Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale - Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 1,782 | Reviews: 490 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by bobhits:
2.9/5 rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
OK I'm going to break the rules here and feel free to remove my review if this offends anymore. I've had this beer 20+ times over the last few years and I've had it both on tap and in bottles almost equally. The advantages of living in Lexington where it's brewed I suppose. This beer varies so much imo it's impossible to review a single bottle and do it justice. As a result I wanted to use this review to tell you my thoughts on this kentucky favorite.
A OK nothing major changes here. Dark amber almost brown in color. A nice off white head will form and this is pretty consistent.
S Here is where this beer gets interesting. Every batch of this seems a bit different. This a nice amber beer (site says English pale ale for the Kentucky ale...dunno about that one) with a touch of malt and some subtle hops way back there. They then barrel age it and from talking to the sales reps they don't consistently pick the same barrels to use. This results in a nose that goes from strong vanilla to strong oak to almost smelling like a boiler maker with a shot of bourbon in there. That said there's nothing wrong with any of this in the nose, but don't go in expecting a certain aroma cause they'll throw you a curve ball every time.
T I recall my fist time having this a few years back. I bought a nice 4 pack of it and was excited to try it. I truly struggled to get a single bottle down. It was this amazingly strong bourbon flavor that just took control of the beer. The abv seemed a joke and it was a sipper beyond words. I never liked that 4 pack...each bottle was just too much. That said this beer is everywhere and I had to try it again. The next time I picked it up I expected much the same and was prepared. The problem was I got a completely different beer. The first beer was harsh and the bourbon dominated so much that I couldn't taste anything else. This second batch was overwhelmingly vanilla. It was smooth, silky, the original beer was shining through with its caramel malt and earthy hop character. It was actually lacking that bourbon flavor I wanted and instead the oak and vanilla where all that the beer offered. Fresh and on tap however this beer often hits a near perfect balance of the vanilla and bourbon and creates this true gem. When this beer gets things right it mixes a fairly thin and mild ale with some amazing vanilla and oak flavors finishing with a nice bourbon flavor while mixing in the caramel malt and subtle hops. This is a beer that will turn a whiskey drinker for at least a night into a beer drinker and turn even the biggest beer snob into a fan. The problem is this isn't what I normally find.
At its best this beer is a solid 4's with a few 4.5's mixed in there. At its worse just avoid. On average and the majority of bottles I have had, this is a really solid beer. It looks good, the bourbon nose is solid, it tastes as you'd expect a bourbon aged english ale to be, and it drinks pretty well. It's a shame this is not more consistent and isn't on that better side of things more often, but go in with these expectations and hopefully you get one of their better bottles.
Serving type: bottle
08-27-2010 05:15:32 | More by bobhits
More User Reviews:
4.51/5 rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Appearance – Medium amber with a white head that fades to a ring.
Aroma – The aroma is soft and oaky with a definite note of bourbon. Vanilla and toffee show through.
Taste – First taste is toasty with some toffee and vanilla. The oak and bourbon influence come through strong in the middle and carry all the way through.
Finish – Toffee candy with a light bourbon taste. This beer is all bourbon and oak from start to finish.
Serving type: bottle
07-24-2014 00:46:39 | More by PubMariner
4.13/5 rDev +12.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Pours amber with absolutely no head. Aroma is nice and oaky, soft bourbon presence, vanilla, and a tease of some toffee. Aroma is nice but I wish it could have had a touch more depth to allow it to be great; nails the bourbon and barrel influence, lacks enough beer presence. Flavor is toasty with oak, vanilla, toffee and bread, and a soft bourbon presence. A medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this far surpassed my expectations. I always saw this one on tap at the craft bars in Colorado but always passed on it. For whatever reason I assumed it was a dud. Now that I am living in Kentucky and found singles of it on the local shelves, figured I'd give it shot. Certainly glad I did. I have somewhat recently discovered I love good bourbon barrel aged red/amber ales and that is how I would describe this. I really enjoyed it and dig that its offered in 4 packs. Will return to this one for sure.
Serving type: bottle
07-20-2014 23:53:46 | More by denver10
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,782 ratings.