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

BA SCORE
95
world-class
624 Reviews
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: Winter

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

Added by Atron67 on 03-02-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
624
Ratings:
2,294
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
8.88%
 
 
Wants:
716
Gots:
715
For Trade:
84
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 624 | Ratings: 2,294
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 grub
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i got bottles of this one from both EliteDigger and Jay23. thanks scott and jay!

12oz bottle, 2008 vintage. sampled nov 22/08.

pours deep red, not quite brown, with a small very dense tan head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass and leaves lots of lace.

aroma is great. bourbon. vanilla. oak. light alcohol. caramel and toffee. touch of butterscotch. dark fruit - date, plum, raisin. whole wheat bread. biscuit. cracker. hint of toasty character. there's more depth here than i'm really able to capture. great stuff.

taste is great. light alcohol. medium bitterness level. vanilla, bourbon, oak. caramel and toffee. bit of butterscotch. loads of malt. biscuit, multi-grain bread, cracker. dark fruit - date, raisin, bit of plum. bit of lighter fruit character too, though less specific. hint of dark chocolate.

mouthfeel is great. fairly big body. silky smooth medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. excellent balance. the barrel character is present but not overpowering and works very well. this is my second favourite bourbon barrel barleywine behind kuhnhenn's. really great stuff. glad i still have another in the cellar.

 1,157 characters

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

Planned a trip to Hudson to specifically get this. I was saddened to find that Chicone's was out, but ecstatic to see that Casanova's had singles of this. For around the same price as GI BCS per bottle, I am expecting something great.

2009 bottle.

Pours a ruby hued brown color with a light carbonation. Uneventful head that was gone in a second, which I have come to find the norm in bourbon barrel aged beers.

Subtle bourbon hints mix well with caramel, toffee, dark fruits and a nice bitterness. Without the added bourbon, this would still be a great nose for a barleywine, but the bourbon takes this to a whole new level of goodness.

Taste is spot on the aroma. Thick bourbon and caramel malt base dominates this one, but subtle dark and citrusy fruits and grapefruit and piney hops blend to make this a very impressive beer. Nothing is overpowering and all the flavors play with each other to add to the complexity.

Smooth and creamy, with a light carbonation bite. Great drinkability as well.

I wish this were more widely available. Central waters only recently made it to Hudson, and at this point I think I'd be missing out if they hadn't. Highly recommended.

 1,173 characters

Photo of JerUrbans
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage just picked up. Also had this on tap at Central Waters anniversary party over the week end.

Amber orange and cloudy with light tan head. Smells is super sweet bourbon with alcohol coming through. Taste is fantastic!! Sweet brown sugar, big bourbon with slight tang. Heat lingering well after swallowed. Mouthfeel is clean and a little silky, not as silky as their Y2K, but very nice. Overall this is another Central Waters to seek out if you like this beer style you will not be disappointed. Picked up a case and will be aging some of this one.

 560 characters

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

2010 vintage poured into snifter.

Pours a deep redish-brown with a tiny white head small bubbles floating up even after the head fades, great lacing. Smells like vanilla toffe with dark fruits and a little oaky scent. Taste is amazing big bourbon vanilla upfront blends very well with the sweet maltyness of the barleywine. Mouthfeel is great for a strong barleywine, not huge carbonation but its nice for the style just enough. Overall amazing beer I really wish I had more than the one bottle, thanks dyan for the hookup.

 524 characters

Photo of KI9A
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh boy...can't wait to post his review, so I can look at what the others say about it!

A: Bottle pour, tulip glass. Beautiful deep mahogany. Puffy head.

S: Wood barrels, no doubt about that. Boozy, fruity, malty aroma. Nice.

T: YIKES! This is great. White vanilla-chocolate covered apples. Thats as close as I can explain it. Malts, maybe a grapefruity bitter finish. Very nice!

M/D: Clean for a barley wine. Nice bourbon finish, along with a little boozy heat. I am glad I bought 2 of these, one for now, one to cellar.

 524 characters

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

Reviewing the 2011 vintage

Pours a hazy hazelnut brown with amber highlights. Head is 1/3 inch and off white. Head retention is good and lacing is very good.

Smell is of classic barleywine aromas. Caramel malts, Belgian candied rock sugar, and some dried apricots/dates. Hints of pine and citrus linger and bourbon barrel aging is pretty apparent. Alcohol smells of slight oak, molasses, vanilla, and caramel.

Taste is pretty complex. Sweet caramel, bready rich malts, smokey almost like scotch. Alcohol has a big presence here but it isnt overpowering at all. 11 percent is definitely tasted but oak and bourbon impart a nice butterscotch/vanilla alcohol sweetness. Hops arent very present. As the beer warms, different flavors become more noticeable, mainly bourbon.

Mouthfeel is good, medium bodied and carbonation is good, especially for such a rich syrupy beer. Would have scored a perfect 5 if only head would have been pronounced and added that creamy texture that is so rare in high alcohol beers

Overall this is the best barleywine I've ever had. Flavors are rich, complex and for almost 12 percent, nowhere near overbearing. Only flaw to this beer is that the alcohol was definitely there, not that I dont mind it, but it prevented me from giving this beer 5 in some categories. I sampled this vintage at about 11 months old, hopefully I can find some more of this barleywine and revisit it in another year.

 1,423 characters

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

12oz bottle. 2008 Vintage.

Dark brass-like orange with a small whipped meringue head of off-white foam. Aromas of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and bitter candy coated green monster hops. Taste is similar to the aroma but more intense. VERY hoppy with a lovely biscuity candy malt sweetness in the back and great swirling oak, vanilla, and bourbon flavors. Mouthfeel is medium/thick, drinkability is good, but not perfect, as this is definitely a sipper. A real treat from a small fantastic Wisconsin brewery that is really doing everything right when it comes to these barrell aged project beers.

 591 characters

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into Tulip.

A. Pours 1 finger of head. Really good retention. Permanent collar of head. Thick lacing left. Color is a hazy amber brown.

S. A lot going on in the aroma of this beer. Caramel, vanilla, raisins, dark fruit, molasses, brown sugar. A little bit of hops. Nice bourbon aroma in the background. A little bit more alcohol comes out as it warms. Really a very nice complex smelling barleywine.

T. Flavor does not let down either. Lots going on. Caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, dark fruit, molasses. Some bourbon flavor. Drinks really smooth. Get some woody oaky flavor on the back of the tongue. Gives it some balance to the traditional barleywine sweetness. Nice vanilla flavors also come out as it warms, which is part of why I like this style so much.


M. Full bodied. Medium low carbonation. Finishes with some lingering sweetness.

O. Expected great things from this, and it delivered. Smooth easy drinking barleywine with a ton of depth and flavor.

 992 characters

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

12oz bottle, 2010 version. Thanks to justn. Had the 2009 a while ago but jusr a taste.

A- Lighter than expected. Amberish. Moderate creamy peanut-butter-cookie head. Slight lacing, good retention.

S- Caramel toffee bourbon goodness. Rich, almost butterscotch (good though). Barleywine is in the background but there... faint raisins or figs.

T- In a word- awesome. I think bourbon bal-aged barleywines are my kryptonite. The flavors work so well. The bourbon and wood notes are most noticed... very woody actually. Smooth and sweet caramel, a bit of a spicy wood note, vanilla and burnt sugar, mild creamed coffee (light roast).... and finally we get to the barleywine. Dried fruit, booze. I'm having a hard time picking out more than that but its all good. Lots of flavors at work and the barleywine is a perfect springboard for the other flavors in play.

M- Finesse- Really one for the record books. Is it hot? Yes. But not out of control or messy. I'm curious what some time would do to this as I'm really digging it now.

D- Moderately high- Rivals any other bal-aged barleywine I've had. Impressive stuff. If you have access to this stuff, consider yourself lucky.

 1,173 characters

Photo of pmccallum86
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours maroon amber color with a light head, one finger head,

Aroma is of bourbon, oak, vanilla, malts, and bitter hops. Very rich in aroma, great for the style.

Wow, this beer is amazing. Lots of bourbon up front followed by a big wood (oak) flavor. Some vanilla and other subtle flavors come through on the finish. Seeing as it is a 2010 it seems a little hot, but it is still very good. I have heard much about this beer, lots f hype, and it definitely lives up to the hype. Terrific beer by Central waters.

Mouthfeel is smooth and a little hot. Age could do this beer well, as I'm sure it will only get better. Medium carbonation, smooth finish.

Very drinkable for the style, I want to get a lot of this beer, and keep it forever.

 738 characters

Photo of tbryan5
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to pmarlowe for sending me this in a trade.

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a dark cloudy bronze color with minimal head that dissipates pretty quickly. It does leave a little lacing on the glass.

S- Wow! Is this whiskey or beer? The bourbon hits you as soon as the bottle is cracked open. Even more huge bourbon notes as I poured it. As this brew mellows and warms, I can start to notice more sweetness and the dark fruit aromas come out.

T- Again, more bourbon. But I like it. I almost want to say that CW did not empty the barrels out completely before they added the beer. The bourbon, oak, sand barleywine mesh well in my opinion and produce a very flavorful brew. I can see how it may be too overpowering for some but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

M- Medium carbonation and it goes down easily. Definitely has an alcohol bite to it.

O- Not for the faint of heart. If you do not like bourbon, you will not like this one. I, for one, found it to be delicious and would pick it up again if I had access to it here in Louisiana.

 1,051 characters

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.

 504 characters

Photo of Seanniek91
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance- Cloudy Amber/brown with little to no head. Good lacing.

Smell- Caramel and vanilla (bourbon), some mild chocolate, light booze, no hops, and light maltiness.

Taste- Ohh very smooth vanilla bourbon notes. Lots of caramel and malts. No real hop presence here. Can't taste the booze, but can feel it go down.

Mouthfeel- Full body and smooth with mild heat at the back of the throat.

Overall- This is great, very smooth and flavorful. Nice extra from a recent trade!

 521 characters

Photo of biga7346
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip

N - Musty wood, tobacco, alcohol, cinnamon spices and candy like toffee or cotton candy, vanilla bean, faint suggestions of bakers chocolate, cookie dough and crystal malt.

T/M - A lactic and coating mouthfeel which is nice, some bourbon whiskey, wood, and suggestions of fudge, reminds me of like a real oakey red wine, dense malt backbone makes the beer real filling.

D - I love bourbon and vanilla notes in beer and this one doesn't disappoint, I could drink this all night but with the high ABV this is a nightcapper for sure. Extremely drinkable even with the big ABV.

 597 characters

Photo of blankenhoney
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the Local Option. Pours a cloudy amber with a substantial head. The nose is sweet vanilla and rich caramel toffee: at this point, I'm ready to take a bath in this stuff. Taste delivers what the nose promised: lots of sweet vanilla bourbon up front, then transitions into caramel maltiness, and finishes with a strong tart hoppiness. Very tart and hoppy on the end. Mouthfeel was a delight: chewy, creamy, and somewhere between medium- and high-carbed. A fantastic BA barleywine: it has all the best aspects of a english-style BA barleywine up front, and the intense hoppy tartness you see in american barleywines provides a great contrast at the end. So good I had to order another!

 694 characters

Photo of Strix
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly clear orange-amber, decent initial head, fading to nothing.

Smells of vanilla, malt, and bourbon, hint of cherry.

Tastes of sweet malt, cherry, caramel, brown sugar, oak, and bourbon. Boozy heat permeates. Nicely blended.

Smooth, nearly invisible in the mouth.

A nice sipper. It will be interesting to see how this ages.

 331 characters

Photo of guityler83
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: A dense tan colored head was poured about a finger tall into a snifter glass. Head retention was good for such a high gravity beer, a thin coat of lacing was left on the side of the glass as it was being consumed. Alcohol legs can be shown when swirled. The beer is a dark mahogany brown color, very murky with not much light coming through.

S: Big nose composed of prunes, raisins, plums and other dark stone fruits. A woody character melds with the complex malt profile so well it seems very organic. Fairly moderate dank and dark piny hop aroma.

T: Very complicated malt profile similar to the aroma. Prunes, plums, raisins, tobacco and pomegranate. The balance is on the malt side with a moderate sweetness, almost a syrup like flavor, but there is a medium bitterness at the beginning with an earthy, pine flavor. Last but not least the oak, vanilla, slightly coconut flavored barrel flavor develops throughout and melds very well and naturally. Very tasty.

M: Big warming sensation from the alcohol on this one, definitely a sipper. Big body with moderate to medium carbonation. The woody/oaky tannins are left on the pallet giving a slight drying sensation.

O: A big malty barley wine with an organically natural tasting barrel flavor thats great for sipping on a cold winter night. Cheers CW, keep up the good work.

 1,332 characters

Photo of coldmeat23
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees
VINTAGE: 2010

This one is a nice, golden amber color with honey colored tinting. It forms a thin head, which is the color of burnt caramel. This dissipates rapidly, but the lacing is spotty and nicely sticky.

Chunks of creamy caramel wrapped in flakes of toasted coconut sail in a boat made of toast and marshmallows down a stream of butterey goodness. This has tons of deep, rich, maltiness to it. A good deal of oak is present. Lots of sticky, dark fruit notes. Mild traces of vanilla.
This has all of the barrel characteristics that you'd find in a stout of this style, except that they are with a barleywine here. I think they may even blend better here than with a stout.

The taste follows the nose. It brings some charred oak notes along to the party. Caramelized sugar notes. Mild presence of hops combine with the woodiness, to help give a nicely dry finish.
Bourbon flavor is apparent, but alcohol presence is fairly well hidden.

This has a very nice full body, verging very close to being downright thick. The carbonation level is mild-to-medium. It is very smooth and has just a touch of light creaminess going on.

For 11.50%abv this is very drinkable. If I had a four pack of this, I'd probably be passed out by now, but I'd have a great time getting to that point. This stuff is tasty!

 1,353 characters

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!

 397 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a teku pint. Appears to be some numbers on the bottleneck, but they're smudged.

A- Pours a light brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Rich boozy aroma of brown sugar, caramel and vanilla. Quite bourbon-forward with the heat rising off the bouquet.

T- Excellent bourbon character with lots of marshmallow, more vanilla and more caramel coming through along with a nice tannic, woody finish. Heat on the back end but only slightly so. Man this is so tasty and smooth but I've got to go slow since this is a hefty 11.5%. Also a nice pecan nuttiness in the aftertaste.

M- Velvety smooth with medium-low carbonation and a fullish body.

O- If it has the words "Central Waters" and "Barrel" on the label, you know it's gonna be fantastic (unless there are also the words "Peruvian" and "Morning" on the same label but I know nothing about that from firsthand experience). Anyways, expectations met and exceeded as usual. Definitely very bourbon-heavy with some heat, but welcomed all the same. Cheers!

 1,189 characters

Photo of airohead2001
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

glazeman, thanks.

A - Typical barleywine. Thick looking dirty red/copper/brown with a thin film for a head that resolves to a few bubbles that line the walls of my glass. Looks good, but nothing special.

S - Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon, buttery toffee, roasted cashews, malted vanilla milkshake, tiny amount of hops, pecan pie, and harsh booze. This is the best smelling barleywine this nose has ever smelled. Perfect.

T - Harsh and boozy, but delicious. Caramelized sugar up front with tons of bourbon. Some bitter hops in the middle and some dark roastiness as well. Just a hint of dark fruits and a ton of bourbon in the finish. Best barleywine I've ever tasted.

M - A bit too bubbly for such a rich bourbon bomb.

D - This is an incredible beer, but it has a ton of booze and a ton of heat. But honestly, despite the heat, it is good enough that I could seriously drink it all night long.

This beer blew me away. By far the best barleywine I've ever had and also one of the best beers in general that I've had as well. I've wanted this one for a while and it surely did not disappoint

 1,095 characters

Photo of caskstrength
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle itself is dark glass, refreshingly simple label. Just announces itself as barrel aged barleywine, 2009, from Central Waters. ABV would have been nice.

Gourgeous maroon pour. Hold it up to the light if you want to see a beautiful looking beer. White head is just enough, dissapears and leaves a white ring.

Bourbon up front on the nose. Strong toffee. some dark fruit too, hops give some sweet citrus and rich pine. Need to start drinking this.

Taste is heavenly. If you like bourbon aged beers, you will absolutely love this. The magnificence of the flavors present here make me wonder if barleywines are even better suited to barrel aging than stouts. Dark fruit, oak, toffee and carmel coming through, but not too sweet. Subdued pine and citrus from the hops add to the complexity. Some booze in the mix too (it is 11.5%), but it really works with what's going on here and would be missed if it weren't there. Bourbon barrel backbone holding everything together, setting the tone for every sip, every smell.

One of those beers where after the first sip you know you're in love. Hard to drink slowly.

----

2010 revisted on 12/23/10. Doesn't have the sweetness of 2009, but after a year the alcohol burn has faded and it's woody and dry with an appropriate bite. (early 2010 had solvents ruining things). Excited for the 2011 batch.

 1,349 characters

Photo of Alpar
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review # 2

A: Nice copper/ruby blend of color. The carbonation is not lost on this, foamy white head with a decent lacing filling the snifter.

S: Dark fruits, mostly plum with some hints of vanilla and caramel maybe even a bit of belgian style sugar in there. A very pungent punch in the face that doesn't disappoint.

T: WOW, really this is just insane! I am not a "Homer" at all but I have to say this is the best thing to come out of Wisconsin. Very strong alcohol burn but in a good way. First sip is very misleading but as it coats the mouth the beer definitely opens up and leads to a far more complex flavor than originally lead on. Vanilla, fruit, bourbon and alcohol all come in to a magnificent harmonious blend that is almost unbelievable.

O: Favorite beer of 2011 thus far and I am halfway through the year. This, for me, will be tough to beat. Damn near perfection to my pallet. Seek this one out if you are a barleywine fan.

 943 characters

Photo of Clonies720
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. 2013 vintage. No freshness date. Gold cap. Poured into tulip glass

Appearance: Pours a dark-reddish-orange tint. 1/2th inch tan-colored head. When held up to the light, none passes through this fearsome brew. (It clears up as it gets warmer)

Smell: A spicy woody character hits my nose first. It's quickly followed by notes of dark, bourbon-soaked fruits. Medium hints of vanilla. Caramel and rich toffee titillate my senses as this beer warms up. It's very malt forward. Perhaps even a touch bready. Slight earthy hop aroma.

Taste: It's an explosion of flavor! A light sweet honey gently skates upon my tongue. Then the symphony of flavors melds into huge vanilla and a strong, spicy bourbon flavor. Finally, the concerto climaxes with a smooth, rich toffee & caramel presence.

The alcohol heat is there, but it's not overpowering or overdone. Perfect for a cold night.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Medium-high carbonation. Somewhat chewy. Velvety and luscious

Overall: Bravisimo to the conductor of this symphony! I stood up and applauded furiously to express my gratitude and appreciation of the music that was presented to my tastebuds.

 1,154 characters

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Central Waters Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 2,294 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