Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

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

257 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 257
Hads: 485
Avg: 3.98
pDev: 12.81%
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Schlafly Reserve - Barleywine Style Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 257 | Hads: 485
Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap into snifted at the taproom in stl. Pours a deep ruby brown with slight tan head. The board says "vintage barleywine" im not sure if its the same but the abv matches. This is a 2010 vintage age over a year in new oak barrels.

Great sweet toffee dried fruit aromas. Some earthy wood.
Taste is just fantastic. Amazing toffee and a lot of dried fruit and grape vine and oak. Marshmallow and chocolate notes. Wow. Super easy to drink and just amazing flavor. Such a good brew!

 491 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.26/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 vintage.

Pours a light amber with purple tones and a haze. A thick bubbly off-white head retains pretty well leaving good lace, impressive for the age/alcohol content.

Smell is straight up grapes, with bread, sweet malts and more fruit coming out with warmth. Reminds me of fermented fruit juice.

Taste brings out more flavor. Red grapes first and foremost, toffee, light+dark fruits, toasted oak, bread+butter malt, apple?, notes of white and red wine. Very sweet and fruity.

Slick mouthfeel with medium carbonation, a bit thin for a barleywine. Feels big not too bad as far as booziness goes.

This is quite an odd barleywine, not sure if the age has come into play here, but the big ol grape presence threw me off. It'd probably be best to split this 4-5 ways.

 772 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.16/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2008 vintage thanks to Chico1985.

A- Orange-red body to a beer poured into a pint glass. Big creamy white head has good retention and a nice texture. Good webs of lace around the glass.

S- A sweet raisin and grape fruit feel is the main thing in the aroma for me, wine-like. Vanilla, toffee and oak provide a nice backing to the fruits.

T- Grapes and that wine profile make up the main flavor for me, it was dominant to begin with but seems to mellow after a few sips. The addition of oak provides a nice vanilla and toasty wood presence which only gets better with each sip. Bread, yeast spice and sweets as well.

MF- Very thinned out for a Barleywine, doesn't provide that thick oily body. Carbonation is moderate and there is a spicy bitterness. A bit watery.

Definitely unique for a Barleywine, thinner and more fruity than most. The oak is the best thing about this one.

 880 characters

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.

 849 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 10/02/12 notes. Had a 2008 vintage of this last night at Rattle n Hum in NYC at their Rare Beer event. Sampled after a bottle of BA Old Ruffian.

a - Pours a hazy dark amber-orange color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel, toffee, bourbon, bready malts, toasted malts, burnt malts, oak, and some vanilla. Rerally amazing nose; tons of toffee, bourbon, and vanilla, with no real alcohol heat to it at all. Fantastic nose.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, dark fruits, sweet molasses, bourbon, vanilla, oak, bready malts, and alcohol. A little sweeter and a little more alcohol to it, though still quite nice.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, body is very very smooth and creamy. Easy to drink considering the ABV; doesn't feel like 10.2% ABV.

o - Overall a really nice BA barleywine; this one has aged quite nicely. While the BA Old Ruffian was superior to this one, the nose and mouthfeel were both fantastic. Considering this isn't that expensive off the shelves and is easy to find, I will definitely be grabbing a few of these and their BA stout this winter to stash away for a few years.

 1,162 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2011 edition from the bottle. Served in my 20oz imperial pint glass from Schlafly.

Pours a gorgeous amber-copper color, a little cloudy with tons of very fine rising bubbles, a good one finger head that lasted forever and left nice lacing.

Smell is excellent on this bottle, great fruitiness, gobs of malt, leather and tobacco, no alcohol on this batch, just plain wonderful, I can't stop sniffing the glass.

Taste is very, very good. I think the 2011 batch is the best I've had yet. There's a lot of the same characteristics from the smell, especially the fruity flavors, the pungent maltiness, and some great bitter hop balance.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the dry side for a barleywine, but the carbonation is silky and smooth, and it's pretty drinkable. There's a notable alcohol warming that finishes you off as you put this one away. Definitely a stay-at-home bottle of barleywine. You might not even get out of your chair after this one. Although it's august right now, this is definitely more of a winter sipper.

Even though this bottle is less than two years old, it's excellent. I suspect it could age forever and still remain excellent, but I was in a barleywine mood and this was what was on hand, so I drank it. Once again, I am not disappointed. Schlafly's premium bottles have never disappointed me, and they certainly make an excellent barleywine too.

I think that either Schlafly's barleywine is getting better every year, or I'm liking barleywine more and more every year, or possibly both. Why ask why? Just enjoy it. This ain't no punk beer, so barleywine fans look out, and everyone else beware.

 1,620 characters

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

2011 Vintage.

Colour is somewhere between a dark ruby red and a chestnut brown. Relatively large off-white head. Decent retention and lacing.

Smell is fairly sweet. Brown sugar, oak, dark fruit (plum, raisin, grape), toffee.

Taste is a bit of a surprise after the nose. The oak is stronger, and by far the dominant flavour is butterscotch. Brown sugar is still there, fruit flavours are toned way down. Vanilla is present. This one is all about the malt, huge butterscotch/toffee flavour. Some bittering hops.

Full bodied, but thinner than expected. Moderate carbonation, on the higher end. Sticky. Booze is not that present, despite the strength and the fact that this bottle is less than a year old.

Overall, good. Not a killer, and the butterscotch flavour is a little intense to drink too much of, but good.

 818 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky amber color with a white head. Nose of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, and mild fruit. There is a fair amount of oak and vanilla, too. The taste is very sweet. Tons of sugar notes, caramel, and toffee. A nice note of vanilla with some light oak, too. There’s a light citrus hop character on the finish, but I wouldn’t mind more.

 351 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into founders snifter.
2008 vintage. (reviewed July 4th , 2012)

So no oxidation notes, which is nice to notice right off the bat.
Very clear body-- seems like this must have been aged on oak spirals instead of a barrel. Reddish plum-colored body sits with a one-finger crown of light tan foam perched atop it.
Surprisingly nice retention... Even good lacing.

Smells a little nutty-- like "tawny port" nutty. Some decent sweetness with a touch of brown sugar and caramel and a nice English toffee note up front before a dry toffee-laden bitterness rules the finish. The oak really dries it out-- it almost works for me but it's still a bit too sharp.

Feels a little thin. Syrupy at the same time.

Overall-- this is not bad. It's holding up very well. I could see this beer hanging on another 2 or 3 years if cellared properly. I honestly wish this beer had been barrel aged. I think that the notes of bourbon, vanilla, and charred oak would REALLY add a tremendous amount here. As it is, everything is in good proportion flavorwise, but all aspects are just a touch muted.
It is solid. Especially for the availability and price.
I'm glad I have a few more bottles.

 1,189 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle.

A: medium-deep amber, head foams but reduced to a collar of bubbles; quick swirls coughs up a nice foam sheen

S: caramel malts, toffee, some bourbon/whiskey kinda aromas

T: sweet vanilla caramel and honey over pale booze-soaked fruit, rich malt and crisp hops; some oak wood on the finish

M: medium bodied, creamy with some stick, slightly drier finish than some barleywines (especially for the English sort)

O: I found this delightful - being a barleywine fan, I'd recommend this if you see it - I'd compare it to a Uinta, Mad River or Alesmith barleywine.

 576 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, 2008 vintage. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a dark copper/brown color with about a half inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. Aroma is sweet and malty, the brew smells like dark fruit (raisins, figs), brown sugar, caramel, oak and some vanilla. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some candied oranges and coconut. There's also a nice lingering sweet finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and creamy, and has low/moderate carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew, I might have to pick up another bottle of this soon.

 613 characters

Photo of TCMike
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet. It produced a 1 finger beige head, which dissipated quick. The color was a dark copper.

The aroma is of dark fruit, alcohol, and wood.

The taste is similar, but with added sweetness of brown sugar? The taste isn't as overwhelming as I had anticipated. Its well balance, and doesn't have any noticeable hop bitterness.

Very good sipper.

 361 characters

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.

 573 characters

Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2007:

Darker copper color with a thin layer of tan foam and some lace.

The smell is mostly very sweet malt. A touch of hops in there also.

Lots of malty sweetness. Brown sugar, caramelized sugar. After five years, still pretty hoppy, especially on the end. Some moderate bitterness from the hops and just a hint of vanilla at the end from the oak.

Very smooth with a mildly sticky feel and a dry finish.

A nice beer that has aged well. The oak is ever so subtle in the beer which was a bit of a disappointment. Overall tasty, but nothing extraordinary.

 565 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

(A)- Pours a nice reddish chestnut color. Some tan bubbles.

(S)- A nice rich profile of caramel, toffee, fig, and a dry oaky finish.

(T)- Quite a nice rich profile. Tobacco, fig, caramel, and toffee profile. Bits of dry oak and vanilla at the end.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level to it. A nice rich balance to it as well. A tad hot, but otherwise a nice feel to it.

(D)- Overall, a great barrel character to it. Nice rich flavor. Quite the barleywine despite its age; could go even longer age-wise for sure.

 562 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle pour provided by myself at the blind barrel aged barleywine tasting hosted by DarthKostrizer.

Thanks to dazedandconfused for sending me this one!

2010 vintage.

Pours a clear orange-brown with a beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and alcohol. Taste is of malt, brown sugar, and some very woody flavors. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average barleywine that seems to be put together poorly.

 583 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 1/2011 notes. Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a slightly cloudy red amber. Minimal head, but the ring leaves some lacing. Strong sweet malt, caramel and oak aroma. Sweet malt, caramel, dark fruits and oak flavors. Finishes with light hops and oak with some booziness. Not overly complex, but well integrated and mellow. A nice oaked barleywine.

 368 characters

Photo of billab914
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage poured from a 750ml bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured a dark caramel color with a thin, bubbly head that quickly disappeared.

The aroma has a rich, caramel, dark fruit presence to it but it's pretty light on any barrel aged character. I get a little bit of hoppiness to it, but it definitely takes a backseat to the malty, caramel flavors. It's a pretty smooth and appealing aroma for the style though.

The taste shows more of the barrel character to it with the woody oak really showing through in the finish. A moderate bourbon flavor is present along with some vanilla. The rich, malty, flavor is complimented well by the barrel.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Overall it was a very good beer. The woody oak, vanilla and bourbon complimented the beer very nicely. Everything came together pretty nicely in it. Very nice beer to sip on this evening.

 907 characters

Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep garnet with a bit of haze. One finger off white head. Nose has an smoked strawberry jam like presence, with notes of molasses, chocolate, deep caramel, and rich dark malts.

Wow, unique taste indeed. With a noticeable tartness on the first sip. Surprisingly lighter in body than expected (not that this beers body is in anyway light) but lots more carbonation than expected as well. Grain husk and grape jam upfront. Big caramel sweetness rolls along the tongue. Toffee and strawberries along with other dark fruits round out the massive malt body.

Cloying sweetness is avoided with a noticeable hop finish. A touch of smoke and oak only add to the balance of this big beer. Taste like a deep forest of dark berries, fruity, floral, and savory all at once.

For a young barley wine the flavors are pretty well blended into one complicated sip. Something that most barleywines dont achieve until a year of age. Not that this beer is incredibly smooth, it still slaps your tongue around. But it's one of the more well blended fresh barley wines I've had. I'd love to see what a year would do to this.

For hop lovers I'd drink it fresh as the hops do play into the beer very well. I can see this monster letting the malt take over rather soon though.

 1,264 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear dark copper with ½” fine off-white head and some columns of carbonation. Puts up a lasting film on the glass.

Gives off a light, oaky bourbon with rich aromas of plum pudding and nuts.

Overall, well balanced, but leans toward the sweet on entry. Dark fruits with some bitterness and a hint of bourbon. The alcohol is clear, though far less than 10% would suggest. The finish is lightly acidic with a hint of wheat bread.

A medium to full body with smooth texture and moderate carbonation. Alcohol is drying and this vintage 2007 is quite mellow. There is lots of residual stickiness on the lips.

This sipping beer is easily approachable with a cigar and conversation but would also work with a meal.

 718 characters

Photo of claspada
3.32/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 bottle.

Pours a viscous hazy brownish amber color. No light can escape actually. Zero head which is unfortunate. A millimeter of white foam/cap, but it's pretty weak.

Aromas are quite typical of the style; light caramel sweetness, golden syrup, citrus peel and just an additional bit of dried fruitiness along with a prominent oakiness and even some fusel alcohol wafting around in the nose.

The tastes begin with caramelized malts layered in sweet, sticky treacle. Leafy, citrusy dose of hops deliver a fair amount of bitterness. Hint of golden raisins. The moderate oak wood character imparts some vanilla, just a touch of tannins and an overall dryness to the brew that carries you to the warming finish. Fusel alcohol flavors emerge more as it warms and becomes quite undrinkable to be honest.

The mouthfeel is quite thick to say the least. There is a mild-low level of carbonation. Finish is overly sweet for my taste and I am a barleywine/old ale fan.

Overall, this is not my first rodeo with this beer. I sampled this at Savor 3 years ago and I enjoyed it then, but my palate has become more refined since then. It's too one dimensional and sweet with not enough balance overall.

 1,197 characters

Photo of kennylopez
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 2010, 25.4oz bottle into a DFH goblet.

Appearance: a dark amber color with a off white head that leaves little traces of lacing.

Smells: a dark fruit smell with a mild bourbon note and a sweet hint.

Tastes: there is a smooth caramel/vanilla bourbon base with a fresh barley and little hop taste.

Mouthfeel: this is not such a carbonated barleywine, but the oak characteristics mellow the 10.2% great.

Overall: I just picked up quite a few bottles because Schlafly's reserve Imperial stout is yummy, and I knew this would be in the same ball park which it is. Great Job Again Schlafly

 603 characters

Photo of beveritt
4.59/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from 750 ml brown bottle with screen printed label into a Duvel chalice. This bottle is from 2008, picked it up in TN on a trip south a year or so back.

Appearance: Pours with 1/2 finger of medium tan head. This settles, eventually leaving behind the island of foam above the nucleation point as well as a ring around the glass.The beer itself is muddy brown and completely opaque.

Smell: Intense aroma; sweet caramel malt with strong notes of apricots and an oaky, tannic finish. Quite possibly one of the best smelling beers I have had the pleasure of sniffing!

Taste: Sweet caramel malt upfront with undertones of strawberries and apricots. Hints of honey in the bready malt. Finishes with an impressively high hop bitterness, especially considering its 3-4 year age.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is great; incredibly thick and viscous.

Drinkability: A great barleywine; one of my favorite. Which is good, because a 750 is a lot for one guy.

 984 characters

Photo of zep9865
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into new Belgium snifter. Pours a brownish-amber with a quarter-Inch of foam head that leaves a little bit of lacing.

Lots of dark fruit on the nose. Raisins, apricot, vanilla and bourbon. Smell is very smooth with very little detection of alcohol.

Beer is very rich with lots of dark fruit, bread, bourbon, and a little bit of booze.

Beer is very smooth from nose to mid-palate to backbone with lots of nuances.

Very surprised with this beer. Great effort from Schlafly that I will surely buy to share with the fam

 527 characters

Photo of aasher
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle is the 2008 vintage. This beer pours a medium bodied and decently syrupy orangish brown in clor with a thin white lacing around the glass. The aromas are very sweet yet complex. It smells of sweet cherriies, sweet peaches, bubblegum, and just has a fresh fruitiness about it. The favors consist of oak, a fresh fruit cocktail, slight butter from the oaking, and some alcohol. It's nice but doesn't have the punch that the nose has. It drinks medium in body and is sweet but not too sweet. For an aged barley wine it's very solid.

 541 characters

Schlafly Reserve - Barleywine Style Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
89 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.