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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

387 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 387
Hads: 860
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 93
Gots: 225 | 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: 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 387 | Hads: 860
Photo of Viggo
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasting with Lexx and grub, grub brought this one. 2006 vintage, very nice presentation with the bottle.

Pours an opaque brown/black, red edges, thick light tan head forms, settles to thin layer, leaves behind some solid lacing. Smell is nice, sweet, sherry, bourbon, caramel, chocolate roast, vanilla and oak, some sweet fruits, and coffee, bit of alcohol as well. Taste is dates, cherries, chocolate, some roast, sweet brown sugar middle, raisins, oak and vanilla, alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, super smooth, very drinkable for such a big beer. Thanks a lot Russ!

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Photo of tiger88
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great example of a bourbon barrel aged Impy stout. The pour is a deep reddish black. It smells of sweet bourbon but is not overwhelming. The taste is consistent with the smell, sweet when it hits the tongue and the alcohol warms as it descends. The flavor becomes more prominant as the temperature warms. It feels a little thin to be an imperial stout but drinks incredibly easy. I'll definitely get another one of these and age it a bit. A must try if you like impy stouts!

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

2007 vintage.

a: Brown to black body, light tan head, typical retention.

s: Bourbon, oak, dark fruit and chocolate.

t: Caramel and chocolate malt, dark fruit, cherry, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. A little more bourbon than most of the bourbon aged stouts I've had, but in a good way, not out of control.

m: Low carbonation, full body, a bit syrupy.

d: Not an elite imperial stout, but still very good. Get the feeling it will really improve with a little more aging.

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Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A capped 750 mL bottle courtesy of markgugs. It is the 2006 vintage.

A: The stout is big and black, not as thick as I was expecting. Its blackness can't be denied but it lacks the oily consistency. A white head barely registered on pour and sits as a small thin pool atop the beer.

S: The aroma is stout, lots of dark grains burnt to a crisp, cut by a bourbon sweetness that has a hint of vanilla. The subtlety makes it work.

T: The stout manages to retain a surprising amount of its body, big and black with an array of dark flavors. Chocolate, coffee and burnt toast dominate before giving in to the bourbon. The flavors imparted from the barrel are sweet, vanilla, oak, butter and pepper. Each nicely interacts with the stout flavors to create a big taste that goes down easily.

M: The mouthfeel is somewhat thin, quickly allowing the bourbon and stout flavors to fade away.

D: The abv is high but hidden behind the stout and bourbon flavors, if that is possible. The beer's drinkability would be greatly assisted by a fuller, lasting flavor.

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Photo of nelson4
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Schlafly Imperial stout

A- Thick Cream head with lacing over time looked a little foamy
S- Woody thick aroma, hints of vanilla
T- Chocolate is initial taste followed by a vanilla warmness with a little coffee aftertaste
M- Slightly carbonated with a creamy full body
D- Very good drinkability, smooth all the way

Excellent stout, very complex flavors and nice overall example of imperial stout

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Photo of grub
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

got this one in a recent trade with tangfoot. thanks fred!

750ml bottle. 2006 vintage. sampled jan 11/08.

pours deep brown, not quite black or opaque. you can see a bit of red in it when held to the light. a big reamy tan head rises up then drops slowly leaving spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. bit of yeast. lots of vanilla and bourbon. you could actually smell the bourbon as soon as the bottle was opened, so i expected it to dominate more, but it's quite nice. alcohol. big bread and biscuit malt. hint of dark fruit.

taste is excellent. big hit of bourbon. big bread and biscuit malt. bit of mineral character. slight oxidation, but not unpleasant. light vanilla. bit of raisin and date. low bitterness level. light caramel sweetness. bit of warming alcohol. slightly earthy. light roast.

mouthfeel is great. low carbonation works well. nice big body.

drinkability is excellent. great balance. nice level of bourbon that doesn't overpower. good depth to the solid base stout.

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Photo of ryanismean
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I remember last year's (2006) Imperial Stout, and it was really good...but this one is even better. It pours a barely translucent red-brown-black. Light just filters through the edges, producing a nice deep stained rosewood halo around the black brew.

A light tan head gives off the aroma of caramel, vanilla and woody oak, just barely clinging to the glass as it recedes. Flavor is as though someone dropped the essence of bourbon into an imperial stout, but without the boozy burn. In fact, this is probably the smoothest 10.5% brew I have ever encountered. I find myself wondering if it is really that strong, as it slides down easily without overpowering alcohol flavor, leaving a sticky residue on the lips.

Mouthfeel is slightly chewy and sticky, lightened by the gentle carbonation. Quite nice, and frighteningly drinkable for a beer of this strength. I have put away several glasses before I realized it was becoming difficult to type accurately!

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Photo of mikescags
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a very dark black with some hints of ruby when help up to the light.

The smell is choc. some coffee and def the Jim

The taste is very strong of the Jim. Waaaay more so than I anticipated. You can def tell this beer is high in alcohol. It seemed like as it warmed I tasted less alcohol, maybe my palate just became more accustomed or the abv was hitting me.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick and nice, the drinkability is alright, but prob not something I will reach for again any time soon as the Jim was a little overpowering for me.

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Photo of russpowell
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This 2006 beauty comes courtesy of BARLEYWINEO!

Pours mahogany with 2 fingers of brown-tinged mocha head. Superior head retention & very good lacing in my Vondel snifter

S: Beautiful oaky, vanilla, chocolatey & raisin notes that fade a bit over time

T: Chocolate, oakyness, vanilla, raisins, & a touch of dryness up front. Fruityness, a touch of licorice, a whisper boozey warmth, & baker's chocolate as this this warms. Finishes dry with slight alcohol burn & loads of chocolate & raisin, bourbon fingerprints all over this one!

MF: Oily, slick with low carbonation

Drinks great considering the abv, went great with my liebekuchen (german x-mas cookies) . Very nice, maybe a few more months would've yielded perfection?

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Photo of hwwty4
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with hints of ruby in a Chimay Chalice. Aroma is of dark chocolate, vanilla, and freshly cut wood and oh yeah booze. Lots of alcohol in the nose. Taste is of Bakers chocolate, you know the bitter kind, Coffee and bourbon barrels. The bourbon is a bit overwhelming in the beer, but not necessarily to its detriment. Mouthfeel is great. Plain and Simple, full bodied with a great mouth coating. Drinkability, well I finished the bottle in about 1 hour so...

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Photo of peabody
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out into my Stone Imperial Russian Stout tulip with one finger of brown suds that stay there for quite some time. Lacing is occuring as the bubbles subside.
The smell is pretty strong right at the first pour. Fruityness with grape and raisin and strong yeast hit your nose first. The coffee and cream come in there later.
Taste is mellow sweet then the alcohol hits you. boy, this is pretty strong. I bet this needs a year or two to settle into it's own.
Good clean mouthfeel and mabey that is where this one goes wrong. It could stand a little bitter aftertaste so that the alcohol doesn't take over so darn much.
Drinkability would be good if it weren't for all the alcohol we have here.

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Photo of Vancer
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well brother, this one has aged for a year in the ol’ DBF. And was it worth the wait!

Poured a sexy black momma, with a slow and steady rising tan head – thin but with some staying power.

What an aroma chocolate with a touch of espresso, even a bit of anise.

But wow, the taste on this has aged liked a SOB – Smooooth, ultra rich brew with a finely meshed combination of vanilla, dark fruit, coffee, and a pop of hop at the finish. And, of course, a pop of bourbon to round this MF out.

Easy drinking medium bodied, I had to force myself to sip, as I knew the 10% would jump up and pop me in the arse – and yeah, it did.

An aged Schlafly reserve should be in YOUR wallet!

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2006
Pours the usual black with reddish undertones when you hold it to the light. a small off-white head tops the glass then melts quickly to a faint off-white ring of relatively non-sticky properties.

Aromas are robust bourbon, some chocolate malt and alcohol.

Taste is creamy chocolate...not bitter chocolate, but not milk chocolate either. Dark Herseys, I think. Dark chocolate, creamy vanilla, oaked aged bourbon, more chocolate, a little citrus bite hops, then the ever present alcohol.

Aftertaste is more of an afterglow from the alcohol but chocolate and bourbon linger on the tongue.

This is a very impressive Imperial Stout and well worth spending a long quite evening with.

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

first beer of August 2007

2006 vintage

a: Pours a light head that quicly becomes just a ring around the glass and a small cluster of bubbles on the surface. Very deep brown in color. Looks good. Love the hydrological screen-printed bottle, almost too nice to recycle.

s: Sharp booze upfront with a backbone of sweet roasted chocolate. Smoothly hopped. Good but a little overpowered by the ethanol, which gives an almost citronella type aroma in concert with the hops. A nice touch of woodiness in there.

m: Smooth mouthfeel on the higher side of the louchw range. Nice mouthfeel that's full, but not too heavy.

t: First impression is that it seems more like a bourbon aged American double stout than a Russian, but whatev. Sweet and roasty with a big boozy presence...more straight ethanol for me than bourbon, but there is a nice toasy oak note after the swallow. Not terribly complex but definitely a nice blend of flavors going on here. The dark roasts are tempered with sweet, dark cocoa sugars. Moderately hopped with just the right level of bitterness.

d: easy for the ABV, a nice treat

from Vancer for my bombing

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Photo of bjohnson
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to vancer for sending this along in my ba anniv. package. Much appreciated.

Pours a very dark brown, almost black color with an initial half finger caramel colored head. Dissipates quickly with most of the head retreating towards the middle of the glass leaving a circular puff. Bubble lacing down the glass. Toasted grain laced with pretty hefty chocolate notes. Dark fruit notes intermixed with a smidge of caramel. Earthy and woody with hints of spicy booze. Not much roastyness in the nose.

Dark fruit flavors burst right away with hints of molasses, chocolate, and caramel. Sticky and thick mouthfeel--coats the mouth quite well. Dark fruit notes of prunes and figs mostly. More sweet than it is roasty due to the abundance of fruit notes. Spicy and a tad hot with thick booze. Pretty damn high abv is noticeable, but only slightly. A nice sipping brew and drinkable, but there are better Russian imperial stouts out there.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The much anticipated imperial stout from Schlafly. A severely burnt brown bordering black in color, a well defined 1/2 inch tan head that settles down and forms into bubbly and sticky lacing around the rim. A very boozy nose, sets up nicely--some espresso beans, fresh plums, fig and traces of vanilla are nice to locate. Piney hops, almond and creamy bourbon offerings, extremely oily and slick. The body is clearly full in nature, with a bourbon-esk feeling, sweet chocolate and dark roasted coffee beans are in the flavorings. The palate turns sweet in a hurry with more alcholish notes and caramel malts. Warming further reveals oak and dark malts. Dare I say that this is a great change of pace impy stout? It's sweet and boozy and not overly powerful. Incredible stuff.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured big black as night, nice small caramel colored head faded quickly but did leave befind a nice lace. Smell was very sweet of caramel and sugar, with roasted coffee. Great hints of vanilla and dark chocolate, with the alcohol content definatly visible. Taste was very nice. Not too thick, with nice carbonation. Very smooth considering the high ABV of 10.50% which was very well hidden. Flavor was very robust and full of coffee and chocolate flavors. A slight hint ok the oak flavors as it started to warm up. This was a very good Imperial Stout. Not too thick and extremely drinkable, with no real big alcohol flavor, it definatly does sneak up on you. Overall very nice only afterthought was it could be a bit creamier, but really a fine brew.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A relatively new beer to the Central Ky market. I stumbled across this brew a few weeks ago, but just getting around to enjoying. Turns out that I could have waited quite a while; the beer still has some comming-together to do. The pour is an opaque black or very dark brown color with low-lying carbonation and average head retention for a bourbon barrel Stout. Aromas of dark, roasted grain, heavy malts, and a dominant booze-ey swirl around; promising bold flavors and heavy alcoholic strength. The flavors are expectedly rich, bold, and rooted with espresso and coffee. These flavors are backed up with cherries, berries, lacose, toast, and a fruitcake mix. A mild tartness, oak, caramel, and vanilla persists from the boubon barrels and maybe a rouge bacteria / yeast. Agian the taste is dominated by rum-like alcohols. The feel is a heavy, moderately harsh, fusal feel with richness, slickness (I presume from oat additions), and easily mouth coating. Not overly sweet, nor hoppy (for balance only). A moderate roasted-grain astingency persists, despite the heated, abrasive alcohols. The beer proves the abv stated on the bottle, and then some. With some age, this beer will prove to be a winner.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

$9.99 at Homer's in Kansas City.
Poured dark brown but light could get through around the edges. When poured aggressively, a half finger tan head would form and a little lacing was present.

Smell is foremost chocolate over a hint of the alcohol as well as some of the light roasted malt aroma.

The taste reminds me a lot of Young Double Chocolate, but the mouthfeel isn't anything like it. The other departure from that association is that the flavor ends with the roast malt. It is slight bitter and lingers.

I didn't find this one very drinkable. It had a medium body but there was something about the mouthfeel that was missing. It may be the carbonation...my perception was that it was sort of flat.
Not much to look at, nut the aroma rocks huge amounts of barrel aged vanilla caramel. The flavor matches nicely..this one is it if you're looking for barrel aged bev. The mouth feel really lacks any substance. The flavor is full and the mouth lingers really nicely. Holy cow! this one is 10.5% ABV and you can appreciate every bit of it.

Digging this one...would seek it out again!!!

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to JPM30 for this beer.

A: Pours thick like syrup but not as opaque as I was expecting. Color is a very deep brown but not quite black. Head is falling quick, border line fizzy leaving a film of beige bubbles in the wake.

S: Now that’s bourbon. Friggin huge notes of oak, vanilla, chocolate malts and fig

T: Massive bourbon right up front…fairly rounded, not sharp or pungent. Loads of caramel, vanilla, marshmallow and Belgian chocolate move in next, playing quite well with the bourbon. The esters in this beer are running rampant…breathe in while you drink and the bourbon goes straight to the sinuses. A small snap of pine hops are amongst the over the top chocolate…not enough to pick out but enough to add variety. As these flavors wind down a bit, roasted coffee turns the corner and stays with the drinker long after the last sip. And yes, there is alcohol. As it warms, the alcohol becomes more and more apparent...bourbon intensifies. Finishes sweet like molasses, touch of soy and a lot of brown sugar.

M: Full bodied and syrupy.

D: This beer would make an AMAZING salmon marinade above and beyond being a tasty beer. Enjoyed quite a bit.

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Photo of mcallister
3.69/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not as dark as I was expecting, still a nice looker. Deep cocoa colored reminiscent of a tootsie roll. Small tan head fades quickly and leaves a small layer of lace that does cover the glass.

Man it is hard too pull anything out of the nose. Roasted milk chocolate, with the slightest bit of toasty vanilla oak and bourbon. Very laid back. Have too breathe hard for this one.

Ahh there we go. Thin for a RIS but very pleasing and drinkable with no signs of alcohol. You basically get what's in the nose x4. Roasty milk chocolate flavors, sweet vanilla, hints of mollasses, black currant, hints of tobacco, with toffee and caramel. The thin body actually helps drinkability. A stout for nearly any time of year.

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

A nice screened 750ml bottle ... pours a dark, semi-opaque black into the wide mouth snifter. Fairly thin, medium-tan head with sporadic lacing in the inner rim. Retention wasn't too good here. The nose is a smattering of baker's chocolate, sweet vanilla, and alcohol. Nice, actually. The palate is, again, dominated by chocolate early on, but moving toward a sweeter vanilla-laced bourbon flavor in the mouth. Very sweet and velvety. The bourbon influence is greater the warmer the beer gets, and should really be served at cellar temperature only. Mouthfeel improves as the beer acclimates to the ambient temperature in the room, resulting in a nice medium mouthfeel stout with a very smooth, sweet finish. Finished sweeter than dry. In my mind, Schlafly's has come a long way in a short time, improving their beers exponentially over the last couple of years. This is a great example of a beer I, frankly, wouldn't have thought Schlafly's could have created ... very high quality, well-balanced, tasty Imperial Stout. I'm becoming a bigger fan of The St. Louis Brewing Co. all the time. Good stuff.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the 2006 vintage. The beer was served in a wide mouthed wine goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a moderately ruby opaque black. The head was a short lived creamed coffee coloration. Speckles of lacing remain on the glass.

Smell: This beer is loaded with bourbon soaked and laced vanilla, chocolate and darkly deep roasted espresso.

Taste: This is definately a Bourbon soaked stout. The beer has a very definate Bourbon flavor. The alcohol is hot. For some folks this would be a negative. For me the hot spicy alcohol is a welcome companion to Bourbon Barrel beers. The Bourbon flavors are well accompanied by vanilla, oak, caramel, semisweet chocolate, fruity plums, dark roasted and chared coffee.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is slightly bigger than medium bodied. The alcohol is hot and makes its prescence known. This is not a negative to my mind. I would have preferred a slightly heavier body. The beer disappeared from my glass is sips and gulps. This beer treat is easy to drink. The beer is very temperature specific. I started with the beer lightly chilled. The remainder of my bottle I left outside in the cold night air. The second pour was way too cold. When it is too cold the beer taste like a boozey mess.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
2.84/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The appearance has a pretty good head with a good lacing. The smell is very light with a slight molasses and coffee flavor. The taste was pretty nice, but there was a giant alcohol flavor that turned me off, a kind of bitter sweet combonation. The mouthfeel was kind of alright. However, overall I might try this again, but outlook is bleek.

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Photo of emerge077
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared a bottle to bring in the new year...

Pours a deep brownish hue, nearly opaque in the glass. Medium level of tan foam.

Smells sweetly of bourbon and roasted malt. Taste follows this, maybe a little to sweet for my taste. Nice lingering bourbon and vanilla notes on the palate, not much oak barrel character though.

Good mouthfeel, sweetness holds it up a little, it's definitely one to sip. Not as outrageously heavy as many other RIS. This is a good one to share, I wouldn't want to try to finish a 750mL on my own...

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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from The Schlafly Tap Room
90 out of 100 based on 387 ratings.