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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
92
outstanding

809 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 809
Reviews: 381
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 82
Gots: 204 | FT: 11
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: 809 | Reviews: 381 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good sipper, courtesy of Tomthompson98. This is a story about bourbon, imperial stout is a term thrown about loosly. Creamy bourbon stout. Greatlace. Muted sourness. Grows on you. A bit of smoke and moderate roast. A winter fire warmer. Boozy. Ageing would mellow the bourbon but there's not that much underneath it to be patient for.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to black13 for sending me this one!

2008 vintage.

Pours an almost opaque super dark black with a 1 inch puffy dark tan head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. A thick curtain of lace sticks to the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and the barrel aged aromas - vanilla, bourbon, and oak. However, the smells are very subdued on the first pour but get better as the beer warms. Taste is of dark roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, some dark fruits, bourbon, vanilla, and a dry wood flavor on the finish. There is a very mild roast flavor that fades from the palate quickly after each sip. A slight alcohol kick in the mouth with each sip. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a lower level of carbonation. Overall, this is a good RIS with a really good aroma that comes around as the beer warms but the taste is not as good as I was hoping for.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a deep black with a thin mocha head that lasts around for a good period of time. The nose brings bourbon, oak, roasted malt, vanilla, and some chocolate. The taste adds a bit of booze and really emphasizes some nice bourbon and roasted malt character. Good alcohol heat to match a bit of sweetness and dry oak. Overall, a really nice and drinkable beer; the best that I've had from Schlafly.

Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: It poured jet black with a thin tan head that dissipated into lacey patterns. A light lever of carbonation is evident from the rising bubbles near the very edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of bourbon and alcohol dominate the nose.
T: Like the smell, flavors from the bourbon barrel aging dominate the taste, which has notes of roasted malts and chocolate. There is a slight amount of sweetness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and very smooth on the palate. There are also warming sensations from the alcohol.
D: The beer is rather drinkable considering the alcohol content and the bourbon flavors are strong, but not overpowering.

Note: 2008 vintage

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of brentk56
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a tootsie roll chocolate color with a modest head that drops to a ringlet; bubbles of lace stick to the sides of the chalice

Smell: The charred aroma wafts upwards and is joined by dark chocolate, some rum-soaked dark fruit and a hint of vanilla

Taste: Opens with a mocha flavor that veers in a bitter chocolate and fruit direction by mid-palate, with some vanilla and char creeping in there as well; in the middle, the bourbon barrel makes its presence known and, with a sweet caramel aspect that is very pronounced, adds complexity to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; could be a bit fuller without a problem

Drinkability: All in all, a nice bourbon barrel RIS; very easy to drink, albeit it could be better with a bit more body as others have noted

Thanks, Vancer, for the opportunity

Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A relatively new beer to the Central Ky market. I stumbled across this brew a few weeks ago, but just getting around to enjoying. Turns out that I could have waited quite a while; the beer still has some comming-together to do. The pour is an opaque black or very dark brown color with low-lying carbonation and average head retention for a bourbon barrel Stout. Aromas of dark, roasted grain, heavy malts, and a dominant booze-ey swirl around; promising bold flavors and heavy alcoholic strength. The flavors are expectedly rich, bold, and rooted with espresso and coffee. These flavors are backed up with cherries, berries, lacose, toast, and a fruitcake mix. A mild tartness, oak, caramel, and vanilla persists from the boubon barrels and maybe a rouge bacteria / yeast. Agian the taste is dominated by rum-like alcohols. The feel is a heavy, moderately harsh, fusal feel with richness, slickness (I presume from oat additions), and easily mouth coating. Not overly sweet, nor hoppy (for balance only). A moderate roasted-grain astingency persists, despite the heated, abrasive alcohols. The beer proves the abv stated on the bottle, and then some. With some age, this beer will prove to be a winner.

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 BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage. Barely opaque mahogany brown with generous garnet and gold accents at the edges. I'm a little worried at the relative lightness of what should be an inky black RIS. The outstanding looking crown is the appearance's best feature by far. It looks like coffee ice cream and is absolutely plastering the glass with thick sheets and rings of lace.

Imperial Stout smells like a bourbon whiskey lover's Imperial stout. Since that describes me to a 'T', I like it just fine. Those who don't like bourbon in their stouts (then why the hell did you buy the bottle?), or like only a hint, won't be so generous with their scores. The only thing keeping my enthusiasm in check is a shortage of roasted and chocolate maltiness.

The relative thinness of the mouthfeel could have been predicted after hearing the beer splash into the glass and seeing it held up to the light afterward. SRIS feels like a 6.0% American stout. And I've had some 6.0% American stouts that were more full and more silky.

In spite of the fact that the lack of body robs the taste buds of some amount of depth and intensity, the flavor is right on the money as far as bourbon barrel-aged stouts go. It must have been in the barrels long enough to get extremely comfortable because there's a huge bourbon presence that is almost more prominent than the roasted malt.

Specifics include (in roughly descending order): bourbon, caramelized sugar, vanilla beans, chocolate, molasses, oak and smoke. The only recommended tweak is more malt, assuming it filled the beer out and didn't change the flavor profile one iota. To be fair, the mouthfeel is firming up just enough with warming to earn the above score.

Saint Louis Brewery (why don't they just change their name to Schlafly Brewing Company and be done with it?) says that Reserve Imperial Stout will age well for at least 5 years. That sounds about right, as long as the mouthfeel is able to hang in there.

This impressively packaged special release is the best beer that I've ever had from Schlafly by a country mile. If I had known how good it is, I would have cracked the crown long ago. Any brewer who has designs on aging a stout in whiskey barrels should drink a bottle of Reserve Imperial Stout and take copious notes. Thanks jpm30.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: an aggressive poor yields a single finger head on a jet black body.

S: lots of butter, bourbon, roasted malts and some dark chocolate, but otherwise nondescript.

T: roasted malts, earthy hops, bourbon, coffee and hints of vanilla but the butter is strong in the finish and thats what I recall best as I drink it.

M: thick body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: I unfortunately am very sensitive to the pseudo-butter flavors which this one is strong in the finish. For this reason, my review is lower than average.

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured big black as night, nice small caramel colored head faded quickly but did leave befind a nice lace. Smell was very sweet of caramel and sugar, with roasted coffee. Great hints of vanilla and dark chocolate, with the alcohol content definatly visible. Taste was very nice. Not too thick, with nice carbonation. Very smooth considering the high ABV of 10.50% which was very well hidden. Flavor was very robust and full of coffee and chocolate flavors. A slight hint ok the oak flavors as it started to warm up. This was a very good Imperial Stout. Not too thick and extremely drinkable, with no real big alcohol flavor, it definatly does sneak up on you. Overall very nice only afterthought was it could be a bit creamier, but really a fine brew.

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ineedabeerhere for hooking it up with a bottle of this.

A: A beautiful dark, dark brown pour (bordering on black) with a nice mocha colored head.

S: The nose is not quite what I was expecting. A bit acrid, with the other primary aroma being roasted malt. Not as much coffee, bourbon, or chocolate as I was hoping for.

T: There is a bit more to the flavor than the nose (thankfully). Chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and a bit of bitterness. I was hoping for more bourbon character, but you can't win 'em all.

M: Fairly good body, medium to full, with a light level of carbonation.

D: The alcohol is not really present, so it's not as though this beer is hard to drink. It's got some good things going on, but it didn't seem to come together quite as well as it could have.

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of largadeer
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark caramel brown, not as black as most examples of this style, but still nearly opaque. Head retention is reasonably good for the style.

Smell: Incredibly rich and malty with a pleasant burnt caramel sweetness.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sweet, chocolatey and mellow. A subtle barrel presence - I was expecting something more aggressive from Jim Beam barrels, but this is actually very reserved. There's just a touch of that signature vanilla and caramel flavor and no boozy heat whatsoever. Body is medium-full, not as viscous as some but certainly heavier than the average beer.

Got this one from johnnnniee in a recent trade. Thanks!

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared a bottle to bring in the new year...

Pours a deep brownish hue, nearly opaque in the glass. Medium level of tan foam.

Smells sweetly of bourbon and roasted malt. Taste follows this, maybe a little to sweet for my taste. Nice lingering bourbon and vanilla notes on the palate, not much oak barrel character though.

Good mouthfeel, sweetness holds it up a little, it's definitely one to sip. Not as outrageously heavy as many other RIS. This is a good one to share, I wouldn't want to try to finish a 750mL on my own...

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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from The Schlafly Tap Room
92 out of 100 based on 809 ratings.