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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

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761 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 761
Reviews: 379
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 81
Gots: 178 | 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: 761 | Reviews: 379 | Display Reviews Only:
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

metter98, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes in November 09. 2007 Vintage.

Poured a murky dark brown, like a roasted chestnut color. Pretty light colored actually. Scant head left no lace. Nice roasty and coffeelike aroma, hint of sherry from oxidation. Touch of vanilla as well, but oak is muted. Decently malty, hint of metallicness. Roast comes after the vanilla and caramel sweetness and brings a touch of leather and smoke as well. Bourbon gives it a bit more complexity so I'll bump it up half a point. A bit light however. The carbonation is moderate but nothing like what a velvety RIS should be. I wouldn't buy this for the price tag it comes with.

DmanGTR, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of jwinship83
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml capped bottle drank from my stone IRS snifter like thing. 2009 vintage.

A- this one pours out a black colored body with a small beige head on it. the head is quick to fade and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- dark roasted malts are the first thing that i pick up. after that i get some alcohol. bourbon comes through a little and adds some sweetness here. the barrel can be smelled also, adding vanilla and oak to the mix. chocolate and coffee too. pretty complex without anything coming off as overbearing.

T- the taste is similar to the smell. lots of dark roasted malts that almost seem burnt. bourbon and alcohol. barrel (oak and vanilla). chocolate and coffee. everything seems to be working together in this one. well balanced.

M- much too thin for the style and something this big. moderate warming from the alcohol, but not too strong.

D- i found this to be very enjoyable and something that i wish i had more access to this one. its excellent for the price. something i consider to be under rated. check this one out if you havnt or get the chance. too strong for a second bottle. but i savored the one that i had.

jwinship83, Jun 07, 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
Photo of Gosox8787
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750mL bottle taken from box packaging. Served in a Smuttynose Big Beer snifter glass. Poured in two parts. 2008 vintage.

Appearance: Deep, rich brown in color. Almost appears as black sometimes. One finger beige head without much retention at all. The head quickly recedes to nothing at all, although the head does stick nicely to the glass.

Aroma: Really big bourbon notes here. Even after the nearly two years of aging this still smells really boozy. Fudge brownies and coffee beans also are very noticeable here. Vanilla and some caramel round out the aroma. I also noticed that as I was drinking this beer the aroma really opened up. Also, the booze began to get more in your face after finishing half the bottle.

Taste: Sweet bourbon notes upfront. The more I drink of this the sweeter this gets. The espresso and cocoa bean notes from the beginning of trhe bottle, which were really bitter and one dimensional, are gone and the bourbon really does take center stage. Chocolate fudge and vanilla also blend very well together is the background. Some caramel is present as well in small numbers.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth mouthfeel. Rather dry finish.

Drinkability: The booze, especially the bourbon, sneaks up on you at first but get so strong as it sits, that its hard to imagine having anything more than one bottle.

Overall, a really nice bourbon barrel aged stout. The flavors really develop nicely and there is good complexity. The sweey bourbon is a nice highlight, but the vanilla and chocolate notes really stood out as great in my mind.

Gosox8787, May 29, 2010
Photo of jgasparine
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage

A- Poured with a thin khaki colored head and little bits of lacing, which receded to a haze layer. The body was a garnet-tinged amber color with decent clarity and no visible carbonation.

S- Smells of booze, bourbon, stewed and roasted malts, along with some fruity esters. Overall a rich nose.

T- In the mouth you're getting a substantial oakiness along with those stewed and roasted malts... the bourbon flavor with some associated vanillins come into play here as well. Nuances of dark chocolate emerge on the mid-palate along with some mild hop bitterness that lasts through the finish. he finish itself lingers with some slightly boozy and cocoa notes.

M- Medium-plus body; chewy and softly carbonated. A touch of astringency and heat from the booze.

D- A very drinkable beer for such high alcohol... but the booze will catch-up to you. Good now- but I think a few more years of age may do wonders for this one.

jgasparine, May 27, 2010
Photo of stoutfiend27
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 split over a couple of snifters served chilled...received from rschhe13..thanks again..09 vintage

a-black...zero light penetration...khaki off white fluffy one finger head that stuck around....lacing is there

s-lots of roast and coffee and chocolate....heat and sweetness from the bourbon are there...vanilla as it warms

t-starts off roasty and chocolaty...the bourbon heat and wood kick in...the coffee and rich deep chocolate follow suit...the vanilla creeps in as the bourbon moves back in again on a grainy alcohol note...finishes grainy and slightly boozy but not bad at all....

m-thick and chewy and creamy...the booze warms the mouth as everything else coats and sticks to the mouth...the low level of carb really suits this beer....

d-no problem tonight finishing the 750...we will what tomorrow morning brings....quite delicious

overall another solid beer from schlafly....hands above the bottle of black ops i opened saturday and i have no problem admitting it...would seek this out before black ops again....very very solid

stoutfiend27, May 27, 2010
Photo of ChadQuest
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thick head that is very light latte colored with a body that is black with browning around the edges.

This doesn't a strong aroma at all, just faint caramel and vanilla.
Was surprised as i was expecting to get a nose full of bourbon.

HOT! this is very hot on the back end and is warming, but i'm liking it! There is soo much caramel swirling around too, with a light burnt vanilla bean flavor. Once again i am enjoying the heat, but 90% of BAs would probally want to age it for a year or two.
To me the flavor is the most standout aspect of this beer.

Mouthfeel is thinner then expected but maybe that is a result of the high heat this one has, it does have a solid amount of carbination.

The heat is very enjoyable(to me) but makes drinking a slow process, and once again might be too much for most.

EDIT: i am now...2 hours later.... at the end of my bottle...this beer has grown on me and i appreciate it more now then at first pour. slow is the way to drink this. very enjoyable evening.

ChadQuest, May 17, 2010
Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Portsmouth snifter tulip glass. Bottle comes in a fancy box...not complaining! Pours a semi dark...with a little bit of light shining through. When it fills the glass, it's pitch black with a smooth tan head. Leaves patchy tan lacing.

Aroma is great...sweet, floral, bourbon, chocolote, wow...a great aroma.

This is a steller beer! I am completely surprised. Very smooth, creamy, medium to full body. Tons of velvety chocolate, bourbon, and malty. By the way, this is a 2008 vintage. Age probably mellowed this out slightly. A great drinker...incredibly smooth! Booze warmth is mild...but noticable. I would have this again in a heartbeat!

ShadesOfGray, May 15, 2010
Photo of vacax
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008. Pours black, translucence along extermities, small to medium tan head, finely beads cling to the edge of the glass and long retention, splatters of lacing around the glass. Aromas of oak, raisin, somewhat hoppy or dry maltiness, touch salty, doughy, little bourbon. The bouquet is a weak point, though the flavor delivers more. Tastes of oak, cookielike malt, fairly assertive bitterness, bit leafy, maple, finish has licorice and heavy caramel malts. Moderate to full body, carbonation is similar, net effect is a bit too light on the palate. Enjoyable barrel aged stout, not spectacular, but something I would buy from time to time. Full flavored and meant to be drank.

vacax, May 11, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure of the vintage. Beer if black and forms a thin brown head that leaves some lacing on the glass but the carbonation levels and details are unknown.

Aroma is a strong, liquor, whiskey aroma to this beer. Some chocolate as well. Smell is really strong and really good. Nice wood notes.

The beer is medium body and really tastes like woody liquor. Nice sweetness up front, really smooth overall. Its probably the best beer I tried from them so far. There is a slight heat to the whole thing that is a little off putting but that would probably fade if someone would bother aging this beer.

drabmuh, May 09, 2010
Photo of mntlover
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black looking but red highlights seen when looked through. Head is small brown falls to a ring with light lace. I have seen porters darker then this big stout.

Aroma is light bourbon notes, vanilla hints on top of roasted malts.

Taste is roasted malt with bourbon and vanilla notes. Some nice fruit notes some up in the middle with more bourbon and vanilla in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium more so then anything. Not big enough for a big barrel aged stout.

Drinkability is not to bad but for the money you good do a lot better.

mntlover, Apr 30, 2010
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 alleykatking
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap. Review from phone notes.

A- Came to me a dark brown almost black color. Light mocha colored head about 1/4 finger in height. Slickness on the sides of the glass produce no real lacing.

S- Nice bourbon aroma to this one. Light vanilla, maple, and chocolate roast aroma in the backing. As it warms I can smell a little oak but in faint hints here and there.

T- Roasted malts come of the bat to a semi-sweet chocolate note. The bourbon picks up from the middle on through the backend. Light oak flavor toward the end. The maple fades into more of a vanilla flavor as it warms.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. This beer has great carbonation for the style. Very chewy in the mouth. Light roasted malts left on the palate with a nice whiskey burn in the aftertaste. Flavors blend well together and everything is clean tasting.

D- This beer is very good to say the least. The tap version is amazing and the bottle is something I need to get into. Good beer for the cellar and the $12 price tag is good for a BA beer.

alleykatking, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a DFH snifter. Vintage 2009.

A - Pours an oily brown color with a very thin head that quickly leaves and stays as a nice tan ring around the glass.

S - Initially very boozy and caramel sweet. Some nice sweet chocolate hints are also noted as well as some vanilla spice. Some raisin like smells as well. And a boozy Bourbon aroma that is very nice and smooth.

T - Initial caramel sweetness followed by intense Bourbon flavors. Some woody spices formt eh barrels are present as well. There is some coco and vanilla hints and sweetness but mostly Bourbon is perceived. As the beer warms there is a more perceived roasted flavor from the malts and a bit of a coffee acidity but still dominated by the Bourbon and wood from the barrels.

M - Oily but a bit thin. Nice full flavor profile. Creamy and very delicious and good beer.

D - On the low side because of flavor intensity and ABV but high on the goodness.

JoEBoBpr, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of paco1029384756
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2008 bottle.

Pours a very dark brown color with a small tan head, not as dark as I was expecting.

Scent of sweet plums, sugar, cinnamon, roasted malts, chocolate, a hint of bourbon, and some alcohol. The bourbon is nearly gone at this point.

Taste of sweet dark fruit, light spice, a hint of bourbon, and alcohol. There is a little oxidation and the bourbon is almost gone here as well. I do not think this will stand up to further aging.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and light, oily and with a fair amount of carbonation.

paco1029384756, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the 2010 Stout tasting in a Orval Chalice.

2007 vintage 750ml bottle.

Very dark brown with very light brown lacing. Nose is awesome, light boozy a bit of diactyl on the nose but it's not overpowering.

Taste is huge on the oak and wood, very sharp. Mouthfeel is very smooth and crisp. The light booze from the bourbon is ok and really just lubricates it down your throat and keeps the drinkability pretty high.

kingcrowing, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2007 Vintage. Poured from a 750ml. wine bottle into an Ithaca pint glass. Shared with the family.

A: Moderate pour yields a 1.5 finger coarse off-white head that dissipates quickly. Beer is a near opaque black but definitely one of the lightest RISs I've seen. Lacing is non-existent.

S: Bourbon really assaults the senses here but for once, in a good way. Provides a good background for the chocolate, ripe plum, cocoa, and licquorice. Sweet soy sauce scent that I've come to expect is conspicously missing.

T: Chocolate and bourbon upfront. These are so prominent that everything else is hard to make out up until the very end. Not that I mind, as the flavors complement each other perfectly and the subtle, not overly sweet milk chocolate is much appreciated. Cocoa and licquorice at the finish. Cocoa bitterness lingers a bit but oddly enough, sweetens a bit just as it ends.

M: Light to medium bodied for its style, near flat, but nevertheless coarse in the mouth. Poor example of an RIS in terms of feel. Not at all smooth and in fact, a bit spicy. Finish is messy and lingers though this actually helps the score as its a very pleasant aftertaste.

D: Overall, great tasting beer but highly lacking in all other aspects. Not much to look at, a bit too bourbon forward on the nose, and honestly, an utter fail in the feel. Great taste though as this is one of the few beers to achieve a nice balance between the bourbon and other complexities in the flavor. Still, I wouldn't recommend this one to others. It just doesn't stand up to some of the bigger, bolder, RISs.

SpeedwayJim, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of Vonerichs
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color is an extremely dark shade of brown. The head took a while after the pour to develop and never quite got past 1/2". Once it did, it didn't take long to subside.

The nose is all chocolate and bourbon, with a touch of vanilla coming from the bourbon. It does smell a little hot.

The bourbon on this is not subtle, and dominates most of the flavor. It's heavy on the wood and a fuesal alcoholic burn. Chocolate and roasted malt round it out.

Low on the carbonation and a thick, slick mouthfeel.

Drinkability is a little harsh. It's pretty boozy and heavy on the wood. I fact, the astringency and wood are all that are left behind after each taste.

A decent beer, but not on par with the big boys when it comes to barrel aged stouts.

Vonerichs, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours an extremely dark, nearly opaque ruby black-brown with a frothy tan head that dissipates quickly into a small surface whisp. A small bit of sudsy lacing is produced. The nose is brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, dark chocolate, and a hint of smoke, but is mostly pretty sweet with an alcoholic kick. The taste kicks the bourbon up a notch, adding in some of that brown sugar, chocolate, and smoke, and introducing some wood as well. Again, there's an alcoholic burn, but not quite as much. The body is a very heavy medium, with a light kiss of carbonation and a smooth, almost oily feel. Overall, a solid, very drinkable brew.

TMoney2591, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage poured into my Delirium snifter, Schlafly Reserve Imperial Stout is a dark blackish garnet with a pretty big, frothy sand colored head that leaves nice lace.

Smell is lots of vanilla, sweet, strong alcohol, but a cleanness to it that's not too off-putting, a bit phenolic.

Taste is massive bourbon barrel. Sweet bourbon, coconut and vanilla, it really dominates the base stout, which pokes through with just a bit of roast and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is pretty slick, not to heavy, with a dry finish.

Drinkability pretty good, a robust bourbon barrel beer that's a touch hot but fairly smooth in spite of the obviously high ABV. I'm sure the age has done this well, I'm not sure there's enough malt for it to run too much longer though (I've found bourbon barrel beers to sometimes swing to heavy towards the bourbon as the malt fades over time).

ccrida, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of cavedave
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to jdskinns for this marvelous stout!

The look of this is freshly poured 10W/40, the perf. look for this style. Very dark brown, opaque to excess, just a bit of bubbly amoebae left from a fleeting, dark beige head. Nice.

The bouquet is full of caramel, toffee, molasses, licorice, dark fruit estery notes, with hints of coffee, but not showing the toasty/roasty/burnt notes common to many fine impy's lately. Sweeter aspects prevail. I get a whiff of licorice.

The taste is also fronted by sweet. It starts with a dark bready, molasses, caramel rush that quickly invites alcohol and an earthy bitter along for the ride. When fully warmed the fruitier and more bitter aspects of this come to the fore. Every sip drinks differently as it come to it's final happy place, just shy of room temperature. Yes, now the fruitier aspects are not overwhelmed, and the sweeter aspects devolve, and become the canvas upon which a wonderful work of stout art is painted. Earthy bitter gives this a luscious finish. Without darker, almost burnt notes this stout might have been too unbalanced. But somehow the subtle bitter of this works, it is a delicious witches brew at 65 deg. (room temp.), with a semi-dry finish, a sip of delight.

Mouthfeel, rated for style, is almost perfect. Very low carb., highly viscous, nothing cloying or mediciny in a very clean finish. Stakes its own claim in this highly competitive style-realm

Drinkability,in this style which is populated with the world's finest beers, is the weak point of this beer. I easily can think of eight RIS I would rather sip. That said, the fact that the alcohol is so well hidden in this big beer gives it a big boost. Careful with this one, it sneaks up.

Impression: Love the fruitier aspects and less roasty/chocolaty/coffee aspects of this beer. I'd love to try this again, but Shlafly makes only brief, and quite expensive, appearances here.

cavedave, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of Tilley4
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 Vintage.

Poured into a Chimay goblet...

This brew pours a very dark brown but not quite black with a very small virtually non-existent head that doesn't lace at all... It's very viscous looking but not completely black as the style requires...

The aromas coming off of this one are loaded with dark rich roasted malts, a load of bourbon barrel and lots of booze... It smells really good actually but almost smells a little bit boozy at this point... I'm guessing a year or so will do this one some good...

Loads of booze present up front here mingled with the dark roasted malts and licorice flavors of this RIS... It's almost cloyingly sweet at this point and has me wondering if a little time might calm this one down... The bourbon is a bit overwhelming at this point... Still a good beer but just needs a little more time to mature.. I will be back to this one for sure once its had time to settle down a bit....

Tilley4, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of lightindarkness
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage, relatively fresh, though I've had others aged that had some different qualities in the aging, but weren't necessarily better than this one.

Pours a surprisingly clearish brown, cola-like, though sitting much blacker in the glass, with some thin head formation that ultimately doesn't last long. It does leave a few wisps of lighter khaki on top of the deep dark body. Fairly attractive, honestly, just not more outstanding than most.

Nose is very appealing without being overly strong, especially for the style. A dark toasted maltiness hidden beneath layers of bourbon and chocolate. Some sharp alcohol in there, too, but somehow delicately balanced. Perhaps mildly boozy, but honestly one of the better crafted noses on a strong bourbon stout I've encountered for a while - better softness in the vanilla and sweeter bourbon notes, with a nicely subtle wood and darker chocolate. The more I smell it the more I like it. Perhaps more than anything, I don't get any smells that reek of an overdone quality or a single off-aroma hinting at 'trying to hard' on this one. Not too full or artificially enhanced, just a seemingly good stout aged in clean bourbon barrels.

Taste really follows well from the nose. It seems extremely well crafted, and while not outrageously unique in it's composition, it is actually one of the best of the style I've had. Smooth and mellow, with a nice hearty malt that submits to soft but strong bourbon notes of vanilla, oak, charcoal, cocoa, and caramel. A little cocoa and some mild woodiness. It's subtle without being understated, and delicate without being weak. A great representation of what a stout aged on bourbon barrels can be. Again, not the strongest boldest version of a bourbon aged stout, but that's what I really like about it. Perhaps only lacking in jaw-dropping astounding stout flavor.

Mouthfeel is about par. Carbonation is present, but faint, and alcohol shows through some, but relatively what would be expected. Based on it's other factors, it's full without being too dense. Leaves a little sticky film that's not entirely attractive, but nor is it a detraction. Relatively straightforward and mostly what's expected, albeit a bit middle of the road.

Drinks really well. I keep wanting more. ABV and the overall filling quality of the stout leave me fairly satisfied without overdoing it, but then again, I find it much easier to consume than many of it's brothers in bourbon stout styling. Perhaps one of the more easily consumable of these that I've had for a while, though such drinkability requires a fondness for bourbon and a tolerance for the alcohol.

lightindarkness, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of Mistofminn
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks go out to auroracrisis for sending me this bottle! Thanks Ben!

2008 Vintage.

Pours a dark black, light is only visable at the extreme edges. A lighter than I expected head is produced on a conservative pour, but has great retention and leaves some nice lacing.

The nose is full of bourbon notes and oak and vanilla. The base Imperial Stout isn't half bad either, with roasted malts and chocolate notes in the finish.

The taste also starts out strong with the bourbon notes, oak and vanilla. The heat comes out a little more as it warms, but so do chocolate and darker roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, incredibly smooth. A very soft carbonation only adds to the soft feel. Drinkability is great.

Overall, a great bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout. I'm glad I got to try this and would gladly have it again. The only problem is after having Barrel Aged Czar Jack earlier in the day (Town Hall) this doesn't hold a candle to it...

Mistofminn, Feb 28, 2010
Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from The Schlafly Tap Room
91 out of 100 based on 761 ratings.