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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.

575 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 575
Hads: 2,624
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 39.78%
Wants: 147
Gots: 763 | 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: 575 | Hads: 2,624
Photo of suspect
2.39/5  rDev -34%
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%
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 -33.4%
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 -32.3%
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 -32.3%
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 -30.9%

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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Photo of jzeilinger
2.51/5  rDev -30.7%
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.

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Photo of Beejay
2.53/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

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Photo of Cresant
2.53/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

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Photo of hoptualBrew
2.55/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

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Photo of MrDanno96
2.55/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

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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 SWMeyer4141
2.57/5  rDev -29%
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.

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Photo of jimmah120
2.6/5  rDev -28.2%
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

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Photo of Lukafer
2.61/5  rDev -27.9%
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.

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Photo of Stigs
2.63/5  rDev -27.3%
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.

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Photo of brewski09
2.65/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

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Photo of SFLpunk
2.65/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Purchased at Liquors 44, Northampton, MA. 12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Neck dated Oct, 13 2011, 13:48, 44-286. Trying this at the behest of a former client...here goes:

Pours a orange amber with very thin white head. Nose is a mix of orange peel, cinnamon, vanilla extra and toffee/caramel. But non of the items are very distinct.

Palate is very sharp with alcohol burn. Thin caramel extract, butterscotch schnapps (very boozy), butterscotch and fusel/alcohols all over the place.

This beer is a train-wreck. A huge mess of butterscotch and booze. I can only assume that the Bros had a different batch than this one. Feels a lot like a marketing beer approach to barrel-aged beers. I think the AB Winters Cask is better than this.

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Photo of goatgoat
2.66/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear gold with just a hint of orange. A white one finger head quickly falls to nothing. No lace.
Aroma is heavily bourbon and oak with a sharp alcohol. As it warms it lets a bit more vanilla through.
Taste opens up a bit. More oak than bourbon and still strong though less overwhelming. I'm still missing the "beer" in this beer. A vanilla alcohol finish, very sweet, with a bit of a burn. Though that may be more a sensory memory association due to the bourbon aroma.
Light body with more carbonation that the appearance lets on.

My first bourbon barrel brew, gotten in a trade. It's a very new experience, interesting, not something I'll seek out again. I've never been a fan of brown liquor, though.

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Photo of Pencible
2.66/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This poured a clear dark gold with some off-white head. It smelled strange, like light sulfur and sweet bourbon, with some fresh oak and peaches and sour apple. It tasted much like it smelled, with sulfur and light bourbon and oak, along with some cabbage and vanilla and peach and bready yeast. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a sour aftertaste. Overall I'm not sure if this was how this beer is supposed to taste, or if it was skunked. But if this was actually a "good" bottle, then I am really not a fan.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
2.68/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

After a huge hiss, this one proved to be a gusher. The head is massive and fizzy looking, quickly filling my glass with a huge tower that quickly dissipates. Besides the fact that there's decent lacing it looks a lot like soda.

It doesn't smell good. It seems a bit sour, with a touch of bourbon and black malt.

It's not sour, but it isn't good either. There is a little blast of bourbon with just a bit of wood. Next there is a charcoal flavor. The finish has just a bit of bitterness to it, and it manages to leave the overall impression of being sweet without any real sweet flavor. The finish has the slight taste of charcoal, or maybe even cigarettes.

The mouthfeel is pretty bad. Really light and fizzy; it doesn't just look like a soda, it tastes like one also.

I'm not a fan of this one. Not much going on here. It isn't unpleasant tasting, but the smell and feel are off, and it really isn't good either.

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Photo of JMBSH
2.69/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Golden in color. Pours about an inch of head that disappears to just a thin coating not quite covering the total surface of the beer.

S - Light bourbon oak scent. Also some vanilla probably from oak. Reminds me of a watered down bourbon that has been sitting on ice a bit.

T - Again a watered down taste to the bourbon (but then again if I wanted massive bourbon - I'd have bourbon). Other flavors like tart fruit and bread come up. Very sweet aftertaste.

M - Very light. I get a thick coating at the back of my tongue like I get when I have had some "alca-pop" like drinks. The sweetness is a bit off for me.

D - The one of the lightest in color bourbon beers I have had. But the bourbon taste seems too watered down which hides the alcohol level of the beer. While I could have a couple more before the true level of the alcohol hits me, I don't think I would want to have another anytime soon.

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Photo of SassieCassie
2.7/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in a tulip glass darkish/medium amber color, not much head retention. The nose is definitely the distinct smell of bourbon. The taste is quite neat. It tastes like bourbon beer! I was expecting that bitter alcohol taste that hard liquor delivers, but got quite the opposite. It brings out all the great flavors of bourbon: oak,vanilla, burnt caramel, but adds a malt beer flair.

Definitely an interesting brew. It's a great beer to try when you want something different

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Photo of Tone
2.7/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, dark gold color. 1/5 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and poor lacing. Smells of strong bourbon and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong bourbon, slight sweet malt, and slight grain. Overall, the bourbon was over-powering. Not well blended in either aroma or body.

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Photo of harrymel
2.73/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

On tap at meadhall

It’s a toasted gold ale with just a ring of soapy white foam. Smells of applesauce, rich peach and booze, some caramelized sugars and a bit of an immature oak. Taste is sweet, vanilla, nougat and more sweetness – really one dimensional. Medium bodied with lighter carb and a surprisingly dry finish. Not really a fan of this one.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 575 ratings.