Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine | The Schlafly Tap Room

very good
274 Reviews
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Schlafly Oak Aged BarleywineSchlafly Oak Aged Barleywine

Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room
Missouri, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Oak Aged Barleywine has a deep copper color and an intense malt flavor balanced by assertive hops. Fermentation with American ale yeast allows the caramel malt to shine. We age the beer on new, medium toast Missouri Oak to enhance its complexity and to develop its smooth, luscious character.

Barleywine is a classic English-style hearty ale. The term refers to a beer with the potency of wine and is often vintage-dated.

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 11-22-2002

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Reviews: 274 | Ratings: 582
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at The Ginger Man. Darkish colour, not opaque by any means, fruity colour rather with a little head. Bourbon aroma and taste. Medium mouthfeel. Sweetish,this is well-malted with a coconut flavour. Bourbon mellowed. OK, but much of it I farmed out to other patrons, and none of them were floored either.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the brewpub in St Louis, reviews from notes.

A: half finger head without lacing on a clear, deep amber body.

S: smokey, lots of caramel malt, burnt toast, resin and toffee.

T: oak, caramel and toasted malts, brown sugar, light candied fruit.

M:medium body an moderate carbonation .

Overall: nice aroma, full flavored and complex and easier to drink than many barleywines, even for an English barleywine.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle pour provided by myself at the blind barrel aged barleywine tasting hosted by DarthKostrizer.

Thanks to dazedandconfused for sending me this one!

2010 vintage.

Pours a clear orange-brown with a beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and alcohol. Taste is of malt, brown sugar, and some very woody flavors. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average barleywine that seems to be put together poorly.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

not sure if this is the right one, the list said vintage barleywine from 2010, aged in oak barrels, not on oak chips, but i dont see the other, this is reserve series too, and how many damn barleywines can one place make at 10.2% abv right. it must be this one. pours a real redish color, hazy and ruby glowing, brown just a tad, and a smallish but sturdy and lasting off white head. the nose is oaky as hell, dark dried fruity, and real alcoholic. some dates and figs or something come in to rock the flavor and round it out. some spice too on the back end, and a brown sugar sweetness that is quite memorable. the oak is the lasting flavor for me, fresh and strong, like the white oak from the bruery, really, its that good. a big barleywine too, lots of body, lots of bubbles, and lots of booze. the three b's right? overall a beer you should share, the dried fruit and date thing gives it an almost indian feel or something. the nose is the best part, but the whole thing will delight any discerning palate. get it.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2007 750ml bottle recieved in a trade. I was scared to open it because it had this homebrew type cap with the belly button on it and it was sticking out. The good news is that it did not blow up all over the place.

Pours a light orange color, clear, white head, good retention, medium lacing.

Aroma is mostly oak and alcohol when cold (fridge temp) without any hops but as it warms to room temp the sweet malt smells come out. Not very complex and a bit heavy on the fresh oak but still enjoyable. Good barleywine smell, now if they could just tame the alcohol.

Flavor starts off (when cold) very oaky and mildly boozy with some barleywine noticeable. It isn't until it warms that you find any complexity and/or malt flavor. I'm thinking that there aren't much if any specialty malts. The color would suggest the same. No hops but its been in the bottle for a year already so I guess thats to be expected but thats about right for a BA barleywine. Nice flavor but not all that I was expecting.

Body was nice and thick and smooth. Too boozy to drink a lot of. Still glad I was able to try it. I suspect that with either a year more or less age this would be better. Younger might have some hops and older might provide a more mature malt profile. Thats all speculation of course.

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Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured brownish-amber in color with some haziness due to fine particles particles in suspension. There are just a few bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are strong malty and oaky aromas in the nose along with notes of caramel, toffee and alcohol.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a little malty sweetness. There are notes of caramel and toffee and some hints of alcohol and oak.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate with a significant amount of alcohol heat. There is some dryness in the finish.
D: Considering the style and the alcohol content, the beer is very easy to drink, although it is just as good to be sipped.

Note: 2007 vintage

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

Schlafly's can really put these big, barrel-aged beers together. Another superb offering with this beer. A seriously strong, malty pour forms a thick, foamy, tan blanket of bubbles on top of a deep ruby beer. The beer proved to lace well and show light legging on the glass; looks like a true cognac. Aromas are largely focused on molassas maltiness, but not without a serious challenge from a good dose of citrus and pine flavored hops. Alcohols swirl around in the nose with low fusal or boozy qualities. Flavor are as strong as aromas and gather around the molassas, brown sugar, cherry and berry flavors. Again the pine hops swell into balance, but never cause distraction from the malt center. Full and round to the palate, but not thick or syrupy textured. Growing alcohol sensations compete with the fruits, sweetness, and hops, but never dominate. Finishes warm and sweet and with an underlying pine flavor. Very good beer that shows lots of complexity and few deterants.

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Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy dark amber color with a spumy ecru head - tight bubbles and a veritable curtain of lace

Smell: Candied apples, underripe peaches and grapefruit pith

Taste: Bready for a moment, and then the candied apple sweetness kicks in, along with a growing peach and grapefruit flavor by mid-palate; after the swallow, instead of all hell breaking loose, there is a nice woody layer of caramel that settles down all of the battling flavors that appeared on the sip

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, slightly creamy, with moderate to low carbonation

Drinkability: This is a nice sipper, but consuming a 750 ML is a bit of a challenge

Thanks, Vancer, for the opportunity

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Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage.

The body has a deep reddish caramel tone, with nice clarity before the last dregs are poured out. Some spotty lacing appears in an irregular "stalagtite" formation.

Faint aromatic & floral hops, very malty, a touch of alcohol, becoming mellow and tea-like overall. Notes of vanilla, oak, and tea leaves, with a big caramel toffee flavor that dominates. Richly malty, with some very mild earthy hops lingering underneath. Slightly sweet, not overly so. Any bourbon-barrel characteristics are very subtle, the main attribute being vanilla.

Buttery oak makes it smooth, with a fullness from the large amount of malt. Low level of carbonation encourages sipping, but the alcohol never becomes overwhelming. While I shared the 750, it was very drinkable and mellow.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Bottle: Poured a brown color ale with a medium size off-white foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma consists of caramelized malt with some toffee notes and some residual sugar. Taste is also dominated by caramelized malt with some light toffee notes with quite a bit of residual sugar with light oak notes. Body is a bit light for style with medium carbonation and light warming alcohol. Not bad overall but too much residual sugar for my own taste.

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Photo of zeff80
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark reddish/brown color with a foamy, tan, one-finger head. It left nice traces of lace.

S - It smelled spicy and malty. There was also a hop smell.

T - It tasted really malty. The spiciness was quite mild. A good nut flavor was present. Also, you could taste the alcohol.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - A really good barleywine. It does not overpower your senses.

Edit: Just had a 2007 on 2-6-10. It improves quite a bit with age.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate amber-caramel color with a fairly small head that recedes quickly. Nose brings caramel, sweet fruits, a bit of dark fruit, and a tiny bit of alcohol. Taste combines some nice sweet cake and caramel with some cherries and dark fruits. A bit of booze. Feel is a bit hot, but overall the beer is quite tasty and would be a good candidate for aging.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007. Painted label on a flat-bottom amber Champagne bottle with a standard gold cap. Good looking package!

Appearance: I was concerned that I should have let this sit a little longer before opening it so that the yeast could settle, but apparently it's filtered, so no need. It poured a clear, deep copper body with orange highlights beneath a very creamy head of "vanilla"-white. The head retention was quite good, and the lacing left sharp thrusts of lace that looked like some kind of nightmarish trees above a solid, creamy ring that encompassed the glass. The lacing faded, but it continually kept a solid surface-covering of creamy foam.

Aroma: The oak is obvious, and there's a suggestion of alcohol (although I'm not sure if that's for real or 'imagined' because of the aroma of the wood). Beyond that a sweet, honeyish, and lightly caramelish malt awaits. A mild touch of yeast is present, and then there's some apple at first while it's chilled, followed by some tropical notes with hints of coconut, papaya, and melon once it warms.

Flavor: Sweet, light-caramel malt hits you upfront, tempered with oaky dryness, and then dipped in apple juice. It becomes stiff and dry at the middle as the alcohol rises and combines with the oak character. Bitterness is present, but only at a moderate level as it's not really needed with all of the oak and alcohol. It tumbles rather quickly then into a bone-dry finish with a honey and oak residue, and only minor minty/leafy/grassy/floral hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium with a dextrinous edge, leaning towards medium full.

Drinkability: The one beer to have when you're having only one - a 750 ml bottle of barleywine! I'm kidding, of course. But it is surprisingly drinkable from an approachability standpoint, and also from a body and depth of flavor viewpoint. The alcohol is not overbearing, nor is the oak accent. So in that regard, I find it quite drinkable. I have to consider its complexity as well though, and there it falls short. There's a lot packed into that one main taste it gives you, but it never really seems to develop from there, or offer any alternatives. There's just not enough going on in the maltiness. (Or the hoppiness, although I have to say that I'm glad they didn't go for more hops. I think they're spot-on with what they've got, and that barleywine should be more based in maltiness unless you're going for an American-style). So, what to say? I drank 25.4 ounces without question, so there's something to it. I enjoyed the oak. I think it's an interesting, and somewhat complex ale. Worth trying at the price, to be sure!

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Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large 2011 bottle.
Pours clear dark copper with a decent head.

A faint tart note along with low sweetness distinguished this from other barleywines in a tasting session.

O: Excellent but not superb in all respects.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 release poured from a 750ml bottle into snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep coppery brown color thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, bourbon, caramelized malts, some fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and fruit. Then a hearty malt character comes in. There’s a complementary creamy oak essence in the background. The hops presence is decent and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to sip on for a long time and it seems to have held up well for over 5 years.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a near-clear, amber-hued body with a small-sized, thin, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet-scented aroma of light caramel, golden syrup, oil-coated citrus peels, and just an additional bit of dried fruitiness along with a prominent oakiness and even some fusel alcohol wafting around in the nose.

Taste: Lightly caramelized malts layered in sweet, sticky treacle. Leafy, citrusy dose of hops deliver a fair amount of bitterness. Hint of golden raisins. The moderate oak wood character imparts some vanilla, just a touch of tannins and an overall dryness to the brew that carries you to the warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Mild, low level of carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid offering. While the desert-like dryness and alcohol won't deter its drinkability, it may slow you down a bit (it did me), but it's still an enjoyable brew, which is what counts, right?

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage. Fuzzy orange with a generous splash of cherry juice. The beige colored cap is large and is wonderfully thick and rich. It melts in appealing fashion and is leaving much more and much better looking lace than expected given the ABV. Very nice.

The nose keeps things positive. It smells like the malt will be roughly equal parts pale and caramel. Is the oak aging apparent? Sure, why not. In addition, the beer has an orange peel fruitiness and hides its alcohol pretty well.

Barleywine-Style Ale is intensely flavored, even if it isn't as complex or as deep as some of the world's best. Unlike the nose, the flavor is incredibly oaky. Tannic even. There's a big blast of wood that leads to an incredibly dry finish. Barrel-aging usually results in good beer, but less time in the the oak might have worked out better in this case.

The flavor profile consists of oak staves saturated with triple sec, caramelized sugar, toasted nuts, unripe peaches, dried cherries, vanilla beans and a generous splash of Stolichnaya. Bitter and sour are at least as prominent as sweet. That's odd for a barleywine that's almost two years of age.

The mouthfeel could be bigger, smoother and slicker. Even so, it's close enough to optimal to earn the above score. The acidity, the puckeriness and the amazingly arid finish keep things interesting. Carbonation? Laid back, baby. Laid back.

Schlafly Reserve Barleywine-Style Ale is a unique American barleywine that probably won't appeal to everyone, even those who love the style. I'd be open to giving other vintages a shot, just to see if the brewery changes things up from year to year.

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Photo of billab914
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage poured from a 750ml bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured a dark caramel color with a thin, bubbly head that quickly disappeared.

The aroma has a rich, caramel, dark fruit presence to it but it's pretty light on any barrel aged character. I get a little bit of hoppiness to it, but it definitely takes a backseat to the malty, caramel flavors. It's a pretty smooth and appealing aroma for the style though.

The taste shows more of the barrel character to it with the woody oak really showing through in the finish. A moderate bourbon flavor is present along with some vanilla. The rich, malty, flavor is complimented well by the barrel.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Overall it was a very good beer. The woody oak, vanilla and bourbon complimented the beer very nicely. Everything came together pretty nicely in it. Very nice beer to sip on this evening.

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Photo of russpowell
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from Bitterbill, cheers Bill! 2007 Vintage pours caramel/orange with 2+ fingers of khaki head. Above average lacing & head retention

S: Cakeyness & bourbon

T: Cakeyness, Madeira, dryness, a bit of smokeyness & vanilla up front. Leafy hops, boozey toffee & a touch of oaky dryness as this warms. Finishes slightly smokey, with more toffee, & smooth bourbon, at the end, the booze has faded, once warm. Almost pulled a 4.5, too dry

MF: Sticky, low carbonation & chewy

Drinks pretty but the dryness & booze heat do slow me down, a few more years aging would mellow this out nicely ( I rarely can wait ). I did let this one sit a room temp for 45+ minutes prior to decanting, so I'm not sure if you should even chill this...

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahh a big barleywine in a big bottle, always a treat. This one poured absolutly beautifully. A fanatastic thick hazy ruby brown liquid that was almost opaque. A huge pillow like white head formed on top that did not want to give up any ground, I swear it would stay there all night. Big sticky lace dripped down the sides capping this one off. The smell was very sweet, lots of sugar, caramel, candy apple were the first to be picked up. As it warmed some great dark cherry tones started to show themselves off. Hints of alcohol were present throughout, which at 10.5%abv is to be expected. The taste had alot of alcohol in it, and it could probably withstand some more time in the cellar. This one had teeth and a big bite to it. It really smoothed out as it warmed though, which made it start to come across with some more smoothness to it. Flavors were about where the smell was, lots of alcohol, but very sweet, dark cherries and caramel. As it warmed a whole lot of citrus hops started popping out, led by a great orange feel and pineapple, very nice. Great carbonation, which tingled in your mouth. This ended up being a sipper, but at the same time very drinkable. Be warned this will kick your butt, a very nice barleywine that I am sure will hold up with some age.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky amber color with a white head. Nose of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, and mild fruit. There is a fair amount of oak and vanilla, too. The taste is very sweet. Tons of sugar notes, caramel, and toffee. A nice note of vanilla with some light oak, too. There’s a light citrus hop character on the finish, but I wouldn’t mind more.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 10/02/12 notes. Had a 2008 vintage of this last night at Rattle n Hum in NYC at their Rare Beer event. Sampled after a bottle of BA Old Ruffian.

a - Pours a hazy dark amber-orange color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel, toffee, bourbon, bready malts, toasted malts, burnt malts, oak, and some vanilla. Rerally amazing nose; tons of toffee, bourbon, and vanilla, with no real alcohol heat to it at all. Fantastic nose.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, dark fruits, sweet molasses, bourbon, vanilla, oak, bready malts, and alcohol. A little sweeter and a little more alcohol to it, though still quite nice.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, body is very very smooth and creamy. Easy to drink considering the ABV; doesn't feel like 10.2% ABV.

o - Overall a really nice BA barleywine; this one has aged quite nicely. While the BA Old Ruffian was superior to this one, the nose and mouthfeel were both fantastic. Considering this isn't that expensive off the shelves and is easy to find, I will definitely be grabbing a few of these and their BA stout this winter to stash away for a few years.

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Photo of orangesol
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jecker aka Josh for bringing this one to Ffej of July IX. It was an '09 bottle.

A - Pours hazy copper / amber orange with a small one finger tall white head leaving light lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of sweet caramel malts, toffee, dulled oak astringency, and a touch of spicy hops. Based on some of the other reviews I was expecting a bit more barrel in this one but it really only played second fiddle to the sweetness.

T - The taste is very similar to the nose. Starts off with a good bit of caramel sweetness slowly giving way to a mix of toffee, vanilla, dry oak tannins, dulled spicy hops, and some light herbal quality? It is pretty sweet but it never gets to the point of being cloying. The finish is a bit dry with plenty of sweetness, lingering for some time. The booze starts too creep in as the beer warms up.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Nice and smooth feel with plenty of sweetness lingering through the finish.

O - Not too bad. I think if they could tone down the sweetness just a touch it would be even better. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Jared. Thanks man!

The beer is clear and copper / orange hued, with a thin white head that generates fairly minimal lacing on the tulip glass. The aroma brings caramels, alcohol, malt, vanilla, and oak The flavor is enjoyable and well balanced, with sweet toffee and caramel candies. The beer has mellowed in the past few years but still brings with it a formidable sweetness. The feel is medium bodied with a healthy alcohol presence. Overall, a decent brew.

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Photo of stakem
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken on 12/3/10. Thanks to Stormking47 for sharing this.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a hazed copper color with a thin finger's worth of white head. Some spotty almost yellowish stained lace clings along the glassware and across the top of the brew once the cap fades.

The aroma of this brew is sweet like caramel malt and vanilla smoothness. There are some citrus rind notes along with a light twang of alcohol. There is a spiciness through the back minorly reminiscent of cinnamon.

The taste includes sweet caramel malt mixed with a tangy bit of alcohol. The caramel malt takes on a bit of nuttiness before the onset of herbal hops that linger and last inside the mouth. There is a light oxidized touch to this brew that adds some depth to the character.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Quite a decent sipper to put you in the mood for slow consumption aside a fire on cold winter night. This particular brew is well balanced and enjoyable.

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Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine from The Schlafly Tap Room
3.97 out of 5 based on 582 ratings.
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