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Schlafly Reserve - Barleywine Style Ale - The Schlafly Tap Room

Not Rated.
Schlafly Reserve - Barleywine Style AleSchlafly Reserve - Barleywine Style Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

477 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 477
Reviews: 258
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 12.85%
Wants: 42
Gots: 105 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: maxpower on 11-22-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

English-style Barleywine aged on Missouri white oak.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 477 | Reviews: 258
Photo of dar482
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A 2010 Vintage.

The beer offers sweet bourbon, toffee and carmael sweetness on the aroma.

The flavor hits with a pop of bourbon up front, then onto rich toffee sweetness, some spice from the bourbon that hits on the back end and the beer dries out. The beer offers a medium mouthfeel.

A decently complex beer that drinks above its rating.

Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large 2011 bottle.
Pours clear dark copper with a decent head.

A faint tart note along with low sweetness distinguished this from other barleywines in a tasting session.

O: Excellent but not superb in all respects.

Photo of Ohiovania
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage that has aged beautifully.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Bottle: Poured a brown color ale with a medium size off-white foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma consists of caramelized malt with some toffee notes and some residual sugar. Taste is also dominated by caramelized malt with some light toffee notes with quite a bit of residual sugar with light oak notes. Body is a bit light for style with medium carbonation and light warming alcohol. Not bad overall but too much residual sugar for my own taste.

Photo of Boto
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle: 2010 vintage. This one pours a hazy coppery color. Pretty much no head on it. This has a really nice nose. It’s got a bit of caramel malt, some vanilla, oak and some fruitiness also. The taste is also very good. It has a subdued sweetness from the caramel malt, notes of the vanilla, oak, some faint cherry. This is really an excellent barleywine.

Photo of hardy008
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage

Pours a copper color with a one finger light beige head, with good retention and spotty lacing. The aroma has caramel, citrus, oak, and vanilla. Smells nice.

Tastes sweet with caramel, toffee, citrus, vanilla, and dark cherries. The alcohol is noticeable, but not intrusive. Has a nice warming effect on a cold winter night.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation, with a caramel and toffee aftertaste. Overall a nice beer. Too bad it is listed as retired. I would like to try this again.

Photo of DrStiffington
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2010 vintage. Popped this baby open tonight. 3 years of age on it. Never had a fresh one so I really have nothing to compare it to, but oh well. Pours nicely into my tulip glass. Smells nicely of Barleywine-like stuff. Oak, vanilla, sweet caramel. Taste is similar, but has a little more booze flavor than I'd expect after three years. Mouthfeel very nice, thick and creamy. Overall very solid. Too bad this is retired.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle into a wine glass.

A: Pours a very hazy dark brown color. There's about one finger of off-white colored head that retains itself superbly given the strength. Not much lacing is left behind, though.

S: This is very woody, especially when it warms up. Before that, it's dominated by a ton of fruitiness - mainly cherries, figs, and raisins. There's also a leathery undercurrent. It's a bit simple for a barleywine, but it's quite solid otherwise. It becomes quite good when it opens up sufficiently, hence the semi-high score.

T: It starts off dominated by toasted oak. It finishes with a lot of oak flavor, too. Sandwiched between all the woodiness lies some decent dark fruit flavors in the middle. Another great feature is that it strikes a great balance between being not sweet and being not alcoholic. In fact, the finish is a touch bitter. It really improves once it warms up, but its lack of depth prevents me from giving it a 4+.

M: Soft, creamy, but a bit too carbonated. Again, any problems from the feel can be alleviated by just letting it sit: it loses its carbonation and improves in flavor. While it finishes dry, it still has a long, caramel-laden finish. Make no mistake, this is quite dangerous: there's no booze to get in the way of just sipping the hell out of this.

O: Upon first sips, it was about a 3.25: serviceable, but far from great. Let it reach room temperature, and it becomes a 3.75: not quite legendary, but incredibly good. For that reason, I'd gladly drink it again, and I might even buy another bottle if I see it on the shelf.

Photo of kbrown
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage purchased at the Brewpub while stopping through St. Louis after a family wedding in Catoosa, OK in May. Aged on 'new, medium toast Missouri Oak'.

Appearance- Brown bourbon color, clear with a retain white rim.

Smell- Cinnamon, fig, maple, caramel- overall sugary sweetness.

Taste- Toasted caramel malt all the way- in a good way. Not too sweet; balanced out nicely & surprisingly by the hops. Some needed fig & berry fruit in the middle to add complexity.

Mouthfeel- Caramel taste/feel slides on the front of tongue and then hits the back. Smooth.

Overall- Enjoyable. Not too syrupy or sweet like some other barleywines.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage; 750mL poured into 22oz snifter. Pours a deep ruby/garnet red with a moderate white head that fades quickly into a rim of foam, no lacing. Smell is boozy fruit; raisins, cherries, prunes...barrel character has oak and vanilla, slight tannin and bourbon. Poured a bit too cold, so I'll let it warm a bit before continuing. Now that it's warmed a bit, smell hasn't changed much although the sour notes are a bit more present. It's not undesirable, but it's not what I was expecting. As I pour a bit more into the snifter, some lightly bitter herbal hops are detectable riding on the booze. Moving on to taste; alcohol hits the palate first, carrying some tart cherry and plum. Some vague barrel/oak character next, with oaky vanilla and lighter sweetness hiding beneath the sour. The sour flavors fade in and out, and seem to be diminishing as it warms further. Mouthfeel isn't extremely full but seems to be sticky and dry at the same time.
Overall, I'm not crazy about the sour character in this beer; reading other reviews I don't see anything about that, so maybe I got a bottle that had gone a bit lactic. It's still not bad; sour barleywines are a thing; it's just not what I was expecting. I'd certainly pick a few of these up again and see how it fares fresh, and with even more age on it.

Photo of mntlover
2.92/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

Pours a reddish brown with a nice two finger tan head, it falls to a ring. Some light lace left behind not as much as the head would suggest.

Aroma is nice, dark fruits that are over ripe good barrel notes nice vanilla alcohol notes mingled underneath it all. Smells lightly boozy which is fine but not as huge in the malt department as you would expect.

Taste is little hot alcohol notes upfront dark fruits and plenty of barrel notes. Seems little simple and not in a good way. No great big malt flavors that are even present in American Barleywine might less English ones. Just little one sided.

Mouthfeel alcohol makes it seem lighter then it probably is, carbonation is good though.

Overall blah wouldn't even recommend trying this one. Sad it smelled alright not great but alright.

Photo of rudzud
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2009 Vintage, recieved as an extra in a trade.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a dark coppery red hue with a one finger earthy head that faded to a thin halo and light wisps.

S - Strong sweet malts, brown sugar, dark fruit, caramel, toffee, SUPER light oak.

T - Taste is pretty solid for what it is. Nice caramel and toffee with some light soft vanilla and sweet malts rounding everything out. Light bourbon, brown sugar. Its quite tasty for what it is.

M - Mouthfeel is solid for the style. Not nearly as boozy as I thought it would be.

O - Not a bad barleywine. Think its a good "starter" for ones cellar, as its somewhat easily attainable. For those with a deep cellar though its really not worth the space. I have a bottle of 07 down there as well. Wonder how that is.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a teku)
A- This beer pours a dense deep caramel body that glows a bit garnet at the base and a sticky beige film is supported by a few slow strands of microbubbles trailing up the sides of the glass

S- The caramel malt has a toasted oak note in the finish with some fresh sawn oak qualities growing as it opens.

T- The rich slightly dry caramel malt blends with some green wood notes and a slight tartness in the finish. There is a nice woody oak flavor and some pine hops nip in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a tight little fizz and no real alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer is luscious but a bit dry and tart in the finish. It has a nice full support of oak and hops which add good depth to the beer.

Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep ruby two finger head, not much carbonation.

S-Caramel, coconut oak and molasses.

T-Similar to the nose, oak, molasses, caramel, tad bit of coconut and slight bitterness.

M-Medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

O-A good barleywine, nothing stood out as amazing though. Very enjoyable and no glaring flaws, just not great.

Photo of Jimmys
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. 750mL kept at in box and at cellar conditions since 2010. poured into taster.

A: pours pretty clear. light, more of an amber than a copper hue. looks flat.

S: smooth, more oak than bourbon, maybe no bourbon at all. caramel and toffee. sweet, smells more like a doppel or scotch than a barleywine. mild fruit.

T: no heat, super smooth. a bit of toffee, slight diacetyl. a little bit of smoke. slight scotch flavor. complex, all over the place.

M: mellow, carb is a little low. full bodied.

D: definitely smooth, time has helped mellow any heat this body has once had. may have picked up a little diacetyl over time as well. anyone still hanging on to this puppy should go ahead and drink it.

Photo of jzeilinger
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a 2007 bottle vintage.

A - Pours dark copper red hue with active, moderate carbonation and a frothy off white colored head that doesn't subside and just hangs out on top. The foam clings to the side of the tulip glass like cotton candy.

S - Caramel, toffee, light toasted oak, very light alcohol, brown sugar, and candied dark fruit. The alcohol presence that many speak of with the newer vintages is completely gone and presents a mellow, candied malt presence that's very inviting.

T - Toasted oak is prevalent up front and then throughout where it morphs into a dry oak and light alcohol, and a roasted caramel toffee finish. Bourbon, vanilla, candied dark fruit, and brown sugar are also present.

M - Heavy medium to full body, slick, sticky, and coats the mouth with oak, toffee, and candied dark fruit. Leaves a dark fruit and somewhat syrupy coating.

O - A gracefully aged bottle that was opened at the right time. I think 5-6 years on this bottle was good and would like to acquire 4-5 more from the latest vintage and crack one/year to track how it ages.

Photo of Steamer
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into an over-sized wine glass. Nice dark amber color with a light tan head that dissipates quickly. The smell of alcohol hits the nose rather strong overpowering other aromas somewhat. Tart and dry plum is the first flavor that comes through, the alcohol taste follows then subsides and the plum comes back through. Carbonation comes on a little strong in the middle. Overall, a pretty good barley-wine. I will purchase another and try aging it a year or so to see if it improves the balance.

Photo of Odysseyalien
3.16/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2009 vintage opened New Year’s Eve 2012. I opened this bottle with an open mind thinking I might actually like it. It was fine except for the bitter finish. That killed it for me and turned me off to it. I poured the balance of the bottle down the sink. I have the new 2012 vintage now in the cellar aging. Hopefully it will be an improvement from the 2009.

Photo of 1fastz28
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from my brother as a Christmas gift. Pours a cloudy amber color without much head at all, little carbonation is present. Nose is complex, has hints of cranberries in it. Taste is strong of alcohol, it is a very dominate feature of this beer, but at 10% its to be expected. Once you get past the sting you have an aftertaste that is hard to describe, i cannot put my finger on it. Mouthfeel is rich and thick. Overall this is a good beer, but i do not think Barleywine's are a style that i can appreciate.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Bottle. Wow - almost 5 years old.

Pours medium brown with a slight head that disappears. Some slight lace and some alcohol tears.

Rich dark fruit, dates and figs, some brown bread in the nose, hint of alcohol.

Dark fruit, brown breadcrust bitterness balanced with sweet malt with some slight nutty notes in the aftertaste. Vanilla, some alcohol, a bit of toffee round this one out. This drinks like a fruity candy bar. Alcohol clears the palate but does not get in the way.

Full bodied and mouth coating. A real winner and aged just right. Not hot at all. Found in on the shelf this age, and I was lucky.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 release poured from a 750ml bottle into snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep coppery brown color thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, bourbon, caramelized malts, some fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and fruit. Then a hearty malt character comes in. There’s a complementary creamy oak essence in the background. The hops presence is decent and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to sip on for a long time and it seems to have held up well for over 5 years.

Photo of Chaney
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Reserve served in a Schlafly tulip.

A: Poured almost a beet red color, very cloudy, and with a nice finger or so head that still managed to stay a miniature toxic waste dump on top of the liquid below it.

S: Lots of candi sugar, along with some apple, oak, and plums. So far, this is not a hop bomb, nor is it a dank, dark beer. Really nice!

T: Smooth in terms of bitterness (not much hop left, after all is said and done) sugary, oaky, and almost complete devoid of a fruit component whatsoever. Also, this was really missing that "Ahhh" factor on the finish. On the great BWs, even though they are heavy and meant to be sipped, there is a certain refreshing bookend to the finish. That was sorely lacking here.

M: Thick, sugary, syrupy, but not boozy. I got a minor prickle from the carbonation, which was totally appropriate, but I got quite a bit of solvent on the tail end which I didn't find desirable.

O: This beer was off to a great start, but to my mind, it wasn't worth the 5-year wait.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the brewpub in St Louis, reviews from notes.

A: half finger head without lacing on a clear, deep amber body.

S: smokey, lots of caramel malt, burnt toast, resin and toffee.

T: oak, caramel and toasted malts, brown sugar, light candied fruit.

M:medium body an moderate carbonation .

Overall: nice aroma, full flavored and complex and easier to drink than many barleywines, even for an English barleywine.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

not sure if this is the right one, the list said vintage barleywine from 2010, aged in oak barrels, not on oak chips, but i dont see the other, this is reserve series too, and how many damn barleywines can one place make at 10.2% abv right. it must be this one. pours a real redish color, hazy and ruby glowing, brown just a tad, and a smallish but sturdy and lasting off white head. the nose is oaky as hell, dark dried fruity, and real alcoholic. some dates and figs or something come in to rock the flavor and round it out. some spice too on the back end, and a brown sugar sweetness that is quite memorable. the oak is the lasting flavor for me, fresh and strong, like the white oak from the bruery, really, its that good. a big barleywine too, lots of body, lots of bubbles, and lots of booze. the three b's right? overall a beer you should share, the dried fruit and date thing gives it an almost indian feel or something. the nose is the best part, but the whole thing will delight any discerning palate. get it.

Photo of cvm4
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage

A - Pours a deep copper that's somewhat clear and a very light brown head.

S - Toffee, bready malts, vanilla and oak.

T - Good helping of malt, leather, vanilla, tangy oak and also with some light hops on the finish.

M - Thinner body than expected, good amount of carbonation.

O - It's good, but not top tier good. Would easily grab this over some other barley wines.

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Schlafly Reserve - Barleywine Style Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
89 out of 100 based on 477 ratings.