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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout - The Schlafly Tap Room

Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial StoutSchlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

696 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 696
Reviews: 374
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.03%

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: 696 | Reviews: 374 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of superspak


3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review 800! 2008 vintage 750 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours fairly clear almost pitch black color with a small tan head with good retention; that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some good spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big chocolate, caramel, toffee, oak, vanilla, roasted malt, raisin, molasses, bourbon, earth, and light herbal. Fairly nice and well balanced aromas with good complexity. Taste of big caramel, molasses, raisin, chocolate, toffee, roasted malt, toast, vanilla, oak, bourbon, earth, and light herbal hops. Lingering notes of caramel, molasses, raisin, chocolate, toffee, toast, bourbon, oak, earth, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance of flavors with good complexity; and minimal cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy and slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is fairly well hidden; with only a warming after the finish noticed. Definitely a slow sipper. Overall this is a nice barrel aged imperial stout. Nice balance and good complexity of flavors. It did not impress me as much as I would have hoped though.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2012 01:33:45 | More by superspak
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

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

On-tap at the Tap Room.

Beer is black with a small tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. No lacing.

Smell is full of oak, bourbon and roasted malt. Molasses and a bit of smoke are there as well.

Taste is big. Oak, bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt and anise are all present, with the first three taking the lead. Alcohol is noticeable but not unpleasantly so.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Lighter than expected.

Overall, very good.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2012 00:02:28 | More by jrenihan
Photo of cvm4


4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle poured in a snifter

A - Not a thick liquid pour like other imperials. More on dark rootbeer color with a light tan head. The head dissipates rather quickly into a ring around the glass.

S - Definite bourbon, followed with roasted malts and molasses. There is a hint of vanilla and alcohol also.

T - Very nice! Bourbon, vanilla and caramel. It's boozy but I've come to expect it with bourbon barrel aged beers. It can come off with a lingering sweetness.

M - On the mid side of medium mouthfeel. Smooth and svelte with medium carbonation.

O - Solid! This BBA Impy stout delivers! Not the best but it's in the elite category.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2012 23:08:04 | More by cvm4
Photo of FosterJM


4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1304th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter

2010 Vintage

30th Birthday Party
Thanks to Mdaschaf for this one

2010 Vintage.

App- Out of the bottle it was a bit of a very dark brown and it was almost black color with a 1/2 finger of a light tan head. Little bit of lacing on this one.

Smell- A very nice and aromatic stout. Had a very full nose of oak with a good amount of bourbon and vanilla taking center stage. Maybe a touch of rich chocolate with some burnt sugars on large pull.

Taste- A nice supringly smooth and rich stout. Wasn't a mind blower but a welcome suprise. Had large amounts of vanilla and oak and blended well some smooth malts to balance it out.

Mouth- A thinner medium body with a thin carbonation. Needed to be a bit fuller on each. Nice residual vanilla and oaky flavors remained.

Drink- I knew I was mad for a reason when I gave this bottle up to a trading partner. I am glad Matt hooked it up with this nice treat.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2012 22:50:48 | More by FosterJM
Photo of Scotchboy


4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml, 2009 vintage bottle split with my brother.

A: Dark but not the darkest of stouts, still opaque, tan head dissipates at a medium speed.

S: Creamy delicious smooth bourbon & vanilla pop to the front and are very prominent...toasted coconut, roasted barley, and dark caramel, with an underlying sweetness...not boozy at all.

T: Yes! Taste follows the nose; bourbon, vanilla, caramel, hints of decadent chocolate sweetness, toasted oak & coconut, with just a bit of alcohol sweetness and warmth. Definitely a mellowed brew at this age.

MF: Medium to full mouthfeel, creamy, and oh-so-smooth. Feels rich, and the alcohol doesn't thin the feel at all.

O: Overall a really impressive bba stout. I've tried 2010 and 2011 vintages as well, and while I liked them all quite a bit, this vintage may be as good as it gets. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2012 16:23:56 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of tobelerone


4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage.

Pours black but not totally jet or opaque; some light penetrates the edges. Small, quickly settling brown head; patchy lacing.

Nice nose. Bourbon, roast malt, molasses out front; subtler vanilla and chocolate notes.

Very tasty. Again, the bourbon and barrel are prominent, then notes of roast malt, char, chocolate, molasses, caramel, toffee, vanilla. Noticeably but pleasantly boozy, with the heat pretty toned down at this point, and a very slight astringency. Good sweetness but definitely not cloying.

Medium full bodied, just a little chewy. Moderate carbonation. Maybe a bit of a cola feel to the body. Overall pretty drinkable for the style, mostly due to the toned down alcohol heat and slightly thinner mouthfeel. Not exceptional but very good nonetheless, a step down from the really heavy hitters, mostly because of the lighter weight body. It’s not uber complex but it’s damned good.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2012 16:40:52 | More by tobelerone
Photo of DavidST


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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter, 2011 vintage. This doesn't appear to be a very thick pour, anyways this pours mostly black color with light able to penetrate the edges along with a decent foamy mocha head which quickly dissipates. The smells are of bourbon and alcohol, not much of the traditional stout. The feel is medium, almost thick but thinner than most IRS. The taste is of bourbon, alcohol, along with some dark roasted malts.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2012 04:27:31 | More by DavidST
Photo of tjkinate


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

2008 Vintage

A: 1+ finger soapy, near white head atop this deep brown bodied brew.

S: Molasses, bourbon, lots of vanilla mixed with dark fruits and caramel.

T: Follows the smell exactly, rich and robust flavors throughout resonating long after each sip.

M: Fairly heavy, slight burn from the alcohol.

O: Not too shabby, wonder what more recent vintages are like? May just have to seek some out.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 19:58:04 | More by tjkinate
Photo of billab914


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

2008 vintage poured from a 750ml bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured black in color with a thin but sticky head covering the top and clinging to the sides of the glass.

I get a strong oak presence in the aroma. The woody oak mixes with vanilla and a little chocolate. Just a little bourbon is there. The imperial stout flavors seem to play a backseat to the oak, barrel aged flavors though.

The taste also shows a lot of woody oak to it. A little more of a chocolate flavor comes out to mix with some mild bourbon and vanilla notes. A little alcohol is there is in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being below average. Overall it was a pretty good beer, but not one I really found outstanding in it's class. The woody oak overshadowed the beer flavors a little in my opinion. Pretty good beer overall though.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 02:32:32 | More by billab914
Photo of mdaschaf


4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage.

A: Pours a nice black color with a one finger tan head, lasting for a few minutes before reducing to a a thin cap on top. Spotty lacing around the sides.

S: Nice oak right away with plenty of bourbon, molasses, brown sugar, and very nice vanilla aroma.

T: The bourbon is really coming forward in the flavor profile, lots of vanilla, oak, and molasses. Some caramel and brown sugar mixed in with a little chocolate.

M: Medium bodied, maybe a touch thin, with moderate carbonation. Abv is hidden very well.

O: A very nice bourbon barrel imperial stout. Not outstanding, but better than most. A beer I would have no problem drinking again.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2012 13:21:12 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of challenja


3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the Black Squirrel in ADMO, DC.

A: A dark chocolate milk thistle with a thick fizzing mocha head that dissipates quickly.
S: Sweet sweet juniper and coco malts. Candied Molasses syrup. Overpoweringly sweet.
T: Sweet Juniper berries jump out of the glass quickly. This is overpoweringly sweet and robust malts with the bourbon barrel races quickly to recover the sweetness as it races in last. The backbite is noticeable but not overpowering but sweet flavoured lipstick in thickness and intensity.
M: Medium bodied, but it lacks thick character deserving of a great imperial stout.
O: A big let down, I mean I start with their Pumpkin beer which is world class number 2 alltime and then I get slapped around for trying other stuff. I was hoping for alot more with this beer. I mean an Bourbon Limited Edition Imperial Stout..ahhh... boo

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2012 03:55:43 | More by challenja
Photo of beveritt


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

Presentation: Poured from a silk screened 750 ml brown bottle into a Duvel chalice. I picked this up a year or so ago while traveling through Nashville.

Appearance: Pours with 1 1/2 fingers of medium tan head. This settles quickly to a thin yet complete coating of foam. The beer itself is pitch black and let's no light through, even around the edges.

Smell: Strong aroma of vanilla and anise upfront, obviously from bourbon barrel aging. Undertones of sweet chocolate and coffee.

Taste: Rich chocolate upfront against a biscuit malt backdrop. Sweet and warming alcohol in the finish with slightly lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level coupled with an amazingly thick and viscous body.

Drinkability: Picked up out of state, this is definitely a one of. A rich and flavorful beer, glad to have had it.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 00:26:38 | More by beveritt
Photo of TechTriumph


3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage; Poured in a tulip.

A - One inch of very light tan, creamy head; Very dark brown appearance with ruby highlights; Some lacing left, but not too much

S - There's a good dose of bourbon, oak, and molasses notes in the aroma with very subtle chocolate, caramel sweetness, and roasty qualities; Touch of alcohol in the smell

T - Lots of bourbon, oak, and molasses flavor here as well with mellow dark chocolate and some raisin-like dark fruits; The chocolate and raisins come through in the finish as well with a roasty and warm flavor; Some caramel and sugary sweetness is present as well

M - Low carbonation; Full bodied; Pretty dry finish with a little heat from the alcohol; Mouthfeel is fairly smooth with a bit of bite from the alcohol as it goes down

O - I'm very pleased that I got to try this beer that's been aged in bourbon barrels for several years. The aromas and flavors are nice, but there's still quite a bit of heat within this beer. While I don't regret trying it at this time, I bet this will get even better with a bit more age. Overall, this is a solid offering from Schlafly, and I look forward to trying more of their creations.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 21:06:57 | More by TechTriumph
Photo of larryi86


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

750 mL bottle, 2008, poured into a tulip

A- Black with a small tan head the fades quickly.

S- Chocolate, bourbon, some oak, some dark fruits.

T- Bourbon, dark chocolate, oak, roasted coffee, caramel malts, hint of dark fruits, some vanilla, well balanced.

M- Medium body, thin alcohol finish, but not very hot.

O- A really nice bourbon barrel aged stout, very easy to drink. Definitely will have to pick up a bottle of 2011 to see how it is fresh, but I am really liking how the 2008 is drinking right now.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 01:06:30 | More by larryi86
Photo of mrfrancis


4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a jet black with a thin, lingering off-white mousse that sits placidly on top of the liquid.

S: Aromas of roasted grain, dark chocolate, and coffee are balanced by traces of oak, caramel, and toasted coconut.

T: Notes of caramel, roasted grain, dark chocolate, toasted coconut, woody spice, oak, vanilla bean, honeysuckle, coffee, and alcohol. The finish is complex and a bit fiery with huge flavors of caramel, spice, vanilla, honeysuckle, and coconut.

M: Full-bodied and dry. Carbonation is both active and firm. Alcohol presence is pronounced, making this beer a bit difficult to drink.

O: This is a nice barrel-aged stout with a pleasant balance of flavors. It would be even better if the alcohol presence were more muted.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2012 16:59:36 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of eaglephile


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

Bottled 2010, drank 1-7-2012. Poured from bomber into a pint glass.

A: Agressive pour leaves one finger of a dark cream colored head. Beer is dark brown.

S: Smells amazing. Lots of chocolate and caramel in the nostrils. Only a slight hint of bourbon, which surprises me.

T: Sweet, chocolate flavors up front, quickly dominated by bourbon flavor. The bourbon flavor lingers, subsiding to hints of coffee.

M: Medium body, nice IMO for a stout, with light carbonation.

O: Pretty good bourbon stout, but would probably have benefited/mellowed from some aging.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 20:09:20 | More by eaglephile
Photo of t420o


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

Schlafly bourbon barrel aged imperial stout 

2008 vintage picked up from the brewery

Consumed: 10/15/2011 

A- aggressive pour yields a 1 finger light mocha head that dissapates quick leaving no lacing. Beer is very deep brown in color  4

S- deep rich bourbon, chocolate, coffee toffee,  slight floral scent,  smells very good 4  

T- definitely not as intense as I remembered it on tap at the brewery and likely because of the age on this one. Upfront is a bourbon chocolate goodness but the flavor is kind of weak. This is followed by some coffee, vanilla bean, and black licorice. Very good but I think it's past it's prime and I preferrred te fresher one. A very good beer nonetheless. 4 

M- a little light bodied. Light carbonation which is expected. 3

O- A little past it's prime but it was a pleasure to sip on nonetheless. I liked the mellowness but I preferrred it fresher. 3.5


Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 20:12:02 | More by t420o
Photo of smakawhat


3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hello!? What's this on a shelf? Vintage 2008 sitting all alone for 8.99? YOINK grabbing that! Into my Dogfish Head snifter you go!

A very short lived head that is light tan sitting on a dark walnut brown and red hued edge body. As dark as it is, it's farily see through and you can see some carbonation along the edges.

A nose of barleywine fruit cherry, mild faint roast, but very fruit forward smelling. It smells alright, but it's also a little hot and doesn't give the impression of a stout so much, it's lacking malt richness in particular.

Upon taste there is the similar notes taken from the nose, but the body is quite thin. A small lingering hop like dark fruit cherry, but not giving off much barrel aging character. Wet character as well on the palate.

Overall, this is not a bad tasting beer, but sort of a letdown for a barrel aged beer in this style I think.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 03:04:55 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Neorebel

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown into my pint glass. There is hardly any head on top. The aroma is sweeter than expected with hints of berry, dark chocolate, raisin, and a definite bourbon zing. There's some lacing present on the glass as it goes down, and the beer definitely coats the mouth fully as well. At first the body of it seems light, but the finish is a little 'hot' and boozy - an abundance of bourbon. Not such a bad thing, however. The flavor is similar to the aroma yet there are traces of vanilla I did not pick up until sipping. I would have liked more of a roasted malt character to come through stronger. All in all not bad at all though.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 02:09:04 | More by Neorebel
Photo of BeerResearcher


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

2008 Vintage.
Served in a Corsendonk Christmas goblet.
It pours a thick, spent motor oil with highlights of amber red poking through against the light. A thick 1” tannish head settles slowly leaving trails of lacing as it goes down.
Giant smells of chocolate and coffee brandy waif out. Smells of burnt malt, resinous hops, cut wood, prunes, dark rum and bourbon are right behind.
The flavors are bold and powerful. We have tastes of coffee brandy, dark chocolate, bourbon, resinous hops with a slight metallic tang and prunes.
The mouthfeel is slick, nearly oily, yet ever so gulpable. And when you do gulp, you’re rewarded with complex and full-flavored brew that will take the chill right out of the bones.
Just a super strong and tasty Bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 00:42:26 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of bitterbeerguy


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

Had this one last night and didn't have a chance to comment until this morning.

2008 Vintage

This brew pours an awesome super dark brown- pretty much as dark as it can be if brown. Hints of red stream through if held up to the light. Small bubbles, but definitely right for a beer like this- shouldn't feel like champagne!

Aroma is wonderful!!! Bourbon notes hit you right away and are followed by vanilla, and dark cherry. There is also a hint of coffee in the background

Taste was really, really great. I cannot compare to other vintages, but if this exemplifies how well these beers can age, then I need to get a case. Bourbon character hits you right away, no question. Smooth as hell though- not a bit of alcohol flavor in the least. Very warming. Vanilla was my favorite flavor in this, but I couldn't stop tasting the toffee and caramel which was not a bad thing.

I enjoyed this beer with a cigar- if you have a bottle of 2008 and like stogies- make time with a friend and enjoy this combo.

I need to find more of this!


Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 15:46:53 | More by bitterbeerguy
Photo of paxchristi


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap 12/15-- Schlafly Tap Room of 2011 batch.

Appearance: Opaque to the max with half finger of the darkest khaki head. Looks brutal!

Smell: Bourbon streams off the top of this one. Chocolate malts, coffees, vanilla, oak, coconut, and a huge barley bill.

Taste: This one was pretty powerful-- but oddly very drinkable. The oak was accentuated n the taste. Molasses.

Overall: ts way better on-tap than the bottle. ts awfully powerful and ts comparable to a great mpy le Founder's or a Russian impy like Raspy.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2011 19:49:04 | More by paxchristi
Photo of Pencible


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

A: This poured a nearly opaque black mahogany with a bit of light tan head.
S: It smelled like roasted coffee and toasted coconut and vanilla and rich dark chocolate, with a little oak and alcohol.
T: It tasted like roasted coffee and dark chocolate, with some molasses and toasted coconut and oak. It had a bittersweet aftertaste that was surprisingly mellow.
M: It was thick and chewy with a little carbonation. Nice full body.
D: This was a super well balanced bourbon stout that had a nice scent and taste. The body was great, and the alcohol was hidden pretty well, so it was crazy easy to drink. Less bourbon-y than a lot of other beers in this class, but still really tasty. Not quite my favorite of the style, but still recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 16:41:17 | More by Pencible
Photo of jjboesen


4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is Schlafy’s rendition (2008 Vintage) of an Imperial Russian Stout, aged in oaken bourbon barrels. It begins in a thick gooey slosh; it soon settles into a thin translucent film crowning a dark and impenetrable ruby body. This film will eventually disappear completely. There is a moderation of lacing.

As one would expect, there is a heavy snort of bourbon on the nose. Meanwhile, the palate is blanketed by a semi-sweet syrupy malt with subtle hints of caramel that fades into a comfortable warmth.

This is one RIS for the ages; it makes for the quintessential winter’s night quaff. It is a superlative stout that deserves respect for its complexity and time for its enjoyment. Seek it out and you will not be sorry.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 20:04:41 | More by jjboesen
Photo of waltersrj


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

2008 vintage into a HotD tulip.

Pour: Dark fudge chocolate brown body with a light tanned head that recedes into ringlets around the glass' edge.

Nose: Fudge brownie, vanilla, oak, coconut, slight hops, alcohol, and cherries.

Taste: Dark fudge at first, cherry cordial, vanilla and oak into mild bourbon alcohol heat, toasted coconut, and chocolate with a bakers chocolate finish.

Mouthfeel: light and under carbed but ok.

Overall: Great nose/taste but underwhelming mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 04:49:18 | More by waltersrj
Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from The Schlafly Tap Room
91 out of 100 based on 696 ratings.