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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)

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176 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 176
Hads: 455
Avg: 3.23
pDev: 34.06%
Wants: 8
Gots: 52 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 176 | Hads: 455
Photo of jason_guidry
4.47/5  rDev +38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best bourbon barrel stout I've had. It's my 'go to' when I feel like a bourbon barrel stout. The bourbon flavor is not over the top like some (New Holland Dragon Milk for example). It's smooth and easy to drink. You can taste the bourbon, but it doesn't overwhelm the stout. I recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of oberon
3.14/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of uld2541
3.89/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a goblet. Black (it's a stout, surprise, surprise), with very little to no head. The aroma was nice, but very subtle. Like some other reviews, I would've appreciated a stronger hint of bourbon, but it definitely was not offensive by any means. The taste reminded me a bit of something oak-barrel aged (I.E. vanilla notes), not sure if that's the case or not. It was a bit watery, for lack of a better word (not as creamy as I'd like), but overall, pretty solid stout, one of the better ones I've had in awhile, would definitely drink again.

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Photo of Earpe
4.03/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I look at the reviews and it seems like people can't make up their mind one says it's this one says that. another says it tastes like this another says it tastes like that.

well here you go... I was surprised with this brew as the guy at Total Wine recommend it to me. it definitely pores black and it has a thin head. it smells of bourbon, not overly strong. it is slightly low on the carbonation scale, and has a slightly watery taste. this stout is not going to blow your socks off, but it is by no means as bad as these reviews are saying.

definitely not as strong as what I would like the Bourbon flavor. I would definitely buy this again. try it you'll probably like it

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.94/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on April, 2013 punched on the side.

pours a pitch black color with a half inch beige head that quickly dissipates. Slight bourbon on the nose, but not as strong as I would have anticipated. Taste is very smooth. Bourbon flavor is apparent but the alcohol is quite subdued. Would guess in the 6-7 % range. It's not as strong as I first anticipated. Good feel, medium bodied with low carbonation. Not as thick as I intended it would be either.

Overall this is a pretty easy drinking stout with a touch of bourbon flavor. I'd say the flavor was added instead of it being aged in bourbon barrels like most other beers. It's very easy to drink and isn't necessarily a sipper. I'd recommend it.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.22/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a thick black pour with a slight bit of head which quickly dissipated. smells of delicious sweet chocolate, hint of vanilla and bourbon, molasses. the bourbon smells really subtle, which is honestly relieving for a change. OOH YEAH! a delicious coffee/chocolate flavor blast up front followed by a nice mellow vanilla bourbon bite. a really nicely done stout, i honestly cannot for the life of me understand the average rating.. this is one of my favorites so far. nice bitter dark chocolate flavor lingers for most of the drink and every gassy burp brings up hints of vanilla. really loving this one. medium in bod with moderate carbonation.. light for a heavy bourbon barrel stout, but honestly nice for a change. a very nice easy drinking stout mellow on the bourbon, but it's still very noticeable. really like this one a lot.

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Photo of barczar
3.61/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.67/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.56/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at Ramirez Liquor in Los Angeles and served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in Los Feliz. Expectations are low given its current ratings. I'm starting to see this brewery as one that needlessly bourbon barrel ages everything whilst lacking the finesse to pull it off. Reviewed live.

Bottled November 2012.

I do think it's intriguing that this is currently labelled simply an American Stout and yet it's barrel aged. Not sure what to make of that. I naturally assumed it'd be an imperial stout.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a quarter finger pathetially thin dark khaki colour head of no real cream, okay thickness, and abysmal (~20 second) retention. Body colour is a solid nontransparent opaque black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Standard fare for the style, with a below average head.

Sm: Bourbon is prominent, but I get little subtlety; there are no vanilla or toffee notes, for example. Dark malts. Maybe a light buried roasty character. It's simple but appealing; the bourbon in particular is intriguing. A moderate strength aroma. No yeast or alcohol is detectable.

T: Bourbon, certainly. Dark malts. Chocolate malt. The bourbon character is certainly dominant, and is more rounded here than the aroma suggested; I do get traces of vanilla and toffee. Caramel. It's decently balanced but disappointingly simple. That said, it's quite a success as a stout with bourbon notes; I don't understand its current low reviews. Sure, it lacks the complexity and subtlety needed to be great, but I don't think it's merely average. No yeast or alcohol comes through, and that's fairly impressive at 8.6%. I like it. As it warmed, I noticed a very light buried chili pepper like spiciness.

Mf: A bit too smooth and wet for a stout, but it suits the flavour profile so I won't complain too much. Carbonation is good. Slightly creamy; I'd love more of that. Good palate presence. It's not unique or special, but it really works for the beer.

Dr: I quite like this one; I think many reviewers expect the complexity of an imperial stout. The price is a huge turn-off, but if I get out to Kentucky I'd seek out more beers from this brewery. It gets better as it warms. I'd have this again at a better price. Very drinkable for the well hidden ABV. What you see is what you get; it's a bourbon-forward stout. And a pretty good one at that. It accomplishes what it sought to, and I always applaud that.

Low B

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Photo of Groomsy
3.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic. Bottled in September 2012.

An aggressive pour on this yields about a one-finger head of tan foam that fades rather quickly. Some alcohol legs are evident in the glass, but zero lacing is left on the glass. The beer itself is a very dark brown that does not let light through in the glass.

With this being a bourbon barrel stout, I was expecting a much "bigger" nose on this. What's there is nice, if a little too mild for my expectations. The first thing I notice is the scent of dark fruits. There's a slightly smoky back to it, as well as some coffee and roasted malt. I don't pick up much "bourbon" smell; made just a hint of woodiness and vanilla smell if I concentrate really hard. What's there isn't bad, but if you're going to do a barrel aged beer, ya better go big with it.

As far as taste goes, it's mild, but balanced. A good dose of malty sweetness hits the tongue at first with flavors of smoke, dark fruit, and some dried cocoa/milk chocolate. The bourbon really comes in on the finish with some drying alcohol and some woody/vanilla character. For being as mild as it is, this beer is still well-balanced, I think. Respectable.

The body of this beer is far too thin for the style, though. However, in its defense, its crisp, medium body is a nice contrast from what one would expect for the style. The alcohol is fairly drying on the finish, and the lingering smoke/chocolate flavors are nice. I'm scoring this fairly high because it was easy to drink for this kind of beer.

Overall, not a bad beer. I was expecting something much bolder in flavor, but I can see that the barrel aging didn't take the main focus here. My biggest beef is that the base beer, the stout, was fairly standard to begin with - if we were dealing with a top-notch stout as the base beer, this could have been great.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.13/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got this as an extra a few weeks ago but forget who sent it; thank you! 12 oz. bottle poured into my Bruery tulip. Bottles in September 2012.

a - Pours a pitch black color with two inches of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head leaves a tiny bit of lacing on the glass and the head leaves quickly.

s - Smells of sweet chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, bourbon, oak, coconut, light coffee, toasted malts, and caramel malts. Really nice nose, a lot going on and they work well together.

t - Tastes of sweet milk chocolate, cream, vanilla, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, toasted malts, coffee, light bourbon, and oak. Much less bourbon here than the nose, but still very nice.

As it warms, up a littke bourbon comes out, which is nice.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. No real heat, and pretty nice and thick.

o - Overall I liked this one a lot; I was pleasantly surprised and liked it a lot more than I thought I would. Lots of chocolate and vanilla and some nice light bourbon, this is a good BBA stout that comes in 12 oz. bottles and isn't too heavy or high ABV. Would definitely have it again.

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Photo of jlindros
3.73/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oh man, this looked so good from the bottle, then saw the lower r-avg... now I'm not so sure, but I gotta judge for myself. Bottled in June 2012, thanks to JonnyGalt (reddit) for this one.

Pours a darker colored fizzy head that hits about 1/2 a finger before fading semi quickly, no real lacing, looks like a 10% abv beer kinda head, pitch black beer.

Nose is mostly dark malts, bit of dark choc, cocoa, light roast and coffee and a bit of acrid roast. Lots of syrupy malts, caramel like but more candy dark syrup. Some oats, other dark malts, black malts, etc. Very light barrel with some vanilla and barely a hint of bourbon.

Taste starts with more dark malts, creamy milk chocolate and oats out front, with some caramel, toffee, and a bit of candy syrup. Just a touch of roasted malt and some coffee but not a lot of either, and that limits the touch of acrid flavor that seems to have died down in some of the sitting in the bottle. Nice vanilla character as well, from a touch of barrel but barely any other barrel characters and no bourbon. It brings a light chalky powdered cocoa as it goes, with light spicy hop bitterness, and some warming booze. Finish is drier but a little sticky, a bit more warming booze, more creamy milk chocolate but also powdered cocoa, hint of coffee and dark malts, and bit more vanilla.

Mouth is med to fuller bodied, fairly creamy, light but decent carb for the style, some warming booze.

Overall not bad, not a great beer, but the base stout seems like a pretty good beer. It doesn't have a whole lot of malts and flavors going on, it's not an imperial stout so fairly good for just an American stout. however, the lack of Bourbon Barrel really hits hard as I really wanted some of that.

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Photo of russpowell
3.24/5  rDev +0.3%
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

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Photo of silverhorn
3.77/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a thin, tan head. Nose has chocolate, coffee, vanilla and bourbon. The tastes are balanced with a nice, but not overwhelming bourbon character at first and finishes mostly vanilla bourbon. The feel is very nice and chewy. I would have this beer again. Nice on a cold night.

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Photo of beer2day
2.95/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours dark black with a fleeting 1/2 finger of darkish cream head. Light lace sheets.

Nose is light, sweet bourbon, light roast coffee, and light roasted malt. Not unappealing, but just not robust enough.

The taste is even lighter than the nose. The bourbon makes for nice flavor, but there is not enough underneath this to make the beer more interesting. There are light hints of coffee, a suggestion of chocolate, and very light roast malt. Just needs more of all of this to be good.

Feel is thin. Too thin for what I would expect from the label.

I want to like this more, but for the price there are just too many others that surpass.

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Photo of patpbr
3.54/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of rangerred
3.07/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of garuda
3.05/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of Dave1999
4.23/5  rDev +31%
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.

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Photo of DisasterDave
3.59/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.3/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.48/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.39/5  rDev -26%
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.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.11/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.31/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series) from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
75 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.