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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry StoutBrewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

246 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 246
Hads: 719
Avg: 3.76
pDev: 11.97%
Wants: 142
Gots: 193 | FT: 28
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dirtylou on 03-22-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 246 | Hads: 719
Photo of Fcolle2
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fresh 2015
Pours dark black in color with a thin tan head. Smell has plenty of roasted chocolate malt forward with minor hints of bourbon oak barrel caramel and vanilla along with a juicy cherry aroma. Sweet red cherries are more pronounced in the taste and compliments the rich chocolate malt, vanilla, and oak barrel nicely. Mouthfeel is slightly thin for the style with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of WiscoTerr
4.19/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Released and picked up today, been wanting to try this for a long time. Poured into a tulip.
Look-Murky brown/reddish tint to this beer. With 75 lbs of cherries per barrel, no doubt that's the color. Not the best looking, but no matter.
Smell-Slightly tart and bourbon. Not a huge nose on this beer, pretty subtle.
Taste-Was not expecting this. For the longest time in my head I was thinking this would be a sweeter stout, but leans very much to the tart side. Bourbon up front, and as the beer warms a cherry flavor mid-palate. Beer finishes with a tart and even sour cherry flavor.
Feel-Not an overly heavy beer like some other big stouts like this. A bit more carbonation which lends well to the overall flavor. Beer doesn't sit on the tongue to long, which is nice in a beer like this. Makes it an easy drinker.
Overall-I really like this. Better as it warms, and was on the fence at first. When I got over the fact that it was sour instead of sweet, I kept wanting more. Will be trying to track down another 4-pack today.

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Photo of kudsak
3.37/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Not great, doesn't seem to mesh well - specifically the bourbon stout and the sourness of the cherries. Somewhat medicinal tasting. Perhaps this beer points to the fact that I'm not a huge lambic fan. But especially not when combined with a beer that should be sort of sweet in my mind (the bourbon).

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Photo of Brabander
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The cherries made this beer an average beer and that is a pity. Nice pour in my Struise glass with a decent head with very littles lacing. Nice bourbon notes. The cherries make this beer a bit too sour for me but for the rest a good drinkable beer.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle looks a little different than on the BA photo, but I think it is the correct beer. Certainly tastes like a bourbon barrel stout and the label stated cherry. I write it that way as the cherry is either faded and/or faint. Certainly bourbon barrel with emphasis on the vanilla and some bozziness and some alcohol. There is a tart cherry than moves in and out with more on the tart and less on the cherry. Not quite as flat as I'd like, nor as big or smooth,but the feel is not all that bad. Vanilla is big in the aroma, as is the bourbon with alcohol.
This isn't bad. Not great. Not that balanced.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dmbforever for sending this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Peg's snifter.

A: Very dark brown, essentially opaque but translucent around the edges. Forms a thin tan head that fades quickly to a ring of foam over relatively low visible carbonation.

S: Roasted malts, oak tannins, bourbon behind that, with some chocolate and coffee from the malts. No particular cherry on the nose, but some light tobacco aroma develops as it warms.

T: Roasted malts, oak, and bourbon. Coffee malts and some char from the oak. There's a mild cherry sweetness but it's not prominent at all; only shows up near or at the finish, along with some roasted bitterness and mild residual bourbon. As the beer is allowed to warm though, some bourbon-soaked cherry flavor does reveal itself, but still not a dominant flavor.

M: Medium body, carbonation sensation on the low side, and low alcohol for style.

O: Really not a bad beer - the bourbon fits well into the other characteristics of the beer instead of dominating. But I expected more cherry, so I'm a little disappointed with that. Still, pleasant and certainly worth a try.

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Photo of kkleu357
4/5  rDev +6.4%

From notes on 4/13/14

Dark body with a slight red hue. Roasted tart aroma. Was slightly afraid of this one since I’m not much of a chocolate covered cherry fan. Actually though, it tastes pretty good. Very enjoyable. It is tart and if you can like that in a dark heavy flavored stout, you’ll probably like this one.

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - jet black with a thin brown lacing. Wish it has a little more head retention.

Smell - Get some strong oaky smells with some slight fruity smells that linger

Taste - Nice strong malty and oaky flavor for sure. I didn't get as much cherry as I would have expected.

Mouthfeel - wish this one was a little richer

Overall - fun beer and I am glad I got to try it. Will admit the infected Peruvian Morning might have dropped this a few points

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In review is a 2013 Bottle.

A - Pours dark cherry colored black with minimal carbonation, no lacing, and no head.

S - Cherry, dark chocolate, light bourbon, traces of vanilla, and oak.

T - Follows the nose, even across the sip: mildly tart cherries, dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and some slight alcohol effervescence.

M - Thick, full body, slick/slippery, and sticky.

O - Opened a 2012 tonight and it was overly tart and sour, ended up being a drain pour. This one is perfect with just the right amount of tartness - nicely done.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.36/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours near black/uber dark brown with almost a finger of rich caramel colored head. Decent retention, ok lacing.

S - Wow. Big sweet boozy notes, vanilla, oak, dry/slightly tart cherry, tons of sugary chocolate,.

T - wow! initially you get that sweet vanilla bourbon oaky flavor but semi tart cherries quickly swoop in making this one surprisingly refreshing and drinkable. Aftertaste/finish is all cherrys and a good bit of boozyness, almost causing me to regret my quadruple sip. Very easy to go down up until that point. The cherry flavor is phenominal.

M - Mostly due to the tartness (i think), relatively easy to drink. Carbonation seems at least adequate, mouth-feel is fairly thick but this one goes down quite easily

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Photo of d5001986
3.26/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into Spiegelau tulip.
2014 vintage.

A: Pours near black with minimal tan head.

S: Bourbon and cherry mostly, followed by roasted coffee and vanilla.

T: Tart cherry pits dominate. A little bourbon and coffee in there, but the tartness keeps it muted.

M: Medium body, typical CW stout thin viscosity. Moderate carbonation, slick and smooth.

O: Disappointing. Bottom of my list for CW stouts. Not much barrel character makes it through due to the overwhelming tartness. I feel like I'm drinking cherry pits. Probably not worth trying.

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Photo of foobula
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer featured in an episode of 'Beer Geeks' so I took the opportunity to re-visit it on draft. Very dark beer as expected. Served a bit too cold & not much aroma at first, just some tartness. Taste didn't have much bourbon or cherry. But as it warmed, it sweetened a bit. Even then, the cherries are primarily present through a tart flavor; it isn't your sweet maraschino-type flavor. But it's still an enjoyable beer, just give it a chance to warm up and don't be expecting a sweet cherry bourbon bomb.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.46/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2014 bottle as an extra in trade. Thanks! Pours dark brown with a half finger light brown head. Aroma of light roast, some sour cherry I guess, a bit of whiskey and rubbing alcohol. Flavor is mostly sour cherries, some light roast, and a little bit of vanilla and cheap whiskey finish. Nice that this isn't overly killer sweet like other cherry stout I've had, but it really comes off more as a dark sour brew than stout. Medium bodied with medium plus carbonation . Not bad, but not something to seek out unless you are really into the cherry thing.

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Photo of guityler83
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Moderately aggressive pour produced a modest head just under a finger tall that quickly fell. The foam was a khaki color with mixed bubbles. Very little lacing when swirled, but alcohol legs are noticeable. Pitch black in color

S: mild aroma impression of dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and an underlying cherry note. The woody oak character melds it all together. A little bit of roast, no hop aroma and no ethenol detected. Some middle malts peak through as it warms up with a caramel and toffee impression

T: Tart cherries are very pronounced. The oakey, vanilla character from the barrel is the next flavor coming through that blends into a dark chocolate and toasty malt flavor. Some caramel and toffee notes in the background. Bitterness is low and the balance is on the sweeter malt and cherry side.

M: The carbonation comes off moderate but the tartness of the cherries gives and interesting sharpness. Moderate body and there is some astringancy from the tannins in the wood. Alcohol warming is moderate.

O: Very cherry forward beer that covers up a lot of the chocolate and roasty flavors you expect from a stout. The oak and bourbon come through slightly, but are but a side note to the cherries. I think the normal CW BS is a great beer and even rivals BCBS if you consider its availability in the state, but the cherries in this version is too intense for my pallet.

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Photo of Trifecta1
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Dark, porter-like, not completely opaque, not much head.

S - Cherries, malt, heavy bourbon, chocolate.

T - Tart cherries hit first, followed by boozy bourbon (vanilla and oak), caramel, and dark chocolate. Somewhat sweet, somewhat tart.

M - Syrupy, smooth, but light. Would like it to be a bit heavier.

O - Great beer, not as good as Bell's BB Cherry, or CW's base beer, BBS, but great nonetheless.

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Photo of Lorianneb
3.19/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to jrocco2021 for this one.

A- Pours black with a big head that disappears right away.
N- Smells of tart cherry, but little else
M- Thin. I expected something much chewier and thick. A little over carbonated for the style
T- mild tart cherry. Nice malt backbone. Hops just enough to make sure it's not too sweet
O- An ok beer from a great brewery. Glad I tried it in a trade, but would be disappointed if I paid more than $8 for a sixer.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.02/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a CBS snifter. Served at cellar temperature.

A) Deep brown with red on the edges. Not much head, but what was there, settles to a collar quickly. Has some legs too...

S) This has a fair amount of tart cherry on the nose, and some booze. There is a hint of chocolate, and some of the oak barrel as well.

T) The roasty malty stout flavors quickly give way to the tart cheery juice. A decent sweet tart balance. Packs a little alcohol heat too. Initially I found the finish a bit medicinal, but sip after sip, I grew to enjoy it a little more. Perhaps it is more earthy than medicinal.

M) The mouthfeel is very slick and smooth, but also a tad thin for my liking.

O) A well crafted brew... I rather enjoyed it, and I'm interested to see how it develops with some time in the cellar. Glad to recommend.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

2012 vintage.

Pours a hazy dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, bourbon, wood, and slight cherry aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, bourbon, and vanilla flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a subtle cherry presence that is really only noticeable in the smell at this point.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 vintage. Poured from a bottle into a Stone IRS snifter. The pour is very dark, not quite black, and admits very little light. It sports a thin layer of foam that quickly dies down to a thin lacing (low carbonation in a barrel-aged beer does not bother me). The nose is really nice. It's a bit faint, but the barrel comes through pretty nicely. I get notes of oak, some cherries, sweet vanilla, and just a hint of bourbon.

Medium-full body and a tart flavor. The tart cherry flavors hit you very quickly - right on the front of the palate. The malt doesn't even have an opportunity to provide a base for it. Whatever sweetness there is lasts only briefly. At mid-palate, some of the oak notes try to provide a balancing sweetness instead. These also fall a bit short. Last to try is the bourbon with its boozy sweetness. It joins with the cherries and adds richness to the flavor, then a hint of roastiness comes through right on the finish. When it blends with the cherries, you get a chocolate-cherry flavor that lingers very pleasantly.

I don't have a lot of experience with cherry stouts. I did not care for Bell's Cherry Stout at all (too tart), yet I thought that their Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout was absolutely divine. This one is in the middle. It's still a bit too tart for my liking, but the bourbon barrel provides some interesting flavors that counter the sour notes well. My kingdom for a brewer who's willing to make a cherry stout with a shit-ton of chewy, malty sweetness to balance out the sour flavors.

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Photo of mj81
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was very excited to try this. I love cherries and have heard good things about central waters. 2014 release.

A- was let down from the get go. Pours out like cherry Cola. Cheap carbonation head went from 2 fingers to nothing in literally less than a second. I've seen much better head retention on fountain soda. You can see the overly aggressive carbonation cascading up the glass.

S- about the only shining star on this beer. You get that earthy bourbon smell like that of a prairie brew. Cherries and chocolate come through as well.

T- follows the nose. cherries dominate with some vanilla, chocolate and earthy oak.

M- cherry coke. Too much carbonation, very thin mouthfeel. Barely thicker than something I would pour out a plastic bottle.

O- this beer could have been something so much more if they just toned down the manufactured co2 carbonation and had some more body to it. Flavors were there for the most part but it feels like they cheaped out on taking the necessary steps to make this a world class brew.

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Photo of IrishHockey
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage

Appearance: dark, almost black. When held up to the light, red shines through. Very nice looking beer

Smell: WOW! Bourbon....Cherries...so damn good!!!

Taste: alright, I loved it. It's a top 5 for me. Taste is bourbon and cherries. It's the cherry coke of bourbon beer. I want this to be a never ending glass. As it warms, the malts start to come out a bit, but the bourbon and cherry shine. This is everything I wanted a bourbon cherry beer to be.

Mouthfeel: this is the only component of the beer that I feel was lacking. It's a little thin. Almost like a soda. Carbonation was higher than I would have guessed. This in no way made it subpar. It would have been almost perfect with a creamier body.

Overall: I loved this beer. I will buy as much as I can and horde it! Fuck everyone else! Or I'll share, cause damnit, everyone who loves bourbon and cherries needs this. Once you do, Welcome to the crack pipe

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Photo of Carb-Overlord
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I think this is a pretty fun craft brew for people who like both bourbon and cherries. If you happen to dislike one or the other, this will definitely rate low. I happen to like both, probably too much ... so keep that bias in mind with this review.

A: Rich dark porter, poured with essentially with a very thin head that subsided after the first few drinks. Very opaque dark chocolate like color.

S: Of course, whiskey and cherries! Your smellers will be assailed with sweet bourbon, very pleasant indeed... is there a bourbon advocates about? :-) Anyway...

T: This is a very good sipping beer. Very carbonated porter, the bourbon is what hit me quite strongly immediately (I could really believe that this could be too much for many drinkers, but I love sipping bourbon, so cheers!). The bourbon flavor gives way to the cherries near the end of the swallow, this is sweet and delicious but definitely covered over with the bourbon flavor. If this beer were candy, it would be a "Bourbon Covered Cherry."

M: Pretty good, not quite outstanding, in my opinion I think this would be improved if a little smoother, less effervescence / slightly creamier and this would be dynamite.

O:'Just a fun beer. Sort of strong flavors going on here, I couldn't down an entire bottle but shared one with a guest. Sipped it like I sip me bourbon! Aaargh!!! Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of don1481
4.21/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into pint glass. I swear, if this gets infected like the Peruvian Morning, I'm so unbelievably done with CW. Aw, who am I kidding? I'LL NEVER QUIT YOU, CENTRAL WATERS!

2014 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark ruby with a small reddish tan head that rapidly dissipates with zero lacing.

Smell: Bourbon. And cherries. And oh so inviting!

Taste: This is.... different. It's definitely got the bourbon kick to it, but that's quite a bit of cherry goodness there as well. You'd think that one would overpower the other, but if anything, the bourbon's a little stronger than the cherry here. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: I was frankly expecting sticky, but this is surprisingly clean and pretty crisp for a stout. Impressive.

Overall: I'm gonna age the remaining three bottles a few more months and then have another. And hopefully another. And hopefully... I can keep this around a bit longer...

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
3.05/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a snifter

A - First thing I noticed was how thin it was for an imperial stout. Black for the most part, but kind of a ruby red on the edges when tilted up to the light. Had little head and more carbonation than expected. Almost like flat coca-cola.

S - Definitely cherries. Oak is also big. Bourbon isn't a sweet smell and it's masked by the cherries.

T - Kind of a sticky cherry sweetness. Cloying bourbon.

M - Fizzy and carbonated. Not very thick or fluffy.

O - The cherry is the dominant flavor instead of blending with the bourbon barrel stout components. It's drinkable, but not something I'd seek out.

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Photo of jlindros
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Another one thanks to Tom P. 10/11 vintages side by side.

No head, dark murky molasses color

Nose nice dark choc, caramel, hint of balotin cherry, very light vanilla barrel, the older is a bit more soft and less cherry.

Taste semi sweet, little choc, plenty of balotin cherry real balotin but not super cherry like, light barrel, nice choc on the back end, mild bitterness too, little cocoa nib. Age is again a little flatter in the taste.

Somewhat flat too, med to fuller bod, mild booze.

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Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 246 ratings.