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Altbier - Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

Not Rated.
AltbierAltbier

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BA SCORE
80
good

83 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 83
Hads: 120
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 5
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's visit their website
Kentucky, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  4.19% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SheepNutz on 07-30-2001

Altbier, literally translated as “Old Style” beer, is a classic German ale. BBC Altbier is brewed with additions of Munich, wheat, caramel, and chocolate malts creating a delicate, but flavorful malt profile. This delicious amber colored session beer is balanced with additions of tradtional spicy German hops creating a light and floral bouquet to compliment its complex malt profile.

28.6 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 83 | Hads: 120
Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Mellow Mushroom, Lexington KY. The tap offers a smoother, less sweet, mellower flavor and texture with more subtle aromas. This all leads to easy drinking. The caramel and bready / yeasty flavors are all still there, just melded together much better. Textrue is smooth and nearly velvety, while thinning in the end to let the German hops crispen the brew up. Finishes wil a clean, mild hop bitterness and caramel flavor. A very good session beer, and goes real well with the hummus appetizer.Much of what I expect from an Altbier is really ramped up in this one.

7-22-05 Bottle (4,4,4,4.5,4)
Much of what I expect from an Altbier is really ramped up in this one. It looks a brilliantly clear copper and golden and pours an over-carbonated white loose head that faded, but laced well. Smells malty, toasty and caramelly. Alcoholic phenols penetrate the nose. Tastes slightly roasty and malty. Nice frutiness like ripe pears and, to a lesser extent, peaches. Spices float in the background: nutmeg and corriander. American hops add to the spice and to the flavor. Sweet alcohol chases you through the body and into the finish. The finish is clean, crisp, and dry. A bit mouth coating: like butter? This is a bold Alt. What do yo expect from an American Micro? A whimpy beer? Not here! (1,306 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bronzed orange capped by a pastel tangerine head that appears to be somewhat sticky and should leave some nice lace... but doesn't. The only saving grace is that the head lasts for a bit and never drops lower than a thick disk.

The nose is both interesting and complex. It contains quite a few elements that I'm not sure that I can identity accurately. The basics are caramel malt, fruity-floral hops and a subdued spice that I won't even guess at. I'd like the aroma to be a wee bit more aromatic, but it's nice all the same.

The flavor is more generously toasted malty than the nose let on and contains the very same fruity hops and spice. Each mouthful starts out sweet and finishes clean and dry with a more pronounced nutty grain flavor on the back end. Different, interesting and enjoyable.

No complaints about the mouthfeel; it's smooth, creamy and perfectly carbonated. This is my third BBC beer and it's readily apparent that these guys know what they're doing. One big indicator of quality for me is body/mouthfeel and this brewery passes that test with flying colors.

Bluegrass Altbier is my first altbier and I found it to be delicious and some kind of drinkable. Is there any style that Bluegrass Brewing Company doesn't do well? Thanks to SheepNutz for the bottle. Now I wish that we'd done a bigger trade. (1,334 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

amber in color with copious amounts of carbonation bubbling up toward the surface throughout. Nice white head on top, maybe an inch and a half before settling down to coat the inside of the glass for a minute. Interesting aroma, mix of grains, light bready malts, and a touch of a grassy, herbal hoppiness. Nothing crazy here but nicely balanced. Same could be said for the flavor, nice pale taste, light bready notes balancing a herbal sort of hop. Lightly sweet with a decent amount of carbonation (499 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decanted cool into my DFH shaped pint. Picked this up at the Class six.
A - A dark amber/honeyed brown w/ an inch of fluffy creamy pale head that musters a moderate amount of lace. The lace sticks well and the bead is pin sized. Rings of lace are still holding on as the last swallows are taken.

S - Very woody almost bark-like w/ its earthiness. Faintly grainy malt w/ a rich roasted barley aroma and subtle caramel odors.

M - A mildly bitter grain touch w/ toasted notes and mild sweetness and moderate carbonation, the ale finishes relatively dry.

T - Very flavorful from the get-go, a dry husky malt note blends well w/ an herbal hop flavor. The caramel malt is there, but used in moderation an most of the malt is roasted barley w/ a kind of nutty wheat flavor that is toasted w/ a light biscuit quality. Slightly vegetal as it warms w/ a cooked pea flavor that has no negligible impact on the overal flavor. and the yeast seems to become spicier late in the review.

D - A very nice beer, I must have been served the bitter by mistake at the brewpub. None of the fruitiness and a very nice malty flavor w/ bready touches and a dry texture that makes it easy to return to. I consider this a fine Alt and it is highly quaffable. (1,236 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.32/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the airport in Cincinati

Pours caramel/copper with a 1" tan head. Good lacing & average head retention

S: Nice malty nose with hints of hops

T: Nice rich malt flavor followed by caramel notes. Finished with a a nice herbal hop bite & some oakyness

MF: Medium bodied with great balance & good carbonation

Drinks really easy. a good american take on a style that I loved over in Germany. Easily the best of the BBC beer I tried (459 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a copper amber tone with a nice size creamy textured cream head, the lacing coats the sides in speckled streaks. Aroma: Toasted malts some vienna possibly but not as sweet there's a slight woody tone with toasted nuts there to back it up, not bad. Taste: A very strange mix that I can't say it's sweet or bitter a bit mute overall a wave of biscuit malt with a bready characteristic that finishes with toasted malts. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied very crisp and smooth nothing cloying. Drinkability: I am not very familiar with the altbier style, but this one just doesn't do anything amazing for me it's alright but I haven't fallen in love yet. (659 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appealing appearance, lovely bright crimson color, adequately sized, brief off-white head of foam.
Aroma, soft, mild, yet sweet and fruity, hoppy and lively.
Taste: yum, is what I first exclaim, and I sing it again with every sip! Light fruity taste, bits of apricots, peach, etcetera, ultimately drying out in the finish.
Body's about medium, finish is fruity, yet dry and lingers on, but beyond all that it's just delcious, regardless of adhering to this style or that!
i can drink a million of these, just like any you-name-it pale ale!
Yum, i just caught myself saying again, yum, and damn it, I'm just gonna continue to sat that, no matter what. Don't know if this qualifies as an altbier, but damnit, it's a good beer, and that's all I care for, pallies.
Light/medium bodied, medium, fruity finish, excellent taste, supreme drinkability, sam-ooo--ooo-ooth'ah!

Big thanksy-McGee to Sheepnutz for the bottle! (921 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet and fruity malt scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts. There is a nice hop aroma as well. The taste is good. It has a sweet malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry and bitter. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking altbier. It has excellent flavor and aroma. (463 characters)

Photo of Gavage
2.79/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: hazy orange in color with a 1/4" head that disappears quickly. No lacing developed.

Smell: no aroma detected even with my nose almost hitting the liquid surface.

Taste: mild grainy malt profile, caramel candy, hints of fruit sweetness and a mild bitterness made up a bland altbier. This was very low in alcohol at 4.2% ABV.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Very brief caramel aftertaste. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: if you want a true altbier, you'll need to look elsewhere. This is a light version of one which some may enjoy. Very easy to drink but little flavor makes it dull. (618 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
2.33/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours with a one-fingered off-white head that fades quickly and leaves traces of lace. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Cloudy amber color. Nose is slightly hoppy. Starts hoppy, finishes with strong hoppiness, what else with an amber. Not my style. $1.25 for a 12oz bottle from Liquor Barn Lexington, KY. (309 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade with kmpitz2. Thanks for the opportunity... Best before Dec04. Oops.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a big old 1 3/4" of beige head over the clear dark amber brew, with various feathery floaties. Head is heavy and frothy, and the meringue look stays for quite some time, leaving foamy bits of lacing randomly. Aroma is lightly of grains and a tad of nuttiness. Taste is lightly nutty medium malts, with a clean, crisp finish. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, and the drinkability is good as well. Nice stab at an alt, would probably even be better fresher (duh). (604 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, one of a handful of BBC beers hauled by kmpitz2 to Madison fo rme

appearance: a copper/amber pour with a small bubbly white head and little lacing

smell: sweet and spicy malts, a certain nutty nature, grassy, some spicy hops too

taste: mostly malts, definite spicy nature, toasted malts, mildy grass and bitter hops in the background. pretty standard altbier

mouthfeel: thin bodied, mostly malty with slight hop bitterness, spicy and dry finishing

drinkability: pretty drinkable (506 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted at the Barrelhouse Brewing Company Microbrew Fest on November 9. I am not too familiar with Altbiers but this was okay. The other Bluegrass beers I have tried were noticeably better though. Dark amber color with a thin head. Light-bodied malt flavor with a hoppy and slightly nutty finish. (296 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
2.17/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Tasted On-Tap 04/07/05 at the Bluegrass Brewing Co. Pub at the Cincinnati Airport.

Copper (golden-amber) color with a low off-white head which was strange considering the very active carbonation. Not so nice buttery Diacetyl aroma and flavor dominate over an overly sweet malt base. Light-medium bodied but leans light due to carbonation.

This batch had to be bad considering the hoppiness others describe -- there were no hops evident in this sample. I could only finish half of my glass which doesn't happen often. :-(

Per BBC website: 1996 GABF - Bronze - Altbier (575 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
3.66/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear coppery amber in color with a large foamy puffed high dark ivory head, fades slowly down to thick haze always present and long stings of lace stick well throughout the consumption. Light toasty malt aroma with some grassy/floral-like hops and notes of toffee. Taste is nice and soft, well rounded toastyness of malts, light dry grassy hops dry out some of the finish with some mild bitterness lingering. Feel is close to medium with playfully light carbonation, fluffy textured and floats right down making for some easy drinking. A good session brew, filling in a calming easy fashion with just enough flavor and body to keep it interesting. Thanks to Brent for the sample pack of KY beers from the holiday exchange program here at BeerAdvocate! Happy Holidays all! (772 characters)

Photo of whartontallboy
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love altbiers and I love Kentucky, my home state, so I'm excited for this one.

Pours out a a slightly hazy deep red-brown coppery color. Thin, meringue head that fades a little more quickly than I would have preferred.

Smell is malty, slightly fruity, with notes of caramel and toffee. Hoppiness is minimal.

Taste is pretty good: apples, peach, and pears are all in there, slight walnut flavor, a hint of raw, toasted grain, and a tiny hop bite on the dry finish. Fruitiness is crisp and clean, mouthfeel is snappy and light.

Overall: Not a superb alt, but a pretty nice one. Worth trying if you want some local Kentucky flavor. (645 characters)

Photo of alexgash
3.66/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium copper-orange with a cushiony, light-creamy-tan head. Nice.
Smells of sugary toasted bread malt, backed by a hefty spice (gingerish) presence. Tastes of doughy malt up front. Not sweet, but tangy and kinda toasty. Hints of breaded squash(!). Hop bite comes in toward the end. Spicy, bitter--nice. Finish is toasty-bitter with lingering semi-sweet fruit and buttery bread. Medium-bodied. Ample carbonation. Thanks again kmpitz2! (435 characters)

Photo of hopdog
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Bottle was notched BB D 07.

Poured a medium amber color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of roast, chocolate, earthy, and toasted caramel. Tastes of caramel, light chocolate in the background, and some citrus.

Notes from 02/19/08. (257 characters)

Photo of Brent
4.24/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

German style amber ale. Nice amber color. Aroma is mild and sweet, but flavor is not as sweet. Moderate hops bittering with somewhat dry, tangy/sour finish. Well balanced and clean. (185 characters)

Photo of argock
3.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass

A: Hazy light brown with short fizzy head which wihers away to a thin rim of bubbles. Scant lacing.

S: Faint sweet malts with even fainter hops

T: A bit light but tasty enough with sweet pale and caramel malts followed up with a mild but appropriate earthy and floral hops contribution.

M: A bit thin and watery with barely any aftertaste.

D: Easy enough to drink but a little disappointing -- I really like this style, but it is not readily available. (512 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh 12 oz bottle pours a clear, bronze body topped by two fingers of creamy offwhite head. Retention is fair, and some patchy chains of lace are left on the glass as it quickly empties. Aroma begins with spicy hops, as caramel and toffee notes quickly emerge. The nose is finished by a fruity note of dried apricots. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a silky and tingly carbonation level that is ideal. Taste is quite good, with mild black peppery hops, toffee maltiness, and a hint of ripe pears. Slightly drying noble hops appear toward the finish. Easy drinking, well balanced, and a decent American effort at a somewhat obscure German style. Definitely worth a try. (670 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.76/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Attractive iced-tea color. Crazy carbonation is oozing out of the bottle several seconds after opening. Get it to the glass quick - too late - only lost a little spot of foam to the table, *man* this thing has some bubbles! Forms up a full 2-finger head and holds at no less than a half-finger for this tasting, which didn't last long!

Aroma - Solid malt backbone is easily identified. Aroma holds, which is nice, but couldn't pick up much beyond that.

Taste - malty and lots of caramel but not excessively sweet. Well-constructed hop presence provides great hop balance. Mellow bitter finish. Nicely done!

Mouthfeel has average carbonation, despite it's frothy start. Decent weight, fairly clean finish with just the slightest sweetness left behind.

Drinkability - very good session beer. Al around enjoyable. (835 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer of the month club selection (Thanks Cindy, for the gift!). Into a mug glass, this beer is a nice reddish amber color, but with hardly any head on it. Pleasant caramel malt nose, with a light dusting of hops. Clean but interesting malt flavor: caramel, with some toasty melanoidens; followed by a moderate bitterness and light but yummy hop flavor. Yeast character is fairly neutral with just a touch of fruitiness, but otherwise with a clean, malty finish. Light bodied, maybe a touch watery.

Nothing that special here, but it's a really good drinking beer. Simple, clean flavors, perfect for session drinking. (616 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
4.15/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a clear amber with ruby highlights, forming a rocky light-beige head with excellent retention and nice lacing. Carbonation is very gentle. Aroma is very mild...a hint of tobacco, clean ferment, a bit of red apple, and a suggestion of green hops and husky crystal malt with swirling. Mouthfeel is very mild and very smooth with a medium-light body. The taste is also very mild..starting with an earthy/herbal hoppiness, crisp water, clean ferment, a light amber malt body, hints of astringent tobacco, followed by a subtle and clean fruitiness towards the semi-husken, slightly spicy and earthy wet finish. Suggestion of green hay creeps in towards the middle. Absent off-flavors, remarkably clean and crisp.

VERY easy to drink, this goes down like water but is a wholesome quality altbier. I was pleasantly surprised by this, not expecting much for an American-brewed Altbier. Light and refreshing. Nice. (916 characters)

Photo of Chaney
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this on tap over at BBC.

A: Brown/gold, with a mild 1/8 finger head that retained nicely. Fairly clear in consistency.

S: Mild puff of bread and caramel, but even then, I really had to search for it.

T: Bready, with very bleached out sweetness (which admittedly is not uncommon for this style), but with an extremely watery finish.

M: Once again, thin and watery, with no lacing whatsoever,

O: I'm glad I tried it, but I didn't really dig this one. (459 characters)

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Altbier from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
80 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.