When Schlafly recently revealed their new "From The Ibex Cellar" series last week, readers were exceptionally excited to find out more. While it's only been on our site for ONE WEEK it's already the 4th most read review of 2016. The series itself is in its infancy but with the 2017 schedule promising an Imperial Coffee Stout, Gooseberry Gose, and even a Barrel-Aged Pumpkin Ale, the new year can't come soon enough.
Look for this beer on shelves soon!
One of our biggest, boldest beers, it imparts a spicy, slightly sweet vanilla character and a pleasant warming finish. It’s brewed to evoke a full malt flavor, plenty of hop bitterness and roasted barley for notes of dark chocolate. As a finishing touch, the beer is aged in freshly emptied Kentucky bourbon barrels before being carbonated and bottled.
|Aroma - A sweet mix of caramel, vanilla and chocolate come springing from the glass the moment it's poured. A bit of a toffee character follows it and is soon after, you're able to smell some dark fruits (some plum and raisin). The bourbon is there and comes across as slightly spicy and the oak shows up as sweet and dry. Both the oak and bourbon are easily found but they're not overwhelming and play nicely with the sweetness.|
|Appearance - The beer pours a deep brown with ruby highlights around the edge of the glass when tilted. The khaki colored head is dense and mad up of small bubbles. It starts as a finger high and soon becomes a thin film with bubbles just at the edges. These bubbles never leave and as you take sips, lacing from the foam clings to the glass.|
|Flavor - My first word after my first sip was "whoa!" There were two reasons for this and the first was mouthfeel (more below). The second reason was that the beer was incredibly well balanced. I expected to get smacked with either booziness or sweetness and I didn't get either. I got a chocolate covered raisin soaked in bourbon. There's also a good amount of roast that works its way in. The dark fruit notes from the malts hit the front of your tongue while the chocolate, vanilla, caramel and bourbon hit the back. You can taste the bourbon and barrel character but you can't taste the alcohol. You can feel the slow warmth of the alcohol as you swallow but it's not easily found in the flavor.|
|Mouthfeel - I really didn't expect the body on this one to be what it was. The body is medium+ and the carbonation is medium. It's not chewy but it definitely coats your tongue. As it warms. the carbonation becomes a bit more lively which takes the body down a notch. While the flavors were nicer as it warmed, I preferred the mouthfeel at a slightly cooler temperature.|
|Overall Impression - When we got wind of these new Ibex bottles a few months ago, we were excited. As we've mentioned countless times on this site, Schlafly is doing some great things lately and putting out new beers like crazy. They started to make waves again through the Ibex Rare series and with the emergence of From the Ibex Cellar, they look to continue that trend. The beer was great and from the price point in their press release (between $16 and $18 retail) it's definitely something you can easily keep on hand for a "bad day at work beer." I know this is just the first in the series but I'm excited to see what 2017 brings.|