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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.

574 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 574
Hads: 2,621
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 39.78%
Wants: 147
Gots: 758 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 574 | Hads: 2,621
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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Photo of shivtim
2.73/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Have to agree with aforbes10 that this wasn't that great of a beer. Maybe we just got a bad six-pack? I got it from Kentucky and transported it to Indiana myself, so I know it was somewhat fresh.
Poured out clear yellow/orange with no head whatsoever. nose was old bourbon and cork, with cornmeal. taste was watery bourbon and vanilla, like bourbon on the rocks with the ice all melted. Not disagreeable, but not great. Slight medicine qualities. Mouthfeel was pretty average. Overall it's just a so-so beer.

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Photo of Tonmeister
2.74/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

bottle poured into tulip shaped glass

Appearance: poured a thick off-white head, but it dissipated very quickly to the point that it has no head and no lacing. It's a light golden color.

Smell: I can smell the bourbon to the point that it almost burns my nostrils. It Smells like alcohol with a hint of caramel and vanilla notes.

Taste: It has a very strong alcohol flavor on the fore front. The bourbon cuts through, but then towards the middle its pretty sweet. The wood notes come out towards the end. It's a very sweet after taste. The vanilla, caramel and sweet malt really cuts through on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin with light carbonation

Overall: This is not my favorite Bourbon Barrel Beverage. Doom, by Founders is the best bourbon barrel I've ever had and this does not compare. This beer is not that balanced in my opinion, the booziness alcoholic flavors dominate on this. I am not a very big fan. I would not buy this again. I just wanted to try it, and now I regret buying it. I had to dump it in the sink.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.74/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A: [3.00] Beer is dark caramel color. Out of direct light it appears reddish. It has a scant 1/4 finger head that dissipates quickly leaving a thin white layer. The bottle gives no ABV and no date information. This was from a friend - so I have no idea on the age.

S: [3.25] I am getting some hints of Bourbon and maltiness.

T: [2.50] Mild (almost synthetic) Bourbon flavor. There is a slightly "off" alcohol flavor to the beer.

M: [2.75] No carbonation to speak of. The mouthfeel is a bit watery.

O: [2.50] I am not a huge fan of Bourbon Barrel beers. This is no exception. This one is not very well executed (or this is a bad bottle). It is one dimensional with a rubbing alcohol like bourbon taste. It is not a drain pour - but it is not a beer I would buy (or drink again).

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
2.77/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From a 12oz brown bottle - Pours a clear reddish/orange. No carbonation, very light lacing . Smells of strong bourbon. First sip tastes like a glass of scotch on ice that whose ice has completely melted leaving a watery flavor. Other than the bourbon there is not much going on. A big disappointment.

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.78/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from Party Source. The beer is a clear amber-orange color with a medium off-white head that dissipates steadily. Thin ting of lacing with spots under it. The aroma is pretty much all bourbon, with maybe a hint of malt buried under it. Medium-bodied with a bourbon overkill character of which the smell warned. Touches of woody malt and hops but again the bourbon overwhelms. The finish is oak and bourbon with a lingering whiskey aftertaste. Not for me.

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Photo of tectactoe
2.8/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Pours a mild amber color with a very slight amount of haze, slightly off white head fades quickly; very faint amounts of lacing are left along the walls of the glass. The aroma is big heavy bourbon - no faintness, no notes, hints, or nuances - straight up bourbon, through and through. Woody, oak aromas reside somewhat along the outer edges along with a touch of creamy and subtle vanilla. Much like the nose, the mouth senses heavy bourbon upon the first sip as well. If you were to tell me it was a malted-up ale and someone dropped in a shot of Evan Williams, I'd believe it. Very malt forward; lots of sweetness from the malt, toasted, slight caramel flavors, grainy. Hops aren't very noticeable, at least in flavor. A slight harsh, dry bitterness grabs the palate halfway through, but it's hard to detect any hop flavors at all. Slick body, thin, with adequate carbonation.

This is a bourbon beer, through and through. Literally tastes like someone dropped a shot of bourbon or whiskey into a malty ale. If bourbon is your thing, you'll love this. I guess it's okay if you're looking to drink bourbon. But if that's the case... just drink bourbon.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
2.8/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This review is going to be brief, as there is very little I can add to the testament of BA 'radioscooter' in the review below this one. It does smell like a Budweiser with a half-drop of Bourbon in it, and it does taste like a Bud Light with a half-drop of Whiskey, to boot. It also looks fairly pedestrian, which is apt, I guess. Wimpy mouthfeel.

I differ from him in that, a) I had not had the beer at anytime prior, so, b) I did not have a fond recollection of it, and, c) I was more irked than BA 'radioscooter' over the absolute banality of the brew.

My bottle was uber-special too. It was 'Brewed Exclusively for the 2011 World Equestrian Games'.

To be honest, the label looked dangerously close to copyright infringement of 'Killian's Red'. Not that I give a damn about such things...

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Photo of kbutler1
2.8/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. Pours a clear, medium copper color with a thin white head. Interesting aroma of cherry, bourbon, vanilla, and oak. The aroma slightly reminds me of New Glarus Enigma just not as strong. Medium mouthfeel with carbonation. Banana is the first flavor that comes to mind in this one followed by some bourbon notes like a watered down whiskey and coke. Lingers with a slight sweet bitterness. Taken as is the beer isn’t terrible but I’m not sold on this being anything great either. On the plus side, I think the booze is fairly well hidden. Curious how long this spent in bourbon casks. Oaked Arrogant Bastard slays this beer hands down.

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Photo of bashiba
2.81/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice clear amber color with long running carbonation and a thick and fluffy sticky white head.

Has a light sweet caramel smell along with some mild bourbon vanilla and alcohol notes.

The flavor is very mild with a light toasted grain body and a touch of bourbon notes. Slightly sweet and very low on hops.

The mouthfeel is light, surprisingly thin, and full of carbonation.

Pretty average, not much going on other than mild bourbon aging qualities almost like drinking and extremely watered down glass of whiskey. Barely any beer flavor to speak of.

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Photo of cambabeer
2.81/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Yeah... I thought this was going to be better. No head on this one, hazy copper body. Nose is of bourbon and rotten funk, with some vanilla. Taste is malty, not very hoppy, bourbon and metallic. I'm just not feeling this one. Mouthfeel is ok, large carbonation. Overall, this was not decent enough to buy enough, but I'd drink it again if someone handed it to me...

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Photo of Keginator70
2.83/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

For the record this is the first time I've ever given a negative review. If I hadn't paid $12.99 for a four pack I would have let it go but there are too many great and very good beers waiting to be had that get less hype.

No head or aroma to speak of. In a nutshell I just had a 12 oz boilermaker watered down with vanilla extract. I needed salted pistachios to eliminate the strange aftertaste at sip number three.

If I'm drinking whiskey and want a beer chaser this might be more appealing.

I'm going to try it in a chile or a lamb and lentil soup recipe.

As a stand alone quaff definitely not recommended. Won't try it again.

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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 TheBierBand
2.85/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

OK.... so The Bier Band was performing at the Mainstrasse Village Oktoberfest in Covington, KY. We NORMALLY get FREE BIER when we perform.... but not here. Oh Well! So, I figured that I would try this KY Bourbon Barrel Ale (I'd had the KY Ale from them in a bottle and it was pretty good).

It was served in a plastic cup (and a pretty small one at that)... not as big as the cups they served the KY Ale in. It formed about a 1?2" creamy head but it didn't stick around very long. The color of the bier was quite dark... kind of a dark caramel color.

SMELL: Woah!.... right away... a sweet whif of bourbon... then a caramel malt.

TASTE: WOAH!.... this didn't taste bourbon barrel aged.... it tasted as though they took a 12 oz beer and added a shot of bourbon to it! VERY pronounced bourbon flavor... WAY too much... I'm more into subtilty. I was just overwhelmed by the bourbon taste.

Mouthfeel: Flat.... but creamy

Drinkability: Well, in retrospect, I'm glad I only got a 12 oz cup.... I had trouble finishing it. Don't get me wrong.... I normally like a nice robust STRONG ALE... Arrogant Bastard Ale is one of my favorites of all time.... but this just clubbed you over the head with bourbon!

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Photo of THECPJ
2.87/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: orange copper with a 1 finger head

smell: bourbon, vanilla, fruity

taste: sour fruit, something went wrong in this bottle

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: I think I'm going to need to try it again. But sincne I haven't reviewed anything from this company I had to add my review.


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Photo of mklinger
2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a 12 oz snifter. Deep golden color. Thin white head, but lots of carbonation. Fine looking beer.

Aroma is all bourbon. Smells exactly like a bourbon with ice & water. I don't get much else that I would characterize as beer-like.

Flavor is interesting, not what I was expecting. There's beer character in there, some light malt character & a bit of hops, but it is a very light in character beer to be paired with such a strong bourbon flavor. I've had Lexington's Kentucky Ale & it's still one of my lower rated beers. This tastes like it's probably not much of a different beer than that but with some barrel aging with a lot of bourbon still in the barrel.

Mouthfeel is remarkably thin for some big beer with the barrel flavor. This really is one of the odder barrel aged beers I've had. The base beer is pretty unremarkable I think, bringing the focus all on the bourbon barrel. This makes the base beer better & improved, but still not great.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 574 ratings.