1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Conntucky Lightnin' Bourbon Ale - Two Roads Brewing Company

Conntucky Lightnin' Bourbon AleConntucky Lightnin' Bourbon Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

61 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 61
Reviews: 8
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 17.98%

Brewed by:
Two Roads Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 05-08-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 8 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Amalak

New York

3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A. It is a hazy brown, but clearish. It has huge white lacing after a big white head. Some bubbles.

T. It has a sweet and bourbon scent.

T/M. It has a nice caramel taste. A bit of a burnt taste. Malty and sweet. Sugary. Full bodied with a touch of alcohol.

O. A hair to malty, and heavy, but nice and flavorful.

I had at ginger man in south Norwalk Connecticut

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2013 00:16:57 | More by Amalak
Photo of woosterbill


3.44/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the brewery tasting room.

A: Clear chestnut body under a finger of fine off-white froth that settles into a persistent ring and leaves spotty lace. Decent.

S: Corn and whiskey. Raw, burning booziness on top of some sweet cereal notes. A little leafiness and spice. Pretty much as expected, but without the richness and cohesion I was hoping for.

T: Follows the nose precisely: bourbon, corny booze, and not much else. It's simple and rather boring. Nothing but alcohol on the finish. One-dimensional and underwhelming.

M: Medium-bodied and creamy. Excellent.

O: My hopes were high for this one, as the only other bourbon-barrel corn beer I've tried was nothing short of stellar. This, though, simply didn't deliver. The base beer had plenty of corny sweetness, but no depth. The barrel had plenty of boozy intensity, but no positive vanilla/coconut/marshmallow side effects. It also didn't help that the bartender loudly proclaimed that this beer was "far superior" to BCBS...


Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2013 00:29:07 | More by woosterbill
Photo of tigg924


3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1.5 inch head, high carbonation, clear, golden-brown in color

Smell: Citrus hops and light oak--very inviting

Taste: sweet corn to start, the oak comes in the middle and is dry to the end, citrus hops are also fairly present.

Mouthfeel: medium body, high carbonation, sweetish start follow by bitterness which dominates and mixes with some oak.

Overall: I usually love Two Roads brews, but to me this was a bit lacking after the wonderful smell. The bitterness was a bit overpowering at times. There was not any sweetness or vanilla that I generally associate with beers of the style. It tasted like a malt liquor with more oaking, not bad, but just not up to the same quality I associate with Two Roads.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2013 14:05:15 | More by tigg924
Photo of Lupin


2.2/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Picked up at the wine and spirits co. These have been on their shelves for a couple weeks now. Honestly, the labeling of this kept me away for a while as it sounded like too much of one flavor going into the beer. Corn grits and then bourbon barrels? Why both?! Was it too cheap to make it with just one?

As such, my hopes for this continued to be pretty low after I popped the cork. Aroma was boozy, with little to detect other than a fierce bitterness and corn grain alcohol. Poured exceedingly foamy with decent retention. Nice lookin' beer, at least.

Overall, it had a pretty bland american ale/strong ale body to it but with a very bitter kick of starchiness that dominated the entire palate. This beer did not let too many nuances peek their little heads out from the pillow of bitter corniness. Finish was unpleasant and it took a while to clear out the taste. Yet I still had more. Maybe the profile would change as it warmed? Nope. Even worse.

Tastes stronger than it is, which is impressive at 8.5%. Sure it's different, and a flavor profile several highway lanes from anything I've never had before. The bottle hints at hick dialect and moonshine culture and I'll be damned if this doesn't fit the bill. Yet, while living in the south, I had two types of moonshine: straight corn, and fruited. It can almost go unsaid that I preferred the latter; people don't drink the former for taste. To be honest, I'm surprised I didn't taste this beer on the way out.

I realize this is meant to be my own review but the bottle was shared in small amounts with several friends, each of whom had a markedly negative response to the flavor. Not worth it for ME at any price, let alone the $14. None of us had the impression that there were any oxidation issues.

Barrel-aging lighter beers seems to be a relatively new thing, at least locally. To be honest, a lot of the $14-20+ 750s I've had should have been brewed at least one more time as a test batch before being produced en masse. As much as I want to support the explorations of the breweries in this state, releasing something this unbalanced really turns me off to making another investment into a big bottle until I've gone out of my way finding a bar that has it on draft for a sample.

This is literally one of the worst craft beers I have ever had and THE WORST barrel-aged beer I have bought at a store and its sole personal merit was its creativity.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 22:12:30 | More by Lupin
Photo of PicoPapa


3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle. Pours a murky brown swamp water color with over an inch of thick, frothy head that takes forever and a day to dissipate. Lots of lacing. Smells boozey with some oak, vanilla, grains and butter. The taste is buttery bourbon with some cereal and corn. Slightly sour. Vanilla and oak at the finish. A bit on the sweet side. There is a decent sized alcohol burn, but I kind of expected more. Maybe it's not as boozey as I thought it'd be because the abv is only 8.5%. Mouthfeel is creamy with lots of carbonation. Overall, a bit disappointed with this one. I expected this to be a bigger beer than it turned out to be. It's decent but I won't go out of my way to have it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 01:36:32 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of TheBrewo


3.34/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

We crack the cage and cork on a 750 mL bottle with “2” on the label, pouring a brew of tawny orange. It puts up massive two and a half finger head of cream colored foam, showing extreme retention. Thick and three dimensional sheets of lacing are left all around the glass, as the head slowly bubbles away into a cratered film cross the top of the liquid. A chill haze cuts clarity, with microspecks of sediment floating about. Carbonation appears to be active. The aroma gives wax, yellow mustard, bright plastics, fusel booze, big corny grit, and buttery diacetyls off the bat. Mixing in and with warmth are notes of acetone, raw barley and straw, light banana esters, vanilla cake icing, clove spikes, oaky woodiness, and faint bourbon warmth. Our first impression is that the end and aftertaste are quite bittered and boozy, definitely giving the drinker the feel we’re sipping on actual bourbon, but with a much more malty, corny zing. As we sip, the taste begins with strong oaky character, light vanilla smoothness, pale, corny, and metallic adjuncty malts, bittered plastics, dirty earthiness, soy sauce, light wheaty toast, grassy hops, and bittered booze. The middle cools a bit, with brown sugar sweetness, cold banana breadiness, plum sugars, pale toast, chalked yeastiness, coiny metallics, and even adjuncty grittiness. The finishing wash shows a return to the harshness, with strongly fusel booze, black pepper, mustard seed, ginger root fruitiness, earthy bark, massive corny adjuncts, biting metallics, puckering yeast, sweet wine grape qualities, dirty oak, and biting floral grassiness. The aftertaste breathes of cheap bourbon bite, gravel, graphite, stark oakiness, distant grassy and earthy hops, vanilla cleanliness, bittered plastics, powdered corn, metallic adjuncts, brown sugar sweetness, and resiny green grassiness. The body is full, and carbonation is medium, but foams up quite a bit when held around the mouth and swished. The mouth is thus coated, but this dries into grainy, yeasty, and boozy pucker and astringency. Each sip gives nice slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop. The abv is appropriate, and the beer sips decently.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its fantastic look, and strong oaky character through the flavoring. The head is as impenetrable and reminiscent of the best Belgian IPAs out there, marking the best retention we’ve seen in an American strong ale to date. This makes the beer highly desirable and inviting, and contributes nicely to the slurp and the frothy mustache. The nose and flavoring, however, fall off a bit. The nose is basic, with much attention given to the corny adjuncty bolstering of the malts to match the bourbon flavoring imparted by the barrels. The taste follows suite, giving heavy booziness against a background that isn’t sweet or buttery enough to support that kind of kick. This is an interesting ale, but just isn’t as blended, even, and flavorful as you would expect. Drink on the cooler side to calm the bitters and soothe some of that booziness on the way down.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2013 22:57:20 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of davey101


3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml C+C bottle into a tulip glass. Bottom of the bottle showed a layer of cloudy sludge and there was a decent amount of floaties.

A - Pours a somewhat hazy amber body with later pours becoming more and more hazy and sediment rich. Huge fluffy white foam that settles into a solid finger of foam. A swirl generates another massive head. Super sticky lacing and retention. It does look nice.

S - Bright cereal grains, faint apples and a bit of corn sweetness followed by a wave of smooth, buttery bourbon. Oak and vanilla really dominate the end of the aroma. This doesn't smell like a particularly big beer though, the bourbon is present but the alcohol is not.

T - Sweet cereal grains and the introduction of some caramel malts followed by the bourbon. Butterscotch, oak, and vanilla. The aftertaste is strong on the toffee but quite light. This probably sounds insane, but its like a non-imperial version of Firestone Walker's Double DBA. Its somewhat rich and sweet but the body is light and highly carbonated. Alcohol adds a touch of heat but its rather tame.

O - I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. The corn grits are definitely noticeable as is the bourbon barrel. This is not a big 'ol barrel aged barleywine or a stout. Instead its a light "strong ale" using an interesting adjunct and stuck into a barrel. Its very tame and approachable and I can honestly see this beer working as an intro to BA craft beers. Its very tasty and pretty different, but don't go into it expecting a behemoth because it saw a barrel.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 01:54:44 | More by davey101
Photo of rdilauro


3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The pour was a very light amber with hardly any noticeable head. The aroma was typical of ales that have been aged in whiskey casks. It was a pleasant aroma with the absence of any detectable hops, citrus etc. I could smell that this was going to be a bit malty.

The first taste was nice, big, soft and round. The whiskey overtone was not too pronounced and didn't hit you in the face. That was done, then on the second sip, I had the same impression as when I finished my first one. The finish and aftertaste basically dropped off. There wasnt much left to feel, in fact, it picked up a stranger taste that I have not been able to put my finger on.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2013 16:30:14 | More by rdilauro
Conntucky Lightnin' Bourbon Ale from Two Roads Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.