Brewer's Reserve Rye Barrel Stout
Central Waters Brewing Co.

Brewer's Reserve Rye Barrel StoutBrewer's Reserve Rye Barrel Stout
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #603
Ranked #2,345
4.21 | pDev: 6.89%
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States
Brewer's Reserve Rye Barrel StoutBrewer's Reserve Rye Barrel Stout
Notes: Aged in Rye Whiskey barrels, our workhorse of a Stout oozes smooth layers of chocolate and entwines with sharp notes of rye that are rounded out with ample aging in American oak. Enjoy!

42 IBU
Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 181 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stortore
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. 2018 edition, had 2/2/19.

Pours a somewhat opaque dark brown, with a one inch foamy head and some slick, foamy lacing. Aromas of roasted malt, chocolate, rye, smoke, char, some rye whiskey, caramel, espresso, light molasses. The flavor shows more rye whiskey than the nose, roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, caramel, espresso, char, rye, some molasses, light oak. Smoky. Smooth, a very good full body, well carbonated.

The rye whiskey barrels are subtle for Central Waters, but really good. Great aromas and flavors. Well worth a purchase.

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stortore from Illinois, Feb 26, 2020
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled in a taster glass from draft at Eagle Park Brewing Company on February 1, 2020. Aged in rye whiskey barrels, our workhorse of a stout oozes smooth layers of chocolate and entwines with sharp notes of rye that are rounded out with ample aging in American oak.

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Photo of Buck89
4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an opaque dark brown in the glass with a small and fleeting tan head. Rye was prominent on the nose with a slight sweet and spiciness that accentuated the chocolate and coffee notes. Taste followed closely. The barrel was fairly prominent but it didn't overshadow the base beer. Outstanding.

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Buck89 from Tennessee, Feb 11, 2020
Photo of GOBLIN
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very good stout and another terrific beer from Central Waters. Appearance isn't impressive as it doesn't pour quite as black as some but as this beer warms and opens up it really shines.

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GOBLIN from Ohio, Nov 28, 2019
Photo of sulldaddy
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Sampling a 12 oz bottle poured at cellar temp into my snifter.
The beer pours a dark cola brown with a creamy tan head of about 1 cm. This foam fades to an edge layer pretty quickly after the pour. There is also one large wispy island remaining in the center of the glass.
Aroma is some dark chocolate malt and a good dose of sweeter rye whisky and a little bit of vanilla. No hop character and the ABV is pretty subdued on the nose too. Nose is more mild than I expected, but still enjoyable.
First sip reveals a silky smooth textured beer with very mild and gentle carbonation that rolls softly across my palate.
Flavor is a bit of dark chocolate and some roasted malt too. There is a bit of a coffee note and again the whisky comes through a bit on the finish too. Still not any boozy warmth here, just the flavors of the whisky. So the beer is well hidden and the beer is easy to drink, for such a bigger brew. Another winner in the stout realm from Central Waters.

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sulldaddy from Connecticut, Nov 25, 2019
Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is their fantastic base beer in Rye barrels and it did not disappoint. I opened it too cold but allowed it to sit for an hour and it provided me with a great experience. Smooth with a noble simplicity that is the hallmark of CW BA beers.

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Photo of aleigator
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color with a small mohagony colored head, which disappears right after pouring.

Smells of hazelnuts, cocoa and sweet milk chocolate. Has an oaky richness to it, with older wood, licorice and a dry booze note.

Has a medium mouthfeel, with a lively carbonation, which becomes the most apparent during its finish.

Tastes of baker chocolate, hot Bourbon and dried plums. Offers a lighter, boozy edge then, coated by licorice, fudge and a light hint of caramel. Finishes even heavier on the spices with a mineralic note and lasting barrel.

Drinks relatively thin for its high abv, with a slightly too present carbonation among an otherwise tasty flavor profile.

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aleigator from Germany, Oct 21, 2019
Photo of beerloserLI
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A slick black pour with a frothy brown head. The nose is densely floral with malt and chocolate. That notes carry right over onto the initial sips. Added tones of the rye and barrel. Rather smooth on the flow and finish. Wonderful balance as with most of their variants. Additional notes of cocoa, vanilla, char, oak, and caramel. Full bodied but crazy smooth. Some slight alcohol heat but otherwise the high abv is well hidden.

Overall, excellent and one of the better newer variants that I’ve had so far.

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beerloserLI from New York, Oct 13, 2019
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter, the appearance was a fabulous looking dark brown close to black color. The pour definitely leaned closer to a malty brown color. In turn, an eggshell white slim foamy head sat atop and narrowly fell off to leave some wispy concave lace.
The aroma was absolutely amazing! Such a beautiful blend of concurring vanilla bean sweetness rolling into sweet and spicy rye barrel. Sweet wood and anise ride the backbone while dark fruits invade underneath. Subtle cherry notes along with some milk chocolate.
The flavor yielded to the spicy sweet side wrapping together the milk chocolate and vanilla bean notes with some cherry then rye hints. Anise comes back stealthily right before the aftertaste kicks in, which was semi-spicy yet some vanilla and milk chocolate goodness flows freely.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied, perhaps just a touch above but not too much. Good carbonation and some stickiness but seems quite low key as some spicy harshness seems to push out some of this stickiness. Finishes semi-spicy with rye sweet and spiciness.
Overall, thanks Jessica! Wow, what a wonderful blend of an imperial stout!

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Photo of jrc1093
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 6/15/19

Pours a straight black with vague brown highlights at the surface; two fingers of khaki foam hold steadily, eventually forming a thick frothy collar while ultra-light islands dot the surface and a random smattering of thin lacing holds to the glass.

Aroma shows shades of whiskey bolstered by oaky chocolate and further developing rye-spiced cherry and hints of vanilla.

Taste is earthy, with plenty of toasted oak and barrel giving way to dried chocolate and more boozy whiskey tones; deep baker's chocolate and earthy rye spice build to a burst in tandem through the finish.

Mouthfeel maintains a slick medium-light body; the palate becomes accustomed to a mild booziness from the start, lightly drying at times over the mid-palate while growing to a slight stickiness on the finish.

At not even 3 months in the bottle, there's still an edge of booziness the beer just can't shake or integrate; the aromas and flavors are vivid, but never quite escape being persistently bogged down by ripe touches of alcohol throughout. I can imagine this would be excellent with more age on it, as this comes off as the type of stout that acclimates really nicely over time.

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jrc1093 from Connecticut, Sep 06, 2019
Photo of darktronica
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I'm typically a fan of rye barrel-aged experiments and definitely a fan of CW's ageing program. However, this one misses the mark a bit for me. The sweetness and chocolate of the base stout clashes with the rye spice, rather than being complemented by it. I also get a slight astringency that distracts from the rest of the flavor profile.

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Photo of mishi_d
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black color with a thin tan head, aroma of cocoa, vanilla, roasted malts and whiskey, taste of chocolate, roasted malts and whiskey, full body, soft carbonation.

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mishi_d from Romania, Sep 03, 2019
Photo of scotorum
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25


Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Victory Donnybrook nonick

a: Opaque black with a finger thick tan head which receded to very thin surface foam and a ring with spotty lacing.

s: Whiskey.leaning to sweet

t. Follows the nose with throat burn and a sweet finish on a light bodied base.

m: Slightly lighter side of medium, ok body and good carbonation tingle.

o: A light stout-colored brew with no apparent stout roastiness, but tasty whiskey flavor . Good, but for almost $5 per 12 oz. not a very good value.

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scotorum from Massachusetts, Sep 01, 2019
Photo of ZAP
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L-Dark brown with ruby highlights..

S-Elite. Nougat, oak, rich chocolate. Touch of maple. Touch of vanilla.

T-Elite. Similar to the nose. Vanilla, nougat, chocolate. A touch of spicy rye on the long finish. Didn't pick that up on the aroma but definitely comes through on the taste. Subtle though and blends nicely into this array of rich flavors. A splash of alcohol finishes it off.

F-Full body...creamy and smooth.

O-This is excellent.

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ZAP from Minnesota, Aug 31, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 6/5/19; drank 8/15/19 @ the Yarchives.

Black appearance.

A rough pour yielded a big dark tan head; a thick curtain of frothy lace.

Fresh earth, fudge, cream, dark chocolate & mild oak notes in the nose.

Creamy, medium thick mouthfeel.

Cream, fresh earth & dark chocolate flavors up front; oak & mild rye spice notes on the finish.

Smooth, flavorful & easy to enjoy. I'd have another!!

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, Aug 16, 2019
Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, light brown head
S: Dark chocolate, brown sugar, rye whiskey, light maple, roasted malt, charred oak, vanilla
T: Cacao, rye whiskey, roasty malt, molasses, coffee, charred barrel, alcohol
M: Medium, low carbonation
O: Very nice lighter body stout that really features the rye barrel treatment

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Rimbimhoot from Illinois, Aug 15, 2019
Photo of branham1989
4.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Central Waters Brewing Company’s Brewers Reserve Rye Barrel Stout 11.65%ABV. This Imperial Stout pours a dark coffee color brown with just a little bit of light shining through the bottom of the glass with a very thin tan colored head that dissipates very quick. The aroma is of dark chocolate with tones of raisins plums prunes with a a little bit of vanilla and rye along with rich roasted malts. The flavor is very rich with the dark chocolate flavors coming out along with the prunes raisins intertwined with vanilla and rye all with a backbone of roasted malts I even get overtones of caramel and toffee before it finishes with a slight bitterness to balance it all out. 5/5 this is an absolutely delicious stout.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber
Boiler snifter

Chocolate brown-black with a head of 1/2 finger.

Aroma of rye and chocolate cereal with slight whiskey sting.

Flavor brings harsh whiskey and rounded rye notes, with some chocolate, charcoal, and slight caramel. Faint cola.

Feel is hot and stinging with a medium-heavy body and a syrupy consistency, with a hot boozy dry finish.

Overall it's good, not great. Not something I'd really come back to or pick up in a 4 pack (which is what I wanted to find out). Vanilla Bean is leagues better.

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The-Adjunct-Hippie from South Dakota, Jul 26, 2019
Photo of JBowenGeorgia
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with two fingers of fluffy khaki head.
Smells of chocolaty malts, caramel, dark fruits, vanilla, barrel notes.
Taste follows, chocolate, dark fruits, caramel, rye spiciness more prominent as it warms.
Body is a bit thin but smooth.
Overall an excellent rye BA stout, a bit more body would put it over the top.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a clear brown color with a one-finger foamy khaki head that reduces to a thin ring around the edge

S- chocolate and coffee on the nose, mixed with breakfast pastries, caramel brownies, chocolate icing, german chocolate cake. Undertones of peppery rye and oak, along with vanilla & toasted coconut. This surprisingly smells just like a pastry stout

T- roasted malts give notes of chocolate and light coffee up front, followed by dark fruit notes, as well as some caramel. Mid-palate brings out a peppery rye note, as well as light oak. The finish continues light barrel notes and more chocolate

M- medium carbonation with medium-thin body leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into a creamy, slightly warming finish

O- compared to the aroma, taste seems a bit one-dimensional, I'm assuming these newer batches aren't aged as long as the original, as the barrel isn't too prominent

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Treyliff from West Virginia, May 25, 2019
Photo of MaximalC
3.71/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cola color with an ephemeral head of khaki foam—the surface is still as glass within minutes. Aroma smells of molasses, peat, and roasted malt with hints of rye and dark chocolate.

Sweet taste features molasses, caramel, and roasted malt up front. The barrel is mellow and well-integrated, offering up notes of vanilla and wood. Rye lends some lightly spicy contrast, but not much. Warming reveals fruitier notes of prunes and currants beneath the overtly sweet foreground. Medium body and negligible carbonation make for a still, smooth mouthfeel that lets the flavor profile speak for itself, even if it could use more heft.

Overall, this is a syrupy sweet stout that crosses over into scotch ale territory in many respects. With that said, it comes up short of most of Central Waters' other barrel-aged offerings in those departments. Probably worth trying, but not something I would make a point of revisiting.

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MaximalC from Illinois, May 12, 2019
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Jeff for this one. 22oz. bottle into Night Shift stemware.

Nose is booze, chocolate, tobacco, wet wood and roasted malt. Nicely aromatic. Beer opens chocolate, roasted malt, liquorice, molasses and a touch of burnt brown sugar. Some tobacco and oak in the middle and end with a touch of accented sweet spiciness at the finish. Nice. Body is medium with moderate carbonation. Slight bubbles on the palate and goes down warm and slightly sticky. Lingering, messy finish.

Not bad but this is one of Central Waters' weaker offerings in the style. The body is a bit thin and as a result, this beer doesn't drink nearly as big as its ABV suggests.

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SpeedwayJim from New York, Apr 27, 2019
Photo of REVZEB
4.11/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Roasted coffee black body with a ring of oatmeal brown bubbles, white bubble islands on the surface, actually leaves some lacing on the glass. Smell is surprisingly nondescript beyond the rye, charred wood, and bourbon, with faint dark chocolate, tobacco, and roasted malt in there too. The taste is darker and sharper, the rye really comes out in front and the bourbon in the finish. Add to the flavors from the smell some leather and molasses, but cut the chocolate a bit. Feel is very warm, sneaky bright, and leathery, but has a little booze breaking up the feel a little bit in sips as the beer warms up.

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REVZEB from Illinois, Mar 29, 2019
Photo of AyatollahGold
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pouring from a 22 oz. bottle into a snulip glass, this beer pours out resembling cola, dark brown with highlights running throughout. Once in the glass, it’s much darker with minimal highlights and forms a pinky width of khaki colored crown that doesn’t hold for too long. 4

The nose brings a very present barrel characteristic tangling with notes of chocolate, slight tobacco and dark fruit like figs and raisins all backed by a warmness. 4.5

In the taste, the chocolate decided to step up for the prominence. A little remiscent of cake batter. Rye is detectable with a nice kick that lasts about halfway through. The barrel is showing great wood/oak character while still letting other aspects shine as well. Leather/tobacco still mixing with some dark fruit like raisins. 4.5

There is a rye kick as soon as it enters the mouth before mellowing out to a quick aspect of a calmer, silky chocolate and finishing dry with the oak/wood element. The bourbon provides a nice warming effect. Well carbonated with a medium body. 4.25

Overall, I like the depth this brings. The rye is present, which I love, and tangling with beautiful notes of a present wood/oak barrel, chocolate layers, dark fruit, tobacco and leather all backed by a warming effect to bring it around and make it feel right. 4.25

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Photo of bbtkd
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Central Waters Rye Barrel Stout, 13% ABV. Pours black with a nice foamy tan two finger head which dissipated quickly, leaving no lacing. Nose is whiskey and rye spice. Taste is whiskey, chocolate, roast malt, slight oak, rye spice, slightly sweet and slightly bitter. Excellent dry mouthfeel, overall outstanding.

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bbtkd from South Dakota, Jan 06, 2019
Brewer's Reserve Rye Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 181 ratings