Sunday, August 18, 2013

Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Review

Name: Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine
Style: Barleywine
ABV: 11.2%

Originally I was planning on doing a review of Rugbrød from The Bruery to commemorate my 100th Post.....that is until I came across one of the beers I had on my bucket list from earlier this summer. That's right, it's Central Waters very own Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale!

Part of their Brewers Reserve Series, this is a is a Barleywine which is aged in a bourbon barrel for a year before being bottled and released for purchase. One of my favorite styles of beer combined with bourbon barrel aged goodness makes me all the more grateful that I got my hands on this beer and I'm quite excited to finally try this out. I'm not sure if it varies from year to year, but the ABV in this year's edition is 11.5%.

It pours a dark hazy brown color with an off-white head that is thin but with good retention. There isn't too much going on in terms of carbonation.

Before even checking out the nose, I'm already getting a whiff of Vanilla and Oak as the glass sits a couple feet away from me. Upon closer inspection, I'm treated to an aroma of vanilla, oak, caramel, bourbon, caramel, hops and whiskey. It smells alot like Bourbon!

As for the flavor, I'm getting very strong & vibrant vanilla, oak, caramel, bourbon, hops, malts and whiskey. Pardon the redundancy but this....tastes like bourbon. It still tastes very much like a barleywine but if you handed this to me and didn't tell me what it was, I'd mistake it for bourbon at first! A very slight boozy flavor is present but it blends in so well that you can hardly notice it's there. The body is quite heavy but the carbonation is rather mild; Still take your time drinking this because it's a doozy!

I'm not declaring this to be the Magnum Opus of the barleywine style, but this may be one of the best Barleywines that I have ever had. It's rich and robust with flavors that are both common & rare in barleywine style ales and it blends together very nicely.

Slight booziness aside (which I feel will subside once allowed to age), I really can't find anything wrong with this beer.  If you love barleywines and you so happen to see this on the shelf, grab it before someone else does because it's that delicious!

Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barrel Barleywine - 9.75/10

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