Saturday, December 24, 2011

Beer Review: Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout

Reviewing the Bourbon Barrel Stout from Central Waters Brewing Company.
Score: 88

2011 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Body is an opaque dark caramel-black color with brown highlight around the perimeter. Pours a thin layer of tan head that settles into a lace atop the brew. Average lacing for a 9.5% ABV stout. 3.5/5

Smell: Vanilla extract and tiramisu. Vanilla cookies, maple syrup and bourbon. Faint hints of chocolate, a and a touch of booziness. 4/5

Taste: Bourbon-forward. Smooth vanilla upfront mixed with a little black coffee. Touch of red grape on the mid-palate and in the finish. Some maple throughout, and a lot of caramel towards the finish. Finish is sweet, malty caramel and bourbon with a solid linger. A little alcohol warmth, especially as it approaches room temperature, but not in an overwhelming sense. This one probably has the kind of profile that ages well. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with the perfect amount of light carbonation. Finishes sweet and a little sticky. 3.5/5

Overall: An absolutely delicious barrel aged imperial stout that does not require you to stalk a distribution truck to enjoy. I highly recommend this one.

Recommendation: Beer geeks should love this relatively easy to find barrel aged beer, while casual beer drinkers who enjoy bourbon should enjoy this one too. Casual beer drinkers who are not fans of drinking the brown liquors should probably avoid this one, however.

Pairings: Chocolate brownies with caramel fudge (and nuts!).

Cost: $12.99 for a four pack.

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