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

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,583 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1583
Reviews: 479
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 17.98%


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)
View: Beers (14) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,583 | Reviews: 479 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Generik420
Generik420

Indiana

1.35/5  rDev -63.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2008 05:30:57 | More by Generik420
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

1.38/5  rDev -62.4%
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?

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2013 07:51:00 | More by yamar68
Photo of BrewIrish98
BrewIrish98

Indiana

1.43/5  rDev -61%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2011 23:24:01 | More by BrewIrish98
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

1.59/5  rDev -56.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2011 02:41:44 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of gfreed
gfreed

Massachusetts

1.63/5  rDev -55.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 20:59:31 | More by gfreed
Photo of aforbes10
aforbes10

Iowa

1.93/5  rDev -47.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2008 18:36:26 | More by aforbes10
Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
CrazyMacHarris99

Pennsylvania

2.15/5  rDev -41.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2009 05:51:24 | More by CrazyMacHarris99
Photo of jsanford
jsanford

Georgia

2.17/5  rDev -40.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2011 21:53:47 | More by jsanford
Photo of alexhahn82
alexhahn82

California

2.2/5  rDev -40.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 01:27:02 | More by alexhahn82
Photo of Brew33
Brew33

Ohio

2.23/5  rDev -39.2%
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....

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2009 00:34:45 | More by Brew33
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

2.28/5  rDev -37.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2010 06:11:01 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of beerwolf77
beerwolf77

Wisconsin

2.38/5  rDev -35.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 02:26:14 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of suspect
suspect

New York

2.38/5  rDev -35.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2013 03:44:21 | More by suspect
Photo of br3wmeister
br3wmeister

Colorado

2.4/5  rDev -34.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2009 00:26:30 | More by br3wmeister
Photo of match1112
match1112

Illinois

2.46/5  rDev -33%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2013 00:07:14 | More by match1112
Photo of MrDanno96
MrDanno96

Ohio

2.48/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Pours a deep golden color with hints of red. A thin white head encircles the edges of the glass with some spotty lacing.

S: Strong aroma of bourbon and that's pretty much it. Notes of vanilla come through along with the strong booziness of bourbon.

T/M: Meh. All you can really taste is bourbon. This typically would not be a problem, but it really just tastes like really watered down bourbon - no real beer character at all except for its medium, slightly carbonated body.

D: I did not really enjoy this to be honest. I don't think this is a good base beer to age in bourbon barrels - pale ale and bourbon don't really mix. It just tastes like someone took a session beer and poured several shots of bourbon into it.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2011 00:41:24 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of hoptualBrew
hoptualBrew

Florida

2.48/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle pours a transluscent light copper color. Little off white cream head dies down quick. No lacing, but pretty descent alcohol legs. I was expecting a thicker, fuller beer - but lets see what we have here...

Nose is some sweet malts & seemingly watered down bourbon. Very bourbon dominant here.

A sweet kick up front & bourbon all over the palate. Its not overwhelmingly strong, but its just not good - very one dimensional. In the back end I get a kick of corn, yes - corn, semi sweet & not so tasty. There is a little boozy burn at the back too.

Too thin (4/10) for my taste . In my opinion, this brew needs more complexity (no corn taste please) & a bigger body.

Overall, I really did not enjoy this one. If you like bourbon, you will probably like this beer. But I dont - I prefer beers with a hint of bourbon, not a smack of it to the mouth. I will be giving out the rest of the 4pack unfortunately.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 03:29:23 | More by hoptualBrew
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger

Pennsylvania

2.48/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a medium copper gold color with a one finger deep soapy, white head and medium carbonation.

A - Sweet toffee/caramel malt with bourbon and a hint of light vanilla.

T - Very one dimensional with lots of bourbon mixed in with sweet malt finishing with a sweet bourbon and light vanilla oak finish.

M - Thin medium body.

O - I'd pass on this one next time unfortunately.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2013 23:09:59 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of SWMeyer4141
SWMeyer4141

Texas

2.5/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance-Light copper with a 1/2 finger off white head that immediate dissapears.

Smell-Definitely get Bourbon..lots of booze, sweet malts, vanilla. Kind of what I was expecting.

Taste-First taste wasn't so bad, Lots of bourbon and vanilla. Then it kind of just went downhill. Just tastes watery, almost like a Bourbon and Coke thats been sitting out for a while and all the ice has melted. Not very good.

Mouthfeel-Boozy. Very light in the body and a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall-I like Bourbon, but I don't really get this beer. The aroma was nice, but it was just watered down whiskey with carbonation. I'm going to give my other bottle to someone else, I just can't appreciate this beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2011 06:54:16 | More by SWMeyer4141
Photo of jimmah120
jimmah120

Minnesota

2.5/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

growler served in a brandy snifter

brownish ale color, with a small filmy brown cap. smell is warm with alcohol, also charred brown sugar and bourbon. flat feel to the beer, like a thinned-out aunt jemima. taste is mostly generic bourbon and oak, alcohol is evident. no hops to speak of, ends up disappointing in most aspects.

all-around poor beer

Serving type: growler

04-23-2013 06:11:40 | More by jimmah120
Photo of Cresant
Cresant

Kentucky

2.53/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this undated 12 oz. brown bottle into a snifter. This beer is now in regular bottles not the specialty bottle pictured. Pour created a minor head which faded to nothing quickly. The body was a very clear honey color, the color of bourbon. I held up a bottle of Maker's Mark next to my snifter, they were the same color.

Smell was bourbon. Sweet alcohol. Bourbon.

Taste was toned down bourbon. There is a hops presence which strives to balance the sweet bourbon/malt flavors. Sweet finish. This tastes like a cocktail, not a beer.

Mouthfeel was smooth with some alcohol zestiness in the swallow. Body seemed to start out full but near the end it thinned out. This is a sipper, but not one I will seek out again. When I want bourbon I will grab my bottle of Woodford Reserve.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2007 16:18:00 | More by Cresant
Photo of Beejay
Beejay

Virginia

2.53/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A; A pale yellow amber.. Low level of white head.

S: Whiskey, bitter like coffee, smells like driving by a distillery, or waking up in a frat house after an all night Jim Beam bender..

T: Sweet at first with a hint of whiskey, The flavors progress to a little more bitter. and it finished with a toasted malt taste.. A very strange brew indeed..

M: Slightly oily, and the flavor takes your mouth on a roller coaster..

D: One off... Don't think I will buy this one again, which is sad.. as whiskey ( And preferably Whisky) is my other drink of choice..

Don't buy a sixer, get a single for a change of pace.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2009 02:33:47 | More by Beejay
Photo of Lukafer
Lukafer

Michigan

2.53/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance is a thin, clear gold with no head. Smells are bourbon, that's all. Tastes like Jim Beam, vanilla and some cinnamon at the very end, not that good. I love bourbon beers, but this beer did not have the malty backbone to balance out the booze. To me, it really tasted like drinking a beer version of Jim Beam. The mouthfeel is thin as hell. Damn, I really wanted to like this beer, but I don't. I'd like to try it in a bottle just to see if maybe I had a bad pour from a bad keg.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2010 05:25:16 | More by Lukafer
Photo of brewski09
brewski09

Ohio

2.58/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Wow, talk about a strongly flavored beer...

A - This was a little bit darker of a beer with a good head to it. It looked great and the head stuck around for me throughout the drink.

S - I really liked the bourbon barrel smell, but it was a bit strong. Still, I give it high marks here because it smelled wonderful to me as I like liquors too.

T - This is where I had an issue. The bourbon flavor dominated and didn't let any of the maltyness show though for the beer. There was no hop character to speak of and I didn't really get significant bitterness either. Sadly, his was just unbalanced.

M - Very silky, smooth, and thick on the way down. I wanted to love this beer for so many reasons.

D - This was not drinkable to me due to the bourbon imbalance. Other people really loved the beer, but I just couldn't get over the imbalance. Sorry.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2011 00:36:13 | More by brewski09
Photo of Stigs
Stigs

Pennsylvania

2.63/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, got this as an extra from a trade with BA user BEERchitecht. poured into a SA perfect pint glass.

A - got about a finger worth of slightly off-white foam which fell to a thin layer + ring rather quickly. the beer is a crystal clear, solid gold color with slight amber accents, with active visible carbonation.

S - lots of grain, rice and corn...weird bourbon twinge...like the sour mash without the bourbon. turns slightly fruity then finishes with somewhat harsh rubbing alcohol.

T - odd...this one tastes like a beer for a hot second, light and grainy before transforming rather ungracefully into a watered down and slightly sweetened bourbon. this actually just took me back quite a few years when i frequently drank (cheap) bourbon and ginger ale in college, this tastes like a strongly poured one that was left to melt and sweat until the next day, taking on an odd and somewhat stale taste (yes i didnt let any booze go to waste then). some sweetness in the finish, vanilla and an aftertaste somewhat like cream soda.

M - quite syrupy and coats the mouth, thicker body than expected. carbonation kind of gets lost fighting through the thickness.

D - dont know what to say about this one, it is truly unique - not like any beer i am familiar with. as a bourbon fan, im actually a bit put off by the in-your-face booze taste. bourbon can be a great accenting or secondary taste in a beer when done gracefully, this is not.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2010 02:42:30 | More by Stigs
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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,583 ratings.