1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,951 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,951
Reviews: 506
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 18.26%
Wants: 88
Gots: 273 | FT: 4
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,951 | Reviews: 506 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tangoafterdark
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

tangoafterdark, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

A beatiful pour from the growler into the chosen chalice, a lush, milky white head, very slowly settling, over a uniquely colored brew, a hue somewhere between tangerine and tea.

Aroma carries hints of cherries, oak and maple, followed by harder traces of whiskey, sweetness and harsher alcoholic whiffs...although I find that this nose opens up, widens in scope and character over time...who can says what I'll smell further into the glass.

One the tongue, almost 100% pure bourbon. I like that, bourbon would be my liquor of choice, if I went near the hard stuff. Plumb and rich, abundant whiskey flavor. Makes sense, seeing as how they used a pale ale as a base, that the bourbon character would dominate. Damnably delicious!

Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel, soft, woody/cherry-ish finish...quite mellow, actually. And defiantly drinkable, ....though every now and then, I remember the strength and put on the brakes...perhaps this growler will serve as a tasty nightcap over the next few days?

Wow. Very nice. Way to go, Lexington!
And thanks to my buddy, kmpitz, for the growler!

(Edit, after reading other reviews: vanilla, and coconut...yeah...why didn't I catch that earlier?)

feloniousmonk, Nov 03, 2005
Photo of brockdidntslide
4.24/5  rDev +15.5%

on draft at the public house in savannah.

beautiful copper color, medium head and a strong, but not overwhelming bourbon-vanilla taste. mouthfeel is rich and a bit sticky.

this one exceeded my expectations and certainly was far better than the BA score would have led me to believe.

brockdidntslide, May 07, 2013
Photo of Axnjxn
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%

12oz bottle into a FW tulip

Pours a dark copper, almost reddish color with a slight head. The smell is very big on bourbon notes ... just from the nose you could confuse this with a bourbon barleywine or possibly stout (tho no chocolate flavor here.) Extremely smooth taste with vanilla on the back end but with bourbon up front and lingering. Just as expected and oh so tasty! Caramel and toffee are present as well. Body is medium, just where it should be. Low in carbonation. Real real easy drinking and ABV undectable.

Overall an amazing beer in my eyes. One i could drink a few of without a problem. Im a lover of bourbon so thats definitely a reason why, but why would you even try this beer if you dont like bourbon?

Axnjxn, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of Crass3000
4.22/5  rDev +15%

Pours out a nice orange color with a finger, white head with decent retention.

Smell is vanilla, some chocolate, and a little dark matls. Really melds together nicely. The taste is really nice vanilla, a little hops in the background, and maybe a tiny bit of booze. But just a really nice beer. This is my second time having it and it seems just as goo dor better this time. Highly recommend it.

Crass3000, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of crashdavisinoh
4.22/5  rDev +15%

A-Dark Amber...redish...no head

S-Sweetness, bourbon, malts, caramel

T-Bourbon...very smooth...love the way this tastes...the bourbon is the star but the supporting cast is not completely overshadowed. Sweet flavors...caramel, vanilla, hint of chocolate perhaps.

M-Low carbonation...feel the bourbon...smooth

D-I love this beer...it is one of my standard off the shelf favorites (if not favorite)...they ABV will catch up to you but I have no problem drinking mulitples.

crashdavisinoh, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of KeefD
4.22/5  rDev +15%

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Bright amber orange with no head, but plenty of carbonation. Big hints of bourbon soaked fruit on the nose. Hints of vanilla and spice. Taste is wonderful. Definite hints of bourbon, backed up by some sweet malt, some vanilla undertones, and a not-too-cloying fruit sweetness. Hints of caramel are present. This beer is a bourbon lover's dream. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but it's perfect for the style. Not too much carbonation to get in the way of the body, which would have made it a bit too crisp. A very nice Kentucky Koncoction.

Go BIG BLUE!!

KeefD, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of nanertak
4.22/5  rDev +15%

Bottle brought from Kentucky, poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Poured brilliant amber. Very light head, no lattice. Reasonable amount of carbonation. Relatively thin body.

Nose: Sweet vanilla and coconut dominate, hint of honey and sweet orange zest background.

Mouthfeel: Not a lot of body, a little thin. Wish it had a little more.

Taste: Vanilla and toffee up front, very sweet. Malts and honey, fading to golden raisins or sweet dried fruit (again a hint of orange). No hops anywhere in flavor profile.

Finish: Low, lingering finish, honey and vanilla flavors persist. Sweet again.

Overall: Good sipper if you're in the mood. You can actually taste the bourbon, as opposed to so many weak bourbon ales that lack the flavor of the spirit. Good beer, I'd get it again when I'm in KY.

nanertak, Aug 05, 2009
Photo of stewart124
4.22/5  rDev +15%

Light amber color with a thick white head. Carbonation sounds and looks to be high.

Deep smells of bourbon for sure. Sweet hints of grape and caramel malts. Slight floral notes.

Toasted bready notes in the flavor blend very well with this beer. Nice malty flavor overall. Toffee and vanilla are hidden in this beer. Big complexity that I would not have guess. Body seems medium to big.

Aftertaste is thick with more vanilla, oak, and a slight smoked chewy feeling. Alcohol is hidden fairly well but I'm sure I'd have to limit my intake of these.

A

stewart124, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of mdr4669
4.22/5  rDev +15%

App: Rich honey gold color with minimal foamy white head. Tons of tiny bubble float from the bottom up to the surface, with patchy lacing.

Smell: The scent is dominated by the sweet caramel and vanilla characteristic of a good bourbon.

Taste: The taste follows the scent, the strongest characteristic is the taste of bourbon. I also notice a nice hint of vanilla a bit of some caramel as well.

MF: Very light and easy going with a warm after taste, and a nice kick for the finale.

Overall: A well crafted ale with all the bark, and bite I was looking for. I will definitely have this beer again.

mdr4669, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of abrand
4.22/5  rDev +15%

In Kentucky for the night so what better way to spend it than watching opening night of NFL with an ale aged in kentucky bourbon barrels. This 4 pack of 12 ounce bottles set me back a total of $12. Very rustic looking label with no best before/bottled on date.

12 ounce bottle poured into my brand spankin new Founders pint glass. Pours an orange color with very little head and no lacing lining the glass. Nose consists of sweet vanilla and kentucky bourbon. Tastes mostly of sweet bourbon with bitter beer hints settling out the palate. Also sweet caramel is noted. Mouthfeel is light bodied Drinkability is pretty solid, definitely more bourbon in the taste than I would prefer but the sweet finish really sets this beer off. We'll see how i'm feeling after I finish the 4 pack.

abrand, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of beerman207
4.22/5  rDev +15%

Saw a single of this at Jungle Jims in fairfield, oh so I decided to give it a whirl. Always see it as a 4 pack and wasn't that committed.

A: pour results in a fluffy white head that disappears quickly. Beer is light brown and very clear - lots of bubbles going on in the brew

S: Wow - vanilla, bourbon, sweet malt, wasn't expecting this much in the nose - good

T: bourbon, vanilla, oak, even coconut? Wow, this is a good beer imo. Not bad for Lexington Brewing!

M: Mild carbonation - easy to drink

D: All night. Even at 8% this is a good beer for a small session.

beerman207, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of mntlover
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

Pours a light amber color, looks like the same color as Jim Bean Whiskey when compared side by side. Has a small white head that did leave some decent lace behing when I had one at lunch with my BBQ not much lace out of my day old growler but not expected.

Aroma is nice light caramel malt with nice bourbon flavors that mix with some subtle vanilla hints from the wood. Very nice inviting aroma starting to really enjoy bourbon barrel aged beer.

Taste is nice light caramel malt back bone with nice bourbon flavors plus some woody vianilla hints mixed with touch of citrus hops in the finish. This is made with Kentucky Brewings stock ale that is aged in bourbon barrels straight from the distillery. Amazing how much bourbon flavors and even alcohol is added just from aging in the barrels

Mouthfeel is a little light for this very flavorable beer but drinkability is very good worried about drinking this growler but went down nice and smooth no problems at all. Thanks go to kmpitz2 and clvand0 for getting me and merlin48 to go on a tour of this little local brewery, even learned something I didn't know and had a good time hanging out with fellow BA's. This is only on tap around Lexington area if you can find it recommend you try it, very nice. Also tour the brewery very friendly people.

mntlover, May 23, 2005
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

wow, this was neat! particularly if you like bourbon. thanks to hopasaurusrex for sharing this brew.

A - nice clear copper color with a thin head white head that quickly fades.

S -wonderful bourbon whiskey - solid vanilla and oak with a touch of caramel in the background. Wonderful aroma!

T -wonderfully balanced, definitely all about the bourbon. The vanilla became a bit overdominant in the end of the glass.

M - medium bodied, nicely carbonated, nice lasting bourbon notes.

D - nice sipping brew. would've scored higher if the bourbon notes didnt' run so strong into the vanilla flavors. I'd get this again!

barleywinebrewer, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

Pours a clean orange-ish/ amber color with a white head. In the aroma, big oak and bourbon. In the taste, bourbon, oaky, hints of vanilla and a nice maltiness. A small bite and medium to big mouthfeel, with a clean small oak in the aftertaste. Big bourbon flavor and quite smooth, very nice being an ale.

OWSLEY069, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of Morey
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

Pours copper-amber in color with brilliant clarity. One finger head has settled to a thin lace after several minutes. Moderate head retention.

Smell is heavy on bourbon, butterscotch and vanilla. It's fun a enough just smelling this beer, can't wait to drink it!

Taste like an Pale Ale with a double shot of bourbon in it. What's not to like? You definitely get the butterscotch and vanilla in the taste as well. Really nice.

Surprisingly thin mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

I could easily drink 3 or 4 of these, but I'd wind up in trouble!

Morey's Bottom Line: Nice change of pace to have a Bourbon-Aged beer that isn't a Stout or Barleywine. If you're looking for something a bit different, pick up a 4 pack of this, you won't regret it.

Morey, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of sommersb
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

Tasted On: 02-01-2012
Freshness: Best by 03-15-2012
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Dogfish Head signature glass
Purchased: 4-pack from Frugal MacDoogal, Nashville

Pours a clear, bright copper color. The white head is a finger's worth high, with low retention and heavy lacing.

Big aromas of bourbon dominate, with wood and oak, sweet malts and vanilla. Very rich, aromatic and pleasant.

Taste is of caramel malts, bourbon whiskey, woodiness, toffee and vanilla. Features a nice alcohol warming and little to no bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with moderate carbonation and a medium body. Finish is of caramel malts and bourbon.

Overall a very enjoyable bourbon beer. Different in that most bourbon barrel aged beers are bigger and heavier, but this lighter beer is quite tasty.

sommersb, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of mikeyv35
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

Date: 06/17/2010
Type: 12oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2010
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

*First off, I would like to thank Kevin(BEERchitect) for hooking me up w/ this brew and giving me the opportunity to sample it.

Poured a golden straw color w/ light red hues and a 1/4 finger white bubbly head, that left a decent amount of lacing on the glass. Nose was of light whiskey, oak, vanilla, and maybe a touch of brown sugar. Almost smells like a very light Jack or Beam and coke. The taste was of oak, vanilla, and subtle bourbon whiskey that gives you enough for you to know it's there, but does not overwhelm. The mouthfeel is thin and crisp, but adequate as it brings more bourbon notes from the barrel aging forward. Drinkability? I could drink this all night, actually I am going to put another 12ozer in the fridge as we speak.

Kevin, I hope you don't mind trading me some more of this brew next week, because I am sure the 6-pack is not going to last long! Do seek this brew out if you enjoy whiskey BAing that is very mild and makes for an extremely drinkable brew.

mikeyv35, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of BIRTC
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

BIRTC, Friday at 03:51 AM
Photo of atsprings
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

Pours a hazy copper with almost no head. Aroma is a nice blend of burnt caramel, Bourbon, oak and some vanilla. The taste is a great blend of Bourbon, caramel and vanilla. The slight oak flavor adds a nice touch. This is a great beer for someone who also likes Bourbon, good taste of both worlds. The beer is light bodied with good warming undertoned alcohol. This is a very enjoyable beer.

atsprings, Sep 04, 2007
Photo of Bierlerner
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

Poured out of a bottle and into a KBBA snifter

A- pours a very crisp, clear golden caramel color. A bright white head of 1 finger bubbles up fast and then almost as fast clears away. From appearance it looks a bit thin. When drinking, little splotches of lacing are left behind.

S- nice and light bourbon aroma. Faint hints of oak. Butter.

T- At first sip, it tasted of a watered down bourbon. But once warmed and sipped more, it blossomed into much more balance. Bourbon, oak, a hint of lemon peel. And a very pleasant creamy caramel and butterscotch through out as well. Not very complex, but very pleasant and very well balanced.

M- my one complaint, the mouthfeel is a bit thin. Could use some more body and perhaps more carbonation.

O- overall a fantastic after dinner nightcap, which is why I'm looking past the light body. Would stock in reserve lol

Bierlerner, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of VncentLIFE
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

12 oz bottle poured into a Hoegaarden glass.

Appearance - Pours a good amber color. frothy head that sticks around for a bit. good carbonation. no lacing

Smell - Strong hop right away followed by butter and whiskey notes.

Taste - A good comibination of hops and whiskey. Slightly grainy and small notes of butter. Light body

Mouthfeel - All of the flavors mix well, and the whiskey notes stick around with the grain flavor. I really like this beer!

VncentLIFE, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of ACD
4.19/5  rDev +14.2%

Great overall after dinner sipping beer. I have had this on tap at Bison County in Waltham Ma (great Barbeque). And out of the bottle.

In both cases it seems best served in a sniffer type glass and to let sit. It taste better a little on the warm side

A smell of bourbon at the beginning

Mouthfeel is smooth with a bourbon like kick.

Overall and excellent after dinner beer if you are looking for only one or two and to leisurely sip it.

ACD, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of Preismj
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%

This beer is personal favorite of mine in terms of local brews. works well with guinness as a type of 'black and tan' which is, locally, called a 'black barrel'. I recommend the mix.

a: brown amber color with a mostly white head and hints of light brown.

s: a malty sweetness from the bourbon gets you first here with a caramel in the mix. toffee and a roasted scent catch you at the tail.

t: sweet from bourbon. the booze is present for sure, but such a nice finish to this beer. the caramel is strong in this along with a roasted and burnt taste of toffee.

m: Perfect carbonation and very smooth in the mouth.

d: I could have (and often do have) many of these in a row. It is a great beer that gets better as you have more. Once the booziness dies down, the taste of the caramel shines and tastes like a drink you've never had before.

I recommend taking an actual sip of bourbon before a sip of this stuff to get some of the booziness out of the way up front. While the heat is welcome, it is that taste of the caramel and toffee that keeps me coming back to this beer again and again.

Preismj, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of KELPAK
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%

A real nice beer to sit back and sip on amongst friends or watching a game. Has a real likeness to drinking a tumbler of bourbon which can be a great thing for some people but for me it was a little much.

Taste is on the sweet side but it is an enjoyable beer for the bourbon barrell enthusiest which there are a great deal of in my area.

KELPAK, Jan 20, 2012
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,951 ratings.