the 2012 version of this beer.

The beer pours a fairly dark brownish amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The beer is quite attractive on the nose, as I pick up light milk chocolate, noticeable vanilla, toffee and butterscotch. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this sweet, excellent beer. Also, maybe it's from the extended aging in my cellar/closet, but there's a soft creaminess on the palate this is very, very nice. The finish is long as well, and there is a hint of heat from the alcohol on the finish. Otherwise, the alcohol is pretty well integrated into the flavor profile.

Very nice beer from Central Waters (which is what I've come to expect from them). My only complaint is that I really didn't pick up a whole lot of bourbon, etiher on the nose or the palate. Otherwise, this is a very fine beer from CW.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle (2011 vintage) into a snifter glass. Pours hazy and dark red appearance with a small tan head. Decent thin lacing throughout. There was a rich, thick caramel, bourbon aroma along with dark fruit like plums, good amount of toffee, and vanilla. The flavor is quite rich and fairly boozy from the bourbon especially when the beer warms up, but nice. There’s a ton of dark fruit- plums, figs, dark grapes, dates- in the flavor along with a ton of vanilla, oak, sweet booze, and toffee. Sticky medium mouthfeel. Overall a very fine example of a barleywine. Look forward to the next try!

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Photo of TomMorris
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BEERchitect
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An insanely seductive Barleywine. Central Waters have figured it out.

I'll speed through the look, because the aroma is where this beer is at. A deep, truely amber colored beer carries a light majestic haze, moderate head formation and retention, and light lacing.

Now.. this beer's aroma is among the very best. Deep aromas of maple syrup, jelly beans, strawberry jam, raspberries, red licorice... it's unlike anything I have ever experienced in a beer glass.

With that nose, there's no way the flavor can measure up, right? Actually I am right. After the initial shock of ethynol and strong bitterness, I begin to appreciate the same attributes that I found in the nose. Caramel malts, toffee, sweet bourbon, and maple candy begin to describe the more prominant features of malt flavor. Fruity esters of plumbs, figs, dates, strawberries, ripe raspberries, red grapes, anise, and vanilla all make secondary impacts in waves and waves.

The flavors of succulent malts and fruits are abruptly interferred by intense bitter bite and strong alcohol numbing and prickling. The attenuation is quite high for Barleywines, making the beer more drinkable and less syrupy than most. Still, malty rich and medium-full textured.

Sure, there's some criticism here. But those aromas are the best. Simply put.

Thanks Cheezdawg!

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Photo of Dmbphoenix
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of e_rad24
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of jwenzel019
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Benesi88
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dankacheese
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Holopirek
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of carps12
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my st sebastiaan tulip. Picked up in a trade with Brian23456. thanks. Dark brown with a reddish brown tint with some light passing through. Thin frothy head with white lacing that sticks, nice. Slight bourbon, molasses, brown sugar, berry compote, fantastic! Taste of bourbon covered chocolate with a oak bitterness on the finish. The dry oakiness/bitterness starts to wear on me. Mouthfeel had a little to much carbonation, but was still enjoyable. I'd like to see how this ages to mellow out the finish. Hard to have more than one.

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Photo of Snoopy488
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mattsmith413
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StoutHunter
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a bottle of Central Waters Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine at The Lager Mill. I've been wanting to try this beer for a while and now that it's around it's time to see what it's like, so lets see how it goes. 2017 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label isn't that great looking, it's a little hard to read and it isn't too eye catching. It poured a darker brown color that took on a little bit of a ruby hue when held to the light and it had a fingers worth of creamy very light tan head that died down to a thin stayed till the end and it left some nice patchy lacing behind. This is a very nice looking beer, i have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with bourbon barrels being the first to show up and they impart a nice bourbon, light oak and vanilla like aroma that go right into a slight alcohol aroma. Up next comes the dark fruits which are a little on the bright and juicy side with some raisin aromas seeming to stick out the most and that goes into the malts which impart some caramel, caramel malt, light toffee, toasted malt, bread crust and sweet malts with just a slight leather like aroma towards the end. This beer has a very nice aroma, it's just what I would expect from the style.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but a little more intense and it starts off with a medium amount of high sweetness with the bourbon barrels being the first to show up and they impart all the same aspects that they did in the aroma, but this time they are stronger and more intense and that goes into the booze which is the same way, it's fairly warming and boozy. Up next comes the dark fruits which are a little lighter than they were in the aroma not as juicy, but it's still the raisin that sticks out the most. Towards the end comes the malts which are also stronger than they were in the aroma and they impart all the same aspects with no single one sticking out the most this time. On the finish there's a medium amount of bitterness along with some more sweetness and a little more booze with some caramel, bourbon, vanilla and sweet malt like flavors in the aftertaste. This is very nice tasting example of the style, it's a little more intense than the aroma led me to believe.

M- A little smooth, a little creamy, a little crisp, boozy, warming, slightly overly bitter, on the medium side of being full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation the mouthfeel is good, but I wish it was a little less better and the alcohol could have been hidden just a little better.

Overall I thought this was a very nice beer and it's a very nice example of the style, it pretty much had all the aspects that I look for in a bourbon barrel aged Barleywine and I thought all the flavors worked well with each other while making this beer pretty complex. This beer had ok drinkability, I think one or half a glass would be a good amount for me, anymore than that and it would be a little too much for me. What I like the most about this beer is the taste and the aroma, they were really nice and the highlights of this beer with their complexity. What I liked thee least about this beer was the mouthfeel, I wish it was a little less better and the alcohol could have been hidden a little better. I would buy this beer again and I would like to see how it ages over time, I would for sure recommend it if your looking for a good and intense bourbon barrel aged barelywine that really lives up to the style. All in all I was happy with this beer and I was a little impress with how much flavor and complexity that they crammed into this beer. It's now my favorite beer from this brewery and it's a very nice example of the style. Good job guys, this is one tasty and intense beer, keep it up.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

More bottles from my latest Philly run. I am feeling adventurous today and may try to eradicate the bottle backlog that has been an albatross since school started back. Now, I am just running through backlog.

From the bottle (in poetic format): "Flavors of bourbon, malt, and hops meld quite good/Served at cellar temp like it should/Unified in one voice, our fans can rejoice/Charlie now comes aged on wood!"

A beautiful finger-and-a-half of dense, tawny head that left beautiful lacing in its wake as it fell. Color was a hazy deep-amber. Nose caused the back of my head to blow off! Coconut/vanilla bourbon melded with sweet malt to create a hot, boozy melange that seared my nostrils, filled my sinus cavity and when I stupidly struck a match to see what was going on, ignited, blowing out my brain housing group. Wheeee! Mouthfeel seemed to suffer from CWBC Disease, i.e. thinness, but the heat of this darling erased all downfalls. I had a Come-to-Jesus moment as it initially had the heat of strained and lit Sterno on my tongue. I was initially overwhelmed, but upon recovering, I got tastes of coconut/vanilla with a big caramel malt sweetness. Where did I score this? Oh, for another bottle or two to cellar ...

 1,223 characters

Photo of Ironman84
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WastingFreetime
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of spointon
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of msumike89
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Resuin
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a goblet. This is a 2014 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a deep caramel color and leaves a finger of off-white head that fades relatively quickly to a layer atop the beer.

Smell: Molasses, sweet dark fruits, toffee, brown sugar. Not overly sweet, but plenty of sweet tones in here.

Taste: Wow - very sweet - sugar coated plums, figs, molasses, toffee, sugar coated pecans, oak, caramel. The sweet flavors mask the alcohol, although some still comes through.

Mouth-feel: Low to medium carbonation with a medium, creamy body.

Overall: A very nice, sweet barleywine. Dark fruits and sugar dominate the flavor, making this a nice, dessert beer.

 675 characters

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to nflmvp for this bottle. Cheers!
Pours with a thin head. Dark amberish in color. Has a big nose of sweetness with a hint of the booze. Taste is a nice mix of fruit and malt flavors with the bourbon. Mouthfeel is smooth but there is a bit of an etoh burn on the way down. A great sipper.


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Photo of dirtylou
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, rileys $3.99

appearance: dark dignified label...pours into a snifter a modest amber shade with a decent beige head and light retention

smell: strong whiffs of bourbon and vanilla right off the bat, sweet brown sugar, big malty nose with a high booze level, raisins and other dark fruits present. huge aroma here

taste: huge bourbon body, brown sugar, raisins and dates, plum soaked in bourbon, caramel malts, small amount of numbing bitter hops, a definite sipper from central waters that is quite the task to consume

mouthfeel: creamy but highly bitter, boozy, and powerful

drinkability: a monster

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Photo of CraigP83
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
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

 247 characters

Photo of ChrisPro
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with callmemickey

Pours dark muddy brown with decent tan carb. little lacing, but this thick beast had some legs.

Aroma was vanilla, caramel and some earthy pine notes. Just the slightest hints of actual bourbon on the nose.

Flavor was exceptional: great sweet caramel and molasses up front, but very well balanced with a big bitter finish, but leaving some rich bourbon and caramel on the tongue.

Big thick mouthfeel, but exactly what I want from a barley wine.

This must be a great base barley wine, but Central Waters showed how well you can use bourbon with a barley wine.

Re-rate 2011 Vintage:
Tasted Blind as part of Blind BIF #4

12 oz. bottle poured into my Bruery tulip.

First hiss hints of barleywine, so let's see...

Pours a burnt orange with a couple fingers of finely laced head. A little chill haze that'll hopefully clear up. Some large soap bubbles float around as the head dissipates. Both lace and legs glissade down the glass as I drink.

Aroma is dominated by pine and bourbon: vanilla, coconut and and earthiness. There's definitely some caramel there, but this beer deserves to warm up...toffee sweetness emerges with the warmth

The taste is a big shot of bourbon in my mouth. There's a subtle hint of burnt wood, like a fresh bourbon barrel or super smokey scotch. Big caramel flavor, then a an astringent finish, though I can't distinguish if this is from hops or a tannin flavor from wood. Also get some coconut aftertaste, reassuring me that this beer's been in bourbon.

The heat is in your face and this tastes relatively fresh. if not fresh, it's definitely 11%+ ABV. As sweet as this beer is, the strange dry finish is interesting. Perfectly carbonated for the style as the small bubbles work well to accentuate flavor but not kill me.

Overall, a solid barleywine. The heat is there and could use some age, but it's pretty solid. Great complexity of flavor.

I'd think this is something like central waters bourbon barrel barley wine, or maybe JW Lees Lagavulin cask, since that lagavulin smoke might be what I'm tasting.

 2,118 characters

Photo of samie85
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A rough pour into a Duvel tulip yields a hazy dark brown color with two and a half fingers of white head.

Smells of oak, vanillin, spicy bourbon notes, and some dark fruit notes with a bit of burnt sugar.

Follows the nose with vanillin from the barrel, spicy bourbon, some dark fruit notes and finishes with that spicy bourbon note.

Medium bodied with prickly carbonation and warm, boozy feel with a warmth that you only get from drinking bourbon straight.

A little bourbon heavy, which I don't mind, but I would like to get a better understanding of the base beer; it's pretty hard to distinguish from the big bourbon notes.

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 2,397 ratings
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