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

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch AleBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale
BA SCORE
4.26/5
Outstanding
993 Ratings
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch AleBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States
centralwaters.com

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Cherrywood smoked Scotch ale aged in used 12 year old bourbon barrels.

Added by tourdot on 07-15-2013

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#797
Reviews:
199
Ratings:
993
pDev:
7.28%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
94
Gots:
294
Trade:
43
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 993 |  Reviews: 199
Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of jaydoc
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

if there was only one or two breweries in the country that i wish would distribute to colorado, these guys would probably make the list. they never miss, and all these crazy barrel aged beers they do are so spectacular. this is one of the best (and sweetest, and most intense, and most unique) scotch ales i have ever had the bourbon barrel is a huge contributor to the flavor. nutty smokey sweet malts and honey vanilla whiskey flavors combine brilliantly. i get almonds, molasses, campfire smoke, english toffee, waffles, and quality bourbon in the taste, there is a lot going on, but its all so complimentary and synergistic, i have never had a beer like this before. strong, and it feels strong, but it doesnt taste boozy to me, just the whiskey flavor, no heat at all. tons of sugar, maple and molasses and brown sugar all come and go on the tongue and teeth, and the smoke cuts it about as well as it could. i like that the beer is big enough to hold all the smoke flavor without being overpowered. so often thats all you can taste in these, but not here, its built perfectly for that. one of my favorite takes on the style ive had, and another feather in the cap for central waters. this is killer beer, perfect for the chilly nights this time of year. i need to get me some more!

 1,287 characters

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Knapp85
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of nmann08
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of metter98
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar, but upon closer inspection the edges are dark reddish brown when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a a thin tan head that died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of bourbon and vanilla are present in the nose.
T: The initial taste has some flavors of caramelized malts, but most of the taste and the entire finish us dominated by the bourbon.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Slight bits of warming are present in the finish.
O: This beer is really pleasant to drink, but there seems to be a bit too much bourbon and you can't taste much of the scotch ale. It isn't clear how much alcohol is in this beer from the label, but it doesn't get in the way of the taste.

Note: 2014 vintage

 877 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I received this well-needed treat in the mail today as part of a trade with Duff27. Thanks, buddy! 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with classy navy blue label and unbranded pry-off pressure cap served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery, whose work I've been impressed with in the past. Reviewed as a bourbon barrel aged scotch ale because the label identifies it as such. 2013 vintage.

Served chilled and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of plump khaki colour. Nice thickness and creaminess without going overboard for a scotch ale. It's got an even consistency. Complexion could be shinier and sleeker. Head retention is average - about two minutes on the dot. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes, and what does is inconsistent.

Body colour is a predictable opaque dark black - not quite a jet black. No floating yeast particles or sediment is visible. Appears adequately carbonated.

I notice no overt flaws. While not unique or special for a scotch ale, it's certainly an appealing one and I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Bourbon seizes me from the get-go. It's overt. Warm booziness, lightly toasty oak, and vanilla are all here in spades. Of the bourbon notes, the vanilla dominates, which compliments the beer's malty sweetness well. Dark malts are abundant, with some toasted malt in there too. I also pick up a bit of sugarcane, maybe even some fleeting wisps of rum-soaked dark fruits. Cream. Raisin. A kiss of vinous character. There're plenty of residual sugars here suggesting a low attenuation yeast.

No yeast character itself comes through, through, and I don't find any evident hop profile either.

Overall, the bourbon notes seem to overwhelm the base beer. But the bourbon character is so en pointe I'm reticent to criticize. Let's hope the taste delivers.

I'd call it a pleasant if somewhat intimidating aroma of above average strength.

T: There's much more fruit in the flavour profile than the aroma suggested - light plum and prunes are most prominent. I also get some marshmallow hidden amongst the toasted malt notes. Dark malts. A kiss of sticky raisin. Unbecoming hints of vinous character are thankfully quite buried. Cream. Coconut. Ample residual sugars. Of course, bourbon is dominant here, but it's also well-integrated - moreso than the aroma suggested, anyway. There's plenty of bourbony vanilla as well as a bit of oak wood and some alcohol-induced warmth. I'm not finding as much of the typical scotch ale toffee as I expected to.

There's no obvious hop character here, which is apt given the style. The booziness found on the aroma is quite checked in the flavour profile. No yeast character is noticeable.

Overall, it's a balanced if somewhat timid bourbon barrel scotch ale, and while I do like it I don't think it's among the the best in its style. It's got a very cohesive almost gestalt build with lots of interesting elements, but they don't quite come together to form an exemplary brew. It's complex and subtle enough, with some nuance from the fruit and bourbon. Not the most intricate scotch ale I've had. Hard to dislike.

Mf: Lightly creamy. A bit supple. Smooth and wet. Has a nice body and presence on the palate. Good thickness. The texture doesn't seem to be a perfect match for the taste, but it does complement it nicely. Well carbonated. A bit sticky.

Not too rough. Not astringent, oily, gushed, or hot - though it does have some pleasing warmth.

Dr: It isn't the sipper I expected it to be, and I won't have any trouble putting the bottle down inside 20-30 minutes at a natural pace. This is another brew from Central Waters that strains against the upper limits of "good" without ever quite moving on to "great." Any fan of the style should give this a try, but I don't think it's quite on par with something like Founders' Backwoods Bastard. Really glad I got to try it.

The highlight for me was the unexpected marshmallow, which is seamlessly integrated and fits perfectly into the build. Constructively, more toasted oak would really make it better.

Thanks again, Duff27!

B

 4,351 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter; 2016 vintage, bottled on 9/22/2016. Pours crystal clear very dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, toffee, vanilla, brown sugar, bourbon, toasted oak, brown bread, raisin, prune, plum, fig, cherry, and date; with lighter notes of chocolate, nuttiness, peat smoke, leather, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and moderate fruity yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, toffee, vanilla, brown sugar, bourbon, toasted oak, brown bread, raisin, prune, plum, fig, cherry, and date; with lighter notes of chocolate, nuttiness, peat smoke, leather, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light herbal bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, vanilla, brown sugar, bourbon, toasted oak, brown bread, dark fruits, light chocolate/nuttiness, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and moderate fruity yeast flavors; with a nice malt and bourbon/oak spiciness balance, with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Minimal bourbon/oak dryness. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, fairly silky, and lightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden, a light warmth lingering after the finish; with zero barrel booziness. Overall this is an incredible scotch ale! All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and moderate fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV. Very rich and well rounded in complexity all around. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,983 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of mothman
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tan head. Caramel dark brown color.

Nice and malty with a great bourbon and oak presence. Vanilla, toffee, caramel, cocoa, raisins, plums, and molasses.

Medium to full bodied.

This is one of the better ba scotch beers out there and for the price, it can't be beat. Full of flavor.

 284 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.74/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2016 vintage

Pours a light fizzy bubbly 1/2 finger head that fades at a med pace, some lacing, super dark murky brown color.

Nose very sweet candy, butterscotch, toffee, caramel, biscuity malts, a little sweet malt, a little booze, some fruits, dates, fig paste, a little vanilla, little nutty, faint bourbon barely, kvass like bread malts and candy dough and a little vegetal thing, touch of smoke, and maybe a touch solventy.

Taste sweet candy, toffee, caramel candies, chewy nougat, biscuity, more kvass like bread dough candy booze, some warming tingly booze with more fruity flavors, fig paste, candied dates again, chewy candied fruit, mild baking spices, a little weird vegetal like the nose, faint bourbon but barely, and a touch of vanilla, little bitterness, booze and candied fruits on the finish. A touch of smoke, cherry wood, which I think gives it the mild vegetal flavor.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, decent carb, a little tingly booze.

Overall not bad to start, some weird vegetal notes and a bit boozy, but not too bad, but in general a meh style and meh execution too.

 1,091 characters

Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of smithj4
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Rifugium
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of atrocity
3.62/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale from Central Waters Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 993 ratings
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