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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
82
good
604 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
604
Ratings:
2,765
Avg:
3.62
pDev:
39.78%
 
 
Wants:
145
Gots:
886
For Trade:
8
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Kentucky, United States | website

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.19%

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.

Added by SheepNutz on 07-13-2004

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 604 | Ratings: 2,765
Photo of dcotom
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a Craft Beer Club sampling glass. Bourbon-like in appearance, clear, dark copper color contrasted by nice head of white foam. The aroma is bourbon barrel forward, but had mellowed quite a bit compared to a fresh one from the same four pack that I sampled a year and a half ago. The harshness on the palate had also diminished, resulting in a very drinkable product with some nice alcohol warmth and a smooth finish. (Kind of like... bourbon.)

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Photo of tvv375ia
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-ochre colored with about a 2 finger head that stays around for awhile

S-bourbon dominates when being poured and still strong when the glass is sitting on the table and can be smelled for a few feet. When the glass rest for a time it settles down I can smell a litte carmel and vanilla as well

T-bourbon comes throgh here as well with a faint touch of malt but not a lot really

M-light to medium bodied with pretty good carbonation throughout

O-I guess I would go along with the people calling it a bourbon bomb

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Photo of domtronzero
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear copper orange with a medium, short-lived, whitish head.

S - Big caramel, bready malts, oak, vanilla, slight alcohol.

F/M - Caramel, big sweat malt profile. Vanilla and oak, toffee. Slightly boozy alcohol. Medium-bitterness lets the malts shine. Medium body with medium low bitterness.

D - Clean, not too huge, but just a little too thick and sweet to put more than one of these down in a sitting.

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Photo of kegger22
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is an odd beer. It's color is amber with a modest head that quickly fades to nothing. It is the aroma and taste that are odd. Both are like a parody of what bourbon barrel aging should be like. That being said, while the aroma was like an imitation scent, the taste wasn't that bad. It was certainly malty sweet and the other dominant flavor, while not evocative of bourbon, is more caramel and vanilla. The feel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is OK.

KBBA is not a bad beer, but it just comes across as contrived, to me anyway.

Edit: The reviewer below me mentioned coconut and I realize that's it. The smell and taste remind me, not of coconut, but of coconut extract.

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Photo of EricHeff
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have had Bourbon Barrel Stouts before but not an Ale.
I poured the beer into a glass and got frothy 1 finger head. Its a completely clear amber color. The smell is quite different from other beers. You can actually pick up a bit of the bourbon smell.
The taste is full of the aging. Mostly hints of bourbon from start to finish with a hint of the wood in there.
This is a good, easy to drink beer. I don't think I'll have many of these, but its defiantly a nice to beer to chill with.

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Photo of mdunman
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark amber with a pretty good head and some linger

S: Maltiness with a strong bourbon note

T: Bourbon takes over and doesn't let go. There is some malt and hoppiness in there, but it's drowned out by the bourbon

M: Medium body, good carbonation

First couples sips of this are pretty incredible. After that it's a tough drink to finish, there is simply too much bourbon flavor. It was good, but once was enough for me.

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Photo of jacobseyb
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle golden orange with a little bit of white head, less than a finger strong. Bourbon dominates the nose , with some alcohol finishing it out. Bourbon and caramel malt are present in taste with little to no hops present. Feel is very smooth, some carbonation, some oiliness. Overall it is not my favorite, I would have preferred more flavor and more carbonation.

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Photo of wescj
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

I like how the color is very bourbonish. Downside to appearance is the quickly vanishing head. I don't know much about the science of bourbon aging--maybe the process kills the head?

Smells good, malt blends with the bourbon very well. Reminds me of a sweet bourbon sauce you might pour on a dessert.

Bourbon taste comes out great, without overpowering the rest of the brew. Again, there's a good, caramelly malt backbone. The only beef I have with the beer is that the bourbon doesn't taste "blended" with the other characteristics of the beer. Like maybe someone put an ounce or so of bourbon in the glass right after I poured it. But I won't discount this one for it; it seems to be a pretty common characteristic among the lighter bourbon ales (ie, not stouts).

I gotta say, the bourbon gives this one an odd aftertaste. Pretty good besides that.

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Photo of zrab11
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a Very Clear light amber color with no head.

S- The first aroma is Bourbon whisket with some slight sweet notes of carmel. Has a very warm Smell

T- Bouron whiskey hits you right off the bat. Starts to warm your belly like straight whiskey or a bottle of wine would do.

M-Very light and Crisp, witha warming effect

D- This beer was not that drinkable for me. It was more like i ordered whiskey on the rocks and the rocks had melted. I felt like i was drinking a mixed drink more than a beer. Still good tasting but the whiskey was too over powering for me.

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Photo of Radome
3.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a goblet.

A - Deep gold or light copper color, some brown shades, but not amber. Extremely clear. Head is very thin and essentially just a light ring around the edges and a tiny cloud in the center of the surface. The head color is off-white.

S - Aroma is surprisingly faint. The strongest note is bourbon whisky, with its vanilla and sweet cinnamon aromas. There is very little malt or hops that come through. No yeast notes. Alcohol comes through with the whiskey.

T - The taste is all about bourbon whisky. The base beer style is indecipherable because no hops or malt are evident. The bourbon flavor is good, but the overall taste is un-beer-like. No yeast or alcohol flavors.

M - Thin body; low carbonation, although there is a bit of creaminess. Low alcohol burn. No hops bitterness is evident, but beer does not seem overly sweet.

O - Beer is overly thin and overly bourbon-like, without any beer backbone to hold it up.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-nice dark amber. Thin cream colored head. 

S-sweet syrupy alcohol. not too great. 

T-tastes like watered down bourbon with tonic added. Slightly syrupy. Not too boozy. Not too bad actually! 

M-higher medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-This is a actually a pretty decent beer. It's not much like any other beer I've had. It's pretty good though that I wouldn't mind ordering regularly. It does have a pretty refined taste to it. 

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one was a bit strange. Given to me by Ding, I poured it into my pint glass at a much colder temperature than I probably should have (about 6C / 41F).
It looked very uninviting, pouring a crystal clear orange colour with a snow white head about 8mm thick that *totally* faded away in about 15 seconds. So far, I'm not impressed. At all.
The smell, however, quickly changed this feeling. This is rife with bourbon! It smells as though someone took a nice ale, and poured in a shot of Knob Creek. Very strong, unmistakable presence of bourbon. There is also a sweet malt smell present, as well. No hops immediately detectable.
Taste? Weak whiskey, sweet malts, whiskey again, fire roasted grain (corn?), and in that order. Not absolutely delicious, but not bad, either. Good, decent, interesting to say the least.
Mouthfeel is very average. Not impressive, but not offensive, either.
Easily the most "liquor-like" beer/ale I have ever had. Thanks to Ding for allowing me the opportunity to try it.

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Photo of 1Adam12
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought this today. The first day it's been available in bottles in Indiana. Carmel colored poured from the bottle to my snifter. Smells of very light bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and malt. Very nice taste. I catch alot of vanilla and caramel, with very mild bourbon. I'd have liked more bourbon, but seems about right for the short amount of aging time. Alcohol really isn't present. Very light, low carbonated mouthfeel. I really did like this beer, however, with the 15 dollar a 4 pack price on it, it's just not even close to worth the price.

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Photo of frankiepop
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my 1st bourbon barrel aged ale so I struggle to review. However, I can say what I have here is quite different. Appearance is a slightly smokey ale with a nice white head & some decent lacing.

The aromas, not mere aroma, is a wild bourbon slash ale with a slight citrusy sourness.

The taste is like no ale or beer that I ever tasted. Man, there is a beer flavor warmed with a tasty sweet and slightly tart flavors. That's bourbon. Like a boilermaker. Not my cup of tea, but I bet if you like that sort of thing this would be nice to try.

The carbonation is nice and easy, but the bourbon like warmth slows this to nice sipper. I will rarely engage in this type of beverage again, but this was a nice experience.

I would pair this friend with something southern. Maybe Bobby Bare "The Moon was Blue"

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Photo of haddon
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had this on cask at The Pub in Lexington, KY.

Pours a cola color that is a little lighter than expected for a casked bourbon barrel ale. not much head but there probably shouldn't be from the cask.

Toasty, oaky aroma with slightly lesser notes of brown sugar, vanilla, and a bit of malts. weak on the nose all-around.

malts and caramel that give way to vanilla, oak, brown sugar. All around sweet taste without much complexity. not much by way of hops or bitterness.

Medium-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.

you know, being a KY boy, I really wanted to like this but there just isn't much there. it seems that Lex Brew Co. has taken a ho-hum beer and tried to do something with it by throwing it in the bourbon barrels. Guys, make our bourbon heritage proud by coming up with something better there on the bourbon trail.

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Photo of jdkitchi
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured an amber color with a good size head from a hard pour. The head disappeared fairly quickly and left little lacing. This looks like an amber ale.

I got a definite bourbon smell and amber ale smell.

The taste is of bourbon and alcohol on top of a typical amber ale and gets a little sweeter and more alcoholic as it warms. The mouth feel is light.

Overall this isn't a bad beer. This is a light style of beer with bourbon barrel aging. The barrel aging really is pronounced because of this and makes this a pretty enjoyable brew. The 8% ABV helps too.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, vanilla, alcohol, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, vanilla and bourbon. The bourbon barrel aging is quite evident as it is in the smell but it also brings medicine-like flavor. The malt character is on the thin side for this type of beer and there’s a mild but complementary hops presence. However, there isn’t as much balance as you get from most barrel-aged beers. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, good variation of style, it’s not a bad beer but there are several other barrel-aged beers I would choose over this one.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear ruby color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into thin lacing. The aroma is of oak and bourbon, but not much else. It is a very pleasant aroma, but to lacking in any sort of malt or hops to make it interesting. The taste is still full of oak and bourbon, but there is some malt. It still isn't very interesting though. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is an alright beer, but rather boring. I could drink it again, but it won't be something I search out.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Thin white head on a orange body with some copper hues.
S- Some sweet malts, light hops, a light bourbon aroma mixed in there as well, some ever so light wood also.
T-Its a light flavor and kind of hard to believe it is 7%. Some bourbon (really light!), hint of wood, kind of malty (the malt reminds me of something they would use in a nut brown but a lot lighter), hints of hops leaving a light to medium bitterness.
M-Medium body with low carbonation.
D- It is alright. I don't think it would be worth getting unless you live right by there and I might go in for a pint every once in awhile.

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Photo of kwjd
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright orange colour with thin white head. Not too much lacing, head dissipates after a bit. Smells like bourbon, vanilla and some butter. A lot more bourbon in the smell than I expected, but I guess with a lighter beer than typical bourbon barrel aged ones it makes the bourbon stand out more. Flavour is fairly sweet, pretty one dimensionally bourbon. Smooth mouth feel.

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Photo of Gyle41386
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. I added this beer to my Wants list a long time ago because the picture was off this rocking blue and white jug type thing. I guess they don't use that anymore? I have the bottle that is pictured now, which isn't a problem or anything. I just won't be keeping it.

The pour reminds me of cream soda. Similar color with about a finger of foam, most of which fizzes away quickly to leave behind a small thick cap. There's a decent sheet of lacing stuck to the middle of the glass.

To put it as simply as possible, this beer smells like barrel. It's like when you smell a barrel-aged beer and you notice all of the aromas of the base beer and then whatever elements the barrel aging imparts. Well, with this beer, I'm not really smelling anything I would attribute to a base beer. It's really just those barrel elements, like oak, vanilla, caramel, maybe just a little bit of bourbon.

The flavor pretty much follows that. The description says that this beer is a marriage of an Irish Red and English Pale aged in bourbon barrels. I suppose I'm getting more English Pale than Irish Red, but this really just tastes like a generic barrel-aged beer. Tastes like brown sugar, vanilla, some almost toasty oak...I'm not really noticing any bourbon. Perhaps subtlety is what they were shooting for.

The texture is definitely Irish Red/English Pale. Much lighter than I expected for a barrel aged strong ale, but then again, I suppose it's such a broad style that it could still be appropriate. I don't know. Carbonation does very little to this beer, as it just sort of lays flat on the tongue. It's not lively and bubbly, nor is is mouth-coating and sticky. On the bright side, it's a very easy drinker for being 8+%. I never taste even a hint of alcohol, and the aforementioned light body gives this beer the potential to be very dangerous. All in all, a pleasant drinking experience despite not being terribly exciting.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear amber with a creamy white head that hangs around awhile and leaves globs of sticky lacing.

Aroma is sweet caramel malt, earthy hazelnut, light fruit and slight alcohol warmth.

Taste is very earthy and nutty. Bready caramel malt. Woody oak, with a touch of vanilla as expected. Bourbon has a presence, but seems thin for my taste, and seems a bit watery. Hops bring and earthy bitterness to the finish.

Mouthfeel is light-medium in body. A fuller feel would go a long way for this one.

Overall a very mild bourbon barrel aged brew. I had expected a stronger bourbon presence. However, I did enjoy the malty earthy qualities of this beer.

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Photo of simplejj81
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

I wish this would have been aged more than 6 weeks. Too sweet and not enough heat to meet my expectations for this beer. Its good, but I was hoping for more.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass, can't make out when it was bottled probably 2 years ago, been sitting in my cellar. Pours a dark orange with a almost 2 inch fluffy white head that leaves behind some lace.

Smell is plum, brown sugar, oak, bread, vanilla, and hints of bourbon.

Taste follows nicely dark fruit, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, bread, and a little shot of bourbon or warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel is less than medium, moderate carbonation, a but dry, and drinkability is good.

Overall this isn't my favorite beer, but knowing it's been in the cellar a few years, it tastes much better for me than when I first had it. Not nearly the bourbon bomb I remember.

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Photo of Brenden
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It comes off the tap a clear shining gold color. It sports a billowing head that foams up and drops down to a bit of a lighter whitish cap. With time, it recedes to the edges while leaving a wispy island. Some pretty good spotting with light legging does cling to the glass.
Wood is the inital note, not particularly dry, and something lighter that gives the imprssion of beech or balsam (but obviously isn't). Nice vanilla and toffee notes are present too. Oddly, I get something like plum, but a softer, pale flesh sort, and only a few flashes here and there. It's got a bit of booziness, but it's fairly tame.
A touch of the vanilla and toffee sweetness come out on the tongue with the wood up front, all under a note of grains that follows through to the end.
While smooth, it is a bit too lightly carbonated, and thins out slightly toward the end.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 604 ratings.