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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout | The Schlafly Tap Room

398 Reviews
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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial StoutSchlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room
Missouri, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout is brewed with a big malt flavor, plenty of hop bitterness for balance and roasted barley that imparts notes of dark chocolate. As a finishing touch, the beer is transferred to freshly-emptied Kentucky bourbon barrels and aged before being carbonated and bottled. The barrel aging gives the beer a spicy, vanilla character and a pleasant, warming finish.

In the 18th Century, Imperial Stout was first brewed in London for export to the court of Catherine II of Russia. The beer had to be robust enough to maintain during transport.

This beer will continue to age well in a cool dark place for several years, but it is ready to enjoy now.

40 IBU

Added by maxpower on 11-23-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 398 | Ratings: 924
Photo of mfnmbvp
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, bottled on 05/20/2015 - just a few days shy of it's first birthday. My first big bottle from Schlafly.

Poured into a clear snifter glass.

A - Pours a thick dark black body, just a few shades away from opaque, with some dark reddish-brown hues showing near the surface. One finger of khaki head that falls to a thin ring quickly. Mild random spotty lacing. Appears adequately carbonated. Looks good.

S - Big aromas of mustiness, damp oak wood / barrel, vanilla, cherry cola syrup, some notes of band-aid. The oak / bourbon barrel aromas become more pronounced as the beer warms.

T - Taste brings in more of the same: notes of cream, slight chocolate, caramel, bourbon barrel / oak wood, mustiness. There is a slight dark fruit / cherry sort of tart in there also that makes an appearance. Notes of vanilla, cream, & toffee emerge once the beer warms toward room temp. Light notes of buttery diacetyl.

M - Feel is smooth & creamy. Medium-full, good carb.

Overall, a semi-above average bourbon barrel stout offering from Schlafly, but especially decent for the price point. Definitely gets better as it warms. Would be interested to see how this turns with some serious age on it.

Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout -----4/5.

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Photo of stortore
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a snifter. Bottled 5/20/15.

Pours a deep brown, mostly opaque, with a quickly dissipating, small head and a fair amount of loose, soapy lacing. Smell is malt- not the roasty aroma you would expect of an RIS, bourbon, caramel, vanilla, some molasses, light smoke. Really smells good. Taste also leads with the malt and the bourbon, some chocolate, vanilla, light oak, some caramel and molasses, a little licorice. Could use a touch more malt. Smooth, pretty creamy for the style, good body.

Interesting beer. Does not really fit the profile for an RIS as it's not at all roasty, but it has a great aroma and a good, appealing flavor. Creaminess was a nice surprise, too. Might be a little high on the rating, but it was really enjoyable to drink. Maybe I need another bottle....

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a very dark brown with a small khaki head that quickly recedes to a ring. Bourbon aroma dominates, leather and ash are just hinted. Flavor is roasted malt, dark fruit and hints hints of bitter cocoa. This looks a bit thin but feels smooth and creamy. It has a big boozy, warming finish that feels a bit raw. Overall this is pretty solid beer. The bottle is dated 2015. All that being said, the other bottle will sit for a year or so, I suspect this one ages well.

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Photo of Kratman
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The look was very much motor oil like, smell was outstanding- chocolate/ sweet bourbon smell. The taste is good however I was happy I was sharing this monster because i was ready to be done after a couple poors. Overall I would drink this again... well done

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750 into a Chimay Chalice...

Let's get it underway, reviewing this live and on cable TV! Pouring this Imperial Stout she isn't looking Outstanding to me. She pours a Dark Brown body that appears to be Black and opaque in the glass...fair enough. Not really grabbing my attention. Nice Khaki Head formed which turned into a rich lacing around my glass.

Let's smell my prey! Sweet Jesus! This is a Bourbon Lovers aroma right here! Hits off with that rich Leather and Pipe Tobacco with some Vanilla sweetness. The backend has a rich Toasted Almonds and some Spice (Cinnamon) just aching for you to sip it! This juice smells amazing!

The Flavor? Just as Rich, it starts off with Dark Chocolate but swindles your tastebuds with a Dark Fruit Character..(Apple Skins). Then second wave hits with Vanilla, Toasted Almonds and Cinanmon. It's great in flavor! Finishes a bit boozy but for the aftertaste...who cares!? That aftertaste is where everything connects, Leather, Tobaccoo, Vanilla, Cinanmon and a bit of Fudge in there too. The Mouthfeel is a bit of a let down. It's thin with soft carbonation.

Overall: Schlafly is on of those breweries that make Exeptional Beer. This is one of them. They don't get the love they're owed, which is a shame. This does have its faults, but man Aroma and Flavor gives this its break. It has the elements I love in a Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. With that said, it has a few things I didn't feel were not up to par...(my opinion any way). The Appearance was a bit "light" while pouring, but like I said my opinion only (don't let that deter you). Second, the Mouthfeel. I want to chew my Imperial Stouts. I want it to be Syrup in Texture. This lacked in that department. The Carbonation was soft but not enough to grab the huge malt body it took to get that 10.2 ABV. Still a Delicious BA Stout that I feel is a Steal for its price tag...I know a few other breweries that would've sold this for 10 dollars more...just saying. At the end of the day, this Brew is Recommended!

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Photo of larryarms847
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours somewhat thin for the high abv, but a deep dark brown nearing black appearance in the glass with very little brown foam on the edges.

Dark chocolate, subtle vanilla/oaky barrel notes, some slight roastiness, but overall not much going on in aroma.

Flavor identical to aroma, the chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt, oak, and bourbon notes are all there, but very subtle, even after warming up.

Medium-heavy bodied, low carbonation, thin for the style.

Overall, Schlafly makes some really solid brews, but this needs some work. This is really a nuanced BBA imperial stout with a body that's out of character for the style. Amp it up guys!

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Photo of MacMalt
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into stout glass. It pours a dark mahogany with a one-finger, light tan head and lacing. It smells of cocoa, caramel, coffee, and bourbon. The taste is bourbon-forward and pretty hot but the other flavors come through nicely, including roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, oak, and dark fruit. There is some hop presence and nice vanilla taste at the finish. This stout is medium-bodied, moderately carbonated, and very creamy. Over time, the bourbon mellowed a bit and it became smoother to drink. But at 10.5 ABV, you can definitely feel some burn. Overall, this is a very good RIS. I would really like to try this one on draught.

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Photo of sphmiel
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The 2015 version, pours opaque black with pale head. Aroma of roasty malts, carried to the taste, medium moth feel. Lingering sweet dark fruits. Some alcohol burn, expect it to mellow. A solid Imperial stout.

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Photo of foundersfan1
4.54/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage

Picture perfect light mocha colored head, covers a thick opaque black body.

Lovely as can be the barrel notes have really been drawn into the nose of this beer, full of vanilla, oak, and alcohol. Slight roasted malts hidden beneath

Follows the nose with bourbon sweetness and caramel on the back end. Far more heavy on the bourbon notes than most BBA stouts, but great for certain occasions and moods.

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Photo of Stolenface1
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with tan head. Aroma of caramel, chocolate coffee, vanilla, fig, raisin, bourbon and vanilla. Flavor follows the nose with big malt, toffee, and bitter hop play. Slightly hot, but not too bad. The feel is med heavy with more than expected carbonation. Wish it were less, because it may be a touch more smooth. Overall not a bad RIS could probably benefit from some aging.

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Photo of PhillyJ
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Long story short world class chocolate bourbon stout buy it.....I've had several bottles and this has really grown on me. It's bourbon and chocolate in stout form. The nose is bourbon with nice barrel traces. The look is deep brown with a small cream head that keeps itself ringed around the glass no lacing apparent.The taste is bourbon wetness with a dominate chocolate follow up as it warms bourbon is intensified and chocolate takes a back seat but still present. It's a tad thin but with the flavors available and the price you won't mind one bit.

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Photo of MizzouBrew
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. This is one strong tasting bourbon barrel stout (aged in Jim Beam barrels from what I hear). It tastes stronger than Dragons Milk, but is not quite as smooth.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, 2009, 10.5%
A - frothy tan head atop a near-black colored ale
S - oak, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, coffee, caramel, roasted barley
T - boozy, sweet, and rich; oaky bourbon, dark chocolate, caramel, coffee, vanilla, roasted barley, tobacco leaf
M - full body, creamy and smooth, nice carbonation
O - with the potential issues we could have come across with this beer being 6 years old, it really came through - and in a big way! I wasn't even sure if it was going to be reviewable, but it was a go once I realized there were no off flavors and it seemed to have been very well preserved over the years. I'd like to get my hands on a fresher one for comparison purposes. This was great!

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage. Pours a clear, light colored ruddy brown. Appears black in the glass with chestnut highlights along the edges and a light tan, tightly packed head which leaves lots of lacing. Looks like an imperial stout but it sure doesn't drink like one. On the nose, I'm getting burnt caramel, rum soaked raisins, a touch of vanilla, some oak, butterscotch. Nice carbonation helps to coat the mouth, lots of caramel and dark fruit in the taste, as well as whiskey, vanilla, toffee, and oak. There's no notes of chocolate, no coffee, no dark roasted malts; nothing to indicate that you're drinking a stout. Feels like I got a 750ml bottle of Backwoods Bastard in front of me. A great beer but I just wouldn't classify this one as an Imperial Stout.

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Photo of richj1970
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bottle into snifter. 2013 vintage.

A: Dark brown almost black with two finger tan head that settled fairly quickly to a thin ring. Some light lacing.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, light coffee, raisins, and roasted malts.

T: Rich roasted malts mixed with good quality chocolate, figs, raisins, vanilla, and bourbon.

M: Full bodied but not thick. Nice carbonation for a BA stout.

O: Very nice stout. Might have to pick up another next time I see it.

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Photo of uvachief
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured too cold from a 750ml bottle. Less than a finger of head. Dissipated quickly. Pours a deep purplish black like a deep BlackBerry. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla and bourbon in the nostrils. Dark fruit but can't place it. Raisins? Guessing straight KY bourbon but it does over power the aforementioned flavors. However, I like the taste of bourbon so this isn't bad to me. Too thin in the mouth unfortunately. Bourbon down followed by dark chocolate, vanilla, hops and roasted malts but bourbon aftertaste. If it was creamier, I'd love it. Letting it warm up. Improves the flavors in the nose and mouth. Not bitter. A good effort. No idea what the abv is but I'm guessing high.

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Photo of Getalegup
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Holy cow. Cellaring this paid off. It's a 2010. Barrel flavor comes through super good. Thin. Little foam. Not sure if I liked the 2010 last year or this year the best.

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Photo of macher0
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Very dark brown, not quite black. Poured a frothy amber head that retreats to a fine-bubble rim which creates spotty laces.

S. A nice balance of figs, vanilla, and toffee are created from the dark malts and bourbon barrels. The barrels are certainly present but not an overwhelming bourbon presence.

T. A very nice relationship with the nose. A noticeably bourbon/barrel relationship that creates notes of marshmallow, coffee, vanilla, tannins, and chocolate. A little booze on the end.

M. Not very smooth, high carbonation, full body, and moderate viscosity.

O. A good BA stout. The are better and certainly worse. I like the way the hops mesh with the other variables to create a bitter coffee character. I dig the smell but the taste and feel fall short from the booze on the end. It's not as hot as others, but enough to influence the overall scores.

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Photo of M_J_Z
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Had a little bit of this last weekend. Good stuff! My notes from Untappd: "Creamy, milky, a lil' funky, boozy ... lots going on here." I was impressed. Not a perfect RIS or barrel-aged beer, but very enjoyable, smooth and delicious. I'd like to try more at some point. 4-4.25 (I rounded up to 4.5 on UT).

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We pop the top on a 750mL of their 2013 stock, pouring into our now broken-in St. Bernardus goblets. The coloring reflects tones of sticky blackstrap molasses, while its one finger head shimmers a lighter shade of sandstone. Retention is reasonable, with cakey sheets of lacing left around the glasses. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be medium. The aroma offers big drying oakiness, moss, heavy fruity booziness, nail polish, sugary sweet chocolate and coffee malts, vanilla bean cloy, almond extract, sea salt, smoked cinnamon sticks, black cherries and aged strawberries, soy sauce, rich hazelnut chocolate mousse, corny bourbon, and salted caramel. The taste opens with the liquid sugar of dark and milk chocolates, sustained vodka booziness, soured oak bite and char, chocolate covered cherries, cherry liqueur, licorice, confectioner’s sugar, tamarind and soy, distant lime soda, latex, buttery diacetyls, matchstick sulfur, creamy coconut milk, gentle but sticky piney hop bitterness, powdered yeastiness, spiced bourbon warmth, white paper, and maple bark. The body is thick and oily, and the carbonation is medium to high. Slurp and smack pull nicely on the lip, but cream and froth are lost to that oily, slickened background. The mouth is left densely coated, with high grade sting lingering from the alcohol, and touchy dryness from the oak. The abv is stylistically appropriate, and the beer sips accordingly.

Overall, this is one hell of a sweet beer; so much so that the sweetness is in place of flavor. This is not to be confused with boldness, it is just very sweet. It is only after you wait three to four minutes after the sip that you begin to appreciate its subtleties of flavor. If we’re going to be extra picky here then we do have to mention that, if you’re calling this a Russian Imperial Stout, then it just simply isn’t bitter enough. The oak tries to work you down, in all of its sourness and char, but this appears when the beer reaches room temperature, and not really a second sooner. Once you get used to it, it does seem to go down smoother, much in the same sense that Choklat does. Other than general quality of ingredients, what really sets this beer apart is the heavy oakiness. This adds to nearly every aspect of the beer, obviously including flavor as mentioned above, but it is most notable through the feel where it effectively dries off an oily base. This is a fine beer, and perhaps a fresher bottle would have given us more of that Russian intensity, bitterness, and balance that might have put this one over the top for us.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

This is a big beer with tons of Bourbon character. The nose is a bit deceptive with some sweet tones of vanilla, coconut and the whiskey creaminess. The flavor is strong bourbon flavor as if some one spilled a shot directly into a stout. As it warms I get more chocolate from the base beer with barrel added coconut and vanilla. The finish is a bite of liquor with an after thought of raw whiskey. As bourbon barreled beers go this seems to have absorbed more of the liquor than any other stout I've had. That's a good thing for me.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a dark brown foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of vanilla and strong bourbon notes with sweet roasted malt notes. Taste is also dominated by loads of vanilla notes with strong bourbon notes and quite a bit of residual sugar notes with light black chocolate. Body is somewhat full with an oily like texture and medium carbonation with light warming alcohol notes. Bourbon notes are quite dominant but there is just too much residual sugar for my taste at the end of the day.

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Photo of Ohiovania
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage

I don't think it aged well. Getting more oxidation than I had hoped with some slightly tart off-flavors. Bourbon and some chocolate are in the mix as well. You win some and you lose some.

Mouthfeel is week also. Made the mistake of loosing this one in the cellar until recently so I'm sure this is better fresh.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.74/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2007 Vintage

A-Pours dark brown with an almost oily texture as it drains from the bottle. Lacking any head.

S-Clearly smells oxidized. Hopefully it isn't too badly blown out. I get much more dark fruits than I was expecting. It smells very, very sweet. The bourbon has faded but it's still there.

T-Oxidization is a problem here but it hasn't ruined the beer. Aside from the oxidization, there is a tons of alcohol-soaked dark fruits and figs. Raisins, and booze-plums. Loads of molasses and an old coffee flavor. Softer whiskey flavor as well. Well integrated flavors.

M-Nearly cloying. Chewy sweetness. Could use a sip of water after some of this beer. Flat.

O-A bit too old. It's aged into a beer that isn't all too Stout-like in flavor. Aside from the Oxidization, I was impressed that the whiskey barrel flavor still stuck around rather well.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.61/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2012 vintage.

Appearance - Black with some faint red flecks when I hold it up to the light. Nice off-white head. Thick collar. Some nice lacing in the glass.

Smell - Lots of dark fruits. Bourbon. Vanilla. Milk chocolate. Smells kinda like Pannepot, as odd as that sounds. It has that dark fruit and cola thing going on.

Taste - More stout-y. Roasted malt. Dark chocolate. Still an ample caramel malt presence as well as some dark fruits and cola flavors. Dry oaky finish. Seems a little oxidized, but in a pleasant way.

Mouthfeel - Not all that boozy. Easy to drink for its size. Creamy.

Overall - It's a-typical, especially in this era of craft beer. It just doesn't taste like a huge imperial stout loaded with bourbon. It tastes like a well balanced stout with ample, but nuanced barrel notes.

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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from The Schlafly Tap Room
90 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.