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

Not Rated.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

558 Reviews
THE BROS
85
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 558
Hads: 2,549
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 16.21%
Wants: 144
Gots: 697 | FT: 8
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:
Beer added by: SheepNutz on 07-13-2004

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 558 | Hads: 2,549
Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A clear golden amber body with orange highlights and a creamy (although it makes a fizzy sound in the glass) mostly lasting head.

S: No joking around when it's said this is a bourbon barrel ale. Strong aroma of bourbon along with sweet vanilla & subtle malts.

T: This one taste just as good as it smells. Upfront bourbon flavor followed with caramel malts and sweet vanilla. A very warming finish.

M: A smooth and creamy beer with a medium body and high carbonation.

D: One of my favorite beers for the summer, but I drank 3 of these tonight just relaxing around the house. Great beer. (592 characters)

Photo of Knilas
4.29/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing, dark Amber color. Notes of brown sugar and vanilla on the nose. Slight bite of char from the barrels, but mostly caramel, vanilla, butterscotch and a touch of tobacco for flavor. Very smooth...and a nice change of pace. Worth the coin. (244 characters)

Photo of CardiacNP
4.29/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nice draft pour from Fox & Hound in Ohio served in a nice matching snifter.

Poured a clear golden amber color with a small dense white head. There Was excellent lacing throughout the beer.

The aroma of bourbon was there along with a light sweet scent follow by woody oak hints.

Taste was very smooth slightly sweet with a wonderful bourbon aftertaste. Slight caramel and oak flavors present. Very very small hop characters noted.

Mouth feel was smooth , and a bit viscous. Very light carbonation. Little alcohol finishes but surprisingly light for a 8.2%ABV

Over all a very enjoy able ale. If you like bourbon also you would be please to try this beer. I know I will again. (685 characters)

Photo of shortbus7
4.29/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was poured into a snifter from a bottle chilled in the fridge.

A: This beer has oranges red tint to it, very much like a dark apple juice. Thin lacing surrounds the glass.

A: 100% bourbon and I love it!

M: A light mouthfeel with very little carbonation. The carbonation kicks in a little bit during the aftertaste with a slight tingling on the tongue. I have had this on tap once and it had much more carbonation, which I liked greatly. In the bottle it almost tastes a little flat.

T: The beer is very sweet at first taste and is followed quickly by bourbon. The taste agrees with the title of the name perfectly. This may sound weird but beer taste like 7-up mixed with bourbon.

O: I really like bourbon so I enjoy this beer. If you are not a fan of bourbon, this will probably not sit very well with you. Overall a good beer but much better on tap due to the increased carbonation. (902 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
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. (695 characters)

Photo of ElGordo
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a hotel tumbler, since that's all I've got. Body is a deep golden amber color with a flourish of a creamy white head that quickly vanishes. Good carbonation keeps on coming. Aroma of bourbon, brown sugar, bourbon, a light nutty character, and more bourbon. Palate is light sweet malt at first, with the bourbon emerging mid-palate and building to a nice, warm finish. After a few sips acclimate you to the strong whisky character, notes of caramel, almond, vanilla, and some mild fruity hops come through the booze to make for an interestingly complex beer. Body is a little thin, yet also mildly sticky, as I've come to expect from American strong ales. Good for sipping, and thorougly enjoyable. It's got me thinking I need to mix my whisky and beer more often. (796 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well I ve had this bottle for a bit and thanx to kmpitz2 for the sample. I am pouring a room temp bottle into a pint glass.
The beer pours a clear amber color with fizzy off white head foaming up about 1 cm and fading rapidly to a thin edge layer.
The aroma is bourbon and bourbon. I get some wooden notes and a bit of vanilla and caramel as well. Some warm alcohol as well. Overall pretty appealing. First sip reveals a relatively lite body and very fine carbonation that gently rolls across my palate. The flavor is bourbon right up front. I get some oak and vanilla notes and the beer finishes with a little warming kick, or maybe that is just my typical reaction to drinking bourbon. This beer is very bourbony and if dont like bourbon as a liquor you wont like this beer. Think slightly thinner, mildly carbonated bourbon and there's your drink.
It is quite nice, and I enjoy it. (887 characters)

Photo of biggred1
4.26/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear copper with a slight white head, very fine lacing.

S- Pretty potent smell,big oaked wood and whiskey aroma, some sweet faint vanilla in the background.

T- Nice vanilla bean, coconut and caramel up front with a decent warm alcoholic woody finish.

M- Smooth and creamy, coats the tongue.

D-Nice stuff in moderation. One of the better examples of the bourbon beer in my opinion. (388 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.26/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this a while ago when I visited Lexington for a weekend. At the time I knew very little about beer and I thought bourbon barrel aging was something totally unheard of. I liked the beer then, lets see how it is now that I know more about beer.

A- Smallish head rises and fades super fast. This beer is way lighter than I thought it was going to be (I had it right from the bottle before). Its a super clear amber red beer.

S- STRAIGHT bourbon. Really not much else. Its still good as hell smelling though. Its basically toned down bourbon. Very very vanilla-y. There is also a lot of nuttiness.

T- Pure vanilla, oak, nuts and bourbon. This is quite good. This is so close to the taste of a scotch that its insane. Just way way less boozy and more drinkable.

M- Low carbonation which is typical for a barreled beer. It makes it creamy and smooth. It finishes surprisingly clean, only a tad bit oily and vanilla-y

D- Good stuff. Its better than I remember. I will have to procure more of this good ale from a small time brewery. (1,034 characters)

Photo of vickersspitfire
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

Appearance:
A thick off-white head is the first thing you see as your pour, its foamy and extremely thick, which allows it to form a nice thick lacing around the glass. This is a ice medium amber colored ale with some good carbonation as you pour. The carbonation slowly dies down and so does the head, eventually forming a nice thin layer of bubbles completely covering the top of the ale.

Smell:
Fruits and malts hit your nose first, mild citrus fruits, apples, mild esters all mixed in with grassy and floral note come together to make a nice aroma for this beer.

Taste:
The malts and citrus fruit zest are the first flavors you taste, followed by a medium alcohol taste. As it warms up, caramel, butter and a bready flavor come through. It really warms up your mouth.

Mouthfeel:
This is a medium to full bodied ale with plenty of carbonation as you drink it. It really coats you mouth well and leaves that nice warming effect as you breath in.

Overall:
This is quick a nice find and a really great tasting ale, The aromas and flavors really do this beer justice, don't pass it up. (1,088 characters)

Photo of brureview
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Doherty's in Pawtucket, RI. The served beer had a light honey color and poured a 1/2 finger head.

Carbonation bubbles streamed upwards from the bottom of the glass.

The beer smells like bourbon, and tastes like bourbon with vanilla overtones.

This is a special treat, and it doesn't taste like beer- it tastes like whiskey. A bit overwhelming, but worth drinking. (377 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this several times now, all on tap. Hard to find. Snifter glass used. This pours an amber color with a small head that doesn't stick around too long, but leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet, malty, and has a nice, mellow bourbon aroma. Interesting. The flavor is sweet and malty, but has a strong bourbon and oak character. Nice body and mouthfeel. An awesome improvement to the standard KY Ale. Best barrel aged beer I've had. (457 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks out over the rain-filled skies of Minnesota to BEERchitect for sending this nice little extra in a recent trade. Feels like a good way to wrap up an evening of poker with the boys (& old men, who are sometime far more amusing & interesting than the boys).

I'm certain this is the lightest bourbon barrel aged brew I've ever had, looks very much like a pale ale, yellow with red highlights. Smell is subtle malts, bourbon, with a stronger whiff of wood.

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale makes me think brewers should be sticking more than RIS & barleywines in barrels. The wood, as much as the bourbon, is on top of this sandwich, leaving a dry, vanilla, bourbon, slightly sweet malt taste sticking around. The lighter malts really play off the bourbon nicely, leaving a more true bourbon experience without the scorching heat of true bourbon. Very interesting. Slides down very nicely. This is one of the few brews of the style that I can see going down quickly, & easily, for a few hours at a time.

Excellent beer & a great twist on barrel aging. Let's try this whole paler beer in a barrel thing, it's working here! (1,125 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very large thanks goes out to kmpitz2 for hauling a growler from the source to Madison last weekend for me!

appearance: pours a light amber shade, tea-like appearance, a light white head accompanies

smell: alcohol, potent bourbon, vanilla, oak...Tis a good thing I am a fan of bourbon

taste: well this is trule is a bourbon ale....The bourbon explodes on the tongue and leaves a strong alcohol aftertaste...underneath that is sweet vanilla, oak, quite sugary sweet, nice sweet caramel malts in the background

mouthfeel: pretty light bodied, smooth though

drinkability: good thing im splitting this thing (621 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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! (616 characters)

Photo of RickFromArizona
4.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You will either love this beer or hate it with every fiber in your body. It's like cilantro in that aspect. It pours with no head. Normally I'd be wary. Then you smell it. What is this? Then you sip it and it just makes sense. Oak, vanilla...then you end up sculling it. I'm in California now and can't get it and I feel like a crackhead. I love IPAs and almost drink them exclusivley but this was my go to when I needed a break. Now she has been taken from me. Most bourbon barrel beers are stouts that overpower the oak and vanilla with coffee and chocolate. You owe yourself to try this ale. If you hate it, send it to me and I'll take it down for you. (655 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a tough one to get. It was originally only on tap available in growlers only, but this winter they decided to add it to a gift pack with bottles. Thanks a bunch to Noslenwerd for going out of his way to get me this one. Unfortunately the glass that came in the sampler pack broke in the trip here, but at least the beer made it. I'm excited to try it, despite the B rating.

A: A very light fluffy head forms and disperses just as fast. It's a very clear pale golden color with a little orange.

N: Nose is actually pretty sweet, with a very bourbon barrel characteristic. It reminds me of when I went to a couple distilleries in KY and the basic aroma you get from nosing the actual barrels when they are opened, minus the crazy bourbon aroma. It's a little creamy and fruity, but mostly just a great bourbon aroma. Not much on the way of beer yet.

T: Taste actually starts with a slight malty flavor, but mostly is again bourbon. Tastes like a nice light and smooth bourbon with much less alcohol. It has some clear woody esthers as well, and an obvious oak taste. More of that fresh from the barrel bourbon flavor. It also has a little fruitiness, and some more sweet almost honey like flavors. It still hides the 8%abv well though. The bourbon and woody flavors come out even more as it warms. I recommend letting it warm a bit. With all the flavors, and bourbon especially, it's still really smooth.

M: Semi thin, more than I expected, and very little carbonation.

F: Finishes a little sweet still, and even has a touch of creaminess. It has some woody esthers that linger, as well as some oak. Not much lingering on the bourbon flavor. A little bitterness starts to come through, but more from the esthers than hops. It doesn't last long before your mouth is clean and ready for more.

Being a big bourbon fan, the fresh bourbon and oak flavors of this really impress. The beer side is a little flat and the lack of carbonation in a light ale is a little hard to get by. But how much great bourbon flavor this has, and even seems to have a little of the sweet bourbon mash and woody esthers, I really enjoyed it. (2,130 characters)

Photo of Morey
4.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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. (752 characters)

Photo of sommersb
4.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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. (795 characters)

Photo of brockdidntslide
4.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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. (284 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Drunkmonk for this brew.
Poured a light gold with a small white head. Nose smells sweet, vanilla and slight bourbon.
Tastes of oak, vanilla, bourbon, honey and butterscotch. Mouthfeel has some syrup, oak, honey, butterscotch with light bourbon. Drinkability is very good, not overly boozy. This beer blends lots of flavors together very well and a treat to drink! (375 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.23/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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?) (1,201 characters)

Photo of mntlover
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (1,306 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (304 characters)

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale on tap at Mellow Mushroom in Columbus, Ohio.

Appearance: Light amber, almost no lacing. Barely any head. Not very impressive.

Smell: Beautiful! Oak, vanilla. Some bourbon. Light nose overall but very enticing.

Taste: Bourbon and vanilla in a nice balance. Woodsy.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body, smooth and low carbonation.

Drinkability: High, unless you tire of bourbon. I love KBB and feel it is an underrated beer. (455 characters)

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 558 ratings.