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

Not Rated.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

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565 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 565
Hads: 2,573
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 39.67%
Wants: 145
Gots: 718 | FT: 9
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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Reviews: 565 | Hads: 2,573
Photo of yamar68
1.37/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Pours an awkwardly transparent caramel gold with a thin finger of white head that is just as awkward - dissipates quickly, showing more fizz than true carbonation. No real lacing but a touch of alcohol legging.

Have you ever had Kentucky Beau? It sort of smells like that... grainy alcohol character smothered with a "bourbon" aroma... vanilla syrup and faint brown sugar.

Watery cheap bourbon with a vanilla/caramel sweetness. It finishes with a weird sweet corn type mellowness... the fact that it's as thin as a Bud Select 55 doesn't really do us any favors.

How is this a viable beer to produce? Did we all just get punk'd? What is this world coming to?

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Photo of Generik420
1.4/5  rDev -61.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I tried this at a street festival in Covington, KY this past weekend and have to say it was pretty horrid. I kind of wonder if they don't leave bourbon in the barrel before they add the beer. If you have ever done a depth charge shot, where you drop a shot of whiskey into a pint of beer and slam it, you know what this tastes like. Another reviewer mentioned it tasted like bourbon on the rocks where the ice has melted.. well let me get a little more specific.. imagine that the ice cubes were originally beer and that is what melted into your glass of bourbon. The problem is the beer itself I don't believe is *big* enough to be aged in a bourbon barrel. This was a fairly light colored beer, amber at best, with a straight whiskey aroma. There just wasn't enough there to work with the bourbon flavors and in the end what you get is a mess.

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Photo of BrewIrish98
1.48/5  rDev -59.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer is awful. I purchased a 4 pack to include it in a gift for my brother. I decided to sample one of these beers before I included it in the gifts.

Needless to say, I did not include it. Twice I've offered it to friends to get their thoughts with the same results. The only way I can describe this beer is awful. Way too sweet and too astringent from the alcohol.

I enjoy ales, reds, pales, and bourbons ages beers. This taste like a frat kid poured a shot of cheap bourbon into a bottle of subpar beer.

I decided to give it a second chance at a Local BeerFest as the brewery was there. Had the same opinion straight from the tap.

Don't waste your money on this one, Try their KY Light or Kolsh they are a little more forgiving.

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Photo of AleWatcher
1.6/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 1 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Grabbed a 4 pack on a recent excursion to the Hoosier state... I planned on drinking one and tossing the others in as extras-- and now that I've opened this, I'm even more certain that will be my action with the other 3!

Served in my Portsmouth tulip.

The one finger... Er... Half finger... Ummm... The thin ring of antique-whitish bubbles form a collar around the inside of the glass. Oh wait, they're gone now. This looks like it was apricot juice, if such a thing existed. No lacing. No signs of carbonation.

The nose and flavor are pure cheap boozey bourbon and artificial vanilla. I don't get anything from a base beer here.
This is boozy and harsh. Unbalanced and unenjoyable as a sipper. As this warms, I'm reminded of honey flavored cough drops.
The body is very thin and holds limited carbonation.

Overall, there are so many bourbon barrel-aged beers out there, I would be fine to never drink this again. The beer isn't my cup of tea-- but that doesn't mean I cannot imagine some one else enjoying it.

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Photo of Monalenard
1.65/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a mahogany brown with a fizzy macro/corn soda lager head that fades as quickly as possible.
smells like it looks, cheap malt, slight hints of bourbon and oak.
taste follows the nose- bourbon barrel budwiser.
mouthfeel is medium, average carbonation.
overall- bourbon barreled budwiser.

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Photo of gfreed
1.72/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This is one of the clearest, brightest beers I've ever poured into a glass; a big, bright pool of shimmery amber just begging to be sipped. But... stop! Unless you like butter, pour this one down the drain. Butter in the aroma, suffocating butter in the taste... butterbutterbutterBUTTAH! Even the body felt a bit oily. I don't know if this thing was aged in an oak barrel or aged over oak chips (or aged in a vat of butter), but the brewery boys and girls need to take a lesson in moderation. Too much oak = too much butter. Might taste good on pancakes, but not much else. Poo.

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Photo of KNor
1.81/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

What city does the "M" stand for that on the bottle? Ussually a letter in front of the code indicates a differnt manufacturing location.

tasted fruity/ banana not as bourbon like as it was last time i tried it. Did they start diluting this down. wonder what percent of the beer I drank was ever in a barrel

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Photo of aforbes10
1.9/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle purchased by shivtim on his drive through Kentucky. We assumed this was one of those MBC "front breweries" but apparantly its not. Pours an uninteresting amber with a slight, wispy head. Smells like grain alcohol, shitty bourbon. Tastes like watered down bourbon, vanilla flavoring and not much else. pretty bland and watery. Medium to thin bodied. Eh.

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Photo of chezztone
2.08/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

Awful. A weak-flavored (although high-alcohol) light beer with strong bourbon overtones -- maybe they just made a light beer and then poured in the bourbon?

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
2.17/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This one starts out good and then divebombs. The appearance is great. A clear amber with a decent fluffy white head. The smell is all wrong. The vanilla overpowers everything and it smells too sweet like candy. There is a hint of bourbon and some malt as well. The taste is the same. The vanilla sweetness is too much. This should be a flavor that hides in the background. The bourbon is there but there is no beer backbone to support the amount of bourbon and vanilla flavor here. This beer seems like it was created in a laboratory, not aged in barrels. The mouthfeel is really thin but syrupy at the same time. This plays into the idea that beer is not big enough to handle the bourbon barrel "aging" at all. Drinkability is low, very low. This one reminds me of my first sip of ST Creme Brulee. The intent and craftmanship were there but somewhere along the line a good idea turned into a bad product.

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Photo of jsanford
2.21/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a Tulip Glass.

A - Pours a clear orange with a small creamy white head that recedes to a slight swirl of haze.
S - Sweet aromas of caramel malt, butterscotch, vanilla, and bourbon. Fairly one-dimensional, basically smells like Bourbon, which I usually wouldn't complain about.
T - Eww...not too good. Almost reminds me of a big Adjunct Lager that's been haphazardly slapped in a Bourbon barrel. Definitely getting the Bourbon flavors, but other then that there's some sweet malt, corn, and artificial butterscotch flavor. No thanks.
M - Thin and fizzy with too-high carbonation.
O - This got grosser the more I drank it. Perfect example of a Bourbon barrel not being able to fix a crappy beer. This is the kind of barrel-aged beer Budweiser would make.

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Photo of alexhahn82
2.23/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A. Copper orange in color with just shy of a one finger head.

S. Nothing too killer, a hint of vanilla, medium malt.

Taste. Slight caramel with a small taste of vanilla, not really getting any tones of bourbon?

Mouthfeel. Medium to moderator carbination, slight bite, not writing home about this one.

O. For a year round bourbon barrel I guess its decent, but aging 6 weeks in freshly decanted bourbon barrels I would still expect a little more. I drink a whole hell of a lot of bourbon barrel beers, but this one to me isn't even tasting or resembling one, I would rate this right with Allagash Curieux (bourbon barrel) they both taste like good/decent beers, just don't taste anything like bourbon to me.

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Photo of avalon07
2.25/5  rDev -38%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy head that lasted a fair amount of time. Pretty good lacing.

S: A mild aroma of bourbon and malt, but little else.

T: Tasted of an overabundance of malt, light fruit and some bourbon. There wasn't nearly enough bourbon to make an impact here, but that seems to be the problem with the flavor. It's too thin and unfocused.

M: A fair amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This beer is kind of a mess all around. It simply wasn't pushed far enough, therefore it was a thin brew.

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Photo of Dwreck
2.25/5  rDev -38%

Huge smell of oak which was exciting, but that was about it. Has a bright clear copper color. Mouthfeel was medium high carbonation and the taste was bright but odd. The high carbonation hurt the bourbon flavors. Both beers I have tried from this brewer were disappointing. Looked good, smelled good, fell short.

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Photo of seedyone
2.25/5  rDev -38%

02/27/14 From bottle. Having had the Coffee version from this outfit before, I wasn't expecting much.

I guess I'm spoiled by the likes of Goose Island Bourbon County or Brooklyn Black Ops.

The texture is a bit watery & the coffee flavor tastes forced.

I wouldn't flush it from the bomb shelter stores, but I would question why space was allotted to this particular brew.

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Photo of Brew33
2.26/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Wow.... this is brutal. It's all bourbon. Low carbonation. The aroma is all bourbon. The first sip is nothing but cheap bourbon. It's like they didn't even try. Slightly boozy with a surprisingly dry finish. I will never drink this again.

I don't care for Bourbon or any kind of whiskey so I don't know what I was expecting. This has a very strong, forced bourbon taste. Avoid.

My first ever drain pour.... Unforgettable for all the wrong reasons....

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.33/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appears a pale copper translucent color with a large bright white head, fine bubbled lacing forms evenly as it dwindles and continues the pattern with each sip.

Aroma is straight up oak barrel and vanilla with whiskey just coming out of it's pores. It smells like Hank Williams Jr in the 80s or Tim Mcgraw's new cologne that's out now. When leather, oak, brown sugar and vanilla collide without any cohesion. Big charred oak characteristics, the base beer just seems so lifeless I guess the whiskey barrel aging gives it what's here doesn't really complement the beer like so many other versions of brews that sit in the whiskey soaked oak. There's something very solvent and chemical about the aroma that doesn't even make me want to take my first sip.

Flavor yep there's a reason why I didn't want any part of it, it's like sipping on whiskey without the 80 proof. Whiskey tea we'll call it. Sour mash is evident with vanilla, charred oak and hints of caramel and toffee with some serious booziness for a beer this thin in body. Makes it seem like such a gimmick beer that's only really being brewed for the Kentucky Derby, there's no other audience that is going to take to this beer.

Mouthfeel is thin way to thin for alcohol level and the flavor profile it just doesn't carry it too well, it's like watered down whiskey tea. Booze gives a bit of a burn, but it's really the charred oak flavor bringing out a bit of cinnamon like expressions on the palate. Gag reflux get ready I'll be lucky to make it through 12 oz of this brew.
Drinkability overall when in Rome I guess, like if I was at the Derby bidding and I was really worn out of the official mixed drink of the Alltech F.E.I. than yeah maybe I would have this abomination. I'd rather have brews run through whiskey soaked oak chips in an infuser like Bocktown has been doing for quite some time now.

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Photo of gopens44
2.33/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Golden with a fairly decent head but virtually no lacing from the mostly white foam. Nose was mostly bourbon, not much else peeking through. Tasted pretty nice for a short moment as the hints of vanilla, oak and caramel came across for just the tiniest instant before they dropped out, leaving only a thin remnant of tannins.

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Photo of jdshep
2.36/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

full review:
The appearance of the beer was great, the carbonation bubbles that constantly flowed upward in the orange/amber hue was a delight. The head was a good thick white head with some good lacing. Unfortunately that is where the excitement for me stopped.
I didn’t even finish the beer. I barely got the bourbon aroma out of it. I couldn’t identify the initial taste, but the finish was acidic to me. The palate was watery.

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Photo of suspect
2.39/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Real Ale Snifter.

A: Pours a crystal clear amber color. Aggressive pour leads to a 1 finger fast fading white head.

S: BIG Bourbon in the nose. Wood and some vanilla and hints of tannin-y saw dust type of smell.

T: Bourbon is tamed down a little with some sweetness and wood. Not complex and an underwhelming

M: Thin and undercarbonated. Messy finish.

O: Boy this is a beer that's completely all over the place. It's got such a big bourbony nose but falls flat on the flavor. It's thin and watered down and the color is weird.

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Photo of Chris_Burton
2.39/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Amber to light brown body. I was very excited to try this but honestly I'm not impressed. Smell is pleasant with hints of whiskey and caramel. Taste is surprisingly bland; slight booziness with sweetness from the barrels but other than that, not a huge amount of flavour to speak of; largely malt forward with no hop flavour but there's really not much there from the malt either. A distinct lack of complexity one would hope from a beer like this. Maybe some vanilla, or am I trying to hard to find it? As a sidenote it calls itself barrel aged ale but neglects to mention what kind of ale it was before being aged.

Definitely not worth the price I paid. Did I get a bad bottle? Really not a great beer.

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Photo of br3wmeister
2.41/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A- Light gold colored beer with a nonexistent head.

S- Biscuity with some caramel, vanilla, nuts, bourbon and coconut.

T- Large biscuit flavor with lots of butter. Hint of vanilla, some caramel nuts, and again coconut.

M- Not too much going on. Medium bodied with a light oily feel.

Overall I would say this is just not my style, though i could tolerate it I did not feel compelled to finish the bottle.

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Photo of beerwolf77
2.45/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Huge thanks to wisconsinality for another Kentucky brew. Poured into my pint glass the beer is golden amber with about one finger of off white head. Not much head retention no lace.

The aroma is mostly bourbon barrel and sweet malt. That's about all I can pick up. So not real complex but close to style.

The flavor was rather dissapointing. Pretty much bourbon and more bourbon. I got no other flavors. It reminds me of a whiskey and water at the bar.

Thin and watery body. Light carbonation.

Overall nothing special at all. I actually had this on my wants at one time. I'm glad I never pulled the trigger.

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Photo of match1112
2.45/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

a: clear amber body with a fizzy off white head. retention and lacing are poor.

s: some vanilla and oak from the barrel but the bourbon is minimial at best.

t: a little on the sweet side. there is a fruityness to it. again i pick up on the vanilla from the bourbon. the bourbon is short lived, could use more time in the barrel.

m: thin and watery, carbonation is lacking. not much hop presence, dry finish.

o: glad i got to try it for free. not saying it is bad, it's just not what i look for in a barrel aged beer.

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Photo of jeranbrews
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

A - pretty amber fine bead cloud white head 3.5

S - bourbon! Sweet and tons of bourbon 3

T - whiskey and a tiny bit of beer. Whiskey flavor overpowers beer completely - 2

M - sharp bourbon sting, with the creamy beer mouthfeel. Confusing. 3

O - interesting but more like a beer cocktail than a beer - 3

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 565 ratings.