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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.
BA SCORE
82
good

558 Reviews
THE BROS
85
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 558
Hads: 2,545
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 16.21%
Wants: 143
Gots: 693 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 558 | Hads: 2,545
Photo of Hopscat
3.99/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber color with little head. Server in a small snifter @ John Barleycorns in Chicago. Nose is definitely bourbon with some vanilla and caramel hints. Smells delicious.
Taste follows with bourbon up front and mild smoked and vanilla- caramel malts in mid-palate and bourbon and alcohol burn asserting itself in the end. Not overwhelming for me . Can understand how some can be put off by the bourbon- but really, it's in the Name !
Overall this is a well made beer for the type . Will seek this out again. (512 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4/5  rDev +9.9%

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, golden amber/straw color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Boozy, as you can definitely smell the bourbon of the bourbon barrels the beer was aged in, as well as some oak, vanilla, butter, toasted malt, toffee.

Taste: Interesting. Pretty damn good, in fact! Strong malt notes up front, imparting flavors of buttered toast, caramel and toffee-like sweetness. I also get some vanilla and oak, along with the boozy bourbon flavors courtesy of the aging in bourbon barrels.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, and pretty smooth, as there is pretty much no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 8.19%, there is a definite presence of alcohol on the palate, imparting a pleasant warmth in the mouth.

Overall: This is a much better beer than I was expecting. Nice malt notes, nicely balanced with toffee and caramel and the bourbon overtones. Very nice! I’d certainly drink it again. (1,117 characters)

Photo of Shadar
4/5  rDev +9.9%

While not my favorite style of beer, it's hard to argue about the quality. This stuff is exquisitely smooth and is one of the most amazing mixing beers I've found. Combined with a vanilla porter, for example, you have a very amazing combination. (248 characters)

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

Had this beer at Mead Hall in Cambridge. Served cool, on tap and in a snifter.

Pours incredibly clear amber body and an off white ring head. This is a simple review. Smells like whisky, tastes like whisky. Just had a much lighter body than whisky. No very beer like but an amazing beer to try. Very drinkable. Whisky without the burn. (335 characters)

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

poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Glowing golden body with easily 2 fingers of white head. Good lacing that sticks al over glass.

Smell: Bourbon, oak, and more booze.

Taste: This is an interesting beer! Sweet taste of bourbon, caramel, and butterscotch. Hints of oak and light taste of tannins. A buttery, desert like flavor continues through the middle to end of taste. Very nice balance of flavors here; nothing is overly sweet and very well integrated flavors in this beer.

Mouthfeel: This beer is really creamy and accentuates the sweetness noted in the taste.

Overall: This was a really tasty beer! I nice surprise that a friend brought home with him for us to try. I will be looking for this beer and it is worth seeking out; quite good! (752 characters)

Photo of aubuc1
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a snifter.

Pours a light brown with a thin white head.

Smell is first smooth whiskey, then a mellow malty bread. Don't know if I should sip it or bite in to it.

Taste reminds me of a bourbon/vanilla creamshake. The vanilla is very pronounced after the bourbon.

Good mouthfeel and good drinkability for a bourbon beer. (348 characters)

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

Huge thanks to kmpitz2 for this sample.
Poured from a growler into a snifter glass.

For those of you who live in the Midwest, this beer reminds me Vernor's soda pop, not just in appearance but also in smell. I mean this tastes like bourbon flavored Vernor's pop. Crazy! Pours a clear brilliant golden color, looks like Southern Comfort. A nice half inch thick bright white head forms. No lacing is left behind. Big bourbon aromas, combined with vanilla, wood, and coconut. Very pleasing on the nose. Well balanced flavors of bourbon and beer. Both compliment each other well. Medium to light bodied and a nice smooth mouthfeel. This is way too easy to drink. I'm glad I have a growler of this stuff!! See ya in the emergency room! Thanks again, Kevin! (755 characters)

Photo of capeannbass36
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into snifter that came with beer.
Clear, amber. 1/4 inch head that quickly dissipated. Minimal lacing.

S- Sweet, bourbon, vanilla, a little wood.

T- Surprisingly tastes just as good as it smells. Bourbon and vanilla. Caramel comes out as beer temperature rises. Slightly warm feeling after swallowing.

M- Light to medium body. Light carbonation.

O- I really enjoyed this. Definitely going out to find some more. (425 characters)

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

I got this as an extra in a trade with 6DaysBottomOcean recently. I am very excited for this one for I haven't heard of it until it fell in my lap. Poured into a pint glass. This one is a very clear amber color with about two fingers of bubbly white head. Nice sticky lacing on this. The smell is unlike any other beer I can recall. Smells of rich butterscotch and sweet bourbon run straight to the front. My words can't do the smell justice. It has a certain sweetness to the aroma that I am familiar with but can't place my finger on. It smells really nice and very malty with subtle oak undertones. I'm intrigued to say the least. It has a nice balance of bourbon and malt with a slight sweetness that I can only call comforting. The bourbon hits nicely right up front but it creeps very subtly, to finish strongly with sweet malts and a spot on oak flavor. The mouthfeel is as expected, medium bodied with fair carbonation. For what this is I would say it is quite drinkable, even though I would only want it once in a while. It is however, really hitting the spot on a cool Autumn night in New England. (1,107 characters)

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

Poured into a Sniffer

Appearance - Dark orange with a hazy appearance; good lacing on the side

Smell - Vanilla, Oak, Whisky, Scotch, Malts, and toffee. It's like smelling an actual bottle of bourbon with a slightly more vanilla scent

Taste - Vanilla, Oak, Whisky, Scotch, Toffee, Malts and Yeast. While it still tastes great, the flavors all come off as a bit underwhelming despite the complexity.

Mouthfeel - Crisp and light with some moderate carbonation. It feels great and refreshing but it would feel much better if it had a creamy texture to it

Overall - As a bourbon ale, it's good but it feels a bit underwhelming for what it is. That doesn't mean that it's a bad beer, far from it! For a beer in general, it's pretty damn good. (741 characters)

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

thanks goes to weeare138 for this beer. poured like southern comfort with a very small off white to beige head. aroma whiskey when it is first poured into the glass than get some vanilla, woody, a slight floral. flavor wow just like Jack Daniels with out the alcohol kick. If I didn’t pour this myself I would have never guessed this to be a beer. that said this was good. (373 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Pours bright, clear copper with a thin head that becomes a thin cover. Some lacing follows down the glass.

The smell is of bourbon whiskey. Vanilla and oak really stand out. Caramel/toffee backs it up.

The taste is of bourbon. The vanilla and oak are quite strong. Caramel shows a firm maltiness. A light touch of earthy bitterness balances some of the sweetness. Whiskey hangs on well into the aftertaste.

It's on the full side of medium with medium carbonation.

Alcohol is reasonably well-covered, but this is still a sipping, one at a sitting brew for me. Nice bourbon character. Barrel aging well-done. (649 characters)

Photo of MDekker
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straight from my brother in Lexington, KY! Pours out light brown, clearly filtered, with a disappointingly small head. It smells sweet, like alcohol, bourbon, and orange. Naturally, there's bourbon in the flavor, which makes it quite unique. The hops at the end are just enough to balance the sweetness, but don't do any more than that. Overall, it's different, but good. In the mouth it's actually quite smooth, and has a slight and satisfying aftertaste. Went down easy, althogh the slightly higher alcohol was noticable. (523 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Surprisingly light color, clear amber blonde, almost orange tint. Looks a bit like Bourbon, save the thin but full cover of white head that sticks to the side of the glass.

Smell: Boozy, with a worty sweetness.

Taste: Unsurprisingly, a bit of bourbon with my beer. It's not unpleasant, which is to say I don't care for bourbon generally, but occasionally will have one. The bourbon is a firm part of the flavor but melds with the English Strong base and fits rather well. A light smoky aspect but no real strong wood flavors, which is a nice departure from most attempts in barrel aged beers.

Mouthfeel: A bit prickly, seems a touch over carbonated but lots of body keeps it far from fizzy. Lightly slick texture and a slow drying clean finish.

Overall: I didn't expect to like this beer much, and am pleasantly impressed to be very wrong. Rich complementing flavors, heavy body pushing me around at over 8% abv.
I feels sophisticated sipping on this one. Quite refined and enjoyable.
Solid brew!

Thanks to Illudium for the sample! (1,051 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber, with a solid head of fine, off-white foam. No lace to speak of.

Aroma is distinctly bourbon...I get oak wood and vanilla. Oh, the vanilla.

Taste is pretty strong, sweet but with an unmistakable bourbon feel. Actually, this is the most "bourbon-like" of any barrel-aged brew I've ever had.

Alcohol is strong here, and this is an ideal middle-ground in-between beer and whiskey. Not for the faint of heart, but unique and innovative all the same. (460 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this beer at the midwest brew fest. The beer poured a copperish color with a minimial head. Smells like whiskey rather than beer. Taste like a combination of bourbon and beer which I find unique. Went down smooth as beer and with a hint of whiskey. Overall a good beer for those who like bourbon. (302 characters)

Photo of bheilman
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice golden color with a decent head with a medium to high amount of carbonation. The smell is fantastic. Somewhat sweet smell with a delicious slightly bourbon accented aroma. The taste is solid but not mind blowing. About what you would expect although a lot lighter than any other beer I've had that was aged in bourbon barrels. Leaves a decent aftertaste, but the lightness allows the taste to fade quickly. Fairly drinkable for a stronger beer although I would want to switch up after about three or four of these because it has more sweetness than a typical beer. Overall I was pleasantly surprised and although it isn't the most tasty bourbon barrel beer I've had it is still a special beer. (698 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from a friend in Cincinnati. Enjoyed with some Skyline Chili. Tasty combination!

A: Clear dark golden color with barely any head. Light pale tan foam lingers for a bit.

S: A nice blast of bourbon on the nose. Some nice vanilla and hints of brandy soaked apricot and oak.

T: The base beer does just enough here to not take away from all the great bourbon flavor but to also not let this beer become a bourbon bomb. Some lightly bready malts peek from behind the bourbon and go well with the subtle vanilla and charred oak bourbon flavor. Very drinkable for all the bourbon present. (600 characters)

Photo of beeragent
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass from a 12oz. bottle. The beer poured a clear medium amber, forming a thin white head which quickly faded. The aroma is strong bourbon along with a hint of malt. The taste is a smooth combination of bourbon, malt, caramel, and a hint of vanilla. Not very complex, but the simplicity works for this brew. Clean smooth mouthfeel. Aside from the slightly higher abv., this is definitely a beer I wouldnt mind having a few of. Overall, I was expecting a bad tasting beer after hearing reviews about it, but I was suprised to find that the beer actually had a good flavor. I will definitely buy this again. Recommended!! (634 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Urbancaver for sending this my way.

a - opened the bottle and filled my founders sniftery tulip. The stream from the bottle was a pretty soft yellow, but it settled as much more orange in the glass. Very lively visible carbonation...head was thin and didn't hang long, but could be rebuilt on command, but would leave quickly. Lacing is pretty sparse.

s - Yum. A nice sweet woody bourbon smell. A tangy vanilla...like vanilla extract is also present, but sweet oaky bourbon tells the story. Quite nice if you like that (which I do). Toffee as well.

t - WOW...that was a surprise. This beer is dominated by a toffee like caramel or even butterscotch. The heavy bourbon on the nose is much tamer on the flavor. This is a great tasting beer, but it is a bit muted and watered down in the flavor.

m - surprisingly watery and thin. leaves a sweet aftertaste, not as much tingle as I would've expected...not as bourbony as I expected.

o - overall after a sniff, I was ready for a new favorite, but then was surprised when the beer hit my lips. Don't get me wrong, this is a solid beer, and VERY unique (the butterscotch toffee thing is pretty crazy), but the flavor is a bit watered down. If I could turn up the flavor intensity a few notches, this would be an A+ beer. That being said, I'd love to have another and another since it is such an easy drinker. (1,370 characters)

Photo of mrfrancis
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light gold with a thin, creamy white mousse that dissipates quickly.

S: This ale really captures the essence of bourbon. Strong scents of vanilla bean, caramel, toffee, woody spices, toasted coconut, and honeysuckle are framed against a backdrop of grassy, earthy hops and biscuits.

T: Extremely robust notes of charred oak, woody spices, toasted coconut, heavy cream, vanilla bean, biscuits, grassy hops, minerals, caramel, butterscotch, toffee, and honeysuckle wash across the palate. The finish is rich and smooth with notes of vanilla, grassy hops, spice, caramel, butterscotch, and toasted coconut underscored by mellow alcohol.

M: Full-bodied and very dry. Alcohol presence is understated. Carbonation is very active. Very heavy in the mouth. Definitely a sipper.

O: This is a very enjoyable strong ale. I particularly like the fact that it actually smells and tastes like bourbon-something most barrel aged ales fail at by the way. I can see this becoming a go-to evening sipper. (1,001 characters)

Photo of kirok1999
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear light gold with a small white head that leaves just a little lacing.
Smells sweet, vanilla and slight bourbon.
Tastes wonderful with mild carbonation. Oak, vanilla, bourbon, honey meld together really well. Not exactly what I expected and I'm glad as this is a great brew. I'm glad to see it's 7% as I plan to drink a few more.
Get some, you won't be disappointed. (382 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on draft on the recommendation of Brian Yaeger, author of "Red, White, and Brew." Brian was nice enough to give me another 12oz bottle of this that I brought to a tasting to share.

A - This beer is a nice clear amber color with a small off-white head and nice lacing.

S - Aroma is bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and oak. Smells very nice.

T - Slightly sweet caramel malt, bourbon, vanilla, oak, buttery notes, and a little alcohol. Very well balanced. It's nice to see a bourbon barrel aged beer done well other than the massive imperial stouts and such.

M - Body is medium and palate is smooth with medium-low carbonation.

D - This is an underrated beer, and drinkable for the ABV. (694 characters)

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a small snifter. Off-white head, moderate retention on a light amber body. Aroma is mainly caramel malt and whisky. Taste is sweet with malts with a slight vanilla flavor, very faint bitterness. I actually expected a let down after seeing the beer but is actually pretty excellent the way the whisky has rounded out this beer and made it way too easy to drink considering the abv. (420 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It seems like the beers with lighter Bourbon barrel influence get less love on this website, from the first few sips I think this is a good use of barrels.

A- Golden-orange ale into my DFH snifter. A small white head forms and dies out quickly leaving a small cloud on the beer and a ring around the edges. Some legs but no lace.

S- I mostly get fruit and a moderate amount of Bourbon influence in the aroma. The fruit is dark like cherries and raisins. Also some oak and vanilla.

T- Very interesting. Diluted Bourbon works out well, giving off some great flavors (oak, whiskey, vanilla, toast) without totally dominating the base beer. It seems like the base beer contains some yeast spice, bread, caramel, toasted nuts, citrus and floral hops, raisin and general fruit.

MF- Highly carbonated, lighter-end body (for barrel aged) with a somewhat creamy and silky feel. Ends with a bit of warmth on the back of the palate and throat.

I think this deserves more than a B. The wood and whiskey flavors come through nicely and do not take over the whole flavor, a nice base still remains after aging. Interesting and a beer that I had a lot to write about, which is always a nice thing. (1,187 characters)

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 558 ratings.