Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout | The Schlafly Tap Room

Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial StoutSchlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
Liked This Beer
4.08 w/ 956 ratings
Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial StoutSchlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room
Missouri, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout is brewed with a big malt flavor, plenty of hop bitterness for balance and roasted barley that imparts notes of dark chocolate. As a finishing touch, the beer is transferred to freshly-emptied Kentucky bourbon barrels and aged before being carbonated and bottled. The barrel aging gives the beer a spicy, vanilla character and a pleasant, warming finish.

In the 18th Century, Imperial Stout was first brewed in London for export to the court of Catherine II of Russia. The beer had to be robust enough to maintain during transport.

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

40 IBU

Added by maxpower on 11-23-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 956 |  Reviews: 406
Photo of bnes09
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass. Completely opaque black color with a thin, light tan head. Poor retention and no lacing which is expected.

Strong bourbon aroma, spicy and even hot alcohol notes. Just a hint of roasted character.

This didn't really taste the way I was expecting. It is similar to a dry wine with a hint of bourbon flavor. Not too much roasted flavor, must less than other imperial stouts I've tried. Nice molasses and cherry sweetness, just enough to balance. Hints of cough syrup in the flavor (not in a bad way though.) Different but not bad.

Medium to full bodied in feel. Even, smooth texture. Low carbonation. Definite warmth from the alcohol.

Very drinkable for it's strength, drink with caution. A solid imperial stout. Different than expected due to less roasted character but still very enjoyable.

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Photo of Bmoyer0301
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Popped the cap on this 2008 vintage bottle on New Years Day 2011. I was greeted with a very loud hissing noise and lots of carbonation gasses escaping the neck of the large bottle. I poured this into my DFH snifter and went straight on trying to entice a thick creamy head. When I was finished I was left with a two finger thick mocha colored head that faded after a few minutes. As I hold my glass up to the light this baby pours a jet black and has absolutely no yeast chunks or haze in this beer. After a generous swirl there was a generous amount of lacing clinging to the walls of my glass.


Big boozy aroma of aged bourbon, vanilla, and brown sugar. Raisin cookie, roast, and no sharp heat alcohol. Loads of oak and woody tannins mingled with dark cherries.


Fresh roasted coffee, smooth bourbon, and lots of dark fruits. Vanilla, molasses, some heat alcohol, and tons of sweetness. Slightly ashy on the finish with some pound cake flavors. slightly tangy finish but yet still very smooth.


This was a great Christmas present, very smooth and yet full flavored with loads of bourbon. This has aged very gracefully and I hope I can find some more to store away in the cellar.

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Photo of horshack7
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: From a 750ml bottle the 2007 batch. Pours an opaque black with a one inch beige head that upon dissipation leaves a little bit of lacing behind.

Aroma: At the begining is a very sweet malty aroma with certainly bourbon notes but nicely grainy with dark roasted hops. Caramel, carob and wood notes preety much surround this beer.

Taste: At the first sip is a tremendous rush of wood graininess and alcohol. Dark roasted hops and a malty backbone are the largest of flavors. Towards the middle are sweet esters then it mellows out to a sticky yet still smooth mouthfeel.

Notes: This is my first review of 2011 and it's good beer to pick up. A great sipper or it could even be enjoyed as a dessert beer. Cheers.

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Photo of uberkane
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with brown-hued edges. Bubbly small head with good lacing

S: Smooth vanilla with hints of chocolate and bourbon. Light butterscotch.

T: Smooth oak-vanilla with touches of chocolate. Bitterness comes in and out, as well as a light caramel taste. Some bourbon.

M: Medium bodied for a big stout--not too heavy. Carbonation is minimal.

D: Good beer to nurse. Pretty drinkable for a big stout.

Notes: All and all a good beer, with a nice balance of vanilla/oak/bourbon flavors and dark-malt/chocolate flavors. I had some chocolate with it, which made a lot more vanilla come out in the beer, and made the chocolate taste like it was coated in caramel. Yummy.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage

"We aged this Imperial Stout in Bourbon barrels, which contribute caramel and oak flavors to balance the roasty maltiness of the stout. This 2008 vintage will age well in a cool, dark place for several years but is ready to enjoy now. Try it with a piece of chocolate and see why we went to the trouble."

Pours from the 1pt9.4fl oz bottle into my go-to impy stout glass, a La Fin Du Monde tulip glass. Emerges pitch black with a half inch sized tan mocha colored head of decent consistency and form.

The aroma wafts toward my nostrils as soon as this one hits the glass. Alcoholic, roasty, raisins, loads of oakiness and just a hint of bourbon for effect. Slightly sweet and alkaline in the aroma but smells quite pleasing. I am eager to enjoy. Figgy and earthy.

Very nice flavor profile. A little sweet up front with the bourbon contributing some of that flavor. Heavy roastiness and oakiness. Slightly chalky. The bourbon also finds its way to the finish. Slightly bitter in the finish makes this one so completely balanced. The mouthfeel was slightly less chewy than I would like in the style. Slightly thin but it doesnt finish super dry so that helps a bit. Alcohol is noticeable in the way or warmth to the loins.

At 10.5%abv, this one is dangerously drinkable. I served it at about 50F and that seemed to be the perfect temp for this one. I would go no colder. Suicide Silence's "Wake Up!" is busting my eardrums and this beer certainly screams Wake Up! as well. Highly enjoyable.

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Photo of obywan59
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black with a 2 finger tan head leaving nice sticky lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel and spiked hot chocolate with a dash of vanilla. Some nice roasted malt as well.

Tastes AWESOME! Bourbon, HUGE caramelly sweetness, vanilla and plenty of bitter dark chocolate from the roasted malts.

Doesn't seem thin to me. I'd call it full bodied. At first, I'd have said it was too thick for the sweetness. Maybe I should have dogged the sweetness instead, but I have a tendency to prefer beers on the sweet side. Whatever though, after a bit, the clashing perceptions seemed to settle down and they began coexisting peacefully. Very agreeable.

The thickness hindered me at first, and then the ABV kicked in, but the beer comes together and makes for an incredible drinking experience.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.49/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12/25/10 notes. 2008 vintage. Poured into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with almost no head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, caramel malts, oak, dark fruits, molasses, sugar, light chocolate, and roasted malts. Smells amazing to me, can't get enough of the smell.

t - Tastes of bourbon, oak, chocolate, roasted malts, caramel malts, dark fruit, molasses, and alcohol. A step down from the nose but still outstanding.

m - Full body and low to moderate carbonation. Smooth and thick, goes down very easy for 10.5% ABV.

d - A very good RIS that smells outstanding. I loved this one and think the 08 is drinking phenomenal right now. Going to pick up another of these.

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Photo of corby112
2.76/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From notes:

2007 vintage. Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest hint of lighter color when held to a light source and a half finger tan head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Minimal spots of lacing left behind.

Earthy aroma with pleanty of oak/wood character as well as hints of roasty chocolate malt, bourbon and sweet alcohol.

Suprisingly thin bodied and watered down with lots of oak and peaty bourbon notes. The maltiness from the aroma is there bu once again it's kind of disappointingly faint. The flavor is overly dominated by bourbon/alcohol sweetness and heat. This beer was way too young at this stage(sampled when fresh).

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Photo of 3rdRowTailgater
3.67/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 750 mL into an imperial pint glass. Pours a VERY dark brown color with little head that disappears quickly with little to no lacing.

Smell is a sweet maltiness with roasted notes and a definite liquor quality.

Tastes sweeter and less roasty than I would like but you do get the nice bourbon, vanilla taste from the barrel-aging. Nice chocolate taste is present.

A little underwhelming in the mouthfeel department. Hard to explain, but I just don't feel like I'm drinking an imperial stout, other than the slight warmth from the 10%+ abv.

Overall it's a nice beer, but it will not be my first choice for an imperial stout.

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Photo of theboozecruise
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

It's an absurdly dark brown color, with a small tan head... good retention to it. No light getting through the body of the beer.

The smell is rich chocolate, with hints of the bourbon aging in there as well. Delicious, can't wait to dive in.

Tastes pretty much like the smell... dark chocolate with hints of bourbon but unlike some other bourbon-barrel aged stouts the bourbon is secondary to the stout.

It's a little thin on the mouth for so much flavor and alcohol, but the alcohol is pretty well masked. Doesn't taste like a 10.5% stout. I'm glad I got to try this one, not disappointed at all.

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Photo of thetomG
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Typically nice dark brown color with a thin layer of tan foam that leaves a nice ring around the glass.

Aroma is a bit boozy + malty. Flavor is predominantly malty with the bourbon/booze taking a backseat (somewhat disappointingly in my opinion).

A bit too light and slight more bubbly than I would prefer, but mouthfeel is OK overall.

Was a tad underwhelmed with this one, but it is a decent beer, and something I'm glad I was able to try.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.52/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled this at Savor '10 (sorry for the delay in notes are all over the place). Black with a thin beige head, though good retention and lacing. Smelled of sweet milk chocolate, with only a modest hint of coffee and anise. The taste also was decidedly sweet chocolate, from the start through the finish. Feel was a little on the thin side for an imperial stout as well, though smooth due to no carbonation. This beer would benefit greatly from a more robust flavor profile; way too sweet for me now.

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Photo of jsh420
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle

pours dark dark brown with a 1/4 finger tan head that faded to a film and left some spotted lacing

smells of bourbon oak vanilla and roasted chocolate malts

taste is near perfect no harsh booze heat - this feels aged with out losing any flavor - nice mix of bourbon oak burnt roasted chocolate malts vanilla

mouthfeel is just thin like watery thin with a little zip of carbonation

drinkability - the flavor is up there with the best KBS, BCS - the body being so thin ruins it a little

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Photo of cetherid
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip


dark brown but pretty much black. held up to light and I'm not really getting anything out of it except around the top of the beer. Your typical RIS. A little tan head as well.


bourbon, oak, chocolate, vanilla...sweet malts. A pretty nice smelling BA Stout.


similar to nose but very boozy. Sweet malts, warming bourbon, a very good overall beer. A little too much alcohol for me personally.


full bodied beer with low carbonation. good for this type of beer. warming alcohol burn in the mouth and a little stickiness from the sweet malts.


good but not my favorite BA beer. Not too pricy and not ridiculously high ABV, but a little too boozy for me. I prefer a BCBS than this.

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Photo of despainmakesbeer
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark brown color, seemed like there was some dark purple showing up when it was pouring into the glass. Rich dark tan head at pour diminishing to puny thin tan lacing on the glass. Heavy malt and chocolate in the aroma, I like it. Thicker, heavier mouthfeel. Little alcohol up front, but heavy on the finish, very warming. Malt very prevalent in the beginning of the drink. Chocolate night quite as noticable on the tongue as it is to the nose. Some darker fruits noticable as the beer warms. As the alcohol feel leaves the beer finishes pretty cleanly. Soft sweetness left, not really much in terms of bitterness or funky flavors to leave you with. Didn't really get much of the oak flavor from the aging, maybe some of the oaked sweetness, but not near as much oakiness that i was expecting from something aged in oak. Overall a good one to help shake the cold off and sip on. I would expect this one to cellar well, I think I might try it myself if I can resist that long.

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Photo of cope0021
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage

Pours very thin. No lacing or legs to speak of

Smell of bourbon is very strong. Almost overpoweingly so.

First taste is a little strong with alcohol. But second taste begins to level out. Hints of chocolate sweetness begin to peek through. It was a very pleasant suprise after the thin pour.

It is a little thin on the tongue, but suprisingly smooth.

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From Wood Aged Weekend Events:
the 2008
nigh black, the dankest of browns, froth of tan. vanilla, oak, chocolate, some bourbon, a little roast. It tastes wonderful, the barrels becoming one with the beer. Time has done this beer justice and probably would for some time. The roasted chocolate vanilla thing going on in the flavor makes it lovely as it somehow finishes with very little astringency, opting instead for a silky flow. Damn nice, one of the standouts of the first night.

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Photo of stakem
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go to FooFaa for sharing this '07 750ml bottle with several of us on 10/16/10.

Poured into a 6oz snifter, this brew appears a dark brown color with a thin whisp of off-white head. A spotty amount of lace clings to the glassware. When held to the light, this brew displays some clarity and lighter browness through the body.

The aroma is dark grains blended with a significant amount of sweet dark skinned fruit character. A lot of vanilla from the oak aging comes forward and adds a layer that makes the nose seem even sweeter yet. Some smooth caramel like notes and bourbon is evident accenting the alcohol's presence.

The taste of this brew is bold with the taste of bourbon infused alcohol but it shows very little bite and it's quite smooth. The oak character and vanilla sweetness really work wonders here. A dark somewhat roasty grain flavor resides in the mouth. As it warms some oxidized quality becomes noticeable that is subtle enough to add to the complexity and not distract from the experience in the slightest.

This is a medium bodied offering with a light enjoyable level of carbonation. The bourbon flavor included in this brew was very enjoyable and it's something I would certainly enjoy again. During our tasting a number of highly praised beers were sampled and this one was one of if not the most memorable for me.

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Photo of mikeborglum
4.84/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from 2009 Pours dark choclate brown with a one finger tan head that left spotty lacing. Very strong aroma of bourbon, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and has a hint of caramel. Taste was silky smooth with soft carbonation with flavors of oaky bourbon, chocolate, dark roasted coffee, vanilla and wood with a full body and has a nice warming finish. Excellent imp stout.

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Photo of biglite351
3.13/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - a lot of Ted around the edges. Tight tan head that leaves some lacing.

S - vanilla, malts, bourbon, mild chocolate... but not very stout-like which is odd for an Imperial Stout.

T - heavy vanilla and mild bourbon. A little bit of malt in the mix; but much like the scent, not much like an Imperial Stout.

M - medium coating. Lots of tingle all over the tongue. Alcohol burn in back of throat.

D - much milder that most bourbon stouts. The bourbon flavor is not in your face like most others. However, it slight lack of Imperial Stout flavor is a negative. Quite drinkable if it is there, but quite passable as well.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a deep black with a thin mocha head that lasts around for a good period of time. The nose brings bourbon, oak, roasted malt, vanilla, and some chocolate. The taste adds a bit of booze and really emphasizes some nice bourbon and roasted malt character. Good alcohol heat to match a bit of sweetness and dry oak. Overall, a really nice and drinkable beer; the best that I've had from Schlafly.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing a 750ml bottle at a tasting on 10/16/10.

A - Reminded me of a miniature black lawn orb in my little snifter, although there were some walnut brown tones. The thin off-white head fully receded, leaving behind virtually no lacing.

S - Licorice, semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla and mild bourbon comprise the initial components of the aroma. There is also a faint waft of soy sauce in the background, as well as moderate alcohol notes, especially after the liquid had time to reach room temperature.

T - Bourbon is quite restrained here, although the vanilla presence is quite prominent. Some pretty complex flavors emerge in the middle, although a slight bitter licorice and chocolate character is most obvious. Finishes with the essence of sweet vanilla bean and just a touch of warm bourbon notes.

M - Medium to full-bodied and a bit carbonated for the style. Not too much carbonation, although it is noteworthy that this feels just a bit more bristly than other RISs I've had. Oily texure is perhaps a tad watery. Finishes with moderate heat on the palate.

D - The modest bourbon presence keeps the drinkability of this RIS pretty high. Tasty stuff!

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown and opaque. Light tan half finger of head adorns the top.

Aroma was definitely somewhat unique to me. Along with standard roasted malts, cocoa and coffee, there was a huge buttered popcorn aroma. I like the smell of popcorn, but it just seemed out of place.

Lot's of roasted malts on the taste, preceding a noticeable bourbon alcohol twang. Bittersweet chocolate and coffee bring up the rear.

Feel is nice and creamy, thick and full.

Despite some odd qualities, it was overall enjoyable. I finished the whole thing, but probably would have been a good bottle to split with someone.

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Photo of endincolorado
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with chestnut brown highlights, a light tan head that settles quickly, and a good amount of lace.

Aromas of strong black coffee and roasted malt, alcohol, wood, bourbon and vanilla.

Flavor is a delicious blend of roasted malt, black coffee and oaky bourbon, virtually no hops-- vanilla finish.

Medium-heavy body, light on carbonation. Alcoholic-warmth.

High ABV detracts from drinkability.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage is holding up quite well. Some residual whiskey notes are still barely perceptible, blending more with the alcohol note in the beer rather than presenting an independent flavor. Charred oak, bitter chocolate and deep roasted malt flavors are predominant. Surpisingly less substantial in the mouth than one would expect, but still sufficient mouthfeel.

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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout from The Schlafly Tap Room
Beer rating: 86.6% out of 100 with 956 ratings
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