Thursday, February 22, 2018

Central Waters Brewer's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Belgian Quadruple Ale

The Stats
Style: Quadrupel
ABV: 10%
Current Ratings...
- Untappd: 4.2/5
- Beer Advocate: 4.19/5
- RateBeer: 3.7/5

"Barrel aged Quad is brewed in the spirit of collaboration. We combine traditional techniques and ingredients like Belgian candi sugar with American innovation and experimentation by the use of bourbon barrels."

Pours out the darkest shade of ruby red with a relatively clean body. Head retention was minimal at best with less than a finger forming, but disappearing instantly.

Intense aromas of caramel and toffee with a significant malt presence. There's lots of brown sugar, figs, and raisins to be had. A refined alcohol scent is pleasant. A sweet, sticky note from the bourbon and some oak cap things off.

The nose was more of a sweeter, sugary experience that reminded me of a Wheatwine, but the taste is all dark fruit, all the time.

Cherries and red grape are most prominent with the plums and raisins relegated to a supporting role. The other star of the show is the alcohol itself. While it doesn't provide a stinging sensation, it leaves the palate warm after each sip. It's not a deterrent, but it is an exclamation point after each individual flavor. A big spice presence combined with the warming alcohol produces a flavor similar to spiced rum with just the smallest dab of coconut on the back. More red grape and noticeable vinous notes bring us back to dark fruit territory and there's even a small amount of citrus. There's not much in the way of a bourbon influence, but the barrel itself lends oak and slight char. The malts still carry a caramel flavor that is left over from the aroma.

The mouthfeel retains some stickiness after each sip and as mentioned before, the alcohol presence is big, but not distracting. While sticky in the mouth, the aftertaste tends to be relatively clean and the body itself is smooth for the most part sans for some residual graininess.

Central Waters has produced a Belgian Quad that can hang with many of the authentic examples from overseas. While actual bourbon flavor was lacking, the barrel itself kicked complexity up a few notches to enhance an already great base beer. Alcohol could have been dialed back a bit, but the overall product was tasty and enjoyable.


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