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Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine - The Schlafly Tap Room

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Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine
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very good

270 Reviews

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Reviews: 270
Hads: 573
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 18.64%
Wants: 41
Gots: 103 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room
Missouri, United States | website

Style | ABV
English Barleywine | 10.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: maxpower on 11-22-2002

Our Oak Aged Barleywine has a deep copper color and an intense malt flavor balanced by assertive hops. Fermentation with American ale yeast allows the caramel malt to shine. We age the beer on new, medium toast Missouri Oak to enhance its complexity and to develop its smooth, luscious character.

Barleywine is a classic English-style hearty ale. The term refers to a beer with the potency of wine and is often vintage-dated.

This beer will continue to age well in a cool dark place for several years, but it is ready to enjoy now.

40 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine Alström Bros
Reviews: 270 | Hads: 573
Photo of ehammond1
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2010)

Thanks for providing this one, UCLABrewN84!

Blind Tasting and Review

(Aged for 1+ year)

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

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

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

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Appropriate.

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

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Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of billab914
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of claspada
3.32/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

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Photo of kennylopez
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
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

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Photo of beveritt
4.59/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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Photo of zep9865
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
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

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Photo of aasher
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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

A good friend surprised me with this yesterday. Barleywine is one of my favorites and I have never had Schlafly Barleywine before.

Vintage 2008

Pours a beautiful brown red color with a decent head. Small off white bubbles appeared out of nowhere about 5 seconds after it was poured. Really a nice color.

Aroma really made this beer fun. Hints of bourbon and cherry and present from the beginning, but melds into a grain and vanilla aroma as you smell more. I also thought I could find the smell of fresh sweet cream in this one.

Taste was smooth as can be. I was really surprised that it was so smooth, since some barleywines can really show their alcohol character too up front. This did not. The age has made the smooth flavors come out- marshmallow fluff meets bourbon. My only 4 on this was the mouthful- just seemed a little small compared to the bold flavor and aroma. I suspect this came with age.

If I could by this by the case you can best be assured I would have one aging in my cellar right now. Great aged barleywine!


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Photo of MTNboy
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This brown-amber beer with a reddish hue to the body poured with less than a finger of tan head and there was very thin lacing.

Smell: Wood like aroma with the malts really shining through. For the most part it mild for this style.

Taste: I thought the flavor was not as overpowering as allot of barleywines I had tried in the past. It had a good bit of charred oak to the flavor and some weak toffee tones to it.

Mouthfeel: It was milky and smooth there was not much for carbonation to it at all.

Overall: I think it is a good starter barleywines if you are one of those people that have to work your way into a style. I brought it to a Christmas party after aging it for four years in my cellar and allot of people really enjoyed it.

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Photo of ShanePB
2.31/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Vintage 2008, courtesy of Mike. Opened for a video review, transcribed from the footage. Poured into a globe glass.

A: Hazy copper/red body with absolutely no head whatsoever. No lacing, no retention - horrible looking beer. And there's really not much else to say about it than that. This is going to be flat.

S: Dark sweet fruits, faint oak aroma from the barrel aging, some nice spice notes and light caramel malts on the back end. This had been chilled entirely too long, so I fear it may be masking a lot of the flavors. As it warmed though, it didn't improve much.

T: Extremely one-dimensional, oak, oak and more oak. Overwhelms the palate and doesn't really allow much of anything else to come through. The sweetness from the dark and red fruits come out towards the back end of the palate. Nothing horrible but pretty bad nonetheless.

M: Flat, completely flat. There's no body on this beer really at all. It's thin, watery and you can only get some bubbles by swishing it around in your mouth.

This sucked pretty bad if I'm being completely honest. I think I gave this a much better score in our review but after watching and remembering the appearance, aroma and taste I feel I can justify this score. I'm not sure if this was just past its prime, not cellared properly at the store or what - but this bottle is flat out bad.

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Photo of aficionado
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hazy reddish copper body with a creamy off white 1/2 finger head. Not much lacing.

Stewed plums, toasted coconut, vanilla, oak, caramel on the nose.

Sweet and raisiny on the palate with more of the same from the nose. Tons of smooth oak, caramel, vanilla, and nuttiness.

The mouthfeel is the best part. Lush, creamy, and thick despite the deceiving pale colored body.


Aged on new Missouri oak chips for several months after primary fermentation and conditioning

Hops: Marynka (PL), Northdown (UK), Tettnang (DE)

Malts: 2-row malted barley, Munich malt, caramel malt, roasted barley

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Photo of bum732
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 bottle.

S: Caramel and toffee maltiness, some herbal with a touch of oxidation.

L: Cloudy brownish orange, white head that dissipates to not much.

T: Rich toffee and breadiness. A pleasant coconut flavor and sweetness. Medium low bitterness leading to more rich toffee and coconut. Finishes fairly clean with some alcohol spiciness and fairly clean dryness with some toffee.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Alcohol somewhat present.

Loved the coconut, maybe from the oak? A little thin for the style, not bad, but not great.

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

Okay, so this beer is marketed as a "Barleywine-style Ale." But, what does that mean, exactly. I have had many different barleywine "style" beers from many different breweries...and each one is a little different. It may be hoppy, it may be more malty, it may have a thick body, it may be a little too light. The term for the style seems vague at this point.

Plus, with the changing face of beer in America, breweries seem to be pushing the limits of what they can do within the boundaries of style anyway...and this barleywine seems to fit into that category.

For one, this beer is sour...which I like. It has the delicious qualities of a barleywine--it has the higher ABV, the near-perfect amber hue, even the balance between malt and hop. But, this barleywine is aged on oak...bourbon barrel, maybe, as there seems to be some elements of that here, too.

But, once you taste this beer (and this may be a fluke with this particular barrel...I've not had the bottle, only from the tap) you can't ignore the super sour, slightly sweet profile on the tongue. That sourness is backed by notes of vanilla, caramel, and caramelized brown sugar. You have your elements of dark fruit here, too...and a nice warming alcohol twinge.

Overall, I like what Schlafly has done with this style. It is delicious, and has just the right sour note to it to kick up what the oak aging does to this beer.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage, picked up in Topeka, KS.

This is a turbid pour, or very murky. Tawny, brown, mahogany. Capped with an off-tan head about 1 finger. Dissipates quickly to a collar.

Nutty aroma with some caramel and vanilla. A bit boozy and hot. Subtle notes of earthy hops, wet grass.

Caramel and vanilla are the two main factors in the flavor. This seems to start out as a malt-bomb, but the flavors don't linger too long. The booze thins them out. A light, yet dark breadiness serves as the backbone. Some grassy hops and faint nutiness rounds out the flavor.

This beer isn't bad, yet a bit thin. With the abv where it is I expected more, but the booze thins. Carbonation is a bit low and adds to the thinness factor. Good flavors, falls a bit short

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

Thanks to a friend who grew up in St. Louis. Time for a tasting!

Poured this into the favorite glass. Remember, this is a 2008 aged bottle. The head was not much but it was a dark cloudy brown and it poured with rather heavy gravity.
Nose was not as hoppy as others, but I suspected that. I could smell the caramel and sweetness.

Taste is way malty. I suspect if you drank this at a young age, the hops would be much more in your face but instead I got a really nice sweet malt monster with hops to balance it out. The mouth feel was nice and heavy. Not much carbonation, but not flat either.

Overall, about as good as you would expect from your American barleywine class.

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Photo of ChadQuest
2.8/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color is a dark amber, an aggressive pour creates a finger of delicate head that fades out quickly.
Aroma has a more earthy and nutty nuance then typically given off by a barleywine, there is some mild sweet malt notes but overall this appears to be more well attenuated it seems, some heat and some light connecticut cigar wrapping.
Taste and feel are indeed both a bit lighter body and lower in stickiness, helped out by the oak cutting it down some. The normal barleywine malts here most identify with a toffee character, and earthy almonds. There is heat, and some other flavor on the finish i cant nail down, but it is slight off putting.

I am led to believe this one is not improving lately, and peaked a year or two ago. Not bad, but simply mediocre at this point.

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Photo of Spider889
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this 750ml bottle at The Beer Trappe in Lexington for $11.49. Seemed like a pretty good value on an aged beer in a large format bottle.

2009 vintage. Poured into a snifter.

This beer appears a ruddy plum color collected in the glass, though when held to the light I am seeing decent clarity on a brilliant dark ruby colored barleywine. The head is about 2 fingers tall at its peak, frothy, though not particularly long-lived. Sticky lace smears the glass randomly.

The aroma is really nice. Fresh white oak melds with wonderful caramel and toffee, layered along with a hint of booze. Sweet light pipe tobacco brings another layer of rich complexity to this brew.

I am really impressed at this point. I was debating whether it was wise to crack this whole bottle to myself tonight, given that it is my first sampling of it, and the strong abv. Luckily the beer is exceeding all of my expectations.

The flavor begins sweet - with caramel apple and grainy oak. Light hues of vanilla tease the palate, while lingering hop bitterness foretells of a once stronger hop profile. Caramel malt sweetness ranks supreme though.

The oak is pleasant. No need for this brew to be put into bourbon or whiskey barrels... the oak is plenty to add a lovely character to this barleywine. Soft texture, with low carbonation. I am getting alcohol warmth all the way down my esophagus, though it is mostly pleasant rather than uncomfortable.

Overall I am very impressed, and am glad I chose this over the barrel-aged stout. I love an oaked barleywine, and I love this beer. I have yet to be disappointed by a beer from Schlafly. Goddamn do we need these guys in Ohio...

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Photo of DCon
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared a 1 Pt.9.4 Fl Oz. bottle of this from Schnucks in Webster Groves, MO for $12.99. Poured from the 2010 Year Labeled bottle with a Compass around the Schlafly label and says "Ale Aged on Oak" on the front into a 16oz Samuel Adams Imperial Pint Glass. No bottled/freshness date.

Aroma- Definitely has the barrel aged aroma and whiskey in here. Tons of malt and strength. Tremendous barleywine character!

Appearance- Pours a 2.5 finger, off-white head that has medium retention. The body is a dark copper color and has good clarity. Minimal lacing.

Flavor- Has a strong malty taste and light whiskey from the beginning. The finish has a high strong hop bitterness. Tons of character throughout it and intense.

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, and leaves good malt/strength on the palate.

Overall Impression- For the second time around, this one is a great Barleywine! I'm still very excited to enjoy my 2008 Schlafly Barleywine and see how it compares to both this bottle/tap version. Enjoy!

Enjoyed a 2008 Version of this brew as well. Bought @ Lukas Liquor in Ellisville, MO for $10.99. Poured into a 16oz Christmas Seidel Glass. No bottled with love date on this as well.

What I found differently from the 2010 version was much more alcohol warmth, nutty/caramelized flavor, and much more complexity! Will be aging another 2008 Version to see how it turned out in a year or so!

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Photo of FanofHefe
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage bomber picked up at the Schlafly Taproom and poured into a tulip. Deep, amber colored body that is a little hazy, with a one-finger off-white head. Only a little lacing.

Strong malty aroma that comes across as very sweet. Minor notes of hops and alcohol. Caramel and toffee notes blend in to the overall mix and remain very prominent throughout the glass.

Very malt-forward flavor; sweet maltiness with a bit of hop bitterness. Tasty notes of caramel and toffee, and a definite notice of the alcohol.

Medium consistency in the mouthfeel and noticeable alcohol presence. This has aged very well and is a good representation of the barleywine style.

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Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine from The Schlafly Tap Room
89 out of 100 based on 270 ratings.