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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

477 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 477
Reviews: 258
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 12.85%
Wants: 41
Gots: 104 | 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 Dansting
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of kirok1999
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.05/5  rDev +2%
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.


Photo of aforbes10
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of mcallister
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

Photo of OStrungT
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of bort11
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.08/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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

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.

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of GreenWBush
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of carln26
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of grumpy
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

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...

Photo of ericburnley
4.82/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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?

Photo of karst
4.58/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly perfect appearance as far as can be determined in the confinds of the St. Louis City Museum (11% ABV according to brewmeister) @ Schlafly's Winterfest. Truly awsome Barleywind. Its aroma of blended hops, malt, and fruit to its full spectrum of blended tastes - that should only improve with age! Well worth the trouble of driving 100+ miles to taste. One of the top styles loved by many that I talked with. Believe it or not the Burbon Stout surpasses it IMHO !

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

Got to taste the new release 2005 Barleywine....

Poured off tap a clear brown/ tarnished copper color with a small but present white head that lingered a bit. The smell was wonderfully complex- undertones of aged bourbon beneath the sweet hoppiness and sharp bite tingling the nose. The taste is very nice; lots of roast 'something' in this one balanced nicely by the sweetness; although it's a little sticky, it works well. The alcohol doesn't really let you know it's there until you feel it on the throat. Nice and full and malty in the mouth. I can see (slowly) sipping on this one all night by the fire..

Overall, very nice. The only thing I can say is that it could be a little smoother- maybe some more age to it would be helpful? Not sure; I do recommend this one; get somebody to send a growler or stop by if you're in the neighborhood. It's pretty damn good.

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

Very much the biggest beer Schlafly makes. In an pinch it could probably fuel your car on the way home from the tap room. The hops are hige in the aroma. The taste is sweet with malt with a great hip finish. This one bears a lot more resemblance to English barleywines than it does American. And by that I mean it is balanced, not a IBU contest. This one is dangerously drinkable, be careful.

Note: this one may come back to haunt you the next day.

Photo of MJR
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Pours deep ruby with perfect clarity. A thick, dense tan head sits up top and holds strong all the way to the bottom, leaving sheets of lace clinging to the sides.

Aroma is rich and sweet, with lots of cherry and strawberry fruitiness on top of a chewy backbone of cotton candyish and toffee malts. Faint raison and plum. Not so fast! Malt doesn't completely rule the day though, as there's a considerable amount of fresh green hops well integrated into the whole. Little to no alcohol detectable on the nose.

Here comes the flavor...

A complex and rich barrage of cherry, plum, strawberry, pomegranate, raison, cotton candy, toffee, resiny hops, and alcohol level a full frontal assault on my taste buds. It leans slightly towards the sweeter side of the balance spectrum, but not nearly as much as in previous years. Many of the offerings from Schlafly have a distinct malt signature, and it's certainly here, adding yet another dimension of complexity.

I find myself licking my lips often with this beer, as its thick and dextrinous mouthfeel leaves plenty of residual sugars for my tongue to explore. Just a hint of dryness on the finish hints at the hefty strength hidden within.

While good and easily drinkable in years past, they really knocked the ball outta the park with this one. Upping the hop presence all around (bitterness, aroma, and flavor) really added a needed balance to this barleywine. Despite that, it still sits towards the English side of the style. I just wish they would bottle some, 'cause this would be absolutely beautiful after a few years rest. Dangerously drinkable just begins to describe it...

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

I sampled this barley wine on tap at the brewpub in Dec. 2003.

This barley wine poured a slightly hazy, deep chestnut color with off-white foam that coated the glass well and left some lacing. The smell was moderately sweet with a nice, piney hops aroma. The taste was slightly sweet and malty with flavors of piney, citrusy, grapefruit hops, and some dried fruit, and finally some bitter resinous hops. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy and hoppy with full body and low carbonation. That aftertaste was a pleasant, lingering hoppy and sweet malty flavor. This was a very drinkable barley wine. Tasty indeed.

Photo of CRJMellor
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful ruby color with enormous off-white head that receds rather quicklybut leaves sheets of lace on the glass.
Aromas of dark fruits (figs) , sweet caramel malt and floral and citrus hops are noticed.
Flavor is dark malt, citurs and other dark tropical fruits with some honey or molasses thrown in. Very flowery and lightly bittered hops on the end.
Mouthfeel is soft and sweet on the palate with minimal bitterness and not really alcohol hit. ABV, whatever it is is hidden well.
Drinkability is very high within the style. I can usually only have 1-2 of barleywines but this one is very good and smooth for a relatively high ABV item

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

1/2 gallon growler. An attractive bright amber hue, off-white head, decent lacing noticeable throughout. Sweet malts, raisins, some port and alcohol noticeable. Medium-full bodied. Huge malt based body, thin hop detection. Thick, very sweet and a bit of syrup flavorings. Flavors emerge as she warms, one darn fine barleywine, a great session winter warmer.

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