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Bourbon Barrel-Aged Kentucky Common - Local Option

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Bourbon Barrel-Aged Kentucky Common
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117 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 117
Reviews: 8
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 7.79%
Wants: 9
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Local Option visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TMoney2591 on 07-13-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Dark sour ale partially aged on American oak and partially on fresh Angel's Envy barrels, then blended.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 117 | Reviews: 8 | Display Reviews Only:
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While a smattering of American microbreweries are dragging the "Kentucky Common Ale" back from extinction, kicking and screaming- why have no one ever considered using Kentucky's indigenous bourbon barrels for maturation and layering upon their complexities until now?

The dark sour ale pours exactly that- dark. Its deep blackened mahogany color is nearly black, especially as its uncommon clarity shows off a mirror, onyx-like sheen. As a dainty and creamy coffee-like creme simmers to the top of the snifter, it slowly dissolves back within the beer nearly halfway through the session with minimal lace. Stillness is left after that.

Sharp and sweet aromas leap out immediately- tangy cider, tart fruit, dark fruit and wood spices swirl for a highly complex set of aromas that are rarely found in either sour or malty beers. Vinous red wine, savory sherry and a tinge of maple and molasses temper the acidity while weathered oak, curing tobacco, saddle leather and sea air round out the complex scent.

The front of the tongue is greeted by the more sweet and savory pieces and parts of the ale. Over-cooked caramel, maple and thin molasses provide a friendly malt-forward taste, then the ale develops into a savory and salty "sherry" like taste for a hint of terryaki-type taste that weaves into prunes, blackberries, dates, figs and raisins. But then comes the sour! Those stone and pitted fruits develop into sour cherries, crab apples, dried lime peels, sour red grapes and balsamic vinegar to finish. The later taste introduces wood and alcohol flavors that are unmistakably bourbon because of its spicy oak, vanilla and caramel contributions.

Its thin textures are a far cry from the sweeter impressions that lay on the nose and tongue. But yet, there's virtually no weight on the tongue as the ale is effortless, like dry red wine. Partly because of the strong yeast and bacteria attenuation but also because of the lacking carbonation that somehow makes the beer fit. Warm, spicy and acidic, the beer's inherent tannin-rich character is somehow easily overlooked. Trailing wood spice, bourbon heat and acidic fruit leave the beer's finish and aftertaste as much wine-like as of ale.

Where this Kentucky Common Ale seems to employ full-out souring techniques rather than simply a sour mash, the beer certainly crosses over into Belgian roots and aspirations. But it takes this level of sourness and bacteria-derived complexity to contend with the bourbon barrels and without backing down.

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Bourbon Barrel-Aged Kentucky Common from Local Option
91 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.