1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.

834 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 834
Reviews: 388
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 88
Gots: 212 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 834 | Reviews: 388
Photo of Lexluthor33
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with reddish hint. Small head and lace.
The aroma of subtle bourbon,malts and hint of chocolate.
The taste begins with a sweet,coffee taste that blends with a rush of chocolate and a hint of vanilla. All these flavors ride a wave of subtle bourbon flavor that finishes with a warm alcohol touch.
In the finish the carbonation is low and well balanced. There seems to be a light hop. The feel is a bit syrupy and while this is a full bodied beer it seems lighter.

Notes: 2007 Vintage
A well balanced beer that is perfect with chocolate or as a dessert beer. What warmth and excellent balance this beer contains.

Photo of brewcrew76
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Ruby with a thin brown head, even with a vigorous pour.

S - Vanilla, sweet malt and bourbon.

T - Very sweet, chocolate, slightly boozy, some dark fruits.

M - Medium body but slightly thin with some boozy heat and lingering sweetness.

D - I have had this at FOBAB and remember it being better than this sweet, boozy, vanilla mess.

Photo of Dogbrick
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sample at the Most Honorable SuperHappyFun Stout Tasting. Bottle from Party Source (2007 bottle). This beer, part of the "Reserve" series, pours nearly black with a medium thin tan head that dissipates slowly. Patches of lacing on the glass. Aroma of chocolate malt, bourbon and coffee. Rich, chewy body with flavors of chocolate liquer, dark fruit and malt plus some coffee. The finish is rich and malty with a coffee aftertaste. Solid all around.

Photo of mmva321
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter.

As stouts quickly become one of my favorite styles of beer, I'm starting to think what I expect out of them. Schlafly's Imperial Stout often just fulfills these expectations, but also is able to surprise and exceed what a great stout is supposed to do. The appearance merely fulfills my expectations: it's a dark beer that lets no light through, some head that dissipates quickly and a delicate lacing that also leaves a little too quick. The smell is substantial, but, in retrospect, lacks the subtlety of the taste. I smell roasted nuts, the aged barrel smell and sweet chocolate, but this is all overpowered by a bitter coffee scent that makes me wish this was a little more balanced. There is potential for a perfect scent and the aroma it leaves behind is great so I say a high 4.

But then it starts to exceed what I expect. I had an instant reaction to the taste. It has the bitter coffee taste right away, but the is not just about the immediate taste. It develops over a few seconds in your mouth, leaving behind an immaculate aftertaste of coffee, roasted nuts, chocolate and a hint of bourbon: a perfect balance. The feel is also surprising. Though it is slightly carbonated, which I usually don't prefer, the robust bourbon flavor really helps and it goes down easily. The drink is similar: for all its small faults, it's that perfect balanced flavor that develops over time in your mouth that makes this drink a treat.

Photo of Freethyhops
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 750ml bottle split between two and served into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A- pours a little lighter than most Impy stouts. with maybe a finger of cream colored head, that reduces to a light film very quickly. the color is almost black and gives a little hint or reddish brown when held to light.

S- smells of roasted malts, some vanilla, and a little hint of bourbon. smells rather sweet. not overwhelming but some very nice aromas.

T- this is by far the most balanced bourbon stout I've ever had. Good roasted coffee like flavors lead the way, followed by some caramal, vanilla sweetness and finishes with a nice slightly boozy bourbon taste. the Imperial stout base could be a little better but the bourbon is used very, very well.

M- very pleasant mouthfeel. thicker than I thought it would have thought after seeing the color. the carbonation level is good too. right in that happy medium. very well done

D- I could see this one getting a little tough to drink the whole 750ml. but I will have no problem drinking my 12ish ounce pour. the bourbon tastes a little too boozy not bourbony initially so I could see that becoming a little annoying. not a problem for me as my allotment was gone quite quickly.

Photo of waltonc
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours translucent dark brown. Doesn't even look like a stout. More a porter or a strong ale. Plenty of carbonation. Smell is sweet bourbon, coconut, and toffee. Reminds me of some of the Firestone barrel-aged brews in the smell department. Tastes of bourbon, coconut, and toffee as well, but not a very complex brew. And doesn't really taste like a stout either. More of a catch-all "strong ale." Very thin body for a "stout."

Photo of david18
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the better Imperial Stouts. Very good color. A little more chocolate than dark black. Really nice coffee brown. Great flavor with excellent roastiness, good bitterness and excellent mouthfeel.

Although this beer has a very high abv it's an easy drinker that doesn't taste as strong as the numbers indicate. Could be dangerous but very enjoyable.

Came in a 750 ML bottle that was in a custom box.

Tried again, this time the 2008 (not sure what the last one was). Again, excellent imperial stout.

Highly recommend.

Photo of Daniellobo
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful bourbon stout.

Presentation: 750 ml bottle. It comes in a cardboard box highlighting uniqueness, status, and maybe even protecting it from light. Cartographic classic dark design on the box. Somewhat lengthy historic narrative background with description of the style and intent of the brew. The bottle follows the box with a concise back description of ingredients and the suggestion of pairing it with chocolate. Bottling date as 2008 brew, shows Alc. by Vol. (10.5%) Poured into a snifter.

A - Black color with the faintness hints of deep brown around the edges. Hefty foamy head, that holds its ground for quite a while and leaves a nice and dedicated lacing.

S - Great vanilla/oak bourbon range of aromas over a roasted malt base with hints of chocolate.

T - Sturdy bourbon presence backed by the dark malt. Vanilla, oak, and a present boozy envelope.

M - Medium carbonation working perfectly for the brew in what sometimes feels a tad short of a full body.

D - An extraordinary sipper. Beautifully drinkable for the style.

Notes: Tremendous bourbon stout. If one happens to like the style this is a great pleasure to be had. It might be too boozy for some, not so much in the % but in the way it feels, personally I quite enjoy its kick. The way it has been aged/blended with the bourbon barrel is exemplar, great oak presence. Maybe it lacks a few nuances to take to another level, but actually there is little to criticize for such an enjoyable brew.

Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the Wine & Cheese place in St. Louis. 2007 vintage, served in the conical pint glass thing.

A - Poured with two fingers of quick-dissolving tan foam that leaves a few patches of lacing. Body is a transparent mahogany color that is a lighter shade of brown at the fringes. Surprisingly light for a 10.5% RIS.

S - Bourbon is initially very light, but comes out a more as the brew warms up. More earthy, with notes of oak and a touch of vanilla. Some nice roasted caramel malt and dark fruit flavors in there as well. Comes across as a little bit boozy. Once it warms it is quite excellent.

T - Taste is high in butterscotch, a touch of coconut, and some caramel apple. Notes of earth and woodiness. The finish is very tannic and bitter.

M - Medium body, with moderate carbonation. Some nice warming alcohol and a dry tannic finish.

D - Perhaps it was because it was the last stout in the lineup, but I had a hard time finishing my glass. It's still kind of hot, even two years down the road. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

Photo of rudylaw
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

More thanks to MasterSki for this 2007 vintage. Once again, the GTOM tasting glass is in my right hand.

Pours a blackish night with a nice, tan head.

Lots of vanilla, oak and a hint of bourbon.

I get chocolate off the bat with its buddy vanilla. And there's that bourbon! Still prevalent in the 2007 bottle. Sort of surprising there's still an alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is silky creamy fantastic! I loved this more than I thought I would and was my favorite out of five killer stouts sampled at the CE release.

Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed on 9/7/2009 and poured into a snifter. 2007 vintage. Thanks checkii! The beer appears black with a beige head and good retention. It looks something like an Imperial Stout.

The nose is rich milk chocolate. Bourbon is apparent, along with some oak and a little chocolate. I get some caramel and strong vanilla notes.

The flavor isn't as good as the nose. The alcohol is strong but the lush barrel character I found in the aroma is lacking in the flavor. There's some caramel sweetness but no vanilla. Light chocolate notes are evident, as well as some dark fruits. The finish is rough boozy heat.

In the land of barrel aged Imperial stouts, this falls short. Even at $15 a bottle I wouldn't buy this again.

Photo of snaotheus
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into two giant snifters

Appears a dark brown (surprisingly, not a tar-black), little head and a little lacing. Smell is coffee and chocolate and smoke (lots of smoke). Alcohol is quite noticeable in the smell.

Taste is sweet and chocolatey with a nice bitter aftertaste, some kind of dark fruit in there, too.

Mouthfeel is quite pleasant -- it feels a little like a dry red wine. Fairly light but still substantial. Neither sticky nor thin. Not filmy.

Pretty darn drinkable for a 10.5% abv beer.

Photo of kegger22
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown with red tints and had a small head that dissipated quickly to the barest collar. The aroma was boozy with some coffee too. The taste was sweet vanilla, a little coffee and a little alcohol. The feed was medium bodied, little carbonation and very smoothly & creamy going down. Drinkability was reasonably good.

Photo of colts9016
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer from homebrewhawk, thank you.

Poured into a pint glass at 53 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger tan head that last for only a few minutes. The head is creamy and foamy. The color of the beer is burnt motor oil. The clarity of the beer is opaque.

Nose: A nice roasted malt with vanilla, oak, coffee, chocolate, fruity esters, melanoids, molasses, burnt character, and alcohol. There is some solvents and phenols.

Taste: A very nicely roasted malt with vanilla, oak, coffee, bitter sweet chocolate, melanoids, burnt character, solvents, and alcohol. There are some subtle hops in the beer and the aged on the beer in the bourbon completes this beer.

Overall: A silky smooth, velvety creamy mouth feel. The body of the beer is thick and full. The finish is medium to medium full. I am really surprised how well this beer is. I am glad that I got to try it.

Photo of OzarkElmo
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank August 7,2009 Vintage 2008. Pours dark brown with medium tan head. Okay, must admit this is my very first barrel-aged imperial stout. Alcohol hits the tongue along with smoke, vanilla, caramel, coffee. Just a wee bit out of the "beer" category for my tastes. To me the alcohol is not hidden, it smacked me right off the bat. Do not think this style will ever be high on my list.

Photo of jmalex
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An odd recent find here in the Mid-Atlantic, but I'm not complaining.

2007 vintage

APPEARANCE: Pours into my new Weyerbacher tulip a deep brown with the tiniest tan head on top. It falls to nothing but a thin collar immediately.

SMELL: All the key elements are here - bourbon, vanilla, and alcohol paired with heavy dark chocolate and faint dark fruits. Everything melds together awesomely, but at the expense of anything being too intense.

TASTE: Really, really chocolately with an amazing silky texture. A bourbon kick takes awhile to make its presence known, but it gradually sneaks up across the palate become most intense toward the finish. Anything else though is a little hard to find. Sure, there's notes of coffee, vanilla, and a warming alcohol in the chest. But it really has the appearance of being one-dimensional.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full bodied with a very low carbonation. In fact, it may be a bit too low. The texture is fantastic though, going down with an amazing smooth silkiness.

DRINKABILITY: I always say there's the good noticeable alcohol and the bad noticeable alcohol. This one has, by far, the GOOD alcohol. Warming, not boozy. Smooth, not harsh. It makes the drinkability really great, and finishing this 750 won't be an issue tonight.

A really good beer, but it couldn't elevate itself to the elite. It's still worth trying and even worth seeking out.

Photo of cbutova
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours the perfect black with a light tan head, leaves a nice layer on the beer with perfect carbonation and light lacing. Smells of a perfect blend of bourbon and coffee roasted malts, amazing imperial stout smell. Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, coffee, and roasted malts, just like kentucky breakfast stout. Mouthfeel is medium to thick and the carbonation is perfect for this style. Drinkabilith is great here because of how delicious this tastes, makes me wanna get into bourbon. KBS + carbonation = amazing.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.59/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by glid02 at the Brick Store Pub among the usual suspects. Thanks for the chance to try this. I'm pretty much a sucker for bourbon barrel aged stouts, I just love the interplay of flavors, and I think the roasty, chocolate, vinous and coffee flavors of a good RIS can stand up to and blend well with the Bourbon flavors. This is a nice one. Pours a brownish black with a thin vrown head that sticks around as a thin cap/ring. The smell carries amazing aromas of vanilla, Bourbon, oak, sweet brown sugar, and some creamy and roasty notes in the background. Just heavenly. Tastes on the sweeter side - which I'm okay with- with more brown sugar and vanilla up front a nutty, slightly roasty finish and huge Bourbon notes throughout. Silky and drying toward the finish in the mouth. This is rich, but very satisfying and smooth and I found myself draining my glass quicker than I had intended.

Photo of tr4nc3d
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 1Pt. 9.4fl Oz bottle into my maudite snifter(finally I get a chance to use it). On the front of the bottle it says "2008"

Pours a dark black color with a 1 inch medium brown colored head. The head fades rather quickly and leaves a ring around the beer. No lacing is noticed on the sides of my glass.

The bourbon dominates the smell with hints of vanilla getting through and black roasted malts. This is what I hate about bourbon aged beers, it is hard for me to get past that bourbon smell.

Big upfront taste of chocolate that is followed by vanilla and very noticeable amounts of oak. Slight bitter black malts that have a roasted coffee bitterness comes into play that is then ended with the bourbon flavor that adds alcohol heat in the back of your throat. Bourbon was not as dominate as I though it would be.

Full bodied and very thick mouthfeel with slightly higher then normal carbonation.

This is not as bad to drink as I thought, being its 10.5% and aged in bourbon barrels. But there is no way one could have more then one in a sitting. I would maybe pick one up to cellar and see how it turns out, but as far as this being a must try beer, I would consider passing on this.

Photo of BarrelO
3.47/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle poured into a goblet. 2008.

A: Dark reddish brown, could be mistaken for black by the untrained eye. Tan head fades quickly but leaves a lot of lacing.

S: Roastiness, vanilla, a bit of chocolate.

T: Gaaah! The pain! I can't really make out anything other than an extremely harsh alcohol burn. Fine, Schlafly. You win. I'll take smaller sips. Upon adopting this strategy, I pick out some nice vanilla and bourbon notes. In other words, it tastes...like bourbon. Damn it. I wanted a beer with bourbon accents, not a bourbon with hints of beer. That wasn't part of our deal, Blackheart!

M: Way too thin for an imperial stout. Hell, this is too thin for a regular stout (except maybe Guinness).

D: Very disappointing. Heresy and Old Rasputin XII had convinced me that barrel/bourbon aged imperial stouts were pretty much foolproof. This beer did a nice job of disabusing me of that notion.

Photo of roadhouse
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a Duvel glass

Pours a black color, not quite as dark is some RIS, with a one inch tan head. Retention was decent, but not outstanding. A bit of lacing was left on the glass.

Aroma was dominated by a very pleasant vanilla, some chocolate, caramel, a bit of oak, and a touch of the bourbon.

Taste was initially chocolaty with a big dose of vanilla and oak following. Slightly sweet overall with caramel, this is enhanced by the vanilla character. Finish brings about some medium roasted coffee notes with a light alcohol burn following.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, really nice creamy texture to it. Quite easy to drink all things considered.

A really nice bourbon barrel aged stout right here. Not as intense as BCS, this one reminds me more of Old Rasputin XI with the vanilla, though I think (thankfully) this is slightly more toned down. Definitely recommend this one if you are into these types of beers.

Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage...
Appears a deep, dark brown nearing black with a fluffy, light tan head that sticks around before fading into a whispy head and creamy collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla oak, raisins, caramel, cocoa, and a smooth, ripe fruitiness.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a touch of creamy espresso ronding out the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, mildly carbonated, and slick on the finish.

Photo of beachbum1975
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I purchased this beer at Party Source late last year (Fall '08). It's been sitting in my basement since... Served around 60 degrees.

Pours a viscous, dark walnut and rests black as night with a nice, light tan head with average retention.

I get oak and vanilla with light coffee, caramel and chocolate playing around on the nose.

As expected, the body is light to medium for a bourbon barrel aged Imp stout, but pleasant nonetheless. I get vanilla, some bourbon barrel, caramel, nuttiness, and sweet roasted malts.

This is a fine beer. I'm surprised this hasn't been viral on BA...

Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml 2007. A dark brown pour, not quite black. Tiny bit of tan head, but bubbles are present throughout. Quite a bit of caramel, vanilla, oak in the aroma. Accents of roasted malt and chocolate. Gets a little boozy as it warms. Tastes definetely displays the barrel aging. Quite a bit of caramel and vanilla. Some wood, toasted malt, light chocolate. Pretty sticky, but with some carbonation. Near full bodied. Finishes pretty sweet. Warming is definetely there. Drinkability is as good as could be expected for a 10% abv. The only thing holding this back is that the stout characteristics are pretty mild. Could use some more hop and roast characteristics. You should try this though if you get a chance, especially if you like barrel aged beers.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle from Wine Warehouse, Charlottesville, VA, poured into a 22 oz. tulip.

Appearance: A deep ruby brown, initially clear- but increasingly opaque-bodied brew, capped by a fantastically resistant, slightly tannish/cocoa-colored head, fine and creamy, clingy and thick, initially two-fingers and ultimately settling down to a good half-finger. The lacing is similarly impressive, rising upwards in sheets to kiss the rim of the tulip.

Aroma: Toasty caramel, coconut, vanilla, and random, stray estery barrel notes dance over an underlying beer that only emerges upon significant agitation - cocoa, coffee, toast.

Taste: Very strongly barrel aged. The underlying beer is pleasant enough - heavily toasted malts, faintly reminiscent of chocolate, even more faintly reminiscent of coffee, and only the faintest soupcon of a hop presence comprise the majority of the flavors - but the barrel aging adds a unique, very esterly dimension. The barrel aging adds tons of caramel notes, light cherry notes, vanillin, and tons of earthy, oaky woodiness. The barrel aging actually might be a little TOO much, in actuality, as it sufficiently covers the base beer while adding an element of unbalance.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and smooth. A slight prickle, too, either from alcohol notes or from estery barrel tones, and it leaves a similar note in your throat.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer by any means. The abv% is definitely up there - definitely - but it's actually sort of well-hidden for the level. I'd say back the barrel aging off of this one just a little and you'd have a really solid beer. As it stands, it's still great though, and definitely recommended.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from The Schlafly Tap Room
91 out of 100 based on 834 ratings.