Deep within the rumbling belly of Schlafly’s Locust St. tap room lay a tucked away chamber of liquid excellence. Barrels rest and liquid evolves within the confines of the Ibex Cellar. Within these walls a very special beer has awakened from its slumber and is ready to be unleashed onto the world. Ibex Rare: The Variant II is a luxurious beast. 6 months in Brandy Barrels makes this Schlafly’s first Brandy Barrel Aged Beer. Aged on sour cherries and blended, this beer is a liquid cherry cordial unlike any other.
The bottle itself is a statement piece. It wears an embossed plaque fitted on a shapely 750ml bottle the whole package is pleasant to look at and makes you feel sophisticated just holding it. The beer pours jet black and releases tons of cherry on the nose. Oak and dark chocolate serve as the pedestal from which the tart cherries make their statement. The lightly carbonated stout clings to the glass and shows a little leg.
As powerful as the cherry was on the nose, upon first taste it’s surprisingly mellow. Bittersweet chocolate, tobacco, leather and oak are the first flavors to coat your tongue. The cherry comes in at the end almost like an after dinner mint made to cleanse your palate. The body is medium to high and needs no more. I feel if the body were any bigger on this beer it would take away from this beers natural Feng Shui. Every flavor takes over your tongue, lingers and leaves when it should.
The Variant II’s complexity continues to reveal itself. It’s roasted flavors begin to even themselves out. A little nuttiness along with more, super jammy, cherry starts popping off in a big way!
This beer pairs well with: Earthy Cheeses, Beef Stew, Silk Robes, Fire Places and The music of Gnarls Barkley.
Schlafly Beer announces the upcoming release of The Variant II, the next Ibex Rare and the most exclusive series from the largest, locally owned craft brewer in St. Louis. The Variant II will be the only Ibex Rare release for 2018. On Saturday, December 8 at 11 a.m., Schlafly Beer will release The Variant II at the Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust), and a limited number of bottles will also be available in the market.