Schlafly Grand Cru and Reserve Imperial Stout

I received these two bottles from Schlafly Brewing as part of my haul from the NCAA Tourney Boxes of Beer pool.  (Be sure to sign up for the World Cup Edition here).  First up was the Schlafly Grand Cru. This poured a beautiful cloudy golden color with a fluffy white head that is retained to the bottom of the glass.  It is very aromatic with yeast, apple and pear, and some spicy alcohol as well.  At 9% ABV, this is a sipping beer, and a very enjoyable one at that.  There are some faint hops in the flavor, but the predominant notes are yeast, herbal spiciness and orchard fruits. This is an excellent beer, 8.5/10.

As good as the Grand Cru was, the highlight of the package was the Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout.  Opaque with ruby highlights, and a rich cappuccino colored head, this has a strong vanilla aroma, along with roasted malts.  Chocolate and toffee are the predominant flavors, but there is a strong vanilla aftertaste, presumably from being aged in the bourbon barrels. The bourbon and oak flavors really come through and balance the 10.5% ABV.  I would love to get my hands on some more of this outstanding beer.  I would drink some now, and lay some down to age, as this a complex beer that might improve with some cellaring.  Even without cellaring, the Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout gets a 9.5/10 from Tilting Suds, as high a grade as I have ever given out.

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