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

BA SCORE
95
world-class
2,321 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
2,321
Reviews:
629
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
8.88%
 
 
Wants:
716
Gots:
728
For Trade:
85
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,321 |  Reviews: 629
Photo of infestaxion
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From my notes

A - Murky dark red with a thin white head that fades quickly into a ring around the glass.

S - Big bourbon and sweet dark fruit. Nice malt presence.

T - Bourbon is much less in the taste. Huge malt and dark fruit. Apple. Alcohol. Very sweet aftertaste with a bit of burn.

M - Medium body and low carbonation.

D - Going to be slow drinking this thing.

 369 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Released early 2014; drank 6/17/14 @ the Yarchives.

Orange/plum murkiness.

HUGE cream head with hints of crimson; thick lace.

Burnt sugar, caramel & wet oak tree nose.

Thick mouthfeel.

Sweet caramel with hints of mocha up front in the flavor; acorns, figs, dried plums & booze on the finish. Sadly, pickle juice hints emerge as it warms. Monstrously complex, but years away from being enjoyable.

 405 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 bottle, 12 ounce. Poured into a snifter. Pulled it from the fridge and let it warm to about 60 degrees.

A- Raisin-colored in the glass with a red wine hue when placed to light. Frothy khaki head. Pools and islets of lace and a heavy film over the body. On point. 5

S- It's hot. Boozy. Has hints of caramel and dark fruit. Exceptionally blasé and I'm surprised but not deterred. 2.5

T- Still getting booze and it's quite a big component of the flavor. Sweet and gooey caramel. Grassy and earthy with hop flavor. Hints of raisin and dark fruit but they seem a tad timid. Becomes more butterscotch and toffee-like eventually. Don't get a ton in terms of definitive bourbon character but that's okay. 4

M- I'll reiterate the booziness. And the caramel sweetness. Spicy, earthy hop feel. Full-bodied, sweet and rich overall. 4

This is good but still a bit young and fresh. I'd age this some time to really get the best of it. I'm also curious about the barrel-aging here as this doesn't show a lot of bourbon flavors.

 1,024 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Once again I find myself in the awkward position of not being able to remember the BA who sent me this beer. I need to write these things down. Whoever you are, let me know so I can acknowledge you!

2010 vintage. This brew pours a mostly clear garnet amber topped by a short wisp of white bubbles. The nose comprises whiskey, oak, caramel, biting citrus, and a touch o' booze. The taste is a richer version of the smell, though the alcohol really busts its way through, Kool-Aid Man-style. I'm not so sure I'd say "Oh yeah!" to this with as much enthusiasm as that glass bastard. The body is a hefty medium, with a light carbonation and rather thick feel. Overall, a decent BBBW, but decidedly too boozy right now. Perhaps this guy will be calmer with some years on him, but he's too damn hot today.

 835 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. 2012 vintage, courtesy of lurchingbeast. Thanks, Frank!

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber body with a pinky finger of light beige head. Retention isn't great, but there is a thick swirl of bubbles on top of the brew for quite some time, with a thin collar that leaves a little ring during a swig. No lacing that sticks.

S: Bourbon... This is very bourbon-forward, wow. Caramel, butterscotch, toffee, brown sugar, molasses. Lots of sweet things. Vanilla, even some oak. Very pungent, very nice.

T: Almost a metallic bent to it, which recedes but doesn't fully vanish as the beer warms. It's very caramelly and sweet. Lots of toffee, butterscotch, and nuts to accentuate the bourbon character. Vanilla and oak are also found. Hops are quite strong in this beer, contributing bitterness but no particular flavor. Instead of balancing the rest of the beer, the bitterness clashes oddly. Somewhat poorly integrated. It starts off great, but the finish is metallic and astringent.

M: It is viscous, resistant to swirling in the mouth. Full-bodied in flavor, with low carbonation and a creamy presence. It's drier than expected, and the bitterness/metallicity helps prevent this from tasting too sweet as well. I detect the ABV only subtly as a warming effect.

D: This is an excellent deal. However, it could use a little more work to integrate the flavors properly. I'll definitely keep chasing it down in the future, but it's not a beer I need in large quantities. I like this approximately on par with Abacus; this one is more flavorful and less boozy, but Abacus has a better finish. The cost tips it in CW's favor.

 1,653 characters

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.

 208 characters

Photo of Poloplaya
3.71/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of moose73
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%

Photo of rhodeska
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A nice red/ dark amber tint to the beer, very nice head and lacing on the glass as i drink.

This one has a very strong smell, was able to catch a whiff of it as i poured it a couple feet below my nose. Really strong bourbon smell, and the taste is the same. Has some earthy and woody tones to it as well. It doesn't really have that hot or burning feeling as the alcohol goes down, which was slightly surprising, but that's it.

 428 characters

Photo of Klourie
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of getkrunkhoe
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

App- pours a really rich red almost burgundy color with brown hues. A thick and big as FU*k creamy tan head just stares at you. Looks like it'll fade quick.

Ar- I get vanilla and bourbon and a hint of plum(?). also the alc. is present.

taste- BOOZY, sweet, red fruit, a bit of caramel, and brbn of course.

mf- is creamy and lush, big and forward. Very inviting

Dr- needs time to age, a year or 2 will open this big bold beer imensely.Lots of potential.

I recommend this ish.

 480 characters

Photo of trappistlover
3.74/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(12oz bottle courtesy of guyinchicago!). Pours cloudy amber color with sediment and off-white head. Aroma of candied sugar, dried 'pit' fruit and bourbon. Taste is sweet almost like a tootsie pop with a bitter pop at the end.. Full bodied and slick texture. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overpowering. This is a pretty interesting beer.

 337 characters

Photo of ZAP
3.74/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love bourbon barrel aged beers but it is real tough to mess up the aroma....this one has everything you'd expect when you take your first smell...nougat, vanillla, oak, bourbon, dark fruits, caramel...the only off note if you want to call it that is a little red apple....

First sip brings a velvet like smoothness....full bodied but not immense...flavors are more muted on the taste...vanilla....oak...dark fruits...a good dose of bittering hops (perhaps chinook?)....

This is a BW and it has a little booziness to it as expected...the red apple notes are also evident on the taste...

I expected more out of this beer. That is not to say this is bad. Just seems kind of muddled and overall does not stand up to some of the better barrel aged beers I have had.

Certainly worth trying but this falls a little short for me.

 827 characters

Photo of CLCardinal84
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of rossracing
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of leschkie
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of Damian74
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of GuisseppeFranco
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of shbobdb
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I don't know why this beer isn't lighting up the trade charts. A really fantastic, sweet barleywine balanced by alcohol and the woody bite of bourbon. What isn't to love?

Just a fantastic pour. A huge head that lingers. A nice bit of lacing too. The beer is a little cloudy when it is too cold to drink, but a signal for when it the beer is warm enough to drink is OK by me!

The beer smells like toffee, cough syrup, and bourbon.

The taste is really pretty fantastic. Toffee, caramel, chocolate, a nice alcohol warming sensation, carob, and a hefty dose of bourbon. I mean, who can argue with that? There is also a vague citrus to the beer from the hops, maybe? I'm not even sure, it could just be the alcohol.

Yeah, this beer is nice. In terms of a downside, the beer does have a sort of cough-syrup flavor to it. But I find that is pretty common amongst barleywines, let alone bourbon barrel aged ones.

Good stuff.

 925 characters

Photo of Beergelden
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of blue-dream
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of WolfKeeper
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of Atomicskis5
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of CaptainNomihodai
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of jeisemann26
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Central Waters Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 2,321 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe