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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 bluejacket74


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, bottled in October 2007. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch tan head. The head goes away quickly, and the lacing is OK. It smells like bourbon, coffee, chocolate, wood and vanilla. The aroma is nice, but not strong at all however it does improve as it warms up some. It tastes like wood, smoke, coffee and a little bit of bourbon and vanilla. There's also a lingering bitter coffee and wood aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium, it's a bit thinner than I like my stouts to be. However, it is very smooth and silky. Because it is a bit lighter, the drinkability is very good. This is really easy to drink and the alcohol isn't noticable at all. It's not a great beer, but it's still a good one. I'd drink this again, it's a decent choice and it's sessionable enough for an 8.5% ABV beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2007 01:31:34 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the bottle a deep, opaque coffee sable with an average tan head. Rich, smoky, chocolaty, coffee-ish aroma has just a touch of sweetness and is very appetizing. Rich flavor is rather sweet and slightly bitter, and has woody, fruity and coffee components with a hint of unsweetened chocolate. Texture is fairly smooth and nicely fizzy with a firm but not fierce bourbon bite.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 16:11:53 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of gford217


3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2008 01:42:59 | More by gford217
Photo of Durge


3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty much opaue black in appearance with a meager ring of light tan head with some strips of lacing in its wake. The aroma is light coffee chocolate with very whispy touches of rye and malt. The flavor brings very bitter charcoal, almost ash tray (but not quite) and lemon. I get some butterscotch licorice, but not so much the bourbon. It's mid-bodied to thinnish in feel, fair carbonation and drinkable enough. Generally on the mild side for the style, not bad but not particularly memorable.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 20:40:28 | More by Durge
Photo of DmanGTR


4.75/5  rDev +25%

09-12-2013 06:52:04 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of cokes


3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark tar brown body with the faintest wisp of a lighter brown head.
The nose is fairly closed, with cocoa, roasted grains, caramel, and a fleeting glimpse of Bourbon, which only really appears as it warms to room temperature.
It follows suit, tastewise. A very templatic big stout, with mild roasted coffee, cocoa, and toffee notes. Some traces of buttery vanilla from the oak, but very small amounts of actual Bourbon footprints.
Lowly carbonated, and somewhat flaccid in body. It drinks smaller than it is, because of it's overall lack of oomph.
When the boast is made of the top-shelf Bourbon barrels that the stout is aged in, I expect some of those traits to be manifest, if not pronounced. The underlying stout is not interesting enough in its absence.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2009 07:22:38 | More by cokes
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

3/5  rDev -21.1%

01-17-2012 03:00:42 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of wrightst


4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

06-17-2014 02:32:20 | More by wrightst
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in my DT tulip. Bottled on July 2006 notched on the label. Poured two shades shy of black with a quarter inch, khaki-colored head that quickly dissipated and coalesced into a froth around the edges. A few strands and spots of lacing revealed during the tasting. Great nose on this one - bourbon vanilla, malt and maybe a hint of toffee. Taste pales in comparison to the nose. Similar qualities, but very much watered down. Some roasty/char qualities, but flavors are so muted. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a mild, tingly background effervescence and a little acidity that comes out around the salivary glands. This is a pretty weak example of the style, and definitely not worth the four dollar price tag; however, alcohol is pretty well-hidden.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2010 02:32:49 | More by Jwale73
Photo of woosterbill


3.11/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from October 2009, poured into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to Lazerlobe for sending this as an extra back in the day.

A: The crown loosens with a tremendous hiss, and the first splash of beer in the tulip explodes to fill it halfway with dense, almost gel-like froth. The oversized glass fills up with about an inch of beer and five inches of head. An attempt to top it up several minutes later still doesn't manage to empty the bottle, and even a third try after that comes up short. Wildly overcarbonated. Infected? I'll give it a point above the minimum here just because the head is so insanely creamy - it looks more like a root beer float than a beer.

S: Whiskey dominates, with equal parts heat and oak. Some chocolate and caramel in the background. The oak notes carry quite a bit of char. Not bad at all.

T: Sweet vanilla, cola, and bourbon up front, with sweeter caramel and chocolate filling in behind. The finish is distantly oaky and, again, sweet. The aftertaste has a bit of a subdued bourbon burn, along with a touch of char. Not bad, but rather boring for the style.

M: The extreme overcarbonation has thinned it out quite a bit, and yet it's still rather fizzy even after repeated swirls and swishes. Not good.

O: My expectations were rather low for this one, and in many ways it exceeded them. If it weren't for the carbonation issues it would have been thoroughly enjoyable; as is, average is about the best I can say for it.


Serving type: bottle

04-22-2013 00:32:44 | More by woosterbill
Photo of blackie


4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Decent mocha head recedes to an average, well-retained layer and ring. The beer is a very dark mahogany brown in color.

s: Aromatic roasted malts, notes of dry chocolates, and a great bourbon-soaked oak presence that really sets it off. Enough base malt and perhaps some lightly fruity amber malt keep things away from the thick/sweet side. Doesn't blow your face off with complexity, but it's an excellent aroma for its subtlety and restraint.

m: medium carbonation, delicate and smooth with a full body

t: Smooth, chocolate-roast stout flavors blend extremely well with the woody bourbon barrel presence over a lighter base of caramel/amber/whatever malts. Not sweet, not totally dry. Hop flavors are light, with a moderate bitterness. Various roasts linger. A straightforward but very well brewed session stout that benefits from a tasteful example of barrel aging.

d: One of the more drinkable of the sub-style I've found...very enjoyable and underappreciated in my opinion. Maybe disappointing if you go into it wanting something thick and complex, but that's not what this beer is about.

4-pack from Rick's in Alexandria...bottled January 2008, and probably not a great candidate for cellaring

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2008 04:53:48 | More by blackie
Photo of aasher


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

This one pours a viscous, chocolaty black with a very light dark khaki head that dissipates very quickly. It smells very sweet and reminds me a lot of syrup and molasses. It is also moderately heavy on the bourbon and smells well roasted, in a sugary fashion. The taste is very good. It has a good, roasted malty sweetness to it. The bourbon really isn't apparent at all, or the alcohol. It drinks very, very smoothly and is a little thicker in body. It's very drinkable considering it's bourbon barrel aged and 8.5%. I don't normally like BBC but this one was pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 01:18:40 | More by aasher
Photo of pathman


3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

07-06-2013 19:58:01 | More by pathman
Photo of clayrock81


3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two-finger head on top of a dark brown body with minor head and lacing. A fairly roasted and woody smell (natch) with hints of toasted, even burnt malts but not much else. Very smooth and creamy, almost porter-like, with sweet malts like chocolate and vanilla (sparse hint of cinnamon) coming thorugh along with roasted and toasted malts for a balanced beer (although the sweetness is a little more noticable) and a dry finish (I guess the bourbon peaks on the backbitem, although it is not an alkie burn so the ABV is well-hidden). An easy going beer that I could session w/ or w/o dinner.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2009 15:39:56 | More by clayrock81
Photo of tpd975


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

Thanks to SeaBass for this one.

A: Nice dark black pour. The head is creamy and quickly builds before dying to a collar. Spotty lace is noted.

S: Tons of roasted malt, notes of dark bitter coffee, with hints of chocolate infused.

T: Bold coffee flavors up front with bitter chocolate pushing through. Hints of roasted malt, darkened brown sugar and light oak.

M: Medium in body, smooth.

D: Damn drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2009 21:46:31 | More by tpd975
Photo of maximum12


3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BEERchitect who sent me a four-pack of these lovelies this week. I have the hankerin' for less than 22 oz. of wicked stuff before I have to hop an airplane tonight, & this one fits the bill nicely.

Poured in my 3-4 oz. Autumn Brew Review taste, just for the heck of it. Black with tiny, tiny amber highlights peeking around the edges. Vigorous little head that falls quickly. A warm glow of moonshine comes welling up once the temp begins to rise. Along with the sweet malts. Very nice.

Jefferson's Reserve tastes good, not great (thank goodness, since I didn't want to have to start a conveyor belt from Kentucky...). First impression, almost before the taste hits, is that this is thin for the style, along the lines of one of Tyranena's fine porters rather than a big, bruising stout. The bourbon comes along right after that & it's quieter, subtler, gentler bourbon that some of the bombs out there. Vanilla steps up, & there's a bitter, burnt edge in there too, mixed in with the background sweets of the malts. Easy to drink for a beer this big, but while I'm enjoying the acrid taste of burning toast right now, not sure I'd like it beer after beer.

This is a good brew for when wants a taste of bourbon without having one's palate blown to hell or being unable to operate bulldozer's after a single glass. Glad I have a few more!

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2009 23:31:45 | More by maximum12
Photo of alexgash


3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2008 01:25:10 | More by alexgash
Photo of hopdog


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

12oz bottle acquired in trade with OhioDad (thanks!). Bottle notched bottled on A(pril) 06.

Poured a dark black color with a large sized brown head. Aromas of roast, wood, chocolate, vanilla and very light bourbon. When I first poured it, roast was the main aroma that faded into the others. Tastes of roast, bitter chocoalte, coffee, wood, and very light bourbon. The bourbon wasn't overpowering. Alcohol content hidden.

Notes from 12/6/06

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2008 15:24:03 | More by hopdog
Photo of Reagan1984


3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

10-06-2012 13:33:26 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of Brent


4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Most Bourbon barrel aged stouts deliver a pretty distinctive Bourbon flavor component, and I was surprised that this beer really didn't seem to have much of a Bourbon presence. I'm not a fan of Bourbon alone (heresy from a native Kentuckian), so the absence of the big Bourbon punch was not a problem for me, but might be for others with that expectation. The beer was rather sweet, but not so much as to classify as a sweet stout. Hershey cocoa powder with intermingled vanilla (which may be the Bourbon influence). Rather creamy mouthfeel - struck me as an after-dinner beer. Not all that big, but, overall, quite enjoyable.

11% abv? Wow, never would have guessed.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2006 14:00:49 | More by Brent
Photo of Pencible


3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with almost no head. It smelled like oak and molasses and soy and bourbon, with some roasted coffee and bitter chocolate. It tasted like lots of old oak, with bourbon and (day old) coffee and bitter chocolate. It was watery with some carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this was tolerable, but really not great. The flavor elements were technically correct, but poor quality so they weren't tasty at all, and lacked any complexity. It had weak body too, although the alcohol was well hidden so it was easy enough to drink. One of the worst bourbon barrel stouts I've had.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2010 15:41:24 | More by Pencible
Photo of cpetrone84


3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a nearly opaque black color that lets a little red hue through on the edges, the head is pretty tight and fizzy lingering for a little, khaki colored, with a nice lace left on the side of the glass.

S-the nose has lots of rich dark chocolate, very decadent, a nice oak presence with a faint touch of bourbon from the barrel. Roasted malts and a touch of nuttiness to it in the back.

T-roasted maltiness with a lot of rich dark chocolate, very creamy and decadent chocolate. a solid oak presence and a hint more bourbon than the nose but still light enough to not detract from the flavor. The back has a touch of nuttiness and a faint note of some slightly burnt coffee.

M-this is a little thin, medium bodied and very smooth and creamy on the palate. well carbonated to give it a good crisp finish. its just too thin.

D-very tasty brew and quite subtle showing no signs of the larger abv. the body really detracts from the quality but the flavors are pretty tasty, a little one dimensional, all roasted maltiness but the rich chocolate actually gives it notes of sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 01:56:25 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of atrocity


4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

04-25-2014 15:41:49 | More by atrocity
Photo of tigg924


4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black, 1/4 inch head

Smell:burnt malt, oak, caramel, and bourbon

Taste: oak, whiskey, burnt malt, chocolate, and caramel

Mouthfeel: nice bitter and sweet combo--in a malty sense, medium heavy body, creamy

Drinkability: I like this and the sweet aftertaste that lingers is amazing. I noticed the alcohol, but the taste was pleasant and not overpowering. I would have several if not for the high abv. I really like this brew

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 21:39:02 | More by tigg924
Photo of merlin48


3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark and inky, but not thick or syrupy. Two finger cocoa shaded head has modest retention and leaves some sheets and spotty patches of lace.

Aroma is very subdued, especially before it warms to room temperature. Oak notes dominate, with hints of chocolate and charcoal.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a bit chalky from the oak barrel, with a strong moderate carbonation.

Taste has some mild roasty notes with a burnt charcoal influence. Maybe a hint of bourbon, but the bourbon is largely missing in action here. No hint of the big alcohol. Becomes thinner as it warms, becoming more like a brown ale than a stout. Some earthy hops here and there.

This one doesn't come across as an imperial or double stout. Barely stoutlike at all. Decent enough, but very understated.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2006 00:12:31 | More by merlin48
Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
86 out of 100 based on 411 ratings.