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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

387 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 387
Hads: 856
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 92
Gots: 223 | FT: 12
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 387 | Hads: 856
Photo of rudzud
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Shared with BPK59. 2008 vintage.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a darker brown hue with a thin brown head that fades relatively quick to leave light suds.

S - Aromas of malty bourbon, roast wood, light malt sweet. Super mellow and smooth.

T - Taste is super mellow bourbon, oak, light roast, malt sweetness, faint chocolate, alcohol hidden nicely. Slightly sticky/syrupy.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit heavy and syrupy.

O - Overall this was a fun stout, awfully sweet. Probably past its prime. (499 characters)

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Stone IRS snifter. The pour is dark, clear mahogany (not black and not opaque) and sports a nice fluffy off-white head with some good retention for a barrel-aged beer. Nice nose with lots of chocolate, oak, and a hint of vanilla.

The beer has a medium-full feel and a predominantly sweet flavor. Up front you get a lot of sweet, creamy malt flavors with hints of milk chocolate. Right around mid-palate, the bourbon notes start to creep in and accent the chocolate with vanilla and oaky, boozy notes. On the back of the palate, the booziness intensifies just as the chocolate sweetness recedes and some dark fruit flavors come forward. A nice, warming boozy flavor is left lingering in the back of the throat.

Despite the appearance and a rather thin feel for this kind of brew, this beer has wonderful flavor and is a joy to drink. I passed on it several times until they offered it at my weekly beer tasting. Once I tried it, I decided to buy it the next time bottles were in stock (that was today). No buyer's remorse. None. Just good drinkin'. Cheers! (1,085 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Note: 2008 Vintage

A: Pours a clear yet opaque jet black in color with very light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some amber + cola brown highlights. The beer has a two finger tall foamy light tan head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thick film (with a fair number of larger bubbles) surrounded by a thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of bourbon dominate the smell of this beer though there are some light/subtle notes of roasted malts and dark fruits.

T: Upfront there are some light flavors of roasted malts with some hints of chocolate and dark fruit sweetness (I detect some fig and plum). That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of bourbon, vanilla, and light notes of oak. Hints of bitterness in the finish which linger.

M: Medium to full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of alcohol warming towards the finish as the beer warms up.

O: Due to the presence of alcohol and the strong bourbon flavors/aromas, this is a beer that needs to be slowly sipped. Nice flavors but quite rich. (1,263 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Opaque black with a tan head that quickly dissolves into a thin collar. Naked and foamless by half glass. Our first beer in our etched wedding gift pint glasses.

A fine bourbon nose at first whiff. Black licorice bursts forward as it warms.

Bourbon, caramel and sweet vanilla dark malt flavor up front. No heat at all. Not much roastines either, maybe it's been in the cellar too long. Super smooth and velvety initially but dissolves into a too sweet syrupy mess after sitting in my glass for too long. A slow sipper but don't sip too slowly. (545 characters)

Photo of MikeWard
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Brick Wall Tavern, Asbury Park, NJ.

Served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance was black, couldn't detect any othe tones, as it was a bit dark in our corner of the restaurant. Not much head to speak off, and what was there dissipated quickly. No lacing at all.

Smell was quite enticing. Strong bourbon smell, with accompany sweeness and malts.

Taste was dominated by the bourbon. It's reasonable to assume that this is this years winter offering. Aging would undoubtably soften the edges quite a bit, and improve the taste and balance. Packs a strong punch at 10.5.

Mouth was on the plus side of medium.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer, really starting to enjoy BBA stouts & RIS. But would be wonderful to taste it after 2-3 years aging. (757 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

2011 vintage

Appearance - pours opaque, a thin head of light mocha. Just a hint of brownish cola along the top edge when held below a good light. Short-lived on the cover, little if any lacing.

Aroma - boozy with bourbon, along with some dark chocolate, vanilla, and oak. Settles with coconut all the way.

Taste - roasty malts, sweet with a touch of ash. Hot boozy notes of bourbon alongside espresso. Big vapor on the swallow and lots of belly warmth. More a showcase of the bourbon than the melding of beer and spirits, but this is tasty nonetheless. Ends with a nice show of espresso, pairing nicely with some dark chocolate drops (intended for wine but way better this way).

Mouthfeel - thick and chewy. One massive body on this. Mouth-coating and sticky. Carbonation is lively, helping to move the beer around the palate.

Overall - no problem knocking this one off tonight solo, but if I had to do it again, I'd make sure to have one or two to share with. It could rest a few more years but I'm not sure that heat will tame down much. (1,044 characters)

Photo of Tone
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged since 2008. Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of bourbon, sweet malt, roasted malt, yeast, alcohol, and a hint of hops. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, alcohol, slight yeast, hint of hop, slight bourbon, and hint of syrup. Overall, smooth body, mellow flavors, very tasty. (463 characters)

Photo of JWearda
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served: pint glass poured from the bar tap.

Appearance: pours a dark black with mild carbonation topped with a tan head.

Scent: coffee and bourbon notes with a sweet vanilla scent along with the roasted malt and caramel.

Taste: silky smooth going in! Extremely well balanced. There is a bourbon tast that contributes a sweet layer of brown sugar and vanilla. There is a bold coffee taste that is undeniable and satisfying.

Mouthfeel: mildly carbonated and a weighty presence with full flavor.

Overall: I really enjoyed this stout. Very smooth, loads of flavor, and strong presence. Will definitely order again! (615 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Been in the growler for a day with some headspace.

Pours an opaque brown/black with a frothy half inch mocha head that lingers. Leaves sierra of lacing when it dissipates.

Booze is dominant in the initial aroma, with roast malt and chocolate taking over eventually. Nutty notes accompany coffee and vanilla, along with underpinnings of dark cherries, plums, figs, and licorice.

Flavor is boozy and fairly sweet initially, then drying out at the roasty finish. Vanilla and rich, caramelly bourbon add complexity to the chocolate and roast malt backbone. Dark fruit flavors are present, but are overpowered by the boozy vanilla.

Body is smooth and a tad thin, with minimal carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Pretty rich flavor profile. Age would serve this beer well to tame the alcohol and open uit up. A little too sweet and bourbony. Becomes better the next day. (877 characters)

Photo of Jimmys
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage. 750mL into snifter. kept in cellar conditions since 2010.

A: pours a fairly dark brown, but definitely not black by any means. head is pretty disappointing. a thin rim of brown fizz. however, good lacing left behind.

S: a charred oak, rich. an inviting bourbon aroma. not nearly as strong as other bourbon barrel aged stouts, but I welcome the smoothness. roasted malt. chocolate.

T: a pleasant bourbon heat and flavor. heat definitely on the lighter end, but the bourbon is well flavored while not being over the top. otherwise some chocolate, finish gets bitter. bitter from dark grains, no hops here.

M: carb is mellow, a bit too mellow for me. full bodied.

D: a very drinkable bourbon barrel aged stout. haven't had this fresh, but I don't think time has done any damage here. very smooth bourbon stout. really enjoy the drinkability. (861 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I received this bottle in a trade a few years back and have had it cellared since. Vintage 2009. Split with some friends. Poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep motor-oil black with a small dark tan head on top. Good carbonation present feeding the frothy cap. Great sweet aroma of vanilla, bourbon, milk chocolate, and mild whiffs of booze. I'm excited about this one.

Creamy smooth mouth. Subtle carbonation, warm finish. This is exactly how I want my big stouts to drink. Not sure how sweet this one was as a fresh bottle, but it sure is sweet going on 4 years now. The flavors have melded into what I would expect a chocolate chip/toffee cookie to taste like if it were a drink. Big vanilla sweetness, toffee, chocolate, brown sugar toast, fading bourbon notes. This was a treat, to say the least.

I'm always hesitant when I pull some of the older bottles to open, especially with other people, but time and again I am surprised at how good these beers develop. A nice one that I'd love to have again. (1,007 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Black in the glass, one finger head.

S-Bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, coffee and some roasted malt.

T-Mild bourbon and vanilla, a step down in intensity from the nose. Mainly chocolate and roasted malt.

M-Lighter for an Imperial Stout, not much carbonation and a tad thin.

O-A nice barrel aged stout but it needed to be a tad heavier and the nose was much better than the taste. (387 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2007 bottle.

Pours opaque black with mahogany edging and a thin, bone head. A few whisps remain on the surface for the duration of the glass along with a few dots of lacing.

Dark chocolate, nougat, bourbon, and charred malts start the nose. Vanilla and Kahlua follow through.

Full bodied with a viscous, oily mouthfeel.

Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and Kahlua starts the palate. Black coffee and booze follow through.

Finishes with bourbon and roasted chocolate.

A big, boozy, and very smooth RIS. (511 characters)

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Victory tulip. 2008 vintage

A- pours jet black with a half finger tan head that disappears to absolute nothingess very quickly. Well, that was a disappointment

S- vanilla, oak, bourbon, chocolate...not bad at all, though not overly pungent

T- lots of vanilla and chocolate coming through, very little heat whatsoever...overwhelmingly sweet, though. Yikes

M- medium bodied. Expected a much more viscous body than what I'm getting

O- not in love with this. Just seems...kind of there (514 characters)

Photo of LeeAT
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a stemless crystal wine glass.

A - The color was reminiscent of a top shelf bourbon colored with a chocolate stout, carrying an amber hue with a deep dark mahogany presence.

S - All I remember smelling was an amazing blend of vanilla, chocolate, caramel and mocha - Maybe a slight tinge of Bourbon.

T - Immediately there was balance, and the palate followed the characteristics on the nose.

M - This beauty was medium bodied which allowed the flavors to layer and combine over the freshness which it held - yum!

O - I believe this was a perfect Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout and if you can get your hands on any, definitely pick up two. (673 characters)

Photo of nihiloexnihil
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle poured into Dogfish Head semi-snifter.

A: Appears thinner than expected, brown color. Slightly darker than a brown ale but not nearly as black as I thought it would be. In the glass, the rim around the edge is brown with plenty of light filtering through-- definitely not super dense. Small amount of tan head that lingers in a little ring for the whole glass.

S: Bourbon. Then chocolate. Not much fruitiness or other aromas to it.

T: Delicious. Bourbon-soaked dark semi-sweet chocolate, a very slight oak-y or general barrel-aged flavor to it. A little understated on the malt. Overall the taste is not overwhelming, not too sweet, but not too much bitterness from the hops either.

M: It's just a little too thin on the mouthfeel to stand up to the great ones. But based on the amount of light getting through and its appearance on the pour, it's not unexpected and it's not necessarily disappointing. In some ways, the lack of significant viscosity makes it more drinkable, if not more enjoyable.

Overall: An excellent barrel aged stout that I will seek out again. (1,085 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage.

A: Pours a dark brown with a very small and fizzy light brown head (despite an aggressive pour). Small dots of lacing as the head fades away pretty quickly.

S: Good amount of bourbon. Burnt sugar and dark fruits mainly. Quite a bit of oakiness too. Roasted malt is all but covered up, get maybe a little char, chocolate and anise.

T: Lots of bourbon up front but not overpowering. Again, burnt sugar stands out with some dark fruits. Bunch of vanilla and oak in there. Roasted malt comes in stronger in the middle with chocolate and char and anise, all covered in burnt sugar. More bourbon in the finish, oakier here with a bit of a drying character.

M: Full bodied but not too thick, bourbon cuts it nicely.

O: Not a bad bourbon-barrel stout. Bourbon is tasty and strong, almost too strong. My main complaint is that the roasted malt isn't strong enough to hold up against it. The bourbon isn't even that strong, it's just that the malt is too weak to counter it. Overall, however, it is tasty, mellow and decent complex so I can't knock it too much. It's just on the razor's edge of going from being a good bbal stout to a great one. (1,157 characters)

Photo of morimech
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage

Appeard dense black in the glass with two fingers of head that had great retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left down the glass.

First whiff and I had my doubts about this stout being barrel-aged. But the bourbon does come out but it is a secondary aroma after the huge malt smell. Notes of molassas, cocoa, smoke, and roasted malt. After that then I get bourbon and oak.

Alcohol is fairly hot in this one. Does not allow the promising malt flavors to develop on the palate before the heat comes on. The malt flavor starts out sweet with chocolate and molassas hints. Has a little roast as well. Not bourbon forward but contributes a nice complimentary flavor.

Solid body and nicely carbonated. Smooth texture but is hurt by the heat that dominates the finish.

Not the most awesome barrel-aged stout. Does have some interesting aspects. Maybe I should of waited a couple more years and hoped the alcohol mellows out some. (975 characters)

Photo of rodkin
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had the '07 through '10 side by side. Review notes are for the '10.

Dark brown, minimal head, looks slightly thin, not much lacing.

Smell is big bourbon vanilla, roast coffee, bitter chocolate, sweet chocolate, oak, barrel.

Taste is chocolate, roast, vanilla, barrel. Stronger bourbon presence in the '10 than in the earlier years.

Mouthfeel is on the thinner side, though thankfully not overcarbonated.

The '10 was my favorite, followed by the '08, the '07, and the '09. The '10 had the best nose and the best mouthfeel, though the flavor was slightly muted compared to the '07 and '08. A fine imperial stout, though it really should be thicker and bigger on flavor. (672 characters)

Photo of AdamBear
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage

A-black with a nice thick tan head

S-thick dark chocolate and bitter dark roasted grains. hint of licorice and the bourbon barrel. good strength

T-comes in with a great mouth full of lush dark chocolate and dark grains. definitely has a slight aged aspect to it that might be due to the bourbon barrel. it's not a complex stout, but it definitely lacks any off flavors or undesirable tastes. has a great matching after-taste

M-medium carbonation with a very dry finish

O-this might be the most drinkable RIS I've ever had. It's so smooth and just flows down my throat. It's almost quaffable at 10.5% while some 8% RISs must be taken by the sip. I really respect that. I do think it lacks some complexity that some expect with -bal beers. it's also less bitter than many RISs, though to my pleasure. (816 characters)

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

One of these cold winter days, I won’t crave a stout...a pilsner, a porter, or maybe even a hefeweizen. But as it stands, it’s chocolate malt or nothing in this frosty weather.

2012 vintage with an indecipherable bottle date.

A: Pours a dark, thick brown with a short, beige head of cream. Filmy lacing with just a dusting of retention.

S: Hearty oak and roasted biscuit malt swim through a rich aroma of milky chocolate. Cinnamon, creamy vanilla, and molasses with a spicy bourbon element.

T: A hot bourbon character and drying roasts make this an intense drink from the start. Dense, chalky baker’s chocolate, raisin, and bubblegum are mixed with a bright sugar and anise flavor, lifting the palate instead of thickening it as expected. It’s a light flavor profile for such a strong beer. Cherry cough syrup and toasted coconut arise as the aftertaste settles in, a lightly peppery dryness that lingers for just a moment. Not as complex as expected.

M: Surprisingly thin. It drinks like a porter rather than giving the full stout feel. Frothy carbonation, but not enough to distract from the watery body.

O: While this is the “Reserve” series, it certainly isn’t the best stout Schlafly has released. The body is a little too thin, but it had the flavor to instantly attract me. Not sure how this would age, but it’s a little too typical a stout to warrant the price right now. (1,401 characters)

Photo of ChugginOil
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Schlafly

Pours very dark, showing very little light through the edging. Less than a fingers worth of tan head. Nets of lacing.

The nose has a ton of caramel, vanilla, toasted coconut, dark chocolate and dry oak. Bourbon.

The flavors follow suit. Tons of dry oak intertwined with vanilla, oak, cocoa, coconut and toffee. Almond Joy.

The mouthfeel is medium-thick with moderate carbonation.

Overall, the bourbon barrels really play the star of this beer, and they are fantastic characteristics. (497 characters)

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle to tulip.
2010 Vintage. Sampled 06JAN13

[A] Pours a shade lighter than black with a half finger high head, medium-light tan in color. Semi compact but fizzing bubbles deflate the head swiftly. Each tilt of the glass throws dots of lace around the edge which are quick to slide back down. A thin collar shows a little life but a pretty still appearance otherwise. Ruby hints when backlit at it's thinnest points.

[S] Clean bourbon and barrel with a strong caramel note right behind. Roast, light char, dark and bitter chocolate and oxidized malts fill out the nose. Style and barrel treatment considered, complexity is average or just below.

[T] Bourbon is the over-riding flavor - and it is well integrated. Caramel and Maillard reaction offset with sweetness and depth of flavor. The wet, oaky, wood component comes through well. Bitterness to sweetness ratio is perfect. Very little heat. Aside from the bourbon, alcoholic flavor is impressively masked. Nice base beer, but the malt complexity has waned over extended cellaring.

[M] My favorite characteristic of the beer. The medium to medium-full body slides gracefully over the tongue just before a gentle but sustained effervescence sets in. The finish is smooth, relatively clean, and leaves enough flavor to enjoy well beyond the swallow. The 10.5% ABV is more apparent now than it was on the palate, in a perfectly fine way.

[O] This is definitely a quality barrel aged RIS. And at a great value, I would gladly purchase again - but I don't see the need in aging it as long as I have. (1,562 characters)

Photo of rfbenavi80
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 Vintage. Bottle poured into a tulip. Enjoyed with a friend.

A- Pours a very murky dark brown with virtually no head to speak of. When swirling in the glass this beer has a very thin appearance.

S- Rich sweet bourbon hits the nose which seems to get sweeter as it warms. Roasted malt underneath the bourbon.

T- Bourbon hits the palate first. Followed quickly by a roasty, chocolatey stout. Pretty tasty.

M- Seems VERY thin. If this were thicker and stickier it would get a better score here. It's disappointing that it doesn't coat the palate like I want and seems watered down.

O- A solid offering from Schlafly. Just wish it was thicker. (651 characters)

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage poured into a snifter

Pours a deep amber red color but turns black in the glass. Red around the edges. A slight off tan colored head. The beer is obviously bourbon forward. It is a very 50/50 balance of a stout and a bourbon ale. A perfect blent of roasted malts and bourbon ntoes. The bourbon aspect of the beer is a very rye and sour mash flavored bourbon. It adds a lot of vanilla flavors and a slight dry wood character to the beer. The beer portion is more subtle then expected. A lot of roasted malt and and a bit of a dark chocolate. The flavors are not too bold but they are balanced with the bourbon profile. A great bourbon stout and an entry to barrel aged beers. (688 characters)

Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from The Schlafly Tap Room
90 out of 100 based on 387 ratings.