Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout - The Schlafly Tap Room

Not Rated.
Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial StoutSchlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

851 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 851
Reviews: 393
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 92
Gots: 222 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: maxpower on 11-23-2002

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
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 851 | Reviews: 393
Photo of Gorilla_Biscuits
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pretty strong bourbon taste, not as strong of a coffee and chocolate flavor as you would expect. However it's very good

Photo of barnzy78
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
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!

Photo of gjoker321
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Intense Bourbon Heat up front and throughout. The stout part feels like more of an afterthought.

Photo of Czarkazm
4.04/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of chadkuhns80
4.79/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I really like this one. The bourbon flavor wasn't overpowering. Very nice. I'm excited that this beer is available all the time.

Photo of richj1970
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Photo of heerboth
3.24/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I thought this beer was rather thin and sweet. Not too nuanced. I'm not a huge fan of this style.

Photo of 1424IpA
2.81/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

2008 edition. Just as wierd as other schlafly ba stuff.

Photo of uvachief
4/5  rDev -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.

Photo of Getalegup
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of golf4collet
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013--very good. Can see this being incredible after proper aging for a few years.

Photo of macher0
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of M_J_Z
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

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).

Photo of TheBrewo
3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of KYGunner
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Photo of Ohiovania
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.61/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Photo of bryanbullock
3.51/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The bros were right this is not a 90 plus bba stout. The pour is high carbonation, but more transparent coloration than you want in a bba stout. The aroma is quite nice with very strong coffee and chocolate with something of a coconut undertone. The taste is weak and does not do justice to a stout more like an imperial porter, the smoothness of a bba stout is consistent. The mouthfeel too watery but good carbonation. Overall a sub par bba stout.

Photo of Kcastr01
4.89/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This one is at the top of my list. It's a fine celebration brew but not for a night out. It's heavy. You need to be prepared to sit and really focus on it after dinner. Heavy malt notes. Excellent aroma and oaky undertones. You can drink it alone but you better not be needing to drive. A Thick creamy head with a nice finish.

Photo of hardy008
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2011 Vintage

Pours black with ruby highlights, and a one finger creamy tan head with nice retention and lacing. Has a very nice aroma with chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, coconut, dark fruit, and oak.

This beer tastes every bit as good as it smells with chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, coconut, dark fruit, roasted malt, and oak. Sweet without being overly sweet. Creamy and warming. The alcohol is well hidden, especially for a 10.5 % abv beer aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and creamy. Just a very well made beer, which is a pleasure to drink.

Photo of Franziskaner
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark black colored with just a smidgeon of light getting through when held up to a light. Brussels lacing. Nearly a half inch of khaki colored head with a few large bubbles of carbonation mixed in with what is otherwise a tightly knit head. Aroma is a luscious blend of fig, plum, black licorice, bourbon and roasted barley. The taste is a very compelling blend of sweetness along the lines of fig, black licorice, bourbon and plum. You then get the roasted barley component on the back of the palate along with the warmth of the alcohol and then it's right back to the sweet notes of fig, black licorice, bourbon and plum on the fade. The mouth is silky as well as a bit warming on the back of the palate. In summary:It's complicated, but in a good way.

Photo of cosmicevan
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

2008 vintage enjoyed from a schlafly tulip.

a - opened the box, ripped the cap off wax n all and filled my glass. Brew poured a watery brown that settled in the glass a bit darker. medium build head of grey foamy bubbles that didn't hang out but left some chunky lacing and a skin of bubbles on the surface.

s - nose boasts syrupy dark fruit with some boozer infused chocolate. Smells rich and a bit sweet. Brown sugar.

t - a bit oxidized and likely past its prime. Dark chocolate and booze notes over an almost hybrid stout and brown ale. Nothing too crazy.

m - surprisingly thin and watery for such a big beer.

o - overall this vintage had probably seen its day. A bit thin and the stout base seems to be lacking balls, but this is fairly old for a stout.

Photo of kdahnke123
3.02/5  rDev -26%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

2013 Vintage. Poured into a snifter. The color was a little muddy and the head was very light. The smell is of the bourbon with light roasted malt. The taste is light with the bourbon coming through later. On the whole a very light stout with a small amount of bourbon. Not to be repeated.

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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from The Schlafly Tap Room
91 out of 100 based on 851 ratings.