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

Not Rated.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

558 Reviews
THE BROS
85
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 558
Hads: 2,548
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 16.21%
Wants: 144
Gots: 696 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. visit their website
Kentucky, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  8.19% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SheepNutz on 07-13-2004

Award winning Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is a unique sipping beer with the distinctive nose of a well-crafted bourbon. Our Kentucky Ale is aged for up to 6 weeks in freshly decanted bourbon barrels from some of Kentucky’s finest distilleries. Subtle yet familiar flavors of vanilla and oak are imparted to this special ale as it rests in the charred barrels. Pleasantly smooth and robust, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale may also be served as an aperitif or after dinner drink.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 558 | Hads: 2,548
Photo of TBoneJones
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky copper/ light brown with some particles. Decent head, some nice lacing.
Smells of some malts and caramel. Some alcohol present on this nose.
Tastes like an oak-casked ale. But nothing complex or too special. Oak and vanilla. More sweet than bitter. There's a tangy aspect for certain, and I'm not much a fan of it, however some nice malts poke through the tang.
It is pretty smooth, medium-lighter bodied.
Okay, decent, not complex. I do wonder how many unassuming samplers of new beer mistake this , due to its name, for a KBS or something along those lines. I didn't, but I did assume it would be a stout and not a strong ale. Big difference. (664 characters)

Photo of thebeers
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Leathery orange-brown color with a half-finger of white head. Wood, chocolate and caramel on the nose. Light-bodied in comparison to most barrel-aged beers, with good carbonation that really makes the caramel flavor pop. There's a definite, but light and easy-drinking, bourbon flavor to it. It's just a fun, quaffable beer. (327 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of light bourbon. Taste is light bourbon, malts, some sugary sweetness as it warms, alcohol is well hidden. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a decent beer, but not as flavorful as it could have been. (301 characters)

Photo of eyeroller
4.81/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've tried this beer multiple times through a local place amd for the most part its been spot on. I had a bad batch once and have been afriad to try it since. When its good, it's really, really good. (199 characters)

Photo of Jmalpha1
3.37/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Looked great in a glass. Wasn't very impressive but it was kinda neat and unique.I don't think I would get it on my own but I wouldn't think twice at a bar. Solid beer for sipping. (180 characters)

Photo of IPreferPotButBeerIsGood
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Looks tasty. Nice dark amber color, very bourbon-y in color with a very thin, bubbly head that leaves a nice ring and a very thin film.

A: Literally smells like watered down bourbon and a bit of ale hint. Not a bad smell.

T: Tasted like bourbon as well, however was very much an ale. Somewhat bitter, but kind of tangy as well. It was interesting, but unimpressive.

F: Felt very nice and bubbly. High-medium carbonation. Went down smoothly.

O: Not bad if you like bourbon, but if you like bourbon, drink bourbon. This isn't something I would quite feel inclined to buy again, and I'm glad I only got a bottle instead of a growler. (637 characters)

Photo of willic
2.55/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I know, my opinion does not follow the norm, but this beer is not my favorite. I like it, I will drink it again, but what's the hype about? Sometimes it is overly carbonated, with wild flowery flavors... I can only assume live yeast is still active eating the residual sugars. I have found this in a couple of bottles. I think I like those bottles the best with their saison characteristics. Everyone has to try one of these, just to be able to talk about it! (459 characters)

Photo of DoctorZombies
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Medium amber (12) pour with off white head; good lacing and carbonation. Bourbon and smoke nose. Bourbon and smoke taste. Medium lite mouthfeel with oaky tongue coating. Bourbon is a little overwhelming. (203 characters)

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a four-pack at my local Stein's Liquor to split with my dad, who really enjoys this one. No discernible bottled on date. Poured at cellar temperature into my Red Eye pint glass.

L: Pours a pale copper with about a quarter-inch of off-white head that dissipates quickly into an almost nonexistent film which leaves almost no lacing on the glass. Crystal-clear, with moderate visible carbonation.

S: Sweet caramel malts are present, as well as some distinctive vanilla and bourbon notes. Just a bit of earthiness--it's a predominantly sweet bouquet.

T: Sweet caramel malt flavors right up front. A bit of breadiness in there, as well. Rather quickly, the bourbon flavor begins to assert itself, though it's not accompanied by any clear alcohol or warming properties. The middle also sees a bit of the vanilla coming through. There's a bit of a red wine sensation near the back end, which doesn't necessarily clash with the bourbon notes. The close has more of the caramel malt and vanilla sweetness, with the bourbon flavor riding things out. A slight bitterness rises in the aftertaste.

F: Medium-bodied, though probably on the lighter side of that categorization. It's crisp at the front and a bit creamy in the middle, aided by a nice level of carbonation. This one doesn't have any stick to it and finishes quite cleanly.

O: This is a pretty tasty brew, given what it purports to be. I wish there was a little more heat from the bourbon, and the malt profile could be a little more engaging. That being said, it's quite drinkable for a beer with this high an ABV, and it will probably please a lot of casual fans of bourbon-flavored anything. But at this price point ($10 for a four-pack), I'm not likely to return to it any time soon. (1,752 characters)

Photo of brap
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent and drinkable but didn't really taste all that barreled. I've had some barrelled beer where you really can taste the nuances of the wood but this just seemed like a sweetish ale. Not horrible but didn't have the complexity the name suggested. Seemed more marketing ploy than anything. Given the price per 12 oz bottle there are a number of different directions I would go before returning to this. That said, if someone handed me a cold one, I wouldn't turn it away. (479 characters)

Photo of Knilas
4.29/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing, dark Amber color. Notes of brown sugar and vanilla on the nose. Slight bite of char from the barrels, but mostly caramel, vanilla, butterscotch and a touch of tobacco for flavor. Very smooth...and a nice change of pace. Worth the coin. (244 characters)

Photo of NiceTaps
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in a snifter.

Copper-orange color, "aged in oak" look. 1F white head, quick fade to film. Slightly cloudy with active bubbles. No lacing at all.

Smells of sweet alcohol. Woody. Thick malts and whiskey.

I taste the vanilla, oak, caramel, and lots of whisky alcohol. Sweet bourbon.

The full malt body is beat up by the sugary alcohol.

It's a sipper. The malts make it a "beer", I guess. I'd prefer less booze, more beer character. (445 characters)

Photo of RyanLehr
4.44/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first time I tried this beer it was the first that I had tried of this style and it was amazing so naturally I kept getting it every so often. That is what my score of this beer reflects. Recently though, it has gone way downhill. I don't know if they changed the process of brewing or what happened, but the color isn't what it used to be as well as the aroma, but most of all the flavor isn't there at all anymore. I'm actually shocked that more people haven't noticed that this beer has lost it's quality. (513 characters)

Photo of manfromanotherplace
2.92/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

seems like anyone can drop beer in bourbon barrels and try to sell it as top market stuff.pretty mediocre to be fair.not much barrel presence at all in this beer. (162 characters)

Photo of jancona
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Sweet vanilla and bourbon smell along with a hint of brown sugar - taste follows - mellow bourbon flavor with a sweet vanilla malt backbone / no booziness - very enjoyable. (172 characters)

Photo of joberlander
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Really nice bourbon in the aroma but the mouth feel and taste is so thin. I get hints of the bourbon but its almost a watered down taste and don't really get other flavors from the beer. Hides the alcohol well but when I drink a bourbon barrel beer I like it to be a bit thicker. Overall, its great if you want a little bourbon flavor in a beer you can have a few of, but I wish they aged it a bit longer in the barrels. (423 characters)

Photo of do_ob
3.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pours a clear copper with about 1/2 a finger of white foam. Good carbonation. Smells of oak, leather, roasted nuts, and a hint of bourbon. The smell kinda fooled me, honestly. Strong bourbon notes on the taste, along with vanilla, butterscotch, and wheat. A slight hop bitterness makes its presence known about middle ways. Finishes quite smooth given the abv and leaves a charred oaky flavor on the taste buds.

Surprisingly good. Slightly underrated, in my opinion. It's lacking a bit of density in the body, but the flavors are pleasant. This one would go great with some grilled pork or salmon. (628 characters)

Photo of jps0869
2.89/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's more of a whiskey-chaser than a complete beer. The barrel aging adds the expected notes of vanilla, brown sugar, spice, and everything nice, but the beer itself, despite a purported 8.2% ABV, lacks any kind of reward for sustained engagement. The mouthfeel is smooth and it'll get you drunk, but it's hardly got enough depth to justify $12for a four-pack. Not bad, not great, bit more than little disappointing. (417 characters)

Photo of EMV
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at 'World of Beer' in Orlando, poured into a snifter.

L: Pours a clear light mahogany color. Moderate white head and decent lacing of the glass.

S: Probably the best part of this beer... bourbon notes with toasted malts. Mild vanilla and cloves.

T/F: This one just didn't do it for me, and it tasted thin and watered down. Like there was more flavor to be had that just didn't make it forward. Sweeter than expected, not boozy at all for a beer with this ABV, and mild vanilla and oak tones. Moderately carbonated.

O: Just not a fan, and again... it tasted like somebody took a better beer and watered it down. It smelled good... but the flavor just wasn't there, and there are way better bourbon aged brews out there. Wouldn't have it again. (770 characters)

Photo of coltonbrimhall
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

-really shitty head...
- has a light whiskey scent the wood really overpowers
- taste as a English ale with a lot of oak and whiskey notes a slight skunk
-ok feel thicker
- ok beer not my style for sure, they hit alot of notes i think they were aiming for but it wasn't a enjoyable drink for me... (297 characters)

Photo of nicholas2121
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale brewed by, Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. This ale has an ABV of 8.19% The ale pours out a nice deep amber color with a nice smell off white head. You smell rich bourbon, grains and malts in the smell of this brew. Now for the taste , it is full of flavor, with grains and malts. You get a nice bourbon, taste in this brew. There is a lot going on this brew, but it has a nice balance to it. Nothing overpowering in this brew. Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co., did a nice job with this one. The mouthfeel is full bodied , smooth and rich. You really don't pick up on 8.19% ABV in this brew. Overall I'm giving this brew a 4 out of 5. I would buy this brew again. (730 characters)

Photo of E-McFarden
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours pale amber in color, crystal clear. First scents at a distance bring sweet oaky vanilla certainly reminding me of bourbon, then comes the hops and caramel malts. The taste is well balanced and brings the drinker just the right amount of oaky bourbon flavors to balance the malt profile. The alcohol is surprisingly not overpowering considering the subtle flavors. Finishes smooth and dry. I'm surprised this beer isn't getting higher ratings, I would definitely say that if you're drinking this one right out of the fridge you're missing out on the nice flavors and aromas. I like it. (590 characters)

Photo of StMichael
4.84/5  rDev +33%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is my day to day beer. I get it draft from my growler. It has amazing flavor and you can drink it like water. @8.2% it has a nice punch. The whiskey barrel aging again does its magic making this my daily drinker. (217 characters)

Photo of DJoe
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Meh. Had from a bottle, poured into a pint glass. There was very little about this that could be called distinctive other than the moderate vanilla flavor. Never tasted any bourbon or oak traits. (198 characters)

Photo of Jadjunk
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No label information. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is brewed in the style of an English Strong Ale aged in oak bourbon barrels. Available in 12 oz. bottled 4 packs and on draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 56 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy creamy head of an ecru-white complexion over a moderately hazy copper-amber body with moderate carbonation. Retention is below average and there is no lacing. 3.25

(Smell) The aroma is distinctively sweet and aromatic, with a light blend of pale and toffee malts forming a modest body, fairly sweet and quite clean. No notable hop characteristics, but yeast tones generate a mellow fruitiness and mild mineral quality to this beer that make it seem very English-inspired. Atop it all is the distinctive smell of mainstream bourbon, sweet and fairly clean with a touch of drying oak. The aroma is very imbalanced in favor of the sweetness this beer seems to have, but with such a simple malt base this seems to be expected. 3.5

(Taste) Toasted toffee and pale malts with a moderate sweetness and mild body are given a glazing of Bourbon, very clean sipping with light alcohol heat, and distinctive vanilla with lesser oak, lightly dry. A very simple malt base that surprisingly is able to hold up alongside the bourbon barrel treatment, although I get more Bourbon flavor in this beer than "barrel", so the complexity of the bourbon barrel aging doesn't run deep either. There certainly could manage to be a bit more malt body and flavor with no significant drawbacks, but in its current light-bodied form, it does fine by me. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is silky, lightly chewy and thinly syrupy viscosity, moderately dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a medium carbonation. Body is medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is moderately sweet over boozy and oaky dry. Alcohol presence is modest and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) Although sometimes a bit generic in its simplicity, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale does manage to find an approachable level of Bourbon and barrel character an integrate into a fair-bodied English ale. The Bourbon is clean and easy to drink, and the barrel notes, while modest in this beer, are enjoyable and not overpowering. Don't consider this the textbook example of what a Bourbon Barrel aged beer should be, but it's a decent starting point to see how nicely that Bourbon and beer can come together to compliment each other in a fine ale. The price point is a bit above the median for the style, even for a beer with Bourbon barrel aging, so consider a single bottle before diving into the pricier 4 pack. 3.5

Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.'s
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
3.59/5.00 (2,771 characters)

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 558 ratings.