Schlafly Final Ibex Cellar Release of 2018 | Barrel Aged Barleywine
Schlafly is releasing a Barrel Aged Barleywine, the last “From The Ibex Cellar” series of 2018. The Schlafly Ibex Cellar series is one for which I’ve grown antiquated since my first visit to the Ibex Cellar in 2017, located beneath the historic Schlafly taproom in downtown St. Louis with friend and local brewing legend, Stephen Hale.
As part of the tour, we sampled the Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, the first of six variants that made up the 2017 Ibex Cellar series, a project created to celebrate big, bold and creative beers in exclusive, smaller bottles that pay homage to the Ibex with the majestic symbol embossed in the glass.
Now, Schlafly has unveiled its final variant of the 2018 Ibex Cellar Series with its new Barrel-Aged Barleywine, an English ale aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. At 10.2%, it certainly falls well outside the realm of session able. The barleywine release follows earlier variants that include Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Imperial Coffee Stout, Local Oak, Sour Blonde and Barrel-Aged Saison.
Founding Brewer Stephen Hale explains the flavor profile. “You get the unmistakable flavor of a Kentucky bourbon with the heft of a British strong ale,” he explains. “The Bourbon barrels impart oak, vanilla and, of course, whiskey flavors to the considerable malt strength of a barleywine. Keep a stiff upper lip!”
Hale continues, “Barleywine has been in the brewery’s portfolio since the early 1990’s, and it has been a favorite ever since. It heralded the coming of winter when strong beers were the norm to stave off the ensuing cold weather.”
As described by Schlafly, the “‘From the Ibex Cellar’ beers feature big beers brewed in exclusive, smaller bottles that pay homage to the Ibex with the majestic symbol embossed in the glass.” The packaging serves to mimic the architecture of the Schlafly Tap Room and the 1900s-style typeface was inspired by a discovery by one of the Schlafly designers at the St. Louis Public Library archives.