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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.

387 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 387
Hads: 862
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 16.58%
Wants: 93
Gots: 224 | 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: 862
Photo of jdp11284
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Release -- Assertive chocolate aroma. Lovely bourbon presence. You can really taste the vanillin and some caramel notes from the barrel aging. Chocolate for days. Nice oily mouthfeel, although I would prefer a bit more viscosity as found in others in this class (e.g., Abyss, FiftyFifty). Overall, a tasty RIS! Will seek out again.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml, 2011 vintage
Bruery tulip

A: Pours a deep reddish brown. Not as dark as other BA RIS on the market. Not tons of head. Light tan head. Some lacing. Some alcohol feet.

S: Roasted malts. Deep chocolate. Some vanilla. Smells pretty good.

T: Front of the tongue, dark chocolate bitterness. Then mid palate you get more of that roasted malt bill. That caramel and toffee from the aging are there. Very nice little sip. Don't taste booze after a full year + in the bottle.

M: A thinner full bodied. Coats the mouth.

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Photo of rsdaugherty
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 into tulip, bottled 7/24/12
A – Only the thinnest edge of this black brew lets any light through when held to light, appears mildly carbonated, perhaps 1 finger tan head settled shortly to an edge crown 4
S – Chocolate, coffee, prunes, and brandy4
T – Vanilla & bourbon is front & center, chocolate takes a bit of a back seat, coffee, oak, with milder raisin notes. A spiced wood zip from the barrel, I enjoyed this significantly more as it warmed, alcohol is on the heavy side 4
M – Sub-par, did not fit with my mental expectation of a RIS. Rich, full bodied, but not thick. 3.5
O – Thanks to RHORNER for the trade. Don’t chill this much before drinking! A good brew that was lacking on the mouth feel. RIS flavor was all there, but thinner than I’d have liked. I enjoyed the forward bourbon barrel characteristics. 4

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from tap into pint at bridge in stl. Pours a deep black with a finger of tan head. Smell is roasted burnt malt and some sweet booze.
Taste is very sweet chocolatey syrup, spices, a bit of vanilla, and just plain sugar. Its way over sweet for me but easy. The bourbon really shows in this. The flavor is good but I expexted a lot more diversity instead of being so one dimensional. Its just too sweet for me. Good but not great.

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Photo of tut2528
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage

A: pour is black as night with about 1/2 fingers worth of a light tan colored head formation that quickly dissipating. there is a thin film that remains once the head dies down.

S: a big bourbon sweetness is very prominent during the pour. there is a huge molasses character, the vanilla is big as well. i also pick up on alcohol soaked raisins and figs which mesh beautifully with the bourbon and oak. this is honestly a terrific smelling brew. a very very slight alcohol burn but it fits for this brew.

T: mega bourbon sweetness and beautiful alcohol drenched raisins and figs similar to the nose. there is a huge molasses character, some delicious chocolate, and a very nice creamy vanilla finish. The alcohol is warming on the lips and is felt but not quite "hot"

M: this might be the only complaint of the brew. i feel like it falls right in between full and medium bodied. I feel that the brew is has a certain "lightness" to it, when I feel that it should be a solid full bodied brew and almost chewy. (sorry but i have high expectations for bourbon aged stouts)

O: this is a very solid brew all the way around. the complexity isn't all there for such a big brew, but it makes up for it in its fantastic balance. i feel like i'm more critical to barrel-aged stouts more so than any other style, and this one receives a thumbs up IMO. Schlafly did a great job displaying this style and I'll definitely try to pick a couple more up to sit for another year or two.

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Photo of DaveBlack
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light can just barely be seen through this brew, which is nearly black with a reddish tinge at the edges. There's maybe 1 1/2 fingers worth of tan head that has moderate retention and lacing.

S: Toasted AND roasted malts come through, as well as a nice oaky aroma, and a hefty hit of the bourbon barrel. Sweet smelling with a lot of alcohol detectable.

T: A fair amount of sweetness up front with roasted malts, chocolate, a bit of espresso, The middle brings lot of bourbon. The finish is dry and rather woody. The alcohol also warms the throat and gut nicely as you drink.

M: Relatively light for an imperial stout (which I won't complain about being that it's a large bottle). Moderately heavy with more carbonation than I would expect.

O: A good beer. The bourbon isn't as balanced within the rest of the beer as it could be, but it's tasty. Worth checking out.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Painted 750 ml brown pop top, dated 2011 vintage. A sticker on the bottom has a (bottled-on?) date of 10/27/2011. Split into two Chimay chalices to split with my wife. Thanks to my lady for picking this up for me as a stocking-stuffer last Christmas!

Appearance: Brown in the pour, but pitch black in the glass, with a light beige head that fades fairly quickly to not too much at all. For some reason, it doesn't really bother me in this style of beer, but I'd like juuuust a bit more stick.

Smell: Brownie batter, vanilla, and just a ghost of oak. A bit of boozy heat here as well, even after nearly a year in the bottle, but it's not harsh or solventy, more like a dark fruit brandy perhaps. Just a hint of caramelly biscuit as this hits room temperature. Nice and sweet.

Taste: More heat than suggested in the aromas, but not quite over the top. The alcoholic notes consist of dry bourbony heat, and it's pretty warm but not QUITE hot. That being said, even after nearly a year, this is still a rather spirit-forward barrel-aged stout. Dark chocolate, mild-moderate levels of roasted grain, and maybe just a ghost of oak, but that could just be my imagination. This doesn't have massive depth or complexity, and it's a bit spirit/barrel forward, but really it's growing on me as I progress through the glass.

Mouthfeel: Would like just a TOUCH less carbonation, but this is nice, rich, and smooth.

Overall: If you like your barrel-aged stouts to be spirit-forward and have a lot of barrel character, chances are you'll like this beer. This is best between cellar temperature and room temperature. The flavors of the base beer (especially the fudgy, brownie qualities) are really nice, and hints of oak and vanilla sweetness compliment them nicely. There's just a BIT too much spirit-character here for me at times, though I've gone back and forth on this. I'm assuming for the great price of $9.99-10.99, Schlafly doesn't use crazy-prestigious barrels for this one, and that might be the reason that, at times, the 'bourbon' character seems just a bit thin, like it could be any spirit. With just a bit more vanilla/oak character, this could be great! At any rate, definitely worth a look, and probably something I'll pick up once a year or so. Thanks babe!

86....best at room temperature or darn close

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Schlafly Reserve - Imperial Stout
Saint Louis Brewery / Schlafly Tap Room
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.50 %

LOOK: Pours a dark brown bordering on black. Off white head forms and recedes to a lace around the edges. There is no lacing or sediment.

SMELL: Dark chocolates, bourbon, spiked coffee, vanilla and oak. Charred barrel, with rich chocolatey notes like chocolate milk. The bourbon comes through nicely, with a nice presence of chocolate.

TASTE: Upfront roasted malts with smooth, juicy bourbon. Firmly malty with a barrel influence; notes of chocolate, vanilla, oak, and earth. A bit of bitterness as well as an alcohol bite, cutting the sweetness to reduce cloying traits. Overall, a nice roasty stout with alot of barrel flavor.

FEEL: Full bodied, medium low carbonation, sweet bourbon finish.

OVERALL: A fine bourbon barrel aged stout with moderate complexity. Certainly a fine brew, worthy of cellaring or consuming fresh. Impressive.

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Photo of vande
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 popped tonight. Dark, smooth flowing beer w/ little head if any. Very calm beer. Yet inviting. Smells of bourbon, not overpowering, but just enough to be identified.. Some vanilla hints, dark fruit, raisin, figs, carmel. Neat bit of sweetness. Very smooth beer, that as it warms up becomes even that more pleasent. Never had one fresh, but I can tell ya that after 4 years, its quite enjoyable. I'd do it again...

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, 2007 vintage, that I received from czoch75. Thank you, Clint.

Pouring a very dark brown, this beer sits nearly black in my glass, with a thin, light brown head that falls off quickly leaving some lacing. The nose is pretty decent. There's a blend of bourbon, roast and soy, pleasantly proportioned, along with some vanilla, almond paste and bitter chocolate. Nice stuff.

The palate reveals a moderately oxidized beer, alternatingly excellent and average, with the blend of soy, chocolate and bourbon being rather excellent (bringing to my mind the incomparable 03 BA Speedway) being superimposed to a faint fusel and solvent-like unpleasantness. Allowing it to warm up and breathe lessens this aspect while bringing out the medium-dark chocolate. The bourbon character is mellow, with some heat, a some vanilla and pairs very well with the chocolate. The soy note is mild, and works well with the beer. A firming bitterness and roasted malt flavor are present on the finish, along with a little alcohol. Medium in body, mildly carbonated, this beer feels quite nice on the palate. This beer exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a small head of light brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The foam settles quickly and leaves no lace on the glass.

S - Nutty malt, and a smooth, vanilla and caramel aroma of bourbon.

T - Smoky malt with some brown sugar and lots of vanilla. Toasted oak and brown sugar in the middle as well as some caramel and coffee in the finish with a sweet boozy note that carries thrugh to the aftertaste.

M - medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - not bad, the whiskey stands out. The base beer is a bit anemic for how strong the whiskey character is.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. This one pours a medium bodied dark, dark brown in color that turns to black when it fully collects in the glass. The beer featured no head at all and almost no lacing. The aromas consist of coconut, oak, dark sweet malts, vanilla, and it has a very, very light bourbon aspect. At this point the bourbon is almost gone but the nose is still pretty nice. This beer tastes of sweet dark roasted malts, with a nice amount of coffee and sweet chocolate, vanilla, COCONUT, with a nice oak component. It has really nice flavor and is well rounded. It could be a little thicker in body but it's ok like this. It drinks well and the flavor resonates and leaves a long lasting multifaceted aftertaste. It went very well with a double chocolate cookie!!!

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review 800! 2008 vintage 750 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours fairly clear almost pitch black color with a small tan head with good retention; that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some good spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big chocolate, caramel, toffee, oak, vanilla, roasted malt, raisin, molasses, bourbon, earth, and light herbal. Fairly nice and well balanced aromas with good complexity. Taste of big caramel, molasses, raisin, chocolate, toffee, roasted malt, toast, vanilla, oak, bourbon, earth, and light herbal hops. Lingering notes of caramel, molasses, raisin, chocolate, toffee, toast, bourbon, oak, earth, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance of flavors with good complexity; and minimal cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy and slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is fairly well hidden; with only a warming after the finish noticed. Definitely a slow sipper. Overall this is a nice barrel aged imperial stout. Nice balance and good complexity of flavors. It did not impress me as much as I would have hoped though.

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

On-tap at the Tap Room.

Beer is black with a small tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. No lacing.

Smell is full of oak, bourbon and roasted malt. Molasses and a bit of smoke are there as well.

Taste is big. Oak, bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt and anise are all present, with the first three taking the lead. Alcohol is noticeable but not unpleasantly so.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Lighter than expected.

Overall, very good.

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Photo of cvm4
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle poured in a snifter

A - Not a thick liquid pour like other imperials. More on dark rootbeer color with a light tan head. The head dissipates rather quickly into a ring around the glass.

S - Definite bourbon, followed with roasted malts and molasses. There is a hint of vanilla and alcohol also.

T - Very nice! Bourbon, vanilla and caramel. It's boozy but I've come to expect it with bourbon barrel aged beers. It can come off with a lingering sweetness.

M - On the mid side of medium mouthfeel. Smooth and svelte with medium carbonation.

O - Solid! This BBA Impy stout delivers! Not the best but it's in the elite category.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1304th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter

2010 Vintage

30th Birthday Party
Thanks to Mdaschaf for this one

2010 Vintage.

App- Out of the bottle it was a bit of a very dark brown and it was almost black color with a 1/2 finger of a light tan head. Little bit of lacing on this one.

Smell- A very nice and aromatic stout. Had a very full nose of oak with a good amount of bourbon and vanilla taking center stage. Maybe a touch of rich chocolate with some burnt sugars on large pull.

Taste- A nice supringly smooth and rich stout. Wasn't a mind blower but a welcome suprise. Had large amounts of vanilla and oak and blended well some smooth malts to balance it out.

Mouth- A thinner medium body with a thin carbonation. Needed to be a bit fuller on each. Nice residual vanilla and oaky flavors remained.

Drink- I knew I was mad for a reason when I gave this bottle up to a trading partner. I am glad Matt hooked it up with this nice treat.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml, 2009 vintage bottle split with my brother.

A: Dark but not the darkest of stouts, still opaque, tan head dissipates at a medium speed.

S: Creamy delicious smooth bourbon & vanilla pop to the front and are very prominent...toasted coconut, roasted barley, and dark caramel, with an underlying sweetness...not boozy at all.

T: Yes! Taste follows the nose; bourbon, vanilla, caramel, hints of decadent chocolate sweetness, toasted oak & coconut, with just a bit of alcohol sweetness and warmth. Definitely a mellowed brew at this age.

MF: Medium to full mouthfeel, creamy, and oh-so-smooth. Feels rich, and the alcohol doesn't thin the feel at all.

O: Overall a really impressive bba stout. I've tried 2010 and 2011 vintages as well, and while I liked them all quite a bit, this vintage may be as good as it gets. Recommended.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage.

Pours black but not totally jet or opaque; some light penetrates the edges. Small, quickly settling brown head; patchy lacing.

Nice nose. Bourbon, roast malt, molasses out front; subtler vanilla and chocolate notes.

Very tasty. Again, the bourbon and barrel are prominent, then notes of roast malt, char, chocolate, molasses, caramel, toffee, vanilla. Noticeably but pleasantly boozy, with the heat pretty toned down at this point, and a very slight astringency. Good sweetness but definitely not cloying.

Medium full bodied, just a little chewy. Moderate carbonation. Maybe a bit of a cola feel to the body. Overall pretty drinkable for the style, mostly due to the toned down alcohol heat and slightly thinner mouthfeel. Not exceptional but very good nonetheless, a step down from the really heavy hitters, mostly because of the lighter weight body. It’s not uber complex but it’s damned good.

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Photo of DavidST
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter, 2011 vintage. This doesn't appear to be a very thick pour, anyways this pours mostly black color with light able to penetrate the edges along with a decent foamy mocha head which quickly dissipates. The smells are of bourbon and alcohol, not much of the traditional stout. The feel is medium, almost thick but thinner than most IRS. The taste is of bourbon, alcohol, along with some dark roasted malts.

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Photo of tjkinate
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage

A: 1+ finger soapy, near white head atop this deep brown bodied brew.

S: Molasses, bourbon, lots of vanilla mixed with dark fruits and caramel.

T: Follows the smell exactly, rich and robust flavors throughout resonating long after each sip.

M: Fairly heavy, slight burn from the alcohol.

O: Not too shabby, wonder what more recent vintages are like? May just have to seek some out.

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Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage poured from a 750ml bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured black in color with a thin but sticky head covering the top and clinging to the sides of the glass.

I get a strong oak presence in the aroma. The woody oak mixes with vanilla and a little chocolate. Just a little bourbon is there. The imperial stout flavors seem to play a backseat to the oak, barrel aged flavors though.

The taste also shows a lot of woody oak to it. A little more of a chocolate flavor comes out to mix with some mild bourbon and vanilla notes. A little alcohol is there is in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being below average. Overall it was a pretty good beer, but not one I really found outstanding in it's class. The woody oak overshadowed the beer flavors a little in my opinion. Pretty good beer overall though.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage.

A: Pours a nice black color with a one finger tan head, lasting for a few minutes before reducing to a a thin cap on top. Spotty lacing around the sides.

S: Nice oak right away with plenty of bourbon, molasses, brown sugar, and very nice vanilla aroma.

T: The bourbon is really coming forward in the flavor profile, lots of vanilla, oak, and molasses. Some caramel and brown sugar mixed in with a little chocolate.

M: Medium bodied, maybe a touch thin, with moderate carbonation. Abv is hidden very well.

O: A very nice bourbon barrel imperial stout. Not outstanding, but better than most. A beer I would have no problem drinking again.

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Photo of challenja
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Black Squirrel in ADMO, DC.

A: A dark chocolate milk thistle with a thick fizzing mocha head that dissipates quickly.
S: Sweet sweet juniper and coco malts. Candied Molasses syrup. Overpoweringly sweet.
T: Sweet Juniper berries jump out of the glass quickly. This is overpoweringly sweet and robust malts with the bourbon barrel races quickly to recover the sweetness as it races in last.Vanilla cherry oak sets in and the boozey bourbon notes, cinammon, chocolate alcohol burn rubs your gums through.The backbite is noticeable but not overpowering but sweet flavoured lipstick in thickness and intensity.
M: Medium bodied, but it lacks thick character deserving of a great imperial stout.
O: A big let down, I mean I start with their Pumpkin beer which is world class number 2 alltime and then I get slapped around for trying other stuff. I was hoping for alot more with this beer. It tastes almost exactly like EVO XO Bourbon barrel stout. Good stuff for a sweeter imperial.

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Photo of beveritt
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a silk screened 750 ml brown bottle into a Duvel chalice. I picked this up a year or so ago while traveling through Nashville.

Appearance: Pours with 1 1/2 fingers of medium tan head. This settles quickly to a thin yet complete coating of foam. The beer itself is pitch black and let's no light through, even around the edges.

Smell: Strong aroma of vanilla and anise upfront, obviously from bourbon barrel aging. Undertones of sweet chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Rich chocolate upfront against a biscuit malt backdrop. Sweet and warming alcohol in the finish with slightly lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level coupled with an amazingly thick and viscous body.

Drinkability: Picked up out of state, this is definitely a one of. A rich and flavorful beer, glad to have had it.

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