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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.

434 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 434
Reviews: 174
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 19.82%
Wants: 5
Gots: 38 | 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: 434 | Reviews: 174
Photo of BogAl
1/5  rDev -70%

Photo of SGourley
1/5  rDev -70%

Photo of MbpBugeye
1.15/5  rDev -65.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This was in a huge birthday box from mdfb79. Ive seen this stuff around but Ive never purchased it so I was happy to receive it.

A- Pours thin, with a head that fizzles and cracks like diet coke. It fades out hurriedly with no lacing. An odd characteristic for a beer of this style.

S- The smell is totally off. It smells hollow. It smells like cardboard that has been written on with permanent marker. Bourbon is nowhere to be found. There is a little glimpse of roasted malts and a bit of sweet chocolate but it seems to smell rather stale.

T- The taste is a good example of pretty much everything that can go wrong in brewing. Oxidation, contamination, under carbonation, AND over carbonation at the same time. Diacytl is the star of the show. This stuff is BUTTERY. Its like I just grabbed a can of Pam and sprayed it directly into my nose, eyes and mouth. As I writhe on the floor I notice the flavors of cardboard and paper towles. Permanent marker brazenly cuts through the popcorn butter and stationery. Some where in this chaos there is a flash of tart berries that adds insult to injury.

M- My tongue is left numb. I guess this is a reactionary effect as my body tried to protect itself from what it perceives as dangerous. Before all the taste buds were burnt off my tongue I managed to sense that this beer is pretty light and has overly active carbonation.

D- Despite my mouth going numb I couldnt finish this. Next time Ill just draw all over my tongue with a brand new Sharpie.

Photo of jeffdillon
1.18/5  rDev -64.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured into aTulip, dark thin, not much head, first sip tasted like vinegar, is that "infected" beer?
I poured it in the sink after three sips.

Photo of bobhits
1.18/5  rDev -64.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I rarely drink any locals as they generally aren’t impressive, but rarely have they been bad. I have had the Jefferson reserve and whatever they called their barrel aged stout before they started using just the Jefferson barrels and both were light in flavor but well balanced beers. I expected more of the same here…

This beer pours like an infected bottle, a LOUD pssshhh when I opened it leads to nearly a glass of foam upon a moderate pour. Bottled Jan 2011 it certainly is fresh enough. There is a bit of a sour flavor as well which seems out of place, but barrels can certainly add a bit of that. Normally the beers used in these are strong enough to drown out a bit of the sour oak flavors. The problem is the nose is a touch sour and frankly I think I have a bad beer here. This was going to be an extra but not having had it, I figured I’d sample and pick up another for the trade. I’m thinking twice about sending this one out.

Light coca and some powdery sugar are in here. A touch of vanilla and oak round out of the flavors. Roasted bitter flavors as well, but there is an underlying sour note that’s really taking away from this. Over carbonated to the extreme makes drinking this undesirable as well. The head looks nice deep brown chocolate milk like with a fairly black body.

Photo of mwar
1.25/5  rDev -62.5%

Photo of JohnParadee
1.5/5  rDev -55%

Photo of Khazadum
1.51/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Huge thanks to a solid trader for this brew. Been sitting on it for a while now. Bottled in June of 2010 and poured into my brandy snifter.

We got a dissappointing head formation with large bubbles, too many in fact that explode away leaving me with a thin cap and ugly collar. This one is pretty much run of the mill darkness with little in the ways of carbonation present.

Disgusting. Heavy popcorn style butter overpowering the nose. After that we have a faint faint grain background. What is wrong with this? There is no bourbon even though it is claimed to be barrel aged.

Flavor Profile
Heavy butter again. This is disgustingly full of butter. It is like I dropped my crab meat in the bowl of butter and just licked it off instead of eating the meat. Full on nasty.

There are some sour, acetic notes towards the middle with hints of bourbon sweetness making me think this is infected. I don't know exactly, but it has to be. No one would release a beer like this. It dies off quickly but the memory haunts me. I barrel forward with ticking in my heart.

Oral Sensations
Cringe worthy. Mild body, smooth, and low carbonation. The flavors are what ruins this beverage. I'm glad it is relatively clean at the ending with everything going to baseline quickly.

My god... no... never.. not in a million years. Someone will have to test this first before I even get near it. The flavors and aroma are so sickening I feel nausea coming on. I can't even stomach the idea of drinking it right now.

Photo of AleWatcher
1.6/5  rDev -52%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I picked this up while in Indiana. Reviewed from dictated notes during my "Clean out my cellar weekend."

Pours watery. Reddish hued dark brown. Creamy tan head is minimal, and after 30 seconds it is reduced to a wisp of small bubbles on the surface. Minimal lacing.

Smell is huuuuge roasted chocolate malt. Very little bourbon. Perhaps this is a blend bottle? 25% bourbon aged, 75% stout? A little caramel, coffee, and toffee hiding in there too.

On the first sip, you can't even talk about the taste until the mouthfeel is mentioned. This is the thinnest stout I've ever had. This is about as thick as drinking a cup of coffee. That is the mouthfeel. Extremely poor. The smell was great. It actually had me revved up to try this beer-- hoping that the thin looking body wouldn't mean it tasted watered down... The looks match the mouthfeel with sub-par results.

Taste is below average. Coffee and chocolate at the forefront, with only the very slightest hint of bourbon. Even then, it smells like mediocre bourbon.

As for drinkability--- I guess I could drink 10 of these... because there is nothing to it. Of course, I have no desire to drink anymore, and I am even going to pour out the last few sips of this one. So my ability to drink these is high, but my desire to do so is low. We'll split the difference with a 2.5 here.

I don't know what it is about being the first few reviews on a beer--- but there is a pressure to be more positive than is needed. Clearly the case with descriptions including, "disappointing" and "watery" still allowing for 3.0 for the aspect rating. This beer is sub-par. The only beer drinkers who will ultimately be impressed by this are people new to the bourbon barrel scene. And even then, I imaging the honeymoon period will be short-lived.

Overall--- the body and flavor need to be developed in a big way. A higher gravity and more time in the barrels to impart more flavor would be where I start.
As a consumer, I would avoid this one in the future unless they changed up the recipe a bit.

Had to bust out a bottle to prove that not EVERY BA beer is good... This is worse than I remembered... The drinkability and smell scores have dropped as a result.
If you have any, don't drink it. Just pour it out.

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
1.67/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Disappointing. This is the example of a brewery that has jumped on the "barrel aged" bandwagon. This is a watered-down example of a barrel aged stout and is frankly a disgrace to carry the name barrel aged stout. Black in color with a weakly colored brown head. Taste is weak, with light notes of chocolate that fade as quick as you can begin to taste them. Watery and light for a barrel aged beer. Mouthfeel is like drinking water. Save your money....extreme disappointment.

Photo of crusian
1.73/5  rDev -48%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

bottle from some place in KY near Cincinnati, pours like mentos in a bottle of coke. Takes 5 pours to get a glass.
smells like watered down cheap bourbon... and nothing else.
Tastes pretty much the same, watered down bourbon... the bourbon is supposed to accentuate the stout, not be the primary, nor is it supposed to cover a crappy stout. There are tiny hints of a stout trying desperately to creep out of it, but Hey, lets hop on the bourbon train and try to sell a lot of crappy mistakes.
mouthfeel, not much there, kinda like soda water... no thickness, large carbonation tastes like it was artificially carbonated.
not good.

Photo of KYboymatt
1.75/5  rDev -47.4%

1.8/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle to snifter. No indication of ABV. Bottled July 2010 and sampled on 10/16/11.

A: Four fingers of frothy fluffy head erupt on the 3/4-of-a-bottle-pour. The light brown head slowly fades into an uneven wavy cap. Long lasting film over the black body. Lacing coats the glass entirely but quickly slides back down.

S: A big oaky component and artificial vanilla stand out. Chocolate, caramel and grain roasted to a near acrid degree. Soily and musky. The hops impart notes of grass and pine.

T: Follows the nose closely. Adds cardboard. The base beer lacks depth of flavor – and the bourbon barrel character is very faint – if surface level only. Flavor duration is short, but vanilla lingers long.

M: Thin and over-carbonated for the style. Finishes chalky somehow?

O: Not a very good beer unfortunately.

Photo of GilmooDaddy
1.85/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle. Purchased from Total Wine in Chesapeake, Virginia.

(Appearance): Pours an almost midnight brown/ black with a 3/4 finger sized light brown foam head.

(Smell): The smell is definitely subdued in this one, although there are slight hints of chocolate and toffee.

(Taste): This stout tastes more like a can of Cola mixed with cheap liquor than any kind of well composed brew. This identity crisis gives it a very cheap and "college party" failure vibe that just takes any enjoyment or class out of trying to drink it.

(Mouthfeel): Moderately carbonated and feels surprisingly syrupy; as a matter of fact, much too syrupy. After the wash down, the very "viscous soda" feeling lingers on all parts of the mouth. Gross.

(Drinkability): Not drinkable. If you were to receive a bottle for free, it would be worth trying for the sake of trying to comprehend how it ever got on the shelf. I couldn't even finish my entire glass. Do not buy.

Photo of chinchill
1.89/5  rDev -43.2%
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 womencantsail
1.96/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

"Thanks" to Bobby for sharing this one.

A: The pour is a somewhat thin dark brown color with a minimal off-white head.

S: I could smell the butter in this as soon as I opened the bottle. Diacetyl pretty much dominates the nose and prevents any bourbon or stout aromas from coming through.

T: For a bourbon barrel aged stout, this beer is incredibly favorless. Watery and bland with maybe a bit of roast and chocolate.

M: The body is just as disappointing as the rest of the beer: thin and lowly carbonated.

D: Another piece of evidence that -bals do not always make a beer better/good.

Photo of CWBlues
1.98/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A: Looks thin for a stout. Practically no head, minimal lacing.

S: Weak vanilla, SLIGHT undertones of bourbon. Hardly there at all. Really disappointed in the smell.

T: It's...bland. I don't taste bourbon...but I do taste oak, but it doesn't complement the beer. At least I don't think it does. I honestly can't really determine what the beer is supposed to taste like. The vanilla in the nose is practically missable at the back end of the taste. Too bad...a little vanilla might have helped it.

M: It's got WAY too much carbonation for the style. It almost bubbles up on the tongue.

O: The fact that there's not a good base for the bourbon to build upon hurts the beer overall. I've had many other beers that just dump this one.

Photo of robebo44
2/5  rDev -39.9%

Photo of stevegoz
2/5  rDev -39.9%

Photo of djmichaelk
2/5  rDev -39.9%

Photo of GoodOmens1986
2/5  rDev -39.9%

Photo of jnikkel
2/5  rDev -39.9%

Photo of Reaper16
2.06/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle served into a stein.

Pours a cola brown sort of color. I have to remind myself that this is labeled as a bourbon barrel stout, not an imperial stout, so a lack of intensity (in color, taste, etc.) relative to, say, Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout is actually appropriate. ¾ of a finger of light khaki head form, though the large size of the bubbles concerns me; the beer looks like it’s going to be pretty thin in terms of mouthfeel. This looks pretty average for an American Stout, on the whole.

Uh oh. If the aroma is any indication (and it almost always is) then this beer has some serious flaws. You might be thinking to yourself as you look at the label of this beer: “Hmmm. Why would someone –bal age a single-strength stout? Wouldn’t the barrel dominate the flavor profile because the stout doesn’t have enough malt flavor to stand up to the barrel?” The answer to your rhetorical question is Yes. The barrel does dominate. The aroma of this beer is aggressively astringent. There is so much wood here that it smells almost green, like recently produced oak chips. Oak wood and vanilla for days. To the beer’s credit, it doesn’t smell overtly boozy. Underneath all of those barrel aromas are, erm, nothing, really. There’s an utter lack of maltiness. This beer smells like a hollow shell, like termites have eaten the entire center of a tree.

The taste confirms as much. This is a hollow, thin excuse for a stout. You have to struggle to pick up any roasted malt flavor at all. I’m never entirely sure whether it is because there just isn’t any malt flavor (which, at nearly 9% ABV, I would expect there to be some) or because the barrel is just so strong that it masks any trace of malt. Oak oak oak oak oak, some vanilla, and a sweet bourbony twinge make up nearly the entire flavor profile. It’s like flavored water, where the flavor is bourbon barrel.

The mouthfeel is predictably thin. It isn’t water-thin; in fact, it is almost within the range of appropriateness for the style. The strong carbonation doesn’t help, though. Nothing about the mouthfeel works to bolster the flavor profile. Overall, this is not a good beer. This is bourbon barrel aging just for the sake of it. It’s kind of a shame that a Kentucky brewery can’t get a bourbon barrel aged beer right, but then I’ve never once had a beer from Bluegrass Brewing Company that I was impressed by. I shouldn’t be surprised by how poor this effort is.

Photo of bamadog
2.09/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I picked up a 4 pack of this on a whim, so unfortunately, I'm stuck with 3 more. Review is from notes taken on 9/5/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour just looks thin on the way to the glass; starts dark brown/near coffee black; starts with a one finger dark brown cocoa head that fades quickly to a thin and uneven, yet complete skim; body is entirely opaque; a few swaths and spots of lacing are left holding behind.

Smell: Rather weak - bit of a roasty burnt coffee scent and a slight cocoa sweetness; absolutely no aspects of bourbon or barrel; as it warms there is a slight tart cherry scent that begins to creep out.

Taste: More of a tart cherry fruitiness with a hint of cola-like sweetness and just the bare minimal presence of bourbon and slight cocoa. Very disappointed and I feel the FDA should look into the name of this one... If something claims to be something, then shouldn't it actually be just that?

Mouthfeel: Thin, loose and watery; carbonation is quite foamy and frothy in the mouth at first but then essentially disappears entirely; a thin dry coating is left on the roof of the mouth and the gums and cheeks are left a little tingly from that initial blast of carbonation.

Drinkability: I will certainly not be seeking this one out again and I really think that BBC should be ashamed of themselves for trying to pass this off as bourbon barrel aged.

Photo of dmfrench
2.17/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Weak artificial flavors trumped by an even worse aroma

A: Very dark but still clear ruby body with a quickly settling light khaki head.

S: Coffee, light dusty hops, and a foul stinky aroma that I can't identify... kinda like you smoked a cheap cigar through you ass and then belched it up through your mouth.

T: Biggish but stale chocolate coffee roast. Syrupy sweet, almost artificially so, yet still thin tasting. Slight drying earthy hops on top. No aspects of barrel aging are apparent.

M: On the thin side but with a decent texture.

O: Taste is not exactly a winner, but the aroma is a complete deal breaker.

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Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series) from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
76 out of 100 based on 434 ratings.