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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

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 kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a 16 oz. Snifter.

A- pours black with very thin tan head. Some lacing that resides quickly.

S- roasted malts, coffe, cough syrup, faint vanilla.

T- roasted malts, very faint bourbon and vanilla, a bitter coffee taste that is slightly off but can't pin point what.

M- medium body, medium carbonation.

O- poor attempt at a BA stout. Missing the bourbon, vanilla, and oak flavors and aromas acustomed to the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 05:17:30 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of stakem


2.55/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I could have swore I reviewed this brew before because I vividly remember the experience being below average. Here we go again, 12oz brown bottle with a bottled on date of October 2010. This brew pours a very dark brown that once held to the light displays some clarity around the edges. An initial formation of khaki head forms with more than a finger strength and slowly fades to a film that maintains across the top seemingly throughout the entire duration.

The smell of this brew initially has a pleasant character of faint, sweet milky chocolate, vanilla, oak and a bit of roast. More smells reveal some hints espresso-like coffee character that starts to turn like char. When swirled, a bit of sulfur comes out that mixes with quite a bit of mineral component. And there it is, the initial pleasing and expected character of this brew abruptly turns to quite a mineral filled scent that is slightly earthy with mixed notes of stinky cheese.

The taste is char with a bitter roasted grain element that gives way to a light amount of bitter chocolate that lasts into the aftertaste when only a small sip is taken. When larger gulps are taken, there is a tartness present that is a bit distracting and gives a chalky quality that is a bit out of place. Sulfur and mineral flavors run throughout the middle of the profile. Surprisingly this off-character gives way towards the end and leaves an aftertaste of cocoa powder on the tongue. A very strange experience for sure.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with an abundance of carbonation that is effervescent and bubbly on the tongue. I dont want to be the one that screams infection over this brew but this is a drastically different experience from the last bottle I had. The previous bottle I consumed had an abundance of dark cherry tartness and minerals that was not enjoyable at all. While this bottle was slightly better, it still tasted a bit off to me. This brew flirts with having potential but something has gone wrong. I wouldn't mind having this again when it is fresh but I would be hesitant.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2011 03:26:51 | More by stakem
Photo of OneDropSoup


3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint: Black body with the faintest, deep red highlights. Half-finger of tan head that drops to a thin coating.

Smell at first: Ah, cocoa, oak, bourbon. As it warms: kind of a musty, waxy character develops, chocolate seems kind of faky, some solventy booze emerges. It's like good smells gone slightly bad.

Taste is not bad: vanilla, some bourbon, pleasant roast character in the finish, aftertaste is a nice restrained bourbon flavor. On the mild side & kind of washed out, but not bad.

Kind of light-bodied for a bourbon barrel stout, low carbonation. Not a great combination, as I'd rather go for either full-bodied or a little more carbonated. Just comes across as flat.

Not bad overall, but really lacking in some areas. Just kind of wimped out, honestly, plus some off-notes in the aroma. Doable, & I don't think I'd pass up another one, but not real memorable.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 01:15:16 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick texture. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not much lacing.

S: Lots of chocolate in the aroma - much more than most stouts - with traces of malt and coffee.

T: Like the smell, the taste had a lot of chocolate, with a bit of malt and coffee. Not much of the advertised bourbon. Tastes and feels more like a porter than a stout. Not a bad flavor, but not strong enough.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This isn't a terrible beer, but definitely not as good as others in the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2011 14:31:37 | More by avalon07
Photo of antoines15


3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks goes out to JJ for picking this one up for me. He's my sixty-four year old co-worker who bought me a 4-pack of this for no apparent reason. Now, on to the review.

A: Resembles a darker, flat coca-cola with a few bubbles around the edge. Or day old coffee, if you prefer.

S: Smells of chocolate pretty heavily. No bourbon aroma to speak of, unfortunately.

T: More chocolate. Not offensive, but not very exciting either. Still no bourbon. Cloyingly sweet, maybe? In a Dark Lord kinda way?

M: Here is where this beer loses me. It is a bit too carbonated and very thin for the style.

O: Again, this beer is not bad, but not awesome either. I'm pretty sure it is going to get a "C" from me, and I think that is a very fair assessment. Thanks again Joe!

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 22:13:53 | More by antoines15
Photo of Guden


3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 22:38:11 | More by Guden
Photo of Ruger


3.38/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured hard and still only managed a half finger light brown head, minimal lacing and the body is black with a red tint that silhouettes at the top when held up to the light.

S - Tons of melted chocolate with a light booze wisp that follows up.

T - Very light bourbon couldn't get much but its there , overwhelming chocolate that is nicely counterbalanced by finishing with a slight hop bitterness that disperses.

M - A little too much carbonation for my tastes but its fine; medium bodied still really smooth.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 04:02:49 | More by Ruger
Photo of ColdPoncho


3.7/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - very thin looking and light, no real head formation. not a good start.

S - Nice big bourbon and chocolate notes. A really fine smell.

T - Sweet chocolate, roasted coffee, some almost minty alcohol...a little confusing. Some good stuff, but some not-so-good stuff as well...

M - Smooth, a bit thin.

O - This is a so-so beer. It's not terrible, but it has some off flavors and is a bit too thin. It could probably use some more bourbon on the tongue.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2011 21:14:13 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of jayhawk73


3.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with only a sliver of cocoa head. Below average lacing on my snifter glass. Very little carbonation as well. Nose is basically two things: Oak and vanilla. I really don't get anything else with this brew. Somewhat disappointing, but I don't get bourbon in the nose at all. Kind of weird for a bourbon barrel stout... I actually get a little bourbon in the taste, as well as smoke, and some hops. Feel is undercarbonated, and a little sweet for what I'd like to see. Overall, this was a bit of a disappointment. I probably won't look for this again. Cheers

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2011 22:48:34 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of biglite351


2.98/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - mild orange around the edges. Quickly falling off white head.

S - rich deep scent. Heavy malts, oak, vanilla and bourbon.

T - bland. Mild malt, vanilla and bourbon. Like the scent but much milder.

M - good coating with mild tingles on side of tongue.

O - better than nothing, but well down the list.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 23:41:36 | More by biglite351
Photo of Jimmys


2.63/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: midnight black with a healthy head. retention is decent with some lacing left as it goes down my gullet. pretty stout looking.

S: woody and big time vanilla bean. coffee as well. same thing on the next visit and the next. kind of dessert-like. i would rather be challenged with some other complexity.

T: boozy and oaky. the wood is a little raw. definitely a vanilla flavor in there as well. maybe some roast, but definitely a bit muted of a roast flavor. not enough body to balance out the first two flavors. leaves me wanting some oats to smooth this body out.

M: starts a bit too lively, but letting it sit allows it to drink like it should. tastes pretty medium-bodied despite the large ABV.

D: overall, this is a miss for me. the backbone just doesnt work with the wood and bourbon and like i said above it leaves me wanting something more from this brew. potential, but i think some tweaks need to be made.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 01:59:57 | More by Jimmys
Photo of superspak


3.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled Dec 2010. Pours pitch black color with an instant 3 finger than head with great retention that reduces to a nice lacing cap that lasts. Some moderate lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of dark fruits, roasted malt, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and some chocolate and coffee in the background. Some interesting and bourbon forward aromas here. Taste of big oak, bourbon, and roasted malts on the front, that leads to chocolate, vanilla, and light coffee on the finish. A bit of bitterness on the finish with lingering notes of chocolate, roasted malt, and a bit of bourbon. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a nice creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, not too bad. This was pretty enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2011 02:05:01 | More by superspak
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

had some high hopes for this one, but it did not really pan out as I had hoped. Pour was uneventful, thick black oil like, with no real head. Decent lacing throughout. Smell was very full, lots of oak, and bourbon aromas, and the vanilla is unmistakable, in fact pretty much over powering. First impression was not pleasant, it was vanilla overload for me, nad what the vanilla didn't kill the oak took care of later. Not enough carbonation left it feeling utterly flat and uneventful. Really had a rough time getting all of this down as the vanilla and oak were just overdone and killing it for me. Overall nah, I am good.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 17:05:54 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Eriktheipaman


2.25/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Not that this beer is bad per say...just read the rest:

Pours a solid black with little to no head.

The smell is very very strange. Again not bad but very weird. At first it smelt EXACTLY like chocolate milk. Then it changed to a very sweet and of straight toffee.

The taste is similar and still strange. To me it taste just like a caramel or toffee candy. Slightly burnt brown sugar. No barrel and no usual roasty Stout.

I would recommend passing on this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 22:46:28 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of inlimbo77


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

12oz bottle into a Pinocchio's (Media, PA) snifter. Bottled on April 2010.

A: Pours almost pitch black (brownish hues) with a half finger tan head. Head disappears quickly. Good lacing with some alcohol feet.

S: Definitely get the bourbon notes. It almost overpowers the roasted malts. You get some vanilla on the swirl.

T: Mild bitterness on the tip of the tongue. This one is all about the middle of the tongue. And the fairly long finish. You get some alcohol warmer in the back of the throat. Hints of bourbon and vanilla. Definitely roasted malts.

M: It's a pretty mild medium bodied stout. Not an imperial in my mind except for the booze. Not the body.

O: B- grade for this one. Nothing to write home about really. I have had much better BA stouts.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 14:54:44 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of JCaweinstein


3.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle dated July/11

Look: black, and a little cloudy..got some floaters, one finger off white head disappears almost immediately, minimal lacing
Smell: bourbon, wood, raisons and chocolate
Taste: dark fruit, slight bourbon taste and a minor hop flavor as well
Mouthfeel: lighter than what I would expect for a stout, it is very carbonated and doesn't leave much on the finish
Overall: Not an impressive beer. The idea is good ut something is missing here. Picked it up as it's a somewhat local brewery but I won't make that mistake again.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 01:45:19 | More by JCaweinstein
Photo of McNealc31


3.75/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 18:52:26 | More by McNealc31
Photo of daveytheformer


3.2/5  rDev -3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 19:48:06 | More by daveytheformer
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac


4.4/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip

A:Pours a very deep brown, settling into an opaque black. The head is almost nonexistent for mine, but the bubbles that surface are tan and surprisingly large, although if you can generate the head, it's much, much more flavorful. It doesn't flow as thick as one would hope, but it's more viscous than a traditional porter.

S: Aroma is exquisite: sweet dark chocolate, hints of caramel and bourbon, bits of coffee and molasses, lots of scent and very welcoming.

T/M: Has a low to medium amount of carbonation with the bourbon very well balanced between caramel, chocolate, and coffee notes. Some slight roasted malts and just a touch of bitterness finish it off.

This is a very good bourbon barrel beer and likely the best year round bourbon barrel on the market.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 00:06:31 | More by TheBeerAlmanac
Photo of Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

3.05/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 8/16/11
*From notes

-- This has been in my cellar almost a year --

A: It looks ok, though wholly unremarkable. The proper charry burnt umber color is there. A standard pour yields a dissapointing .5 finger head and zero lacing.

S: I can't believe I'm actually getting some toasted coconut here. It's got a great bouquet that gets me excited for the first taste.

T: Well, the excitement didn't last long. It's simply too thin on flavor. Nothing stands out here but some harsh tanninic acid that I can only assume comes from cheap, shredded wood.

M: Sharp and underwhelming. Where's the body here? It's overcarbed, which I assume they feel covers for a lack of actual flavor.

O: Bluegrass' Bourbon Barrel Stout isn't a bad beer, it's simply average personified. Nothing here, sans the nose, is worth mentioning. Middie of the road is a dangerous place to be. Here's to Bluegrass picking it up a bit, as producing beers like this can very quickly lead to a dead end.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 23:30:34 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of KevinBrewer


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

A- Nearly black with a reddish-brown glow to it. Huge, rocky tan head that dissipates to a thick blanket, leaving some patchwork behind. Basically impossible to pour a full glass without waiting for the head to die down halfway through.

N- Chocolaty bourbon-soaked malt with rich vanilla and soft oak. Really a delicious aroma, but you have to enjoy it before taking the first sip. After a few swallows, the nuances of the aroma were definitely harder to pick up.

T- Wow. Very smooth, roasty, and lightly chocolaty up front. Mild grassy and oaky bitterness works nicely with the roast. Subtle vanilla accents and a touch of bourbon add complexity without overpowering the stout qualities. Lightly bitter grassy finish with plenty of roast, vanilla, and bourbon lingering around into the aftertaste.

M- Medium-light body, high carbonation, and a semidry finish.

D- Overall, I love bourbon barrel-aged stouts, so I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although, it is pretty light, and nothing close to a good bbal imperial stout. I really cannot believe this beer is 8.6% because it is incredibly easy-drinking. I think the biggest fault for this beer is the high ABV because that's the only thing preventing me from going through a fourpack.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 04:49:26 | More by KevinBrewer
Photo of PhageLab


3.78/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

A - Jet black brew sporting a small bit of froth. The head didn't stick around very long, but it did leave some washy lacing behind.

S - Fairly hoppy, with a potent aroma of dark chocolate. Sweet, with an earthy quality.

T - Chocolate malts hit the tongue initially, followed by a mildly bitter wash. Definitely some oak notes, as well as a smoky finish.

M - Medium bodied with a low carbonation level. Finish is dry with a lingering bitterness left behind.

D - Pretty good overall, let it warm up just a bit and it is quite enjoyable. A decent stout that I would have no problem picking up again.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 16:37:36 | More by PhageLab
Photo of JamnesCameron


2.9/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter. Pours a jet black with a light mocha, oily head of about two fingers. Head is quick to drop to a wisp, with some light lacing and some legs.

Aromas of dark roast malt, dark roasted coffee, some dark cocoa, week vanilla, and some oakiness.

Flavors of light roast, vanilla, oak, dark cocoa. Finish is short, with vanilla, oak and roast malt on the linger. Some alcohol evident as it warms.

Mouthfeel is relatively thin. Some oaky astringency dries out the mouth with a decent level of carbonation.

Overall, not much to set this one apart. No real flaws, just nothing to really grab you, smack you around and introduce you to its mother.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 05:11:53 | More by JamnesCameron
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

2.63/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Every bottle of the 4 pack wouldnt pour right no matter what I did. It always had so much head, that I had to pour an ounce then let it sit. Very discouraging.

The head was a thick off white color that really stuck around. Liquid was pitch black. Lacing was good.

Smell was bitter and roasty. Slightly sweet near the tail end.

Taste consists entirely of over-roasted malt. Slightly metallic taste comes through later, and is not good. Body is non-existent. Its like drinking a porter, only not--its a stout.

The roasty malt kind of just sits on your tongue, like any good roasty porter should.

As a porter, this would be a solid beer, but as a stout, its lackluster in its finest moments. I was expecting smoothness from the bourbon barrels, but it was absent. The metallice taste is disheartening.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2011 01:50:07 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of Mora2000


4.22/5  rDev +27.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 00:52:09 | More by Mora2000
Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series) from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
76 out of 100 based on 345 ratings.