Schlafly's Bourbon Barrel Ale Available in St. Louis for the First Time Ever
Bourbon Barrel Ale next to special release bottle. | Pat Kohm
Hale takes us through the brewing process, which he describes as "fun, but a lot of hard work," because this isn't your typical brewing schedule. First, Hale takes Schlafly's Barleywine and pours it into bourbon barrels from Willet's, a bourbon distillery in Kentucky, in order to age the beer and let it soak up the bourbon flavors trapped in the charred oak barrels.
The beer is then blended in equal parts with Schlafly's ubiquitous and much-beloved Pale Ale. At this point, the heavenly concoction is usually bottled and sent down to Louisville. But not this time! The Bourbon Barrel Ale, all fifteen barrels' worth, is set to stay in St. Louis, and, what's more, rather than bottling, it's being served on draft for the first time ever.
Now you can understand our excitement. And the beer did not let us down, not one bit. Hale, with a wry grin, describes the Bourbon Barrel Ale as "unique," which is undoubtedly true, and goes on to point out the sweetness that comes from the Barleywine and tones of oaky vanilla that make a subtle appearance with each sip. At seven percent ABV, this is a very drinkable beer that packs the much-desired bourbon flavor without knocking you off your bar stool.
The Tap Room | Pat Kohm
We assailed Hale with questions about future plans or releases: Will it emerge again in St. Louis? Is this part of some surprise for the upcoming STL Craft Beer Week? Could we take some home? But he remained cagey; the future is unknown. But we do know that while it lasts, you should do everything in your power to head down to the Tap Room and try this wonderful beer. You may never get another chance.
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