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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.

572 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 572
Hads: 2,617
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 39.78%
Wants: 147
Gots: 753 | 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.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 572 | Hads: 2,617
Photo of wdberkley
1/5  rDev -72.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

First off, I'm typically a fan of anything that spends time in a barrel.

However, if you take a beer that's slightly better than hangover piss and barrel age it "for up to six weeks in freshly decanted bourbon barrels from some of Kentucky’s finest distilleries," you're bound to have something that gives off a slight hint of oak, some mediocre bourbon notes, and still tastes like hangover piss.

If I was presented with only two options for vital life sustaining hydration - drink this again or squeeze water out of elephant shit in the African Savanna a'la Bear Grylls - I'm picking the elephant shit every time.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L: Amber color, with minimal head that fades fast
S: smells like sweet alcohol and funky beer
T: reminds me of flat sweet wine. Likes it's been left in the glass overnight.
F: thin and watery.
O: not going to get again

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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 Synn
4.39/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My reviews are going to be straight forward.

My journey -

The occasional drinker may not notice how superb and smooth this ale is. I come from drinking stouts like Samuel Smith, and other craft beers you may have not heard from, so bringing this to the counter was just another one of my "let me try this" beers. To say the least I was pleasantly surprised. It pours like a typical ale with a nice amber color, lets not get into looks here because lets be honest, who care's about what beer looks like? As you pop open the bottle with your face close it you instantly smell the beers beautiful aroma. It hits you with a slight hint of vanilla, a wiff of dry bourbon, and honestly it draws you in.

Taste -

As the beer hits your nasal glands and tongue you taste your typical ale. A nice crisp, refreshing, and smooth beer. It took me about 2 bottles to really get the taste and feel down. To be honest, I'm not going to fluff this review up any more. You'll taste a nice hint of maple, some woody and clean taste that's unlike anything I've ever tasted. To put it simply, if you like ales, bourbon, or any hint of Jack, Makers Mark, or whisky, GO GET THIS BEER. I had it with a seafood chowder and it complimented it beautifully.

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Photo of mmmbeer89
2.83/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

i'm not a fan of bourbon so i wasn't expecting this beer to taste great...but it actually has a good taste until the bourbon after taste which brings it down some to me. it's smooth and not a bad buy if you wanna different style beer to try.

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Photo of schwansmantr
4.06/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale with a ABV of 8.2 I think one might want to take it easy on this beer. When you pop the top you get a very nice smoke with a slight hint of Jack Daniels followed by a malty burnt bread crust smell and then I slight fruity punch, very complex. It poured a slight head and seams to have a decent amount of carbonation. The dark caramel stained glass looks very inviting as I peer into the climbing bubbles. The taste is that of smoothness that's light on the tongue then bam comes the bourbon fallowed by an oh so slight fruitiness to only give you a climax of hops. This is a hard one indeed, very hard. I feel like I'm jipping the beer by not writing more. There is a lot going on with this Ale and most of it is good. If you are whiskey lover you will adore this beer if your not it could be tough for some girly men/women to drink. Sip,sip,sip. Wow is this a tough one. I do know there's a reason it comes in a four pack it's got some jolt to it.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle at America on tap.
Rich caramel with hints of vanilla and oak with a bit of sweetness to round it all out. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would.

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Photo of Tom_Leventhall
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm not an ale drinker, nor do I typically like sweet beer. The bourbon flavor isn't overpowering and vanilla comes through quite strongly in taste and smell. It's not a session beer in terms of body or alcohol content (8.2%), But if you want some smooth and unique, this is a worthwhile find. Get it on tap if you can. - Tom Leventhall

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.9/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

2.5 A: Clear dark orange/light amber color. About one finger of frothy off-white head that falls almost instantly and leaves no lacing.

3.0 S: Nose is primarily the barrel. A lot of leather, apple, vanilla, oak, toastiness. Caramel and toffee which could be coming from the barrel or the base beer. Hints of grass with a fresh mountain spring water component. It's not bad, but it smells more like watered down bourbon than beer.

2.75 T: Like the nose, this beer is just a bourbon delivery vehicle. Tastes like it smells with leather, apple, vanilla, oak, and toastiness being most prominent. On the drier side, but does have a sweet caramel toffee flavor.

3.25 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. This would benefit from a little more body, but it does have some creaminess to it.

3.0 D: It's okay for what it is, but it's not that great of a beer.

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Photo of jbredbeard
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is surprising in a few ways. It has an almost undetectable grassy aroma. The flavor has a sweet, heavy plum quality that is completely unexpected. It's very rich but not exactly full bodied in that it also has a crisp, pilsner-like drinkability. Seems like it contradicts itself in a few ways...and that is the best part. Kind of pricey, but that's okay for this every once in a while brew.

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Photo of JebBeerFish
3.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Black Cow in Newburyport. Nice light caramel color. Nice bourbon taste, not sure why this is not rated better. My theory is because not much love for this brewery. I would have again.

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Photo of Walligator
3.37/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

New at the craft beer LIFE. I enjoy most of the bourbon barrel stouts I've tried. Was at Binny's talking to a sales person about KBBA . She said she didn't realy know much about it, hadn't tried it. I like stouts and ales so I thought that this combo might be good. Wrong! I'm not going to try to describe the smells, tastes, etc. I'll say this, though. It smelled like a bourbon barrel stout and tasted like a sour ale. Very dissapointing.

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Photo of beerloggedin
3.17/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Just not good for a bourbon barrel beer. Look is very light amber, smell is surprisingly bourbon nose, the nose sets you up for a disappointing taste which lacks any bourbon or oak flavors, and the feel is much too light and overly carbonated. The bud light of barrel aged beers.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap into a tulip glass. A dark translucent amber body, no real head to speak of but a white ring of bubbles. Smell is really lacking to the point that I feel like I have a stuffy nose from a cold, which I don't. Only the faintest hint of bourbon comes through.
Ahh, well at least the taste delivers. Extremely strong notes of vanilla from the bourbon. For what is self-described as a sipper, I'd say this is really tasty and drinkable for a bourbon barrel aged beer, let alone and English strong ale. You get a nice dark fruit backbone in the middle but finishes smooth and crisp.
Weak smell, very nice taste.

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky copper/ light brown with some particles. Decent head, some nice lacing.
Smells of some malts and caramel. Some alcohol present on this nose.
Tastes like an oak-casked ale. But nothing complex or too special. Oak and vanilla. More sweet than bitter. There's a tangy aspect for certain, and I'm not much a fan of it, however some nice malts poke through the tang.
It is pretty smooth, medium-lighter bodied.
Okay, decent, not complex. I do wonder how many unassuming samplers of new beer mistake this , due to its name, for a KBS or something along those lines. I didn't, but I did assume it would be a stout and not a strong ale. Big difference.

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Photo of thebeers
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Leathery orange-brown color with a half-finger of white head. Wood, chocolate and caramel on the nose. Light-bodied in comparison to most barrel-aged beers, with good carbonation that really makes the caramel flavor pop. There's a definite, but light and easy-drinking, bourbon flavor to it. It's just a fun, quaffable beer.

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Photo of tone77
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of light bourbon. Taste is light bourbon, malts, some sugary sweetness as it warms, alcohol is well hidden. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a decent beer, but not as flavorful as it could have been.

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Photo of eyeroller
4.81/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've tried this beer multiple times through a local place amd for the most part its been spot on. I had a bad batch once and have been afriad to try it since. When its good, it's really, really good.

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Photo of Jmalpha1
3.37/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Looked great in a glass. Wasn't very impressive but it was kinda neat and unique.I don't think I would get it on my own but I wouldn't think twice at a bar. Solid beer for sipping.

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Photo of IPreferPotButBeerIsGood
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Looks tasty. Nice dark amber color, very bourbon-y in color with a very thin, bubbly head that leaves a nice ring and a very thin film.

A: Literally smells like watered down bourbon and a bit of ale hint. Not a bad smell.

T: Tasted like bourbon as well, however was very much an ale. Somewhat bitter, but kind of tangy as well. It was interesting, but unimpressive.

F: Felt very nice and bubbly. High-medium carbonation. Went down smoothly.

O: Not bad if you like bourbon, but if you like bourbon, drink bourbon. This isn't something I would quite feel inclined to buy again, and I'm glad I only got a bottle instead of a growler.

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Photo of willic
2.55/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I know, my opinion does not follow the norm, but this beer is not my favorite. I like it, I will drink it again, but what's the hype about? Sometimes it is overly carbonated, with wild flowery flavors... I can only assume live yeast is still active eating the residual sugars. I have found this in a couple of bottles. I think I like those bottles the best with their saison characteristics. Everyone has to try one of these, just to be able to talk about it!

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Photo of DoctorZombies
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Medium amber (12) pour with off white head; good lacing and carbonation. Bourbon and smoke nose. Bourbon and smoke taste. Medium lite mouthfeel with oaky tongue coating. Bourbon is a little overwhelming.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a four-pack at my local Stein's Liquor to split with my dad, who really enjoys this one. No discernible bottled on date. Poured at cellar temperature into my Red Eye pint glass.

L: Pours a pale copper with about a quarter-inch of off-white head that dissipates quickly into an almost nonexistent film which leaves almost no lacing on the glass. Crystal-clear, with moderate visible carbonation.

S: Sweet caramel malts are present, as well as some distinctive vanilla and bourbon notes. Just a bit of earthiness--it's a predominantly sweet bouquet.

T: Sweet caramel malt flavors right up front. A bit of breadiness in there, as well. Rather quickly, the bourbon flavor begins to assert itself, though it's not accompanied by any clear alcohol or warming properties. The middle also sees a bit of the vanilla coming through. There's a bit of a red wine sensation near the back end, which doesn't necessarily clash with the bourbon notes. The close has more of the caramel malt and vanilla sweetness, with the bourbon flavor riding things out. A slight bitterness rises in the aftertaste.

F: Medium-bodied, though probably on the lighter side of that categorization. It's crisp at the front and a bit creamy in the middle, aided by a nice level of carbonation. This one doesn't have any stick to it and finishes quite cleanly.

O: This is a pretty tasty brew, given what it purports to be. I wish there was a little more heat from the bourbon, and the malt profile could be a little more engaging. That being said, it's quite drinkable for a beer with this high an ABV, and it will probably please a lot of casual fans of bourbon-flavored anything. But at this price point ($10 for a four-pack), I'm not likely to return to it any time soon.

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Photo of brap
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent and drinkable but didn't really taste all that barreled. I've had some barrelled beer where you really can taste the nuances of the wood but this just seemed like a sweetish ale. Not horrible but didn't have the complexity the name suggested. Seemed more marketing ploy than anything. Given the price per 12 oz bottle there are a number of different directions I would go before returning to this. That said, if someone handed me a cold one, I wouldn't turn it away.

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Photo of Knilas
4.29/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 572 ratings.