Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout - Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

Not Rated.
Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel StoutJefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

432 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 432
Reviews: 326
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 28
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's visit their website
Kentucky, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mcallister on 04-07-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 432 | Reviews: 326 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Cresant
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a becker glass. Bottled April 08. The body was rich black brown and the head was very tall. Foam was the color of a chocolate malt.

Smell was gritty chocolate. Vanilla notes. As it warmed the bourbon bloomed. However, it did not smell boozy.

Taste was coffee. Sweet roasty flavors. Smooth and clean. Cola. Light bourbon flavor without the hotness.

Mouthfeel was thinner than I would have expected. Medium/mild carbonation.

Photo of eweneek83
4.65/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours thick with a nice, creamy, but thin dark brown head. Dark black,a great stout characteristic.

Smell: Chocolatey and a tiny bit of bourbon with a mild roasty scent.

Taste: Creamy, tastes like a chocolate stout with a sweetness that is appetizing from the bourbon barrel aging. A great chocolate taste. I'm not sure if they meant for that, but man this is tasty! It's high alcohol but doesn't taste like it. The sweetness from the bourbon complements the stout very nicely.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, not too thick. Lightly carbonated. Surprising for a stout of this nature but it still stays on the tongue with a nice aftertaste. Exactly like a cholate milkshake.

Drinkability: Outstanding. A very unique beer with a fabulous flavor! In fact it just 'reserved' itself a place in my fridge beside Newkie Broon, and St. Bernardus while I watch WVU rule this football season, what a great combo.

Photo of 513hooligan
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i have had other bourbon beers and was quite let down. the bourbon was not so much the center of attention and that was a huge relief. i have to admit i was a little biased going into tasting but this really turned me around. the color was wicked dark. so much so it seemed to absorb all the light in the room. very thick head. lacing stuck around until the beer was gone. the body was a little lighter than i had expected. mouth feel was very enjoyable. hints of coffee, malt, and chocolate. this would be great as a beer used in a dessert or a bread.

Photo of tedpeer
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

extra in a trade from BrewCzar. Thanks.

12 ounce poured into a chalice.

A - Pours copper, but becomes very dark brown, almost black in the glass. Had a finger tan head that became whispy w/ring around. Very little lacing.

S - Charcoal, bourbon, and roasted.

T - Sweet, coffe and chocolate. Slight alcohol warmth in finish.

M - Thin, dry, lightly carbonated, creamy.

D -

Photo of alexgash
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle.

Dark, dense, root beer brown. Finger of creamy, tight, dirty sand brown head. Nose is sufficiently roasty, with notes of dark chocolate, licorice, bourbon, coffee, and vanilla. Singed barley and lightly roasted malt up front along with generic coffee bitterness. Bourbon and milk chocolate settle down comfortably mid-palate. Lingering astringency slowly fades as the bourbon turns to dark chocolate and toffee. Hints of vanilla and oak. Not bad, but all of the flavors seem a little muted. Medium-bodied with a slightly overcarbonated feel.

Photo of roadhouse
2.88/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a very dark brown with a two finger tan head that requires some careful pouring. A shit load of nasty looking particulates floating around. Keeps a nice head on top at least.

Smell is something I can't quite describe. Kind of woody, but verging on plastic or something. Roasted malts are hidden behind this rather foul smell.

Taste is better than the smell, but still has that strange character. Maybe a bit of bourbon flavor?...but I'm probably just being optimistic. Nothing going on here really.

Mouthfeel was alright. It was a bit too light and watery, but very smooth and creamy.

Not good at all really. I barely even get any roasted malt flavors. I'm not sure if I'll be able to put the rest of this one down. Such a ripoff at 11 bucks a four pack.

Photo of Romulux
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Just didn't "get" this one. Not sure what they are going for. Looks good, smells ok, taste is uneventful with just a hint of bourbon.Mouthfeel is thin and is drinkable,but why? This is strictly minor leagues of the genre.This couldn't hold Bourbon County or Kentucky Breakfast Stouts jockstrap.I think that if a big macro wanted to attempt this style, this is what we would get.Not bad, but to think of this as a contender in this style,is beyond absurd.

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

Pours a deep dark black body with a very large, frothy tan head.
Smell is of dark malts with a sweetness of chocolate. There is also a cream/milk smell to it, topped off with a bit of a alcohol/bourbon smell as well.
Taste is immediately of strong chocolate malts, with a coffee taste to it also. A bit of the sweet taste of brown sugar and vanilla at the end.
Mouthfeel has a good thickness. Nice smooth milky feel to it.
Drinkability is very nice for an imperial stout. Lots of good chocolate sweet tastes in this beer balanced by the alcohol taste to the finish, giving it a great vanilla finish. The smoothness also helps this beer go down fast, maybe too fast...

Photo of argock
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a 12oz clear short pilsner glass

A: Dark mahogany with thin tan head capping the brew with threads of lace

S: Toasted malt, vanilla, coffee, and chocolate, sweetish bourbon, charcoal dominate the nose

T: Very sippable stout with a lot of sweetness for an Imperial stout. Toasted malt, coffee, and chocolate with a sweet edge are joined by alcoholic vanilla flavors coated with a huge amount of roasted dark and caramel malts. The bourbon accent is there but not overwhelming.

M: Alcohol is detectable but not unpleasant. Easy to drink but a tad thin.

D: An enjoyable bourbon-tinged stout with a lot of sweetness balanced with solid roasted malt.

Photo of BeachBumC
4.85/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers since Bluegrass Brewing came out with it some 2-3 years ago.

A: Pours thick with a nice, creamy 2 inch head and thick lacing.

S: Chocolate and bourbon with a mild roast scent.

T: Creamy, chocolate stout with a sweetness that is appetizing from the bourbon barrel aging. It's high alcohol but doesn't taste like it. The sweetness from the bourbon complements the stout very nicely.

M: Medium body, not too thick. Surprising for a stout of this nature but it still stays on the tongue with a nice aftertaste.

D: Outstanding beer with a fabulous flavor! On my favorites list and one that I regularly keep in stock.

In other words... go get ya some!

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bluegrass- Jefferson's Stout

A- Deep mahogany brown with a huge frothy tan head. Slight lacing 1-2 ring on the glass.
S- Light cream and vanilla dominate with hints of birch and charcoal.
T- Sweet vanilla meets birch/ root beer. Nice notes sweet and smooth charcoal bourbon. Earthy mossy flavors appear in the end.
M- Sweet and creamy smooth. A sugary cream soda like feel.

Overall- Quite tasty and easy to polish off. Alcohol is quite hidden and this would be a good 6er to drink on poker night.

Photo of Misfit138
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Guinness Pint glass

A- Really doesn't get better. Black with a nice creamy two inch tan head

S- mostly roasted malts, some chocolate

T- Chocolate malts is the initial taste, then the bourbon kicks in nicely with some coffee notes as well

M- fairly heavy, with fair carbonation

D- Very good. High alcohol stout that will warm you up. I don't know if you would want too many of these being it is high alcohol, but still tasty. I only had a kentucky bourbon ale one other time which was good as well, but this being a stout is better.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle (Mustard Seed Market in Fairlawn had this in singles). The beer poured a black color with a thick tan foam. The aroma was about right, bourbon and roasted malts, rich and sweet. The taste was decent, lots of bournon highlights but the malts came through kind of diminished. It was really a pretty good flavor but not as rich as the smell. The mouthfeel is easy to rate low, this was just way thinner than you'd expect for the style. I was under the impression that thick beers are generally barrel aged, maybe I'm wrong but this seems true in general based on my experience, The thinness does keep the drinkability up, but still I'd prefer a fuller body.

Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Fickle Peach in Muncie, IN.

I've had bottles of this before, but this was the first time I saw it on tap. Black body with a thin layer of tan foam.

A sweet aroma with some roastiness.

Bourbon is a big component in this beer, but it doesn't overshadow the stout, which lends itself to being pretty balanced. Some distinct coffee and chocolate notes, not especially bitter or too boozy. The smooth velvety body complimented the flavor well, and there was no sign of harsh alcohol. Very easy to have a pint, or several.

Photo of gford217
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of BeerTruth and SixPackSunday poured into a snifter.

Pours deep black with a thin short-lived tan head that dissipated quickly leaving a hint of lacing. Aroma is dominated by roasted malts and baker's chocolate with more than a hint of bourbon in the background. Taste had roasted malts and coffee and was slightly bitter before giving way to the chocolate and finishing with the burn of the bourbon in the finish. The mouthfeel was very thin with a little carbonation and good bit of bourbon. This is a decent stout but a little thin for my liking.

Photo of Seanibus
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This is an interesting and unusual beer, if not a completely successful stout in its own right.

It pours deep brown, almost black, with light head. The aroma is all bourbon, rich and vanilla-like. The flavor is strong, vanilla and bourbon, with the dark malty stout character hanging in the background. The finish is slight, leaving most of the flavor up front in the mouth. The mouthfeel is the weak spot here. It is rather thin for a stout. I was hoping for something with a stronger finish and a lot more stamina crossing the tongue.

Still, this is an interesting offering and far more drinkable than the title and label description would suggest.

Photo of biegaman
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to khiasmus.

An opaque, charred chestnut coloured body. A thin cloud of brown overcast the center, while a thick rim barriers the perimeter.

I was hoping the aroma would be as much (or more bourbon) than stout, but it's disappointingly just stout. Standard notes of strong cocoa, weak coffee, and hazelnut simply don't seem as enticing with the absence of the expected oak and bourbon, which only started to show, maybe. very faintly, with much warming.

Any bitterness quickly falls under the sweetness of cocoa. Fortunately, the bourbon comes through wonderfully in the taste. The actual flavour of the bourbon is foremost, along with accompanying vanilla and oak, as well as more subtle tastes of chocolate, cocoa beans, hazelnut, and cappuccino.

What this does have: a delicious flavour profile that combines chocolate malt and bittersweet cocoa with the vanilla and oak. A good dessert beer; something that can be savoured as well as devoured.

What this does not have: the texture of stout, the warmth/complexity of bourbon. It lacks the big, dense, roasty body of the stout. It's more of a porter. There's no alcohol - there's no body. Equally, it's missing the contemplative complexities of bourbon. There's no heat, no stifling character. There's none in the aroma or mouthfeel.

It's only adequate bourbon and fairly adequate stout. These two things just so happen to pair so well that this beer turned out far more than adequate. Jefferson's Reserve has captured their flavours - and they are delicious - but it hasn't captured their essence.

Photo of Riverwarrior
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

S = Cocoa and fairly strong bourbon notes.

T = Cocoa sweetness with a very subdued bourbon taste. Actually, the bourbon was much stronger in the aroma than the taste. I actually preferred the softer bourbon flavor. The alcohol was hidden well.

MF = Light body, low carbonation, and slightly watered down.

This was not a bad stout at all, but it was a little thin and watery. The strong point was the bourbon flavor not dominating the other flavors.

Photo of turbine2475
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go to Mhewes for the chance to try this beer:

A - Pours completely opaque black, with a large cream head that dissipated quickly to a light ring leaving a spotty lace.

S - Sweet bourbon, burnt wood, some hints of mocha, and dark fruits.

T - Watered down burnt coffee and a subdues bourbon taste that failed to match the nose. Some earthy grains and a touch of currants and vanilla.

M - Not as creamy as I thought it would be, but mildly chewy with a light coating that left a bourbon aftertaste. Low carbonation.

D - Glad I had a chance to try this beer. Not as big as I thought it was going to be, but at the same time the alcohol content is well hidden making this a beer that has the chance to sneak up on you.

Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I shared this one w/ evets at a community brew day he hosted recently.
Poured cold into a goblet from the 12oz brown bottle
A - A deep brown almost black in the light w/ an inch of cream colored cap w/ a very fine bead

S - The aroma is of cocoa w/ sweet cream and vanilla from the oaking as it warms

M - Sweet, moderate carbonation and slightly woody toasted w/ a pleasant semi-dry finish w/ oak bourbon aspects lingering on

T - This is a fine stout, however I felt the aroma was better than the taste. The flavors are well blended w/ plenty of toasted and chocolate malt upfront and a sweet bourbon like creaminess w/ vanilla and gentle booze tinges following. The subtlety of bourbon in this stout is its strong point, it really has the flavor of a lighter stout.

D - Very good drinkability for an 8.5% beer this is one you may want to sip since it is deceptive. It has many layers of flavor and I appreciated the chance to try the bottle as well as having this on tap, but prefer the draft version.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A = Deep mahogany, but poured a little thin, virtually no head, what did form was medium brown and dissipated almost immediately, no lacing and very little traces on surface.

S = Very strong oak notes, smelling smoked, almost like a smoked porter. Below that are deep bitter baker's chocolate, vanilla and not much else.

T = Smokey oak, great bourbon overtones, maduro cigar tobacco, fresh vanilla bean, very complex, great tastes.

M = Medium to medium-light bodied, only fair mouthcoating, much less than I would expect from a big beer like this.

D = This is an okay beer and I have put some down for cellaring. Will be happy to drink it again. However, the taste alone really carries it, since the body is WAY too light, the appearance is mundane and the smell is very simple compared to the taste.

I personally think this could be a great beer if they just increased the body some and made it such that it had a heavy body, then either go with a more robust carbonation and head or the opposite where it is not intended to have any and sets up like a more syrupy dessert drink.

Photo of hustlesworth
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- totally inky black. i literally cannot get one shred of light to show through my duvel tulip. big puffy tan head becomes rocky and pitted as it settles, opening and closing organic looking orifices at a phenomenal rate, and leaving spots and stripes of patchy lace. finally ends up as a thick half moon dish sitting over this deep dark brew.

*note: as the beer diminishes into my belly, amber and crimson highs show themselves along the edges of glass.

S- bittersweet chocolate and roasty toasty malt. a toffee/caramel sugary sweetness presides more so than bourbon sweetness however alcohol esters were fuming around the room as soon as i began to pour. what i get from the barrels is a nice earthy charred wood that warms the nose, blending nicely with the cocoa/coffee aromas. pipe tobacco, old dry leather, and grape tannins mingle around and i think this will be a great breakfast.

T- this is a great stout BUT... i'm not really getting any bourbon taste or smell. charred oak is evident, but that could also simply be their melange of different roasted malts. mild flavored until the swallow, quality mineral water and soft marshmallow (i'm noticing a marshmallow trend with BBC brews, i trait that i only really adore in APAs and IPAs) and tart dark dried fruit (raisin, cranberry, prune). after the swallow, flavor surges through with the usual combo of dark cocoa, coffee, and burnt wood. maple syrup sweetness pushes through before the decent earthy english hop bitterness merges with the bitterness from the roasted barley making for a mild well balanced finish. i suppose (in all my optimism) that after i take a big gulp and exhale through my big nose i can detect a somewhat bourbon-esque stimulus, but if i didn't already know, i would have never guessed this was a bourbon barrel stout, just a pretty good imperial. +/-

MF- hearty and rich...for a lighter beer. not the deep robust belly filling imperial stout that i've come to love, but more of a light porter. its super blackness led me to believe this one would be like drinking melted ice cream but comes up short instead. some residual graininess sticks behind, and with small tight carbonation, this has almost all factors, just lacking that meal-in-a-bottle character that i depend on from an imperial stout.

D- high points and low points, but oddly enough what it lacks in taste and body happen to up its drinkability. much easier to slam these babies when each one doesn't equal 1/2 loaf of bread.

Photo of mhewes
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A : Pours a nice dark brown with a good tan head. Good head retention and lacing

S : Coffee, oak, hints of vanilla

T : Smokey malt, coffee flavors dominate. Hints of bourbon shine through but not as much as I was expecting.

M : Creamy with good carbonation

D : Pretty good but I just expected a little bit more from the beer.

Photo of rborthwick
4.72/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It pours an opaque black with a tan head that fades fairly quickly. Little lacing is evident. This beer is extremely smooth with a creamy mouthfeel. It smells of sweet malt, chocolate and bourbon. Taste includes chocolate, oak, black licorice and bourbon. The finish is of burnt malt and molasses and is rather tight and abrubt for such a flavorfull beer. This beer is one of my favorites. I am not a big bourbon fan, but this beer is wonderful. It pairs fabulously with a good cigar.

Photo of russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this a bonus beer from Bitterbill, cheers Bill!

Pours an ebony tinged chestnut with 3 fingers of mocha head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Vanilla & oak smells, plus chocolate

T: Bourbon notes, some chocolate & mocha up front. A bit of caramel, some smokey notes, more vanilla & oakyness as this warms. Finishes dry, with nice cocoa notes & vanilla, tasty

MF: Medium bodied with some oilyness, fairly vigirous carbonation.

Drinks great for the abv and style. A very respectable Imp Stout

Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
86 out of 100 based on 432 ratings.