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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout - The Schlafly Tap Room

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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial StoutSchlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

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819 Ratings

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Ratings: 819
Reviews: 385
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 85
Gots: 209 | 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: Todd on 11-23-2006

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
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Ratings: 819 | Reviews: 385 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmalex
4.05/5  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 +15.7%
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
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
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
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
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
3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
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
4.33/5  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
4.33/5  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 +9.1%
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
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
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 -1.2%
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.

Photo of maximum12
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to sholland119 for throwing this gem into a trade this spring. Anybody who throws in a barrel-aged-RIS-anything deserves some big props. 2007 vintage split with the wife up at our annual lakeside retreat.

Black & dark with almost no head, like the blood of the emperor. Smells great, only a hint of the barrel aging comes through.

Damn. The bourbon comes out on top in the taste department, burning a pleasant trail of light, slightly incadescent fire about halfway down to my stomach. Languishing behind this pleasantry is a bite of coffee, a square of chocolate, & a the calming presence of the malts.

Frankly this makes me want to lick whatever barrel this stuff came out of. The beer is very sticky, coating everything it comes in contact with. The alcohol is apparent, but that's cool, since it would seem odd to have that strong a bourbon element with no alcohol, wouldn't it?

Normally I like my BA brews more subtle than this (I'm looking at you BCS) but this one works perfectly. Awesome brew. I'd be happy to have this one any day, night, morning, whatever.

Photo of ATPete
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

capped 750ml bottle

Pours a very deep brown color with a small tan head. Nice nose, smoked malt, very toasty and charred, rich with chocolate, subtle coffee and raison notes. The moderate alcohol heat plays nicely with the barrel, although this is a sipper for sure. Medium/full bodied and a surprising amount of carbonation. Great beer.

Photo of glid02
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at Hyvee in Columbia, MO.

Pours black with dark brown highlights and a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of bourbon, roasted malts, vanilla, and dark chocolate with hints of molasses as the beer warms. The bourbon smells very nice.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Bourbon and roasted malt flavors up front are joined shortly by vanilla and light dark chocolate flavors that linger into a solidly bitter ending with a bit of alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is great. I could sip on two or three bottles of these for quite some time.

Overall this is just a tad better than the barleywine from the same series, but both are very well done beers. Worth a shot.

Photo of jdubjacket
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Built a fence last weekend with my dad and split this with him. 2007 vintage brew. Poured into a snifter. Poured a black viscous color with a chocolate head. Smell is dark fruit and and dark chocolate. Taste is outstanding... dark fruits - mainly cherries, chocolate, slightly medicinal and ends slightly bitter. Very complex. Silky smooth mouthfeel. Fantastic brew. Glad I popped it when I did.

Photo of srandycarter
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 version. Really like it.

A - No light gets through this. Off white head reduces fast to disk. Leaves lots of clingy lace.

S - Very inviting. Nose is chocolate chip cookies, chocolate, slight mocha but not dominant.

T - Wonderful blend of sweet and bitter. The sweet is more cookies (brown sugar, vanilla and chocolate, mostly) with coffee bittering the balance.

M - Medium weight, low but acceptable carb, good coating and balance.

D - Might do this one till it hurts.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage received in the Black Booty Bif from jtrockchalk, Thanks for the opportunity. Pours a solid dark brown with deep dark ruby highlights when held to light and a thin off white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of brown sugar, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and roasted malts. Yum. Taste is chocolate and alcohol, followed by some brown sugar, roast and a lingering roast and alcohol finish. Thick creamy mouthfeel and body, low carbonation. Even after a year this one is a touch hot with alcohol. Great sipper.

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

A: Looks like a glossy cup of espresso, deep black with a sign of ruby along the edge of the glass, minor layer of head of thick foam - 4.25, S: Unquestionable bourbon on the nose, sweet grain, chocolate - 4.25, T: The bourbon on the nose comes through on the palate, heavy on the alcohol, strong flavors of rum-soaked raisins, a little cherry and the flavor of dates - 4.50, M: A touch grainy, medium-bodied - 4.00, D: This is a excellent bourbon stout, quite complex and loads going on, I don't want to take away from this beer, but when set side-by-side to Goose Islands Bourbon Stout it just doesn't stand up, at the same time I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it - 4.25

Photo of Reagan1984
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hey, big thanks to gregc for providing this in trade. 2007 bottle.

Pours with a foamy off white head that rises to 2 fingers then fades to a ring of thin foam. Dark brown in color. Certainly not black. From just pouring you can tell this is not as thick as some other Imp Stouts... Not much in the way of lacing. A patch or two...

Vanilla, almond, coconut aroma... slight fruit. Real nice actually. Reminds me of a cookie... (good thing)

Real nice. Deep flavor. The barrel aging rounds out the flavor right from the start. The vanilla and coconut from the aroma remain.. Slight roasted taste, but lots of vanilla. I get a malted milk note now and again, but not too much. Alcohol is slight... but present.

Smooth as silk. I can only imagine this has aged well. A touch thin. If this had 5% more body, this would be "great."

Really nicely drinkable. I will look for a bottle of 2008....

I am very happy to have tried this. Truth be told, after trading, I found it locally. That's o.k. I love hooking other BA's up.

I know where I can get the '08...

Photo of almychristopher
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer pours a dark brown with a creamy tan head that fades to lace that doesn't want to go away. the aroma hits you with a lot of roasted character and the bourbon isn't too suttle. the taste is good for an imperial stout, plenty of malt character, and the bourbon, this beer is a little excessive with the bourbon flavor, or maybe it's just just the alcohol in the finish that really brings the bourbon flavor home. the full body and high co2 make it an easy drinking stout... dispite the alcohol... 2007 and it's not mellowed yet?

Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a wonderful black, chocolate, and roasted malt aroma with a kick ass bourban barrel aroma. The taste is good. It has a typical Imperial stout profile; warm, dark, and very malty. The barrels provide a nice level of complexity. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a smooth, slow, drinker with lots of character.

Photo of sonicdescent
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2007 vintage courtesy of a trade from BrewCzar, who may just be my most successful trade. This is my last bottle from him, thus far they have all been huge hits. Will Old Czar bat 1000?

Look is a bit on the mild side, very little head turns into no head, but on the bright side, it is very very dark.

Scent is light hints of bourbon, dark fruits, molasses possibly? Fig, a little booze.

Taste and mouth are fantastic. Another big win here, similar to smell and blends together quite well for not too boozy, not to subtle hints of the barrel this was aged in. While it took a hit in looks for this, the very low carbonation actually makes for a thicker, chewier stout, which is right up my alley.

I'm surprised there isn't more hype behind this one, it is an excellent, excellent beer. BrewCzar, you win.

Photo of illidurit
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

08 vintage courtesy of bulletrain76. Gorgeous ruby black color with a huge cascading tan head. Excellent retention. Aroma is obviously bourbon-soaked with wood and coconut accents. Flavor is, again, lots of bourbon underpinned with cocoa and a little bit of roast. A little thin but very drinkable and full of flavor.

Photo of jdklks
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours and looks more like a porter than an imperial stout. dark see-through brown with a quickly fading tan head.

S- Smells like an imperial stout! thank god. and it smells fantastic! the bourbon is highly pronounced and dominant(smells a lot like BCS... mmmm). chocolate and roasty malts are all over the place, along with a nice hint of dark fruits. a truly great smelling beer.

T- Wow. i thought i was going to be disappointed after the pour, but the smell and the taste have quickly reminded me that appearances are deceiving. tastes A LOT like BCS, with the bourbon flavor dominating up front and the roasted malts and chocolate in the finish/aftertaste, which give it a smooth and somewhat sweet flavor.

M- slightly over-carbonated and not thick enough (this i could tell from the pour/appearance). gets better as it warms up.

D- average for an imperial stout, but maybe slightly higher since it is not as thick as most RISs.

Photo of SchlaflyFan
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Whoa. This is the heaviest beer I've ever drank. Off the bat I poured into a tulip glass and gave it a wiff. A roasted smell, hard for me to pin down, I think I can smell that bourbon from the aging. Poured a rich black, a thick head that quickly dissipated to a ring leaving a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Taste. Whoa, whoa! That is the richest beer I've ever tasted. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, the taste slapped me in the face. The taste is complex. Bourbon, roasted malts, and chocolate, with other things going on that I can't explain. Sweet, but not too sweet, this beer has a lot going on and I'm probably not doing it justice in this review. For such a strong beer the alcohol isn't that dominant but you can feel it after you drink it.

I don't know if I could drink a lot of this but I think I'll enjoy a glass or two.

2008 vintage, bought in January from the Bottleworks and kept in my fridge.

Photo of rallison
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Edition.

Thanks durhambeer for this nice bonus!

Pours a dark brown/black color with minimal head and subdued carbonation.

Smells of carob, dark fruits and touches of dark chocolate.

Taste is actually quite pleasant. Lots of dark berries and molasses with minimal roast and a nice, dark chocolate backbone that mingles with the berries. Slightly fruity all in all. Pleasant vanilla presence. Bourbon character is quite restrained, and the barrels simply add a pleasant vinous quality.

Body is slightly think from the barrel aging, but the low carbonation helps to keep this from being a big issue. I prefer a richer, creamier body for this sort of beer, but I am not disappointed either.

Drinkability is very good.

Recommended. Schlafly is not often my favorite brewery, but this was a nice effort. Give it a try.

Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from The Schlafly Tap Room
91 out of 100 based on 819 ratings.