Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale 11.5% ABV
Central Waters Brewing Co.
I sit inside on a late spring day. A day sandwiched between the last day and penultimate day of snow. Today the ground is visible; the temperature soaring into the high 60’s. Winter, this brutal winter, is finally coming to an end, though it holds on tooth and nail, not wanting to abate and concede to the soon coming spring. I pour my barley-wine into a glass, more a goblet of sorts. I hold the goblet with my whole hand, grasping it from the bottom of the bowl, with the stem betwixt my middle and index finger. My thumb leaves its print high up on the side almost touching the rim of the glass goblet. I can feel the coolness of the elixir against my palm as I gently swirl it and then bring the lip of the glass to my own lips. I inhale deeply and smell the oak bourbon barrel casks in which this ale was aged for a year. I then tilt the glass and taste the smooth transporting quality of this delicious barley wine. Sip after sip, my taste buds are inundated with multifaceted flavors and sensations. This is a very complex brew.
Not even halfway through the 12 fluid ounces of this beer, I stop. The warmth in my belly makes me want to lie back in my chair and ponder. No typing, no drinking, no thoughts of what I need to do later today, tomorrow, next week, next year. Just this moment in all its fleeting joy, I cling to and embrace; diving deep into time’s rapid movement from now into the past, from something into nothing. I bask, bask in the turgid movement of space, time, and that which lies outside of both, that which is my mind.
I step back, from my step back, and return to the glass. Six ounces of this delectable ale remain. As I stare at the glass I can do not, but smile. This incredible bourbon barrel aged barley-wine has made me a “half glass full” kind of guy, at least until it’s gone.
Central Waters Brewing Company is located in Amherst, Wisconsin. It is committed “to being one of the most environmentally sustainable breweries in the nation.” They use as many locally produced raw goods as possible, recycle as much as possible and also use solar power for water heating and 20% of their electricity.