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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.

176 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 176
Hads: 457
Avg: 3.23
pDev: 34.06%
Wants: 8
Gots: 54 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 176 | Hads: 457
Photo of ktrillionaire
3.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Whilst staying at a friends house, I was offered this brew a half-dozen times, to which I politely refused. I had this one confused with Lexington's Kenucky Bourbon Ale; somehow I was oblivious to the word 'Stout' on the label. Relenting, I am giving this one a whirl.

The beer pours visibly thin for the style, but is capped with a nice head for a supposed -bal. The nose offers chocolate, mild bourbon, toffee, vanilla and some naked grain, although these impressions are very light. The flavor is a mirror image of the aroma; it is like diet -bal Stout. It really tastes pretty good, actually; almost like the (-bal) real thing. I would drink this again, though I would not likely seek it out.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.87/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I have to say that this exceeded my expectations. I didn't know what to expect, but I had a taste for the style. I had a KBS recently, but since I couldn't get any more, I went for a similar brew.

I transported this by car for a couple hours and then barely got it cold. It sort of shot a spurt of CO2 and when I poured it there was a huge, foamy head. The head was pretty thick, but the bubbles were a bit big. The aroma that went with all that fizz is pretty good. It's malty with a little bourbon smell.

The taste is a nice roasty stout with good balance. Just enough hops to know there is some there, and the bourbon flavor is subdued, but definitely present. The aftertaste is slightly boozy. Overall, the mouthfeel is very fizzy, but this may be my fault.

This is not nearly as complex or thick a sipper as better examples of the style, but it was definitely worth a try. Although it is nearly as boozy as the true imperial examples, it does not have that fullness.

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Photo of crossovert
2.52/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle.

It doesn't look that great for a stout. There are carbonation bubbles that stick to the sides of my snifter. The head is fizzier than it should be. It doesn't look as thick and imposing as it should.

The smell is sweet bourbon, not too much oak or stout scent. It has a ton of butterscotch in it too.

This is one thin bourbon barrel stout. Dang. It tastes like guiness with some bourbon notes. It isn't too sweet.

The mouthfeel is thin, not good for the style.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.86/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

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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 AleWatcher
1.6/5  rDev -50.5%
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.

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Photo of Omnium
3.35/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours black with a finger of khaki colored head, moderate lacing.
S - Not a lot of aroma, some dark roasted cocoa thats about it.
T - Taste is ok, a lot of sweetness to it some more of those chocolate malts coming through, a touch of smoke.
M - Nothing special either, sweet, chewy.
O - This was a disappointment.

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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 Vonerichs
3.03/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of Brabander
2.68/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

This was one of the worst Bourbon barrel aged stout i have had in years....very disappointing beer and i had so much high hopes form the Bourbon state.

I got this beer is a trade this week with a guy i know from Facebook. We met at Westvleteren.

Poured in my Struise glass the beer has some problems to get some head. I had to pour the beer firmly in the glass. No particular smell and that is odd for a beer which should be barrel aged.

The carbonation was way too much, it blew out the rest of my sences...in the taste no hints of oak or a barrel at all....

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.04/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled in July 2010, consumed in December 2010.

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a fluted pint glass. When I popped the top, there was a loud fizz sound and that generally doesnt bode well. Pours a thin looking, very carbonated pitch black color with a thin and infected-looking tan head. As a homebrewer, I have seen beers with infections and this one doesnt look promising.

Aroma was mild mannered and luckily, without infection. Smells salty and battery-like. A bit of roasted frain with minimal bouron aromas. Slight vanilla.

Pretty decent flavor. Good roastiness, burnt grains, chocolate, vanilla, oak. The bourbon flavor slowly exudes after this one warms up, making this barely passable as a bourbon style stout.

The mouthfeel on this one was the worst part about this beer. Way overcarbonated and chalky. Thus, this beer is tough to stomach. I can feel the gasses expanding in my nether regions, and it aint pretty. Not worthy.

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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 kbutler1
3.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a very dark brown almost black color with a dark tan head that settles down to a thin head that collars around the glass. The aroma is dark chocolate, coffee, and slight bourbon. Medium mouthfeel. Roasty, coffee, dark chocolate, with a slight bourbon note but not really overly strong. Not bad, the body isn't as heavy as I would like for a beer like this. The bourbon is pretty minimal as well. Pretty easy drinking though. For a stout it is good but as a barrel aged stout it is lackluster.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.92/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to wisconsinality for yet another Kentucky beer. Poured into my pint glass the beer is pitch black with no head. A small beige lace ring forms on top of the beer.

The aroma is quite nice and complex. Lots of dark roast coffee and sweet chocolate. Plenty of bourbon as well. Pretty much what I expect from barrel aged stout.

The flavor is pretty much a mirror of the nose. Coffee and chocolate stout with a solid dose of bourbon and barrel. No flavors were out there but solid all around.

Medium body maybe a touch thin. Low if any carbonation.

Overall a very decent barrel aged stout. I might seek this out again.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
1.15/5  rDev -64.4%
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.

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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 ONUMello
3.57/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottled in 6/14 poured into a pint glass
A: Dark black with a two-finger head that slowly settles to the one-finger level
S: Pleasant cocoa, dark malt, vanilla and bourbon notes
T: Largely matches the nose, mostly cocoa and vanilla, but a touch dilute/bitter
M: Thin-bodied, a bit hot, a touch bitter. Not what I expeted
O: Despite the poor mouthfeel, this beer looks and smells great and is tasty enough. Just for kicks I added a small pour of bourbon to the second half of the glass and it made it quite nice

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.11/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of RickS95
3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.56/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I don’t think this beer was as bad as a lot of people said. It had a deep opaque body with a bit of carbonation. The head was minimal and there was some tan lace. The flavor is extremely sweet. There are strong bourbon tones in both the flavor and the smell. The mouthfeel is a bit thin for this style.

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Photo of Jimmys
2.64/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
2.21/5  rDev -31.6%
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.

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Photo of TheSarge
2.42/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours okay for a light tan head, which dissipates quickly, and the body is pitch black in color.

In the aroma there are coffee, cocoa, and bourbon characteristics.

Taste wise it is very metallic... Almost like sucking on pennies. The coffee/cocoa taste is mildly detectable.

MF is thin, even though this has a higher abv. You can tell this does have a bit more strength in the end with a warming feeling.

Okay I'm new to these barrel aged beers and what not, but the bourbon does not mesh well in this brew and the aging process probably took what was once a decent stout, and turned it into a heap of a mess.

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