A slanted and endless survey of what’s pouring in Oshkosh... tallied one beer at a time.
What: Central Waters Brewers Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout. An Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels.
Where: Festival Foods in Oshkosh; 4-packs are $12.99
Why: Because this is a great beer. Simple as that. And this year’s brew is a notch above previous vintages (shit, I’m going to get all winey over this). What jumped out at me was how fully integrated the bourbon character is with the rich malt flavors; quite a bit more so than in the past. No doubt, this is still a boozy beer, but the bourbon doesn’t over-impose. Instead it mingles among all the lush, deep malt tones. Vanilla, coconut, chocolate, caramel... almost like drinking chocolate bourbon balls. Take it out of the refrigerator a good 15 minutes before you uncap it, then give it a rough pour into a snifter. You’ll be good to go for about a half hour. This is a sipper that'll pay back every ounce of attention you give it. As always with this beer, supplies are limited, so you’ll want to get a jump on this one.