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
Reviews by Snow81:
Photo of Snow81
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of bsp77
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Fiery reddish-orange with good sized, light beige head and decent lacing rings.

Smell: Quite fruity, with lots of toffee and caramel. Light citrus. Decadent and sweet aroma.

Taste: Fairly similar to the aroma. This is a sweet, malt driven Barleywine, with loads of dark fruit, toffee, caramelized sugar, and raisins. However, there are definite notes of citrus and spice from the hops. The hops provide depth of flavor, but not much bitterness, so it remains mostly on the sweet end of the spectrum.

Feel: Fairly heavy and full bodied, with carbonation staying in check. There are some small drying notes at the end that keeps the mouthfeel out of cloying territory.

Overall: This is a delicious, fairly easy sipping Barleywine. Not the monstrous American-style Barleywine that initial descriptions conveyed, but that's okay because the malts are great and the citrusy hops do add nice nuances. Overall, this is a nice Barleywine that exhibits aspects of both the English and American sub-styles. And not that this impacts my score, but this is a great value at $10 a six pack.

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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!

 1,233 characters

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.

 391 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head that slowly fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A fairly big and strong aroma of sweet malts and citrus hop esters. Bready toasted malts with big hints of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, and yeast. Some brown sugar adds to the sweetness. Also in the mix are some earthy, herbal hops with hints of citrus orange peel, grapefruit, and lemon. Leans more to the malty side. Also a light scent of oak. Pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Follows the nose with a big taste of sweet malts with a decent profile of earthy and citrus hops. Big toasty taste of malts with notes of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, and yeast. Some brown sugar sweetness and light notes of oak and apple fruit. Also some noticeable hops with notes of earthy grass, herbal hops, and some citrus orange, lemon, and grapefruit. Alcohol taste is pretty minimal for a Barleywine. Solid overall taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and chewy. Smooth and the alcohol heat is really tame for a fresh Barleywine.

Overall: A pretty good take on the style. One might think that it already has some age on it as it comes out of the gate very smooth for the style, but its not thin by any means. Nice malty taste.

 1,435 characters

Photo of Rowsdower
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Oboogie
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of andrew8626
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

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!

 627 characters

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

Photo of morimech
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with one finger of head that settles to a thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left down the glass.

Strong malty aroma. Plenty of caramel and toffee. Some fruity esters as well. Not much from the hops and the alcohol is well masked.

Sweet malt flavor dominates. I get caramel, bread, and brown sugar encrusted raisins. Far more influence from the yeast than the hops. Surprised by the IBU level in fact as the hop bitterness is no match for the malt sweetness. Bit of heat and from alcohol in the finish. About the only thing that keeps this beer from being cloying.

Body feels lighter than it should. I would put it at medium but at this ABV I expected a little more. Nice carbonation gives a pleasant texture.

Schell's describes this as an assertively hopped American Barleywine. I would describe it as English Barleywine minus the fabulous English hops. Maybe the hops did not perform the way the brewer anticipated, which is too bad because I would of liked the taste of some Nugget hops.

 1,032 characters

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.

 678 characters

Photo of DrZeus10
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of amgamgamg
5/5  rDev +24.1%

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.

 713 characters

Photo of bigbeers84
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of MN_Beerticker
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of TheBishopco
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

 929 characters

Photo of jkwikkel
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of ystazi
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Handy50322
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of jrsaffert
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Cramerican
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

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