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Schlafly Reserve - Barleywine Style Ale - The Schlafly Tap Room

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

459 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 459
Reviews: 254
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 12.85%
Wants: 40
Gots: 95 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

English-style Barleywine aged on Missouri white oak.

(Beer added by: Vancer on 12-31-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 459 | Reviews: 254 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of charlesw

New York

3.18/5  rDev -19.9%

Interesting and not bad. Not exactly what I'm looking for - I want more body, more flavor and more bitterness. It's interesting that the bottle says that this one would age well... It doesn't need to age and may not even benefit from that at all - it's already very mellow and even. Mellow and even... Enough not to really be a barleywine, IMO. At least it's not syrupy like an English BW (syrupy without the bitterness) but... It's just so much less intense than a BW should be. IMO IMO IMO.

I think this would make a decent winter warmer but for a BW I want so much more in terms of everything!

12-07-2007 01:24:15 | More by charlesw
Photo of peabody


3.68/5  rDev -7.3%

Pours out a nice clear dark ice tea color with one finger of slightly off-white suds.
Smell is caramel and malt and sugar with just a slight aroma of yeast. There is a little grape smell in here as well.
The bitterness of the first taste is mixed with a caramel sweetness and raisin.
Mouthfeel is clean with a slight bitter aftertaste. The sugars come through after the alcohol has passed the tongue.
10% abv is just a slight bit high for a session brew so this is a beer for an occasion. Warming winter night occasions.

11-18-2007 02:07:24 | More by peabody


3.25/5  rDev -18.1%

Pour reveals a maple syrup colored body with some carbonation bubbles sticking to the glass. Head is a light tan standing at an inch and a half that leaves signifagant lace. Nose is a sweet mix of yeasty malt with creamy fresh fruity notes, almost mellon like. A faint initial zesty fruit feel quickly yields to the huge overpowering oak palate. The shoe shine woodsy taste of the oak is so dominant it is almost like sucking on a piece of wood. Mouthfeel is an oakey bitter. Drinkability is harmed by the overaly oak feel for me. I cant imagine that this is the extreme they were going for. Does mellow a bit as it warms to room tempature.

10-30-2007 20:18:00 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of mikescags


4.43/5  rDev +11.6%

This is quickly becoming my favorite beer. It is so incredibly complex. Smell is overwhelming of caramel and malt. The taste is the same along with the taste of vanilla from being aged on the oak. Be careful with this beer though, the high abv can really sneak up on you as it is masked very well. This is a tough to find brew, but if you spot it def dont pass it up.

10-30-2007 04:30:47 | More by mikescags
Photo of BEERchitect


4.13/5  rDev +4%

Schlafly's can really put these big, barrel-aged beers together. Another superb offering with this beer. A seriously strong, malty pour forms a thick, foamy, tan blanket of bubbles on top of a deep ruby beer. The beer proved to lace well and show light legging on the glass; looks like a true cognac. Aromas are largely focused on molassas maltiness, but not without a serious challenge from a good dose of citrus and pine flavored hops. Alcohols swirl around in the nose with low fusal or boozy qualities. Flavor are as strong as aromas and gather around the molassas, brown sugar, cherry and berry flavors. Again the pine hops swell into balance, but never cause distraction from the malt center. Full and round to the palate, but not thick or syrupy textured. Growing alcohol sensations compete with the fruits, sweetness, and hops, but never dominate. Finishes warm and sweet and with an underlying pine flavor. Very good beer that shows lots of complexity and few deterants.

10-29-2007 03:14:55 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of wagenvolks


4.63/5  rDev +16.6%

This bottle has been on quite a trip. I purchased it in St. Louis while there for my girlfriend's college graduation. Driven to Nashville via her parents while I went on a dig in New Mexico. Then, two weeks ago, her parents brought it to me in Raleigh, NC, as my girlfriend had forgotten it when she first moved out here. From there, I brought it to Huntington, WV where it was shared with my friend Josh (aka trep) after the WVU-Marshall "game". Phew...

2006 Bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

Pours a dark, brown-amber body with hints of ruby red and a thin, tan head. Amazing retention, despite the dearth of foam. Aroma packs a smooth, vanilla nuttiness with a great hoppy balance. Notes of almond, chestnut, spices, fig, raisin, and alcohol blend together perfectly.

I was expecting alot of hops out of this barleywine, but there were none to be detected. And pleasantly so, despite the fact that I'm a huge hop head. The flavor was full of honey & vanilla, with sweeter notes of white chocolate, marshmallow, and yogurt-covered peanuts. Mouthfeel was smooth and well-carbonated for a beer packing a 10.2% ABV. I'm lovin' the oaken finish, too. This is probably the most drinkable barleywine I've ever tasted. It's complex, it's flavorful, it's....I could go on and on. Do not pass this by if you're ever in the St. Louis area. In fact, I might have to make a trip back out just to get another bottle or two.

09-10-2007 23:17:15 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of zeff80


4.15/5  rDev +4.5%

A - Poured out a dark reddish/brown color with a foamy, tan, one-finger head. It left nice traces of lace.

S - It smelled spicy and malty. There was also a hop smell.

T - It tasted really malty. The spiciness was quite mild. A good nut flavor was present. Also, you could taste the alcohol.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - A really good barleywine. It does not overpower your senses.

Edit: Just had a 2007 on 2-6-10. It improves quite a bit with age.

07-04-2007 17:39:00 | More by zeff80
Photo of Dansting


4.38/5  rDev +10.3%

Bottle. Poured a slightly cloudy copper color with a medium off-white head. Nice lacing. Aroma is faint but has a wood and malty scent. Flavor is malty with a definite wood flavor to it. Finish is caramel with a definite alcohol taste. One of the better Schlafly offerings, although maybe not worth the price.

06-28-2007 02:50:04 | More by Dansting
Photo of kirok1999


4.33/5  rDev +9.1%

Almost pegged this one as an English Barleywine its so sweet. However the hops are bold enough that it might fit an American. Deep ruddy copper color with a slight head and mild lacing.
Smells nicely sweet, citrus hops, caramel malt.
Taste is very mellow, mild hops with caramel malts, sweet dark fruit, raisin, mild cherry, toffee, and the oak comes through really nice in the finish. Really nice taste.
Mouthfeel is thick and rich and this is a very drinkable brew. Slightly dry finish due probably to the oak. Wish I had more.

06-10-2007 00:29:47 | More by kirok1999
Photo of SkinnyElvis


4.05/5  rDev +2%

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.


05-13-2007 00:19:07 | More by SkinnyElvis
Photo of aforbes10


3.8/5  rDev -4.3%

bottle shared by dispholidus1. mahogany colored. white lacy head. nose has some nice soft hops, caramel, malts, oak and vanilla. Lots of oak and vanilla all around in the taste, as well as thick maltiness. heavy sweetness with some bitterness on the finish. quite smooth but sweetness maybe a bit overdone. thick, but not too thick. quite drinkable, except for the overly sweet element.

04-16-2007 15:44:50 | More by aforbes10
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +2%

Ahh a big barleywine in a big bottle, always a treat. This one poured absolutly beautifully. A fanatastic thick hazy ruby brown liquid that was almost opaque. A huge pillow like white head formed on top that did not want to give up any ground, I swear it would stay there all night. Big sticky lace dripped down the sides capping this one off. The smell was very sweet, lots of sugar, caramel, candy apple were the first to be picked up. As it warmed some great dark cherry tones started to show themselves off. Hints of alcohol were present throughout, which at 10.5%abv is to be expected. The taste had alot of alcohol in it, and it could probably withstand some more time in the cellar. This one had teeth and a big bite to it. It really smoothed out as it warmed though, which made it start to come across with some more smoothness to it. Flavors were about where the smell was, lots of alcohol, but very sweet, dark cherries and caramel. As it warmed a whole lot of citrus hops started popping out, led by a great orange feel and pineapple, very nice. Great carbonation, which tingled in your mouth. This ended up being a sipper, but at the same time very drinkable. Be warned this will kick your butt, a very nice barleywine that I am sure will hold up with some age.

03-15-2007 22:54:36 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of mcallister


3.65/5  rDev -8.1%

2006 Vintage. Very happy to have found this gem in Kentucky.

Pours a clear shade of mahagony ruby hues throughout. Head is an odd toffee shade of brown but very light. Thick frothy, doesn't last too long and leaves little lace.

As a lover of wine I can say the smell of the new American oak used to age this beer are quite satisfying. Light, toasty vanilla, with a rich toffee malty aroma, leads into a floral hoppy ester. Some RS showing through from the nice oaked aroma.

Nice balance of malt and hop but the oak may be slightly astingent. A little less time in Oak or a little bigger beer would have made this beer a pure bred winner. Caramel and toffee malt, lead into a thin floral hop which takes you through the finish. Some flavors of fig and raisin as well. The oak is slightly toasty with vanilla but is slightly overpowering in tannin. If not for the tannic over oaked taste on the finish this beer would easily score 4 or higher.

Mouthfeel is thin for this style. Generally new oak will add a nice thick and creamy mouthfeel. With this barley wine it seems too have done the opposite. Really looking forward to an '07 version too see if Schlafly beefs up the barley wine at all to integrate with the oak properly.

02-06-2007 20:51:46 | More by mcallister
Photo of nlmartin


4.15/5  rDev +4.5%

The beer was served in a wide mouthed wine goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a very pleasing ruby/ orange coloration. The head is a creamy biege coloration. The head has very little retention and resolves into a ring of foam. Spider webs of lacing remain on the glass.

Smell: The beer has a very good combination of vanilla, bourbon, caramel, doughnuts, oak, nuts, honey, spicey alcohol, floral and earthy hops. This is very nice smelling and nearly rates 4.5.

Taste: This beer is malty caramel sweet. The beer has a good combination of vanilla, oak wood, pleasant toasted flavors compliment the sweet nutty caramel. Spicey alcohol runs throughout the flavor. This beer isnt particulary fruity or hoppy. This is a malty alcohol bomb.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is full bodied and lightly carbonated. The alcohol makes its prescence known in a pleasingly warming fashion. This was an easy beer to kick back and play some PS 2 games.

02-05-2007 12:17:55 | More by nlmartin
Photo of OStrungT


4/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

02-04-2007 23:50:58 | More by OStrungT
Photo of homebrewhawk


3.93/5  rDev -1%

2006 vintage, 750ml bottle, poured in a brandy snifter.
Reddish gold with a low head of fine white bubbles.
Lots of vanilla in the aroma with some citrusy hops.
Medium body with some hop bitterness to start.
Very warming. Lots of wood character with a long linger vanilla finish.
A little on the thin side.
It would be interesting to taste after a year, although it did not appear to be bottle conditioned.
Another nice wood aged beer from Schlafly.

02-04-2007 15:33:44 | More by homebrewhawk
Photo of bort11


4.08/5  rDev +2.8%

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip wine glass. Big head for a higher ABV beer, which had strong legs. Thick sticky lace clings to the glass. Color is a clear dark ruby red.
Smell does not jump out at me, it is very mild. Floral and earthy notes mixed with a oak flavor, all very mild. Taste does take it up a notch from the smell. The oak becomes more pronounced with subtle smoke, vanilla and honey flavors peeking in.
The mouthfeel is slightly syrupy. There is a slight astringent tingle in the mouth. Not unpleasant, but different than most alcohol burns. Goes down very smooth
This is a very mild Barleywine. I'm not sure aging would do anything for it. I say drink it now.

01-20-2007 05:00:14 | More by bort11
Photo of Vancer


4.13/5  rDev +4%

Holy moly, what a superb ruby red slipper topped by a sexy lace of ivory. Ring after lace ring as it drops in the 1845 crystal snifter, rimmed in gold and encrusted with diamonds.

Candied apples floated up, along with sugar plums, no fairies. Very sweet lil’ vixen, the oak does try to balance this brew and smooth out the strong alcohol backbone. Sharp, dry and crisp for a BW.

A hoppy BW, another shovel of malt would have worked well, but this brew was not made that way. An American Original. Aging will do wonders for this hot lil' momma. Pack away a couple bombers for later review, this stuff is going fast.

01-17-2007 14:55:18 | More by Vancer
Photo of Erdinger2003


3.13/5  rDev -21.2%

A light, clear amber color this beer has a tiny amount of head with a good lacing. The smell is pretty light and hard to get flavors from. The taste is pretty nice and has a great hop taste, but it also has some other flavors it ends with. The mouthfeel was alright I guess, a little too carbonated too me. Overall I wouldn't have this ever again.

01-13-2007 05:09:40 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of hopsaplenty


3.63/5  rDev -8.6%

750ml. brown bottle, no “bottled with love” date, but this is the 2006 release.

According to the box, this 10.5% barleywine-style ale was aged on new American Oak from Missouri which had a medium toast.

Gold flecked garnet. Snapping, soft tan bubbles that drop to a pile at the margins and leave a scattering of dust spread across the surface. Sporadic, quick-firing big bubbled carbonation trails. Aromas of sweet malt, plums, and dark alcohol soaked fruit. A clean underpinning hop aroma is also present along with some sharp alcohol. Warm alcohol with a plum washed flavor finishes spicy and caressed with just a hint of oak. Medium-full body, but lacking a certain heft or creaminess present in other barleywines. The oak becomes more noticeable further into the bottle. Some nutty nuances also become more evident with additional warmth. The mouthfeel is a touch thin, but the carbonation is fine bubbled and does not get in the way. The alcohol starts to rise to the surface and becomes a bit intrusive. An enjoyable slow sipper, time may help smooth this one out and meld the flavors gracefully as it is hot in its current state.

Thanks to Lee and Carol for making a special stop at the Bottleworks.

12-24-2006 02:27:11 | More by hopsaplenty
Photo of hckyfn9999


4.18/5  rDev +5.3%

Poured out of a 1pt. 9.4oz bottle. No bottled with love date as there is with the standard bottles just 2006 stamped across the front, but it doesn't really matter because it is new this year, just came out this month, and according to the bottle it can be aged for several years.

This barleywine pours a hazy amber color with some golden hues in there as well. There is a small white head that doesn't last very long but leaves a thin layer throughout and around the glass.

The bottle says "Ale Aged on Oak" and it is noticeable as there is a strong oak aroma, almost like a bourbon smell. There is also some sweet caramel and bready malt present to go along with a little roastedness. There is also a little floral hops.

The taste strong of sweet bready malt initially along with more of the oak noted in the nose. As the beer warms there is a stronger oily floral hop pressence. The beer finishes with a nice roasted malt bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and full-bodied. I would prefer just a little less carbonation.

A fairly drinkable beer despite the high ABV. Definitely a tasty brew but some of the flavors are a little harsh and would probably be spectacular if cellard for a few years. Still a great drink now. Good effort from Schlafly.

12-18-2006 02:43:05 | More by hckyfn9999
Photo of GreenWBush


3.8/5  rDev -4.3%

Everyone seems to be in consensus that this is in fact an American barleywine. I saw striking similarities to Thomas Hardy's (huge complement). Go figure.

This barleywine came to me a spooky red, with a smallish head but the best barleywine lacing I have seen.

Nose is full of figs, raisins, malt-marshmellows, and slight alcoholic heat. None of the citrus and floweriness I associate with American Barleywine, much more of the slickness and amazing sweetness found in English examples.

Taste is very good; raisins again with mildest suggestions of pine. Brown sugar, molasses, caramel.

Mouthfeel features that ethereal slipperiness of Thomas Hardy's. Hard candy, oils, nary a trace of bitterness.

This gets a little cloying for my tastes but overall I was really impressed with this barleywine. I second the recommendation made to bottle this, as a few years of vintage could make this really something worth adoring.

Oh yeah, and watch yourself if you pick up an astronomically cheap growler of this. One pint cracked my wig for sure.

02-20-2006 22:01:10 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of carln26


4.33/5  rDev +9.1%

It pours a deep brown color, with orange highlights. It’s very hazy and is topped by a thin tan head that recedes quickly, yet leaves a delicate lace on the glass. The aroma is mainly malt. It has hints of dates, sherry, and a little black cherry. There is just a touch of citrus on the finish. The flavor reflects the aroma. Sherry, dates dark berries all come across early, then a distinct bitterness on the finish. Not much true hop flavor, but nice bitterness. The mouth feel is slick and mildly smooth. There is a little alcohol warming. Nicely drinkable.

12-31-2005 20:47:42 | More by carln26
Photo of grumpy


3.95/5  rDev -0.5%

Sampled on tap seasonally at the pub, with consistent impressions.

Appearance: Copper/ light amber, fairly clear, minimal head and lace.

Aroma: Sweet malt, hops, a little fruit.

Taste: A very tasty beer. Definitely an American style Barley Wine, though not as huge as some, and more balanced than others. A nice blend of sweet, fruity malt, floral and piney hops, and an alcohol bite on the end.

Mouthfeel: Again, not a huge Barley Wine, so you won’t find cloying syrup or mouth-puckering hops. Viscosity is medium, as is carbonation.

Drinkability: Probably a little too easy to knock back a few pints of this, especially considering the 10% ABV. But at $9 a growler, who can resist?

UPDATE: No sooner do I submit a review stating that this Barley Wine is consistent over the years, they seem to have changed the recipe. The Dec 2005 release was much darker in malt profile and color, and was considerably sweeter. Also, substantial fruity and chocolate flavors were present. Quite tasty, but perhaps not quite as drinkable, due to a near-cloying lack of balance toward sweetness. Oh well, best not to have more than a couple of pints anyway, right? Now if only I were able to live by that credo...

11-08-2005 16:11:01 | More by grumpy
Photo of ericburnley


4.83/5  rDev +21.7%

I've had the 2004 and 2005 versions of this limited edition brew only available on tap at the Tap Room (this year it was not even available at the new Maplewood Schlafly Bottleworks bottling plant, only at the downtown location), and I will make an effort to grab a growler or two each year now.

The beer is not quite as heavy as some barleywines I've had (probably mainly due to the style difference in English Barleywines like Old Nick), but does certainly pack a punch. It has a wonderful lighter copper/burgundy color and a well balanced large malt/hop character (to style for American Barleywine), with a fruity sweet hop twinge that keeps me coming back (definite hop head, i am). The closest well-known beer that comes to mind is Arrogant Bastard- a really similar flavor, but with a bit more kick. A definite must for the St. Louis winters, even if they sometimes aren't that cold. Plus, a growler of this Barleywine costs the same as a growler of any other brew so it's some of the most cost effective Barleywine available. Perhaps its popularity will grow and necessitate a seasonal bottling?

03-25-2005 22:29:58 | More by ericburnley
Schlafly Reserve - Barleywine Style Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
89 out of 100 based on 459 ratings.