Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Barleywine - Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel BarleywineKentucky Bourbon Barrel Barleywine

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162 Ratings
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Ratings: 162
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 17.21%
Wants: 7
Gots: 44 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. visit their website
Kentucky, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BEERchitect on 03-12-2014

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 31
Reviews by ohiobeer29:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Brutaltruth
4/5  rDev +18.7%

Ale pours a brilliant ruby red with light pooling foam layer that just keeps hanging around
with excellent lacing. Nose of rich dark berry fruits, oak, sweet caramel, and mild bourbon.
This ale increases in complexity the more it warms. A very nice smooth mouthfeel, moderately
coating with decent carbonation for the style. Brown sugar, and a dark plum like flavor hits
upfront with alcohol and oak coming though on the back with a decent amount of sticky hops
kick to keep the hop heads happy. Strident and in line with the style, this is one you could
easily lay down for a time. Ice cold does nothing for this one. Let it warm and speak to you,
it will tell an interesting tale.


Photo of ThickNStout
1.98/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle from Barrel and Barley (Woodstock, GA). 3.79. No apparent bottling date. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

Pours a rose hued burgandy brown with a half finger ecrue head. The head settles to a thin ring, only leaving occasional dots of lace.

Lackluster aromas of simple syrup, bourbon and cereal grains.

The flavor is so unnecessarily boozy. Hot bourbon, burnt sugar, cereal, charred oak and tons of harsh alcohol. All burn and very little flavor.

Slick yet fairly thin body with mild carbonation. Harsh, boozy hot finish with burnt wood, bourbon and blackened sugar.

Yikes. This turned out to be a hot, unflavorful mess. I powered through about 7-8 ounces in the name of science to finish this review. That was too much.

Photo of Benjamin_Stewart
4.38/5  rDev +30%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

May be the best thing Alltech has ever made.

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Murky red color. Off white head dissipates quickly. Wispy and spotty lacing.

S: Rich brown caramel, brown bread, raspberry scones, fruitcake, pinch of brown cocoa, juicy red berry and currant esters. Bourbon and wood are initially quiet, but become more prominent as the beer warms.

T: Candy apple shell, brown bread, chewy caramel, toffee, brown cocoa. Earthy and herbal hops are stiff and bitter with a spicy and oily punch that clamps down a bit. They bring a nectarine/marmalade citrusy dimension too. Vinous fruitiness of cherries, currants, and red berries. Woody barrel flavors and bourbon punch through toward the back with a touch of spicy alcohol heat. Sweet candied finish with earthy bitter hops gripping harder.

M: Thick and chewy in body with a syrupy and viscous feel. Low carbonation. Spicy alcohol warmth.

O: It feels very young and rough, but there's some potential here. This is easily a beer that can-and probably should- spend at least a year in the barrel.

Photo of Wasupmx
4.25/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Delicious. Look was dark pink, smell was sweet. Taste was smooth, feel was smooth, and I give the over all a 4.25

Photo of tigg924
2.97/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: high carbonation, 3/4 inch head, clear, copper in color

Smell: citrus hops, bark, and light bourbon

Taste: Like the smell, citrus hops, bitter barky hops, and fresh bourbon

Mouthfeel: sweet start with a bitter middle and dry bitter finish, heavy-bodied, high carbonation

Overall: Of all of the Lexington brewery beers I have had so far this is my least favorite. The finish here is really dry and the bourbon seems a bit young. This might be better with age, but for the price-point I am unlikely to try it...especially when I know I can get their regular bourbon ale and be perfectly happy.

Photo of Retroman40
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle served in a wine glass at garage temperature (about 60 F)

A - Beautiful clear amber/copper color with a short lasting head.

S - Oak, caramel, perhaps even some alcohol as the beer warmed to room temperature.

T - Some initial hop/malt followed by classic bourbon flavors of oak and vanilla at the finish.

M - Low carbonation (which is good here) and a very smooth feel.

O - I really enjoyed the balance of bourbon flavors with the beer. Perhaps just a touch more hop note and this would be perfect for me but it was still very good. A little on the pricy side at 15 bucks for a 4 pack but I don't regret the purchase. I look forward to sharing the remaining three bottles with a couple of my bourbon loving friends.

Photo of KYGunner
3.72/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

This has a light root beer brown cleanliness with lots of carbonation and a thin fizzy head with little to no retention.

The aroma holds hints of brownie, boozy toffee, and light dark fruit like prune and date. Oakey barrel and bourbon touch the nose slightly with some marshmallow creaminess.

The flavor has good chocolate qualities with some toffee, caramel and Werthers candy. The oak and bourbon are creamy and definitely reveal the same barrel in the KY Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech. I also get touches of maple, prune, coconut and butterscotch.

This really seems to be an excellent addition to the Lexington Craft Beer scene but for an all too off putting feel. This is exceptionally thin, bitter and a touch boozy. Three qualities that I don't want in a Barleywine. The feel is so poor that it actually detracts from the flavor which I found quite good.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours a clear reddish/copper color with an inch light tan head. The head sticks around a little while, and there's a decent amount of lacing. The brew smells like toffee, caramel, bourbon, oak, and some light fruitiness. It tastes like toffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, nuts, and some orange peel and pine hops. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and creamy with a good amount of carbonation. If you're familiar with the regular Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, it does taste similar to that since I assume they use the same kind of barrels, but the bourbon isn't quite as strong in this beer. Still, I think this brew is definitely worth trying. However, at $14.99 a 4-pack, you might want to just buy a single. With that being said, I'm not going to have a problem finishing the 4-pack!

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.71/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine (2014 Limited Release) has a thin-to-medium off-white head, a mostly clear, rust-red color, some bubble streams, and light lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sweetness, bourbon barrels, and alcohol. Taste is of bourbon, wood, vanilla, very sweet malt, and a slight balancing bitterness. Mouthfeel is light-to-medium, and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine 2014 finishes semi-dry and surprisingly easy drinking. The alcohol warmth kicks in with the sipping.


Photo of mfnmbvp
2.95/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, vintage 2014 printed on the bottleneck label. Acquired a single bottle of this somewhere along the line and have had it for a month or so. My second beer review from Alltech.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a somewhat thin watery looking burnt sienna orange / ruby colored body with about two fingers of off-white / khaki head. It leaves some okay lacing behind, but it appears below average for the style.

S - The aroma is pretty bland. Mild oak wood / bourbon / whiskey fumes, and some faint vanilla / caramel / toffee aromas. It smells half-assed and semi-medicinal / artificial.

T - Taste follows the nose - some hot whiskey / bourbon alcohol fumes, some woodsy oak barrel, and mild caramel / vanilla / toffee. Alcohol seems pretty dominant.

M - The feel is lightly fumey / hot, with some stickiness lingering on the palate. Thin / light and watery for the style. Hot booze on the finish.

Overall, this thing needs to be barrel aged longer, and I mean longer. None of the wonderful characteristics that I expect to stand out in a nice barrel aged beer are present here at all. Not recommended by any means, unless you want to see what a bourbon barrel aged barleywine shouldn't taste like.

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine ---3/5.

Photo of BeerDocT
3.41/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance 3.25: Poured out a deep, translucent, reddish-brown. No head and no lacing. Still, this beer looks striking in the glass.

Smell 4.0: Awesome hit of vanilla and oak tannins once I opened the bottle. This only faded slightly the longer the beer was exposed to air. Gorgeous scents of burnt sugar, barley, deep oaky tannins and, of course...bourbon.

Taste 3.25: Front is flat and somewhat dry. Middle is where the tastes come rolling in: vanilla, oak, bourbon, faint hints of dried stonefruits and a slight hop bite. Finish is slightly bitter, with a warming sensation from all the alcohol (however, there is no taste of the alcohol). Aftertaste is long and heavy on the oak and bourbon. There is a bitterness that lingers on the palate at this level. It is slightly off-putting, but not unbearable.

Mouthfeel 3.0: Dry in the mouth and somewhat less than enticing for multiple sips. The bitterness also detracts from the score at this level.

Overall 3.25: Very good barley wine. The oak aging puts it over the top and I am certain that if you let a bottle of this sit around for a few years it will be exponentially better than it is currently. Still, for those of us who cannot resist, this beer is warming and exhibits all the delicious flavors that we "aged in oak" nuts love.

Photo of DrDemento456
2.29/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Damn the reviews on this are so disheartening if I wasn't drunk already I would sway away but I paid $3.99 for the single so I will give it a shot.
A - Well it looks like a great barleywine. Color is a clear deep red amber brown with a 1/4 inch of head. It actually makes for great lacing but fizzes out rather quickly.
S - Solvent alcohol smells in the glass reminds me of Otter Creek Quercus Vitis Humulus in a way no noticeable grapes but strong alcohol smells. Hope it taste sweeter than it smells.
T - Well the taste only brings out some sweetness mostly like a cleaning product the finish coats the tongue and burns. Not really choking at the flavor but I could see why other reviews say it taste like the regular BB beer with a shot of vodka.
M - Well it drinks with a medium to heavy body. Kind of hurts when it sits on the palate.

Please avoid this beer it is like a barley wine aged in a vodka barrel. Like malt liquor bad. Don't drink!

Photo of jlindros
3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It has lower reviews, as did the other bourbon barrel aged beers, but they aren't so bad... if you like bourbon. hopefully this is better than expected.

Pours a smaller fizzy bubbly 1/2 finger head that fades at a med pace, bit of spotty thin lacing, actually not all that bad considering this is 10%. The beer is quite clear with a big cranberry reddish color.

Nose has some sweet malts, lots of toasty reddish malts, lots of them, candy syrup, little toffee and caramel notes, into some bourbon, a very young bourbon nose almost green bourbon, a decent toasty vanilla oak barrel note as well, not a big overall aroma or malty presence, but fair amount of bourbon, and nice malts. It also has a bit of a tingly booze smell, and eventually the oak turns buttery too.

Taste brings more sweet malts out front, a lot of toasty grainy flavors, more grainy than I expected, hint of toasted corn too. Into sweet characters, lots of sweet malts, candy syrup, little toffee, plenty of caramel and candied sugar, which turns into booze, quite boozy with tingle, warmth almost hot, little fusel, actually it gets that fusel alcohol taste even, mild phenolic booze too. Bitterness cuts through, part from a mild earthy herbal hop taste, little vegetal, and part from bitterness like characters from the booze and phenolics like notes. Bourbon notes are tehre, again that young almost green bourbon, also adding to the bitter herbal character, and hint of toasty vanilla barrel but very very light behind everything else. Finish is the bad part, that nagging herbal bitterness and fusel alcohol characters, and even mild phenolics (touch plasticy), all linger for a while, not so pleasant lingering bitter nagging finish.

Mouth is med to heavier bod, a bit light on the carbonation, and lots of hot booze.

Overall started OK, the aroma was pretty nice, initial flavors were nice, but that hot booze, phenolics, big fusel alcohol, herbal vegetal hops, bring a long nagging lingering not so great finish.

Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.95/5  rDev +46.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

.Poured into my trusty pint glass. Copperish redish hue to it. Very little head to this beer. Smell of the bourbon and the taste of the bourbon was well worth it. Very strong taste but absolutely amazing. Not the best mouthful but an excellent sipping beer at 10% abv

Photo of Sanderson
2.58/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Gusher. Clearly infected. Smelled of buttery popcorn. Tasted and felt like butter.

Photo of jdhilt
3.93/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Oak and bourbon nose and flavor is citrusy oak and hints of caramel. High ABV is hidden. $4.20 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

Photo of Paincane
3.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Clear amber body with tan head and good lacing. Decent head retention.
S: Boozy Bourbon and caramel malt aromas. A most pleasant bouquet.
T: Flavors follow nose and are bourbon, sweet malty, caramel and booze.
M: Smooth, rich and flavorful.
O: Tasty Barleywine that is easily drinkable.

Photo of WesMantooth
2.92/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Just like their stout. Not offensive, but if you are going to throw the word Bourbon on the bottle, it should be noticeable. It is not. Truthfully, if this were rated just as a straight up BW it still is ok at best. I like the Bourbon Barrel Ale. You at least get some of the oak and vanilla in that beer. Considering it was $15/4 pack, I am not real happy. Aging the rest to see what happens. Honestly, those may be used as a marinade. Would not recommend

Photo of Sleepy_Conscience
2.91/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I was pretty excited to see this at my local grocery store since I'm a big fan of their flagship Bourbon Barrel Ale and Queen's Velvet (mixing the Bourbon Barrel Ale with Vanilla Porter, preferably from Breckenridge Brewery). Gotta say I was pretty underwhelmed. Basically tastes like they dumped half a shot of vodka into a bottle of the regular Bourbon Barrel Ale. That's a little too harsh probably, but gets at my problem with it. It's basically the same thing but with a clear taste of more alcohol. Kind of bitter, but not in a good way. This isn't the first non-BBA beer of their's I haven't liked. I'm starting to think this brewery is kind of a one hit wonder.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kentucky Barleywine

Pours a ruby red with a light head that retains ok.
Smells of fruit and malt.
In the taste, malty and fruity but not overly sweet. Some earthy hop bitterness. A bit of alcohol and barrel influence but mostly sweet malt and fruitier ale yeast.
Medium bodied and well carbonated. Clean semi dry finish. Overall, friggin' delicious barleywine, could have used more barrel flavor, but lovely all the same.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Alltech's Lexington Brewing Company Springs to life this March with their second seasonal offering that harks to the turning season. While still robust with malt sweetness and a heavier palate, its bright citrusy hop character signals a change. And with the signature backdrop of the bourbon barrel, this massive ale is uniquely Kentucky!

Its bright crimson pour shares tawny redish-garnet hues and simply gleems in the glass with its crystal clarity, swirling bubbles and semi-ominous stature. A creamy and ivory-stained column of foam builds on top the ale like rich lather, trailing with speckled lace and sheen legging in the beer's wake. While all ale, the beer has a sliver of brandy to its appearance.

Rich with barley malt at the forefront, the beer's aromas are dripping with caramel-laded fruit. A slightly toasted back note is nutty, toffee-like and with a hint of biscotti. Complementing its malty demeanor, its hop balance comes in the form of freshly zested nectarines and torn pine needles.

Lavish in taste, the barley sweetness greets the early palate with a toasted toffee taste and a nutty counterpart that resonates with something of pistachio brittle. As the middle opens up, its toasted husk character offers a lightly earthen taste, similar to rye, that links up seamlessly with the acute citrus hop flavor- much more of vibrant oranges than of the more common grapefruit, the ale trends toward a dry-malt taste and a growing resinous bitterness of pine, fresh-cut grass and citrus ribs.

Dense and weighted on the palate, the beer's body shies away from cloying as its moderate carbonation provides enough lift of the sweetness to usher in a patient dryness as the malty sweetness seems to dissolve right off the tongue. A slight glimmer of thinning occurs in its transition and exposes slight mineral taste and mild grain texture. Its warm and lingering nutty finish continues to deliver complex taste with echoes of fruit marmalade and bubblegum.

While not the "hoppiest" American Barleywine on the market, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Barleywine balances more even-keel than classic British varieties. Perhaps a perfect marriage of the two bring this ale into season with the decadence of malt but with a palatable and refreshing closure.

Photo of Louisville-Beer-Reviews
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: Crystal clear red amber color. Foamy head that didn’t leave much lacing.

Aroma: Toasted nuts, caramel, bourbon, and alcohol.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Flavor on the tongue is that of buttery caramel, and the texture is appropriately smooth. The finish sees flavors of toasted pecan, nutty malt, and lots of booze. Flavors on the back of the tongue are resiny bitterness, and alcohol.

Final Word: Throughout the beer, the strong flavor of booze overwhelms the others. This brew takes many of the great flavors in Alltech’s KY Bourbon Barrel Ale and ups the alcohol content without adding to the complexity or richness of the original. The final product has lots of great things to taste, but they are all masked and overwhelmed by the strong presence of alcohol. Perhaps a bit more aging is in order? Either way, in its current state, I’d recommend snagging the excellent KY Bourbon Barrel Ale over the Barleywine version, hands down!

Photo of brureview
4.08/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an attractive copper red color in a snifter with no head.

I could smell the aroma from the bottle: strong toffee and oak.

The mouth feel was very carbonated.

Intially, the beer had a strong alcoholic finish and a prominent oak presence which dwarfed the
the taste of the fruit ( 45°F). Then as it warmed up, the taste was totally different.
It was more balanced, the oak, and alcoholic finish diminished, and there was a stronger fruit taste.

Overall- an excellent American Barleywine. An issue with this beer is that it must be tasted at a warmer temp 50-55F, otherwise it may appear imbalanced. Glassware is also key. A snifter or a tulip works well for this style- much better than a pint glass.

The lower ratings are probably due to tasting the beer at colder serving temps.

Photo of guityler83
2.5/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured into ye old pint glass, the foam stood an inch tall and receded moderately quickly. Off white head that left a snow esque lacing on the edge. The beer is dark amber or a maroon leather kind of vibe. Clarity is high, no haze or sediment really.

S: Moderately high malt aroma on the first impression. Plums, prunes, raisins, over ripened fruit, some toffee notes. Very sweet impression. Mild to low hop aroma with herbal and spicey characteristics.

T: Rich malt sweetness with flavors consistent with the aroma. Prunes and raisins mixed with over ripe apples and pears. The balance is on the malt side and coming off very sweet. The hop bitterness is only apparent in the aftertaste where it expresses on the back of the tongue with the spicey, earthy flavors. Very low level of bourbon flavor coming through with zero wood flavor or tannins.

M: Carbonation levels are moderate for the beer but the body is big and thick. There is an astringancy / harshness in the aftertaste that might be coming from the hops or the barrel.. can't really tell.. but its unpleasant.

O: With out seeing the label I would have a hard time believing this beer is barrel aged at all. The sweetness is so overwhelming maybe its covering it up. If you like your English BW's sweet with some herbal hop notes this might be up your alley. Just not my thing

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
77 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.