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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.
very good

258 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 258
Hads: 486
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 17.59%
Wants: 42
Gots: 105 | FT: 4
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 258 | Hads: 486
Reviews by smakawhat:
Photo of smakawhat
3.23/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at DC bottle share at Smoke & Barrel. Vintage 2011, from notes.

A nice mild creamy top, thin bubbles make up the puck produced. Clear red amber body with a hint of chestnut like brown. Solid.

Nose doesn't bring much going on. Very subtle slight stickiness with some mild caramel. Not much else going on here, but pleasant.

Palate seems to match the nose with the mild malt caramel sense, nothing syrupy or thick. There's a faint liquor sense of cinnamon toast going on but also there's some strange sour astringency going on by just a "hair" too. Palate feel is slightly wet without much to cary flavor forward for what little there is.

Overall it's ok, but it's not really impressive at all and doesn't bring much to remember. It almost feels like it's past its prime for something only one year old.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mojohawk21
1/5  rDev -74.9%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.21/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue I:

2007 Vintage

Aged in both American and French oak barrels. A proper two fingers of head rises with a firm pour, clear and tawny. Clean aroma for the most part, some very mild fusel alcohol is clouded by sweet caramel malt and a crisp snap of wood. Full bodied with a very creamy mouthfeel, massive caramel and bready flavors from the malt. Hop bitterness is modest, yet does lay down a balancing bitterness that seems to couple with the drying oak character. The alcohol comes across a tad hot with fusel and vague tropical-fruit flavors. Finishes semi-dry with a solid oak flavor, perhaps with some biscuity grain and certainly the warmth from the alcohol.

The brewery says it will age well for several years or it is ready to drink now. This all depends on if you like the alcohol to be mellow or a little hot. Our preference would be to age the beer at least a year, but drinking it now is not a bad thing.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage.

Pours an amber orange with fairly nice clarity. Small head of tight light tan bubbles. Aromas of bready / fruity sweet malt upfront. Oak stave accents move into spicy yeast with nutty roasted scents. Hops are there but mellowed in the background.

First sip is fruity, roasty, nutty and bready malts. Flows down somewhat spicy with a touch of oak flavor melding in as well. Hops bring some bitterness but it does fight against the malt forward beer. Finishes rich with a lingering oak flavor.

Medium bodied mouthfeel that ends up being not overly heavy for a barleywine. Quite drinkable for the ABV, but I think the bottle is best shared with friends. A nice twist on a barleywine and I enjoy the oak aging instead of the more commonplace bourbon aging.

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Photo of cschepers
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Schlafly Barleywine

25.4 oz. bomber --> pint glass. Initial pour is way too cold for style, but I'm taking my time with this, so it'll warm as I go.

a - Cloudy red-brown. Cream-colored head, some sticking. Aggressive pour brings out a nice two-finger head. Pretty much no lacing as its drunk.

s - Pine, yeast, clove, sweet citrus rind (lemon?). Very nice smelling.

t - Big sweet malt. Very smooth sticky sweetness.. honey-like. pine & citrus (more orange than grapefruit) hops really round it out nicely. Bits of mediciney clove, vanilla, & oak float here & there. The hops stick around a bit longer than the malt. Some bourbon comes out as the beer warms. a bit boozy, but not overly so. Really nice vanilla extract taste in the aftertaste as it warms. Man, that's nice.

m - Decent carbonation, but not quite enough to balance out all the malt & hops. Really sticky sweet.. I'm not getting the dryness that others are mentioning.

d - Good for a big barleywine, but its hard to drink all that much of this. One bomber is going to be plenty enough for me. If all the malt & hops don't get me, the high alcohol will.

Has definitely aged well, a little less drinkable than the 2006, but this retains its kick-in-the-sack-and-sandbag-over-the-head barleywine character. Good barleywine. I have another bottle waiting for me next year.. need to buy a few bottles of the '08 so I can keep the whole cool vertical-tasting thing going.

Not part of the review, but for comparison, some quick notes from my bottle of '06:

2006 schlafly barleywine opened Dec 24, 2008 --> ugly stemless wine glass at my parents' house.

a - Copper penny colored, surprisingly good head for 2 years in the bottle in the basement. Nice lacing.

s - Dark fruit in nose, some phenols.

t - Malt almost disappeared, hops subdued, the booziness is completely gone. Real smooth taste, but a bit on the thin side. Still good carbonation.

m - Mouthfeel is still a bit cloying, a bit of sweetness left over.

d - Alcohol is completely hidden in taste, but hits like a freaking 2x4. Wow. Don't think I could finish a whole bomber of this by myself, glad I have help.

This one's been aged 2 years... I'd have to say, this one was easier to drink than the '07, but I think that's because the hop character is really subdued and the body seems thin. Really, at this point it tastes more like an English Old Ale cranked up to 11 than a barleywine. Good and very very drinkable, but a bit disappointing all things considering.

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Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of merlin48
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, 2007 edition. Pours a clear copper body with a creamy beige head. Sticky lacing adheres to the snifter in sheets.

Aroma is bready and toasty with oaky vanilla and some raisins.

Mouthfeel is quite good, with a nearly full body, subdued carbonation and a lot of creaminess.

Taste, like the aroma, is toasty and bready. Not as malty as expected but caramel plays a central role. Alcohol is well hidden but for appropriate warming. Hops aren't assertive but lend a pleasant balancing bitterness. Plenty of oak presence in this one, adding an interesting woodiness.

Very nicely done. I'm interested to see how this does with a couple years of aging.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

2007 vintage. Pours a cloudy brown with no head. The smell is strong on the caramel malt with some oak character. No hops are detectable. Wow, is the flavor ever different than the smell. Where was all of that vanilla hiding? In addition to vanilla, you also get some oak, caramel malt and some alcohol, but the vanilla is the star of the show. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. Excellent barleywine and one of the most unique I have had.

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Photo of sm0key
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Vancer for this bottle for the BA Anny Club. I got a second bottle from boolshot which I may age a bit. Amber pour with a slight head. Smells of the barrel aging, malt, and booze. Malty with some sweetness in taste. Mouthfeel is smooth but it has a slight burn from the 10.5% ABV. A nice barleywine. I am curious to see how this ages.


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Photo of beepthebot
1/5  rDev -74.9%

Photo of virinow
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of ehammond1
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2010)

Thanks for providing this one, UCLABrewN84!

Blind Tasting and Review

(Aged for 1+ year)

Dark rust in color with a small dark khaki colored head that leaves small dots of stick down the glass.

Simple, though pleasant enough, aroma of caramel, toffee, butterscotch, and oak.

The flavor is similar, with the sweet and bready malts accented by alcohol playing the dominant roles in the beer's flavor. Barrel treatment is minimal in flavor.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Appropriate.

Unexciting, though not flawed. Above average example of the style.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.74/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of valkyre65
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of OStrungT
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a golden brown color with a slight red tint. It boasts a thick off white head that fades slowly, leaving few laces.

This beer has a sweet caramel aroma. I smell some vanilla. Also, some woody aroma is present. Slight honey aroma as well. It has a slight floral hop aroma. It has a slight burbon aroma.

This beer tastes muck like it smells. It has so many flavors. Caramel sweetness up front. Vanilla and wood from the oak. A slight burbon flavor is present.

This beer is very full bodied. It goes down smooth, leaving a sweet caramel aftertaste. It is low in carbonation.

I think this beer would not be the best session beer. It is very strong, and it is high in alcohol.

Overall: Thanks so much to karst for hooking me up with this gem. I liked it a lot.

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Photo of glid02
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy reddish-brown color with a one-finger off-white head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with surprisingly pungent oak and fruit aromas. This was served at a temperature a bit warmer than it probably should have been, so there's also a good deal of booze wafting out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sticky caramel malt flavors up front, followed by mild fruit flavors and a hint of vanilla. After the second sip the oak flavors really pick up with almost bourbon-like qualities coming out.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very nice thickness with unobtrusive carbonation that makes this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass with no problem and would have no qualms having a few more.

Overall this was a very well done barleywine. It wasn't hoppy, but it also avoided being too sweet. Worth a shot.

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Photo of drn
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of pwoods
4.57/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 capped brown bottle, purchased from Party Town, poured into a tulip. Bottle from '07

A: Pours a glowing amber-orange with some deeper tinting. Medium head forms a bit frothy but has some retention before falling out. Leaves basically no lacing.

S: Lots of alcoholic dark fruits. Alcohol isn't too pungent or sharp, but nicely aged. American hops have been dulled and rounded out. Sweet but balanced.

T/M: Very tasty. The oak has done very nicely. Woody and earthy, a touch of the standard vanilla mixes in well with the pleasantly sweet malts. The alcohol has definitely gained further depth from the wood as well. The hops have a bit of bitterness left in them but have mostly rounded out and melded together nicely to make a wonderful boozy, fruity concoction. Cherries, fleshy plums, tangerines, mango, maybe a touch of less-acidic-than-average grapefruit. Body is medium full with smooth carbonation.

D: ABV is up there a bit, as is normal for the style, and the alcohol is proudly part of the mix, but pleasantly so. Drinkability could be dangerous :)

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.13/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2006 Vintage.

Deep amber tea colored...foggy...with a nice off white head that seems to stick around a long time and leave sticky lacing in it's wake.

Aromas are brown sugar sweet amber malts with only a hint of oak...maybe some mincemeat.

Taste us sweetly candied dark malts with brown sugar, dark raisins and other dark fruits, and only a hint of oak or maybe boubon.

Still too sweet and lacking a comforting balance to be either drinkable or even 'enjoyable' for more than merely a glass.

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Photo of Stokes_
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2007 vintage. Thanks to xmarcnolanx for this one.

Pours a clear amber/ruby with a big white frothy head. Smell is hop dominant but malts are clearly present, some unique sort of woody smell in here too. This is oak aged, but it smells like maybe the barrels were fresh wood, unused. This is a very crisp and clean american barleywine with great flavor. citrus/pine hops are nice and clean, but not rip your palate into thirds type of hoppiness. Very very balanced with the malts. There is a kind of light flavor to this which i dig. Hop flavors rise on the finish and aftertaste, and the wood also makes its presence known here much more than in the nose. mouthfeel is on the thin side of things, but still very nice. The abv is absolutely undetectable here. This could be the smoothest american barleywine I've had. Very drinkable. Great, great beer! can't wait to see how the other bottle develops. Can't wait to try the impy stout! Radical. Props to Schlafly and a big thanks to marc for this one!

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Schlafly Reserve - Barleywine Style Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
89 out of 100 based on 258 ratings.