Brewer's Reserve Brandy Barrel Barleywine
Central Waters Brewing Co.

Brewer's Reserve Brandy Barrel BarleywineBrewer's Reserve Brandy Barrel Barleywine
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Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States
American Barleywine
Ranked #28
Ranked #1,953
4.29 | pDev: 5.83%
Nov 21, 2023
Jun 19, 2020
This is our classic barleywine recipe aged in brandy barrels.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by Alieniloquium:
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Reviewed by Alieniloquium from Florida

3.33/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
12 oz. can. Deep amber. Smells of strong brandy, brown sugar, alcohol. Tastes of strong alcohol, brandy, with brown sugar behind it. Dark fruits and strong oak behind it. Very boozy, but tasty. Brandy is boozy and abrasive, but it's good.
Jul 02, 2022
More User Ratings:
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Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
12oz bottle at BW share. Mahogany pour, relatively flat. Aroma is sweet, toffee, brandy, strong. Taste follows with brown sugar, malty, tobacco, apple adn plenty of warmth. Nice thick body as well.
Nov 21, 2023
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Reviewed by jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Canned on 2/24/2022; consumed on 4/24/2023

Pours a stark, jet-brown body capped with two fingers of short-lived, sickly beige foam, yielding a limited few chunky islands of cap, a large, creamy collar, and no lasting lacing holding to the walls of the glass.

Aromas of lush caramel sauce burst forth against a boozy brandy undercurrent imparting orange oils and grapefruit essence; a hint of burnt vanilla meets lightly toasted oak while a cocoa dusting closes the bouquet.

Taste brings toasty caramel alongside boozy brandy and dusty oak, leaving flambéed orange lingering against a soft cocoa undertone through the mid-palate as hints of vanilla meet a tinge of smoked toffee and saucy caramel comes full circle on the finish.

Mouthfeel shows a medium body and a pillowy fluff of spritzy, moderate carbonation, dispersing slick textures coated in warmth through the mid-palate as creaminess quickly fades to a semi-dry prickle and steady fade into the finish.

Hoppy char pronounces an American Barleywine profile with English Barleywine texturing, imparting a residual sweetness balanced against apropos booziness and pointed resinous interplay; a firm and effective display of the style's potency.
Apr 25, 2023
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Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2020 vintage

A massive shoutout to @DIM for graciously gifting me this bottle! He offered some old vintages of Bigfoot and sent this along as a bonus. What a guy. Anyhow, this one sounds interesting, I’m always down for some brandy barrel aged beers. Let’s get into it

Pours an opaque medium brown with a finger of light beige head that fades to a ring and leaves minimal lacing

The nose is showing some age, but it’s in an elegant way that presents a fruity sweetness reminiscent of older HotD beers. I’m picking up on aromas of black cherry, toffee, sweet brandy, caramel apple, dark bread, tobacco, sweet vanilla, toasted oak, light walnut, and sherry

It’s quite similar in tatse, though the fruitiness is slightly more subdued. On the front end of the sip I’m tasting brown sugar, walnut, brandy, red grape, burnt caramel, toasted oak, molasses, sweet vanilla, light plum, and baked apple. The swallow brings notes of burnt caramel, sherry, molasses, brown sugar, raisin, sweet vanilla, toasted walnut, dark bread, dry oak, and light cocoa powder

A medium body pairs with gentle tingling carbonation, resulting in a slick and lightly boozy beer. Finishes quite dry with a bit of heat, but doesn’t really come across as 14.8%

This is awesome stuff. I’m very grateful for @DIM sending this one!
Feb 28, 2023
Rated: 4.5 by Spade from Pennsylvania

Feb 25, 2023
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Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.67/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Another selection from the Milwaukee May 2022 trip. Consumed in the back yard at Nick's.

Pours a dark brown color. The last brown SRM before you cross over to the dark side of black. Tan head, 1/2" in a tulip glass. Its a good looking beer, was surprised with the tight head formation. The aroma stands out as very different than the bourbon barrel version, this one definitely brings the brandy and cooking sherry notes in the aroma. If anything it smells pretty similar to Y2K, but with brandy, not the singer.

The taste and mouthfeel reveal this is a much stronger beer than their usual 4 pack barrel aged offerings. Brandy warmth, but more like a bitter grape than a fruit or wine variety. Again, the alcohol booziness no doubt amplifies the bitterness. This had more dark fruit bitterness than the barrel aged quad. I wanted to like this more than I did, some romantic throwback stuff I guess for Central Waters, man I love that brewery. Vastly prefer the bourbon version, but Wisconsin loves its brandy more than anywhere else, I get it.
Jan 20, 2023
Rated: 4.07 by CheapBeerBuzz from California

Mar 22, 2022
Rated: 4.16 by westcoastbeerlvr from California

Mar 19, 2022
Rated: 4.05 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Feb 17, 2022
Rated: 4.19 by vabeerguy from Virginia

Jan 31, 2022
Rated: 4.34 by brewskis from Indiana

Nov 07, 2021
Rated: 4.26 by DVMin98 from North Carolina

Sep 16, 2021
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Reviewed by Beersnake from California

4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2021 bottle poured at fridge temp. Pours a nice dark brown with a small amount of tan head. Nose is brandy, raspberries, toffee, vanilla, raisins, malts, plums, and a bit of wood. The taste is fantastic. Very toffee forward. Like sucking on a wonderful toffee candy. Some nuttiness is there - almonds mostly. Brandy, molasses, plums, licorice, green grapes, a touch of leather, freshly baked bread, and a bit of alcohol. This one is definitely a winner for me. A very nice compliment to the traditional bourbon barrel-aged barleywine. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Sweet aftertaste. Love it!
Sep 07, 2021
Rated: 4.16 by CraftFan5 from New Jersey

Aug 12, 2021
Rated: 4.33 by Ristaccia from Nebraska

May 10, 2021
Rated: 4.24 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Apr 22, 2021
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Reviewed by SpeedwayJim from New York

4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
A big thanks to Jeff for this one.

12oz. capped bottle into a Cascade snifter alongside the Bourbon version.

Right off the bat, the Brandy barrel is much darker. Almost a pitch black mahogany. Nice legs but very little head. The brandy is apparent in the nose. Hints of perfume, molasses, syrup, and a burnt wood. I also get the traditional brown sugar, caramel, and toffee flavors of the barleywine. Aromatic and pungent. There's more breadiness in the bourbon version. With more aromas of raisin and gummies. Brandy is sweeter, more syrupy. Denser and less vibrant. Beer opens brown sugar, tobacco, molasses. Brandy comes in towards the middle and sweetens an already sweet brew. I get caramel, more brown sugar, and maple syrup towards the end. Oaky, boozy, and syrupy at the finish and aftertaste. Very solid. Again, the bourbon version has more green fruit with aromas of raisin and green apple comparatively. Body is full with low carbonation. Thick, rich, and full in the mouth and goes down warm and viscous with a silky smooth finish. The feel is better than the bourbon here. It's thicker, richer with more substance and a longer finish.

Doing a side-by-side with the bourbon version of this is enlightening. Fresh, this is better with more traditional barleywine flavors compared to a noticeable fruitiness in the bourbon counterpart.
Apr 10, 2021
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Reviewed by wl2bill from Wisconsin

4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
The brandy barrel adds a touch of sweetness to the Barley Wine. It is a nice change from the Bourbon barrel brother. I hope this is more than a one off.
Feb 11, 2021
Rated: 4.09 by Chilmer from Iowa

Feb 05, 2021
Rated: 4.44 by GaryM6 from New York

Jan 28, 2021