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

Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series)Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series)

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345 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 345
Reviews: 161
rAvg: 3.3
pDev: 20.3%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: CaptinRedBeard on 05-05-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 345 | Reviews: 161 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of patpbr


3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours Dark but with no head. The smell is Coffee. Taste is vanilla, dark chocolate and caramel. A little sweet and some fruit. Bourbon and woody barrel taste as name implies. The alcohol lingers on the tongue. Creamy and has a full body. However the body needs more depth before I rank it higher.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2012 03:18:02 | More by patpbr
Photo of rangerred


3.08/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours pitch black with no head to speak of. There is a very thin ring of carbonation around the top of the beer but that is it.

Aroma has a distinct chocolate character along with somewhat subdued bourbon. A little bit of coffee and roasted malt as well.

Lots of bourbon and vanilla up front in the taste. Chocolate quickly rushes in along with caramel and some dark fruit. All this quickly fades, however, leaving a chalky feeling on the tongue. Mouthfeel is extremely watery and does nothing to support the heavy flavors. This really kills the beer for me. All the flavors are there to make this a very enjoyable brew but it needs a much more heavy mouthfeel.

Overall, a real missed opportunity here. I think if the mouthfeel could be improved this could really be a top notch brew. Until then, not really worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2012 02:48:02 | More by rangerred
Photo of garuda


2.98/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Black, with a thin mocha head that has some retention and lacing.

S - Strong roast, oak, vanilla, booziness, burnt sugar.

T/M - Roasted malts hit first, and are followed up by the bourbon notes. Mouthfeel drops after the initial taste, feeling thin and watery. Booziness settles in and dominates the lingering aftertaste, which lacks depth.
O - Looks good, smells good, but the thin body and booziness just seems out of place.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2012 15:55:08 | More by garuda
Photo of Dave1999

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pure black with a tiny tan colour head.

The smell is toast and coffee . Smells good but a little weak.

The taste is chocolate like a shake,milky and smooth, very nice. There also some coffee and roasted malts.

Mouth feel is fairly thick and creamy with low carbonation.

Overall I'd say this is pretty good the chocolate flavour was great,smooth and creamy.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2012 02:54:49 | More by Dave1999
Photo of DisasterDave

3.53/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm a rookie at tasting and reviewing but making notes so I can remember where I've been.

The smell was exactly what I was hoping the taste would be. A sort of rich molasses like presentation. The taste was was pleasant but weaker than I expected for a stout.

Overall a good experience but a little pricy for just good.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2012 01:46:58 | More by DisasterDave
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

3.28/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2012 18:27:59 | More by thagr81us
Photo of TwelveOunces


3.48/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on Tap.

Pours black with an off white head that lasts all the way down. Red around the edges. The nose matches the taste. There is a bit of chocolate, a bit of coffee, some roastyness, a bit of vinalla, and of course a touch of bourbon. The tastes all seem balanced and in check but its not extremely exciting and I didnt get a ton of the bourbon character. The feel of this beer is decent, It has a nice size but it has a somewhat unpleasant soapyness that I cant quite put my finger on. It's a pretty decent beer, nothing to really seek out by any means but if your into it, not bad.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2012 02:21:54 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of coreyfmcdonald


2.4/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours black with a finger of dense light tan foam.

S: Mild, but a buttery flavor is in the forefront with a bit of sweet bourbon and caramel in the background. I get a bit of dark chocolate and green apple as well.

T: Buttery up front with some toffee sweetness and a bit of dark chocolate in the background. The butter ruins it, though.

M: Medium thickness with ample carbonation.

O: Mild and buttery - not terrible, but certainly not average.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 23:34:33 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of thecheapies


3.13/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled April of 2012, as notched on the label.

Pours black as night with a light brown head. Retention is average. The capper is slowly fizzing away. Can't see much else through or in this beer. 3.5

Kind of funky-smelling. Dark chocolate, underarm, black coffee, dark syrups, roasty malts, woodsiness, and compost. A little off-putting.

Hints of vanilla bean and light oak is about all the evidence there is to recognize bourbon barrel aging. Tootsie Roll chocolate, sweetened coffee, and aged hops. Spicy bite to the finish. Pretty simple taste profile. Nothing to write home about. Not sure what that body odor that lingered in the aroma was, but thankfully it does not show up in the mouth.

Medium-to-thin. Oily and slick with that prickly finish. Light on the effervescence. One of the easier drinkin' bourbon barrel-aged stouts.

For 'Bourbon Barrel Stout' to be in the largest font on the label, this beer doesn't live up to its namesake. It's an okay stout, but it's missing the mark on many levels. This is an average-to-half-decent American Stout that happens to be barrel-aged, although it didn't pick up many complexities. I'm going to give it a 3.5 overall, but mostly for effort.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2012 05:16:51 | More by thecheapies
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at BBC (4th St) in Louisville, KY.

A: Pours a jet black in color. The beer has a half finger tall dark beige head that reduces to about a quarter finger tall but never completely goes away. Very light lacing is observed.

S: The aroma is not as intense as I expected - a little on the mild side. Aromas of burnt and dark roasted malts, some light oakiness, and bourbon + vanilla.

T: Lots of intense bourbon and vanilla flavors along with some light amounts of oakiness/woodiness. Light amounts of dark roasted (almost burnt) malts. The beer has a light lingering bitterness. I can also taste some of the harshness of the alcohol from the bourbon.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Some alcohol warming is present. Slightly thin.

O: Not a bad beer but a little thinner that I wanted/expected for the style. There is a nice complexity to the flavor but it is a little harsh to be a sessionable beer. Alcohol could have been more well hidden.

Serving type: on-tap

05-29-2012 14:19:38 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of cagocubs


4.23/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up in Louisville KY. Poured from bottle into glass.

A: Pours dark, pretty much an opaque black. Real thin off white head dissapears to a thin ring around the edges. Slight lacing.

S: toated malt, oak, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, and buttery bread.

T: Toasted malt, barley, vanilla sweetness, chocolate and coffee bitterness, and a definite oak and woody character. Intresting tastes that are pleasant. Aftertaste is toasty.

M: Medium body with decent carbonation for a stout. Good flow and a pleasant aftertaste. Good stuff. I liked it alot.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2012 02:13:44 | More by cagocubs
Photo of Vonerichs


3.03/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 01:59:54 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of Hoptometrist


4.8/5  rDev +45.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a becker glass at Doc Crowes

A- Poured black with a one-two finger frothy mocha head that leaves coating lace. Everything you want a stout like this to look like

S- Strong and complex aroma of vanilla, oak, chocolate, and roasty notes.

T- Big flavoful stout with notes of vanilla, oak, chocolate, roasted coffee, and bourbon. Nice balance between sweet and roasty, the bourbon notes are not overdone and complements the stout very nicely

M- Soft, creamy, chewy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Really a silky smooth mouthfeel perfect for a stout.

O- A great barrel aged stout that is very drinkable. Hardly a trace of booziness in this beer, just some nice warming. Really flavorful and a great mouthfeel. I have not had a ton of bourbon barrel aged beers but many I have had really overdo the bourbon but this beer strikes a great balance.

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2012 04:18:55 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of CliffBrake

New Hampshire

3.28/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle begins gushing slightly upon cracking the cap. Pours with a huge open head - not very attractive with very large gaps and bubbles. Black color with a bit of darkest red showing along the edges. Leaves decent lacing on the glass, when the head does eventually die away. With a careful pour, and letting it sit for a few minutes, it looks pretty good.

Smell of chocolate with notes of vanilla, bourbon and alcohol. Flavor is a bit grainy with some chocolate, vanilla and a hint of bourbon. A bit simple, it seems to rely on flavors from the barrel more than from the base malt.

Fizzy carbonation is the first impression in the mouth. Overall this beer shows some of the promise of a barrel aged double stout, but perhaps also some of the difficulty in finding the right balance in the barrel treatment.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 01:32:40 | More by CliffBrake
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

2.25/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Part of a haul of beer my parents bought me on their way back from Florida.

Poured from a 12oz bottle, bottled Jan. 2012.

Appearance: Totally opaque brown with an ecru head about 3 fingers worth. Gradually recedes to thin ring before disappearing.

Smell: Traces of vanilla, wood, BBQ sauce and faint bourbon. Not in your face, very mild.

Taste: Mild vanilla, twinge of bourbon and some smoke but this is far from robust. Being bottled a month ago, this should be bursting with flavor but instead is bland.

Mouthfeel: Weak, watery, thin, mildly flat. Lacks substance and body.

Overall: Extremely disappointed in this one. You can barely tell there's bourbon in there. Tastes like a weak brown ale, not even close to a stout. Not offensive taste-wise but offensive to the style. Stay away!

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2012 21:54:40 | More by papat444
Photo of FanofHefe


3.25/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-tap at the brew house in a fluted pilsner glass (not sure about the bartender's choice of glassware here). Deep black body and a small tan head. Not much lacing.

The aroma is weak overall, maybe due to the glass (snifter or tulip may have been better). Some define bourbon aroma and only a small amount of roasted malt.

The flavor is a little better. Heavy bourbon and vanilla flavors dominate the taste. Roasted malt and oak come along for the ride but in minor roles.

The mouthfeel is very thin for a stout. Overall, I find this beer to be too sweet and thin to compete in the -bal aged category. Decent try but not great.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2012 21:36:43 | More by FanofHefe


1.78/5  rDev -46.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 12:55:36 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of elgiacomo


3.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottled September 2011, served at around cellar temperature.

Pours very dark brown to black with a one finger brown head that leaves some spotty lacing and recedes to a ring and wispy cap.

Aroma features a lot of oak, some bourbon and vanilla, roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, some dark fruits. Quite oaky. Good to very good strength.

Flavor is some bourbon, vanilla and oak, good roasted malt, chocolate and coffee components, a fair bit of dark fruits, fairly sweet as well. A bit of alcohol but well integrated, and less than expected for 9%.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style but still medium bodied in the grand scheme of things, somewhat creamy, somewhat sticky, moderate carbonation.

I found this to be pretty good stuff and better than the BA score here indicates. I had only modest expectations going in but was pleasantly surprised. Not up to the level of the big barrel aged heavy hitters out there but I would put this on par with something like Weyerbacher’s Heresy.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2012 02:32:15 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of 4thelvofbeer


1.6/5  rDev -51.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 00:30:55 | More by 4thelvofbeer
Photo of BrewBre


2.68/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look = dark dark brown with slight amber edges and some tan head.

Smell = roasted, oak, and coffee are three distinct notes that come to mind. Almost has a hint of burnt/char to it.

Taste = a great deal of chocolate and roasted malt.

Feel = thin to medium body with very little carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 12:50:00 | More by BrewBre
Photo of musicforairports

New York

2.38/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Black color. Light brown head leaves no real lacing.

Smells of char, chocolate and an off-putting note of butter.

Flavor has some char, vanilla and wood notes, but they ride atop a watery, acidic beer that doesn't taste much like a stout at all.

Thin-medium mouthfeel. This doesn't feel like a 5.5 percent ABV stout, let alone one of 8.6 percent ABV.

This is neither a good stout nor a good bourbon-barrel beer. It's not pricey, but I guess I know why.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2012 03:22:53 | More by musicforairports
Photo of jonsarts


4.2/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is essentially an ordinary stout with extraordinary vanilla oakey, splashing of bourbon finish. Great on a cold evening with a nice steaming bowl of stew.

There is a hint of that char from the inside of a barrel that penetrates the brew. I don't care for that flavor in a wine, but it works well with a stout so long as it is subtle.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 00:01:00 | More by jonsarts
Photo of smakawhat


3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter.

A faint head is barley made that doesn't stick around much, leaves a soapy collar. Body color is a dark walnut brown, with red and looks actually just a little see through on the edges

Bouquet is high on barrel notes, wood, cedar angles, sawdust, with some nice malt backbones. Interesting, not much going on but I do enjoy it. Very very dry.

Mild subdued barrel palate. Faint hint of the classic bourbon notes but very buried of caramel and vanilla and richness, instead the roast malt dominates primarily. Char action much like an American porter. Wet bodied a bit with some very noticeable carbonation. Dry sense on the nose doesn't come off on the taste with it's wet angle.

Overall this actually isn't a bad beer, but for slapping the bourbon barrel name on there, this is not quite pulling it off. It's more of a roasty American porter/stout to me but still enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 04:32:09 | More by smakawhat
Photo of 2378GCGTG


3.35/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip at 43 degrees

Appearance: 2 inch brown head, excellent retention and great lacing. Black in the center and red at the edges when held to the light.

Smell: Bourbon, oak, coffee, and vanilla

Taste: Bitter coffee predominates at the front, fading into vanilla and oak with light buttery bourbon undertones

Mouthfeel: Light, almost watery, with a softness from the bourbon aging.

Overall: I am disappointed by this years offering, past years have been mush better, and in fact the Jeffersons aged beer is far superior to this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 16:11:40 | More by 2378GCGTG
Photo of homebrew311


3.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into New Belgium globe.

A: pours deep brownish black with a tiny bit of light barely peaking through at the edges, tannish white head, some retention and lacing

S: nose features raw oak and vanilla up front, some chocolate mixes in, but not nearly as much as I'd hope for. Really losing the stout base. Perhaps the base beer isn't hearty enough to stand up to the barrel aging.

T: thin vanilla at the front along with some sweet malts and a hint of milk chocolate. The finish is primarily creamy vanilla. The roasted malts seem to be lacking in presence,

MF: thin body for style, medium carbonation

O: not a bad beer for its price, no bad flavors, just falling a little short of its competitors

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 05:55:25 | More by homebrew311
Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series) from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
76 out of 100 based on 345 ratings.