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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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820 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 820
Reviews: 385
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.03%
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: 820 | Reviews: 385 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rallison
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
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
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
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
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
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
4.77/5  rDev +16.9%
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
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
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
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
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
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
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
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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

I like the bottle, and the box. Makes me feel like I'm opening a gift, and the packaging inside the box didn't get short thrift. So now to see whether I am indeed opening a gift...

Initially pours slightly but not heavily viscous, with little carbonation. But get things riled up a bit and a healthily sized tan, soda-like head appears. Doesn't display long lasting retention, but settles to a nicely thick, creamy cap. Such a dark brown and opaque beer that it is straight black for all intents and purposes.

With the pour I smelled cream and some cocoa. Roasted characteristics, oak, bourbon and warming alcohol, dark chocolate - they all evidence themselves in the aroma. Warming = more alcohol.

A thick and heady brew. The Jim Beam can be tasted, and there is alcohol spice. Cocoa nibs up front. Alcohol drying lends itself a bit to a slight coffee flavor. The flavors mellow and blend together more as the beer warms. Some caramel, as indicated by the box, and hints of dark fruit.

As said, a thick brew. Low carbonation, but not without some CO2 kick.

The ABV is not well hidden at all - but it works within the taste profile very well. A very nice sipper.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2007.

This beer pours a deep, dark brown with ruby highlights. The head is a frothy off-white collar with irregular splatters in the middle. I must say, the color is enticing.

Smells of sweet chocolate and caramel with a gooey barley. There's a touch of brown sugar here too. This is backed by a gentle woody sting of bourbon that rises out of the depths.

Tastes of a slight touch of caramel with hot sting of smokey oak and a touch of orange zest. Finishes with a slight nip of bourbon. A little aggressive.

Feels a little viscous with a swarm of fuzzy little bubbles that rise up to create a touch of chaos. It also numbs my mouth with the boozy sting. The carbonation also lifts off the sweetness, interfering with the beer, imo.

Not a bad beer, but it could be so much more with age.

Photo of mphopkins99
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2007 vintage, 750 ml

A - Dark brown, with a thin tan head, leaves a little lacing.

S - The bourbon / alcohol smell are somewhat overwhelming. Hint of coffee as well.

T - The alcohol hits like a ton of bricks, not much subtlety.

M - Full body, not much carbonation.

D - This is definitely a sipper, not a session beer in anyway. I split the bottle with a friend, and dont think I could have had much more of this. The alcohol taste and the ABV are a very strong presence.

Photo of BeerSox
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into 25oz snifter.

Completely pitch black and opaque. There is no light getting through this one, even when held up to the light. A tan solid one finger head slowly settles to a razor thin cap. A pile of bubbly lacing holds along the side of the glass.

Loads of dark roasty malts with a rare creamy overtone. Very smooth and velvety. It's like the 10.5%ABV isn't even there. A little bit of molasses sits in the background.

Thick roasty malts in the flavor along with more of the creamy overtones. Some dark fruit comes in toward the middle. The hops show up in the end adding a little bit of lingering bitterness. The molasses from the aroma finds its way into the flavor.

A pretty smooth Russian Imperial Stout. Very creamy. The hops and alcohol don't show up much but you know they're there. Well rounded and complex. Recommended.

Photo of Dubbercody
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 bottle, 2006 edition.

Bourbon smell, with coffee and dark chocolate mingling in as well. Oak melds nicely into the stout and really makes the whole package come together beautifully.

Really nice beer, the years have done it proper service. I wish I could get some more and do a vertical tasting.

Photo of charlesw
3.31/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Deep dark brown to black. Very opaque. But no head at all at all. Suckage. Smells faintly chocolaty and smoky. Not much gong on. Ah. But it tastes pretty good. Sweet chocolate milk. Some coffee. Smoke thrown in like, hmm. Like coals from the fireplace. Interesting, complex, subtle. Largely well balanced. No carbonation. Suckage. So... To make this the beer for me you need a bit of bitterness in that balance, carbonation and head. Carbonation to help balance out the sweetness. But I'im sure it would if it were there. Sadly, this bottle is nearly flat. Bleh.

Photo of LilMatrix
2.28/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Big thanks to Cobrakai22 for sharing this one!

A - Pours oily with little head. Light penetration that reveals a dark red hue.

S - Alcohol, brandy, bourbon, and sweetness. Surprised by the missing roasted characters (cocoa, coffee, chocolate) usually found in imperial stouts.

T - Brandy sweetness, candy, bourbon, cough syrup, boozy and alcoholic.

M - Rather thin bodied for an imperial stout and kinda flat.

D - I can't finish this one... This is way too boozy for me. Each drink gets a more and more of a cough syrup taste... think cherry flavored robitusson.

Photo of jneiswender
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage. Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a pint glass.

A--Very dark brown, thin mocha head

S--smoky, maple syrup

T--herbal, malty, but the alcohol--WHEW! Somewhat rough.

M--full body but pretty dry

D--Sip this beer. Its a bit rough tasting but is a textbook representation of the style. Not as good as the pale ale of the same company but this shows they know how to do beers other than bitters.

Photo of katan
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mil. 2008 vintage

A - dark and opaque. Hint of a red hue. Light head formation. Dissipates to a film. No hazing.

S - maple syrup is the primary smell. Very sweet. Hair of bourbon edge.

T - starts with a balanced sweetness of vanilla and oak combined with some bitterness. More oak forms mid stream. Finishes with sweet bourbon and maple syrup. All through is a bunch of alcohol burn.

M - thick. Very full bodied. Light carbonation bite. High alcohol bite.

D. - not all that drinkable. Potent abv and strong flavor are hard to manage. A one time per night beer.

Great beer. RemInds me of the gi bcs for about the same price.

Photo of brantadid
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown or black color with ruby highlights when held up to light. A nice white creamy head formed. Head retention was good. A good amount of lacing.

Nice complex nose. Thank you bourbon barrel aging. Big malty notes with vanilla, alcohol, and spice.

Big and malty on the from palate. Hints of chocolate and carmel. Bourbon aging takes over mid palate with notes of vanilla and oak. Alcohol adds an almost spicy quality. Nice layering to the flavor.

Mouthfeel is coating and heavy. Moderate carbonation cuts through the weight of the beer. Nice balance. Very drinkable for a 10.5% beer.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml champagne bottle poured into a Chouffe tulip; 2007 vintage

Pours a deep, dark brown, almost black, with red highlights around the outside of the glass. A fluffy, thick tan cap rose to the top of the tulip and faded away rather slowly to leave scattered lace.

Coffee beans, roasted malt, bakers chocolate, vanilla, phenol alcohol, bourbon and some faint molasses and burnt caramel. This is pretty broad and rather enticing.

Nicely done. Extremely well balanced with the bourbon flavor complementing and enhancing all of the other flavors. The roasted coffee and chocolate notes do not dominate but lay rather low while some dark fruits, vanilla, and molasses add delicious flavoring.

The barrel aging may have thinned this out a bit, but it was still pretty rich and creamy. Medium to full bodied, good carbonation.

There is a faint alcohol burn and the booze is a little strong, but putting down a bottle of this was not a problem.

Photo of johnnybgood1999
2.75/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I kept drinking the Barley Wine Special Reserve without trying the Bourbon Aged Stout because I really loved the BW. This ale was a disappointment in comparison, though I'm not saying it is a horrible beer or anything. Just not as good.

A: Poured syrupy and pitch black. Virtually no head. Like oil out of a beer bottle! Not a bad omen for a stout.

S: A sweet chocolate caramel aroma with whiskey apparant up front.

T: Other reviews have stated oak is more the flavor than bourbon and I would have to agree. A very sweet stout. The sweetest stout I've had to date. Plenty of chocolate and plain sugary tast. Maybe some toffe as well. Honestly a little too sweet for me. I'm also getting no carbonation like fellow reviewers, but I would actually prefer a good bit more.

D: I rated this rather low becasue of the sweetnessand total lack of carbonation. It was so sweet I could not take more than a glass. The Barley Wine Special Reserve is much more drinkable and that's what I had expected out of this stout. I can only take this in small amounts.

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

2007 Edition

A - pours black as night with a beautiful one-finger head

S - smells delicious. I could smell caramel as soon as I cracked it open. On a closer examination, I smelled vanilla and chocolate.

T - Tastes of sweet chocolate and caramel malts. There was a nice vanilla taste present from the Jim Beam barrels. On the finish, there was a bit of hops that were noticeable. Also, sweet oak lingered on the palate. This thing is also really hot - reminds me of a fresh BCBS, which is a good thing. This is easily one of the best blend of flavors I have had in a stout. You can really taste the bourbon, which is what I wanted.

M - Well-carbonated and goes down smoothly.

D - I split a bottle of this with a buddy and we were both feeling the 10.5% abv, so having more than a bottle will have you feeling pretty good. This is my favorite offering by Schlafly. Like I mentioned earlier, this reminds me a lot of BCBS but not as chocolately and a little toned down. I was very impressed and will definitely go out and purchase more of these.

2006 (aged 5 years) - bourbon has subdued, the molasses has increased quite a bit in the nose and on the tongue and has pretty much be come the dominant flavor. A bit of oakey coffee comes through on the finish. This has really mellowed a ton and become a really smooth drinking RIS - the spicy bourbon is pretty much gone. I would say this could go longer. Great stuff!

Photo of zeff80
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Edition
A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a three-finger finger, creamy, bubbly, tan head. It left some thin traces of lace.

S - It smelled of oak, vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate. The were mild caramel notes, too.

T - It tasted of bourbon, oak and sweet roasted malt. It had a bitter kick from some hops.

M - It was smooth and somewhat dry with a warming alcohol presence. It was medium to full-bodied.

D - This is a really good impy stout. I had it fresh a year or so ago and would like to try another after more aging.

Photo of echdk3
3.72/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage poured into a snifter

A_Light brown head, dissipates into a halo, has light lacing. Black all the way down to the tapered bottom of the snifter, dark for sure

S_Dark mollasses, toasted black bread, big alcohol

T_Huge mollasses, lots of alcohol, background of bitter fruit. Dark chocolate, too. Pure ethanol aftertaste

M_Heavy heavy body, very chewy, way more carbonation than I expected

D_This is a fun imperial stout, what an ABV! I'm trying to drink this fast because it tastes so good, but the heavy body is prohibitive. Also the ABV really shows through in its effects

Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from The Schlafly Tap Room
91 out of 100 based on 820 ratings.