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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Ale - The Schlafly Tap Room

Not Rated.
Schlafly Bourbon Barrel AleSchlafly Bourbon Barrel Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

51 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 120
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 18.96%
Wants: 11
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BEERchitect on 06-12-2009

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 120
Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Looks like liquid caramel with a light tan head.

S: Amazing sweet caramel malt, floral hops, whiskey and an earthy, woody quality.

T: A hoppy, caramel body is surrounded by less than subtle hints of bourbon whiskey and oak. A light alcohol burn in the finish gives way to a linger, butterscotch tingle all through the mouth. No bitterness at all.

D: Hard to say if I could venture to consume more than three of these. It's just a powerful brew. Went down easy, but not quickly!

Thanks to gemutlichkeit for this awesome extra.

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Photo of Spider889
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at The Beer Trappe in Lexington. Awesome value at $1.89 for the single 12oz bottle.

Described as a mix of barleywine and pale ale aged in bourbon barrels. Bottled on: 8/05/2011.

Poured into my Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter. Seems pretty damn fitting given the beer and where I bought it.

Pours a gritty orange-ish rust color. Clears out well-enough after a bit. The head is slow-rising but tall, with a very noticeable orange hue to it. Interesting. Lace is nice and made up of wispy tendrils creeping up toward the lip of the glass.

Smells really nice. Bourbon is potent but not overpowering or boozy. Nice medium toasted oak notes and some ripe hoppiness. Then comes a very mellow sweet candy corn aroma. Delicious and inviting.

The flavor was excellent from the first sip. I was initially reminded of Kuhnhenn BB 4D, though this is like the non-Imperialized version so-to-speak. The beer has a very rich caramel and toffee malt profile. The bourbon is very well integrated, and adds sweetness and some mild coconut flavor.

Nice medium body here with mid to low-end carbonation. Smooth finish.

I wish I knew the abv on this one. Overall an excellent beer (the second excellent offering from Schlafly in a row for me). The beer is an awesome value and this all culminates in the sentiment that I am deeply saddened Schlafly doesn't distribute in Ohio.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bobhits for sending me this one!

Bottled on 1/11/11.

Pours a murky dark copper orange with a 2 inch white-orange head that fades to an oily cap. Broken rings of lace form randomly on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted coconut, vanilla, light fruits, and alcohol. Taste is of coconut, vanilla, and cake. There is a slight hop presence in the aftertaste. There is a slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat as well. This beer has a lower carbonation level with a slightly thick and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with nice barleywine characteristics and very nice coconut and vanilla smells and tastes. My first beer from Schlafly.

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Photo of birchstick
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a copper color with a nice white head

S - sweet oak and vanilla from the bourbon, caramel malts and toffee

T - the taste off with sweet caramel malts that segues into oakey vanilla bourbon deliciousness. No real hop character is present. It tastes a lot like their barleywine aged in bourbon barrels instead of straight up oak.

M - full creamy mouthfeel - great body

D - as mentioned, this is like their barleywine aged in bourbon barrels - awesome beer for bourbon barrel lovers. I have been really wanting to try this for a long time. I wish they sold this in St Louis (considering that's where it's brewed) because I would buy this everytime I went to the store. Solid stuff.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
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!

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - nice caramel amber color. A thin off-white head but with lots of lacing, covering probably two-thirds or more of the glass.

Aroma - has a malty mashy aroma, kind of expected but still nice. On the lighter side.

Taste - good maltiness at the base, with a fine layer of bourbon on top. The oak and vanilla are very tasty without being hot in the least. Bourbon carries the day, all the way to the finish.

Mouthfeel - smooth, lower carbonation, nicely put together.

Drinkability - I wanted to save a couple for aging...that didn't go too well.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
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,

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apparently its a blend of Schlafly Barleywine and their Pale Ale aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels.

Looks a hazy amber. Bourbon and vanilla pour out immediately as it hits the glass. You get some ripe acidic fruits as well as alcohol in the nose too. Kinda clashes a little before becoming cohesive at the end of the nose.

The blend is a success by all means. Very low bitterness but well balanced. The ripe fruits, bourbon, vanilla, and slight alcohol all compact well.

Finishes wet with a subtle dryness.

10.99 a sixer - Party Town - Florence, KY

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Photo of Beerbythepool
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to snifter.
I initially tasted this beer in August 2009, but did not review. Put rest of six pack in cellar and got a better result this time.

Nice head of 2.5 fingers and light lacing.

The color is orange to amber with a thunder cloud in the middle of the glass and sediment settling through to the bottom.

Smell- leather and fruit

Taste- leather, vanilla and bourbon is on the front, but oak and wood on the back end.

Mouthfeel- full, coats the mouth, but has some fizz.

The finish is short and I wish it would hang on a little longer.

This was much better than my first taste of the beer and I would say that it is aging well. I will check in on it in another 6 months. Pick some up if you can find it.

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Photo of Kelly88
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint. Had on tap at the cock and bull.

A- dark Ruby red bordering on brown. Crater filled thin off white head. Pretty good looking beer.

S- vanilla and a Tad bit of alcohol. I like it but this is not very strong. Sort of a Bourbon cake type smell That is very appealing.

T- first thing that comes to mind is chocolate chip cookies. Then a sort of nice Bourbon chocolate flavor really takes over. A really unique flavor. Bourbon is not overpowering but really blends nicely with the flavors that are there.

M- medium bodied brew that is a little lacking in carbonation. Nice feel but I would like more coating since the flavor is so rich and decadent

Overall I am pleasantly surprised. Great taste that is a great fusion of Bourbon and beer. The best parts Bourbon, vanilla creamy chocolate, are fused with nice sweet malts. I would definitely buy this again.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Bourbon Barrel Ale is already causing a bit of a stir although it has only been on the Lexington market for one day. There is little information about the beer. The website has no mention of it. But the label reads, " Schlafly bourbon Barrel Ale is a seamless blend of Schlafly Barleywine-style Ale an dour Pale Ale aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels. The result is a smooth Bourbon character balanced by caramel malt sweetness and classic English hops." Chatter on the forums suggest that the beer is aged in Jim Beam barrels and will only be available for Kentucky distribution. Who really knows?

The beer begins with a caramelly rich pour with deep copper, golden, amber lights. Brilliant clarity and low carbonation allows the appearance to take on a bright glow. Light on legging and no real lacing to mention. Probably meant for a brandy snifter.

Rich aromas of caramels dominate the nose upfront and rides unimbided throughout the aroma. Vanillans, woods, nuttiness, and hints of cherries and dried fruits make an English style impact. Not as hoppy as expected from reading the label. Still bourbony, boozy notes give a true fingerprint to the beer.

Caramel flavor is equally as rich and dominant upfront in the taste as it was in the nose. Vanilla and esters swirl around in the mouth and create a varying complexity of tastes. Near mid-palate the hops come in with a mild grassy, herbal taste. Though pleasant, the hops give an abrupt distraction from the otherwise sweet-focused bourbon and caramel character.

The mouthfeel gives the impression of heavy sweetness, especially since the low-lying carbonation. But the beer is malty and well attenuated and doesn't leave as much residual sweetness on the palate as the taste would indicate. Very warm from the bourbon barrel aging. Also, the alcohol bite hides behind the hop bitterness at times- playing little games with the back of the throat.

This beer reminds me a lot of the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale producted by Alltech's Lexington Brewing Company. Schlafly takes a better balance between the strong malt character and the bourbon aging and is a stronger beer throughout. But the hops struggle to blend with the delicate bourbon character, causing too much conflict rather than balance.

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Photo of b3shine
4.12/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
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!

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thoroughly enjoyed from a growler in a Revolution Snifter. This FINE ale pours light reddish brown with a medium effervescent head of white that dissipates to a thin ring and spotty soapy lacing. Nose of toffee, vanilla, bourbon, oak, strong booze, and layers of sweet malts. Flavors showcase sweet yet lightly crisp malts up front with layers of vanilla, brown sugars and toffee, and light bourbon awash over a light oak barrel note that is complex and intriguing. Slick wet mouth feel with good crisp carbonation makes this one a dangerous easy drinker. Alcohol in the nose is muted and clocks in with a mild heat at around seven percent. Light vanilla and bourbon flavor in the aftertaste. Fantastic!


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Photo of Bonis
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Light brown in color with tones of orange. A half inch of off white head settles to a thin layer. A decent amount of sediment floating in there, even after leaving the last oz in the bottle.

S - I get sweet caramel malts immediately with a touch of bourbon. Butterscotch and caramel sauce are dominant with hints of coconut, dried dates, and wood. Very nice.

T - Caramel carries over from the nose, no butterscotch. A slight pale ale hop bitterness mingles with oak and dried fruit. A nice coconut and faintest bourbon finish. Not quite as sweet as I expected after smelling it, but well balanced overall. A nice complex flavor profile with a minor incorporation of bourbon flavors. Not much alcohol is noted... I'd put it in the 7-8% abv range if I had to guess.

M - Carbonation and body are on the moderate side. A very smooth bourbon barrel ale, no complaints on the feel.

O - Glad I picked this up on my most recent Kentucky venture. At $10.99 a sixer, I can't think of many better values. A nice complex bourbon aged ale that probably wouldn't satisfy you're Bourbon lovers, but would be a nice intro into bba beers.

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Photo of despainmakesbeer
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very hazy, medium brownish orange color. No head, very thin ring around edge. Very oaked aroma, with nice toastedness from barrel. Highly carbonated. Very toasty oak flavor. Sweet oaky finish, some sweet from the bourbon on the finish. Some smokiness picked up in the middle of drink. Not much else in flavor to pick out, pretty oaky all the way through. A little dryness on end, but pretty smooth, hides alcohol well.

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Photo of Beejay
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of n2185
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of chilidog
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got lucky, I feel, I bought the last sixer of this at The Party Source, in Bellevue, Ky. Alot of Kentucky reviews I noted as well.
Im glad I found this as im headed to Schlafly in a couple weeks, can't wait.
It pours a nice copper red with fair off white head. Lace was ring like and stuck well. Carbonation was abit quiet.

Aroma of earthy wood char, vanilla, caramel malts and alittle bourbon.

Taste carry that woody goodness, vanilla, caramel malts, biscuit and alittle bourbon.

Mouthfeel is smooth, caramel candy like with a slight alcohol coat.

Overall, im glad i found a six, most BBA are overpriced fours.
The bourbon i thought was week. Alot of Ky. reviews, Kentucky bourbon Barral Ale for me is a fair standard for this style. If Schlafly wants to reach this standard, you need more Bourbon.
And whats the ABV? Even the web site don't tell ya. Overall, well worth it, find it, Buy it!!

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Photo of WhiskeeTango
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Schlafly Special Reserve - Bourbon Barrel Ale is a strong, in-your-face dark ale that will immediately trick your nose into thinking you've poured yourself a pint of Kentucky Bourbon. The smell of this brew is not for the faint of heart. Strangely, it is exactly those bourbon tones that make this beer so drinkable when it hits the palate. The 'boozey' taste & smell from the high alcohol content that can sometimes impinge flavor is masked beautifully behind that bourbon barrel smoke screen. All in all this was a very enjoyable beer for those special occasions when only something stronger will do.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of bamadog
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle of this on a recommendation from beerman207, so here goes. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a near perfect copper color with about a one finger, thick and oily looking head that fades quickly to a pretty thick and uneven skim floating on the surface; body is moderately clear and shows very slow carbonation creeping up from the bottom; spotty and oily lacing holds to the glass briefly before sliding back into the drink.

Smell: Smell is nice - a ton of caramel or butterscotch malts, hints of vanilla/oak; very rich and sweet smelling, not especially complex but the scents are delicious.

Taste: Much like the smell, there is a blast of those sweet caramel/butterscotch malts, hints of oaky vanilla, , very mild hoppy bitterness and a definite presence of alcohol that manages to come across a little bourbonesque -- not overpowering or overly alcoholic in flavor, a really nice blending.

Mouthfeel: Warm and tingly in the mouth from the alcohol that has a slightly drying effect and there is a mild stickiness left throughout; belly is left especially warm

Drinkability: Very nice flavors and a nice mouthfeel with a taste that isn't burning my throat out, so it's got that going for it... Sadly, the ABV is apparently unknown but I'm definitely feeling it, so I don't think I could sit through too many.

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

Generously provided by Robert. Thank you!

12 oz into a glass after a long day at the capitol protesting and wondering if the rights of unionized workers will be forever changed in our state. But, when the Dems hightailed it to the evil empire to the south, Illinois, we were provided a temporary stay of execution. Run boys, run!

Ruddy cider colored pour with a creamy white cape and some sticky lacing. Beer is a combination of a barrel aged pale and barleywine.

Smells of apple juice, toffee, and vanilla, and melted caramel. Confounding really as some whiffs are too near apple juice to be enticing, while others are near jawdroppingly delicious. More the latter than the former.

Lemon zest hops that I presume come from the pale ale part of the blend up front moves into melted caramel and vanilla. Apple juice creeps in here as well. Not sure if the meeting of these two beers just imparts an odd, slightly off flavor, but it just doesn't come fully together. What it is, however, is a good beer that is unique and just misses of the mark of being very good.

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

12 Oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Pours extremely hazy brown with hints of orange. A one finger off white head. Some alcohol legs in this one.

S- A lot of light bourbon notes. There is good deal of oak and vanilla. A little caramel. A super sweet smelling beer.

T- A surprising bitterness up front. Not very strong but unexpected. A sugary sweetness sweeps over. There is a ton of light caramel and toffee in this beer. The Bourbon is not too strong but provides nice flavors. There is a good bit of vanilla, rye and corn mash, a slight sourness, not as much wood flavor as I would like to see. Buttery biscuits.

M- Tons of feel to this beer, quite syrupy and smooth. Slight alcohol feel.

O- This is a pretty awesome brew, I may buy more to see how it fares with some age.

Also I don't know how this beer doesn't list an ABV. To be honest im surprised its legal to do so. Judging by the alcohol legs and feel of the beer its between 8-8.5% but who's to say.

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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
86 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.