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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

471 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 471
Reviews: 257
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 13.1%
Wants: 41
Gots: 99 | 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: Vancer on 12-31-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

English-style Barleywine aged on Missouri white oak.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 471 | Reviews: 257 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GbVDave
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a capped 750ml bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to HOMEBREWHAWK for the trade and hook up!

2007 version

A: Pours a hazy ruby-brown color. Off-white/eggshell colored head sadly leaves only a tiny amount of lace.

S: Aromas of vanilla, caramel, coconut, toasted nuts, toffee, and caramel apple. Delicious!

T: See everything above and then add the incredible flavor of alcohol soaked over-ripe dark fruit.

M: Sticky, spicy, sweet, with a compelling dryness. Touch of alcohol vapor.

D: Incredible! Covers all ends of the Barleywine spectrum. One of Heathers' favorites!

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Burgandy color; looks like cranberry juice. White head that fades to a collared skim and leaves foamy legs that trickle down the glass like a glacier.

Toasted bread (from the oak barrels?) and fruit salad aroma. Super fruity with cherries, mango and a white zin alcohol.

The taste is, again, superfruity with sweet mangos and passion fruit complimented by almond nuttyness. Body is a bit thin but creamy and pleasant nonetheless.

With it's subtle alcoholic presence and oak barrel influence to guide the dominant fruit flavors this is arguably the best barleywine I've had to date.

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

capped 750ml bottle, 2008 vintage

Pours an amazing color, orange, brown with an attractive glow and a small white head, a truly wonderful looking beer. Layered aroma, rum barrel, plum notes, very sweet malt, subtle spiciness, a bit of booze and barrel aromatics, not so much vanilla though which is weird being this was aged in oak but whatever, a wonderful nose. Complex in flavor, warming with notes of bourbon, toffee, molasses, caramel, cola and a long, semi boozy finish. Amazing beer, medium/full body great drinkability for the style, although a 750ml if definitely a "share-with-a-friend" beer.

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

The beer pours a really nice, burgandy color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is incredible. It has a warm, burnt toffee scent along with loads of oak character. It's quite complex and inviting. The taste is good. Again, it's the burnt toffee flavor up front with a warm oakey character in the finish. It's borderline too oakey, but because of the wamth it suits it well. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a wonderful beer. The vanilla from the oak really works well with the burnt toffee/caramel flavors.

Photo of humanawho
4.83/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage sampled in 2009; a good amount smoother than the fresh version

A - nice dark amber almost ruby color with a good off white head and fair lacing

S - lots of caramel and sugar on the nose some apple aromas reminds me of the taste of dried apple some raspberry as well, good and complex

T - the caramel dominates the back end but there is a strong sweet red apple flavor and some raspberry flavors, very heavy feeling to these flavors that normal feel light; just a hint of the heat

M - nice and heavy like i expect and lively carbonation

D - very drinkable even with the high sweetness

Photo of alovesupreme
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gold color with a fair head.
More of what aromas are not present. Allspice, whiskey, caramel, vanilla, orange, clove etc.
Caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, slight whiskey presence,ginger, toffee etc.
A full bodied beer with good carbonation.
A great barleywine, I am not personally not a fan of highly spiced beers but this beer is great none-the-less.

Photo of naterock
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a fluted tasting glass, Deep reddish amber witha one finger rocky head with good retention.

Smells of rich candy-like malts, a kiss of earthy hops and a hint of oak in the background.

Tastes overpoweringly sweet with a dark vine fruit essence lingering, just enough hops to support the bitterness but this is a showcase of malt variety.

Mouth is slightly viscous and oily, medium to low carbonation. Drinks slow but I wouldn't want to drink a fast barleywine.

Photo of SpecialK088
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle intoa snifter

Pours a very deep copper with about a 2 finger head that retains well about 1 finger

Very fruity with notes of fig and sweet malt alcohol notes are subtle but add alot to it

Nothing like it smells very suprisingly its very sweet but not fruity. The alchol come through perfectly with a nice nutty finish almost like almonds

Smooth and very complex on the palate. Medium body and great carbonation

Easy to drink and one of the better barlywines I have had major props to schafly for the uniquness on this one

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this at an epic tasting hosted by EinWeizenbitte. Thanks a ton Todd!

Vintage 2007 bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Loose, yet creamy, off-white head sits atop a hazy orange-caramel body. Head decays quickly, but leaves behind a thick blanket of lace. Settles as a mere film, where it remains for the rest of the session.

Smell: Bourbon, wood, syrup, caramel, and hop resin. Smells quite pleasant, but seems very muted compared to the Old Ruffian that preceded it.

Taste: Smooth oak, sweet malts, vanilla, and smooth dark fruit flavors. Lots of sweetness, but not at all cloying; quite mellow. Moist pine and hop resin are easy to pick out, but the bitterness has really died down. Great combination of flavors!

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, sweet, mellow, smooth, awesomeness. Chewy, thick, and not hot at all considering the ABV.

Drinkability: This one has aged very nicely (though I never have tried it fresh [shoulder shrug]). Sooo mellow for such a large beer. Fullness holds it back just a bit, but damn this was nice!

Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at The Ginger Man. Darkish colour, not opaque by any means, fruity colour rather with a little head. Bourbon aroma and taste. Medium mouthfeel. Sweetish,this is well-malted with a coconut flavour. Bourbon mellowed. OK, but much of it I farmed out to other patrons, and none of them were floored either.

Photo of pwoods
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
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 :)

Photo of CrellMoset
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Wine Warehouse, Charlottesville, VA. Split w/ proteus93 and dkachur, poured into a 14 oz. cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a somehow transparent, deep amber-bodied beer, a nice mahogany brownish, reddish bodied brew, capped by a good two-fingers of off-white, foamy head. Slow, lazy carbonation, medium sized, floats up towards the surface, dusted with a solid, thick sheen of lace. The lacing is scraggly, erratic in its flourishes but consistent elsewhere. All in all, a really nice looking beer.

Aroma: Sweet, thick toffee and caramel notes, intense and pungent, with tons of light, ethereal maple notes, oaky, woody overtones, and earthy, oily, thick maltiness.

Taste: Barrel-aged indeed. Vanilla and maple, oaky notes are off the charts, and they really mingle fairly well the remainder of the notes pressented by the underlying beer. Speaking of, this one's heavily roasted, caramel, toffee, doughy roasted barley. A strong, underlying hop presence - both bitter and earthy, leafy - attempts to balance the malty notes and does an admirable job. There's what I assume has to be a slight alcohol prickle, and at 10.2% I can't say I'm too surprised. It's not quite cloying, but it's still terribly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, fluffy, even, slightly creamy, slightly crisp ... precisely what I'd want from an American barleywine, and the fact that it's oak aged doesn't change too much here, I don't think.

Drinkability: A solid, pretty good beer. It's interesting to see what just pure "oak" does to a beer, as opposed to bourbon "oak." At 10.2%, I can't say it's too incredibly drinkable, but everything else (barring the spiciness/presence of the alcohol) is pretty prescient. Still, very good beer, one I'm very glad to have tried, tasty, complex, well-made. Recommended.

Photo of number1bum
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2007 bottle pours a deeply burnt orange copper color, perfectly clear, with about two fingers of light beige head on top. Keeps a mostly full, very nice lace and leaves some very slowly falling stick on the sides after each sip.

Smell starts with some fruity and floral hop aromas, then some sweet caramel. Next I get the oak and vanilla, more fruit, lightly roasted aromas, and some alcohol. I'm pleasantly surprised that the hops are still so apparent given that this is over a year old. As it warms up the oak and vanilla aromas are most prominent. Has a bourbon sort of smell to it. Pretty complex and nice, and the alcohol is pretty well hidden.

Taste starts off with some caramel sweetness and a bit of a toasty/roasty flavor, but then quickly gives way to the oaky booziness. It's much boozier than the smell was, overly so in fact. The hops are pretty much overwhelmed, but some citrus does pop through now and again. There is a pretty good amount of bitterness in the finish, which is both hop and wood-like. Lots of vanilla and woodsy oak flavor, and like the smell it has a bit of a bourbon-like quality, but the booze is too much. It's also slightly astringent. The combination knocks it down a peg or even two for me.

Mouthfeel is a medium-full body and pretty smooth, with a nice creaminess to it, with a slightly dry, boozy finish.

This is ok but the alcohol is just too much. It's already over a year old, but maybe it needs another year or three. As it is right now I'd say the barrel aging is overdone as is the alcohol. Too bad, because I can definitely see a very good barleywine underneath the oak and alcohol. At the end of the day it's good, but just good.

Photo of glid02
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright copper color with a thin filmy head that leaves a little lacing.

S: Not getting too much other than malty sweetness and a pleasant oak aroma.

T: Nice sweet barleywine here. Good maltiness with a slight bitterness on the back of your tongue. The oak rides along very well too.

M: Thick and creamy light carbonation.

D: Well I'm definitely not having any problems finishing this bottle! I would really like to get some more of this, good stuff!

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby brown in color. Not much head if any at all on the pour. Smell is all malts and a good amount of toffee. Still a surprisingly big amount of hops coming through in the nose.
Taste is the same, with a bitterness and dominant flavor coming from the hops. I expected the barrel aging to minimize this effect but it was still there and forefront. Decent beer, but I prefer the Enlgish Barleywine style with much less hops.

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

Thanks goes out to bort11 for this brew.

2007 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a very nice golden light amber color, very nice carbonation, nice little fizzy/creamy tan head, which leaves some nice small islands and sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with some nice cherry notes, and oak. The taste is sweet, malty, cherry notes, oaky. Medium body, the ABV is hidden very well with this brew. Very drinkable, this is a very nice BWSA.

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

2007. Painted label on a flat-bottom amber Champagne bottle with a standard gold cap. Good looking package!

Appearance: I was concerned that I should have let this sit a little longer before opening it so that the yeast could settle, but apparently it's filtered, so no need. It poured a clear, deep copper body with orange highlights beneath a very creamy head of "vanilla"-white. The head retention was quite good, and the lacing left sharp thrusts of lace that looked like some kind of nightmarish trees above a solid, creamy ring that encompassed the glass. The lacing faded, but it continually kept a solid surface-covering of creamy foam.

Aroma: The oak is obvious, and there's a suggestion of alcohol (although I'm not sure if that's for real or 'imagined' because of the aroma of the wood). Beyond that a sweet, honeyish, and lightly caramelish malt awaits. A mild touch of yeast is present, and then there's some apple at first while it's chilled, followed by some tropical notes with hints of coconut, papaya, and melon once it warms.

Flavor: Sweet, light-caramel malt hits you upfront, tempered with oaky dryness, and then dipped in apple juice. It becomes stiff and dry at the middle as the alcohol rises and combines with the oak character. Bitterness is present, but only at a moderate level as it's not really needed with all of the oak and alcohol. It tumbles rather quickly then into a bone-dry finish with a honey and oak residue, and only minor minty/leafy/grassy/floral hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium with a dextrinous edge, leaning towards medium full.

Drinkability: The one beer to have when you're having only one - a 750 ml bottle of barleywine! I'm kidding, of course. But it is surprisingly drinkable from an approachability standpoint, and also from a body and depth of flavor viewpoint. The alcohol is not overbearing, nor is the oak accent. So in that regard, I find it quite drinkable. I have to consider its complexity as well though, and there it falls short. There's a lot packed into that one main taste it gives you, but it never really seems to develop from there, or offer any alternatives. There's just not enough going on in the maltiness. (Or the hoppiness, although I have to say that I'm glad they didn't go for more hops. I think they're spot-on with what they've got, and that barleywine should be more based in maltiness unless you're going for an American-style). So, what to say? I drank 25.4 ounces without question, so there's something to it. I enjoyed the oak. I think it's an interesting, and somewhat complex ale. Worth trying at the price, to be sure!

Photo of jwc215
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage - poured into tulip glass:

Pours clear ruddish amber with a thick head that slowly settles to a nice creamy cover. Nice retention, especially for abv. Nice lacing sticks.

The smell is perfumy - pine-ish with strong vanilla/oak (very woody) with some toffee, some fruitiness (towards fig/raisin). Complex.

The taste is very sweet - perfumy with alcohol coming through stronger than in the nose. It has a toffeeish maltiness with strong oak/vanilla. Sweet, but drying.

It is medium/full-bodied. Soft carbonation.

I like the aroma a bit more than the taste, perhaps, but not enough to give one a higher score than the other. It is strong on the oak and booze, but there are other subtle complexities going on. A nice sipper.

Photo of t0rin0
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2007 750ml bottle recieved in a trade. I was scared to open it because it had this homebrew type cap with the belly button on it and it was sticking out. The good news is that it did not blow up all over the place.

Pours a light orange color, clear, white head, good retention, medium lacing.

Aroma is mostly oak and alcohol when cold (fridge temp) without any hops but as it warms to room temp the sweet malt smells come out. Not very complex and a bit heavy on the fresh oak but still enjoyable. Good barleywine smell, now if they could just tame the alcohol.

Flavor starts off (when cold) very oaky and mildly boozy with some barleywine noticeable. It isn't until it warms that you find any complexity and/or malt flavor. I'm thinking that there aren't much if any specialty malts. The color would suggest the same. No hops but its been in the bottle for a year already so I guess thats to be expected but thats about right for a BA barleywine. Nice flavor but not all that I was expecting.

Body was nice and thick and smooth. Too boozy to drink a lot of. Still glad I was able to try it. I suspect that with either a year more or less age this would be better. Younger might have some hops and older might provide a more mature malt profile. Thats all speculation of course.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of BeerSox
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml capped bottle into 25oz snifter. 2007 vintage.

Slightly hazy mahogany hue which contains ruby highlights at the bottom of the glass. A solid stone khaki head unevenly settles to a bubbly rim, along with an island of bubbles in the middle. In the place of the head is a wall of webby lacing. Strings of lacing show up as the beer descends down the glass.

Lots of vinous dark fruity flavors, such as prune or grape. A bit of vanilla (oak) is hidden in the background. The alcohol is well hidden, thought it comes out more as it warms.

At the first taste of the brew, a little bit of vanilla is detected. The vanilla comes in and out along the way, sometimes mixing with a little bit of spicy alcohol. The fruit flavors are back, imparting a sweeter flavor to go against the slightly tamed (from aging) but still sharp hops. Full bodied.

Quite the complex Barleywine. The bottle suggests that this one can be aged for a while over the one year that it has already been in oak barrels, but I recommend drinking this one as soon as you get it (not really a knock on the beer, I just think hoppy beers are better fresh). The oak barrels add a slight vanilla flavor, but nothing too heavy. Relatively smooth, even with the hops adding a little bitterness. Recommended.

Photo of meatmallet
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A murky medium brown body and a thick tan lacy head.

Smell: Caramel and citrus with some dark fruits in there as well. The aroma is strong but not overpowering kind of similar to a Belgian strong dark ale.

Taste: Sweet like caramel with a bitter grapefruit taste. The alcohol taste is also very strong.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Creamy with a good alcohol burn. My first beer of this style it is more complex than any others I have ever had.

Photo of johnnybgood1999
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I believe this is my favorite from Schlafly.

A: Pours a transparant amber that's only slightly murky. A small head bubbles up, but is short lived.

S: A malty aroma with a small hints of hops. The oak is apparant with a subtle sweetnes coming through as well.

T: Pretty malty and slightly sweet. Oak is very much present and mixes well. A very complex Barley Wine.

M: Perhaps my favorite part. This beer is well carbonated and is very smooth. The slightly heavier than medium body of the beer is almost perfect.

D: Pretty good drinkability for a Barley Wine. Incredibly smooth for a beer this heavy. It helps that the acohol is subtle.

Photo of Gehrig
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage. Medium brown body with cider orange highlights topped with two fingers of slightly tan head from a moderately aggressive pour. Dense rings of lacing and moderate duration start things off very well. Good aromas, nicely malted, sweeter smelling than I expected--fruity with some lemon sourness. Not too surprisingly, it improves as it warms.

This also characterizes the taste quite well--mostly sweet but with a moderately sour finish. The flavors are good--caramel, fig, grape, and berry preceding the aforementioned lemony flavor. But I'd like Schlafly Reserved to be a little less reserved. I prefer my barleywines to be a little bolder in flavor and stickier in taste and texture. Schlafly Reserve is no slouch and is a solid, tasty pickup without question. But I'd love to see the good folks from Schlafly ramp it up a bit--more sticky sweetness to make the sour finish a little less prominent.

On the whole, this is really good and, at 10.2% ABV, not exactly a sipper. Reserve hides the high ABV very well, a most welcome aspect of good barleywines. This is certainly a good barleywine, a terrific offering from a really good brewery.

Schlafly Reserve - Barleywine Style Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
89 out of 100 based on 471 ratings.