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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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810 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 810
Reviews: 381
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 83
Gots: 205 | FT: 11
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: 810 | Reviews: 381 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of Stunner97
4.78/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Dark brown to black, with a very nice tan foam head lacing, very nice appearance and thick pour, nice look

Smell- Roasted malts, bourbon whiskey cask treating can definitely be smelt on the nose, very slight hops, caramel and molasses sweetness, very complex great smell,

Taste- Great well rounded stout here, full flavored and very complex for sure, bourbon can certainly be tasted and the aging has paid of with extra complexity, malts, roasted malts, slight espresso and chocolate, very slight hops, a nice little sweetness to it but not over overpoweringly sweet, such a soft and amazing finish, complex and intriguing flavor,

Mouthfeel- Soft and smooth, has such an amazing softness to it, extremely full bodied,

Drinkability- Very drinkable and even dangerous considering we are talking 10 percent here, this is a sipper though, one to savor each sip and try to appreciate the complexity, this beers an amazing treat one to have occasionally to really enjoy and celebrate a big event or good day, really good surprise and i think one deserving of more attention and trys

Photo of rwrk42
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour: Dark brown to almost black with a brown head that holds well
Smell: Bourbon, roasted coffee & malts with a slight hint of chocolate
Taste: Immediate taste of bourbon, coffee, malt and slight chocolate. Just the right amount of hops in this one to help it finish strong. A smoooth stout but not as thick as I would have expected
A very good stout which I would recommend

Photo of BeefTongue
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(This is for the 2006 Batch) The beer was a dark opaque brown on the pour and yielded a short, thick, tan colored head. When held to light, it shone a lovely looking deep reddish brown. The smell is primarily of bourbon with sweet caramel aroma interspersed. The caramel sweetness comes forth in the taste as well, but is wonderfully blended with the savory flavors roasted malt and the lightly sharp bitterness of oak that lingers on the back of the tongue after swallowing--a bit sweeter than anticipated, probably due to age, but by no means cloying. The mouth feel is nice, but not as thick as I would like for a beer over 10% ABV. Slight carbonation persists throughout, making for a smooth tingly swallow, despite. As far as drinkability is concerned, this beer is nice--I could down a 750ml bottle in one sitting with pleasure--but for the price I'd probably stick to buying it once a year with each annual release. It's more of a treat than a sessionable beer, in my opinion.

Photo of Guzzler78
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml; 2007 vintage

Appearance: Black, slight red hue when held to light. Small tan head. Some light lacing-nice.

Smell: Mocha, dark coffee, vanilla, bourbon

Taste: Bourbon right of the bat, vanilla, dark and bitter chocolate, roast coffee, some alcohol

Mouthfeel: Chewy, low carbonation, bit of alcohol bite. nice somewhat dry finish.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this beer, however it is a sipper and could only drink one, maybe two glasses of this tasty treat.

I have another bottle of this in the "cellar", this one will definitely age well. Recommend cellaring.

Photo of joepais
4.78/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Goliath for this one
I split this 2007 bottle with some friends poured into a pint glass produced a tan head that lasted on top of a black body. Just what a stout should look like.
The aromas of bourbon and malts and chocolate stood out to me. The flavors were incredible they of course followed the nose. But by now they melded to this elixir of the god's type flavor. It went down way to easy and to fast; the mouthfeel was full and thick. This is an incredible stout and with a little more than a year on this bottle. I would say deserving of more attention than it is getting.

2-12-10 Revisited in an impromptu stout tasting and have to drop the mouthfeel a little on it comparing it side by side to a dark lord.

Photo of bowersdm
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL '08 vintage bottle. ~12oz of which was poured into a pint glass. The remaining ~13oz were reserved for further reviewing later this evening (and by that, I mean drinking heavily.) I picked this up a few months back, but I hadn't got around to trying it. I began to worry that the bourbon barrel flavor would start to diminish already. I will say this: this bottle was a bitch to open. I tried three different bottle openers to no avail. After twisting the cap around, i manage to get one of my bottle openers to catch on the bottom of the cap and pry it off.

A - pretty dark, but it's not RIS dark, at least not as I know it. It's best compared to the color of Sam Smith Imperial Stout, dark, but when held to a light, it appears a very dark ruby. The head was around 1cm tall and the color of sand. It quickly turned into a sand color film that crowned the beer for its entire journey.

S - roasted barley, coffee, chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla, tobacco, char (whether it's from barley or the oak, I'm not certain.) Roasted barley seemed to be the most prominent flavor.

T - roasted barley was again the most prominent. Chocolate followed that and it was accompanied by bourbon, oak, vanilla, with a dark chocolate finish. No bitterness was detected. Also, as the beer warmed, it seemed to get sweeter and the char of the oak (or barley) became more noticeable.

M - adequate carbonation. a little on the thin side, but it wasn't disagreeable.

D - i love barrel aged imperial stouts. I'd definitely drink this again, but at $10, I think i won't be drinking it as often.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

While I was not particularly impressed with the Schlafly Reserve Barleywine (it's still an A), I WAS impressed with this Imperial Stout. What that goes to, I don't exactly know, but it has a certain amount of Je nais sais quoi.

It's black beneath a creamy head of frothy dark tan. The head retention is good and it leaves notable lacing about the glass.

The nose expresses dark fruit (a little prune!), dark chocolate, some mildly roasty and coffee-like notes, alcohol, bourbon, wood and/or oak, and vanilla. It's wide and fulfilling.

The flavor expresses lots of sweetish cereal malts at the outset, balanced by roasty and chocolatey notes, and a moderate bitterness. As it warms and the palate becomes accustomed, more alcoholic/Bourbon notes step forward and the bitterness edges up a bit. It's sweetish, but balanced. The softly caramelish and bready/doughy notes are off-set by the drying alcohol, drying oakiness, and drying Bourbon notes. Hop flavors are kept to the background, but they're leafy and mildly grassy.

Overall, it's a really drinkable Imperial Stout with a good girth to it (but not over-done) and lots of balance - fruitiness, malt, oak, Bourbon, hops - it's all there.

Photo of Wasatch
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to bort11 for this brew.

2007 Vintage
Capped 750ml Bottle

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, very nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, which leaves some nice small islands and sticky lacing. The nose is malty, nice touch of bourbon/oak, toffee/chocolate, vanilla. The taste is very nice, malty, very nice touch of bourbon/oak, nice vanilla sweetness, lots of toffee/chocolate. Medium body, the ABV is hidden very well. Very drinkable, this is a nice one, thanks Tim.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 release, acquired via trade from jpm30, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color medium off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of chocolate, dark fruit, bourbon, alcohol and roasted malts, with a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty, creamy and smoky with flavors of milk chocolate, black coffee, dark fruit and bourbon. There's a very mild hops presence which is expected in a big stout that has bit sitting for as long as this one has, but it does bring a little balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, a little filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this one is definitely a decent sipper but I've certainly had better big stouts than this one.

Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from The Schlafly Tap Room
91 out of 100 based on 810 ratings.