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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

1,880 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,880
Reviews: 499
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 18.26%
Wants: 83
Gots: 235 | FT: 3
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: 1,880 | Reviews: 499 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jwhancher:
Photo of jwhancher
jwhancher

Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev +12.8%

Dad gave me a 4-pack after his b-day. Freshness day reads 10/15/14. Poured into a snifter for review.

Pours a clear copper with head that fades rather quickly to nothing. Some lazy carbonation persists. Smells of sweet bourbon with strong punch of vanilla and some light oak char. Some caramel malts, and and almost honely like quality, blend beautifully with the bourbon oak character.

Tastes bourbon-like upfront and throughout. Not over the top or too subtle. Just the right balance. Sweetness of malts again blend perfectly with the vanilla, oak, and light char. A little burn in the back of the throat, but alcohol is well in check at just over 8% ABV. No real hop character, but bitterness balances well and comes in at the end.

A well done beer. Drink this fresh for a nice bourbon beer experience.

07-31-2013 20:49:56 | More by jwhancher
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +7.1%

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.

11-24-2008 19:02:16 | More by oberon
Photo of byaeger
byaeger

Oregon

4.78/5  rDev +30.2%

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?

08-27-2008 21:54:31 | More by byaeger
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

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.

01-12-2013 22:39:55 | More by tectactoe
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Allenicomp

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

05-04-2014 12:24:24 | More by Allenicomp
Photo of ExtraStout
ExtraStout

Massachusetts

3.71/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

06-25-2013 21:22:13 | More by ExtraStout
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SkiBum22

New York

2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

08-21-2014 14:06:15 | More by SkiBum22
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BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev +1.6%

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.

06-29-2011 01:19:40 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of MikeC144
MikeC144

Rhode Island

3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

04-09-2014 17:48:37 | More by MikeC144
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orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +21.8%

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.

10-10-2005 04:23:05 | More by orbitalr0x
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csmartin6

New York

3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

10-17-2013 23:32:34 | More by csmartin6
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nstroup

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +9%

12-11-2013 05:29:35 | More by nstroup
Photo of TimoP
TimoP

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +9%

08-15-2014 00:04:30 | More by TimoP
Photo of iemailjack
iemailjack

Florida

4/5  rDev +9%

01-08-2013 03:44:20 | More by iemailjack
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JakerLou

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

05-23-2014 00:35:58 | More by JakerLou
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lionnusmb

Iowa

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

04-06-2014 03:12:23 | More by lionnusmb
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megamass

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

05-08-2013 22:58:25 | More by megamass
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

07-12-2005 19:03:18 | More by Jason
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

07-02-2007 21:18:04 | More by merlin48
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +17.2%

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.

06-02-2011 15:43:58 | More by tigg924
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reitzbrewing

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +29.4%

08-15-2012 00:52:37 | More by reitzbrewing
Photo of elwood5555
elwood5555

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +36.2%

11-17-2011 17:08:36 | More by elwood5555
Photo of BareFeetPete
BareFeetPete

California

3.9/5  rDev +6.3%

I have to give big props for individuality. I almost don't know how to describe the taste of this beer. A couple of very pronounced flavors hit me at different times. Initially it's a very typical American amber, but quickly lightens (as I swallow) to something more like a pale.

The smell is really nothing special. I mean, I like ambers so I'm already predisposed to liking how this smells, but if I'm being objective about it there's really nothing special about it.

I already described the initial taste, but the after taste was what made this beer fun to drink for me. I had a couple of bottles, one poured into a pint glass, the other straight from the bottle. The bourbon flavor was really pronounced when I drank from the bottle, and when I drank from the glass I got a lot of the wood and vanilla flavors I had heard about.

The mouth feel was another enjoyable characteristic, more so out of the bottle than the glass. I'm not a big fan of heavy carbonation but they seem to have hit a really nice balance here. If anything the carbonation helped to enhance the lighter undertones like the vanilla to balance out the more noticeable flavors of the traditional amber.

Overall, it's certainly not something I expected, and to be honest it was an impulse buy by my buddy who thought it looked like something different to try. So I have to say it was pleasantly surprising and if I am ever offered one I will definitely take it. But would I buy it again? Probably not. It's a novelty and something to try if you're looking for a break from your norm. But it's not a good session beer and it's not something that I would look for on a regular basis.

*I'm young, I only started really thinking about good beer three years ago, and this is my first review on the BA. So feel free to review my review and tell me how I did. I welcome criticism and advice.*

09-19-2011 19:58:26 | More by BareFeetPete
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donunrue

Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

03-20-2012 05:36:41 | More by donunrue
Photo of Mugenlude
Mugenlude

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +9%

12-05-2013 04:14:22 | More by Mugenlude
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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,880 ratings.