Schell's Stag Series: Barleywine | August Schell Brewing Company

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Schell's Stag Series: BarleywineSchell's Stag Series: Barleywine

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jera1350 on 03-01-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 89
Photo of Ozzylizard
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from Josholson666 in NBS BIF #4
Bottle dated 072113 at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter; allowed to warm to 50 degrees
Aroma – very strong and sweet of malt and honey,
Head average (Maximum two cm, aggressive pour), tan, creamy, rapidly diminishing to an irregular five to nine mm ring and a partial layer with a rocky island
Lacing – poor. Narrow partial ring with a couple of stalactites, actually pretty good lacing for a barley wine.
Body – nearly opaque dark honey with slight effervescence and a mass quantities of floaties
Flavor – actually somewhat weaker than the nose would have led me to expect. It is moderately sweet with some caramel flavor and ends just slightly bitter. No hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate – medium, creamy, soft carbonation

Overall, a seemingly mild take on the English barley wine style. I’m sure that three years ago this probably had much sharper flavors before age mulled and dulled them. Still, this is a respectable brew.

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 4.25, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Clear piss color.

Huge white head; spotty lace.

Pleasant caramel nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Too cloying in the caramel flavor, but drinkable. Too boozy as well.

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Photo of Fargrow
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Poured cellar temperature. Aged about 2 years, 8 months. Never had fresh.

A: Pours a burnt reddish orange with an off white head that leaves a thin film on the beer.
S: Cocoa, malt, faded hops, leather, caramel sweetness.
T: Caramel, candy sweetness, a bit spicy. Pretty basic.
M: Medium. Perfect for the ABV.
O: This is a basic barleywine and it delivers what's expected of it. In a world full of barrel aging and adjuncts, such a beer can be under-appreciated. So I'm trying not to do that. Cheers.

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Photo of pat61
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes. Had both from a bottle and on tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl.
L: Pours brilliant reddish amber under a quickly receding 1” white foam collar that leaves sheets of lace.
S: Not a lot of aroma, some grains and alcohol.
T: Light fruit, rich malt, not spicy.
F: Creamy smooth, medium to a little less carbonation and medium to full body, warming.
O: Better than expected.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I wasn't expecting a whole lot, having seen the mediocre reviews of this brew. Boy was I pleasantly surprised. This interesting project from an American adjunct lager brewery must've surpassed their expectations. It certainly did mine.

On tap at Mason Lounge (Madison). In a snifter, a handsome pour, a clear coppery amber with a finger of white head and good retention and lacing.

The aroma is a bit reserved. There's a diacytel caramel, dried fruit, piney hops, and a bit of sharp ethanol.

Flavor in the mouth offers sweet caramel, stone fruit, a bit of citrus, and a floral hop bitterness on the back end. Finishes sweet, with a hint of grassy hops . Alcohol is hardly there.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Schell's Stag Series Limited Release No. 7: Barleywine Style Ale. Brewed and bottled by the August Schell Brewing Company, New Ulm, MN.

Clear and lovely, magenta hue, slim ring of creamy foam.

Aroma: malt forward, with fruit notes of cherry, grape, apple.

Taste: Plump in the mouth, bursting with hops, packed to the gills with malt. Nice, wood-y texture in the mouthfeel. Full-bodied, unrelenting flavor. Rich, strong (though ABV is nowhere on the label), and satisfying.

This falls a little short of what I like from a barley-wine, it isn't big, beefy or bold enough. But it's close, and it's a great first stab at the style for Schell's. Tasty stuff.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from Josh. Thanks dude! Served in a taster pint glass.

A - White foam settles to a near-complete cap, collar, and tiny specks of lace. Transparent bronze body with tiny bubbles present.

S - Fruity and malty, with lots of treacle, nuts, lightly toasted malt, marzipan. Quite sweet, but not overly cloying as there's a good mixture of flavors. Minimal booze, even when warm.

T - Taste is a bit more sugar and caramel-heavy, with a bit more toast and hop bitterness lingering into the finish. Perhaps a bit of lingering alcohol in the finish. Light fruity and nutty notes.

M - Chewy, medium-full body, with lower carbonation, and a bit of warmth on the back of the throat. Lingering stickiness on the palate.

D - Schell's makes very traditional and well-executed brews, and this one is no exception. I had no problem putting down 6-8oz or so. There are a lot worse options out there that cost a lot more. Unusually drinkable for 9.5%.

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Photo of zeledonia
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted 17 July 2013. Don't know why it's taken me so long to get around to drinking this, but a barleywine shouldn't change all that much.

Pours a clear medium orange-amber. One finger off-white head, decent retention and lacing. Not a whole lot of visible carbonation. Not bad, not great.

Smell is delightfully sweet and sugary, without being quite candy-like. Like toned-down Southern Comfort, but better. Like sugar-coated fruit, apricots and such, with a grainy background. Hops are barely detectable here.

Taste is all barleywine, though at the moment I'm struggling to parse exactly what that means. Big malts, semi-sweet and robust, with both moderate earthy hops and alcohol providing a medium-gentle bitter wave. The bitterness balances the sweetness nicely, yielding a sort of half-American, half-English barleywine. Tasty, nothing sticking out positive or negative.

Feel is fine. Heavy-bodied, weighty and hefty. Carbonation is good, right on the level it should be. Good and unobtrusive, but not adding much.

A very tasty barleywine, right in the middle of the sweet to bitter spectrum, a shade towards the sweet end. I'm digging it, and my glass is quickly emptied.

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Photo of emerge077
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

"2332" code on the bottom of the bottle, neck screened 07 21 13.

Reddish amber, bright clarity, the occasional bubble or two rising upwards. Sticky sudsy lacing around the edges, a thin veil remains before sipping, and a collar around the edges.

Aroma is sweet with bread crusts and caramel, mild toffee and a floral note.
Flavors are similar, bleeding into marzipan and vanilla extract territory, maybe some almond shortbread. Rich and full bodied, mellow carbonation with a minor alcohol sting, sticky on the lips. Lightly floral in the aftertaste, suggesting the use of hops in thebrewing process.

This is reminiscent of Point's barleywine, but it has a bit more finesse.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cool 12oz from laymansbeerfan (thanks!) poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint; LTD Release, Batch #7 I think...

A: Gold pour with some some chill haze, one finger soft, fluffy, bright white head that settles to a cap pretty quickly.

S: Big malty breadiness with sugary notes and sprinkling of fruitiness; pitted fruit, some dark fruit and stone fruit flesh. Malt is a touch 'toasty', hopping is modest and lends an earthy component. This brew definitely leans 'English'.

T: Follows the nose, with a hint more hop presence, which checks & balances the sugary malt nicely. Suggestions of toasted bread some sticky dark fruit here, as well as some more fruity esters. Finishes with a flash of alcohol heat with a touch of a vinous character.

MF: Body is substantial, nearly full.

O: A solid drinker, definitely malt-driven, with the hops in the backseat.

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Photo of jimmah120
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle marked best by july 07 2013

look is a sediment-free, yet slightly cloudy, amber-orange. lighter in color than expected. smell is a true meld of warm savory malts and juicy apple and citrus. more carbonation and more light in feel than i expected, the taste is deep savory malts and bitter herbal hops. the 9.5% is well disguised.

schell's knocked this one out of the park. less chewy and overpowering than most barleywines, it almost feels sessionable. delicious, this needs to be year-round.

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Photo of chanokokoro
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an unbranded short stemmed tulip/snifter

Thanks to Oboogie for this brew.

Pours a jewel-toned ruby amber capped by a one and a half finger bone white creamy head. Above average retention as the head slowly recedes to a foam ring that leaves behind hints of lacing here and there. Very promising nose, deep fruit tones, toffee, and boozy alcohol. Caramel, toffee, fig, rich dates, and accents of apple peel. Finishes with boozy alcohol smoothed out by nutty caramel notes. Full body, moderate carbonation, smooth and silky on the palate. A very solid English barleywine. This is the first brew I've had from Schell's and it was a good one to sample first. Look forward to trying other brews in their Stag Series.

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Photo of hardy008
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper with a one finger off white head, with good retention and nice lacing. The aroma has caramel, toffee, pears, and mild citrus hops.

The taste has caramel, toffee, alcohol, pears, citrus hops, and toasted bread. The beer is sweet, with hop bitterness to provide some balance. If there is a downside, it's that this beer has a boozy taste to it.

Medium to full bodied with above average carbonation for the style. A nicely made Barleywine, which I would buy again. I just wish the alcohol was better disguised.

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Photo of yamar68
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to reviewing this one.

Great looking beer - looks like a glass of iced tea with an appropriate thin film of slightly off-white head that laces well.

The nose shows a nice balance of caramel sweetness, fruity hops, toasted grain and faint vanilla. The boys at Schell's never seem to fail when it comes to brewing a thoughtful, balanced beer.

It seems like a strictly malt focused beer on the first sip, but once you get comfortable the other flavors surface. There's some smooth tropical hop contributions that play nicely against a vanilla/tobacco malt base. I can dig it.

This is a solid beer for sure. I'm not always on board with Schell's but the Stag Series has yet to let me down.

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Photo of ZAP
4.84/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my favorite barley wines of all-time. I like the malty forward BW'slike Old Ho rather than say Bigfoot and this one puts Old Ho to shame in my opinion.

From the writeup on their website it sounds like they use ample hops (150 pounds of hops were added to the wort during the extended (90 minute) boil.)...but that must have been needed to keep this from being cloying. As it is it is a sweetish, malt bomb. Caramel bread, caramel, some nougat and vanilla and did I mention caramel.

There is a light smack of bitterness on the finish and it is perfectly placed.

Big bodied, nice carbonation. The aroma is really something.

Top tier BW that matches my flavor preferences in this style perfectly. Booze is barely noticable for the style. It's there but again well integrated.

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Photo of Misanthropy_Sipping
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Bought a single of a barleywine that ordinarily comes in a six pack... should have just bought a full six pack. August Schell generally puts out pretty unique and good quality beers when it comes to their Stag Series. Not to say their others are not quality, they do a pretty good job.

Pours an orangey amber color, the kind that worries me a bit. Not murky at all. Oily nature which I expected, obviously very thick. Has a small and quickly dissipating slightly off white head.

((Boo - Zay))... lots of booze on the nose. Has a lot of malt and caramel sweetness as well. Slightly orange citrus smell. Maybe a bit of vanilla.

Heads off pretty quickly with the booze as well. The booze for me is one thing that s definitely not hidden. But on the good side there is a slight piney/citrus hop character that upholds it well and compliments the booze in a way that makes this barleywine pretty drinkable. I get an orange pith sort of taste that follows on with a hint of vanilla and slightly burnt caramel. Fades out pretty sweet but not to sweet and the mellow hoppy bitter helps mellow things off to a very slightly sticky dry mouthfeel.

The mouthfeel is excellent. They somehow achieved keeping this pretty drinkable and not a big sticky ball of malt. It's actually really drinkable. It has some weight to it but no more than what I would consider medium. And a nice medium at that.

Overall a very nicely done barleywine that is more than worth the price. As I said, I should have bought a full six pack. It would have been more than worth it. Another good job by August Schell in the Stag Series.

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Photo of deebo
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I think this is the cheapest barleywine out there today. Under $10 for a 6 pack. Funny that this has a BB date of 072113, I think Schell's just stamps a 6 month BB date on all their beers regardless of what's inside. Anyway. Poured into a snifter this brew gives you a thin finger of white tiny bubbled head with weak retention and lacing. Brilliantly clear with a really attractive dark copper color. Aroma cold is weak-some ripe dried fruits (prunes) with an alcohol bite. Malty-not much else.

Initial taste is sweet and malty-pleasant. A big malt bomb. Lacks complexity but good flavor, quick finish and a little too easy to drink.

A bit more carbonation than most barleywines-but I think it is appropriate with this beer. Definitely light in body, yet the alcohol isn't oppressive making this a dangerous concoction. I can see this beer getting the best of most of us who tempt fate drinking this and forgetting about the near 10% ABV. The body could be thicker and smoother-we'll see if age helps round it out a bit but I'm not sure if aging will do this beer much good. Luckily, it's pretty good now.

Loving the Stag Series beers. This one and the citra pils warrant a yearly appearance. Impressive. Keep em coming Schells!

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Photo of Greggy
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby amber color with thick creamy off white head.
No lacing is present but the carbonation bubbles look viscous. Lacing is present. This is going to be a big one...

Dark fruits butterscotch and rye aromatics come through on the nose.
I don't think there is rye but that's what I get on this malt forward nose.

Big malty raisins with butterscotch and some rounded hopiness. I get a bit of woody maple syrup on the finish.

Big mouthfeel. Finish is somewhat uninteresting.

Overall not bad, especially give the price. Worth a shot for sure. Probably some aging potential here.

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Photo of JamesMN
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange/copper color with really nice clarity and some effervescence floating towards a film of creamy off-white head.

Aroma: A nice balance here, amber malt, a touch of rye (or maybe that's the slight tinge of alcohol), a touch of hop nectar, and an overall sweet quality. Not super aromatic but pleasant.

Taste: Flavor matches the aroma with a nice amber malt sweetness in the first half. Then a subtle but strong bitterness creeps onto your palate in the second half. The hop character is an interesting mix of earthy notes with faint citrus flavors echoing in the background. It does a good job of balancing out what would otherwise be a very sweet Barleywine. The hop bitterness seems to combine with the heat from the 9.5% ABV and makes for a rich finish. The aftertaste is all bitterness. The first few sips were less than impressive but as I drink more and it warms, the flavors develop nicely and you really get a feel for how impressive this style can be when all of the flavors are balanced.

Mouthfeel: If a 1 is thin in body and a 10 is full and robust then I'd call this one a soft 9. It's definitely got some body to it but just drinks so well it never feels cloying or too filling. The carbonation is average and nothing special but I bet this would be a real treat on cask.

Final Thoughts: I've reviewed a lot of Schell's beers because they are local and offer their brews at a low price point. Although most of the selection is quite pedestrian and less than stellar, I'm happy to note that this Barleywine of theirs is quite good. The brewers at August Schell's obviously know what they're doing. Would I drink it again? Yes, sign me up if they tap a cask!

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Photo of Mdog
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Amber-orange, big head.

Smell: Fruity, bit of banana, bit of grape.

Taste: Fruity again but not like the smell. Cran-cherry, dark fruit, mildly sweet, mild earthy finish.

Overall: I like Schell and I like barleywines so I picked up a sixer. This definitely reminds me more of an English barleywine with its sweet and fruity flavors. A nice mix of earthy dark fruit flavors. Alcohol is well hidden and it feels lighter than 9.5%. Worth a try.

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Photo of Serick507
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed from a bottle into a Schells tasting glass.

A: One finger of a cream to white head, small amount of streaming bubbles, amber/ copper in color. Pretty light looking and clear. Some nice moderate lacing.

S: Malty, sweet, fruity, little bit of booze

T: Sweet, caramel and toffee malts, dark fruits, some moderate hop bitterness, some booze shines through. Nice depth of flavor for me. Definitely feel the ABV, warm on the way down.

M: smooth and creamy, medium feel, light carbonation.

O: Schells really shows their range on this one! A German Brewery doing a pretty darn good English Brew. Very nice barley wine!

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Photo of sommersb
3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 03-22-2013
Freshness: Batch #7 of the Stag Series
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Received from a friend

Clear and bright amber colored-beer, with a finger's worth of off-white head on top. Head retention is low and I get a fair amount of lacing on my glass.

Smells are mainly about the malts, with caramel and biscuit notes, plus dark fruit. The hop aromas seem very muted. The aromas are pleasant, but remind me more of a Vienna lager or Oktoberfest than a barley-wine. I suppose that might be fitting for an English barleywine, but it seems out of place for an American rendition (which is what they classify this as on the label).

On first sip, I taste both the malt aspect and some hop bitterness. The hops have a woody flavor to them, plus I get some roasted grain flavors, almost like you'd taste in a porter.

The feel is highly carbonated on a medium body. Finishes with a bit of burnt caramel and toasted grain bitterness, with some astringency. I taste a bit of alcohol warming as I get to the end of the glass.

So overall this is a good beer, but seems to be missing the target of an American Barleywine as the brewer describes it. The presence of some astringent flavors also keep me from scoring this higher.

Thanks to Craig for this one!

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Photo of darky
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, poured into snifter.

A: Pours a golden-honey with loads of apparent carbonation that manages to not build too big of a head and dissipates down to nice thin white film on top.

S: Booze, loads of banana (even when too cold)

T: Alcohol is mildly apparent at the start and the banana follows through along with loads of sweet malt and an upfront hop character that carries the big malt flavor nicely. Alcohol reappears on the finish but not in an overpowering way. There is a definite beginning-middle-end to each taste that lets you know someone spent some time on this brew.

M: Very nice body and creamy mouthfeel that I think somehow takes the edge off the elevated ABV and supports the hop character nicely

O: I'm not well-versed in barleywines but I really enjoyed this. I would fully support Schell's making this regularly available. It's vaguely reminiscent of Spaten Optimator in many ways, yet clearly in an entirely different category. Highly recommended.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The aroma on this is nothing to shout about. Kind of a funky malt character mixing with the hops to create kind of a mess. Almost seems like something ain't quite right. A doughiness to the malt.
Brilliantly clear and dark golden. An expected smallish white head that has a creamy appearance in it's lacing.
Now in spite the aroma the flavors shine very nicely. Great hopping on this. Spicey, tingly and some drying and they blend so darn nicely with the grains. Just superb. Mostly soft alcohol heat (drinks vary but sometimes it's a little more than soft-at 9.5% I'd think they'd be a little softer most of the time) and the alcohol flavors blend in very nicely with a perfumey character. I wonder if they used the golden promise in the grain bill - seems to have that quality. LIttle bit of caramel. Nice rich malt flavor - no issues here with the flavor.
Moderately high body leaving a somewhat smooth body even with enough carbonation to nip the out layer.
Overall I like this. This is still developing, as my first one about 1 week ago had more hop character and less heat. We'll see how the others come forth - and of course I'm gonna' put some away for aging (I can't help myself).

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Photo of blakelive784
3.26/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to maximum12!

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - Pours a clear orange/copper color with two fingers of just off white, frothy head. Retention is poor, but excusable given the high ABV. Standard fare.

S - Sweet brown sugar, light toasted malts, musty grassy hops notes, and alcohol. Surprisingly mild in strength. There's a buried bandaid-esque note. Balanced, but a little strange. I'm guessing this'll be a sipper...

T - Thick caramel and crystal malts. Not as hoppy as I'd guessed. Very sweet. Alcohol is evident throughout and it warms on the way down. Doughy yeast are faint. Definitely a sipper, but well built. I'm glad that strange note I found on the nose is gone.

M - Thick and smooth. Alcoholic on the finish.

D - Takes a hit for drinkability, but it's a good barleywine. A little sweet for my tastes. Note entirely unique or remarkable, but a fair example of the style.

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Schell's Stag Series: Barleywine from August Schell Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 89 ratings.
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