Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Ale | The Schlafly Tap Room

BA SCORE
86
very good
126 Ratings
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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel AleSchlafly Bourbon Barrel Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room
Missouri, United States
schlafly.com

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The result is a smooth bourbon character balanced by caramel malt sweetness and classic English hops. Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Ale is a seamless blend of Schlafly Barleywine-style ale and our pale ale aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels.

Added by BEERchitect on 06-12-2009

BEER STATS
Ratings:
126
Reviews:
53
Avg:
3.83
pDev:
12.27%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
9
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 |  Reviews: 53
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bobhits for sending me this one!

Bottled on 1/11/11.

Pours a murky dark copper orange with a 2 inch white-orange head that fades to an oily cap. Broken rings of lace form randomly on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted coconut, vanilla, light fruits, and alcohol. Taste is of coconut, vanilla, and cake. There is a slight hop presence in the aftertaste. There is a slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat as well. This beer has a lower carbonation level with a slightly thick and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with nice barleywine characteristics and very nice coconut and vanilla smells and tastes. My first beer from Schlafly.

 676 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Bourbon Barrel Ale is already causing a bit of a stir although it has only been on the Lexington market for one day. There is little information about the beer. The website has no mention of it. But the label reads, " Schlafly bourbon Barrel Ale is a seamless blend of Schlafly Barleywine-style Ale an dour Pale Ale aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels. The result is a smooth Bourbon character balanced by caramel malt sweetness and classic English hops." Chatter on the forums suggest that the beer is aged in Jim Beam barrels and will only be available for Kentucky distribution. Who really knows?

The beer begins with a caramelly rich pour with deep copper, golden, amber lights. Brilliant clarity and low carbonation allows the appearance to take on a bright glow. Light on legging and no real lacing to mention. Probably meant for a brandy snifter.

Rich aromas of caramels dominate the nose upfront and rides unimbided throughout the aroma. Vanillans, woods, nuttiness, and hints of cherries and dried fruits make an English style impact. Not as hoppy as expected from reading the label. Still bourbony, boozy notes give a true fingerprint to the beer.

Caramel flavor is equally as rich and dominant upfront in the taste as it was in the nose. Vanilla and esters swirl around in the mouth and create a varying complexity of tastes. Near mid-palate the hops come in with a mild grassy, herbal taste. Though pleasant, the hops give an abrupt distraction from the otherwise sweet-focused bourbon and caramel character.

The mouthfeel gives the impression of heavy sweetness, especially since the low-lying carbonation. But the beer is malty and well attenuated and doesn't leave as much residual sweetness on the palate as the taste would indicate. Very warm from the bourbon barrel aging. Also, the alcohol bite hides behind the hop bitterness at times- playing little games with the back of the throat.

This beer reminds me a lot of the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale producted by Alltech's Lexington Brewing Company. Schlafly takes a better balance between the strong malt character and the bourbon aging and is a stronger beer throughout. But the hops struggle to blend with the delicate bourbon character, causing too much conflict rather than balance.

 2,262 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%

12 oz bottle bottled on 20 Feb. 2014
Nice deep amber color with good carbonation. Excellent aroma.
Obvious bourbon, especially in tasting, but not so much as to completely overpower the nice malt base. Some good woody/barrel flavor too, along with vanilla and toffee in the finish.

 282 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich looking copper color with a light cloudiness to it. I was impressed by the thick look to it. Rich head of white across the top faded quickly leaving behind only token lace in its wake. The aroma was sweet, lots of caramel and a touch of piney hops make it just bitter enough to get by. Really nice profile here as I take the first sips. Rich malts, smooth, easy caramel flavor with a light and subtle bitterness that reminded me of a nice barleywine. Medium feel here as the syrup like nature of it lended itself to a bit thicker of a profile. thought the alcohol was very well hidden indeed,

 597 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary tulip. Received in the Birthday BIF from normyk; thanks Rob!

a - Pours a deep murky mahogany brown color with one finger of very light tan head and high carbonation evident. Head lasts for several minutes and one to two inches of fluffy head last throughout the drink. Leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, fruity malts, sweet fruit, bready malts, and toffee. Not a ton of bourbon but a little bit and a little vanilla from the barrels. Lots of caramel, sweet fruit, and toffee; overall I liked it quite a bit.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, fruity malts, bourbonm oak, vanilla, toffee, toasted malts, bready malts, and light sweet molasses or fruit. Taste is good, but a slight step down from the nose. I liked it, but liked the nose a bit better.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and not very hot. Goes down pretty easy for a barrel aged ale.

d - Overall I liked this beer quite a bit. The taste seemed slightly watered down, but the smell and taste were good. I would certainly have this one again.

 1,137 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of AlexFields
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Duff27
2.62/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottles 12/09/2011

A- Short off-white head on a nearly opaque pinkish-hued red colored body. Leaves a collar. Pleasant looking beer.

S- Strange barrel aromas on this one. Fake vanilla, wood, cinnamon, weird fruit smells.

T- Woody cherries, coughdrop-esque. Hops factor in there somewhere. Almost has a wild ale tart feel to it for some reason, hmmm. Would guess this around 9%abv.

M- Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

D/O- Very different. A lot of flavors going on here, I struggle to call this "complex" though. I wonder if this is what Schlafly was shoot for by mixing their barleywine with their bourbon barrel aged pale ale because that sounds delicious. I just didn't care for this one much.

 705 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bluejacket74
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a dark copper color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention is decent, lacing is good. It smells like caramel malt, vanilla, oak and a little bit of hops. The bourbon aroma isn't as strong as I thought it would be. Luckily, the bourbon comes out more in the flavor. I can taste oak, vanilla, caramel malt, toffee and a bit of dark fruit. There's also a lingering bittersweet fruity and bourbony aftertaste. Even though the label says the beer is a blend of barleywine and pale ale aged in bourbon barrels, I didn't pick up a lot of hops in the aroma or taste. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and has good carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's easy and enjoyable to drink. All in all, I think this is a pretty decent brew. I'd buy this again in the future.

 832 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
2.71/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottled on date of 12/09/11.

poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: dark amber to light brown almost copper bodied beer with small cap of whitish head. Drops to a ring around the glass.

Smell: smells like sour bourbon, little bit woody and earthy.

Taste: Faint vanilla and a sour note that I cant describe. The beer is vinous and almost vinegary. Finishes with a fairly dry oak note.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Borderline syrupy. Not detecting much of the beers ABV.

Overall: Not what I think of when I drink a Strong Ale. Not sure what Schlafly was going for in this beer. Are there infection issues with this beer? I ask that because i have drank 2 other Schlafly beers that have been infected. This brewery does not have a great track record with me...

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Photo of greenspointexas
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of barczar
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy medium brown with reddish highlights and a dense half inch cream head that lingers.

Nutty, toasted malt dominates the initial aroma, with caramel and boozy notes complementing vanilla and butter.

Flavor reveals vanilla and burnt sugar sweetness, leaning on a toasted, almost roasty malt backbone. Underlying fruity/amber malt notes counter the oaky, bourbon character.

Body is moderate and creamy, with moderate carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

More fruity and toasty than I recall. The nuttiness dominates. It's a bit hot, but will likely benefit from some aging. A tad cloying, I couldn't drink more than one in a session.

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Photo of Dave_Treat
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of egrace84
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of n2185
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a hazy orange-brown with two fingers of light tan head that recedes into a thin layer with little lacing.

S: Lots of sweet caramel and vanilla on the nose up front with strong oak and bourbon notes backing them up. Simple, but very nice.

T: Caramel malts up front followed by vanilla and some decent bitterness from the hops. Oak and bourbon flavors follow along with some bready yeast characters. Slight alcohol burn on the finish.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer has a fairly high amount of carbonation for a bbal beer along with a dry finish. I personally would rather have a creamier body with lower carbonation, but at least it avoids being water.

O: A good beer and a great bargain. For only $11 per sixer, I've had worse bbal beers that cost much more for a single bottle. I would like a bit more depth beyond the bourbon characteristics and a creamier body, but it's still very tasty and smells great.

 932 characters

Photo of drummermattie02
2/5  rDev -47.8%

Photo of mrfrancis
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of bsuedekum
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of williamjbauer
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Treyliff
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 2/20/14

A- pours a deep & clear ruby Amber color with a small foamy off-white head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- oddly, the aroma actually smells more like a wine barrel, white zinfandel perhaps. Undertones of caramel, dark fruit & brown sugar. Some spicy bourbon pokes through at the end

T- huge tart notes up front, almost puckering. Followed by some caramel sweetness, along with spicy oak, light bourbon & some fruitiness. More sour on the finish

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a dry sour finish

O- I'm guessing that this batch is unintentionally infected, as it's completely sour the whole way through. It's not terrible, but I was expecting plenty o bourbon notes from this

 778 characters

Photo of tykechandler
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of birchstick
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a copper color with a nice white head

S - sweet oak and vanilla from the bourbon, caramel malts and toffee

T - the taste off with sweet caramel malts that segues into oakey vanilla bourbon deliciousness. No real hop character is present. It tastes a lot like their barleywine aged in bourbon barrels instead of straight up oak.

M - full creamy mouthfeel - great body

D - as mentioned, this is like their barleywine aged in bourbon barrels - awesome beer for bourbon barrel lovers. I have been really wanting to try this for a long time. I wish they sold this in St Louis (considering that's where it's brewed) because I would buy this everytime I went to the store. Solid stuff.

 692 characters

Photo of KYGunner
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tons of carbonation lead to tall head that eventually congeals into a thick creaminess. The color is a perfect pale ale mahogany/red/orange hue.

The scent is simple enough; oakey bourbon, strong but smooth. The taste follows the nose with bourbon tones but a touch of lemon in the end. The bourbon wins out but it's a high quality bourbon barrel, it would seem.

The feel is a little fizzy but it begins to iron out near the end. If your a real fan of this type of ale than this is a must have.

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Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Ale from The Schlafly Tap Room
3.83 out of 5 based on 126 ratings.
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