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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout - The Schlafly Tap Room

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

778 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 778
Reviews: 379
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 79
Gots: 189 | 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:
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 added by: Todd on 11-23-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 778 | Reviews: 379 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beepthebot
1/5  rDev -75.5%

beepthebot, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of aint_it_strange
1/5  rDev -75.5%

aint_it_strange, May 08, 2012
Photo of damonjh
1/5  rDev -75.5%

damonjh, Today at 05:10 AM
Photo of Arbitrator
2.05/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2008 vintage, chilled bottle into a glass. Generously shared by ramnuts while we watched The Big Lebowski. Thanks Frank.

***

Re-review: 2007 vintage, received in a trade from MiguelMandingo. Thanks Mike.

A: Not opaque in the glass, but it's a very dark brown-black body that lets only the slightest hint of light through at the edges. Its dark tan head rises to a finger, but vanishes quickly and leaves no film or lacing behind. No legs. About what I'd expect from an RIS.

S: Chocolate, oxidation, bourbon, and still (somehow) booze sting, bordering on solventy.

T: Chocolate and bourbon, again. The oxidation is pretty overwhelming, though; and it's not a complex sherry oxidation, just more of a straight earthy cigar bitterness. Strong tannic character toward the finish. Vanilla is very light. It's initially solventy when I pour it, though it is tamed a bit as the beer warms.

M: Surprisingly thin, with muddled and simple flavors. It could stand to be thicker and more complex. The booze is poorly disguised.

D: I liked the 2008 vintage that ramnuts shared far more than the 2007 one. I purposely got this with the intention of introducing newbies to craft beer. It was shared at a Wii party that included bourbon aficionados, in fact. Most commented that other barrel-aged beers I had shared in the past were far better; absolutely no one liked this.

If this beer is this uneven, I don't think I'll gamble on other bottles.

Arbitrator, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of Is_it_beer30_yet
2.08/5  rDev -49%

Is_it_beer30_yet, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of LilMatrix
2.25/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Big thanks to Cobrakai22 for sharing this one!

A - Pours oily with little head. Light penetration that reveals a dark red hue.

S - Alcohol, brandy, bourbon, and sweetness. Surprised by the missing roasted characters (cocoa, coffee, chocolate) usually found in imperial stouts.

T - Brandy sweetness, candy, bourbon, cough syrup, boozy and alcoholic.

M - Rather thin bodied for an imperial stout and kinda flat.

D - I can't finish this one... This is way too boozy for me. Each drink gets a more and more of a cough syrup taste... think cherry flavored robitusson.

LilMatrix, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of bobhits
2.48/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Thin body look, you can see bubble in this barrel aged stout? Built a decent head that really quickly goes away. Deep brown around the edges. Looks like this will be pretty thin stuff, 2

Bourbon aroma sweetened by the malt. Some vanilla and oak and perhaps a touch of chocolate. The smell is a touch soft compared to many of the better bourbon barrel aged stouts. 2.5

Huge shot of bourbon, a very sweet bourbon, then full of really sweet sugary malt. Almost sickeningly sweet and the alcohol really kicks in this one. 2.5

The mouth is thin like it looks. The carbonation leaves before the beer is finished and this leaves and odd kinda sugary water like mouth feel.

I had no problem drinking it surprisingly really. Everything about this beer is below average. That said an interesting attempt and well hell who doesn't love bourbon in their stouts?

bobhits, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of pooogy
2.5/5  rDev -38.7%

pooogy, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of substanceD
2.5/5  rDev -38.7%

substanceD, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of jrallen34
2.55/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2009 vintage, 750ml bottle poured into my Darkness snifter...The beer pours a light black, brown on the edges and in light. A very light tan head rises about a finger and half but then it falls way to quick to only leave a thing ring. So-so lacing...The aroma is way to light, almost boring. A hint of bourbon, a little vanilla, sweet mostly. A hint of chocolate. This really has to be knocked down...The taste is equally disappointing, you can barely tell this was barrel aged. Light oak, really boring bourbon, a hint of roast, and chocolate. Not bad or offensive, just such a high bar for barrel aged stouts and this isn't there...The feel is a little hot with a rough coffee quality that just doesn't fit.

I can't recommend this.

jrallen34, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of johnnybgood1999
2.68/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I kept drinking the Barley Wine Special Reserve without trying the Bourbon Aged Stout because I really loved the BW. This ale was a disappointment in comparison, though I'm not saying it is a horrible beer or anything. Just not as good.

A: Poured syrupy and pitch black. Virtually no head. Like oil out of a beer bottle! Not a bad omen for a stout.

S: A sweet chocolate caramel aroma with whiskey apparant up front.

T: Other reviews have stated oak is more the flavor than bourbon and I would have to agree. A very sweet stout. The sweetest stout I've had to date. Plenty of chocolate and plain sugary tast. Maybe some toffe as well. Honestly a little too sweet for me. I'm also getting no carbonation like fellow reviewers, but I would actually prefer a good bit more.

D: I rated this rather low becasue of the sweetnessand total lack of carbonation. It was so sweet I could not take more than a glass. The Barley Wine Special Reserve is much more drinkable and that's what I had expected out of this stout. I can only take this in small amounts.

johnnybgood1999, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of corby112
2.73/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From notes:

2007 vintage. Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest hint of lighter color when held to a light source and a half finger tan head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Minimal spots of lacing left behind.

Earthy aroma with pleanty of oak/wood character as well as hints of roasty chocolate malt, bourbon and sweet alcohol.

Suprisingly thin bodied and watered down with lots of oak and peaty bourbon notes. The maltiness from the aroma is there bu once again it's kind of disappointingly faint. The flavor is overly dominated by bourbon/alcohol sweetness and heat. This beer was way too young at this stage(sampled when fresh).

corby112, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of Sinatra716
2.75/5  rDev -32.6%

Sinatra716, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of speedvagen
2.75/5  rDev -32.6%

speedvagen, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of Jeffo
2.75/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

In a trade with Craytonic many moons ago. Thanks for the brews man.

From a 750ml bottle into a snifter.
Vintage: 2008

APPEARANCE: Pours out a very light and transparent brown. Yields a one finger, medium-thin looking. light tan head with half decent retention, fading down to a full wisp and ring. Black body with little carbonation evident. A splotchy wisp and ring remain leaving some dots of lacing down the glass. Too light and thin for the style, and the head was underwhelming as well.

SMELL: Mild nose of roasted malts and light barrel notes. Bourbon, oak and vanilla notes are there, as well as some faint milk chocolate and licorice. Pleasant, yet too mild to be memorable.

TASTE: Mild flavors as well. Roasted and caramel malts up front, then the barrel kicks in midway. Bourbon, vanilla, and oak are there. Medium and lingering aftertaste of barrel notes and some sweet milk chocolate as well. Very mild bitterness at the finish. Nice flavors, but not as bold as needed. Comes out a little after the swallow, but needs more up front to move it up a class.

PALATE: Medium-thin body and not creamy or smooth enough. Higher levels of prickly carbonation on the palate, goes down prickly and finishes slightly sticky on the palate. While it fills out a little as it sits, it begins too thin, prickly, and not creamy enough.

OVERALL: This is an average bourbon barrel aged stout at best, and the thinner look and feel certainly don’t help. I’d heard good things about this beer, but then again, I’ve heard good things about a lot of average beers. A worthy brew that would be good to share with friends, but not something worth getting worked up about. Thanks again for the opportunity to give this one a go Craytonic.

Jeffo, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of Erdinger2003
2.9/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The appearance has a pretty good head with a good lacing. The smell is very light with a slight molasses and coffee flavor. The taste was pretty nice, but there was a giant alcohol flavor that turned me off, a kind of bitter sweet combonation. The mouthfeel was kind of alright. However, overall I might try this again, but outlook is bleek.

Erdinger2003, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
2.93/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

really excited to try this beer! this will be my second Schafly brew that I have tried really enjoyed the first which was a Coffee & Raspberry Stout. Expectations are high!

Vintage 2009.

here we go...
poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Opaque Black bodied beer with a Khaki/Tan head. Head is about one and a half fingers high. Receeds into heavy lacing on side of glass.

Smell: dry bakers cocoa, milk chocolate, and bourbon. Getting an overipe dark fruit notes that are moderately sour smelling. The nose was good until this showed up; makes the beer smell unpleasant even though the sour smell is not overpowering everything.

Taste: Just as I feared. It tastes sour, just like it smells. Getting strong black licorice and molasses notes. Getting a mild milk chocolate flavor and a little bit of the bourbon burn. Mild dark fruits in background as well. This beer is off; its either infected or just past it prime; its confirmed by nose and taste. The sour taste ruined it for me on this one! Almost a wine like taste, kind of vinious when you look at the whole picture of flavors coming out of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with lower end of moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is mildly creamy and a little slick. A little bit better than average mouthfeel.

Overall: This beer bummed me out. I might have expected too much, but I could not drink even half the bottle. I just think its past it prime or it might be infected.

4DAloveofSTOUT, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of Ryan011235
2.95/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter on 4/12/10; shared with two friends

2008 vintage

Thanks to Freethyhops

The color is a dark, cola brown that settles darker. The pour yielded ¼ inch of tan-colored foam which dissipated to a thin skim in short order. A slightly thicker ring of bubbles hangs on the inside perimeter. The occasional swirl allows for some retention but it always thins out. There are several small, tightly-arranged splotchy strings of drippy lace.

The smell is certainly that of a two year old beer; it's quite smooth & blended at this point. The bourbon comes through upfront but it isn't harsh or even too prominent. Lots of smoothed-over roasted malts. It tends toward sweetness, though there is a touch of bitterness to offset it. Notes of bakers chocolate & vanilla; maybe a touch of licorice. There are earthy undertones - oak & nuttiness. There are a few effervescent hints of dark fruits.

Not surprisingly, the taste is rather smooth as well. The penchant is definitely leaning in the direction of roasted malts with a few decent notes of near-burnt sugars: caramel, brown sugar & molasses. The chocolate isn't as appreciable as the nose. Wood notes, vanilla, bourbon & a touch of alcohol heat are on the finish. One guy says it calls to mind flat Coke that was left out all night in a cup that previously contained coffee, with a hint of nutmeg & vanilla, topped off with a shot of bourbon. The sweeter aspect of the beer become more apparent as it warms.

Reasonably full bodied with appropriately low carbonation. It's smooth without being particularly slick. Way in the back is a little bit of grittiness. Bourbon & mild notes of dry bitterness linger on the finish. The alcohol heat mentioned above isn't too powerful but it's definitely warming.

The beer isn't bad by any means, but I think it may not have benefited from this much age. It just seems to have lost some of the luster that is implied by the bolder bourbon notes toward the finish. It seems a little thin overall, or at least thinner than it was intended. Not bad; I just wish I had drunk it sooner.

Ryan011235, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of websherpa
2.95/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2010

Appearance: The beer looks very thin around the edges. Almost like flat cola. I think an Imp Stout should be a good deal darker.

Smell: The main thing to note how heavy the bourbon barrel influence is. The barrels really shine through with almost a cork like presence.

Taste: The barrel aging gives this beer some great flavors. Unfortunately I found the beer itself to be on the weak side. I feel like the barrel aging should compliment the beers natural flavors. Instead they overshadowed a thin and weak flavored beer.

Mouthfeel: Just way too thin for an Imp Stout.

Drinkability: The beer is not bad but it's not really a winner for me. The flavors just are not big enough for style. The barrel aging delivered, but the rest of the beer did not. Perhaps some age would mellow the barrel aging components and this beer could balance out.

websherpa, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of crbnfbr
3/5  rDev -26.5%

crbnfbr, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of AlaskanYoung
3/5  rDev -26.5%

AlaskanYoung, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -26.5%

rab53, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of kdahnke123
3.01/5  rDev -26.2%
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.

kdahnke123, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of biglite351
3.13/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - a lot of Ted around the edges. Tight tan head that leaves some lacing.

S - vanilla, malts, bourbon, mild chocolate... but not very stout-like which is odd for an Imperial Stout.

T - heavy vanilla and mild bourbon. A little bit of malt in the mix; but much like the scent, not much like an Imperial Stout.

M - medium coating. Lots of tingle all over the tongue. Alcohol burn in back of throat.

D - much milder that most bourbon stouts. The bourbon flavor is not in your face like most others. However, it slight lack of Imperial Stout flavor is a negative. Quite drinkable if it is there, but quite passable as well.

biglite351, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of mikeyv35
3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Date: 06/07/2010
Type: 750ml. Boxed Bottle
Vintage: 2007
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

Poured a light black in color w/ a 1/4 finger off-white head that left little to no lacing on the glass. Appears a bit thin. Nose was of dark fruits, oak, vanilla, light bourbon, and roastiness. Taste was of bourbon, oak, vanilla, and then a medicinal almost oxidized taste. Mouthfeel was way too thin for the style, would have even been a bit too thin for a Baltic Porter. Drinkability was majorly hindered by the strong medicinal and slightly oxidized aftertaste. I had had enough after only half a glass. Finish to me tasted of light cough syrup.

Overall, I don't know if I got a bad bottle or this brew is on the way down hill. In any case, I did not enjoy this one and was very disappointed, as I really liked the Barleywine Reserve.

mikeyv35, Jun 07, 2010
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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from The Schlafly Tap Room
91 out of 100 based on 778 ratings.