Schlafly Reserve – Imperial Stout 2010

Sometimes you have a really rough day and you just need to go down into the basement and pull something out that has been aging for a while. About two weeks ago, I had a day like that and grabbed this bad boy that had been aging for about 3 years. Let’s see if the aging helped this one.

ABV: 10.5%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout is complex and strong, with rich chocolate and roasty flavors. The beer is brewed to have big malt flavor and hop bitterness to balance the sweetness of the high alcohol content. After primary fermentation and conditioning, the beer is transferred to freshly-emptied bourbon barrels and aged for several months before being carbonated and bottled. In the 18th Century, Imperial Stout was first brewed in London for export to the court of Catherine II of Russia. The beer had to have a higher alcohol content to prevent freezing during transport. The process of aging beer in liquor barrels, however, is new; there is no tradition for this process, as beer and liquor production have traditionally been kept separate. We hand-select bourbon barrels from a micro-distillery in Bardstown, KY and transport the barrels immediately to St. Louis to ensure the barrels do not dry out before being filled with Imperial Stout.”

Random: I have a feeling it is going to be really cold out today.

This one poured with a hint of a tan head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was an inky black color with light carbonation visible through the body. The nose was just as I expected, big. I got lots of booze, bourbon, vanilla and smoke. So far, color me impressed. The taste was even better. It had a perfect balance between dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and smoke. I thought it was going to be a booze bomb, but the aged tempered a great deal of the heat out. After a few sips, I also got some tobacco. The mouthfeel was silky with moderate carbonation. I absolutely loved this beer. The age really helped the heat on it and the flavors were spot on. If you have one in your “beer cellar,” it may be time to pop it open.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

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