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Beer Information
 
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
91 94 88 4 54 146
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Barleywine by Central Waters Brewing Company
American Barleywine
11.50 % ABV


 
Review by everetends on 11/19/10  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 9 19 5 9 0
12 oz bottle thanks to the amazing Lum. This is the 2010 vintage and it is served up in a snifter.

A: Pours up a dark brown colored body that had a good amount of cherry colored hues to it. Held to the light, this is pretty clear actually even though it is dark. More reds come through in the light. A pretty vigorous pour only got me a little of a finger of tan colored head, but the bubbles were a little loose. It falls to a thin but thicker ring on the edge of the glass. The lace does have a little bit of a stick, but the slickness of the liquid causes much of it to slide back in the body. Looks like a BW should.

S: This smells not exactly as expected. Very earthy malt aroma coming out. Nice and nutty. Getting some caramel and a little bit of vanilla. Little bit of brown sugar. Getting a touch of earthy/floral hops but that is very light. The biggest shock is that the bourbon is coming across here as much as it tends to do in other beers. This smells like a really good BW, but it doesn't have a heavy bourbon or barrel influence. Its boozy, but not necessarily bourbon. This could be good, this could be bad. All in all, I am happy with it to be honest.

T: Great flavor. Starts off with all the nice barleywine flavors you would expect. Once again the malt flavors start off nice and earthy. Has a really nice and nutty flavor as well, pecans and hazelnuts. Sweetness coing across as molasses, brown sugar, and toffee. Vanilla build slowly in the background from the barrel. Nice smooth vanilla flavor holds, great barrel character. Touch of butterscotch. Then the bourbon rounds everything out. Its not heavy, its not overpowering, its just a beautiful compliment.

M: Fully bodied beer that is nice and sticky sweet (in a good way). It is mostly sweet, but hell it should be. ABV is as warming as I want it to be. Brings some bourbon like heat on the throat and rests in the belly. It has a nice linger to it on the palate. Aftertaste is some nice nuttiness and bourbon.

OA: Great damn beer. When I read bourbon barrel, I expected it to be a big, over powering bourbon presence. Not here. The bourbon really acts as a beautiful compliment and it brings this beer together, it doesn't kill it. Actually, everything in this beer works. Damned nice and I will be seeking it out in the future.

Served In: Bottle

Review by joe1510 on 11/25/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 10 18 5 9 2009
2009

I got this one a few months back from the man, d0b, thanks bitch! I have to pour this puppy with some height to conjure up a slow growing khaki head. When the bottle is empty the head sits at one finger in height atop a deep brown body with heavy tones of mahogany. When lifted to the light the body shows surprising clarity and a bright ruby glow. Carbonation bubbles creep from the bottom of the glass and pick up speed as they rise, eventually keeping the head in place throughout the drink. Sheet lacing splashes down the sides of the glass and shows great staying power.

Damn, this is a fine smelling barleywine! It’s sweet right off the bat with loads of toffee and brandy soaked raisins. The nose is so sweet and rich it nearly puts me in a diabetic coma of pure bliss. Mild but noticeable candied citric notes come through the middle and the bourbon barrel adds notes of vanilla and spicy oak. Rich brown sugar, caramel, and a soft sweet note of bourbon make for a deeply complex nose on this English barleywine.

The flavors complexities are on par with those of the nose and may even surpass them. This barleywine starts off already in its prime. Deep, rich caramel and toffee wash of the tongue and stick around through the entirety while a lasting flash of the sweet candied citrus come through mid-palate. The bourbon barrel characteristics and dark brown sugar bring up the rear. Spicy oak and soft vanilla combine with rich brown sugar and mild but sweet bourbon. There’s a touch of alcohol heat on the swallow that adds complexity instead of detracting from the overall flavor. This beer is a gem.

The weight is on the heavier side of the spectrum with a tongue and cheek coating viscosity that leaves me tasting this beer a minute or two after each drink. The carbonation seems soft on the front and middle of the tongue but the back has a surprising frothiness, well as close to frothiness as a beer this heavy could have. The aftertaste is highly enjoyable and seemingly everlasting.

A bottle of this is easy to kill by myself but it is without a doubt a sipper. The sheer complexity, depth, and viscosity keep me drinking this slowly and would limit me to one with each sitting. With all that said I will slowly and greedily drink this bottle all to myself and love every last drop.

Central Waters can do no wrong with their special releases. This is a gem from a lineup full of gems. Next time I’m up north a few more of these bottles will be picked up without a doubt. I can’t recommend this enough if you’re a fan of English barleywines. Thanks again for the bottle, Dave!

Reviewed: 11/24/09

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Oxymoron on 10/29/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
88 3 10 18 5 8 2009
Central Waters was relatively new to me...until now. Pours a semi-hazy brown color with a definite red hue through out. A good pour but some sediment. A soft off white head with good retention and lacing, mostly hiding to the side of the glass through the tasting.

The nose is complex with malt and noticeable bourbon notes. To start the malt has some very nice malt complexity and a very nice melanodian caramel aroma. Some minor bready notes. There is a yeasty character but some very nice plum, raisin and fig notes come out. A noticeable woody aroma that leave more of a hint of bourbon but doesn't over power. Some minor alcohol notes but mostly clean.

The taste is very similar. A good malt base that really lends a complexity to it. Very nice kettle caramel notes that linger into the finish. Noticeable alcohol with some boarder line fusel notes in there as well. There are some yeasty notes but lighter than what the nose indicates. Some spicy, almost peppery aromas with a big sweet plum taste. Some minor raisin and pineapple notes as well. Very clean. The hops are limited but some minor citrus and earthy flavors.

The body is closer to big than moderate. A big plus is that the beer is so easy to drink. Overall a great barleywine. Thanks to flyingbison for the trade. A hidden gem for sure.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by tavernjef on 08/19/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
94 3 11 18 5 10 2009
A heavy murk of the deepest of darkest scarlet brown but mostly black in duller light. Tall and fluffy capping of sandy browned foam bubbles its way to a medium height before finding a skimming and collar replacement slowly after. Elongated portions of sheeted lace angle the glass with a few icicles dangling along the bottom.

Aroma is plummy, rummy, dark orange, and deep with some over ripe date fruityness. Burnt brown sugar, vanilla pod paste, and huge earthen tobacco oak tinged heat perks the nose up with quite a beefy array. The heated esters do grab the impressions of the bourbon barrel aging very well. Nice!

Taste is heavenly lush, creamy, and thick with a huge loft of chewyish malts that drips lots of dark caramel all across a marmalade of dark fruity mushyness that has date, plum, fig, raisin, orange, mixing with tingey oaken warmth that adds a lovely vanilla aspect well within each sip. Partial warming chocolate thickness and burntish butter creep into its warming finish as it cinders with earthy vanilla oakyness. Damn nice taster!

Super creamy, silken medium/fullish body that has exceptional balance and tone the whole way thru as its length in taste is superseded by its well handled wamrth. Finsishes clean, earthy, warm, and like a warm chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough thats been slightly warmed in the oven just before the are comepletely ready to be a cookie; somewhere between cookie dough and its toasty/burnt edges if left unattended. Much like the Kosmyk Charlie Y2K Catastrophe this has alot of dimensions that scream Old Ale while keeping its Barleywine presence maintained.

This was gone in no time flat as its balance was outstandingly nice between its malty chewyness and bourbony hinted, earthy vanilla warming. Remarkable stuff by Central Waters!

Served In: Goblet

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