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

Not Rated.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

2,128 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,128
Reviews: 516
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 18.53%
Wants: 98
Gots: 357 | FT: 5
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:
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.

(Beer added by: SheepNutz on 07-13-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,128 | Reviews: 516 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by MisterTiat:
Photo of MisterTiat
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a snifter glass

A: Pours a deep golden/caramel brown. Looks like a glass of bourbon with head. Head pours fluffy white, recedes sort of quick to a few patches on top and a thin lace.

S: Notes of sticky bourbon, sweet alcohol and toasty oak come through. Earthy and fruity. Very pleasant complexity that is worth lingering over.

T: Carmel and vanilla notes, sweetness of bourbon with a lingering smokiness from the cask. You can tell they used a damn good bourbon, makes me think of fall.

M: This is the weakest part of the beer, a bit light on carbonation, the beer feels a bit thin. This is probably due to the addition of bourbon to the beer, and probably why most bourbon beers are darker stouts or porters. Still it was interesting, and almost better to have it with the caramel color than a darker beer.

D: Drinkable for the 8.2 ABV, but I dont know how many of these I would want to choke down. Better for an after dinner thing.

MisterTiat, Nov 23, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Maybe the first Kentucky beer I have had,I poured into an oversized wine glass to get the full aroma aspects of this beer,it poured clear deep golden with a very thin head,good clarity just not much head to it.Man that stuff smells like Wild Turkey,full oak and vanilla/caramel notes with a bit of biscuit malt,no hop presence that I could find.Light mouthfeel but not sharp,just a little thinner than expected I guess.Flavors are oaky and vanilla tinged with that caramel and and biscuit showing through as well,again no hop presence noticrable in my mind.Something a little different,it tastes just as much as a bourbon as a strong ale,but I liked it for a change of pace.

oberon, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of byaeger
4.78/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Though I have had this on tap at the brewery's "bier stube," I'm rating this on the bottles I've had. This is a remarkable beer. I know barrel-aging is getting big including aging this or that in bourbon barrels, but for a golden ale from Lexington, this one makes the most sense since the barrels emanate from down the road.

I credit this beer with turning me into a bigger bourbon fan. Rich, vanilla-oak flavors dominate, but you can sip it like a rich beer. The scent hits you first and though it's not very carbonated, it fills the mouth with equal parts beer and bourbon in a symbiotic fashion.

Though you can only drink one of these in a sitting--or at least should--the one bottle will leave you feeling GOOOOD. When the angel's share of the 90 proof bourbon marries out with the 5ish percent ale, what's left is a strong 9 percent beer that is liquid gold and warmth.

Biggest downside: Only available in Kentucky, and when the hell are you gonna be in Kentucky?

byaeger, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of tectactoe
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Pours a mild amber color with a very slight amount of haze, slightly off white head fades quickly; very faint amounts of lacing are left along the walls of the glass. The aroma is big heavy bourbon - no faintness, no notes, hints, or nuances - straight up bourbon, through and through. Woody, oak aromas reside somewhat along the outer edges along with a touch of creamy and subtle vanilla. Much like the nose, the mouth senses heavy bourbon upon the first sip as well. If you were to tell me it was a malted-up ale and someone dropped in a shot of Evan Williams, I'd believe it. Very malt forward; lots of sweetness from the malt, toasted, slight caramel flavors, grainy. Hops aren't very noticeable, at least in flavor. A slight harsh, dry bitterness grabs the palate halfway through, but it's hard to detect any hop flavors at all. Slick body, thin, with adequate carbonation.

This is a bourbon beer, through and through. Literally tastes like someone dropped a shot of bourbon or whiskey into a malty ale. If bourbon is your thing, you'll love this. I guess it's okay if you're looking to drink bourbon. But if that's the case... just drink bourbon.

tectactoe, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of Allenicomp
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Allenicomp, May 04, 2014
Photo of ExtraStout
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap at The BBC in Norwood.

A- Pours a caramel color with minimal head. Quite frankly, it looks like fizzy bourbon.

S- Bourbon just dominates the nose. A little bit of wood in there and some pungent alcohol. Some caramel and molasses lie deep with there.

T- The bourbon is pretty well integrated with the smooth oak. Almost has a caramel/ buttery after taste. The alcohol is fairly hidden.

M- Lighter bodied but very smooth. No real feel of carbonation and not even any burn from the alcohol.

D- This one goes down smoothly but if you aren't a fan of bourbon, you will not enjoy this. I would call this a cheap bourbon alternative.

ExtraStout, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of OhioBobcat
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%

OhioBobcat, Yesterday at 01:42 AM
Photo of SkiBum22
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

SkiBum22, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #51 (April 2011):

The pale amber color and sufficient lacing does not tell much of a story, even though it’s a great-looking beer. At first sniff, the nose is filled with barrel juice from the freshly used bourbon barrels—fusel with sweet vanilla and oak. Has the body of a well-attenuated ale, though there’s warmth from the aggressive alcohol. Hopping is modest at best; the dryness and high level of alcohol seem to balance this beer out. Boozy with fresh bourbon flavors from start to finish. Any sweetness seems to come from the feigned direction of the bourbon as it throws down that vanilla flavor. Some graininess within to remind us that this is a beer. Drinking this one slow. Definitely sets itself apart from all other bourbon barrel aged beers, which makes it a must-try.

BeerAdvocate, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of MikeC144
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

MikeC144, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the growler a clear golden amber, vibrant with a bubbly head that fades rather quickly to a ring around the glass. Aromas begin with beautiful bourbon, vanilla, sweet caramel, woody tones and light fruit notes. Very nice, enchanting aroma here.

First sip brings a sweet fruity caramel maltiness. Luscious bourbon flavors dance on the palate. A hefty helping of vanilla and woody tannins show up mid palate. Finishes smooth and slightly sweet. Very well balanced overall, the lingering bourbon barrel notes are great here.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Mellow carbonation works really nice in the overall brew. I could drink a lot of this with no problem. Wonderfully melded flavors and quite refreshing. Goes to show how great barrel aging can be. Many thanks to clvand0 for the opportunity. Word is that this beer is aged in Woodford Reserve barrels as well.

orbitalr0x, Oct 10, 2005
Photo of Lutie-David
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%

Lutie-David, Oct 25, 2014
Photo of csmartin6
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

csmartin6, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of nstroup
4/5  rDev +9%

nstroup, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of TimoP
4/5  rDev +9%

TimoP, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of Doomcifer
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%

Doomcifer, Nov 08, 2014
Photo of iemailjack
4/5  rDev +9%

iemailjack, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of JakerLou
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

JakerLou, May 23, 2014
Photo of lionnusmb
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

lionnusmb, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of megamass
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

megamass, May 08, 2013
Photo of Jason
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to clvand0 for the sample ...

A- Mild haze off of a deep golden hue, thin lacing from a light carbonation.

S- WOW!! Big hit of bourbon in the aroma, sweet vanilla, alcoholic and woody.

T- Upfront malt sweetness melds perfectly with the thick layer of bourbon flavor, mild hopping shows a modest but balancing bitterness. Both vanilla and wood are all over the palate with a warming alcohol from the 7.0% abv.

M- A tad too under-carbonated for my liking but it does not really take away from the beer that much. Nice and creamy though.

D- Sipping and sipping only ... I could only see having one glass in a sitting.

Jason, Jul 12, 2005
Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first experience with the bottled version. Pours a clear light amber body that seems a shade lighter than the draft version. Head is small and shortlived and leaves some wispy spots of lace on the snifter. Aroma is bourbon, and lots of it. Vanilla and oak notes are also prominent. Body is light to light medium, almost watery. Low carbonation. Taste has plenty of bourbon, joined by flaked coconut and vanilla. Slight caramel notes are also present and the wood tones are prevalent. Hops aren't noticed but there is a pleasant bourbon bitterness all the way through. A good sipper, but I still prefer this on draft.

merlin48, Jul 02, 2007
Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: medium carbonation, minimal head, orange-brown in color, hazy

Smell: toasted malt and light oak

Taste: big time oak and bourbon, a pleasant taste of vanilla, meadow, and sweet toasted malt

Mouthfeel: sweet with big time oaking, moderate carbonation and medium-light body

Overall: I really like this. The problem I have with a lot of oak beers is that they are one dimensional oak and/or alcohol bombs. While this one has both, there is a sweetness and complexity that I do not often find with the style. The oak, vanilla, and bourbon all get a chance to shine and blend wonderfully. I wish I picked up a six of this. Really great beer.

tigg924, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of reitzbrewing
4.75/5  rDev +29.4%

reitzbrewing, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of elwood5555
5/5  rDev +36.2%

elwood5555, Nov 17, 2011
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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,128 ratings.