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: 581
Photo of AleWatcher
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into founders snifter.
2008 vintage. (reviewed July 4th , 2012)

So no oxidation notes, which is nice to notice right off the bat.
Very clear body-- seems like this must have been aged on oak spirals instead of a barrel. Reddish plum-colored body sits with a one-finger crown of light tan foam perched atop it.
Surprisingly nice retention... Even good lacing.

Smells a little nutty-- like "tawny port" nutty. Some decent sweetness with a touch of brown sugar and caramel and a nice English toffee note up front before a dry toffee-laden bitterness rules the finish. The oak really dries it out-- it almost works for me but it's still a bit too sharp.

Feels a little thin. Syrupy at the same time.

Overall-- this is not bad. It's holding up very well. I could see this beer hanging on another 2 or 3 years if cellared properly. I honestly wish this beer had been barrel aged. I think that the notes of bourbon, vanilla, and charred oak would REALLY add a tremendous amount here. As it is, everything is in good proportion flavorwise, but all aspects are just a touch muted.
It is solid. Especially for the availability and price.
I'm glad I have a few more bottles.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle.

A: medium-deep amber, head foams but reduced to a collar of bubbles; quick swirls coughs up a nice foam sheen

S: caramel malts, toffee, some bourbon/whiskey kinda aromas

T: sweet vanilla caramel and honey over pale booze-soaked fruit, rich malt and crisp hops; some oak wood on the finish

M: medium bodied, creamy with some stick, slightly drier finish than some barleywines (especially for the English sort)

O: I found this delightful - being a barleywine fan, I'd recommend this if you see it - I'd compare it to a Uinta, Mad River or Alesmith barleywine.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, 2008 vintage. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a dark copper/brown color with about a half inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. Aroma is sweet and malty, the brew smells like dark fruit (raisins, figs), brown sugar, caramel, oak and some vanilla. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some candied oranges and coconut. There's also a nice lingering sweet finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and creamy, and has low/moderate carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew, I might have to pick up another bottle of this soon.

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

Poured into a goblet. It produced a 1 finger beige head, which dissipated quick. The color was a dark copper.

The aroma is of dark fruit, alcohol, and wood.

The taste is similar, but with added sweetness of brown sugar? The taste isn't as overwhelming as I had anticipated. Its well balance, and doesn't have any noticeable hop bitterness.

Very good sipper.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2010)

Thanks for providing this one, UCLABrewN84!

Blind Tasting and Review

(Aged for 1+ year)

Dark rust in color with a small dark khaki colored head that leaves small dots of stick down the glass.

Simple, though pleasant enough, aroma of caramel, toffee, butterscotch, and oak.

The flavor is similar, with the sweet and bready malts accented by alcohol playing the dominant roles in the beer's flavor. Barrel treatment is minimal in flavor.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Appropriate.

Unexciting, though not flawed. Above average example of the style.

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Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2007:

Darker copper color with a thin layer of tan foam and some lace.

The smell is mostly very sweet malt. A touch of hops in there also.

Lots of malty sweetness. Brown sugar, caramelized sugar. After five years, still pretty hoppy, especially on the end. Some moderate bitterness from the hops and just a hint of vanilla at the end from the oak.

Very smooth with a mildly sticky feel and a dry finish.

A nice beer that has aged well. The oak is ever so subtle in the beer which was a bit of a disappointment. Overall tasty, but nothing extraordinary.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

(A)- Pours a nice reddish chestnut color. Some tan bubbles.

(S)- A nice rich profile of caramel, toffee, fig, and a dry oaky finish.

(T)- Quite a nice rich profile. Tobacco, fig, caramel, and toffee profile. Bits of dry oak and vanilla at the end.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level to it. A nice rich balance to it as well. A tad hot, but otherwise a nice feel to it.

(D)- Overall, a great barrel character to it. Nice rich flavor. Quite the barleywine despite its age; could go even longer age-wise for sure.

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

Review from 1/2011 notes. Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a slightly cloudy red amber. Minimal head, but the ring leaves some lacing. Strong sweet malt, caramel and oak aroma. Sweet malt, caramel, dark fruits and oak flavors. Finishes with light hops and oak with some booziness. Not overly complex, but well integrated and mellow. A nice oaked barleywine.

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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 jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep garnet with a bit of haze. One finger off white head. Nose has an smoked strawberry jam like presence, with notes of molasses, chocolate, deep caramel, and rich dark malts.

Wow, unique taste indeed. With a noticeable tartness on the first sip. Surprisingly lighter in body than expected (not that this beers body is in anyway light) but lots more carbonation than expected as well. Grain husk and grape jam upfront. Big caramel sweetness rolls along the tongue. Toffee and strawberries along with other dark fruits round out the massive malt body.

Cloying sweetness is avoided with a noticeable hop finish. A touch of smoke and oak only add to the balance of this big beer. Taste like a deep forest of dark berries, fruity, floral, and savory all at once.

For a young barley wine the flavors are pretty well blended into one complicated sip. Something that most barleywines dont achieve until a year of age. Not that this beer is incredibly smooth, it still slaps your tongue around. But it's one of the more well blended fresh barley wines I've had. I'd love to see what a year would do to this.

For hop lovers I'd drink it fresh as the hops do play into the beer very well. I can see this monster letting the malt take over rather soon though.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear dark copper with ½” fine off-white head and some columns of carbonation. Puts up a lasting film on the glass.

Gives off a light, oaky bourbon with rich aromas of plum pudding and nuts.

Overall, well balanced, but leans toward the sweet on entry. Dark fruits with some bitterness and a hint of bourbon. The alcohol is clear, though far less than 10% would suggest. The finish is lightly acidic with a hint of wheat bread.

A medium to full body with smooth texture and moderate carbonation. Alcohol is drying and this vintage 2007 is quite mellow. There is lots of residual stickiness on the lips.

This sipping beer is easily approachable with a cigar and conversation but would also work with a meal.

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Photo of claspada
3.32/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 bottle.

Pours a viscous hazy brownish amber color. No light can escape actually. Zero head which is unfortunate. A millimeter of white foam/cap, but it's pretty weak.

Aromas are quite typical of the style; light caramel sweetness, golden syrup, citrus peel and just an additional bit of dried fruitiness along with a prominent oakiness and even some fusel alcohol wafting around in the nose.

The tastes begin with 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. Fusel alcohol flavors emerge more as it warms and becomes quite undrinkable to be honest.

The mouthfeel is quite thick to say the least. There is a mild-low level of carbonation. Finish is overly sweet for my taste and I am a barleywine/old ale fan.

Overall, this is not my first rodeo with this beer. I sampled this at Savor 3 years ago and I enjoyed it then, but my palate has become more refined since then. It's too one dimensional and sweet with not enough balance overall.

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Photo of kennylopez
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 2010, 25.4oz bottle into a DFH goblet.

Appearance: a dark amber color with a off white head that leaves little traces of lacing.

Smells: a dark fruit smell with a mild bourbon note and a sweet hint.

Tastes: there is a smooth caramel/vanilla bourbon base with a fresh barley and little hop taste.

Mouthfeel: this is not such a carbonated barleywine, but the oak characteristics mellow the 10.2% great.

Overall: I just picked up quite a few bottles because Schlafly's reserve Imperial stout is yummy, and I knew this would be in the same ball park which it is. Great Job Again Schlafly

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Photo of beveritt
4.59/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from 750 ml brown bottle with screen printed label into a Duvel chalice. This bottle is from 2008, picked it up in TN on a trip south a year or so back.

Appearance: Pours with 1/2 finger of medium tan head. This settles, eventually leaving behind the island of foam above the nucleation point as well as a ring around the glass.The beer itself is muddy brown and completely opaque.

Smell: Intense aroma; sweet caramel malt with strong notes of apricots and an oaky, tannic finish. Quite possibly one of the best smelling beers I have had the pleasure of sniffing!

Taste: Sweet caramel malt upfront with undertones of strawberries and apricots. Hints of honey in the bready malt. Finishes with an impressively high hop bitterness, especially considering its 3-4 year age.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is great; incredibly thick and viscous.

Drinkability: A great barleywine; one of my favorite. Which is good, because a 750 is a lot for one guy.

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Photo of zep9865
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into new Belgium snifter. Pours a brownish-amber with a quarter-Inch of foam head that leaves a little bit of lacing.

Lots of dark fruit on the nose. Raisins, apricot, vanilla and bourbon. Smell is very smooth with very little detection of alcohol.

Beer is very rich with lots of dark fruit, bread, bourbon, and a little bit of booze.

Beer is very smooth from nose to mid-palate to backbone with lots of nuances.

Very surprised with this beer. Great effort from Schlafly that I will surely buy to share with the fam

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

This bottle is the 2008 vintage. This beer pours a medium bodied and decently syrupy orangish brown in clor with a thin white lacing around the glass. The aromas are very sweet yet complex. It smells of sweet cherriies, sweet peaches, bubblegum, and just has a fresh fruitiness about it. The favors consist of oak, a fresh fruit cocktail, slight butter from the oaking, and some alcohol. It's nice but doesn't have the punch that the nose has. It drinks medium in body and is sweet but not too sweet. For an aged barley wine it's very solid.

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Photo of bitterbeerguy
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A good friend surprised me with this yesterday. Barleywine is one of my favorites and I have never had Schlafly Barleywine before.

Vintage 2008

Pours a beautiful brown red color with a decent head. Small off white bubbles appeared out of nowhere about 5 seconds after it was poured. Really a nice color.

Aroma really made this beer fun. Hints of bourbon and cherry and present from the beginning, but melds into a grain and vanilla aroma as you smell more. I also thought I could find the smell of fresh sweet cream in this one.

Taste was smooth as can be. I was really surprised that it was so smooth, since some barleywines can really show their alcohol character too up front. This did not. The age has made the smooth flavors come out- marshmallow fluff meets bourbon. My only 4 on this was the mouthful- just seemed a little small compared to the bold flavor and aroma. I suspect this came with age.

If I could by this by the case you can best be assured I would have one aging in my cellar right now. Great aged barleywine!


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Photo of MTNboy
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This brown-amber beer with a reddish hue to the body poured with less than a finger of tan head and there was very thin lacing.

Smell: Wood like aroma with the malts really shining through. For the most part it mild for this style.

Taste: I thought the flavor was not as overpowering as allot of barleywines I had tried in the past. It had a good bit of charred oak to the flavor and some weak toffee tones to it.

Mouthfeel: It was milky and smooth there was not much for carbonation to it at all.

Overall: I think it is a good starter barleywines if you are one of those people that have to work your way into a style. I brought it to a Christmas party after aging it for four years in my cellar and allot of people really enjoyed it.

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Photo of ShanePB
2.31/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Vintage 2008, courtesy of Mike. Opened for a video review, transcribed from the footage. Poured into a globe glass.

A: Hazy copper/red body with absolutely no head whatsoever. No lacing, no retention - horrible looking beer. And there's really not much else to say about it than that. This is going to be flat.

S: Dark sweet fruits, faint oak aroma from the barrel aging, some nice spice notes and light caramel malts on the back end. This had been chilled entirely too long, so I fear it may be masking a lot of the flavors. As it warmed though, it didn't improve much.

T: Extremely one-dimensional, oak, oak and more oak. Overwhelms the palate and doesn't really allow much of anything else to come through. The sweetness from the dark and red fruits come out towards the back end of the palate. Nothing horrible but pretty bad nonetheless.

M: Flat, completely flat. There's no body on this beer really at all. It's thin, watery and you can only get some bubbles by swishing it around in your mouth.

This sucked pretty bad if I'm being completely honest. I think I gave this a much better score in our review but after watching and remembering the appearance, aroma and taste I feel I can justify this score. I'm not sure if this was just past its prime, not cellared properly at the store or what - but this bottle is flat out bad.

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Photo of aficionado
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hazy reddish copper body with a creamy off white 1/2 finger head. Not much lacing.

Stewed plums, toasted coconut, vanilla, oak, caramel on the nose.

Sweet and raisiny on the palate with more of the same from the nose. Tons of smooth oak, caramel, vanilla, and nuttiness.

The mouthfeel is the best part. Lush, creamy, and thick despite the deceiving pale colored body.


Aged on new Missouri oak chips for several months after primary fermentation and conditioning

Hops: Marynka (PL), Northdown (UK), Tettnang (DE)

Malts: 2-row malted barley, Munich malt, caramel malt, roasted barley

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Photo of bum732
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 bottle.

S: Caramel and toffee maltiness, some herbal with a touch of oxidation.

L: Cloudy brownish orange, white head that dissipates to not much.

T: Rich toffee and breadiness. A pleasant coconut flavor and sweetness. Medium low bitterness leading to more rich toffee and coconut. Finishes fairly clean with some alcohol spiciness and fairly clean dryness with some toffee.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Alcohol somewhat present.

Loved the coconut, maybe from the oak? A little thin for the style, not bad, but not great.

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Photo of movingtrain
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Okay, so this beer is marketed as a "Barleywine-style Ale." But, what does that mean, exactly. I have had many different barleywine "style" beers from many different breweries...and each one is a little different. It may be hoppy, it may be more malty, it may have a thick body, it may be a little too light. The term for the style seems vague at this point.

Plus, with the changing face of beer in America, breweries seem to be pushing the limits of what they can do within the boundaries of style anyway...and this barleywine seems to fit into that category.

For one, this beer is sour...which I like. It has the delicious qualities of a barleywine--it has the higher ABV, the near-perfect amber hue, even the balance between malt and hop. But, this barleywine is aged on oak...bourbon barrel, maybe, as there seems to be some elements of that here, too.

But, once you taste this beer (and this may be a fluke with this particular barrel...I've not had the bottle, only from the tap) you can't ignore the super sour, slightly sweet profile on the tongue. That sourness is backed by notes of vanilla, caramel, and caramelized brown sugar. You have your elements of dark fruit here, too...and a nice warming alcohol twinge.

Overall, I like what Schlafly has done with this style. It is delicious, and has just the right sour note to it to kick up what the oak aging does to this beer.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage, picked up in Topeka, KS.

This is a turbid pour, or very murky. Tawny, brown, mahogany. Capped with an off-tan head about 1 finger. Dissipates quickly to a collar.

Nutty aroma with some caramel and vanilla. A bit boozy and hot. Subtle notes of earthy hops, wet grass.

Caramel and vanilla are the two main factors in the flavor. This seems to start out as a malt-bomb, but the flavors don't linger too long. The booze thins them out. A light, yet dark breadiness serves as the backbone. Some grassy hops and faint nutiness rounds out the flavor.

This beer isn't bad, yet a bit thin. With the abv where it is I expected more, but the booze thins. Carbonation is a bit low and adds to the thinness factor. Good flavors, falls a bit short

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Photo of daledeee
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to a friend who grew up in St. Louis. Time for a tasting!

Poured this into the favorite glass. Remember, this is a 2008 aged bottle. The head was not much but it was a dark cloudy brown and it poured with rather heavy gravity.
Nose was not as hoppy as others, but I suspected that. I could smell the caramel and sweetness.

Taste is way malty. I suspect if you drank this at a young age, the hops would be much more in your face but instead I got a really nice sweet malt monster with hops to balance it out. The mouth feel was nice and heavy. Not much carbonation, but not flat either.

Overall, about as good as you would expect from your American barleywine class.

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Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine from The Schlafly Tap Room
3.97 out of 5 based on 581 ratings.
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