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Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine | The Schlafly Tap Room

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Schlafly Oak Aged BarleywineSchlafly Oak Aged Barleywine
Very Good
585 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 585 |  Reviews: 275
Photo of donniecuffs
3.49/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled the 2008 vintage of this at Savor '10..sorry for the delay in reviewing. Poured reddish-brown, with a very thin off-white head, no retention, and average lacing . Smelled of very sweet dark fruit; raisin, date, and pineapple came to the fore. The flavor was sweet throughout, though the aging was evident in the finish, as the alcohol presence was nearly non-existent. Very smooth, non-carbonated, yet thick feel. This beer might benefit from a little more aging to eliminate some of the excess sweetness, as it still tasted a little young. That being said, the well-hidden alcohol content was impressive.

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Photo of jsh420
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

vintage 2010

pours murky amber ruby brown with a 1/4 finger off white head that left some spotted lacing

smell - oak mixed with vanilla and sweet caramel malt

taste is even bigger then the nose the oak and the vanilla are the main flavors in this and besides the sweetness malts dont really come through until the aftertaste

mouthfeel/drinkability - while the body feels lighter then most B.W.'s this adds to its drinkability - there would be no way i could drink an entire 750ml bottle had this been heavier

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Photo of corby112
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes:

2008 vintage. Pours a very dark golden ruby/chestnut brown color with a two finger frothy yellowish tan head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic spots of lacing behind.

Earthy oak aroma with hints of vanilla, caramel, alcohol sweetness and leathery malt. Hints of dark fruit and faint hops but the nose is dominated by the oaky woody scent. Lots of vanilla character.

Full bodied with chewy mouthfeel. This is a heavy, hearty winter beer that's good for sipping on a frigid night. Lots of sweetness from the caramel leathery malt and vanilla presence from the barrel aging. Plenty of sweet alcohol warmth with hints of earthy oak, bourbon and caramel. Dry finish. Nicely balanced and even though it packs some heat this beer is very quaffable.

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Photo of despainmakesbeer
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome dark yellowy caramel color. No head. Some tiny specks of bubbles around edge of glass. Very sweet malty aroma, quite nice, pick up some of the oak sweetness. Sweet mellow flavors, caramely bourbony oak flavor. Lots of mellow sweet malt flavor. Not near as alcoholy as most barley wines I've had. Seems very well balances. Clean finish. Almost pumpkiny aftertaste. Oak is very well balanced with other flavors, not overpowering. Not really any of the alcohol burn you woul sometimes expect. Very drinkable, especially for a barleywine. One of my top two barley wines thus far.

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Photo of prototypic
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to lightindarkness for this one. I finally got around to it, man!

Vintage 2006

Barleywine Style Ale is a very dark copper color. It's flooded with haze, and has a deep red appearance when held to light. An off-white head sits on top. It's about a finger and a half deep, and recedes rather quickly. Maybe the 10.2% abv was too much for it. Lacing was sticky and moderate in volume.

The nose is good, but would benefit from more strength. The strong caramel malt base is apparent. It definitely smells sweet. Raisin, fig, and sour cherries combine to create a rather strong presence in the overall scheme. Oak is notable, but isn't all that strong. There's also a little vanilla. I'm not getting anything in the hop department, but this is four years old. If they were here, they're long gone. Alcohol is there, but doesn't suggest 10.2%.

I like the flavor quite a bit. I've never had a fresh bottle of this, but aged ones are impressive. Caramel malts are sweet and provide a very solid platform. Raisin and fig fit perfectly with the malty base. Sour cherries are there, but are light and subtle. The oak aging adds vanilla and oak flavors that complement the others extremely well. Again, no hops. No surprise either. Alcohol has integrated very well over the last four years. It's barely noticeable in flavor. Finishes sweet and oaky.

The body is medium. Honestly, it feels too thin for what it is. I was expecting a thick, chewy beast. Not so. Carbonation is dialed down nicely, and it is smooth. It just needs more body. Drinkability is good for a beer of its size. I'm really enjoying this 750, and will consume the contents in their entirety.

I haven't had a lot of Schlafly beer. What I have had is good. Barleywine Style Ale is an impressive release. That's especially true after four years in the bottle. If it has any weakness, it's the body. It's too thin. Definitely needs more. All-around good stuff otherwise. If you see any, grab a couple and stow them away.

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Photo of mmva321
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle poured into a snifter.

I tried the Schlafly Reserve Imperial Stout awhile back and it became one of my favorite stouts on my young palette. Barleywine is a style I have very little experience with, so I only have the expectation that this should be bold and alcoholic, but perhaps this beer redefine my taste the way their stout did.

A: Pours a beautiful amber red with a pink tone that is very unique and fun to behold. This really is one of my favorite styles in terms of appearance. There is about 3 fingers of tan head that leaves a thick lacing as I drink.

S: Very floral, sweet and malty. The alcohol and hops seems subdued beneath a layer of vanilla and toffee malts that coat the aroma. Fruit accents provide a nice pop. The fruits are tart and light, like apple and cherry.

T: Well, it all comes to the forefront here. Alcohol and hops are there in full force along with the vanilla and sweet malts and the tart fruits. I also get a great sense of the oak barrel which this beer was aged in. It leaves a very floral aftertaste. My criticism of this is the same as the smell though, and that is I feel the vanilla is a little too strong. It is a distinct characteristic, but the coating it provides is too distracting to me. In the end, I just wish something more specific took the lead here, instead of having all the flavors out in full force.

M: Thin but creamy with a good amount of carbonation. Very good for this style and the unique characteristics of this beer.

D: The assault on your senses that this beer is makes it a chore to take down. I know the style is strong, but with the overload of tastes here, there is nothing easy about it. But still, respect shall be given as the components taste and smell top notch, the beer is unique and is a strong addition for Schlafly.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
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 bobhits
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage

deep amber, unfiltered and clear, with some carbonation. Thin head, leaves a good bit of lacing considering that.

Sweet flora nose, almost a buttery aroma, faded hops, and a touch of vanilla.

Sweet...very sweet. Finishes with a simi bitter finish that leaves that sweet sticky barely wine flavor fairly well. The oak flavor doesn't seem to be all that noticeable. The "late mid" part of the beer has some oak notes. I think the oak is why this beer seem a touch simple. It mellows out the beer but it also somewhat limits things.

Drinkable...almost too much. The mouth feel is pretty decent. That said I either expect a thicker beer or less carbonation and body. This beer hits an odd middle point which is just fine, but I think misses the style.

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Photo of froghop
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a cloudy brown-orange with a thin dirty white head that dissipates rapidly, and a little lacing.

smell of oats, cereals, some dark fruits, and malt.

taste is thin, barely, malt, some oak, and a touch of caramel, ends somewhat grainy.

overall a pretty good barleywine.

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Photo of StephenRich
4.26/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Beer the way it used to be: Around the time of the Louisiana Purchase, beer was full-flavored, aggressively hopped and high gravity, unlike the mass-produced, watered down version so prevalent today. All of these characteristics helped beer to remain fresh in the barrels during the long, slow shipments across the country. As it traveled, beer seeped into the oak staves of the barrels and when it was served, a pleasant oak flavor had been added.

To replicate this character in our malty, sweet and bready barlywine, we have aged the beer on new American Oak from Missouri. The wood has a medium toast, which helps to caramelize the sugars in the oak and adds a nutty roastiness to the beer as it soaks into the wood.

This 2007 vintage will age well in a cool dark place for up to five years but is ready to drink now. So leave the corkscrew in the kicthen drawer and poip open a beer that will reward you with more flavor than most wines can dream of. We hope you enjoy drinking is as much as we enjoyed making it. " - Schlafly

This is the sentiment on the back of the maroon box that this Vintage 2007 Schlafly Reserve Barleywine came in. Maybe a touch anti-wine, but their prose is true - I would find it hard to imagine a wine that can stand up to the complex flavors that are harmoniously layered within this now three year old beer. Its not an overpowering beast of a barleywine though; it is 10.2% abv, which would put it squarely in the middle of the pack in terms of strength, and it shows it with flying colors (and flavors).

As a barleywine, it should be enjoyed warm around 14C (54F) so that all of the malt aromas and flavors can be released as they were designed to be. This is an American Barleywine though, and I am willing to bet is a pretty hoppy. So, to take advantage of the hops, and still enjoy the warmth I started this off cool at 10C (50F).

The Pour was rich and clean building a transparent copper red beer with amber and golden bronze streaking through it at every angle. When lifted into the sun, golden orange and glimmering sheets of yellow burst through it. A soft and cream like slightly just off white head was built up a reasonable half inch, but faded quickly to a thick film. Strong lacing remained on the glass during the entire drink.

The nose was warming and gently potent. Sweet caramel and oak burst out to your senses bullying toffee and malt for supremacy. A nice fresh array of fruits is definitely present showing fresh chopped apples, melon, hints of mango and soft banana. With a dark honey like waft I also get some spice, but it is gentle and barely there. It may actually be the yeast trying to break open out of the constraints of my tulip glass and into the free air.

I want rich malts out of this beer, really badly. I wouldn't mind a bit more spice also. I don't really know why that sensation hit me right before drinking it, but it did - and the Schlafly did not disappoint. Big toffee and caramel malts come straight to your tongue showing great complexity and a wide and round flavor. Vanilla and soft brown sugar makes its way across the sides of my tongue and an oak sweet, yet dry flavor builds on the palate.

Right in the center are soft hops adding a balancing bitter and a touch of citrus - but not the onslaught that I was expecting. Still, I am focused on the malt which is warm and significant. It shows cereal and bready flavors with biscuits and cream. Even rich strawberries and raspberries add a touch of sunny sweetness. The yeast is barely noticeable, but the spices are coming out more in the flavor than they did on the nose. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and pepper. The alcohol is there though in a chest warming and exceptionally soothing manner - now three years old, this beer is probably close to 12% or even more. But it is sooo elegant and smooth. Very well done.

The finish comes back to oak showing smooth dryness and a crisp hoppy floral snap. Still it is mellow sweet with dense malts wrapped in amazing barleywine perfection.

Its not anything to rich, but its warming and actually very soothing. I had this on a hot sunny day, just because all the right friends were there. But this beer really deserves a cold night and a fat couch. Purely soothing and ultimately satisfying.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a good clarity with fairly nice head. Smells hugely fruity with Litchi, apricot and cherry, and a pure bourbon finish. Lots of clean bourbon flavor, charcoal, and clean fruit. Not oaky at all. Very nice- I like how vibrant and specific the flavors are. Smooth and easy to drink for the strength.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(2008 vintage)

Pours a dark amber color with a small white head, later just a little lacing.

Smell of sweet malt, caramelized sugars, some dark fruit / plums, oak.

Taste of nice mild oak, not overdone on the oaking, but a nice omnipresent flavor. Strong caramelized sugars with a dry finish, plum and dark fruits also have a strong presence but are not overdone. This barleywine seems to be rounded on all edges and well put together, not overdone in any sense and is not sweet or too boozy flavored like many others that are on the market.

Medium to light mouthfeel for a barleywine, with good carbonation. Not too much carbonation nor flat or oxidized for a two year older.

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Photo of bs870621345
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second time I've had this, liked it better the second time.

Pours an amber color with minimal head, leaves little lacing down the side.

Smells of dark fruit and carmel sweetness. Lightly hopped in the background. Nice stuff, great barleywine.

Taste follows the smell with a little alcohol in there. Expected from a 10.2%.

Mouthfeel is medium with a low carbonation. Doesn't coat the mouth but invites the next sip.

drinkability is good, its a sipper, but a bottle isn't out of the question.

Good beer, and almost positive it won't be skunked cause of the box.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 edition: Poured a brownish body with quickly dissipating head and minor lace. More malty than hoppy in the aroma as minor citric hops are in background of dark chocolate, coffeesque roated malts, a thick wood/breadiness. Taste is really malty for this style, in my opinion, as bitter chocolate, coffee, bread, roasted and hints of vanilla even come for a thick, sticky sweetness. Slightly offbalance as the malts overpower a minor sour fruit flavor derived from the hops. Leafy, tea-like and alcohol twinged finish that is warm and dry finishes off a thick, hearty brew that is designed to be a slow sipper.

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Photo of DIM
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage

a: This was a clear, dark, amber tinted copper color. It poured with a thick, firm, sticky off-white head.

s: Big, decadent smelling, and extremely well balanced. Sweet bready aromas with plenty of dark fruit are what I noticed first. More muted but still plenty noticeable are toffee and oaky tobacco notes. Blanketing everything is some sherry-like alcoholic warmth.

t: This falls a bit short of the smell, but not by all that much. Sweeter than the smell would suggest, to its detriment. Starts off nicely, tasting of oaky toffee with some suggestions of fruit. The finish is where the sweetness really comes into play. Sweet, bready malts, borderline sugary toffee, and oaky vanilla tobacco all serve to sweeten the pot. The flavor that lingers the longest is a dry, almost sharp toffee.

m: Full bodied with gently creamy carbonation. Damn near perfect.

d: I really enjoyed this, but I wish I had tried it when it was a bit fresher. More in the way of hops to help blunt some of the sweetness would have been welcome.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle tried 29 Dec 2007. 2006 vintage.

Medium sized light tan head. Well carbonated. Clear dark reddish brown color. Smells of rum, raisins, oak and iron (A said that last one). Lots of molasses and raisins to start. Also nutmeg and almonds. Warming. Finish is fairly oaky, somewhat astringent. Medium body.

Alcohol is just slightly hot.

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Photo of TheSarge
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured with hardly any head, and just left behind a thin film of lacing. THe body is hazy and black tea in color.

The aroma is very light. I get some vanilla, some smoky nuances, and maybe a hint of pear.

The taste is full and very complex... Very surprising. I am gettin vanilla, maple syrup, along with a curious tea and smoky flavor.

This comes up as well carbonated at first, goes to a creamy middle, and finishes with a warm and wetting complexity. This brew turned out to be a good idea.

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Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
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 bamadog
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Extra special thanks go out to beerman207 for cracking this bottle from 2006! This is the second of the Schlafly Reserves that I've had and I've been very impressed by both -- this brewery is really growing on me as I find their standard offerings to be very solid and enjoyable as well. The review is from notes taken on 6/25/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a murky cider-like color mixed with some caramel brown; starts with an off-white head that fades immediately to nothing other than a thin, uneven, and incomplete skim; body is very murky and has some floaties in it; only a few spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Wonderful and nice deep and chewy caramel maltiness with a bit of of a warm spiciness to it; a bit of a grainy and woody vanilla oakiness to it and a nice bourbony alcohol scent.

Taste: Quite a bit going on here; lots of the caramel maltiness mixes in with an acidic green apple and cinnamon flavors; a definite presence of alcohol that is faintly warm and bourbonesque, but actually quite smooth and mellow.

Mouthfeel: Body is fairly heavy, and it's a little syrupy; the carbonation is still quite present, which is surprising for a bottle that's 4 years old, and comes across as foamy, soft and smooth and it really keeps the beer lively.

Drinkability: Moderate at best because of the high ABV and weight to this one, but the robust flavors and scents are really outstanding and it drinks pretty smoothly.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle - 2007 vintage - served into a tulip glass

Pours burnt orange color that goes scarlet at the edges. If you look closely you can make out some small yeast particles floating throughout the glass. A finger and a half of white head quickly recedes, leaving behind spotty dots of lace.

This smells like an old double IPA, actually. Spoiled hops and loads of caramel malt bring up the brunt of the aroma. Some toffee and bread crust too. This isn't very deep for a barleywine, especially one which should be exhibiting some complexity after three years of aging.

This is certainly an American Barelywine, isn't it? Even after three years the hops haven't died off. They are pungent in the way that older IIPAs tend to be, and with a trailing essence of pear. The malt is a bit sour but mostly gloopily sweet. This barleywine has been aged in oak barrels and the vanilla quality from the oak runs throughout the drink. It isn't that different from a year-old Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, only less nuanced.

I do like the mouthfeel here. It is big and bold and thick. The flavors here are too much like an old IIPA for me to really love it; ABV% hampers the drinkability too.

I was expecting to enjoy this 3-year old barleywine a lot more than I did. This bottle was messy. Surprisingly, it needs even more time in the cellar to reach a tasty equilibrium.

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Photo of DrJay
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fairly clear, burnt orange colour with a thin cap of fine beige bubbles. The head was short lived, but left behind some clinging lace. Rich aroma, lots of caramel, vanilla, butttery and oaky, light fruitiness. Nice barrel character without too much alcohol in the nose. Low bitterness, fruity and sweet, almost sugary. Notes of toasted malt, caramel, vanilla, a hint of earthy strawberries, light leafy hops, and increased bitterness in the finish. Mild alcohol was noticeable at the back of the palate along with some warmth. A bit dry and astringent from the woody tannins, but not completely overpowering. Full bodied with lowish carbonation and a fine, malty texture. I liked this one. A bit lighter and more English in nature, and with a nice balance of barrel character. The astringency put me off a bit, maybe a little too long in contact with the wood. It really opened up as it warmed to room temperature too.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage 750ml bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter.

A: Red-orange-brown blend with a little ring of foamy head. A little too translucent for a barleywine.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, and oak dominate the nose.

T: The base of this beer is similar to that of a DIPA. Bourbon, oak, maple, and hops lead to a bittersweet finish.

M: Good carbonation level, but a little too "runny".

D: I would say most of the booze has died off in this one making it easy to down.

Overall, pretty happy I grabbed a bottle of this on sale for $5.99.

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Photo of vacax
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2008. Pours ruby-amber with generous khaki head, good retention and lacing. Aroma has chocolate malts, boozy with hints of pine, herbaceous with toasted marshmallows. Taste is malty, marshmallow, white grapes, fairly boozy with sagey hop bitterness. Dry, herbal finish with lots of caramel malt. Fairly full bodied, full carbonation is a touch prickly, though the caramel malt finish is too sticky/cloying. I like this barleywine, unique flavor, though I'd like the spirit to come through more and maybe less caramel malt for a cleaner finish.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Again, this was on draft so I'm not sure of the vintage although someone told me it was 2008, I cannot confirm this.

Beer is brown and slightly hazy. Lots and lots of lacing on the glass but the carbonation itself is only moderate. The head is white and broken.

Strong liquor aroma.

Mouthfeel on this beer is moderately medium to chewy at times. I can't really get my head or palate around it. Its spicy at times and malty at times, its a confusion of ingredients and flavors. No connectivity. I drank it fast to get rid of it. Not my favorite.

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Photo of AJacob81
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Churchkey in our nation's capital. Served in a snifter.

A - Deep, golden copper with a thin, lively off-white head and delicate lacing. A great-looking barleywine.

S - Great bouquet of fruity aromas and baking bread. Plums, oranges, a little bit of cherry.

T - Starts wonderfully, with flavors present in the nose hitting right away. However, these are quickly replaced by what I assume is the oak barrel, but in this tasting it came across as an almost coconut-like flavor. A very jarring transition, and it completely changed my experience with this beer after just a couple of sips.

M - Decent texture, but the alcohol burn soon becomes prominent, and not in a very pleasant way. Very dry in the back of the throat. Low carbonation isn't masking the increasingly unpleasant taste at all.

D - The coconutesque flavor of the oak and the booze overwhelm the more subtle flavors as the beer warms. I finished it rather quickly, but not because I was particularly enjoying it. Highly disappointing.

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Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine from The Schlafly Tap Room
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 585 ratings
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