1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.

Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Ale - The Schlafly Tap Room

Not Rated.
Schlafly Bourbon Barrel AleSchlafly Bourbon Barrel Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

103 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 103
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 8
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  ABV ?

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
The result is a smooth bourbon character balanced by caramel malt sweetness and classic English hops. Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Ale is a seamless blend of Schlafly Barleywine-style ale and our pale ale aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels.

(Beer added by: BEERchitect on 06-12-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 103 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by b3shine:
Photo of b3shine
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to snifter. Looks good; definitely colored (at least in part) by bourbon barreling. Smells excellent; hops are laced in nicely with the bourbon scent. Tastes good; the ale is alright, but the bourbon barreling is what this beer is all about. Mouthfeel is good as well. It's definitely a "sipper." Overall, a good beer (especially for its price, considering it's bourbon barreled) that I'll be having again.

More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A blend of their barleywine-style ale and their pale ale aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. Pours into my glass a nice deep red orange with a half inch of eggshell head on top that leaves some sticky lacing. Aromas of rich caramel and a mix of fresh fruits. Toffee and loads of malty goodness. Vanilla, oak and bourbon are all well integrated. Bit of hops lingering the background. Nice!

First sip brings smooth caramel malts with fruit, toffee and brown sugar. A nice underlying sweetness carries warm vanilla, oak and a nice ribbon of bourbon as well. A touch of hoppiness on the way down with some bitterness in tow. Well balanced overall and the bourbon accent is just perfect in my opinion.

Mouthfeel is smooth with good carbonation. A bit on the lighter side but that is kind of nice as it makes it more drinkable. Overall, a well blended barrel aged brew. Everything works well and achieves a good balance. Tasty stuff I'm glad I was able to find this one!

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

32 oz. growler filled a few days ago, poured into a NB snifter.

A - Pours a dark golden brown. A 1/2" head of dark khaki foam quickly disappears, leaving a sheen of very fine lace streaked across the surface. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is a rich dark orange/red and clear. Lots of thin legs of sugar coat the sides of the glass as it empties.

S - Lightly burnt, deep rich caramels and brown sugar with notes of toffee in the background. Dense, moist whole grain bread. Hints of hardwood and black pepper with touches of vanilla. A bit of heat in the back of the glass from the ABV. As the beer warms, the sugars, malts, and bourbon vanilla really comes together into a delicious nose.

T - Dark brown sugars lead into nicely toasted, almost roasted malts, which are followed by dark caramels and a bit of woodiness. Finish isn't cloying, but is defined by a sweet bourbon vanilla that lingers. Not quite big enough to suggest an oaked barleywine, the ale supplies the foundation to feature the bourbon extraction.

M - Very smooth and a touch creamy. Light carbonation. Light-moderate body with good structure. Components present as integrated. Soft finish lingers a bit from the sugars on the tongue.

O - This is pretty straight-forward, uncomplicated ale designed to feature the bourbon barrel aging characteristics. The sugars are forward, but not so much that's it's overly sweet, like Kentucky Bourbon Ale. It's quite drinkable without being distinctive, and pairs well with something like a full-bodied, somewhat spicy cigar, which I enjoyed immensely with this growler. The best aspect of this beer is the nose - it's to be savored before drinking. Recommended as a nitecap.

Photo of GOBLIN
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%

Photo of williamjbauer
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of chinchill
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%

12 oz bottle bottled on 20 Feb. 2014
Nice deep amber color with good carbonation. Excellent aroma.
Obvious bourbon, especially in tasting, but not so much as to completely overpower the nice malt base. Some good woody/barrel flavor too, along with vanilla and toffee in the finish.

Photo of Schlafly33
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Dave128
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 OZ bottle poured into a glass mug.. Bottled 1-11-11

A - Nothing spectacular looking... almost no head and lace is only present where the initial head was.

S - I was expecting some bourbony goodness. There isnt really that much of it. It smells a bit woody, but not the way I was expecting it to. Can smell it more when it warms and its nice.

T - pretty good.. a decent barrel ale. Dark roasty malts with somewhat of a tangy sweetness that pulls into the woodiness. Its almost room temperature now and tastes much better than it did when I first poured it. (I'm not a connoisseur of bourbon barrel ales but I guess they are meant to be enjoyed a little warmer?)

M - medium body with decent carbonation.

D - There's nothing too fantastic about this beer. There's also nothing I can fault it on. Regardless its moderately tasty and worth drinking. Glad I tried it.

Photo of secondtooth
3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This blending of barrel-aged barleywine and pale ale pours a murky amber, with a thick head of off-white suds. Lovely wisp of delicate lace, too.

Nose is complex, hinting at the bourbon barrel characteristics (vanilla), but this is dominated by a toffee and caramel maltiness (indubitably the barleywine). Needs more of the bourbony, oaky, vanilla vibe methinks.

Taste is a weird mix, as with the aroma. The boozy bourbon vanilla and charred oak is muted by a fruity character (again, the barleywine speaks loudest here). Though certainly not a bad beer, this one just lacks a more cohesive melding of tastes and styles.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours deep copper with thin white head that retains well. light lacing

mostly bourbon up front with sweet vanilla and caramel malts.

bourbon is very noticeable up front and smooths out. malts are very dominant with caramel and vanilla flavors mixed in. sort of a sweet bourbon aftertaste

decent body although id like to see a bit more carbonation. has a bit of a syrupy feel. other than that, its great.

this was fun and i am excited to see schlafly try something new. i was not expecting the bourbon to be as strong as it was, and that is not a bad thing!

Photo of BigJim5021
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of wspscott
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass
bottled on 12/16/09

A: Dark copper/orangish color with a very fluffy, off-white 1-finger head. THe head never completely disappears, and there is a huge amount of lace left behind as it drops.
S: Bourbon, wood, vanilla, no obvious hops or malts, seems somewhat one dimensional.
T: The bourbon is definitely there, but it is not as overwhelming as other bourbon beers. The wood character really comes through. There is a hint of bitter hops, but they are buried far in the background.
M: On the crisp side, lots of carbonation, a nice change from some of the under-attenuated bourbon beers that turn into a sweet mess.
D: A beer that is hard to characterize, the label says a blend of their pale ale and barleywine, not sure what I would call it, but I like it, don't love it. A nice change of pace if you want something with bourbon characteristics, but not a RIS. Not exactly a summer beer, I could easily see reaching for a 2nd if it was fall and I was in front of a campfire. Glad I have a couple more left, at the same time, I am not sure I would buy again. Worth trying if you see it.

Photo of zillo043068
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tons of carbonation lead to tall head that eventually congeals into a thick creaminess. The color is a perfect pale ale mahogany/red/orange hue.

The scent is simple enough; oakey bourbon, strong but smooth. The taste follows the nose with bourbon tones but a touch of lemon in the end. The bourbon wins out but it's a high quality bourbon barrel, it would seem.

The feel is a little fizzy but it begins to iron out near the end. If your a real fan of this type of ale than this is a must have.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a dark copper color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention is decent, lacing is good. It smells like caramel malt, vanilla, oak and a little bit of hops. The bourbon aroma isn't as strong as I thought it would be. Luckily, the bourbon comes out more in the flavor. I can taste oak, vanilla, caramel malt, toffee and a bit of dark fruit. There's also a lingering bittersweet fruity and bourbony aftertaste. Even though the label says the beer is a blend of barleywine and pale ale aged in bourbon barrels, I didn't pick up a lot of hops in the aroma or taste. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and has good carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's easy and enjoyable to drink. All in all, I think this is a pretty decent brew. I'd buy this again in the future.

Photo of n2185
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a hazy orange-brown with two fingers of light tan head that recedes into a thin layer with little lacing.

S: Lots of sweet caramel and vanilla on the nose up front with strong oak and bourbon notes backing them up. Simple, but very nice.

T: Caramel malts up front followed by vanilla and some decent bitterness from the hops. Oak and bourbon flavors follow along with some bready yeast characters. Slight alcohol burn on the finish.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer has a fairly high amount of carbonation for a bbal beer along with a dry finish. I personally would rather have a creamier body with lower carbonation, but at least it avoids being water.

O: A good beer and a great bargain. For only $11 per sixer, I've had worse bbal beers that cost much more for a single bottle. I would like a bit more depth beyond the bourbon characteristics and a creamier body, but it's still very tasty and smells great.

Photo of Beejay
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A nice copper/oak color, some good head at the pouring, but it has since dissipated.

S: Oak, whiskey, a bit of alcohol.

T: Definitely Bourbon aged. The bourbon comes right to the front, oaky and delicious. Maybe just a hint of licorice. Very smooth, not bitter, and there aren't any off flavors.. Very nice indeed.

M: Plenty of carbonation. Refreshing, and crisp.

D: One I would get again any day. Very good.

Photo of karatebartender
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich looking copper color with a light cloudiness to it. I was impressed by the thick look to it. Rich head of white across the top faded quickly leaving behind only token lace in its wake. The aroma was sweet, lots of caramel and a touch of piney hops make it just bitter enough to get by. Really nice profile here as I take the first sips. Rich malts, smooth, easy caramel flavor with a light and subtle bitterness that reminded me of a nice barleywine. Medium feel here as the syrup like nature of it lended itself to a bit thicker of a profile. thought the alcohol was very well hidden indeed,

Photo of Bierguy5
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, bottled on 3/23/10. Pours a slightly cloudy reddish copper color. Off white head fades away pretty quickly, leaving just a thin ring and no lace.

Wonderful nose here. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel and toffee. A bit of ripe fruit comes in as a subtle note.

Very light caramel malt character up front. A bit fruity, mainly ripe, darker fruits. Nice subtle bourbon flavor with minimal heat. Some oak and vanilla. Some citrusy hop notes shine through in the end.

The only knock I have on this beer is that it is thin. There is a good amount of carbonation. Still, this is a very nice beer, and I love the blended idea. Curious on how this will age. Well done.

Photo of Rob315
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a small brandy snifter. Color is slightly hazy, light amber gold. The nose has faint piney aromas. I'm not getting much bourbon in the nose.

The beer has a hop-forward,citrus flavor with just a hint of bourbon. It gets better as it warms a bit, but I'm not getting good complementary flavors of malt and vanilla here. It simply tastes like a boilermaker. Mouthfeel is average.

A disappointing beer from a brewery who makes several beers I really admire. I prefer bourbon-barrel aging when it is done with beers whose flavor profiles benefit from the treatment. For example, big roasty stouts and rich, malty brown ales and Scottish ales (e.g., Founders Backwoods Bastard and BBC Bourbon Barrel Big Brown). This was not what I was looking for. Now if Schlafly was to age their coffee stout in bourbon barrels...

Follow-up: I tried this again about 7 months later at a beer tasting and liked it much, much better. It's possible that I had a bad bottle before or that this beer is just much better when fresh.

Photo of crbnfbr
2.5/5  rDev -34.4%

Photo of Hellblazer
4.75/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of thefluker
4/5  rDev +5%

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
86 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.