Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series) - Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series)Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

447 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 447
Reviews: 184
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 20.48%
Wants: 7
Gots: 47 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's visit their website
Kentucky, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CaptinRedBeard on 05-05-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 447 | Reviews: 184
Reviews by barczar:
Photo of barczar
3.61/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque brown/black with a foamy half inch tan head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Roast malt, chocolate, coffee, and oak form the initial aroma. There's a bit of nuttiness and hints of dark fruit, adding complexity. Vanilla and bourbon surface as it warms.

Flavor is fairly roast dominant initially, fading to chocolate mid palate, and coffee bitterness at the finish. It's a touch acrid. Oak underlies the profile, with bourbon being just a subtle note. Vanilla is present, but not overwhelming. There's a bit of nuttiness and toast, as well.

Body is a tad watery, with low carbonation and moderate alcohol warmth.

Lacks in bourbon character. Good notes of chocolate, but may be a little overly sweet.

More User Reviews:
Photo of rheimbro
1/5  rDev -69.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is the best vinegar stout I have ever had. Oh? You say it isn't a vinegar stout? That's weird, because that is the only thing I can taste.

Photo of oberon
3.14/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured into a Guinness pint glass nearly jet black except for ruby highlights when held to the light,a very thin beige head that was one in a blink atop.Big vanilla/bourbon and sweet brown sugar in the nose,smells very sweet...almost cloying.Thin and borderline watery feel just takes any steam this beer may have had away,flavors of vanilla and brown sugar,faint char but it doesn't impede the sweetness much.Wow this is a clunker,I was hoping for something much better.

Photo of Guden
3.69/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep black with just the faintest dark brown highlights at the edges. Almost no head, just a thin film of creamy off white bubbles. Not much to say, but it does leave a pretty lacing.

S - Alcohol, oak, smoke and some of the deep coffee and licorice notes I love to see in stouts.

T - The coffee flavor is certainly there with a tempered amount of alcohol and a bit of character that seems somewhere between smoke and vanilla and I can only assume comes from the char on the barrel. I like the character but it seems as though it could all be a bit more pronounced and a bit more rounded.

M - This is the weakest character to this beer in my opinion. Light on carbonation, but with only a medium heavy body and lacking the great creaminess I would love to see.

D - This isn't a hard beer to drink but it isn't one that's as complex as the name would suggest. A nice addition to my mix and match 6 pack but not something I'm going to go out of my way to enjoy again.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Cavie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is very nice and quite complex. I get a lot of bourbon as well as some chocolate, vanilla, maple and dark fruit. The flavor is just as complex. The chocolate and roasted malt come through very strong, but the flavor also has all of the components you expect from a bourbon barrel aged beer. I get some bourbon whiskey notes as well as some maple, oak and vanilla. Medium to thick mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation. A very nice barrel-aged stout. Glad I got to try this one.

Photo of 1Adam12
2.55/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle and wow, so much popping from all of the carbonation. Way too much for the style IMO and I haven't even tasted it yet. Smell is of weak coffee and roasts. No bourbon. Taste has much less body than I want for a stout. THERE'S the carbonation. So much, too much. Still no hint of bourbon. I taste mild malt. Taste kind of watered down with a mild coffee finish. If you are curious to try this, I would recommend buying a single bottle before buying the 4 pack, if possible.

Photo of CaptinRedBeard
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip. Very dark brown to black with a thick and tight two finger head that dissipates in about a minute or so. Moderate lacing left on the glass.

S-Roasted barley and Bourbon. Not as much Bourbon in the nose as I had anticipated.

T-The Bourbon flavor comes through nicely but isn't overpowering. It comes more on the back of the pallet. Up front you get a lot of the chocolate malt flavors and a little bit of hop bitterness.

M-Nice and smooth, perfectly carbonated. Enough to coat the pallet but not really overly heavy.

D-Probably one of the easier drinking barrel aged stouts around. I'm not sure of the ABV but there is really very little alcohol presence detected. Overall a well done Bourbon barrel stout from Bluegrass.

Photo of mondegreen
3.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle into a Bruery Tulip

A: Watery looking pour, next to no head. Black in the center with dark brown highlights in the light. Somewhat disappointing.

S: Light roasted malts with moderate bourbon smell. Not as overpowering as I have gotten used to with bourbon barrel stouts, but nice smelling in its own right.

T: The bourbon flavors are very subdued, maybe a bit too much so. Still, the malts pair with the bourbon very nicely provide good flavor. Would love to see this one taken up a notch, but it's still pretty tasty.

M: Way too thin. This beer really falls down here. It isn't the thinnest stout I have ever had, but it needs more body!

D: In all, it isn't a bad beer. I'll pay more for a more substantial stout any day, though.

Photo of chinchill
1.89/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle with bottled date notched of April 2013 from Liquor Barn (KY).

Solid pssffft upon prying the tap, and the oversized bubbly head both suggest an over-carbonated stout. Given the appearance, the aroma suggests this could be an infected bottle: it smels dank and sour. There is a hint of bourbon and maybe the dank is just from the oak barrel. ... (sips)... Definitely over-carbonated. Flavor features spoiled dark grains. It's drinkable, barely, at best. ... (a few more sips) ... actually, I think I'd rather pour this out and have a good beer.

Photo of daveytheformer
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep black with a thin tan head that quickly fades to very light lacing and a few tiny spots.

Smells really smokey with a strong coffee and roasted malt presence. Bakers chocolate comes to mind with repeated whiffs.

Tastes lightly syrupy with lots of roasted malt. Chocolate and coffee come into the mix for sure. The bourbon lurks pretty subdued in the background more than I would prefer frankly. Not quite as big as I as expecting or am used to but is still drinkable though.

Mouthfeel is a little thin to to medium bodied with very light carbonation.

Overall is ok at best. I grabbed a 4-pack of this and can't really see myself doing that again.

Photo of klshanks
3.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Very little head, what is present is a cardboard color and quickly dissipates. Extremely dark brown almost pitch black. Looks pretty tasty.

Aroma: Lots of milk chocolate and bourbon with a hint of dark chocolate. Really like the aroma.

Taste: Served fairly cold. At first there is some sweetness and tons of coffee, chocolate, and a little bit of bourbon. The coffee is the overpowering flavor. After letting it warm up a little bit, I'm not all that impressed. It's not that bad like some people here have reviewed, and I don't regret drinking it, but it's not all that great either. Would move onto something else.

Drinkability: It's just OK. Sure was let down from loving the aroma.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an oily black with a toasted solid tan head that looks good while it lasts, though it crackles down to nothing pretty quickly, despite a hard pour.

A surprisingly sedate smell for a bourbon barrel stout. Hints of anise/licorice and gooey melted chocolate come forth, as does a bit of milky sweet cream. Only with warming does the bourbon come through, and it's neither intrusive nor too subdued.

Things improve in the taste department. I still get hints of anise, while the chocolate is bigger and gooier, and a healthy dark roast coffee bean element comes into it. Sweet dark fruits muscle in as well, giving an added edge to the flavor. Bourbon is here, though it didn't bring much wood along with it. It's nice and mellow, really laid back, and that's how I like my bourbon-ed beers. A slightly mineral taste pervades underneath it all, and actually comes out just a little too much in the finish, but chocolate-covered caramels come in strongly and try to snuff that out.

The enjoyment of the flavors is brought down a couple notches due to the surprisingly thin/watery and also too-carbonated texture. A little confusing getting both characteristics together, and in a stout no less. It's not terrible, and would pass if it were any number of other styles. But it's trying to be a premium stout, and something rounder, creamier and smoother would have been better.

I found more to like about it this second tasting than I did the first a couple days ago. This isn't amazing, but the bar has been set so high for bourbon barrel stouts that one performing merely B-level ("good") gets slapped around a lot. I'm not sure that's fair, but hey, life isn't fair, and beer is one of the best things in life, so...just give it a shot and think for yourself.

Photo of Retroman40
3.52/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a brandy snifter

A- Black with a fleeting brown head and minimal lacing.

S- Roasted malts with some bourbon notes.

T- Mild, sweet roast. Vanilla, bourbon and chocolate.

M- Smooth on the tongue with no harsh bourbon taste as some of these BBS's tend to have. Very clean finish. Particularly low carbonation.

O- A decent enough BBS but not particularly complex. Very mild - this might be the BBS to serve your friends that have never had one.

Photo of secondtooth
3.86/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany/black, with way too much carbonation. Bubbles almost overflowed! Massive tan head. No lace.

Aroma is rich chocolate and vanilla.

Flavor is a strong and woody, so there's definite signs of the barrel-aging. Nice and delicious hint of bourbon vanilla and a detectable alcoholic burn at the finish.

Lighter-bodied than would be expected from this type of stout, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Photo of RickS95
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice and dark. Cross between burnt deep brown and a light shade of black. On top is a thick brown head.

Smells like a forest. Earthy flowers and oak, with vanilla in the background.

It tastes like a watered down coffee/cola combination. Peppery notes as well. As the beer warms, the vanilla tickles the tongue.

There's some bitterness all the way through. It starts early with the pepper then finishes with the bittering hops.

It's an easy beer to drink. It's not sweet like a porter, despite the vanilla. While there is some bitterness, it seems to be the right amount. Full-bodied with lots of alcohol, but drinks easier than you'd guess.

Photo of McNealc31
3.72/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's black, thick, and smooth with a huge, creamy tan head. It was excessively carbonated and took a couple of pours to get it in the glass. The color had me instantly wondering something that unfortunately was true of this beer. Because of the stout characteristics including the roasted, smokey, nutty flavors, the bourbon was really hard to pick up. There were some late woody and vanilla notes, but the bourbon was not as prominent as I would have liked.

Photo of russpowell
3.24/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Another Kentucky "find" man going random this trip was a bit hit & miss...Bottled July 2012

Pours mahogany with a thumb of mocha colored head. Slight traces of lacing & head retention

S: Boozey vanilla & caramel

T: Vanilla, mocha & slight coffee flavors up front. Mocha flavors as this warms, some roastyness, milk & dark chocolate notes & dryness. Finishes dry, roasty, with cocoa notes

MF: Fairly thin, slight carbonation

A fairly okay Barrel aged stout, nothing special

Photo of Lanstrum
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting bourbon barrel aged stout

Photo of Vonerichs
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown body with head that stuck around for a brief moment.

Smells of chocolate, vanilla, and cola.

If the wasnt called bourbon barrel stout, I'd never know bourbon was used. There are hints of vanilla, but otherwise there are no other bourbon qualities. It tastes more like a brown ale than anything else.

Mouthfeel is thin and under carbonated.

It was an ok beer in general, but a complete miss on the style.

Photo of rwf08
3.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark murky opaque brown. Faint tan head and no lacing.

S: Faint bourbon and some char. Some light vanilla and malt sweetness. Some faint oak in the back ground.

T: Watered down bourbon and soggy oak. Light smokiness and roasted grain.

M: Thin with medium carbonation.

D: One and done. Easy to drink but the mouth feel is off. Way too thin and watery. Flavor is weak and needs more behind it. Not that great at all.

Photo of thagr81us
3.3/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into a flared pilsner. Poured a dark red brown with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, dark chocolate, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, wood, sweet alcohol, subtle caramel, and smoke. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a fairly decent brew. I saw this one on the menu and that it was bourbon barrel aged and had to try it. However, while the barrel was definitely there in this one it really made me wonder how good the actual base beer really is as the barrel was pretty much the dominate factor on this one. While being okay to drink it did leave a little to be desired. Worth trying at least once if you can, but I would leave it at that.

Photo of cilldalua
2.6/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I was glad I finished my review in writing before I read the others, makes me feel better about saying the same things.

The beer pours from the bottle but with a lack of head and the dark coffee lacing you would expect. This follows through on the smell which has little in common with Bourbon other than place of birth, the mouthfeel is thin as reported above but the taste has enough malt to hang in there as a drinkable dark beer, its just a disappointment as a Bourbon Stout.

Photo of trappistlover
3.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(12oz bottle). Pousr near black with khaki head and small carbonation bubbles. Aroma has oak, chocolate, coffee, but I’m not getting much in the way of bourbon. Hmmm, brewed in Kentucky, but not much bourbon. Now, it smells fine, but it just doesn’t smell like a bourbon barreled stout. Taste is roasty bitterness that is balanced by some sweetness. Medium to full bodied with a slick texture. Dry finish. This is actually a very nice beer, but I just don’t get any bourbon. That its from Kentucky is what makes me shake my head.

Photo of Treyliff
3.67/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- poured into a snifter. Vigorous pour gives a pitch black appearance with a small, fizzy tan head that reduces quickly and eventually completely dissapears leaving no lace.

S- melted Hershey bar, tobacco, and charred wood. Just a hint of woodsy bourbon at the end.

T- chocolate continues on the palate with notes of day old coffee. Chocolate and roasted malts give a bit of charred character, finishes dry with just a hint of bourbon. Can't really pick up any of the oaky barrel flavors. I actually get a bit of cola on the back end.

M- low carbonation with medium body, somewhat slick mouthfeel with with light-carbonated foamy finish. Mouthfeel felt a little thin overall.

O- my grading is based on what it is, a stout, although the ABV may suggest otherwise. I was looking for more bourbon flavors but its still a pretty tasty stout nonetheless.

Photo of MDHopster
3.73/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Apparently I enjoyed this one more than most, so be it. On tap poured in a tulip glass. Temperature was around 50 - 55 degrees I'd estimate which may be why I enjoyed it more. Too often barrel aged beers and stouts are served too cold and the aroma and flavors don't really present as well. Nice strong coffee and chocolate undertones.

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Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series) from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
76 out of 100 based on 447 ratings.