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

Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel BarleywineBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine
BA SCORE
4.31/5
2,380 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:
#488
Reviews:
648
Ratings:
2,380
pDev:
8.82%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
713
Gots:
741
Trade:
92
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,380 |  Reviews: 648
Photo of emmasdad
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours the color of a rusty copper penny, with a good three fingers of light beige foam. Aromas of bourbon, oak, vanilla and cinnamon. Flavors of bourbon, dark caramel, dark fruits and vanilla. A very nicely put together beer. I love the way barley wines are helped with the addition of the bourbon barrels. An excellent example of the style.

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Photo of jsanford
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Snifter. 2010 vintage.

A - Pours a dark orange-brown with a thin white head that fades to a slight ring and whispy haze.
S - Sweet aromas of caramel malt and candied orange peel with strong Bourbon notes of caramel, oak, and vanilla. Reminds me a bit of those sugar-and-caramel candied that I love so much (cept boozier!).
T - Big and malty with lots of caramel, a touch of chocolate, bitter citrus hops, and a whole bunch of Bourbon that lingers on the palate for some time. Still quite boozy, I'm surprised this hasn't smoothed out more, but I'm not really minding it.
M - Sticky and sweet, with a fairly full mouthfeel and lowish carbonation. So decadent.
O - A really nice Bourbon-forward Barleywine, such a treat!

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Photo of Jspriest
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of xtonytx
3.98/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Onenote81
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2009. [Score: 4.03]

Poured into a snifter. Pours a tawny, rusty amber with just a sheet of lace on top. Good amount of bubbles rising up, even after 3 years in the dark. The aroma has a slight musty scent, but the oak and vanilla come through on the finish. Subtle bourbon notes invite me to partake.

Heavy feel as this one is a sipper. Rich, syrup-like feel coats the palate. The bourbon character has held its own after time passed. It may not be as powerful, but there are nice sweet flavors of vanilla, caramel, toffee noted. The hop presence has faded, but there still lingers hints of bitterness that round out the sweet character of this one.

This beer was a treat to sip. Would have been great to do a side-by-side with a '12, but I can't have everything...

[Edit: Fresh '13 bottle consumed on 6/7/13. Thanks to wyatt13!]

Poured into a tulip. Pours a cloudy mahogany with a thin beige head on top. Nose is bursting with bourbon, wood, vanilla, toffee. Really nice. Smooth feel. A bit heavy, but for the style, that's okay. This beer is like liquid butterscotch. Some caramel, toffee, vanilla beans, sweet bourbon. Double dang. This beer is amazing. This beer is meant to be consumed fresh from my experience. Loved it. Thanks, Wyatt!

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Photo of Narthax
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of JohnK17
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of thebigredone
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've had this beer ever since attending the CW Anniversary party earlier this year, not sure what took me so long to give it a try.

Appearance is pretty cool, verry reddish when held to the light.

Smell is great, typical CW bourbon barrel treatment.

Taste is excellent, a slight bitterness on the tongue and then the bourbon takes over. Roasty malt notes take over, and then a tinge of sweetness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is solid.

Overall, and excellent beer, and definitely a sipper. I enjoy the dominance of the bourbon and roast, as opposed to the cloying sweetness sometimes found in a bareywine. Well done CW!

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of MNBeerGeek
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of thampel09
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of oldp0rt
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of AndyEdgar
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bsp77
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Dark ruddy orange with moderate light tan head and light lacing.

Smell: Mostly sweet vanilla with some overripe dark fruit (plum, raisins), toffee and oak. Somewhat boozy as well.

Taste: Fairly sweet and fruity with a big blast of vanilla. While there is some definite toffee, plum and raisin driving home the malt base, this is mostly about the bourbon barrel aging, which imparts vanilla, coconut and light oak. Some light spicy hops on the finish.

Feel: Sweet, full and boozy body with moderately low carbonation. Finish is barely dry, struggling against the sweet taste.

Overall: More so than most Bourbon Barrel beers (which are often Stouts), this is truly a showcase for the Bourbon, making the beer secondary. This makes for a mighty tasty Barleywine, but one that is slightly hampered by sweetness and alcohol.

 884 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 hoppymcgee
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of DRBiser
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Version, I got this sucker from Masterski in our recent trade.

A pretty, dark ruby colored body that is cloudy and hazy.

This smells good right away, boasting dark fruits, caramel and toffee malts, brown sugar, and a good dose of bourbon aromas.

The aromas reappear in the flavor here with more vigor. The caramel, toffee and brown sugar are right up front. They are sweet, rich and deep, and they mix with a moderately strong flavor of figs and other dark fruits. Although this is the 2009 version, I would guess that this barleywine is at least a year old based on the flavor, which I think is a good thing. I guess it had to spend some time in that barrel, but I wonder how much? Next in the taste comes the slightest bit of hop bitterness, but it is tiny. Then comes a good taste of bourbon and then barrel characteristics with the spicy flavor of oak. The finish is warm and a bit boozy.

Mouthfeel is full, with a warm finish.

This is a nice beer with great drinkability. Very tasty.

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Photo of GABrew
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Overlord
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Unclejedi for sharing this with me! I will try to review quickly, before the memory fades from my mind.

Pours a ruddy brown, some slow bubbling carbonation.

Smell is excellent, with some nice, not overpowering bourbon notes, caramel, and some balancing dark fruits and grapefruit/pine hops.

Taste delivers on the aroma. The citrus profile rounds out to include sweet orange along with the grapefruit and pine, some indescribable dark fruit and tropical notes, and a heavy bourbon and caramel malt base. Mmm... I hadn't heard of this beer before, and it was pretty stunning to try. Quite delicious, and very drinkable. Could have easily had a growler or two of this.

If this was a one-time, brewery only release of about 1000 bottles in a 750 ml bottle, the hype would be insane.

 795 characters

Photo of einman
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of woemad
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle courtesy of the largesse of @Ri0. My first Central Waters beer, and it’s a big one. 2016 vintage.

Poured into a River City snifter, this was a dark, muddy, russet sort of color, taking on more of a rubyish hue when held up to light. Modest, sudsy beige colored head. Not a huge head, which wasn’t surprising, given the beer’s potency, but what there was showed surprising staying power once it receded to a foamy collar. Beer neglige-type lace.

Boozy and sweet aroma, initially, more or less as I expected. As it warmed, I picked out elements of caramel and dark fruit in addition to the bourbon and oak notes present from the start. There’s some more bready malts, too. While more complex than some of the style I have known, the most overriding sense given off by the aroma is that of a big, boozy barrel aged beer, which is, after all, what it is.

Whoa! This may be a 2016 vintage, but, damn, it’s smooove. I was expecting an alcoholically hot beer. That’s there, to be sure, but it’s behind a curtain of more subtly sweet and smoky flavors (one gets the feeling it’s barely being held in check, in fact). The booze and oakiness is most prominent at the finish, but not to the point where it’s overwhelming. This might not be the case if it were in a 22oz format, so Central Waters should be applauded for doing more with less, in that regard (now that’s pretty much the only way the word less could appear in the context of this beer).

Full bodied, with a rich, coating mouthfeel.

Tasty, yet in a very real sense, on the verge of being undrinkable, and would be if just a tad less mellow. I’d love to sock some of this away and revisit it on a yearly basis.

 1,702 characters

Photo of mcallister
4.72/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

We've got liftoff. No seriously this is a fine looking brew and even better smelling. Christ almighty.

Dank dirty chestnut in appearance with a tan creamy head that leaves the party a little early.

Wonderful aromas in this. Lead by toasty vanilla infused oak and soft hints of bourbon. Than a rich caramel malt comes through and a musty hop aroma with fig and date characteristics. Some walnut and brown sugar as well.

This is a brew I'd love to have every day for the rest of my life. Great barrel aging art on this. Rich and creamy middle showing off caramel and toffee. Ripe dates and dried figs, alcohol, brown sugar, rum soaked raisin, thick tight vanilla and wood with a Jefferson's Reserve bourbon flavor. I have no clue what bourbon barrels they used or why I even said that. A showing of residual sugar towards the late middle ends in earthy hop bitter bliss balancing things impressively.

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Photo of grub
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 2,380 ratings
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