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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

797 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 797
Reviews: 380
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 80
Gots: 194 | 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: 797 | Reviews: 380 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a flute glass. Thanks to mistofminn for sharing this.

2008 Vintage

Pours 1/2 finger of light tan head that fades down fast. Color is a dark dark brown. Almost black. It is clear around the edges.

Aroma: Big oak and bourbon flavor up front. Lots of chocolate and roasted malts. Some dark dried fruits. Vanilla in the background.

Taste: A little lighter on the bourbon at first, but after a bit it really shows with some heat. Lots of roasted malts, some chocolate, dried fruits. Oak and vanilla also up front.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy with some heat. Medium to full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends somewhat clean, but dry.

Overall, a decent beer. I'd have it again, but nothing I'd seek out to much. I am glad I had a chance to try it. Fairly drinkable.

Thanks Brad!

mothman, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of BeerGodz
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Actually very light for a Russian Imperial Stout

Smell: Bourbon, Roasted Malt, Oak, Vanilla, and Coffee

Taste: Up Front: Bourbon, Chocolate, and Vanilla. Finish: Oak, and Bourbon

Mouthfeel: Thin, yet slightly creamy

Drinkability: Alcohol is noticeable, but it is not overwhelming.

Overall Impression: It's actually a good beer, but not a great value. Definitely worth trying, but only if you have the cash.

BeerGodz, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of tpd975
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Seabass (kick his ass) for this one.

2007 Vintage

A: Pours deep brownish black with a thin tan head. No real retention or lace noted.

S: Aroma of fresh roasted coffee, chocolate, oak, vanilla, and bourbon.

T: Nice blend of chocolate and coffee. Hints of sweet molasses and dark fruit. Oak and vanilla are present. Very subtle note of bourbon in the finish.

M: On the fuller side of medium, smooth. Good beer.

D: Good drinking beer. Best Schlafly beer I have ever had.

tpd975, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of swizzlenuts
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When popping open this 750 mL bottle, I can smell a faint bourbon aroma. While the beer is still in the bottle I don't get a strong aroma coming from the bottle; it's subdued, yet quite pleasing. When pouring this imperial stout into my glass, it's a brown colour and doesn't look viscous. I think imperial stouts should look like motor oil when pouring, but we'll see how this lives up. There was a time tan head when I poured, but it quickly dissipated into a ring. It appears like there is a fair amount of carbonation as well. The nose out of the glass is almost identical to the nose inside the bottle; there is a slight bourbon character with a bit of roastiness sneaking through. The bourbon is the most prominent aroma by far though.

Remember when I said the beer didn't look thick? Well the first thing that I noticed when taking a sip was a thick and creamy mouthfeel. It's thick, but the carbonation level is enough to make the beer not feel like a syrup. It's flavour is pretty much what you'd expect in a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout; lots of vanilla, oaky woody notes mixed with a roasted character to end. The bitterness comes from the the roasted character the most, which I wasn't expecting because of the bourbon. The flavour of the beer is pretty one dimensional. I was expecting loads of flavours mixed together to make something complex, but it's like a bourbon stout rather than a bourbon imperial stout. At 10.5% I get hints of alcohol that linger on my tongue with the roasted malts, but nothing that isn't pleasing. One thing that is a plus is that the bourbon character is at the perfect level. Where are the chocolate malts or the coffee tones? It's just bourbon, vanilla, woody, then a roasted character. That's it.

The mouthfeel seems to become more aqueous the more I sip on this, but I think it's mostly from the carbonation. Yes this beer is drinkable, but I don't really want a drinkable bourbon aged imperial stout. I want something that bold, complex, and mind numbingly difficult to put words to all the flavours I'm experiencing. I'd say it's just a really well done balanced imperial stout, yet nothing I'd go out of my way to obtain. If you like imperial stouts, then check this out; otherwise, it's not worth the money. You won't be blown away.

swizzlenuts, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage

A-pours a brownish colored liquid that shines lots of red hues through with a light aimed upon it. The head is a darker tan color, some retention but not much, and a little lacing left on the glass

S-nice nose, quite strong, but not huge; however, extremely well balanced and the aromas really work well together. It brings notes of bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Chocolate cake batter and a touch of licorice come to sweeten.

T-the taste is very big, some oaky vanilla sets in first, chocolate cake batter and a touch of licorice come in next with a hint of bourbon throughout. The finish brings a touch of sweet dark fruits, plum and raisin mostly.

M-medium body, smooth and creamy. There is a lot of carbonation and I think it could use a little less.

D-this beer is so well put together in terms of smell and taste. Great complexity with everything blending together very well. Nothing is too dominant; but everything has a presence. Wish it was a fuller body and better color.

cpetrone84, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of GbVDave
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into multiple glasses.

2008 vintage.

A: Pours a pitch black color. A small-ish khaki colored head spreads out on top and leave a few random specs of lace in the glass.

S: Aromas of fudge brownies, chocolate, and dark fruit with some brown sugar and/or molassas.

T: See above. Bourbon comes out in a big way as it warms.

M: Slightly hot and peppery/spicy with a dry finish.

D: A totally under the radar RIS that doesn't get the respect it deserves! Very nice.

GbVDave, Feb 13, 2010
Photo of hayesez
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

KCHopHead tossed one of these into a recent trade - bottled in 2008. Poured into a standard snifter and shared with some friends at "Wine Wednesday."

Poured a thin (for an imperial stout) dark brown with a loosely packed tan two-finger head. Bright amber and garnet is evident when held up to the light...not nearly as dark as the bottle lead me to believe. Guess that's where the old saying "never judge a beer by its bottle" comes from...ok... A bit of lace is left on the sides.

Distinctly alcoholic smell. I'm not talking about the alcohol from the beer, but rather the alcohol from the bourbon barrels. The nose has some of the basic imperial stout qualities (although the roasted maltiness was very faint) with a large amount of alcohol overpowering some sweetness -perhaps vanilla and caramel.

After "the pour" and "the sniff," I must admit that my expectations for how this guy was going to taste were certainly dampened. I was pleasantly surprised however, as the smelled sweetness (that was overshadowed by the alcohol), stepped to the front of the class. Caramel, vanilla, and even a bit of chocolate that I did not catch in my early sniffs, were all there. Don't get me wrong, the bourbon alcohol taste was still right in there mixing it up - even a bit harsh - but not as bad as I figured it would be earlier on. Finishes off with the common bitterness found in these beers. This one definitely has a thin mouthfeel with a fair amount of carbonation.

This guy really could stand to age for a few years. The bourbon is very prominent. If you are into that, this might actually be a very highly scored stout for you. Personally, I like the taste bourbon barrels add to beers, but much more subtle than this; I was bit disappointed.

Consumed: 2/3/2010

hayesez, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of brownbeer
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 2009 vintage.

Dark brown, almost black in color with a creamy light brown head.

The nose is really soft with maple,chocolate cookies, vanilla, caramel, and an unmistakeable bourbon aroma.

The whiskey flavor dominates all the way through to the burn with vanilla and a cookieish fade. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy.

I thought this one has some of the better tasting bourbon barrel character, but if you don't like the taste of bourbon I can't see you liking this.

brownbeer, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of number1bum
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage. Pours dark brown with a creamy inch and a half of tan head. Keeps pretty well, regenerates with a swirl, and maintains a thin but mostly full lace.

Smell is very chocolaty, with lots of sweet gooey fudge and caramel, plus some vanilla, oak and roated malt. The bourbon is here but it doesn't dominate like some barrel aged stouts.

Like the smell, the taste has some bourbon in it but it's a complementary flavor. Lots of chocolate, caramel and fudge, with a nice sweetness. The bottle is right; this would go beautifully with a piece of chocolate (I will, oh wait, did, have one while drinking it in fact). Nice vanilla flavor and a bit of oakiness too. Bourbon was actually stronger in the nose and has a nice subtle, contributory quality to it. Mild roastiness too although the one thing I'd like is a bit more roasted flavor. Very tasty however.

Mouthfeel is a medium-full body and quite smooth. No alcohol burn here; it's beautifully hidden and I'm sure the age has helped. Stays a bit sweet in the finish; some more roastiness would help mellow that I think.

Man, this is one nice barrel aged stout. This is drinking beautifully at somewhere around 18-24 months in the bottle. This is a great example of how to do bourbon barrel aging right; it's complementary and does not dominate the flavor. It's maybe just a touch too sweet to be exceptional; some more roasty flavor may just take it to that level, but that's nitpicking because this is a great beer. Well done Schlafly.

number1bum, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is my first Schlafly beer, and it is an interesting one. This bottle was labeled "2008," so I wonder when exactly it was packaged, as it drank like a very "young" stout that could stand to mellow a bit. It poured a pretty inky black, with decent tan head formation. Aroma was a lot of vanilla, and a considerable amount of oakiness. Flavor was a punch in the mouth...if I were a wine connoisseur, I might describe this beer as a "bit of a rascal." It was almost like a young red that is full of tannins, the oakiness and vanilla and sweet maltose flavor was a real mouth-puckerer. Not bad, but surprising. Definitely unique and a departure from other Imperial Stouts I've enjoyed lately. Mouthfeel was nice; not to slick and sticky; substantial without painting the inside of your mouth.

I thought this beer was interesting and oddly I have another bottle that I'm going to hang onto for awhile and see if this rascal settles a bit as it ages.

This 2008 bottle was left at my house by SurlySober, so a big thank you to him!

BeerBelcher, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of hooliganlife
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap at The Good Pie, served in a La Chouffe tulip.

jet black, thick, light creamy head.

light vanilla, oak, roasted malts, bourbon, heat

up front was a light roasted mat with light charcoal flavors. this was followed by an subtle oak and then strong vanilla and bourbon. tons of flavors in every sip. only a slight heat and that was as it warmed up. over all, nice and complex and not over the top.

thick with a light motor oil and syrup body. light carbonation

this is a straight sipper, even after an entire pizza i was put in my place by this bourbon barrel stout. i find this is much smoother on tap than in the bottle.

hooliganlife, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of budgood1
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage. 25.4 ounce bottle.

pours out a nearly opaque dark brown colour with auburn edges. little head and therefore very little lace. a relatively light dark roasted malt aroma with teasing hints of coffee, chocolate, fruitcake and oak. upon sipping flavours of rum cake and booze infused cherries appear melting into some light and airy cocoa and dark roasted coffee notes. woody oaken notes are ghost like and complimenterary in nature. straight laced alcohol provides some belly warming warmth. sturdy body, although it seems a bit less viscous than i was expecting...leading to an overall mouthfeel which is smooth but not really silky in nature. sippability is fine.

nicely balanced, relatively tasty and easy drinking. certainly not big, bold or brash like a lot of other big RIS i've sampled in the past. a nice beer on a very cold january evening.

thanks to my brother who brought this to me from st. louis over thanksgiving.

budgood1, Jan 08, 2010
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.

womencantsail, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of Buschyfor3
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Schlafly Reserve Bourbon Barrel aged Imperial Stout

A: not quite as dark or sluggish on the pour as I have experienced with other big RIS, especially of the barrel-aged variety. Still, this stout pours a rich, velvety brown with some rubied highlights near the edges of the glass. Otherwise, this stout is opaque and looks pretty sturdy even with the absence of any sort of head at all. Each sip leaves a tiny streak of bubbles clinging to the sides of the mug, but they quickly slip back down into the murky body of this stout. Not the most impressive looking RIS I've ever come across, but looks can be deceiving and I didn't buy the beer because I wanted to look at it!

S: Ah. Barrel-aging. The familiar notes of salty, smoky charred oak. Actually, it has a unique, leather-like scent (think Ron Burgundy's house that's filled with many leather bound books and smells of rich mahogany)- but is followed by lighter, sweeter notes of caramel, vanilla, brown sugar and dark fruits, I'm thinking cherries. The bourbon notes on the nose are very smooth and rather subtle; not sure if that was by design or the work of aging, but it works for me.

T: Very rich flavor profile without any one flavor overpowering the next. First sip starts with a touch of brown sugar and caramel sweetness from the underlying stout, and then the barrel aged notes sweep in to provide a nice contrasting wave of salty and smoky flavors - a touch of soy sauce, some buttery, nut flavors, and then a quick flash of charcoal courtesy of the barrel. Smooth vanilla notes around the edges are rounded out by some roasted characteristics that ebb in and out with the lingering earthy/woody notes and the fleeting smokiness. The bourbon is there in flavor but its by no means hot - the bourbon works to add another level of complexity to compete with the balance of sweet then smoky flavors, and I think it is most noticeable right after you swallow and breathe in with a satisfying "aaaah." The bourbon here is well balanced with the rest of the stout and not overpowering; enough to know it is a bourbon-aged stout and not the other way around (a beer-aged bourbon... like some other barrel-aged offerings that, IMO, overemphasize the bourbon at the expense of the underlying beer)

M: The appearance and pour somewhat hinted that this beer wasn't going to be as viscous as other RIS and that holds true with each sip. By no means is this beer thin - its got a decent body, but its just not super thick or chewy like big, bold RIS. It's middle-of-the-road with a bit of slickness on the palate, but it just lacks that special, creaminess which sets apart the kings of this category.

D: For 10.5% abv the alcohol is not overpowering. Its there, and you feel it creep up slowly with that familiar warming feeling in the pit of your stomach, but the alcohol never wallops you at any point. Polishing off this 750mL will be plenty for me NYE, but it is an enjoyable task and for the price I paid for this bottle ($8.99) I am quite pleased with the finished product. A nice RIS to ring in the new decade.

Buschyfor3, Jan 01, 2010
Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from The Schlafly Tap Room
92 out of 100 based on 797 ratings.