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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

411 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 411
Reviews: 322
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 14.47%
Wants: 25
Gots: 7 | 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: 411 | Reviews: 322 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jeremy3311


3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

12-02-2013 21:05:08 | More by jeremy3311
Photo of gkatsoris

3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Black. Nice big tan head w/ teeny teeny bubbles that settle in less than 2 minutes.

S: Deep woody smell. Good aroma of the bourbon. Slight scent of alcohol. Also some vanilla. Pretty complex.

T: Bland at first. Where is the bourbon???? ABSOLUTELY NEEDS to sit for a bit before drinking. Lots of wood. The aftertaste is where most of the flavors are: Coco, vanilla, wood, honey, roasted malts and roasted nuts.

M: Flat and thin. Pretty creamy, but also crisp.

D: Wouldn't be something I'd go out of my way for, but wouldn't refuse either.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2008 00:31:00 | More by gkatsoris
Photo of dmfrench


4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A creamy, sweet, spicy, small, drinkable American Double.

A: Opaque with brown highlights and a fairly persistent 1.5 finger creamy khaki head.

S: A small hint of bourbon, along with prune, and some acrid hops. Not much in the way of cocoa, coffee, or other burnt odors.

T: Sweet and creamy is my first impression, followed by the pleasing effect lent by the bourbon barrel, which somehow reminds one of bourbon, particularly its spiciness, without really tasting like bourbon. The acidic hops come next, and the burnt malt flavors are far in the background. Te overall effect is rather small for a Double, though the flavors are pleasing enough.

M: Solid yet polite weight and creamines... a bit chalky

D: Extremely easy... more like a milk stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2010 01:55:41 | More by dmfrench
Photo of stoutlover1978


3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

02-27-2012 03:31:48 | More by stoutlover1978
Photo of generalnotsew


3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice dank, black solid coloring but the head was quite weak and the beer itself looking a bit thin. Smell is mostly a candied sugar with hints of vanilla and the bourbon toned down quite a bit. I actually like it. Not overpowering. Some dark chocolate and not much coffee. Taste is roasty and slightly bitter. Can't taste the bourbon at all. Actually may need to let it set a bit. It is a tad too cold. But so far I think it is better than most people give it. Ok letting it sit hasn't opened much more flavor. The lack of an aftertaste bugs me the most. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Very middle of the road stout. Not bad but not great.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 03:32:26 | More by generalnotsew
Photo of tedpeer


3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
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 -

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 23:39:12 | More by tedpeer
Photo of scifan

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A hard pour reveals a pitch black body with a light brown head. The head sits about two inches high atop the glass. However it quickly settles down leaving some bits of lacing along the glass.
Coffee dominates the nose, along with a light milk chocolate. Only hints of barrel aging are apparent here with some vanilla and bourbon lurking deep in the background.
Coffee and roasted malts hit the palate first. There's also hints of some dark chocolate. The barrel aging definitely makes itself more known in the taste of this beer with good woody, vanilla, and bourbon asserting themselves a bit more aggressively in the flavor.
I think the mouthfeel is where this beer falls a bit short. Its just too thin for my liking. RIS's should be rich and creamy. However it does make for an easy drinking experience, and besides the barrel aging the alcohol never really makes itself know. Overall its just a nicely balance BA stout with not any over the top bourbon flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 04:14:11 | More by scifan
Photo of nwatson


4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

02-16-2013 12:24:10 | More by nwatson
Photo of Misfit138


4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2008 00:17:03 | More by Misfit138
Photo of SeanRedd

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This ale is not the easiest to score. It looks good, tastes good, smells awesome, drinks like a charm; but comes in a bit light in body for a deux. It drinks too easy, but the spritz of cookies and cream, chocolate seltzer, touch of desert syrup put a smile on the face. The booze is well hidden; I'd love a tall pint off draft of this, I'd knock it down so quick. This is gunna be my SuperBowl Sunday Session Stout... with Founder's Breakfast for Dinner!

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 03:01:14 | More by SeanRedd
Photo of danielocean03


2.63/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Notched label indicates bottled on date of Decemeber 2007. Appearance is opaque dark reddish brown, fizzy thin finger of light brown head dissipated quickly into a light sticky ring of lacing. Very active carbonation, appearance is not unlike a Pepsi or Coca-cola. Aroma is light, sweet and malty with hints of vanilla and undertones of chocolate, light alcohol scent. Taste is also light, malty with the slightest hint of a bourbon flavor, smoky earthen-grain undertones. Finish is slightly dry with a hint of alcohol flavor. Mouthfeel is watery-thin consistency with the highest levels of carbonation of any brew I've ever drank. Roughs up the palate to the point of practically ruining this beer for me, it washes off the tongue so quickly there is hardly any complexity to the flavor. The scent is also weak and it leaves something to be desired. Drinkability suffers for the latter, makes one want to move on to something else. Maybe this one needs to sit for a year or so to calm down and fall into its own, but as a fresh(er) stout, I expected better. Would not seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 23:20:37 | More by danielocean03
Photo of rsyberg01


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S - 12 oz bottle, bottled feb 07, from notes. andy snead likes the baseball with the wooden stick.

A - Pours black with a chocolate thin head, foam is tight and tucked way, waiting for a chillier day. looks like it should.

S - dark roast coffee, smoke, chocolate, subtle fruit character that breaks through the heavy scents of the prior, touch of bourbon in there, not overwhelming, just right.

T - wood, smoke, bourbon, chocolate, coffee, sweetness though not cloying. hot damn.

M - Lighter bodied but still with some love to it.

D - With the lighter side in the body it makes it that much more drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2007 04:50:12 | More by rsyberg01
Photo of XenonX


4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

04-19-2012 00:23:42 | More by XenonX
Photo of turbine2475


3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2008 20:42:38 | More by turbine2475
Photo of nriech


3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Color is dark, nearly opaque, but not quite. A one inch tan head slowly fades out. Scattered streaks & spots of lacing are left around the glass.

Aroma: Wisps of smoked peat, coffee and a touch of chocolate dominate. Oak notes and vanilla.

Taste: Flavor is surprizingly light and creamy. Tastes like big roasted malts and coffee beans, very few caramelly vanilla elements evening out that charred sharpness. Goes down very easy and finishes with a noticeable hint of sweet malt brandy-like booze.. hovers too lightly above the savory world of bourbony sippers.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: Too light for the flavors that are peeking out. I would like this one to stick a little more. Seems to have been made to not offend but in the process has done more damage to those who might have actually bought more, I wont but wouldnt detract anyone from giving it at least a taste.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2006 13:21:20 | More by nriech
Photo of RedBaron


4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A Confederate strong stout...I just had to pick up a four-pack of this interesting-looking beer while traveling to Indianapolis recently (from Chicago).

Appearance: Super-dark brown, but not quite opaque. Low carbonation (good for the style).
Smell: Faint whiff of molasses and hand-cut cured tobacco.
Taste: Aged-whiskey sweetness, but tastefully mellowed; fig and chocolate notes, too. Quite yummy.
Mouthfeel: This beer is all about the malts and additions of the residuals sugars of having been aged in bourbon barrels. Finishes sweet, but perhaps a bit thin. The alcohol in this beer is quite apparent in the finish.
Drinkability: Not your every day beer, but one to be enjoyed when the cold winds blow.

Cunningly, I purchased many strong beers, such as this one, on a jaunt to Indianapolis in late October. My rationale was to store these types of can't-find-at-home beers in my basement until such time (i.e. WINTER IN CHICAGO) was called for.

This is one of those beers that remind me that Kentucky is one of the leading American producers of bourbon and tobacco, and only a fella with blood-ties to that state, and the South in general, could fully appreciate it, I suppose. It ain't the kind of barrel-aged stout I'm used to (having lived most of my life in the North), but I really appreciate the subtleties and mellowness in this beer. Sipping this beer makes me nostalgic for swimming in places like Kentucky Lake, or spelunking in Mammoth Cave (or Horse Cave, for those who REALLY know Kentucky cave exploration), and remembering spotting all those families in the western part of the state who hang tobacco to age under little outdoor awnings on their property.

I only hope my kin south of the Mason-Dixon line has easier access to this beer than I do!

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 00:52:36 | More by RedBaron
Photo of sodensp


4.75/5  rDev +25%

08-16-2012 03:49:10 | More by sodensp
Photo of bgildea


4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark blackish brown color with a nice brown head that faded quickly.

S: Smells amazing with a nice strong bourbon aroma.

T: Fairly light considering the ABV (which was listed as 10.5). But a nice strong taste of bourbon with some lighter notes of chocolate. The flavors work extremely well together, and complement each other very nicely.

M: Decently chewy, but I almost expected it to be thicker.

D: Very, very drinkable due to the great taste. Although be warned, the ABV is pretty high, and the easy taste might make you drink one too many.

Overall: I thought this was an amazing beer. I ordered several when I was out, and if i ever saw this on a menu I wouldn't hesitate to order it again. I would highly recommend this beer to anyone who likes a good stout or is a bourbon drinker.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2010 18:11:55 | More by bgildea
Photo of Riverwarrior


3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2008 18:46:04 | More by Riverwarrior
Photo of nova009


3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter

A- pours a dark brown pushing black color, about a half finger tan head that quickly dissipates, very weak lacing

S- chocolate and coffee are the initial scents, bourbon and oak are barely noticeable

T- coffee and chocolate stand out the most, highly disappointed with the lack of bourbon, oak, and vanilla flavors that usually emerge from a bourbon barrel stout

M- medium body, carbonation is pretty high, kind of distracts you from he flavors

D- not hard to drink, probably won't purchase another one of these

P.S. If you want a good stout from BBC try the Heine Brother's Coffee Stout

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 00:44:55 | More by nova009
Photo of LittleBreeze

New York

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer Thirty Tasting

Bourbon, oak, brown sugar and vanilla were the strongest smells for me.

As it warms the flavors come together. It seems unbalanced...maybe a little heavy on wood or smoke in contrast to the other flavors. I'd be interested to know which barrels were used.

Drinkable. It is a little thin. But overall not bad.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2007 03:32:52 | More by LittleBreeze
Photo of Buschyfor3


4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a 16 oz draft at the Legends Bar, Horseshoe Casino in Southern Indiana.

A: Like the bottle, you get that same deep, ruddy brown/near black pour. Off the tap, you get a bit more of a khaki-colored head, but like the bottle the retention is short-lived and quickly becomes just a wispy ring of sandy-beige foam settling on the surface of this stout.

S: Off the tap, the nose doesn't seem to change too much - still getting the oak, vanilla and caramel characters from the bourbon and the barrels themselves. Underlying stout still shows of roasted malt notes, burnt toast, warm coffee, and hints of some dark fruits.

T: The taste department is where I noticed the first difference compared to the most recent bottle I sampled. The oak character seems much more prominent off the tap - earthy wood, chalky charcoal notes, salty and smoky, and this dominates the first couple seconds of each sip. Then the vanilla and caramel sweetness from the bourbon sweep in for a quick flash of balancing sweetness before sinking back in to the onrusing malts. If anything is different on tap, it's that the barrel-aging character is more pronounced over the bottled variety.

M: Off the tap, the beer feels a bit slicker and fuller than I remember from the bottle. Not sure if this was on a nitro-line - I asked the bartender and she did not know the specs for their taplines. Still, this stout had a good body to it and it seems even more refined straight off the tap.

D: Still easy to drink, like before. 16oz glass is no problem. The bourbon aroma and taste is present, but the alcohol content remains hidden in the background.

If anything, the only noticeable differences between the tap and the bottled version is that the barrel-aging seems to be more prominent when served on-tap, and the mouthfeel is a tad fuller due to the direct carb. Otherwise, the essence of this stout doesn't change a whole lot given the method of delivery. Still an easy-drinking barrel-aged stout.

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2009 18:56:44 | More by Buschyfor3
Photo of rembrant


3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Look is ultra deep brown. Some lace but not much head

As you'd guess,some stout chocholate/coffee malt hints,faint bourbon,some prune-black cherry. No hop aroma. Not a big aroma for a stout

Taste--actually a rather nice flavor,the malt side is fairly rich though more caramel than roasty-toasty. The Bourbon barrell adds some depth but is understated.

The hops side...where's the hops side? They show up a little in the aftertaste.,but the effect is closer to a Porter than a Stout. Jefferson Reserve BB Stout does run a bit cheaper than most Bourbon Barrell brews but there's a sense the brewer was not going all out,was aiming for a market niche. The basic taste is nice,add more hops, let the barrell have time to matter, boost the carbonation some and it might have done very well. It does let us frugal folk try a Barrel Stout at 1/3 the $ of a KBS, but I wish they had the boys at Victory stop by with a sack of their big fresh hops to balance a nice set of malts.

Mouth. Maybe this was past date. I recall likuing it more a previos time. I didn't note the lack of carbonation so much. With the short carbonation and the hops just aftertaste in the back of the mouth, it's too like a Porter mixed with a half cup of cold coffee.-and a dribble of Bourbon.
Pity. They had decent body and tasteful malts.

Drinkable? It's only "Econo" relative to other Barrell aged stouts,but the barrell + bourbon add too little
It's soft + sweet enough my sister in llaw liked it...but that's almost a clue that it's not stout enough.

It isn't overpowering or boozy. I could drink several. Not bad or rank but not special. Other reviews suggest perhaps batches vary.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2010 19:15:34 | More by rembrant
Photo of DuqTroops


4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank at the downtown Marriot in Louisville on business trip.

Appearance - dark black in color, little head (poured by bartender).

Smell - coffee and chocolate overtones, a bit of malt smell.

Taste - love the small amount of bitterness to connect with the malts and coffee complexions.

Mouthfeel - very sweet and smooth, not overpowering.

Drinkability - excellent drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2007 01:41:50 | More by DuqTroops
Photo of LuthersMug


4.75/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one at the Blue 5 Restaurant in Roanoke, Va.

A - Nice dark color, with a tiny head, not much lacing.

S - Absolutely wonderful, sweet vanilla and bourbon, hints of espresso and coffee.

T - Again wonderful, sweet bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and roasted coffee, very well balanced.

M - Smooth and creamy.

O - Would definitely have this one again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2011 03:24:56 | More by LuthersMug
Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
86 out of 100 based on 411 ratings.